Friday, 20 February 2015

Kung Hei Fat Choi - May Prosperity Be With You


Been so busy the last few days;  Valentine's Day last week and three family birthdays, Shrove Tuesday with delicious pancakes yesterday and Chinese New Year yesterday (19 February).  Have also finishing off an additional colour way for the Tudor design - although the backgrounds are skip stitches rather than solid basketweave they still seem to take for ever!

Saffie's 1st Birthday present stitched in Myanmar
Each Lunar New Year has a special animal with a 12 year cycle, Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey Chicken Dog ad Pig.  The upcoming year is the year of the Goat and my Myanmar newspapers told me that red underwear (especialy bought for you as a gift) would be extremely lucky.  I shall have to visit Keturah Brown, the lovely lingerie shop in Primrose Hill where I know she has some particulary pretty red items!

As needlepoint designs some would work far better than others and I as a 'Rat' would definitely give mine a miss!  Other symbols dependant on the day of the week the child was born seem to have more possibilities.  The list - again by my guide in Myanmar - was

Monday       Tiger                                                is Fair of face
Tuesday       Lion                                                 is Full of Grace
Wednesday (day time) Elephant with tusks         is Full of Woe
                   (night time) Elephant
Thursday      Rat                                                 Has far to Go
Friday          Guinea Pig                                   is loving and giving
Saturday       Dragon                                       works hard for a living
Sunday    Legendary Bat     But the child that is born on the Sabbath
                                          Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay!

There is also an English rhyme foretelling the new born's fortune which I have also included

Again if contemplating a pair of cushions or samplers two compatible beings would be most satisfactory.  Fortunately Robert was born on a Monday and I on a Wednesday so a  pair of Tiger and Elephant would work well.

I have already done a pair of our Zodiac signs, Robert Cancer 22 June - 22 July and myself Sagittarius ( as seen here) 23 November - 21 December but I shall give a full list of those Signs on a future blog.

To return to the Chinese theme here is a small book front I worked some time ago along with two Willow Pattern plates.  Although these transfer printed china was produced in Britain between 1780 and 1880 many of the themes were Chinese with pagodas and bridges.  There is a charming legend of two young lovers who because of a different background, were not allowed to marry so they changed into birds (often shown in the design, and flew away to happiness. 

That aside many of designs have wonderful ideas for needlepoint.  Besides Chinoiserie there were rural scenes of the British Isles, London views,  Greek motifs all with interesting borders - a dream for a designer  as I hope you can see from this illustration

Finally a waste-paper basket continueing the Chinese theme. cautionary tale - always know of a professional who will make up an unusual item - the guy who did this for me has retired!

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