April 2018 Brass Packs - "Nature"

April 2018 - “Nature.”

Hi everyone!

Easter has come and gone with the promise for another year of new beginnings. The most important and oldest celebration to Christians, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a big deal in my family, and it is a time we look forward to each year. I did not know this until a few years ago, but Easter is held on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox. YomHashoah, the Jewish Remembrance of the Holocaust is also commemorated around this time every year (April 11-12 this year). People all over- the word light Yahrzeit Candles, read liturgies, and participate in a two minute silence at 10:00; even if you’re on the freeway—you get right out of your car, and stand in silence for two minutes. I cherish these two traditions because it reminds me of everything good in the world, and also reminds me of what can happen when we forget that we are responsible for radiating and perpetuating that good.

Spring is a time of change between winter and summer, and things seem windy, undecided, and overcast. BUT—there is also sometimes sun shining through the clouds, and birds chirping in the mornings again. I remember reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” in 5th grade and being impacted by her optimism: “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

I picked nature for this month’s theme, because this month represents contradiction. It is a month that can’t seem to decide what it wants. Do we want to resurrect and remember? Grow or hibernate some more? Freeze or thaw? Spring clean or leave the mud for a bit longer? Plant now and risk things getting frostbite, or wait until later, and risk a late harvest?

The jewelry I chose to make this month represents that contradiction. A dragonfly bracelet that has beautiful spring colors, and of course steampunk accents in an Art Nouveau style (dragonflies are often used in jewelry in this way). The Japanese associate the dragonfly with autumn and it represents courage, strength, and happiness. Dragonflies often appear in Japanese art and literature, especially haiku—and since April 17 is America’s Haiku Day—the day we teachers try really hard to encourage creativity in 5-7-5 patterns—there lies the link.

Dance, O dragonflies,
In your world
of the setting sun.

A dragonfly seems to be full of contradictions to me. At first glance, the dragonfly is a beautiful creature...tiny wings...fierceness. Can literally fly across oceans. Their wings have colors so endless and iridescent, you wonder how so many can fit on one tiny wing.

And then...you learn that they are actually predators; how aggressively they mate, and how they breathe out of their butt.

Changes your vision of the darling little dragonfly a bit doesn’t it?

But aren’t we all contradictions? We can feel so very strongly about something and apply a set of rules to it, and then change it for something else very similar. We’re funny that way. We can be fierce in our passions, and creative with our every move—and then...we can say things that sound like we’re speaking out of our butts.

The other pendant I chose to make is one from Alice in Wonderland to give you a “nerdy” pick this month. I don’t know about you, but when I think of the whole Alice in Wonderland story (which as a child used to scare The Bee Gees out of me), I think of it happening in Spring. I remember telling my mom once how weird the Alice in Wonderland story was to me once, and she said that perhaps Alice wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble if she would have been doing her Spring cleaning before her exploring (thinking back on it now, she was saying that because I was reading Alice in Wonderland instead of doing Spring cleaning).

The last item is a homemade notebook (a project I’ll likely not attempt again ;-)). Spring, to me, is also a time of lists—So now you have a notebook so you can write down this Spring’s “To-Do’s.”

Next month is May, and I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan, so you KNOW I’ll be doing something Star Wars related (May the 4th Be With You). I’ll share a secret with you. I have this Twitter obsession: My “thing” is to be tweeted, replied to, liked, or messaged by celebrities. I’ve had tweets from William Shatner, Carol Burnett, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Carrie Fisher—to name a few. My current goal is to get a tweet from Mark Hamill. One of these days…..!

I hope you’ve had a great month, and that everything that’s on your lists gets completed and that your flowers bloom, and that you do everything you want to do this Spring. I really hope you like your Brass Pack this month. Please let me know what you think.

Until next month;

Lori Embree



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