14 March 2011

blarney stones, shamrocks and a leprechaun too

St. Patrick's Day is this Thursday and other than just wearing the required green, I have never done much else for it. As we came into March I began to think of why Nat and I never did St. Patty's crafts and what could we do to make up for it. So, we gathered a few nice rocks and decided to make them into our very own Kissing Blarney Stones! Before we set out to paint and decorate, I wanted to know what was a blarney stone and why do people want to kiss it. I found out that it is part of a castle in Ireland where legend has, if you kiss it, it will give you the gift of gab (like Nat and I need more of that)!

There is never a stone that whoever kisses, Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent 'tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber, or become a member of parliament.
Francis Sylvester Mahony

Nat and I began to paint our rocks (green, of course) and the following day I set out to make the example pair for her. I came up with Mrs Clover Blarney and Mr Seamus Blarney. I fashioned a little shamrock for the missus by gluing three light green heart shapes cut from felt topped with a patterned cloth circle.  Seamus has a hat made from a rectangular piece of felt glued onto a circular base and two yellow strips by the brim. I used a hot glue gun for all the pieces and for attaching it onto his little green head. Of course, with better (and more patient) skills than mine, you can make it where you don't see the glue or better yet, sew it all together.  I gave Seamus a 'beard' of yarn, frayed a bit on the edges.  Both the Mister and the Missus have their eyes closed and their lips puckered as an asterisk ready for a smooch! Since Mr Seamus was a more glossy stone than Mrs Clover, his green appeared darker and was harder to see his expression. I went over the black permanent marker with yellow paint thinking you might see his face more but I think it ended up adding to the confusion. I went back with the marker but left him with bright yellow freckles anyway! Also, since I didn't give his hat a top, I just filled it with a paper shamrock.  We still have her stones to do and hopefully they will all be up and ready for smooching by thursday!
Oh, Did you Ne'er Hear of the Blarney 
by Samuel Lover
Oh, did you ne'er hear of the Blarney,
That's found near the banks of Killarney?
Believe it from me, 
No girls heart is free,
Once she hears the sweet sound of the Blarney,
Once she hears the sweet sound of the Blarney.

Oh say, would you find this same Blarney,
There's a castle not far from Killarney,
On the top of the wall
But take care you don't fall,
There's a stone that contains all this Blarney,
There's a stone that contains all this Blarney.

Like a magnet its influence such is,
That attraction it gives all it touches,
If you kiss is, they say,
That from tht blessed day,
You may kiss whom you plaze, with your Blarney,
You may kiss whom you plaze, with your Blarney.

Since we never did crafts before for this holiday, I did want to read up about it a bit. I found out that St. Patrick was a Missionary who is credited for bringing Christianity to the masses. Now, we are always associating the shamrock with this holiday and with Ireland itself but why is it used? I found out that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the people. I also wanted to know what the difference between a shamrock and a clover is and found out that that there is none, really for the shamrock is just the name of three leafed old white clover. The name shamrock is derived from the Irish seamr√≥g (little clover) which is the diminutive version of the Irish word for clover, (seamair). 
I think that's pretty neat and now have a whole new and appreciative outlook on the plant and the holiday itself. 
*Side note--Nat and I just got a new green watering can where we decorated it with permanent marker. At the bottom of the spout, I put a little clover on it with our initials on it. Not saying that we are the Holy Trinity but just in honor of our wee three person family!*

Since we had the paint out, we also decided to use it to make red handprints for leprechaun's beards, of course! This is Natalie's and once the handprint was dried, she drew her wee little man around it. She hasn't finished coloring him all in, but I think he has some good jolly spirit in him! Oh, and she named him Clover Gold Pot but you can just call him Clover for short ;)

Leprechaun, leprechaun, fly across the sea
And fetch an emerald shamrock for you and me.
Do not bring a nettle or a thistle for a joke,
But bring an Irish shamrock, for we are Irish folk.
And you and I, my leprechaun, will wear the shamrock gay,
And match it with and Irish smile upon St. Patrick's Day!

As you may have guessed it, this coming thursday, I will not only be wearing green but attempt to make Corned Beef and cabbage with potatoes for the first time.  Nat's also requested a green smoothie to drink for that day. I'm getting pretty excited about it all and was pretty excited over watching the Food Network's special, Bobby's Ireland. Wow, beautiful places, landscapes and of course, food! I would love love love to go there with my family one day. Until then, I can dream and this little poem can help me along:

By Killarney's Lakes and Fells

by Edmund O'Rourke

By Killarney's lakes and fells,
Em'rald isles and winding bays,
Mountain paths, and woodland dells
Memory ever fondly strays;
Bounteous nature loves all lands;
Beauty wanders everywhere
Footprints leaves on many strands,
But her home is surely there.
Angels fold their wings and rest
In that Eden of the west,
Beauty's home, Killarney,
Ever fair--Killarney.


Mama Teaching 3 said...

I love the little puckered lips on your rocks. Too, cute!

Jessica said...

Wonderful! Such cuties!! Such fun...your house is so full of creativity and joy. :)

andrea littlebighead said...

♥ ♥ ♥