Sunday, March 10, 2013

Faith and Begorrah, My Lucky Shamrocks!!!

I present my trio of wooden Shamrocks on sticks!!! I purchased the blank wood from Crafty Wood Cutouts.

I painted them all green, and decoupaged scrapbook paper upon them, and then embellished them. (I'm writing this blog with a Scottish/Irish accent.)

The banner and shield are the Tim Holtz Sizzix Regal Crest die that I cut out of chipboard and covered with scrapbook paper. I used stickers to spell "LUCKY" and covered the stickers with glossy accents. My leprechaun is a dimensional sticker. I inked the edges of the scrapbook paper with ranger distress inks before decoupaging them to the paper. I glued some shamrock ribbon and gems to the base and tied some ribbons of black and green sparkled tulle.

I've been enjoying lots of texture lately so I tried to use smooth, rough, shiny, sparkly, matte, solid color, many patterns, slightly distressed with a vintage feel.

I've never been to Ireland, but I would like to go there someday, so I made this my "Explore" shamrock. With any "luck", someday I will be able to hop into my jalopy for an adventure.

Ireland looks very green, so this is my "green" shamrock with a "St Patricks Day" dimensional sticker, glittered flowers, and glitter polka-dots.

Here's the other side of the Shamrocks.

This is the other side of my "Explore" shamrock, except now I've hopped on a "Tractor" of some kind towards a pot-o-gold dimensional sticker.

This is the other side of my green shamrock, but with 3 golden flower, and 3 black flower buttons to mirror the 3 petals of the shamrock, that St. Patrick used to teach about the "Trinity" or so the legend goes. Ok, so there's also a 4-petaled shamrock stamp in the center, but it said Mar 17, and was shiny with the color of green I liked, so I was willing to forgo my symbolism, bear with me.

So my Shamrocks are a tribute to my Irish ancestors, who were actually Scottish, but were born in Ireland, but were members of the "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" (Mormons). It's all very mixed up, but none-the-less, they were all Scottish people, who were born in Ireland for several generations, and eventually came to America, were persecuted and chased from place to place, and eventually crossed the plains, mostly walking, to Utah where they started printing newspapers, and started up the first local community theater in the desert.

It's a strange story, but it all began with John McEwan, who was only 17 years old. He was the first in his family to leave Scotland and come to America all by himself. He went directly to Nauvoo, Illinois, the beautiful city established by the Mormons.  His parents and the rest of his family came to America, and eventually to Utah several years later.

John McEwan (1824-1878)
Born: Banbridge, Down, Ireland
Lived in Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: Provo, Utah

So Happy Saint Patricks Day to John McEwan, the Mormon Scotsman born in Ireland, who came to America and looks like my brother!!!

He had such beautiful script handwriting, so he was often called upon as a clerk, taking minutes at church meetings, or acting as a scribe, or a record-keeper. 

John McEwan and family were patrons of the arts and literature except in their wild-west sagebrush desert Utah home there were no "arts" to speak of, so they created their own, singing, reciting poetry, telling stories, acting out drama, which eventually led to home-grown community theater presentations in Salt Lake City, Provo, Southern Utah, where ever a branch of the family lived. They also were involved in printing the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, and the Daily Enquirer in Provo as the family knew the printing press trade. 

So I think my ancestors would enjoy my creative projects, so I now recite a poem found with the family journals belonging to John McEwan and his family.

"Look not mournfully into the past, 
    It comes not back again,
But wisely improve the present;
    It is thine.
And go forth to meet the shadowy future
    Without fear and with a manly heart."

Henry W. Longfellow. 
And for the rest of us without as much of a dramatic flare, here's an Irish saying that I enjoy...

"Don't be breaking your shin on a stool that's not in your way"

Happy St. Patricks Day, and if you're not inclined to celebrate it, then Happy March to you, and mind your shin!

(A copy of the journal of John McEwan can be found in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.)

1 comment:

  1. Your shamrocks are so cool. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about your fascinating Scotch Irish Mormon heritage. Blessings!


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