Tuesday, February 02, 2021

It's Groundhog Day

We have no groundhogs. We have three cats, and a cat button. We have 15 hens, two goats, and countless wild bunnies. We are visited by owls, by quail, and doves, and crows, but not yet by any groundhogs. Groundhog Day is my holiday of choice for pure nonesense and delight. It's in my top three, or four, of days to celebrate. And the foremost thing I appreciate about it is how little is expected, planned, necessary, or warranted, so that whatever good or happy thing is accomplished is automatically attributed to the great prognosticator, the wise whistle pig, and we call it a Happy Groundhog Day! I've already read that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and we are due six more weeks of winter. That makes it official. I wish we could add rain to our own forecast. To satisfy my winter fantasies, I have been gazing and sighing over pictures and videos from friends in colder climes... madgefaces has been documenting the steady accumulation of snow at her home... everything looks frosted! And further north, lori.s.h. has been sharing her own view of a wonderland! Those mounds and drifts seem almost improbable! There is no snow in Ireland, where patchworkmomma lives and creates, but she posted about Imbolc... I love celebrations, traditions, lore, and sharing.
Alex offered to make Groundhog cakes. And. And so far, that's it. Happy Groundhog Day! It really is a no pressure holiday, I tell you. I wish we could go to the mountains, like we did 8 years ago. Maybe, it's time I raise the bar a little, I considered, yesterday, while cleaning and reorganzing the sewing box that's been keeping me so busy these days. I agreed, with myself, not to start another project until I had things tidy, again, and while I worked, I thought about Groundhog Day decorations. We don't have any, and I am glad of it. I do not ever want to walk into a store and be assualted by the sight of plastic groudnhog dolls, ornaments, paper plates and cups, by groundhog balloons, banners, and boxed candies. Groundhog Day (I declare) is strictly handmade, homemade, zero-waste, nature inspired, it's a re-think, re-use, recycle event, with no call for anything fancier than pancakes for dinner, a pinecone on the dining table, a nature walk, or a nature video, and maybe, maybe a few things I can whip up, just for fun.
My gears were turning, and I started imagining a new little bag, this time with a groundhog. Embroidered? Appliqued? Something. I looked at pictures online, then made a sketch inside the tidy sewing box, then directly on the wool felt. It looks like a... like a large mammal, rodentia, like a rat, or muskrat, or some kind of marmot. Yes, I think this could work. The stakes are not particularly high. What would the consequences be, if no one recognized my tiny woodchuck? These are the small scale, gentle adventures I am made for, and I felt a little relief with each stitch, because it seemed to be going ok.
It's a groundhog (I declare!)
I added snow. And I was tempted to add his tunnel home... just a small cross-section of his burrow. That's probably a bit much for a pressure-free holiday. I lined the bag with spring, because that's how it seems, when you go through a snowy winter, and wonder how anything will ever grow again. Spring just seems to appear suddenly, as though all along it was wrapped up inside of winter, waiting to pop up! Okay, obviously a lot things cross my mind when I am curled up in bed making a groundhog out of threads!
This project was taking longer than the first two, and I was a tiny bit disheartened about not having it done before Groundhog Day. I set it aside, and convinced Geoff to go on a night ride. The day had slipped by, and it was already dark, and cold, and had even rained a bit, but a quick bicycle ride to the end of the street, down the big hill, and back up would be so welcome. He indulged me, and we braved the chill. And, since I've been listening to Lord of The Rings, the dark, the chill, the subtle fog were stirring my imagination, and ooh, this was a very invigorating ride! I came back shivering, heart rate elevated, and happy to get cozy, again, with my sewing.
And! Now we have a Groundhog!


Cynthia said...


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Cynthia. Happy Groundhog Day! Is it winter or spring where you are? Or summer, or fall?

gretchenjoanna said...

I missed Groundhog Day completely and never thought of it until reading your post, and here it is a week later...? wow.

Your embroidered groundhog is beautifully done, and the most charming example of his species.

Are Groundhog Cakes the pancakes you mentioned maybe having for dinner?

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

You guessed it... groundhog cakes are pancakes! And if you are feeling extra special about it, you can pour them on the pan to look like little lumpy mammals... hahaha.
For some reason my Apple devices each remind me of some events, and Groundhog Day popped up many times! Otherwise, it's very easy for me to lose track of days and events. I always feel thankful when someone happens to mention the day of the week, or time of day, and it usually comes as a surprise, like being brought out of a fog.
Thank you so much for loving on my little creation. I'm tickled about him.