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The year grabs hold.

And...almost before we realise it, March has sprung. Seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the New Year, then boom - suddenly almost twenty percent of 2024 is done and dusted. The days are starting to shorten, the nights are, finally, getting a little cooler. At least, that is how it is in my neck of the woods in Brisbane, Australia. Our sub-tropical climate is a joy during those in-between months of spring and autumn, but hella hot in summer, with a staggeringly high humidity. For someone like me, with pre-transplant lungs that are more like sieves than sponges, summer in Brisbane is like trying to breathe underwater. I'm very happy to be heading towards winter.

Mind you, in a couple of months I know I'll be moaning about being cold. :)

We have a busy month coming up. In the studio I am preparing to get stuck into all the gorgeous new silverware I have received from my wonderful silversmith. Thanks to all your fabulous suggestions earlier this year, I will be making some new broken china lovelies, namely studs, a smaller round ring for those who prefer to be a little more subtle on your fingers, and a double dangly earring thingy, which is going to look waaay better than it sounds, I promise!

In a couple of weeks Ireland, and the global Irish diaspora, will be cheerfully celebrating St Patrick's Day. In Australia about 10% of our population proudly identify as Australian-Irish. This, combined with the fact that Australians generally love a good celebration and any reason to have a solid natter over a beer, means that Paddy's Day, or St Pat's Day, is always observed with great merriment and the dubious hilarity of drinking beer whilst eating green pancakes.

I spent time travelling around Ireland a few years ago and can honestly say it is quite simply one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen. Bit wet (!!), but stunning, and the locals were an absolute blast to spend time with.

So, 'Cheers' to all the Irish everywhere, who share their lovely land, their joyful approach to life, and their fabulous national day, with so many around the world.

I love this gorgeous broken china ring, made from the backstamp of a wee Irish egg cup.

The cup was manufactured in the 1960's by the Carrigaline Potteries in Cork, Munster.

March also sees the start of Ramadan, the joyous month of worship for those of the Muslim faith. Ramadan is a time of fasting and strengthening one's faith. Believers are encouraged to abstain from anger and to show compassion to those who are poor and suffering. Acts of charity are particularly encouraged. So, happy fasting and Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims.

In my many years working as a mosaic artist and teacher I was greatly inspired by the mosaic traditions in Islamic art. The design aesthetic is largely centred on calligraphy, in which the word as the medium of divine revelation plays such an important role.

In my local op. shop I recently found this fantastic little medallion, which owes its decorative styling and the aversion to any empty spaces to Islamic art.

This piece is destined become a large pendant and some small earrings.

And then, again in March, (Yes!! A busy month!!), the Christian tradition of Easter will be celebrated. One of the main religious festivals in the Christian calendar, the four days of Easter will see many Australian Christians attend numerous church services. Easter traditions in Australia include Easter egg hunts, Easter bonnet parades, and the eating of hot cross buns. In my family I bake hot cross buns every year as part of our Easter celebrations. Although you can start buying buns in the shops from early February (!!!!), I am a traditionalist and don't bake my hot cross buns until Easter weekend, usually for Sunday breakfast.

My grandfather made these buns every Easter, and my dad made them, and now I have continued this tradition with my own family. I made a cookbook of family recipes last year and this one was definitely included.

And they do taste as good as they look!

In my studio have these lovely little Bunnykins earrings that have been very popular. So perfect for Easter!! I have a few of the broken china 'Border Bunny' small round hooked earrings available now, and I will also be popping little Bunnies into some of the newly arrived sterling silver stud bezels.

If you want to reserve a pair of vintage china, Royal Doulton, Bunnykins, STUD earrings, shoot me an email. First in, best dressed.

Happy Easter to all who celebrate.

Given there is so much to do and so much work to conquer this month, I will be starting by taking a week's holiday!! Yes, odd, right? But we planned this beachside vacation months ago, and I am determined to leave all my work worries, and health worries too if I can, behind for one whole glorious week. I hope you all have a fabulous March, and enjoy any and all celebrations in whatever manner is right for you.

Thank you for all your on-going support. I love to receive your messages and comments - so very kind.

And a big shout out to Mary in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland, who regularly lights a candle for me, bless her.

Cheers, all.



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