Friday, March 6, 2009

the Rowan tree

Rowan's name still makes me happy just to hear or see it. I remember my college roommate and close friend Jodie telling me about this book series where the main female character had a fantastic name - Rowan. This must have been 1997 or 1998? She was referring to Ann Rice's Mayfair Witch series. I immediately read the whole series and loved them all. And fell in love with the name Rowan. Yes - I am the type of girl who always would hear names and think "that one is on my list" - but honestly there was no physical list. Not until I met Dave, married him and we started seriously thinking of babies, then there was a list. Well, Rowan blew away all the girl options, because months before she was actually born we knew we were going to name our daughter Rowan. I remember about 20 hours into my labor, the midwife wrote "Waiting for Miss Rowan" on the dry erase board in our hospital room. I was almost giddy to see her name in writing and knowing that it was her name. My daughter - who was in the process of entering the world. I think this thought probably helped to keep me going for the next 16 hours until she FINALLY made her debut.

After Rowan was born, I then did a bit more research and found out that various sites and books indicate "Rowan" means "the red one". Huh, who knew? And what to make of the odd fact that she actually has red hair? From blond (dirty - that would be Dave) and brunette (OK, so it is really gray) haired parents? Quite the coincidence, huh? Now, I don't attest to believe that our choosing that name turned her hair red, but it is still a bit freaky. More research led me to discover that in Europe, the Mountain Ash tree is referred to as a Rowan Tree. Mystically, it is said to protect children and ward off the evil fairies. Cool, huh? Her bedroom is still decorated with fairies - though she is in process of designing her own "big girl" room. Sigh.

Sorry, back on topic. I've wanted to plant a Rowan tree in our yard for a while, but we've never gotten around to it. Since we are now in the middle of winter still, I decided to create a Rowan tree of my own, but using fabric and thread. I googled and did some ink drawings of what the tree looked like. Then I embroidered my drawing onto a dress that I had found on the clearance rack. I actually found the dress before Christmas, but "misplaced" it in the holiday rush.
Here is my Rowan in her Rowan Tree dress. She picked out the thread colors. I'm still quite the embroidery novice, and the silver metallic thread was a bit rough to work with, but I'm telling myself that is the beauty of a handmade gift. Both of us actually love it - which is not the norm here - so I'll try to pretend that I don't so she will wear it for me a bit.

A close up of the tree...

Here is her sassy pose..
A little branch detail on the neckline.

Oh - one disclaimer - the Rowan tree usually has red Rowan berries -and I thought of adding some beadwork to this, but for now this works. I've done another version of this embroidery to make a pillow for the living room. It will go with one I make for Griffin. I'm working on a drawing of the mythical eagle/lion Gryphon to make for his pillow It was either that or I read that Griffin means hooked nose. I guess it is lucky we did not pick out his name til he was almost born, huh?


Thudin said...

Ohhhh, this is so nice. Rosie will love this blog when she gets older - we're still having fun in Maui - see you soon!

SnottieCootieBuns said...

You are too clever! That dress is so cute! Why is it that Rowan looks like you in her "sassy pose". Again, it is not fair you have a red-haired girl and I don't. :-)


Anonymous said...

Emily, your writing style just draws me in ... I look forward to each new posting!

Danielle from Australia said...

I love those books as well, Emily. Your blog is great. Keep up the good work! I am inspired... I am particularly in love with the washer jewellery.