Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Interview, New Hat, Bethlehem at St. George's

Andrea Parrott was the name of the reporter from The Patch who interviewed me while I was doing a signing in Excelsior December 20. Here is her report: http://lakeminnetonka.patch.com/articles/monica-ferris-weaves-murder-mystery-into-excelsior for your enjoyment. She did a great job.

Here is my latest hat. Isn’t it the strangest shape? It’s made of two large plastic rings, the bottom one larger than the top, covered with hand-dyed fabric, with a twist of fabric around a trio of smaller rings that dips down over my left ear. A small purple bow and a silk, autumn-colored leaf adorns the twist. I love the silk autumn-colored leaf. It’s a unique original by Candi Kuehn, who lives in the Twin Cities.

Today I am going to St. George’s to rearrange “Bethlehem” so its five-inch citizens are turning to gape at the Three Kings on camels arriving in town with their entourage: two pack animals, a scout and a camel driver. This arrangement will last until January 6, when a new arrangement will show them at the Stable presenting their gifts. I love playing with this setup, even though it’s neither historically or even Biblically accurate. (The Bible mentions three gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, so there grew up a legend that there were three kings or wise men who were not only named – Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar – but whose alleged graves became pilgrimage sites in Europe.) The set is made by Fontanini. For a glimpse of one of the Kings, go here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fontanini-Camel-Magi-King-Wiseman-1-1983-Christmas-Nativity-Creche-Made-Italy-/150716952920?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item23176e3158.

It’s getting late, I’d better get this posted. Happy New Year!


Linda O. Johnston said...

That hat is different, Monica, but definitely cute! How interesting that you're rearranging "Bethlehem." Did you hear how hard it would be to continue with the gifts these days? I think it's frankincense that's becoming extinct!

Monica Ferris said...

On a lark many years ago (more than thirty-five), I decided to get some gold, frankincense and myrrh. I bought some tiny Mexican gold coins, about two ounces of frankincense (at a head shop, of course), and stalled out on the myrrh. I looked for over a year before finally finding some - I can't remember where, exactly, but iirc, it was in a very obscure shop in Milwaukee. I still have the three items. Myrrh turned out to be a resin like frankensense, but with a different scent. Its purpose was in embalming. The meaning of the three gifts is described in the carol, "We Three Kings." Gold because He was a king, frankensense because He was God, and myrrh because He came to die.

Betty Hechtman said...

What a great picture! I love the hat and the details you gave about it.

Monica Ferris said...

Thanks, Betty! I am going to stay away from hats for sale for awhile. Four new hats in less than three months - too much!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Thought of you yesterday, Monica. I was at a vintage clothing store and they had a rack of hats. On top was a sign: "These are NOT playthings. Serious buyers may try them on ONLY."

So if you cracked a smile while modeling your chapeau...OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!

Monica Ferris said...

Joanna, I understand the shop owner's concern, but on the other hand, it's while playing around trying on hats (some of which can be fragile) that the decision to buy one that makes you look fabulous can come from.