This past Monday, I went to a doctor to see what is wrong with my thumb. I was born without a right thumb, and have completely learned to cope without it – except for maybe fastening bracelet clasps…. Anyway, I have recently experienced a lot of pain in my left hand – mainly along the base of the thumb. It doesn’t hurt all the time, but when I make a certain reach, it hurts like a mother. And, no, I can’t NOT do that reach.
So, after 1 hour and 30 minutes of waiting (1/2 hour in the waiting room, where a woman blithely ignored the “please take your cell phone calls outside” sign, 45 minutes in the exam room waiting, and 15 minutes consult), the doctor declared that it was tendonitis. She sent me home with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory medication and told me to wear one of those arm splints for support for a while. I have been pretty good at wearing it, but I have to take it off to draw.
Lately, what I have been drawing are milagro – like hearts. I have been collecting images off of the internet of Mexican tin ornaments in various heart shapes, and I am whittling them down to line drawings. Then, I scan them and use my digital collage technique to color them. So far, I have two designs with variations on my CafePress site. They are in a new shop section called Milagros – I plan on making a calendar when I get enough designs.
In case you don’t know what a milagro is, it is a small charm – here is a better description:
“Milagro also refers to an ancient aspect of Hispanic folk culture: small silver or gold votive offerings in the shape of arms, legs, eyes and other body parts; animals, fruits, vegetables, etc. These milagros are often attached to statues of saints or to the walls of certain New Mexican churches–and now are also found as components in necklaces, earrings and other jewelry. In the classical sense, milagros (also known as ex-votos or dijes) are offered to a favorite saint as a reminder of the petitioner’s particular need, or they are offered to the saint in thanks for a prayer answered.”
Technically, I am not making milagros. I am inspired by the many and various versions of the Sacred Heart that are represented in Mexican tin ornaments and mirrors. I have also found some fabulous Italian ex-votos that are more intricately detailed – I have other plans for them – maybe black and white prints.
I have always had a thing for hearts. Not necessarily the “country-style” heart – I like the classic heart shape. I started working with them by making simple valentines for friends – I would cut out beautiful images from magazines using a heart stencil, then back them with a doily and heavy-weight paper. Then, I started using a heart shape in my black and white collages – I added color later. Those are available in my shop called Celeste’s Valentines.
Back to work! I was so fortunate to have 9 whole days off for Thanksgiving break, but the first full week back after a vacation is always so hard! I’m so sleepy!