03 February 2011

chinese new year, fruit valentines and pencil chimes

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One great thing about being Chinese is the opportunity to feel that fresh "new year" feeling twice.  So, in the name of fresh beginnings (again), Happy Chinese New Year!  May the year of the rabbit be a great one for all of us, filled with love, laughter and great productivity.  (I have been traveling and bouncing about for what feels like months, and I am ready to buckle down and get lots of work done.)

In case you're curious about the Chinese Zodiac (or need a refresher), here are the basics:


Rat
Careful, creative, accumulative, lustful, hoarding and doubting
1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020…

Ox
Patient, preserving, receptive, obstinate, methodical, proud and aggressive
1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021…

Tiger
Wise, compassionate, benevolent, short tempered, proud and aggressive
1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022…

Rabbit
Gentle, friendly, intelligent, discordant, fickle and furtive
1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023…

Dragon
independent, strong-willed, aggressive, powerful, arrogant and prejudice
1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024…

Snake
Idealistic, Intuitive, insightful, financially secure, vain, jealous and egotistical
1905, 1917, 1929 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025…

Horse
hard-working, sociable, determined, keen sighted, high sensual, talkative, easy to anger
1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026…

Sheep
warm-hearted, graceful, obedient, independent, creative, faithful, pessimistic and sensitive, timid
1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027…

Monkey
Ingenious, resourceful, curious, susceptible, impulsive, scatterbrained
1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028…

Rooster
Visionary, versatile, clever, selfish, poor concentration and ostentatious
1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029…

Dog
Honest, loyal, respectful, stubborn, assertive and demanding
1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030…

Pig
Serious, just, good disposition, reckless, impatient and inflexible
1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031…

Symbolic Meanings of Rabbit


Symbolic Meanings of Rabbit -China New Year 2011According to Chinese traditional legend, rabbits are associated with the Alioth in astronomy. They have a nimble, quick-witted and gentle disposition naturally and are the symbol of good luck. In some coastal areas of Shandong Province in old time, wives usually took a rabbit in their arms when their husbands went to sea to fish, believing that this propitious animal would bring them safeness and good luck. And there is an interesting tradition going that a rabbit’s hair would become absolutely snow-white if it can live for 500 years!
And rabbits have been given many characteristics in China, such as longevity, loveliness, vigilance, fertility, timidity and good hearing.
(Chinese zodiac information from here.)

Now, onto our next upcoming holiday: Valentine's Day!  I know this is a day often greeted with groans and rolled eyes, but here is a cheerful treat that isn't covered in pink and red lace or filled with cheap, overpriced chocolate: fruit valentines, and you'd have to be a real grump not to smile at least a little with these:


So, go ahead and download these DIY stickers for free (yay) at Twig & Thistle and give them to everyone who makes you happy.  (Hey, Valentine's Day doesn't have to be only for significant others-- I say let's celebrate love for everyone we appreciate.)

Here are a couple more for you:



And I came across these at Design*Sponge and loved them.  So simple yet so fun and cheerful:


You can go to Vanessa Boer's Etsy shop if you'd like to see more of her work.