Perhaps it's the nip in the evening air, or that familiar ache my shoulder has usually before it snows, but I have had a day of preparing Snow Maidens.
As a child, my grandmother insisted I learn about my Russian heritage. She herself, a native born of St Petersburg, tried valiantly to teach me the language and the culture. Being a somewhat stubborn child, I resisted the urging except for Easter time. It's a pretty big event on the Russian Orthodox calender and there was chocolate on the line. Eventually she gave up and presented me with Russian Folklore and Fairy Tale books each Christmas. It was here I met the Snow Maiden.....
The first variation of the Snow Maiden story has a childless couple make a little maid out of snow. She comes to life, but can only remain with them during winter. In some stories, she melts away forever. In others, she returns every winter. I like the second ending better....
The second story is often called The Snow Princess as well as The Snow Maiden. She is the daughter of Father Frost and Mother Spring. As she ventures off into the mortal world, she is warned never to fall in love or she will die. During her wanderings, she meets a young shepherd and must choose. As she falls in love, her frozen heart melts and she becomes mortal.
Here's a version of my Snow Maiden
You may recognise this style from Christmas 2011. The Snow Maiden is often featured in many Russian Christmas decorations, often holding a tree, and standing with St Nicholas and a Snowman.
Makes me happy to make her...
There are loads more colours to come. You should see my work table !
As for this little one, she's waiting patiently for the right home;