Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dia de Bloglandia



Happy Dia de los Muertos!

I am happy to celebrate this very special day by taking part in Stephanie & Susanna's Dia de Bloglandia uber-Grande par-tay extraordinaire!

I had a very strong desire to create an ofrenda (altar) in honor of the people I love that have passed, but must admit I had a hard time getting started ... I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to come up with anything worthy of the emotion I feel for those I hoped to honor ... that is until this morning.

I knew I wanted to include at least one traditional Mexican craft & realized I had everything I needed to make paper flowers (most of us do have these items on hand - tissue paper & pipe cleaners), so that's where I started ... the rest, well, it just seemed to fall into place ...





There are six people I am remembering today. The two candles sort of center right are for my Grandfather and my Omi.
My Grandfather Pitcairn passed on October 12th of this year; he was 95 and died in his sleep. I can't think of a more gentle way to go. When I found out, all I could think of is that he and my Omi were finally together again. Theirs was a love that not only survived World War II (in Germany, no less), rations & two daughters that both married American men and left their home country for the United States, but thrived. They were more in love in their "golden" years than they even were in the beginning. I loved both of them dearly & was blessed to have been able to spend quite a lot of time with them considering the distance between us ... plus, there was always the letters back and forth.



The four candles clustered to the left are for friends of mine who's lives were tragically cut way too short (in my humble opinion, at least) - John, Brian, Mac & Bill - all on separate occasions. I still miss them dearly and think of each of them often. They are in a very real way responsible for the woman I am today. For that, I will forever be grateful; they will always occupy a sacred space in my heart.

I learned that it is traditional to light an extra candle for forgotten souls, so I have added the larger white candle to the left of the raised portion. See if you notice other traditional items that I included in this ofrenda.




The simple papal picado (banner) below includes "flags" with the names of those I've mentioned.



Special Message: To the lovely gals that won one of my mock sugar skulls from Vanessa's party way back when, you might see your little gems in these photo's ... my sincerest appologies for the delay, but their presence here today is very appropriate and greatly appreciated. They will most definitely be on their way to you come Monday.




Building this ofrenda was truly an amazing experience for me. I felt such a joyful peace in creating it & my heart actually new when it was complete. Once I lit the candles, I sat in silence for quite some time before taking any photographs. I offer my sincerest thanks to Susanna & Stephanie for hosting this beautiful event.


... and on that note, I am off to visit all the other participants ...

Happy Dia de los Muertos!

(ps - click on any of the images for a larger view)

51 comments:

rachel whetzel said...

I really liked the idea to light the extra candle for "the forgotten souls"!! Your ofrenda is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Wow--this is really beautiful and so heartfelt. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Stephanie said...

Your altar is beautiful, the paper flowers, the skulls...the stories. I have never heard of the candle for the forgotten soul...off to add one right now :)

Thank you! for joining the Dia de Bloglandia celebration!
x..x
steph

Elizabeth said...

You have made a wonderful art work out of respect and memory.
How talented and wonderful.
This day has given me great joy to be part of.
I hope next year, to do the candles and flowers better.
Yes, it was great of Stephanie and Susanna to get if off the ground.

Sacred Yoli said...

Such a beautiful alter. Is it just me, or did you find this ritual, theraputic?
I love how you incorporated your loved ones names on the paper banner. So beautiful and fitting.

Saludos, and Feliz Dia De Los Muertos
Yoli Manzo
(I am on my bloglandia Journey)

mermaid musings said...

your altar and ofrendas rock!

Marilyn said...

Michelle, the tribute to your loved ones is really dear...your altar is beautiful. I love the paper flowers and the writing of names on the banners. I see one of your God's eye tucked in there too:) Gorgeous, all of it!
hugs, Marilyn:)

rochambeau said...

Dear Third Eye,
Your Ofrenda honoring your family and friends in BEAUTIFUL!!! Love that you included the three "God's eyes" and lit a candle for the lost souls!
Happy Dia de los Muertos friend!

xox
Constance

Chris said...

Hey, I so admire you for going ahead and doing it! It can be a daunting thought, but look at how awesome this is, really! It's great that you made the paper flowers, because those are one of the items that most catch my eye and bring me to the place of remembrance. It sounds like just the act of creating your ofrenda brought to you more of a spirit of gratitude and honor. I always imagine building an ofrenda as a giving back to you the honor you are giving to others.
Happy Day of the Dead to you!

Tess said...

Lovely, I'm so pleased making this ofrenda gave you some comfort and that you shared with us the story of your amazing grandparents and the friends who went ahead too soon. Like others, I like the idea of an extra candle - I'm going to do that next year.

Fireblossom said...

Yoru ofrenda is simply lovely. I am SO impressed with what everyone has done for this beautiful project. And yes, the extra candle for forgotten souls is a wonderful gesture!

Thanks, also, for visiting my blog The Word Garden! It was lovely to see you there today! :-)

LaY hOoN said...

Thanks for sharing all the details here. All is so heartfelt and beautiful.

glorv1 said...

This is really beautiful. The flowers you made are breathtaking. I too sat and looked after the candles were lit. Just for a moment there, I was hugging my son, talking to my parents and just feeling good. Thx for sharing.

atrinkettreasury said...

oooohhhh wow what a beautiful ofrenda!!! i absolutely love your tissue paper flowers, such an excellent idea!!! i'm soooooo making those next year. also your idea for writing the names on your papeles (banners) is another fabulous ideas! oh and the candle for the forgotten souls... so much inspiration!!! thank you so very much for sharing this with us. it is a great honor to be able to peak into your celebration.

Leau said...

I've learned so much from this adventure. I, too, didn't know about the extra candle. This is just lovely.

PLO said...

Fantastic ofrenda!!!!

Shell said...

I loved your altar for those you loved. It is so beautiful. And I especially like the flags with the names of those who have passed.

LostLuggage said...

I felt the same way when I created my ofrenda...I think it is so special that we share these feelings on this day. Your ofrennda is beautiful..thank you for sharing all of the details!

Quilted Cavalier said...

Your alter is wonderful. There is so much to experience from this holiday.

-Roberta

Paula Scott said...

Wow. Was that word used a bunch of times already by others in response to y our post? Nevermind. It still warrants a "wow".
I feel the same way you do about Stephanie and Susanna inspiring me to do this. And I've learned so much in just a few days; especially today in reading through allthe posts that were done.
I am profoundly moved...

thethinkingwoman said...

What a beautiful ofrenda! It seems serene and lively at the same time. And it's so nice to hear about the people it honors. A wonderful tribute!

-- JeriAnn

Debbie said...

Wow! I love the way your altar fell into place! It's as beautiful as the stories that go with it :)

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

Oh this is beautiful, vibrant and joyous and I love the candles for the forgotten souls. best wishes amanda

susanna said...

You did a good job putting together your ofrenda. I'm sure your granfather and Omi and your other friends who have passed on would have been very pleased to be remembered in this way. I didn't know about the candle lit for the forgotten. I'll have to do that. Thank you.

Laume said...

The story of building your ofrenda made me feel all warm and fuzzy - isn't it amazing, the power of ritual! It is indeed a lovely passing, your grandfather. My grandmother and my father both passed painlessly in their sleep. Alas, my father passed too young. But still, not a bad way to go. Recently my MIL (actually my ex-MIL but still a dear) told me that she's getting tired and ready to join her husband, who passed about fourteen years ago. At first I was frightened by her comment but then I thought, in her late 80's, she is the one to know when she's ready to go on to "new adventures".

Du Buh Du Designs said...

What an great oferenda Michele!! I like that fact that you took whatever you had and made something amazing because it was made form memories and love :)I think that it's amazing how long your grandfather lived and how gentle his passing was and now he's with all of his realtives and wife. Your alter reflects that joy as does the reminder of other souls that have moved on. Wonderful!!

Sandy Michelle said...

We don't celebrate that here but it's the perfect excuse to honor the dead.i love your ofrenda!

Sand

PJ said...

Like your blog! your tribute was beautiful. I'm blown away from all of them! This is simply amazing...

Robyn said...

How absolutely wonderful! I love what you have done, Michelle. And is that an African doll standing so proudly on the left?

3rdEyeMuse said...

my heartfelt thanks to everyone for stopping by and for all the lovely comments. This really was a truly wonderful experience. I was very moved by the offerings made by the attendee's and found myself sitting in front of my own altar often throughout the day and night.

Robyn - actually, all three dolls on the left hail from Africa - three separate visits. My FIL travels a lot for work and has a wonderful habit of bringing traditional dolls back for Sadie. I keep telling him that I make a fantastic travel partner & am a most excellent personal assistant. :)

Sacred Yoli said...

Thank you for taking the time to come back! I am glad the pictures worked for you.

This was such an awesome event, que no?

Saludos to you and your familia!
Yoli Manzo

Melissa said...

Wow ~ this is gorgeous! Such color. Love the red 'fabric' at the top.

~Sunshine~
Melissa

Janet said...

What a beautiful way to honor your loved ones who have passed away.

adrienne said...

What a beautiful altar. I love the colors.

dilettantesplayground said...

I'm echoing everyone else's comments. Wow--and triple wow! I love how your ofrenda came together for you even though you started it with trepidation. So many lovely touches. I could feel the love through your photos and words.
Hugs,
Mary

KathrynAntyr said...

What a delightful and beautiful shrine. You've captured the spirit of the Day of the Dead.

Well done!

xoxo kathryn

Clevelandgirlie said...

What a cool way to pay homage to those loved and lost. It's really special Michelle.

Sandra Evertson said...

WOW!
Fabulous display! I LOVE all the pretty skulls! AND THANK YOU for MY Beautiful skull and dream catcher, I just received it in the mail today! I Love the paint job you gave him, it looks like it is a wonderful old antique! I even think I spy my blue dream catcher there in your photos! Thank you for your kindness and generosity!
Sandra Evertson

Oliver Rain said...

You are so creative. I love the skulls.

Viki said...

you know, I don't know that I've ever made paper flowers before.

You'll have to teach me.

The little skulls are wonderful.

ANd Thanks for stopping by my blog again.
Viki

Chris said...

I wore my om charm around my neck all day today and everyone loved it and I loved it.

I'm going to put a jump ring on it, because today I ran out of the house and forgot a cord, so I wore it with dental floss.

Necessity is the mother of charm-wearing!

Viki said...

Thanks for the tutorial on paper flowers!
I'll be using it with my 3 yr old class this spring!

Viki

AscenderRisesAbove said...

thanks for stopping by; that it a lovely memory you have shown above.
I always get such a chuckle out of your dog to the left with tongue hanging out. my daughter is going to school to be a vet and her dog does this and it always makes her laugh; so i get a chuckle out of that

*melissa* said...

Your ofrenda is a beautiful tribute to those who have passed on. I have lost some people who meant the world to me in the past few years and seeing your creation has inspired me to make my own ofrenda next year to honor them. I also love the candle for the forgotten souls... there are, sadly, so many...

Donna Patrice said...

Oh, M...this is soooo beautiful! I really enjoyed just sitting and looking at it myself. What a lovely altar of remembrance for those you love and miss. Thank you for sharing this!

Sacred Yoli said...

Hey Chica, you are the winner, winner, sheeken deener! (drawing on my muertos blog) Please send me your shipping info. when you get the chance.

Grazi,
Yoli

www.sacredyoli@gmail.com

MJ said...

I finally got here! My laptop crashed almost 2 weeks ago and I haven't had computer access plus I lost many of my favorite blogs!

I was quite mesmerized by this altar you created. Paying tribute to those that preceded us is a thoughtful and thought-provoking activity. I should do this one day but should have, would have, could have seems to frequently apply. I am glad you did. Thanks for sharing!

Lawendula said...

This is my 42nd birthday :)
When I was a little child I saw a picture of Frida Kahlo in a magazine, which was quite unusual during this time in Germany.
Since then I really love her and all these Mexican things.
Your altar is very inspiring. I think on my next birthday I will create one myself.

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instant cash advance said...

That was a very cute and beautiful altar. How I wish our altar is as beautiful as that. LOL!!! God bless!!!

Boracay hotel said...

This is the most beautiful altar I've ever seen. It is very unique and colorful. I love it!!!