Friday, 6 April 2012

Beautiful Extravagance

Magdalene anointing Jesus' feet - Frank Wesley
A slightly unusual focus this week in honour of Good Friday. When I am chatting to people about my work or things that have happened during the week I often get asked "why?" "why go to so much effort?" or perhaps just a raised eyebrow! I'm sure a lot of other people get asked the same thing. Even my mum asked that question this week when I was telling her about the cakes I had made for Terry the farmer and the sock monkeys I make for each baby born to one of my friends.

The picture above is by Frank Wesley and shows Mary Magdalene pouring expensive perfume over Jesus feet. For those of you unfamiliar with the story; basically Mary had a really really expensive bottle of perfume which she poured over Jesus feet, she then wiped his feet dry with her hair. Judas complained that this was a total waste of a valuable resource, claiming that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus rebuked him explaining that this was a true act of love. It was beautiful extravagance.

Vintage sterling silver perfume bottle pendant - Chicvintageboutique
I have chosen two items from Etsy to try and give examples of beautiful extravagance. Above is a simple yet stunning silver perfume bottle pendant available from chicvintageboutique. When you give someone a gift I always think it should be extravagant. Not in an ostentatious, diamonds and expense sort of way necessarily but always full of feeling. Searching out an item such as this vintage pendant that you know someone will truly value and treasure, giving something that has meaning or going the extra mile. Any shop on Etsy - whether vintage or handmade will help you find that gift.

Nuns in Kitchen - Tine Badh-Drost
I know that some people have had negative experiences of nuns but for myself I've only ever met nice ones. I chose this photo from Tine Badh-Drost's Etsy shop itouchphoto as an example of those people who choose to live a life of service,be it as a nun, a healthcare professional etc. Serving others can also be beautifully extravagant.

I have started to regularly make cakes for Terry and his son Paul who own the farm next to the allotment. It is my way of saying to them that I really appreciate their wonderful array of farm machinery which gives my boys so much joy, their help with providing medicine for our chickens, their generous provision of tonnes of free wood for our woodburner and the general hard work they do which makes the countryside around us so beautiful. I could NEVER say that out loud to Terry or Paul. We spent six months just nodding at each other and raising a hand if we passed each other on the road. Making them cakes expresses all that for me and is a way for me to "serve" them especially at this time when they are up til all hours with the lambing.

I'll end with a picture of one of my cards which I think is an example of beautiful extravagance. We don't have to spend lots of money on cards or choose to buy handmade but sometimes a bit of beautiful extravagance is entirely appropriate.

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