(One of the posts I wrote on my Swell 24.7 blog in my previous life as a gift store owner in the busy tourist town of Provincetown on Cape Cod; posts that are grouped here under the category What Else Is Swell?, and are generally about life in Provincetown, life as a retailer, our fabulous dog Jack who sat outside the store for well over a decade, and other random things that grabbed me at the time.)
Today is my birthday. Yeah; happy birthday to me. And in my house birthdays (and Christmases, and any other gift giving occasion) have come to mean Getting A New Hannah Turner Ceramic Bird From My Mom.
Mum and I have always had a bird thing going on. I don't know how or when it started but for most of my adult life (which I can tell you is quite some time) she has always sent me a Christmas card with a dove on it, and for maybe 15 years she has sent me a bird ornament for the Christmas tree - we have so many now that we have a special tree just for them.
More about that in a more seasonally timed blog post.
This is about my birthday birds.
A couple of years ago Mum came to visit us from the UK and after she had gone home she sent us this little ceramic bird as a Thank You For Having Me present, which was completely unnecessary as she had worked like a dog most of her visit, cooking for our house warming party. But, send it she did and Nick and I went into such raptures of joy over the thing that she became locked into giving us one or two on any appropriate gift giving occasion. So by yesterday we had 10 of them; and this morning I opened number 11.
Most of them are just a 2 or 3 inches tall but they are packed with personality. A little bit retro, a whole lot of color and a mischievous look in their eyes. What's not to love?
These are 2 of my favorites. The one on the right is the only one Mum didn't give us; I brought it back from the UK for Nick when I went there for a visit without him.
And these ones are bigger and fatter and I think are not available any more.
And these are just so totally adorable.
They are made by UK artist Hannah Turner and Mum buys them mostly at Iota on the Gloucester Rd in Bristol, though the artist has had a couple of seconds/discontinued sales at her studio where Mum has scored lots of lovely ones that you can't get any more and (I think/hope) she has stocked up for a few birthdays and Christmases to come.
So it was no surprise when I got a 6" square box in the mail a few days ago and opened it up this morning to find this one. Joyousness!
It's one of the ones that sort of has legs and the artist doesn't make them any more, so even more special. It's hard to tell from the picture but it has a pale green band around the base, a pale blue face and crest and beautiful blue feathers. And just look at that face!
The birds all live in our bedroom on these little cubbies where they fill up all the nooks and crannies and pop out from the orangey red walls (Benjamin Moore Autumn Cover, in case you are wondering!) That's todays Birthday Bird on the top left. They are the first thing I see every morning when I wake up and they bring me so much joy I cannot even describe it.
I just love those little birds.
And as a bonus, they make me think of my Mom, who I don't get to see very often, but who I love very much too.