I like Easter. I like that it doesn't seem so over-wrought and over-hyped as Christmas. I like Easter egg hunts. I like that it is four whole days off and I even like that there is a sombre day and a happy day, with an ordinary day in between. I loved Easter hymns as a child for some reason and, as a crafty mother got very excited about Easter Bonnet Parades!
Like Christmas, Easter is a time of rich symbolism - much of it dating back to pre-Christian festivals, but today overlaid with rampant commercialism. The main symbols are of eggs and bunnies. Eggs have always been a fertility symbol, and as the earth - in the Northern Hemisphere at least - springs back to life at this time of year, its not hard to understand why eggs were given as gifts - often coloured and decorated - and now, of course, made of chocolate. Rabbits - or strictly speaking, hares - seem to date back to16th Century Lutheran Germany with stories that depicted hares bringing baskets of coloured eggs to good children. Its not absolutely clear why, except that, as the winter recedes and rabbits start to breed (prolifically) they are another obvious symbol of re-birth and spring.
Where there is a symbol, there is also a rich collection of fabric prints - and so, leaving aside the sickly sweet, here is my Easter selection:
Barneby Gates have morphed mad Boxing Hares - here in gold on natural linen - into a florentine trellis.
Gabi Bolton, of Original Little Bird, manages to avoid the sweet and sickly by giving her fabrics a quirky faded vintage feel. This one is called Bunny Scrapbook.
Thornback and Peel make large scale and detailed prints on linen. This one is called Rabbit and Cabbage and takes me straight back to Mr MacGregor's garden. Here's a close-up:
Peony and Sage make this hand-drawn print called Mr Hare on Flax with Red Dots (I love how specific that name is!)
Peony and Sage also make this pretty print called Feather and Egg.
Here's another Feather and Egg print - this time from Vanessa Arbuthnott - printed in duckegg and denim on linen.
HAVE A HAPPY EASTER!