Thursday, 28 January 2016

St David's Day Greeting Cards and Gifts

St David's Day (March 1st) is less widely celebrated than St Patrick's Day, but even so, it is celebrated by the Welsh community in Patagonia as well as in Los Angelesamongst others, some of them listed here!

Unfortunately, although the devolved Welsh Assembly in Cardiff wants to respond to the wishes of the people of Wales, who would like their national Saint's Day to be a public holiday, the Westminster government refuses to agree to it. Nevertheless, a great many Welsh people find ways to celebrate St David's Day with eisteddfod's, male voice choral concerts, flying the Welsh Flag, wearing Daffodil or Leek hats or parades in Welsh traditional costume!

What could be more typical of Wales than a girl in the traditional Welsh costume, with its tall black hat, red cape, black skirt and lots of white lace? This is just a small selection of the St David's Day greeting cards and Welsh Girl gifts in my Posh'n'Painterly Cymru Zazzle store, many of them ready for you to customize.

Click on the image to see the full 'Welsh Girl' collection - 

So who was St David, the Patron Saint of Wales? 
You can read what little is known about him hereBut in spite of knowing so little about him, the people of Wales are very enthusiastic about celebrating St David's Day - Wales is, after all, a Celtic nation and they have a tendency to be pretty passionate about everything they do. It seems to be in the DNA - and, by the way, that's probably why I wholeheartedly support the Welsh Rugby team, in spite of being English - even when Wales play against England. It's infectious!

A few years ago, I designed and printed St David's Day greeting cards with collage Red Dragons and they flew off the display stand in local shops!

More recently, I've designed more Red Dragons - like many artists, I find them irresistible to draw! Curious about how the Dragon comes to be a symbol of Wales - a sheep might be more appropriate, as there are more sheep than people in Wales! - I did a bit of internet searching. This is what I found - Red Dragon - The Red Dragon of Wales. 

However, picturesque though the dragon is, I think the choice of a dragon for the main Welsh national emblem is purely symbolic. When I was researching St Carannog for another of my illustrations for the Lost Angeles celebrations, I discovered that in many myths and legends it was customary to represent any wicked, bloodthirsty warlord as a dragon.
Not that my most recent dragons are in any way wicked or even fierce-looking!

Here are just a few of my Greeting Cards and Gifts with a Red Dragon, one of the best-known symbols of Wales. You can find many more greeting cards and gifts with a Welsh flavour in my Posh'n'Painterly Cymru store. 

Click on the image to see the full 'Red Dragon' Collection -

I mentioned that some Welsh people wear 'daffodil' hats, not only on St David's Day, but there are many to be seen in the crowds at the famous 'Six Nations' rugby tournament in the springtime, whenever Wales are playing. There are often giant leeks to be seen as well, another of the traditional Welsh emblems! Why daffodils? And even more puzzling, why leeks? 

Well, I was intrigued by this - Wales seems to have so many special symbols, surely the humble leek isn't necessary? So I did some googling and what I discovered is included in this earlier blog post - it's quite a tale!!!

Daffodils are one of the national emblems of Wales, along with the Leek, the Harp and the Red Dragon. So one of these 'Daffodils' St David's Day cards might make a welcome change from the usual Red Dragons! Also the 'Daffodils' gifts would be welcome at any time of year and there are plenty more to choose from in my Posh'n'Painterly Cymru store on Zazzle.

Click on the image to see the full 'Daffodils' collection -

A couple of years ago, I decided to open a specifically 'Welsh' store, Posh'n'Painterly Cymru, on the Zazzle platform. 
And the wide choice of Welsh symbols set me off designing more greeting cards and gifts that incorporated them, including this one that features them all -

Here's the blog post in which I launched them and you might be interested to read some of my observations about Wales, having only moved here from England quite late in life. 

So here are just some of the many Greeting Cards and Gifts with the traditional Welsh Symbols in my Posh'n'Painterly Cymru store:

Click on the image to see the full 'Welsh Emblems' Collection -

Living in Wales seems to provide me with a multitude of inspirational images that I can draw on for my greeting card and gift designs! 

There are, of course, the traditional Welsh Tapestry designs - 

Click on the image to see the full Black and White Welsh Tapestry collection -

Lots more, in different colours, in my Posh'n'Painterly Cymru store!

And then there are my Silly Sheep!

Click on the image to see the full 'Silly Sheep' collection -

One of these cosy Throw Blankets would make a wonderful winter gift!

Click on the image to see the full 'Throw Blanket' collection -

And then, of course, there are the Coffee Mugs, some with the text in Welsh!

Click on the image to see the full Welsh Coffee Mugs collection -

Not forgetting my special collection of Welsh 'Gifts for Him'!

Click on the image to see the full 'Welsh Gifts for Him' collection -

And taking off my 'Designer's' hat in favour of my 'Painter's' hat, here are some prints and posters from my original soft pastel paintings of Wales -

Click on the image to see the full collection of 'Fine Art Images of Wales' -

I hope you've enjoyed this 'taster' from my Posh'n'Painterly Cymru store. 

And I wish you a very Happy St David's Day, wherever you are and however you spend it!

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