Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ann Estelle Ready to Ring in The Year of the Rabbit

With cold winter days and evenings, I find myself wanting to curl up under a quilt with a cup of hot tea and a good magazine. Sadly one of my favorite magazines, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, is no longer in publication. Fortunately I'm a pack rat who saves back issues of favorite magazines.

As a child of the 50s, I spent many an hour with paper dolls. My sister and I would spread a quilt out on the lawn, open up our paper doll collections, and disappear into a fantasy world all our own. Betsy McCall, the paper doll of magazine fame, was one of our favorites. When Mary Engelbreit introduced her own Ann Estelle paper doll series, it brought back a rush of sweet memories. I've left the paper doll pages in tack within my archives of HOME COMPANION, but recently while reading HOME COMPANION, February & March 2003, I decided it was time to take out the scissors and let Ann Estelle come to life. In honor of M. E. Monday and the upcoming Chinese New Year which begins February 3, here's Ann Estelle in her best Chinese dress ready to twirl her pretty little parasol.

In addition to the paper doll feature in each issue of HOME COMPANION, Mary offered readers the opportunity to purchase limited edition lithographs of exclusive illustrations that she created for each month's issue of HOME COMPANION. Each issue also included the illustration in a smaller version printed on card stock with a perforated edge so one could carefully remove it and pop it into a frame all its own.

Entitled "Chinese New Year", the February March 2003 lithograph featured two sisters ready to ring in the Year of the Sheep. Notice Ann Estelle, dressed in her best Chinese dress, has her own parasol ready to join in the celebration. I think this charming illustration looks beautiful in its mother of pearl frame and is the perfect touch for my desk as I bring in 2011 Year of the Rabbit. "Thank you, M. E."

Mandarin oranges represent luck and good fortune. They are often given to friends and family who visit during the New Year celebration. Ann Estelle has a mandarin orange just for you and "thanks you from the bottom of her heart" for your visit today.

Click here to see a list of others who are sharing for M. E. Monday this week.

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit later in the week.

Click here for a look back at HFTS's celebration of The Year of the Tiger, 2010.

Also joining

A Look Back @ The Year of the Tiger

With the "Year of the Tiger" on its way out, join me for a look back at last year's Chinese New Year celebration here at HFTS. I'm joining Sunday Favorites with Chari @ Happy to Design , The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays, and Tablescape Thursday @ BNOTP.

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Envelopes of red to celebrate Chinese New Year

The Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year began on February 14 this year. Red, an auspicious color, is the predominant color for the New Year celebration because it is a symbol of joy, virtue, truth, and sincerity. The red envelopes called "Ang Pow" are given out during the New Year celebrations. The elderly and married couples give the red envelopes to the children and single young adults. It is customary for the red envelopes to contain money. The amount in the envelopes should be an even number, and the number eight, which is associated with wealth, is considered to be very lucky. These red envelopes were filled with chocolate coins covered in gold foil.

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Exchanging small gifts of food or

sweets with friends and relatives

During the celebration of the Chinese New Year the practice of "New Year Visits" takes place. Families and friends visit one another, and in addition to the envelopes of red, gifts of fruit and some various types of sweets are given when friends and family visit each other's homes. Mandarin oranges are one of our favorite fruits here at HFTS this time of year. They are also one of the most popular fruits during this celebration. These fruits represent luck and good fortune.

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Egg Drop Soup

The Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival, as this is a time for Chinese families to clean their homes (as in spring cleaning) and to welcome the coming season of spring. Toward the end of the fifteen day celebration it is tradition to serve Egg Drop Soup. The ribbons of eggs in this tasty soup represent fertility.

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2010 is "The Year of the Tiger". Those born in the "Year of the Tiger" are said to be engaging, lucky, and brave.

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Entertaining to celebrate the 

 Year of the Tiger

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Congratulations and be prosperous!

Check back this weekend for a "Year of the Rabbit" celebration.

You can read about the Chinese New Year celebration in detail here at Wikipedia.

Be sure to stop by
Sunday Favorites with Chari @ Happy to Design, The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays, and Tablescape Thursday @ BNOTP.