Monday, March 2, 2015

Sheep, Goat , Ram ~ Lion or Lamb

Country French Ceramic Sheep

The  New Lunar Year  began

February 19, 2015 and goes through  February 7, 2016.


Is it the Year of 

 the Sheep or Goat or Ram?

Chalkware Sheep ~ Desvres Goat ~ Wisteria Vintage Urn

The Chinese character Yang can be translated

to mean goat, sheep, or ram in English.

Antique Toy ~ Boerne Antique Show

Sheep are considered auspicious animals.

Those born in the Year of the Sheep

are kind, trusting, helpful, and peace loving.

Detail of Trenton Road Farmyard, Gail Packer

The Legend of the Chinese Horoscope
Reprinted from with permission

"The origins of the Chinese Zodiac go back a few thousand years.  According to the myths, a long time ago, Buddha decided to call all the animals on earth.  Only twelve came: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat or Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig.  

Quimper Spill Vase with Breton Crest

In recompense, Buddha assigned each of animals a year on the cycle affirming that children born in that year would acquire the personality traits of the animal assigned to that year.  

Antique Sheep ~ Boerne Antique Show

In order to decide their order in the Chinese Zodiac cycle, the animals held a very exciting race.  The first one to cross the river would be granted the first year, the second to come in would be the second animal in the cycle, and so on.

Detail of Transfer War ~ Nancy's Daily Dish

The strong, hardworking Ox was in the lead.  Suddenly, the clever Rat, jumped on the Ox's back, he did not even feel the little thing getting a free ride.  At the last second before reaching shore, the Rat jumped on land, winning the race!  The Ox came in second, the Tiger third, and so it went . . . the happy-go-lucky Pig took his time and came in last . . . and the Chinese Zodiac and its twelve signs were born.

Detail of Wood Wall Art Print,  JB Brunley

Born in the Year of the Sheep

Those born in the Year of the Sheep are kind, tender, and sympathetic.  Sheep are creative and elegant, and because of their softer side, they are symbolic of peace and harmony.  Empathy comes naturally to sheep; their happiness is derived from other people's happiness.  They avoid confrontation, are good-hearted, and will always look after everyone else first.  

Concrete Lamb in Burlap Wreath ~ Boerne Antique Show

A steady path, generosity, and keeping the peace are this year's mantra."

The primrose, one of the few things 

blooming in my winter garden

is a lucky flower for those born in the

Year of the Sheep or Goat.

Lucky numbers are 3, 4, 9.

Lucky colors are green, red, and purple.

Glided Dapper Animal Plates,

When I spotted these adorable plates on the

West Elm website, I dashed off to our local store.

Based on paintings of real animals by artist Rachel Kozlowski, 

then dressed to impress with gilded adornments, 

these plates are the perfect touch

of whimsy for a celebration.

Glided Dapper Animal Plates,

As luck would have it, 

I was too late for a complete set, 

but I did come home with the 

gentlemen owl and ram.

The dapper Ram was my inspiration to celebrate 

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.

Just a simple tray waiting for

Chinese take-out for tonight's dinner.

Chopsticks at the ready.

I've ordered a very auspicious goat dish.

 San Yang Kai Tai  ~  Three Goats Bring Wealth

Everyone knows Chinese food

comes with a fortune cookie,

but I'll have a white chocolate lamb for dessert.

I'll leave the fortunes to these sticks ~

Chien Tung, Chinese Fortune Sticks.

It's still a damp, cold day here.

I thought this special winter candle 

would add warmth to our meal.

It's made to look as if it were

woven of fine wool.

Johanna @ Silber and Rosen 

sent it to me as a gift.

Isn't it charming?

I placed a golden sheep on my desk.

I'm hopeful the peaceful critter will bring 

good luck to my Mah Jongg game.

Punkin's Patch, photos used with permission

"Sheep are wonderful reminders to us to slow down 
and enjoy the warm sun on our faces, 
meadow flowers in bloom, 
and soft cushions of green under our feet."

If you want to visit a real sheep farm, stop by 

Punkin's Patch where you'll find a variety of

these darling creatures at Equinox Farm in Kentucky.

Punkin's Patch, photo used with permission

Meet Mira. 

You can read more about her here.

March comes in like a lion,

and goes out as a lamb.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. I adore, absolutely adore that owl plate. The others are lovely, but that owl just speaks to me!

  2. That was very interesting, Sarah. I know that I was born. in the year of the Dragon. I like that!
    You've illustrated this post beautifully. I love the first ceramic lamp a lot. The colours are so rich.
    There is quite an active Chinatown in Victoria and the celebrations for the New Year were a treat to see!

  3. Wonderfully clever post, Sarah, with beautiful pictures, great information and a good dose of humor. You have the gift, thank you for sharing it!
    Rita C at Panoply

  4. Wonderfully clever post, Sarah, with beautiful pictures, great information and a good dose of humor. You have the gift, thank you for sharing it!
    Rita C at Panoply

  5. Wow such a great post Sarah! So much information and great pieces you have included. I love the country french sheep and the quimper pieces! Love the ram plate from West Elm and the tray you have prepared for Chinese New Year! How fun is this post?! Primroses just make me smile. I'm going back to reread and enjoy this post again!
    Miss Bloomers

  6. What a great post, Sarah. You covered a lot of ground here with information and still gave us beautiful pictures to look at. I love sheep and used to have quite a collection of them. I only have a few now. Hope you have a great night. xo Diana

  7. Sarah,
    My favorite is the first photo of the Country French Ceramic Sheep. For some reason,I love sheep and have a Pinterest board just for photos of sheepies. Well, I'm ready for March going out like a lamb. Enough already with all the snow, ice, and freezing cold temperatures.


  8. This is a delightful post, Sarah! The dishes you found at West Elm are very unique and pretty! I like sheep and rams --we see wild ones on the high mountain slopes here.

    We have a friend that has a Chinese New Year party every year. She had to delay it this year as she was helping her daughter move to a new job in Washington DC. I'm looking forward to all the wonderful food she prepares for the party--so delicious!

  9. Dearest Sarah,
    What a cute ending photo of Mira! You always find so many lovely pieces for special days.
    Great posting.
    Sending you hugs,

  10. Sarah, I always look forward to seeing your Chinese New Year post as I know there will be wonderful photographs, delightful ceramics and an interesting story which tells me something that I didn't know before.
    Here in Normandy there are new lambs in the field by Jacque's little store, 2 pairs of twins!
    Love your new dishes, btw.

  11. Sarah, what an informative well thought out Chinese New Year post. I like how you used the Quimper Spill Vase with Breton Crest for your reading glasses. I want to give Miss Mira a hug!

  12. Thanks for all the information on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar, Sarah. I loved seeing your Quimper pieces and all the other things that you shared. Your new plates will be fun for you and your hubby to use.

  13. What a fantastic sheepy collection! Thanks for including me :-).

  14. Sarah, What a delightful post for Chinese New Year! The plates you were able to find are perfect for take out or a table for two along with your fortune sticks and gifted candle! Our weather was lamb-like yesterday but it's back to a typical lion state today for the beginning of March. I adore sweet Mira, wonder what Chloe & Gracie would think of a lamb sister? :)

  15. You write the most wonderful posts! This one was very interesting, and it was fun to read about the legend of the Zodiac. You created a beautiful tray for your Chinese take-out -- I hope it didn't disappoint.

    You should have received an invitation keep reading Scribbler Unfocused, but it might have landed in your junk mail.

  16. Sarah, what an incredible and informative post about the Chinese New Year! I enjoyed seeing all of the wonderful collectibles and wall art and I love the concrete lamb nestled in the burlap wreath and the candle made to look like woven wool. The plate collection is awesome, sorry you missed the entire set but I do love the ram and owl. Perfect for you and hubs. Fabulous post!

  17. I enjoyed this post so much Sarah and that last photo...precious!!

  18. Sarah, what a fun post! I love the year of the Lamb since my sweet Grandgirl will be born in it! I was born in the year of the Tiger...always find that funny! I'm ready for a fun Chinese food dinner to celebrate also. Love the plates! You always find such fun things to share. Hugs!!


  19. Those plates are adorable, Sarah :) I'll have to check them out in person at our W.E.

    Happy Chinese New Year! May it be prosperous and healthy.


  20. I just know I like sheep! You have put together a wonderfully festive celebration. The plates are adorable. Love that yummy candle too. I think we have earned March going out like a lamb this year. I hope it holds true!

  21. I always enjoy your posts, Sarah, and I always walk away having learned something new! I love the have so many great collectibles and you weave them seamlessly in and out of your blog posts! Bravo!

    Jane x

  22. Sarah, Happy Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram! As usual, you have created an amazing post, full of info and beautiful photos and interesting objects! I saw those plates in W.E. but resisted the urge to add to my stash. It was so clever to use the ram for Chinese food. All your vignettes are beautiful and little Mira is adorable! Our March definitely came in like a lion and it's sleeting again. Hopefully a peaceful little lamb is headed our way soon. Linda

  23. I love these posts that have so much information...some I knew, most was new to me. Thanks, Sarah! I love sheep, they have the cutest faces. Love you collection of sheep.
    Have a great week.

  24. Sarah, love this post! So full of interesting information and a feast for the eyes. The sheep are just adorable.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

  25. What a delightful post! I had never heard the legend of the Chinese New Year animals and how they got assigned. Wonderful photos! Happy New Year!

  26. Sarah I really enjoyed this post and your wonderful photos, I love sheep but I was born in a year of the Dragon.

  27. Love all your wonderful hard to pick a favorite! Very fun post!

  28. Love all your wonderful hard to pick a favorite! Very fun post!

  29. What a beautiful and informative post! I really do feel more peaceful - the power of suggestion! Your chocolate lamb is adorable and those plates are fabulous. How fun. I love the pretty plates and placesetting for take out - we used to do that. Now that it is just two again, I am going to have to begin again!

  30. Baby lambs are so precious! I have had a thing for lambs the past few years. I purchased a wonderful painting from a UT artist and have found a few. I really enjoyed learning more about the year of the lamb. Such a fun setting for the Chinese New Year! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  31. Loved your post and all the images of sheep and so much interesting information. Sheep are one of my favorite animals...goats, not to much, except for, baby goats. They're darling.

  32. Love the gentleman owl and the ram the best! We are seeing more of March lion shepherding in more snow!

  33. Hi Sarah,
    What a cute post, enjoyed hearing the history and seeing the fun photos. That baby goat is CUTE!
    Thanks so much for visiting my St. Pat's post.
    Have a great day,

  34. I so enjoy a post that is as full of information as it is full of colorful pictures. Thank you for taking the time to give us a lovely lesson.

  35. What a lovely and informative post Sarah! I was fascinated and your lamb, sheep and ram photos are eye candy! So fun and interesting!

  36. What a fun post - I love that clever rat!

    I was at Trader Joe's yesterday buying flowers (the prices are just too good to pass up) and I saw a bouquet that I wasn't sure of, I looked at the tag and they were hyacinths and beautiful. The color was wrong for me that day, but I will buy them next time and think of you.

  37. I enjoyed your wonderful post my friend. You taught me a lot about it. The goat, ram or sheep are adorable, and the plates are gorgeous...swooonnn. I loved scrolling down and looking at your great photos. Thanks for sharing and for visiting me.
    Have a lovely weekend ahead.

  38. Packed with charm and beauty. Loved this post, Sarah!

  39. This post was a good read! So informative. Love your vignettes and those plates from West whimsical!

  40. Love the post, Sarah. So much good information abd pretty pictures....Christine

  41. Dear Sarah,
    what a wonderful post. I love the Legend of the Chinese Horoscope. Sheep and goats are nice animals. Thank you for the wonderful pictures with the candle. You are really a master of decoration. Love the combination with the red laquer bowls. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  42. Hi Sarah! I loved this post and certainly learned a few things I didn't know! Oh, there is just something about a sheep or a little lamb that makes us smile inside. That last little lamb stole my heart! Hope you're doing well and thank you always for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  43. Hi Sarah... Last summer I spent some vacation time in the mountains and our cabin was right next to a sheep farm. By the end of the week I had the sweet sheep eating out of my hand. I loved waking up in the morning to the baaaahaaaaaa of the sheep. I loved your sheep post so much. I am featuring it on Share Your Style Party #4 Thursday.

  44. I hope that saying about March is true. I have enough of the lion weather! Great post Sarah! Thanks for sharing at HSH!

  45. Love your plates! I have to go see about Mira, so cute!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  46. Sarah, I had forgotten the story of the Chinese Zodiac. Great to be reminded of it. Of course, you know I love that first French sheep and your French people with the ram in the middle. Those dishes are fantastic, and your tray is filled with authenticity. I'd opt for a chocolate lamb also.


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.