This 4 month mystery project has been a lot of fun. We have had the chance to put some interesting designs on the market, play with different materials and more than anything else get a chance to connect with the community and get to know people. I have learned a bit more about business (like don’t commit to a 4 month program without up front subscriptions to cover the costs). Overall I have really enjoyed the project. It has been fun working with Justin Scott Larson to come up with designs and making connections with members of the begleri community.
For December we decided to have a bit of fun and go with something seasonally themed. Trees! The beads are 7075 aluminum, anodized green with silver specks to represent snow on the trees (a fairly consistent Canadian winter symbol!). To add a little light to your life, these beads will also ship with a set of inexpensive light up begleri that you can feel free to play with, or hang somewhere and add a little light to the room.
As with the previous months the December beads are available individually or as part of the discounted 4 month package. The 4 month package also comes with a bonus for each month, so you are getting 8 toys for that price! Click the “Buy Me” link above to take you to the shop.
The winter season brings many varied cultural and religious traditions from around the world. It’s interesting that so many of them involve bringing life into the house in the form of evergreen trees and plants (trees, wreaths, winter flowers etc) and the use of lights and candles. Lighting candles ceremonially in winter to increase the amount of light in the world. Standing up against the darkness with a cry of “I know its dark, and there are monsters outside, but in here we are together and there is life”.
I did a little poking around into the history of the tree in winter. This year, the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year) lands on December 21st. (The date varies because the solar year and our calendar year don’t quite match up – which is also why we have leap years.) Most human cultures in ancient times worshipped basic elemental forces - the sun gave life, and when it was gone at night is when scary things tended to eat people. Many cultures looked to the sun as a deity that required some form of worship. Evergreen plants (which are able to survive the winter without losing their greenery) are used to mark this point of the annual cycle when the days start to get longer, life returns to the fields, and the ‘deity’ returns to life and strength.
What I found interesting is how much a symbol of the Christian celebration of Christmas the tree has become, considering its roots as a Western European pagan symbol of life surviving through the winter. It’s always fascinating to me to learn how long and varied the history of any tradition can be. This article is worth a read if you’d like to know more!
Base Diameter: 19.8mm
Top Diameter: 12.2mm
Weight (with micro hydra) 9.9g