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Fairytale Easter Jea n ne d’A rc L iv i n g V iv i a n C h r i sten sen L on n ie Wß r t z Jensen

Je a n ne d’A rc L iv i n g V i v i a n C h r i st e n se n L on n ie Wü r t z Je n se n

G r aph ic D e s i g n : He l le R out he & L on n ie Wü r t z Je n se n

Te x t : V i v i a n C h r i st e n se n , S u sa n ne S øl v st e n

1st e d it ion 2 013

P h otog r aph y : L on n ie Wü r t z Je n se n & D or t e Pa l s g a a r d

Tr a n s l at ion : E n g l i sh , G e r m a n & D ut c h : w w w.wor dt owor d . d k

I S BN 9 78 - 87-9 2 8 43 -19 -7

P r o of r e a d i n g : Ve r a Je n se n

© Jeanne d’Arc Living 2013

w w w.j e a n ne d a r c l i v i n g.d k © Je a n ne d’A r c L i v i n g

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Contents 1. R E L IGION & T R A DI T ION.......... 7 2 . W I T H A F R E NC H T W I S T............ 17 3. DR E A M S I N BL OOM................... 49 4. P OE T IC E A S T E R......................... 73 5. NAT U R A L E A S T E R.. .................... 91 6.


T H E E A S T E R TA BL E . . ................. 115


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Dear Readers

For all of us creative souls who just love to sit and potter with all kinds of odds and ends, Easter is a perfect opportunity to live out our dreams and ideas. Unfortunately Easter isn’t a holiday that many people make much fuss about here in Denmark, despite the fact that it is the most important holiday of the year from a religious point of view. This is partly because many people associate Easter with bright yellow chickens and synthetic feathers. That’s not exactly the kind of Easter decorations that we work with and have on display in our homes. This book shows how you can create a beautiful and cozy Easter with just a bit of creativity combined with nature’s materials. There are so many wonderful flowers and bulbous spring plants that beckon to be brought inside. Just supplement with homemade bird’s nests, eggs, white and natural-colored feathers and beautiful ribbons for easy decorating. It doesn’t require any extensive proficiency. Your own imagination, inspiration and the guidance in this book will take you far. The idea for the book had been lying in wait for some time. When the time arrived for us to begin, we simply gathered ALL of our materials: Eggs, ribbon, fabric and paper. We looked around for fun, old knick-knacks and made several trips to second hand stores, flea markets and life style boutiques that carry old French items. Then we walled ourselves up in my office for days – and made Easter decorations. It’s a really fascinating process to go through. Each time the thrill is the same and it doesn’t seem to fade over time. The excitement while you’re out collecting supplies. Finding that perfect little widget to make up the perfect decoration for an egg. When we’re all seated around the table or in the workshop and one idea leads to the next. Oftentimes it’s actually hard to stop once we get started. We hope and believe that we’re able to pass our enthusiasm on to you through Lonnie and Dorte’s amazing photos. At least that’s my gut feeling as I sit here writing this. The excitement and pride at being able to present the first Easter book of its kind – it’s just an indescribable feeling!

Wishing you a Happy and Fairytale-like Easter! Lonnie & Vivian 5

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Religion & Tradition

Like so many other traditions and holidays, Easter is a hodgepodge of religions, heathen practices and folk customs. Thus to find the origin of Easter, we need to venture far back into history. Easter was originally an old Israeli festival celebrating the arrival of spring. The Christian Easter was introduced in 325 AD, when the time of Easter was finally agreed upon. Easter is considered the most important Christian celebration.



MAUNDY THURSDAY was the day when Jesus prepared his disciples for his death. It was on Maundy Thursday that the Last Supper took place. Jesus shared a meal with his disciples and told them that the wine is his blood and the bread is his body. Later that evening, Judas betrayed Jesus, and before the night was over Jesus had been captured.

EASTER is therefore celebrated as a day of rejoicing. PALM SUNDAY is one week before Easter Sunday and marks the beginning of the Holy Week. The three working days between Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday used to be spent preparing for the upcoming holidays through prayer, religious introspection and fasting. Prior to the Reformation, the fast lasted not just throughout the Holy Week but all the way from Shrovetide until Easter.

GOOD FRIDAY is a day of mourning within the church as this was the day when Jesus was interrogated, whipped, fitted with a crown of thorns and crucified. EASTER SUNDAY was the day of Jesus’ resurrection – on the third day following the crucifixion, it was discovered that Jesus was no longer in his tomb.

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Many religious figures belong with both Easter and the French/Nordic country style. All the different varieties of Jesus figures are particularly pertinent of course, but Madonna figurines would also be wonderful to use. If you’re able to find Jesus figures in which he is surrounded lambs, those are very Easter-appropriate.


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There are plenty of traditions associated with Easter. Many of them are still in use, perhaps with a few minor changes over the years. Others have faded into the past. One of those was the tradition of rising early on Easter Sunday to witness the Easter sunrise... SUPERSTITION According to old Danish popular belief, Maundy Thursday was a dangerous day where trolls and witches were at work. On this day, people would eat “seven cabbage“ or “nine cabbage“ – soup made from seven or nine types of cabbage and herbs, frequently cooked with pork and thickened with pearl barley. The soup was supposed to protect against headaches, stomach aches and back pain in the upcoming year. On Good Friday, you could prevent infirmities in the coming year by eating an apple on an empty stomach to avoid tooth aches, for instance, or eating rye flour porridge with honey to be protected against back and stomach aches.


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The Easter Gospel

We can’t see God. God, of course, is not something which we can observe with our eyes. God is much greater. God is even much greater than we can even comprehend. So even if we were to see God, our brain would not register what we saw. Jesus explained it: “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.“ This is why there’s something secretive about the message on Easter about Jesus’ resurrection. Because God is acting and stepping in.

Jesus himself will be with us, leading us into God’s shining kingdom and overturning any evil that may attempt to confine us in our tombs. I once heard a story about a gravedigger who didn’t really get the whole resurrection thing. He knew what happened to the bodies that he buried, but what was resurrection all about. He asked the priest, who answered him: “I can’t explain that to you. You’ll have to ask God yourself.“ A few days later, they met again and the gravedigger told the priest that he had now spoken with God about it. “And what did God say?“ the priest asked. The gravedigger answered: “God said: Gravedigger – you just do your job, and I’ll do mine.“

The message on Easter is as close as we can get to God while we’re on this earth. But we don’t get to see God. What the women see is the large stone that has been rolled away from the tomb. What they see is the empty tomb and an angel. And in the Gospel according to St Mark, it isn’t even clear whether it is an angel. It only says that it’s a young man dressed in a white robe.

And of course the point is that our eyes can see many things. But we can’t look beyond death. The resurrection is God’s miracle. And the Easter Gospel tells us that our belief in the resurrection and eternal life is connected with Jesus Christ and his resurrection for us on Easter.

There’s something secretive about it because God is stepping in, and God himself is near. And we cannot look upon God. That’s also why the women are so fearful on Easter morning – because they feel the presence of something bigger, beyond their comprehension. God’s intervention is that Jesus lives. We shall not look for Jesus in the past. No – he isn’t there. The tomb is empty. Jesus lives. His spirit is with us. Through his powerful intervention on Easter morning, God wanted to show us that he’ll provide a light in our dark hours and overturn any obstacles that confine us.

When we get on an airplane, we don’t have to take flying lessons first. We have to trust that the pilot knows how to fly the plane. Likewise, we must trust God. We can’t build on just what we see and understand when it comes to higher matters such as the resurrection. No – Christ has permitted us to trust in God’s eternal mercy and compassion even in impossible situations. Our faith is not directed at that which we can see. Our faith is in God, who intervenes and performs miracles. We have to live by this even now. It must be our hope which opens up our lives so that we do not feel confined by the prospect of death. The Easter Gospel gives us a bright hope of life.

This was the message to the women as they walked to the grave while it was still dark and when they arrived, the sun rose. It was an image that they did not understand in the moment but which meant that God has given us light and hope. The women also talked about the large stone and saw that it had been rolled away from the tomb. And once again we must know that God did it. And that he did it for us.


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With a French Twist

As you know, we love the country style with a touch of French around here. It tends to make an appearance in everything we make. Of course this is also true when we decorate for Easter. Luckily, many of the things we like to use in our decorations go very well with Easter, including bird cages, cake tins, crystals and lace.


Hyacinths and other bulbous plants which can be purchased in pots or other containers still with the bulb will keep well for several days without water as they have “ supplies“ stored in the bulb. You can take advantage of this by using the bulbous plants for decorations – in a bird cage for instance. These ones are placed upright in paper bags, but you could also just lay them down.

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Bird Cages

Old, French bird cages are one of the things for which we have a great affection, and they just belong to the style. They frequently have the prettiest patina and the most wonderful pastel colors. We use them year-round with different decorations. Or without. But what is more perfect than using them for Easter? Fill them with hay, straw, paper shreds and/or springs plants, eggs, birds, ribbon and lace. You can make small gardens with plants in there or just make decorations on the bottom with paper or hay. Tea lights or pillar candles complete the look. But don’t put the candles in there together with hay! If using real candles, place them in a small glass first for fire safety. Or use string lights for a fun effect.



Crystal chandeliers are an indispensable part of any truly French decor. Old chandeliers are number one of course, but there are new reproductions out there that closely resemble the old ones. You can have chandeliers in many different places around your home – big or small and for different purposes. Some can be electric and some might use real candles depending on whether they’re for mood lighting or required to provide more steady light. Old crystals are amazing for decorations. The sheen of the glass along with their shapes, colors and cuttings makes them completely unique. Their weight speaks for itself. New crystals, even ones made of glass, are not nearly as heavy as the old ones. Always take care to find old crystals. Sometimes you can get lucky at flea markets or second hand stores. They’re nice to have on hand. You’ll suddenly need them for some project or other and they’re not just useful for Easter. They’re great year-round. Fairy tale E as t er



Want to see more?

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Tel. +45 36 93 20 10 Email: for more informations. 23

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