Today is a special day for me since it is

my birthday.

I don’t always remember that I’m lucky, but the well-wishes from friends and family from all over the world have helped remind me of just how lucky I am to, quite simply put, be here on this earth.  Everything else is, as they say,

just gravy.

Case in point:  When I was born, I emerged not breathing.  Even after the requisite smack, I still didn’t want to breathe.  Only after a bit of a beating (and my parent’s extreme worry) was I persuaded to let out my first cry.

I was also born on the “Dia de Espiga”, or Ascension Day.  In my native Portugal, this feast celebrating the vision of the ascension of Christ by His apostles, falls 40 days after Easter.  Its coincidence with my birth date of May 20 falls more infrequently than even a

Blue Moon.

In fact, so infrequently, that the next occurrence will be when I turn


The Portuguese traditionally celebrated this holiday by going into the fields to fetch…

poppies (to symbolize the blood of Christ)

olive branches (for peace)


wheat (to symbolize gold)

Watercolor and gouache lady bug on wheat branch brooch by Joana Miranda
Watercolor and Gouache Gold, Platinum, Garnet and Diamond Wheat and Ladybug Brooch by Joana Miranda

Since I’ve been nicknamed both “Joaninha” (literally, little Joana or Ladybug) as well as “Joana Espiga”, today’s design could well be my lucky talisman.


    • Thanks, Nina! Yesterday was a great day from start to finish. Today looks promising as well…clear blue skies, sun, and I’m still on vacation for the rest of the week. Yay!

      Hope you are doing well!
      🙂 Joana

  1. Payal says:

    lovely brooch

    Wish you a very Happy B’day..Have a good one

    • Hi Payal,

      Thanks for the nice comment on the brooch and for the bday wishes! Hope you are well, too!

      All best wishes,

  2. sharon says:

    Joana Espiga!
    The Dr. who delivered you gave you a good beating! I know, because I was there!
    Your espiga design is gorgeous, looks so real.
    I love you my Joana Espiga.

    • I’m surprised you remember…given that had just gone through a beating of sorts, yourself. Thanks for hatching me so many years ago!

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