It's almost Easter so here is a fine collection of bunny tutorials and patterns to inspire. I've chosen not just the jewelry ones but delightful craft DIYs which are on the small side. You can use some of them as keychain charms or as ornaments. The crochet amigurumi ones can be used as challenges to make them really small enough to be jewelry charms. You game?

First up is Greek designer, Theodora of ZiaLolaBeadsIt with her easy beaded bunny pendant, shown above. I have featured many of her designs before.
Paulina is the talented Polish macrame artist behind PolyTusalHandmade. Her tutorial for simple adorable bunny heads are great as keychain charms. 

Assza from Hungary is one of the most productive beadwork designers I have encountered. I have featured her shop, AsszaBeadingArts, many times before. Below is her Easter bunny pendant tutorial.

Beaded fringe earrings fans will like this brick stitch bunny design by Helen, the Ukrainian beader behind HelenBeadPatterns. I have featured her designs before. She has loads and loads of wonderful earring patterns!

I love how Belinda McCoy of BGBeadDesigns added color to her beaded bunny earrings tutorial. 

This is such an adorable set of crochet amigurumi animals - unicorn, hedgehog, bunny, chick, fox and pig!  The talented designer is  KeinMaker.

Canadian artisan, Heather of HeatherBoydWireDIY has the template to make different kinds of wire bunny outlines to use for jewelry making. Her templates are meant to accompany her Youtube channel

This whimsical Easter felt rabbit with a carrot is a sewing pattern by Ukrainian artisan, Juliia of MiniMiFeltThings. This rabbit measures 2.75" by 3.5. Her whole collection is delightful!

Australian artisan, Lucie François of KindofJoy, makes wire shapes with a big difference. These are knitted wire cords which are used to "sketch" her designs as you can see from her Easter template set. Originally from France, Lucie is a graphic designer and a diehard crafter. 

Just, awwwww.  Would you look at this cute needle felted bunny?The tutorial is by Hungarian designer, Silvia of PremaFelt. A wonderful example of needle felted animal jewelry is the work of Motley Mutton. There are currently no listings there so check out past designs by Nancy Bevins in my original feature here.

The Woman Who Claimed She Gave Birth to Rabbits

Mary Toft (~1701-1763) was an English woman who left her mark in history because she perpetuated a famous medical hoax. She fooled some doctors for a while and became a huge celebrity. This case was in numerous pamphlets, letters and books.

She was an illiterate servant, married to a journeyman clothier, Joshua Toft. They lived in Godalming, Surrey. In August 1726, when she was in her mid-twenties, she miscarried but continued to look pregnant. A month later, in September, she apparently went into labor and delivered large bloody masses which were probably parts of the remaining placenta. 

She was initially attended by a neighbor and her mother-in-law, Ann Toft who was a midwife. They then called in a man-midwife or accoucheur, John Howard. In the 18th century, it became fashionable to be attended by man-midwives. 

Ann Toft showed John Howard many animal parts which she said she obtained from Mary's delivery the night before. Over the next month, Howard apparently "delivered" all kinds of animal parts - parts of a cat, a rabbit's head and nine dead baby rabbits. He then wrote letters to famous doctors and King George I's secretary to tell them of the miraculous births.

Mary Toft claimed that when she was pregnant and working in the fields, she spied a rabbit and tried to catch it but failed. She developed a huge craving for rabbit meat. 

In those days, people, even some of the medics, believed in the now debunked maternal impression -that conception, pregnancy and development of the fetus, was influenced by what the mother dreamt or saw. The belief was used to explain birth defects and congenital disorders. Mental illnesses were blamed on the pregnant mother's feelings. While this case was making news, rabbit stew and jugged hare dishes disappeared from the dinner table!

Fascinated, the King sent his Swiss surgeon-anatomist, Nathaniel St André and Samuel Molyneux, secretary to the Prince of Wales, to investigate.  They were presented by more dead rabbits which were supposedly birthed by Mary. Despite some red flags, St André was utterly convinced Mary had delivered animal parts including a rabbit's head. He thought Mary bred the rabbits in her Fallopian tubes!

By this time, the case had become so famous that the King sent another surgeon, Cyriacus Ahlers, to investigate. Ahlers quickly suspected that this was a hoax as Mary did not seem pregnant and he observed she was holding her thighs together tightly as if to keep something from dropping down. He also noted  John Howard did not allow him to deliver. He took some of the specimens back to London and shared his suspicions. Upon close inspection, the rabbit parts were clearly cut with a man made instrument and there were bits of straw and grain in their droppings.

One respected physician and man-midwife, Richard Manningham (who wasn't fooled), delivered from Mary what he thought was a hog's bladder - it smelled of urine!

By this time, Mary was very ill, with a constant pain on her right abdomen. The raging infection is no wonder as she had been stuffing unsanitary, crudely cut up dead animal bits up her vagina many times.

Mary Toft was brought to London and closely observed by a throng of medical doctors.  Under such scrutiny, Mary went into "labor" a number of times but never again delivered anything. She was so badly infected that she had fits and lost consciousness. 

The hoax came to light when an investigation revealed that Mary's husband had been purchasing rabbits. The porter at the place where Mary was taken to, said that Mary's sister-in-law, had tried to bribe him sneak a dead and preferably small rabbit into Mary's room. Under interrogation, Mary finally confessed when threatened with a painful operation to see if she was different from other women. 

No one knows if she was the one who dreamed up the scheme by herself perhaps hoping for some income from the notoriety.  Mary herself blamed everyone around her including her mother-in-law and John Howard. The Toft family never earned a penny from the whole debacle. 

She was put into prison for a few months. She amazingly survived not just her infection but her incarceration as prisons back then were very unhealthy places. She was released without charge and returned home. She gave birth to a daughter, a year later. Not much else is known about her later life except when she was imprisoned for receiving stolen goods in 1740. When she died in 1763, around the age of 60ish, her "15 minutes of fame" was such that her obituary appeared alongside aristocrats. 

John Howard was fined a considerable sum and continued his practice until his death. St André never lived down the ridicule and never ate rabbit again. He died in poverty at the age of 96.

There were no late night comedians back then, but the case was greatly lampooned by several satirists in the press like the artist, William Hogarth (see image below). The public mockery of the gullibility of the medical profession was intense. It ruined the careers of several prominent surgeons. Even the ones who never fell for her hoax were tainted by association. 

We may laugh at this 300 year old hoax but hoaxes occured before that one and happened after. They now spread really fast on the internet. No doubt, even more elaborate hoaxes which will be harder and harder to detect as AI generated pictures and videos get better and better. 

William Hogarth's Cunicularii, or The Wise Men of Godliman in Consultation (1726)

University of Glasgow Library : The Curious Case of Mary Toft

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM