January 2017

Red Hot for Valentine's Day! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

With Valentine’s Day less than three weeks away, you can’t help but to notice all the red heart cards, boxes of heart-shaped candy, red cupids and the like.  Red is a very emotionally intense color.  Since it is the color of fire and blood, it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power and determination.  Red also can signify passion, desire, and love (hence it’s use for Valentine’s Day).  It enhances the human metabolism by increasing the respiration rate and raising blood pressure.  Stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red since it has very high visibility.  In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage and confidence and is a color found in many national flags.  Red is the color for the base or root chakra, located at the base of the spine, allowing us to be grounded and connected to universal energies.

Handmade Valentine's Day Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought I’d share a range of handmade earrings and two necklaces from my Indiemade shop; any will be perfect for gift giving to a loved one.  Some of the jewelry is obviously Valentine’s related.  But most can be worn all year long.  The last five designs featured are from my line of meaningful dog rescue jewelry.  All have hearts and pawprints, perfect for the woman who loves her dog(s), especially if her four footed friend is a rescue.  As always, whenever any of the dog rescue jewelry sells, one half (½) of the purchase price is donated to the Humane Society.  


If one or more of the pieces catches your eye, be sure to click the live link below the photo for more information and pictures.  I hope you enjoy these one of a kind earrings and necklaces:

First We Dream - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

One of my favorite sayings is from Carl Sandburg:  “Nothing happens unless first we dream.”  I don’t know about the other artists that are included in this post, but I often dream about a design, especially one I am trying to figure out, whether it be a color combination or a new wire wrap technique.  Maybe “dream” is not exactly the right word, but a design can come to me in that state between wakefulness and sleep where my mind comes up with all sorts of weird stuff.  

 

Anyway, the handmade items in this post are the first ones listed (at least at the time this was posted) in the shops of the Indiemade artists featured here.  Most are one of a kind items . . . and all are a “dream” to have.  Enjoy.

The Magical Color of Purple - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Since purple is a fairly rare color in nature, an almost magical aura has been associated to it throughout human history.  The first historical record of a purple dye, called Tyrian purple, indicates that it began to be manufactured in the Phoenician city of Tyre in the eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century BCE.  The dye was extracted from the glands of several types of shellfish, but especially the Murex brandaris.  The process to extract the dye took about three days.  Thousands of putrefied, crushed shellfish were left to bake in the sun.  Salt was then added and the mash of glands were boiled down.  (Can you imagine the overwhelming stench of the process!!!).  It took about 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye, barely enough to dye a single garment the size of a Roman toga.  In 301 A.D. during the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian, one pound of purple dye cost 150,000 denarii or around three pounds of gold. This is the main reason the purple color was reserved for emperors or individuals with titles of royal authority.

Valentines Day Gift Ideas! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it.  It is a day that started with pagan roots, associated with the Roman festival, Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February (February 13-15), Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders, Romulus and Remus.  Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed around 496 A.D. when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. It is not known, however, which of three St. Valentines (all of whom were martyred) Pope Gelasius was honoring.  In 1381, Geoffrey Chaucer, a famous English poet, first associated St. Valentine's Day with romance in a poem he wrote in honor of the engagement between Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.  The engagement, the mating season of birds, St. Valentine’s Day and true love were all linked . . .  and it’s been a day for lovers ever since.