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Delicate Easter Colors - Artisan Handmade Three for Thursday

 

 

Easter is a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life. 

Janine di Giovanni

 

 

Since yesterday was Ash Wednesday - and Easter is approximately six weeks away - I started thinking about Easters past, always large gatherings of family and friends.  But, before everyone showed up at our house, we went to Easter Sunrise mass, the only time my father was ever cajoled into going to church. As a child, I always remember getting a new Easter dress, usually with a matching headband, socks and gloves(!) to wear to church on Easter Sunday.  And if my sister and I were lucky, a small purse would be included. Very stylish, indeed, and usually VERY itchy! The clothes were always spring pastel in color: pinks, pale yellows, pale greens, pale blues and such. A preview of all the pastel colored Easter eggs that were waiting to be found!

 

This week’s Three for Thursday features three items from three handmade artists that definitely are filled with the renewal of Easter springtime colors.  The artists are: jewelry artist Mary of PrettyGonzo; crochet artist Pamela of MagdaleneKnits; and, me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs, also a jewelry artist.  I hope you enjoy my choices. And be sure to visit the artists’ shops for more splendiferous designs!

Flowers are Food for the Soul - Artisan Handmade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank


 

I love this quote from Luther Burbank because it’s true!  For those who are not familiar with Luther Burbank, he was an American botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science, developing more than 800 strains and varieties of plants during his lifetime, including the tasy plumcot (fruit trees being a special passion of his, it seems).  One of my favorite things to do doing the winter months was to constantly browse through Stark Bro's and Burpee Seed Co catalogues (both companies sold quite a few of Burbanks’ seeds and plants after his death), planning my flower beds and vegetable gardens. Looking at the brilliant pictures and dreaming of all the flowers and veggies spring, summer and fall would bring made those winters quite a bit easier to bear.  Even now, living in the Desert Southwest where the winters are mild in comparison, I still dream of the promise of flowers.

Flower Earrings - Artisan Handmade by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower.  I want them to see it whether they want to or not. Georgia O'Keeffe

 

 

One of my all time favorite artists is Georgia O’Keeffe.  Whenever I’m in Santa Fe, I'm always drawn to the museum named after her.  While there, I almost go into a meditative state while contemplating her paintings.  Her flower paintings are dear to my heart.

 

All through my life, I have had flower gardens, some rather grand and some on a much smaller scale, such as the one here in the Desert Southwest.  I cannot imagine life without the beauty and cheerfulness of flowers (or dogs, for that matter!). Life would be so bland with out them.  Because of that, flowers designs can always be found in my handmade jewelry, especially the earrings.  For this blog post, I chose 10 pairs of earrings, some new and some that have been in my shop a while, to feature. There are many others in my SHADOW DOG DESIGNS shop.  I hope you will stop by and take a look . . . and maybe buy a pair for yourself or a loved one.

Handmade Valentines Day Gift Ideas

 

 

On February 14 each year, candy, flowers cards and gifts are exchanged between loved ones not only here in the United States but also in other countries all around the world to celebrate Valentine's Day.  The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year, the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas (about 2.6 billion cards).  How did Valentine's Day develop?  Here's a short history:

Unique Jewelry, Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

Buy Handmade - Be One in a Million, Not One of Millions

 

I don’t know about you, but I HATE to buy jewelry that everyone else can buy.  I don’t want to see a stranger three states over wearing a piece of jewelry that I might be wearing.  That doesn’t happen, however, because I have almost always worn artisan handmade jewelry that is one of a kind, whether the earrings, bracelets or necklace are created by another artist or created by me.  There is something so soul satisfying in that, knowing that I’m the only person in the universe wearing a particular design - unless an evil twin in an evil alternate universe is up to her evil copying of designs.  

 

The three handmade artists that are features in this new “Three For Thursday” blog all make one of a kind jewelry designs:  Mary of PrettyGonzo; Julie of Blue Morning Expressions; and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs. I hope you enjoy this small sampling of the one of a kind jewelry designs that are in their shops.  Please visit each shop for more eye catching and soul satisfying beauty. I hope you enjoy these selections:

Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas - Three for Thursday

 

 

Christmas will soon be here.  As anyone who browses the internet know, there are millions and millions of gifts out there, many of which are mass produced in sweatshop conditions.  But there is always another option: BUY HANDMADE! I love this very timely and true quote by J. Donald Walters:

 

 

When you buy something made by a person, there is something special there. And you do feel it. The consciousness with which the thing is made is often more important than the thing itself.

 

Fun Halloween Earrings - Artisan Handmade

 

 

This slightly altered version of this blog post first appeared here:  FUN HALLOWEEN EARRINGS

 

Halloween will soon be here.  In less than a week from today, the ghouls and princesses and pirates and vampires and who knows what else will arrive at the front door, trick or treating for candy.  The three pairs of earrings below are perfect to wear pre-Halloween, to Halloween parties . . . or to wear when adding that all important candy to treat bags!

New Artisan Handmade Earrings and Necklaces by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

Autumn has finally made its way here to the Borderlands.  Am enjoying the cool wind blowing through the window as I sit and type this or as I create new necklaces and earrings. It’s wonderful to be able to turn off the AC, open the windows and screen doors and air out the house.  Better sleeping weather, too. Autumn is the best!

 

Speaking of Autumn, the handmade show season continues.  My next is the Western Hills Fall Bazaar, a 41 year tradition.  It’s a new show for me. Am trying it out because other artist friends kept saying how good it was.  LOTS of foot traffic, I’ve been told. Have LOTS of new earrings to take and some new necklaces. We’ll see.

 

Because of shows, I haven’t listed a huge amount of new items in my Shadow Dog Designs jewelry shop since the last time I shared, almost a month ago.  But here are the handmade beauties:  six pairs of new earrings, two new necklaces and two oldies but goodies to make the count an even ten.  Enjoy!

Artisan Handmade Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

Since the autumn arts festival season is in full swing, I have been thinking a lot about handmade items, especially since I mostly make one of a kind jewelry.  People always ask me, “How do you come up with the design.” I reply something like this, “To tell the truth, I’m not sure. Most of the time it just happens.” Or, “The Muses were good to me.”  I’m sure a LOT of artists give some semblance of those answer since the “creative idea” is often elusive. But the answers definitely don’t take into account all the years and years of working to perfect your art through taking classes, people giving their opinions, selling (or not) at shows and by trial and error . . . and more trial and error . . . and more trial and error.  Then, suddenly, it just happens.

 

I found this poster at WalchaHandmade that pretty much sums up the process:  

Need Some Love - Artisan Handmade

 

 

 

There is something ALL handmade artists go through:  you design a beautiful piece of jewelry, or create a fabulous painting, or crochet an intricate piece of table art, or . . . the list goes on and on.  You have put so much of yourself into the piece, you love it and you are sure it will sell very, very quickly. Unfortunately, there it still sits in your shop . . . and you have no idea why!

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