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Botanical Beauties - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

BOTANICAL:  pertaining to plants

 

Many people think that the desert is nothing but prickly plants and blowing sand.  Believe me, there are plenty of prickly plants here in the Chihuahuan Desert, and, at times, plenty of blowing sand.  But there are a whole host of other plants that bloom beautifully and are much more friendly to the skin.  The Chihuahuan Desert is termed a "cold desert" since temperatures often drop below freezing during the winter with occasional snowfall.  It is, on average, higher in altitude (El Paso is at 3800 ft / 1200 m) than the neighboring “hot” Sonoran Desert around Tucson (2643 ft / 806 m) which rarely experiences freezing temperatures.  While Tucson and Phoenix bake for several months with triple digits, summer temperatures in the Chihuahuan desert are more moderate, our hottest month being June. Triple digits, yes, but for only a few weeks.  Rainfall averages less than 10" per year, most of that coming during the monsoon season, normally July through mid-September. Amazingly, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature has indicated that the Chihuahuan Desert may be the most biologically diverse desert in the world!  Our plants just tend to be built on a smaller scale than those found in the Sonoran Desert.

A Sense of Fun - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

This week’s Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade blog post is called A Sense of Fun.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of “fun” is “that which provides amusement or enjoyment.”  I am often delighted and amused at the creativity of my artist friends and ALWAYS enjoy browsing their shops.  And since Mother’s Day is almost upon us, any of these picks will make wonderful gifts.  Buy Handmade - buy a gift that was made from the heart.

Star Stuff Harvesting Star Light - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Dr. Carl Sagan is a major hero of mine.  As Wikipedia explains he “was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.” he was often called "the astronomer for the people." Quite the Renaissance man!  I remember being glued to the TV when the groundbreaking TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was first aired.  Dr. Sagan was able to explain complex ideas in a simple way that a layperson could understand.  Being a science geek, especially when it comes to space, my mind sailed on its own voyage of personal discovery each week (and with the reruns that I always managed to watch).  I still remember vividly and muse over certain parts of certain episodes that particularly touched me.  Unfortunately Dr. Sagan died in 1996 at the young age of 62.  I still miss him and all he had to offer.  He returned to the star dust he so loved.

 

Powerful Pink - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

To most people, the color pink is a “sweet” color:  charming, playful, cute, feminine, romantic and so on.  But in the past few years, it also represents struggles and the need to warrior on.  Think of all the pink worn, especially ribbons, signifying breast cancer awareness.  And the pink hats, shirts, and other articles of clothing worn by millions during the recent women’s marches.  Thinking on this, pink is not just feminine and sweet, a bubblegum / cotton candy color.  It has come to signify power, rising up and demanding equal rights.  

Happy Easter! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Modern-day Easter is derived from two ancient traditions: one pagan and the other Judeo-Christian. Both pagans and Christians have celebrated death and resurrection themes following the spring equinox for millennia.  A majority of religious historians believe that many elements of the Christian observance of Easter were derived from earlier pagan celebrations.  The name “Easter” itself originated with the names of an ancient goddess.  The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE), a Christian scholar, first mentioned in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. The "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility was also known as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eastra and others.  

Easter Perfection! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Easter will be here before we know it, on Sunday, April 16.  It was a family tradion, a week or so before Easter, that my Mom would take my sister, my brother and me to the local dry goods store to shop for a new Easter outfit to wear to church.  My sister and I always ended up with frilly dresses in pastel shades, new white shoes, lace edged socks (sometimes in colors matching our dress), white gloves and a new mantilla or flower headband.  My brother, always with not much choices, ended up with khakis, a white shirt and new brown shoes (and sometimes a new plastic dinosaur for this extensive collection). Were we ever Easter styling! Hopefully all photos of us kids decked out in our Easter finery have been lost.

Colorful Creations! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

Whether you have had lots of snow this winter or lots of brown (such as can be found in the Desert Southwest), I bet everyone can agree that we are all longing for color!  Colorful flowers, grasses greening, big blue skies, etc.  The list can go on and on.  This week’s Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade features a wide range of colorful handmade creations by artist friends.  Any will make a perfect pick-me-up gift for a loved one . . . or for yourself!  Enjoy these “Colorful Creations”:

The Earth Laughs in Flowers - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

The weather has been unusually warm here in the Desert Southwest (sorry about that to my northern friends!).  Winter was only a glancing blow a few times.  Since the days have been warm with plenty of sunshine, the grass in the back yard is beginning to green up and some fruit trees are already blooming, masses of pale pink and white flowers.  One of my geraniums is blooming, the hot fuchsia color is so welcome, and the hardy roses are putting on lovely reddish new growth.  Am sure they will be in full bloom in several weeks. And, happily, the much beloved Spanish lavender is setting buds.  Soon the cacti and other native desert plants will be in full bloom - maybe not the showiest of flowers, but gorgeously sublime nonetheless.

Beautifully Blissful Blues - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

I have always been fascinated with words, especially when it comes to colors.  Just how many different words are there to describe a color?  But one person “blue” is not always another person’s “blue.”  My husband is a good example.  This past weekend we were at Lowe’s looking at paint chips:  yellows, blues and greens.  DH’s definition of any shade or tint of blue, whether it is a pale baby blue or a dark navy blue, is “blue.”  I, myself, am much more exacting most of the time.  So, if I see “cornflower blue,” I will call it that.   

Spirals, Circles and Arcs - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

This week’s Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade features artisan design that feature spirals, circles and/or arcs.  All three symbols were used as early as 38.000 BC in Europe, Africa, Australia and South America when ancient man began to carve into stone or paint cave walls in protected areas.  It is possible that earlier hunter/gatherer peoples might have decorated their bodies and clothes or marked trees or features in the landscape but, if they did, evidence of that art has not survived.  

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