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Early Christmas Shopping - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Now that November is officially here, Christmas can’t lag far behind.  The ever ticking Christmas Clock says there are only 53 more days until Christmas . . . and those days will fly by.  It’s time to start making those Christmas gift lists and start shopping early!  Every handmade item featured here was created by a very talented artist - a bit of their heart and soul are in each.  Don’t buy mass produced this year - BUY HANDMADE!

Flora and Fauna - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

I have always admired Walter Cronkite on so many levels, but mostly as an intelligent and reliable newsman and as a vital, moral human being. Even though he died in 2009, I still remember his plain spoken grace in delivering the news, from moonwalks to war, assassinations to peace treaties and thusands of other topics. A favorite quote of his, made 2005 (but still oh so relevant today), is this one:

 

“I am joining the hundreds of thousands who shall be marching in the Virtual March on Washington to Stop Global Warming in order to demonstrate the concern that we all hold for the future of our planet and all the living things — flora, fauna, human and animal — that exist upon it. The governments of the world have tarried long enough, and the United States is scarcely without doubt the greatest culprit among them.  We the people have the strength to bring our country from our weak-kneed stumbling gait in the last ranks of reason to the leadership of the great march to environmental victory.”

The Charismatic Color of Copper - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

The first recorded use of copper as a color name in English was in 1594.  It is a charismatic reddish brown color that resembles the color of polished copper.  According to Wikipedia, however, there are about 25 different shades of “copper,” from a verdigris green (copper green) to a dark brown (dark copper).  It is a trendy color, found in everything from jewelry to clothing to household decoration and accents.  Beautiful with shades of green and blue (mint, teals, turquoise, navy), it actually works well with almost any color as this article in Lushome shows:  30 Modern Interior Designs.

New Handmade Earrings and One Necklace by Shadow Dog Designs - Jewelry Gift Ideas

 

 

It has been a month since the last time my newest handmade jewelry was shared.  A week stay in Dallas at the beginning of the month and then a glorious week stay in Oregon last week definitely cut into my creative time.  But I came back filled with all sorts of new jewelry ideas - I just hope the Muses are inspired, as well!  

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.

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.   

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.

Think Green for Artisan Christmas Gifts - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Red and green are colors that are closely associated with Christmas.  Last week I shared how red became a Christmas color.  You can read that post here:  Think Red for Artisan Christmas Gifts.  This week, green, the other Christmas color, is explored mainly through the symbolism of holly, mistletoe and evergreen trees.

 

The color green and its association with the time around Christmas has a pre-Christian origin, more specifically tied to the Winter Solstice.  Evergreen plants, like holly, mistletoe and pine, spruce or fir trees have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long, dark, cold winter when life could be very tenuous.  Ancient peoples were scared of the short days and freezing nights and mistakenly believed that the Sun might disappear altogether. Evergreens reminded people that spring would come and that winter wouldn't last forever.  Historical records show that the Romans wove wreaths of holly to hang on their walls and doors to celebrate the winter solstice / Saturnalia. They also exchanged evergreen branches as a sign of good luck. The ancient Egyptians would bring green date palm branches into their homes during their mid- winter festivals as a symbol of "life triumphant over death." To the ancient people, the color green represented life, nature, peace, eternity and the hope of the future.  

Think Red for Artisan Christmas Gifts - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

The color combination of red and green is closely associated with Christmas - for example, Santa’s red clothing and green holly with red berries.  But how did this come about?  From ancient history to modern time, color has been an integral part of cultural awareness and even an understanding of life; it touched all members of society and conveyed deeper messages (such as, only royalty could wear the color purple).  Red and green as Christian symbolism can be traced back to Medieval Miracle Plays and rood screen painters.  The color combination can be traced to the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh stories from the 13th century.  And these stories were probably based on an oral tradition that dates back to the pre-Christian Celts many centuries before where a half-red, half-green tree figures prominently in one of the tales.  In pre-Christian times, red and green represented male (red) and female (green), strength and harmony, desire and fertility.  

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