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Autumn Inspired Handmade Beauties

 

 

 

The cooler temperatures of autumn have arrived here in our area of the Desert Southwest.  It still gets into the high 80’s or low 90’s during the day but drops down into the high 60’s at night.  The monsoon season has pretty much ended, the horrid humidity mostly gone, and our drier air has been welcomed back by everyone.  It is so nice to turn off the air conditioner (at least until early afternoon) and open windows and doors to allow fresh desert air to blow through.  While I don’t see any trees changing colors yet, the desert is extremely green after the above average rainfall we received the last two months.  Maximillian sunflowers can be found all over, as well as masses of small yellow, purple and terracotta colored wildflowers that I don't know the name of but enjoy immensely nonetheless. My favorite time of the year!

Radiant Rainbows! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

The monsoon season is still going on here in the Desert Southwest.  Most every afternoon, the sky clouds, the wind starts to howl, thunder can be heard and lightning seen . . . and if we are lucky, rain falls.  As happens so often here, our house can get a deluge but a friend just a few block away may only get a few sprinkles.  If the rain ends at just the right time, a magical rainbow can be seen towards the east.  Sometimes a paler secondary - or even very pale triple - rainbow forms.  A colorful, visual gift!  The photo above shows part of a double rainbow (that tried to turn into a triple rainbow).  At the end of this post is a single rainbow, both taken with my trusty camera.

Circles of Our Lives - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the most mundane of things in life suddenly captures my imagination.  The other day, when I was outside with Seamus, the very handsome Shadow Dog, I started thinking about circles (yes, my brain does shoot off on a tangent sometimes!).  You see circles everywhere: most door knobs, most coins, the sun and moon, the pupil of most animal's eyes and the wheel, just to name a few.  Most people don't give them a second thought unless you're a mathematician, an architect or an artist.  As a gardener and an avid observer of nature, I daily feel the circle of life all around me on a more cosmological scale: day/night, phases of the moon, seasons, life/death.  And then I remembered a Wendell Berry poem, called "Circles of Our Lives", which I will share at the end of this post. This led me to do some reading about circles (inquiring minds want to know!) and copious note taking.

Green for St. Patrick's Day - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

St. Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, the traditional date when Saint Patrick died.  What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland (c. AD 385–461) has become an international festival observed by the Irish and the Irish-at-heart.  Irish culture is celebrated with parades, dancing, special food, beer and a tremendous amount of green (including copious amounts of green beer).

Christmas Holiday Shopping Guide, Red and Green - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

How many are with me in thinking that Christmas gets earlier each and every year?  It has a tendency to sneak up on a person until, like today, it suddenly starts hollering at you:  CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!  Yikes!!!  So I decided it was time to start sharing handmade items from artist friends that will make perfect Christmas gifts. And to make it even better, many of these beauties can be worn way past the holiday season, many even all year long.  

Breathtaking Blues and Greens - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

Maybe it’s because I spent a good part of the week before last in a much greener part of the state, but blues and greens have been much on my mind lately.  In the Desert Southwest, the color blue is extremely well represented with our huge, ever changing blue skies.  But since the monsoon rains have been virtually nonexistent so far, the desert is still a toasty brown.  I long for the rains and the land to green up like it normally does this time of the year and be a perfect complement to the blue skies.

As a Child I Walked - Handmade Greens on Indiemade

 

Several weekends ago, I was driving by a second hand book store that is run by the local library.  Those that know me well know that I am an avid reader - am often at my most happiest when reading a good book with Seamus snoozing by my side.  Since the bookstore was open, the Dog Mobile swerved into the parking lot and I walked into the store.  It didn’t take me long to find a stack of books that HAD to go home with me, an eclectic mixture to be sure.  

The Wearing of the Green - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

Since my family has a LOT of Scots Irish in them, I grew up listening to Irish ballads and bagpipe music.  St. Patrick's Day has always been a favorite celebration (although no watered down green beer for us - had to do it right with Guinness Stout!).  St. Patrick's Day was also celebrated as the start of the spring planting season for gardens and flower beds. Since Ireland is supposed to have forty shades of green, the start of planting season always seemed very appropriate.

Gorgeous Handmade Greens for Christmas Gift Giving - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday - December 8, 2015

 

Christmas is drawing ever nearer.  Because of this, my Wonderful Handmade Wednesday blog last week featured artisan made items in red.  This week the color chosen is green - red and green, traditional holiday colors.  But then I started wondering, “Hmmmmm . . . where did the tradition of red and green being “Christmas colors” come from?”  An inquiring mind wanted to know so the google search began.

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