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The Sky is Already Purple - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

"The sky is already purple; the first few stars have appeared, suddenly, as if someone had thrown a handful of silver across the edge of the world."

 

 

I have always loved this quote from Alice Hoffman’s novel, Here on Earth.  It is so very evocative of watching the sky turn dark here in the Desert Southwest during this glorious time of the year.  When the sky is transformed for a few minutes into a magical velvety bluish-purple color, a multitude of stars come out to to play, twinkling away.  Then the sky will finally slip into a depthless black and even more stars will appear . . . and, hopefully, a shooting star will streak across the sky.  Another reason autumn is my favorite time of the year.

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!

New Jewelry at Shadow Dog Designs - Handmade Beauties

 

 

 

Seven new handmade jewelry creations have been listed in my Shadow Dog Designs shop:  four new necklaces and three new pairs of earrings.  All are very different in design, ranging from fun and funky boho to classic meditative designs.  The seven new beauties, perfect gift ideas for women who love one of a kind, artisan jewelry, are featured below.  To round out the count to an even ten pieces, two pairs of earrings and one necklace that are still looking for a new home are also included.  If a piece of jewelry catches your eye, either click on the photo or the live link below the photo to be taken to the item for more information and photographs.

An Explosion of Flowers! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Since we there has been quite a long string of triple digit days here in the Desert Southwest, most of my outdoor potted plants have quite blooming, with the exception of a vibrant fuchsia colored geranium that makes me smile every time I look at it.  Now gardening pretty much consists of watering and deadheading the spent blossoms. Hopefully the monsoons will soon show up (they are a bit late this year) and bring much needed rain and cooler temperatures.  Until then, I’ll dream about masses of colorful flowers.

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.  

Great Blue Dome - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

My husband, Seamus (our sweet, goofus Moose of a dog) and I are fortunate to live in the Desert Southwest, a part of the country where the sky is immense and an ever changing blue most of the year.  In fact, a cloudy day (like today!) is actually a treat!  I was gazing out the window in my studio the other day when a Thomas Carlyle quote came to me:  "The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better."  And I have to agree!  Even though I love visiting old cathedrals with a sense of wonderment, spirituality and awe - Canterbury Cathedral, Koln Cathedral, Notre Dame, National Cathedral, St, Paul's to name a few - I absolutely revel in the everchanging "great blue dome" that is above my head almost every day. The colors can range from the palest blue to a deep, mystical, velvety blue that occurs 45 minutes or so after the sun has dipped below the horizon and the sunset has faded.

Fun and Funky - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

In the Urban Dictionary, I found this fascinating description of the word "funky" as it comes to style:

 

"Funky can be a mixture of thrift store and name brand, lace and leather, a simple gold bracelet and a huge plastic pink one, matching or unmatching, a ton of jewelry or none, classy and trashy. Being funky is about taking risks, and not being afraid to get a stare or two from people who wish they could be as funky as you . . . funky is never about boring."

Boho Inspired Handmade Necklaces and Earrings, New from Shadow Dog Designs

 

Despite being gone quite a bit - and dealing with roofers, AC repairmen and painters once I got back - LOTS of new boho inspired handmade necklaces and earrings have been added into my Indiemade shop.  Each are one of a kind; most I could not reproduce exactly even if my life depended on it!  Many of the necklaces and earrings below use components from other artist friends in the design.  That truly makes the designs unique!  If something catches your eye, please click on the live link below the photograph to see more pictures and information.  Enjoy!

 

Fiery Red and Orange - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade - May 18, 2016

 

The temperatures are beginning to heat up here in the Desert Borderlands (although I can’t complain since this has been an unusually cool spring).  With the higher temperatures, it seems the sunsets become more fiery in all their blazing yellows red, and oranges.  A sunset a couple of nights ago gave me the inspiration for this blog post:  Fiery Red and Orange.  I browsed through the studios of Indiemade handmade artists and featured a fiery red or orange (or both) creation from each.  I hope you enjoy these richly colored selections.

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