I am taking a break from Monday, May 22 through Saturday, May 26.  Any items purchased during that time will be mailed out on Tuesday, May 30.  As a thank you for your patience, purchases will be upgraded to Priority Mail at no extra cost to you.

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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.

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”:

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.  

Red Hot for Valentine's Day! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

With Valentine’s Day less than three weeks away, you can’t help but to notice all the red heart cards, boxes of heart-shaped candy, red cupids and the like.  Red is a very emotionally intense color.  Since it is the color of fire and blood, it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power and determination.  Red also can signify passion, desire, and love (hence it’s use for Valentine’s Day).  It enhances the human metabolism by increasing the respiration rate and raising blood pressure.  Stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red since it has very high visibility.  In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage and confidence and is a color found in many national flags.  Red is the color for the base or root chakra, located at the base of the spine, allowing us to be grounded and connected to universal energies.

"Colours" by Donovan - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Recently, I have become enamored all over again with many of the songs I grew up with from the 60's.  One of the artists I have always loved was a Scottish singer / songwriter / poet from Scotland, Donovan Leitch who is better known as simply Donovan. Donovan is widely regarded as one of the most influential songwriters and recording artists - and is still active in music today.  Even the Beatles acknowledged that Donovan influenced them greatly on their ground breaking Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album and the White Album with his finger style guitar playing and many of his unique chord patterns.  While I love most of his songs, I have been listening more to his earlier works that have their roots in folk music.  One of them, a sweet, simple and beautiful song, Colours, is the inspiration for this week's Wonderful Handmade Wednesday post.

HOT, HOT, HOT!!! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

If you have been keeping up with the weather lately, you know that a huge section of the United States has been dealing with unusually high heat.  Here in the Desert Southwest, we are used to triple digit numbers (but it’s a dry heat!).  People who are live in other parts of the U.S. are not used to the high heat and may not even have air conditioning to remediate.  Let’s hope the high that had stalled above the U.S. moves on out and normal temperatures return . . . and our monsoon rains start here in the Borderlands.

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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