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Christmas in July - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

All this month, merchants celebrate “Christmas in July.”  Believe it or not, the real Christmas will be here before we know it - yikes!  To celebrate Christmas in July, I decided to share items from three handmade artists that either have holiday items on sale or are offering free shipping.  The items range from sweet baby clothing, to unique ornaments, to fun Christmas art, and to sparkling holiday jewelry. The three artists are: Pamela of MagdaleneKnits; Jacki of Christie Cottage; and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.

 

I hope you enjoy these selections.  Don’t wait! Start your Christmas shopping early while there is a wide selection of unique handmade beauties.

Hot, Hot, Hot Dogs Days of Summer - Artisan Handmade

 

The dog days of summer are here and the temperatures have gotten hot, hot, hot.  It seems heat records have been shattered worldwide, especially in places that normally don’t get that hot.  Weird weather all over. Climate change is real, folks! 

 

So, just how did the term "Dog Days of Summer" come about?  Depending on latitude and longitude, the Dog Days usually start the beginning of July and end the beginning of September in the Northern Hemisphere and between early January to early March in the Southern Hemisphere.  Most people believe the phrase "dog days" developed by observing domestic dogs (such as our Seamus) laying around in shady areas during hot days. Another old myth, first attributed to Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist, stated in his Natural History that rabid dogs are supposed to be more common during this time of the year because the heat drives them mad.  He advised feeding dogs chicken manure to curb the tendency!!!

Red, White and Blue Artisan Handmade Jewelry - Three for Thursday

 

 

The 4th of July is here!  Cookouts, picnics, swimming, parades and fireworks are all memories of Independence Day festivities in the past.  Plus wearing the patriotic red, white and blue! For this Three for Thursday, I decided to go with unique jewelry and share three pieces from three handmade artists.  Each piece had to feature a majority of red, white or blue. The three artists are: Mary of PrettyGonzo; Sharon of BlondePeachJewelry; and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  The GREAT thing about each piece of jewelry shared here today is that they can be worn at any time of the year, not just for the 4th of July!  I hope you enjoy this edition of Red, White and Blue Artisan Handmade Jewelry - Three for Thursday.

A Melange of Handmade - Three for Thursday - June 20, 2019

 

This weeks's Three for Thursday is a melange of items.  Since I have an addiction to words, I wanted to give a brief etymology of the word melange.  The word, which rolls off the tongue to so beautifully, first is first found in French documents around the comes from the 15th century French word meler, meaning 'to mix, mingle."  Meler, in turn, came from the Old French meslance or meslinges (a set of diverse elements).  So, according to The Free Dictionary, the modern word means “a collection of various things.”  Which is the perfect definition of the variety of handmade items I found from artists and am sharing in this post:  The items featured are from three handmade artists:  beautiful original watercolor paintings from Roxanne of watercolorsNmore; fun and handy to have cards of various types from Jacki of Christie Cottage; and a selection of one of a kind handmade jewelry from me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.

 

I hope you enjoy these picks.  And that you will visit the shops of the artists for more handmade beauties.

Summer Fun - Artisan Handmade Gifts

 

 

The first day of summer will be here before we know it.  This year, the first day of summer starts here in the Borderlands at 9:54 a.m. MDT on Friday, June 21.  Although, by that time, we’ll surely have had several days near triple digits or some 100+ degrees. But it’s a dry heat and doesn’t keep me from doing much outside as long as I have a wide brimmed hat on my head and plenty of water with me.

Flowers for Your Ears - Handmade Floral Earrings by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

Claude Monet

 

 

I totally agree with Monet.  There are a lot of things I can give up in life, but flowers are not one of them.  To plant a seed or seedlings into the ground . . . and then a miracle happens. Sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, the plant grows and flowers emerge.  I have been redesigning flower beds here at our house using a wide range of water wise plants: knipofia (called “mango popsicle’ - truly well named), several salvias in several colors, a fabulous penstemon; Russian sage, Texas red yucca, gauras and many colors of the workhorse of the desert garden, the glorious lantana.  Every plant I chose has to benefit bees, butterflies and/or hummingbirds. I have seen bees and butterflies on the flowers, but the hummingbirds seems to prefer the feeder and the mimosa tree, which is blooming right now. Several times a day, I go out and just look, and am always filled with a sense of wonder and awe at the sheer beauty at what is happening.

Handmade Jewelry - New Necklaces and Earrings by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

Spring is pretty much behind us here in the Desert Southwest.  Although it has been a very mild spring (YAY!) with below average heat with morning still cool enough that a light jacket is sometimes needed.  But all of us who live here know that summer is just around the corner bringing some triple digit temperatures in June. The the summer monsoons arrive (hopefully) in July, August and September bringing cooler temperatures again (but also the dreaded humidity) and a sense of rejuvenation.  

 

So many of my new jewelry designs deal with summer-y type things, whether the designs feature flowers, summer colors, the sun or other beauties.  And don’t forget your dogs or cats! I hope you enjoy the newest earrings (and one necklace) designs that can be found in my Shadow Dog Designs jewelry shop:

Beautiful Blues - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

Blue is a much beloved, favorite color of many, many people worldwide, especially in Europe and the United States.  But, if you look back at the history of blue, it was an ignored color for quite some time.  The Greek and Romans had no word for the color - it was never mentioned in any of the many texts produced at that time.  The color itself was barely distinguished from neutral shades. In the Odyssey, for example, Homer mentioned white and black hundreds of times, rarely mentioned red and yellow and used the term “wine-dark” to describe blue items, such as the sky or the sea.  What we think of as blue was associated with the Celts who were said to have painted their bodies blue before going into battle, women with blue eyes were believed to have loose morals and descriptions of rainbows omitted the color blue altogether!

Spring Flowers - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower . . . John Harrigan

 

 

If you are a flower gardener (like I am) and grow many flowers from seeds, you truly understand the above statement.  So much beauty is bound up in a single flower seed which, like magic, can transform into a breathtaking flower.  I find happiness in just holding flower seeds and dreaming of the infinite possibility of what they will become. And when that magic happens - a seedling appears, a plant grows, a bud unfurls and a flower faces the sun - I am truly happy, awe struck and humbled.  And if I can share those flowers with family and friends, so much the better.

A Moment of Zen - Three for Thursday

 

 

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to garden, mainly growing flowers.  There is so gloriously fundamental about putting my hands in the living soil and planting something that will benefit bees, butterflies and/or hummingbirds (my way to decide what to plant - plus drought tolerance once established is a must since we live in the Chihuahuan Desert).  Planting and tending to the plants is my meditation and I experience many moments of Zen when I feel deeply connected to myself, to others and to Mother Earth.

 

Just what is “Zen?”  It’s to explain, especially when it is often tossed around so carelessly in popular culture (maybe like I just did above).  Zen is an authentic spiritual tradition, a path to an awakening: awakening to / realizing who we really are, and awakening the aspiration to serve others and take responsibility for all of life.  Zen is believed to be our true nature expressing itself moment by moment.

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