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Happy Valentines Day - Artisan Handmade Gifts!

 

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it.  Walk into a store shortly after Christmas and hearts, cupids and other items in pink and red will assail you from every direction.  Flowers, candy and gifts are exchanged between loved ones throughout the United States and in many other countries around the world . . . all in the name of St. Valentine.  Although the exact history of St. Valentine is shrouded in mystery, February has long been celebrated as a month of romance.  Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions. 

 

 

 

Make It a Handmade Christmas 2021 - Week 12

 

 

 

Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . tick.   According to the Christmas clock, there are now only 17 (!!!) days until Christmas is here!  It’s hard to believe that a week has already gone by here in December, and, with it, the last week of the Countdown to Christmas 2021.  The Countdown has been graciously hosted all these weeks (and years) by Julie and Harry of Blue Morning Expressions on their The Blu Print blog. Yes, Week 12 has come and gone and 27 artisan handmade items from 9 artists were left in its wake.  Any of the beauties will be perfect for a Christmas gift, one that was carefully created from the heart.  Support handmade independent  artists by helping Santa make it a HANDMADE CHRISTMAS this year!

 

 

 

Make It a Handmade Christmas 2021 - Week 11

 

 

It's hard to believe that Week 11 of the Countdown to Christmas 2021 has come and gone . . . . and there is only one more week left!  When the Countdown starts, the end of the twelve weeks seems a looooong way off. The - BAM! - here it is!  And Christmas is just a bit over three weeks away - 24 days!  Where does the time go? The ever ticking Christmas clock doesn’t let up - those seconds just keep ticking down until the jolly man in red and white leaves wonderful gifts or lumps of coal under the tree.  Just what is the Countdown? It’s a place for handmade artists to share three of their beautiful (often one of a kind) creations. Need a perfect start (or finish) to your Christmas shopping?  Shop the Countdown to Christmas and purchase that special piece for that special person! An excellent motto to follow this holiday season: SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN!  And, most of all, SHOP HANDMADE to support small indie businesses! 

 

 

 

Make It a Handmade Christmas 2021 - Week 8

 

 

 

Already, week 8 of the Countdown to Christmas 2021 has come on gone!  It’s hard to believe that there are only four more weeks left! The Countdown is a chance for mostly handmade artists to share three of their beautiful gift ideas and for all to browse and, hopefully, purchase.  The ever ticking Christmas clock doesn’t let up - according to it, Santa will start his journey in only 45 days!  Need a perfect start to your Christmas shopping? The Countdown is the place to do just that!  A good motto to follow: SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN!  And, most of all, SHOP HANDMADE to support hard working indie artists! 

 

 

 

Make It a Handmade Christmas 2021 - Week 7

 

 

It is so hard to believe (at least to me) that November has already shown up and that we have only 5 more weeks of the Countdown to Christmas 2021!  It’s also hard to imagine that Christmas will soon be here.  According to the ever ticking Christmas clock, there are only 52 days, less than 2 months until jolly Santa Claus drops down that chimney and either leaves gifts or lumps of coal for deserving or not-so-deserving boys and girls.  Since Christmas is looming, now is the perfect time to start your holiday shopping and the Countdown is the perfect place! Remember this motto: SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN! And, most of all, please BUY HANDMADE from small indie business owners!

 

 

Make It a Handmade Christmas 2021 - Week 6

 

 

It’s hard to realize that we’re half-way finished with the twelve week Countdown to Christmas 2021!  Yikes!  That means Christmas is bearing down on us and will soon be here - just a bit less than 2 months!  According to the ever ticking Christmas clock, there are only 59 days until ho-ho-ho-ing Santa and his merry band of clattering reindeer arrive once again.  Now is the perfect time to start your holiday shopping and the Countdown is the perfect place! Remember this motto: SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN! And, most of all, SHOP ARTISAN HANDMADE to support a small indie shop!

 

 

Make It a Handmade Christmas 2021 - Week 5

 

 

 

Week 5 of the Countdown to Christmas rushed right on by (the time goes quicker and quicker each week, it seems!), and a huge variety of fabulous artisan handmade items were left in its wake.  According to the ever ticking Christmas clock, there are only 66 days, barely over 2 months, before Jolly Ol’ Santa and his reindeer arrive once again. Now is the perfect time to start your holiday shopping and the Countdown is the perfect place!  Remember this motto: SHOP EARLYSHOP OFTEN! And, most of all, SHOP HANDMADE to support small indie businesses.

 

 

 

Make It a Handmade Christmas 2021 - Week 4

 

 

Where did Week 4 of the Countdown to Christmas go?  Or for that matter, weeks 1-3???  All four weeks have quickly sped right on by.  According to the ever ticking Christmas clock there is only 73 days until Christmas is here again!  Now is the perfect time and this is the perfect place to start your holiday shopping.  Follow this motto: SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN!  And, most of all, SHOP HANDMADE on the Countdown to Christmas 2020 - Week 4 collection of artisan handmade.  Help support small, indie shops!

 

 

 

Every Flower - Artisan Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

EVERY FLOWER IS A SOUL BLOSSOMING IN NATURE

Gerard de Nerval

 

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love growing flowers.  Since moving to the Desert Southwest, it has been a long experiment to see what survives and what doesn’t.  Not only does the summer heat make some plants struggle, but we had an unexpected deep freeze this past winter.  But since the monsoon season has arrived early this year with much needed rain (yay!) and cooler temperatures (yay!), my flower beds are thriving.  The zinnias that were grown from seed have just started to bloom - they are an experiment so we’ll see how they do.  Grandpa Otts morning glories and sunflowers are aso blooming, along with the yellow and native lantana (which started back in March) and cheerful moss-rose purslane.  And, of course, the bright fuchsia pink Knockout roses keep chugging right along.  An all-time favorite flower, hollyhocks, are just about bloomed out.  I've been taking photos and hope to share some in a blog later on.  I revel in the beauty of flowers!

Christian Cross Jewelry - Artisan Handmade by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

 

To a Christian, crosses are a symbol of atonement and reminds them of God's love in sacrificing his own son for humanity.  Despite being associated primarily with Christianity, many cross symbols were used as religious symbols pre-Christianity, especially in Europe and western Asia.  Crosses can be found carved on rocks and in caves dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period, approximately 50,000 to 12,000 years ago.  During the European Bronze Age (app. 3200 - 600 B.C), cross symbols seemed to carry a religious meaning, possibly a symbol of consecration especially during burials.  For at least two centuries after the crucifixion of Christ, the symbol of Christianity (when it was depicted) was a headless T-shaped Tau cross.  Gradually over time, the Tau cross was replaced by the Greek cross, with arms of equal length, then by the Latin cross (or Roman cross) with a longer descending arm, which is the most common cross used today.  Crosses come in many different variants, all having a religious meaning.  If you are interested in seeing some of the variants and what they mean, I find these two links to be especially helpful:  Christian Cross Variants and Kinds of Crosses--What the Different Designs Mean.

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