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Countdown to Mother's Day - Handmade Gifts - Week 2

 

 

Julie and Blu of Blue Morning Expressions are once again hosting the popular "Mother's Day Countdown” on their BluPrint blog.  Last year's Mother's Day Countdown 2016 was a resounding success so a 2017 version, which started last week, is up and running.  Mother's Day will be here before we all know it!  Now is the perfect time to start browsing gift ideas and buying that perfect gift(s) for your Mum.  Any one of the handmade (many of which are one of a kind) and vintage items shared this week are perfect.  Visit the shops of the artists featured and buy Mum something that was handmade from the heart or that will re-live as a vintage piece.

The Magical Color of Purple - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Since purple is a fairly rare color in nature, an almost magical aura has been associated to it throughout human history.  The first historical record of a purple dye, called Tyrian purple, indicates that it began to be manufactured in the Phoenician city of Tyre in the eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century BCE.  The dye was extracted from the glands of several types of shellfish, but especially the Murex brandaris.  The process to extract the dye took about three days.  Thousands of putrefied, crushed shellfish were left to bake in the sun.  Salt was then added and the mash of glands were boiled down.  (Can you imagine the overwhelming stench of the process!!!).  It took about 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye, barely enough to dye a single garment the size of a Roman toga.  In 301 A.D. during the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian, one pound of purple dye cost 150,000 denarii or around three pounds of gold. This is the main reason the purple color was reserved for emperors or individuals with titles of royal authority.

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.  

Easter Egg Colors - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade - March 23, 2016

 

Easter Sunday is almost on us, coming fairly early this year.  In celebration of Easter, I decided to base this Wonderful Handmade Wednesday post on the glorious colors of Easter eggs, since there will be millions dyed, hunted and rolled come Sunday.  There is an old Latin proverb:  "Omne vivum ex ovo," which means "all life comes from an egg."  Many ancient cultures the world over believed the whole universe was created from an egg, the egg an important symbol of life.  Before Christianity, eggs were revered by pagans as a symbols of fertility and resurrection and played important roles in their return-of-spring celebrations.  Christians used Easter eggs (which started to be painted around the 13th century) to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and his resurrection.  However, many scholars point out that ancient Persians painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration falling on the Spring Equinox, a tradition that continues to this day and was picked up by cultures and religions around the world. 

Purple is Perfect for Spring - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Over the centuries, purple has been regarded as the color of royalty and is also thought of as a color of creativity.  It also has a softer side being one of the first colors of spring that pops up in its many hues and shades on flowers.  It is near the top of my list of favorite colors, as are the two colors that combine to make purple.  Many, many people, especially women according to research, have a passion for the color purple, and I can see why with its oh-so-rich color!  I decided to do a bit of research about the color purple and share a bit of what I found.  And, also shared, are beautiful handmade artisan creations featuring purples.

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