I am taking a quick break starting Monday, November 13 and will be back Sunday, November 19.  Any items purchased during that time will be mailed out Monday, November 20. 

Thank you so much for your patience.  

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Happy Independence Day! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Independence Day will soon be here, in less than a week.  It was quite an interesting time, a time populated by giants of U. S. history:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Richard Henry Lee and many others.  The 4th of July has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870 (and a paid holiday to all federal employees since 1941).  But the tradition of celebrating Independance Day dates back to the late 1700’s at the time of the American Revolution.  On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain.  Two days later, delegates from the thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document largely drafted by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia but with help from John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York.

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.  

Think Red for Artisan Christmas Gifts - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

The color combination of red and green is closely associated with Christmas - for example, Santa’s red clothing and green holly with red berries.  But how did this come about?  From ancient history to modern time, color has been an integral part of cultural awareness and even an understanding of life; it touched all members of society and conveyed deeper messages (such as, only royalty could wear the color purple).  Red and green as Christian symbolism can be traced back to Medieval Miracle Plays and rood screen painters.  The color combination can be traced to the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh stories from the 13th century.  And these stories were probably based on an oral tradition that dates back to the pre-Christian Celts many centuries before where a half-red, half-green tree figures prominently in one of the tales.  In pre-Christian times, red and green represented male (red) and female (green), strength and harmony, desire and fertility.  

As a Child I Walked - Handmade Greens on Indiemade

 

Several weekends ago, I was driving by a second hand book store that is run by the local library.  Those that know me well know that I am an avid reader - am often at my most happiest when reading a good book with Seamus snoozing by my side.  Since the bookstore was open, the Dog Mobile swerved into the parking lot and I walked into the store.  It didn’t take me long to find a stack of books that HAD to go home with me, an eclectic mixture to be sure.  

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