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Make it a Handmade Valentine's Day!

 

 

Every February 14, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones in several countries, all in the name of St. Valentine. The history of Valentine’s Day contains remnants of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions.  The patron saint himself is shrouded in mystery.  Who is this mysterious Valentine?  Where did traditions associated with Valentine’s Day come from?  Being of inquiring mind, I did some research and decided to share my findings, along with a whole host of artisan handmade items, each one a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a loved one:

Second Page, Third Artisan Item - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous NEW YEAR.  It’s hard to believe that 2018 is already here.  Wow, it seems like 2017 just flew by on supersonic wings . . .

 

I also want to welcome you to my first blog for 2018, the first of many more for the year.  This first post features artisan handmade items from Indiemade friends.  I randomly chose the theme as “Second Page, Third Item,” so, as of yesterday (when I chose the items), each pick is the third item on the second page in the shops featured.  As you can see, a wide variety of items are highlighted.  If something catches your eye and you want more information, please be sure to either click the photo or the link below each photo to be taken to the item.  Enjoy!

Christmas Red - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

As everyone is aware, the color combination of red and green is closely associated with the Christmas season.  From ancient history to modern time, color has been an integral part of cultural awareness and even an understanding of life.  The meaning of colors touched all members of society, conveying deep messages that everyone could “read”:  at one time, only royalty could wear the color purple and the red robes worn by Catholic Cardinals signifies the blood of Christ, even to this day.  The red and green color combination can be traced to the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh stories from the 13th century.  And these stories were most likely 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 represented male strength and desire and green represented female harmony and fertility.

Flora and Fauna - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

I have always admired Walter Cronkite on so many levels, but mostly as an intelligent and reliable newsman and as a vital, moral human being. Even though he died in 2009, I still remember his plain spoken grace in delivering the news, from moonwalks to war, assassinations to peace treaties and thusands of other topics. A favorite quote of his, made 2005 (but still oh so relevant today), is this one:

 

“I am joining the hundreds of thousands who shall be marching in the Virtual March on Washington to Stop Global Warming in order to demonstrate the concern that we all hold for the future of our planet and all the living things — flora, fauna, human and animal — that exist upon it. The governments of the world have tarried long enough, and the United States is scarcely without doubt the greatest culprit among them.  We the people have the strength to bring our country from our weak-kneed stumbling gait in the last ranks of reason to the leadership of the great march to environmental victory.”

Summer Heat - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

With the summer solstice rapidly approaching, I decided it was time to feature hot, hot, HOT colored artisan handmade items in oranges, reds and yellow.  But before I do, (since I am a huge science geek), I thought I’d share a bit of about sunrises, sunsets and the summer solstice.  The solstice here in the Texas Borderlands will take place on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 10:24 pm MDT.  Most people think that, because the solstice signifies the longest day of the year (or the shortest, in the southern hemisphere), the earliest sunrise and the latest sunset happens on that day.  But that is not true.  The exact date of earliest sunrises and latest sunsets varies with latitude.  At mid-northern latitudes (say Philadelphia at 40 degrees north latitude), the earliest sunrises of the year happens on June 14 and the latest sunset on June 27.  The farther south you go in latitude, the earlier the earliest sunrises become and the later the latest sunset are.  For instance, the earliest sunrise here in El Paso has already passed - on June 11 - and the latest sunset isn’t until June 30.    

Valentines Day Gift Ideas! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it.  It is a day that started with pagan roots, associated with the Roman festival, Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February (February 13-15), Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders, Romulus and Remus.  Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed around 496 A.D. when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. It is not known, however, which of three St. Valentines (all of whom were martyred) Pope Gelasius was honoring.  In 1381, Geoffrey Chaucer, a famous English poet, first associated St. Valentine's Day with romance in a poem he wrote in honor of the engagement between Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.  The engagement, the mating season of birds, St. Valentine’s Day and true love were all linked . . .  and it’s been a day for lovers ever since.  

Yellers, Browns and Goldens - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

The other day, as I was pondering the theme of this week’s “Wonderful Handmade Wednesday" blog post, I ran across a very colorful quote from Roy Bean talking about autumn in the desert:  “And Fall, with her yeller harvest moon and the hills growin' brown and golden under a sinkin' sun.”  Aha, I thought!  The handmade theme of earthy yellers, browns and goldens was then set in my mind.

Breathtaking Blues and Greens - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

Maybe it’s because I spent a good part of the week before last in a much greener part of the state, but blues and greens have been much on my mind lately.  In the Desert Southwest, the color blue is extremely well represented with our huge, ever changing blue skies.  But since the monsoon rains have been virtually nonexistent so far, the desert is still a toasty brown.  I long for the rains and the land to green up like it normally does this time of the year and be a perfect complement to the blue skies.

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