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Handmade Hot Summer Fun

 

 

Here it is, already August and a good part of scorching summer heat is behind us.  Summer here in the Desert Southwest, so far, has actually been pretty mild - at least for here.  Other places haven’t been so lucky, unfortunately.  With the days of summer rapidly waning, I asked artist friends to share two items that represent “hot summer fun” in shades of red, oranges and yellows.  Some items are more on the hot, hot hot summer side and some are more on the mellow cool summer side. But all are artisan handmade / designed and many are one of a kind.  So if something catches your eye on the Handmade Hot Summer Fun blog, please click the photo or the link below the photo for more information. I hope you enjoy all these beauties. And remember: SHOP SMALL and SHOP HANDMADE

 

 

 

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!

There are Always Flowers - Artisan Handmade - May 27, 2021

 

 

There are always flowers for those who want to see them - 

Henri Matisse

 

 

Henri Matisse is absolutely right.  There are ALWAYS flowers.  Even when it's winter and no flowers are found (except a few succulents that bloom inside during the winter), I have them in my heart, impatiently waiting for spring to see the hollyhocks, roses, geraniums, bottle brush, mimosa, lantana, Russian sage and other fine petaled friends again.  And they are beautiful right now, blooming away before the desert heat sets in.  To add even more floral beauty to this spring, I decided a colorful flower blog was needed.  Artist friends shared two of their handmade items with a flower theme.  If something catches your eye, be sure to click on the photo or the link below the photo to be taken to the item in the shop.  I hope you love these cheerful beauties.      

 

 

Beautiful Flowers - Artisan Handmade for Spring

                                                         Photo by James J. Shaw

 

 

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

 

 

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair . . . 

Susan Polis Schutz

Valentines Gifts: Handmade Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, less than a month away!  Now is the time to start thinking about / purchasing Valentine’s gifts for the ones you love.  How about giving a one of a kind, handmade piece of jewelry this year? My Shadow Dog Designs shop is filled with unique necklaces and earrings, each one carefully handmade with quality artisan components and other top notch items, such as gemstones and Swarovski crystals.  Some of these designs are brand new and some have been in the shop for a bit.  You’ll find many hearts featured in the designs, but each one can be worn year round and can’t be pegged just as “Valentine’s jewelry.” If something catches your eye and you want more information, please click the picture or the link to be taken to the listing. Enjoy!

Colors for Autumn - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

Despite the days still being in the mid- to high-90’s here in the Borderlands (unusual here for this time of the year), the last few mornings have had a tinge of autumn in the air.  I’m definitely ready for the cooler breezes and being able to leave the windows open. Purple asters will bloom and the cottonwoods will turn a glorious golden yellow. Fall will soon be here (I hope!).

 

With autumn in mind, I decided to choose handmade beauties in fall colors for this Three for Thursday titles, appropriately enough, Colors for Autumn.  The artists today are: Kathy of KatsAllThat; Pamela of MagdaleneKnits; and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs. I hope you enjoy my autumn inspired picks and will visit the shops of the artists for more wondrous handmade fall elegance.

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:

Flower Earrings - Artisan Handmade by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower.  I want them to see it whether they want to or not. Georgia O'Keeffe

 

 

One of my all time favorite artists is Georgia O’Keeffe.  Whenever I’m in Santa Fe, I'm always drawn to the museum named after her.  While there, I almost go into a meditative state while contemplating her paintings.  Her flower paintings are dear to my heart.

 

All through my life, I have had flower gardens, some rather grand and some on a much smaller scale, such as the one here in the Desert Southwest.  I cannot imagine life without the beauty and cheerfulness of flowers (or dogs, for that matter!). Life would be so bland with out them.  Because of that, flowers designs can always be found in my handmade jewelry, especially the earrings.  For this blog post, I chose 10 pairs of earrings, some new and some that have been in my shop a while, to feature. There are many others in my SHADOW DOG DESIGNS shop.  I hope you will stop by and take a look . . . and maybe buy a pair for yourself or a loved one.

Every Flower is a Soul - Artisan Handmade and Vintage

 

 

Here in the Desert Southwest, you can feel that spring is not far off.  The days are getting longer, the winds are a bit windier, and, with the recent rains, the mountains and the desert have a lovely tinge of green.  The first swallows of the season are soaring and dipping through the arroyo that butts up against out back yard.  Other bird migrants will soon be here - yay!  I can almost feel the flowers stirring, flowers of all types will soon make their much anticipated appearance before the heat sets in.

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