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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.  

What a Spooky Halloween, Deux! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Halloween is just around the corner.  Small goblins, vampires, fairy princesses and superheroes of all sorts will soon be appearing at your doors!  In honor of this spooky holiday, I browsed the studios of Indiemade artist friends to find orange and/ or black handmade items that are perfect accessories for your Halloween costume.  And there is even something for your best four-footed friend!   Enjoy these selections:

What a Spooky Halloween! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

With the last days of September rapidly approaching, Halloween and Day of the Dead festivities will arrive before we realize it.  With that in mind, I decided to browse the studios of Indiemade artist friends and pull together a variety of spookily fun handmade items:  some in oranges and black, some with skulls, one with spooky black cats and a set of ever watchful owls.  Any of these mostly one of a kind handmade beauties will be perfect for the other side of life parties.  Enjoy!

Great Blue Dome - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

My husband, Seamus (our sweet, goofus Moose of a dog) and I are fortunate to live in the Desert Southwest, a part of the country where the sky is immense and an ever changing blue most of the year.  In fact, a cloudy day (like today!) is actually a treat!  I was gazing out the window in my studio the other day when a Thomas Carlyle quote came to me:  "The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better."  And I have to agree!  Even though I love visiting old cathedrals with a sense of wonderment, spirituality and awe - Canterbury Cathedral, Koln Cathedral, Notre Dame, National Cathedral, St, Paul's to name a few - I absolutely revel in the everchanging "great blue dome" that is above my head almost every day. The colors can range from the palest blue to a deep, mystical, velvety blue that occurs 45 minutes or so after the sun has dipped below the horizon and the sunset has faded.

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