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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:

Winter White - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Tomorrow officially ushers in the Winter Solstice, first day of winter, at 9:28 a.m. here in Central Mountain Time.  Wintery weather has already frigid cold, ice and snow to many parts of the United States, with more predicted that will probably affect some Christmas travel.  We actually had an unexpected snowfall here in the Desert Southwest on December 7!  What started out as light rain turned into big, beautiful snowflakes falling out of the sky.  But by the late afternoon, most of the snow had already melted with the exception of the highest peaks of the Franklin Mountains.

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas!

 

 

 

Christmas is almost here, just over a week away.  It seems to keep arriving sooner and sooner each year!  In case you are still needing to do some shopping, I’ve pulled together a wide range of beautiful items, each one handmade by a very talented artist.  When you buy handmade, you are buying a “piece” of the artist:  cool, trendy, unique, and oftentimes one-of-a kind.  I hope you enjoy the items shared below . . . and that one or more makes an appearance under your Christmas tree.  

Earthy Black Friday Finds! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Black Friday will soon be upon us, the official start of the holiday shopping season.  To help you make that Christmas shopping gift list, I have pulled together artisan handmade items in beautiful earthy colors, most flaunting warm shades of brown as the main color.  To give a gift that was truly made from the heart, shop HANDMADE this year and support small artisan businesses.  I hope you enjoy the earthy lovelies featured below:

 

Caribbean Blue - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

Usually when I’m working on a blog post or listing an item in my Indiemade shop, my Pandora station is palying on my computer.  My stream has a great blend (at least to me) of classic rock, some more modern rock, some folk music and a big dose of Celtic inspired music - that's the Scots-Irish coming out in me.  Yesterday, as I was finishing up another blog, the song “Caribbean Blue” by Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin (better known as Enya) came on.  Even though Enya sings many Celtic folk songs, some in Gaelic, with her usually heavily synthesized backdrops and multiple layers of her own voice, she is more of a New Age musician, in my humble opinion.  "Caribbean Blue" was a mega-hit for her, and rightly so.  I find her music very relaxing and always pause and enjoy the minutes when songs of hers show up in the Pandora rotation.  Sometimes I'll even plug in one of her CDs and totally bliss out.  To see the amazingly beautiful video of the song click here: CARIBBEAN BLUE 

Autumn Browns - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

With autumn definitely in the air (at least here in the Borderlands - finally), Mother Nature's natural cycle of life is beginning to slow.  There is a feeling of drawing inward, of self-reflection and, perhaps, as bit of melancholy, as we begin to prepare for the coming colder months of winter.  The colors of fall are everywhere, which reminds me of this a quote from Helen Hunt Jackson, as American author: "The goldenrod is yellow, The corn is turning brown, The trees in apple orchards With fruit are bending down."  So evocative of my favorite season of the year.  

Second Category, Third Item - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

The Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts at the Holy Cross Retreat Center is this Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday.  The Retreat Center has been operational for 60 years. However, some of the buildings in the compound are over 100 years old. It's so peaceful there and feels like you step back in time, especially when you see Father Tom walking around in his full cassock with a large, wooden rosary tied around his waist, chatting with as many people as he can. The juried festival itself has been held yearly for almost 20 years and is a “go to” festival for local people and the many who might drive from Tucson, Albuquerque or beyond to buy beautiful artisan handcrafted items.  If you are in the Las Cruces, NM or El Paso, TX area, please stop by - I will be selling my jewelry there.  For more information, here is a link:  Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts.

 

Beautiful Firsts - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

Looking for a handmade gift for a special someone, an item that was made from the heart?  Each of the Beautiful Firsts creations featured below are artisan handcrafted; many are one of a kind designs.  The unique items chosen are the first listing in each shop (as of this post) but there are many more beauties to be discovered if you stay awhile and browse.   Support handmade . . . support handmade artists!

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.    

Peaceful - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Peaceful:  untroubled by conflict, agitation, or commotion.  Synonyms:  tranquil, calm, restful, quiet, still, relaxing, soothing, undisturbed, untroubled

 

 

 

I have to admit:  I am a news and political junkie.  And what is coming out in the news these days just makes my head spin, whether it is local, state, national or international.  Because of being constantly bombarded with unending news alerts, I really am appreciative of what I have learned in my three-day a week yoga class:  how to breathe, how to control the monkey mind (or at least calm it to a dull roar), how to be in the moment, how to be mindful and, above all, to add more empathy, compassion, love and peace to each day.  

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