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Make It a Handmade Christmas - Countdown - Week 1

 

 

WOW, wasn't last Christmas like . . . last month? Yikes!  According to the Christmas clock, there is only 96 days, 20 hours, 54 minutes and those rapidly descending seconds until Christmas is here . . . once again!  And it's even closer by the time your read this!

Autumn Inspired Handmade Beauties

 

 

 

The cooler temperatures of autumn have arrived here in our area of the Desert Southwest.  It still gets into the high 80’s or low 90’s during the day but drops down into the high 60’s at night.  The monsoon season has pretty much ended, the horrid humidity mostly gone, and our drier air has been welcomed back by everyone.  It is so nice to turn off the air conditioner (at least until early afternoon) and open windows and doors to allow fresh desert air to blow through.  While I don’t see any trees changing colors yet, the desert is extremely green after the above average rainfall we received the last two months.  Maximillian sunflowers can be found all over, as well as masses of small yellow, purple and terracotta colored wildflowers that I don't know the name of but enjoy immensely nonetheless. My favorite time 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.

 

New Jewelry at Shadow Dog Designs - Handmade Beauties

 

 

 

Seven new handmade jewelry creations have been listed in my Shadow Dog Designs shop:  four new necklaces and three new pairs of earrings.  All are very different in design, ranging from fun and funky boho to classic meditative designs.  The seven new beauties, perfect gift ideas for women who love one of a kind, artisan jewelry, are featured below.  To round out the count to an even ten pieces, two pairs of earrings and one necklace that are still looking for a new home are also included.  If a piece of jewelry catches your eye, either click on the photo or the live link below the photo to be taken to the item for more information and photographs.

An Explosion of Flowers! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank

 

 

 

 

 

Since we there has been quite a long string of triple digit days here in the Desert Southwest, most of my outdoor potted plants have quite blooming, with the exception of a vibrant fuchsia colored geranium that makes me smile every time I look at it.  Now gardening pretty much consists of watering and deadheading the spent blossoms. Hopefully the monsoons will soon show up (they are a bit late this year) and bring much needed rain and cooler temperatures.  Until then, I’ll dream about masses of colorful flowers.

Shadow Dog Designs - New Handmade Jewelry

 

 

The past two weeks have been very busy . . . not so much with making new jewelry and listing new pieces . . . but with life itself.  It seems I find myself coming and going at the same time.  Thank heavens for yoga classes and the bits and pieces of meditation I can do.  They definitely help center my life, to look at what life throws my way with empathy, caring and a sense of humor (or at least I hope!).  

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.    

Circles of Our Lives - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the most mundane of things in life suddenly captures my imagination.  The other day, when I was outside with Seamus, the very handsome Shadow Dog, I started thinking about circles (yes, my brain does shoot off on a tangent sometimes!).  You see circles everywhere: most door knobs, most coins, the sun and moon, the pupil of most animal's eyes and the wheel, just to name a few.  Most people don't give them a second thought unless you're a mathematician, an architect or an artist.  As a gardener and an avid observer of nature, I daily feel the circle of life all around me on a more cosmological scale: day/night, phases of the moon, seasons, life/death.  And then I remembered a Wendell Berry poem, called "Circles of Our Lives", which I will share at the end of this post. This led me to do some reading about circles (inquiring minds want to know!) and copious note taking.

New Handmade Earrings and One Necklace by Shadow Dog Designs - Jewelry Gift Ideas

 

 

It has been a month since the last time my newest handmade jewelry was shared.  A week stay in Dallas at the beginning of the month and then a glorious week stay in Oregon last week definitely cut into my creative time.  But I came back filled with all sorts of new jewelry ideas - I just hope the Muses are inspired, as well!  

The Ocean Stirs the Heart - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul - Robert Wyland (marine life artist)

 

 

This past week, I was able to reconnect with the ocean when visiting the Coos Bay / Bandon, Oregon area.  While my husband golfed, I explored the amazing land that is southwest Oregon.  From huge trees to craggy cliffs by the sea; from the multitudes of birds to the fog interlaced with sunshine, I was taken with the landscape . . . and the very friendly people.  And I was actually able to meet a long-time artist friend face-to-face for the first time. What a lovely person Sue is!

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