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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!  

Botanical Beauties - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

BOTANICAL:  pertaining to plants

 

Many people think that the desert is nothing but prickly plants and blowing sand.  Believe me, there are plenty of prickly plants here in the Chihuahuan Desert, and, at times, plenty of blowing sand.  But there are a whole host of other plants that bloom beautifully and are much more friendly to the skin.  The Chihuahuan Desert is termed a "cold desert" since temperatures often drop below freezing during the winter with occasional snowfall.  It is, on average, higher in altitude (El Paso is at 3800 ft / 1200 m) than the neighboring “hot” Sonoran Desert around Tucson (2643 ft / 806 m) which rarely experiences freezing temperatures.  While Tucson and Phoenix bake for several months with triple digits, summer temperatures in the Chihuahuan desert are more moderate, our hottest month being June. Triple digits, yes, but for only a few weeks.  Rainfall averages less than 10" per year, most of that coming during the monsoon season, normally July through mid-September. Amazingly, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature has indicated that the Chihuahuan Desert may be the most biologically diverse desert in the world!  Our plants just tend to be built on a smaller scale than those found in the Sonoran Desert.

A Sense of Fun - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

This week’s Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade blog post is called A Sense of Fun.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of “fun” is “that which provides amusement or enjoyment.”  I am often delighted and amused at the creativity of my artist friends and ALWAYS enjoy browsing their shops.  And since Mother’s Day is almost upon us, any of these picks will make wonderful gifts.  Buy Handmade - buy a gift that was made from the heart.

Star Stuff Harvesting Star Light - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Dr. Carl Sagan is a major hero of mine.  As Wikipedia explains he “was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.” he was often called "the astronomer for the people." Quite the Renaissance man!  I remember being glued to the TV when the groundbreaking TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was first aired.  Dr. Sagan was able to explain complex ideas in a simple way that a layperson could understand.  Being a science geek, especially when it comes to space, my mind sailed on its own voyage of personal discovery each week (and with the reruns that I always managed to watch).  I still remember vividly and muse over certain parts of certain episodes that particularly touched me.  Unfortunately Dr. Sagan died in 1996 at the young age of 62.  I still miss him and all he had to offer.  He returned to the star dust he so loved.

 

Happy Easter! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Modern-day Easter is derived from two ancient traditions: one pagan and the other Judeo-Christian. Both pagans and Christians have celebrated death and resurrection themes following the spring equinox for millennia.  A majority of religious historians believe that many elements of the Christian observance of Easter were derived from earlier pagan celebrations.  The name “Easter” itself originated with the names of an ancient goddess.  The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE), a Christian scholar, first mentioned in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. The "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility was also known as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eastra and others.  

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

 

 

 

What beautiful artisan handmade items are included in this blog post!  But, then, ALL the items included in my blogs the last two years have been beauties.  This edition of Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade is a melange of items, a random choosing of the second item on the second page of the artist's shop.  I hope you enjoy the items featured.

Easter Perfection! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Easter will be here before we know it, on Sunday, April 16.  It was a family tradion, a week or so before Easter, that my Mom would take my sister, my brother and me to the local dry goods store to shop for a new Easter outfit to wear to church.  My sister and I always ended up with frilly dresses in pastel shades, new white shoes, lace edged socks (sometimes in colors matching our dress), white gloves and a new mantilla or flower headband.  My brother, always with not much choices, ended up with khakis, a white shirt and new brown shoes (and sometimes a new plastic dinosaur for this extensive collection). Were we ever Easter styling! Hopefully all photos of us kids decked out in our Easter finery have been lost.

Colorful Creations! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

Whether you have had lots of snow this winter or lots of brown (such as can be found in the Desert Southwest), I bet everyone can agree that we are all longing for color!  Colorful flowers, grasses greening, big blue skies, etc.  The list can go on and on.  This week’s Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade features a wide range of colorful handmade creations by artist friends.  Any will make a perfect pick-me-up gift for a loved one . . . or for yourself!  Enjoy these “Colorful Creations”:

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