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Gorgeous Gifts - Artisan Handmade for Valentines Day!

 

 

Valentine’s Day, February 14, will be here before we know it.  When you walk into most stores shortly after Christmas (or even sometimes before!), hearts, cupids and other items in pink and red will assail you from every direction.  Flowers, candy and gifts are exchanged between loved ones throughout the United States and in many other countries around the world . . . all in the name of St. Valentine.  Although the exact history of St. Valentine (or Valentinus) is shrouded in mystery (there are actually three St. Valentines recognized by the Catholic Church to consider!), February has long been celebrated as a month of romance.  Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both ancient Roman (Lupercalia) and Christian traditions, with a few other influences thrown in for good measure. 

 

This year for Valentine's Day, don't think abour buying mass produced from large companies.  Think, instead of supporting a small, indie business, people who actually make or design the items themselves.  Scroll down and you'll see 26 items, many are one of a kind and handmade from the heart!  Any of items highlighted will make a wonderful gift for a loved one.  Remember:  SHOP SMALL and support a small indie artist!

 

 

Make It an Artisan Handmade Christmas - Favorites - Week 9, 2023

 

 

Christmas is barreling down on us like a runaway freight train!  It will be here very soon.  Week 9 of the Countdown to Christmas 2023 has come and gone and the ever ticking Your Christmas Countdown Clock doesn’t let up.  According to what the clock says today, Santa and his traveling buddies will start their journey in only 32 days, just a bit over four weeks from now!  The Countdown is a place for handmade artists to come together and share three of their beautiful (often one of a kind) creations and then promote each other.  This week, eleven artists shared a total of 33 unique items.  The twelve week Countdown to Christmas, hosted by Julie and Harry of Blue Morning Expressions on their Buy Handmade from Makers blogis the perfect place to start / end to your Christmas shopping - find those special gifts for a loved one!  An excellent motto to follow this holiday season is : SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN!  And, most of all, SHOP HANDMADE to support hardworking indie shop owners! 

 

In addition to promoting each handmade item from the Countdown collection to my "Countdown to a Handmade Christmas 2023" Pinterest board and on my Twitter feed, I decided to share one item from each of the artists who participated this week.  Here are my "favorites" picks of the items, in an order determined by drawing numbers from my trusty numbers bowl.  I hope you enjoy these unique items! 

 

 

Make It an Artisan Handmade Christmas - Favorites - Week 8, 2023

 

 

It’s all going so, so fast!  Week 8 of the Countdown to Christmas 2023 has already come and gone, with only four more weeks remaining!  The ever ticking Your Christmas Countdown Clock doesn’t let up - according to it, Santa and his flying reindeer will start their journey in only 39 days!  Yikes!!!!  Need a perfect place to start / finish your Christmas shopping? The Countdown - a chance for artists to come together and share three of their unique gift ideas - is the just the place to do that holiday shopping!  Julie and Harry of Blue Morning Expressions are hosting the twelve-week Countdown to Christmas 2023 of artisan handmade items on their Buy Handmade from Makers blog (where you can also see the first seven Countdowns).  This week, 39 items, many which are one of a kind designs, from 13 artists are featured.  The artists shared a wide range of handmade gift ideas: jewelry of all sorts, Christmas gift tags, sweatshirts, limited edition prints, photographic prints, lampwork beads, coffee mugs and much, much more.  A wonderful motto to follow: SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN!  And, most of all, SHOP HANDMADE to support hard working indie artists! 

 

In addition to promoting each handmade item from the Countdown collection to my "Countdown to a Handmade Christmas 2023" Pinterest board and on my Twitter feed, I decided to share one item from each of the artists who participated this week.  Here are my "favorites" picks of the items, in an order determined by drawing numbers from my trusty numbers bowl.  I hope you enjoy these unique items! 

 

 

 

Make It an Artisan Handmade Christmas - Favorites - Week 2, 2023

 

 

Week 2 of the Countdown to Christmas 2023 has already come . . . and gone,  No worries because unique artisan handmade / designed items were left in its wake.  According to the ever ticking Your Christmas Countdown Clock, there are only 81 days until Christmas is here.  With the rapidly approaching gift giving season in mind, Julie and her wonderful four-footed sidekick, Harry, are hosting a twelve-week Countdown to Christmas 2023 of artisan handmade items on their Buy Handmade from Makers blog, part of their of Blue Morning Expressions Shopify shop.  The twelve week time period was chosen to correspond with the ubiquitous Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas''. This week, there were 30 shares by 10 artists featuring a wide range of gift ideas: unique jewelry, Christmas tags, watercolor art prints, an original book, photographic and digital art for the home, ornaments, key chains and a host of other beauties.  If you need a perfect start to your Christmas shopping, the Countdown is the place to do just that!  An excellent motto to follow is: SHOP EARLY, SHOP OFTEN.  And, most of all, SHOP HANDMADE to support small indie businesses!

 

Each week during the Countdown, I pick my a favorite items from each artist (hard to do!) and feature them here on my blog.  These are my favorites for Week 2:   

 

 

 

Happy Halloween - Spooky Artisan Handmade Goodies - 2023

 

 

Halloween will soon be here, only about five weeks away!  Halloween is a favorite day / evening / night for many, with a steady stream of trick or treaters in a variety of cute or creepy costumes.  Decorations are aplenty:  Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins, grinning skulls, eerie ghosts and other infamous creaturess.  During the weeks before October 31, it’s fun to wear spooky accessories or decorate the home for Halloween. With that in mind, handmade artist friends were invited to share two Halloween / Day of the Dead / Autumn-inspired items - whether symbolic or filled with traditional colors or both.  You’ll see a wide variety of spine-tingling jewelry, eye-catching photography, fun baby gifts, unique lampwork glass beads and your choice of sugar skull pincushions.  Each one of these handmade beauties, many of which are one of a kind pieces, are perfect to help celebrate that supernatural day of the year.  I hope you enjoy these choices and will visit the shops of the talented artists featured for more amazing handmade beauties, some spine-tingling and some not!

 

 

 

Christmas in July - Artisan Handmade Gifts - 2023

 

 

Since it seems Christmas arrives earlier and earlier each and every year, it’s never too early to start shopping for those perfect holiday gifts for a loved one!   Believe it or not Christmas with the jolly man in red and his reindeer show up in about 6 months - actually 164 days (from when this blog is posted) according to the ever ticking CHRISTMAS CLOCK.  I’ve noticed quite a few “Christmas in July” promos and such at stores and on social media, so I decided to host one here on my Shadow Dog Designs blog.  I asked artist friends to share two items - one that is “Christmasy” (in design or colors, etc.) and one that doesn’t have to be. Since many of these beauties are one of a kind, be sure to shop early (and often) so you don’t miss out.  And please visit the shops of the artisans featured for even more wonderful creations that are handmade from the heart.  Hopefully one or more items featured in the Christmas in July - Artisan Handmade Gifts - 2023 (or in the artists' shops) will make it into your shopping basket - treat yourself or someone else!  And remember this year:  SHOP SMALL and SHOP HANDMADE!

 

 

 

Buy Artisan Handmade for Mothers Day 2023 - Week 5

 

 

Another week of the Countdown to Mother's Day 2023 has come and gone. Week 5, as all the weeks have been and will be, was hosted by Julie and Harry of Blue Morning Expressions on their Buy Handmade from Makers blog.  Thirty-three unique handmade / designed items were shared from eleven artists.  Many are one of a kind and each will make a memorable gift for Mom on her big day.  Since Mother's Day will be here before you know it, on May 14, this is the perfect time to thinking about and start buying a gift(s) for your Mom (and, perhaps, for yourself).  Browse all the wonderful handmade shares for Week 5, visit the shops of the artists featured and buy your Mom a beautiful gift that was handmade from the heart.  For this year's Mother's Day:  PLEASE BUY HANDMADE and support small, indie businesses!

 

 

 

Buy Artisan Handmade for Mothers Day 2023 - Week 4

 

 

It's hard to believe that week 4 of the Mother’s Day Countdown 2023 has come . . . and gone so quickly!  It's now the beginning of April and Easter is next Sunday!   The fun Countdown, hosted by Julie and Harry of Blue Morning Expressions on their Buy Handmade from Makers blog, is a place where artisans come together and share three of their unique items.  This week 11 handmade artists shared a total of 33 lovely items - each one a perfect gift for Mother’s Day.  Since the big Mom day will be here before you know it - in about 6 weeks from now - this is the perfect time to start thinking about and buying a gift(s) for your Mom, grandmother or others.  Be sure to browse all the wonderful handmade shares for Week 4, visit the shops of the artists featured and buy your Mom a unique beauty that was artisan handmade from the heart.  This year, definitely Make it a Handmade Mother's Day!  

 

 

 

Pick a Bouquet of Spring Flowers - Artisan Handmade Floral Gifts

 

 

Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.

 

Bishop Reginald Heber ~

 

 

I have always loved the quote shared above.  Bishop Reginald Heber (1783-1826), well known for his poetry, describes in just a few words the joyousness of spring on the return of flowers.  I, myself, can’t wait to finish the new flower bed I started digging last fall and filling it with native plants chosen specifically for pollinators of all types.  Let the flowers paint the laughing soil!  And let the colorful flowers be an important food source for bees of all types, flower flies, butterflies, moths, wasps and hummingbirds.  

 

With all-things-flower in mind, I invited artist friends to share two of their floral designs.  As you will see in the beautiful items below, there is a wide range of flowers to be had, from note cards to jewelry, from lampwork beads to photography, from photography to digital art and many, many more!  Be sure to pick a bouquet of floral beauties and support small handmade businesses!

 

For Twitter, please use the hashtag #SpringFlowers.

 

 

 

Gorgeous Gifts for Valentines Day - Artisan Handmade

 

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it.  When you walk into most stores shortly after Christmas (or sometimes before!), hearts, cupids and other items in pink and red will assail you from every direction.  Flowers, candy and gifts are exchanged between loved ones throughout the United States and in many other countries around the world . . . all in the name of St. Valentine.  Although the exact history of St. Valentine is shrouded in mystery, February has long been celebrated as a month of romance.  Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both ancient Roman and Christian traditions, with other traditions thrown in for good measure. 

 

 

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