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We Have the Blues - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

Blues is a tonic for whatever ails you. I could play the blues and then not be blue anymore.

B. B. King


 

Even though the above quote by B. B. King is about music, it can also be about the color blue.  According to psychologists, the popularity of the color may take root in our evolutionary development. In the early hunter-gatherer days, those drawn to positive things - like clear blue skies and clean blue hued water were more likely to survive.  Over time, this preference for the color blue may have become hard-wired. To this day, the color blue is still a favorite color worldwide.

A Little of This, A Little of That - Artisan Handmade Three for Thursday

 

 

This week’s Three for Thursday blog, featuring three items from three handmade artisans, is “A Little of This, A Little of That.”  As the title indicates, I picked out a wide variety of unique items, from fractal art counted cross stitch patterns / refrigerator magnets / polymer clay beads to hand sewn jewelry / favor bags to one of a kind jewelry.  The artists included are: Julie (and her four legged sidekick, Harry) of Blue Morning Expressions; Ani of readytoshipproducts; and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs. If something catches your eye and you want to see more, please click the photo or link to be taken to the artist’s shop.  I hope you enjoy browsing the items.  

Oldies But Definitely Goodies - Unique Artisan Handmade

 

Whenever someone mentions “Oldies But Goodies,” most people think of old songs, vintage cars, antique furniture or, possibly, themselves (after - ahem - a certain age).  “Oldies But Goodies” can also refer to items in handmade shops that have been around for longer than we would like.  Whenever something is created and then listed in our shops, we always think it will sell right away.  But, for whatever reason, the beauty sits there . . . and sits there . . . and sits there some more. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that particular item - not at all!  It just hasn’t found that forever person to give it a forever home.

 

I asked artisan friends to share two items from their shops that they considered “oldies but goodies.”  Many of the items are one of a kind creations and would make a perfect gift for a birthday, anniversary, Christmas, or just because . . . I hope something catches your eye and that you visit the shops of the artists below.

New Jewelry From Shadow Dog Designs - Handmade Earrings and Necklaces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like for jewelry to tell a story and to be able to tell a story about what I’m wearing.  That’s more important to me than a name, brand or label - Nikki Reed

 

 

I just love this quote because I love jewelry that tells a story, too.  And if you look at the jewelry in my Shadow Dog Designs handmade shop, many, many of the pieces have such interesting stories to tell.  Why buy mass produced necklaces and earrings when artisan handmade jewelry, often one of a kind pieces,has GREAT stories to tell!

Hot, Hot, Hot Dogs Days of Summer - Artisan Handmade

 

The dog days of summer are here and the temperatures have gotten hot, hot, hot.  It seems heat records have been shattered worldwide, especially in places that normally don’t get that hot.  Weird weather all over. Climate change is real, folks! 

 

So, just how did the term "Dog Days of Summer" come about?  Depending on latitude and longitude, the Dog Days usually start the beginning of July and end the beginning of September in the Northern Hemisphere and between early January to early March in the Southern Hemisphere.  Most people believe the phrase "dog days" developed by observing domestic dogs (such as our Seamus) laying around in shady areas during hot days. Another old myth, first attributed to Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist, stated in his Natural History that rabid dogs are supposed to be more common during this time of the year because the heat drives them mad.  He advised feeding dogs chicken manure to curb the tendency!!!

Flower Gardening in the Desert

 

 

My husband and I have been living in our cosy little house in the Desert Southwest for 7 ½ years now, 5 years as renters and 2 ½  years as owners. As I always say, “The house is OK, but it’s the yard I love.” At the time we moved, we had three large dogs so needed a larger backyard, unlike most of the postage stamp size yards that seem so prevalent now.  We have only one large dog now and the backyard is his kingdom.

Summer Fun - Artisan Handmade Gifts

 

 

The first day of summer will be here before we know it.  This year, the first day of summer starts here in the Borderlands at 9:54 a.m. MDT on Friday, June 21.  Although, by that time, we’ll surely have had several days near triple digits or some 100+ degrees. But it’s a dry heat and doesn’t keep me from doing much outside as long as I have a wide brimmed hat on my head and plenty of water with me.

Flowers for Your Ears - Handmade Floral Earrings by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

Claude Monet

 

 

I totally agree with Monet.  There are a lot of things I can give up in life, but flowers are not one of them.  To plant a seed or seedlings into the ground . . . and then a miracle happens. Sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, the plant grows and flowers emerge.  I have been redesigning flower beds here at our house using a wide range of water wise plants: knipofia (called “mango popsicle’ - truly well named), several salvias in several colors, a fabulous penstemon; Russian sage, Texas red yucca, gauras and many colors of the workhorse of the desert garden, the glorious lantana.  Every plant I chose has to benefit bees, butterflies and/or hummingbirds. I have seen bees and butterflies on the flowers, but the hummingbirds seems to prefer the feeder and the mimosa tree, which is blooming right now. Several times a day, I go out and just look, and am always filled with a sense of wonder and awe at the sheer beauty at what is happening.

Handmade Jewelry - New Necklaces and Earrings by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

Spring is pretty much behind us here in the Desert Southwest.  Although it has been a very mild spring (YAY!) with below average heat with morning still cool enough that a light jacket is sometimes needed.  But all of us who live here know that summer is just around the corner bringing some triple digit temperatures in June. The the summer monsoons arrive (hopefully) in July, August and September bringing cooler temperatures again (but also the dreaded humidity) and a sense of rejuvenation.  

 

So many of my new jewelry designs deal with summer-y type things, whether the designs feature flowers, summer colors, the sun or other beauties.  And don’t forget your dogs or cats! I hope you enjoy the newest earrings (and one necklace) designs that can be found in my Shadow Dog Designs jewelry shop:

Radiant Roses for Julia

 

 

My good friend, Julia, LOVES roses.  She has planted the most amazing rose garden in her backyard, mostly lining the rock wall separating her yard from the large arroyo on the other side of the wall.  Each year, Julia spends three months in Bolivia visiting with family and friends.  Unfortunately, that is also when her roses are at the peak of their bloom.  Because I hate that she misses the showy display from her rose babies, I went to her house to take photos of the roses so I could share them on a blog post and then email her the link.  Looking at the photos is not the same, of course, but at least Julia can see how much beauty her roses are bringing to me and to her neighbors who water her plants.  It's just too bad there's not the ability to attach a scratch and sniff thingy for each photo so she can enjoy the heavenly perfume!  Happily, some of the roses rebloom in late summer, so she gets to enjoy some of the beauty then.

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