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Autumn Beauties - Artisan Handmade

 

 

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." — Albert Camus


 

I don’t know about you, but autumn is my favorite time of the year, although it’s somewhat bittersweet since winter follows.  It’s a time where the temperatures (at least here in the Desert Southwest) are moderating and thankfully, the gates of the blast furnace of Hell for this extreme heat summer have closed.  It’s a time for rethinking and replacing plants that didn’t make it through this summer.  Many people start fall gardens and farmers bring in their harvest.  Fall is part of that ongoing cycle of loss, rest, regeneration and, ultimately, regrowth.  The Autumn Equinox is a balance between light and dark, a balance between the season that happens again in the spring.  And who doesn’t love the trees and some shrubs with their gorgeous leaf displays as they prepare for their winter sleep.   

For the Love of Earrings - A Short History

 

 

I don't know about you, but I feel strange when I hop in the trusty Dog Mobile and then notice I have forgotten to put on a pair of earrings!   At least there, in the driveway, I can hop out of the truck, run inside and grab a pair to put on.  But, heaven help me, if I get somewhere and realize I am earrings-less!  It's like the world has tilted just a bit on its axis and I’m in the Upside Down.  Being an ardent wearer of pierced earrings since the early 1970’s, I have quite the collection of handcrafted Native American earrings  - and earrings I’ve made myself and then couldn’t part with.  Just LOVE them!  

 

 

 

A Mixed Bag - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

 

This week’s Artisan Handmade  - Three for Thursday is a mixed bag of fun items, three items from three artists.  I checked my thesaurus for synonyms for “mixed bag” and picked out some of my favorites words, some I’ve never seen before :  admixture, anthology, collectanea, farrago, gallimaufry, medley, mingle-manglepotpourri, salmagundi and smorgasbord.  What a fun selection of words!  And you’ll find this week’s Three for Thursday an equally fun mélange of artisan handmade beauties.  The three artists featured are Julie and Harry of Blue Morning ExpressionsJacki of Christie Cottage;  and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  Enjoy this mixed bag of handmade gifts for a loved one or for yourself.

Mimosas, Bumblebees and Hummingbirds

 

 

When we first moved into the house we now own, a scraggly “weed” started growing in a shrub bed on the southeast side of the house.  Being of a mind set where a “weed is just a misplaced plant,” I often let something grow until I can identify it, I left the scraggly plant. And I’m sure glad I did!  It turned out to be a mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin), a tree I’ve seen quite  often and admired greatly in more tropical areas,  like Florida where it can be very invasive, but never thought it would grow here in an arid desert climate.  I don't remember seeing one anywhere near the house so am not sure how the seed that ended up in the shrub bed.  Since it sprouted fairly close to an irrigation mister head, it grew fairly quickly and is now, almost 9 years later, a beautifully arching tree that attracts a wide variety of pollinators.  An added bonus is that the mimosa smells heavenly, especially in the cool of the morning.  I know sometime in the not too distant future, we'll have to cut it down because we don't want the roots to mess with the house's foundation and sidewalk.  But for now, I'll definitely enjoy it.     

Awesome Animals - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

Anyone who knows me knows I love animals, always have and always will.  No-footed, two-footed, four-footed, six footed or more (except, to tell the truth, female mosquitoes and ticks - uck!).  I love animals of all sizes, from huge ones to wee, tiny ones - from blue whales, the largest mammal on earth, to Kitti's hog-nosed bat (or bumblebee bat) the world's smallest mammal at just over 1” long.  And I’m always amazed at how animals have evolved to survive. Just think of the Griffon’s vulture which is recorded as the highest flying bird at 37,000 feet to deep sea creatures which live in harsh conditions thousands of feet in the ocean where light doesn’t reach.  Amazing!

 

When I was mulling around what the theme of this week's Three for Thursday blog, I decided on animals.  Three animal related items from three handmade artists are featured.  The artists are:  Linda of VictorianStyleTreasures; Roxanne of watercolorsNmore; and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  I hope you enjoy this collection of animal themed items.  Be sure to visit the shops to find even more beauties.

Got the Blues! - Artisan Handmade Jewelry

 

Research shows that the most popular color in the world is blue.  A survey conducted in 10 countries across four continents shows that one color – blue – is the most popular across the board, 8-18 points ahead of any other color.  This includes gender.  Men picked it as their favorite color more often than women, but blue was still picked as a favorite by more women than any other color.  Blue is also a favorite across racial groups, age groups and - even in the U.S. - political groups.

 

Blue is also very popular as a major design color when making necklaces, earrings and bracelets, as you can see in the nine pieces of jewelry chosen to feature in “Got the Blues! - Artisan Handmade”  The handmade artists who created the jewelry are:  Julie and Harry of Blue Morning Expressions; Kathy of KatsAllThat; and, me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  I hope you enjoy these selections of blue.  Please be sure to visit the shops of the artists featured for more handmade jewelry in many glorious colors, not just blue.   

New Handmade Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

You would seem due sheltering in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d have more time to create new jewelry and blog.  Before, my days were very structured.  Now they’re not, even though I try to structure them.  It seems I find myself saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow” . . . and then when tomorrow rolls around, it becomes “tomorrow” again.  So, this morning, I sat myself down to create a new blog showcasing the newest pieces of jewelry in my SHADOW DOG DESIGNS shop.  Fourteen handmade beauties:  nine pairs of earrings, four necklaces and one bracelet.  They are all one of a kind creations from a variety of materials including, gemstones, polymer clay, Czech glass, Swarovski crystals and a host of other things.  I hope you take the time to browse and to check out all the other jewelry in my shop.  After all, Christmas will be here before we know it - get a head start with your holiday shopping!  Enjoy.

Hot Summer Reds, Oranges and Yellows - Artisan Handmade

 

 

Even though summer hasn’t officially arrived - that will happen on June 20 - it has been summer here in the Borderlands for several weeks now.  And it looks quite warm in many areas in the U.S.  So I made a call to artist friends to share some “hot” handmade items with me to be included in this blog.  You’ll find LOTS of fiery colored items in red, yellows and oranges, beauties that can be worn all summer long.  If something catches your eye and you want more information, please click on the item photo or the link below the picture to be taken to the artist’s shop.  I hope you enjoy all the sizzling hot items!

Summer Flowers - Artisan Handmade - Three for Thursday

 

 

Summer will soon be here.  Despite the (expected) triple digit heat that has set in here in the Desert Southwest, the water wise flowers I planted last year and in the cool of this spring are blooming up a storm.  Everyone who knows me really well knows I love to work in my flower beds . . . and am ecstatic at the resulting blooms.  So my beautiful flowers are the inspiration for this week’s Three for Thursday where I feature three items from three artists.  This week the artists are:  Roxanne of watercolorsNmoreJacki of Christie Cottage; and me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  Enjoy the wide range of floral art.  Hopefully one or more of the items will soon be on the way to you!

 

Julia's Roses (And A Few Irises)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My good friend, Julia, `spent many years creating a most amazing rose garden in her backyard.  They are her “babies” and she spends many enjoyable hours working in the garden, talking to the roses and inhaling their heady scentswhen blooming.  She also communes with the wondrous nature that is all around.  However, in years past, she’s wasn't at home when the roses were in full bloom.  She would fly to Bolivia for three months in the spring (autumn in Bolivia) to visit her brother and other relatives in the town where she grew up.  I always felt sad for Julia when she was away, knowing how she was missing her amazing rose show. I’d go to her house, take photos of the roses, blog about them and then email her the link.  But that definitely wasn’t anything like being in her garden to enjoy the beauty each bush provided

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