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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!

Radiant Rainbows! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

The monsoon season is still going on here in the Desert Southwest.  Most every afternoon, the sky clouds, the wind starts to howl, thunder can be heard and lightning seen . . . and if we are lucky, rain falls.  As happens so often here, our house can get a deluge but a friend just a few block away may only get a few sprinkles.  If the rain ends at just the right time, a magical rainbow can be seen towards the east.  Sometimes a paler secondary - or even very pale triple - rainbow forms.  A colorful, visual gift!  The photo above shows part of a double rainbow (that tried to turn into a triple rainbow).  At the end of this post is a single rainbow, both taken with my trusty camera.

Happy Independence Day! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Independence Day will soon be here, in less than a week.  It was quite an interesting time, a time populated by giants of U. S. history:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Richard Henry Lee and many others.  The 4th of July has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870 (and a paid holiday to all federal employees since 1941).  But the tradition of celebrating Independance Day dates back to the late 1700’s at the time of the American Revolution.  On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain.  Two days later, delegates from the thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document largely drafted by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia but with help from John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York.

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.    

Red Hot for Valentine's Day! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

With Valentine’s Day less than three weeks away, you can’t help but to notice all the red heart cards, boxes of heart-shaped candy, red cupids and the like.  Red is a very emotionally intense color.  Since it is the color of fire and blood, it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power and determination.  Red also can signify passion, desire, and love (hence it’s use for Valentine’s Day).  It enhances the human metabolism by increasing the respiration rate and raising blood pressure.  Stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red since it has very high visibility.  In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage and confidence and is a color found in many national flags.  Red is the color for the base or root chakra, located at the base of the spine, allowing us to be grounded and connected to universal energies.

Handmade Valentine's Day Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought I’d share a range of handmade earrings and two necklaces from my Indiemade shop; any will be perfect for gift giving to a loved one.  Some of the jewelry is obviously Valentine’s related.  But most can be worn all year long.  The last five designs featured are from my line of meaningful dog rescue jewelry.  All have hearts and pawprints, perfect for the woman who loves her dog(s), especially if her four footed friend is a rescue.  As always, whenever any of the dog rescue jewelry sells, one half (½) of the purchase price is donated to the Humane Society.  


If one or more of the pieces catches your eye, be sure to click the live link below the photo for more information and pictures.  I hope you enjoy these one of a kind earrings and necklaces:

Valentines Day Gift Ideas! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it.  It is a day that started with pagan roots, associated with the Roman festival, Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February (February 13-15), Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders, Romulus and Remus.  Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed around 496 A.D. when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. It is not known, however, which of three St. Valentines (all of whom were martyred) Pope Gelasius was honoring.  In 1381, Geoffrey Chaucer, a famous English poet, first associated St. Valentine's Day with romance in a poem he wrote in honor of the engagement between Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.  The engagement, the mating season of birds, St. Valentine’s Day and true love were all linked . . .  and it’s been a day for lovers ever since.  

Think Red for Artisan Christmas Gifts - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

 

The color combination of red and green is closely associated with Christmas - for example, Santa’s red clothing and green holly with red berries.  But how did this come about?  From ancient history to modern time, color has been an integral part of cultural awareness and even an understanding of life; it touched all members of society and conveyed deeper messages (such as, only royalty could wear the color purple).  Red and green as Christian symbolism can be traced back to Medieval Miracle Plays and rood screen painters.  The color combination can be traced to the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh stories from the 13th century.  And these stories were probably based on an oral tradition that dates back to the pre-Christian Celts many centuries before where a half-red, half-green tree figures prominently in one of the tales.  In pre-Christian times, red and green represented male (red) and female (green), strength and harmony, desire and fertility.  

Christmas Holiday Shopping Guide, Red and Green - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

How many are with me in thinking that Christmas gets earlier each and every year?  It has a tendency to sneak up on a person until, like today, it suddenly starts hollering at you:  CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!  Yikes!!!  So I decided it was time to start sharing handmade items from artist friends that will make perfect Christmas gifts. And to make it even better, many of these beauties can be worn way past the holiday season, many even all year long.  

HOT, HOT, HOT!!! - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

If you have been keeping up with the weather lately, you know that a huge section of the United States has been dealing with unusually high heat.  Here in the Desert Southwest, we are used to triple digit numbers (but it’s a dry heat!).  People who are live in other parts of the U.S. are not used to the high heat and may not even have air conditioning to remediate.  Let’s hope the high that had stalled above the U.S. moves on out and normal temperatures return . . . and our monsoon rains start here in the Borderlands.

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