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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.

Countdown to Mother's Day - Handmade Gifts - Week 2

 

 

Julie and Blu of Blue Morning Expressions are once again hosting the popular "Mother's Day Countdown” on their BluPrint blog.  Last year's Mother's Day Countdown 2016 was a resounding success so a 2017 version, which started last week, is up and running.  Mother's Day will be here before we all know it!  Now is the perfect time to start browsing gift ideas and buying that perfect gift(s) for your Mum.  Any one of the handmade (many of which are one of a kind) and vintage items shared this week are perfect.  Visit the shops of the artists featured and buy Mum something that was handmade from the heart or that will re-live as a vintage piece.

The Magical Color of Purple - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Since purple is a fairly rare color in nature, an almost magical aura has been associated to it throughout human history.  The first historical record of a purple dye, called Tyrian purple, indicates that it began to be manufactured in the Phoenician city of Tyre in the eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century BCE.  The dye was extracted from the glands of several types of shellfish, but especially the Murex brandaris.  The process to extract the dye took about three days.  Thousands of putrefied, crushed shellfish were left to bake in the sun.  Salt was then added and the mash of glands were boiled down.  (Can you imagine the overwhelming stench of the process!!!).  It took about 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye, barely enough to dye a single garment the size of a Roman toga.  In 301 A.D. during the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian, one pound of purple dye cost 150,000 denarii or around three pounds of gold. This is the main reason the purple color was reserved for emperors or individuals with titles of royal authority.

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

 

 

 

Red and green are colors that are closely associated with Christmas.  Last week I shared how red became a Christmas color.  You can read that post here:  Think Red for Artisan Christmas Gifts.  This week, green, the other Christmas color, is explored mainly through the symbolism of holly, mistletoe and evergreen trees.

 

The color green and its association with the time around Christmas has a pre-Christian origin, more specifically tied to the Winter Solstice.  Evergreen plants, like holly, mistletoe and pine, spruce or fir trees have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long, dark, cold winter when life could be very tenuous.  Ancient peoples were scared of the short days and freezing nights and mistakenly believed that the Sun might disappear altogether. Evergreens reminded people that spring would come and that winter wouldn't last forever.  Historical records show that the Romans wove wreaths of holly to hang on their walls and doors to celebrate the winter solstice / Saturnalia. They also exchanged evergreen branches as a sign of good luck. The ancient Egyptians would bring green date palm branches into their homes during their mid- winter festivals as a symbol of "life triumphant over death." To the ancient people, the color green represented life, nature, peace, eternity and the hope of the future.  

Easter Egg Colors - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade - March 23, 2016

 

Easter Sunday is almost on us, coming fairly early this year.  In celebration of Easter, I decided to base this Wonderful Handmade Wednesday post on the glorious colors of Easter eggs, since there will be millions dyed, hunted and rolled come Sunday.  There is an old Latin proverb:  "Omne vivum ex ovo," which means "all life comes from an egg."  Many ancient cultures the world over believed the whole universe was created from an egg, the egg an important symbol of life.  Before Christianity, eggs were revered by pagans as a symbols of fertility and resurrection and played important roles in their return-of-spring celebrations.  Christians used Easter eggs (which started to be painted around the 13th century) to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and his resurrection.  However, many scholars point out that ancient Persians painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration falling on the Spring Equinox, a tradition that continues to this day and was picked up by cultures and religions around the world. 

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