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To most people, the color pink is a “sweet” color: charming, playful, cute, feminine, romantic and so on. But in the past few years, it also represents struggles and the need to warrior on. Think of all the pink worn, especially ribbons, signifying breast cancer awareness. And the pink hats, shirts, and other articles of clothing worn by millions during the recent women’s marches. Thinking on this, pink is not just feminine and sweet, a bubblegum / cotton candy color. It has come to signify power, rising up and demanding equal rights.
Easter will be here before we know it, on Sunday, April 16. It was a family tradion, a week or so before Easter, that my Mom would take my sister, my brother and me to the local dry goods store to shop for a new Easter outfit to wear to church. My sister and I always ended up with frilly dresses in pastel shades, new white shoes, lace edged socks (sometimes in colors matching our dress), white gloves and a new mantilla or flower headband. My brother, always with not much choices, ended up with khakis, a white shirt and new brown shoes (and sometimes a new plastic dinosaur for this extensive collection). Were we ever Easter styling! Hopefully all photos of us kids decked out in our Easter finery have been lost.
From time immemorial, the number 3 has played an important part in everyday human life. Three is considered the fundamental number, a synthesis of 1 and 2 representing the unity of heaven and earth. Number 3 points to the intellectual and spiritual order, the divine qualities in the cosmos and in people. It is often viewed as a number of good fortune. In numerology, people with a number 3 personality are optimistic, creative curious, good-natured and helpful. But they may also be naive and proud, with a tendency to exaggerate and give promises easily.
I have always been fascinated with words, especially when it comes to colors. Just how many different words are there to describe a color? But one person “blue” is not always another person’s “blue.” My husband is a good example. This past weekend we were at Lowe’s looking at paint chips: yellows, blues and greens. DH’s definition of any shade or tint of blue, whether it is a pale baby blue or a dark navy blue, is “blue.” I, myself, am much more exacting most of the time. So, if I see “cornflower blue,” I will call it that.
Last week’s Wonderful Handmade Wednesday blog focused on artisan made creations using the color red. This week the focus is on the color pink. Pink is another color that has deep associations with Valentine’s Day, often paired with the more emotionally intense red on cards and candies and other Valentine’s items. Although both red and pink represent love, the color red represents heat and passion, while the color pink represents romance and charm. Hot pink is used to communicate playfulness, while light pink is used to communicate tenderness. It is the color of universal love, of others and of oneself. It symbolizes friendship, affection, harmony, inner peace, and approachability (which is why I often will wear a pink top when selling my jewelry at an arts festival).
One of my favorite sayings is from Carl Sandburg: “Nothing happens unless first we dream.” I don’t know about the other artists that are included in this post, but I often dream about a design, especially one I am trying to figure out, whether it be a color combination or a new wire wrap technique. Maybe “dream” is not exactly the right word, but a design can come to me in that state between wakefulness and sleep where my mind comes up with all sorts of weird stuff.
Anyway, the handmade items in this post are the first ones listed (at least at the time this was posted) in the shops of the Indiemade artists featured here. Most are one of a kind items . . . and all are a “dream” to have. Enjoy.
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.
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.
Despite the grass in our back yard staying an amazing green so far into the year, I can see the slide of winter colors beginning to show up. Pretty soon our back yard, the arroyo behind the house and the desert over all will be clothed in the many varied shades of warm earthy browns with tinges of other subtle colors. Waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . . for the brilliance of spring.
“Earthy Browns Abound” is the theme of this week’s “Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade. I hope you enjoy the beautifully earthy artisan creations featured here. And, please, support handmade artisan this holiday season.
Halloween is just around the corner. Small goblins, vampires, fairy princesses and superheroes of all sorts will soon be appearing at your doors! In honor of this spooky holiday, I browsed the studios of Indiemade artist friends to find orange and/ or black handmade items that are perfect accessories for your Halloween costume. And there is even something for your best four-footed friend! Enjoy these selections: