Friday, November 29, 2013
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Thursday, November 28, 2013
Volume 10 Issue 12, December 2013
While we wait to see if our bangle bracelet will be used in the finalist shots on The
Voice, we received another opportunity to submit something to the stylist from
CW’s Hart of Dixie for consideration on that show. The show has a transplanted
New York doctor who is adorable in black and jewel tones, and it has a town filled
with Southern Belles. We took to the Southern Belles, and we decided to base
our design upon their whimsical ways. We are proud to introduce you to Lemon
Drops. A strand of lemon drop beads that are mounted on a chain. We have two
more of these in our studio. We hope that you will find them as yummy as we do.
Thumbtacks! We found these were a fun way to decorate bulletin and cork boards everywhere, so we went silly creating these fun pushpins. Of course,
I have lots of designs to create for future thumbtacks.
Beads! Lots of fun and colorful beads are in my shop. Along with raw clay
canes in kaleidoscope designs that will become future beads.
I have them in my Artfire studio, my Etsy shop and my
Until next month,
Julie & Blu
New Watches—Holiday and every day watches are in the studio. They are
selling as soon as they are posted, so get yours fast. Limited designs.
New Necklaces— Lots of simple chain necklaces with pendants are on the way to the studio. I have been working in lampwork beads, and the Dragon Eye Series of necklaces have begun. I have 2 of the 10 finished.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The biggest celebration for the Irish is Christmas. This starts on the 8th of December and continues until the 6th of January. Since Ireland is predominantly Catholic, the majority of the celebrations surround the Catholic Church and their holiday calendar. The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day mass is widely attended, and there are prayers said for the dead while the graves are decorated with wreathes of holly and ivy. They light candles to show Mary that there is room for her and Jesus in their homes, and they focus on the crib as the main part of their decorations.
The Irish celebrate St. Stephens Day, which is the day after Christmas and is the equivalent to Boxing Day. The gifts are given to the employees and then everyone enjoys a day of horse racing and football. The Wren Boys Procession takes place on St. Stephens Day. This is a traditional walk around town carrying a long pole with a holly bush tied on the end. Originally, they would hunt and kill a wren and put him in this holly bush, and then walk around from house to house singing about the wren. They would dress up in homemade costumes and may be accompanied by harmonicas or accordions.
'The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
On St. Stephen's day was caught in the furze.'
They also asked for money. For themselves.
The wren is the smallest bird in Ireland and has the loudest voice. The little wren is the king of all birds, and it is said to have boasted that it flew higher than an eagle. Mainly because it was perched upon the head of an eagle when it took flight.
Wrens were often hunted during the medieval times, but now, they no longer stick a poor wren in the holly bush when they go singing about town.
The Wren Boys
San Nioclás brings presents to the children on the 6th of January, which is Little Christmas in the Irish tradition. Santa is said to enjoy mince pie and a pint of Guinness rather than cookies and milk. Children place sacks out for their gifts.The 6th is the Feast of Epiphany, and the men cook while the women have the day off. The women will take the day off to gather with their friends and chat, have tea, sew or just relax. Tea and cakes go a long way on the 6th.
The Puritans took hold of Ireland in the 17th Century and completely cancelled Christmas because they deemed it a waste and vulgar. While it was banned, there were soldiers that were given the task of going from home to home to make sure no one was enjoying themselves during this time of the year. King Charles II had more of a sense of humor, so when he was crowned king, he lifted the ban on the celebration and things went back to where they were before the Puritans had Cromwell at their bidding.
Purify the Soul
The Christmas Whitewashing is the time of the year that the farmers go through and whitewash their fences, homes and barns in an effort to start fresh. The Catholic Church did this symbolically by purifying their souls and waiting for Christ. This is a new year type tradition where all will start the new year without blemish.
The celebration of Christmas in Ireland is much more of a traditional religious ceremony rather than frivolous and fun. This is due to the religious nature of their nation.
The women bake seed cake for each person. They also make a pudding for each day of Epiphany. The Christmas Eve meal is served and then the table is wiped clean before it is set again. This second setting includes a loaf of caraway seed bread and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a lighted candle. This table is set for Mary, so that she would have food and shelter. The door is left unlocked in order to offer room for Mary and Joseph, or any other traveler in need of shelter.
Christmas pudding with the lighted candles for Mary. Traditionally, the candles must stay lit until someone named Mary puts them out.
Mince pies and Guinness – Santa’s idea of a feast
All this celebration is not complete until you add gifts to the mix. Maybe you can find something in these lovely gifts that would bring a smile to the face of someone you love.
Handmade Custom Made Cotton Pewter Grey Lacy Bracelet/Cuff
Embroidered Horse Head Hanging Dish Towel With Hand Knit Button Topper
Id Lanyard in Pink and Grey Zebra Gemstones with Chain, name badge 326
Handmade Pearl White Lampwork Glass Bead Earrings Dorado Swarovski Crystal
Antique Brass and Gunmetal Metal Twist Bracelet with Magnetic Clasp
Dichroic Fused Glass Lightning Bolt Pendant w Matching Dangly Earrings
Grey Darker Freed MEGA 50 Charm Bracelet
Golden Gate Bridge in Fog, San Francisco, California, Art Photograph
Western Horse Dream Catcher Handcrafted from Oak Wood
Seed Bracelet with Silver Metal Beads, Labradorite, Jasper, Leaf Charm
Natural Anise Licorice Handmade Artisan Soap black and white swirl
Personalized Pink Elephant Favor Tags for Baby Girl Shower Party
2014 WALL Calendar A Year on the Farm 12 different full color photos
2 Color Custom Softball Vinyl Decal Your Name, Team Name and Number
Himalayan Dragon Vein Agate Pendant Necklace with Vintage Beads
Pink Laguna Lace Disc and Swarovski Bicone Bracelet
Simulated Granite Diamond Wire Wrapped Granite Earrings Polymer Clay
Etched Beads Light Gray Handmade Lampwork Opaque Glass Matte SRA 248e
Rainy Day Smokey Grey Earrings Glass Beads Gray Lever back
Rustic Trilobite Handmade Earrings Czech Glass Coral Beaded Jewelry
Square Hematite Gemstone Fine Silver Dangle Crystal Earrings
Dove Gray and Blush Pink Crystal Necklace with Artistic Jasper Pendant
Quilted Wall Hanging w/ Sunflowers, Gourds, Cat, and House on Hill
Ornate Lily Flower Doily - Handmade Vintage Style Crochet Art - Filet Crochet
25" A+ 12mm Grey Shell Pearl Gemstone Necklace
Dark gray beaded bracelet hematite small size 7 inch graduated
Relaxed: ooak original black and white charcoal on warm gray grey
Gray Heather Lace Hand knit extra long soft Lion Brand Yarn Scarf
Raise a pint of Guinness in fare thee well ,and let us be about our journey. We only have two more stops and so much more to see!
Julie and Blu
Friday, November 22, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
As of 1917, the Bolsheviks banned Christmas celebrations, and the Russian Christmas soon gave way to Festival of Winter and the New Year was the celebration. The tree decorations and the presents were now a symbol of the New Year. Since most of the Christians occupying Russia were Orthodox, they followed the Advent calendar, only their rendition was 40 days as opposed to the more traditional 24 days. Advent begins on the 28th of November and runs until the 7th of January, which is the date that Orthodox Russian Christmas celebrate Christmas. The small handful of Catholics in the country celebrate on the traditional 25th of December. The Orthodox use the old Julian Calendar as their guide to the dates for holidays.
Russian Christmas starts on the 31st of December and goes until the 10th of January. This is the time that the entire country celebrates the holidays with parties, food, gifting, fasting and celebrations. Those who fast can start as many as 39 days prior to Christmas Eve (January 6th), and they continue the fast until the first star appears in the sky on Christmas Eve. Then there are meals of hot porridge (sochivo) filled with fruits and berries. It can also include walnuts, grapes, poppy seeds and honey. The porridge is served in a common bowl. There can also be porridge tossing, which is a spoonful is thrown up to the ceiling and if it sticks, you will have good luck. If it doesn’t, someone is on the cleaning committee.
Rice and wheat porridges make up the end of the fasting.
The end of the fast is celebrated with the commencement of a 12 course meal. The courses in this meal are representative of the apostles, and the meal consists of fish, vegetables and dried fruits. It does not contain meat. They are really big on sauerkraut in Russia, and along with mushrooms, potatoes and beet root soup, the meal is a vegetarian delight. Dessert on the other hand consists of gingerbread, honeybread cookies and fruit pies. A cup of Vzvar is a welcome addition to the table. This drink is boiled fruit and honey that makes a sweet drink. The Vzvar means boil up, but the traditional meaning is the baby Jesus.
The traditional use of a white tablecloth and hay on the floor symbolizes the manager and Jesus’ birth.
After the meal, everyone heads off to church services. Dishes do not get washed until they return from the services, even if it is 5 a.m.
Around this time, Father Frost shows up for all the kiddies. He is accompanied by his granddaughter, Snegurochka. The children traditionally stand around the Christmas tree holding hands and calling for Father Frost and Snegurochka to appear. Magically, the tree lights up and there they are!
The most traditional gift delivering figure of the Russian traditions is the grandmotherly Babushka. It is said that she was visited by the Wise Men who were looking for directions that would take them to Jesus. She declined to accompany them on their journey, so now, out of regret, she wanders around bringing gifts to all the children because she neglected to take gifts to Jesus.
Babushka sends kisses to all the boys and girls
The Russians love their decorated trees, and the sight this tree filled with lights in Moscow’s Red Square is a beautiful sight.
Maybe you can find something here that you can be Putin on your Christmas list.
Thanksgiving Turkey Hanging Dish Towel With Hand Knit Button Topper
Swarovski crystal earrings 14KGF handmade ear wires choose color
Tangelo Orange Dangle Earrings
Strawflower Coaster or Small Doily Pair in Yellow and Orange
Orange Carnelian,Orange Rainbow Agate,Botswana Agate Gemstone Earrings
Vulcan's Forge Red and Silver Dichroic Fused Glass Handcrafted Pendant
Glass Post Earrings - Transparent Orange Millefiori Flowers
Handmade Bell Bulb Christmas Ornament White Ash Wood Gold Any Age Unisex
Sunshine Flower Rug - Yellow Nursery Rug - Flower Room Decor - Handmade to Order
Sashay Ruffle Scarf 'Salsa' Reds Oranges Auburns
Cake in a Bowl Delights in 2 Minutes
Yellow Sunshine and Pearl Wire Wrapped Stained Glass Earrings
Handmade Cross Earrings Magnesite Red Sterling OOAK Jewelry Beaded
Hand Made Reversible Orange and Yellow Fabric Coasters, Glass Beads
Thank You Card Handmade Triple Flowers
Tall-Tale Postcard Florida Oranges Train cars
Sterling Silver and Orange Glass Heart Earrings
Cute Car Favor Tags for Boys Birthday or Baby Shower Party
Orange Large Hole Lampwork Bracelet Charm Bead With Cubic Zirconias
Orange and White Striped Peyote Stitched Bracelet
Carnelian and Copper Crystal Bracelet, Czech Glass, Star Charm, Earthy
Glycerin Soap Flower Orange Zinnia in a gift box Handcrafted
Vintage Barware Set 6 Glass Mugs on Wood Tray Siesta Ware Mid Century
Citrine Glass Bead Dangle Earrings Bead Caps Pink Brown Pale Yellow
Shades of Orange Interchangeable Watch Band with Flower Watch Face
Antique Brass Autumn Orange Flower Brown Crystal Glass Pendant Necklace
The Seasons: Autumn watercolor redhead woman painting brown
20mm Half Cut Orange Fruit Polymer Clay Beads
Orange Flowers on a Purple Bead with Purple Flowers Jewelry Making
Care Bears Care for You Vinyl Record, 1980's memories
Orange fire agate necklace large chunky gemstones gold accents adjusts
Index card 4 x 6 binder organizer in orange and white 358
Orange Rose on vintage bas relief Birthday Postcard flocked Rose Gottschalk
Dreyfuss & Davis Seattle RPO cancel 1913
Old Yemen Mixed Silver Wheel Beads with Resin Barrel Beads
Tangerine Orange and Green Lampwork- Czech Emerald Crystal Bracelet
Burnt Orange Peach Green flat spiral Handmade beaded bangle bracelet
Intarsia Mexican Birdseye Black Brown Agate Trapezoid Pendant Necklace
Quilted Welcome Pineapple Wall Hanging in Orange Batiks
Kiss Babushka good-bye, dress warm and let’s head off to our next destination. The time is growing short, and we only have three more stops before this tour ends.
Julie and Blu