Friday, October 28, 2016

Countdown to Christmas 2016 Week 7


It's that time of the year again!
Time for the 5th annual countdown to Christmas
Here are some of the great gift ideas for 2016 from our favorite designers and collectors. get the InLinkz code

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Clearly Dark

 

Sometimes, some of our cherished songs have been born from strife of a not-so-far distant past.

Think about this: The last person to have fought in the Civil War died in 1958. This helps put things into perspective when we think about the history of our nation. We are so young and silly.

The song that starts with the words, it came upon a midnight clear, isn’t so much about the birth of Christ as it is about the man who penned the songs and the days of his life.

Written in 1849 by Edmund Sears, It Came Upon a (the) Midnight Clear is more about the end of the war and his melancholy reflection upon how dark, evil and desolate the world is or was. He felt they were not hearing the Christmas message.  Pastor Sears was a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, and he was a Unitarian pastor who wrote for 19th century liberal protestants.

His work started in Wayland, MA in a small church before he moved up the promotional ladder to a much larger church in Lancaster, MA where he worked himself to the point of a nervous breakdown.

He retreated to Wayland where he penned the poem that would become one of our favorite Christmas carols. The song has had two melodies over the years.  We normally sing it to an English tune titled “Noel”. The first performance of the song was on Christmas Eve at his own home.

It has been believed that the song was written about the Mexican American war that had just ended, but if you look at his personal history, you will see that he was a champion for women’s rights and for the abolition of slavery when it was not trendy to take a stand like that. He stated that "when the human and the Divine law were in conflict it was the duty of all to obey the latter."

That made him a rebel in his time and his words were used by the Massachusetts Abolition group as a rallying cry. Maybe his melancholy was about man in general and not so much the war.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its babel sounds
The bless├Ęd angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.
And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Like all of our favorite songs, this one has been performed by a number of artists over the years. I found it very difficult to choose that one special performance, but want to mention that Norah Jones and Julie Andrews have renditions that speak to my childhood. However, I wanted to rock this out a bit since it was so melancholy, so here is the one that I finally decided upon.

Anything with a Celtic twist is always a party and a cause for celebration. Maybe, we should just hear the angels sing.

Come celebrate with me by enjoying all of these gifting ideas for the holidays.

Embroidered Snowman / Snowwoman Women's Sweatshirt

Simple Embroidery Sew

Silver and White Star Mug Rugs

Wyvern Designs

Handsome Hanging Snowman Dish Towel

Holly Knitter Creation 

Sapphire Heart Earrings Sterling Silver

Treasures of Jewels 

Holiday Crystal Beaded Blue & White Mat

RSS Designs in Fiber 

Blue Sodalite Jasper Heart Pendant

Kats All That 

Ocean Blue Waves Rolling to Shore from Laguna Beach California

Butterfly in the Attic

Bracelets for Women

Blue Morning Expressions 

Hand Knit Teal Shawl with Knitted Loop

CraftingMemories1 

Peter Rabbit Cupcake Toppers

Adore by Nat 

Not All Who Wander Are Lost Handmade Pendant Necklace

Shadow Dog Designs 

Retirement Christmas Ornament Handmade From Birch Wood

Kevs Krafts 

Long Dangle Earrings

Blonde Peach Jewelry 

Druzy Crystals Dainty Gold Chain Pendant Necklace

LindaB142

Sparkly Handmade Dangles

Pretty Gonzo 

Blue Crystal Triangle Earrings

SolanaKai Designs

Paws and Bones Blue Dog Bandana

Sew Amazin 

 

Turquoise Howlite Black Jasper Kitty Cat Beaded Pendant Necklace

The Singing Beader 

Lampwork Beads Etched Pale Aqua Blue

Covergirl Beads 

 

Large Sodalite Drilled Nugget Beads

Bead Souk

These talented artists are available for special requests or orders, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions about these pieces.

Here are some more showcases for you to enjoy:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6

Silent Night, Holy Night
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
White Christmas
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Go Tell it on the Mountain

Hurry because handmade sells out fast, and when they are gone, they are gone! Buy now.
Enjoy!
Julie 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Chilly Weather and Lily Pads

Volume 13 Issue 11, November 2016

What's New in November?

It’s time to start thinking about the holidays, and in our fifth annual Countdown to Christmas, Blu and I are hosting a large selection of handmade and vintage items from a long list of friends that we support. I have taken to sending out biweekly newsletters to help you see some of the wonderful gift ideas that our friends have come up with. You can see the countdown on our blog: http://bmebluprint.blogspot.com/

We are finally getting some cooler nights with the temperatures dropping into the 60s. Yay! It’s finally fall in Florida, but we may go right back up into the 80s again next week. So much for fall.

We were very fortunate that Hurricane Matthew did not hit us; the worse damage we have is to the tops of some of the trees, and we are going to lose a mature oak tree. When we look at all of the damage in Haiti and even in the Carolinas, we count our blessings.

On that humble note, I will share a photo that I took and enhanced while on a little side trip that I took this month before the hurricane. We have an old, old, old Florida garden/park that I took some time off to wander through. They specialize in water lilies, and while I enhanced this photo to a degree, there were so many types of lilies and so many beautiful flowers, I didn’t need to do too much to coax out the brilliant colors.

lilypads2

More Beads: I finished almost 50 lampwork technique focal beads in a variety of styles and shapes.

Thimbles: I created seven new thimbles featuring macaw parrots, cardinals, butterflies and more.

Watches: I finished five new watches. Two of them have duplicates.

You will find all of my beads, canes and finished jewelry on my website. www.bluemorningexpressions.com

Until next month,

Julie & Blu

Things to Look Forward To:

New Products:

Hotrod magnets: I am finishing up the hotrod magnets, and I have a couple dozen done, but not featured in the shop.

Bangle Bracelets: Have a few bangles done, but adding a lot more.

Print Pieces: I am working on a range of beach theme pieces that include pillows, towels, table clothes and more. In addition, I have a new line of water lily shots that I just took at a local botanical gardens as shown at the top.

 

tropical-frame1-nobackground

Friday, October 21, 2016

Countdown to Christmas 2016 Week 6


It's that time of the year again!
Time for the 5th annual countdown to Christmas
Here are some of the great gift ideas for 2016 from our favorite designers and collectors. get the InLinkz code

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Go Tell it on the Mountain

over the hills and everywhere!

Maybe this is not on your list of songs that you sing every year, but it certainly has its own place in our Christmas caroling history. It is an African-American spiritual that can be traced back to at least 1865. It may not have started out as a Christmas song, but thanks to the chorus that declares the birth of Christ, it has gotten lumped in with all of the other Christmas songs.

It may have been penned by John Wesley Work, Jr. (now known as John Wesley Work II to avoid confusion with his son, the third),  who was a collector of folks songs and spirituals. He also was a choral director who had his choirs sing slave songs that he later collected and published in the New Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers 1901.

The rumor says that he had a hand in writing the song, but there is no evidence of this.

This song has been transformed over the years, as most songs have been as they get passed down from generation to generation.

The most notable changes were from African Civil Rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer who combined this song with another one titled Go Down Moses, and did a little substitution within the chorus to include the words, “let my people go”. It is not a documented change, but it was widely used within her civil rights works. She also used it as the Exodus story.

Another group who used the Exodus story in conjunction with this song are the folk singers Peter, Paul and Mary. They changed it up in 1963 to simply “Tell it on the Mountain”, but they were very specific in their telling of the Exodus story and also used the “let my people go” phrase. They were embroiled in the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, and this was their protest song. It actually charted at number 33 in 1964.

All of this aside, it is a favorite for those who are caroling because it is joyous and tells of great news to be broadcast across the land.

A wide variety of  folks have sung this song as part of compilations everywhere, but here is one of my favorites. I think it captures the original intent of the song.

 

 

Mahalia Jackson was born in 1911 and died in 1972 and was considered the Queen of Gospel if anyone is interested. Henry Belfonte considered her the most powerful black woman in the United States, and she was a fierce civil rights activist.

Now that you got a little Christmas spirit in you, let’s go shopping! Start here with a glance at these gift ideas that will fit under anyone’s tree.

Wire Wrapped Pendant and Purple and Silver Necklace

Crafting Memories 1 

Amethyst Gemstone Earrings

Pretty Gonzo 

Bracelets for Women

Blue Morning Expressions 

Bright Purple Lupine and Hayseed

Postcards in the Attic

Snowman Ornament

Wyvern Designs Home

Purple Dangle Earrings

Resetar Glass Art 

Noah’s Ark Rainbow Water Bottle Labels

Adore by Nat 

Purple Flower Celtic Woven Mat - Irish Crochet Art Decor

RSS Designs in Fiber 

Genuine Amethyst and Chain with Niobium Ear Wire Handmade Earrings

Kats All That 

Victorian Beaded Bracelet

Treasures of Jewels 

Christmas Bell With Decorative Cross Ornament

Kevs Krafts 

Purple Lampwork Beads Etched Handmade Opaque Glass Silver

Covergirl Beads 

Lavender Swarovski Heart Earrings Radiant Orchid

LindaB142

 

Copper Daisy Flower and Pink Lampwork Earrings

Shadow Dog Designs 

Short Beaded Pendant Necklace Purple Pearl Mosaic Magnesite Gemstone

The Singing Beader 

Bunny Flip Purple Easter Scrunchie style Dog Bandana

Sew Amazin 

Pink Earrings for Women

Blonde Peach Jewelry 

Purple Infinity Scarf Graphic Mixed Print Fabric

ennadoolf

 

These talented artists are available for special requests or orders, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions about these pieces.


Here are some more showcases for you to enjoy:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5


Silent Night, Holy Night
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
White Christmas
Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hurry because handmade sells out fast, and when they are gone, they are gone! Buy now.
Enjoy!
Julie 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Countdown to Christmas 2016 Week 5



It's that time of the year again!
Time for the 5th annual countdown to Christmas
Here are some of the great gift ideas for 2016 from our favorite designers and collectors.  get the InLinkz code

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Let’s Hear Them Sing

Hark, the herald angels sing … 

This song harkens back to the time when Charles Wesley was starting the Methodist Church and he penned this poem for a Christmas service. His poem was then set to somber music that was slow in tempo and very serious. It was fashioned after another of Wesley’s compositions, Christ the Lord has Risen Today

It opened with a couplet that is a bit different than we know today. The original began with Hark! how all the Welkin rings, Glory to the Kings of Kings rather than Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king that we still sing. Wesley’s co-worker, George Whitefield, made the lyric change not long after the first performance. 

While we don’t know the exact date of the song, it was published in 1739 in a collection of songs from John Wesley. 

Over the years, this song has been re-written, improved upon and tweaked to suit the needs of those who were performing it. It has several verses that have been written in, crossed out and rewritten. 

Everyone had their hands in it, but no one ever changed the music until 1840 when it was over 100 years old. Felix Mendelssohn composed a cantata that celebrated the printing press by Johann Gutenberg and musician William H. Cummings had a “ta da” moment and swiped part of the cantata for Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. We’ve been singing Mendelssohn ever since. 

This is a classic song that brings back memories of youth, and what better way to regain that youthful feeling than to enjoy the cast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. 

Oh, don’t look at me that way; you know you loved it!




Who can resist the joyful gathering of Lucy, Linus, Charlie Brown, Pig Pen, Schroeder, Snoopy and all the rest?  Let’s be joyful while I share some wonderful gift ideas that will make anyone on your gift list very joyful.

Large Mustard Gold Handmade Tote Bag

SimpleEmbroiderySew

Honda Goldwing Christmas Tree Ornament

Kevs Krafts 

The Daily Grind Grinding Stone from Rustic Colorado

Butterfly in the Attic 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/470680909/the-daily-grind-grinding-stone-from?ref=shop_home_feat_2

Snowman Christmas Cards

AdorebyNat 

Wire Wrapped Spiral Choker style necklace

Crafting Memories 1 

Handmade Necklace and Earrings

Blue Morning Expressions 

Amber Art Glass Platter or Tray

Resetar Glass Art 

Victorian Style Watch

Treasures of Jewels 

Citrine and Visage de Soleil Sun Gold-Filled Long Dangle Earrings

Kats All That 

Art Glass Pendant Butterscotch Lampwork Glass Bead Sterling

Covergirl Beads 


Gold Bracelet Puffy Squares Linked Beads Adjustable

The Singing Beader 

Dog Coin Purse

SewAmazin 

Gold Pearl Earrings

Pretty Gonzo 

Gold Drop Earrings

Blonde Peach Jewelry 

Fancy Fur Scarf and Hat Set

RSS Designs in Fiber 

Gold Crystal Necklace

Linor Store

Dog Rescue Copper Paw Print and Hearts Earrings

Shadow Dog Designs

Round Faceted Green Glass and Gold Beaded Holiday Christmas Bracelet

Dianes Dangles 

These talented artists are available for special requests or orders, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions about these pieces. 
 
Here are some more showcases for you to enjoy:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3 Week 4
Silent Night, Holy Night
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
White Christmas

Hurry because handmade sells out fast, and when they are gone, they are gone! Buy now. 
 
Enjoy!
Julie