Saturday, January 9, 2021

Blessings for All

     Blessing Bags or Amulet Bags have interested me for a long time. I have intricate patterns for peyote stitched bags with a Wolf, Eagle, or other wildlife totem on the front. I love to look at them, but I know it would take me months, maybe longer, to stitch even one.  

     I have a small leather bag that I bought somewhere, and another circular leather bag that I made.  Inside I have wolf fur and healing stones.   

     Blessing Bags have been around for centuries and are known by many names. Medicine bags and Possibles bags are the same, or are very similar, to what others call Amulet Bags or Blessing Bags. By any name the idea is the same: Create or acquire a small bag to carry precious, personally important sacred items.  In the case of Possibles, some early explorers and mountain men carried larger bags that could hold gun powder, knives, and other items they needed for survival.   

  This year, with all of the terrible events that are plaguing us, I decided to make a few Blessing Bags to give to special friends.  

    Since I wanted my friends to have their Blessings within this century, I started with Ultrasuede or ribbon.  From there I added beads, fringe, sequins, and whatever else caught my fancy.  I tucked a Moonstone heart into each one to start their collection of amulets.  

     If you're interested in making a Blessing Bag, you can find patterns and info on Pinterest and other sites.  Or write me a comment and I'll send you directions on how I made mine.  

     If you don't want to make your own, there are many Blessing or Amulet bags available on Etsy. I don't sell any in my shop, but there are many available in a wide range of price points.  

      Whether you make or buy one, consider acquiring one of your own. Now is the time when we all need a Blessing Bag. 


Monday, December 2, 2019

A Pomsky Pup for Me

     I've been wanting a dog for a long time.  I had a great Shepherd mix when I was a kid.  But when I married and began working, a cat seemed like a much better fit.  So for years we had cats and even a wonderfully fun ferret, but no dogs.
     For last six or seven years we've been petless.  Our last cat lived a nice long life, but we never got another one.  I've been thinking about a dog for quite a while, and always talking myself out of getting one.  We travel a bit.  I can't handle a large, energetic dog now. And on and on.  Lots of valid, logical reasons to not get a dog. ... But I wanted one.
     Then I discovered a type of dog that I had never known about --- a Pomsky

      A Pomsky is a mix of a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky.  He has the look of a Husky, but the smaller size of a Pomeranian.  I found out about them while looking for huskies.  I really like their wolf-like appearance and their medium dog size. It looked like a compromise that could work.
      A search on the internet showed me puppies that were available around the U.S.  Interesting, but not practical. Finally I found some in Arizona, about two hours south of Phoenix.  First I contacted the breeder about their newest batch of puppies.  She said she would contact me when they were old enough for visitors.  Then a day or so later I saw a slightly older puppy on her website.  She had named him Nike. He looked adorable.
      All of the research I read advised to not buy a puppy you had not met first.  That seemed smart, although lots of people buy a pup and have it shipped.  I decided we should make a visit first and see how the puppy acted.  I wanted a friendly, happy puppy, and only seeing him in person would let me know if he was the dog for us.
       So last Friday we drove to meet our potential buddy.  I had not puppy proofed the house or bought any of the essentials we would need.  In my mind this was going to be a meet and greet only. If he looked like the dog for us, I planned to put down a deposit and pick him up a few days later after buying supplies and preparing for him properly.
       But fate had other ideas.  It was pretty much love at first sight, on both sides.  He was cute and cuddly and very friendly.  For lots of reasons the seller couldn't keep him until next week. We talked her into keeping him overnight to give us time to buy a few things.  She did better than that.  She was planning a trip to Phoenix the next day and offered to meet us half way.   Super!   
       So that's how we came to bring Tikaan (our name for him) into our lives.  He's a joy.  He's energetic and still needs lots of training.  Kinda like a furry toddler.  If there's something to get into, he'll find it. 
       But I've fallen in love with him.  He keeps us on our toes and makes us laugh. In his quiet moments he gives great puppy kisses and snuggles like a baby.  All in all, it's been a match made in heaven.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Gift Wrap

     It's only September, but artists and crafters have been thinking about Christmas for weeks. Ideas need to be honed into plans. Supplies have to be ordered. Hands have to get to work.  Art and handcrafted items take time as well as creativity. 

     Getting a hand crafted present at the holidays is always a treat.  But I think it's even better if the package is festive and pretty.  I love to look at gift wrap ideas on Pinterest and in magazines.  A pretty box makes the gift all that more special. 

      So this year I'm trying to improve my gift packaging. It needs to reflect my brand, Desert Dabbler, as well as look festive and fun.  Different items require different size boxes, too.  I have wildlife paper for the larger sized boxes that hold my wildlife necklaces.  But most of my packages are smaller and need a properly sized box.  I've been using gold and white boxes.

I bought labels for the tops of the boxes.  Then I began adding a pretty orchid bow.

This year I'm thinking of replacing the label with a coyote.  What do you think?

Do you like the new gift wrap?  Drop me a comment if you have a preference or idea. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Summer is Ending???

    It's hard to believe that summer will soon be over. Here in the part of Arizona where I live we haven't even had our monsoon rains.  We've had excessive heat warnings for days and days. Our skies should have looked like this:

     Instead its been hot and dry.  For the entire year we've only had 3.70" of rain.
Whether we'll get some rain between now and September 30, the official end of the monsoon, remains to be seen.
    But while the end of September may be the official end of the monsoon, the unofficial end of summer is Labor Day.   And Labor Day is fast approaching.  It's only about 14 days away.  Schools, which used to start right after Labor Day, started here last week.  The calendar does seem to be spinning faster and faster.

     According to Etsy, Labor Day is now a big shopping event. School supplies and new shoes were always bought at our house around this time of year.  But the experts say other items are in demand today.

      To mark the occasion, Etsy is sponsoring a sale event and encouraging shops like mine to participate.  So I am. 

       Beginning August 30 I'm offering 10% off of summer items in my shop.  You'll find summery floral earrings as well as bracelets in bright colors.

     Click on the shop sign on the right to go directly into Desert Dabbler Handcrafted Jewelry.   Hope you'll find something you like!

       In the meantime, send some rain our way.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park

Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Last week we went to Estes Park, Colorado, where the Rocky Mountain National Park is located.  It's not a huge park, but a beautiful one.  A third of the park is above 11,000 feet.   
     We went up to the alpine visitor center a couple of times. It was nice and cool.  No wonder the elk like to hang out there in the summer.  We saw lots of elk and a family of marmots.  

One of the smaller herds of elk enjoying the sun.

An elk cooling off in one of the many snow patches in the high country.

The mountain weather was a nice treat and break from the heat of Arizona.  I hated to leave.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fairy Door Bracelet

     A few weeks ago I wrote a post about fairy houses. I mentioned that I was working on a bracelet that featured a fairy door. It’s finished now!

Here’s a long view

     The project was very different from the jewelry I usually make. They usually involve animals or gemstones. This features fairies and glass beads and pearls.  Plus it was based on a design by Kate McKinnon in her book “Jewelry Architect”.
      The clasp started out as a pendant that I bought from an Etsy shop in England.  The bail was cut off, and it was glued to bead embroidery backing.  The clasp was a project that involved a village - my husband and his saw and my beading friends who gave me great advice.
       The door opens!  I glued fairy scrapbook paper inside, but it could have held a little picture.
        It’s one of a kind!  Fun to make and fun to wear.