Gardening

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

I imagine some of us love to get our hands dirty with our gardens.

Here at Christmas in July we want to know all about what type of gardens you have,how long you have been gardening and anything else you wish to tell us that is related to the theme.

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says we have a large vegetable garden where we grow tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers & a variety of melons. Gardening books are absolutely invaluable to us, which is why we keep on hand many different types. We also have many flower and garden inspired items.

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Round Vera Neumann Floral Tablecloth

Dawn Whitehand  from DeeDeeDeesigns said I am lucky enough to live on ten acres in rural Australia and we have a huge vegetable and fruit garden.

Spring/ Summer is our biggest harvest, and this year was particularly successful. I have spent the last month preserving, pickling and fermenting the rewards! This has however taken away time from managing my Etsy shop – but it has to be done while the produce is fresh!

After a big day in the kitchen I reward myself with wine!! But during the day I take the occasional coffee break and sit on the veranda and enjoy looking at the garden.

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Ceramic mug and coaster set

Melissa R from missy69 states I love gardening! I wouldn’t say I am great at it, but I am always learning. I home school my children, and one of the best ways to teach them Science is to try to grow something. My daughter and I currently have a 3 Sisters Garden, that is corn, squash and beans. This is from a History lesson on the Pilgrims and Native Americans. So far so good, lol. We live in sunny Florida, so usually by March we can start the veggie garden. I have peppers every year, and tomatoes. But, this year we tried something new. Plus the all the flowering plants, to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. BTW another great Science activity is to plant host plants for butterflies. They will lay their eggs on the host plant, and then you can watch the whole metamorphosis process. Very cool! I love to paint all the beautiful things in this world, and one of them is below. An absolute favorite, the ruby-throated hummingbird.

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Ruby throated hummingbird acrylic art painting

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says gardening is balm for my soul. I love it. When we moved in our home on a corner lot there was only lawn in front of the house. Using the sheet mulching technique I converted it to a garden that now, four years later, has become a real paradise for birds, butterflies and other critters. Unfortunately the deer like it, too, and treat it as their personal salad buffet. However, that doesn’t stop me to constantly work on it, weeding, cutting back, making space for new plants. I love every season in it. At the moment I’m working on my backyard to turn it into a similar sanctuary.

As a photographer I love to take pictures of the flowers – if there’s a little bug on the plants, even better!

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Ladybug in Lavender Photo Greeting Card

Jenya from Veddma discusses this week I take the first steps to start the garden, and it’s exciting as ever, since we have a new space to shape. I have met with Gavin from Edible Landscaping Ottawa to help us figure out what is feasible to do in our space, with considerations of sustainability, cost, and aesthetics, using permaculture principles wherever possible to maximize the food-growing potential. I’ve been experimenting with various garden designs, including vertical towers and spirals over the years. Quite a bit of it is documented on my blog, here is the latest post:

fingeringzen.com/get-organized/edible-landscaping-at-our-new-place

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Spring flower fine art photography gift card set

Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby states I moved into a newly built home 6 years ago. Unfortunately, the builder had stripped all the vegetation and left a pretty blank slate. I have pushed, planted and prodded little spots to come to life. Every year gets better and a little bigger. An addition of a rain barrel has helped my flowers thrive. One storm can fill the 55 gallon barrel to capacity. My trusty watering can is my constant gardening tool, bringing the sweet rainwater to thirsty flowers.

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Vintage large round floral Toleware tray

Tanya Hardman from TheWoollyTangle discusses I always loved gardening from a very young age; I even had my own patch of ground at my granddad’s allotment. Although I realize now how little I actually did!

I used to be a full-time gardener in a local stately home before we had our eldest son but couldn’t return to the profession afterwards thanks to childcare restraints. I’ve settled for making my own garden, which is finally starting to look lovely after a lot of hard work. Hoping for a lot of veggies and flowers this year.

Lots of my pieces are inspired by the colours and forms of nature. The brooch featured here is an attempt to recreate the beautiful full blooms of the peony plants which are just budding up in my garden at the moment.

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Hand knitted flower brooch

Desert Dabbler from DesertDabbler states gardening is a challenge here in the desert southwest but very rewarding. My lavender loves the dry sunny climate. My other favorite flowers are Yellow Bells, which are tubular flowers that grow on tall vines. We are also on the path for Monarch butterflies. To encourage them we grow desert milkweed, a very plain plant but one that butterflies love. I combined my love for butterflies and flowers in these dangle earrings. But these are Swarovski butterflies — also beautiful.

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Flower and Butterfly Swarovski crystal dangle earrings

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts says spring brings wildflower season in Texas. I love to garden and sell wildflower seeds to share the love of gardening with my clients and customers. Only during the spring/summer I sell my seeds to share the color of wildflowers across the USA.

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Nasturtium flower seeds,edible flowers

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese discusses that I have loved being in the garden and helping my dad garden from a young age. However once I moved out of home I have not had my own garden. I do have a courtyard where I love to keep plants in pots and attempt to grow herbs and vegetables. Unfortunately the possums get to the herbs, veggie leaves and strawberries before we do!
I have included this set of envelopes which feature flowers and butterflies and remind me of spring and being in the garden.

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6 flower and butterfly envelopes set

Jessica and Bryan King from FeathandKee says Bryan and I both really like to grow things. Sometimes we have success, others not so much. I always get way to ambitious in the wonderful Spring weather, then when the heat of Summer hits….  I always have good luck with Okra, Zinnias, and Marigolds. This key chain was inspired by the pretty flowers of Spring and Summer.

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May Flowers Reclaimed Wood Key chain

Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique states my garden is a constant work in progress. We have lived here for 6 years, and each year we work on one piece and making it our own. In the past we have taken down bushes, rearranged bulbs, and started a herb garden. This year we are excited to start growing strawberries and tomatoes! Next year we will be tearing up our existing deck and building a brand new one, so that we can better enjoy our outdoor living space.

I absolutely love being outside and being a part of nature. This tutu dress is the epitome of what I love about being outside.

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Green Fairy Tutu Costume

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Women And Jewelry Go Hand In Hand

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Jewelry and Women are just two of many categories you can search on Etsy to find that perfect item you cannot live without! Christmas in July team has outdone themselves with these spectacular and shiny finds! Whether your taste is vintage,boho,avant garde or classic…take a trip with me.

I am sure most of us have that one item that just makes our jaws drop to the floor in awe and wonder. It must be mine!

Rachel Palmer of 910woolgathering says:

This one of a kind shawl was made from hand dyed wool. I dyed it using natural golden rod flowers for the yellow. I then hand spun it into yarn and wove it on a triangle loom.

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Shannon of SimplyTwitterpated let me know:

I make ecofriendly jewelry from fallen trees or recycled lumber. A fallen cedar branch in my yard got a new life when I created these wood slice stud earrings. They include the live edge, giving them a very natural look!

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Patti of CrochetGiftsnThings said:

This is the reason I opened a shop on Etsy in the 1st place. I was low on money one Christmas so I made a pair for everyone in my family and they were a big hit. They are my best seller!!

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msmadmax of madmaxshop explained:

Throughout the decades, New York City has been a melting pot of exceptional style and unique outfits. As a result, it has become one of the ultimate resources for the finest in vintage fashion and accessories. This enchanting button front lace teddy by FORMFIT was an original 5th Avenue showroom sample.

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Nancy of jaysboutiquecrochet told me:

Basically half of my shop is targeted towards women (and the other half towards babies, so check out my “Women’s Slippers” section to see them all. Also, some gift sets for new moms that includes Mother/Daughter crochet slippers. Wonderful stocking stuffers or gifts for any time of the year!

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Nicki of OodlesofBling says:

My shop is dedicated to women… probably 98% of my listings are for women.  In the Victorian era, women made jewelry for themselves from shells and paper. There are some very intricate designs still around today.

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Amanda Sagarin of eclecticnesting stated:

It’s very hard to sell handmade jewelry here on Etsy because of all the wonderful selections folks have to choose from. I have a passion for making handmade earrings (I have many pairs I’ve made for myself and it brightens my day to wear them!) and would be so grateful and thrilled if a pair spoke to someone as a treat for themselves or a present….

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Kelly of ColourscapeStudios shows me:

What women are made of!

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Laura of PLANETDIGS2 shows me:

My fav boho, hippie vibe bracelet brings back memories of always being a gypsy for Halloween! I’ve don’e other similar bracelets. There must be many ‘gypsy at heart’ people like me.

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Veddma of veddma tells me:

My love and I traveled across Ireland for our honeymoon. Embedded in a castle wall, at the Bunratty Castle, we discovered a black figure of a woman, opening herself up to the universe. We have learned that this figure is a Celtic fertility symbol, Sheela-na-gig, and her images are often found in the castles all over Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England.

Just over a year later, I got pregnant with my first baby. I looked for images of Sheela-na-gig to make myself an amulet. She was the representation of female power, openness, fertility, freedom, and bounty of the universe to me. I drew her and made collages for my birth, and then I have found a lovely pewter charm design. This is how my Sheela-na-gig necklaces were born. Her image filled me with strength and helped me focus to bring my baby into being.

The necklace below is bright green, inspired by the green fields of Ireland that brought this wonderful symbol into my life.

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Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

As a plus size woman, I know how difficult it is for us to find larger bracelets that are fashionable and timeless. So, I set about creating this cuff. It fits a larger wrist beautifully, and looks great with blue jeans or evening gowns!

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Betty Travell of Lady Snooks explains:

An Ammonite is a creature that lived in the seas between 240 – 65 million years ago and are now extinct. Fossils have always fascinated me, but this one was unusual. I had never seen an ammonite where the bottom portion is a deep red like this. The rest of the fossil is the usual shades of brown and rust.
I wanted to make it special, so I added some very small tourmaline beads along the one edge. I feel this makes it stand out.

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Candy frizzell of TrueEarthDesigns states:

I love working with gemstones. I started around 8 years ago making jewelry. I now search for unique, patterns, character stones for my pieces. Like today, I received my order of gemstones and started putting colors and designs together. Beautiful Tigers Eye has so much movement (chatoyancy). All I can say is fun. Here are some of my newest design sets.

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I hope you enjoyed this stroll and found something you must have,whether it be for you or someone else!

Treasury Challenge Winner May – Veddma

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shop gallery comprised  of 16 items from any shop.  Most of the time they are done by theme,color or anything you can imagine.

The Christmas in July team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick a winner based on views, creativity and the like.

The May winner is Veddma of Veddma.

Veddma has a love of jewelry,especially belly beads and fertility jewelry.

How did you get started on Etsy?

I have always liked making things with my hands, and after I’ve gifted beaded bookmarks, earrings, and necklaces to friends for various holidays, someone suggested I create some for sale. A painter I know pointed me to Etsy as an alternative marketplace for artists and crafters. Once I had some time during a maternity leave, I decided to try opening an Etsy shop and have listed a few pieces. My first sale came 3 months later when someone bought five bookmarks to gift to members of their book club for the club’s anniversary. That made me decide to keep going.

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What got you interested in making fertility and menstrual cycle jewelry? How does it work?

We grow up so disconnected from our own rhythms, in a culture that teaches to suppress your own instincts in favour of external priorities. I have had issues with my cycle my entire life. We lose touch with what our bodies tell us, we push ourselves too hard, and end up with menstrual cycle irregularities that often lead to fertility issues. There are groups of women all over the world organizing Red Tents once a month, where women gather in circles and share their triumphs and their worries. They talk about getting in tune with your cycle, understanding how your body works, and harnessing the strengths of each stage of the cycle to seize control of your fertility, creativity, productivity, and to know thyself.

One of the ways to get in touch with your cycle, is to keep track of where you are in it. Certain times of the month call for rest, others for undertaking complex projects, yet others for socializing. There are various charts and calendars a woman can use to follow her cycle. I wanted to create something that could be beautiful, deeply personal, yet not necessarily known to an external eye, – a piece of jewelry to wear with a movable charm to indicate where you are in your cycle. It can be used in a privacy of a bedroom, worn openly as an accessory, or used as a subtle reminder to our family members whether we are in need of more rest. These gemstone and crystal jewelled calendars can, of course, be used for fertility-awareness purposes. To know when your ovulation is lets you know when it is best to try conceiving or abstaining, whatever your reproductive goals are.

Following my creation of menstrual cycle tracking bracelets and necklaces, I have come up with pregnancy-tracking necklaces as well. Who can ever remember which week they are in? Computer-based trackers are so impersonal and cold. I found, I wanted something more palpable, like Tibetan mala beads, to finger each week, to think on the baby growing inside me, and to acknowledge another week that passed, by moving a charm.

My first pregnancy and the following few years brought more awareness of birth, life, and beauty to me. I have discovered the Blessingway ceremony and was moved to create a variety of Blessingway beads to honour expectant mamas’ rite of passage. Blessingway is a Navajo ceremony that has been adopted by women of many cultures to bring the awe, support, and attention to the budding mothers. Baby showers focus on the baby and on the material things for the baby. Blessingway (or Mother’s Blessing) showers the mother with love and understanding from other women. As part of the ceremony, each woman brings with her a bead and strings it on a cord, while sharing words of wisdom and love with the mama-to-be. Together the Blessingway beads make a necklace from which the pregnant mama can draw strength throughout the last weeks of her pregnancy and in labour.

I participate in several birth-related initiatives in Ottawa: there is a Positive Birth Group, the CHOICE! Birth and Baby film festival, Mothers of Change, and Consumers Supporting Midwifery Care, and I talk to many mothers. There is not much support for pregnant women in our society. There is lots of advice, horror birth stories (why is it we never hear the good ones?), fears, pressures, medical tests, and obligations. Yet a key piece is missing: women need support of other women who have been there, they need to draw upon this well of strength and knowledge, to embrace pregnancy, birth, and the wonders of babymoon. I have had a Blessingway for my second baby, and it was wonderful. Now I wish to inspire women to surround the pregnant mama with love. That love will blossom in her and in her child, and that is the best birth gift anyone can give.

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Are there any other crafts that interest you or you wish you could master?

I am fascinated by work of silversmiths. I like goth aesthetic and fantasy, and enjoy working with gemstones in beading, so I would love to explore the blending of stones and silver designs in those styles. However, my youngest baby is only seven months, and my hands are full these days. Perhaps I shall venture down that path at a later time.

What is your favorite color and why?

This is a very tough question. If I absolutely had to pick one, it would be blue – the sky blue, the almost-blue lilac, the bluish purple, and a myriad of other shades of blue. But I love the blackest black of the starry sky, the green of the young shoots in the spring, the deep blood red, and so many more colours. Colour is a medium for me, and I play it like an instrument.

 

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What activities on etsy do you enjoy the most (treasuries, chat topics, games, bns, etc.)?

I love making treasuries – it is fun to dig for hidden gems that follow a particular theme. I love picking a song and creating a treasury based on it, while it’s playing in the background.

Veddma has a great mix of jewelry, mostly centered around fertility and menstrual cycles. Check out her shop and find something new to you!

Arm Party – June Birthstone Bracelets

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

An arm party is where you wear multiple bracelets on one arm! Start with a statement bracelet and add complimentary bracelets as you go! Here is a collection of fantastic bracelets from the Etsy ChristmasInJuly team that celebrate the June birthstones which are Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone!

 June Birthstone White Freshwater Pearl Silver Turquoise Three Strand Bracelet From RitzyandGlitzy

June Birthstone White Freshwater Pearl Silver Turquoise Three Strand Bracelet From RitzyandGlitzy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Birthstone Moonstone Menstrual Cycle Tracking Bracelet  From veddma

June Birthstone Moonstone Menstrual Cycle Tracking Bracelet From veddma

June Birthstone  Freshwater Pearls Beaded Watch Bracelet From GemeauxDesigns

June Birthstone Freshwater Pearls Beaded Watch Bracelet From GemeauxDesigns

June Birthstone Moonstone And Indigo Charm Bracelet in Silver From wjoydesigns

June Birthstone Moonstone And Indigo Charm Bracelet in Silver From wjoydesigns

 

June Birthstone Pearl Chunky Bracelet From mscenna

June Birthstone Pearl Chunky Bracelet From mscenna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Birthstone Pearl Felted Balls Bracelet From feltinga

June Birthstone Pearl Felted Balls Bracelet From feltinga