Archive | July, 2012

Entwined Vines top reads for the coming year

25 Jul

Tammy and I both really find a great pleasure in reading. We hardly ever have time to read everything we would like to but figured we would put together our top picks for the coming year. Enjoy 🙂

Tammy:

1.) Illuminatus triology — started it but realized I needed a timeframe that I could dedicate to reading without distractions

Quote from the book: “My ethical leanings are reasonably anti-consequentialist. That is, I don’t think what makes shoplifting a soda right or wrong is a matter of the unhappiness it causes..”

2.) The Cornered Cat

Quote from the book: “Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness. — Erica Jong”

3.)  Guns, Germs and Steel

Quote from the book: “Perhaps our greatest distinction as a species is our capacity, unique among animals, to make counter-evolutionary choices.”

4.) More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott

Quote from the book: “If the rest of the country had adopted right-to-carry concealed-handgun provisions in 1992, about 1,500 murders and 4,000 rapes would have been avoided.”

5.) Finish What you Start by Craig Copeland

Quote about the book: “Craig’s Book and Program give you five fast, effective strategies to succeed at
a higher level than ever before.”
– Brian Tracy

6.) The E-myth by Michael E Gerber

Quoted description of the book: “In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding
starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business
whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.”

7.) The 4-hour workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The title really says it all…

8.) Shanghai Diary  By Ursula Bacon

Book description: ” By the late 1930s, Europe sat on the brink of a world war. As the holocaust approached, many Jewish families in Germany fled to one of the only open port available to them: Shanghai. Once called “the armpit of the world,” Shanghai ultimately served as the last resort for tens of thousands of Jews desperate to escape Hitler’s “Final Solution.” Against this backdrop, 11-year-old Ursula Bacon and her family made the difficult 8,000-mile voyage to Shanghai, with its promise of safety. But instead of a storybook China, they found overcrowded streets teeming with peddlers, beggars, opium dens, and prostitutes. Amid these abysmal conditions, Ursula learned of her own resourcefulness and found within herself the fierce determination to survive.”

9.) Ghost Walk By Rebecca Stott

Quote from the book: “Beyond this point on the river Cambridge became a kind of miniature Venice, its river water lapping up against the ancient stone of college walls, here mottled and reddened brick, there white stone. Stained, lichened, softened by water light. Here the river became a great north-south tunnel, a gothic castle from the river, flanked by locked iron gates, steps leading nowhere, labyrinths, trapdoors, landing stages where barges had unloaded their freight: crates of fine wines, flour, oats, candles, fine meats carried into the damp darkness of college cellars.”

10.)  The Wayfinders:  Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World By Wade Davis

” In Polynesia we set sail with navigators whose ancestors settled the Pacific ten centuries before Christ. In the Amazon we meet the descendants of a true Lost Civilization, the people of the Anaconda. In the Andes we discover that the Earth really is alive, while in the far reaches of Australia we experience Dreamtime, the all-embracing philosophy of the first humans to walk out of Africa. We then travel to Nepal, where we encounter a wisdom hero, a Bodhisattva, who emerges from forty-five years of Buddhist retreat and solitude. And finally we settle in Borneo, where the last rainforest nomads struggle to survive. Understanding the lessons of this journey will be our mission for the next century. For at risk is the human legacy — a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of the human spirit, as expressed by culture, is among the central challenges of our time.”

11.)  Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation by Charles Glass

” In Americans in Paris, tales of adventure, intrigue, passion, deceit, and survival unfold season by season, from the spring of 1940 to liberation in the summer of 1944, as renowned journalist Charles Glass tells the story of a remarkable cast of expatriates and their struggles in Nazi Paris. Before the Second World War began, approximately thirty thousand Americans lived in Paris,
and when war broke out in 1939 almost five thousand remained. As citizens of a neutral nation, the Americans in Paris believed they had little to fear. They were wrong. Glass’s discovery of letters, diaries, war documents, and police files reveals as never before how Americans were trapped in a web of intrigue, collaboration, and courage.

Artists, writers, scientists, playboys, musicians, cultural mandarins, and ordinary businessmen-all were swept up in extraordinary circumstances and tested as few Americans before or since. Charles
Bedaux, a French-born, naturalized American millionaire, determined his alliances as a businessman first, a decision that would ultimately make him an enemy to all. Countess Clara Longworth de Chambrun was torn by family ties to President Roosevelt and the Vichy government, but her fiercest loyalty was to her beloved American Library of Paris. Sylvia Beach attempted to run her famous
English-language bookshop, Shakespeare & Company, while helping her Jewish friends and her colleagues in the Resistance. Dr. Sumner Jackson, wartime chief surgeon of the American Hospital in Paris, risked his life aiding Allied soldiers to escape to Britain and resisting the occupier from the first day. These stories and others come together to create a unique portrait of an eccentric, original, diverse American community.”

12.)   The Hole in the Universe:  How Scientiis Peered Over the Eddge of  Emptiness and Found Everything By K.C. Cole

An adventure into the heart of Nothing by bestselling author K. C. Cole.

Once again, acclaimed science writer K. C. Cole brings the arcane and acad-

emic down to the level of armchair scientists in The Hole in the Universe,

an entertaining and edifying search for nothing at all. Open the newspaper

on any given day and you will read of a newly discovered planet, star, and

so on. Yet scientists and mathematicians have spent generations searching

the far reaches of the universe for that one elusive state-nothingness.

Although this may sound like a simple task, every time the absolute void

appears within reach, something new is discovered in its place: a black hole,

an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time-even another universe. A fascinating and literary tour de force, The Hole in the Universe is a virtual romp into the unknown that you never knew wasn’t there.

We BOTH are waiting for this one:

Notorious Nineteen

Tina:

1)  The Bride Wore Black Leather

“In the secret heart of London, under the cover of endless darkness, the Nightside caters to anyone with any unusual itch that needs to be scratched. But enter at your own risk. The party animals who live here may be as inhuman as their appetites…

My name is John Taylor. The Nightside is my home. I didn’t plan it that way. In fact, I once tried to get away. But I came back. And now it seems I’m settling down, with a full-time job (in addition to my work as a very private eye) as Walker-the new Voice of the Authorities in the Nightside-and a wedding in the offing.

I’m marrying the love of my life, Suzie Shooter, the Nightside’s most fearsome bounty-hunter. But nothing comes easy here. Not life. Not death. And for certain, not happily-ever-after. Before I can say “I do,” I have one more case to solve as a private eye-and my first assignment as Walker.

Both jobs would be a lot easier to accomplish if I weren’t on the run, from friends and enemies alike. And if my bride-to-be weren’t out to collect the bounty on my head…”

2) Night of the Jabberwock

“Born in 1906, Fredric Brown was an American science fiction and mystery writer. In early life he attended the University of Cincinnati and Hanover College, Indiana, before working as a newspaperman and magazine writer in the Midwest. His first foray into the mystery genre was The Fabulous Clipjoint (1947) which won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for outstanding first mystery novel. As an author he wrote more than thirty novels and over three hundred short stories, and is noted for a bold use of narrative experimentation, as exemplified in The Lenient Beast (1956) Many of his books employ the threat of the supernatural or occult before concluding with a logical explanation, and he is renowned for both original plots and ingenious endings. In the 1950s he moved to Tucson and wrote for television and film, continuing to submit many short stories that regularly appeared in mystery anthologies. A cultured man and omnivorous reader, Brown had a lifelong interest in the flute, chess, poker, and the works of Lewis Carroll.”

3) Rachel Morgan series

” The alternate history is built upon two premises: the recent open existence of magical and supernatural species, primarily witches, vampires, and werewolves, with the human population; and the historical investment of Cold War military spending in genetic engineering as opposed to the Space Race, which resulted in the accidental release of a virus via a genetically modified tomatoin the 1960’s that killed a significant portion of the human population. The series is set approximately forty years after this plague, referred to as ‘The Turn’ within the series.

The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Rachel Morgan, a detective witch who works with local law enforcement agencies and faces threats both mundane and supernatural in origin. The series also focuses on Rachel’s relationships with her partners, a living vampire and a pixy, as well as her personal relationships with males of different species.”

4) The Wolf Gift

“The time is the present. The place, the rugged coast of Northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest. A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer . . . An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . An idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation, as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing what he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

5) The John Rain Series

John Rain kills people.  For a living.  His specialty: making it seem like death by natural causes.  But he won’t kill just anyone.  The target must be a principal player.  And never a woman.  Half American, half Japanese-but out of place in both worlds-Rain is filled with opportunities.  John Rain may not be a good man, but he’s good at what he does…”

6) FLEDGLING by Octavia Butler

“is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted—and still wants—to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself.
Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.

7) The Royal Spyness Series

“Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey. But when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland, and her fiance Fish-Face, for London, where she has:

a) worked behind a cosmetics counter-and gotten sacked after five hours b) started to fall for a quite unsuitable minor royal c) made some money housekeeping (incognita, of course), and d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son.

Then an arrogant Frenchman, who wants her family’s 800-year-old estate for himself, winds up dead in her bathtub. Now her most important job is to clear her very long family name.”

8) Marrying Mozart

Amadeus meets Little Women in this irresistibly delightful historical novel by award-winning author Stephanie Cowell. The year is 1777 and the four Weber sisters, daughters of a musical family, share a crowded, artistic life in a ramshackle house. While their father scrapes by as a music copyist and their mother secretly draws up a list of prospective suitors in the kitchen, the sisters struggle with their futures, both marital and musical… until twenty-one-year-old Wolfgang Mozart walks into their lives. Bringing eighteenth-century Europe to life with unforgiving winters, yawning princes, scheming parents, and the enduring passions of young talent, Stephanie Cowell’s richly textured tale captures a remarkable historical figure — and the four young women who engage his passion, his music, and his heart.”

9) Revenge of the Rose

“In the spring of 1199, Willem, a naive, poor young knight, is summoned to the magnificent royal court of Konrad, the Holy Roman Emperor, whose realm spans much of Europe. An audacious fighter, Willem wins great honours for his knightly prowess. His champion, friend, and guide to courtly life is the irrepressible, mysterious minstrel Jouglet,a longandndash;time admirer of Willem’s sister Lienor. Willem soon learns, to his dismay, that gossip, schemes, secrets, and lies are what really fuel courtly life andndash;andndash; and that not even a knight is immune andndash;andndash; or safe.

Transporting the reader to the magnificent, conniving heart of the largest empire of medieval Europe, REVENGE OF THE ROSE brings to vivid life a longandndash;ago time full of drama, intrigue, and sparkling wit in which colourful characters cunningly vie for power, wealth, and favour.”

10) The Concubine By Norah Lofts

“The king first noticed Anne Boleyn as a heartbroken sixteen-year-old, sullen and beautiful after a thwarted romance with the son of the Earl of Northumberland. “All eyes and hair,” a courtier had said disparagingly of her, but when King Henry VIII fell for young Anne, nothing could keep him from what he desired. Against common sense and the urgings of his most trusted advisors, Henry defied all, blindly following his passion for Anne, using the power he held over the bodies and souls of all who reside in his realm and beyond. Anne’s ascent to the throne elevates her from lady-in-waiting to the highest position a woman could attain, but her life spirals out of control when Henry is driven to desperate acts of betrayal and violence. The consequences of Anne’s rise to power and eventual demise are felt well beyond the inner circle of the court. Loyalties, to church, to queen, to country, are tested, and — in the wake of the king’s volatile passions — can be an unpredictable matter of life and death.”

11) Empire of Dragons

“Southern Anatolia, 260 AD The town of Edessa, a Roman outpost, is on its last legs, besieged by the Persian troops of Shapur I. Roman Emperor Licinius Valerianus agrees to meet his adversary to draw up a peace treaty, but it is only a trap and the Emperor and his twelve guards are chained and dragged away to work as prisoners in a solitary Persian turquoise mine. After months of forced labour the Emperor dies, but his guards make a daring escape lead by the heroic and enigmatic chief, Marcus Metellus Aquila. They meet a mysterious, exiled Chinese Prince, Dan Qing, and agree to safeguard his journey home to reconquest his throne from his mortal enemy, a eunuch named Wei. Thus begins the adventures of the Romans and the Prince as they journey to China. There they will discover that they aren’t the first of their kind to arrive in China: they were preceded centuries before by the survivors of the ‘lost legion’.”

12) Hannibal

” An epic vision of one of history’s greatest adventurers, the almost mythical man who most famously led his soldiers on elephants over the Alps. In Ross Leckie’s unforgettable recreation of the Punic wars, it is Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, who narrates the story, and who is carried by his all-consuming ambition through profoundly bloody battles against the great Roman armies of
early empire. In a breathtaking chronicle of love and hate, heroism and cruelty, one of humanity’s greatest adventurers is brought to life, and learns through suffering that man is but a shadow of a dream.”

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Finishing that Amazing Viking Knit Bracelet Tutorial

16 Jul

I know you have got to be really ready to finish this stunning piece that you have been working on and so without any further ado here you go…

You will need; your finished viking knit weave, completed 2 end caps, completed swan clasp, 18 gauge wire of choice to run through everything, basic tools, and any beads you may wish to add.

Take a length of wire that is about 4 inches longer than you want your completed piece and make a loop with a little extra on the end to wrap around your main wire for strength.

Take that spare wire and wrap it around a few times nice and snug.

Thread your first end cap on the wire

Slide your woven viking knit onto the wire and into the cap.

Cap off the other end and do another loop like the first one to lock this all in place. then clip the wire close.

Do a simple looped hook with the remaining wire and attach to the main bracelet. Once attached put any beads you want on.

Do another loop.

Attach your clasp and do any minor adjustments needed for a comfortable fit…

How to Make a Basic Swan Style Clasp

9 Jul

 

Most pieces need to have a clasp of some sort or another. One of the most commonly used clasp here at Entwined Vines Jewelry is the basic Swan style. This clasp works with almost any piece, is graceful, sturdy yet adjustable within reason, and can be made with most metals. We recommend having the following tools and materials to start; 18 gauge wire, round nose pliers, wire cutters, flat pliers of your choice and amazing music rockin in the background.

 

We cut off a piece of 18 gauge wire about 4 to 6 inches in length. Take the round nose pliers and start a small loop at the end of your wire. Using your other pliers continue to coil around your loop for a round or two then make a crook before continuing around so you will have a nice spot for your product to hand on without messing up the flow of your clasp.

 

 

 

 

Once you have gotten to the other side of your coil from the crook, you will bend the wire in a gentle curve up and around for a hook area.

 

 

 

Continue around till you are almost back to your coil then pull back a small loop to close off the end of your wire on the clasp.

 

Then trim off any extra wire and there you have it a nice, simple clasp.

 

 

If you would like to see this in action, watch our YouTube video of us making one from start to finish.

 

Top picks to do while at Portland Saturday Market

4 Jul

So many people have stated that they would love to come say hi to Entwined Vines Jewelry in our booth at Portland Saturday Market but do not know what else they would do once they got there. As if going to see a huge selection of amazing artists and their wears would not be enough, there are activities, food, and beer. So this post is about what you could do at the market…

1) go on a scavenger hunt. When I was a teenager, my friends and I would sit down and make a list of things we wanted to find by crazy Portland artists and would make it a challenge to see who could find everything on the list first. Since then, I have made other lists that have included things like “the best panhandler sign”, Keep Portland Weird visual costuming, and best musician at the market for the day. Get creative with your list and then blog about it.

2) Dance in the grass. With all the music and live entertainment on stage, in rows, and on the corner, it is hard not to get in the mood to dance. I have scene many people truly dance, dance with poi as they practice for fire spinning, and even a few slalum performers over the years. Join in and have fun!

3) Sit in the grass with a good friend and enjoy some of the best cart eats in Portland. With all the food carts there is a little bit for just about everyone. What better way to have a relaxing lunch than having it with a friend in the grass. All the benefits of a picnic with out the hassle. There are even options for people with special dietary needs.

4) Pick-out the best flowers and see a loved ones face light up with joy as you give them an amazing bouquet from the corner. Simple yet stunning flowers are combined in an affordable way to meet most any ones flower dreams.

5) Show up and watch a parade or other event. Many weekends there is some event or another near by that you can watch here at the market such as Gay Pride Parade, Rock n’ Roll Run, Portland Marathon and many others. These are so much fun and easy to enjoy.

6) Run in the fountains. Young and old alike flock to the fountains around Portland. What I call the rainbow fountain is stunning and so much fun to play in every summer. This fountain is the one closest to Portland Saturday Market and truly it is just stunning as you cross Nato Parkway.

7) Take a walk along the river. Portland Saturday Market is right along the river and the view is a welcome sight as you take a stroll either alone for some quiet time or with that special some one…

How to make basic end caps

2 Jul

Tammy and I (Tina) use end caps in many projects with our viking knit pieces being the most popular. End caps can be used to accent a bead, cap over the end of a bundle in strands on a piece, or in the case of viking knit cover the end weave of wire that may be a little pointy or un-sightly to some just as a few examples. There are many varieties on the market in a large array of materials, sizes, and styles. We like making our own though as often as is practical as we can really get the right color, texture, fit, and feel for each piece. These end caps can take a bit of time and practice to be able to get a pair or more to match up well.

To begin, you will need; 18 & 26 gauge wires of your choice, round nose pliers, needle nose pliers (bent or not is up to you), Wire cutters, small mandrel that is the size of the inner circumference that you want to end up with.

Take a length of 26 gauge wire (we use about 12″ to 18″ per coil, cut one per cap at the same length) and make a simple coil that is just about the same inner circumference as the 18 gauge. Set the coil aside. Take a length (we us about 18″ more or less per coil depending on size and desired pattern, remember this is an art and not a pattern so play with it) of the 18 gauge wire and create a tight loop at one end.

Once you have your loop, use your pliers to continue that loop into a flat coil that is large enough to cover the tip of your mandrel.

Add one more rotation of wire in line with but a little below the flat coil so you will have something to help grip around the mandrel.

When you have the start of your cap created, place it over the end of your mandrel and hold it firmly in place with your thumb or finger.

Continue wrapping your wire for several rows to give yourself a nice solid foundation.

Once you are happy with how many rotations you have around the end, slide one of your 26 gauge wire coils over the end of your 18 gauge wire and move to the coil. Continue the rotations around the mandrel while holding your wire coil in place as it may want to move down the 18 gauge wire instead of staying where you want it.

When you have wrapped the 26 gauge wire to its completion and the 18 gauge wire to almost the end, you have a choice of how you want to end your cap. In this piece we decided to end with a decorative spiral. You could just tuck the end of the wire on the inside of your cap before you place on a piece and we have done that many times. In this case though, we made a nice little spiral by making a small loop again…

Continuing to the spiral with our handy pliers…

and rolling the spiral flush with the base of our cap.