Archive | July, 2013

Red Pill, Blue Pill: Food and Nutrition

8 Jul

“If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?”

 

  Anyone that knows us here at Entwined Vines Jewelry knows that we are kind of “foodies” and although the thought about not needing to cleanup from cooking might be nice, we really LOVE good REAL food so taking a pill just would not fly with us at all. We do not just eat to keep healthy or to fill our bellies. We eat because we enjoy food and all the sensations that are satisfied by the very simple acts of shopping, prepping, cooking, and eating. We are not normally passive consumers. We know our farmers and those that tend the animals that we support through our purchases.

  We look forward to our weekly treks to the PSU farmers market where we trundle off with our “granny carts” and our laminated weekly blank menu and grease pen to fill in each blank with seasonal/local/sustainable/organic food. The thrill of a bountiful hunting and gathering session can hardly be beat though with our handy chart (if you are interested in a write-up breaking this down with a sample let us know) we keep to what we will actually be able to enjoy before the week is out and we make a point of putting tender items like chard at the beginning of the week so we are not looking at a wilted sad thing at meal prep time. Our farmers grin and ask us how we enjoyed our goodies from the last week and occasionally jot down menu ideas from how we have prepared their food to enjoy themselves and to potentially pass on to others for ideas. We gain simple surprises when there is something new to try or an old favorite comes into season early.

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  Once the goodies have arrived, they are sorted and put in the proper spot to await the scheduled meal.  Some items are pre-prepped such as enough cauliflower shredded for “cauli-rice” or sliced vegetables for easy snacking but most is just tucked into their spots. Each evening we pull the protein out for the next day to thaw in a safe manner if needed and verify we have enough herbs and spices on hand to accomplish what we hope for and if not we either adjust with something slightly different or make a fast jaunt the 8 blocks to the local penzys to replenish what we need. Some think all this planning is a pain but we find that since we have a system and do a little at a time we save time, eat out less, and have almost zero waste while living the way we choose.

  We have the good fortune to eat much of the time at home and LOVE the experience of full meals. It is very fulfilling to the senses to prepare food in the home and the flavors and textures come alive as we consume more than just calories or nutrition at each meal. We sit and chat while slicing and chopping. We listen to music while the components of a meal come together. The aroma of spices mingling creates a symphony in the air for those passing by. In the past I have shared here in blog land a few meals that illustrate how simple feasts turn into celebrations and celebrations turn into splendid taste bud experiences. For an example of this check back through the archives for posts such as the “Chinese new year”.

  So with all this passion about and around food I just can not see us ever being happy to have a fast pill and move on to other things. Food is part of our daily lives in a positive way. You are invited to comment your thoughts, feelings, experiences…

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Riding the Crazy Train: July 2013

5 Jul

CORN SILKS CREATIONS

” My name is Debi, and my Native name is Cornsilk. I trademark my Jewelry with ..designing artist…”Cornsilk” or handmade by “Cornsilk”.   I am the mother of 3 sons and have two “BEAUTIFUL” granddaughters.  I am 3/4 Cherokee and some Creek. My late husband was 3/4 Creek and the son of Chief Lonzo Woods.  I make and sell Native American Jewelry, Crafts and Other Treasurers. All Jewelry and Crafts are “HANDMADE” by me.   Most of my Jewelry is traditional Native American, some of what I call Old style, and the other is of today’s style.   I have been making and selling Native American Jewelry since I was 16 years old. My parents taught me from an early age to make crafts and Jewelry.   For 12 years I owned a Trading Post called “Cornsilks Creations”  at the North Bay Clan Creek Village in Panama City, Fl.  I moved to Trenton, Ga. in 2000, and keep the store going out of my home.  I now sell my Jewelry and crafts at Pow Wows, Living History Shows, and on-line.  In 1990, a law was passed about Native crafts. This Act prohibits the use of “Native American” in the sale of products unless one is a citizen of a U.S. recognized Indian Tribe.  My Jewelry and Crafts are made in accordance with THE INDIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS ACT OF 1990, P.L. 101-644.”

MALIBU5S NATURALS

” Invented the first healing salve for horses muzzle & tail as well as an all natural 30SPF Sunscreen for horses & their owners”

JEWELRY BY ANDREA

“Jewelry by Andrea brings you Tribal Jewelry, Ethnic Jewelry, Buddha Jewelry, Goddess Jewelry and Yoga Jewelry. You will find designs that take you on a vicarious journey around the world. Collections feature Fair Trade materials from countries including Nepal, Tibet, Thailand, Ghana and Ethiopia. Spiritual items such as Mala Beads, Buddhist Beads, Hand of Fatima Pendants, Prayer Boxes, Tibetan Pendants and Oms can be found throughout the designs – each piece as individual as you are! Connect with your Spiritual Side, your Inner Goddess, Yogi and Traveller!

Designs feature traditionally made items blended with semi-precious gemstones, shells, pearls, wood and other earthly creations to bring you sophisticated and bold selections. You will find handmade necklaces, bracelets and earrings along with a dash of “amazing finds”.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology I have always really enjoyed learning about how Society is affected by traditions and cultures. Prior to having children I loved to travel and collect unique jewelry. In so many ways cultural items of adornment are steeped in history and meaning. I took a Degree in Interior Decorating that made me love the concept of design, color, proportion and a bit of the unexpected. As a stay at home Mom my travel is now somewhat restricted. I have built a business that allows me to be home for my children and still make friendships with business owners from countries around the world. Buying handmade allows each of us to connect with another individual, from near or far, even if only through the passing of a delightful parcel. I buy the most amazing finds from small, family run businesses and women entrepreneurs. I love the excitement of opening a package, wondering what life was like where it came from and what creation I am going to make with it. I feel such satisfaction sending my handmade designs to places like Moscow, Brisbane, Florence & Munich. I truly travel vicariously through the designs I create.”

LAURAS CRAFTS

“Hi! My name is Laura O’Shea and I am the owner of Paper Creations by Laura. I started stamping over 20 years ago while in graduate school as a way to relax from the rigors of writing a thesis! It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with creating hand stamped items and since then it has become a cherished hobby of mine. Over the years, I heard the words that so many artisans hear. “Your work is so nice. You really should be selling it.” About 6 years ago, after the birth of my second child, I decided to make the dream of selling my hand crafted items a reality. I started selling at craft fairs which was a wonderful chance to meet people who really appreciate handmade items. In fact, some of my most loyal customers today found me at those very craft fairs. But doing fairs can be tough on the schedule and as my children have grown, I have found that I no longer want to give up my weekends for fairs and that’s when I decided I needed to change the business just a bit. And with the coming of 2010, I have done just that. In January, I opened up my online store, http://www.laurascrafts.artfire.com Right away I have met so many talented and helpful artisans and feel at home in this creative community. My store had its first sale just two days after opening and I am working hard to make it the place you want to go for all your cards and gift items.  I enjoy trying new techniques and playing with inks and stamps and ribbons and paper. It brings a sense of creative fulfillment to take the picture in my head and create that with paper. Some designs are clean and simple, some elegant, some cutesy and then everything else in between.  Every card I make is high quality and I am my own worst taskmaster when it comes to that! Besides cards, I sell bookmarks and plan to fill my store with notepads and other fun paper gift items. I am so happy with the changes I have made in my life and I think that is reflected in my store. I truly enjoy every aspect of creating my items and hope you will stop by for a visit. Whether it is to purchase some of my items or if you just have questions about stamping, I would love the chance to meet with you. As we joke in our house, come on by and I’ll start up the kettle!”

MANY HORSES JEWELRY SUPPLY

“Your One-stop Bead Shop since 1999! Let us be your main source for all your jewelry making supplies, beads, findings, tools of the trade, shawl pins and accessories, and more!”

THE GYPSY COTTAGE

“Welcome to The Gypsy Cottage! My name is Dianne Busby Edwards and The Gypsy Cottage is my “brainchild”. I was born & raised in southeast Louisiana. My “cottage” is nestled in the woods about an hour north of New Orleans. I have been happily married to my husband Clay for over 20 years and have 2 daughters, 2 sons, a grandson, a grand-daughter and a multitude of kids who call me Mama. My life is all about family.
I am a self taught seamstress and crafter. I inherited my love of sewing and beautiful fabric & trims from my Grandma Spears and my love of quilts and gypsy style from my Grandma Busby. I am a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University. I have done a multitude of things from accounting to hosting Extreme Cowboy Races and everything in between. I hope you enjoy our work and your visit to The Gypsy Cottage!

My partners are my daughter Cally:
I am a 19 year old art student at Southeastern Louisiana University. I do multiple things with my art. I enjoy charcoal drawing, graphite drawing, wood burning and making jewelry. I help my mom by collaborating on the designs for her clothing and modeling. My daughter is what drives me to do my best work. I hope you enjoy my creations!

and my best friend Dawne:
My name is Dawne Mitchell Howell. I have been happily married for 20+ years and am the mother of twins. My son who is in the Army National Guard and has recently married. My daughter who has recently graduated from college.
I was born in Lombard, Illinois where I lived until my father was transferred to Atlanta, Ga. when I was 13. I went to beauty college and became hairdresser there, which is where I met my husband, also a hairdresser. We married and had the twins. When they were 1 year old we moved to his hometown of Amite, LA. We wanted to raise them in a small town atmosphere, which turned out to be a good decision as they have both grown to be adults we are very proud of.
As for my sewing career I started sewing when I was 9 with no training, I guess I was a natural. I took every sewing class offered at school. My senior year I was the only one signed up for the advance class and was given my choice of projects. I chose a prom dress. The teacher said it was too complicated but was over ruled by the principle. I finished by lovely yellow dress of chiffon, lace and silk ( looks like Belle’s dress from Beauty & the Beast). It was sent to GA State to be graded. I received an A and it was put on display for all to see. My confidence was increased and I got my first sewing job with a local alterations shop. I learned all the ins & outs there. My next job was with an interior design workshop where I learned all their tips & tricks. We moved to LA and I met Dianne. Our husbands worked on the road together and we quickly became friends. We shared our love of sewing and soon opened our first business with me doing alteration and her sewing from scratch. It grew and I was soon doing alterations for 17 cleaners with several employees. In 2003 I gave it all up to become Mom, Dad, grounds keeper, taxi and everything else when my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. After he returned I went to work for a friends bridal shop doing alterations. After 7 years she closed to raise a family and I went back to work as a hairdresser. I am now an assistant manager of a local chain.
Dianne & I put our creative heads together and are once again working to create the items for our online store. I hope you enjoy our wonderful, fun items and your visit to The Gypsy Cottage!”

VIA DELLA ROSA

“Viadellarosa is a family-run business, located in beautiful Westborough, Massachusetts.

Our vision is to provide items that are fresh, modern and inspirational.

I started by designing and crafting rosaries, chaplets and other jewelry since 2006. Throughout my life, I have always had a connection with the rosary, from watching my mother pray the rosary during times of trouble, through the receipt of beautiful and special gifts of the rosary through her life.  One day I decided to give creating them a try and I haven’t looked back since.

Brandon is my fulfillment master, ensuring that every package that leaves our studio is a beautiful treasure just for you.

Counting beads is quite enough for me; so I leave the abacus and calculators to Luis, my husband, the numbers-cruncher behind the scenes.

Last, but certainly not least, there is Olivia, the family’s Tiny Dancer, who brings smiles and inspiration to us all.”

WYVERN DESIGNS

“I am a self-taught graphics and jewelry designer.

And I am a self proclaimed earring addict.  That’s why I have so many earrings listed in my shop.  When I make a pair for myself, I always want to make more!

I started creating  at a young age.  My mother and sister would be sewing and if I pestered them enough, they would give me scraps of fabric, lace and the like to play with.  I have always loved to draw and paint but it wasn’t until high school art class that I really decided that making things with my own hands was the path for me.

I’ve become an avid knitter in the past year.  I  discovered a book that described knitting mittens on two circular needles and I’ve become addicted to knitting this way.  I love the fact that because the mittens are both knitted at the same time, they end up exactly the same size and the fact that there are no seams to sew up is an added plus.

I take horrible pictures, I always look like I’m in pain.  Consequently, I’m using my adorable dog and boon companion, Odin, for my bio pic.  He takes a much better picture than I.

Unfortunately, Odin died a month ago and I miss him sorely.  But he was such a fantastic dog, that I’m sure that I will get another canine buddy in time.

I am a Pagan and if that offends you, I give you my blessing to move on.

I live in New England and love the changing seasons here.  To quote Mark Twain, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute.””

ANDRUS GARDENS

“A degree in horticulture, and working in that industry have greatly influenced my art. Most of the fabrics I use in my original designs are hand painted and(or) sunprinted by me to achieve colors and textures that can not be found in stores. Sunprinting on fabric can give many surprising results- the paint never dries the same way twice (It really can be fun to watch paint dry), and my gardens supply me with the many flowers and leaves I use for the sunprints. My photos of flowers and more from gardens or in the wild, are now finding their way into my art after I print them onto fabric.    The beauty of this earth we have been given to live in, with it’s flowers, gardens and rock formations is the inspiration for my fabrics and art. I also produce my own Reproduction Prints and Note Cards of my quilts on quality papers with archival inks.”

ANGELAS_ADORNMENTS

” I’m 40something….Married to my best friend for 31 years. We have two adult children and six beautiful grandchildren.

I create my Art Jewelry and other artistic endeavors in my studio in our Wichita KS home which we share with our cat Oreo.

It has just been since our kids grew up and resources became a bit more plentiful that I discovered my visually artistic side.

When I was a child and teenager I was more musically artistic, playing violin, piano and singing.   I also was a member of Wichita Metropolitan Ballet, dancing in yearly productions of The Nutcracker Suite as well as other 1970’s ballet productions.

Once I grew up and had a family I found this other artistic side of me that I am enjoying exploring as much as when I was a kid in orchestra.  I am continually finding and learning new and interesting things to make/paint.

I call myself a spoiled artist instead of a starving artist because my fabulous husband has the “real job” of the family which affords me the opportunity to stay home and play and sell my art.  You can’t get any better than that!”

AUNTIE CHRIS QUILT FABRIC 

“AUNTIE CHRIS AFFORDABLE QUILT FABRICS  We carry quilt shop quality fabrics without the quilt shop prices, affordable quilting/sewing kits and patterns. Quality fabrics will make a difference in the appearance and longevity of your finished projects. I strive to find beautiful, interesting and quality fabrics for less. I have hundreds of items to populate my shop, please check back often. Affordable heirlooms start here.  Will happily ship a fat eighth to a whole bolt if that’s what you need.  Always adding new items and surprises!!”

CREATIVE CRITTERS

“I have been an artist since I was child with my first lump of Play Doh.  I have always enjoyed working with clay and discovered polymer clay in my late teens.  I love animals, nature, and the world of fantasy and this is reflected in my sculptures.  I also enjoy a large variety of crafts, and like to try new things.  Several years ago I started making cloth dolls, which have been a huge hit with my nieces and friend’s children.  I even had one of my dolls featured in “Today’s Creative Home Arts”.  The dolls make wonderful gifts for children or doll collectors.  Recently I began making jewelry with polymer clay and a variety of beads.  I’m inspired by bold colors and interesting shapes.  I also make very detailed miniature polymer clay houses surrounded with beautiful landscaping.  One of my log cabins was featured in the October 2008 issue of Polymer Cafe magazine.  Fantasy has always lighted a creative spark in me, and many of my sculptures sprang into life with that spark.  Fairies, wizards, gnomes, trolls, and dragons have all been sculpted over the course of my artistic career.  “Scorch the Rockin’ Dragon” was featured in the February 2009 issue of Polymer Cafe magazine.  My most recent work would be the World of Warcraft plush characters.  While I don’t play myself, my mother and brothers do and they prompted me to try my hand at recreating these interesting creatures.  I try to put as much detail as possible into my work, and spend many hours getting it “just right”.  I also strive very hard to provide excellent customer service and communication.  I try to use recycled materials as well- everything has a use!  I never throw out clothing, old purses, or trinkets that could be turned into something new.”

DIANES DANGLES

” Starting out as a hobby in 2006, DianesDangles LLC was established in January, 2012. Making gemstone beaded jewelry satisfied my love of color and design and was my avenue for unleashing the hidden artist in me that I never knew existed.  I quickly learned the skills for making beaded jewelry and then went on to working with sterling silver my favorite metal.  My silversmithing skills were acquired over two years of attending classes. With these newly acquired skills, I could now design and make my own pendant and then add a beaded necklace.

After the loss of my day job, I decided to work on my jewelry projects full time. Initially, art and crafts shows were my selling venues. Then, I decided to offer my products exclusively here on Artfire. Many of my jewelry items are made with gemstone beads. There are also many sterling silver gemstone pendants that I have designed and handmade.  I have been working on a new line of jewelry that consists of coin pendants and bracelets where all of the bezel settings are handmade out of gold filled or sterling silver. Many of these coins represent the places that I have visited.

LLC status was obtained beginning in 2012 and I am very excited to have my own business.  My business goal is to continue to offer beaded designed jewelry and expand on my sterling silver design pieces. Artfire will currently continue to be my selling venue. Eventually I will expand my online presence by launching my own website.”

DESERT CREATIONS 

” My name is Jennifer and I am a jewelry designer artist. I have been making jewelry for 10 years. I have been working with polymer clay for 3 years. My handmade business is licences in the state of AZ. I grew up in Mississippi where I met my wonderful husband. Shortly after we got married we moved to Sunny Arizona. After 5 years of marriage we had our wonderful son. 19 months ago we were blessed with a wonderful baby girl. Born 9/6/2011. My husband and I are going on 18 years of marriage.”

ELLIE GEE

“Crafting has been my passion my entire life.  I have dabbled in many different things; sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, woodworking, beading, metalsmithing.  I am now retired from the business world and able to devote my time focusing on jewelry crafting and metalsmithing along with cold weather accessories.

I was born and raised in California and now live in Western Montana.  The long winter months are now filled with productive crafting and the beautiful mountain and valley views inspire my creativity.  I’m proud to be able to provide Made in Montana items in my collection.

My two children and two grandchildren have encouraged me to pursue my crafting and I look forward to sharing my creations with you.

JULIES TREASURES

“I have made soap for years since 1997,  but only for me.  In 2009 I was so discouraged by the lack of nice gifts available to fill my Christmas boxes so I made soaps and lip balms as presents for my relatives and kids.  The raves were wonderful and I decided to open a shop.  I also make shower gels, liquid hand soap, sugar scrubs, hair conditioner and bath salts.  Some comments I have gotten from my products:  “I love it, doesn’t dry my skin like regular soap does”  “WOW! This is better than what I pay US $25.00 for”  “The perfume oil is wonderful””

 

 

 

 

Entwined Vines Jewelry

“We have pooled our knowledge to bring you quality handcrafted wares.  We met working with personal spa products several years ago. During that time we found we had many interested that over lapped such as hiking, gardening, a love of reading, and crafts of just about every variety. We would run a booth at different events in the area for the spa company and in down time we both seemed to always have a jewelry project to work on.

We talked a LOT and decided to join forces, share skills, and teach each other what we know as well as occasionally take a class together to learn even more…

A bit more about Tina: I have a full life the helps to inspire me through each new adventure. I have 4 daughters that live with my husband and I, ranging in age from almost 18 down to just turned 11. My husband has a passion of working with metal to eventually have his forge fully up and running so I am always thinking of items that might combine his passion with mine in the realm of jewelry. On top of running my home, cooking most things from scratch, preserving food, gardening, and the like, I also run an in-home child day care. As I type this all my little ones (today ages 4 and up) are sitting at the table making jewelry from the skills I have passed on to them to make gifts for family. I gain inspiration from my daily life and from nature although I tend to be a linier thinker jewelry forms in my mind to be created usually while I sit outside watching the children or my 10 chickens. My how life is grand yet simple even if you live within 10 minutes drive to the “big city” (mine being Portland).

A bit more about Tammy:     I have a very full life, but a quite home as I am single with no kids.   Loving kids, I spend a great deal of time with my 2 nephews and 4 nieces, and about a dozen adopted nieces and nephews as time allows between creating  jewelry and my full time job in corporate America.   For me kids are a constant source of both amusement and inspiration; because they look at the world so differently than adults.    Managing my home includes a large backyard that allows me to garden till my hearts content, which I always find inspirational.  While creating jewelry is my main focus (I must play with stones), I also enjoy hiking, camping, reading, movies, bellydancing (our Bio picture was taken the night of a performance), photography, working with clay, & painting. In addition to the kids in my life, I have a small but close supportive circle of friends that I enjoy spending time with.   While I prefer to live simply, I do not feel short changed.  Each day is filled with new adventures.”

Tourist Trap: Bead Show Gallore

1 Jul

What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

So as strange as this may sound, we really want to go to Tucson Arizona. As jewelry artisans Tammy and I are so drawn to beads and Gems that we dream of going to the biggest show in this country at the beginning of February for at least two weeks. We have gone to several shows here in the Portland metro area and have found amazing finds to help keep costs down on our pieces (we do true cost pricing on all our pieces following a very strict formula). As we have shared in the past we tend to come back from such expeditions with mounds of truly stunning beads to work into our wearable art such as what is shown here…  Untitled-3

In addition to the joy of hours playing with stones and beads we would HAVE to go out and about…

Tammy LOVES plants and would completely have a blast scooten over to the Sonora Desert Museum to check out the plants, natural history, and zoo.

Tina & Tammy really are into hikes and natural wonders and would have to take a day to wander the trails in the Sabino Canyon area. We have heard lots about this area and have this drive to go hiking with our cameras and a hip pack with water.

Tina has a fixation on illusions and gets giddy just thinking about an opportunity to go to the Carnival of Illusion Dinner and Theater were we have heard it is a fun and magical delight.

Although this list is not all inclusive we figure it is not a bad start. If you have places that really are on the must go and experience list by all means please leave a comment and we will love into adding it…