Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rosemary-Garden Delights 2/27/2011


I have a love affair with herbs. Growing them, using them, harvesting them, reseeding them, the mythology and lore, there scent, there texture, you name it; there isn't anything about herbs I do not like. Though I am very partial to the lore and mythology as it is what drew me to herbs in the first place.



I would like to introduce you to one of my favorites, rosemary.


Rosemary is a perennial herb with woody stocks and evergreen needle-like leaves. Its origins can be traced back to the Mediterranean region. Believe it or not it is classified as a member of the mint family. The Latin
name "rosmarinus" is where the name rosemary is derived from. For more in depth information click here.


In mythology it is said that Aphrodite was draped in rosemary as she rose up from the sea.

Today rosemary is best known as a culinary herb, most common in Mediterranean Though few probably know that rosemary is more beneficial than just as a flavor improvement for our food.  You see it is chock full of iron, calcium and vitamin B6.

There is a long list of medicinal uses associated with rosemary, because of how long it has been around.  Claims include that rosemary can be of assistance internally in the treatment of digestive problems, muscle spasms, an expectorant and the production of bile.  It has also been claimed that is aids in the promotion of the the female menstrual cycle.

Externally it has been known to be created into and ointment using rosemary oil.  For the treatment of rheumatism, sores, eczema, bruises, and wounds.

Digesting excessive amounts of rosemary are known today to be an irritant to the intestines, kidneys and stomach.

The medicinal informational only, not meant to be used as medical advice.


The language of flowers, the age of flowers, during Victorian times, really brought into focus the meaning of plants.   During Victorian times,  nosegay's (some also refer to them as posie’s or tussie-mussies) were all the rage, to send messages, people were to afraid to say aloud.  However, they didn't limit themselves to what we think of as flowers, when we think of flower arrangements.  They used flowers, herbs, and plants that many today view as weeds.   All plants have meanings that can be traced back in history, further than the Victorian era.

However, the Victorian era was the age of romance and the point in time people usually reference when they start talking about plants and there meanings. Though it is noteworthy to mention that in the middle ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies. That is probably due to the meaning of rosemary being remembrance.


From the time I was little, I remember my Grandmother always saying:

"Rosemary is for Remembrance!"


It didn't matter if we were out in the garden pulling weeds or in the kitchen cooking.



Rosemary is such a fun and versatile plant.    With many varieties to choose from, don't forget  to grow it as a living decoration.     Certain varieties can be trained to create topiary.   Use a frame and the shapes you can create are unlimited.



Do you have a favorite herb?







Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday 2/23/11

Doggy Haiku
                                  --- anonymous


I love my human;
Thus I perfume myself with
This long-dead squirrel.


I lie belly-up
In the sunshine, happier than
You ever will be


I sound the alarm!
Mailman Fiend - come to kill us all
Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!


I sound the alarm!
Neighbor's cat - come to kill us all!
Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!


I lift my leg and
Whiz on each bush. Hello, Spot -
Sniff this and weep


My human is home!
I am so ecstatic I have
Made a puddle


I hate my choke chain -
Look, world, they strangle me!
Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack!


Sleeping here, my chin
On your foot - no greater bliss - well,
Maybe catching cats


I sound the alarm!
Dinner guests - come to kill us all
Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!


The cat is not all
Bad - she fills the litter box
With Tootsie Rolls


Look in my eyes and
Deny it. No human could
Love you as much I do


Dig under fence - why?
Because it's there. Because it's
There. Because it's there.


I am your best friend,
Now, always, and especially
When you are eating.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Featured Artisan -- Daly

I sell jewelry as Daly Craftworks and photography as Daly Art Works.



> When and how did you first become interested in crafting? How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I've been interested in crafting and making art since I was very young. My father spent the early part of his career as a chemist for a small artists' supply company in Chicago. He helped to formulate their paints and other products. Sometimes, he was allowed to bring home damaged or imperfect products, so my first exposure to making arts and crafts was playing around with professional art supplies like oil pastels, sketch pads, brushes, oil paints and watercolors. Both of my parents are also very DIY around the house, and I picked up that habit pretty young. So I would try to make things I saw for myself. I learned to crochet and sew in grade school, and did a little knitting, and I took a week-long jewelry course in high school, but I didn't really start making jewelry until I was in college and had a friend who made her own jewelry. I liked the idea of making one of a kind pieces for myself, and once I visited my first bead store I was really hooked.



> What are your crafting influences?

I make jewelry a lot like I make art. I start with the materials, play around with them, and start to build pieces organically from what the materials bring to mind. I tend to fall in love with materials, and I'll get really involved and obsessive about a material or technique until I eventually move on to something else and build on that earlier experience. Most of my influences come from the natural world, but I'm also a big reader and a movie buff. So if I see a photo or movie that just blows me away or fall in love with a historical period or style I'm reading about, then it will stick with me and will influence my palette and my design at some point.

Copper Fibula handmade brooch, scarf pin or shawl pin

> Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

Several of my siblings are talented at drawing and painting, but don't really pursue it much. My older sister can knit and sew like a professional, and we're pretty much all hobby photographers as well. An appreciation for the arts and for crafting is a longstanding tradition in my family. My grandfather would write poetry and read it at family gatherings, and my mother wins ribbons for her flower arrangements. But there is also a very strong tech/geek strain going on, and my entire family ended up choosing engineering or accounting as a profession. Except for me. I came close, but I escaped from a chemical engineering degree in my sophomore year of college and never looked back. LOL

Lily Up Close, color botanical flower photo 8x10

> What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I've exhibited paintings and photos in the past, but ArtFire is really the first time I've displayed my jewelry other than wearing it myself. It's been a bit of a switch from thinking about it as purely a personal artistic expression to thinking about designing for sale.


Rose Hearts framed flower petal earrings


> What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I usually have a day job, although I'm currently unemployed. I've worked in graphic arts, taught writing, and more recently did prepress work in the printing industry. I'm currently looking for work as a technical writer.

Silver Road North of Vancouver, BC, Canada color art photo

> What is your favorite piece that you have created so far? Why did you make that piece? What does it take to create pieces like that?

My favorite piece of jewelry is usually the last one I've done. I learn something new with every piece I make. I really get excited about creating jewelry when it represents a new skill or involves materials I love. I also have a bad habit of choosing techniques which will challenge me the most, so sometimes I try my patience with my own physical limitations.

Peach aventurine carved rose pendant, green stone and agate necklace

> What is special about your pieces?

I think I have an interesting and distinctive color palette. Few colors scare me, and I like to put colors and materials together in surprising combinations. At this point, I would guess that whatever "style" my jewelry has is a natural extension of my artwork and my personal taste. If you look at the preoccupations of my photography, you'll understand the way the jewelry functions for me. When I had the jewelry and photography together in one store, it was easy to combine because you could clearly see the connections in the work. I like to photograph my jewelry in combination with my art, and I have used my art as an element in my personal jewelry in the past. I would expect that more of that will happen in the future as I make more one of a kind jewelry for sale.



> What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

A successful piece of handmade jewelry is a small work of art. If you're going to craft jewelry by hand, it should show your viewpoint and your sensibility as an artist. A skilled craftsman is capable of making something that is technically perfect but nonetheless shows his/her personality in the choice of materials and how they're handled. I'm also a sucker for pieces that show the artist's hand at work, that don't look manufactured and may have an imperfect, artisanal feel to them. That is the kind of jewelry I aspire to make.



My links are:


ArtFire:

http://www.artfire.com/users/DalyCraftWorks

http://www.artfire.com/users/DalyArtWorks


FaceBook business pages:

http://www.facebook.com/DalyCraftworks

http://www.facebook.com/DalyArtWorks


Blogger: http://web-iris.blogspot.com/





Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday 2/16/11

Someone sent this to me, don't know where they found it and there was no author listed, but thought we would share it anyway. 


$5.37
That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher.

Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the harshest thing anyone has ever said to me.

He said, "It's OK Sir. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me.

"Only $4.68" he said cheerfully. I stood there stupefied.

I am 62, not even 65 yet?"

A mere child!

Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked outside & into the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo.

Was he blind?

As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil.

Old?

Me?

I'll show him, I thought.

I opened the door and headed back inside.

I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted!

What am I now? A toddler?

"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?"

I stared with utter disdain at the keys.

I began to rationalize in my mind.

"Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck.

I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn.

What now?

I checked my keys and tried another.

Still nothing.

That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus.
The car seat in the back seat.

Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.

A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say Ginkgo Biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life.

That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger!

My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time.

There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish.

All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?"

All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here?"

At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag.

His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake."

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words:

"It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."



All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40.

Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius.

And no, I told the officer, I'm not too old to be driving this fast.


As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall.

I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket.

I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanky.

The good news was I had successfully found my way home.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Just in case you weren't feeling too old today...

The people who are starting college this fall were born in 1991.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

The CD was introduced two years before they were born.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.
Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.

Popcorn has always been microwaved.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard: 'Where's the Beef?', 'I'd walk a mile for a Camel ', or 'de plane Boss, de plane!'.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Featured Artisan -- Wyverndesigns



Welcome, come join us in getting to know Wyverndesigns Studio.


When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

Ever since I was a young child my mother and sister, who are both avid seamstresses and quilters, encouraged me to pursue my own creativity. While they chose cloth as their medium, I preferred drawing, painting and sculpting.



How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I have been sculpting with polymer clay for at least 10 years. I was a fan of the Carol Duval show and saw Donna Kato making some beautiful pieces with polymer clay and I was hooked from the start!



What are your crafting influences?

My major influences come from the realms of mythology and nature.


Does anyone in your family do a similar craft? I am the only one in my family that sculpts with polymer clay. My daughter crafts and sells beautiful greeting cards and my sister makes wonderful and intricate quilts and bags. They both look to me for embellishments for their crafts.


What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I have displayed my crafts at craft shows and fairs, I wear a lot of my own jewelry and that engenders interest in the people who see my pieces.



What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I love to try new crafts and I sew, knit, and crochet. I also draw and paint. Some of my miniature paintings end up on my jewelry as pendants. Reading is also a favorite pastime, as is spending time outdoors with my family and our dog, Odin.



What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

My most favorite piece is my Tree of Life pendant.


Why did you make that piece?

I am interested in mythology and nature and this piece combines both. Norse mythology is of special interest to me, as is evidenced by my dog's name. Odin. Yggdrasil is the ash tree in Norse mythology which binds earth, heaven and hell.



What does it take to create pieces like that?

I feel that to create any of my pieces, all it takes is a vision of what I want to make happen with the clay. Then, I simple let my fingers craft what my mind has envisioned.



What is special about your pieces?

In my view, there is nothing special about my pieces, they are simply who I am. Everyone has some innate talent, and mine happens to be the ability to look at things and replicate them in my own way. I encourage everyone I know to look for their talent and pursue it for all their worth.



What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

Polymer clay is a fantastic medium. It is incredibly versatile and so much can be done with it. You don't need a lot of specialized tools to work with it and it cures in a home oven.



 
 
Thank you for stopping  by, we hope you have enjoyed getting to know Wyverndesigns with us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Birthstones for February Birthday's

"The February born shall find

Sincerity and peace of mind,

Freedom from passion and from care,

If they, the amethyst will wear."

--- Anonymous




Birthstones for the month of February:


The nice thing about February is there is very little discrepancy between the lists. Amethyst is listed on the modern, traditional, Russian, Roman, Ayurvedic, Italian, and Arabic lists. In my search I only found two that were different and that is the Mystical List and the Hindu list of birthstones.


The Mystical birthstone list reflects Bloodstone as the stone for the month of February. This list is of Tibetan Origin and dates back over 1,000 years.


Hindu in origin, this list appears to be based on geographical location and they list Chandrakanta for the February birthstones. From what I was able to track down Chandrakanta is a word that comes from the Tamil language. Moonstone appears to be the modern translation of this ancient word.


Now you may be going huhn at this point, however there are a lot of people that are unaware that Birthstones lists can be based on calendar month, planet you were born under, your birth moon sign, geographical location, etc. Your head spinning yet?


It is simple really; Gemstone associations have evolved over the centuries, for a variety of reasons. Be it from ease of acquisition, to new stones found, to an attempt to standardize the list for jewelry sellers. For whatever reason the lists have changed over the years, so I tend to view them as a guide. Find the stone that fits you or the person you are shopping for and run with it.



Getting to know the Stones:


Amethyst is derived from the Greek word "amethystos" which means "remedy for drunkenness", referred to often as the sobriety stone.

Colors amethyst stones can be found in nature vary from pale lilac to violet to red-violet all the way through to a deep purple color.

The esoteric properties of amethyst include bringing stability, peace and balance to the wearer. It is also believed to assist in healing headaches, insomnia, arthritis, pain relief and assist in aiding in any general healing.



Bloodstone is a dark green stone with red spots. The green can be so dark as to appear black in some of these stones. In ancient times bloodstone was thought, with the merest touch, to be able to stop hemorrhages, heal tumors and cure blood poisons. While powered bloodstone was believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Bloodstone is believed to be able to helps enhance ones strength and endurance. It was once and some still do consider it a man’s stone. However many women I know, including myself wear many pieces of jewelry made with bloodstone and our fond of the stone in general.



Moonstone is associated with the goddess Diana and the moon. It is considered a good luck stone and can be carved with talismans’ of protection. It is believed to bring wearers good fortune, enhance their intuition, promote inspiration and offer protection.

Moonstone color varies depending on type. Adularia moonstone has an almost transparent pale gray or blue or silvery shimmer to it. While Albite moonstone is semi transparent with a pale shimmering reflection and is in the feldspar grouping.




OF three which stone do you prefer?




See also January Birthstones.



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Garden Delights 2/13/2011

Mowing the lawn, I felt like i was battling the earth rather than working it;
each week it sent forth a green army and each week I beat it... 
I spent part of one afternoon trying to decide who,
 in the absurdist drama of lawn mowing, was Sisyphus.  Me? 
The case could certainly be made.  Or was it the grass,
one layer of cells at a time, only to be cut down and then,
perversely, encouraged (with lime, fertilizer, etc.)
to start the whole doomed process over again?"

----Michael Pollan, Second Nature


I found this anecdote and had to share.   The lawn is one of those things that is a time drainer, energy and money waster.  And yet every year we spend hundreds to thousands of dollars and untold number of hours in maintaining and improving the lawn to try and make it beautiful.


Why do we do this to ourselves? 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 2-12-2011

Information Booth for Portland Saturday Market
Information Booth at Portland Saturday Market

Entwined Vines is in high gear, 
trying to get everything ready 
before our first day at

We applied and succeeded in passing the jury process on the first try last December.  Went through orientation in December too, so we could be sure and be prepared for opening day this season.


We are so excited and nervous at that same time.  Portland Saturday Market is the largest outdoor continually run arts and crafts market in the United States.  It opened in 1974 and has continued to grow and be a popular tourist attraction for Portland, Oregon.

The market is located on the waterfront at SW Ankeny ST and Naito Parkway.
Runs the 1st weekend of March through December 24th each year.   

Hours of operation for the weekend market:
Saturdays  10-5pm
Sundays  11 - 4:30pm

With the waterfront park right next to us, live music, food vendors, and enough Artisans with a vast array of products to please any shopholic, it is a great way to spend the day with the family.


Keep watch on our progress as we move forward with this adventure.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The week in review 2/11/11

Wow, just wow, usually Fridays are going to be a week in review on what Entwined Vines has been up to or whatever seems appropriate.    Except this friday we have been distracted by the globe altering, history making event that is occurring in Egypt.

So quick recap,  we reached another milestone and one of our pieces made it to the front page of Artfire.
Yeah us!!!  The collection titled "Earth Tone Colors Don't Have To Be Boring". 

We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.  In the meantime stop and ponder the wonder of a successful non violent revolution and what the ramifications across the globe are going to mean for all of us.

Could the United States ever have a peacefule revolution?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tiger's Eye Gemstone


Many ask where out inspiration for designs and creativity come from.   And while we draw heavily on our daily lives and the small miracles found through out, the great outdoors,  and the the small people in our lives.    Many times a medium to work with is enough.  

One such medium is stones, and while they all draw us we do have those that we are especially draw too.   For me none draw me more than the illustrious tiger's eye semi precious gemstones.  The luminous shimmer when caught in the right light, sparks the imagination, no matter how much of a creative block I have going on.  The stones beg to be played with and the pieces almost create themselves.  No I am not a loon, but you learn with any art form to listen with what you are working it.  This isn't a hearing listen, it is an instinctive listening.   Just like when dealing with people, listening is your best tool.


Let's get to know a bit about  the Tiger's eye semi precious gemstone, shall we...
Tigers Eye & Maroon Swarovski Pearl Earrings
Brown Tiger's Eye and Maroon Swarovski Pearl Earrings
Quick facts about tiger's eye:

      Referred to also as Tiger eye

      Tiger's eye is a variety of chatoyant.  It is a member in the quartz grouping

      Most common color is golden

      Has a changeable silky luster when the light hits it just right

      Due to the mineral content in this stone it is difficult to polish

      Typical colors include blue, red, brown and golden
Blue Tigers eye and Deep Gray Swarovski Pearl Necklace
Blue Tiger's Eye Necklace

Esoteric associations of tiger’s eye:

      Planet – Sun

      Zodiac – Capricorn

      Element – Fire and earth

      Chakras all tiger’s eye – Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra

      Chakras an red tiger’s eye – Base Chakra
4 red tigers eye and sets of 3 hematite bracelet
Red Tiger's Eye Bracelet
Historical tidbit on tiger eye:

      History shows that Roman soldiers wore tiger's eye with protection symbols carved on the pieces, when they went into battle. It is believed they did this because they believed the tiger’s eye would offer them both protection and success in their battle campaigns.



Myth, Legend, and Folklore of tiger's eye:

      Lending Strength

      Strengthen personal convictions, desires & beliefs

      A stone of protection

      Brings good luck to the wearer

      Power to focus the mind

      Promotes mental clarity

      Assists with resolving problems objectively and unclouded by emotions

      Assists in dispelling fear and anxiety

      Imbues the wearer with willpower

      Releases tension

      Imparts confidence and courage

      Believed to lend strength to the wearer

      Strengthen one’s convictions

      Physic Protector

      Believed to create harmony in one’s life

      Is a great stone for keeping one’s self grounded
Copper Swarovski Pearls and Crystals with Tiger’s Eye Stones Necklace
Golden Tiger Eye Necklace
 Healing properties/Medicinal lore has it that tiger's eye gemstones were used:

      To treat the eyes and throat.

      Even was used to treat the reproductive organs.

      Believed to assist the body in the releasing of toxins.

      Alleviate general body aches and pains.

      Aid in the repair of broken bones.

      Strengthen the alignment of the spinal column


    Red Tiger’s Eye: is believed to be able to assist in

          o Overcoming lethargy

          o Increase a low sex drive

          o Speed up a slow metabolism



Tiger's Eye is a stone that draws upon the best qualities and traits of a Tiger. In essence this allows the wearer to absorb these traits into their personal being in order to derive the greatest benefit from the stones. I have always been drawn to tiger’s eye semi precious gemstones.

The three top traits that drew me to tiger’s eye are listed below. The first one being the initial trait that drew me and the last two are what keeps me returning to tiger’s eye, especially the patience. Whether it is to wear, just play with stones or create with.


A.) Determination: A tiger is totally determined to get what he wants and needs. To be successful in your endeavors you need to be determined and wearing the Tiger’s Eye will give you the calmness of mind to be determined. Learn from the tiger and allow the tigers eye gemstone to help maintain and increase your determination is all aspect of life and business.


B.) Focused: A tiger will stay focused on the object he desires for as long as it takes. In business, if we allow ourselves to lose focus, we allow our competition to gain a foothold and we miss opportunities to grow and increase our businesses. A tigers eye will keep you focused if you allow it to.


C.) Patience: A tiger can wait patiently for hours or even days until the right opportunity presents itself. In business and in life, patience is a virtue. Often we run head long into a project without doing the proper research or learning and we find ourselves having to backtrack. Allow the tiger eye to bring you clear thinking and insight in to the situation.
Double Red Tigers Eye, Yellow TigersEye, Jasper, Clay Goddess NecklaceBlack and Peridot colored wire combined with Tigers Eye Bracelet  
Tigers Eye Stone with Gold Crinkle Beads Bracelet Triple Tiggers Eye: Red and Yellow Necklace


What's your favorite gemstone?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday ---


Outrageous Work Excuses

My intent was to have today be Wednesday pick me up, with lots of humor. But have determined that I like Whimsy Wednesday better; we will see what develops as the year progresses.


So today I had fun searching for the most outrageous excuses for calling into work sick:


Here is what I found:


*I refuse to travel to my job in the District until there is a commuter tax. I insist on paying my fair share.


*If it is all the same to you I won't be coming in to work. The voices told me to clean all the guns today.


*I set half the clocks in my house ahead an hour and the other half back an hour Saturday and spent 18 hours in some kind of space-time continuum loop, reliving Sunday (right up until the explosion). I was able to exit the loop only by reversing the polarity of the power source exactly e*log(pi) clocks in the house while simultaneously rapping my dog on the snout with a rolled up Times. Accordingly, I will be in late, or early.


*I can't come in to work today because I'll be stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work. OK?


*I have a rare case of 48-hour projectile leprosy, but I know we have that deadline to meet...


*Yes, I seem to have contracted some attention-deficit disorder and, hey, how about them Skins, huh? So, I won't be able to, yes, could I help you? No, no, I'll be sticking with Sprint, but thank you for calling.


*Constipation has made me a walking time bomb.


*I just found out that I was switched at birth. Legally, I shouldn't come to work knowing my employee records may now contain false information.


*I can't come to work today because the EPA has determined that my house is completely surrounded by wetlands and I have to arrange for helicopter transportation.


*I am converting my calendar from Julian to Gregorian.


*I am extremely sensitive to a rise in the interest rates.


*The dog ate my car keys. We're going to hitchhike to the vet.


*I prefer to remain an enigma.


*My mother-in-law has come back as one of the Undead and we must track her to her coffin to drive a stake through her heart and give her eternal peace. One day should do it.





Do you have a an over the top outrageous work excuse you would like to share?





Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dragon's Fire Creations ---

 Featured Artisan of the Week


                              Come join us in getting to know Dragon's Fire Creations:



When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I've always enjoyed art class and things to do with creative thinking. So basically I've been interested in crafting and art my whole life.


How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I have been creating jewelry since February of 2003 so it will be eight years very shortly.



What are your crafting influences?

My influences are nature and semi-precious stones. I also enjoy finding old jewelry to reuse and re-purpose. I especially love funky old pendants.


Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

My friends started creating jewelry as well.


What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I have displayed at Pagan festivals, street festivals, fundraisers, fashion shows and Art galleries. Mostly in Milwaukee Wisconsin and the Midwest.


 What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I enjoy reading, writing, listening to music and going to concerts. To make a living I rely on my phone communication skills and mostly do sales.


What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

That's hard to say because their are so many. I would say my own personal piece I created with shells from an old bracelet and a tiger iron pendant.


Why did you make that piece?

I made it because my dad had given me the bracelet the shell came from when I was a little girl.


What does it take to create pieces like that?

All pieces take patience and creativity.


What is special about your pieces?

Every piece is one of a kind. Especially being that I use reused beads and pendants. If you have a necklace from me you can be sure it is the only one in the world.



What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

I enjoy the stress reducing. Making something beautiful that someone can enjoy for years to come.
 
 
 
A selection of Dragon Treasure:

Monday, February 7, 2011

February -- Flower -- Violet

The flower dedicated to the month of February, for birthdays is the Violet.




Quick facts on violets:

-Latin term Viola is where the word violet originates form

-typically they have asymmetrical flowers and heart shaped leaves

-shape of the petals can help define many species of violets

-the color of violets varies greatly

-there are @ 400 to 500 different species of violets

With 400 to 500 different species to choose from how does one decide? Look at where you live and then narrow your search parameters down to the species that will grow well in your region.



-they are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. With varieties also found in Astralasia, Hawaii and in South America in the Andes.



-they prefer moist and slightly shaded growing conditions

They do great indoors in a window above either the kitchen sink or in a bathroom.



The language of the violets when included in a nosegay, are one who has or will have faithfulness and modesty. Each color then adds its own additional twist of meaning, which is further affected by the other plants added to the nosegay bouquet. While faithfulness and modesty are the wide held meaning behind violets, due to the Victorian era. The violet was considered a symbol of fertility and love by the ancient Greeks. So much so that they use to create love potions out of the violets.

In history you will find that the ancient Greeks were cultivating violets, confirmed at 500 BC, but our thought to have been doing so earlier.

Ancient Greeks also believed that wearing a crown of violets would ward off dizzy spells and headaches.

Flowers of the violets are candied for used to decorate cakes, fruits, translucent jellies. They make a lovely garnish atop chilled soups and punches. While the flowers of violets are edible, they should not be taken internally in large doses.



Violets range in color from blue, white, purple and the occasional yellow. They typically flower between April and May. Making them a perfect gift for someone with a birthday in February, especially if they like to garden.



My grandmother use to make both Candied Violets and Violet syrup. I thought it would be cool to share the candied violet recipe for others to enjoy.



Candied Violets

*Harvest chemical free, unblemished violet blossoms

*Wash gently – this is tricky, what works well is fill a sink with barely under room temperature water gently drop the blossoms in and dunk. A small handled strainer, used to gently remove them (with as little water movement as possible.)

*Lay them out on a paper towel to dry.

* Once dry paint (use a fine brush) lightly with beaten egg whites

*Sprinkle with sugar

*Let dry. The drying process will take several days. Length of time is going to depend on where located, how warm you do or do not keep your house, where you set them to dry. Drying to quickly will ruin them, drying to slowly and they will mold. Do to the variance in dry time I recommend starting with a very small batch or a couple of small batches and try different locations until you find the perfect timing.

*Once dry store in an airtight jar. Preferably someplace dark and away from light, so they will keep indefinitely. (A cupboard you are not into daily and is temperament is perfect)



Ta Da, you have now made your very first candied violets!


So how did they turn out?    Do you have an old family recipe for violets stashed away that you would be willing to share?



Sunday, February 6, 2011

Garden Delights 2/6/11

  -Gardener's know the Best Dirt!-



"A weed is only a misplaced plant."



Sunday's are for gardening, stop in and each Sunday for your weekly garden delight.  A comination of quirky saying's, short stories, plant lore and much more, in the year to come.





Thursday, February 3, 2011

16 Commonly Misused Words


Did you really mean that?


While for some it may be inconceivable to think they could possibly be using the incorrect word for what they actually mean, it happens to all of us. While not nearly as noticeable in verbal communication as it is in written, it is still there.

This subject came about after I received an e-mail earlier this week, which made me stop and go really? I had to send it back and ask what the person truly was intending to mean and this was a business email not personal.

While not an English major and knowing for a fact that I probably misuse words in both written and verbal communication, I tracked down and compiled a list of the most commonly misused words.



a.) Adverse vs. Averse

Adverse means unfavorable.

Averse means reluctant.



b.) Farther vs. Further

Farther is talking about a physical distance.

Further is talking about an extension of time or degree.


I didn’t know this one until I found it while looking for others that I was familiar with.



c.) Historic vs. Historical

Historic means and important event.

Historical means something that happened in the past.



d.) Imply vs. Infer

Imply means to suggest indirectly.

Infer means to draw a conclusion based upon information.



e.) Irregardless

Does anyone know of anyone that has actually used this word?

It is not a word, not in any language that I could find. It was suggested that someone who would be tempted to use this word, they should consider using regardless or irrespective.



f.) Insure vs. Ensure

Ok I know I misuse this one, a lot.


Insure is correct only when talking about insurance coverage.

Ensure means to guarantee.



g.) Premier vs. Premiere

This one is most commonly misused in written communication as opposed to verbal communication. They are both pronounced the same way.

Premier is the first and best in status and/or importance.

Premiere is opening night, of a new movie or new store or restaurant.



h.) Unique

Unique literally means one of a kind. Adding very or truly in front of it, is redundant.



i.) Who vs. Whom

I am happy to say that I finally learned how to use these two words while doing the research for this blog. Now if I can only remember it and change my habits.



Who is to be used when referring to subjects.

     An example of this would be “Who is going to do the yard work?”

Whom is to be used when referring to objects.

     An Example of this would be “Whom are you going to photograph?”




It was fun looking up the information and finding out about words that I had no idea how they were being misused. Feel free to break as many of these rules as you like! Because, really who determined what word was going to mean what anyway?

 In actuality words and definitions are ever evolving and changing.  Pop cultural and trends affect words their definitions and meanings a great deal.   Doubt that logic, check out the history of the phrase “get jiggy wit it”.




Can you think of any other words that are being misused?





Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Humor and Kids

Found this cute micro story and had to share, kids can be really funny...



Two little kids are in a hospital, lying on stretchers next to each other, outside the operating room. The first kid leans over and asks, "What are you in here for?"


The second kid says, "I'm in here to get my tonsils out and I'm a little scared."

The first kid says, "You've got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep, and when you wake up they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream. It's a breeze."

The second kid then asks, "What are you here for?"

The first kid says, "A Circumcision."

And the second kid says, "Whoa, Good luck, buddy, I had that done when I was born. Couldn't walk for a year!"
 
- humorwizard.com

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Artfire Featured Artisan of the Week is The Wild Tangent

The Wild Tangent appears to have closed up shop and left Artfire.  As a result the photo links broke and have been removed, as well as the hyperlinks have broken.  Updated 02/04/2014.

Join us in getting to know The Wild Tangent.


How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

Though I have been making jewelry since 2008, I don't know really if it is my chosen craft. In 2005 I was in a car accident that destroyed my shoulder muscles and more importantly my ability to paint. I spent the years in between trying many different crafts but jewelry making is a natural step for me. I have always loved jewelry. I also make dresses, costumes, and other misc. crafts. I love all crafts that is why I named my page The Wild Tangent it gives me the freedom to evolve.



What are your crafting influences?

I think I gain a lot of inspiration from nature; I live in the redwoods next to the ocean how can anyone not be inspired by that. I also love the Renaissance, Medieval, and Victorian styles.



Does anyone in your family do a similar craft? I am the only jewelry designer/seamstress. My brother is a fabulous painter, sculptor, and carpenter. My aunt draws, paints, and sculpts.



What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

Jewelry doesn't really go on display except maybe on my neck. I do have a separate website at Http:www.TheWildTangent.com I do giveaways and blog.

I also have a deviant art page of jewelry and sewing stuff still putting that together.



What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

Other than making jewelry I am a mom, wife, Gardner, and house repairer. I sew, draw, sketch, decoupage, fabric paint, trying to learn to sculpt for unique pendants, mushroom hunt, beach comber, rock hound, and more. I also have fibromyalgia so I spend time doing research and talking to fellow sufferers as well as try to raise awareness.



What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

I have to say my most favorite piece has to be the signature cranberry and copper bracelet.

I love my hoops in motion as well since they are unique and spin in different circles. 



Why did you make that piece?

I made in support of the N.F.A. (National Fibromyaglia Association) along with several other cranberry colored pieces. All cranberry/burgundy pieces sold I donate the proceeds to the N.F.A.



What does it take to create pieces like that?

Jewelry components used in that piece were copper wire, fused glass (made by Glass Magic), glass beads, and creativity.



What is special about your pieces?

My pieces are special because they are unique, I do not duplicate nor could I if I wanted to. I recycle old broken jewelry, use semi-precious gemstones, pearls, crystals and found items. Also unlike most jewelry designers I offer a free 1 yr warranty on all my pieces. No matter what breaks them I will fix it for free. This is in part because like most designers I rely heavily on commercial findings and in part because I have had my kids break numerous pieces over the years.



What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

Jewelry is very subjective as for being good to me I would say it is creating it.. I make jewelry because I love it. My prices are low because I am not trying to make a profit I just want to have enough coming in to support my creations. Sometimes I have months in between sales yet I continue to make it. (largely do to my inability to do craft shows) I also donate a lot of pieces to charity auctions and I have sponsored several people.



Additional Jewelry Favorites of The Wild Tangent:
Piece One
Piece Two


Enjoy the collection of Favorites we found when visiting The Wild Tangent:

Tangent Shopping
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know The Wild Tangent.  What did you think?