Some Fleur Di Lis For Mardi Gras

I LOVE Fleur Di Lis, and typically year round, even though I’m not French nor from New Orleans.   There’s just something about the design that is so timeless, so elegant, yet still a bit edgy.

I created my Saint Amour Necklace and Earrings Set to capture some of the essence of the elegance that is the Fleur Di Lis.  (Both available as part of my  Retro Collection)  Happy Mardi Gras All!

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Free Things to do When Your Wallet is Empty

It really concerns me just how broke a lot of people are right now, or frustrated with where they are in life. There’s a lot of uncertainty about jobs, the future and so much more right now, that I know many people are tightening the purse strings and evaluating their goals.   Here’s a few ideas, that while not particularly revolutionary might provide a bit of reprieve from worry, offer something to do, and not put a dent in the wallet.   Fresh perspective after all, doesn’t have to cost a penny.

1.  Take a walk in the park, go for a jog, or really rough it and hike a few rugged trails.  Better yet, see if you can even volunteer to help develop or work on maintaining some trails.  Do some good, get in shape and have some fun.

2.  Visit your local library.  If you absolutely don’t feel like reading a book (but seriously, it’s good for your brain!) don’t forget all the cd’s and videos most libraries also have available for checkout.  Better yet, you can keep them longer then most video stores and late fees are way cheaper too.

3.  Check out free day at a museum or a zoo. Lots of institutions sponsor free events, openings and more. Check your local listings for when events are free.  Be inspired by history, art, music or nature.

4.  Go on a cleaning binge.  Perhaps you just want to clear the clutter of your home.  Having less stuff, can lead to a much less stressful life.  Or, clean up your neighborhood. You could really go all out and organize a clean up for the entire neighborhood.

5.  Take a college class for free.  Sure, it’s no substitute for the type of degree you have to pay for but if you want to supplement your learning, or check out different fields there is a lot of courswork, lectures and information to explore on line, much from very respected institutions. Search online for “free college courses”  or here’s one place to start at the Online Education Database.

6.  Learn a new craft.  If you’ve ever explored sites litke youtube there’s dozens of artist and crafters who are willing to share some of their basic skills with others. Search Youtube under terms like “handmade how to” and you will find literally dozens upon dozens of videos on making anything from greeting cards, to sewing tips to jewelry making techniques.  Odds are good you probably have a lot of the material you need to do somem of these crafts even around the house right now.  If you just want to be a little nosy and peek into the lives of some crafters, Etsy has their own Youtube channel with handmade artists portraits, how to vids and more.

7.  Become an online tutor.    If you’ve got some higher level skills in Math, English, Science of History you can serve as an online tutor and enrich student learning.  Better yet, you can actually get paid!  You can apply online at tutor.com .

8.  Check out a free class in your community.  Many hospitals, libraries, grocery stores and hardware stores offer free clinics and classes on anything from healthy eating, to how to floor your own home.  You can find local clinics and online workshops for Home Depot online at home depot’s website.  Visit your local library to look for fliers, search for your local grocery store chain, or visit a nearby hospital to see what programs may be offered.

9.  Go for a bike ride.  Get miles away in no time at all.  (Just be sure to leave some energy for the return trip home and don’t forget to wear a helmet!)

10. Go on a free historical tour. Many city tourism agencies have free maps, and sometimes even information about free guided tours you can take part in.  Visit anything from a local century home, to a historic farmstead or take an underground or tunnel tour.  Most major cities have at least some type of free tour you can check out.

11.  Braintstorm your own ideas—think like a kid again.  What did you do when you were little?  Consider the fun of flying a kite, tending a garden, making origami, recycling old junk into art, calling an old friend, building something, playing a board game, playing a free online game, play on a local playground, grab your tennis racket and hit a free court, visit a nearby lake or pond and skip rocks, chase butterflies….I’m know I’m thinking of some wacky ideas here, but what did you like to do once upon a time?

The Best Way to See the World

So would you like to travel to an exotic locale?  How about exploring the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, a beautiful greek Island or the wildlife center in Namibia Africa?

There is acually an organization that helps you travel to these places for a discount.  The catch?  You get the opportunity to do some good while you are there.  Fly for Good has screened non profit organizations and offers travel discounts, a volunteer trip finder and information about humanitarian efforts you can participate in.  Trips can range from anywhere from a week to even 6 months or more.

It may be worth pausing next time you want to plan a vacation, and seeing if any of trips would be insipiring to you.  I’m thinking observing jaguars, helping to  preserve ancient ruins and researching manatees in Belize sounds pretty amazing.

And the Winner Is……

The winner of my Gothic Pearl Necklace is Christy!

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Her comment was chosen by random number generator.

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If you didn’t win don’t despair.  You can still purchase your own Gothic Pearl Necklace in my Retro Collection shop.

Visit again though for future contests and deals!

Waxing Artistically About Windfarms

It’s no surprise I’m a fan of alternative energy.  As such, I’m in the process of designing a necklace that is an ode to the modern windfarm.  I’ll post photos when I eventually get around to completing the project.  Personally I think wind turbines are pretty sleek looking.  Cleveland of course has it’s own actual wind turbine (check out a nifty video and more at http://www.windustrious.org/)

Here’s a few artists who have recognized the beauty (and perhaps also the necessity) of modern wind farms.

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From left to right, top to bottom:

Wind Power -Original Fine Art Photograph by Pfeiffer Photos

Wind Farm Alternative Energy Graphic Print Tee by Happy Family

Wind Turbine, Windmill screenprinted necktie by Toybreaker

Silver Mountain Originals

I’ve been actually using my twitter account more lately, and in doing so I’ve had the opportunity to learn about (or be super nosy about) many artists and designers. I came into contact with Silver Mountain Originals (also known as tamdoll on Etsy) who creates art dolls, fabric jewelry, bags, and even patterns for those of you who are super crafty.

I wanted to share a pattern she has designed, that you could use to make a simply amazing creation. I thought these were the coolest looking dragons. They’re quite whimsical and fun. If you are one of those people who is good with a needle and thread you can purchase this pattern in her shop and create away. I unfortunately have to saw my dragons rather than sew them, as sewing just isn’t one of my talents. (But I will profess my jealousy of those of you who are so talented!)

il_430xn40656676Quiet Dragon Pattern, $9.00

Ode to the Superbowl

We’re heading off to a Superbowl party in a bit.