It’s Pin Day!

Since I recently shared the site Pinterest with you, I also wanted to share my most recent pin additions to my Miscellanea shop!

Each pin measures 2″ long and features a whimsical charm. I can also customize these to say just about anything.
Each $20, at Miscellanea

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Props for Pinterest – How and Why to Use it

Have you joined Pinterest?
If not, go request an invitation and start pinning away!
I’m always intrigued by the buzz around social media sites, and being an online entrepreneur (and media addict) it doesn’t take me too long to poke around and see if they’re worth joining.

What is Pinterest you may ask?

It’s basically a online or virtual photo album that lets you categorize all the beautiful photos and links you find on the web. You can discover photos through contacts and keyword searches. It’s easy to use, and an incredible organizational tool, as well as great eye candy.

How do you use it?

You can get a friend to invite you or go to Pinterest and request an invite. I signed up with my twitter account, and you can also sign up with your facebook account. Set up your account, and add a bio photo and any other information you’d like to share. Then you’re ready to go! The easiest way to pin is to add the “pin-it” button to your tool bar and then anytime you find something you like on the web that you want to share, keep track of or remember you just click that button. Then you can organize the photos into whatever categories you like.


How is it useful?

There are so many ways to use Pinterest. Some people use it to share photos of their artwork or products (Though it’s urged that you do so minimally and respectfully) Others keep track of photos of dishes and recipes they want to create, DIY and art projects they want to complete, home decorating ideas, photos of fashion and style inspiration, organizational ideas, and travel photos. The possibilities are practically endless as Pinterest lets you create your own board categories and you can organize photos however you like. In addition, each photo links to the original source allowing you to re-visit web-sites where they were found, much like a visual bookmark system.
A few things I’ve used Pinterest for include keeping track of and sharing some healthy dishes as well as pinning a few of my favorite cosmetic products to keep track of where to buy them, and to let others know how great they are.

What’s the social side of it?
You can connect with your facebook and twitter contacts and follow their pin boards. You can also search and find people who have similar interests to yours and keep an eye on their pins. Pinterest lets photos be repinned, so even if you’re not out searching the web you can still find a lot of things that interest you just through looking through the boards alone.
Feel free to take a peek at my Pinterest boards, and I may just follow you back as well!
http://pinterest.com/valerie_tyler/
Happy Pinning!

The Art of Food: Simple Pasta Salad

I’m busy.  Always busy.  So therefore, it seems I never have time to make any fancy meals or dishes unless I’m preparing for a party.  To my women readers, don’t get jealous please, my husband also does most of the cooking for dinner.  (He likes it!)

That being said, I do like to make some things, and I especially love fresh food.  Good food, doesn’t always have to be complicated to make, nor does it always have to take a ton of time. So today I share with you how to make a simple pasta salad that is extremely healthy and very tasty.

The key is FRESH HERBS and lots of vegetables!

You can experiment with adding a variety of herbs. For my salad I went out to my herb garden and picked fresh sprigs of globe basil ( a little spicier than traditional basil), oregano, a bit of thyme and some big leaves of thai basil (strong licorice flavor).  There are so many possibilities to add though: cilantro, dill, parsley and a variety of others will all slightly change the flavor of the dish.

To keep things healthy I use Barilla Plus pasta ( it’s the stuff that comes in a yellow box) as an alternative to regular pasta.  It tastes so good and has a bunch of healthy ingredients like flaxseed, semolina, and legumes and packs a lot more protein than your average pasta (and it doesn’t have the “gritty” texture like other healthy pastas have) then I dice up a bunch of veggies and toss them in with olive oil, a little lemon juice, garlic and pepper!

Ingredients and simple instructions:

*Cook half a box of Barilla Plus Pasta, any variety, per instructions on box (usually 7-10 minutes), rinse then put in a bowl

*Herbs:
Add fresh cut Globe Basil, Thai Basil, Thyme, Oregano (or add your own favorites)

*Vegetables:
Add
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/4 red pepper diced
1 carrot diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
(I also recommend broccoli)

*Toss together with olive oil to coat.
*Add 1-2 t. of lemon juice
*Add fresh grated garlic or 1 t. of garlic powder
*Salt and pepper to taste.

Add a sprig of herbs on top for presentation.

It’s simple, fresh, quick, and low calorie while still tasty!

Mixed up About Metal? A guide to metals in jewelry

Are you mixed up about what exactly you’re jewelry is made of when you see various metal terms? Here’s a small guide to help you get the value you are looking for

SILVER:
*Sterling Silver contains a minimum of 92.5% pure silver and usually 7.5%  copper. The silver is  mixed with other metals like copper  to make it harder and more durable.  Sterling silver does require careful storage and occasional cleaning to prevent tarnish.
*Argentium Silver is a sterling silver allow in which some of the copper is replaced with germanium, while still maintaining the 92.5% rate of silver.  It has a higher tarnish resistance.
*Silver plate is when a base metal like nickel or copper has a layer of silver bonded or plated over it. It can be a less expensive alternative to traditional sterling.  The thickness of the plate determines how likely it is for the coating to not wear off.

Sterling Silver Earrings

GOLD:
*24 kt is solid gold, but it is extremely soft and not useful for jewelry. 18K which is 75% gold, 14K which is 58% gold, and 9K which is 37% gold are more commonly used.
*Gold Vermeil consists of sterling silver that has been gold plated.
*Gold-Filled is usually made of a brass or copper base metal covered with sheets of gold bonded to the base metal. The gold content is typically 1/20 or 5% of the total weight. With reasonable care, it’s relatively long lasting.
*Gold Plated has a thin layer of gold over various types of base metal. The gold may wear away if not properly cared for.

Be careful with gold as since it is a softer metal, it can scratch more easily, and is more likely to be harmed with heavy cleaning.

PLATINUM:

Platinum is actually rarer than gold and very durable, it won’t rust and most people find it very hypoallergenic.

BRASS:
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, normally containing 2/3 copper and 1/3 zinc.

Brass Ring

BRONZE:

Bronze is another alloy.  It’s mainly copper, though it often has tin added.  It’s a hard metal often confused with brass.

STAINLESS STEEL
A strong metal, that contains a steel alloy. It usually has chromium to prevent corrosion. Surgical stainless steel is typically considered to be hypoallergenic.

Closet Craft Storage

Hooray!  My husband finally got around to adding some shelving to the closet in my studio room.  Now I’ve got a much more organized arts and crafts storage space, that’s a bit functional too.  It holds my packing and shipping center, my crafts bins, my Miscellanea jewelery inventory and all sorts of other goodies.

Hooray for lots of extra, organized storage space!

The packing center is all neat and spiffy, and there’s room to pack items right on the shelf!

Artists and crafters need to dabble in other mediums once and awhile right? (Or do we just hoard lots of cool stuff?)

While my jewelry that travels to art shows is in portable trays in my rolling case, my Miscellanea jewelry is spread out easy to see in pretty trays!

The best part is, when I don’t want to look at it all I can just go ahead and close the closet doors!

Interested in sharing your craft or  studio space photos on Art Addict?  Let me know on my submissions and collaboration page!

An experiment in suburban gardening

I live near the national park.  We have gorgeous Spruce and Cedar trees where we live, that are absolutely lovely.  We also have lots of wildlife that sometimes comes to visit.  I’ve seen plenty of deer, an occasional raccoon and even a fox trot through the back yard.  Of course these things mean a traditional garden in the back yard is a bit difficult.  There’s an awful lot of shade and anything that grew would most likely be eaten by critters.  I had an aha! moment after reading an article on urban gardening this fall though.  If New Yorkers could grow gardens on roof top patios, why couldn’t I on my little second level deck outside of our bedroom and office.  It would have a lot more sun, and basically be critter proof!

So several planters, seedlings, and bags of organic dirt dragged up an entire flight of stairs later I had a garden.  Now I know, expert gardeners will say I have way too many plants, and they’re way too close together.  We basically bought enough plants for a small farm I think!  But, this really was just an experiment.   Live and learn.  I’m not sure I expected them to actually grow as well and as big as they did!

It looks like we will have a nice little crop of plants to enjoy in a few months.

Definitely need more, and bigger planters next year.  The plan is to put hanging baskets all the way around as well.

A cayenne pepper, the first vegetable of the summer is on it’s way!

We had a little visitor.  Correct me if wrong, but I believe it’s a katydid.  Hopefully it keeps the munching to a minimum.

We’re going to have a ton of tomatoes.  Pasta anyone?

Help The Great Adventure

There is an amazing family that has children at the school I work at.  One of their children has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Instead of letting this chronic illness wear them down, the family has gone on a very proactive journey.  They created a non-profit called John Owen’s Great Adventure, Inc. to raise funds for organizations in order to fund research for cures for neuromuscular illnesses, and to raise more awareness.  If you’re a local Clevelander, one of their biggest fundraisers is a picnic with lots of raffles, auctions,  a texas hold em’ tournament, live music and other fun events.

I’m sending these goodies off as prizes, so if you want to win them go give some money to the cause!

There are a lot of amazing items being raffled or auctioned off including VIP concert tickets, a laptop, artwork, sports memorabilia, and more!The raffle list is simply staggering!
The picnic takes place on Friday July 29, 2011 from 5-11 p.m. at German Central, 7863 York Road, Parma Ohio  It would make a great way to spend one of your Summer evenings, and wouldn’t it be even better to know your entertainment money will go to such a great cause!

 

 

Ingenuity Speakeasy is July 15th

It’s almost time for the Ingenuity Speakeasy! Don your best flapper gear and join in the fun on July 15, 2011
It’s a great chance to see the bridges and tunnels all lit up and decorated!

Greater Cleveland Summer 2011 Art Show Calendar

I’m a little late putting up this post so it’s missing a few shows.  If you’re like me, one of the best parts of Summer is that it’s the time when white tents pop up almost every weekend in a nearby community when an art show is taking place.  As an artist, I tend to like to be around art and support other artists so I try to get to at least a few shows I’m not participating in a year. (We’re especially fans of photography and pottery and look for new items to add to our home!)

Here’s a list of some art shows you may want to visit, so you can add some to your calendar.  It is by no means a master list and if you have a favorite show or are promoting one not listed here, feel free to add it in the comments section.

 

Cain Park Arts Festival, Cleveland Heights – July 8,9,10

Youngstown Summer Festival of the Arts, July 9 &10

Willoughby Arts Fest, July 16

Medina Art in the Park, July 17

Lakewood Arts Festival, August 6

Chardon Square Arts Festival, August 7

University Park Art Fair at Grace Park, Akron, August 13

Art-a-palooza, Green, August 27

Art on the Green, Hudson, August 27 &28

Kent Art in the Park, September 10 & 11

Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival, Cleveland, September 17 & 18

Where in the World was the Art Addict last weekend?

Any guesses?