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If you love making your own stuff, working with your hands on whatever you decide to build from your jewelry to your furniture, you are exactly like me so I brought to you this wonderful tutorial from Tim McCreight’s book Complete Metalsmith, Professional Edition

*For a better view click on the image

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Long enough I haven’t posted and I think this is a good opportunity for me to express my feelings about the way we’ve been treating our planet and our everyday environment starting from home….

This 2010 Earth Day there are still infinite issues that need to be abolished, we’ve been talking about this situation for nearly 20 years and it’s about time we start doing something seriously to change that, it’s our responsibility, only reflection isn’t enough, Earth Day is everyday, action is needed, cos nature is shouting out everyday louder, as you can see here

Theoretically is easy talking but in a daily basis our behavior is far from our speech, transforming information in action, preserving bio adversity is critical at this point.

See below a few changes we can start making little by little and that will lead us to a bigger change.

. Keep your pipes, faucets and hoses working in good condition, any liking or perforation might waste 3200 liters of clean water a day.

. A regular shower takes only 6 minutes and 140 liters of water :O, avoid peeing before showering, you will save 20 liters of water that would be used to flush. Another simple and practical idea is to use 2in1 shampoo and conditioner, you save time in the shower and still reduce by half the number of packaging, isn’t that a good deal?

. Perishable food will be less wasted if you buy only the quantity you will need, try making good use of vegetable peels for soups and fruit peels for teas or desserts. Organics are not a brand but a choice, and local farmers will appreciate your choice for their items. For more information, visit SlowFood

. Diapers take 250-500 years to decompose, you can choose (organic) cotton pre-folds diapers but if in case you dont have a washer machine at home or live in an apartment you can go for those eco-friendly ones here or the Australian corn fiber ones.

. Climb the stairs whenever possible instead of taking the moving stairway of elevators, you’re putting your energy saving to action.

. Take a ride or take a bus if you have a friend from work living close by or if you have a bus station nearby your work and home.

. Wash your clothes only if they are really dirty or estimate a number of times to wear them before taking them to the laundry, many people wear the clothes just once and put them to wash, specially jeans.

. Buy reusable water bottles.

. Try using the heat and air conditioning only when is extremely necessary and don’t let them on once you leave the room for long time.

. Recycle dish washer and laundry machine water, you can use them to flush the toilet or wash your car, the driveway, and mop the floor if needed.

. Always Have a spare bucket for clean water so when it rains you can capture up to 10 gallons of water.

. Try not to use paper towel, use a rag or a cloth to wipe out or clean the dirty and mess in the house but if you do, try reusing them over a few times, there is a type you can wash like rags and reuse it.

I know there are lot more to do and you can help me leaving your suggestion here but those are the ones I remember now and they are adjustable to our way of life and do not cost a thing. Happy Earth Day Everyday 😉

EarthDay.org

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In my searches for genuine Beach sea glass I found myself many times being cheated by unreliable sellers or business owners for not being able to distinguish authenticity from artificiality.

I found out then I wasn’t the first one, many artisan friends had gone through the same situation till I came upon a very interesting article by Richard LaMotte and Charles Peden about how to identify Original from Artificial Sea Glass stones:

Genuine Sea Glass:

1. Originating from discarded bottles and tableware, garbage dumps or glass from shipwrecks and household items lost in natural disasters as severe floods, etc.

2. Quantities of some colors are severely limited. Colors such as orange, red, yellow, cobalt blue, purple, turquoise, “black”, and Vaseline are very rare. Genuine sea glass in these colors is normally never sold by the pound.

3. Sea glass is often hydrated and may have a “frosty” surface, appearing crystalline in structure. Hydration is a slow process where the lime and soda in glass is leached out by the constant contact with water, leaving variable pitting on the surface of the glass. The soda and lime can combine with other elements to form tiny crystals in the surface of the glass. Many good specimens will sparkle in the light. It is impossible to duplicate this process with out actually allowing nature to take its course over several years.

4. Small “C” shaped patterns may emerge on the surface of the beach sea glass and small hair line cracks may develop on some pieces.

5. Natural tumbling is often uneven on rocky shores, where a piece of sea glass got stuck with a portion of it still exposed. This process frequently produces shards that are triangular shape, and yet in some areas such as sandy beaches, the tumbling may be very even making them well rounded and nearly uniform in shape.

6. Sea glass may frequently be composed of identifiable bottle necks, bottle bottoms lettering and other unusual shapes and distinguishing features such as mug handles and so forth.

7. Sea glass continues to go up in price as supplies dwindle (littering is discouraged) and more and more people become collectors. Recent years have seen two books on sea glass come out, C. S. Lambert’s Sea Glass Chronicles and most recently Pure Sea Glass, written by Richard LaMotte.

Artificial Sea Glass

1. Originating from either a factory, workshop or rock tumbler (in rare occurrences people bring premature sea glass home to finish it off in a rock tumbler). Craft glass may be made from sheets of glass which are cut up and tossed into a rock tumbler or acid bath. Craft glass can also come from recycled glass bottles. Some who are a bit more particular will actually seek out old bottles which to then turn into tumbled craft glass.

2. Nearly all colors are readily available in quantity and pricing between colors is fairly consistent. Since one does not cost more than the other to produce it’s a sure sign of artificial sea glass.

3. To duplicate the hydration process that genuine beach sea glass undergoes, many manufacturers will etch the glass in an acid bath after tumbling it. Improperly rinsed, the glass may still contain some acid residue which can be toxic. Some large craft stores that carry tumbled craft glass caution you against using it in your aquarium and to avoid excessive handling. This type of tumbled glass is often used in the floral industry in vases to support flowers.

4. Etched glass has a satiny appearance and will be very uniform in its finish. It will be devoid of any small “C” shaped patterns on the surface, (which may occur on genuine beach sea glass).

5. Tumbled glass is often quite rough on the edges. If it is well worn the pieces in the lot will usually be small yet very similar in the overall degree of tumbling.

6. Many times tumbled craft glass comes in large chunky amorphous shapes, and sometimes it comes as nearly uniform squares and triangles. If it is recycled glassware such as bottles, odds are that you will only find mass produced bottle necks or bottoms, nearly all of the glass will come from mass production and in any color.

7. Tumbled craft glass has a market and the differences are easy to see up close. It pays to be informed and ask questions.

Buying Tips

1. There are many sources to purchase sea glass, but fraud does exist and it pays to be an educated consumer when shopping for sea glass.

2. Ask before you buy: just because the seller is advertising that they have beach sea glass, does not mean that the glass has ever been to a beach. Some sellers are simply uneducated in the differences between genuine sea glass and artificially tumbled craft glass. Some try to pass off craft glass as beach glass and there are plenty who sell the genuine article and spend hours searching for it.

3. If the picture in the listing or the bag of sea glass shows very uniform color, with no variance in the hue from piece to piece, odds are that it is tumbled craft glass. Blurry, poorly-lit pictures are also a red flag.

4. Pricing is not a reliable indicator of authenticity, as some sellers price differently then others based upon supply and demand. That being said, if you see a pound of red advertised for $10.00, odds are that it is not genuine natural beach sea glass.

Source: North America Sea Glass Association

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Self-Expression of my Soul

1. As you become more daring, people familiar with your work may think you have been snorting liver of sulfur. they just like the old stuff. Your new work may not sell well initially, and you may be tempted to retreat to your former design comfort zone. Film director Sydney Pollack stated that he looks for that small wedge of the public pie that will support exactly what he loves to do. Rather than adjusting to external demands, Frank, too, looks for the wedge.

2. Your jewelry will likely face increased rejection. This is a good sign. It means that your designs are strongly self-expressive,and some people are simply no going to warm up to them. Rejection may come in the form of harsh criticism, but, more likely it arrives in the form of a ”stare” or quickly averted eyes. Accepting, even welcoming, rejection takes the power out of it.

3. You will feel happier and more passionate. Even though he faced fear of financial ruin, Frank Gehry routinely experienced joy in his work after he stopped constructing malls. All of us have had at least flashes of pure satisfaction in manifesting our vision.

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Brazilian Easter chocolate eggs are a tradition. every year tons of Easter eggs are sold in stores nationwide like this one, this one and this one that seems not to feel the economic recession weight.
Way before Easter time, they are already decoration the places with chocolate eggs, baskets, bunnies and all kinds of chocolate gifts you could possibly imagine and attracting thousands to shoppers and chocolate lovers no matter if kids, teens, adults or seniors everyone has to buy chocolate eggs.
Prices and sizes vary and you can have them in baskets or just in a single wrapped decorated foil paper, the kinds are suitable to all tastes and flavors are added every year as a surprise, below are some my mom sent over to me, those are ones of the traditionals, last year I couldnt show them, they came all broken but this year I got them all in perfect condition. Hope you appreciate the view as much as I will appreciate eating them thinking of you 😉 Happy Easter you all ….

From Top to Bottom: Turquoise, Tomato Purée, Fusion Coral, Violet, Tuscany, Aurora, Amparo Blue, Pink Champagne, Dried Herb, Eucalyptus.