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veterans day

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). 

The United States also originally observed Armistice Day; it then evolved into the current Veterans Day holiday in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.

Most sources spell Veterans as a simple plural without a possessive apostrophe (Veteran’s or Veterans’).

Here’s a list of what will be open and closed for Veterans Day on Wednesday.

•    Banks: Closed.
•    Financial markets: Closed.
•    Government offices: City, county, state and federal offices are closed.
•    Libraries: The County’s central library and all city branches are closed. Suburban branches vary. 
•    Mail: No mail. Post offices are closed.
•    Parking: Parking at city meters is free.
•    Trash collection: City trash pickup will be on schedule. Other municipal and private haulers may work on a different schedule.

 

labor day for Craftswomen

Labor Day for Craftswomen

What is Labor Day for Craftswomen?

For much of the United States, Labor day is a time to relax, bar-b-que and have a beer or two. Officially, Labor Day is held the first Monday in September and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

As a Craftswoman, you know that this is the time of year to make and sell! Summer shows are nearing an end and Holiday sales are about to start.

This Labor Day, if you haven't already, take the time to complete this short checklist to make sure you're ready for the season ahead!

Holiday Readiness Checklist

  • Do you have plenty of supplies for your business? Not just creative supplies, think cleaning, packing and shipping. 
  • Are you offering gift wrapping? This is a great way to add value to your product. 
  • Have you replenished from your summer sales?
  • If you are doing shows, are all of your show supplies (tent, brochures, business cards) in good supply and repair?
  • Depending on your show schedule, you may need additional help. During the holidays, it might not be easy to find someone to "cover" your breaks. Start looking for "seasonal help" now!
  • On a personal note, make sure you've got all your laundry done! I don't know about you but this is the time of year that it just piles up for me! 

I hope you've found this article useful and encouraging. Don't forget to take time for yourself and you family this holiday season. Remember to share your "outtakes" with us in the Showcase! We love to see your pictures!

Also, check out this helpful article on Clearing The Clutter before the holiday season hits. 

 

The Beach Boys single “California Girls” was released on this day, July 12th, 1965.

The Beach Boys single “California Girls” was released on this day, July 12th, 1965.
 
The single “California Girls” was released on this day (July 12th, 1965. The song was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Wilson conceived the song during his first acid trip. Except for 12 string guitar by Carl Wilson, the other music was performed not by members of the band; mostly by the Wrecking Crew, (Hal Blaine, Leon Russell & Carole King).
 
"Upon its release as a single, "California Girls" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. 
 
Single by: The Beach Boys
from the album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
Released: July 12, 1965
Recorded: April 6 – June 4, 1965
Studio: United Western Recorders and CBS Columbia Square, Hollywood
Label: Capitol
Songwriter(s): Brian Wilson Mike Love
Producer: Brian Wilson
 
The song is considered emblematic of the 1960s California Sound. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included it as one of "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". In 2010, the Beach Boys' recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
 
DIY Light Box

DIY Light Box

DIY Light Box 

If you've read the post on how to take great product pictures, you've read about the importance of light in your pictures.  When using natural light isn’t possible or just doesn’t work for your particular needs, a light box is often the next best alternative. This post will demonstrate how to make a DIY Light Box. No need for any fancy materials or supplies. Many of the items are probably things you have at home already!

List of Supplies:
1. Cardboard box
2. Box cutter or X-acto Knife
3. White printer paper or White Tissue Paper (the type found in the gift wrap section)
4. White poster board
5. Portable lamp
6. 100 watt white light bulb
7. Double sided tape (or regular tape that you roll up on itself)

Directions

About the cardboard box. It should be large enough to hold the items you are photographing but not so huge that you can’t store or transport it easily. After assembly, remove the top flaps of the box. You want this part to be open. Next, using your box cutter or X-acto Knife, cut the sides out of the box leaving a small border around the edges. You are going for a “picture frame” look on all sides. Do not cut out the bottom!

Once all your sides are cut out, apply double sided tape to the inside of each “frame”. This is where you will be applying the white paper. The goal is to (as seamlessly as possible) cover the inside of the box with your paper. We are trying to make an environment as free from color and shadows as possible.

Voila, you’ve made a light box! Now get busy taking pictures and posting your stuff. I find it works best if you go into a dark room and put the lamp as close to your box as possible. If you are not getting the desired lighting, add more lamps. I’ve seen examples online using up to 3 lamps at a time.

 

From: thepreparedmother.wordpress.com

ASH WEDNESDAY

ASH WEDNESDAY

ASH WEDNESDAY

Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.

Who Celebrates Ash Wednesday?

Have you ever noticed how once a year, usually in February or March, there are a lot of people walking around with an ash cross on their foreheads? You probably knew it had something to do with Lent, but you weren’t sure why the ash cross was significant.

Or maybe, you grew up in a Catholic or Protestant church that held Ash Wednesday services each year, and so you’re already familiar with the service, but aren’t too sure about the history of Ash Wednesday and Lent, and what they have to do with the Christian faith. If you want to learn more about this important day in the liturgical calendar and why so many celebrate Ash Wednesday and Lent, read on!

Often called the Day of Ashes, Ash Wednesday starts Lent by focusing the Christian’s heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession. This happens during a special Ash Wednesday service.

What is the Meaning of Ash Wednesday and What Happens?

In many congregations, the ashes are prepared by burning palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday, churches bless and hand out palm branches to attendees, a reference to the Gospels’ account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when onlookers lay palm branches on his path.

The ashes of this holiday symbolize two main things: death and repentance. “Ashes are equivalent to dust, and human flesh is composed of dust or clay (Genesis 2:7), and when a human corpse decomposes, it returns to dust or ash.”

“When we come forward to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, we are saying that we are sorry for our sins, and that we want to use the season of Lent to correct our faults, purify our hearts, control our desires and grow in holiness so we will be prepared to celebrate Easter with great joy” (The CatholicSpirit.com).

With this focus on our own mortality and sinfulness, Christians can enter into the Lent season solemnly, while also looking forward in greater anticipation and joy of the message of Easter and Christ’s ultimate victory over sin and death.

ORIGIN OF PRESIDENTS’ DAY

Origin of Presidents Day

This year, President's Day falls on Monday, February 18th. Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington. It is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the Federal government.

Customarily celebrated on February 22 – Washington’s actual day of birth – the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s “Uniform Monday Holiday Act”, an effort to generate more three-day weekends for the nation’s workforce. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other personalities, Presidents’ Day is now commonly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.

Public holiday in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana

 

 

 

DIY Valentine Chocolate

Guess what? Chocolate really CAN be good for you!

Most of us have heard that before, it ranks right up there with the amazing news that the antioxidants in red wine contributes to heart health. Is it true, or just another bunch of hype to get us all hopped up on Valentine’s Day Chocolate?

As it turns out, there is some truth to the hype and red wine and chocolate can be good for you. As with everything, the balance between quality and quantity is key. Sadly, there is no way to justify downing a box of chocolates and a bottle of two buck chuck every night. However, sipping a glass of nice red wine and enjoying a quality piece of chocolate could be just what you need.

You can also boost the benefits of your chocolate indulgence by making the chocolate yourself. Try this recipe and let us know what you think! You can make your own simple syrup quick and easy

Ingredients:

Boiling Water
4 Tablespoons cacao
1-2 Tablespoon Simple Syrup
4 ounces cacao butter

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the simple syrup and cacao powder. Mix well.

In a double broiler, melt the cacao butter. Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the syrup/powder mixture. Stir until completely combined and smooth.

Cool slightly and pour into molds. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Origins

St. Valentine's Day Origins

Saint Valentine's Day, also known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a holiday observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a holiday in most of them.

Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The relics of Saint Valentine were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which "remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV"

February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine's Day in various Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of 'commemoration' in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion. In addition, the feast day of Saint Valentine is also given in the calendar of saints of the Lutheran Church. However, in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: "Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14."

On this special day share unique, romantic gifts and cards with loved ones and try to make Valentine's Day memorable & romantic.
 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the memory of the late civil rights leader who would have turned 87 this past Friday

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam".

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.

Toilet-Plunger-Red-Circle

Unclogging a Blocked Toilet Trap Without a Plunger

Unclogging a Blocked Toilet Trap Without a Plunger

If you find yourself in a predicament to have a blocked toilet and no plunger nearby here’s what you need to know. Try this simple solution to unclog your toilet with dish soap, a container of hot water, a little patience and that’s it.

Stage one: Pour dishwashing soap into the toilet. Since the dish soap density (– 1.06) is great than water it will sink to the bottom of the toilet bowl.

dish soap toilet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 2: Allow 15+ minutes for the soap to be absorbed into the blockage acting as a pipe lubricant. 

Pouring dish soap into toilet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 3: Pour a container of really hot water into the toilet bowl making its way through the trap pushing the blockage out.

15+ Minute Wait Pouring Very Hot Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 4: Flush the toilet and watch as the obstruction vanishes!

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Has New Year’s Day Always Been January 1?

The story of the calendar used in the U.S. and across the Western world begins in 45 B.C.E., when Caesar ordered up a 12-month calendar starting on January 1 based on one complete rotation around the sun, with three cycles of 365 days followed by one leap year of 366 days to compensate for small discrepancies in the man-made calendar and the way the earth actually moves around the sun.

The Julian Calendar was in wide use until the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century C.E., after which the European calendar fell into a bit of disarray. Dates were shifted to coincide with Christian holidays. In some places the year was moved back to start at Christmas, in others moved up to start in March to coincide with the Incarnation of Jesus.

(We still have a vestige of the old March-start calendars hidden with us in plain sight: September, the ninth month of our year, is Latin for seventh month; October for eight month; November for ninth, December for tenth.)

via Why We Celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1 | TIME.

shopping for men

Christmas Gifts for the Men in Your Life

This curated Christmas list from Mind Body Green will have you checking the men in your life off your gift list! There are a ton of great ideas! Click through for the full article and to see all the picks!

For all the men in your life who do so much for you, why not show a little appreciation this holiday season with a thoughtful, useful, mindful gift? Whether you're shopping for your new-to-yoga nephew or your dad who just realized he's into foraging, we've got something for everyone. Now get to shopping!

via Holiday Gifts For Every Man In Your Life – mindbodygreen.com.

CMA Country Christmas on ABC

Make Holiday Memories With Your Favorite Country Stars!
 
 
Enjoy the magic of the holidays with your favorite Country stars, as they perform classic Christmas songs. It’s a night of celebration guaranteed to get you in the spirit! Watch “CMA Country Christmas” Monday, Dec. 10 at 8|7c on ABC!
 
NASHVILLE – Iconic entertainer Reba McEntire will return for a second year as host for the ninth annual “CMA Country Christmas,” the two-hour music celebration that airs on ABC during the holiday season. Marking her third time performing on the show, a lineup of legendary acts and Country favorites will also take the stage for a night filled with Christmas classics and festive one-of-a-kind collaborations.

Joining Reba for “CMA Country Christmas” are Tony Bennett, Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Amy Grant, Diana Krall, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride, Old Dominion, Brad Paisley, Michael W. Smith, Lindsey Stirling, The Isaacs and Brett Young.

 

 

Deck the Halls!

The rustic Christmas scene that she pulled off is amazing! This is the sort of vignette that inspires me to "Deck the Halls"! Beautiful!

 

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m usually a get my Christmas decor up December 23 type of girl. I don’t know why the holidays always seem to sneak up on me. But this year is entirely different! Not only is the Loft fully decked out {on December 1st no less}, but this year I did my very best to create the ultimate yuletide feeling. Though I did have a bit of an incentive!

via Apartment 34 – Your ultimate source for style, fashion, living and beauty.

small business holiday season

Your Small Business and the Holiday Season

Small business owners know that sales from the Holiday Season can be a defining factor in the overall success of your business. Make this the year that you get a "leg up" on next year's business! We've curated several excellent articles to act as a resource for your Holiday Season planning and hope you find them encouraging and helpful! Let us know if any of the resources made the difference for you this season!

1) 30 Unique Holiday Promotions for Your Small Business. Kabbage.com

The holidays will be here before you know it. But instead of panicking about how much there is to do before then, get excited! There’s still plenty of time to plan a creative holiday promotions calendar and make an impact on this year’s profits. Tons of little (and big) holiday promotion ideas are out there to leverage in your brand’s marketing efforts as the end of the year approaches. So here are some of the most fun ways to create buzz around your company:

2) Keep Your Employees Focused this Holiday Season! BusinessKnowHow.com

 Between shopping, decorating, and readying for visits with family, it's no surprise that many employees are less than focused on work during the holidays. So how can an employer keep distractions down and productivity up? Here are five tips that can help.

3) How to get your business ready for the holiday season. SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com

 Whether you run storefront business, or or strictly sell ecommerce, it’s time to create a holiday sales strategy. If you make the bulk of your profits between November 15 and January 15th as in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or the day after Christmas, it time to make sure that your business is ready for the holiday sales rush. 

4) 6 Tips To Slay Sales This Holiday Season. p2Bi.com

 Now is a great time to do a quick audit of your website to make sure that everything is working as it should be. The importance of omnichannel retailing has grown exponentially and you want to make sure that your customer can find your products not only on the shelves of your store or your retailers’, but also online and more specifically from any smartphone. Stats show that in 2014 mobile accounted for over half of all holiday shopping traffic. Make sure your website is compatible with laptops, smartphones, and tablets alike. Also, you can use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to quickly test and solve for any issues on your website that could be slowing down its performance.

free printable advent calendar

Free Printable Advent Calendar from Ella Claire

Free Printable Advent Calendar

This adorable free printable Advent Calendar is amazingly charming. With endless options to customize, you can definitely make this project fit any decor! Please visit EllaClaireInspired.com for more beautiful pics and the full tutorial! 

I have been wanting to create an advent calendar for a couple of years now, and I finally got to it this year! When I was a kid, I loved those little ones with the candy in all of the slots. I wanted my babies to have something fun to be excited about each day too. It is no secret that I love vintage typography and that is the direction I went with these. I love vintage Christmas!

Source: Free Printable Vintage Christmas Advent Calendar – Ella Claire

Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts

Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts – 50th Annual!

Tempe Festival of the Arts – Fall Event!

50th Anniversary!
 
November 30 – December 2  | 10AM – 5:30PM

www.tempefestivalofthearts.com

The Tempe Festival of the Arts spring and fall events each attract nearly 250,000 visitors to the Downtown Tempe over the course of a 3-day weekend.

Quality artists are fundamental to the success of the event. Each year, the Festival receives more than 1,000 applications from artists across the country. From these applicants, a jury comprised of members of the local art community. They select the top artisans in each category to participate in the Festival. During the Festival, a new jury then selects the best overall artist and the top artist in each category.

Participants are separated into 18 different artistic categories for judging. They range from woodwork to photography to ceramics and even wearable art. More than 400 artist booths line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets presenting unique, and hand-made artwork that offers visitors a distinctive shopping experience.

While the Tempe Festival of the Arts primarily focuses on art and the artists that create it. There are also a wide variety of other activities for guests to enjoy. Live entertainment stages provide musical entertainment for festival-goers. Performances by a number of well-known local musicians keep audiences in high spirits throughout the day. Past performers have included the Gin Blossoms, Walt Richardson, Margo Reed, and Hello Swindon. In addition to the scheduled entertainment, street performers, vendors, sponsor exhibits and entertainment booths are set up for the amusement of Festival visitors. In addition to arts and entertainment, the Tempe Festival of the Arts offers support to the Tempe community. A portion of the proceeds raised at the Festival benefits local charities.

 

Lessen the Effects of Thanksgiving Dinner!

While I would never suggest that you skip your favorite  Thanksgiving goodies, this article shares some sensible tips to make the festivities a happy memory rather than a regret! 
 
We're not suggesting you roll up on your sofa, here are a few suggestions.
 
Prevent the desire to lie down:
 
We all know after an over-stuffed dinner is to lie down and rest. Instead take a short walk after your meal helps your digestion over drinking coffee.
 
Digestif Bitter:
 
Drink some digestif bitter which is produced in Rheinberg in Germany by Underberg AG, made from aromatic herbs from 43 countries.
 
Most European counties create a bitter herbal digestive liqueur that's sipped after meals. (Italy produces hundreds of different types of Amari.
 
Try Digestive Enzymes:
 
Keep on hand a natural digestive enzyme for after the feast. 
 
Aloe Vera Juice:
 
We suggest drinking 2-3 ounces of certified pure aloe juice immediately after your Thanksgiving feast. Aloe juice is found at natural foods stores
 
Chew Some Ginger:
 
There are reasons ginger is often used to for stomach upset: It works! 
 
Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratitude and family, indulgence and indigestion. Embrace the former while ditching the latter with these actionable ways to limit your belly-bulging binge at this month’s high-calorie celebration of appreciation and appetite.

Thanksgiving Salad

Arugula and red onions and cashews and dried cranberries and wild rice and lemon dressing, comin in hot. ♡

I mean, wow! Already? Tis the season!

When it comes to Thanksgiving, there are two types: the type who makes a turkey, and the type who brings a salad. Do I even need to tell you which type I am? Bjork’s aunt called us yesterday and asked if I would rather bring a salad or a vegetable side. umm, HELLO. How could I ever NOT bring a salad? It is my Thanksgiving destiny. I have a feeling that so many of us are twinning on this issue.

via Thanksgiving Salad with Wild Rice and Lemon Dressing – Pinch of Yum.