Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The North Coventry Food Pantry Needs Your Support

The North Coventry Food Pantry has been in existence for more than 20 years and assists over 70 families in the entire OJR School District Community.  They heavily rely on donations to supplement what they receive from the Department of Agriculture.  Donations are always needed. The Pantry needs canned foods, beverages, cleaning supplies, paper products and more.

I just received a very sad email from a friend who volunteers for the Pantry.  I thought I would share some of the message with you, in the hopes that you could spread the word if you live in the Pottstown area:

".... just finished packing our food for distribution for the month of October.   I have to tell you that in my 5 + years of volunteering for the food pantry I have never seen the shelves so bare.  We are currently serving approx. 70 families.  We continue to have 2 or 3 new families each month.  The food we receive each month from the department of agriculture (what we call our State food) has decreased in the past couple of months. It is supposed to be considered a 3 day supply of food for our clients.  Last month we only received peanut butter, apple sauce, cheddar cheese soup, juice, and a frozen meat. For the month of Oct. we received apple sauce, egg noodles, dried milk and peaches, orange juice and 1 meat.  We are relying more than ever on the donated food to supplement what the state is giving us.
...if we had to pack for our Nov. distribution with what I have on the shelves the boxes would be very light.  I would say we have about 2 months of vegetables and soups left.  We try to give 4 cans of each out.  We have a 1 month supply (each client only receiving 1 can or box) of the following: fruit, pasta, canned pasta, tuna, peanut butter, mac and cheese, beans, and Ramen noodles.  We are completely out of breakfast items, jelly, desserts, and sides dishes.  We have not had enough "luxury" items to hand out lately like toothpaste and soap.  We have been purchasing our toilet paper and paper towels products for the last few months.  We were fortunate to have a monterary donation from Grainger to help us with those items." 

 So I bet you are wondering what you can do to help out.  Here are a few suggestions:

 1) Make a food or monetary donation directly to the Pantry.  It is suggested that you contact Mrs. Gilligan for the current need suggestion list and for contribution drop off arrangements. You can also drop off at the Pantry (lower level, off Urner St.) on the first Tuesday of the month during monthly distribution between 9-10 a.m.

2) Participate in the "Make a Difference Day."  On Friday, October 1st (the unofficial kick-off) at the Owen J. Roberts High School Football game we will be collecting donations of non-perishable food, paper goods, personal care items as well as monetary donations to benefit the North Coventry Food Pantry.  Collection boxes will be located at each gate.  On Oct. 23rd is deemed "Make a Difference Day" in the OJR District.  The will be an event at the middle school to collect food to benefit the North Coventry Food Pantry. Please check the school district website for additional information. Each school will be hosting a collection during the month.

I know I will be heading out to the grocery store tomorrow to pick up a few bags that I can donate.  I will look for canned goods (you can sometimes get 10 for $10), and personal care items.  I just know how fortunate I am to have food on my table 3 meals a day...no questions asked...it's always there for me.  As a mother, I can't imagine putting my kids to bed at night without food in their bellies.

I hope you are able and willing to help out your community members with this effort and show some love and compassion for those in need.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Working With Memory Wire

Memory wire is made from stainless steel and is used as a beading medium.  It's called "memory" because it is already formed in the shape of rings, like a spring, and it stays in this form for the most part, unless you really overwork it. Even then, it will still be like a spring, just larger because overworking it can make it stretch its shape a little. But generally speaking, this material is very easy to work with. It comes in bracelet, ring, and necklace size.   I think that it's the perfect way for beginners to start working with.  I am also thinking of teaching the campers how to make some memory wire bracelets for the Arrowhead Day Camp elective classes that I teach in July.

I have been making quite a few Memory Wire bracelets as of late.  I really like making these for two reasons:  They are pretty much one-size-fits all; They also are fairly inexpensive to create.  

I tend to use bead chips and then add some larger beads to add interest.  I also like to make bead dangles and add them to the loops on one side of the bracelet.  For the dangles I use beads and chips from the bracelet design and then I like to add a message tag (happiness, dream, laugh etc.)

 Here are two examples of pieces I've recently created:

For this bracelet, I used Carnelian nuggets and Turquoise chips.  

This bracelet is made using light Amethyst chips and handcrafted ceramic beads. 
For the dangle, I added a message tag and some Amethyst Swarovski crystals.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wedding Fun

I am part of the amazing etsybloggers team.  This group helps promote each other as artists and as creative people by blogging about their crafts and each others.  Part of this involves having different blog topics that we do bi-monthly.  I am participating in a the second topic for the month of September.  It's all about weddings.  So here it goes.  I was asked to include a picture from my wedding and also to include something from my shoppe that could be used for a wedding.  I really wish I knew how to make jewelry 9 years ago.  I would have worn something more interesting than pearls.  However, these are my Mom's pearls so they are special to me and I guess that's all that matters.

This gorgeous necklace is made with cream colored Swarovski Crystal Pearls and vintage crystals.  The crystals came from a necklace that was my great aunt's that I deconstructed.  I believe that they are around 75-80 years old.  I also added a sterling silver toggle heart clasp to this beauty and there is a bezel set cubic zirconia at the drop.  I love this necklace and it would have been something I could have created and worn myself on my special day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Colors of Fall Artbeads-Style

I got another invitation from Artbeads to participate in their Blogging for Beads program.  I have been working with them for the past year or so.  As the summer comes to a close, they wanted me to be inspired by all the gorgeous colors of Fall and create keeping this in mind.

I went out on a limb with this task.  Normally, I check out what colors will be popular for the upcoming seasons and create with this in mind.  This time I used the Color Scheme Designer.  I decided I wanted to use a tetrad of colors that would complement copper.  So this is what I came up with:

I really fell in love with the Copper Heart Shaped Leaf Pendant  and I think it really highlights the 12 mm Malachite rounds and the 8 mm Olive Jade rounds nicely.  Then I added some carnelian roundelles and some darker red carnelian rounds with some 6 mm fuschia Swarovski rounds.  

I think I will go out on a limb and try some more bold color combinations in the future.  

Happy Fall!

Disclosure: I participate in Blogging for Beaders with Artbeads.com and have received the products free of charge from them. I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yoga For A Cure: Part Two

"Yoga for the Cure 2," the second local fund-raiser to benefit a Pottstown participant in the three-day Breast Cancer Walk For The Cure, is being planned for October 1, 2010 (Friday) from 7-9 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Pottstown, 750 North Evans Street, Pottstown PA.

The event will be a relaxing evening of gentle yoga followed by tea, coffee, desserts, henna tattoos, chair massage, and giveaways.  The money to be raised will be part of a $2,000 goal for participants walking 20 miles daily for three consecutive days to combat breast cancer.

A similar yoga fund-raiser conducted during June raised $640.

A suggested donation for the event is $20.00, and advance reservations are requested.  Organizers are also looking for people who are willing to donate products, gift certificates, or services for the giveaway raffles.  For more information or to make a reservation, call Barbara at 484-525-5204.  If you plan to attend, here is one of the items being raffled off:
Handcrafted ceramic pendant (made by Gaea Designs) paired with ceramic and Bowenite rounds.  Sterling silver chain and clasp.  Last time, I provided a breast cancer awareness bracelet and earrings set.  I thought something yoga related would be a nice addition to this event.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Working With Copper

I have been experimenting with using copper lately.  Typically I use sterling silver or silver plated metal in my creations, but now I'm starting to use more copper.  The copper really warms up the pieces.  I am especially fond of using turquoise, carnelian, and copper together.  So very pretty, in my humble opinion!