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Fun Friday links

20140530-084830-31710090.jpgHello friends, its a lovely sunny Friday in our part of the world! I feel like the weekend has begun.  What lovely plans have you got for the weekend? Before heading out, check out these lovely links…

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but there’s something to be said about lovely colored gems.  And their popularity is seemingly back on the rise.

After reading this article, this reminded me of a book I’ve had for awhile (but have not had the occasion to read) on this very topic. Buried Jewels (reprinted under the title Jewels: A Secret History) by Victoria Finlay is all about her search for the origins and stories behind certain gems.  I can’t wait to dive into it this weekend!

While we’re talking about books, I read an interesting article about the rise of bookshop cooperatives as a response to the declining number of independent bookstores. I love this idea!!  Where do I sign up to get on board?  Here is the full article.

Last but not the least, how about trying out some new photo-enhancing apps over the weekend? There are 5 photo apps that you need to download if you want to do more with your photos.  Check them out here.

Eh voila! Happy Weekend everyone!



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Buy The Change USA

One of the nicest things about participating in events and shows is the opportunity to meet really interesting individuals. Today I wanted to tell you about Kari Hughes, who I met at the Turning Point event. She is the co-founder, along with her partner Shanan Bunzendahl, of Buy the Change, a wonderful fair trade group. Kari’s group works with local non profit groups from developing countries to find local women artisans. They then purchase the handmade goods made by these women to sell in the US. Their mission is to enable these women to build better lives for themselves and their families.


Speaking to Kari, you get a wonderful sense of her commitment and zeal towards the goals of her group.  She told me how a simple purchase from us of any of their fair trade goods, enables a woman from a distant land (India, Cambodia and Africa to name just a few), to buy food for her family, gives her an independent means of income and allows her keep her children in school.  And how did she get started on this mission? She wanted to answer the call to action of a wonderful book called Half the Sky.  This is a great example of someone choosing to do something extraordinary.

Their goods ranging from jewelry to accessories and to home products are available on their website. But Kari is also available for home parties and is often at trade shows.

Now, I wanted to show some examples of their products. Keep in mind that there are a lot more in the website.

Handmade jewelry from recycled saris…


Handmade beaded bracelets from Nepal (these are gorgeous, I bought one in pink and violet!)..20140522-092039-33639551.jpg

And finally bags made from recycled materials from Guatemala.20140522-092040-33640494.jpgIf you’re looking to buy something pretty and do some good at the same time, I strongly urge you to check out Buy the Change!

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A Turning Point Event


Hello friends, today, I thought I’d tell you all about this event I was privileged to attend.

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Turning Point Spirit of Leadership event.  I was curious about Turning Point as I had never heard of it.   After some research, I found out that Turning Point is an organization that provides help to victims of physical and sexual abuse. Their services including running an emergency shelter, a 24 hour crisis line, outreach services and a second hand store! What a wonderful group, I thought to myself.  They truly provide a much needed service to the community.  It was wonderful to participate as a vendor and in a small way, support one of their events.   I was even more excited  when I found out that the guest speaker for the event was Wayne County State Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

20140516-105928.jpgIn August 2009, Ms. Worthy discovered some 11,303 untested rape kits while touring a Detroit Police Department property storage warehouse. These kits were never handled or processed and some of the incidents indicated in the kits date back to 30 years ago.  None of the victims ever saw their attackers charged, much less convicted.  It became her mission to track down the victims and to obtain some measure of justice for them.  It is slow going and difficult but she is persevering in her efforts.  Fortunately, there are some positive developments–several men accused in the kits have since been charged and the cases are active in court.

I am in awe of Ms. Worthy.  Here is someone with an almost Herculean task before her but she is unwavering and full of courage and determination.  A truly shining example in this day and age.

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Weekend fun links


Well friends, its almost the weekend. And its Mother’s day too.  Have you got anything special planned? Whatever relationship you have with your mom, life wouldn’t be the same without her right?

Here’s some great advice from some famous people’s moms.

The recently held Met Ball featured some fantabulous gowns. Check them out here. Aren’t these dresses just dreamy?

Speaking of ball gowns, the new Charles James exhibit just opened at the NY Metropolitan Museum. A must see for fashion lovers. Here are all the details.

And finally, if you love books, I’ve just discovered a great new blog that talks a lot about books.  I’ve got several new ones on my list thanks to Mari’s blog!

Enjoy your weekend!!


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Inspired by spring


Despite today’s gray and leaden skies, nature is marching inexorably in springs path. The garden is carpeted with dandelions and all the trees have tender little leaves. I’m inspired by all this burgeoning greenery. From my beadbox comes some spring colored glass beads. These are Czech glass beads from the 50s. I’m thinking I’ll make a pretty bracelet with these.