Monday, November 30, 2009
First of all if your order totals more than $50. you can use the coupon code
2009HOLIDAY15%OFF and receive 15% off of your entire order!
If you are just interested in purchasing a knitted hat then you can use the coupon code
5DOLLARSOFF+APLACE2BARK2 and receive $5.00 off of the price of the hat plus will will make a matching $5.00 donation to A Place To Bark Animal Rescue in Portland, TN. You can visit the website at http://www.aplacetobark.blogspot.com. By using this coupon you not only get a great deal on a one of a kind Two Artisan Sisters hat, but you will also make our donation to this very worthy cause possible.
One one coupon can be used per order!
Stop by and visit us as we have added many new items in the last few weeks,, just in time for the holidays! Happy shopping!!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
After 5 weeks with the boot on she was finally released by the orthopedic doctor and is back to walking again, although much slower and more carefully!! Word of warning: Watch where you are walking, or it could be hazardous to your health!
Last but not least we want to advise our readers of our brand new coupon code which will give you a 15% discount on all orders over $50. Hope you will check out studio frequently as we are adding new items all the time.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The Artfire kiosk is new app which is placed on your Facebook profile page or on your Facebook business fan page. Two Artisan Sisters Artfire kiosk is located on Ruth's Facebook Profile page and all you need to do is click the Artfire Kiosk tab at the top of the page. You can then browse through our whole studio page by page and should you wish to purchase something it can be done right there through a secure encrypted connection without ever leaving Facebook!
Also new this last week are the new coupon codes which sellers can use to offer things like dollar discounts, percentage discounts, free shipping, free gifts and many variations of those options.
Artfire is always on the cutting edge of innovation and is always looking to assist their sellers in promoting their businesses!! Thank you Artfire, you ROCK!!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This week we are featuring Reenie's Bizaar who has been making and selling jewelry and specialty items for years. She also has a store on Etsy and also sold on E Bay with a 100% positive feedback rating. If you are in the market for some beautiful pieces of jewelry at reasonable prices, you need look no further than Reenie's Bizaar!!
You can find all of these beautiful jewelry items at Reenie's Bizaar on Artfire.
Monday, July 20, 2009
- Harvesting involves pulling the whole plant from out of the ground and not cutting it as the roots contain some of the finest fibers.
- Retting is a two-week process where the harvested plants are taken and thinly spread out over a field so they can absorb the dew, rain and the heat of the sun, all of which rots the pith and loosens the fibers. The process is frequently referred to as "dew retting"
- Drying is the next step n the process where the retted plants are now placed on top of a frame that is referred to as a "kiln" and put over a low fire until they become as dry as tinder.
- Breaking this part of the process involved the dried plant stalks being beat by a "breaker" which has opposing wooden blades hinged at one end. The breaker breaks the woody fiber and loosens the finer threads.
- Scutching comes next in the process and this is when the fibers are held against a vertical board and they are then scraped with a "scutching paddle" which causes the woody pulp to fall off and leave behind long, glossy fibers.
- Heckling comes next, no not the verbal kind! This kind of heckling involves the long, glossy fibers being pulled through rows of iron spikes. It involves working from courser or larger and wider spaced teeth down to finer or smaller and closer spaced teeth in order to remove any remaining pulp along with the shorter and courser strands of fiber.
- Spinning is the next step in the process where the fine fiber is spun on a spinning wheel into linen thread which is then wound onto a spool or bobbin.
- Weaving this is the final step in the process and involves taking the bobbin or spool of thread and place it in a shuttle which is threaded back and forth through a linen loom in order to make the linen cloth.
It sure does give you a real appreciation for all of the work involved in the making of linen fabric. I know we will never look at a piece of linen without thinking about all of the steps that it took to make it.
There is a Flax Scutching Festival in Stahlstown, PA that demonstrates the practices that have been used for more than 200 years in the Ligonier Valley. The Stahlstown Festival is held the second Saturday and Sunday each September so if you are in the area at that time of year you might like to stop and investigate this fascinating process in person!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The following are 5 steps to Tweeting greatness and are very similar to the one for blogging success.
- 1. Be involved.
- 2. Update frequently.
- 3. Have a goal.
- 4. Use all available tools.
- 5. Watch other tweeps.
If you are already a tweeting veteran then these are just reminders of things you already know.
Six steps to get your new Twitter account started.
- 1. Register - when you register use your studio name
- 2. Set up a Tweet schedule. Determine the amount of Tweets per day that you want to do.
- 3. Hit the forums. Here you can let other sellers know your Twitter information. Follow your favorite shops and post your Twitter name and information so others follow you.
- 4. Don't forget your widgets. You can add several different kinds of widget to your Artfire studio.
- 5. Find your audience. Find people who talk about things that interest you. Search Twitter forums to find discussions you can jump into and contribute.
- 6. Make use of the many applications. Some of the top applications are Tweet deck, Twit-seeker, and Tweet Later.
As we have said this is just a very brief summary but it will give you some idea of the helpful information that Artfire provides to its sellers. If you are interested in more information you need to check out Artfire, we have provided a link below. This is a community of very talented, friendly and helpful artistic sellers along with an unbelievably friendly, helpful and responsive administrative staff and technical staff. Artfire is The Place To Be!
We have provided our link to Artfire should you wish to check it out and sign up and join us!
Monday, June 29, 2009
This week is Social Media Optimization (SMO for short) week at Artfire. The first installment of information is on blogging and what makes a good and interesting blog. Here is the list of 8 things to remember when you are writing your blog. Here is a brief summary:
- Be genuine. Write about things that interest you or that you love and enjoy.
- Be real. Add personal touches to let the readers know the person behind the blog.
- Have a goal. It can be as simple as "informing my readers" or "thought provoking".
- Use pictures. Even the most interesting newspaper articles have pictures.
- Keep it fresh. Update often with new an fun material.
- Keep it Brief. Usually around 500 words is a reasonable length.
- Preview your post. By doing this you can catch any errors and fix them before going public.
- Engage your readers. you can do so by things such as "part 2 coming soon" or"sign this petition" or ask for comments.
We always try to do all of the above but there is always room for improvement and we will certainly try to do so in the future.
Part 2 coming soon!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This past week the administration has had there tech folks posting lessons for the seller on Search Engine Optimization or (SEO) for short! Wow! Talk about great information! Of course it has meant a great deal of additional work for Two Artisan Sisters as we have had to go back through all of our product listings in order to implement the suggested changes. Now we have to wait and see how long it take to pay off. Check back here often and we will let you know the latest developments!
This past week has been very eventful for Two Artisan Sisters as we have also opened our studios to the International market! Looking forward to finding new customers and friends in far away places!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The purpose of the society is to collect, preserve and promote A. C. Gilbert toys as well as to study the life of the man and his wonderful manufacturing company. In addition, members do research and network with each other to identify sets, their parts, the year of manufacture, original layouts, set inventories and the manner in which they were marketed. Some members are also Erector model builders.
Should you wish to join this group of enthusiasts, A. C. Gilbert Heritage Society member ship includes the following benefits:
- Quarterly newsletter packed full of color photos as well as black & white, articles, restoration tips, for sale and wanted ads.
- National membership directory
- Annual, fun-filled conventions with tables of Gilbert treasures for sale, auctions, lots of informal socializing and information-sharing. Some areas of the country also have regional meetings in addition to the annual meeting.
Annual Dues are $25.00
For More information:
Call: Ken Weinig, Secretary/Treasurer, 1-302-737-5537 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
To join, go to : http://www.acgilbertheritagesociety.com/ and click on "Join Us"
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
One of the first zippers was actually invented by Elias Howe in 1851, but did not reach the market as Howe was preoccupied with the sewing machine that he had patented in 1846. Whitcomb L. Judson who loved making many different kinds of gadgets came up with a slide fastener for a friend who had back problems and could not tie his shoes. In August 29, 1893 he patented his new "clasp locker"These clasp lockers were used by the apparel industry by 1905 but were not consider practical.
The design actually used today which is based on interlocking teeth, was invented by an employee if Whitcomb Judson's, Swedish born Gideon Sundback in 1913 he patented the "hookless fastener". Later improvements were made in 1917 that became known as the "Separable Fastener."One of the first customers was the U.S.Army as it used the zippers on clothing and gear for the troops of World War I.
In 1925, B.F. Goodrich decided to market galoshes with Sundback's fasteners and the product became very popular, because these new galoshes could be fastened with a single zip of the hand. A Goodrich executive is said to have slid the fastener up and down and exclaimed "Zip 'er up," echoing the sound made by the clever device, hence the fasteners came to be called "zippers."
In the 1930's a sales campaign was started featuring zippers in children's clothing praising zippers for promoting self-reliance in young children by making it possible for them to dress themselves in the self-help clothing. The zipper beat out the button in 1937 in the "Battle of the Fly" when French fashion designers raved over zippers in men's trousers. The zipper was declared the "Newest Tailoring Idea for Men" and among it's virtues was that it would exclude "The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray." Obviously, the new zippered trouser owner had not yet discovered the experience of forgetting to zip-up!
The next time you zip-up perhaps you will have a little more appreciation for this very useful invention that is so much taken for granted.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
1. They are great to cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave.
2. They are excellent to use to clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.
3. They are great to use to protect China, by putting a coffee filter between each dish.
4. They work great to filter broken cork pieces from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. They work great to apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter to apply and ball up one to polish with afterwards.
7. They work great to recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8. They are great to use to weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9. They are great to hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10. They work great to stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from dropping through the drainage holes.
11. They work great to prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
12. They work great if you put a few on a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc. on them as they will soak up all of the grease.
13. They are great to keep in the bathroom as they make great "razor nick fixers."
14. Last but not least, they work great in a Coffeemaker!!
By making use of these terrific ideas for using coffee filters, you should be able to save enough money so that you can spend your money on more pleasurable things like something from Two Artisan Sisters studio!
Monday, March 23, 2009
The following are several tips for greener ways to cook and clean up.
- A full freezer is an energy saving freezer, so one of the best ways to save is to buy in bulk whenever possible and fill your freezer with what can not be used immediately. This is great for buying fresh vegetable and fruit in season and freezing them. We love to go to a local farm and pick strawberries and blueberries in the spring and early summer and freeze large quantities for use during the long winter months until it is time to pick a fresh batch the next year!
- We have also learned to practice no waste when undertaking baking by using silicone baking mats on baking tray instead of parchment or foil and we also use silicone muffin holders rather than the paper ones that always seem to stick to the muffin or cupcake.
- Another way to save energy in the kitchen is when you are needing to boil a pot of water to put a lid on the pot to prevent the heat and therefore energy from escaping. Doing this not only saves energy but also money with the high costs for electric and or natural gas these days.
- Another item that bears watching also with regard to pots on the stove is their size in relation to the size of the burner on which they are placed. Quite naturally large pots require more energy to heat than smaller ones, so make sure that the pot is always centered on the heating element or flame to get the most benefit from the energy expended. Whenever possible use the same pot for cooking multiple foods.
- Another money saving tip is to avoid opening the oven while baking. As tempting as it is to open the oven door to check and look at what you are cooking the temperature of the oven can drop from 25 to 50 degrees in that period of time, so resist the urge and save energy and also money.
- Running a dishwasher when it is totally full without pre-rinsing the dishes uses less water than hand washing them. To make the most of the energy expended run the dishwasher only when completely full and skip the heat drying cycle and air dry them.
- Unplug and turn off electric switches and appliances when not in use. It may seem insignificant but the savings can add up. Always be sure to turn off things like lights and ceiling fans when you leave a room and are not coming back to it in the next few minutes. a Pulling out your small appliances when they are not in use is another way to save electric, as they still draw a very small amount of current even when they are turned off.
The above items are all things that we have implemented ourselves and have found that they do work and do save energy and in turn money! We hope that if you are not currently doing these things that you will try them. With all the money and time that you will be saving, it will give you plenty of time and money to spend shopping at Two Artisan Sisters.
Monday, March 9, 2009
1. Afternoon snacks such as energy bars cost about $2. and although they may seem to be a healthy alternative many contain as much sugar as a candy bar. The much more healthy and cost saving snack is to pack or pick up fruit such as an apple, pear, some grapes these are much healthier as they contain much less sugar and are much lower in cost.
2. Bottled water can cost $2. although staying well hydrated is important, it is much more cost effective and better for the environment to invest in a filtered water pitcher or if in your home a reverse osmosis filtered water system and you can have delicious water for just pennies a glass. You can fill a large cup or bottle at home and carry to work.
3. Caffeine Fix for the day a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts can cost you $1.65 and up however a much more cost effective way to get your fix is to purchase your favorite gourmet coffee which can cost $8 - $13. a pound but makes at least 40 cups making the cost of each cup about 20 cents to 33 cents each.
4. Favorite tunes cost about $18 per new CD however the more cost effective way to collect your favorite tunes is to download tunes from iTunes for 99 cents or from Amazon for about 79 cents.
5. Night out to the movies can cost an average of $20 - $30 for two people with popcorn and that doesn't include babysitter costs. More cost effective is to enjoy 2 movies from Netflixs for $5 a month or for $9 a month you get unlimited viewing. Even better if you wait a little longer for new releases you can check them out for free from you local library.
6. Fresh flowers always brighten a room and your mood, however a bouquet from the florist will set you back around $25. The more cost effective alternative is to purchase a lovely seasonal fresh flower bouquet from you local grocery store which will only cost you about $5 - $10.
7. Fresh fruits and vegetables are very good for everyone but if you are stopping to pick up pre-cut or packaged fruits or vegetables to save a few minutes time you are paying dearly for convenience and may not be aware of that fact. Broccoli florets or pepper can cost $6 per pound pre-cut however the uncut versions cost about 1/3 that much or about $2. If you purchase pre-cut pre-washed lettuce in a bag is cost about $5.98 per pound but you can wash and spin dry arugual for your salad for about 1/3 that price or about $2. If you purchase whole strawberries rather than packaged sliced one you save 75% off the cost of the sliced packaged ones!
8. Credit Card Fees can mount up if you pay your bills late as the fees assessed each time can be as much as $39. The more cost effective thins to do is to set up an automatic debit to your bank account so you are never late.
9. ATM Fees can cost as much as $3.43 if you use an ATM that is out of your network and if you do it once a week those charges will amount to around $180 by the end of the year. A more cost effective solution is to choose a bank with a large network or an online account that reimburses your fees. Another alternative is to get cash back when you go to the grocery store.
10. Fax and Mail services. If you need to send a fax instead of paying $1.49 to fax one page you can sign up to send free faxes from providers like faxZero or K7.net. When it comes to shipping you can mail an envelope or small package by USPS Priority Mail for $4.95 ( and the post office supplies the envelope or box) and it usually arrives in about 2 days. Larger packages cost $10.35 That will save 50% over shipping by UPS 2 day service which varies by weight and distance.
After following all of these money saving ideas you should have enough money leftover to spend on a few beautiful items from Two Artisan Sisters Studio! Using the new Artfire Rapid Cart you can purchase and checkout an item from right here in just 28 seconds with no sign up required.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
- Do carry a shopping basket when you are grocery shopping, Do Not push a shopping cart.
- Do get out of your car and walk to banks, shops and restaurant , Do Not use the drive through windows at the banks or restaurants.
- Do walk or ride your bike whenever possible, Do Not always get in the car.
- Do walk your dog, you can burn 200 calories an hour or 300 calories an hour if you run with your dog, Do Not hire a dog walker.
- Do park in a central spot when going shopping and walk to the individual shops, Do Not drive to each separate shop, this way you save gas and get more exercise.
- Do walk or cycle with your children to school and activities, Do Not just jump in the minivan.
All of these a simply listed as suggested ways to increase you daily movements and thereby increase you calories expenditure. We already do some of the them ourselves, and are waiting for warmer weather so that we can begin to try out many of the others. It is kind of fun to go through the list and see how many your are already doing and how many you could easily implement into your everyday life.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
- Do sit on an exercise ball as it improves your posture and strengthens your core muscles and relieves back pain. Some office have actually replaced the chairs with treadmills, called a Walkstation! Wow, that would be great, we will have to put that one on our wish list! Do Not sit on a chair!
- Do walk to your colleagues offices as a brisk walk while carrying paperwork as this will burn 60 calories in 15 minutes. Do not call, e-mail or inter-office mail.
- Do whenever possible leave the office at lunch and meet a friend for a walk or a picnic. A leisurely walk can burn 100 calories. Do Not eat lunch at your desk.
- Do take the stairs as you burn 12 calories per minute. Do Not take the elevator or escalator.
- Do stand up and walk around while talking on the phone. Do Not just sit in your chair the whole time you are on the phone.
- Do host an office party at a bowling alley or driving range. Do Not have cake and coffee in a restaurant or the conference room.
- Do have walking meetings walking around the block or in a park as you can burn 150 calories if you are walking at 1 mph. Do Not hold a meeting in a conference room with everyone seated at a conference table.
- Do set an egg time or alarm clock for 15 to 30 minutes intervals so that you get up and move and stretch every time it goes off. Do Not just sit for hours on end at a keyboard! Boy, this is a tough one to implement, but we are trying!
- Do wear headphone or an ipod, if possible and it will keep you moving even if it is only tapping your toes. Do Not put on music that will make you drop off to sleep, put on something lively!
- Do keep a comfortable pair of shoes handy so that you can easily go for a walk at lunch or on your break time, also it is a great idea to attach a pedometer to yourself and strive for 10,000 steps per day! Do Not remain sedentary all day!
We are aiming to implement as many of these relatively simple ideas into our daily routine as possible. We are starting our with the timer idea about getting up and moving around at 20 minute intervals. We also take the stairs numerous times a day since our office in the lower level, so we have to take the stairs (12 of them) up and down in order to get to our kitchen and living room. When the weather permits, which has not been too frequently the past couple of months, we do go for a walk after dinner. I think the next one we need to start to work on is getting up and walking around while on the phone! We hope this gives you some ideas for adding NEAT into your daily work routine.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
- 1. Hang up your laundry to dry, instead of throwing it in the dryer.
- 2. Wash your dishes by hand (50 calories burned in 30 minutes), instead of putting them in the dishwasher.
- 3. Shovel snow from your sidewalk or driveway (350 calories in 60 minutes), instead of hiring someone to use a snowplow or snow blower.
- 4. Cook meals at home from scratch (100 calories in 60 minutes), instead of going out or using microwave.
- 5. Invite friends over for dinner or a game night instead of just sitting watching TV all night.
- 6. Limit your time answering e mails and surfing the net, instead of sitting silently in front of the screen for hours on end.
Next week we will post more great ideas as to how you can integrate NEAT into your work and also into the rest of your life. We already do some of these things but are trying to implement as many new ones as possible hope you will try them too!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Legend has it that the holiday became Valentine's Day after a priest named Valentine. The Emperor at the time, Claudius II, ordered his Roman soldiers NOT marry or become engaged. Claudius believed that as married men, his soldiers would want to stay home with their families rather than fight his wars. Valentine defied the Emperor's decree and secretly married the young couples. He was eventually arrested, imprisoned, and put to death. Before execution, Valentine himself had fallen in love with his jailer's daughter. His final note to her was , "From Your Valentine",a phrase that has lasted through the centuries.
Two Artisan Sisters wishes everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day!
If you are still needing a lovely gift for your Valentine check out our studio at http://www.twoartisansisters.artfire.com
Thursday, January 22, 2009
1. Seal cracks! Fill in all tiny cracks in door and windows with caulk or weather stripping. A great natural water-based caulk is Safecoat. Seal up these crack will pay for itself in reduced heating costs.
2. Add insulation! After sealing all the leaks you can increase your saving by adding insulation to your attic space. An insulated attic can save between 20 to 35 % in heating costs.
3. Automate you thermostat! A programmable thermostat lets you turn the heat down at night and during times when you are not home (most folks lower it to 65 degrees during these times). If your thermostat can be turned down 7 degrees for 8 hours a day it can save you as much as 10 % on your years heating costs.
4. Install storm windows! Installing interior storm windows can prevent drafts and cost about $7.50 to $12.50 per sq. ft. Energy Star certified windows are a much bigger investment between $10,000 to $30,000 per house, but can save you up to $465 a year if you are replacing single pane windows and about $100 a year if replacing double-pane windows. Storm windows can reduce heat loss by as much as 50%.
5. Run a fan! Yes, that's right run a fan. Run it at it's slowest speed in a clockwise direction so that it pulls the cool air up and forces the warmer near the ceiling downward to circulate throughout the house. Also a desk fan placed near a heat source will have a similar effect. Running a fan can reduce your heat consumption by as much as 10 percent.
Another way to keep warm is to check out all of the fantastic soft, warm, winter hats and scarves at Two Artisan Sisters studio at http://www.twoartisansisters.artfire.com
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
A growing number of bee specialists have concluded that a new class of pesticides, first approved for use in the past decade, is partly to blame for the sudden and dramatic loss of one-third of America's bee colonies, referred to as colony collapse disorder. Over the past two years, beekeepers have reported unexplained losses of 30 to 90 percent of their hives. Now the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is taking the issue to federal court, demanding that the Bush Administration release records about the risks of the widely used pesticides and their toxicity to bees. As much as $15 billion worth of U.S. crops - from apples to avocados to onions - depend on bees for pollination. Yet the Bush Administration is refusing to tell the American public what it knows about the role of pesticides in the bees decline!
In July, NRDC asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to turn over public records regarding its approval of clothianidin, a pesticide manufactured by Bayer CropScience that has been temporarily banned in Germany after being linked to a massive bee die-off. But the agency failed to disclose whether Bayer submitted a series of required studies about the impacts of clothianidin on bees and if so, what they show. As NRDC fights in court to force the EPA to come clean, we are building public pressure on the Department of Agriculture to determine the root causes of the bees' distress and to find solutions. The 2008 Farm Bill awarded the department $20 million annually for 5 years to help unlock the bee mystery!
Just another example of how these dangerous chemical pesticides are damaging our whole eco-system!