If you’ve got an eye for things that sparkle, you should know the names in this article. These men and women are the top of the heap when it comes to jewelry design, able to make precious metals and gemstones sing. Here are the five most influential jewelry designers in the world.
German designer Sabine Romer is the youngest name on this list, graduating from the Pforzheim Goldsmith and Watchmaker School at the age of 22. Her one-of-a-kind pieces are highly prized by collectors.
Alexis Bittar has become one of the most popular jewelry designers in America. His early designs, made from Lucite and semi-precious stones, wowed crowds, and since then he’s worked with designers like Michael Kors on collections.
Paloma Picasso, the daughter of legendary painter Pablo Picasso, has had a spectacular career in jewelry design as well as other fields, and her partnership with Tiffany & Co has been long-lived.
Italian designer Elsa Peretti has been responsible for iconic designs for firms like Halston, and her understated pieces are favorites among the Hollywood elite.
Norway has a strong modern jewelry scene, with one of the brightest lights being British-born Louise Nippierd, famous for her cunning and clever designs in anodized aluminum.
Furniture is more than just utilitarian – it can also be great art! The art of fine furniture making will be on display at the Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show, from March 23 to March 25. The Furniture Show will be held in the 23rd Street Armory, a work of art in itself. Come in and peruse the craftsmanship of such well known artists as Michael Hoy, Michael Brown, and Claudia Mills. Check out the wild and modern furnishings of Tapwater Designs or the comfortably chic chairs and tables of G. Keener & Co. Enjoy the amazing stained glass designs of Emily Selvin of Selvin Glass and the Jay Paulukonis Studio. Jonathan’s Spoons features creative cutlery and don’t miss the beautiful 18th Century Clocks! Tickets can be bought in advance for $10 or $13 for a weekend pass, or $12 at the door, and $15 for a weekend pass.
Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show
The 23rd Street Armory
22 S. 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
At best, identity theft leads to unwanted hassles. Thankfully, there are a number of small steps you can take to diminish the chances of it happening:
Keep an Eye on Your Statements
Regularly monitor your checking, credit card, and debit accounts. Thieves bank on your inattention, hoping that fraudulent charges will go unnotice when statements remain unopened.
No Purse Needed
A large percentage of identity thefts happen when you’re out shopping. It’s easy for someone to grab your purse when you’re distracted in busy crowd. So, carry only the essentials with you.
Look Over Your Shoulder
Make sure you’re aware of people standing too close behind you while you’re using your card; be especially wary of someone pointing a cell phone toward you (cell-phone cameras are increasingly popular with identity thieves).
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest ways to start a day – its unique combination of whole grains and protein can keep you full for hours and give you the energy to get things accomplished. But if you’re tired of your usual oatmeal preparations, here are some ideas to mix things up a bit:
- A classic combination is sliced bananas with raisins and walnuts. Walnuts are a true superfood, packing tons of protein, and bananas add much-needed potassium. You can sweeten with a little Stevia or brown sugar if you need to.
- Dried apples and cinnamon are excellent in oatmeal. Mix in the apples during the cooking process to soften them a little bit. Garnish with finely-chopped fresh apples before serving to add sweetness and texture.
- Strawberries and almonds are also great additions to oatmeal. The gentle flavor of almonds belies their exceptional nutritional properties, and strawberries add all-natural sweetness and color.
- A little bit of maple syrup can add a ton of flavor to a bowl of oatmeal. Mix in finely-chopped walnuts for protein and crunch and you’ve got a great breakfast.
- Savory oatmeal is an unusual but tasty choice – make your oatmeal as normal, but season it with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Top with a fried egg and shaved Parmesan cheese and you’ll wow the breakfast table.
With concern about pesticides and genetically-modified food products growing, more and more people are opting to purchase organic produce whenever possible. Unfortunately, the added cost to many organic products makes it hard to manage in a limited budget. If you have to make the hard choices on buying organic, this article should help. These five vegetables are the ones that you should buy organic whenever possible, for a number of reasons.
- Celery is top on the list of vegetables that should be purchased organic whenever possible. The unique shape of the celery stalk makes it very vulnerable to contamination from pesticides, and because the majority of the plant grows above-ground, it has a lot of exposure.
- Spinach is a great leafy green that packs a load of nutrients, but the nature of the leaves makes it very good at absorbing chemicals from the air. No matter how many times it is washed, it still retains traces of pesticides.
- Lettuce, as well, should be purchased organically-grown whenever you can. Most leafy greens are particularly vulnerable to chemical contamination because of their large cell structures and exposed surface area.
- Kale is one of the best vegetables in terms of nutritional value, but much like spinach and lettuce, the shape of its leaves make it dangerous in terms of absorbing pesticides.
- You wouldn’t think that potatoes would benefit from organic growing, but not only are organic potatoes better for you, they almost always taste better too. Many large-scale potato farmers keep a side crop of organic spuds growing away from their main crop to feed friends and family.
We all know Ben Franklin. He flew a kite in a thunderstorm and his face is on the 100 dollar bill. He signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
There’s a bit more to him than that.
Franklin was a pioneering scientist, inventor, journalist, printer, humorist, philosopher, diplomat, politician and philanthropist. Perhaps more than any other Founding Father, his work shapes our daily lives. Here are just a few examples:
1. He won the Revolutionary War.
Aged 70, Franklin went to France in 1776 to secure their support for the Revolutionary cause. His diplomacy was a great success, with France’s military and financial backing a critical factor in the war. Franklin also negotiated the Treaty of Paris (1783), which finally gave America its freedom from Britain.
2. He gave you books.
As a young man, Franklin couldn’t afford books. So he founded America’s first free lending library, sparking a trend that continues to educate the country.
3. When it rains, he saves your life.
When the weatherman tells you to stay indoors during a storm, thank Franklin’s kite. His famous experiment with a kite and key confirmed that metal conducts electricity, leading him to invent the lighting rod. More than 300 years later they operate much as Franklin intended, saving untold amounts of lives and property.
4. He lived the original American story.
Franklin was educated to age eight, after which he was apprenticed to his brother James, a printer. He ran away to Philadelphia aged 17 and arrived penniless, owning nothing but the clothes on his back and two loaves of bread. He became one of the great renaissance men, arguably the most important American ever.
Franklin’s Autobiography (1790) tells a story of hard work, smart spending, and relentless curiosity. He knew how to laugh at himself. He respected authority, but was skeptical of it. And he believed that with sweat and faith, anything is possible. Over two hundred years after his death, these are universal American values. We see ourselves in Franklin’s image. He looks over your shoulder every day.
For more on Franklin, check out this book.
The cupcake trend has swept the country, with charming little bakeries opening up from coast to coast serving the bite-sized cakes with decadent frosting. If you want to make cupcakes at home, here are five great ideas for recipes that will go beyond the traditional chocolate and vanilla:
- Salted caramel is a popular flavor among more mature eaters – the tang of the salt mixes perfectly with the sweetness of the caramel. For the body of the cupcake, use a dark chocolate flavor to add complexity, then add icing made with salt and caramel. Top with a few large grains of sea salt.
- Red velvet cupcakes are popular because of their dramatic coloration and rich, satisfying flavor. A true red velvet cake uses vinegar and buttermilk to release the red coloration in cocoa, but it’s fine to use food coloring as well. Top with a white buttercream icing.
- Lemon cake is a great choice for cupcakes, as the intensity of the tart flavor works well in a small serving. Use fresh lemon zest in your batter and top with a lemony icing, then crush lemon drop candies or other sour confections in a food processor and sprinkle lightly on top.
- Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are a great way to make a dense, satisfying dessert. The peanut butter in the batter makes the cupcakes a little heavier than normal, and topping them with a whipped peanut butter icing adds a different texture.
- Another popular way to combine salty and sweet flavors is by making maple bacon cupcakes. Using maple sugar in the batter and icing adds an earthy sweetness, and topping the iced cupcake with candied bacon adds crunch, salt and fat.