ArtFire Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For most customers, shopping on Black Friday based more in tradition than practicality. The day after Thanksgiving requires one to wake up at dawn, drive to the mall, and shop and shop and shop! However, for some shoppers, Black Friday is more of an annoyance than anything else, a rushed unpleasant time for taking care of holiday shopping—but having to first face masses of angry and demanding customers.

But there is a solution for these shoppers this Black Friday. There’s no need to rush to the shopping mall and fight off fellow customers—you can stay at home. This year, make the decision to do your holiday shopping in your PJs and bathrobe by shopping online.
When you shop online, you get access to a greater variety of products than you would find at even the grandest shopping center. But you also get the opportunity buy handmade gifts for your loved ones from hardworking crafters.
With the global financial situation getting more and more bleak all the time, most shoppers are just not interested in supporting artists as much as they are in saving a few bucks. But in this bad economy, it is more important than ever before to shop handmade.
When you shop handmade, you get the chance to help real individuals who are struggling to get by in this financial crisis just like you. It’s your decision, do you want to help a skilled artist pay his/her mortgage, or do you want to fill the pockets of a rich corporate executive?
Shopping handmade is especially important for fellow craft artisans. Their businesses are supported by people shopping based on a style and quality rather than price alone. It is important that you help support fellow artists’ shops this holiday season.
So avoid the chaos of Black Friday and buy handmade online this year!

ArtFire Friday, November 21, 2008

Tip #1
This year, why not buy a free range turkey for your table? These birds are allowed to run in fields, rather than being restricted to a cage. Do your food shopping at your local farmers market, rather than a chain store. These grown holiday fixings are generally better for you, and you support local farmers with your purchase. Also consider getting a free-range turkey this holiday, as these birds haven’t been raised in cages.
Tip #2
Most families celebrate Thanksgiving by feasting on a wide variety of side dishes and holiday fixings. But no matter how hard we try, it’s near impossible not to end up with a huge pile of holiday leftovers. While some fixings are still tasty weeks after the holiday has passed, many foods end up collecting mold. This year, try not to make so much food. Make enough for everyone to be satisfied, but there’s really no need for the 3 serving per guest standard.
Tip #3
Instead of shopping for new fall decorations, spend some time at home with friends and family crafty new decorations. With countless easy to follow art tutorials on the world wide web, why waste time and money purchasing new fall accessories?
Tip #4
Try to downsize the trash generated by your household this Thanksgiving. This can be as effortless as substituting washable plates for paper ones, tuber-ware for plastic wrap, or cloth napkins for paper napkins. Pick up food materials that contain the least amount of wrapping you can find (and remember to carry your own grocery bags with you!). When the party is over, don’t just throw your scraps and leftover bits into the trash, use them as the foundation for a compost pile in your backyard.
Tip #5
These tips aren’t just great for the holiday season—they work all year around! Going green is a snap with the right mindset and enthusiasm, so why not give it a try?
Keep on creating artisans, and always buy handmade to support fellow artists!

ArtFire Monday, November 17, 2008


-Crafting glue
-Petroleum jelly
-Damp rag
-Decorative paper
-Acrylic paints
-Wire or necklace string
-Floral Foam

Start by arranging your decorative paper into two inch wide triangular strips no more than 11 inches long. Each piece will become an individual bead, so only cut as many strips you want beads. Cut out just the pointy tip of each strip.
This is when the fun begins and things start to get messy! Coat your fingers in craft glue, and then smother each strip of paper in glue. Quickly clean your hands off with your damp rag before moving on.
There’s the tricky part. Dip one end of a toothpick in your petroleum jelly to keep the glue form sticking to the wood. Beginning at the thick end of your strip of paper, very tightly curl the paper around the toothpick. The glue should hold it in place, but if it starts to unwind, coat the outer layer with more glue! When you’re done, Bring out the floral foam and stick in the unused tip of the toothpick so it can dry. Repeat for all remaining triangular strips of paper.
Let your beads dry before adding the finishing touches. Using the acrylic paints, add some fun and unique designs to your beads. Give them a minute to dry before covering them with glaze.
Once everything has had time to dry, make your handmade beads into a fun necklace, bracelet, or anklet for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry!
Remember to buy handmade this holiday season!

ArtFire Thursday, November 6, 2008

Most people have some misinterpretations about energy usage when it comes to their personal computers. There are many misconceptions floating around about efficient computer use, but after some thorough investigating on the web, I’ve constructed a short list of methods to aid users in making use of environmentally friendly personal computer skills.
Tip 1: Avoid printing from websites.
Generally when you print from an internet site, you end up with pages of pictures and advertisements from the site that you didn’t really need. Next time when you print form the web, try copying just the text or information you need into a Word document. Most anything on a web page can be displayed in a word document, and from there you can easily to delete the pictures and ads that you don’t want to print. This saves paper and ink.
Tip 2: Forget the screensaver.
Let’s clear up a common myth about screensavers: they do nothing. They’re pretty, sometimes even entertaining, but that’s all. They don’t save power or allow resting time for your computer, so if you’re not lovin’ your screensaver, go into the control panel and disenable it. And while you’re there, change your appearance settings to switch off your monitor after extended periods of not usage. Unlike screensavers, this will in fact save power.
Tip 3: Power it down.
Too many computer owners believe that leaving the PC on constantly is more energy efficient than powering it down when they’re done using it. While powering off and on the computer every 10 minutes is rather wasteful energy wise, research finds that leaving the PC on for stretches of inactivity (like while you’re out of the house or overnight) wastes much more energy. So if you’re not going to use your computer a while, power it down. And I don’t mean a simple power down. Hit the power switch, turn off the monitor, speakers, and even the printer. These waste power and there’s really no point to leaving them on while your personal computer is off.
Thanks for reading, and remember to always buy handmade!

ArtFire Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all want to make a difference, but have no clue how to start. I mean it is not like we’re all billionaires, with immense amounts of money and time to spare changing the world. Most of us are just trying to get by, and when it comes to helping others, yeah, maybe we’ll get to that after the house is clean and the bills are paid and the kids are put to sleep. And really, one person can’t make that much of an impact right?

WRONG. The most vital aspect to remember about making a difference is that lots of individuals making small efforts independently really can change the world. And you don’t need much time or money to make an impact. All it takes is a small gesture of consideration.

And now, Artfire is going to help you make that impact. With our new Top 10 Ways to Change the World Right Now at Your Computer article posted in Art Daily, you’ll find a list of ways to make an impact. And the bets par is that everything on this list can be done without ever leaving your computer chair. So go take the first step to changing the world and making a difference!

Thanks for reading, and always buy handmade to support local artisans!