Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jet Set: Athens - Acropolis and Parthenon

Hi Everyone,

I've been behind in posting my regular posts the last couple of days. It is the end of the semester, and I have been spending a lot of time focused on my studies.

For this weeks (or rather last Friday's) Jet Set post, I wanted to share with you some pictures that I took while visiting the Parthenon in Athens a few years ago. I have always had a fascination with the ancient world, and I have always loved learning about the history of Ancient Greece.

The Parthenon is an Athenian temple which was built around 447BC in honor of the patron goddess Athena. The temple sits on top of the Acropolis in Athens, and the view from the top of the Acropolis is breath-taking! The entire city is visible for miles. The Parthenon was covered in heavy scaffolding when I visited, but even behind planks and pipes the columns of the Parthenon were magnificent. (The scaffolding is part of the effort to restore and protect the Parthenon from the destruction it is facing due to smog and pollution, and of course age.)

The Parthenon is not the only structure on the top of the Acropolis. It shares its space with a lesser known temple called the Erechtheion. This temple is famous for its rows of statued women, known as the caryatids. The Porch of the Caryatids features statues of draped and clothed women.

I will never forget the feelings of awe and wonder that I experienced walking around the Acropolis, knowing that the Ancient Greeks walked the same paths thousands of years before.

Here are some pictures that I took while visiting the Acropolis:

This is the backside of the Parthenon. I wish I could have taken photos from farther away, but the Acropolis was crawling with tourists (and I'm not a fan of having strangers in my photos!).
This is the Propylaia, another temple on the Acropolis.
This is the back side of the Erechtheion.
This is the Porch of the Caryatids.
These are the statues on the Porch of the Caryatids. (I believe these are replacements for the original pieces, which have been stored in a museum to protect them from pollution and destruction).
I love this photograph! In the middle of these massive ruins are beautiful orange-red flowers!

Thank you for visiting my blog and for reading my posts! Feel free to take a peek at the Venture & Roam Etsy Shop and visit me at the Venture & Roam Facebook page!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Words to Live By: Winston Churchill

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope that you're enjoying your Memorial Day weekend and that you have lots of bbq's and apple pie in store for you!

Today is the perfect day to thank all of our public service and military members, both past and present, for all of their hard work and dedication, and the courage they have shown our country (go America!). No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on (whether you're a liberal like me or a conservative like my boyfriend), it is undeniable that our service members display a tremendous amount of bravery and courage every day. From local police and EMS to special task forces overseas, we owe our safety and security to these courageous men and women. Thank you.

I love this Winston Churchill quote about courage, and I thought it was very fitting for a this holiday. Courage takes many forms, and sometimes the most important form of courage is having the ability to be open-minded and listen to what others say.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Venture & Roam Update: LLC and New Jewelry

Happy Friday!!

I hope that you've survived the week and that you have great plans for the Memorial Day weekend! I wish I could spend the weekend with my family in Ohio, and go to all of the parades, carnivals and bbq's this weekend. Danny and I will be enjoying a nice quiet weekend here in Switzerland, and I'm thrilled that he has the day off of work on Monday.

Venture & Roam is officially a Limited Liability Company (LLC)! I'm very excited to have this made official, and I look forward to learning about how to operate my new LLC! (why yes, I did buy LLC's for Dummies, and other LLC books on my Kindle!)

I'm very happy to announce that my blog is less than 300 hits shy of a whopping 4000 views! Holy cow! Thank you for all of your support and thank you for reading my blog!

I've added some new listings on the Venture & Roam Etsy shop, so feel free to check them out! I also have a lot of goodies still waiting to be photographed and uploaded (my school work and other obligations get in the way!)

Here is a sneak peek at a new pair of dangle earrings I made this week:

Freshwater Pearl and Peruvian Opal Earrings

Thanks for reading my blog!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Frozen Lemon Cream in Lemon Cups

Whenever I need a new dessert to make, I always turn to my grandmother for advice. She has a plethora and seemingly unending collection of great recipes. Recently, I was looking for dessert that was fresh and perfectly refreshing for summer. She emailed me a recipe for Frozen Lemon Cream, which she informed me was my grandfather's favorite treat after dinner in the summer.

I made this recipe for the first time today, and while it may be a little labor intensive, I absolutely loved it! It is perfect for this hot weather that we are having here in Basel: the lemon flavor is fresh and creamy, and the serving size is just the right amount. I hope that you'll give this recipe a try!

Here's what you need:

* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 8 lemons (preferably non-waxed and organic)
* berries for topping (optional)

Here's what you do:

1. Combine the milk, cream and sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

(Let it rest and then stir again for another minute to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.)

2. Add the cream and sugar mixture into a dish that is freezer proof. (Make sure that it is large enough that only an inch of liquid sits in the dish.)

3. Freeze the mixture until it is mushy.
4. In the meantime, grate two lemons.
5. Squeeze the juice from two lemons.
6. Cut the bottom of the lemon so that it creates a leak-proof base.
7. Cut the top of the lemon to create the open top.
8. Scoop out the pulp and juice from the lemons using a strong spoon. (You can save the juice for future uses in the kitchen.) Do this to 6 lemons.
9. Once the cream mixture is mushy, add the juice and peel of 2 lemons.
Using a hand-mixer, blend the juice and peel into the cream mixture and then freeze it for 2 hours.

10. Once the cream has become solid (and resembles ice cream), spoon the frozen cream into the lemon shells. Top with berries if you wish, and enjoy!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe! It is absolutely delicious and it is the perfect ending to a great dinner!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Words to Live By: Oprah Winfrey

I came across this quote by Oprah Winfrey in a book that I was reading, and I thought that it aptly describes how we ought to live our lives with integrity. To live with integrity is to live with honesty, truthfulness, and to follow important moral principles. Sometimes its important to do the right thing even if we won't receive the recognition of having done it.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Featured Jewelry: Miguel Ases

Happy Tuesday!

Today I'm featuring an amazing jewelry company created by and named after Spanish designer Miguel Ases. This jewelry line features brilliantly and intricately handmade beaded jewelry. With elements of gold, pearls and semi-precious stones, this jewelry line has stunning pieces that look elegant and classic. Miguel Ases's jewelry are truly pieces of art.

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

These Miguel Ases earrings are from the Paradise Blue collection.
These Miguel Ases earrings are from the Robin's Egg collection.
These Miguel Ases earrings are from the Silver Oceans collection.
These Miguel Ases earrings are from the Zsa Zsa Gold collection.
These Miguel Ases earrings are from the Gray Matters collection.
This Miguel Ases bracelet is from the Metal Rush collection.
These Miguel Ases earrings are from the Opalite Goddess collection.

I hope that you've enjoyed this post with these stunning pieces by Miguel Ases.

Thank you for reading my blog! Please be sure to visit the Venture & Roam Facebook page and the Venture & Roam Etsy shop!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Arts & Crafts: Bezel Lesson Part 1

I have been taking a metalsmithing and jewelry class for the past month, and I have been learning a lot of techniques, including metal manipulation, soldering, and most recently how to make a bezel setting.

A bezel setting is simply a rim of metal which encapsulates a stone or gem to provide a protective setting. It is possibly the earliest known form of gem setting in the history of jewelry-making.

I decided I would use a millefiori focal piece to make a pendant. Originally I had planned on making this piece into a bezel ring, however the millefiori piece is slightly too big to make an attractive ring. I also decided to use brass instead of sterling silver because I think that the brass compliments the yellow flowers in my millefiori focal piece.

Here are some pictures from the first part of my bezel setting lesson:

I cut a piece of metal (using the measurements of my millefiori piece) and then ran it through a press to flatten it a bit.
After rolling and hammering the metal strip, I placed it into a special clamp to file the ends flat.

I bent the metal into an oval shape in order to make the ends meet perfectly.
Then I soldered the ends together.

Once the ring was soldered, I hammered the piece into a perfect circle.


Next I had to measure and cut the backing of the bezel setting.

I used a saw to cut out my circle backing.

Here I began to file down the edges.

Check back next weekend for the second half of this Bezel Lesson!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Jet Set: Parc Guell in Barcelona

Happy Weekend!

A couple of months ago I traveled to Barcelona to meet up with my mother on her first trip to Europe. We had a wonderful time exploring Barcelona and I was honored to be a part of my mom's first experience of the wonder and beauty of Europe.

While I have traveled to many Spanish cities, I had never had the chance to visit Barcelona. I have always wanted to explore this architecturally beautiful and culturally rich city, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to check Barcelona off of my list of top cities to visit.

My mother and I had the pleasure of visiting Parc Guell, a cultural site that was designed by the famous architect Antonio Gaudi. While Parc Guell may be off the beaten track in terms of places to visit in Barcelona, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely worth exploring. The park is infused with Gaudi's brilliant vision of Catalan Modernism. Mosaic tiles and raw rock permeate the entire park.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

I hope you enjoyed this post! Thank you for visiting my blog.