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Gallery Ten artists reunite

The event reunites 12 artists who exhibited the now-closed Charlene 's Gallery Ten, which was located at the site. Several of the artists provide demonstrations.

Joe Hernandez of Illinois, who initiated ArtFest in 2000, is returning to demonstrate firing raku pottery. Ray Kapfamer of Madison will paint pastels, and Chris Meissner of Milwaukee will demonstrate the cold-wax method of encaustic painting.

Other participating artists are Anne Nikolai Kloss of Waukesha, with her beaded jewelry; Norm Knott, Rockford, Ill., rhinestone-encrusted assemblages; Kris Franzke, Milwaukee, mosaics; Denny Moutray, Gills Rock, photography; Shannon Molter, Milwaukee, books, bags and dog bowls; Dee Santorini, Rockford, Ill., raku pottery; Mark Haberle, West Allis, oil paintings; Marcia Nickols, Door County, paper collages; and Sue Donohoo of SooHoo Designs, Baileys Harbor, wearable art.

New at ArtFest this year is the food tent provided by Bayside Bakery and Cafe, serving sandwiches and made-from-scratch bakery. Box lunches can be made up to order.

Gills Rock Coffee will be open for extended hours, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering specialty coffee drinks and showcasing its first-prize-winning Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. The coffee shop also features the artwork of Nickols inside.

Door County Advocate photographer Tina M. Gohr visited the festival Saturday and captured the images above.The price of gold touched $1,420 an ounce last week, a 3?-month high, as escalating tensions in the Middle East, volatile currency markets and renewed demand for jewelry in China and India pushed prices higher.

Gold has rebounded 15 percent to $1,396 an ounce since sinking to $1,212, its lowest level in almost three years, on June 27. A gain of 20 percent or more would put the metal back in a bull market.

Gold’s resurgence follows a rough ride this year. It slumped 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013 as the economic outlook improved and inflation remained subdued.For many years prior to that, large investors, like hedge funds, bought the metal as a way to protect their investments against rising prices and jewelry findings. They feared that the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program could cause prices to rise. But inflation remained subdued and that reduced the need to buy gold. Also, signs in January that the dollar was strengthening diminished the appeal of owning gold.

Then in April, the bottom fell out. A proposal that Cyprus sell some of its gold reserves to support its banks rattled traders, prompting concern that other weak European economies might sell and flood the market.

Gold plunged by $140 an ounce, or 9 percent, on April 15 as investors unloaded their holdings. That was the biggest one-day decline in more than 30 years. While the price of gold is still down 17 percent this year, the metal is on the rise.One of the reasons people buy gold is that it offers an alternative to more traditional financial assets, says Mike McGlone, director of research at ETF Securities, a provider of commodity-based exchange-traded funds. When financial markets get jittery, investors often buy gold because it is considered one of the safest assets that can easily be converted to cash.

As the stock market soared this year, by as much as 20 percent, investors had less need to hold gold. That has changed in the past four weeks. The S&P 500 index has lost 4 percent since reaching an all-time high of 1,709.67 on Aug. 2. Traders are concerned about when and by how much the Fed will pare its stimulus, a major driver of the rally.

Strife in Egypt and Syria has also reminded investors that it’s a dangerous world out there: wars can spread and oil prices can spike, hurting economies and stock markets. Investors want to return a little insurance to their portfolios these days.

The Fed appears close to reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, and that has stirred up currency prices worldwide, particularly in emerging markets. Investors had previously borrowed in dollars at low rates and then invested in faster growing economies in Asia and Latin America.

When customers of Plowsharing Crafts bring home an intricately carved statue or a blanket bursting with color, they are not only making the world a prettier place, crystal beads wholesale, as well.

“I think it makes the local community look at how they are consuming,” manager Kelly Rae Ramoser said. “They learn that how they spend their money really matters. In general, we really don’t think about how we spend our money and where it goes, and that is such an important part of what we do.

Since 1985, growing out of a missionary project through the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship, Plowsharing Crafts has provided the St. Louis/Metro East area with handmade craft items from the Third World, providing income to skilled artisans around the world by marketing their products.

This “fair trade” strategy creates opportunities for socially marginalized producers, supports safe working conditions, combats the exploitation of child labor, and provides fair and equal pay for artisans, helping build trust and a sense of community that reaches across borders and oceans.

“The committee at our church was aware of the Fair Trade organization, Ten Thousand Villages, and were looking to do a project in the community,” executive director Rich Howard-Willms said. “This was very much a step of faith; I came in with no retail experience, just the interest and the passion. We are very pleased with how it has grown through the years.”

“I got plugged into Plowsharing while I was in college,” she said. “My boyfriend and I visited every time we were in the Loop, and he bought his Christmas gifts there.

“I live in Edwardsville, so I am a part of this local community. I love the idea of getting my area involved in fair trade, and I really enjoy getting to know the faces that come in day after day. I am the only paid employee. Everyone else donates their time.”

Artisans who create the sandals, wall decorations, and more are paid 50 percent up front, allowing them funds for materials, time and to feed their families, and then the remainder is paid upon completion of the products.

“People often ask us how much of the money goes to the artisans,” Ramoser said. “We tell them not one penny, because they have already been paid and received the benefits. That makes us very different from the (corporate mindset). These artisans do not have to wait and rely on us to sell the product.

“We are very passionate about what we do. Our volunteers believe in what we are doing here as well and can talk about it to our customers, which is important. Education is also key to what we do.”

Plowsharing Crafts is in partnership with Ten Thousand Villages, the oldest and largest fair trade organization in North America, as well as other vendors such as SERRV, Global Crafts, Bright Hope International, UPAVIM, Mountcastle International, Venus Imports and Equal Exchange.

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Bakers, cake addicts and foragers are in for a treat this autumn following predictions of a bumper wild fruit harvest. Liam Creedon explains what to pick, and where to pick itIt seems that the never-ending winter and unfeasibly cold spring earlier in the year may have actually proved a blessing for our beleaguered fruiting trees and bushes.

Autumn is now expected to be late and, according to the Woodland Trust who monitor the changing seasons through their Nature's Calendar project, when it does finally arrive, it's predicted to produce a berry bonanza. Hedgerows, woodland edges, parks and gardens should be laden down with plump clusters of blackberries, sloes, elder berries and sweet chestnuts.

Nature's Calendar project manager Dr Kate Lewthwaite explains: "So far we have only had a few sightings of the autumn berries from bramble, rowan and blackthorn. This along with the delayed onset of spring flowering suggests that autumn fruiting will be late this year.

"Autumn fruiting dates vary considerably from year to year as they are affected by temperature and rainfall. If last month's warm weather interspersed with occasional wet spells continues, the fruiting of autumn shrubs should be abundant."The relatively late flowering may have helped avoid any frost damage to gemstone beads, and thus help fruiting. With July 2013 being the third warmest since 1910 and August temperatures being about average with a fair amount of rainfall, we predict a good fruiting crop this autumn."

For the majority of us, autumn foraging consists of scrabbling around in the local bramble patch for blackberries. These encounters typically confirm a universal truth that the plumpest, juiciest berries are always tantalisingly just out of arm's reach.The humble blackberry is more mysterious than we give it credit for with around 400 subspecies, all of varying taste, size and Wholesale beads. Experts say berries on the tips of stalks are the quickest to ripen and are the sweetest and juiciest. Blackberry jam, pie and ice-cream are the objectives of many cooks and bakers but the berries can be turned to a myriad of purposes - from a jus that goes perfectly with goat's cheese, to a simple addition to a fruit salad.

But would-be foragers should look beyond the blackberry as other fantastic fruits will also be ripe for the picking.Sloes, the hard, dark purple berries of the blackthorn are expected to be plentiful and prove ever-popular as they enable the forager to become tipsy as a result of their endeavours. Sloe gin is made with berries gathered in September and October. The concoction is fantastically easy to make - collect and then prick half a bottle of sloes, sprinkle with sugar and cover with gin. The beverage will be ready by Christmas.

Rowan berries, hanging in clusters like lurid vermilion beads are also well worth seeking out. High in vitamin A and C they make fabulous jellies and jams and their acidity works well with roast lamb or venison. Elder, hazelnuts and sweet chestnuts are also expected to be plentiful and are delicious and easy to identify.

All this bumper harvest is not only good news for gourmands, it also benefits our wildlife as last year's washout conditions resulted in a pitiful fruit harvest.A good autumn fruit crop can mean the difference between life and death for small mammals and birds as they rely on this seasonal glut to lay down fat stores for the approaching lean times of winter.

Dr Lewthwaite explains: "Berries are a vital food supply for a wide range of fruit-eating birds and mammals such as badgers, dormice, hedgehogs and foxes; and birds like blackbirds, bullfinches, chaffinches, magpies, song thrushes and insects including butterflies, wasps and moths."Although they may have to wait, wildlife species will no doubt benefit from a bumper crop, and finally fruit-eating birds and mammals will be able to enjoy an autumn feast.

"The berry harvest is particularly good for hibernating species that need to store enough fat reserves to last through winter. Last year, birds and mammals suffered some of the poorest fruiting crop in years and this, coupled with the prolonged cold snap in spring, meant that many species had to endure a long period without a decent food supply."

Hudson tells about hot days working tobacco, when he thought he’d die from the heat, in “Jack Daniels Kept Me From Jim Beam and Johnnie Walker.” One day, no one brings water to the field where Joe is working, and he ends up sitting next to his friend, who everyone calls Jack Daniels. Now Jack is a large man, and he hangs out with the other workers sipping liquor when they can get it. On this particularly hot day, he lets his little buddy try it, but Joe, thinking it’s iced tea, takes a big gurgle from the bottle, setting his mouth, throat and tongue on fire until, a few minutes later, he hasn’t a care in the world. This is the longest story in the book and one that really sets the tone for the hilarity/calamity to follow.

He praises a favorite food in “Oh, Come to Me, My Sweet — Corn,” telling us “From the time I was a small child, corn has always been a source of wonder and delight.” He pooh-poohs all the naysayers — corn is bad for you, corn syrup will kill you, ethanol is useless. He goes off to eat it anyway. With salt and butter.

The book is divided into eight sections, one covering holidays and vacation, one family life, one food, another marriage. He has a lot to say about marriage. And many of the pieces not in the food category mention food. Obviously the way to this man’s heart is through his stomach.

There’s a couple of pointed pieces, too, like “What is Life All About?” In it, he reminisces about the good old days of the 1960s, when all you needed was love and a few beads. Now, he says, the world is full of rage and violence and there’s only one way to get through it: “It will take a little faith to see us through and what else but faith in a loving God can keep you afloat in such corrupt and violent times?” He continues, “Faith still lives due to the endurance of gentleness and the ability to laugh.”

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