I Have a Goal!

Okay, so I’m not a professional blogger! No qualms about it, lol, but here I am trying my hand at this blogging thing. I have to start somewhere and we shall see where it goes from here and who knows, I may even end up really liking it. Anyway…

Here’s why I’m trying my hand at blogging… I have a GOAL and when there’s something that I believe in, something that I feel passionate about, or something that I really want, I go at it with all I have. I know I’m going to need some help and guidance along the way, and I’m hoping to find some here. Hence, begins the blogging project. 🙂

licensed by www.areljewels.com So, my goal is to set up a small Internet based jewelry business. With that I should also mention now that I’m starting out with zero experience and really no clue about how to set up a website but because I really want this, I’ll be giving it my everything!

I love learning, being creative and making beautiful jewelry and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to beautiful things. Thus, I have acquired quite a large collection of jewelry… All beautiful, and by various artists from all over the USA. Anyway, about that… I plan to share most of what I have with my followers here as well as making much of my collection available for sale through the marketplace on our website which is Coming Soon!

Interestingly enough, a very close friend got me started. She started out teaching herself and showing friends what she was doing which resulted in her teaching me what she had learned and then talked me into committing to a PMC certification class. After acquiring our PMC certifications, we both attended private lessons with a jeweler at our local lapidary school in Charlotte and then after moving to CA, I took more classes in Sacramento to expand my experience before returning to the NC/SC area.

Now, my husband has always had a natural fascination for faceted gemstones… not necessarily for diamonds, but for precious and semi-precious gemstones. He’s never been as obsessed with all things *bling* like I have, BUT he quickly fell in line due to his own fascination with faceted gemstones and took a gemstone faceting certification course with world famous, Jerry Call in Spruce Pine, NC.

From this Arel Jewels was born and our journey began. We have a website now and I’m in the process of setting it up. To start with, I had help but that went south quickly so while it’s no easy endeavor, I’m on my own now… learning as I go. To say the least, there have been a few bumps along the way. Overall, I’m managing but before going out on my own, the person who was helping me, set up feedburner for email subscribers and after several attempts I wasn’t able to locate the email subscribers. So… I started by deactivating feedburner on the website and setting up another subscriber plugin which is working. Albeit all of the original feedburner subscribers have been lost, we are at least gaining new subscribers. Anyway I would really like to have feedburner too, so I tried again by setting up another one. I’ve gone through all the steps yet it’s still not working and I don’t know where to go from here although I’m confident that I’ll figure it out in time and just mmaaayyybeee, someone who reads this blog post will have knowledge or at least some suggestions for me to try.

This website set up is a journey and a challenge to be sure, but like I said, I’ve got a goal and I’m going to keep working towards it. I’m definitely learning a lot and we’re excited for our upcoming Grand Opening. We’ll have giveaways, great discounts [from 20% – 50% off], free shipping and even a special discount code for our shoppers to realize greater savings during our Grand Opening. PLUS we’re thinking about and planning even more great things and deals for the future.

Please subscribe to Arel Jewels mailing list HERE for your chance at one of our Grand Opening giveaways. Please, just one subscription per person… 🙂

Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions, comments and/or questions HERE.

Finally, we hope that you’ll come follow us on…

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon

Thanks for reading!
Arel Jewels


Monsanto-Free Seed Companies

First, to explain: there are thousands of other seed companies out there that have also signed the Safe Seed Pledge and/or might even be organic.  However, Monsanto purchased purchased Semenis which was the world’s largest seed company and now they own thousands of conventional seed companies in addition to their GMO seed business.  Monsanto now owns 40% of the conventional seed market in the US and 20% of the worldwide market, including organics and heirlooms.  It’s not terribly easy to avoid them, which is why we’ve compiled this list with the help of readers and some experts from the field, both to help you navigate through things as well as encouragement for companies to take part in the boycott so that they may also qualify to have their names included.

Monsanto-Free Seed Companies

Monsanto-Free Seed Companies

Here they are, and please let us know of any companies we may have missed and we will add them to this list.  Names are in alphabetical order, try to search for a company in your bioregion when possible.  Also, it never hurts to ask any company if they sell any Seminis seeds or seeds from Seminis’ partners. (Sites with asterisks* have the additional approval and endorsement by Farmwars.info and verification by recognized leaders in the battle)

Source: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/2012/03/06/monsanto-free-seed-companies/

States Introduce Bills Requiring GMO Labels


PHOTO BY Matthew Watson

By EcoWatch.org

[On Valentine’s Day], Senator Joe Bolkcom introduced a bill, Senate File 194, that would require labeling of genetically engineered foods in Iowa. The legislation was drafted with the support of consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch and is strongly supported by many national and local organizations and individuals including food cooperatives, organic farmers, environmentalists, and food justice proponents.

“Consumers want to know what is in their food,” Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) said. “This is a simple bill that gives consumers information they want”

If passed, SF 194 would require labeling for all foods containing more than nine-tenths of 1 percent GE ingredients. This includes plants altered in a laboratory with foreign genetic material to create novel genetic combinations and exhibit traits that do not occur in nature. Since most processed foods contain some derivative of GE corn, soybean, or cotton, they would need to be labeled under this law.

“Right now, consumers are in the dark about whether or not the food they buy and feed to their families is genetically engineered,” said Matt Ohloff, Iowa organizer for Food & Water Watch. “SF 194 would give Iowans the power to decide for themselves whether or not to buy and eat GE foods. This simple right to information about our foods is something everyone can support, which is why GE food labeling is on both the Iowa Republican and Democratic Party Platforms. We look forward to seeing legislators from both parties and the Governor represent their constituents, and their parties, and pass GE food labeling legislation in Iowa.”

According to a Food & Water Watch press release, although health risks associated with eating GE products are not fully understood, these altered foods have become pervasive within our food system since they first became available in 1996. Companies submit their own safety testing data, and independent research is limited because biotechnology companies prohibit cultivation for research purposes.

Labeling GE foods is not a novel idea. The European Union specifically addresses the new properties and risks of biotech crops, requiring all food, animal feeds, and processed products with GE content to bear labels. In fact, the EU is among nearly 50 developed countries that require the GE products they import from the United States to be labeled. Furthermore, a 2012 Mellman Group Study showed that 91 percent of U.S. voters favored having the Food and Drug Administration require labels on GE foods and ingredients.

Iowa isn’t the only state working to enforce the labeling of GE foods. Last week, according to dcist, Maryland State Delegate Glen Glass introduced a bill that would require food manufacturers to include labels on products that have genetically engineered ingredients in them. Under the provisions of the bill, any food product that was genetically engineered would have to be labeled as such, either bearing a warning notifying that the product is “Genetically Engineered” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.” Additionally, it would be unlawful for such products to advertise themselves as “natural,” “naturally grown,” or “all natural.”

According to a New York Times article on the fight for the labeling of genetically engineered foods, at least 20 states across the country are considering labeling requirements. Voters in Washington state will soon be able to vote on a ballot initiative that would mandate labeling; a similar initiative failed in California last year after intense lobbying from the food industry. In November, the city of Cincinnati became the first in Ohio to pass a resolution to require the labeling of GE foods, citing that consumers should have the right to know what is in their food.

Last year the Maryland General Assembly approved a ban on the use of arsenic in chicken feed, and that ban went into effect last month.

This article was published by EcoWatch on February 14, 2013. Photo by Matthew Watson/Flickr.

What an inspiration for those of us who haven’t yet reached retirement age…

Being Digitally Aware

By Surinder Moore

After retiring from years as a Corporate Executive, Richard Roberge decided he would change his woodworking hobby and try something new.  He took a boa-making class.  When we were first approached to cover the story, our initial thought was that we were talking about model boats, but Richard was actually talking about the kind of boats you climb into and sail off into the horizon in.  Once we got over the fact that you don’t often hear of a retiree building boats, we got into the actual “how and what” of Richard’s new hobby—Canoe Building.

It began with a Cedar Strip Canoe Building class at Hill Institute, which offers many arts and crafts classes at its Florence, Massachusetts, facility.  Richard was no stranger to crafting things made of wood, and he had already been making cabinets for a while before deciding to take the canoe-building class.  But…

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