Thursday, July 16, 2009
Linda Blondheim Newsletter, July 16, 2009, Energy Tips,Why collectors buy art,Let them eat Cake
The Orange Shop
oil on panel
Please forward my newsletters to your friends. I need to grow my business. I'll
reward you with a tiny abstract painting.
Don't forget that I offer 10% of the sale cash referral rewards when you send a
new patron to me who purchases a painting.
Saving Energy and Money
These days every penny counts. I thought you might like to have some handy tips
on saving energy both for your pocketbook and for your environment. Save all of
that extra money and buy a painting you love with it ;>)
Keep air conditioning thermostats at 76 degrees during summer months.
Use ceiling fans, which allows for setting the thermostat at a higher temperature.
Use nonessential appliances such as clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers during
off-peak hours (before noon or after 6:00 p.m.) Wash only full loads of dishes and
Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods.
Avoid using evaporative coolers or humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner
Run swimming pool equipment for the minimum amount of time, and during off-peak
Limit the opening of refrigerators.
Reduce hot, outdoor air from entering the house and eliminate the loss of cooled
air with weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors.
Clean or replace the air conditioner filter regularly to help it run more effectively.
( My AC guy says this is really important. We change ours on the same day each month
to help us remember.)
Check and clean refrigerator coils regularly, especially during the summer. Dirty
coils on the back or bottom of the refrigerator can make it work harder than necessary.
See appliance owner's manual for maintenance instructions.
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, which can last up to 10 times
longer than old-fashioned bulbs, and produce less heat while using only a quarter
of the electricity.
Turn off lights when leaving a room.
Use task lighting to directly illuminate work areas.
Install time clocks or photoelectric cells to control exterior lighting, advertising
sign lighting and some interior lighting. ( We bought little solar lights for the
yard and they work great!)
Install dimmer or occupancy switches where appropriate to lower energy use such
as in stairwells, copy rooms, restrooms.
Insulate the hot water piping from the water heater to the wall or ceiling pipe
penetration. Wrap the tank in an insulating blanket if the water heater's energy
factor is less than 0.59.
Reduce use of all non-essential electric appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes
dryers, especially during the late afternoon and early evening. Air-dry dishes instead
of using the dishwasher's drying cycle.
Cook outdoors or use a microwave oven and small appliances like a toaster oven and
electric skillet to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air.
Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in
about one-fourth the time. ( I use my slow cooker crock pot a lot)
Plug home electronics, such as computers, TVs and VCRs, into power strips and turn
power strips off when equipment is not in use.
Lower the thermostat on the hot water heater; 115° is comfortable for most uses.
Leaking electricity from electronics costs Americans millions annually. (About $750
million a year for TVs and about $600 million a year for VCRs.) To avoid the leaking
of electricity, either unplug electronics when not in use, or plug into a power
strip that can be switched on and off.
At Your Office
Turn off PCs, monitors, printers, and copiers nightly and on weekends. If unable
to switch off the entire computer, turn off the monitor and printer.
Turn computers, copiers and other office equipment to low-power standby mode when
not in use.
Use laptop computers and ink jet printers, if available, since they use 90% less
energy than desktop and laser printers.
Implement paper-reducing strategies, such as double-sided printing, re-using paper,
and using e-mail instead of sending memos or faxing documents not only save energy,
but to conserve other resources. ( I tear copy paper I no longer want into four
pieces and use the back as note paper. I have saved a lot of trees over the years
Connect PCs, monitors, fax machines and computer "peripherals" to one power strip,
and then turn off that power strip when not in use and every night.
In Your Car
Avoid rapid acceleration to reduce fuel consumption.
Avoid hard braking and sudden stops. Stay alert and anticipate traffic lights, stop
signs and merges. Use turn signals. Traffic will move more smoothly, which saves
fuel for everyone.
When starting out, shift up to the next gear (manual transmission) as soon as possible
without straining the engine.
Drive more slowly. One study reported that for all vehicles tested there was at
least a 20% loss in fuel economy as cruising speed was increased from 55 to 75 mph.
So, 20 miles per gallon (mpg) at 55 mph becomes 16 mpg or less at 75 mph.
Remove extra weight from the car; 100 extra pounds may cost 1 mpg.
Avoid using roof racks and remove when not in use.
Use cruise control on highway trips.
For any stop lasting more than a minute, shut off the engine rather than letting
Avoid warming the engine up before driving; it is not necessary, even in cold weather.
Do not rev engine before shutting it off; this wastes fuel and can dilute motor
oil, leading to excessive wear on engine parts.
Reduce the use of the air conditioner at low driving speeds. When driving over 40
mph using the air conditioner costs less fuel than having windows open.
Park in the shade and/or leave windows slightly open to reduce the need for air
Check tires; an under-inflated tire can decrease fuel economy by 2%.
(I try to multitask on my trips with the car. I will wait until I have several
errands to run if possible and then do them all in one trip. Because I live in rural
Florida, it makes sense to do this.)
Fuel and Maintenance
Refrain from topping off the tank at the gas pumps.
Replace air and fuel filters regularly as instructed by the vehicle maintenance
manual; change air filter more often if driving in dusty conditions.
Keep engine properly tuned.
Use API certified "Energy Conserving" motor oil, either conventional or synthetic.
Use the service classification and viscosity specified for the vehicle.
Avoid buying "aggressive" tread tires.
Determine gasoline mileage periodically. Declining mileage can be an early indicator
of mechanical problems or a need for servicing.
This is a long list and we can't do it all, but we can help ourselves just by doing
a few of these suggestions.
The list came from the My Florida web site http://www.myflorida.com [http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=uh4ah6cab.0.0.ejtjo9cab.0&ts=S0414&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myflorida.com%2F&id=preview]
Why Buy Art?
There are lots of reasons to buy art. Here are some common collector types.
Some people are avid collectors. The want to immerse themselves in the world of
artists, culture, interior design and architecture. It is important to their sense
of well being. The want to be surrounded by art and culture and the newest trends
Some people consider art to be a commodity or investment, hoping it will go up in
value to resell on the secondary market. It is simply a product, like gold coins,
silver or bonds.
Some people buy art because they have a specific interest in a subject, a place
they visited, a portrait of their home, dog, cat, child. It's not really the art
that they have a specific interest in. Instead, it is the subject captured for
a lifetime in paint. Their real interest is in the subject, not the art.
Some people buy art because they simply love it!! They live with their art. They
don't care whether it matches the furniture. They will always make room for another
painting. They don't buy reproductions, only the real thing. They collect with immense joy and enthusiasm. They never care about art trends, or the latest style. They are unconcerned with anyone else's opinion about the art they collect. They know
what they like and are unapologetic about it. Art is a part of their soul and the
never outgrow it. The have no desire to trade in the art for a newer painting. Each
painting they own is a mark of progress in the artist's journey and they recognize
this with respect. They enjoy following their favorite artists' careers and feel
a sense of friendship and kinship with the artists they collect. They have a vested
interest in the success of their artist friends and do much to help them succeed.
Why do you buy art?
Notes from the Kitchen
Let Them Eat Cake
Last year a good friend hosted an Art in the Garden party for me at her beautiful
home. I set my easel up in her luscious garden and painted while guests wandered
around enjoying her yard, watching me paint and browsing the art. We set up bins
of paintings and some framed works on her back porch.
An important part of the party was the food, naturally. Isn't that the real reason
people come to a party? We decided to "Let Them Eat Cake". We sent out a nice postcard invitation. We set up a coffee service, Iced tea, lemonade and a table packed with rich, fabulous varieties of homemade cake. It was a huge success with satisfied cake eaters and art browsers.
I confess that I love cake more than any other dessert. I can live without pie,
ice cream or fancy do dad desserts, but cake is my downfall. I like big old fashioned
country cakes, like Spice Cake, Red Velvet, Sour Cream Pound Cake, Yellow Cake with
rich chocolate icing, Carrot Cake, moist with cream cheese icing, Sour Orange and
Lemon, and don't leave out the many delicious cheesecakes. Now that's a party!!
As most of you know, I was a chef for years and I also plan parties around food
themes for my studio each year. I love to combine a cake theme with a coffee bar.
It's fun to do a food theme for the art as well for these kinds of parties.
Paintings of coffee cups, cake slices and table still life paintings are great fun to browse through while a guest eats cake.
I always purchase a number of coffee liqueurs to set up on the coffee bar, like
Bailey's Irish Cream and Kalaua, the wonderful coffee liqueur. Brandy is nice too.
One or two kinds are plenty. No need to go overboard. If you don't wish to serve
liqueur, it is easy to find all of the flavored creamers these days in portion sizes.
I like to serve real half and half, whole milk and skim milk as options along with
sugar and substitutes.
It's important to have rich, excellent hot coffee and plenty of it. You can also
offer bottled water or iced tea.
It is always lovely have a bowl of berries, orange segments, pineapple or other
fresh fruit on the table and of course, fresh flowers.Even with the extras, it is a fairly cost efficient way to entertain.Make it clear that it is a desert themed party, so your guests will know to eat before they arrive, and as a courtesy it is nice to have some sugar free candy, cake or cookies for guests who cannot indulge. Be sure to label those. Mixed salted nuts are good too.
The great thing about this theme is that it is all done in advance. Once it is all
set up, you can enjoy your guests without worry. If you are too busy to bake cakes,
you can order them or pick up what is available in a bakery with no sweat.
Invite your favorite artist to come and paint in your yard, or do an art demonstration in your living room for guests. It is a great way for him/her to meet potential patrons, sell some small paintings, and entertain your friends. It is best to invite an artist who is not shy about doing demos and mixing comfortably with your guests. Ask an artist who is reliable about being on time and who has a personality which will be pleasing to guests. Some artists are simply too inexperienced to work in front of a crowd. Choose someone who has experience and social charm and your evening or afternoon will be a delight.
Enjoy the party!!
How About a Recipe?
Michael's Grandma's Peach Cobbler
When I was a young bride, my husband and I traveled to Arkansas to visit his family.
His Grandma was a remarkable woman. She lived alone in her family home. It was
a classic old home with creaking floors and a front porch. Just the kind of home
I love. You can have the McMansions. I love old architecture with archways into
rooms, wood floors and pedestal sinks. She did her own laundry, ironing and shopping,
though she was quite elderly at the time. She was the family matriarch. She was
a fabulous country cook and took me under her wing. I have many happy memories
of that trip to her home.
His Grandma taught me how to make this cobbler. Yummy!
4 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 stick butter
dash of vanilla
1 yellow cake mix, make it by the directions on the package, adding a bit more water
for a bit thinner batter and the vanilla, set aside.
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
a bit of nutmeg
a dash of salt
Sugar and spice the peaches first.
Put the melted butter in a good sized baking pan.
Place the sugared and spiced fruit in the pan evenly without stirring it.
Pour the cake batter over the whole pan evenly. Run a fork through it to gently
incorporate the mixture but not too much. Bake until cobbler is bubbly and golden
brown. It is fabulous.
Having Some Fun with Ebay
After a few years off Ebay, I've decided that I miss the auctions there for my little
paintings. I have five listed each week. Check them out for a good deal. I just
started listing so they are going for one or two bids. Aren't auctions fun?
S & H: Free
Type Blondheim Art into the Ebay search window HERE
I can't thank you enough for all the support and friendship you give me.
July Special Celebrates Plein Air
My plein air studies are featured for July. You can find them on the small paintings
page at the bottom, on my web site.
8x10's- 110.00 ( Normally 125.00)
6x8's- 65.00 (Normally 80.00)
To purchase the special, email me firstname.lastname@example.org and write special in
the subject line.
Offer Expires: July 31, 2009