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IMG_20160204_140957 copyBack in December I gave away some of my friend Linda B’s handcrafted jewelry. The response was so enthusiastic I’ve decided to do it again, in time for Valentine’s Day. Also in time for her “First Friday” event tomorrow evening at the 2 Friends Gallery here in Anchorage. (If you’re in the area, you should go.)

Once again I wish I were a better photographer. But I’m not, so you’re just going to have to trust me with the details about these pendants.

This time around Linda started with a copper disk and a copper rectangle, knocking both of them silly with a texturing hammer. You can catch a glimpse of this detail despite my sub-par photography.

Next she added colorful metal accents and some copper ones, attaching them with rivets she makes out of heavy-gauge copper wire. Each of these comes with an 18-inch cord.

These would be fine Valentine’s Day gifts if that’s the sort of thing you do. They’d also do well as birthday or Christmas presents — or maybe for a little self-gifting. As one of the characters in “Steel Magnolias” put it, what separates us from the lower animals is our ability to accessorize.

 


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th-1El Niño is messing with us. Whether your weather is running weirdly hot or punishingly cold, chances are you can use a little treat. That’s why I’m giving away $10 worth of Starbucks gift cards.

If the winner lives in subzero territory it’s time for a steaming coffee, chai or hot chocolate. Maybe a second one, too, to pour over his or her frozen toes.

And if you’re walking around in shorts and a T-shirt in Philly or New York? Further the “hey, it’s spring already!” illusion with a fancy iced drink. (Or hang on to it for the inevitable return of cold-and-damp days, when you’ll really need a little consolation.)

 


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thI sure hope that this week’s winner never actually needs the prize. But we’re in the thick of the cold and flu season so it’s best to be prepared — and it’s even better when someone else buys your supplies.

The winner will receive a box full of things essential to someone who’s down with the sniffles or a full-blown influenza. Here’s what’s in the package:

 


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How to lose weight.

51V5skn-eJL._SX368_BO1,204,203,200_ “Lose weight” and/or “eat better” will appear on many a New Year’s resolution list — just as they did last year, and will again next year. Such plans often gang agley for a number of reasons.

We aren’t really invested in them. We miss our old comfort foods. We don’t know how to adjust the rest of our lives to support a new way of being in the world.

That’s why I’m giving away a Kindle copy of Victoria Hay’s “30 Pounds, 4 Months: How to Eat Well and Lose Weight – Painlessly.”

Her approach is fairly simple: Dieting isn’t something you do. It’s something you are.

“You change your way of looking at food, work light exercise – nothing extreme! – into your daily habits, and learn to eat better food, not necessarily less food,” says Hay, a former journalist and professor and current owner of The Copyeditor’s Desk writing and publishing service.


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IMG_20151210_113500This week’s giveaway achieves two of my favorite goals: supporting the local economy and helping readers finish up their holiday shopping.

I only wish that my meh-photography did justice to the two pendants up for grabs this week. They’re quite striking and hand cut- and hammered by my friend Linda B.

She started by cutting two disks of aluminum: one a deep maroon and the other a vibrant violet. Onto each she riveted a five-armed, gear-like circle that makes the pendants look, at first glance, like sheriffs’ badges or combat medals.

The colors below seem richer, possibly because you’re seeing them in concentrated glimpses. The overlays give a suggestion of motion that I like to think of as, “Hey — get your life in gear and start moving!”

Know anyone who needs an accessory with a built-in kick in the pants? Or maybe you need it yourself.


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