By Michelle Talsma Everson
Like most material items, many of our favorite pieces of jewelry have a shelf life. Clasps break, stones fall out of their settings, a pair of earrings separates from one another, and some pieces just experience the wear and tear of time. Yet, each of the pieces is still unique; each still tells a story; each is still valuable in its own way. To some jewelry artists, this is where upcycling comes in.
Upcycling is “taking something that you would otherwise throw out and finding a way to make it into something else,” according to upcyclethat.com. To three Valley jewelry makers, it means taking vintage jewelry pieces and using them to create new ones.
Trish Burnett, The Trinket Emporium
For nearly a decade, Trish Burnett has breathed new life into broken jewelry and other “awesome finds.” What started as a casual passion for browsing antique and thrift shops has since morphed into an impressive collection of necklaces, earrings, and more on her Etsy and Facebook pages. Some of her one-of-a-kind items include her dainty bulb necklaces and movement pieces. To Burnett, it’s all about giving each piece a second chance.
“We’re living in a day where you get less and pay more for it. Things aren’t made like they used to be,” she says. “Being able to take something that was an important part of someone’s life at one time and let it live on in something beautiful that can be appreciated every day is why I do this.”
Looking toward the future, she hopes to eventually expand her passion even further, reaching even more people.
“I hope to one day have a physical store location for The Emporium that will house not only my handmade and upcycled bits, but also handmade and original pieces from other local and international artists, as well as vintage clothing and other finds that deserve to be loved and used today.”
Photos by Jessica Frieling
An unending checkerboard of vivid greens, reds and purples highlighted by the morning sun captured our attention recently at the Salanova® test garden in Goodyear, Arizona. We were among growers, buyers, agricultural experts and enthusiasts who gathered at Duncan Family Farms to learn about the new varieties of lettuce developed by Rijk Zwaan, a vegetable breeding company based in the Netherlands.
The farm, that grows specialty crops on more than 2,500 acres, including organic baby lettuce that is found in bagged salads, was chosen as a test site for Salanova. Wearing hairnets and new shoes to protect the integrity of the organic gardens, we left our straw bale perches, descended from tractor-drawn wagons and stepped gingerly between immaculately manicured rows. Read more
By Cheryl Hurd
Babies always attract attention, and it’s no different for the four-legged and furry ones at the Phoenix Zoo. The zoo has had several new additions in recent months.
Bakari, a Grevy’s zebra, with his long legs and large ears, can be seen playing in the African Trail enclosure. He weighed 100 pounds when he was born January 19. Zookeepers let his mother decide his name by attaching three name choices to three separate bags of treats. The mother chose the treats with the name Bakari, which in Swahili means “one who will succeed.”
Success is important to the Grevy’s zebras, which are on the endangered species list, meaning that they are at a very high rate of extinction in the wild. There are less than 2,500 Grevy’s zebras left in the wild, due to loss of habitat, poaching, and competition with livestock, according to the Phoenix Zoo.
They still can be found grazing in their native habitat in northern Kenya and southeastern Ethiopia in an arid and semi-arid region with grass and shrubs. Land degradation is making it increasingly difficult for the zebras to find water. While they can survive without water for five days, the mothers that are still producing milk to feed their young need water every other day. The need to travel longer distances to find water is taking its toll with an increased mortality rate for the foals, further threatening the species’ survival, according to the Grevy’s Zebra Trust, an organization dedicated to the species’ conservation.
The Phoenix Zoo is also dedicated to conserving the Grevy’s zebras, which are easily recognizable by their long legs, narrow stripes, white bellies, brown muzzles and large round ears. The zoo works with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan to map out a breeding plan that ensures a healthy, genetically diverse population for the long-term survival of the species.
For just a moment, the 4-month-old Andean cub tested his independence, long enough for zookeepers to snap a quick photograph. The zoo has been carefully monitoring this furry addition that is also part of a breeding plan for the Andean bears. The bears are more commonly known as spectacled bears because of their distinctive white face markings that make them appear as if they are wearing glasses. Since the baby was born in early January, mom and baby have been left undisturbed in a maternity ward away from zoo spectators. The mother, named Rio, is one of two bears in North American zoos that is reproducing. The second, named Billie Jean, is housed at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Billie Jean has had two sets of twins since 2010. The bears are considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s first and largest global environmental organization. This designation means the animals face a high risk of extinction in the wild.
Natural habitats for these bears are in the Andean jungles of South America. Fragmentation and destruction of habitat threaten the animals, according to National Geographic, as do poachers and farmers who consider them agricultural pests. There are an estimated 2,000 to 2,400 Andean bears left in the wild. You can learn about these babies and others who have been added to the Phoenix Zoo’s family by visiting the zoo at 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., in Phoenix. Since it is Mother’s Day this month, let’s celebrate the moms who brought these precious treasures into the world.
Sources: phoenixzoo.org, animals.nationalgeographic.com, iucn.org
Photos courtesy of the Phoenix Zoo.
By Sarah Ley
With impending summer temperatures that soon will be creeping into the 100s around the Valley, many families will head to Northern Arizona for a respite from the intense desert heat. Flagstaff is commonly referred to as “the gateway to the Grand Canyon,” but there is much more to this college town than meets the eye. It’s also an outdoor haven offering year-round opportunities to become one with nature, including many hikes of all levels of difficulty for adventurous families. So, bring the children- because there is no shortage of great trails, and you’ll find endless hiking without the crowds or the high costs associated with the Grand Canyon. Here are several simple hikes for families with children in tow. Read more
By Sebastian Nolen
Two prominent Arizona businessmen and philanthropists passed away recently—Eddie Basha Jr., chairman and CEO of Bashas’ Family of Stores, and Don Robinson, president and chief operating officer of APS. Both men were well-known for what they accomplished in the business arena, and also for what they did for the community.
Robinson, 59, died on April 4 after his longtime battle with cancer. An Arizona native, Robinson was greatly appreciated within the community. He served on the boards of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Herberger Theater, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Fellowship for Senior Living and the Phoenix Police Reserve Foundation.
“Don was a very special person, and he touched and improved the lives of so many,” said Scott Finical, assistant police chief of the Phoenix Police Department, in a press release. “He was so generous and gracious. He will be missed greatly by all of us and those with the police department.”
Robinson spent more than 34 years at APS, one of the state’s largest electric energy providers, and became president and COO in 2009.
“Don was a true gentleman and a real friend,” said Don Brandt, APS chairman and CEO, in a statement on April 4. “This is a tough day for everyone who knew and loved Don.”
Under Robinson’s leadership, APS made big strides to provide Arizona with renewable energy through its solar program. Read more
By Anita Rangaswami
A Jewish proverb says, “God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.” Pregnancy and motherhood have been eulogized for centuries in all cultures across the world, and we don’t want to trivialize them in the modern times. This amazing phenomenon of procreation that brings tears of joy and sighs of sleepless nights that follow cannot be taken lightly –pregnancy is a special time not only for the mother-to-be, but also for her partner whose help and support are invaluable.
The bodily changes that occur are a major part of the equation, but there is a growing awareness of the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of pregnancy too. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a highly regarded Supreme Court Justice, remarked that “the real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.” Read more
America’s Most Decorated Gymnast and Ovarian Cancer Survivor
Background: A few years ago, after giving birth to her first child, Rocco, Shannon Miller was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. After surgery to remove the baseball-sized tumor and her left ovary, she went through a grueling nine-week chemotherapy regimen. She then dealt with the reality that a second child may not be a possibility, but more than two years after the diagnosis, Shannon and her husband are preparing to welcome their baby girl this June.
Shannon Miller is not only a cancer survivor and mom. You most likely remember her as the darling gymnast with the pony tail who has had one of the finest careers in American gymnastics history. In 1992 and 1996, she won seven overall Olympic medals, and she has also won nine World Championship medals. She is America’s most decorated gymnast.
As an Olympian and mom, I am fortunate to have a seemingly unending supply of fight in me, but that did not come without a lot of training, dedication, planning, and experience to combat each and every challenge that has come my way – whether in athletic competition, as a patient, or as a mom. Read more