Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kudzu...Could this be my next cuff?

Kudzu? Let's Vote...

Kudzu Why should I be eating kudzu

Kudzu is a plant native to Japan and China. Its root has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine where it is considered to be among the top 50 therapeutic herbs. Practitioners of Chinese medicine use kudzu to treat a range of conditions, including excessive thirst, headaches, high blood pressure and angina. Other uses include diarrhoea, allergies, migraines, headaches and alcoholism.

Kudzu is also a useful cooking ingredient as it can be used as a gluten and corn-free thickener in soups and sauces. You can find it in health food shops and Japanese food shops.

What is it rich in?

Kudzu root contains isoflavones such as Daidzein. Animal studies indicate that Daidzein may reduce the desire for alcohol. Studies with alcoholic people show mixed results but heavy alcohol drinkers given 1000 milligrams of kudzu extract three times a day for a week significantly reduced their beer consumption. Daidzein also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Who should eat kudzu?

  • Those suffering from high blood pressure or angina pectoris
  • Those suffering from blood sugar imbalances. The fibre in kudzu slows the release of sugar from carbohydrates thus reducing blood sugar highs and lows
  • Those with intolerances or allergies to gluten and/or corn starch can use kudzu as a thickener
  • Serving suggestion and amounts

    Therapeutic doses of kudzu vary from 10-100 milligrams of the extract 2-3 times a day. However, as a culinary root 1-2 tablespoons in a sauce is usually sufficient to thicken it.

    How interesting... And we thought it was just a pesky plant that's taking over the South!

    Any comments?

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    A New Phalaenopsis Necklace

    Our Orchid Shows are gearing up and it's time to think about my Orchids again.

    Phalaenopsis Necklace

    I will be reproducing my Phaleaenopsis Orchid Necklace. The original one is way down towards the end of my posts but I'll bring up a copy just to show you what the original necklace looked like.

    The new Phalaenopsis Orchid Necklace will be smaller, more flexable but twice the details the original one had. The design will be the same but it will have more buds, some half open buds, and a bit more smaller leaves.

    The three flowers will be as perfect as I can get them, so I have chosen the Phal. H.P. Norton to reproduce. I feel this Phalaenopsis is among the most beautiful I have seen. While I am making the flowers, I will be offering a single Phalaenopsis Pendant with an Enhancer while sculpting the necklace.

    Wax Model pictures so far...

    I will be sculpting 2 more orchids above the first one plus a few more buds between the flowers. After that, I'll be designing the leaf links to the back and a clasp.

    Ocean Reef Necklace

    I'm getting close to finishing up the wax model on this new project. I have sculpted several fan corals with plate coral peaking out from between the overlaping corals.

    Some of the plate coral will be cast in 14k yellow gold but the majority of the necklace will be Sterling Silver. I will have 3 clusters of small aquamarines dotted around the necklace. One cluster on the left side and two clusters to the right.

    I took two of my sketches and combined them, coming up with this design...I think you can see by looking at my drawings, I took the best of both.

    Needless to say, it's going to take some time to complete this piece but I can assure you...it will be photographed. This is a one of a kind piece, and if anyone is interested in this piece, please call me.