Earbud Loop Review

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I find it funny that the groundhog told us spring would come early yet central Illinois has just been hit with a couple inches of snow these past few days. Normally, I don’t mind the snow as it can be very calming and beautiful, but in seeing that I am currently training for my very first marathon I couldn’t be more upset.

You see the snow forces me to do my training inside and I don’t like that. But, what I do like is I now have one less thing to worry about when it comes to my training thanks to The Loop.

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The Loop makes preparing for my runs hassle free. I no longer have to waste time and energy trying to get my earbuds untangled, because The Loop keeps them ready to go and knot free. For something as small as earbuds you’d would be surprised as how easily you get frustrated having to untangle them every time you want to use them.
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The thing that I like most about the The Loop compared to other earbud holders is that you don’t have to worry about rolling the earbuds up in exactly the same way every time. For example the standard Apple headphones come in this nice looking case, but when it comes time to put the earbuds back into the case after using them you are SOL. And, I would know because I have been trying to figure out how for a while. With the loop you just have to stick the plug in the hole and roll em’ up. It’s simple and you can’t really go wrong. And, if you’re like me then the simpler something is the better.
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Thanks to The Loop I can get out there and do my runs without having to worry about my earbuds being a tangled mess. Now if only the snow would clear and I could starting running outside again…

Elevate Your Art Collection with Unusual Pieces and Displays

Creating collages of art works is an opportunity to let your imagination take over. An opportunity to let your personal style shine, while allowing  the art dictate the display.

artwall-mochatini1Don’t be shy about mixing different styles, frames, and mediums. The wall is your canvas. Im always on the hunt for new textures, techniques, framing options, and pieces that reflect me as a person.

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For instance, these city and state maps from artist Alex Elko via Minted Art are a lovely addition to my collection, reflecting my love for gold-embossed designs, and for DC, and California. These gold embossed maps offer an elevated twist on the more tradition map print. And, each map is hand-pressed with foil making each one uniquely yours. You can find one of your liking here.

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Another fab resource to find art online is UGallery. This piece, A Dance, is by Photographer Gregor Hochmuth is unaltered by special lenses. Every droplet of water in this composition sparkles with colors. Instead of the traditional frame, I opted for a the acrylic glass mount which makes it feel vibrant and alive.
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The simplicity of people enjoying rain, is captured so beautifully in this complex composition. It makes me smile and serves as a reminder to be in the moment.

Foil Stamped Map, Minted | Dance, Acrylic mounted Photographic Print, UGallery
Note: Thank you to Minted and UGallery for sponsoring the art for this post. 
 

Shaping a Wine Glass, Building a Handmade Community and Why Investing in High-Quality glasses is a Game-Changer for Holiday Entertaining

Hello Mochatini readers! My name is Brian Barber. I am the owner of Sophietta, a glass manufacturing business specializing in hand made goblets. I started Sophietta as a side project in 2009 with some friends. Since then I have taken a bit of a hiatus from glassblowing to attend architecture school. Now that I am finished (yay!) I am restarting Sophietta while I build a career in architecture and look to bring together my passions for glass and architecture one day by evolving Sophietta into a lighting design firm. In the meantime, I will keep things simple by focusing Sophietta on my other passion: wine.

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The Holidays are a time for many of us to get together with friends and family to enjoy food and, more importantly, celebratory drinks. Why not enjoy those drinks in the proper glass? Especially when it comes to wine.

via: AT

via: AT

Full disclosure: I am a glassblower and producer of wine glasses. It’s my passion. They have always been difficult to make and difficult to sell. But when I see someone enjoying a wonderful drink out of something I made, I couldn’t be happier. Why should anyone spend a fair amount of money on a handmade wine glass when they can be bought at any box store for a few dollars? Good question. Let me fill you in on the details!

Let’s start with the basics: goblet shape. There is a logic behind all of the proportions and details that define a well-made wineglass.

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First, the bowl.  It is the most important part of the goblet. A well-shaped bowl is not only beautiful, but can enhance the wine drinking experience. Red wine is perhaps the most thought of when the shape of the bowl is considered. Wide at the base and tapering to a narrow lip, a glass for red wine is meant to capture the aromas, or the bouquet, of the wine. To really capture the bouquet the wine has to be swirled in the glass thereby concentrating the vapors in the middle, making the one drinking the wine able to capture them more easily. White wine glasses are similar in shape but generally have smaller proportions because of the more delicate flovors. Sparkling wines are served in taller, narrower bowls in an effort to preserve their effervescence. The thought is that the gasses are released more slowly in a vessel that is a bit more closed in its shape.

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Next, the gambo, or stem of the goblet. Stem-less wine glasses have grown in popularity over the past few years, which is okay for red wines but for whites it can be damaging. The stem is where the one drinking the wine is meant to hold the goblet. This takes advantage of the natural balance of the vessel. Holding the stem also keeps the hand away from the bowl, which means no warming of white and sparkling wines and no interference of the aromas from the aroma of hand soaps and lotions.

Finally, the foot. Its importance maybe be obvious; of course you need a means of setting your glass down when a family member hands you that new baby, or its time to unwrap presents. But, as I mentioned in the last paragraph, the foot adds balance to the entire apparatus. It’s weighty, it’s on the opposite end as your drink so, it allows the drinker (or should I say connoisseur) to expend minimal effort to keep things together…..because we all know there isn’t just one glass of that delicious wine to be consumed!

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So that’s the basics of the goblet shape, allow me to elaborate a little on the virtues of the handmade object. Crafts men and women ruled the world of consumer goods for thousands of years. They knew their customers well, and their customers knew them. They were part of a community. Things are really different now, but the world remains a very small place in some ways. Now we have online communities. Distance can separate, but technology keeps us close. It’s important to know the ones from whom goods are purchased. It builds relationships. I know it’s impossible to throwback to the old days when milk was bought from farmer Bob down the way and the lettuce was from Ethel “just up yonder”, but there will always be virtue in the effort.

via: Camille Styles

via: Camille Styles

What’s the advantage of buying something from someone you have met? It will always come with a story. As I mentioned, I am a glassblower. I did it professionally for sixteen years before I went back to school to become an architect. My first experience blowing glass was at age eleven when my grade school class took a field trip to the Black Forest (my family was living in Germany at the time). Nine years later I found myself in art school taking classes in the glass. Over the next several years I took advantage of every opportunity to gain experience and build skill. I worked very hard at becoming the best glassblower I could. I became obsessed with goblet making because that is the pinnacle of skill for a glass blower. Every goblet I make is a testament to thousands of hours practicing those shapes repeatedly. There is a bit of my story, my history, in every goblet I produce. Does a machine- made, mass-produced goblet sold for three dollars come with a background like that? No, and every crafts person has a similar story. Every object made by hand comes with a similar background.

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Consider these things as we all raise our glasses this season to toast achievements, the ones closest to us, or the good fortune of making it through another year. We have completed another chapter, not only in our stories, but in the grand narrative of the human race. To hold a hand-made object is to have a page from a book and to participate in another’s story. That person may be across the country or on the other side of the world, but there it is, a piece of their story. Think about it. A wise man once said, “It is our stories that bring us together.”  Remember that.

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Best Sale To Shop For Holiday Fashion

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Tis' the season for Holiday parties! Check Holiday party outfits off your list by hopping over to Shopbop's latest sale where you can score the best fashion names for upto 25% off. The more you buy the more you save! Here are some ideas to get your outfit planning in motion.