Monday, December 6, 2010

Faux Painting: Wall Mural by Melissa Barbieri

I love this wall mural by Melissa Barbieri.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

California Highlights: Lunch at Cru

One of the really fun things I did in California was have lunch at Cru, a raw foods restaurant in Silver Lake, with raw foods superstars Debbie Young and Barbara Ellingson, two amazing women beating cancer with a raw foods diet . . .
Debbie Young, Barbara Ellingson, Sammy Young, Jim Ellingson, Johnny Frechette and Dana Herbert

The food was delicious, and gluten-free!! Check out the menu here. Here is what we ordered, each dish was a work of art:

Dana Herbert and Debbie Young

Check out Debbie's blogs:
Debbie Does Raw
Grass Fed Momma

Check out Barb and Jim's Primal Diet website.

And check out Johnny's Super Fine Artist Fan Page on Facebook.

Johnny and I had more fun with Debbie, Sammy, Barb and Jim, so stayed tuned for more California Highlights posts . . .

Friday, October 8, 2010

Going Green: Asbestos Removal

Asbestos roofing professionals

Going Green: Asbestos Removal
by Alex Johnson

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive and deadly form of cancer. During World War II, the use of asbestos becomes a common insulator, used in shipbuilding, construction, and industrial projects. The material is lightweight and easy to handle. The manufacturers and some companies that know asbestos might be potentially hazardous, fail to inform the public, so property safety procedures can be implemented. Approximately three decades later, a new type of cancer is diagnosed. As the number of cases starts to multiply, the common factor in every patient is the exposure to asbestos.

Today, many older homes and commercial buildings do not comply with the current energy and safety standards. Renovation is necessary to bring the structure up to code. Older buildings need to be demolished. Going green and asbestos removal can be a costly and potentially dangerous undertaking.

Asbestos Removal Regulations

Because asbestos is a hazardous material that is potentially harmful, if dust and particles are released into the environment, renovating, or even demolishing, a building with asbestos insulation must follow EPA and OSHA standards for safety. According to an article in, individual homeowners, contractors and special trained professionals in the removal of asbestos are required to meet the same safety standards, and hiring a professional may be necessary.

These are mostly set out as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations (Refer to 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M). The work also must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations delineated in 29 CFR 1926.1101. Of course those licensed asbestos-abatement contractors will be most familiar with the regulations, most experienced in meeting them, and most efficient in protecting you from liabilities and exposure to asbestos hazards.

Proper cleanup, after the project is completed, is also vital. Released into the environment and left to the elements, asbestos can also cause cancer via secondhand exposure.

Cost of Asbestos Removal

Asbestos removal depends on the volume of the hazardous material in the home. If asbestos is located in the ceiling, walls, floor, and around pipes, it can cost approximately $20,000 to completely rid the structure of asbestos.

Some asbestos certified contractors will charge based upon the size of the project. According to, “Complete removal in a 2,000 square foot home will usually be about $2,000 to $4,000 on average because the hazardous material can either be contained instead of removed, or will only be present in a few areas”.

For “Go Green” renovation projects, where asbestos insulation is a concern, hiring a contractor certified in the safe removal of this mesothelioma causing agent is the best option. Although it may cost several thousand dollars, it is a small price to pay for protecting the family against exposure to asbestos dust and fibers. Protect yourself and the environment.

- by Alex Johnson

Thank you Alex!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Vacation - Be Back Soon

I've had the most amazing summer and I'm currently in California. I haven't blogged in months, but be prepared for a lot of new blogs when I get home! I have lots to share!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coming Soon: Gluten

I've been so busy that I haven't posted much in the last two months at all ~ very unusual for me. I am on my way up to Massachusetts for vacation and will be back in about a week. Over the last two months I have been learning a lot about gluten intolerance and toxicity and have been gluten free now for one month (I was apparently consuming some "hidden" sources of gluten). So, I am very excited about sharing what I have learned and will be blogging again when I return . . .

I intend to start a whole new category for gluten as it effects so many bodily systems and organs.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shadle Farm: AFTER Pics . . .

See BEFORE pictures here.

We decided on a raw organic honey-colored food paint fresco/colorwash finish on the plaster walls, apricot-colored food paint on the trim, metallic bronze on the fireplace mantle, and flat black paint on the heat registers and outlet plates.

The inspirational theme was "posh bohemian". All colors were inspired by feng shui color charts and nature to create a feeling of warmth in the room and an India-inspired backdrop for hand-painted henna designs, which will be added at a later date.

We would love to hear your feedback . . .

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Next Project: Shadle Farm, Durham, CT

I will be transforming the dining room in this 1730's organic farmhouse in Durham, Connecticut with all natural, non-toxic green paints and custom blended healthy Food Paints by Anna Sova.

The house is owned by vegan/vegetarian chef Mark Shadle, owner of It's Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown, CT and his wife Detox Diva, Ami Beach.

I will be working with my new partner, Jonathan Frechette, and we are both very excited and looking forward to a healthy and creative collaboration and experience at Shadle Farm for all.

We have been working on picking the perfect colors to make our visions and design ideas a reality for this room. These are the BEFORE pics. As you can see, the room is beautiful now. Stayed tuned for the AFTER pics . . . and see what we came up with!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

My New Business Card:

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Art Openings: Young Artists 2010

Work by more than two dozen young artists appears in Young Artists 2010

Come join the fun at the exhibit's opening reception,
Friday, February 26, 6-9 pm at Pia Sjölin Design

A festive reception on Friday, February 26, from 6 to 9 pm celebrates 29 young artists whose work appears in the juried exhibit titled Young Artists 2010, at Pia Sjölin Design, in the Shoppes at Farmington Valley, on route 44 in Canton, Connecticut. The exhibit continues through Sunday, March 28, seven days a week.

See the entire list of participating artists below.

Work in the show include paintings; drawings, photography and other works on paper; blown glass; jewelry; and installations. The works range from polished works in glass and technically meticulous photographs and drawings to loosely worked acrylics and paintings that refer to graffiti and comic-book imagery. One installation artist makes playful use of text combined with everyday objects, such as ordinary office supplies. Look for images of some works to appear on Pia's blog in the coming weeks.

All artists showing work in the exhibit are 25 or younger. Most are in their 20s, many in their teens, and a couple still of grade-school age. Student artists attend classes at Simsbury and Canton high schools, the University of Hartford art school, and Tunxis Community College, among other schools. Other artists graduated from Franklin Pierce University, Boston University, and Sarah Lawrence College.

At the reception, participating artist Mike Detelj will read his spoken-word work, "Acts of Love." A combo of young jazz musicians will also perform: Brad Parlimen (drums), Jackson Fitzgerald (guitar), Zack Wiles (bass), and Tom Kelley (sax)

In conjunction with the exhibit, the gallery will host a talk and discussion on Art & Youth on the evening of Wednesday, March 10 at 6:30 pm, including some of the participating artists.

All works in the exhibit are offered for sale, which is not often true of exhibits of student work. Gallery founder Pia Sjölin, a working artist herself, believes that part of supporting young artists is encouraging them to take their first steps toward becoming self-sustaining artists. "I remember that when I was starting out it was so hard to get anything into a show where people could see it and react to it. I want to do for the young artists what I want to do for all artists: just give them a show, and that encourages them to produce more work," she said.

The Young Artists 2010 at Pia Sjölin Design exhibit coincides with other exhibits in the Hartford area that showcase the work of young artists who are still in school:

* Farmington Public Schools K-12 Student Select Art Exhibit, through February 26, in the community room at the Farmington Public Library, 6 Monteith Drive, Farmington.
* Next, the Emerging Talent Show, through March 14, features works by high-school seniors from 11 schools in the region. At Gallery on the Green, Route 44 at Dowd Avenue, Canton.
* There's also a student show coming up in Harwinton, we've heard, but we haven't yet received details about it; stay tuned.

Young Artists 2010 Participating Artists:

Group 1: Ages 16 to 25
Bethany Altschwager
Dan Army
Joe Bun Keo
Ross A. Delano
Mike Detelj
Rob Engvall
Andrés Felix, Jr.
Jordan Ford
Sarah Galpin
Chris J. Giordano
Daniella Henry
Ashley Hunt
Ethan Lavendier
Sam Lavendier
Gavin Louis
Andrew Mailhot
Elissa Maillet
Madelin McPhee
Daren Orr
Laura Perrotta
Julia C. Perrotta
Marisabel Santiago
Taylor Schroeder
Brad Smith
Jeremy J. Starn
Amelia Whitney

Group 2: Under 16 years old

Noah O’Leary
Andy Thibodeau

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spring Detox at Alchemy Juice Bar in Hartford, March 22 - 26

Empowering * Rejuvenating * Energizing * Inspiring * Clarifying

Spring is coming, and it's time to start things off right... Join Imani & John Zito from Alchemy Cafe/Growing Green Wellness Center, raw foods nutrition consultant Eden Love and Naturopathic Physician Helene Pulnik and Detox Diva Ami Beach for a 5-day guided Juice Feast, raw and living foods consultations, transformational lectures & classes, yoga & meditation, and more!

Package Options:

*Juices Only* - pick juices up in the am or pm, your choice!
Juice Feast: 4 (16oz) fresh organic juices for five days $200 -or-
Hippocrates Green Juice (no sugar): 2oz wheatgrass & 3 (16oz) green juices (cucumbers, celery & sprouts) $250

Juices above with Private Consult, 1 evening class and 1/2 hour Infrared Sauna: Add $100

*Best Deal* $150 plus the juice plan of your choice listed above!
Includes: Juices above with Private Consult, 2 mini spa treatments, (2) 1/2 hour Infrared Sauna, two evening lectures, morning yoga & meditation daily and celebratory raw meal.

WEEKLY SCHEDULE: March 22 - 26

Introductory Talk, Sunday, Feb 28th @ 8pm at the Wellness Center & Full Moon Yoga Event

Mon March 22:
8:30-9:30am Morning Yoga & Meditation & check-in; pick-up juices

Tues March 22:
8:30-9:30am Morning Yoga & Meditation & check-in; pick-up juices
6:30pm: Evening Talk about Internal Awareness - colonic know-hows Hippocrates style with John & Imani

Wed March 24:
8:30-9:30am Morning Yoga & Meditation & check-in; pick-up juices
4:30-8:30pm Private Consults with Eden Love

Thurs March 25:
8:30-9:30am Morning Yoga & Meditation & check-in; pick-up juices
6:30pm: Evening Demo - Transitioning off a fast with Eden Love

Fri March 26:
8:30-9:30am Morning Yoga & Meditation & check-in; pick-up juices
4:30-6:30pm Detox Spa Treatments with Kristy
6:30pm Celebratory Raw Meal & Discussion

*Infrared Sauna available throughout the week
Discounts on colon hydrotherapy for all participants for the week of your fast! Ask for details.

The first five to register for the Best Deal receive a 2oz Mineral Dense Shilajit from Ultimate Raw ($24 value)

Questions or to register, please contact Imani:
or call 860.983.5276

Monday, February 15, 2010

Raw Comedy: Johnny Frechette at Alchemy Juice Bar, February 20th, 8-10 pm

Artist and Comedian Johnny Frechette

Comedy in the raw.
Warm up.
Full laughter.
Cool down.
To go.

Alchemy Juice Bar/The Growing Green Wellness Center
201 and 197 New Britain Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 983-5276

February 20, 2010

8:00 - 10:00 pm

Suggested Donation:
$10 (money back if you don't laugh!)

For the following health reasons:

PubMed: Seriously, laughter matters.

PubMed: Humor's healing potential.

PubMed: The dynamics of laughter.

PubMed: How humor keeps you well.

Come laugh with us!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Art Opening: Linn Bae, January 29, 5-7:30 pm, at Pia Sjolin Design in Canton

Artist's reception in the Spotlight Gallery for Linn Bae
Friday, January 29, 5 pm to 7:30 pm
Meet painter Linn Bae and her oil paintings: vivid, deeply textured still lifes.
Educated in Seoul and Hartford, Hartford-based painter Linn Bae has been showing her memorable still lifes and self-portraits since the year 2000. This is her first exhibition in Canton.
The exhibit runs through Sunday, February 28.

Pia Sjölin Design, llc
The Shoppes at Farmington Valley
110 Albany Turnpike (Rt. 44), Suite 209, Canton CT 06019

I just LOVE Linn's work!
I hope to see you there!