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“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” – Pablo Picasso

“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” – Michelangelo

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
Salvador Dali

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”- Scott Adams

Top 5 Five Winter and Holiday Beer Recommendations

By Bryce Eddings, About.com Guide

Winter and the holiday season see a lot of really good, small production seasonal brews in the form of Christmas beers and winter warmers. Christmas beers are often malty and complex although there are no rules for how they should be brewed. Some are made with fruit or spice and some rely on artful malt or hops combination for wonderful complexity. The winter warmers are similar though they are rarely made with any adjuncts. Both typically contain more than usual alcohol and are usually available from November to February.

And so, in no particular order, here are my Christmas and winter beer selections.

1. Samichlaus

The king of Christmas beers, Samichlaus is the highlight of the holiday season for many beer enthusiasts. It is a rich, aged doppelbock brewed at the Austrian brewery Schloss Eggenberg.

2. Samuel Adams Winter Classics

This mix pack contains a variety of beers. This makes it a nice way to try some unusual beer for beer lovers who are just discovering craft beer. Though it can change from year to year the mix pack often contains Boston Lager, Old Fezziwig Ale, Winter Lager, Holiday Porter, Black Lager, and Cranberry Lambic.

Custom Laser Cutting - any shape and design holiday cards

Cut any shape and design holiday cards

3. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

How do you say Merry Christmas to a hop-head? With a six pack of Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada. Besides have a pretty significant bitterness at 62 IBUs, this beer is also dry hopped which raises the hops in the aroma and flavor.

4. Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome Ale

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome is a traditional winter warmer and in many ways has served as the modern benchmark for the style. It is big in flavor and alcohol. Though maltiness dominates it does have a good bit of balancing hops as well as hints of apples and caramel.

5. Odell Brewing Co. Isolation Ale

Odell Brewing brews Isolation Ale as their winter seasonal. This beer is packed with hops character without a lot of the bitterness. It’s a bit unusual as a wintertime beer in that it does not carry the huge, dark malt flavors of many of the others.

To read this full article, check out: Top 10 Ten Winter and Holiday Beer Recommendations

Also, if you are looking for great custom beer labels make sure you check out: Custom beer labels

Uses for Your Empties

collection of wine bottleIf you enjoy or brew your own beer chances are you may have some stray empties lying around the house, and while they can fetch a pretty penny down at the recycling plant empty beer bottles can also hold other useful purposes. The same thing goes for old wine bottles.

For instance, if you clean the bottle’s inside, fill it with a bit of water, and place a single flower inside you can give your sweetheart a fairly simple, yet charmingly unique wedding or birthday gift.

Another romantic gift idea is the wine bottle candle. You simply wash the bottle well and place a long, narrow candle in the neck of the bottle until it is snug. Wine bottle candles can help add a romantic atmosphere to any ordinary dinner table.

Empties can also be easily turned into Christmas decorations. Just look at the example below!

wine bottle decor

If you’re looking for a more artistic use for your empties, you could always try assembling broken bottle glass into a mosaic, or you could also set them up for a still-life painting.

Most importantly, if you are a home brewer or wine maker you can reuse your commercially purchased wine bottles and save a considerable amount of money. Don’t forget to re-label your recycled wine and beer bottles with your own, customized beer and wine labels.

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