2008-11-27

Pottery Art with A Long History V – The Tang Tri-Colored Pottery in China (up)

The Tang Tri-colored pottery was invented and popular in the Tang dynasty over 1300 years ago, the basic glaze colors of which are yellow, brown and green, and people laterly were customary to call this type of pottery as ”Tang tri-colored pottery".





The Tang Tri-colored pottery is one kind of low-temperature glazed pottery, people add different metal oxides in the pottery glazes and through baking the glaze color tansformed into light yellow, sienna, light green, dark green, sky blue, brown red, eggplant purple and so on, but among them the main colors are yellow, brown and green. With changeful shades in the glaze colors of the Tang tri-colored pottery, which infiltrated mutual and taken on blocky and dripping effect, the Tang tri-colored pottery could display its splendid grand artistic charms.

The Tang tri-colored pottery in the Tang dynasty is treated as a sort of burial objects and used for burying with the dead, because it is crisp and poor in waterproof performance, whose practicality is far less than celadon porcelain and white porcelain that had already appeared in that times. With a round and full body, the characteristics of Tang tri-colored pottery are in accordance with the art features as chubby, bonny and broad in the Tang dynasty.

The category range of Tang tri-colored pottery is wide, and the main species of which there are figures, animals and daily use utensils. With moderate scales and smooth lines, the figures and animals of Tang tri-colored pottery are lifelike and brisk. Among figures of the Tang tri-colored pottery, those warriors have strong muscles and angry eyes and who looks like are ready to taken into a fight; and ladies featured have high buns and broad sleeves, and looks slender and elegant, relax and adagio, also very rich. The most animals in the Tang tri-colored pottery are horses and camels.

2008-11-26

Wooden Toys - The Most Classical and Lasting Toys in the World

First, how did wooden toys come about? Wooden toys exist because that’s the most readily available material, and toys can be produced simply with a carving knife.

The price of a wooden toy depends very much on its age and general condition. The older it is, and the better the overall condition, the more valuable it will be.

In terms of price, wooden toys cannot match plastic toys upfront, as it’s cheaper to produce plastic toys. However, wooden toys often last much longer, resulting in substantial savings in the long run.
Wooden toys traditionally started out to be cheaper than all other toys. But as technology evolves, plastic eventually starts to replace wood when it comes to making toys. Hence, many toy makers switched to plastic. So if the decision to buy a toy is based on price alone, then perhaps plastic toys will win this battle. But often, toys mean more than just money alone.

Today, the price of a piece of wooden toy rises in proportion to the time and skill required to make the toy. In other words, the more time and skill needed, the higher the price. Still, people continue to buy wooden toys because they are suitable for everyone.







Whether you are an adult or a young child, you will fall in love with tiny wooden toys, as they are just too adorable to resist. Wooden toys are also suitable for both boys and girls. There are toys like toy cars and toy furniture that are suitable for both genders. Children love wooden toys because they can play with them both indoors and outdoors.

To preserve a wooden toy, clean the surface with a wet cloth before putting it away. Regular cleaning will make the wooden toy last longer. Some children like to use wooden toys for pretend play. Pretend play stimulates a child’s imagination. Simple wooden toys could engage children and motivate them to think. The secret to improving thinking and motor skills is to use simple wooden toys to play simple games. For example, use wooden blocks for counting games, or use puzzles to help encourage thinking.

But for most toy collectors, they like to collect wooden toys because wooden toys can last for a very long time, they are often kept for sentimental reasons. For an avid toy collector, there are many different types of wooden toys to choose from. But what makes a wooden toy a desirable artifact to collect?

For one, as wooden toys last so long, they are often still around even when their owners have grown up. And despite having grown up, the owners often refuse to give away their wooden toys as these toys bring back many happy memories. Also, one does not have to worry about harming the environment with wooden toys. In terms of durability, wooden toys can outlast any plastic toys with ease. They are also popular because of their versatility.




Case in point: skilled toy makers can create more complex wooden toys such as puppets. Pinocchio is a wooden puppet in a fairy tale, and he wants to become a boy. Puppets are interesting toys that can move. Simple wooden blocks can be used as educational toys. They can be used to playing counting games, or to build shapes. Such wooden toys can be used many times over.

So no matter simple or complicated, wood can be made into all sorts of different toys. That means, surely, there must be some wooden toys out there suitable for everyone.

2008-11-25

Today, Let's Thanksgiving for All We have Owned!

The 4th Thursday in November each year is the Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This year on November 20, U.S. president George W. Bush, in accordance with tradition, pardon two turkeys in the Rose Garden of White House, and to lead the people to express their sincere gratitude to those heroic fighters who are go through fire and water on the front line to safeguard the American peoples’ lives and houses.




Each year, the Thanksgiving holiday begins with the president pardoning 2 turkeys from becoming someone's Thanksgiving dinner. President Henry Truman started this tradition in 1947. "So now I have a task and that is to grant a full presidential pardon to May and flower, they will shortly be flown to Disney World where they will serve as Honorary Grand Marshals for the Thanksgiving Day parade. Hope that honor doesn't go to their head. "

Turkey is the food that could not absent in Thanksgiving Days’ dinner table, just as the moon cake in the Mid-Autumn Festival of China, every household in the United States will eat turkeys in the Thanksgiving Day. They usually stuffed the turkey belly with a variety of spices and mixed foods, then baked the whole turkey and sliced it with a knife when the turkey cooked. Other traditional Thanksgiving foods there are sweet potatoes, corns, pumpkin pies, jam and so on.


Last year's turkeys were May and Flower, a reference to the ship that sailed nearly 400 years ago from Plymouth, England to America. And in the fall of 1621, these Plymouth pilgrims celebrated a bountiful harvest with local American Indians.

Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving) is one of the most important holidays in American, each year in the day, no matter how busy, tens of thousands of American peoples will together with their families to enjoy this holiday.

Since the 1600s, Thanksgiving has morphed into a holiday in the United States, marked by extravagant parades, feasts, and the opening of the Christmas shopping season. The Macy's Day parade in New York is one of the major ceremonies to mark Thanksgiving each year. Approximately 2.5 million people are expected to attend the parade this year while 44 million will watch it on television at home. The parade serves as a reminder that the holiday season is in full swing.

This Friday, many Americans will rise early the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of discounts at retail shops around the country. Last year, the National Retail Federation estimated more than 60 million people shopped that day.

Today is the annual Thanksgiving Day, and conceives a thanksgiving heart oftentimes will make everyone in the world become more happy and more lucky (is that true? Yes!), so let thanksgiving for all we have owned!

2008-11-24

Unique Mongolia Leather Painting II - Art Characteristics

The creative inspiration of leather painting is comes from the ancient and vast grasslands. People in grassland who has grazed cattle and sheep from generation to generation have created a large number of exquisite and valuable works of art. The drawing paper of leather painting is a whole piece of cow leather, which was made out through traditional craft technics, then paint the picture on the leather.

Mongolia leather picture, made of selected natural high-quality cow leather from grasslands, through a series of processing of special drawing, coloring up, layer dying, polishing, setting, and half-raised pressing of concave-convex and so on, in which there are dozens of technique procedures and the painting was handmade purely. Having maken full use of the advantages of smooth lines of natural leather and featured with unique describing techniques, strong sense of three-dimension and mild colors and so on, Mongolia leather painting bring people a brand new enjoyment of art.

Compared with ordinary paintings, leather painting has the following characteristics:
1. Colorful
The color of genuine leather before dying is light yellow, sometimes they taken on a little red, and in the process of variegation the special fusing attribute with paints of genuine leather itself make its original color become more bright and vivid.

2. Vivid


The 3D framed picture on the leather surface through carving with the lines of picture pattern produced special effects of relievo, and the picture face will floating with the contents needs, matching with gorgeous colors, thus make the design figure on the leather painting vivid and lifelike.



3. Outstanding Texture

The material of leather painting is fine selected high quality cow leather – a piece of whole leather (with no hierarchic arrangement), the leather quality is soft and delicate, with mild colors and the texture of which is unparalleled.

4. Noble and Elegant

As one kind of best interior decoration, the solid leather painting could manifest the owner’s noble characters and his great artistic tastes.

The prairie flavors and styles concentrated in the painting will bring you full-bodied feelings of grassland when you appreciating with it. Put a piece of leather painting in your house, with which could show your nobility and tastes to your guests well.

5. Particular National Technics and Characteristics



Leather painting is one kind of art forms that mixed the Mongolian folk culture with its special traditional crafts, with a long history, whose craftwork and art form has been inherited and improved though several generations, it fully embodied the art essence and cultural connotation of the Mongolia nation, has high values for art appreciation and collection.

2008-11-23

How to Make a Personalized Fabric Gift Bag for Special Gifts


The weather is getting colder, and let's have a handmade holiday on our minds! Handmade gifts are heartful, and also better for the environment. So, pls forget about those paper gift wrappings and gift boxes and take fabric gift bags instead. A fabric gift bag is as well received as the gift itself. This is an easy sewing project for beginners.



Sewing fabric gift bags is usually pretty simple. It is mostly just a matter of determining what size you need, then cutting out two pieces to your specifications. Add seam allowances on the sides and bottom. Allow an extra large hem at the top for the casing where you will put the drawstring or elastic.

Fabric gift bags can be made to fit the intended gift, regardless of the shape or size. Square and rectangular bags are by far the most common and the easiest to make. However, those with some prior sewing experience can also create other shapes as well.

For such sewing projects, durable fabrics work very well. If you choose one that is sheer or rather lightweight, use a heavy interfacing (fusible or non-fusible) on the wrong side to give the bag the body it needs. Gift bags for jewelry need not be quite as heavy. So, a lightweight interfacing would be fine for these.

When it comes to choosing fabric colors and patterns, the only limit is your preference. If the fabric gift bag is for a seasonal or holiday gift, select a material to fit the occasion. Certainly, fabric stores and fabric departments have a wide range of festive kinds for every sort of event.

In addition, take this opportunity to use scraps from other projects if you are doing pieced or appliqu├ęd bags.

Apply the interfacing and appliques. Place the two pieces of the bag with the right sides of the fabric together. Sew the side seams.

For the bottom of the bag, you have two options. The simplest is to sew the bottom seam in the same manner as the side seams. For a fitted bottom, cut notches to form the corners. Then, sew the corners and the bottom. Finally, sew the top hem as mentioned above. Use two rows of stitching for the casing. Leave an opening to insert your drawstring or elastic. The final step is to finish the edges of the opening as you wish. A buttonhole is one possibility.

Use colorful ribbon, braid, lace, or strips of fabric for the drawstring. If you use the latter, finish the edges so they won't fray. When the drawstring is ready, insert it into the opening and you are ready to go.

If you are looking for suitable designs and ideas for fabric gift bags, there is no shortage of information sources. These would include magazines, Internet, commercial patterns found in fabric stores, and craft books of all sorts.

2008-11-19

Pottery Art in China with A Long History IV --- Chinese Ceramic Pottery

As one of the four ancient civilization nations, China has contributed much to the society of development and progress of human, among them the invention and development of pottery is particular important and significant.







Pottery craftwork and ceramic art is the oldest arts and crafts of our country. As far away as in the New Stone Age there are gray pottery, terracotta, white pottery, painted pottery and black pottery with simple and rude styles. In Shang Dynasty glazed pottery and rigid glazed pottery which initially featured with porcelain characters appeared yet. The porcelain was created in the Eastern Han Dynasty, whose production techniques and artistic creation level reached to a high degree of maturity. In Song Dynasty the industry of porcelain flourished greatly, and dozens of famous porcelain kilns emerged in rush. As to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the technology of blank forging, decorating and glazing to firing of pottery are more advanced than those in previous generations.

The mainly species of Chinese pottery are terracotta, black pottery, white pottery, painted pottery, printed pottery and faience pottery and so on.

* Terracotta Pottery

Terracotta Pottery is one kind of pottery in Neolithic Age, and as the clay of which containing a few elements of Fe, which will be oxidized into ferric oxide when roasting, as a result the color of the pottery will take on earth red, brick red or henna, and it got its name consequently.

* Black Pottery

The invention of black pottery, according to archaeological discoveries was taken placed in late Neolithic Age, it was bred out between 2600 BC - 2000 BC. As the black pottery was produced through traditional techniques of pottery, so people often shocked by the magnificent and noble beauty of black pottery, it could bring people will feelings of dignity, comfort, quietness and extending. The discovery of Black pottery culture indicates the pottery production technology of Chinese ceramic has achieved to an unprecedented level, and it also displayed to backwards the historical process of the conversion of pottery production from possessing practicability to meeting aesthetic demands.

* White Pottery




"White pottery" is a leap forward from pottery to porcelain. "White pottery" is one kind of pottery, whose inside and exterior surface are both taken on white. Most of ceramic blanks are handmade and using porcelain clay or kaolin which contains less Fe elements than china clay, and the firing temperature of which is about 1000 degrees. The invention and application of incised white pottery in late Shang Dynasty is an achievement in the history of the development of Chinese ceramics production technology.

* Painted Pottery

Painted pottery is a remarkable achievement of Yangshao culture, it is one kind of pottery that painted with sienna, red and black colors. The art of painted pottery featured with strong flavors of life and unique artistic style, the image of which should be painted on the ceramic blank before firing thus the painted patterns will fixed on the ceramic utensil surface and will not break off easily after being fired. The pottery with stamping back patterns from late Neolithic ages to Han Dynasty in China were fired out in such a way: before firing, to press down patterns the pottery needed on its special places just before the ready-made ceramic blanks become dry.

The main sculpts of pottery there are burners, pots, jars and bowls. Among them the main types of ceramic burners there are Ge style burner, Boshan burner, smoke burner and so on; the main types of ceramic pots there are saliva pot, cock head pot, dish mouth pot and so on; the main types of ceramic jars there are four tied jar, small jars with bubbled abdomens, “Tian” word shape jars and small mouthed jars with break shoulders and so on; and the main types of ceramic bowls there are high foot bowls, palace bowls, bamboo hat bowls, lying foot bowls and so on.

Chinese ceramics has flourished for many years till today, the dark-red enameled pottery in Yixing city, the ceramic sculpture in Shiwang town, the three-color glazed pottery in Jieshou area, the purple-red pottery in Zibo city, the green glazed pottery in Tongguan area, the carved glazed pottery in Chongning county, the porcelain sculpture in Dehua county, the porcelain willow leaf bottle and porcelain phoenix tail bottle in Jingdezhen are all well known in the world.

2008-11-18

What’s a Suitable Holiday Gift for a College Student?

Looking for a suitable holiday gift for your friend who is a college student? I'd like to give you some great ideas about gifts that a college student will appreciate.

Actually, it's not very hard to buy a gift for a college student. Most of them don't have much extra cash to speak of, so gifts of all types will be welcomed! If you have an important friend, kinsfolk, or your sibling who is a college student, and you need a suitable gift for his or her birthday, further education, graduation or the coming Christmas holidays, or else ever, here are some great ideas that I assure at least there’s one will satisfy you.


Custom-made Ceramic Cup of Mug

Choose a fine quality ceramic cup or ceramic mug with a suitable size, and print the photo you taken with your friend, plus with some warm and hearty blessing words on the cup body, also some particular wisecracks or cool slogans that popular in young peoples recently are OK, so the gift full with your special intentions and regards is so unique and personalized, and it will undoubtedly be welcomed and enjoyed by college student.


Digital Gifts

If you really want to make an impression, skip the accessories and go for the digital electronics: a notebook/laptop, a game system, a MP3 or MP4 player, an iPod, a flat screen monitor, a printer, a digital camera, an amazing new cellphone and so on.

Electronic Accessories

For the Generation Y college student, it's highly likely an electronic gift will be appreciated. First of all, find out what electronics and accessories the college student already owns. There are all kinds of possibilities for fun accessories: game cartridges, Bluetooth earphones, wireless iPod headphones, iKaraoke, iPod speakers, an iPod or cell phone case, and so on.



Favorite TV Shows on DVD of a Complete Season

Students don't have much free time to watch TV and may appreciate the opportunity to catch up. These collections are a little pricey for most student budgets, so they make great gifts. Movie collections on DVD make great gifts as well.

Personalized Food Basket

Load up a basket filled with the college student's favorite treats, including some homemade ones. This is a great idea for finals week or anytime a student needs some special TLC. You can buy gift baskets of candies, biscuits, chocolates or some homemade snacks, but they're ridiculously expensive and not nearly as personal as putting together your own.

Massager

No one needs a massage more than a stressed out student during finals.

Sports Ticket

A fun and stress-relieving indulgence for a sports fan. Theater tickets or symphony tickets are great too if your student is into that, and also plain old movie tickets.

Alarm Clock or Watch

Students are on such a tight schedule, yet so many of them don't seem to own a watch or a wall clock. Sure, they can get the time from their cell phone or the right hand corner of their monitor, but the old fashioned wrist watch is quick and simple. Speaking of time, a loud alarm clock or wristwatch can be a useful gift.

Gift Certificates

Give the gift of shopping, which a college student doesn't have the funds to partake in regularly. Restaurant gift certificates can be a nice break from Ramen noodles or the dorm cafeteria. Other gift certificate ideas: book stores, iPod tunes, electronics, casual clothing, sporting goods, or whatever the student likes.

Magazine Subscriptions

College students have to read all the time, so if they're going to read in their spare time, it's probably going to be something light. A mindless celebrity or fashion magazine is perfect. Or for the news junkie or literary minded student, pick a more serious magazine.

2008-11-17

Unique Mongolia Leather Painting I – Synopsis

Leather picture is one kind of artistic handicrafts with high art values that invented by Mongolia people. Leather picture or leather painting, as its name implies, is a picture painted on the leather, but its production needs dozens of procedures of pure handcraft such as special painting, color up, layer dying, polishing, modeling, embossment and concave-convex and so on.





Leather painting has a very long history, and its origin could be traced back to the nomadic era, and most of leather paintings in that times were leather maps and simple decorative paintings made of sheep skins. After evolved with a long period, leather paintings in nowadays not only have maintained flavors and charms of ancient times, but also mixed with techniques of modern nations, so a piece of selected quality cow leather, through dozens of procedures purely by hand of special painting, color up, layer dying, polishing, modeling, embossing and concave-convex pressing, finally become a hard-won and best gift and an elegant interior decoration.



Mongolia leather painting, which known with its unique sculpture craftwork(carving on cow leather) and bright colorful paint (use the particular paint in Mongolia), featured with characters of strong third dimensions, concave-convex styles, lifelike figures, mild colors and delicate images and never fading, is one kind of gift and indoor decorations that valuable for collection and appreciation.

With high artistic level, leather painting has taken full advantage of its special qualities and textures of natural leather, and showed its particular highlights well as smooth lines, unique composing and describing styles, strong senses of three-dimensional, mild colors well, thus produced a fire-new enjoyment of art for people.

For the time being, most of the people in our country still knew little about leather painting. However, with the economy and the tourism of Inner Mongolia has gained further development, more and more people began to pay attention to and enjoyed with this type of art.

2008-11-16

Pottery Art with A Long History III – History of Ceramic Pottery in The World (down)

In this region we can through another method to deduce the ages more accurate, that is analysis the roof beams of these houses. Dr. Douglas in the University of Arizona invented a method of through analyzing the annual rings of the house roof beams to confirm the exact age of the beam. This way not only has fixed on the time frame of the Mayan’s settlement on calendar, but also has determined the corresponding ages of different potteries in the time scope. Compared to the United States Pueblo region, the sediment layers in the Maya region of pottery production were distributed more widely.



In addition to ceramic relic piles, in the ground of squares and buildings as well as tombs left by those upper ranks we also had found the sediment layer of ceramic flakes. All these sediment layers had been found in the Wuwaxiake, these sediment layers described a chronology for the main types of Maya’s pottery.

This chronology has provided us with a basic framework of the Peten region, and the age orders about Kepan will be published too, and other materials come from regions of Pidelasi, Nicholas, Palenque also had been dig out and been arranged well, and a book written about potteries dig out from Yucatan are just on printing process.

And the order of pottery from Zacualpa and Zaculeu are same, on the high ground of Guatemala, and the pottery orders of the formative years of Kaminaljuyu and former classical period were been recorded same.

Viewed from the marked changes of the pottery production in these regions, for the development of the whole Maya’s pottery, a large number of excavations in other areas are very essential, and due to the widely comparability between different areas, and timely amendment in individual areas based on the Maya chronology, all these have shown us with an overall chart of the Maya development.

Through the Maya monument that marked with dates, one day we would finally get an accurate dating standard. The accurate years of many Maya monuments were determined strictly in accordance with the Maya chronology, whose existence are merely used to make the Maya chronology corresponded to the Gregorian calendar, just as we could conclude the accurate age of a tree according to its tree-ring.


The above-mentioned we said are related to the at the types, the complexity, the quantity and specialization of Maya pottery, while they are so agree with the monuments that marked with accurate dates, so that when all the story fragments and all evidences came together, compared with the pottery production industry in other nations of ancient America, and from the pictures of Maya we may get more about the Maya’s pottery production, the origin places and sites of different types of Maya pottery, the industry distribution of Maya pottery and its final decline.

2008-11-13

Something Interesting About Tibetan Hair Jewelry

Tibetan jewelry are beautiful things come from Tibet, it born with the magic powder endowed by that piece of land. Natural stones, corals, animal bones and silver are the main material of Tibetan jewelry, these materials are common, and in rough exterior, but contain exquisite connotations. Tiny patterns, engraving, mosaics are formed Tibetan jewelry’s design style subtly, also has strong and thick antique and original rustic flavors.






Tibet Hair Jewelry is standardized, rigorous and humorous, also varied with different regions, ages and marriage conditions. Speaking with great interests, I'd like to give several examples for you readers.

Tibetan Girls’ Hair Jewelry

Same as Chinese girls, Tibetan girls like to has a single plait, the root of the braid was binded with a red hair string, which was called "Xia Jiu" in Tibetan Language. The only difference is that Tibetan girls weaved their braids in a triangular and set it on the head, so it look more beautiful, generous and elegant.

Married Tibetan Women's Hair Jewelry

Girls are alone braided while married women are double-braided, and without hair support, and the length of the red strings are longer than that of their hair plait, women set their two crossed circular braids in the head from the back of their heads, that looked dignified, generous and mature.



Hair Jewelry of Tibetan Women in Pastoral Areas

It's difficult to judge a pastoral woman who has married or not, because regardless of age they all have several small braids on their head, same as Uygur girls, they bind these small braids into two and decorated them with red and green hair strings, also bunch corals, pearls, agates and nine-eye beads on the two braids, which often as long as their body and often draged with their skirt edges. If they put their braids circled on the head, it will looked as a jeweled crown and much styleful.

Hair Jewelry Wearing in Tibetan Mourning Period

In mourning period, Chinese men and women are all wearing black armbands, while Tibetan women merely should wearing different jewelry, that is the only judgement mark to discern that special occasion. Tibetan girls in the first year of her mourning period should wearing green hair strings and wearing pale red strings in the next year, and they could reuse a red hair string in the third year.

Tibetan Elderly Spinster’s Hair Jewelry

Tibetan elderly spinster’s hair jewelry is different from married women, and different from young girls too, a elderly spinster also have an alone braid, she put her braid circled on the head decorated with pale red hair strings, but is absent of a hair support.

Tibetan Men's Hair Jewelry

Tibetan men generally have a long plait, they will keep the hair on the head braided, and shave off hairs below pate. Tibetan men do not use red hair strings to bind their plaits, but using a black hair string, whose color is same with the hair. Tibetan men’s plaits are not braided with three hair strands as women’s, they are braided with four or five hair strands, so men’s plaits are braided into a flat one, looked more tight and powerful.


* Remarks for Ending:



All Tibetan jewelries are made by hands, and each piece is in a class by itself.
Many of Tibetan jewelries are created by lamas in temple. Tibetans have a custom that to daub oils on body, and believe that is on behalf of health. The same as Lama, so on some Tibet jewelries there are loops of scale.

With rich culture and heroic design styles, Minority people’s jewelry can not only attract your eyes, also impact your heart and soul. In this world returned to nature, Tibetan jewelry’s mystery and some a kind of romantic mood even get more of our hearts’ quest. Even you are dressed in general as usually, whenever you wear a piece of jewelry featured with Tibetan folk colors, you will looked more attractive and outstanding in common crowds.

2008-11-12

Simple but Heartful Holiday Gift Ideas that Won't Break Your Budget

The Christmas holidays are coming...are you just troubled about each year’s too large afford on the gift spending? In my view, gift giving should be simple and from the heart, it is easy to warm someone's heart with a lovely and useful handmade gift, and I’d like to give you several simple but economical ideas about gifts giving, I believe that most of them will be enjoyed and cherished without leaving anyone in the poor house!

Handmade Jewelry

Making jewelry is very popular these days and thanks to the wealth of craft books out there, it is also easy to learn. Go to the local library and check out a couple books on simple jewelry making. Raid a craft store (or maybe your own closet) for beads, tools and other findings for creating handmade jewelry.

Scrapbook

If choosing just one photo is difficult, consider making the gift recipient a small album or scrapbook. Scrapbooking supplies are readily available at local craft stores or online and come in a huge variety of background papers, stickers, tags and other creative tools that can be used to turn an ordinary album into something completely personalized.

Framed Photograph


Find an old photograph that involves the gift recipient...maybe a funny shot or one with sentimental meaning. Get a re-print made of it and encase it in a pretty frame. People love to receive photos as presents because they stir the emotions and memory.

Jar Filled With Cookie Ingredients

A tried-and-true gift that is sure to please is so simple to make and give. Take a large jar such as a canning one and fill it with the dry ingredients needed to make cookies or a bread, layering each one on top of the other. Try to use recipes that do not call for fancy, expensive ingredients the gift recipient may have to buy later such as cardamom or other spices. Keep it simple. Tie the recipe around the lid and attach a large bow.

Gift Journal

Many people today enjoy using a journal. If the gift recipient enjoys writing, consider giving a pretty journal (or get a cheaper one and cover it with pretty paper) along with a good pen.

Another creative idea is to journal some of your thoughts or memories that involve the gift recipient into a journal for them. Including photographs or mementos can really jazz up a journal as well.

Gift Donation

If the gift recipient is attached to a particular cause, consider making a small donation in the name of the person to that charity. Donations such as these are often more meaningful than other types of gifts if the recipient feels a particular affinity for that charity. Be sure to include a card detailing the donation so he or she knows who it is from.

Spiced Dipping Oil

Clean out a clear wine or oil bottle and fill it with good quality olive oil (do not use vegetable or other oil). Pour a small amount into a dish. Gather fresh herbs and spices such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, garlic and more.

Test putting together a bit of oil with different mixtures of herbs and spices until you find a combination that is enjoyable when dipped into by bread.

Add the same herbs and spices to your oil, add a festive gift tag with the ingredients and ideas for use (these oils are good for marinating chicken and fish or drizzling on a salad as well) and voila!


A personal and applicable gift will always bring us surprises, I hope these simple but warm gift ideas will provide you a reference, and meet your wish that to find creative and mindful Christmas gifts, and to bring your lover, your parents, as well as your good friends an inexpensive but heartful Christmas present!

2008-11-11

Pottery Art in China with A Long History III – History of Ceramic Pottery in The World (up)

Pottery is the most significant symbol of the immortal ancient culture that passed down by human, and pottery is the best reflection for the progress of human culture, it also marked the culture descension and continuation of human beings.




A heap of pottery fragments has confused us about the Mayan’s previously living sites, but just like as geologist analyzing the different geological periods of the Earth had experienced, we can make use of the same technology of analysis too. The technology, known as "geological setting", followed a unified principle of – materials which produced or formed former will deposited earlier. As a result, the pottery found in the deepest reactor bottom of the sediments is the oldest pottery.

In the areas of pottery makers who lived together, pottery relic piles of ceramic fragments were gradually formed, and mixed with other debris. These relic piles usually were found in exposed places, of which most perishable materials have disappeared. Aside from those relic piles that in rare dry climate or with covers, in those exposed relic piles only those hardly damaged objects could been found, such as stones, shells, bones, as well as ceramic flakes, some of them are valued with archaeological meanings and are most important for the recording of break-off ears.

These relic sites always near to the areas the maker lived in, the depth of which usually as deep as several rules. The cross-section of the sediment has displayed that it is no doubt that the Mayas who lived near to the accumulation site of debris has a long period of history of pottery making. The sediment layer just like the ceramic flakes could provides us a reliable and related order about pottery, but does not offer us with an absolute chronology of the pottery development.


This technology of judging the era according to the typical pottery of various pottery species had improved the Pueblo’s Indian culture in the southwestern United States greatly.

2008-11-10

Great Costume Ideas for Guys on the Carnival of Christmas or New Year

As the holiday of Christmas and the New Year season is coming soon, if you want to get noticed at a fancy dress party, I'd like to give men some special ideas about costumes for men.





Ghostbuster Costume

A great costume idea for a group of guys who can argue over which one of them gets to be Ray, Peter, Winston or Egon. Grey boiler suits are the starting point. High-end costumers will have proton packs for hire, but an improvised version using backpacks/old drinks bottles and a super soaker can be effective. A new Ghostbusters video game is about to be released, so purchasing Ghostbuster accessories should become easier.

Celebrity Look-Alike Costume

For the partygoer who bears more than a striking resemblance to a celebrity, the look-alike costume is a good choice and will be sure to generate discussion. If the partygoer does not look like anyone famous then they can try some of the more visually recognizable celebrities for example
Superhero Costume

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s someone dressed as a superhero on the dance floor. Superhero costumes are easy to find, cheap to hire and always guaranteed to raise a smile. Popular superhero costumes are.

Astronaut Costume

If the partygoer has the money, then the space suit is quite simply the most show-stopping of all the costumes. Generally this costume requires a large rental fee and on top of that a substantial deposit.

Cowboy Costume
Another costume that is very popular with women is the cowboy outfit. It’s quite common, so the wearer should add some unique touches to the costume such as a sheriff’s badge or a wacky color scheme. The cowboy costume will be available from most fancy dress suppliers.

Sailor Dress/Uniform Costume
With its bright white color, this costume is great for parties that may be using UV lighting. The wearer will stand out from the crowd and will be seen from the other side of the room with ease. Due to its appearance in an officer and a gentleman and top gun, this costume seems to be very popular with women.

Chippendale Costume

This costume is not suitable for outdoor events that are prone to poor weather. The Chippendale outfit requires only a bow tie, some black trousers and a lot of confidence. The more adventurous partygoer should carry baby oil with them for chest oiling opportunities.

2008-11-09

What is You Need to Know About Oil Painting?

Before picking up a brush, Learn what lean to fat, value, and more mean and many important terms that you need to learn. Here are terms and tips and every word you need to know about oil painting and it's necessary termps for producing better paintings.




Long and Short Oil Paint
 
Oil painting mediums can be used to control the thickness, or consistency, of your oil paint.

Long oil paint means that enough medium has been added that it has very little "peak" (the ability to make small peaks or hills out of the paint) to it. It is smooth and oily. Long paint is used when you want very little brush strokes. Short oil paint is paint straight out of the tube. It is thick and has a lot of "peak" to it, stiff and buttery in consistency.

Some classic mediums are:Linseed Oil, Stand Oil, Safflower Oil, Alkyd Painting Medium etc.



Color Temperature

Color temperature refers to the color’s place on the color wheel. If you divide the color wheel at neutral purple (purple that is neither warm nor cool) and at neutral yellow the wheel will be divided into a "cool" side and "warm" side. Warm colors are colors that have a red tint to them.

Cool colors have a blue tint.


Value

Value is the graduation of a color from light to dark. By varying the values in a painting you can achieve what is called contrast, or the sharp difference between light and dark. Adding contrast to a painting adds depth and interest. To see the difference in value in your subject simply put on sunglasses. Your sunglasses will keep you from seeing the actual color, and leave you with just lights and darks.



Layering

There are certain rules that should be followed when painting in oils. These rules keep you from ending up with a muddy mess of a painting.

First, you should always paint from warm to cool, meaning, lay down warm colors first, then cool. This also goes for value, always go from dark to light.

Similarly, you should always lay down your thin paint first (or long paint), getting thicker (short paint) as you go along, using your biggest brush first. Start with big, blocked in objects first, slowly working into more detail toward the end.

* Two typical layering methods for an oil painting as following:

Gesso: Gesso is used to prime a surface or canvass before painting. Basically, it makes paint stick better to the surface. It also keeps it from sinking into the surface. You don’t have to use gesso when painting, but it is worth giving a try.

Varnish: Varnish protects your painting from damage. It is only applied when the painting has thoroughly dried, around six months. Retouch varnish is temporary and can be used as soon as the picture is dry to the touch and can be removed with gum turpentine.

Other familiar ways of layering for oil painting:
1. Canvas
2. Underpainting
3. Thin, long, dark, warm paint
4. Thicker, short, light, cool paint


Now, did you have got an idea about oil painting? try it now!

2008-11-06

Pottery Art in China with A Long History II --- About Pottery

Pottery refers to the project that with a model of clay, through a processing of pinching, ring forming and molding, then sintered under a temperature of 800-1000 ℃, thus finally formed into a molding, the model body is non-transparent, has tidy poles, and water-retaining, and sounds dull when knocked on it.





Pottery can be divided into groups of coarse ceramic and fine ceramic, colored or white ceramic, naked ceramic or glazed ceramic, and the varieties of which are grey pottery, terracotta, white pottery, painted pottery, black pottery and so on, which are full with thick flavors of life and unique artistic styles.

As seen to the discovery of the ceramic flakes produced in late Paleolithic Age that found in the Nihe district of Hebei province China, from now there is a long history of 11,700 years of the birth of Chinese pottery. As early as in the Shang Dynasty of China, the glazed pottery and hard-glazed pottery which initially possessed the characters of porcelain had just already appeared. The contents expressed by the pottery are also various, such as peoples, animals, pavilions and a variety of utensils used in daily life were all been involved in.

The invention of pottery is an important process of human civilization, it is the first try that human took advantage of natural materials to create a brand-new article in accordance with their own purpose.

People mixed clay with water and use the mixture to produce a variety of utensils and housewares, which formed into ceramics through a process of baking and whose quality changed consequently, it opened a new chapter of human’s using nature and reconstructing nature, it was an important occasion in the development life of human and has historical and epoch-making significance. At the same time, the appearance of pottery also is a mark of the beginning of the Neolithic Age.


The invention of pottery also greatly improved the living conditions of human beings, it opened up a new era in the history of human’s development. However, the invention of pottery is not a patent of ancient ancestors of some or other region or a tribe, it is an invention that could be created out by any ancient agriculture tribes or groups independently in the long-term practice of human.

The appearance of pottery is also one of major stamps of the Neolithic age in China, it enhanced the settlement stability of early humans, and made people’s daily lives more rich and colorful.

2008-11-05

Personalize Your Gift Card with Heart

Gift cards are no more than just gifts and no longer considered the impersonal and lazy way to celebrate a special occasion or holiday, meaning gift giving has never been easier, it's the new way to reduce the rising cost of living!




Buying gift cards at a discount is almost like buying cash at a discount. Consumers are realizing that it's now more than just about giving - it's about saving. Customers who purchase gift cards from us and then use them as the method of payment at their favorite merchants are significantly reducing their shopping expenses. it's the new trend on how to fight the rising cost of living.

If you've ever had an awkward gift giving moment, or have had to fake your enthusiasm over a gift from a caring, thoughtful person in your life because the chosen item just wasn't anything you had a use for, you'll understand the benefits below of a gift card.

1.Perfect for business incentive programs and employee bonuses.

2.Personalized gift cards can be ordered online.

3.The prepaid Visa Card is accepted anywhere.

4.Available in any amout you want.

5.No fee to view a transaction history online.

Personal Shopping Spree

Gift cards are available from many businesses, specialty stores, as well as gift cards through nationally known credit card companies that can be used anywhere that accepts that credit card. Though it might seem more personal to buy a gift card or gift certificate for a special business, you are limiting the redeemable options.

- No boundaries on purchases. The recipients can buy whatever they want, wherever they want.

- No longer associated with lazy or thoughtless giving, a gift card can be seen as a personal shopping spree given by you. Some of the benefits are

- No duplication of gifts that have to be returned

- The card can be used along with cash for a purchase that the recipient has always wanted but found too extravagant to buy.

- The recipients receive exactly what they've wanted.

- Safely redeemed in stores or online. The gift card is only good for the amount specified, and cannot give access to personal accounts.

How to Personalize Pre-Paid Gift Cards

If you feel your gift card somehow lacks the personal touch, personalize a greeting card and tuck the gift card in the envelope. Some gift ideas:

* A Romantic Dinner for My Favorite Busy Couple

The gift card lets your friends choose the restaurant they like versus a gift certificate from the restaurant you choose. They even have the option of using the gift card for take-out and flowers, if they have an opportunity for a romantic dinner at home.

* For Your Next Wine-Tasting Tour

The personalization shows you've thought out your gift, but the card can be used not only for wine, but gas to get to the vineyard, dinner on the road, or even a special clothing accessory for the excursion.

* For Whatever Santa (the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, etc.) Forgot to Bring

Perfect for a grandchild, niece, nephew or the neighbors child who you will not be able to spend the occasion with. The first gift is the gift card, the second gift is being able to choose and buy their own present.

* For my Favorite Shopper, A Post Holiday Sale Shopping Spree

Your gift dollars will go farther when the recipient is able to scour the after holiday bargain tables.

Gift Card Hazards

Gift cards, depending on point of purchase, can have expiration dates, non-use penalties, lost or stolen card replacement fees or other administration fees.

Before you buy, check on the state laws that pertain to your purchase. Gift cards and Gift certificates Legislation by state can be found at the National Conference of State Legislatures Website.

With the economic downturn, some of the recipients of gift cards will find they need to use them for everyday purchases. Isn't it wonderful to think that you have made their life easier with your gift, without bringing attention to their personal circumstances?

Give the gift of motivation. With a special personized gift card, you can provide your employees, parents or teachers with all the incentive and reward of cash, backed by the security and acceptance of the Visa name.

Useful Tips for Buying a Gift Card




Buying a store gift card is pretty easy. You simply pick the retailer and buy the card in the store or over the phone. Or you can buy an e-gift card online that’s e-mailed to you or your little nephew and can be used online or in stores. But there are a few issues you should consider before committing to a store card, which we’ll describe below.

Buying a bank-issued gift card requires a little more research. Terms and conditions vary widely, and information about these gift cards isn’t always easy to find. Be sure to confirm anything you’re told over the phone with information at the bank’s website. While you’re at the bank’s site, read over the frequently asked questions/FAQ section.

2008-11-04

Pottery Art in China with A Long History I --- Preface

"Tao (pottery)", according to the figure described in oracle bone inscriptions, it implies a person who was squatted and sit on the ground, with a tool just like a wood stick modeling clay. Through sintering adobes will form into ceramics, which we called pottery today.



Archaeological discoveries have proved that as early as in the Neolithic Age (about 8000-2000 BC) the Chinese people had invented pottery. The agricultural production emerged in later primitive society had bought a relatively more fixed life to the ancestors of the Chinese people, which also produced the demand for pottery objectively. So, in order to improve the quality of life and make their lives more convenient, gradually Chinese people invented pottery through the burning of clay.

The word first appeared on pottery, it was found on a ceramic flake left by Shang Dynasty, and which is the only piece so far, while there are many pieces of ceramic flakes without words on. With a long history of pottery, China has left a great number of ceramic heritages, among these historic treasures, the oldest pottery was been produced out in BC 9,000 (with carbon isotope C14 detection).

The original pottery were been burned into in open-air, and these primal pottery are rough and fragile. About BC 8000, people started to put the ceramic model into pottery kiln, and with the method of controlled burning to improve the pottery, quality, through this method the pottery produced became not only more strong but also more beautiful, and turned into one kind of artworks.


Before the Shang Dynasty, the main colors of the pottery are only three: red, gray and black. Later based on the development of enamel coating technology, the color of pottery became more abundant and bright. In the Tang Dynasty, faience ware, also called painted pottery or colored pottery, one kind of Tang handicrafts was created out, among which, the Tang tri-colored pottery is the most well-known typical work.

On the basis of the high-level ceramic technology accumulated long-term, China produced porcelain ware in the world, which has become an important medium of the exchanges between the East and West cultures and economy, and people in the West just called porcelain as CHINA namely the country of China, it can be also said to describe China with Chinese porcelain (china). In Western languages the word “china”, whose meaning also includes pottery. In the history of the development of Chinese ceramics, the pottery was appeared before porcelain, and the porcelain was took birth from pottery.

2008-11-03

An Overview for The Sales Market of Toys in China

The quantity of young kids under the age of 14 and babies, toddler and preschool children in China is over 300,000,000, accounting for 25% of the whole population. Among them 80,000,000 live in the city, which form a great number of toy consumption. Especially in recent years, parents identify with the concept that toys can enlighten children on their intelligence, moreover, majority of modern families in China only have one child, whose parents are willing to spend money on their child.


In recent years, it has appeared some features and special trends for toy sales in the mainland of China:

1. R/C Toys

Appeared with high technology, for instance, electronic toys that can sound or shine, R/C toys and interactive toys that can speak or perform a series of actions are salable goods. Presently, various R/C toys on sale in the market reach about 1 hundred kinds, mainly are variety of R/C toys (remote control toys) and hobby items, such as R/C car, R/C helicopter, nitro R/C car, R/C gas boat, remote control helicopter, remote control car etc., each R/C car(remote control car) costs about 20-65 dollars,R/C gas boat(remote control gas boat) is about 20-50 dollars,and the price of R/C helicopter differs between 450 - 2,000 dollars.

2. Model Toys

Electric model toys attract both children and adults, such as tank cars, cars installed with alarm whistle and so on. Though these toys are not cheap in price, especially the electric toys, commonly between 8-10 dollars, some even as high as 80-100 dollars, but they have a strong footing in the market.

3. Adult Toys

Besides the children toys, adult toys in mainland of China are also have large market. According to the latest investigation of China Social Investigation Office, 33% of adults think they are fond of toys and would like to buy them. It is investigated that except for traditional Chinese Chess, I-go and kite, adults prefer R/C toys (remote control toys) and hobby items, such as R/C car, R/C helicopter, nitro R/C car, R/C gas boat, remote control helicopter, remote control car etc. The last research of China Toys Association shows the acceptable toy price for most consumers in the large and medium sized cities is no more than 15 dollars. However, in some large cities and some medium sized cities, some ingenious and top graded toys reaching up 150 dollars and even 1200 dollars still have their market. It takes an average of about 5% of the whole year consumption for Chinese citizens to buy toys, and with the toy development of top grade, brightness and series, in particular, R/C toys (remote control toys) and hobby items, such as R/C car, R/C helicopter, nitro R/C car, R/C gas boat, remote control helicopter, remote control car etc., the toy consumption will be in the status of advancing.

4. Plastic Toys

Plastic has taken the place of metal, wood and have become the main material for toys making, because it costs low, easily deals with, safer and light.


Although according to the official statistic, the toy sales in mainland of China are no more than 2,000,000,000 dollars in 2006, it is estimated by people in this industry that the actual market demands should be 9,000,000,000 dollars. People in this industry believe that the forecast demands of Chinese toy market will increase at a rate of 40% per year in the following years, and the consumption of Chinese toy market will hopefully exceed 13,000,000,000 dollars.

2008-11-02

The Top 10 Welcomed Christmas Gifts for Lovers

With the communication and blending of Chinese and Western cultures, "Christmas" – the major holiday in Western countries also have entered into Chinese people’s life and become more and more popular in China. So what’s a suitable Christmas present to give away has also turned into an annual trouble. In China, couples of lovers are the main stream who inclined to enjoy annual Christmas holiday, with ulterior motives to deepen the love of each other, then as same as other important holidays in China, the Christmas was treated as Valentine's Day by numerous lovers.

It's a God's truth for lovers that they will not let any opportunities of expressing love away, then this year many dear diaisticate girls has throw out the task to their boyfriends early ”what Christmas gift you to give me? and I will not accept ordinaries”. So the boyfriend has to rack his brains to search a Christmas gift which is uncommon for his lover. At same time, as the girlfriend you should to take care of your boyfriend too, and you should not consider yourself merely, it’s time to take consideration for what Christmas gift is your boyfriend’s favorite. It seems there are not only sweets in love, but also some small happily tortures in it.

Without further ado, let’s talk about the top 10 Christmas gifts welcomed by lovers. The common features of these Christmas presents are DIY, unique personality thus to cater for her or his feelings of been respected and cherished monopoly by you. Certainly we also have taken the popularity of the presents into account, and the prices of these recommended gifts are all less than one hundred Yuan. Those gifts that priced for several hundreds or more than one thousand Yuan are not involved in our recommendation scope, you could find them everywhere. As they are all cheap, so you can consider a variety of selection, and a well-chosen assortment is just a real bump!

1st. Personalized DIY Doll.




To make a doll imaged with her or his figure, and on which to highlight her or his characteristics and clothing. When your love saw this special article, and listened to you talking about the hard process of the doll manufacturing, she or he will be bound to be moved much. Ceramic, glass, and so on materials are all good choices.

2nd. Pajamas



Pajamas is just one kind of universal gifts. Because it’s unnecessary to consider too much for the size when you are to choose a pajamas as a present, unlike an outerwear which always requires for a particular size, it will be ok as long as the size of which is tolerable. Moreover, the pajamas is one kind of underclothes and it could let your lover think of you when she or he is go to sleep.
3rd. Silk Scarf





Silk scarf is the best embellishment in the winter. It could always match you’re your lover’s clothing, and make your winter full of warmth.

4th. Fuwa

The mascot of 2008 Olympics Fuwa are very cute, if your lover is a lively girl, I guess she will be bound to favorite with these lovely four dolls, and you should to select the largest stuffed set that made of plush, oh, it maybe spent your more, ok, also you can choose only one of them. Fuwa are produced by Chinese people who had taken a great deal of efforts into, so it certainly will be meaningful.
5th. Bracelet
A beautiful bracelet, and it is best a bracelet made of two chains which are closely entangled with each other. Send it to your girl, and she can wear it everyday, when she see the beautiful bracelet, she will think of her sweet lover. I think it’s a good choice that could make her eyes brighten the joy produced could be lasting long.
6th. Blessing Note in Love Wall
Go to the Love Wall and spend ¥10 make a blessing note for her/him, and write your sweet pledges for your thick and faithful love on it, The love note in the Love Wall could be stayed on permanently and it is a good witness for your love, and after 10 or 8 years passed, you two could back and have a look at it, doesn’t it are full of memories and significant?


7th. Stationery

Send a fine stationery gift to your boyfriend: A high-level notebook with packing costs about $16, and a high level gel pen with packing costs about $12, a pen $25, attached with a simple greeting card shall costs about $2-5.

8th. Health Food

If you want give away health foods as this year’s Christmas gift, you could send men AngLi LP (About $90), and send women pearl powder(about $60-70), nutrition wine (about $100) for elders, and children will more enjoyed with a large box of Denmark cookies. Nowadays giving away health foods is always a right idea, because nowadays most of peoples are all pay attention to their health!

9th. MP3 or a Recording Pen



You should make it through what is her like before sending out your Christmas gift, you could see about what she said, and the girls sometimes will implied, intentional or not. Put the songs she or he liked or your special words of blessing in the machine and play them out on the spot.

10th. Romantic Dinner

Taking a dinner in McDonald, KFC or a western restaurant who branded with steaks with her, especially a steak set course, it only costs about $30 per set and in which there are red wine, steaks and bread, but also in most occasions there’s an extra Christmas gift ready for you, and the romantic moods in dinner will certainly improve the loves between yours.