Gift Ideas for the New Year’s Celebration and Blessing

With the year of the Ox and the traditional Spring festival in China fast approaching, it’s time to prepare your special New Year gifts, New Year Gifts can be anything and everything New that indicates the spirit of well being and the renewal of love, peace, humanity and good relations.

New Year Gifts for Women
New Year is a very special event when all people should show how much they love their family and friends, for example, New Year gift for women should be something that she will appreciate and should not be something needed yourself, and a personalized picture handbag or purse is one of the best New Year gifts you can ever give to your wife, your mother, your old sister or your girlfriend. Also you can add another surprise by buying and putting an expensive jewelry she is bound to enjoyed with inside the bag or purse. I believe she will remember this New Year gift forever.

New Year Gifts for Men

I always think that the best New Year Gift for men is one kind of sporting gifts, men and sports always go together. It doesn’t matter how old men are, how fit they are or if they actually can play or not. Sport is a male obsession which for many of us we can’t understand and the sporting obsessed will never change, so choose one of the sporting gifts as the New Year gift for your husband, your father or your old brother, your boyfriend brother will be appreciated much.

New Year Gifts for Children

Gifts for children always are full of funny, happy and love, same as the gifts for New Year. Children are na├»ve, lovely and they are so important in your life although sometimes they had been too mischievous to trouble you…The New Year gift choices for children is various, and a novel or educational toy maybe is the first also the last idea, but sometimes your children don’t want to get a toy this year, maybe she/he has been eager for a cartoon book, a pet dog/cat, a beautiful dress, a sports watch, a bicycle, a baseball/football, or a digital products that newly launched in the market, you’d best list all things you could think of and give the right of choice to your kids, maybe at last the gift idea she/he offered is something that you never thought of and amazing you much, what’s matter? That’s kind of unique fun that only shared with you and your children and it’s a good chance for you to walk closer to your children and make you more intimate with them.

New Year Gifts for Your Parents or Grandparents

Below gift items you can consider:

* If there is a personal item you could create, that they would enjoy having.
* If there is a magazine they would love to receive as a gift. Yearly subscription?
* If there is an event, theater, etc... they would like to go;
* If you can help them purchase something that they need.
* If they have been asked to recommend gifts that they need or want? If no, ask.
* If they would like to visit or see something else e.g. the nature park, the local zoo, the museum
* If they are some good health products that which is helpful for their chronic disease…

New Year Gift Basket Ideas

New Year Gift Baskets of appreciation filled with Gourmet Food, snacks, chocolates, desserts, cookies, fruits are always a delight to give and receive on New Year. A New Year Gift Basket can contain a lot many things in different price ranges. The best thing about New Year Gift Baskets is they can never look inexpensive and dull.

Other common choices: A New Year Gift may be as simple as a bunch of nice flowers, or a bottle of red wine; a box of cookies or a pack of chocolates; an item of novel kitchen gadgets or utilities or, luxurious appliances. The list can go on and on.

Last, New Year is the moment when revelers say good bye to the passing year and welcome the new one with great pomp and show. It is the time when they celebrate the day with their loved ones and cherish the old sweet memories, created in the journey called 'life'. It is the perfect time to renew the love bonding and sending the warm wishes for merry time with the adorable New Year Gifts. The gift should be selected carefully and should be the true mirage of the feelings.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


Top 10 Welcomed Valentine's Day Gifts for Lovers

As the Christmas just behind us, it's time to turn our attention to the next gift-giving opportunity, use all your creativity and resources to do it! Could you use a few tried and true gift suggestions this Valentine's Day? Don't worry, here are great suggestions for creative Valentine's Day gifts that are sure to impress and surprise.

Top 1. Special Jewelry

One of the most traditional Valentine's gifts can be made special with a little time -- personalize your gift with engraving. Include that secret pet name, or an inside joke that makes you smile. The thought will be romantic and sweet.

Top 2. Personalized Sweetheart Locket

A gift of jewelry is nice, but an engraved piece becomes an heirloom. Use a pet nickname, a simple monogram, or an old-fashioned and cute JM + ML.
Top 3. Amazingly Delicious and Unique Chocolates
For some, it just wouldn't be Valentine's Day without that box of chocolates. This year, don't just pick up a cheap box from the drug store, get something really special. My favorite chocolate, Jacques Torres, now has his famous chocolates for sale online at mrchocolate.com. Along with traditional favorites, his unusual flavors include Earl Grey Tea, Love Potion #9, Port Wine, and Wicked Fun – a spicy dark chocolate with chili pepper and cinnamon. Make sure a card with a long paragraph included in and tell your lover about how much your
Valentine gift means.

Top 4. Sexy Lingeries

Guys, don't go the stiletto heels and crotchless panties route unless she wears that sort of thing frequently already. Make sure that valentine's lingerie is as much for her as it is for you. For a slightly sexier look, try a red lacy camisole and boy short set. Girls, be daring. Surprise him by picking him up from work in a long coat with nothing but a new teddy on underneath! Now that's lingerie both of you can enjoy.

Top 5. Dressing Up Bedroom
If giving lingerie for Valentine's Day is too predictable for you, take it a step further by dressing up the bedroom. Buy a new set of luxurious sheets. Set a bouquet of flowers next to the bed, and decorate with candles and rose petals. You'll enjoy the ambiance on February 14th, but you'll also get to enjoy those sheets for a long time to come.

Top 6. Plan Activities with Each Other
Most couples get so busy, especially during wedding planning, that they hardly have any time to spend together. Plan activities for the future that will be romantic time together. The present could be tickets to a new play, a picnic basket with a note about using it during the upcoming summer, or a spa gift certificate for couples treatments. She or he will enjoy knowing that you are thinking about your future together.

Top 7. Chocolate Covered Wines

Cupids everywhere are looking for the perfect
Valentine's day gift for lovers, if you are one of them, then we've got you covered! What could be more quintessential for Valentine's day than chocolate? Hmmm... maybe your favorite wine variatal dipped in San Francisco's Guittard chocolate? Sweet Traders has whipped up several Valentine wines dipped in chocolate and topped with red candy hearts. They include, a chocolate covered J Lohr Cabernet elegantly displayed in a Valentine's gift basket complete with truffles and candles as well as a silver gift bucket holding a bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne and assorted chocolates. Of course, you can always peek through their chocolate covered wines by wine types - reds, whites, and bubbles.

Top 8. Chocolate Spa

Chocolate with only a small amount of guilt - since most of the items in this nicely packaged gift basket aren't edible, which includes milk chocolate body lotion, dark chocolate shower gel, white chocolate bubble bath, mint chocolate peppermint foot scrub, loofah pad, nail brush, pumice stone and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Top 9. Give Her/Him a "Boys Weekend" or a "Girl's Weekend"

This is a great one for couples that are friendly with other couples. You and your pals can join together to each give her and her pals plane tickets for a "girl's weekend", or him and his friends tickets for a "boys weekend". She or he will love that you were so thoughtful and will know that you planned ahead.
Top 10. Flowers & Chocolate & Perfume
What would Valentine's Day be without a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, and a sensual perfume fragrance?

The most thoughtful gift for the Valentine day is the one that counts. Take the time to listen to clues for what she or he really wants. This might be a book that they mentioned looks interesting, or if they're a collector, something new for their collectibles shelf. Most guys would far rather have a pair of tickets to their favorite sports team than a bunch of flowers, and many girls would rather have those tickets than an impersonal heart-shaped box of chocolates.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


Redeeming Gift Cards In This Hard Economic Times

With the tough economy weighing on all our minds, this holiday season could be make-or-break for a lot of eTailers. So, like Bryan Eisenberg mentioned in his recent blog, and relying on the status-quo isn’t wise.

The 2008 holiday season came with worldwide economic woes and in light of the difficult financial times, holiday gift recipients are now being encouraged to spend those gift cards as soon as possible to avoid a situation where gift cards are no longer honored when a retail store files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.

"When a company files for Chapter 11, federal law does permit retailers to stop honoring gift cards. So that's something we may see if Christmas shoppers purchase gift cards at stores that have already filed Chapter 11 - the gift cards may not be honored after the holiday shopping season. I also expect we'll see a few retailers file Chapter 11 after the holiday season, to avoid a decrease in gift card sales, but this leaves the consumers in a bad position with a gift card that may be worthless," explained economist Michael Bloom in a November 2008 sit-down interview with Suite101.

Some retailers may also put a hold on gift card redemption, which is permissible under federal law.
Bloom offered a few tips for holiday shoppers who purchase a gift card and for gift card recipients, who may be wondering about the best way to redeem a gift card.

Search Internet Before

Before setting off on a holiday shopping trip, do a quick internet search to learn if a particular retailer has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. Some major national retailers that have recently filed for Chapter 11 include Circuit City, Linens N' Things and The Sharper Image.

Spend Your Gift Cards ASAP.

It's best to spend a gift card as soon as possible during times of economic instability to avoid ending up with a worthless gift card that cannot be redeemed because a store has gone out of business.

Consider a American Express Gift Card or Mall Gift Card

Rather than purchasing a gift card for a specific retailer, instead give the gift of an American Express Gift Card, which is good at virtually any store worldwide. Many malls, like Simon Malls (throughout the U.S.) offer gift cards that are good at all mall stores. These types of companies are generally more stable than retailers.

Read The Fine Print on Gift Card

Many gift cards have dormancy fees that are deducted from the gift card balance after the card has been inactive for a certain period of time. Some gift cards even have expiration dates, so read the fine print on the gift card to avoid losing value. This varies from state to state, as some states do not allow for gift card expiration dates.

Notably, when a company files for Chapter 11, this does not necessarily mean that a company will be going out of business. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection allows a retailer to restructure in a way that will allow them to remain in business as they pay off creditors and debts.

Some companies do ultimately go out of business, making gift cards worthless. While other companies recover and remain in business for many years after filing for Chapter.

In recent years, the popularity of gift cards has skyrocketed, but while the gift of a gift card gives the recipient the ability to select their own gift, there's also potential downside to this popular holiday gift idea.

PS: Gift cards can be redeemed at REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com, at an
REI Store, or by phone at 1-800-426-4840.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China


Art Education: Basic Techniques of Classical Realism Oil Paintings

What is oil painting? Oil paints on the canvas. It's an indisputable definition. I thought that oil painting is more than that.

Any kind of figurative art (including oil painting) is thought of beforehand. The basic rules of studying drawing and painting are very closely connected with the laws of the discipline.

Tip 1. Brushes

You should have many brushes so that not to lose time washing them while working. Take a new brush for every new mix. Use round kolinsky brushes, No.1 to No. 10. To cover larger surfaces, you will need a few #20 to #35 brushes. For final strokes PRIPLAVLENIYE (final blending) you will need a few very soft round and flat average size squirrel brushes. Brushes should be treated very carefully. After every session they should be washed in turpentine and after that in warm water with soap.

Tip 2. Canvas

The canvas should be primed additionally a few more times and in conclusion it should be ground with fine sandpaper. After that the canvas should be scraped with a razor to remove the canvas texture till smooth dead surface similar to the egg's surface is achieved.

Tip 3. Palette

The palette must be made of hard dark wood, best of all, of pear wood. After work wash the palette with turpentine and scrape it with a razor. Before work wipe the palette with linseed oil.
Tip 4. Paper

The drawing is made on paper life-size to the smallest details. Then it is transferred to the canvas by carbon-paper. After that the drawing is outlined with brown ink because the first oil layer - IMPRIMATURA (transparent coat that is equal to the middle tone of largest, lightest object in painting) - will wash away the pencil, but the ink will remain visible almost through the last layers.

Tip 5. Still Life Objects

It is very important to have objects for still life in the studio. Don't be stingy at garage sales and flea markets, you may regret it later.

Tip 6. Lacquer

The lacquer for IMPRIMATURA is made of 2% of dry DAMAR CRYSTALS and 98% of turpentine. The lacquer for painting is made of 5-10% of dry resin and 90-95 % of turpentine. A couple of lavender oil drops are added directly to the oil-can. Scientists say lavender oil stimulates the brain. However, I think that old masters added it to eliminate the heavy turpentine smell. The lacquer for the final step consists of 30% of DAMAR CRYSTALS, 3% of linseed oil, and 67% of turpentine. 

Tip 7. Canvas Cleaning

 Before each new layer the canvas (ideally dried during 7 weeks) is carefully wiped with a half of an onion (in order to prepare the dried surface to absorb better) and then with linseed oil. After that the canvas is wiped with a soft piece of cloth.

Tip 8. Mixture

IMPRIMATURA, or the first paint layer. The canvas is covered with a liquid mixture based on Red Ochre, Yellow Ochre Light and Ivory Black (the mixture should have an olive hue). 

Tip 9. Basic Set of Paints

The basic set of paints is the following: "Rembrandt" oil colors: Flake White, Yellow Ochre Light, Red Ochre, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber Ivory and Lamp Black (7 Basic Colors), and 4 extra colors (when necessary) which I use in the last layers: Flake Yellow (instead of it also can be used Cadmium Yellow Deep), Madder Lake Deep, Chinese Vermilion, Prussian Blue. But be careful to use these last 4 colors very sparingly.


The first and the second TEL'NII (flesh tones: main life colors) PODMALYOVOK (5th and 6th layers). The first TEL'NII PODMALYOVOK is made half a tone lighter and two tones lighter in colors; and half a tone darker and two tones lighter in shadows. The same is true of the second TEL'NII PODMALYOVOK. 


The dead layer - the fourth PODMALYOVOK - is made with white lead, light ocher, red ocher, and burnt bone. The aim of this PODMALYOVOK is penumbra. The picture must look as if its objects were lit with moonlight - olive cold gray color. Colors are applied thickly, half a tone higher, shadows are very transparent, half a tone lower. 


The seventh layer --- LESSIROVKA : Details of textures, thickly applied highlights, bright reflections, and signature. In this layer you may use additional paints: Prussian blue, red cinnabar, yellow flake (cadmium yellow deep), madder lake deep. 

Tip 13. Shadow PODMALYOVOK
The shadow PODMALYOVOK (the process of creating intermediate layers) is made with Burnt Umber in two layers (2nd and 3rd layers). In the second layer all details are made excluding the texture. In the third layer LESSIROVKA of the main tone masses is made with a big brush. 

Tip 14. Music

Many painters get an energy charge from music. Stop listening to any modern music and begin listening only to classical music. Try to begin loving it.

Last, stop looking at modern art and stop loving it. Modern bright colors and hue contrasts destroy the subtle vision of the painter who took risks to study classical painting in our time.

From the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century artists used the seven layer technique. Like music where there are seven notes, seven keys, and within each there are seven more. 7 days in a week. 7 Layers of Paint. Each layer in oil painting must dry for seven weeks. The energy which we receive from old paintings in museums, like ghosts in old castles with old paintings, is related to this magic figure. 

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China