Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Benefits of Fiberglass Wall Fountains

Fiberglass wall fountains offer the perfect blend of aesthetics, durability and affordability. These features contribute to making fiberglass one of the most popular materials for water features.

Aesthetic Properties

Fiberglass is a translucent material that adapts exceedingly well to illumination. By daytime it gleams in the sunlight providing a polished looking façade. At night, helped by the right lighting, it dazzles the eye. Some of the most spectacular fountains in the world are aided by the use of fiber optics technology. The end result is a breathtakingly beautiful water feature that goes beyond being a mere fountain to a gushing, splashing, gurgling, work of art. Fiberglass is also able to replicate the look of other materials like cast stone and slate to a high degree. In fact, the similarity between fiberglass wall fountains and a cast stone or stonewall fountains is almost impossible to tell unless you actually touch it! The similarity can be astounding.

An Economic Choice

Fiberglass is the most economical material choice for those looking to add a fountain without the hefty price tags that come attached to some elaborate fountains. Fiberglass is also easy to maintain which makes these fountains high on aesthetics, but low on maintenance. Unlike materials like bronze that can equal their price in terms of heavy-duty maintenance, cleaning, and polishing, fiberglass needs no more than a quick wipe to remove dust and grime. Another reason why fiberglass is so inexpensive is its low weight. This makes it easy to fit. The installation doesn't cost as much as something like a granite fountain because the process doesn't involve the use of heavy machinery to lift the material. The process is also quicker, saving on time.

Longevity of Fiberglass Wall Fountains

Don't be fooled by the translucent texture. Fiberglass is as strong as steel. In fact, you can expect fiberglass wall fountains to keep adding value to your interiors or your garden for many, many, years of pleasure. This type of material also has non-corrosive properties.

If you've been putting off purchasing a fountain because of the costs involved, fiberglass could be the perfect choice for you. With innovative new technologies that add to fiberglass' ability to imitate other more desirable looking materials like cast stone, you're sure to find a selection of fiberglass wall fountains that are not only affordable and durable, but also aesthetic.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Easy Bathroom Decorating - Creating a Look That Will Please Your Eyes

A lot of us are always wanting to do some bathroom decorating, but don't really know where to start. We may have a bunch of ideas, but without a plan of attack they never seem to come to be. If you're in this predicament then don't feel bad because you're not alone.

At least you realize how important a bathroom is. There are a lot of people that never think twice about it and spend all their money on the kitchen or living room. The bathroom is used by everyone and should be one of the first places to go when thinking of decorating.

In this article, I am going to mainly talk about some tips and techniques for home improvement with a particular focus in bathroom decorating. Decorating your bathroom can be a fun and fulfilling experience. Whether it's the first time or a redecorating, finding the things the work best with your room can be very rewarding and give you a sense of pride.

In your bathroom the biggest design element is usually the bathtub or shower stall. A bathroom shower curtain provides an excellent opportunity to start a theme as a highlighted point in your room. You could think of your shower curtain as a canvas that will display your decorating concept and define the entire bathroom.

One of the best things you can do and is often what most bathroom decorating professionals will tell you is design your bathroom around your shower curtain. It is however a really good idea to know what it is you're after before you go out and purchase the curtain. It will be the difference between a bathroom you love or one you hate.

This should be the same for any room you decide to decorate whether it's the bathroom or not. Decorating around one piece is a fun way to go, but sometimes it would be more rewarding in the long run to find a bunch of things that would suit your whole room and then decorate around those.

In addition to shower curtains, there are a whole lot of other things you can use to decorate a bathroom. A Bathroom rug set, some counter decorations, and a whole host of decorative towels can add charming touches to any bathroom.

A good focal point to start with may very well be the shower curtain, but it will never make the room complete without accents that make it stand out and easy to enjoy. You'll find it much easier to find things that work great in your bathroom if you establish a theme beforehand.

Adding color to your theme is something that will also make it much easier to figure out what accents will work great. I know sometimes it can be difficult to choose a color. I find that for a bathroom use a light color like a light blue or green works great, but if that isn't your taste a simple black and white provides an elegant look.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rackham Fountain at the Detroit Zoo

Dedicated in 1939, the fountain features two standing bronze bears (10 feet tall), sea lions, turtles, and frogs. It was also featured in the movie Coraline (2009). In the movie "Coraline," the title character picks up a snow globe that contains a replica of the zoo's fountain.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Wall Water Fountains - Some Luxurious Cascades For Your Royal Mansion

Wall Water Fountains offer a calming relief. The tranquil water gurgles are beautifully blended with some remarkable ancient statues. The soothing babble of the gently flowing waters relaxes your spirits. Water fountains are deluxe centerpieces that greatly improve the interiors of your house. In the present day market, you will easily get numerous indoor and outdoor portable water features that will glorify the look of your surroundings. In this article, I will tell you about some latest luxurious Wall Springs that adorn the present day market. Every cascade has unique features that make it truly exotic.

1. Falling Diamonds Wall Water Fountain
Costing a bulky amount worth $2699, this precious masterpiece is capable of turning a vacant wall into an eye-catching showpiece. The lively waterfall with its brimming waters; creates an exciting audible spout. Each spout is crafted from some selected precious stones. This beautifully colored water fountain is created using ancient architectural techniques.

The fall is supplied with a LED lighting system to produce spectacular scenery during the hours of darkness. A product of Henri Studio, these royal water springs are top-quality decorative kits. Five pieces of radiating stones, piping, a silent submersible pump and other required hardware are included in this package.

2. Whiteboard Water Wall Fountain
This expensive stunning piece costs approximately $9000. Its surface is crafted in all stainless steel. The steely body is supplied with two dry easy-to-erase white boards that are positioned behind the barricade panel. These sliding boards can easily swing out from either side. They are used in theatres, big business corporations and other royal mansions for presentation purposes.

The watery spout comes with halogen lights that are situated overhead to enlighten the flowing waters as it gushes down the steel shells. This light lights up the script jotted down on your whiteboard.
This magnificent simulated jet is equipped with an anti-microbial varnish to hamper the microbial growth. Resent survey conducted by the company shows that a water feature measuring 3X7 feet is capable of purifying the air surrounding it, by creating very little noise.

3. Mirage Wall Water Feature
This Waterfall is a truly astonishing piece that will easily impress your visitors and clients. It is a stunning beauty that is Eco friendly as well as easy-to-operate. But, it will cost you a bulky amount, around $8000.

The beautiful Cascade body is made of Slate. Striking materials are used for creating this beauty. Some commonly used components include slate slabs, vibrant pebbles and polished metals they are rich in texture. A wide variety of such Wall Fountains are present in the market. The choices include; custom textured glass, etched glass, colored glass, laser etched glass and 3-D glass fountain. Copper, Bronze alloys, Acrylics, Granite, Rajah Slate, Limestone are some of the precious materials that adorn this magnificent cascade.

These simulated water sprays employ a high pressure submersible pump system that ensures consistent flow of water over the stony surface. The Cascade uses a superior water distribution technology. So, this was all about the luxurious Wall Water Features. Ideal for all kinds of settings, these fountains ensure a soothing backdrop for your relaxation. Simply delight your senses with the rejuvenating effects of these marvelous Wall Water Falls!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Chicago, Illinois is one of America's legendary cities. The third largest city in the United States began in 1833 as a settlement of 340 people along the shores of Lake Michigan. Today over three million people reside in Chicago, with immigrants from such diverse countries as Poland, Korea, India, and Iran being added daily. Let's look at one of the most important parts of Chicago, "The Loop". In its heyday, the 1880s, the Loop became the business center of Chicago. Corporations built their national headquarters here. Entertainment and hospitality became important also because of the Loops many fine hotels and theaters. Situated between The Loop and Chicago Harbor; Grant Park was built in the 1920s. Its French-Classical style includes rose gardens, promenades, and shady elm trees. Chicagos annual music festivals - jazz, blues, and gospel singing - are all held in Grant Park. Within Grant Park is the Clarence Buckingham Fountain. This pink marble Rococo fountain was designed and built in 1927 as a memorial to Clarence Buckingham. The four bronze sea horses in the fountain represent the four states that border Lake Michigan: Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. On the opposite side of the park is the Art Institute of Chicago. Within its galleries are paintings by some of the worlds most famous artists, including Monet, Matisse and Van Gogh. Built in 1892, the structure was designed in a traditional Classical-Renaissance style. Across the street from the Art ...


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Large egret bronze fountain. In the video we adjusted the water pressure to show you the effects that a larger and smaller pump will have on spray distance. Inventory# 15-00880a


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Philadelphia Logan Square, Swan or Three Rivers fountain

This beautiful bronze figured fountain is located in Logan square Philadelphia and is called the Swan fountain or Three rivers fountain. Spectacular Turtles and frogs spray under high pressure water


Monday, August 23, 2010

Plaza Vasco de Quiroga (Plaza Grande) in Patzcuaro

mexatua.com There is a bronze statue of bishop Vasco de Quiroga in the middle of the quarry fountain at the center of Main Plaza in Patzcuaro. That plaza´s name is also Vasco de Quiroga aka Plaza Grande. Vasco de Quiroga became the first bishop of Michoacán in 1537. He remained in Michoacán as pastor and protector of the Indians. He worked to gather the Indians in large towns near Lake Pátzcuaro. Using Thomas More's Utopia as a model, he taught religion, crafts and the fundamentals of self- government. Each town was to become the center of an industry. Main plaza measures are 160 meters by 130 meters. There are not religious buildings around it. The Plaza is surrounded by old, stately ash trees and colonial-era mansions. Unlike most other towns and cities in Mexico, the main church does not face this plaza. The main square is filled with stores selling a very wide variety of crafts including carved wooden statues and furniture, brightly painted accents depicting flowers and animals, brilliant piles of woven textiles, draperies, table cloths, bed spreads and napkins, wooden figures, religious art, clay plaques and pots, polished wooden boxes and guitars, picture frames, woolen blankets, copper vases and platters, basketry and items made of woven straw and reed, and sculpted and scented candles. See properties for sale in Patzcuaro mexatua.com


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Newport, RI: Part 2;Washington Square's new Horse Trough Fountain

CASTING process for the new bronze Horse Trough Fountain by Newmans, Ltd., of Newport: www.newmansltd.com, and info@newmansltd.com, based on Newport Historical Society images of Washington Square's 19th century horse trough, for the Washington Square Restoration Commission.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Solar Fountains - Rhythmic, Stimulating & Eco-Friendly

Nothing can beat the charm of the tranquility presented by the sound of falling water, chirping birds and the lush green nature. With time and space restriction a major disadvantage faced by the modern apartment living conditions, the enjoyment of the lovely sound of nature typically calls for a break to your normal routine. But new technologies has made the dream of bringing a bit of nature closer to you through the launch of solar fountains that can be made to blend with any décor - be it your home or working space.

Shopping for a solar fountain is very easy. Go for one of the classic or the contemporary designs that can guarantee quality and durability. Depending on the décor of the place, shop for antique material types like the stone types or aged bronze or contemporary ones made of smooth ceramic. From simple designs to abstract and multi-tiered, these solar fountains can accent the exquisiteness of the surroundings.

With more advancements made in the field of solar energy, today the presence of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) make it possible to power the fountains effectively even in temperatures varying from 149 degrees F to as low as 77 degrees F. The normal hassle of electrical installation is not required. With the addition of a few light bulbs, it can add more charm to the environment.

These fountains are eco-friendly using the natural way to operate it. The water fountains placed in the garden or indoors, through the production of the negative ions can help in the healthy growth of the plants. With the continuous movement of water guaranteeing rich oxygen supply, it maintains the right atmosphere for the beautiful water creatures and plants, if installed in a pond. The constant movement of the water can also prevent the breeding of mosquitoes that tend to flourish in waters that are stagnant. But, make sure to clean the presence of algae and others with a non-toxic cleaner. Going for solar-powered birdbaths can take you one step closer to the nature with the continuous chirping of the birds bringing music to your ears.

The solar fountains can be placed even in rooms which enjoy little sunlight by positioning the solar panels under the sun or, many include an AC adaptor for use indoors. The absence of distracting wires when placed in a sunny corner does not pin down its placement to areas with electric outlet. A solar fountain placed in a location that boasts of direct sunlight creates more water pressure for a better effect. If you want to place your solar fountain away from direct sunlight, go for one with solar panels attached to cords that can be discreetly placed under direct sunlight.

In short, one can say that the solar fountains offer low-cost solution to enjoy a stress-free ambience.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Keukenhof - The Garden of Holland

No visit to the Netherlands can be complete without visiting the magnificent gardens at Keukenhof Lisse. Me and My wife always visit the park once a year and I never enjoy a better day each year as there are so many things to see and experience.

This year is the 58th time the parks are open to the public and they are spectacular. The Dutch people really excel in art of producing the worlds most beautiful flowers. The other draw is the fact that the smell of the flowers is astonishing.

Opening this year on the 20th March I found my self and my wife engrossed in the splendor of colour and imagination of the various flower mosaics and exhibition flowers. In one of the large exhibition rooms you can watch the flower masters I have no other words for them putting together arrangements and displays. They are extremely talented also as you browse you notice that each of the flower arrangements and displays are marked.

The markings are to show that these arrangements have been judged and some of the fine examples that are awarded gold and silver and bronze medals. I can hardly judge the difference but I'm not a flower expert.

This year the gardens where opened Princess Victoria from Sweden and a lot of the themes where in celebration of the Swedish people. The main one being a Swedish Botanist called Linnaeus, Linnaeus was known as the King of Flowers. Linnaeus studied in Holland at the university at Harderwijk.

The Keukenhof site consists of a 32 Hectare site with shops, bulb exhibitions, displays and workshops this year their will be over seven million bulbs planted and blooming throughout the park. To see the park in glorious sunshine is an event I look forward to all year.

The spring gardens enthuse life into my soul as I walk in these fine gardens I find myself re vitalised. I enjoy going to the working windmill and see the bulbs bursting from the ground and sweet flower aroma that follows you everywhere.

Within the parks are ornamental lakes and fountains their are many fine art exhibits which can be purchased or I assume this as they all have a price tag. I expect you would have to wait till the gardens close in May.
I spend many hours here taking photos and never seem to have enough memory to keep all the excellent images. As well as having the finest blooms in Holland and perhaps the world on show there is a children's park and a petting zoo to enjoy.

Keukenhof is very easy to get to there a local busses from both Schipol Airport and Leiden to the park and as I have lived in Holland for a few years you can rely on the Dutch transport system it is very good compared to England.

Don't leave the park without buying some bulbs to plant for yourself they are excellent value they may not produce gold standard flowers but the ones we have bought over the years have always produced some very pleasant crocuses and tulips.

I find the people and staff at Keukenhof really friendly informative and can recommend this as the best day in Europe. When the sun is shinning and the park is in bloom then there is no place like it on Earth.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spruce Up With Spiffy New Taps and Faucets

If you want to spruce up the look of your home with spiffy new taps and faucets, then you will first want to know which choices will turn your home into a modern showplace. There are now many different styles and colors available for sinks, and faucets are available in a wide range of finishes and designs. Today's sinks and faucets are stylistic, and can change the look of a room instantly. Along with classic white, there are now many different materials and colors used in the design of sinks and faucets.

Chrome is a great choice for a sink if you are looking for something that is eye-catching and functional, while tiled sinks are a contemporary choice that is available in a wide range of color choices. Bowl styled sinks are also very modern. The basin for the sink is a bowl shape, and the materials used range from stainless steel to marble and classic porcelain. The bowl typically rests on a cabinet styled counter.

There are styles of cabinets that vary, with antique designs and classic wooden versions being among the most popular for redecorating your kitchens and bathrooms. For those looking to simplify their space, a pedestal sink is an excellent option. Pedestal sinks are free standing, and only require the water hook-ups for installation, along with a few screws that go into the floor to help support the sink. Most sinks are customizable, allowing you to choose the taps and faucets that match your style best.

For something that is totally unique, you can look for a patterned sink that fits into your counter top. Not only are patterned sinks eye catching and functional, they can also be a focal point for the design of your room. Faucets are also available in a wide range of styles, including modern faucets that work by touch so that you don't have to touch knobs when your hands aren't clean. Fountain style faucets are now popular for the kitchen area, where more space is needed during food preparation and cleaning than in other rooms.

Faucets are available in brushed chrome, brushed nickel, French gold, brushed bronze, polished chrome, and other options. With so many choices available, you can easily choose a sink and faucet that fits your personal tastes perfectly. Single knob options are among the most popular today. They are simpler to operate that those faucets with dual hot and cold knobs.

In addition to being simple to operate, single control faucets are also simpler to install in your sinks. They only require one hole for installation. Remember to check for compatibility between your sinks, faucets, and taps before making your final decision. Some sinks are prepped with holes for faucet installation, and may have more, or not enough, holes installed for the faucet that you have chosen.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Antiques - Bronze, Silver And Gold

The earliest civilisations of China, Egypt, Greece and Rome made bronze coins and statues, ad bronze was later used to cast bells and cannon - the original Victoria Crosses were made from bronze of Russia cannon captured in the Crimean War. It finally became extremely popular with British and Indian craftsmen in Victorian times for casting small statuettes and art objects that today, have become rare and sought after antiques.

Bronze ages well and acquires its own patina in various shades of brown or blue-green. It needs no polishing, but wipe it occasionally with a soft, dry cloth. Corrosion, however, is common. Bright green spots - sometimes called bronze disease - starts in a small area and spread swiftly like a rash to cover the whole object. Remove the corrosion either by scraping carefully with a knife or by heavy rubbing with a brass brush. Do not use a steel or wire bush, which can damage the antique surface and cause the corrosion to reappear later. Swab heavily corroded areas with a 10% solution of acetic acid solution in water. If the antique has a broken piece, soft solder it and colour the shiny solder joint with a bronze-coloured lacquer until it blends in with the adjacent bronze. It is also possible to use bronze wax gilt, but this is not as durable as lacquer.

Silver has been used for making jewellery, ornaments and utensils for at least 5000 years. Valuable antique pieces should be taken to a specialist craftsman for repair or re-plating. Silver is usually hard-soldered at the joints, but the soldering temperature, especially of the surrounding metal and the base metal under silver plate, is crucial. The work is tricky and much damage can be caused to antiques by inexperience.

Both silver and silver plate tarnish and corrode quickly, especially in coastal areas: salt in the atmosphere causes silver chloride to form. Corrosion can be treated effectively with a proprietary silver dip. Great care should be taken when cleaning the antique with silver dip, especially when the base metal is exposed. Just a quick in-and-out dip and rinse with clean warm water. Clean any remaining bad spots with a paste of French chalk and methylated spirits, or in warm water with a few drops of ammonia added. The older the antique piece is the more likely the silver or silver plate will react to the cleaning process, so care should be taken to apply cleaning agents in small doses.

For polishing silver antiques it is best to use a long lasting silver polish, this will save the piece from continual cleaning and prolong its life. Scratched antiques can be remedied by rubbing with jewellers' rouge or fine crocus powder. Wrapping silver antiques in tissue paper and placing it in a polythene bag will protect and keep it shiny indefinitely.

Craftsmen throughout time have also fallen for the shiny allure that gold presents. Antique gold jewellery has been found dating as far back as 3000BC in Mesopotamian burial hoards. The purity of gold is expressed in carats. A carat is a 24th part, so 22-carat gold contains 22 parts of gold and 2 parts of other hardening metals. This evaluating system is what gives gold antique pieces its value. Period and craftsmen also have a lot to do with the value of a specific antique piece.

Because of the value of gold, its repair and restoration is best left to an expert goldsmith. If gold antiques become dull, the shine can be restored by, polishing with either a jewellers' rouge or chamois leather. Small items such as rings can be burnished with a piece of polished steel, such as a knitting needle, but this method should not be used on engraved metal. Clean gold antiques by washing them in warm, soapy water and polishing with a soft cloth or chamois leather.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Compendium of Florist Tips and Advice

Modern simplicity

Flowers, like people, come in myriad sizes and shapes. They have distinct personalities. Some are gregarious, others ingenuous. Either way, they tempt us to tall in love with them through our associations with how they look, or smell. Who can resist them?

Like people, too, flowers like to show off their plumage. To appear at their most alluring, though, they need a little help from us. The container used to show them off is important, as is the setting in which they are displayed. Traditionally, floral arrangements were proudly arrayed in the public areas of a house - the entrance hail, where flowers were proffered as a gesture of welcome; the sitting room, where floral displays were placed on dainty occasional tables; and the dining room. Flowers delivered to your home can be placed throughout the house to bring you immense joy and satisfaction.

One of my favourite flowers - Ageratum houstonia­num (floss flower)

Characteristics: Originally from Mexico and Central America, ageratums thrive in hot summer weather as long as they are well watered. The range of blues, from soft, clear blues and powder blues to rich, dark blues, make ageratums very popular annuals.

There are dwarf, compact and tall, upright varieties. The compact varieties form mounds of fuzzy, tufted blossoms that bloom from early summer to fall. Two excellent dwarf varie­ties are 'Blue Danube' and 'Pink Powder-Puff', which both make very showy edging plants. However, 'Blue Horizon', a taller variety, is better for use in drying and is conveniently available for flower delivery in many areas.

Cultural Information: Agera­tums thrive in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. They can be propagated from cuttings, but most are grown from seed. The seed requires light to germinate, so simply press the seed lightly into a moist planting formula. The young plants are very tender and initial growth is slow. After transplanting into the garden, pinch back to encourage full­ness. On parts of the West Coast where winters are mild, seed can be planted in late summer for fall bloom. Space dwarf varieties 6 inches apart, tall varieties 12 inches.

Making a Funeral Tribute

The selection of materials is important. Use good quality, well-conditioned, mature flowers at their peak of perfection in colour and form. Avoid using tight buds, as they are too small and lack impact.

This design can look very attractive if made with seasonal flowers, such as the tulips, irises, narcissi and hyacinths of spring. Alternatively, a beautiful tribute might be designed with just one type of flower - a heart of open pink roses, interspersed with grey foliage, can express many feelings for a grieving customer of the florist. Fans of cupressus, single leaves or pleated ribbon edgings can provide attractive outlines, and a range of decorative types of foliage can be incorporated.

Constructing a funeral tribute

Space the main flowers evenly, on the same level - usually at the centre. Add secondary flowers to form the outline and fill in the design. Finally, intersperse the flowers with groups of foliage. As with all funeral tributes, remember to give the design a beveled profile; place materials on all levels, and ensure that the overall height does not exceed 20-23cm (8-9in).

Plants for tubs and hanging baskets

One of the plants which has improved so dramatically over these last few years is the begonia. The small semperflorens with their excellent and wide colour range are superb in pots, tubs and hanging baskets. They are also excellent for use as a bedding plant as well, for they flower right into October, or at least until the first frost. I have never been a lover of tuberous-rooted begonias though they are magnificent as a handsome planting in parks or large areas where they have plenty of space to show off to their best advantage. But these little semperfiorens are another matter altogether, and a great delight. 'Venus Rose' is one of my favourites, and is always included whenever I have flowers delivered. It stays a good shade of pink all summer as does 'Rosanova', and 'Dancia Scarlet' has the added attraction of dark bronze foliage which is a lovely plus.

Easy flower arranging

The following are a few guidelines supplied by a very friendly florist to help anyone considering flower arranging as a hobby:

Maintain a balance by imagining a vertical line in the centre. Place similar flowers on both sides at the same angle by placing longer stemmed flowers closer to the line. This will provide a more symmetrical look and is more pleasing to the eye.

Choose a good variety colors by balancing both dark and light colors. Do not place all dark colored flowers together and do not place them all at the top as this will appear darker in light. Create a well balanced colour scheme.

Flower Gifts for a Birth

Flowers are a wonderful gift for any occasion, and can express love, sorrow, joy and happiness. Floral gifts come in all shapes and sizes, including arrangements, cards and handtieds. Cellophane, ribbon and accessories can be used to enhance a gift of flowers, and turn it into something personal.

The range of containers includes lace cradles, pottery and basketware. Pinks and whites are usual for girls; blues, yellow and cream for boys. Again, there are many delightful accessories that might be added, and a whole range of different flowers to choose from.

Add Foliage for men

Adding some green leaves or foliage to the arrangement is a great way to add a more masculine feel to the bouquet. Lots of men enjoy pottering around in their gardens and have an affinity with green foliage. The added touch of green can cool off your vibrant flower colors. If you are unsure about adding green accents, ask your florist. Think carefully about which type of green plant will compliment your flower delivery. Adding additional foliage to a bouquet or flower arrangement will usually lead to a cost reduction as an added bonus.

Elegant Formality

When the furnishings of a room are traditional in style, roses generally look best in an arrangement that reflects the quiet dignity of their surroundings. Colors that harmonize and blend into one another are better than sharp contrasts, and a good choice for a container is a footed vase or urn that lifts the flowers above the surface on which they stand. When foliage seems called for, choose one that is ornamental in form, like spiral eucalyptus.

For example, perhaps imagine that you have a table in front of a low-keyed French painting. An open and deliberately simple arrangement of Queen Elizabeth and Regal Gold roses in a china shell would create an island of serenity in an object-filled environment.

Rose Festivals

Of the scores of rose shows held each year, a few have become full-fledged festivals, complete with parades, queens and attendant hoopla. The largest of these is the 10-day Rose Festival staged every June in Portland, Oregon, a major commercial growing center that calls itself the "Rose City." Others are the September Festival of Roses in Wasco, heart of the central California rose industry, and the Texas Rose Festival, an October fixture in Tyler, Texas. The best-known event of all, Pasadena's Tournament of Roses, where the winners often send flowers to people worldwide, provides fewer opportunities for the serious rose enthusiast, but is probably unmatched for its sheer display of blossoms, which cover the dozens of floats that wend their way through Pasadena streets on New Year's Day, prior to the Rose Bowl football game.

Stick to the tried and tested

When arranging flowers, many people consider only the sensuous impact the actual blossoms will have on the beholder. But flowers are more than just blossoms - they are also composed of stems, leaves and roots. And then there are the myriad other forms a flowering plant may assume, such as a tree, shrub or vine. Taking an artistic risk with an arrangement rather than sticking to the tried and tested, may therefore result from an impulse to experiment with the delightful and novel shapes and textures of tall, smooth stems, glossy leaves, rustling grasses, bare branches and sculptural seedpods.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kelkay Patina Copper Spills Fountain 4560L

Water spills between five copper leaves whilst lit from below in this unusual water feature from the Kelkay Easy Fountain range.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oslo - Vigeland Sculpture Park

Here's the rub: It's a beautiful day in Oslo (summer, preferably), and you want to be outdoors in the fresh and sunlit air, perhaps have a picnic on the grass, stroll and enjoy the sights. But you also want some culture, a bit of art, yet not be cooped up in a museum on such a glorious day. Where do you go? The Vigeland Sculpture Park, part of the Frogner Park, located in Oslo, is one of the most popular and visually compelling places to visit in Norway's capital. Three kilometers northwest of the Oslo city center, the park covers 80 acres and features 212 bronze and granite sculptures by Gustav Berg. Each figure was personally sculpted out of clay by Vigeland and individual craftsmen were contracted to fabricate the pieces into what visitors see today. These works of art reside along an 850 meter-long axis divided into six sections: The Main Gate, The Bridge, The Children's Playground, The Fountain, The Monolith Plateau and The Wheel of Life.

The Main Gate is made of forged granite and wrought iron and serves as an entrance to the park itself. It consists of five large gates, two small pedestrian gates and two copper-roofed gate houses, both adorned with weather-vanes. Financed by a Norwegian bank, The Main Gate was erected in 1926. Walking along the 328 feet long, 49 feet wide Bridge, you will encounter 58 of the park's sculptures. The Bridge serves as a connection between the Main Gate and the Fountain. All of the sculptures are bronze-clad and contribute to the "Human Condition" theme of the park. One of the Oslo Park's more popular statues, Sinnataggen, or "The Little Angry Boy." This was the first part of the park to be opened to the public, in 1940. While most of the Oslo Park was still under construction, visitors could enjoy these sculptures.

Next one arrives at the Children's Playground, located at the end of the bridge. This is a collection of eight bronze statues, all representing children at play. In the center, mounted on a granite column, is a representation of a fetus. One cannot say that there is no attention to truth.After the Children's Playground is the Fountain, fabricated from bronze and adorned with 60 individual bronze reliefs. It portrays children and skeletons in the arms of giant trees, symbolizing new life emerging from death. It took Vigeland from 1906 to 1947 to establish this monument in Oslo.

Finally, you arrive at the Monolith Plateau and the Monolith. The Monolith Plateau is a platform made of stairs housing the Monolith totem itself. Thirty-six figure groups reside on the elevation carrying with them the "circle of life" message. Eight figural gates forged in wrought iron give access to the Plateau. They were designed in Oslo between 1933 and 1937 and erected shortly after Vigeland died in 1943.

The Monolith (Monolitten) is unquestionably the most popular attraction in the park. As the name suggests, the work is created from one solid piece of stone. This massive work was begun in 1924 when Vigeland himself modeled the monument out of clay in his Frogner studio. The design process took ten months. Then the model was cast in plaster. In 1927, a block of granite weighing several hundred tons was delivered to the Oslo park from a stone quarry in Halden and was erected the following year, protected against the elements by a wooden shed. It took 14 years and three stone carvers, beginning in 1929, to transfer the figures. The Monolith towers 46.32 feet high and comprises 121 human figures rising heavenward. This is meant to symbolize man's desire to become closer to the spiritual and the divine. The tightly embraced nude figures convey a feeling of togetherness as they all make their way to salvation.

At the end of the park's 850-meter-long axis is a sundial, forged in 1930. This is followed the Wheel of Life, completed between 1933-34. It is essentially a wreath depicting four people and a baby floating in harmony. It symbolizes eternity and suggests the Oslo park's overall theme, which is man's journey from cradle to grave.

Marvelous and powerful as these works are, not everyone has appreciated the sculptures. In March 2007, this park in Oslo was defaced when an anonymous person or persons affixed black strips of paper to every exposed nipple, crotch, and posterior on the park's sculptures. As always, there is no accounting for taste.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Impressive Features of Indoor Water Fountains

Indoor water fountains can really give a touch of elegance and grace to the all over decor of a room. Such fountains are very unique and stylish and can really impress all your guests and visitors. These days there are various designs and styles of fountains available in the market that have special features, sparking lights and are made of very good materials. They help in creating positive vibes and make the place look comfortable and pleasant. These days you will find them installed in many shops, malls, restaurants, offices, homes, health spas, clinics and gyms.

So, now let me tell you about the most unique features of indoor water fountains that can really add a magical touch of splendor and beauty to a place.

1. Glass and metal fountains
Various materials like glass, glass fiber, stone, marble, slate, metals, ceramic and copper are used to make fountains. One of the best is the glass and metal ones which give you a mirrored glass impression. You can even add your personalized logos to such fountains. They have a good lighting that mixes with the sound of splashing water to create a wonderful ambiance.

2. Handmade copper fountains
Copper is a very constructive metal that can create fountains in various impressive designs and styles. Such fountains are very popular these days because they have exquisite water sounds that can really mesmerize the people who visit your house or office.

3. Painted water fountains
They are usually made of copper and are hand painted by the designers. Such fountains mix the trickling of water with the beautiful colors and sparkling lights to create a mesmerizing impression. The designs are world class and you can easily obtain them in different styles and colors to match the decor of your room.

4. Bronze water fountains
Bronze is a metal which can help you to create various different things that it why it is used to create water fountain sculptures like dolphins, animals, mermaids and boats. The water flowing through such designs gives a soothing and pleasant look to the ambiance.

5. Custom made logo fountains
Logo fountain is a good way through which you can highlight your business name using bright lights and trickling water in the background. It is a very good way to create a good impression on guests and visitors, clients and staff members.

6. Stone water fountains
They are usually made of blue stone and are available in various stainless frames. They are best for indoor use as they can easily be installed and are maintenance free.

Well these are some of the best designs of indoor fountains available in the market which can really create a long lasting impression on your clients, visitors, friends and guests.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Aging Factor

It is well known that we affect our biology with our thoughts, outlook about life, beliefs, unresolved (karmic) issues and other similar mind-body-soul perspectives.

I believe that we have much more power to create our realities (and our bodies, our experiences, our relationships, our financial status, etc) than we give ourselves credit for.

I have been working with my second chakra since September 2008 attempting to achieve my ideal weight without having to diet or exercise (crazy, isn't it?) but I truly believe that one can change physically, mentally and emotionally... from the inside out.

The reason why I worked on the second chakra is because it is related to the sweetness of life and experiencing joy (so I felt there was a link between this energy centre and sugar-cravings).
The second chakra is also the centre of emotion and where all our fears are lodged.

These emotions are frozen in time: when you have had an experience, any emotion is registered in this centre and remains exactly as it was at the age when it was registered until it is revisited, relived, released, shifted, transmuted and healed (here I felt that there was a link between this energy centre and vulnerability of dis empowerment).

This chakra is also the centre of self-esteem and assimilation of food and digestion. Some of its metaphysical qualities are change, movement, health, family, tolerance and absorption of new ideas. Some of its qualities when it is out of balance are over-indulgence in food or sex, confusion and purposelessness, jealousy or envy and the desire to possess (here the links were very clear between this energy centre and outmoded thinking patterns that get frozen creating lack of movement and fear of change in our lives).

Finally, since the second chakra is located at the navel, which was once our umbilical cord (our attachment to our first physical home: our mother and the nurturing that she provided) it was easy to see how our food habits have so much more to do with nurturing and emotional need than sometimes purely physical maintenance.

Because of all these factors, I believe that food and nurturing can get confused. So when we really need to get healing we actually eat instead, hoping to fill that void created by the lack of integration of the memories, energies or emotions lodged in this centre. We don't understand why this void doesn't get filled by the food we eat and are pulled powerlessly to eating the wrong foods and/or overeating.

But what our body in its wisdom is actually doing is to match the vibration of this centre with the foodstuffs we are attracted to, because it is a Universal law that equal attracts equal. So my theory is that until we can shift the frequency of this chakra (e.g. healing it) we will be attracted hopelessly to the same foodstuff and in the same large quantities.

But these uncontrolled urges tend to create guilt in us because we perceive them as wrong, and so we get locked in a vicious circle of further lowering our already low vibration via self-judgment and self-blame, and which in turn creates low self-esteem. We are emotionally telling ourselves that we can't be trusted to be responsible to look after ourselves and we experience feelings of worthlessness because we don't have the appearance that would give us personal self-respect and pride.

And so we are continued to be drawn to those foodstuffs that we were trying to avoid in the first place... and in larger quantities or more often!

In "Acupressure for the Soul (Biological Spirituality & The Gifts of the Emotions)" by Nancy Fallon, PhD, it says that: "Not until a change occurs in the second energy centre simultaneously with a belief change, can the true powers of the emotions be awakened. When there is physical vibration in the second energy centre, such as crying, certain breathing techniques and gut-level yelling can bring about, then there is a cellular memory opening and re-programming can take place".

I am right in the middle of writing an Ebook relevant to this subject: "The Liberation Diet: Staying Young, Healthy and Beautiful from the Inside Out". This is not just going to be merely a compilation of thoughts but it is going to be a research of real-life case studies: I want to prove, once and for all, that yo-yo dieting doesn't work and that if we work with our psyches, we are more likely to find balanced eating patterns and habits than if we expect some external factor to do it for us. I believe we must take responsibility for our growth, and our physical body is just one part of this reality.

I have been away from home (Spain) for 21 years. I go back on holidays from time to time and when I visit, my mum always tells me about this person and that person and what is going on in their lives. One thing that has caught my attention over the years is that I always get shocked as I notice that someone who during my previous visit was healthy and sound, seemingly age overnight. Whether they are in their 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's, it is amazing to see how one person seems to look the same for many years, just to seemingly overnight... look 10 or 15 years older! The way they look, the way they walk... seem to show a vast reduction of liveliness or life energy. Sometimes my mum can tell me whether they may have had an illness to explain such drastic deterioration, but other times, and these are the ones who really catch my eye, they can only explain this as normal aging.

But I have a fighting spirit and I don't accept anything at face value, so when something is highlighted to me so clearly, it is time for me to investigate. In this case, this led me to researching aging factors linked to what I call personal energy management.

However, I am one of these people who can't diet: I feel depressed when I attempt to diet; life is not worth living when I try to diet! Because normally dieting requires forcing yourself to eat in a different pattern and different foodstuff than your body naturally guides you to do. If you would like to eat differently, then I believe you need to shift the energy of your body so dieting becomes not-necessary, your body guiding you to the higher-vibration foodstuff that matches your new level of growth... and the best news, this would happen effortlessly! You would be able to maintain your new body-weight permanently without focusing on calories count or amount of grams of fat ingested.

This is why I started to investigate loosing weight the spiritual way: from the inside out, and the theory I came up with is that we put weight on when we move on in life but do not deal with unresolved emotional issues.

As we have seen by Nancy Fallon's quote, the chakra affected is the second chakra. It is situated just below the navel. You can see why the majority of people over 20 have a small (or a big!) so-called spare tyre! Who doesn't have any unresolved emotional issues from childhood or even... from previous karmic lives?

After a few years of struggling with food-cravings and sugar highs-and-lows, I gave up and accepted that the new me was a larger, more lethargic, less energetic, more dormant person. I put it down to normal ageing and, had I not done something about it, I would be one of these people who put on about 10 extra kgs every decade (becoming one or two sizes larger), who when looking at their pictures of younger days would think to themselves: wasn't I thin then?

I was living in the UK at the time. Mario and I had been about 7 years together when I heard Spirit's voice: "Pack up and leave. You are going to South Africa".

As usual, I heed the call. As we turned our lives upside down in order to leave behind 17 years of personal history, I came to South Africa and the first thing that happened to me is that I was dying to cleanse my body! So I started to eat fruit and yoghurt smoothies for lunch, soup for dinner, herbal teas during the day. Within 3 months I was... 54 kgs! I made my body lighter and then it was time for a baby, so my new vibration was happily matching that of my baby of light, hence I had an effortless and problem free pregnancy as our energies were in harmony.

In her "Power Nutrition" article, Annette Colby PhD tells us:
"How did we get so afraid of feelings? After all, emotions, including the so called negative ones, are a natural part of being human. Everyone experiences them - each and every day. Yet some people cope with difficult emotions by repressing them. It becomes an automatic habit to sweep unpleasant feelings under the rug and to stop consciously noticing what the body is feeling. Emotional eating can in part be the consequence of not allowing feelings to flow naturally [...] Eating, or starving, can serve as a temporary antidote to the feelings of sadness, depression, hurt, anger, self-hate, guilt, stress, boredom, and so on.

For some, the act of not eating all day serves to numb awareness of the physical body and emotions. Limiting food intake can create a false sense of being 'in control' and can lead to a feeling of calmness. For others over-eating, binge eating, or bulimia work more effectively to create a momentary solution. These behaviors can briefly calm, distract, and sometimes divert attention away from the original emotion. Food itself, especially carbohydrates, can release powerful chemical and hormonal responses which create a sense of temporary well-being. Any of these eating patterns can work by reducing tension and anxiety, suppressing feelings you can't stand, removing your attention from an uncomfortable situation, and so on"

Annette Colby continues to explain that we become emotional hostages when we hold down emotions "usually as an attempt to protect ourselves from feeling pain. It is coping strategy designed to keep us safe. Somewhere along the line an unconscious decision was made to avoid conflict, deny our feelings, and be strong by handling things ourselves. Eventually, it became such a way of life, that there is now fear associated with letting feelings flow".

She says that suppressing emotions may be a copying mechanism but it comes with a price. These emotions that are felt to be deadly or scary, that have been locked up and kept under control, give us a feeling of fear of the unexpected: what would happen if I actually faced these emotions? Would I die? Would they kill me?

Well, maybe yes. The old you would certainly die. And although only the ego would die, this very skilful part of psyche has made us believe that its death means the death of the whole person. So only when we decide to face the void and are willing, or able (over a period of time, as it takes time to open up to hidden feelings) to jump into the nothingness of the new person we will become we can liberate ourselves.

Annette says "At first, it may feel like a flood of emotion, but as the pressure of unexpressed emotions releases, you will feel lighter. You will not cry forever. The anger will not keep on exploding forever. The pain will not go on forever. Learning to gently and compassionately be with what you are feeling allows healing to occur".

I don't think the majority of the people have the tools to deal with this kind of healing by themselves. They normally will need help. I underwent numerous healing sessions of many different kinds, workshops, training and psychic development; I studied for a very long time (still am) the many different hidden realms of the soul and since it is my passion, I will continue to do so for as long as I can. This paper is one of my many attempts to do so.


When people see me for the first time, they usually tell me that they think I am in my early 30's.
I feel that I have done such intense spiritual work for the last 14 years of my life that somehow, I have undone some of the ageing that came to me with my karmic load of my early 30's.

Remember I was mentioning at the beginning of this writing that some people seem to age unexpectedly at some time between their 30's and 70's? Or that it happens regularly, in stages, once every decade? Remember I was talking about going up a couple of clothing sizes each decade but accepting this as a normal happening that comes with aging?

I noticed that in my early 30's, steadily but inexorably, I put weight on; I didn't have as much energy as when I was younger; I became less flexible in my thinking and didn't seem to get so excited about things in life as I did before.

There are many other ways in which this lessening of energy takes place. I am sure many of you have also noticed this; perhaps all these factors creep up slowly and one day their accumulated effect shows itself seemingly overnight as a deterioration of our energy system or in physical terms, ageing.

This time I intend to cut this karmic download in the bud and deal with it before it is manifested as normal ageing processes and take this opportunity to shift myself to the next level of energy. I am no longer prepared to be a person who will go up one or two sizes every decade and decide that it is normal, accept it as unavoidable and feel heavier and more restricted as life goes on, until one good day, one is referred to as an old person, a person whose world shrinks physically, emotionally, mentally, while you make yourself as comfortable as possible while you await to die.

All those years that I couldn't diet or let go of foodstuff that wasn't compatible with me, now I realised that I was using food as a cushion, as comfort. Within the period of a month, my body has willingly let go of several eating habits that were bothering me for the hold they had on me: eating biscuits in the afternoons and eating milk chocolate... they were the habit of a lifetime!

I have also let go of eating carbohydrates during the day and eat only fruit and herbal teas. In the past I would have felt hungry, depressed and sorry for myself, but now I find this practice empowering because I feel that the scale is tipping on the side of managing my energy. Truly the physical part of the spiritual work is the hardest!

What I am trying to say is that when you force yourself to change your diet or do exercise in a desperate attempt to hold back ageing or merely lose weight, if the issues that underlie these tendencies of putting weight on and / or having less physical energy are not dealt with, one requires to use more and more of one's will in order to keep all this at bay and, sooner or later, a challenge or a test will come by in order to force you to deal with these hidden issues.

And it is very likely that at some stage one will give up exercise and dieting done this way because it simply can't be kept up as it will become a strain and a stress instead of the joy of a body following its energy blueprint of health and youth. This is why I resist the urge to join a gym or do a diet: I rather work on the emotional underlying issues in order to get my body to willingly and joyfully guide me towards the dietary changes and exercise routines that best suit it, according to how I shift and transmute heavy, negative energy into more positive, lighter, youthful energy.

The proof of the pudding will be if by the time I am 53, will I still look and feel 32?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In admiring Memory of PARSA

Music video in loving memory of PARSA .Pictures of Bronze Statues in Fountain Hills Arizona. Music Paint the Sky with Stars.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Royals Win

It was a hot Sunday afternoon in the 90's as the hometown Kansas City Royals hosted the Minnesota Twins. The Royals beat the Twins 5 to 4 in 12 innings! The Royals tied it up at 4 late in the game, sending it into extra innings, and eventually won it in the 12th inning when struggling Tony Pena Jr. came thru with 2 clutch hits, the 2nd one being the game winner! Joakim Soria pitched scoreless 8th and 9th inning, recording 4 strikeouts. Mark Teahen came away with 3 hits, while the Royals prevented the many Twins fans in attendance from celebrating a sweep series. Put those brooms away!! Royals Win!!! Enjoy the Royals Waterfountain Spectacular, the New Jumbo Tron, George Brett's bronze statue, and the rest of the ballpark scene! "Hot dog anyone!?"


Monday, August 9, 2010

Fountain Pen Nibs - Which Nib is Right For You?

There a variety of Fountain pen nib sizes and types available. We have taken the guess-work out of choosing which nib is best for you by explaining the different sizes and materials available below.

Nib Sizes

Firstly there are many different nib widths available for a fountain pen. Below is a brief description of some of the more popular sizes to help you make the right choice.

Extra Fine (EF) For small/thin, precise handwriting. Not very flexible and can be occasionally a bit scratchy on the less expensive ranges of fountain pen. This however is not usually the case on more expensive pens or gold nib pens as the nibs are produced to a very high standard.

Fine (F) Also good for small, precise handwriting. Not very flexible. A good choice for someone with a heavier hand as a fine nib will withstand a bit more pressure and won't feather(the name given when a nib pulls apart and leaves a wide ink trail) as much.

Medium (M) The preferred choice for most people. This size nib produces a medium size line with greater ink flow for quicker, easier writing and the nib is slightly more flexible.

Broad (B) Suitable for assertive, large handwriting. Not a good choice for children.

Left Hand (LH) The best choice for the left hander. The point of the nib is designed in a different way to create a stress free and most importantly, a non-splatter writing experience.

Calligraphy 1.1 (small edge) 1.5 (medium edge) 1.9 (large edge)

Gold Nib Or Steel Nib?

Fountain pen nibs can be made from 14-Kt/18-Kt Gold or Stainless Steel. Below is an overview of the benefits of each of these materials to help you make your choice.

Stainless steel: Mainly for everyday use. Hard wearing and available on the lower budget pen ranges. Steel nibs however do come on the more expensive ranges of fountain pen and are usually produced to a very high standard. A steel nib is ideal for anyone who uses a hard or heavy hand when writing or is used to using a ballpoint pen applying the same pressure when writing.

Gold Plated: Stainless steel with a gold plate. These steel nibs are usually gold plated to match the appointments on a pen. Eg: gold plated clips, gold rings, gold caps. These nibs have all of the benefits of the above with an added luxury factor.

Gold: Gold or platinum plated/gold (white gold in colour). Typically these nibs are made from 14-Kt or 18-Kt gold and are always hallmarked. Gold nibs are softer and more flexible than stainless steel nibs and are generally more expensive. A gold nib however will shape/wear to your personal style of writing making it much more personal to you and providing a good reason not to let anyone borrow your favourite fountain pen! A gold nib is well worth investing in if you want something a little bit special and something that will last you a lifetime.

Looking after your nib...

It is always important to remember to clean your fountain pen nib from time to time to avoid it clogging up with dried ink. The best way is to simply run it under cold/warm water or leave it overnight in a cup of water (nib section only). If you generally use black ink in your pen then this is more important as black ink tends to dry in the nib more quickly.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Examining Outdoor Fireplaces - 3 Different Types and Which One is Right For You

While there are three distinct categories of outdoor fireplaces to choose from: gas, wood, and fire pits, they all have similarities as well. All three are outdoor models and are easy to assemble, which means that you won't need professional help or expensive tools and supplies to include one in your outdoor space. Most outdoor units are shipped in several pieces and take less than an hour to install.

Examining The Benefits Of Fire Pits

Fire pits are ideal choices for yards and patios with limited space, or for individuals with active lifestyles. Gas fire pits offer the same ambience and warmth of a traditional outdoor unit without the nuisance. They can be placed on the ground, on wood decks and patios, or smaller styles are perfect on a tabletop. They come with lava rocks, tumbled glass or ceramic logs to complete your genuine fire pit experience. Not only are they easy to operate and require little maintenance, but they also maintain their pleasing appearance year after year.

As great as gas fire pits are, it is hard to beat the allure of a real wood fire pit. They are as portable as their gas counterparts and can be enjoyed year round. Wood fire pits are available in many styles and are constructed from bronze, stainless steel, or cast iron. Accents such as copper, stone, and tile are also available on many models. Unlike gas fire pits, however, wood fire pits do require maintenance. Owners need to take care of burnt materials to prevent embers and soot from being spread across the patio and lawn. This problem is easily solved by keeping the fire pit clear of debris, by placing it in a low traffic spot, and by keeping it away from windy areas.

Wood And Charcoal Flexibility

A wood or charcoal burning outdoor model is a perfect addition to large lawns or patios. Outdoor fireplaces, unlike their fire pit counterparts, should be placed on a level area that has a concrete or other non-combustible surface. While fire pits are not designed for cooking, outdoor fireplaces can be purchased with charcoal or wood burning grilling features to complement their fireplace ambiance. This option is especially welcome for individuals who enjoy entertaining their friends and family on weekends or summer evenings with an appealing barbeque and a heartwarming fire afterwards.

Wood and charcoal burning fireplaces are constructed from a variety of materials that include stone and reinforced concrete mixtures and come in a wide range of designs. Each manufacturer has their own unique designs, and one of these will surely fit in with individual budgets and tastes. One manufacturer constructs easy-to-install units that have a double-walled construction of steel-reinforced concrete and quartz and is virtually maintenance free. All one needs to do is hose the unit down at the end of the season. Another maker offers easy-to-install units that come with a sandy finish and an aged concrete appearance. These models are designed for wood burning and include a grate and spark arrestor. A third producer offers a wide variety of large outdoor fireplaces that are constructed from heat-dissipating stone and come in eight different colors.

Hassle-Free Gas Fireplaces Provide The Perfect Atmosphere

Hectic lifestyles often leave people with little time to indulge in the fireplace experience. However, a gas outdoor fireplace is the perfect choice for individuals who enjoy the outdoor fire effect but do not have the time to allot for lighting and extinguishing a traditional fireplace. Constructed of stainless steel, they require no venting and can be installed almost anywhere. Versatility is one of the foremost features of outdoor gas fireplaces. Liquid propane or natural gas can be used as fuel. These units provide up to 40,000 BTUs that will provide the desired warm atmosphere without taking a bite out of your time. Another timesaving option is a tabletop fire bowl. It is quick and easy to assemble and uses clean burning technology, so there is no smoke and no ash. Made of a fire retardant magnesium composite and steel frame, this unit produces 12,000 BTUs and comes with a gas flow control. Lava rocks are included, which gives the flames their realistic appearance.

There are many options for people with a variety of lifestyles and needs. Knowing your area restrictions and time restraints will help you decide which type of outdoor unit is the perfect fit.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Creating an Appealing Atmosphere by Using Custom Fountains

Custom fountains are being used widely in commercial establishments to promote brand value by making their fountains unique and one-of-a-kind. Fountains are visually extremely appealing and their musical sounds can calm and sooth us. This is one of the reasons why people are using them extensively to bring life to their indoor and outdoor spaces. Some people are hard to please as they consider most of the fountains as run-of-the-mill and unattractive. Instead of compromising, they can opt for custom fountains.

Exquisite Custom Water Fountains

When you decide to customize a fountain you get the chance to create something that you like and one that will be utterly unique. Most manufacturers offer to create fountains as per the desire of the clients. The first thing that you need to consider is the size and the type of fountain you wish to custom build. Will you be using it outdoors or indoors? Will you opt for a wall mounted fountain, a table top fountain or floor fountain or a large garden pond fountain?

The manufacturers will offer you a variety of materials with which they will create the custom fountains. You can select from materials such as ceramic, fiber glass, clear glass, rippled glass, stained glass, colored glass, stone, steel, marble, slate, copper, bronze, wood, bamboo etc. if you are unsure about the kind of material that will be suitable, just ask the manufacturer to recommend it after stating the type and design of the fountain you have in mind. Make sure that your fountain suits the design of the room in which it will be placed. Most often they will let you see the various kinds of designs that they have created in order to help you customize your fountain. You may select any one of them and make variations or if you are creative enough, you can create an original piece of art from the scratch. If you wish to make your office more attractive but lack space, you can always opt for a customized table top fountain. Many people use such fountains in their bedrooms and living rooms as they love to listen to the lulling sounds of flowing water.

You can create the right ambience in the room that you wish to place the fountain in. You can use a fountain that has pictures of woods in a misty mountain with a waterfall or you can create underwater world art with brilliant and vibrant colors that will make your restaurant or dentist's clinic more appealing and relaxing. You can also opt to use a corporate logo which can be engraved, etched, masked etc. Make sure that you opt for an auto fill and drain system; it will keep your pump safe as the water level will be well-maintained. You can sit down with the manufacturers of the custom fountains and discuss the kind of lighting effects that you would like to have. They will use the exact kind of lighting that will make your space look ethereal in the nights too. Customize your fountains and bring home a beautiful work of art.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Garden Fountain - Create Magic Outside House

Garden fountain, if you manage to select the right one, can work as the single-best garden landscaping idea, adding charm to your entire house. If this outdoor garden fountain is eye-catching, you need not do anything else for the landscaping, in case you are working on a tight budget. Just set up this fountain, and play around with some cheap lighting ideas surrounding it, and that's it. Your water garden fountain will surely earn you respect in the neighborhood. So, read on how you can create magic in your garden.

Choose Your Water Garden Fountain

If you start looking out, you will find plenty of outdoor garden fountains displayed stylishly amid beautiful landscaping in the shops. There are these floor fountains, tabletop fountains, as well as backyard fountains. You could also choose an attractive statue fountain made of stone, ceramic, bronze, fiberglass, concrete, resin, wood, or copper, depending on the surroundings of your house and your choice. The best buy nowadays are these solar water fountains. Although there is limited choice in this category, since it is fresh arrival, it is worth the price.

Permanent And Temporary Fountains

Before you decide on a particular make or design, figure out whether you want the fountain permanently or on a temporary basis. For those seeking long term landscaping solutions, heavy garden fountains made of concrete, bronze, or stone are a good option, since they will last forever. While for those who like to change the décor of their house often, lightweight outdoor garden fountains could serve the purpose. They could choose fountains made of acrylic resin that give expensive sandstone feel at a lower cost.

Landscaping The Outdoor Fountain

Lighting alone is enough to set your garden fountain on fire. Light the pond from inside, highlighting the fountain statue, to create a spectacular look. You can also use lighting to enhance the appearance of a beautiful tree. You can light the garden from within or from outside, just get all the electrical know-how to ensure that the area is safe, especially if you have children in the house. It is advisable that before you decide upon the lights for your fountain - you check their effects first using a strong flashlight or spotlight. Focus on simplicity and nuance, and refrain from overdoing anything that could make your garden look like an amusement park.

There are various types of lights for garden fountains, each one with its own special effect, based on how you place it; keep in mind that almost all designs need lights with dark and subdued cases. Avoid chromium steel and white casings, since they can be garish, especially in the daylight. You can also look at installing timers in the lights, to automatically switch them on and off. These timers will not only save you the task of running to the plug-point to switch the lights on and off, but also save substantial amount of power units. So, what keeping you waiting? Rush to your nearest fountain store, to get one and give your garden that makeover.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Emily Poelstra Wins Bronze and Gold Medals for Fountain Valley Skating Club, Oct. 09

Emily Poelstra of the Fountain Valley Skating Club wins a Bronze Medal in the Elementary B Glide Waltz, and a Gold Medal in the Juvenile Special Solo dance at the October 2009 skating competition at the Holiday Skate Center in Orange, CA.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Norway Oslo Vigeland Park

Vigeland Sculpture Park is a part of Frogner Park, located in Oslo, Norway, 3 km northwest of the city centre. The park covers 80 acres (320000 m2) and features 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland. Vigeland personally sculpted every figure out of clay and individual craftsmen were contracted to fabricate the pieces into what they are today. These works of art reside along an 850 meter-long axis divided into six sections: The Main Gate, The Bridge, The Childrens Playground, The Fountain, The Monolith Plateau and the Wheel of Life.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Immortalizing Bronze as Your Garden Decor

Bronze for long had been used to adorn human body and noble palaces. And since man by nature is creative, he found bronze's place even in the most sophisticated to the simplest of gardens.

Bronze garden decor such as fountains and other adornments are great (and more commonly used) as effective focal points. We find them greeting us often whenever we visit a garden or they stand at corners to display emotions. Such sensations that are communicated through them may be solitude, peace, loveliness or nature. Perhaps you are seeking for ways to express your embedded emotions in a subtle way, you may try conveying them by means of bronze garden décor.

And since bronze was not primarily made to endure harsh elements from nature itself, it is wise that anyone who owns a piece or two should be informed of the ways by which the lifespan of the item can be prolonged.

The first step to bronze preservation is to understand, eliminate and if not, minimize the risks against damage. The latter stages cover the maintenance. And since the subject is much too broad to be briefed into this article, we have cut the article into two parts- the first part being the information on what cause bronze damage and second, prevention of damage aggregation.

Instead of having you labor in seeking means of bronze preservation, we already have gathered them here for you. So please read on...

Tradition has revealed us that patina, a certain form of corrosion, has been aesthetically valued among bronze lovers. Often, chemical substances are even rubbed on the bronze surface to taint it with a pale green to dark brown. Others have it done naturally. However, anyone must be aware of the potential damage of the patina on the bronze item.

Inappropriate storage, poor handling and corrosion are three major causes of bronze damage. Since bronze is a copper alloy, it is most likely to be more repellant to corrosion as compared to other materials but only if properly taken cared of.

As we have already noted earlier, corrosion may be a healthy cycle but may also work otherwise.

What is safe corrosion?

If by all means, you can keep your uncoated bronze dry and safe from harsh elements, you are assured of one stable item. However, this seldom works. But with stable surfaces, it would be likely that you find green to blue, black to brown or reddish taint on the bronze which are oftentimes referred to as tarnish. Brown and black tarnishes are the end results of the natural process. This may accumulate thickly and will provide external covering for the bronze garden décor. To copy this natural component for protection, some people apply patinas that appears in different colors. All of which work as an added protection for the material.

What is problem corrosion?
Bronze disease (not a medical one, obviously) is a condition by which the bronze item is suffering from green powdery stuff that grows on the bronze surface. This may not be a serious case (one that must incur serious alarm) if the corrosion layer does not easily flake off.

Meanwhile, another type of such condition is characterized by the appearance of whitish, waxy green powder that forms in the cavities of the surface. This is a positive indication of advanced active erosion, which if left untreated may cause the eventual loss of metal.

All these may be attributed to the incorporation of moisture into the deeper layers of the bronze garden décor. Varnish and lacquer may prove great ways to avoid total corrosion. However, they may only provide protection in a limited number of years. Coating must never be lost, and so maintenance is important.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Solar Fountains - Adding Beauty the "Greener" Way

It is stated that a conscious and concentrated effort from the part of the people can result in pulling down the level of carbon emissions to approximately 1.2 billion tons annually by the year 2030. This call for the introduction of energy efficiency measures and a switch to more renewable energy technologies to carry our world towards a cleaner and greener future. One promoter, which in its own way is attempting to make a small contribution to this event, is the solar fountain. It makes use of the solar energy to power itself at a cost lower than what it would cost to power using electricity. With the sun shining in plenty in summer, it does not cost anything other than the initial cost for investment.

The solar fountains can be placed anywhere, irrespective of the presence of direct sunlight. If the fountain is in the shade, place the solar panels under the sun. A solar fountain with the batteries can store the harnessed energy, which can be later utilized to power it in the absence of the sun.

The immense varieties of fountain available can be made to blend with the background. From classic to contemporary designs, it turns any yard, terrace, garden or a deck soothing and relaxing. The solar fountain can be made from terracotta, mosaic, ceramic, aged bronze, steel, copper or even fiberglass enjoying lighter weight, besides offering ease of cleaning. The huge choice of colors and designs suit any type of décor and environment. Today there are many models that can easily convert a normal AC electric powered water fountain into a solar fountain. A solar fountain kit can come with fountain pumps, replacement pumps, battery and its replacement packs, solar oxygenator and much more depending on the money you are willing to part for its installment.

There are floating solar fountains that are ideal in a pool, which can add beauty and fun to the whole experience. For a large outdoor pond or garden, one can go for a bigger, terraced fountain. Similarly, depending on the theme of the garden, you can make the pick of the solar fountain adding to its splendor. If you plan to go for a landscaping with fountain meant to attract the birds you will have to channel your direction to solar birdbath fountains. But take pains to clean it often with non-toxic cleaners to maintain it fresh and uncontaminated.

The constant water movement creates bubbles and keeps it oxygenated making it an ideal environment for the growth of fish and water plants. The negative ions generated by the falling water are known to augment the growth of the plants and add to the blooming of flowers making the whole environment alluring.

The photovoltaic cells in the solar fountain store the solar energy that can be utilized for lighting the fountain in the evenings. This nature-friendly way of beautification has been proved to offer respite to the tense and stressed human mind at the end of a day with its soothing rhythm and soft lights. Solar fountains are an inexpensive addition to your outdoor environments that you will enjoy for years to come.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wall Clock - Only in Your Dreams

It was a very wintry morning in the upper Midwest. The night before it had snowed about 8 inches of the white powdery stuff. It's 6:00AM and I'm out in my driveway shoveling the snow to clear the way for my car.

It took me about 2 hours to complete the snow removal job around the outside of my home. And like always, I shovel off the snow around my retired neighbor's house. Agnes is 78 years old and she just doesn't have the strength to handle the snow removal anymore. She always invited me in (after I shovel around her house) for a cup of hot coco.

Well this day was no different than the past. When I finished shoveling around Agnes's house, she stuck her head out the front door and invited me in. You know, hot coco always tastes best after a good workout in the winter snow.

During my visit with Agnes, she said that she had a wall clock in her living room that stopped running. She said that the batteries must have gone dead. So we both went into the living room and sure enough, the large wall clock in the living room was not running. I proceeded to remove the clock from the wall and changed the batteries with batteries Agnes had already bought. She was so pleased that the clock on her living room wall is now running again.

Next thing you know, my cell phone is ringing. It's my mother. She said that she had a dentist appointment and that when she went to start her car, the car would not start. I told her I would come over to her house and give her a ride to the dentist. When I got over to my mother's house, we had no time to spare, so we got in my car and drove off to her dentist appointment.

It was on the way to the dentist, my mother mentioned that the clock in her kitchen was not working. I told my mother that when we got back to her house, I would check to see if the batteries are dead and replace them if they are dead. When I mentioned batteries, my mother said that it would also be a good idea to pick up some new batteries at the hardware store on the way home from the dentist. She also said it would be a good idea to change the batteries in all her smoke and gas detectors. I said that I would do all the battery changing when we get back to her house. This put a smile on her face.

By the time I got home it was 4:00PM. I took my shoes off, put on my comfy slippers, put on the late afternoon news on my TV and sat down in my recliner to watch the news.

This is when it all started. I must have fallen asleep immediately. The adventure I went through in my dream had everything to do with what went on earlier in the day.

My dream started out with me shoveling snow in front of a retail store. I was on the sidewalk in front of the store clearing away the snow. The good part is that I was almost finished clearing the snow from in front of the store. This storefront sidewalk had to be as long as big city block. I'm feeling beat, as though I was shoveling snow for several hours in front of the store. A good feeling has come over me, knowing that my snow shoveling job has finally come to an end.

As I'm standing outside in front of the store, I look up to the front outside wall of the store and a big lighted sign reads "WALL CLOCKS MAMMOTH MART." I'm thinking to myself, "Where am I?"

My curiosity overwhelming me, I decide to go into the store and have a look. Well let me tell you that this is the largest store I have ever seen. It would probably take 5 to 10 minutes to walk from the front of this store to the back. This is how large this store is.

The second thing I notice, after the store size, are wall clocks. Walking down the main isle, I'm thinking that there must be every type of wall clock in the universe on display here. This is amazing!

There was a display for every type of wall clock imaginable. These displays seemed to be set up in random order. As I slowly walked from the front of the store to the back I saw wall clock styles such as Country, Children's, Novelty, Antiqued, Kitchen, Cuckoo, Modern/Contemporary, Rustic/Lodge, Retro, Traditional, Whimsical, Old World, Sports/Collegiate, Neon and the list went on and on and on...

On display along with the style of each wall clock was a sample of the different types of finishes these wall clocks came in such as Brass, Wrought Iron, Medium Wood, Dark Wood, Light Wood, Black, White, Silver/Chrome, Multi-Colored, Rattan/Wood, Blues, Bronze, Greens, Brass-Antique/Satin, Pewter, Stainless Steel and this list of finishes also went on and on and on...

As if this wasn't enough information for each wall clock display to provide, each display also provided samples of available features some of these wall clocks offered, such as Day Clock, Musical, Atomic Clock, World Clock, Single Chime Clock, Dual Chime Clock, Triple Chime Clock, Gallery Clock, Weather Clock, Neon Clock, Picture Frame Clock and With Pendulum. Like I said about style and finish, this list also went on and on and on...

There were themed wall clocks such as Animal, Educational, Floral, Food and Drink, Holiday, Retro, Scenic, Sports/Cars and Tropical/Nautical. There were clock types such as Indoor Clock, Outdoor Clock and Indoor/Outdoor Clock. There were clock number types such as Roman Numerals, Arabic/Standard and No Numbers. There were samples of display types such as Analog and Digital, not to mention sample of shapes such as Rectangular, Round, Square and Novelty Shapes.

I'm telling you, these wall clocks come in sizes from small to as large as 7 feet in diameter, for those who are interested in a wall clock in the size of their choosing.

By the time I reached the back of the store I was well educated in Wall Clocks. I was amazed at what was available to choose from when it came to these wall hanging time pieces. I thought to myself that not only do these wall clocks supply me with the time of day, along with other optional features, these wall clocks provide an artful and elegant touch to the room in which they hang.

And then all of a sudden as if it was the top of the hour all the chiming, musical, cuckoo, bell and electronic clocks rang out in one tremendous alarm. This woke me up as I jumped from my recliner. I realized I was only dreaming about this humongous wall clock store. I thought to myself what a wonderfully strange dream.

My afterthoughts of my dream were me thinking, "Is there really a store of that size dedicated to wall clocks?" After pondering over that thought for a few minutes, I came to the conclusion that the only place you could find the variety and selection of the wall clocks in my dream, would be to shop online.

If a new wall clock is in your future, don't just dream about it, go online and see all the endless options awaiting you.