How To Remove Rust From Japanese Tea Pots

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Japanese teapot tetsubin has greatly evolved. It originated as a vessel used centuries ago to heat water for tea and now is also used to provide warmth and humidity in every home during the winter or even all year round. With its amazing aesthetic and functionality, modern tetsubins now come in variety of style, design and sizes.

Japanese cast iron teapots are known for rugged durability. However, under certain circumstances, the cast iron can begin to rust. You see, apart from the usual care that you give to your utensils, cast iron teapots will demand more attention to ensure that you don’t get an overdose of rust.

Here are some tips to try to remove rust from cast iron:

Vinegar and Water Solution. A mixture of water and white vinegar is a good cleaning solution. With a little elbow grease this 50-50 vinegar and water mixture can remove the rust in your tetsubin. For tough rust, it may be a good idea to use baking soda as an abrasive. First, scrub the area with baking soda then add the vinegar and water solution.

Potato Method. Often when you research for home remedies for removing rust the idea of using a potato is often mentioned. Actually, there is no property that makes the potato any more useful than a scrub brush. Slice a potato and dip it in baking soda, or vinegar. One great thing about potatoes is that they are handy and available.

Olive Oil and Finely Grained Salt. Another great mixture for removing rust from your Japanese cast iron teapots is the olive oil and finely grained salt solution. Such combination is a good rubbing solution for the treatment of external rust on your cast iron teapots. However, the mixture has to be gently rubbed on to the affected area so that the teapot’s finish will not be scratched.

Remember, after you are done with using your cast iron teapot, clean and dry it up. Do not let tea or water to sit in your teapot for a long period of time. Cleaning is as simple as pouring out the remaining contents and showering it with water inside. Then invert the teapot and let it dry.

And that’s it. Caring for your precious teaware is really that easy. With proper knowledge on how to remove rust, your Japanese tetsubin teapot can definitely last for couple more generations if not a lifetime.

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Source by Josh Angelo

Jamie Nelson, Talented Photographer

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I was able to grab an interview with Jamie Nelson the photographer published in popular magazines Zink, Linie De Luxe, Plaza, and Highlights. Her work is also shown in art galleries across the globe.

I was absolutely in love with her pictures the first time I glanced upon them.

She uses bold color and graphics that really pop out at the viewer. Vivid is a great word to describe her art, and yes it is much more art than fashion, it's the kind of pictures you would hang up on a wall to enjoy daily.

Her work is very distinct as quoted by Anti-mag "Well, I dare say she is pushing the envelope in that genre of photography and she's doing it very well." Another great article at

http://www.anti-mag.com/jamienelson.htm

I hope you enjoy the article as much as I do.

What are your inspirations?

Jamie: I have never been very inspired by other photographers. I have always drawn inspiration from life experiences and my deep urges to share my passion and vision with people.
I am mostly inspired on the day of the shoot when the entire creative team pulls together to create.
I am inspired by the chaos of shoot days and the beauty of the final result that is created by several artists.

When did you realize you wanted to do what you're currently doing and when did you begin?

Jamie: I was in my senior year of high school, getting ready to apply to Stanford for the pre-med program.
Ha ha, thank god that did not happen!
I took an art class and fell in love with photography and completely changed my direction.

What are your favorite items to use in your art?

Jamie: I enjoy bold, colorful clothing that makes a graphic statement and transforms the model.
However, laately I have been obsessed with shooting beauty and cosmetics.
In the same sense, I am inspired by bold, colorful makeup that creates graphical statements on the model and transforms her.

Do you have any favorite products or equipment you use when creating your art?

Jamie: I really do not like to stress importance on equipment.
It has never been about what type of equipment I use.
I was always the poor kid in school with the junkiest camera.
Everyone likes to ask this question, but really, there is no special magic equipment in my opinion.

Are you a part of any artist communities online or offline?

Jamie: My favorite online community lately has been http://www.iqons.com .
There are some really amazing talents on there.

Do you have a favorite piece that you have photographed?

Jamie: I enjoy shooting with taxidermy animals for some reason.
It was a phase I went through for awhile.

They have been frozen in time with their one last movement or action in life.
They are still, quiet, yet bold. They seem to be an overall metaphor for my imagination.
I would like my models & imagery to hold the same tranquility and timelessness.

What themes do you have in your art?

Jamie: The work tends to be bold- whether colorful or colorless, there is always an element of boldness.
Each image is glossy and perfected, even if the content is rough, raw, or grungy.
I carry a lot of vintage aesthetic into each image- a juxtaposition of several eras of time that inspire me.

Do you see yourself moving in any new directions?

Jamie: I see myself moving into the commercial field quickly.
After I gain success in advertising campaigns, and top magazines, I'd love to be able to settle down a bit and focus on going back in the fine art direction.

Where can people view and or buy your work?

Jamie: My work is usually featured in internationally distributed magazines carried at Barnes & Nobles and Border's. Although some are obscure foreign magazines that may be difficult to find.
I also am doing more art shows locally and internationally. The most current will be one in Rome in May.

What experiences or training has helped you grow as an artist?

Jamie: There are so many elements that have assisted my growth over the years.
School was very important to develop the technical aspect of my photography.
Having a solid team of other creatives around me as really made the artistic vision and flow easier to perfect.

Shooting consistently and practicing always teachers me something new.
When shoots go horribly wrong, I love it and get excited- I always learn so much from those ones!

Did you attend School or take any classes to get started?

Jamie: Yes, I went to Brooks Institute of Photography in CA for 4 years.
I also took an art class in High School, which initially piqued my interest for photography.

What advice would you give to beginner photographers?

Jamie: Develop your own style. Stay true to it. Try to get your work out to as many people as possible.
Be persistent. Be willing to make sacrifices for what you want

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Source by Leah Oviedo

Are You Results Or Technique-Oriented? Life Mastery and a Lesson From the Art of the Ninja!

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What do you focus on when you are trying to accomplish a goal? Do you focus on the goal and the results that you're trying to achieve, or do you concentrate on the way you go about doing it happen?

These are important questions, especially of you're looking to be able to accomplish your goals in getting the things you want in your life with the least amount of wear-and-tear in the process. This article, while written from the perspective of the ancient ninja warriors of South-central Japan, sheds light on the secret of goal-attainment that, when you understand it and can make it work for you …

… will give you the power, confidence, and control to create the life you've always dreamed of living, and – in the case of my Ninja students – the skills necessary to protect that life from anything that might threaten it!

So, the question remains …

Are you a results-oriented person. Or, are you a technique-oriented person?

Do you understand the difference?

As a means to help you see the difference, here's an example from the art of Ninjutsu.

Imagine a mountain. A very high mountain – not one of these rolling hills that many people in areas with no "real" mountains call as such!

Think Rockies, Himalayas, or Andes. Make it a giant mountain!

Now, being results oriented means that you focus on being on top of that mountain. On the other hand, being technique-oriented means that you concentrate on exactly "how" you'll climb the mountain.

One perspective starts with the end in mind – the other knows that if they do everything right, that they'll get there. "

Two views – same end in mind.

And, while you may choose one over the other, the Ninja sees that both are right and necessary in the grand scheme of things. But, he also understands that …

It's not JUST a mountain!

The ninja is a results-oriented person. However; instead of just going through the mental exercise of visualizing himself atop the mountain without the wherewithal or skill to make it happen – nothing but "pie-in-the-sky" dreaming – the Ninja follows up with the development of a plan which, in and of itself, will determine what skills will be necessary.

The plan begins with seeing the mountain for what it is – a unique object with many "faces." Some areas of it are smooth and almost vertical – others gradually sloping upwards. And, while each my save time, effort, or resources – the ninja also must recognize another factor often overlooked in the typical method of goal-setting used by the masses.

And that factor is – time!

I have students contacting me every day from around the world. And, every day I have students filling my classes to learn how to become a master warrior – a Ninja.

And yet, when I ask them how long they've been training, what they want to get out of the art, or what they need to work on …

… most have only vague ideas or no clue at all!

And, for those students who do have an idea – who have thought about what they're doing and why …

When asked when asked how long they have to achieve the goal or develop the skill, their answer is usually …

… as long as it takes.

Of course it will be … "As long as it takes!"

What I mean is … "how long do you have?" Or, "how long do you want it to take?"

The technique-oriented person can identify the exact skills that need but still take forever to get what they need and have bunch of skill-sets that means nothing when related to one another.

The results-oriented person, on the other hand, knows what they want to achieve and why they want that "thing," but can be clue-less as to how they are going to achieve it or never take any action to get anywhere!

The answer lies not in either extreme, for dreams and goals (results-orientation) without a plan and the action to accomplish it is mere idle-theory and daydream living. And, having a ton of techniques and skills just for the sake of having them is idle wheel-spinning with no direction other than to "have skills."

The ninja warrior-wizard understands the secret that lies in the potential between both realms – that you must have the clarity and purpose born of knowing where you want to be and why, and the skills necessary to accomplish that aim …

… not just in the most efficient way possible, with the least amount of wear-and-tear on yourself. But also …

… in the quickest way possible so as to begin enjoying the benefits of your accomplishment!

In the words of one of my meditation teachers …

"Stop spending your life as a human 'doing.' And start living it as a human 'being.' "

Get where you want to be, and live the life that will allow you to do what you want to do.

Because, anything less is a waste!

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Source by Jeffrey Miller

Factors to Consider Before Painting Your Home

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Are you planning to paint your home? Whether you’re planning to paint the interior, exterior, or both, it’s important to consider several factors. Typically you’ll need to repaint your home’s interior or exterior every three or four years. Before you actually start the house painting process, here are some important issues to consider:

1. A company’s reliability

Before choosing a particular painting company, it’s important to shop around for a reliable one. There are several factors to consider. How long has the company been operating? How many complaints have past customers filed against it? Does the company have its own painters, or does it hire contractors? Is the company fully licensed, bonded, and insured? These are all important issues to consider before choosing a reliable painting company. Another effective step is to get personal and professional referrals, which will help to weed out companies that are unreliable or unscrupulous. Taking all of these steps will help you to choose a company that’s as trustworthy as possible.

2. The amount of time needed

When performing any house painting, the amount of time needed to do the painting will depend on several different factors. Are you painting the interior or exterior of your home? What are the temperature and humidity of the interior of a room, or the exterior or a house? How much ventilation is there? Are you using an oil or latex paint? Painting interiors of homes will generally be logistically easier, since you won’t need to climb high ladders. On the other hand, you should still account for the time needed to cover or remove items in a room that’s being painted. After considering all of these above factors, make sure to provide extra time for the painting job, and particularly if you need your house’s interior or exterior painted by a deadline.

3. The color you’re going to use

Along with issues such as which painting company to use, this is one of the most important matters to consider. Which color should you choose for the interior or exterior of your home? Before selecting one, it’s crucial to consider several issues in order to make the best choice. What is the color scheme you want to maintain? What is the color of a room’s existing decor? What is the “feeling” that you want a house’s exterior, or a room’s interior to make? You should definitely consider using a color wheel to determine which Primary, Secondary, and Complementary colors you want to mix and match.

4. The cost of the painting job

“How much is this going to cost me?” It’s definitely a valid question to ask before doing any type of home improvement, such as house painting. When hiring a painting company to paint the interior or exterior of your home, several factors will determine the total price tag. How experienced are the painters of the painting company you choose? Which grade of paint will be used for the house painting? Are you painting your home’s interior, exterior, or both? These are all factors that will impact the cost of painting your home.

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Source by Alex Soares

‘Legend of Samarra’ Haunts Iraq Terrorism

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‘Legend of Samarra’ Haunts Iraq Terrorism

An old legend tells of a Baghdad merchant who sent his servant to the market. Soon, the servant returned — white and trembling — and said to his master:

“At the market, the Angel of Death jostled me and gave me the Evil Eye. Please lend me your horse so that I may flee to Samarra where Death will not find me.”

The merchant lent the horse but went to the market and saw Death standing there. He asked, “Why did you give my servant the Evil Eye?”

“That was not an Evil Eye,” said Death. “It was a look of surprise, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra!”

* * *

The tale is ancient, perhaps dating to founding of Samarra as the capital of a Persian province in 836AD — sixty years after riots in Baghdad. As another old saying goes: “There’s nothing new under the Sun.”

The Great Mosque built there in 852 – featuring a 160-foot, spiral minaret – has survived numerous wars. Not so fortunate was the golden domed Al-Askareyya Shrine built in 874 as burial sites for two, revered, Shiite Imams.

Sunni Muslims are the majority in Samarra. They and the Shiites don’t like each other very much. It’s an intractable, centuries-old thing.

Thus, things got out of hand a month ago when insurgent, foreign terrorists bombed the Golden Dome. It occurred at the start of the most holy Shiite season.

Iraqi and Iranian Muslims on pilgrimage were beginning to stream in. Ten’s of thousands incensed Shiites – led by Shiite militia of firebrand cleric Mogtada al-Sadr – retaliated.

In the sectarian bloodshed that followed, more than 800 people were killed, and hundreds more injured. Hysterical, liberal American media came unglued. “Civil War!”

Baloney. Civil wars are fought for political differences.

The political differences of Iraqi’s Shiite, Sunni and Kurds were resolved courageously last year in all three provinces by democratic elections, a constitution and a parliamentary governing body.

Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most respected cleric, forbade retaliation on Sunni mosques and called for calm. The young al-Sadr finally reined in his militia and dampened Shiite ardor.

Both religious leaders understand that Iraq is embroiled in a global, religious schism led by a minority of fanatic Wahhabist Muslims.

Islam is affected everywhere – Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Iran, France, Spain, Denmark, Afghanistan, India, Indochina, Philippines – and don’t forget U.S.A.

Wahhabists terrorists are more intent on killing mainline Muslims than they are Americans and Jews – though the difference is difficult to differentiate.

It is not happenstance that mainline Muslims are the main targets in their market places, mosques and work locations. Defenseless women and children are favorite victims. Wahabbists, you see, are inherent cowards who wear masks and prey on civilians.

* * *

The radical Sheik al-Sadr — leader of the majority Muslins persecuted by Saddam — is playing a dangerous game. He sleeps with Iranian Shiites and rants against Americans forces that freed all Iraqi Muslims from a tyrant and are replacing Iraq’s decrepit public facilities.

With friends like Sadr, who needs enemies?

In this epoch struggle, we and our coalition allies have lost many brave soldiers — and spent billions of dollars — in the cause of freedom and tolerance.

In furtherance of this noble goal, a task force of 800 American and 650 new-Iraqi soldiers launched a major strike against foreign, Wahhabist terrorists in Samarra last Thursday.

Ironically, Iraq’s new parliament was being sworn in as the Samarra assault began. The 275 recently elected representatives had not yet chosen a speaker or cabinet officers. By Arabic custom, the oldest member presided over the historic swearing in of democratically elected – and constitionally guided – leaders.

At this writing, the Samarra assault dubbed “Operation Swarmer” continues. Forty suspected terrorists were captured on the first day and six stashes of improvised explosives destroyed.

Inasmuch as Wahhabist assassins hide behind women’s skirts, innocent Muslims will become “collateral damage.” War is hell. Terrorism is that plus genocide.

Thus, we have to cope with the moral of the Legend of Samarra – you cannot run nor hide from Death.

March 19, 2006

Click here to see this article on Lindsey Williams’s website

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Source by Lindsey Williams

How to Print on Ceramics Using Two Ceramic Printing Techniques

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Printing your own images, pictures, designs or text onto ceramics is easier than you might believe. This article will demonstrate two popular techniques that you can use at home to transfer images onto ceramic surfaces like plates, mugs and tiles for instance.

Method 1 – Using waterslide papers to print designs onto ceramics

This is one of the easiest craft projects you will ever do and professional looking results can be expected on your first attempt.

1 – Purchase some waterslide decal paper. If your ceramic surface is white or a light colour, choose the clear waterslide decal paper. Alternatively, if your ceramic surface is dark in colour, go for the white waterslide decal paper. Decal papers are available for both inkjet and laser printers and work differently. I shall explain the differences later in this article. A pack of 5 A4 sheets is enough to print pictures onto around 20 ceramic mugs or maybe 10 plates.

2- Open up your picture or type your text into Microsoft word or your photo editing software like Photoshop. You will need to size your work according to your ceramic surface, so for a mug printing project, you would use the top left quarter of your page and print out a test on a regular piece of paper and maybe even cut that out and place onto the mug to ensure that you are happy with the size.

3 – Load your decal paper into your printer so that your print lands onto the papers shiny side. This is the coated side of the paper that is effectively an extremely thin film that slides off the papers backing when water is applied later in the production process.

4 – Take your printed picture or text and either cut it out now or if you have filled your A4 sheet of decal paper with pictures, leave it as one piece as it will make the next stage easier.

5 – If you have purchased inkjet waterslide decal paper, you will also require some clear varnish for the next stage as you will now start to apply the varnish to your image. Ensure that you have either waited at least 30 minutes or have used a hair dryer on your print to ensure that it has dried.

6 – Apply 2 to 3 quick, even sprays of varnish over your image, separated by around 10 minutes. Do not use too much as this can harden your decal, making it awkward to apply to a curved surface. Apply to little though and you risk leaving a tiny area or two for water to engage your print, leading to an ink smudge. That said though, do not over concern yourself with applying the varnish as ceramic printing using this technique is very forgiving and following the instructions will provide great results.

7 – Cut your image out close to the edges and place into some water. You can use your fingers to hold the paper under the water and also to keep it flat as it will automatically have a tendency to curl up when it hits the water. Again, don’t worry if it does this as you can easily flatten it out again whilst under the water with your fingers.

8 – After around 30 seconds the paper backing will suddenly become loose and easy to slide off. Do not slide it off though yet. Remove the ceramic decal from the water and slide off 1 centimetre. Apply the 1 cm of film that you have slide off directly onto your ceramic surface, then slide the rest of the paper backing away, leaving you with your printed film directly on the ceramic surface. Gently feather away the water under the decal with your fingers taking care at this stage not to tear it.

9 – The decal starts to harden almost immediately and once dry you can place it in an oven for a further 10 minutes at 110c.

10 – Applying another coat of clear varnish will add extra protection to your project. Waterslide decal papers provide an excellent finish for decorative purposes. Hand wash any ceramic projects that you complete and avoid placing finished work like ceramic cups and plates into dishwashers.

The difference between inkjet and laser waterslide decal paper

The two decal papers are similar and produce the same desired results, the main difference being that clear acrylic spray / clear varnish is not required when using laser waterslide decal paper. You effectively skip steps 5 and 6 above. After you have completed your ceramic project using laser waterslide paper, you can of course apply some clear varnish for additional protection and durability.

Method 2 – Using ceramic paint to apply your own designs to ceramics

If you have some artistic flair or just want to give ceramic painting a go, start by getting yourself a few basics like some suitable ceramic paint and brushes. Pebeo and Liquitex are the two leading brands for ceramic paint and brush sizes 1 and 2 round and ¼” flat would be suitable for painting small ceramic tiles for instance.

Start by washing your ceramic surface with soap and water, dry and start by drawing your design onto the ceramic in pencil. Unwanted pencil marks can be removed using water or painted over. Choose your colours and squeeze into your palette. Ceramic printing paint goes a long way but can also dry quickly so bear this in mind when starting and have an idea of your colour scheme before you begin.

To mix a colour, apply the lighter colour to the palette first so if you wanted a grey colour, you would apply some white into your palette before adding a small amount of dark colour until you reach the ideal grey. Keep all of your mixed colours in case you require them later for finishing touches.

Start with your lighter colours first and apply one colour at a time. Put a small amount of paint into your palette but take a modest amount on your round brush and paint evenly along the ceramics natural flow. Ceramic paint dries quickly allowing you to add another coat quite quickly if required.

Use a liner brush (thin brush) for detailed edges. Lighter colours can be painted over when you come to painting with the darker colours so don’t panic if you go over the edges.

Continue to work with the lightest colours through to the darkest colours last and finally any black colour last.

Ceramic paint will dry with a slightly raised surface in around 3 hours and completely dry in 48 hours. Your finished work will be scratch resistant and can be gently hand washed in cold water. As with the decal paper, do not place finished ceramic work into the dishwasher.

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Source by Kareem Sherazi Naiyar

Wassily Kandinsky and His Many Styles

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Wassily Kandinsky is the artist responsible for painting the first strictly abstract works. Born in Moscow on December 16, 1866, Mr. Kandinsky grew up in Odessa before enrolling in the University of Moscow. He chose to study economics and law and was very successful in these fields. He was even offered a professorship at the University of Dorpat, but began painting when he turned 30.

Anatomy, life-drawing and sketching were his three painting studies. When he started painting he chose to move to Munich where he studied at Anton Azbe’s private school before moving to the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1914. Wassily Kandinsky wasn’t happy with the official art theories in Moscow so he chose to return to Germany in 1921 where he taught art and architecture. When the Bauhaus school of art closed in 1933, Kandinsky emigrated to France and became a citizen in 1939. He lived there until his death five years later.

Wassily Kandinsky always loved art. In later years, he would remember being stimulated by and fascinated with color when a child. This love of psychology and colour symbolism continued as he grew and he studied folk art of the region. These influences show up in his early works. He was also influenced by the works of Richard Wagner and H.P. Blavatsky. Blavatsky was a proponent of theosophy which believes that creation is a geometrical progression. This is seen by a descending series of triangles, circles and squares. In addition, he was visually influenced by John Varley and his illustrations.

In Kandinsky’s early works, one will also see elements of pointillism as well as Fauvism. He uses a flat, luminescent surface for depth of field and color as an expression of subject matter rather than objective nature. Most of these paintings featured towns and landscapes rather than human figures. The most notable exceptions were Riding Couple and Sunday, Old Russia. Intentional disjunction, seen in The Blue Rider, also delineates Kandinsky’s early works. Here the viewer participates in creating the artwork. This style was a forerunner of his later works.

Wassily Kandinsky later moved to the use of geometrical figures in his works. This is unlike the suprematism and constructivism movements which were popular at the time. When he moved to Paris, he was even more isolated from the general art world. He continued to paint abstracts while others were focused on cubism and impressionism. In his latter years, he combined elements seen in his previous works. His two last major works used this technique and were simply called Composition IX and Composition X. With so many techniques used over his lifetime, you may find you love some pieces while disliking others. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

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Source by Brent Tan

Brief Account of Life and Work of Shahnawaz Zaidi

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Shahnawaz Zaidi is one of the talented and well-known artists of Pakistan. He was born on 24th May 1948. His parents migrated from India, Muzafarnagar, and Uttar Pradesh to Mandibahaudin near Gujarat, Pakistan. Zaidi was the fifth of eleven siblings. Till class five he was not allowed to go to school but studied from a tutor at home, after that he was sent to a corporation school from where he did his matriculation. In 1962 his family shifted to Lahore, here he got admission in pre-medical in Islamia College. In 1964 he joined Punjab University and in 1968 he completed his masters in Designing. In September 1969 he participated in a graduating student’s exhibition of graphic design at Punjab University and in the same year he began as a lecturer there.

In 1971, he married one his class mates, who was a painter. After completing his masters Shahnawaz was appointed to Punjab University where he taught for five years then in 1974, he was appointed as Lecturer in Nairobi, Kenya. After one year he got promoted and became head of the department. He spent eight years in Kenya but then decided to come back to Pakistan, in 1982. Here he opened an advertising agency and worked there for two years. Since 1984 he has been an associate professor and later principal of Department of Fine Arts and remained at this institution until his retirement May 2008, he became the principal three times, first in March 1990 and remained for nine years till 1999, then for the second time in the same year October 1999 till 2002 and then after two years in February 2004 till May 2008. Now he is working as an adviser in Comsats Institute, Lahore. He was awarded “Tamgha-e-Imtiaz” in 1998.

Zaidi has been interested in painting and drawing since childhood. His eldest sister Arjumand Shaheen was also interested in art and she was a fine arts student at Lahore College for Women (University). Zaidi use to copy her drawings. During his matriculation period he was punished for making a drawing on this mathematics copy, which was the first “recognition” he received for his art. When he enrolled in graduate school he was very much interested in painting, but at that time Anna Molka Ahmed was the head of the art department at Punjab University and she refused to give him admission in painting, instead she offered him admission in design which he took despite of his real interest in painting. There was a competition of designing that Zaidi participated in and won first prize; soon after this he became interested in designing.

In 1984 when Zaidi joined Punjab University as a senior lecturer he started painting professionally. Before this he uses to paint occasionally. He was highly inspired by Anna Molka as she was among the first painters of Pakistan who painted in every genre. Zaidi did paintings of imaginary personalities, but he was mostly interested in portraits. His earliest achievements were the portraits of Ibn-e-Sina and many other portraits of historical personalities like Umar Khayam, Al- Razi, Al-Ghazzali and Quaid-e-Azam. All these are now displayed in Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Lahore on the second and third floors. All these portraits are in Flemish style with dark background and dramatic light which emphasize on the character. Those parts that are away from the face are painted with less detail. Thick over thin paint is applied with bold, curved and confined brush strokes.

Like the Italian Renaissance painters, Zaidi worked in all fields of art. His different works show different moods and influences. When he paints female figures he seems to be inspired by the French Impressionists. He also painted cultural scenes that can be called group portraits. Zaidi had worked in many mediums like water colors, pastels and oil. He also did some watercolors and Chinese brush technique and subjects. Zaidi participated in thirty-five national and regional exhibitions in Pakistan and abroad and one solo show in 1996/7, of portraits in Al-Hamra. He did commissioned portraits one of which is of Dr. Junaid Vice Chancellor of Comsats institute where Zaidi is now an advisor.

As Zaidi was inspired by Anna Molka Ahmed, his work somehow relates to her in terms of theme and technique. Both of these artists liked to paint social themes. Anna Molka used palette knife as her medium and Zaidi also used this medium not as a whole but he used it in some parts of his paintings and he also has done some portraits completely with palette knife. He was more inspired with Anna Molka because during those times when art just started flourishing she was the only lady who worked in every genre, with such a bold medium and in bright colors.

In addition to his painting Zaidi was very much interested in poetry. He translated the poems of Abinranath Tagor, which was rewarded a Noble Prize. He wrote a few books of poetry for example “Aiana Dar” and “Gita bijli”. Aiana Dar presents a variety of themes where colors of nature, truth of human relations and reality of the modern world seemed mingling up in various forms. Thus not only his paintings but his poetry also revolves around the social issues in our everyday life.

According to Zaidi “He is a painter basically and art teaching is his profession. Music and poetry are his affections.”

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Source by Fariha Rashid

Yubinuki – Japanese Thimbles

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I once read somewhere, that many things involved in Japanese life and culture have an aesthetic component to it. I too truly believe this. It is important to remember and not simply take for granted the beauty that surrounds us; particularly the things that Nature herself provides us in our environment, to be found and admired.

Even for man-made things, it’s almost a requirement that it needs to be made aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional. You can find the concept of aesthetics even in the simplest items of everyday life; items as simple as a thimble.

A thimble, in Japanese is call yubinuki. And, like most thimbles it is used to protect the fingers when sewing, whether is it something as thin as silk or as thick as denim.

Though they serve the same purpose of protection, in Japan, thimbles are used differently than their common fingertip thimbles of the West. Instead of being worn on the fingertip, Japanese thimbles are simple rings worn on the middle finger, between the first and second knuckle.

You see, the way we stitch in Japan is different from how you stitch here, in the West. We use a running stitch. It is called a running stitch because the needle stays in the fabric until it reaches the end of the stitching line. The needle is continuously pushed, using the thimble on your middle finger.

Guided into position using your fingers and fingertips, the needle is pushed through the layers with the yubinuki taking the “brunt” of the force. This helps prevent injury and irritation to the hands and fingers that would be caused by the eye of the needle. Having the thimble to help push also provides extra force to move it; which is much easier than continuously trying to grasp the tip of the needle to pull it.

Although the main purpose of wearing a thimble is practical, it is also a fashion statement of hand-stitching lovers. I always wear a leather thimble since Sashiko consists of simple running stitches. These leather thimbles are stretchable and also come in different colors.

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Source by Miho Takeuchi

Picture, Picture on the Wall – How Art Can Affect Your Feng Shui

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Every day we are influenced by what is around us… the words that are said, the smells we smell, the sights we take in. The goal of feng shui is to promote beauty, harmony, and aspiration, the raising of our sights toward lofty, noble, and worthwhile goals.

The poet Maya Angelou said that we must be careful about the words we speak because the words will “hang on the walls.” Of course, she is talking about what we do in the figurative sense. However it is also true of what we hang on our walls in the literal sense. That’s why it is important that we surround ourselves with uplifting sights.

Feng shui encourages the application of beautiful, sustaining images. Pictures and artwork of depressing subjects, violence, or pictures whose presence makes us sad or unhappy are not suitable or appropriate for the walls of our home. Instead, only those images that are inspiring, uplifting, and beautiful should be placed on the walls.

Fortunately, you can practice symbolic feng shui by the selection of certain images, such as people, happy occasions, beauty, wealth, or power. Particular pictures in feng shui have special meanings and can be used wherever you desire more interest. For instance, a poster or painting of a water fall is an excellent way to boost career feng shui — and income!

When you are looking to improve your feng shui, consider simply looking around. Then, see if the images you are looking at are saying what you want them to. If not, consider replacing those images with pictures that make a positive, uplifting statement. Check the tips below for more ideas of positive feng shui images.

1. Use beautiful water images for career or wealth help. When placed in the north sector of the home, living room, or office, these images can provide an immediate boost to the career. To boost career chi in the bedroom (or anywhere!) consider adding an image of a tortoise.

Images of waterfalls and lakes are also appropriate for the southeast wealth sector. For more career or wealth help, consider adding a picture of a ship sailing INTO your home or office. Ships are especially auspicious harbingers of coming wealth. Do consider adding a ship picture in the southwest, where it will help with relationships AND wealth because water is beneficial in the SW until 2023.

2. Gain recognition, friends, and beneficial relationships with images of happy people. Looking for more friends or a more active social life? Maybe even FAME? Pictures of happy occasions and happy people are EXCELLENT ways to bring more people into your life, as well as happier relationships, and greater social recognition. Pictures such as the ones below are excellent for enhancing your social status, both personally and professionally.

These can be hung in the south or southwest corners. Other good choices for the south and southwest are horses and birds. Horses hung in the southwest sector can offer a good chance of travel, so be prepared if you hang a picture of a horse here!

3. Receive help from mentors and influential people with images in the NW. To receive help from those in the position to offer you advancement in your career, studies, or life in general, you need to enhance your “Power People” sector. This is the NW corner of your home, living room, or office.

Images of international scenes such as the Eiffel tower, the tower of London, the pyramids of Giza, and other scenes are excellent for receiving help from all corners of the globe. Likewise, images of metal structures, circular images, and golden or metallic colors are all excellent choices.

Maps, pictures of maps, globes, etc. are all beneficial for the NW sector of your home, office, or living room. Because this is the “heaven” location, this is also a wonderful location for pictures and images of religious figures or deities, angels, or religious locations such as Jerusalem or Mecca. Grand people such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or world leaders are also wonderful choices for increasing Powerful People help.

Be sure to surround yourself with pictures of people or places that you aspire to and that inspire you. We must all have something that lifts us up and makes us want to achieve more and aim higher in our lives. Find a picture that symbolizes that FOR YOU.

4. Avoid depressing, negative, or violent images. Do you have images in your home that remind you of something sad, mean, violent, or failure? If so, these images are constantly reinforcing these negative messages. Look around and if you have any pictures or elements like this, consider replacing them. Otherwise, these images will continue to imbue your home with negative energy. Yes, even if your picture is considered “fine art”, it is not worth sacrificing the energy of your home for this investment in negativity.

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Source by Kathryn Weber