Napkin Folding & Origami

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Indeed what does origami have to do with napkin folding, restaurants and gourmet food?

The answer is presentation.

Long before this current season fashion trend which is looking East with its intricate fabric manipulations, the art of dressing …a table had made use of origami patterns and folds via its napkin folding. Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding with the aim of representing shapes using one piece of paper.

It is very likely that napkin folding originates from the art of Origami, The Victorian where enamoured with all things oriental and the first napkin foldind was recorded back to that period. It is easy to learn, you will only need to know a few folds, indeed there are only a few folds but they are used in many creative ways, you can start mastering napkin folding with this video

When I entertain, I am always on the look out for something which is going to make a difference and will be a talking point and this surely does, so I am ready with a few facts:

  • Napkins became a common sights in the 1800’s though napkins had been around since the middle ages, it was only at the end of the 19th century that napkins were folded into shapes to give the table a touch of elegance.

  • The collective word for all household linen including: tablecloths, napkins etc. is napery, I think the word sounds lovely and we should use bring it back into fashion

Though it is not advised to use the most common origami shape that of a crane or the pig for your napkins, you can definitely work them into fans or double fans, candles, diner jackets, roses or bishop hats . It is great fun, have a go.

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The Contemporaries: Travels in the 21st-Century Art World

The Contemporaries: Travels in the 21st-Century Art World

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It’s been nearly a century since Marcel Duchamp exhibited a urinal and called it art. Since then, painting has been declared dead several times over, and contemporary art has now expanded to include just about any object, action, or event: dance routines, slideshows, functional hair salons, seemingly random accretions of waste. In the meantime, being an artist has gone from a join-the-circus fantasy to a plausible vocation for scores of young people in America.

But why–and how and by whom–does all this art get made? How is it evaluated? And for what, if anything, will today’s artists be remembered? In The Contemporaries, Roger White, himself a young painter, serves as our spirited, skeptical guide through this diffuse creative world.

White takes us into the halls of the RISD graduate program, where students learn critical lessons that go far beyond how to apply paint to canvases. In New York, we meet the neophytes who assist established artists–and who walk the fine line between “assistance” and “making the art.” In Milwaukee, White trails a group of friends trying to create a viable scene where rent is cheap, but where the spotlight rarely shines. And he gives us an intimate perspective on three wildly different careers: that of Dana Schutz, an emerging star who is revitalizing painting; Mary Walling Blackburn, whose challenging art defies market forces; and Stephen Kaltenbach, a ’70s wunderkind who is back on the critical radar, perhaps in spite of his own willful obscurity.

From young artists trying to elbow their way in to those working hard at dropping out, White’s essential book offers a once-in-a-generation glimpse of the inner workings of the American art world at a moment of unparalleled ambition, uncertainty, and creative exuberance.



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Art Wall Japanese Ying and Yang Tree Gallery Wrapped Canvas by John Black, 30 by 48-Inch

Art Wall Japanese Ying and Yang Tree Gallery Wrapped Canvas by John Black, 30 by 48-Inch

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JB004-30×48-w Size: 30″ x 48″ Features: -Wrapped canvas reproduction of classic art.-Tri-brad 3D frames by Christophe patent pending.-Made in the USA.-14″ H x 18″ W x 2″ D, 4 lbs.-18″ H x 24″ W x 2″ D, 4 lbs.-24″ H x 32″ W x 2″ D, 5 lbs.-30″ H x 48″ W x 2″ D, 8 lbs.-36″ H x 48″ W x 2″ D, 11 lbs. Collection: -John Black collection.Artist: John Black
Title:Japanese Ying and Yang Tree
Type: Canvas Reproduction of Photography
Dimensions: 30×48
Reproduction is completely made in the USA; printed on high quality canvas and professionally hand-stretched/gallery wrapped
Title: Japanese Ying and Yang Tree



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Painting – Learn How to Visualize Your Painting For Greater Success

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Whilst planning your painting in minute detail may inhibit spontaneity and that sudden burst of creativity, a little forethought can go a long way to helping you create an inspirational painting to be proud of. Forward planning can in fact, enhance your work of art because you then know exactly what it is that you wish to paint, and this enables you to be able to conjure up the image at will.

Firstly, it is important to decide on your subject matter and the medium in which you wish to paint. For this example, we will imagine that it is a landscape painting and that our chosen medium is watercolors. Making these two choices are extremely important as you can then begin to plan exactly what you wish to paint and also, how it is going to look in your minds eye.

As landscape paintings are often painted with a specific scene in mind, how much better will it feel if you have visited the place yourself? This then ensures that the feelings and sensations that you will have absorbed through connecting with your environment will be so much more vivid when translating onto paper.

Remember that paintings evoke emotion from those who stop to gaze, and as you paint, you should be tapping into the emotion from deep within the sensations, emotions and beauty of the scenery must then be transferred onto paper.

By following these basic steps, it is possible to learn to visualize your completed painting and be able to paint instinctively:

1. Capture the essence of the scenery by way of sketching or by taking a photograph initially if you prefer.

2. Make a note of the colours that you wish to use and this means observing natures colours around you, after some practice it is easy to know which colours should be mixed to capture the required shades.

3. Become a part of the environment around you by not just observing, but by listening to the sounds, feeling the breeze if any, on your skin, notice the coloring of the sky or how the sun casts shadows around you. Then notice the mottled colours of the leaves and notice the shades.

4. Take time to consider the best viewpoint so that you would be able to draw the observers eye into the painting.

5. To ensure that you have captured your surroundings to memory, close your eyes and let the image come to mind. Visualize yourself looking at the scenery as if you were looking at the real setting.

Once you are happy that you have absorbed your surroundings and captured them to memory, prepare all of the relevant materials so that you are ready to start painting. Think about all of the relevant layers within the painting, remember that it must be three- dimensional, and it should evoke emotion in those who view it. By considering all of these points, you begin to train your perception of the world around you and take into account how to translate your view of the painting so that it is captured for all to see.

Technique and skill with watercolors come with practice, but taking the time initially to visualize your chosen subject can only help to increase your potential to bring your painting to life.

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Good Wedding Photography Sites Throughout Philadelphia

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For wedding photography, Philadelphia is probably the best city in the country. It’s urban, steeped in history and culture, filled with gardens and parks and dubbed the “city of love” for a reason. For five of the city’s best wedding photography locations, keep reading.

Longwood Gardens (longwoodgardens.org)

It’s hard to go wrong at Longwood Gardens, the grounds are massive, but also pristine and positively stunning. With water fountains, flowers and beautiful foliage, the Gardens make for an incredible backdrop setting for your Philadelphia wedding photos.

However, before you arrive at the Longwood gates with your wedding party, photographer and lights in tow, you should know the Gardens do allow photography, but there are policies you must follow. All attendees are required to pay the $16 entrance fee, and no tripods or lights can be used at any time. You may also be required to sign a permission form saying the photos are for personal, not commercial, use.

LOVE Park

What could be more romantic than photos taken under the infamous LOVE statue in Philadelphia’s Love Park? Officially, the park is named JFK Plaza, but is lovingly referred to as LOVE Park thanks to the infamous Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture overlooking the park in Philadelphia’s city center.

It’s free to take photos in LOVE Park, but be prepared to compete with other wedding parties, especially if you’re shooting on a busy June Saturday. To avoid disappointment, set aside some extra photography time in case you run into another wedding.

Bartram’s Garden

Bartram’s Gardens are the country’s oldest public gardens, and the setting is both romantic and idyllic. With its stone courtyard, historical buildings and beautiful garden setting – it’s a great spot for wedding photography. Philadelphia photographers should know the location well.

However, shooting at Bartram’s isn’t cheap or easy. Unless your wedding is already booked at the venue, you may have to reserve around a wedding. Regardless, you can expect to pay between $200 and $250 per hour for photographing at the space.

The Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

As the major focus of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is massive and a true landmark of the city. For those looking for a real taste of Philadelphia in their wedding photos, this could be it.

The steps are massive and high, while the eight pillars are a stunning backdrop. You may recognize the popular photo setting from the Rocky movies as the steps that Rocky Balboa climbed during his training. Keep in mind that wedding parties require a $50 per hour permit from the Fairmount Park Commission to shoot on the location.

Rittenhouse Square

Smack dab in the middle of Center City, Rittenhouse Square is both a convenient and beautiful spot for wedding pictures. Philadelphia residents will instantly recognize the urban park’s green setting and natural beauty. The best part? You don’t need a permit to shoot and you gain the attractiveness of the city at the same time.

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The Watercolor Flower Artist’s Bible: An Essential Reference for the Practicing Artist (Artist’s Bibles)

The Watercolor Flower Artist's Bible: An Essential Reference for the Practicing Artist (Artist's Bibles)

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This hardcover book with internal wire-o binding is 6.5in x 8in, a perfect size for readers to keep handy in the studio, and reference often. The stylish design of this book, along with the interior photographs, illustrations and diagrams, make the learning process simple and fun for beginning painters and provides useful tips for more advanced artists.This book is divided into three sections. In the first section, you will find practical advice on choosing the necessary tools and equiopment as well as hints on mixing colors?”one of the trickier skills to master until you have learned some of the basic properties of color. Next, the techniques used in watercolor painting are explained in detail, from the most basic like laying washes and reserving highlights to some of the more unusual and exciting methods like wax-resist or spattering paint. Tutorials and more than 100 step-by-step sequences demonstrate how to paint a wide range of subjects, including landscapes, buildings, people and still life. Over 180,000 copies sold worldwide.





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3 Figure Skating Off Ice Exercises To Improve Your On Ice Performance

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Figure skating is a sport that requires more than just grace and artistry. While most non-skaters don’t realize this, pulling off any technical element in skating requires a significant amount of strength and stamina. Awkward positions must be held for extended periods of time, and muscles that most people hardly ever use must be strong in order to execute the jumps, spins, and lifts that impresses the crowd and judges. All figure skaters, regardless of age or ability, should engage in a proper off-ice strength and conditioning program in order to give them the strength and stamina to execute elements, and also to help prevent injuries.

Note: Be sure to check with both your coach, your parents, and your physician before engaging in any off-ice exercise and conditioning program.

Figure skaters looking to build any sort of off-ice conditioning program need to look at their overall objectives in order to put together an overall off-ice program. I would like to suggest three exercises in particular that all off-ice programs should incorporate, and this is for all skaters, including pairs, dance, and freestylers.

1). Bicycle crunches. Like athletes in just about any sport, if a figure skater were to do absolutely nothing else off-ice except ONE thing, then it would have to involve core strength. Your core strength is what allows you to check out of jumps, center your spins, and maintain an erect posture in dance and step sequences. Try doing a twizzle or checking your rotation out of an Axel without core strength — it simply isn’t going to happen.

A study conducted at San Diego State University evaluated over a dozen different abdominal exercises for increasing core strength, and one stood out far and above the rest: The bicycle crunch. To do the bicycle crunch, lie on the floor with your abs engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor (you may have to rotate your pelvis under to achieve this). Put your hands beside your ears (DO NOT pull up on your neck!) and elevate your legs to about a 45 degree angle. Move your legs through a bicycle pedaling motion while simultaneously crunching up in a twisting motion and touching your elbow to your opposite knee.

2). Arabesque exercises. In the worlds of dance, gymnastics, and figure skating, the arabesque position is one of the most common positions you will need to learn to sustain. For figure skaters, this is particularly true when it comes to spirals and camel spins. An arabesque is represented most perfectly by the standard flat blade or edge spiral position of the pre-preliminary and preliminary Moves in the Field tests, with the skating leg held straight, the free leg at or above hip height, and the torso at a 90 degree angle to the skating leg.

To build your flexibility and stamina for holding the arabesque/spiral position, work on the following rotation, to be completed on each foot. Start by holding the arabesque position for one minute while supporting yourself with the wall, then another minute with your leg supported by a partner or half wall, then one minute on your own, then another minute with your arms on the wall again. Rest about 30 seconds between each position. These one minute intervals will be difficult at first, but will improve over time and greatly assist you, especially if you also do ballet or gymnastics.

3). Box jumps. For most spectators of our sports, it’s the jumps that draw the big rounds of applause. If you are a freestyle skater, your jumps are usually your most difficult technical element, and one of the things you spend the most of your training time working on perfecting. Fully rotating your jumps, particularly your doubles, triples and, if you can pull it off, a quad, requires an incredible ability to obtain “hang time” in the air. Getting “hang time” is mainly a matter of being able to vault yourself into the air with incredible power, which itself is a matter of shear strength.

Box jumps are one of the best ways to work on your jumping power and increase your time in the air. A basic box jump is completed by jumping onto an 18 to 24 inch tall wooden box with both feet from a standing position. Exploding up onto the box, and then exploding off the box and back to the ground is the most basic method for working on your jump power. Additional methods of box jumping include jumping up onto one box, then immediately onto another, higher, box, and then back to the ground. There are numerous variations of this exercise, all of which will improve your jumping ability.

These three exercises in and of themselves comprise the most basic off-ice training program possible. Of course, as with any athlete, eating right, getting enough sleep, and a basic cardio program are also of benefit to all skaters.

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A Marvellous Dutchman Netsuke of US$230.000,- !

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A netsuke (net-skeh) is a miniature sculpture developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years. The kimono, the traditional form of Japanese dress, had no pockets. Men suspended pouches (inro) on a silk cord from their sash (obi) . To stop the cord from slipping through the “obi”, a small toggle is attached. That small toggle is the “netsuke”.    

Dutchman 

The netsuke referred to in the headline of this article was auctioned at the German auctionhouse Lempertz on 27 November 2004. It was estimated at $60.000,- (Euro 40.000) but was hammered at a sensational US$230.000,- (Euro 154.000). This unusually large (H 5 2/5″) ivory netsuke of a standing Dutchman holding a dead hare over his shoulder which is attached to a gun, dated late 18th Century, stands out by two characteristics: the somewhat caricature-like facial features and elegant dress, as well as his occupation as a hunter whose bait is an indication of the “South Barbarian meat eaters”.     

Why US$230.000,-?  

The exraordinary hammer price of US$230.000,- for this specific piece can be explained by looking at its history, theme, craftmanship, condition and off course by its rarity. The object made its way over 100 years in famous netsuke collections, and was already publicized in 1895 by the Japonist art dealer Marcus B. Huish. The representation of the Westerner, especially that of the Dutchman in Japanese art (in woodblock prints and netsuke) is a much coveted subject. This because of the striking depiction by the Japanese artists of this “strange” people from another world giving the beholder a very insightful and comic explanation of the encounter of two very different cultures. The unknown creator, it is unsigned, of this particular netsuke had to be a masterful craftsman because of his magnificent eye for detail and its elegant look. The specific subject of the Dutchman is not uncommon but a quality piece in this condition in combination with its age is a very rare find.     

More examples

During the last decades there are more examples of highlights in prices concerning netsukes. On May 1990 at auctionhouse Sotheby’s in London a netsuke of a horse was hammered at US$260,000,- and through an anitques dealer at Oriental Treasures and Points West in Honolulu a netsuke representing a “Awabi Girl and Octopus” (like Hokusai’s famous “Dream of Fisherman’s Wife (Octopus)” shunga design!) was sold at approx. US$250,000.    

Themes  

Netsuke carvers mostly worked in a bounded area of subjects and themes such as scenes of daily life, animals, erotic encounters (shunga), the signs of the zodiac or subjects with a mythical background. Whatever its subject or theme netsuke is a very attractive and highly collectable art form and the interesting pieces will only continue to increase in value.  

Books  

One of the most referred books among netsuke collectors are Lazarnick’s ‘ The Signature Book of Netsuke’ and from the same author ‘Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures’. Both have been issued in limited editions, the first one in 500 copies and the latter in 876 copies. These books are unmissable for the serious netsuke collector. More recommended books on netsuke are ‘Netsuke: The Tokyo Meiko Kagami , Tokyo Living Masters List’ by Shingo Yamaguchi, ‘Netsuke: Fantasy and Reality in Japanese Miniature Sculpture’  by Joe Earle and ‘Expressions of Style: Netsuke as Art’ by Rosemary Bandini.  

Netsuke Organisations  

International Netsuke Society
International Netsuke Carvers’ Association           

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Source by Marijn Kruijff

Portfolio Canvas Decor Large Printed Canvas Wall Art Painting, 30 by 40-Inch, Fond Memory, Framed and Stretched Ready to Hang

Portfolio Canvas Decor Large Printed Canvas Wall Art Painting, 30 by 40-Inch, Fond Memory, Framed and Stretched Ready to Hang

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Portfolio Canvas Decor’s framed canvas art collection is constructed from the highest quality wood stretcher bars and canvas, printed with first-class giclee printing machines and is fully manufactured in the United States. With gallery wrapped edges measuring 1 1/2 Inch and the print continuing on the sides, this panel piece is sure to elicit design, style and fashion from any angle. The “Fond Memory” print is a beautiful natural tree landscape rendering, including shades of blue, red, green and yellow. This print is the perfect addition to any home decor project, providing gallery quality wall art sure to complete any room. Canvas print comes stretched, framed and ready to hang.Gallery wrapped sides 1 1/2 in thick, image continues around edges
Comes hand-stretched on wooden frame, ready to hang
High quality giclee print on canvas



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First Steps Towards a Happy Life As a Minimalist

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As I shy away from paying for Hulu and Netflix services, I have been further exploring what YouTube has to offer. It’s interesting what you find that you connect with when you are curating your own entertainment. One community or trend I’ve been into following is the tiny house and minimalism trends. I was raised by minimalists and have always been pretty subconsciously minimal, but now I want to wake up to more possibilities with it.

The first step is opening your eyes to things you consume and surround yourself with in the home. I think everyone has a few things that stand out as things we seem to collect, but not get our use out of. This may motivate us to part ways with these things, simply stop collecting more of it or make an effort to use what we’ve already collected. I’ve always been a fan of the buyerarchy of needs pyramid and would love to recreate it as a piece of art to hang in my home. The base of the pyramid, not unlike a food pyramid, is the healthier choices. From base to top, the buyerarchy is: use what you have, borrow, swap, thrift, make, and finally buy.

These are the things I noted that I collect and don’t get optimal use of.

Crafts

I am such a creative person. Crafting makes me feel good until my mind has created more things than I physically can keep up with and even storing my supplies has become a mess. This year I’ve decided to clear my palette. Once I’ve completed the crafts in queue, I will put all my creative energy into writing because it takes up little space and furthers my career!

Books

Books are another common consumption a new minimalist looks at first. I’m not THAT bad, but I’m a new mom who hasn’t had a chance to read regularly the books I’ve accumulated. Instead of using my credit card points on books as I usually do as a treat for myself, I’m going to read what I have and turn my points in for cash reward instead. If I’m interested in skimming a book on a topic on a whim, there are many free and inexpensive books offered on Google Play.

Jewelry

Jewelry does not take up a lot of space, but it does encourage me to buy more clothes to match them. Some jewelry lovers might have great pieces that go with everything, but not me! Over the years I’ve made a small collection and I never wear them. It’s sad. If I can’t incorporate them more into my wardrobe, I am going to donate them and pair down to the most versatile and interchangeable pieces.

Clothes

With a changing body, pregnancy to postpartum, my wardrobe has expanded and not in a good way. Clothes I never would consider keeping have stayed; torn tank tops, ugly dresses, ill-fitting pants, and leggings and sweatpants with holes in them. All because I anticipate more change and also stretching and mistreating clothing until I’m finished breastfeeding. When I go into my abundant, yet organized closet, I try on several pieces before I’m satisfied with the fit, look, and quality of an outfit. To feel good with my current wardrobe, I will need to tighten the collection and cut the fat. Anything I am not absolutely sure I should toss will go into a Rubbermaid bin in another closet to be taken out and evaluated another season.

My Child’s Toys

After reading about Montessori methods, I understand the importance of not having too many toys so a child can work on focus and skills associated with one or few age appropriate toys. Since then I have been dispersing toys he grows out of and even toys that are age appropriate to his grandparent’s house or spread to different rooms. Being overwhelmed with toys only makes the child less focused on them and more on getting into whatever you are doing! It also contributes to a messy house and safety hazards, so I’m much more pleased when my son has 3 age appropriate toys in each room that I can sit down and show him how to use. It’s more peaceful for all of us.

What things do you have an overabundance of? Some other examples might be makeup, tools, movies, cords and remotes, canned food that never gets circulated or boxes “that might come in handy!”. What things are you consuming that can be cut from your budget to provide you a savings cushion or vacation? Some of these things might include coffee and lunch purchased outside the home, eating out in general and Hulu/Netflix/Cable. Perhaps you buy so much of something that you DO use that you can purchase it in bulk to save money and save our planet from excess waste of packaging! Exploring doable minimalist practices can only help you, your family and your planet. What are you waiting for?

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Source by Ivy Brooks