Archive for March, 2008

Toys to Sew

Toys to Sew: Dozens of Patterns for Dolls, Animals, Doll Clothes, and Accessories by Claire Garland

I was thinking of getting this book from Amazon.com for my doll making experiment. I have yet to make my first stuffed animal or little girl doll yet. I was hoping to make some as gifts for my little nieces.  I have all the materials and maybe 2 books (both found at the used bookstores) on this subject already. The 1st used book was already $10, but I was able to do a trade of my older books. So it was a good deal. But this book is just too cute to pass up at $13.57 too!

And the libraries in our area don’t seem to carry newer books like this, all they have are Prairie design doll books.

Expert Village has instructions on how to make stuff animal dolls here. How to Make a Stuffed Animal by Karen Weisman.

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Tropical Fruits Gallery

Ian Maguire resides in Homestead, Florida and works with Florida State University. I first found about his great fruit photographs back in 2002. I can’t believe it’s been almost 6 years later and I’m still salivating over these delicious photos of tropical fruits. You can view them at http://www.ianmaguire.com

The one pictured below is of the sopadilla (or mamey sapote) and is just one of my most favorite tropical fruits. In Thai they are called “makok”. They are super sweet and taste much like a cross between pears, guavas, and lychees. The taste is heavenly. And I’ve only had them either frozen or canned imported from Thailand. One day I will go to the source and spend hours just eating them! That would be a dream come true. Thanks Ian for taking these great photos and for letting us all see your work (online) at least. Keep it up!

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Tropical Fruit Tree Nursery

I have just discovered a new exotic fruit nursery here in California, but more in the southern part. This has got to be the best news yet, as I thought I would have to go all the way to Florida to find these trees. I have already composed my dream list of tropical fruit trees for my future orchard. Many of these might not grow in our colder northern Cal weather, but it’s OK to dream a little every now and then. I really look forward to making a trip to this place in the summer.

Photo of the Cherimoy fruit tree from Papaya Tree Nursery in Granada Hills, Ca. It’s just outside of LA, near Simi Valley. 332 mi – about 5 hours 12 mins from the SF bay area. But they only allow visitors by appointment between 8am – 5pm. I bet the prices of these trees could be really expensive.

The best thing about fruits is not that they taste great, but they are full of vitamins and nutrients. I will take any fruit over a candy bar. Harvesting time of sweet and ripen fruits are the best thing in life. Yummy!

My dream tropical tree list include; acerola or Barbados cherry, cherimoya, guava, pitahaya, giant loquats, and much more! Just check out the gallery at http://www.papayatreenursery.com/gallery/main.php

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Benefits of Rooibos (Red) Tea

My latest obsession with tea is now rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) tea. It is also called Red Bush tea, red tea, or to the Japanese “long life tea.” The one I am drinking now is from Good Earth out of Santa Cruz, California. Another one is from Bushbabies, organic red tea with Honey Bush. The Good Earth is great, the is much sweeter and a little spicer then my usual black or green tea. And Bushbabies tasted awful, more like drinking bark (despite the addition of Honey Bush).  But I did manage to drink them with a little help of real honey.

I wanted to try a different tea since reading about how drinking too much green or black tea could result in the loss of iron. Not to mention kidney stones too. Yet adding a slice of lemon is recommended while drinking green tea can counteract the effect of iron loss. But it’s not easy for me to have lemon juice around. Especially when I’m away from the kitchen.

The many benefits of Rea tea include and ability to soothe the body’s reaction to allergy and rashes. You can can put the tea bag under your eyes or apply to your face. Red tea also contains anti-spasmodic agents which can relieve stomach pains. Many in Asia believe it has an anti-aging effect, just like green tea. Rooibos tea is naturally caffeine free. So it’s great for pregnant women and children. I usually like to drink at least 3 cups of green tea a day. But I’ve been switching between fruity herbal tea, white peony tea, and now to the Red tea.

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Shop Less, Live More

There are some commercials that are just great and fun to watch, while others are just so bad. And I’m not talking about the bad locally produced commercials (usually for a car dealership). I mean the bad ones made by major companies. I always wonder what could be more worse than loud car commercials? Until I saw Macy’s new commercial, where celebrities gather. They all come out trying to sell (market) their stuff to the regular folks. I mean they have all the fame and fortune, yet they are out scheming of ways to make more money. No wonder I haven’t shop at Macy’s for a good 10 years now. And so glad as well.

It makes sense for celebrities to sell perfume or other beauty products, since they are all about image anyway. But for them to slap their names on anything and sell it in shops is just absurd. I just don’t know who would fall for such ads. I know I won’t purchase something just because some celebrity puts their name on it. Martha just puts her name on kitchenware and linens and expects people to trust it just by using her name. Wow, have people come this far just to be so behind in their thinking? From what I know aboutMartha, she had a product line for Kmart too. And one of her glass patio table scattered into tiny (unsafe) pieces and she has yet to reimburse the people who have bought the table. That is not very good business or a good thing (to do to your fans and customers).

In the meantime, while the rest of America lags behind in what has become known as a recession, these commercials will not make you a richer or happier in your life. So please people, don’t just buy senseless items just so they can be thrown away later.

And when I see that Macy’s commercial, I just switch channel or stop watching TV right away. I don’t know what’s worse, seeing Jessica Simpson look so plastic or the idea that shopping at Macy’s will bring us happiness. People need to go outside more and realize that a walk in the woods is probably all they need. Go outside, feel the sun on your face, listen to the birds in the trees, and consume less and do your part to help preserve the beautiful planet we live in.

“Macy’s wouldn’t comment on the cost of the new campaign. TNS Media Intelligence said Macy’s total ad spending in 2006 was $1.09 billion, with $187.1 million for TV.” -ABC news, Macy’s Seeks Celebrity Power for Its Fall Advertising Campaign

Photo credit: Charlotte’s in Ontario

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Audrey & Bambi

Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite actress of all time. Her grace, beauty, and charm is somewhat of a fading memory for many actors of modern Hollywood. She is one of a kind.  And here is my most favorite picture of her and one of her (rescued) pets.

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