Archive for June, 2008

Beautiful Clay Flowers

I have never really heard about crafting such beautiful flowers from clay until now. But these are just amazing. And the creative hands and mind behind this clay bouquet is from Diane Phillips of DK Designs. She specializes in handcrafted clay floral designs, wedding stationery and is a teacher with the Deco Clay Craft Academy.

There are just so many “bouquets” to chose from. And the best part is that they will never wilt and fade. I think it would make a great gift for anyone, from people staying in hospitals to busy professionals. Now I wonder how you would go about dusting these bouquets.

The one pictured her is one of my favorites. It retails at Etsy for $80 U.S. As described by DK Designs, “This arrangement is the epitomy of rainbow sherbet colors! This is the perfect centerpiece for any summertime party or just to decorate that special room in your house. The arrangement includes a peony bud in the center, 2 fuschia pink roses, 2 orange ranunculus flowers, citrus green dendrobium orchids, creamy white tuberose blossoms and tuberose buds. The flowers are arranged in a cute white Sunbury bowl.”

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Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a country in central Asia that has been through much unrest within the past 25 years. I really don’t know much about this country, except that it was invaded by the U.S.S.R. in 1979. And the U.S. went to war there before it went to Iraq. War time is never good for the people, especially for the children. The last time I saw a film crew talk to little Afghan girls and I just almost started crying. Of all the children in the world, when it comes to Afghan children, my heart really goes out to them. I have some sort of deep connection with a country and place I know nothing about.

So when I read National Geographic’s recent article about Afghanistan’s Hidden treasure, I was really excited to hear some sort of good news coming for their country. These are some of the most amazing artwork and jewelries of antiquity I’ve seen, very beautiful and full of history. I can see both intregration of East & West in these work. I plan to visit the exhibit when it comes out to the SF Asian Art Museum from October 24, 2008, to January 25, 2009.

Just looking at this beautiful piece of jewelry, from the National Geographic story, brings me back to the times of caravans and international merchants meeting in the ancient days.

A little excerpt from the exhibit:

“Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul” offers the world a look at a selection of the contents of the Central Bank vault. It is a collection of some of the most remarkable archaeological finds in all of Central Asia, pieces that are not only artistically splendid but also reveal a diverse and thriving ancient culture.

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Cool Cats on Campus

If I ever need something inspirational to look at, I just have to go to Flickr and see what’s in store. And it looks like I’ve been doing lots of that lately. And being that I’m a cat person, I just get really excited when I see one that looks like mine or at least close to mine.

looking at mom…

So here’s where I found these picture of the pretty cats. Andrea from Flickr, is living used to live in Japan and found herself able to help a family of feral cats on campus. These cats are one lucky bunch! Andrea is part of a supporter of Animals Asia. Their mission statement: “Animals Asia Foundation is to improve the lives of all animals in Asia, end cruelty and restore respect for animals Asia-wide.” Great job with everything Andrea!

Andrea was able to trap, neuter, and release them again. There is also a similar program in Palo Alto, California for the Stanford University cats. This is the best way to take care of them. So they get to live in the wild but not end up with too many kitty liters and hungry mouths to feed. So next time you want a new pet, just visit your local shelter. Both dogs and cats will be so happy to be with you.

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Bright Morning

Flickr photos: Cute bunny in the morning sunshine.

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. ~Erich Fromm

Fichi d’India, Capo Vaticano, Calabria
Giovanni from Rome, Italy took this beautiful picture of cactus pears.  The color contrast is so joyful.
38°37′ 05″ N, 15°49′ 44″ E

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Hybrid Scooter

I like to think my little German car gets pretty good mileage at 32 hwy and 28 city. But with the price of gas in northern California being at $4.37 it cost me almost $50 to fill up my tank. I remember just years ago I would get a full tank on only $20. Someone out there is getting rich. And I know it’s not the everyday people having to go to work, school, or basically the commoners. My only resolution at this point, besides having to walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation is to go out and get me a scooter! I should have jump on one three years ago, but the thought of getting run over by a giant SUV was a big determent.

Well, here is what I found from my research. This is an older model, 2006 Vespa Hybrid scooter.

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Small Living

LA is usually known for movie stars and mansions. Or maybe the diversity of it’s immigrant population as well, but that will be another subject all together. What I wanted to mention here is that there are a handful of new small homes being built in Silver Lake. Silver Lake area is known as the trendy part of town, where young hip designers and actors tend to reside. Not that I care about being hip myself, but I thought the concept of these homes were very interesting. Especially in a time where we should be consuming less and living more.  Photos from LA Times.

Small driveways, close proximity to neighbors. I guess it’s suppose to make you be more friendly or aggravating (if you have an annoying neighbor).

This one is nice, except the patio is very close together. Each house gets a fruit tree in the front year and lots of flowers too. This is my favorite concept of all.

The one neighbor has a Prius, very good. The other with the muscle car, hmmm…. I like the contrast here. But I hate that the driveway is so small. Imagine trying to get in and out without scratching the other guys paint job. Bad idea.

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One Rice at a Time

I just heard about this neat website called Free Rice. As the banner reads, “For each word you get right, we donate 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger.”

It’s actually very fun and a great idea. They have corporate sponsers such as Unilever to help them purchase the rice and the UN delivers them.

A new word I learned today is “cloisture” which means “monastery”. Very cool!  So please visit this site, learn some new words, and help feed the world too.  One rice at a time.

FAQ from their website:

How do you track the words and rice donated for each person?

When you click on your choice for the definition, this information is sent to one of our servers via a regular HTML form. This form is then processed by the server using the PHP programming language, which then figures out if you got the answer correct and, if so, adds to both your personal rice total and the overall rice total. It then sends back an HTML page with new words and your new total as part of the next form.

Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the sponsors whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen when you enter a correct answer. These sponsors support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We thank these sponsors for their participation at FreeRice. For information about how you or your company can sponsor FreeRice, please email here.
If FreeRice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?

FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, sponsor banners appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these banners is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

Is FreeRice a non-profit organization?

FreeRice is simply a website committed to the cause of ending hunger around the world. While it is not a registered non-profit organization, it is run entirely for free and makes no profit. All money collected by the site goes to the UN World Food Program to help feed the hungry.

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