Fiber Cement Siding Installation

What is fiber cement siding? It is a composite made of cement, silica, and wood fiber.

• It has the capabilities of significant weather protection.

• It is non-combustible and widely used where there are high risks of fire.

History of Fiber Cement Siding

Invented in Austria in 1901, it was named “everlasting.” Until 1980, it was built with asbestos, though a change in composition, it did not affect its utility. It still provides protection from heat, moisture, and frost. It is impervious to insects, and does not provide food for termites. Moreover, it does not rot. It is subject to damage from impact, however, and must be used where impact potential is low – especially for the lower densities.

Description and Requirements

Fiber cement siding installation is a chameleon material. It can be used to imitate wood, clapboard, and shingles, such that only close inspection will reveal what it actually is. It can also be used to substitute timber fascia where a high danger of fire is present.

• It comes in sheets of varying sizes and densities—and is quite heavy, requiring at least two people to move and install. It is a cast material, so it will chip and break if it has not been correctly handled. Depending on the thickness selected, it must be cut either with metal hand shears or with diamond-bladed,heavy-duty cutting blades. This, in turn, generates a workplace hazard of silica dust. There are NIOSH regulations that cover the cutting of the panels.

• Because of its weight, it must be hung on a reinforced wall. The addition of fiber cement siding may require modifications to surfaces in order to distribute the weight. Fiber cement panels are most often hung with hot dipped galvanized roofing nails.Cement interacts with ordinary roofing nails, causing them to break.

• Unlike other forms of cladding, fiber cement panels are designed to overlap. This

requires “step flashing” to prevent water damage. End joints must be spaced, and must ultimately be caulked to keep water from under the sheathing.

• While the material may also be used internally, the use for siding provides durability and flexibility.

• It can be painted on either sawhorses before it is hung, or once in place. The latter painting method is the most used, as the caulking can itself be covered in this manner. Pre-hanging application of paint does provide a more effective weather seal, though.

Dangers of Installation

There is one danger in the use of fiber cement products. When the panels are cut, there is an exposure to silica dust. If you are considering the installation of fiber cement siding, please ensure that your contractor is equipped to cut the boards in isolation, and with suitable vacuum facilities to gather the silica dust created by a circular saw.

The selection of fiber cement siding installation is appropriate where long-term maintenance is to be kept to an absolute minimum. Fiber cement siding offers the greatest return on your siding investment.

Interior Design Styles – Examples And Characteristics

Interior Design Styles – Examples and characteristics

Interior design styles are something to take under consideration when decorating your house because as it so often happens it can get frustrating choosing the right decorative elements. If you have a hard time deciding how to approach the interior design of your house or maybe your not sure of your tastes and are afraid you might screw it up, you can always choose from a selection of established interior design styles and go with the one you feel suits you best.

Here are a few examples of interior design styles and their characteristic elements.

English Country English Country is a relaxed, comfortable style, an interpretation of traditional English design. Living bright colours that evoke a garden and the powerful textures of wood, stone and iron links the interior to the exterior. Textiles include embroidered rugs, fabric with floral prints and blankets with fringes. The furniture has tones that range from shiny black to the colour of pine. Refreshing, floral colours. Rustic interiors have more faded colours, while the bright and vivid palette can be found traditionally in most interiors. Specific elements include china aranged on the walls, dried and framed plants and landscapes in wooden frames.Among the accessories are silver-framed photos, crystal candlesticks, vases with fresh flowers, floral embroidered pillows, wall papers.

Mediterranean Originally from the countries from northern Mediterranea, like Spain, Greece, Italy, is often called the modern Spanish style.The furniture ranges from simple and functional to formal and superficial. Small pieces with ornate legs and often antique hardware. The walls are predominantly textured. The colours are that of the Mediterranean sea and sky, terracotta and lavender. Mosaic often adorns the Mediterranean interiors,the floors, the walls or even table tops. Textures – layers of paint with a delicate look of manual work and intentional errors, textures similar to the sand, which adds visual depth.

Romantic A comfortable style that appeals to the senses with floral patterned soft materials, painted furniture, drapes and floral arrangements. Femininity is the key to a room decorated in romantic style. The colours are stumped tones, pale – pale blue, antique pink, creamy white. The materials are soft and vapoury. Silk should be ranked first.

Tuscan Tuscan style decorated interiors contain a rustic , sun-drenched look characterized by stone floors, simple furniture and the elegant iron elements. The walls are painted with textured models and drawings in oil. The colors are reminiscent of the Tuscan hills. Brown, dark pink, navy and burgundy. The floors are made of terracotta tiles, mosaic stone and boarded floors. Accessories consist of candles with metal stand to recall the rustic theme. Painted ceramics.

Contemporary The contemporary style includes all the trends of the late twentieth century. Soft lines, rounded shapes. The interiors contain neutral elements, but also bright colours and focuses on the simplicity of line and shape. Interiors are limited to tone-over-tone combinations, with shades of brown, cream and pure white. Strong stains of colour are often found on walls , carpets and art objects. The design of lighting objects turns them into works of art . Lamps have straight lines and metal finishes. Furniture – pieces with clean lines, fine outlines, surfaces without sculpture or ornaments. Light coloured wood, maple or sycamore , with accessories from stained glass, steel, nickel or chrome. Natural fabrics such as silk, wool or cotton, are used for their texture and neutral shades. However, brightly colored patterns are found in carpets or pillows.

Obviously, there are many more interior design styles.These are just a few classic examples but we all know that if you go with a classic choice you can’t fail. Choosing the right style from the multitude of interior design styles out there doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Have fun with it! Remember it’s all about imagination and daring.

Want to learn how to decorate your home without spending a lot of money? Check out my Interior Design site for more information on Do-It-Yourself training.

Go For The Recommended Interior Design Singapore By Professionals

if you are looking for the best recommended interior design Singapore, this article proves to be a fruitful option, for all. It can offer you with various options, on the cards.

Before starting any interior designing project, you might want to wonder more about the style, which can enhance the present value of the houses. The primary aim is not to look good only, but also to create a comforting and relaxing environment, for your use. Only a reliable color combination will not help much if you are not quite aware of the additional accessories, related with it. Always remember that decorating the interior of the house is a team effort, and without proper help, it is not at all possible. In case, you are in love with classic lines; then modern touches will not work in your favor.

Minimalistic style of your choice

Whenever the main area relates with minimalistic style, you are going to focus towards a design, which is extremely accurate. On the other hand, if you are looking for a heavy background, this design is not a good option, for you. The main focus will be one the simplicity ground, along with the colors, which are either bright or dull. Flashy colors are not at all invited as this can work best for traditional options. Pieces will fall under the geometric shapes, and some of the best options are round, rectangular and square. The surfaces need to be clean, without any detail or scenery.

Check out classic style

Apart from minimalist design, you can also gain fruitful options under classic style. Nowadays, people are looking forward to this style mostly as it comes with a vibrant yet traditional look, in it. It is better to define this style as an example of refined style, which can be found in different lighting, furniture and other objects. Moreover, you can see this same recommended interior design Singapore in prints and sets. You are likely to get in touch with an art type, which comes with inlaid details and carved applications. You can easily decorate the product with vegetable, decorative flowers, and various other leitmotifs.

More about rustic type

Rustic can be defined as another classic recommended interior design Singapore, which can offer you with an ethnic and rough look, yet with an elegant touch, in it. This is mostly defined as a rough and crude detailed work, which comes with structural elements. Furnishing items are going to work well with lighting structures, with fascinating designs of logs, tree trunks, jute, and branches. This kind of style is mostly found in the rural as well as vacation homes.

Lastly the reinterpreted style

Whenever the main area relates with interior decorative measures, this list cannot be completed with reinterpreted style. This can be stated as a proper mix of elegant as well as refined style. It is solely an art of the new world, where the approach is completely different. The primary aim of this style is to preserve the old ideas, and upgrade some parts, for adding a modern touch, in it. It is better to define this style as a fusion of modern and old style, which can either be varnished or approach painted, in nature. Some of the innovative colors are surface gold, silver, serigraphy, patina and more.

Modern Wall Artwork: Family Museum and Music Room

Our home is like a vault which contains our family’s memories and values that is why most homes stay the way they are for ages. But who doesn’t want a house that is built using a modern and chic architecture? Though it makes sense that some owners are not in favor of renovating their homes, there is a way to preserve those precious memories even if you want a home makeover.

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Pictures, antiques and other family valuables should not be kept in boxes or in storage rooms. Instead, give them a proper place in the living room. If you worry too much that kids will break it, you can keep the fragile valuables inside a glass display cabinet. Doing this will allow you to share you family’s history while making it easier for you to maintain them. If your family are fond of collecting things like music instruments and other stuff, I suggest that you construct a room where you can display and organize them. With all these said, it is now possible for you to apply a more elegant and modern design for your home without worrying about your family old belongings.

Family Museum

If you like the idea of tracing back your family tree or create albums and biography of every family member, you might want to add a family museum inside the house. However, we should make the design a lot more contemporary. Modern wall art and modern wall decor are two very affordable but stylish ornaments you can use. Since the wall is the largest space inside the room, you should make the most out of it. But make sure that you don’t over decorate the wall and use only the right amount of space. Aside from family portraits and pictures, mix in some modern wall art and modern wall decor. Famous varieties of modern wall art and modern wall decor includes paintings, sculptures and modern wall artwork. You will be surprised with the effect of these ornaments and visitors will truly appreciate the effort you made.

Music Room

Music has been a part of every family in the past and I suppose your ancestors are no exception. Music rooms are quite popular for today’s households especially those families who have passion for music. Classic music albums, vinyl discs and various music instruments are precious heirlooms that could be worth a fortune. To properly display and take care of these valuables, it’s best to construct an exclusive room for them. Aside from safe storage and public showing, having a music room is also a great opportunity for you to decorate. Modern wall artwork, music Wall art and music wall decor can best complement a music room because of their flexibility to add interest and details. These accessories come in a wide variety of size, color and design. Modern wall artwork, music Wall art and music wall decor are made from only the best materials and crafts which can last for many years.

For more ideas on how to fully implement a home makeover, there is a huge information you can get just from browsing the internet. Better yet, you can ask expert advise and professional help from interior designers near you. Have fun!

Transform Your Music Collections Into Modern Wall Art

Are you a music lover? Do you have a collection of music instruments, recordings and other music related stuff? If you have a fortune of these materials, you can actually create a place to display your collection to everyone visiting your house while enjoying them at the same time. One good example of this idea is having a multimedia room or a music lounge. Music is art and art is anything that expresses creativity and passion. By using modern wall art and music wall decor, your simple collection of music materials can become a priceless selection of art in an instant!

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A profitable number of home owners are now hooked into constructing music rooms or a theater inside the house as a place to relax and enjoy soothing sounds or snuggle with friends, family or your loved one while watching your favorite movies. Most of these consumers are not only willing to invest in establishing the room itself but will also pay a desirable amount in developing its interior design. And for fashion conscious owners, the look and feel of the room should be perfect in every possible angle. Perhaps adding modern wall art and music wall decor can give more interest and color inside the room. These home accents do not only complement the overall design but can also set the mood of the entire place. If you are planning to put up this project as your personal sanctuary, you might want to choose the idea of decorating using a long term perspective rather than developing it from time to time. If you have the budget then go for it, if not, there are also some options I can offer.

If you want to construct a cost effective music room, you should know how to improvise and use every resource you have at hand. If you have a good set of drums, or guitars, a piano and other instruments which are still in good condition, use them as furnishings. You don’t need to buy new ones. All it takes is a quick trip to the repair shop, a paint job and a perfect spot in the music room and your instrument is all set. If you have vinyl recordings, posters, souvenirs and autographed materials, you can actually frame them and hang them in the wall. If you can’t find any, you can purchase cheap but cool modern wall decor and music wall art to accentuate your dull wall. The trick in making your music room interesting without spending too much. You can do this by picking the right spots and adding lighting for a dramatic effect. Modern wall decor and music wall art are two things that come very handy for a budget size music room.

Nowadays, modern wall artwork is setting a new phase in the interior design industry. Its simple yet striking appearance can be a good focal point to conceptualize the entire room. You can also combine various accessories like drumsticks, signature shirts of famous music icons, guitar picks and other stuff in the shelf. Always remember that your passion is your art and making it a public interest is one way to express your self as an artist. Have fun!

Printer And Plotter Design

There was a time where there was a clear delineation between a printer and a plotter, or rather we could say a plotter was a type of printer that was very commonly used to print high quality large maps and diagrams. Now this function is being performed by other printers, but plotters do still exist. It is sometimes the case that a large, standard type printer is termed a plotter, due to its ability to perform the same task at a larger scale to its smaller printer cousins, but it is not using the same mechanical process.

Plotters are quite distinct from the other type of printers because they moved a physical pen across the paper. This means that they are not particularly good at creating images such a photographs, indeed this would take a plotter an extremely long time and the output would be very low quality. Plotters were very good at printing non-raster art though line art. This type of art was more commonly used in the 80s and 90s but has phased out slightly. It is still used a lot in the design and construction industry.

Plotters were great when processing power and memory of printers was scarce and expensive. It was cheaper to have a printer with a mechanical arm than it was to build a printer which could handle the (at the time) huge sizes of memory required to process raster art. Therefore anything over the size of A4 would typically go to a plotter for processing.

Nowadays though, the pen plotter is obsolete. We can perform the same functions using a large inkjet-based printer, this has now become a far more sensible option. However the plotter legacy remains, as the languages used to send the details of a vector image to a plotter is the same computer language used today. This is because the vector languages are much more efficient than sending full raster data to a printer, or storing it on a computer.

Plotters are still used in some other niche industries, but the pen has usually been replaced by a knife or tool of some sort. Therefore the plotter is used to cut or form physical materials into shapes in a methodical manner. Any larger scale projects are handled by assembly lines and it is only now in art that we tend to see pen-based plotters being used for their interesting output.

Tips For Printmaking At Home

Stores like Dick Blick Art Materials and Michaels are great places to buy equipment and tools for printmaking. If you’re an artist and want to begin printmaking at home, you have no doubt thought about the cost of materials and perhaps the difficulty of executing this art form effectively from home. However, by educating yourself well and shopping at the appropriate online stores, you can obtain the skills and education you need to make at home printmaking a success.

How-to Book on Printmaking

Printmaking can involve several art forms, such as calligraphy, wood, fabric and/or screen printing and requires specialized tools and skills in addition to a creative eye. Because the tools and equipment needed can be expensive, it’s a good idea to invest in a good and easy to understand how-to book to help you understand what’s involved. Being educated is a great way to feel confident about shopping for the materials you’ll need to be successful in executing this art form from your domicile.

Mastering Calligraphy is Key

Every printmaking novice should learn calligraphy before getting started. Since this can be done on a variety of objects or fabrics and is truly individualized art, you’ll want to embellish your prints with beautiful calligraphy. A calligraphy kit from a great craft store will enable you to learn while you create lovely artwork for your prints. Most kits have guide liners to help you learn and are removable, so you can re-use them for several projects. The markers included with calligraphy kits are very fine and take some getting used to, but there should be a how-to book to help a novice along. Once you master calligraphy, you can take your home printmaking to the next level.

Screen Printing Kit for Fabrics

If you want to create your own style of clothing, you can do so with printmaking for fabric kits. This type of printing can include the use of photos, drawings and even sketches. With a screen printing kit that allows you to work from home, you should have screen filler fluids, photo emulsions, brushes, squeegees, stencils, some time of screen frame and at least a brief but helpful how-to guide. After following a few instructions, you will be able to start designing your fabrics with prints right away. For kits like this, you’ll want to make sure that the fluids in the kits are not toxic, especially if you’ll allow your children to use the kit.

Block Printmaking Kits Are Helpful
For many, block printing is not very well known. However if you are just getting started, you may very well want to start here. These kits are easy to use and can be shared with young people as well. You can easily showcase your creative style and artwork and designs with these types of kits. Most include instructions to help you get started and before you know it, you will have unique one of a kind works of arts in a variety of forms such as cards and other projects on paper. You’re kit will include cutters and inks that can be used on surfaces hard and soft.

Abstract Metal Wall Art Goes A Long Way In Creating A Contemporary Environment

Why abstract metal wall art is unique

Abstract metal wall art happens to be unique in that is makes use of diverse color, line measurements and shape to form a meaningful visual without making use of natural form. On a lot of occasions, youll find an abstract art to depict something in the existent world while not exactly displaying you the object / message. This is able to work truly well when attempting to put in the less evident to the decoration of a room.

When you make use of a great piece of metal wall art on top of a wall, it offers a focal point right away. Ideal places for this consist of the mantel above a fireplace /a wall going up with the staircase. These regions are likely positions of focus and are going to get people discussing immediately upon stepping inside.

Pieces of abstract art are ideal for those places that people witness as they amble through your house. As mentioned before, the evident places are grand for hanging such sculptures, though the less evident are just as excellent.

Make use of the corners and crevices of your residence. Such small alcoves, like breakfast corners and bay windowpane depressions, offer ideal spots for contemplations. Never misjudge the influence of discreet placement -it provides your home with such a lot of flavor and artistic flair.

Things to consider while placing an abstract metal art in a room

As you think about purchasing one of such pieces of abstract metal art, consider what the room has to present and after that purchase something that serves for balancing your surroundings. In the event of you having a wall with a great deal of texture, youll wish purchasing an abstract piece thats not so eventful such that it will lose its way on your wall. Keep dimension and texture at the front of your thinking processes while youre trying to find that ideal hanging spot.

Moreover, make certain that you light your fresh metal wall art decor properly. The majority of this sort of art demonstrates best on being lit properly. You are going to find that the piece would be changing as you change position. It becomes a bit three dimensional and would even be changing color hues with the change in the lighting.

You moreover might wish considering redoing the floors. Abstract art appears to truly pop when put in a fresh, updated environment where untidiness is kept to a bare minimum. Hauling up that carpet that has become old and refinishing the floor is able to do such a lot for making the environment tempting to art display.

Abstract metal wall art happens to be an ever varying, vibrant mode of metal art which will make an impression. Supply the correct lighting, opt for the correct sculpture, and consider having those floors redone for the maximum impact.

The Becoming Of Modern Indian Art

The first Industrial Art Society was set up in Calcutta by Rajendralal Mitra, Jatindra Mohan Tagore and others Justice Pratt, in the year 1854. Places like Patna, Nepal, Lucknow and the Punjab hills became their inspiration. Danielle came to India with their own academic idiom thus inspiring Indian artists and vice versa. She initiated the merging of European and Hungarian traditions with ancient Indian art. It was at this time that many Art Societies and Colleges were set up. During the same time many European artists like J. He imbibed western techniques and European aesthetics to do so whats more. Amritas works also reflect vividly her deep passion & sense for colours, her love for the country and more importantly her response to the life of its people. Another celebrated Indian artist of the pre-independence era would be Amrita Sher-Gil.

In the Bengal School whose depictions chiefly revolved around mythological and religious themes put forth artists like Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose. They depicted the Indian landscape in a romanticized fashion through the medium of oil paintings. Her deep understanding of the Indian subjects also comes across through her paintings. The result was a merging of eastern and western themes as well as techniques. Jamini Roy with his Indian folk art was amongst the most popular twentieth century artist and Amrita Sher-Gil with her post-impressionistic colours, were also a part of this art movement.

Baroda, the Modern Art movement in India began to gain momentum around 1947 and swept across the country spawning across art centres like Shantiniketan in Calcutta, Bhopal and Bombay Cholamandal in Chennai. Rabindranath and Gagnendranath Tagore correlated with the schools basic goal but experimented with concepts like cubism and favoured individual expressions. Becoming an integral part of the cultural heritage and history of Indian Art these doyens of the progressive art group which came about post independence hold the highest place in the history of Indian Art today. Com is an online art gallery showcasing works of Indian Art.

This technique impressed and influenced Indian artists who started using these new techniques. Soon to follow were the Bombay Government Art College and the Madras Government College of Arts & Crafts. Gade, in independent India progressive artists groups in Bombay which included stalwarts MF Husain, KH Ara, pointedly ignored themes of political upheaval, FN Souza, SK Bhakre, seeking refuge instead in beautifying the mundane, everyday aspects of living SH Raza. He was honored the title of gentleman by the British for his struggle to create a new modern language in the modern Indian art context. Breathearts. By this time cultural imperialism has infiltrated the cultural milieu and sources of patronage saw a visible shift of attitudes and style of art towards artists and works of east meets west collaboration. Zoffany, Tilly Kettle, W.

Once the Mughal Empire ceased to exist painters who bloomed under the court advocacy took off in all directions around the country. He did not blindly copy English themes instead he combined the technique of oil painting with the decorative attitudes of Tanjore glass painting and the drama of Marathi theatre to create a fusion between the east and west. Talk of evolution of modern Indian Art is incomplete without a mention of paintings of Indian artists like Raja Ravi Varma and Amrita Sher-Gil. Modern Indian Art refers to the art movement ranging from the pre-independence era with the Bengal school, to the post independence progressive artists group.
Their works are in some of the most prestigious collections and risk averse patrons in these times are still looking for works from these artists. It saw a lot of conflict of acceptance of works of this merge in art and conflict between notions of individuality and notions of artistic anonymity. Bhupen Khakhar & KG Subbramanian from Baroda are amongst the few that hold a high position among collectors and the fraternity. Varmas purposeful choice of medium was a conscious step to be accepted not only by the British but also the Indian aristocracy as it denoted progress. Www. By Roy and Sher-Gil and other National Art Treasures including Rabindranath Tagore cannot be exported outside the country today works. This was converted into the Calcutta Government College of Art by 1864. He took India back to feudal themes and arrived at a fusion of Indian themes. Her paintings show a significant influence of the western modes of painting.

The gallery displays works of MF Hussain, FN Souza and other seasoned artists for online sales. Varma was the first Indian artist to master the oil on canvas technique. The Cholamandal movement in Chennai, founded by artist KCSPanicker brought modernism to art in South India followed by artists like C Douglas & KM Adimoolam. In a certain way, the Modern Indian Art Era in is still going strong. She was also the youngest as well as the only Indian artist to be elected as an Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris. Breathe Arts offers you a dedicated service of selling privately offering a completely confidential and direct avenue for you to acquire or sell specific pieces of art at fixed price or at public auctions at various locations worldwide.

The Pop Art Movement

Do contemporaries and present-day proponents of pop art canvas truly adhere to the principles that were set by the luminaries of pop art? Is there a set of fundamental principles that guide the contemporaries in their production of pop art canvas?

These are the questions that continue to linger on seekers on the history and background on the revolutionary road that that was traveled by a technique known as pop art.

The Thought

Pop art as a movement started as direct opposition to the exclusivity that was crafted by the high street art of Paris known as Abstract Expressionism. How different and far is the technique of pop art from the art form that they strongly oppose is as distinguishable and discernible as day from night.

Pop Art had moved the results of creativity, talent, and passion. If there would be a set of principles that set pop art from other types of art form it is that of its adherence in relativity, liberty, creativity, and non-exclusivity.

As each piece of art is viewed by different perspectives, the same art piece may define sadness and happiness at the same time. In pop art, there is no direction. An artist paints an experience, he did not dictate it.

Relativity may be one of, if not the primary, foundations of pop art. From the methods, medium, and even the means of production, pop art and all of its ramifications are known to be limitless.

Creativity means no border, no standard. By continuously re-defining what art is and how it should be, pop art pushes the boundary of our meaning. As for its artists, pop art symbolises indefiniteness. Thus, medium and channel to which its artists is endless, incomparable, and unconventional. The evolution of one of its sub-branch known as pop art canvas is an exemplary evolution of their technique. By being able to accommodate technological advances in order to efficiently and effectively produce art pieces, pop art canvas had altered the exclusivity that is known as art.

Liberty means freedom. And with freedom, one may find unending source of inspiration. And, from this principle would pop art source its unconventional method of propagation.

If there would be one thing that pop art could signify, it would be one thing: non-exclusivity. By becoming limitless and accommodating, pop art provides opportunities to people who may have the passion but who are afraid of trying. If there is a mission to fulfill, then, pop art would have undergone an almost impossible and daunting task of relaying a belief that everyone is an artist.

Pop Art Canvas: Completing Pop Arts Mission

It can be said that pop art canvas had closed the gap between failure and victory. With the availability of the graphic and design software and various reproduction machines, the technique to which pop art canvas can be credited to had, indeed, provided an opportunity for all to take risks and explore a passion known as art. By digitally editing and re-constructing ones digital photo, a person could apply pop art techniques, such as that of Andy Warhols, in minutes and re-produce a pop art canvas that would be perfect as a wall dcor and unique gift piece.

Polish Pottery

I have always been addicted to books. I blame it on my mother, who used to take me to the public library with her when I was a child. While she loaded up on several novels to satisfy her speed-reading abilities for the week, I wandered throughout the library, and discovered the joy of learning.

When I wandered away to college and later up to Alaska for a summer job, I called my Mom one Sunday afternoon and asked her what was going on back in the Northeast corner of Kansas, where I was raised. She shared the normal gossip about work and friends, but before hanging up, she mentioned, “Oh, and I discovered Polish Pottery!” “Polish Pottery? What is that?” I asked. She then leapt into a description of its vibrant kobalt blues and playful circular patterns. “You mix and match all the patterns, and they all go together! You really should look it up, you would love it!” she said. Doubtfully, I replied, “Umm…okay…well…is there a book about it?” When she said “No,” I was dumbfounded. “What? No book?” In my little world, it seemed that anything worth knowing about could be found in a book. But alas, my subsequent searches for a history of, or better explanation of, Polish Pottery were fruitless.

A trip to Kansas that coming winter introduced me personally to my Mother’s expanding Polish Pottery collection. Wow-she was obsessed! And after she served a few meals with these Polish Dishes, I was also hooked! Within a few years later, my husband and I had our hands deep into the world of Polish Pottery business, but we had to learn everything through the school of hard knocks.

It turns out that Polish Pottery is a beautiful hand-painted pottery that originates in the small Polish town of Boleslawiec. This town has many Polish Ceramic factories, and each factory employs talented artists who hand-stamp each piece using sea sponges from the Baltic Sea, or paint free-hand with brushes. Each and every piece of pottery is hand painted, and signed with a company stamp, the artists initials, or a full signature. But beware about calling the Polish Pottery patterns by names. There are hundreds upon hundreds of Polish Pottery patterns, and rather than give them individual names, all factories label their patterns with numbers. To make it easy on American collectors, American retailers began to give the patterns names, such as Mosquito, Peacock, Blue Floral, Valley, Forget Me Not, etc. But with each retailer naming the pieces their own made-up names, it has made a lot of confusion for buyers trying to shop around for the best deals.

Some of my favorite pottery is from the Zaklady Ceramiczne factory from Boleslawiec, Poland. This factory is one of the oldest Polish Pottery factories in the country, and has some of the most affordable as well as colorful, and quality pieces available. We’ve learned that there are different qualities of Polish Pottery pieces, including 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. The first quality Polish Stoneware suggests that the artistic painting is of very fine quality, and that it is safe to use in the microwave, oven, dishwasher, and freezer. A second quality rating may mean that it has a slight error in the painting but is still functional, and third quality means that it is suitable for display only.

And if you spend any time shopping for Polish Pottery, you’ll start to hear all sorts of talk about “Unikat,” “Art” or “Signature” Polish Pottery. All three of these terms are virtually interchangeable. They signify that beyond a piece being 1st Quality in construction and painting, the piece is crafted with more hand-painted detail than others, and therefore more expensive and highly treasured. Fewer artists can paint an “Art” pattern, as it is requires a great deal of training, experience and skill.

The word “Unikat” means “unique” in Polish, and all “Art” pieces are stamped with this word on bottom. And of course, each “Art” piece is signed on the bottom with the artist’s full signature, which is why it is also known as a “Signature” piece. The signing of the artists full signature on the bottom is a distinction from the other patterns, which typically only have the artists initials or a company logo.

But don’t think it is that simple. It’s Polish, after all! There are also four different price levels within the Zaklady Ceramiczne pottery. You can learn which patterns are which in each level by looking at the pattern code. The prices vary depending on the detail of the hand-painted work. For example, when selecting a Polish Pottery product, a code of GU596-56 signifies that you are looking at a teapot (shape number 596), in the Peacock (number 56) pattern, just as a GU814-ART104 pattern would signify a Salad Plate (814) in a Daisy (ART104) pattern. The pattern level is always the second part of the product code, coming just after the dash. The first, and least-expensive level is the “Classic” level, and has numbers without any letters attached (i.e. 41, 56, 111). The “Upper Classic” is the next level up, and always has an “A” attached to the end of the pattern code (166A, 205A, 224A). The third level is the “Subtle” level, labeled as DU (DU1, DU8, DU60) which is sometimes a signed Unikat level, and the highest level is the “Signature Series,” which is labeled with the word “ART” before the pattern number (ART104, ART126, ART129). As you move up the levels, the detail and work gets noticeably more complicated, which is why the prices go up as well.

With that being said, this quick study of Polish Pottery only covers one of the 7+ major factories in Boleslawiec, so you can imagine how crazy it gets when trying to collect patterns from all of the different factories. In fact, it is highly will likely fall in love with a Polish Stoneware pattern, purchase a few pieces, and never see that pattern again.

However, by understanding how the factory labeling works, you may have much better luck tracking down that special pattern. Rest assured, all of the pottery matches (the more variety you have, the more it “matches”), and half the joy of collecting the pottery is allowing yourself to fall in love with pattern after pattern after pattern!

Vibrant Dancing Stripes Nail Art Design Tutorial

Now, Let me explain to you a gentle, womanly nail art design that you could generate utilizing a blank check portray strategy. I love to know this as style Dancing Stripes. It relies on a gentle interweaving of slender lines to make a style that generates the impression of movement. The line is used within a multicolor design which ends up diversely each time.

Now you have that you be able to use this particular design in your individual customers in a manner that appears satisfying as well as organic.

That is a excellent design for those who are merely starting out be able to utilize the blank check approach. Merely go through measures in the following information and you should perform great! I enjoy making use of liner as well as nail enamel using this method and you may utilize polymer colours if you would like.

Step 1 Initially, try taking a little soil and also smashed nail art covering then blend from it by gel to generate a tinted desktop within the top of the nail tip. If you might desire, also you can use glitters power, excellent glitter dust or merely regarding any product which can provide a nice appearing background for the operate.

Step 2 Now you have to utilize our initial highlight because of this design. I love to start using a slice at a nail art porcelain stick, however , any kind of spherical nail art piece perform. Associated with the application of a thing that work properly along with your color scheme. The best sort of item to work with is usually a nail art cane piece from my Candy string.

Step 3 Seeing that this is achieved, we are able to start producing the particular bent lines that make in the primary component of the design. Lightly sketch the primary line inside a modest S design as demonstrated inside the image previously mentioned.

Step 4 Currently, sketch another line by using a bright color, straight get rid of from the initial line. The next line needs to be a bit leanercompared to the initial.

Step 5 Pull an additional line, these times in dark, contrary to the additional fringe of the particular pink line. That line medicine identical dimension as being the white one.

Step 6 Now, we will blend the look up a little by portray a red line decussate beneath other folks which we have previously decorated.

Step 7 Right now, sketch one more linethese times in pinkwith the red one.

Step 8 To help enhance the difficulty in the layout, color a smaller red line during one or each party with the nail surface like revealed previously mentioned.

Step 9 Making use of your dotting instrument, location a couple of black dots about the ceramic nail art stick part that people utilized through second step.

Step 10 Keep on in your dotting tool to set one more group of dots at the nail tip. Use a red color on this occasion.

Step 11 You’ll be able to complete the style with the addition of a coating of leading coat. Become quite mild inside your program in order that you don’t smear or interrupt the style.

Okay, you are completed! You have made a wonderful nail art design making use of it will always be items that you have now available. And you know what is always that any time you generate this particular design, it’s going to end up somewhat diverse. Every customer will give you an exclusive as well as original style.

Encountered some questions? Send me a contact onwww.melodysusie.comand Ill talk you on any problems youre having. To read more about nail art design please go to:http://www.melodysusie.com.We in addition provide plenty of reviews aboutuv finger nail dryer,uv lamp nail dryeralong with nail art design tools.Should you have any question about nail design,Please feel free to contact us. Make sure to email us a photo of Nails to feature them here!

A Brief History Of Karate – Part 2 Of 2

While Karate was primarily organized in Shuri and Naha, Tomari originally had little direct influence. This is because, at that time, Tomari was inhabited by a simple people; it was a working class city of fishermen. Tomari had its share of notable masters, however, with Kosaku Matsumora (1829-1898), Kokan Oyadomari (1827-1905) and Gikei Yamazato (1835-1905) the most notable. They studied under Annan, as well as Ason, a Chinese sergeant.

Tomari was located near Shuri, and therefore its fighting arts developed partly under its influence. Some of the Chinese masters who taught Tomari villagers, however, did not reach Shuri. Some of these teachings did later influence Shuri-te, nonetheless, as exchanges eventually took place. Many of the kata became part of both Shuri-te and Tomari-te. Some of the kata unique to Tomari-te, however, are Wansu, Rohai, and Wankan. It is widely believed that Chotoku Kyan (1870-1945) brought the kata Ananku from Taiwan in 1895. It is said, sadly, there are other kata that have been lost over time.

It is also said in Okinawan tradition that a pirate or sailor (named Chinto, or Annan, depending on the source), was a castaway from a shipwreck on the coast. He took refuge in the graveyard of the mountains of Tomari, and later lived in a cave. Reportedly, Sokon Matsumura formulated the kata Chinto (also known as Gankaku) from the sailor’s White Crane Kung Fu teachings. Chinto kata, of which there are more than half a dozen versions, was adopted into shuri-te. The Tomari-te chinto kata as a Chinese flair, in contrast with the simpler looking shuri-te version. Chinto kata uses straight lines of movement, and is executed with power. A one legged stance occurs many times, bearing the image of a crane poised to strike its prey. The flying kicks of this kata differentiates it from others.

Matsumora and Oyadomari apprenticed under local masters Kishin Teruya (1804-1864) and Giko Uku (1800-1850). They learned from Teruya the kata Passai, Rohai, and Wanshu, and from Uku, the kata Naifanchi. Matsumora was also versed in the jo-jutsu (short staff technique) of Jigen ryu. It is often said in Okinawan sources that Matsumora is Annan’s successor. Yamazato followed Matsumora and Oyadomari, who were close friends. Both masters encouraged their students to exchange techniques and kata, furthering the development of Tomari-te. Tomari-te became a light form of fighting, with plenty of feints.

The kata Seishan is named after a well known Chinese martial artist who lived in or near Shuri circa 1700. He was associated with Takahara Perchin, a map-maker who was the first to teach Tode Sakugawa. The kata is said to be the oldest still in use, and translates to “13” or “30”. The naha-te Seisan has a Chinese flair, while the shuri-te version evolved in its own way. The movements are repeated in sets of three, and has pivots and turning of the head. Toward the middle of seishan, there is a set of three double blocks that may be used as blocks to the side; it may be seen as a spear thrust to the eyes, or as an arm grab. The foot movements in seishan kata may be used to enter the opponent’s legs, and break his or her balance. Hangetsu, the Japanese name for Seisan, translates to half-moon. This is taken from the stances & footwork, as well as the hand movements, which use circular paths. As with many other forms, the kata’s movements differ slightly between styles.

Throughout this period, tode-jutsu was taught primarily for health, philosophy and self defense. In this way, the Chinese tradition was continued. Tou-di, the karate of old, was not meant for the competition seen in modern karate. In fact, there were no public classes, as practicing fighting was forbidden as a way to promote public order. The to-de masters chose their students with caution because they were liable for problems that could arise (and frequently did) from their students’ actions. Tode-jutsu had also become a part of the imperial guards’ training. As a result of Okinawa’s annexation to Japan, however, there was a huge unemployment boom, and poverty spread heavily. Because of this, a number of chikundun peichin (those who upheld public order in the Ryukyu kingdom) started teaching tode-jutsu for money.

In the Satsuma occupation’s later years, Japan began major changes as a result of the Meiji restoration. Cultural reforms led to the abolition of the feudal system, the abasement of the samurai class, and development of democracy. However, democracy was never fully implemented, nor were all the ideas of the samurai code and the feudal system totally abandoned. Japan did not want to totally lose its strong identity to (primarily Western) foreign influences. Part of this identity was the bugei (martial arts), which assisted in the shaping of modern Japan.

The budo (martial ways), as they came to be called, were more than simply a cultural recreation. The ruling elite used the spread of budo to further instill moral virtues, the values of bushido (way of the warrior), and “Japaneseness” in the Japanese public. In this Pre-World War II age full of increasing militarism, Japan needed needed strong, able men who were willing to fight to the death. Japan also hoped that young men of good health and mind would be more productive citizens.

As a result, many budo were introduced to the school system. Some of these classical budo included Aikido (The Way of Spiritual Harmony), Jiu Jitsu (unarmed self defense art often focused on grappling), and Kendo (Way of the Sword), derived from the samurai fighting traditions. Also, Judo (“Gentle Art”) was developed from jiu jitsu in the later part of the 19th century.

Itosu Anko led a group of Okinawan karate-jutsu experts in a campaign to introduce the art to the Okinawan school system as a form of exercise. Many of the dangerous applications were not practiced in the school system, transforming karate from a hidden art of self defense into a unique recreation.

Karate was introduced in this form to the Japanese mainland in 1917. The Japanese martial arts association (“Dai Nippon Butokukai”) was interested enough in karate to invite the art’s best practitioner. Their intent was to compare karate-jutsu to Japanese jiu jitsu in matches of skill.

Gichin Funakoshi was an Okinawan native who taught at the school “Shoto Gakko”, which prepared Okinawans for Japanese civil service. His life’s passion, however, was karate. Because of the respect he commanded from Japanese gentlemen, and his skill in karate, he was selected to represent Okinawa’s martial art.

He defeated every opponent he faced at the demonstration, and won great respect. Because of this and his love of Japanese culture, he stayed on the mainland to further propagate karate. As a result of the first and further exhibitions, he gained many followers and ultimately began teaching out of a Kendo dojo.

At first, there were cultural barriers and traditions that slowed the progress of karate across the mainland. As a result of Funakoshi’s excellence in teaching, however, he broke through the prejudices against karate. Eventually, he was able to open his own dojo, which was the first formalized karate dojo. Also during this time, karate as a whole came to be formalized and “Japanized” (although divisions among separate karate styles have not, to this day, been resolved – primarily due to pride and organizational politics).

Such formalization included acceptance of the kyu/dan (class/grade) system as devised by Jigoro Kano (founder of judo). Also, it became important that all teachers were qualified and knowledgeable. Finally, it was necessary to institute a standard curriculum, uniform, and competitive format.

Nationalism and anti-Chinese sentiment made the karate-jutsu movement consider a more appropriate ideogram to represent their art. The original “kara” ideogram of karate meant China, as did the “tou” of toudi (Chinese hand, and a reference to the Tang dynasty). The replacement ideogram means “empty”, and takes on not just a physical but a spiritual meaning. “Kara” may represent the “void”, and freedom from worldly desire.

Also changed was the suffix for karate. Instead of jutsu (art/science), do (way/path/totality, pronounced “dao” in Mandarin) came to be used. In this sense, as a result of the efforts of such masters as Itosu, karate-do joined kendo, jiu jitsu, aikido, and judo as a modern budo, in which not only combat is practiced, but also a cultural discipline for the pursuit of harmony.

Cartoon Heart Nail Art Design Tutorial

Hello everybody, this is my personal cartoon heart nail art design tutorial! Subsequently various tape approach guides, I figured it becomes fun to create one having a freehanded designing. It’s really a quite feminine and design which just requires almost no time to create. Apply it for several highlight nails and an adorable approach to increase anything additional in your mani. Thus go get the paint brushes and also let us perform some nail art 😉

Primarily apply your bottom color (when necessary which has a basecoat beneath) and then allow it to dry. Here’ applied a polish which has a creme complete (China Glass Sea Squirt), however , you may also start using a play or delicate glister polish, to present the structure more level.

After that make use of a nail art brush to attract the form of an heart with dark nail varnish or acrylic and complete it. The benefit of making use of acrylic as an alternative to nail enamel is it’s often very pigmented, carries a brief drying some time to it is safer to talk with, because doing so features a softer method. Most especially that, it’s comparatively less expensive than nail enamel.

I received my heart for the suggestions, which has a the main shape cut-off. This really is to restore appear like it is ‘floating’. However you’ll be able to sketch the center anywhere that suits you, in the centre, at the summit, large or tiny, it’s all regulated your choice.

As soon as the dark heart has dried out, color one more heart inside through an unintelligible colour of final decision. Most of the people would require a red or possibly a pink for hearts, yet since the heart shape is really a great and placeable one, you probably are able to use any color because of it. Simply pick most things that moves well with all your bottom color.

Being a copestone, convey a standard cartoon sparkle towards heart, by causing one big and something tiny dot having a dotting tool.

Ultimately apply your topcoat, pick up and you are done! Really quite simple, right? :)

Suggestion: To scrub the nail art brush(es), pour some nail enamel remover in a tiny dish and the lid in the bottle. Let the brush soak inside it a couple of seconds And also dab it more than once using a cotton pad. Do this again till the brush is fresh.

I’d completely adore to call at your try on my style, thus then leave a keyword rich link for a creation inside the comment area!

Encountered some questions? Send me a contact on www.melodysusie.com and Ill talk you on any problems youre having. To read more about nail art design please go to:http://www.melodysusie.com .We in addition provide plenty of reviews about uv finger nail dryer ,uv lamp nail dryer along with nail art design tools.Should you have any question about nail design,Please feel free to contact us. Make sure to email us a photo of Nails to feature them here!

Your First Swingers Date – The Art Of Flirting

So you have both taken the plunge, you have spent time in putting your profile together and added some pictures to your swinging profile. You have contacted some other couples and other couples have contacted you. Having both decided there is an attraction you arrange your very first meeting. How will it go? Will it be great or a complete disaster? Do not forget it really is OK to be nervous. As swingers ourselves we always relate it back to dating when you were single. you get the same nervous buzz but in this case you are going on a date together as a couple. But always remember the key factor, this is meant to be fun!!

How can you make that first meeting really work? Easy FLIRT !

Flirting is simply a common sense method of letting the other couple know you’re available and more importantly that you are interested. If done properly, flirting can be a great way to express your ‘sexual’ personality’s to the other couple and let us not forget that it is great fun too!

Be sincere and be spontaneous. If you’re going to flirt, you need to be real about it. Anyone can spot a fake. Start with a subject you’re comfortable with and let the conversation flow. Don’t rehearse what you’re going to say. Just listen to what the other couple are saying and respond naturally.

Smile. A smile shows the other couple you’re genuinely interested in them. You can’t underestimate the power of a smile. A smile makes you look friendly, confident and approachable and besides it shows that you are both having a great time and enjoying the meeting.

Show an interest, always maintain eye contact and show a sincere interest in them by asking specific, open-ended questions. This demonstrates that you specifically want to get to know them as people as well a ‘play’ partners. For some people this is an important factor when meeting a couple with whom they might want to play. For others this is not so important and it is vital that you give this information out when writing for your profile. This is commonly written as ‘enjoy the social as well as sexual side of swinging’.

Ask questions and listen. Listening in all situations has become a lost art. But the best conversationalists are great listeners. Good flirts will spend twice as much time listening as they do talking. Ask questions then listen to the answer. It shows a real interest and the other couple will be flattered.

Use innocent touch. It’s an obvious sign of interest and is a subtle way to get someone’s undivided attention. Touching is especially effective for women and it causes people to remember the conversation more fondly after the fact. It is flattering and just a little risque

Finally, be confident. We’re all drawn to confident people and others can sense when you have it. But be careful do not be over confident as that can sometimes be seen as being pushy or even a little arrogant and this is the last way that you should come over to other people as.

But hey you both know all this already – you might just have forgotten it all as it might have been a while since you used these skills.

Carter Hargrave Taking On Bullshido In Martial Arts

Bullshido has been called the fraud of martial arts, and Carter Hargrave the Martial Arts Master is facing it head on. Hargrave is the head of two international martial arts associations and has seen his fair share of fraud, but now he is taking it to the next level and offering free information for anyone looking to find a legitimate teacher in the art of Jeet Kune Do, the Bruce Lee system, and Kempo or Kenpo Karate the hard hitting self defense style.

Unlike in Japan there is no martial arts regulation on martial arts in the United States. “I feel there should be regulations on who can teach what according to who taught them and how long they have been teaching” says Carter Hargrave. We must end bullshido, and those who dont have the credentials to teach the arts they advertise. Hargrave adds “If they, the teacher or school is not part of a larger group representing the art that is one indication that bullshido fraud may be a part of what is going on.”

You can check out the school or instructor online but so many times these days a competitor with some internet knowledge can bash a good teacher by posting negative comments usually hiding under an anonymous name. Do your homework and dont trust just one source. If they have been teaching a long time like Hargrave who has been at it over twenty one years then you can pretty much assume they know what they are doing. The cream rises to the top and the **** sinks to the bottom and goes away.

As a public service Carter Hargrave or his associates will answer your questions free of charge to help you find a good school in JKD or Kenpo. Email us here Carter Hargrave

The History Of Cabinet Making

Before the Industrial Revolution, which began in England in the late 18th and early 19th century, cabinet making was mostly done by individual woodworkers who created and built their own designs. With the focus switched to industrialization and mass production, the traditional cabinet shop ceased to be the main source of commercial and domestic furniture for a time.

However, with the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain in the mid-19th century, people began to tire of the machine made products available, which spurred the market for traditional cabinet making once again.

There are several schools of popular cabinet design still in use today, such as Scandinavian, French Provincial, Rustic, Mission style, Oriental, and Shaker.

Scandinavian design is characterized by clean horizontal and vertical lines, with a distinct absence of ornamentation. It has been popularized in recent years by one large Scandinavian furniture corporation that has made its furniture easily available all over the world.

Unlike Scandinavian cabinetry, French Provincial focuses on ornamentation. Furniture in this style is often stained and painted to conceal the wood underneath. Wood used in this design varied but was usually beech.

Design for Rustic furniture is often very utilitarian and unfinished. Sometimes called log furniture or log cabin design, the cabinets often seek to feature the wood in its natural state with grain, wood characteristics, and sometimes even the bark of the tree, clearly visible. Wood used in this cabinetry is often mountainous wood such as pine, spruce, and cedar.

Popularized by the Arts and Crafts movement, Mission style furniture became popular in the early 20th century and is credited to have begun in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Mission style features strait, thick panels and vertical and horizontal lines. Hardware is often made of dark iron and is featured visibly on the outside of the cabinets. For cabinet makers, white oak is the material of choice.

Oriental design features simplicity and elegance. The color red is often used and landscape art and Asian characters are also commonly featured. With the assimilation and interest in Asian influence and culture in the West in recent years, this design has become very popular.

Shaker furniture, because its origins are in an egalitarian religious community, its design focuses on function rather than artistic expression. Shaker cabinetry is characterized by simplicity and symmetry.

In our modern world, there are countless options in both manufactured and traditional cabinet making. To those who value and desire it, the skill and attention of early master cabinet makers is still alive and available today.

Benefits Of Purchasing Artwork Through Fine Art Photography Online Gallery!

In case you are looking forward to purchase artwork then fine art photography online gallery can be the best choice as you will be able to avail lot of advantages from it.

A carefully selected artwork prices’ will brighten up even the gloomiest room. Art is one of the best decorative pieces for any kind of environment whether it is your home or your office. One of the best things regarding the art is that it will never go out of style. This means that in case you display it today or few years later it will still be in fashion.

There are other advantages of art. The value of these art pieces appreciates with time and it is regarded as one of the best pieces of investment today. Hence it can be a good choice for you to select the original pieces of artwork.

In order to get these kind of artwork there are numerous fine art photography online gallery. This is where the artists can display their work and discerning consumers can purchase their choice of art work. These kind of online galleries are around for a very long time and have wide choices of artwork through the reputed artists throughout the world.

The reputed fine art photography online gallery will offer collection of reputed artists from different parts of the world. By bringing together this talent on one platform will help you to save time and money in searching for precious pieces of art which you will cherish for your lifetime.

These are the galleries that will work on the aim of bridging the gap between the artists and the buyers. The exhibitions at these kinds of galleries are limited to only online. However there are some of the online galleries that hold actual exhibitions also.

If you are the one that is searching for high quality, affordable and original pieces of work through talented artists you will be able to search for it online. Fine art photography online gallery is the ones that will house artworks through different talented artists in different art mediums.

There are various kinds of art which are suited to different budget and so you can brose accordingly and the select the one that suits your needs. You will also find photographs; prints and serigraphs through famous artists are available in majority of the online art galleries.

In case you are looking forward to buy best piece of art work then just make sure that you select a reliable and reputed online gallery. With this you can get all the ease of purchasing the best piece of artwork.

Blocks – The True American Martial Art

When discussing the various martial arts and fighting styles from around the world, the little known urban system of 52 Blocks, a variation of the more broad style Jailhouse Rock, has to enter the conversation. Researchers Daniel Marks and Kammau Hunter have argued that Jailhouse Rock may in fact be America’s only “Native Martial Art.” With an African influence and believed to have originated in the 17th and 18th centuries by slaves, 52 Blocks went on to evolve in the streets of Brooklyn and US prisons. The style focuses on close quarter techniques, similar to those self defense situations found in environments like prisons, restrooms, alleys, and hallways where movement would be limited.

As mentioned above, 52 Blocks, also called “52 Hand Blocks” and “The 52’s”, is part of a larger collection of fighting styles referred to as “JHR”, or “Jailhouse Rock.” 52 Blocks and their variants are similar to the martial arts of capoeira and savate, both of which were fighting systems associated with urban criminal subcultures, which underwent a gradual process of codification before becoming established as martial arts accessible by the mainstream. Other variations from the JHR collection are Comstock, San Quentin style, Mount Meg, and Stato, each name in reference to the prison that it was started at. As it gained popularity and exposure in the earyl 70’s, Jail House Rock seems to have first showed up in the media in an article on Martial Arts in prison called, “KARATE IN PRISON: Menace, or Means of Spiritual Survival?,” in Black Belt Magazine from July, 1974.

Despite wide belief, 52 Blocks is not a style of Western boxing, nor is it Wing Chun mixed with Western boxing. Considered a defensive style that creates openings for offense through constant movement, the fighter blocks/catches punches with the forearms and elbows. Short power punches, flowing movement, and counter striking are all aspects of 52 that are emphasised, while using sharp and evasive footwork. Unlike boxing but similar to Muay Thai, the elbows are commonly used to strike the opponent.

Much of the argument and conflicting information about 52 Blocks stems from whether or not the style has been influenced at all by “uprocking” or what most of us call breakdancing. Some believe this link is the aspect of some of the fighting techniques inspired by or copied from the “diss moves” taken from the Brooklyn Rock or uprock style of breakdancing. It looks like you can find as many sources stating these links between 52 and urban dancing as you can to the contrary, making it the subject on 52 with the most conflicting information.

As many practitioners of 52 have felt that their system has long been overlooked, it’s now is starting to take its rightful place in martial arts history, the product of longtime growing media coverage. Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight, is one of the high profile boxers to first endorse 52 and professional boxers including Mike Tyson Zab Judah, and Bernard Hopkins have testified to the existence of the style, giving it a voice of legitimacy from true fighters. Rashad Evans, former light heavyweight champion in the UFC, has also promoted 52 and its effectiveness.

Plein Air Painting And Dream Interpretation Doxidor, Lab And Vegetable Garden Transforms Art And Me

Today is my birthday and when Dad called to wish me Happy Birthday, I couldn’t even tell him how old I am now! “Think about this before you get another dog,” I warned my Self.

Katie is not getting any younger either. I have been thinking of painting her since we adopted her 14 years ago. This week, I finally did it! I have always been intrigued by her white on white coloring, and imagined painting her on an antique ivory patterned bedspread which she used to sleep on years ago.

As I finished up painting Kate, Jim returned from the grocery store to say he had stopped at the SPCA and wanted me to go see two pooches he had seen. Reluctantly, I went. When we arrived, one of the dogs he had told me about was out front getting clipped and brushed. Fur and dog mess was everywhere! We went inside quickly. “No way,” I thought to my Self.

In the kennel we met the other dog Jim wanted me to see. A shy little dog, ‘Honey,’ was in a kennel with another dog. She looked like a puppy, small with a cute rounded face. Reading her card, we discovered she was actually two years old ~ full grown! This little pooch was only 24 pounds, a doxidor: a dueschund/labrador mix. She charmed us both. Reluctantly, I agreed as Jim made arrangements to take her home to see if Kate would also approve.

Over the next few days we worked at getting to know each other. On the way home, she squirmed out of my arms and down between the back seats in the van into an afghan which was on the floor. When we got home, she wanted to stay there. At the house I found another afghan and put it down for her. Immediately she made another nest. She is a nester.

Nesting is something I have never been good at. It seems I am always running around doing something. Sit down and be still? Hard for me to imagine me doing that. Got to be DOING something.

The day after she arrived, I took out the vacuum to tidy up. I saw her out of the corner of my eye as I took the vacuum out of the closet. The deck door was open and spying the vacuum, she quickly slipped outside. I went about vacuuming. Jim came in a while later and asked where she was. No where! She had disappeared! We spent the next hour searching the yard, surrounding woods and adjoining neighbors’ yards.

Back at the house, ‘Sneekers’, as we had started calling her for her white paws ~ was curled up in a new nest behind Jim’s computer desk. There isn’t much space back there between the desk and wall of windows. Just a narrow passageway to get in and a pile of wires!

As each day passed I spent more and more time with her, coaxing her out of her nest, encouraging her to play. Slowing me down, I guess. I didn’t feel much like going out to paint, so I set my easel out on the deck and painted a view of my vegetable garden.

The obelisk Jim and I had constructed just last weekend was already filled with cucumber and tomato vines. I sat while I painted, too lazy to stand, I thought to myself. I set up a larger canvas than I normally use en plein air. This one is 203 x 243, not huge but significantly larger than the 9 x 12s I often use.

As I was painting, a neighbor paddled into my painting with his two children. They stopped to catch a bass or two, then paddled away. I quickly brushed them into the picture without thinking whether I really wanted them there or not! The sun moved lower in the sky and finally I felt the need to quit. Most of the garden was now in shadows.

Light and shadows ~ this is what I have been balancing out in my life all week. In the painting of Allie, (Allie’s Gift ) everything was darkish, varying shades of dark. In this painting of Kate the inverse is true. I didn’t see it until this morning when I wrote down my dream. Dream: I see a low key pattern of darks; darker darks and lighter darks. I am inverting the image. Now it is a pattern of lights ~ high key lights, lighter lights and darker lights. Inversely proportional.

This dream let me see what has been going on all week! Between the paintings and the new dog ~ I have been balancing my life, inverting my perspective on things! In this painting of the garden, I played. I played with the imagery … letting the canoe of children fishing enter into my world without thinking as to whether it would upset my world or not! I let the game I was playing in my vegetable garden onto my canvas of life.

This little dog turned my life right side up! And just when it looked like she might NOT be successful, she amped up the stakes. Toward the end of the week I went to vacuum again. This time she was lying on the floor in my bedroom. So I told her I was going to close the door while I ran the vacuum. When I came back 15 minutes later she was under the bed shaking like a leaf. I let her stay there awhile. Checking on her throughout the morning, I finally coaxed her out. I put her on the afghan in the den and sat there on the floor with her and held her while she trembled.

“I don’t know what happened to you,” I said out loud to her. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry it happened, whatever it was.” I continued. As I spoke I stroked her head. And as I did I felt my Self let go of whatever it was that had kept me doing, doing, doing until I thought I would drop. We let it go together.

Today, on my birthday, I painted these two quick paintings of Sneekers. She was sitting on my sofa ~ a thing I never permitted a dog to do! I had to paint quickly because she changed positions often. The sofa is brick red so I used alizarin crimson to draw her shape quickly, directly onto the canvas. By the time I had the shapes in, she had moved. I responded by gently blocking in the colors the best I could remember.

Then I went and got another canvas. This time she stayed snoozing a little longer. Afraid she might move again, I continued at the fast pace. I liked the gestural quality of the first one, playful. “So what if my couch isn’t really pink?” This way I can have a pink couch without having to live with it! Sleeping there on my spot on the sofa she continued teaching me how to play. The blue thing she is sleeping on is a needlepoint pillow I made 35 years ago. I not only let her sleep on it ~ I enjoyed painting it! I am a hard case, I admit. Transforming a workaholic? FAITH … plays a woman! I guess an old dog CAN learn new tricks.

Note: 4 plein air paintings illustrate this article and may be obtained for republication.