Reinforcing Completed or Vintage Bead Flowers

Bead flowers should hold their original shape, whether that shape is vertical, curved, standing out horizontally, or draped artfully downward. Make sure that your bead flower treasures retain their shape for the future by using stem stiffening and reinforcement techniques. These techniques are not only for brand-new pieces; you can easily “retro-fit” a finished or vintage bead flower piece.

If your flower is already assembled or it’s a delicate vintage piece, the great news is that the stemwire can be reinforced to regain or retain the flower’s beauty. This technique works best if your flower has a separate center unit; this will hide the new wire. If done well, the reinforcement will be almost invisible in any flower, and will greatly add to its beauty.

If the flower is a vintage piece, inspect its stem carefully. If the tape is dried out or loose, remove it. If the main stemwire is at all weakened or rusted, remove and discard it. Yes, you want to keep as much of the original piece as possible, but not at the cost of the strength of the restored flower. Keep all petal, center and sepal wires intact.

For smaller flowers: tape a length of 18-gauge stemwire and make a narrow hook two inches from one end. For larger flowers: Fully tape three separate lengths of 18-gauge stemwire. Keeping two to three inches of one length of stemwire extended, tape the three lengths together tightly. If necessary, wrap lacing wire around the three wires first to prevent slipping during taping. Make a hook of the protruding end of the wire. Keep the hook shape within a half-inch of the other two stemwires.

Carefully thread this hook through the bottom of the finished flower between opposite petals and beneath the center unit, if the flower has one.

Straighten the stemwires. “Set” the flower head snugly so it doesn’t slip around by pulling down and pinching the hook with a plier so that the flower head is held steady. Add the flower’s original stemwires to the new one and snugly reinforce with several wraps of green paddle wire or lacing wire. Tape all stemwires together.

For extra security for a large or heavy flower, start with a hook of approximately four inches. Thread it through the flower, wrap the hook around the stem once, then pass the hooked wire through the flower a second time, coming from a different angle between petals.

Breaking News From the World of Entertainment

Want in on the latest gossip from the world of entertainment? Want to know what your favorite stars are up to? Or perhaps you want to find out which silver screen flick is making a big bang in the market? Irrespective of the scoop you are looking for from the entertainment world you can be sure to find all the breaking news from the world of entertainment on the internet.

The internet has become a hub for movie fans and entertainment seekers. Today you will be able to find all the latest entertainment news on various online news blogs that are focused on provide their readers with the latest gossip circulating around the lives of their favorite stars. The entertainment section on the news blogs is one of the most popular niches according to latest statistics. This is because everyone wants to know what their favorite stars are up to and what to watch out for on the television and new film releases.

The entertainment section is well complemented by the fashion section on these news blogs. As it is, the celebrities and starts from the entertainment world are either responsible or used for promoting certain fashion trends. Hence you can always check out the fashion section of these news blogs to see which shades are currently being promoted by your favorite celebrity and what clothes you should be sporting this summer season.

If you are looking for tips and tricks that will help to enhance your lifestyle then you can also read up on the lifestyle section on these news blogs. This section will update you with the latest happenings around the world on things that will help you enhance your life. This includes everything from the latest exercises for your abs to the top rated beauty treatment and interesting interior decoration tips to expert nutrition advice.

The entertainment, fashion and lifestyle sections of online news blogs will fill you up with all the information you need to know about your favorite stars, the fashion they are sporting and a bunch of other valuable tips to improve your lifestyle.  The good thing is that these news blogs do not only deliver the breaking news in the form of text, rather you will also be able to find a variety of images, videos and other interactive media that enriches the user experience on these websites. Last but not least you can easily subscribe to their RSS feed and get the latest breaking news in your email. The leading blogs will also offer you the latest on politics, business, technology and sports making them the ideal one stop source of high quality information on current global news.

Holiday Gift Giving – Getting Behind the True Intention of Why We Give

When it comes to giving gifts, it’s the thought that counts… or does it? We’ve all been on the receiving end, at one time or another, of gifts that have left us scratching our heads wondering what on earth the gift-giver was thinking when they decided to bestow this particular item on us.

For a lot of people, giving gifts, especially during the holidays, is an obligation rather than a sincere act of love, kindness, generosity or gratitude. How else to explain those totally random gifts that have little practical or sentimental value?

Often times we use gift giving as a way to over-compensate for some perceived lack of self-worth or adequacy. When we feel “less than” about ourselves, we tend to spend more on gifts in the hopes of gaining the love and approval we seek from others. How many times have you been shopping at a store during the holidays and found yourself on line behind someone at the register who appears to have gone stark-raving mad? They’ve loaded their carts to the max –as though they were in a shopping spree and their lives depended on grabbing the most items possible in the shortest amount of time. Gift giving when viewed in the context of this prism becomes a futile exercise in self-redemption via crass commercialism –after all, imagine the disappointment of this person’s family and friends if they didn’t show up on the holidays with a boatload of gifts!

Then there are people who feel the need to keep score… are you one of those? You are if you wait to see who gives you a gift first before reciprocating, make decisions about who to gift based on historical performance (i.e. who gave you a gift the previous year), or you aim to maintain parity in your gift giving –meaning you always give gifts of approximately the same or perceived value as the ones you receive.

All this mental score-keeping is time-consuming, exhausting, and distracts us from the true intention of gift-giving –acknowledging those we love and care about. When giving gifts starts to feel like a chore or an obligation, that’s the time to re-evaluate your gift-giving strategy! Why do you give gifts? Is it to fill an ego-based need? Is the real motivation to make yourself feel better or to make someone else happy? What if you let your ego get out of the way and focus on what would make the other person happy based on what they actually need or

A gift is your way of expressing how you feel about another person –your way of showing them gratitude for having them in your life. The best gift you can give is the gift of sharing yourself or your feelings with someone –being present with them in a way that reminds them that they mean something to you. Here’s a quick look at some gift ideas that can support the real intention of giving:

Gifts of Experiences

There’s something deeply satisfying and gratifying about sharing experiences with someone you care about. It builds and strengthens the bond between you. It can be something simple like taking them out for dinner and a movie, going to a concert, play, or sporting event together, or doing something more involved like spending a day hiking or exploring in nature, getting pampered at a Spa, a visit to the local museum, or volunteering for an event. The emphasis should be on togetherness –sharing the experience rather than just handing them a gift certificate or pair of tickets to something.

Gifts from the Heart

Gifts from the heart are the most meaningful and can take on many forms: gifts of time, love or support (baby-sitting, house-sitting, pet-sitting, tech support for the computer-challenged, gardening or decorating advice, cooking lessons, house-cleaning, coffee or a meal together). Think of something your giftee needs, could really use, or you know would make them feel good. Start by asking them ‘What do you need?’ or ‘What can I help you create?’ This way you can help them do or create something that’s important or meaningful to them. You’re building on their idea rather than on an idea of your own which may not be as important to them.

If time is a major challenge, then other heart-centered gifts include contributions to charitable causes that are important to the giftee, or gifts from companies that tithe or support similar causes.

Handmade Gifts

Another great way to show someone you care is by using your talents to make them a gift. Great handmade gifts include food (jellies, jams, infused culinary oils and vinegars, all manner of dessert), bath and body items (soaps, candles, perfumes, lip balms, lotions and creams), clothing (any form of knitwear, silkscreened or hand-dyed clothing), jewelry, accessories, home decor, pet accessories, other craft items (photos, drawings, paintings, scrap books, etc.). If you don’t have the time or skill then consider buying handmade gifts –it’s not as personal as something that’s made by you but it still holds more value than your run-of-the-mill store-bought items.

Here are some resources you can consult for gift ideas:

For gifts to charitable causes, consult the Charity Navigator Holiday Giving Guide to help you evaluate different charities and aid organizations and make the most of your contributions.

For handmade and green gifts that make a difference, shop at the World of Good’s website –a shopping site with a treasure trove of over 20,000 ethically-sourced, fair trade, and eco-friendly gifts and goods from around the world. And don’t forget to consult Etsy –a shopping site of only handmade goods in a variety of product categories.

For gifts to people in need, take a look at Kiva. Championed by former president Bill Clinton, this organization lets you use your money to make micro-loans to entrepreneurs in poor and rural parts of the world with the goal of helping them achieve economic independence and improved quality of life. Another great option in this category is Heifer International.

Copyright 2009 Dropwise Essentials

The Peace and Tranquility of Nature

What most people love about nature is the feeling of peace and tranquility amidst natural surroundings. This is also the reason why people riding bicycles love to be in nature because other than achieving a healthier lifestyle, they get to enjoy a peaceful and clean surrounding.

A famous saying goes like this: “Take time to stop and smell the roses.” It reminds people to stop and enjoy life despite one’s busy schedule. It is also a reminder that when you are in the middle of Mother Nature, you have to stop and enjoy the beauty of creation.

Bicycle touring around the countryside is a very nice experience as you get to enjoy nature at its best. Instead of the noise of cars and trucks in the city, you get to experience the beautiful sound and smell of nature.

One invigorating experience is going camping outdoors. It is relaxing and peaceful to enjoy nature. While camping, you can visit nature riding the bicycle or on foot. You will certainly see the beauty of untouched nature.

Riding the bicycle to the top of the mountain can be tough. In fact, it feels like forever before you can reach the top. But once you are up there and you get to see the spectacular view, you cannot help not to be thankful to be on the spot where you get to experience such profound beauty.

Going on tours can be annoying with you following the tourist guide everywhere, listening to what they have to say about the place. However, tour around places you haven’t seen is very exciting once you get to the place where natural beauty surrounds you. You simply can’t help not to take pictures as souvenirs.

If you are planning a bicycling experience in the future, hopefully you get to learn a little bit on how to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Enjoy your ride but most of all; enjoy what nature has in store for you.

Beauty Salon, Beauty Salon, Wherefore Art Thou Beauty Salon?

In the modern world people are more beauty conscious than ever. There is a continuous demand and search for good service providers in this arena. The business for the beauty salon is on the rise, and it is getting more and more difficult to find good salons as per your need. There are number of ways available for you to find a good beauty salon for you. Your choice may depend on many factors some of them may be quality of service provided, types of services provided, distance, cost, goodwill and repute of the salon etc. To find a good beauty salon of your choice, there are two major factors on which you should concentrate your search.

Finding a Beauty Salon

Your hunt for the beauty salon of your choice begins with the distance you want to cover to get the services you desire. For that you can get the help from the local business directories and news papers and magazines. Your daily visits to the workplace and markets do a great help in this regard. Now you will be left with a decent number of beauty salons to look in.

The Next step is to look for the services you want from the beauty salon. Most of the salons concentrate over only few popular services, and it is rare to find a salon which offers you all services under one roof. Your target would narrow down further.

Now it is time for consideration of the company’s reputation and good will; in order to find out about this you can go through the Better Business Bureau, which is a business that is dedicated solely to making sure the public is aware of the authenticity and status of companies. Beside that there are number of organizations to guide you in this regard.

You can get the help from your friends, family members and your neighborhood too, to get their opinions on the salons in your list, and this way you will get a precise opinions with regard to the salons. You will be able to gather not only the crucial information about the reputation and the quality of service provided by the salon, but you will be able to get precise ideas about the rates they usually charge to their customers and other bargains available for you.

Another option available is to go there personally once and have a talk with personnel that are working there, this would be ideal way to get the first hand knowledge about the friendliness of staff, as well as the services that they offer there, and other relevant facts like the pricing and all. You may get the chance to interact with the customers there get an idea about the quality of services offered. This would help you to see whether or not you like the place.

Always try to have patience during your research. Sometime it may be frustrating and confusing because there will be so many different salons (thank god you have already prepared your list). It is better to stay calm and get yourself focused on your target while you are checking out the different salons, because after all, one that you choose should the best and convenient for you in all aspects. You are going to be spending a lot of time there for relaxation and beauty purposes, and it should be a place where you can enjoy yourself during the stay.

This is why talking to the staff personally to get the assessment of the staff’s personality is important, because you will be there for a long duration of time, and you have the right enjoy the company of the people that are around you.