We received a gift of an orchid plant from friends. Orchids represent flowers of love, beauty, and luxury. That one orchid created a hobby passion.
We got caught up in the beauty of these flowers and kept buying without thought to their maintenance. This reckless purchasing style created problems in orchid care.
Our purchasing may have been haphazard, but we learned about all the things that one should not do. These were costly mistakes, but we learned valuable lessons.
Other orchid enthusiasts introduced us to orchid shows. These shows allow people to take advantage of on-site knowledge work shops. The classes help to become familiar with the different orchid plant families and how to care for them.
We kept speaking with different vendors at these shows gathering more tips for plant care and for building a greenhouse.
We also visited commercial orchid houses to get their ideas for our backyard orchid building.
There are many assorted types of greenhouse plans. We have found that after you build the first one there will be changes for future buildings.
As you gain knowledge working with your orchids, the building will need to suit the plant types and your personal needs for a sturdy, friendly, and workable building that suits both plant interests and personal working habits.
There is the option of ordering manufactured greenhouses or building your own. It is a personal and financial choice.
Eleven Tips for Raising Orchids:
Orchids are naturally found growing in rain forests around the world. However, conditions can be created indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses regardless of where you live.
There are thousands of species. Most people will specialize in one category, possibly another two or three. Orchid growing interests are determined by affordable artificial setups and availability of supplies to keep plants happy and thriving.
South America is known to be the largest arena for a variety of orchids. Many of us are familiar with tropical islands having many varieties. Tourists are welcomed in Hawaii by receiving orchid leis. Leis are necklaces of fresh flowers placed around the neck of visitors to the islands.
Our favorite vendor brings orchids from Thailand. We always look forward for her supplies at the orchid shows.
Selling Arts and Crafts
Most artists and craftsmen have a general idea of where to sell their works of art. But a list would be helpful to refresh or learn new markets. The best list is to identify target buyers for your product line. Target buyers are excellent as long as this list never ends. Another helpful outlet is for customers to order their products before production. This list foretells the exact number of buyers who like your product and will include a deposit or a down payment.
A business person is always looking for other outlets to maintain an ongoing business and to provide future customers. Never assume that regular customers or repeat customers will be with you for the length of your career.
Another important consideration for other markets is to research trends and keep ahead of competitors. Artists and craftsmen never depend on one product. Producing a variety of products is essential for success.
Three research considerations for future products include:
American Tribal Style and American Tribal Fusion have been developing since the 1960s in America.
American women wanted something different from traditional Egyptian and Turkish styles of Middle Eastern dancing known as belly dancing.
Another reason for designing these newer dances is the many folkloric and ethnic public performances. Renaissance festivals inspired belly dancers to make costume adjustments to fit in with the medieval theme.
The original Medieval gypsies were street dancers. However; their costumes of black and white or shades of gray is boring to an audience. Dancers made their costumes more colorful and created original designs to attract interest for their stage performances.
Costume style, dance steps, and body movements are the main elements of ATF. “Fusion“ is the key word in ATF. The dominant movements of the borrowed movements of a dance are combined or fused to belly dancing movements. For instance, the characteristic flamenco movements are merged or fused with Turkish style belly dancing. Asian influences are integrated or fused with Egyptian style belly dancing movements. In each of these examples, choreography is interesting and challenging for dancers. The audience finds the performance interesting and entertaining. Audience reactions are mixed.
Music and dance are living arts and change as people’s interests evolve. It creates other changes from other world dance styles and American women make changes as needed.
The creators design and incorporate the new style arrangements into folkloric or ethnic dances that attract women of all ages and sizes who feel comfortable wearing the new costumes and dancing to their favorite music. There are influences from Spain, India, Asia, Africa, Middle Eastern countries, tropical islands, and more.
These two styles of dancing are still changing as they attract other sub-culture groups. Examples like underground, dark side, burlesque, and tattoos are finding comfort in the new styles.
American Tribal Style (ATS) ATS:
ATS vs ATS Dancing
ATS or American Tribal Style, developed by Carolena Nericcio and Fat Chance Belly Dance, is the first tribal dance invented by American dance artists.
These ladies perform duets or troupe choreography. Solo performances are rare. Public performances welcome their presence for their colorful modest costumes and upbeat troupe dances.
American Tribal Fusion or ATF by Jill Parker and Ultra Gypsy followed ATS, but it permits other dance cultures, thus the word fusion.
They draw attention to their bodies as they perform their dance movements. Tattoos are popular among American Tribal Style Enthusiasts. The majority performances are solos. Performing as a troupe is rare.
Students have a choice of learning two different American tribal originals. The ladies enjoy this style of dancing for group fun, exercising, dance interest, and social activity.
Teachers, performers, and students borrow music and costume inspirations from the Middle East, India, Asia, Africa, Spain, and many other countries. The creative imaginations of the participants are endless.
There are many peoples in America with many ideas of dance and it is these elements which are entering the “fusion movement”. Many music types such as jazz, electric, and pop, are being added. There are seven types of popular styles in the tribal category.
Read more about 3 styles of belly dancing.
Sensual and Sexy Belly Dancing
The words sexy and sensual comes to mind when speaking of belly dancers. Both words may mean the same to some people and others define these words individually.
The word sexy refers to sexual stimuli and the word sensual refers to human senses. Each of the audience members would classify the performer from their individual viewpoint.
Let’s visit the beach scene for a moment. There are bikini-clad ladies strolling along the shoreline. One person may say “She is hot and sexy”. Another viewer may say, “The bikinis look great on their figure types.” And the last person may say two of those ladies are sexy and one is sensual; look at how she carries herself and glides along the shoreline.” “She is more than her bikini.”
The belly dancer is also more than her appearance and her costume. The manner in which she moves her body with her attitude and emotions combined with her senses makes her both sexy and sensual as she interprets the musical rhythms.
Fit Mind and Body
Everyone who takes belly dancing does not become a public entertainer. There are many reasons women take belly dancing. The primary interest is exercise. It is a pleasant method of maintaining a fit mind and body. Thousands of women worldwide take lessons for personal reasons.
Other reasons for taking classes include:
Sixty years have passed since marketers and promoters of belly dancing introduced this dance to Americans. Many dancers became famous during these years and the dance continues to be popular.
People have some strange ideas of what belly dancing is all about. Sub culture entertainment industries portray this dance with an attitude not desired by most women. This has been detrimental for artists who wish to advance this dance to a higher level of art.
Different styles of this dance are learned everyday in private sessions, small classes, seminars, and workshops worldwide. It has become a dignified outlet for those who enjoy dancing. There are few dances which do not require a partner. This is another advantage and benefit for those who love to dance.
If belly dancers are labeled sexy, then this term reflects our feelings of passion, desiring challenges, and an overall sensitivity to the excitement for the dance, its costumes, the music, and performances that makes people feel happy.
The audience admires beauty, athletic abilities, and enjoys relaxing to an assortment of slow, medium fast, and fast movements by the entertainer.
Both the dancers and the audience find this art form intriguing and appealing to our senses. I guess we can also label the audience as being sexy.
The dancer experiences sensuality through her natural senses. The dancer feels through her mind, body, and soul. The physical senses of seeing, hearing, touching, and feeling are arousing. A person may also experience the senses of smelling and tasting while dancing.
Middle Eastern music rhythms causes the human body to move. Sounds and emotional vibrations from the music stimulate the mind. Sensations of “at one” with self elicits euphoria while dancing.
A dancer may experience a spiritual state while performing. As the audience embraces the performance they may also experience a spiritual state of being. I would describe this state of mind as being euphoric and at one with the universe. It is a world onto itself wrapped in love and warmth.
Hobbies are Pleasurable
Human beings are sensual creatures. We use all of our senses to survive and enjoy life’s pleasures. No one should feel guilty about experiencing pleasures from their selected hobbies.
Those women who feel self conscious about their bodies or their appearance learn to overcome these self defeating thoughts or abuse from others as they feel comfortable and beautiful with the gifts of this dance. It builds self confidence and self esteem. As the inside beauty of an individual is changed so will her attitude outward appearance.
Many women do not put the emphasis on feeling sexy while dancing as they are having fun moving their bodies to music. The dancing environment allows freedom to experiment with their creative self and focus on moving their bodies to the assorted rhythms. They are lost in self. It is a dance exercise in self awareness.
Read more ...
Painting with acrylics is enjoyable.
Do you enjoy painting with acrylics? I love using these paints as they are versatile and produce no allergens for me. These paints are water-based with no harsh odors or chemicals. Brushes are easy cleanup with soap and water. These paints are available for any type of surfaces.
Acrylics are quick drying paints. This is great for fast painters, but if you are not a fast painter the paints will need to be kept moist with water or a medium to maintain a longer moisture time. Acrylics will stain your clothing. Wear old clothing or a protective apron as a precaution.
The game of tennis is a lot of fun. We can experience it as a leisure and recreational hobby or as a game of friendly competition. We can play singles which means participating with another partner. Two couples may play against each other. This teamwork is identified as doubles.
Most people enjoy a game having no injuries. This is excellent. There are prevention activities.
Twelve Tips of Prevention:
1. Warm up with active exercises. These exercises are similar to body movements around the court. Perform these motions for 20 or 30 seconds.
2. Strength building exercises for more advanced or professional players. Tennis or personal fitness coaches are available.
3. Body alignment. Correct posture is essential in any sport. Work with correct alignment when striking the ball. The ball is hit from an upward reach, avoid forward overstretching when serving or hitting the ball.
4. Correct instruction from a tennis coach or tennis instructor to observe body alignment and use these good techniques.
5. Wear footwear that fits. Purchase shoes designed to play on grass, clay, concrete, or artificial turf.
6. Wear wrist, ankle, and knee guards to avoid injuries to these weak areas. These simple supports are an asset.
7. Wear headband and sunglasses to keep perspiration, hair, and sunrays away from eyes. A clear vision is necessary to see the ball.
8. Play at your level of abilities. Do not perform Clowning, showing off, and attempting advanced techniques without practice or guidance will cause injuries.
9. Whether you are participating for fun or for competition take a break. Your mind may wish to keep playing, but the body requires rest.
10. Play during pleasant weather. The worst time of the year is during summer temperatures of ninety degrees and more. Never play between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. The sun is at its greatest heat intensity and will cause skin damage. The best temperature range to play is between 50 and 80 degrees.
11. Use a safe court. Most courts are in good condition. However; walk the court searching for any items that could cause tripping or other troubles.
12. Know how to play on different courts and wear correct shoe type for that surface.
Were you introduced to model kits during childhood?
Many children are introduced to model making kits. Parents buy different model types as gifts or as projects for a class assignments. Do you remember the plastic anatomical doll? Science teachers recommend this model to help learn basic human anatomy.
Model kits are available for both children and adults. There are numerous selections of buildings, vehicles, animals, people, and plants.
Models are made from paper, wood, plastics, and metal. There is a choice between designing and making original creations or purchasing commercially manufactured items. The kits assemble with snap locking features, gluing, and interlocking slits.
Each kit contains a set of instructions, decals, and paint colors. Do not throw the instructions into the waste basket. The assembly instructions must be done exactly as written. The decals are easy to apply. Painting is an option. There are some kits which are painted by the manufacturer.
As a beginner start with an inexpensive and easy to assemble kit. As the kits become more challenging, they also become more expensive and require additional skills and tools.
Assembly can be done on any flat counter space. However; I recommend an area where unfinished work may remain safely. It may take several hours, weeks, or months to complete a project.
Arts and crafts skills are useful and valuable to build vehicles that will be energized with electricity, gasoline, batteries, and nitro. Speed cars, trucks, ships and boats, airplanes and rockets, and buggies are some of the motorized vehicles.
Builing cars, trucks, military vehicles, airplanes, spacecraft and rockets, boats, robots, science fiction, assorted guns, and architectural buildings.
Boys also take an interest in movie and comic book personalities, props, and settings.
Building models of dollhouses, dolls, mini-craft figurines, anime and entertainment personalities, props, and settings from movies and comics.
Today's girls may select toys beyond the stereotyped view of domestic orientation and nurturing, or fashion and cosmetics.
This is a short introduction to building models.
For more information read
There are many people including myself who enjoy beach combing the shoreline for seashells. Assorted shapes, sizes, and colors can be found on the shore or just where the water breaks at the shoreline.
Winds cause waves to stir the ocean bottom and cast the shells onto the beach. Shell collectors have no need to fear shortages. There are trillions of shells lying on beaches worldwide.
Photography and Video Taping
Another method of collecting shells is to photograph or video tape both the shells and the living organisms that live in them. I am not a photographer, but I am sure you will need special cameras and accessories for both outdoor and indoor shooting.
The individuals who photograph tend to also catalog their findings. Much of this information is passed on to scientists who are concerned about extinction, environmental pollution, and other types of changes affecting our oceans and beaches.
The collection which I have is placed in jars as a décor on shelving and tables.
One of my many hobbies is beading jewelry and I enjoy using shells in necklaces, bracelets, and pendants. I have not been able to photograph any of my creations, but the photo on the right is a necklace made by another artist.
Sanibel Beach in Florida is a popular world-visited shell collectors paradise. One can pick up any shell they wish, but not those with living organisms. There is a financial fine, jail, and or probation. The state of Florida has strict rules governing shell collecting along its beaches.
There is a museum on Sanibel Island which is worth visiting to get a copy of the rules and to see the different types of shells to help you with identification. They also have shell crafts on display. There are scheduled speakers, special programs, and videos specific to shell collecting and their marine inhabitants.
Read more about collecting sea shells.
As children many of us have played with finger and hand puppets in the home and at school. We made up stories and dialogue and had fun for an indoor activity. Punch and Judy hand puppets were very popular.
In the advanced grades we were exposed to stick puppets, ventriloquists and marionettes by watching a production in school, at the library, or during an exhibition at a museum or a children's theater.
I remember attending a television studio which housed the Howdy Doody program featuring the marionette puppet, Howdy Doody. On Saturdays many children watched Kukla, Fran and Ollie featuring their many funny antics.
Television introduced ventriloquist dolls most often operated by comedian style entertainers. In America one of the greatest was Edgar Bergen with his dummies Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. Another famous ventriloquist is Jeff Dunham with Achmed. Another famous and popular show then and now are Jim Henson's The Muppet Show which caters to adults, however; children enjoy the characters. The Muppets' cast has been featured in movies.
We are surrounded by puppets in many entertainment medias. Being a puppeteer has many employment opportunities. If you enjoy entertaining, you may wish to consider this arts and crafts opportunity as a career.
The two main requirements are a passion for puppets and story telling.
Types of Puppets
Full Body Puppet
Finger and Hand Puppet are used by both children and adults in story telling.
Rod Puppet and Shadow Puppet
A rod puppet is controlled with a rod made of wood or metal which is placed in the center of the body. There are attachments to the rod which connect to the arms. The operator is below stage level and moves the puppet with the rod from side to side or up and down. The operator moves the arms with strings connected to the arm controls.
Shadow puppets are constructed flat. Rods and strings are used to operate the characters. The actors are placed between a screen and a bright light which creates shadows on a screen.
The ventriloquist operates his doll with one hand causing the head or the mouth to move about naturally with words uttered by the ventriloquist. The object of this play acting is to direct attention to the doll, not the human being. The ventriloquist does his best to speak without moving his lips. The performer practices for many years speaking without moving their lips. One challenge is to speak while drinking a glass of water.
The operator for marionettes is known as a marionettist. He or she operates these figures by moving strings on a control unit. The strings may be made of strong threads or wire. The object is to move these figurines mimicking life's movements.
Full Body Puppet
There is a difference between dressing up as a character or dressing as a full body puppet. A character acts his character traits. A full body puppet is costumed as a character which is actively participating in a written story. In other words, there is an actor in a puppet costume and he or she has a role or a part in the story being told.
Would you like to become a Puppeteer?
Income is based on agreements or contracts. The highest paid puppeteers are in television and the movie industry.
Do you need ideas for dressing dolls? Christmas is a time of gift giving and many little girls enjoy dressing their dolls. It is a wonderful surprise to open a gift of doll clothing. The little girl will run to her closet and take out her dolls to try their new fashion selection.
If you are like me, I have many remnants of cloth which are too small for regular clothing, but just right for making doll clothing. It may take a few weeks or months to complete a wardrobe. Start sewing or gluing today.
Doll clothing may be assembled with machine, hand sewing, or gluing. You may also knit or crochet these garments.
Knit a sweater and make a pair of pants. You may consider making your daughter a sweater as well.
Make a jacket and skirt or a pair of pants. An ensemble like this may be stitched, knitted, or crocheted.
Design your own patterns or check online for free patterns. Whenever I research online, I find many different free patterns offered by various companies. Or if you wish there are patterns to be purchased.
Make a rag doll. These are very easy to assemble.
In this photo someone made an everyday dress for this rag doll. Little girls like dressing as their dolls. This is a good example of how an everyday dress is made from fabric scraps. If by chance these are scraps from a dress that was made for your little girl, she will appreciate her doll having one as well.
A wedding gown or a beautiful party dress is very exciting. Are there several dolls? Sew, crochet, or knit for other dolls to wear as bridesmaids or flower girls.
Party dresses are not only fun to make but they do offer a sparkling new addition to a doll's wardrobe.
Is there a new addition to the family?
Make the new baby doll some baby clothing. Or if you prefer visit garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and purchase baby clothing that will fit the doll.
Babies can be quite messy; add accessories of bibs, diaper changes, and light blankets.
These five types of ideas will help to jump start your creativity and imagination. Review the types of dolls and supplies available to make a determination where to start. Don't be surprised by the fun you will have making these clothing.
Read more about making doll clothing.