Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Are Handmade Bracelets Really Worth the Effort?

How often have you received or purchased anything that is completely handmade? Some of you may answer probably. Some may say occasionally. Others, rarely or even never. Handmade products are perceived as more expensive because of the extra time, effort and materials used in making them. This perception is even more prevalent in the jewelry-making business - which explains why a piece of jewelry such as a bracelet tends to cost more.

Even bracelets made from less expensive materials such as crystals, plastics, polished wood and clay are proportionally more expensive than the usual consumer items. The question that leads many people to ask is: are handmade bracelets more valuable?

To people who have received these bracelets as gifts, the answer can only be a resounding yes. Here are the two most common reasons why:
  •     The Uniqueness of the Product - In an era where even high-end jewelry is mass produced, there's no question that these bracelets will come out as one of a kind. With the variety of bracelet materials available out there that consumers can purchase, the possibilities are slim that multiple copies of the same bracelet will be produced from the combinations of designs that will be chosen by those who prefer to make handmade bracelets to give as gifts or to keep as part of one's jewelry collection. Unique bracelets will certainly stand out in a crowd of commercially produced items. Simply put - more unique equals more value
  •     The Flexibility of Design - People who choose to make bracelets on their own always assert that it is their design that comes out of the finished product and not that of some faceless, anonymous designer who know nothing about their individual preference. This flexibility of making customized designs is made possible by the wide range of materials available for purchase such as gemstones, metals, crystals and plastics. Because people get to choose which materials and which shapes to include in making their own bracelets, they also consider the finished product as extensions of their own personality - which makes these bracelets even more valuable to those who will receive them as gifts.
Handmade bracelets are not just for those who want to give them away as gifts. These items are also valuable end-products for people who engage in this activity as a hobby. These people are not just composed of bored housewives, retirees and the unemployed. A growing number of hobbyists who engage in this activity are people who are employed in professions that do not produce any tangible products such as accounting, information technology (IT), sales and personnel management. Studies have shown that hobbies that produce creative and tangible products such as bracelet-making has some therapeutic benefits for these professionals. Even though the bracelets themselves may not have any significant physical value, they are nevertheless worthy symbols of well-being for those who spend quality time creating them.

Whether as gift items, as hobbyists' therapeutic symbols or as collectibles, these bracelets are definitely worth more than their actual value for many people.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Some Tips and Advice to Find the Best Christmas Gift Ideas

Every Christmas, it is a part of your tradition and habit to give gifts to the people you love like your family and friends. This is what makes Christmas special. People love to receive gifts but it is also a nice feeling to give gifts back. Just seeing the look of joy and gratefulness on the receiver's face is a gift itself. And this is probably the reason why you still do this same gift giving tradition every December.

But gift givers face a dilemma when the last few months of the year come. They find it difficult to choose the perfect gifts for the people they love. It is especially difficult after giving gifts to the same person every year for several times already and it is also hard to find a present for people who already have everything that money can buy.

So if you are running out of ideas for Christmas gifts, here are some tips that you should try this December.
  •     The best present for Christmas does not necessarily have to be expensive. It can be something simple and cheap like. Although it is true that giving something expensive like cars or valuables like jewelry will make your loved ones happy, this is not always the case. And of course, you have to think about your budget. If you are thinking of ideas for Christmas gifts that are affordable but will make your love done happy, you can try to create a scrapbook of your own memories together. You can collect pictures of you and your loved one and make a scrapbook. You can use scrap booking materials which you can easily buy from craft stores. Write funny captions and let other friends and loved ones write their won comments. This will not only put a smile on your friend's face but it will also probably bring a tear of joy or two.
  •     Unique ideas for Christmas gifts are also everywhere. Just go online you can purchase different kinds of out of this world gifts. One example is buying a heavenly body for your loved one and naming it after him. You can also buy a small piece of land form all the 50 states in the US. Everybody wants a piece of the world. And at least you can honestly say now that you can give the stars and the moon tot eh person you love.
  •     For children, you might want to give classic toys. You can never go wrong with classic toys. Since they are considered as classics, this means that all children all over the world from all generations enjoyed and will enjoy these timeless toys. You can give Barbie dolls, Slinky, Snakes and Ladders, action figures, toy cars, doll houses, and so on. You can also find something educational. Parents will be glad if you make an effort to buy something that is both enjoyable and educational for their children.
These are just a few Christmas gift ideas that you can use when choosing presents for your loved ones. Now that you have this useful information, you can now start shopping for the items in your Christmas list.

To learn more how to get great Christmas ideas check out also Italian Charms Market, where you will find Christmas Charms and Starter bracelet for Italian charms that can be the perfect Christmas gift.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Silver Fashion Jewelry Cleaning Tips

Silver fashion jewelry is one of the most popular fashion jewelries in use, primarily because it is not only beautiful, but also versatile, as the sparkling shine of sterling silver is much easier to match with clothing and other fashion accessories, than gold or other colored stones. However, one problem with silver fashion jewelry is the need to maintain the sparkle and shine. Without proper maintenance, jewelry made from silver can come into contact with certain chemicals and start to tarnish, making it lose its natural shine. If further neglected, silver will eventually appear black. Here are some things you can do in order to regularly clean your silver jewelry:
  •     Using Commercial Cleaning Products - After market cleaning and polishing products for silver are readily available, and in some cases - affordable. Most of these products come in the form of wipes and cloth sets as well as some that are sold as liquid agents. What is important is to carefully choose the cleaning products according to your needs. For instance, a silver jewelry that only has grease stains or a mild to medium case of tarnishing will need a cleaning product that is not as strong as the one you will need to clean it that has already blackened. Do not be afraid to ask for a demonstration at the store, in order to make sure that the product you are buying really works.
  •     Using Homemade Cleaning Products - if you are more of the DIY person, or you are currently unable to purchase a commercial cleaning product, you can do your own silver cleaning using materials that are readily available at home. All you need is one-fourth cups of salt, liquid dish soap, and baking soda, along with water, aluminum foil, a large pot, a towel, and a strainer. Line the insides and the bottom of the pot with the foil, mix all of the other ingredients (salt, liquid dish soap, baking soda, and water) inside the pot. Place the jewelry to be cleaned in the solution and place the pot under low heat (non boiling) for a few minutes. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let the jewelry sit in the solution for another 5 minutes. Afterwards, strain the cleaning solution from the pot and rinse the jewelry under cold or lukewarm running water. Make sure that the jewelry is clean of all the solution, particularly because salt can be corrosive if left indefinitely. Use the towel to dry the now-clean silver.
  •     Toothpaste - Silver jewelry with only mild to medium tarnish can be cleaned with toothpaste just by dampening the silver, and brushing it with a kid's toothbrush with generous amounts of white toothpaste. Make sure not to rub vigorously, as you could scratch the silver. When done, use a clean, soft towel to dry your jewelry.
Last but not the least, for severely tarnished or blackened jewelries, you can always take it back to the shop and have it cleaned professionally. The cost of professional cleaning, while still expensive compared to the above methods, are still relatively affordable and will not break your wallet.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why You Should Write a Personal Diary

Diaries have got to be one of the most powerful forms of text ever created. Every major change in human history has been personally documented in someone's diary. From Anne Frank and her time evading Nazi's to Lewis Carroll's lost diary pages and hidden past. Diaries hold the answers to some of life's most asked questions, they hold our most personal secrets and darkest fantasies. Yet so many of us come to writing a diary and fail miserably. It becomes another tombstone in our new year's resolution graveyard where so many of our other forgotten resolutions lie. So why should you write one?

One day you may become famous. Now I'm not talking Jordan and Peter Andre famous, or even Paris Hilton. No. I mean you could be remembered for something great. Making a difference to humankind. Good or bad, you will have made a difference. When that happens people will want to know how you did it, what made you do it and why you did it. A diary is the perfect answer. Not only that but a diary can act as a great way of spurring yourself into doing these things, pushing you to work harder. This very article could be the start of you crafting a legacy. You can thank me when you win that Nobel Prize.

Now I bet your thinking? Ok, maybe this is a good idea, but how do I start one? Great question. First start off by heading to your local bookshop and buying a quality diary. Don't head straight for the bargain jumbo pad. Treat yourself to something nice. Remember! This is something you are going to have forever so if there is something worth splashing out on this is it. If you are having thoughts of typing your diary in word then let me stop you there. It will never get done. Computers break. Diaries are supposed to be hand crafted sprawls of a person's inner psyche not a spell checked, perfectly aligned word document. A "diary pen" may also be investing in as well. Anything to help motivate you.

So you have pen and paper ready. Now let the words flow. This is what most people have trouble doing. Just letting their thoughts flow onto paper. If you find yourself thinking "how did I start today?" then just forget it. A diary doesn't have to be like a documentary, I had breakfast, I washed my teeth, I picked up my keys, No! You're not 10! Stop thinking and just scribble. If your life doesn't have any drama at the minute then talk about how uneventful and mediocre it is, if it does, great! Diaries are the best outlet for your emotion.

There is no set amount you should write in your diary. I tend to find if I force myself to write every day or week then I never have anything to write about, or I'm just not in the mood. Again no problem, just make sure you have your diary handy, possibly go to bed 10 minutes earlier than normal in case you want to write, other than that just do it when the mood takes you.

Your reward for your work? Well a completed diary obviously but seriously how many of you have had the pleasure of completing a full years worth of work. Seriously. You will be overwhelmed by how much you have done. Hundreds or even thousands of pages of words. And the best thing about it? You will remember every part of it like it was yesterday. It is living proof of your existence. I guess that's what it all boils down to really, as humans we are scared when we are gone we will be forgotten. Completing this means when you are long gone somebody can pick up your diary and remember you existed.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Halloween Charms

Bats on Moon Italian Charm
Bats on Moon Italian Charm
This is wonderful addition to your Halloween thematic bracelet. This marvelous charm looks very colorful and is going to be your favorite item. Bats are painted in black and gold enamel over big yellow moon. Spotless and quality stainless steel charm is great base for this amazing charm.

Crazed Pumpkin Laser Charm
Crazed Pumpkin Laser Charm
Ahhh! It's the attack of the crazy pumpkin head! Oh..nevermind. It's just some silly man with a pumpkin on his head. We get that all the time here. Here's a nutty charm to help get you on the mood for Halloween! Image is laser engraved into a stainless steel base link

Dracula Caricature Photo Charm
Dracula Caricature Photo Charm
Put some fright into your charm collection. This laser charm is made of stainless steel and laser-inscribed with a high-resolution laser. This will be the ideal gift to give out at Halloween parties. The kids will love them!

Ghost and Bats Italian Charm
Ghost and Bats Italian Charm
This amazing charm is very colorful and looks cute and lovely. Charm is painted in quality bright enamel and set on the first grade stainless steel base. This amazing charm is great gift for Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween Collage Black Laser Charm
Happy Halloween Collage Black Laser Charm
Featured here is a nice festive Halloween oval with the every popular phrase "Happy Halloween" inside! Charm engraving uses a nice compilation of high precision lines and curves, making this phrase easily readable.

Prince turned into Frog Laser Charm
Prince turned into Frog Laser Charm
We all know the fairy tale about the frog that turns into a prince, but unfortunately, the prince got the bad end in the stick in this picture because he's a frog…with a prince hat on! Frog image is laser etched into a shimmering stainless steel base link.

Wicked Witch riding Broom Black Laser Charm
Wicked Witch riding Broom Black Laser Charm
Get ready for the spookiest holiday of them off with this silhouette of a wicked witch riding her broom off into the night. If you like to think of yourself as a witch (which I hope you don't) this charm would suit you properly.

Pumpkin Italian Charm
Pumpkin Italian Charm
This great Pumpkin Italian Charm is the most classic piece for your charms bracelet. This great charm is painted in bright enamel and set on a spotless stainless steel link. This gorgeous piece is wonderful gift for Halloween. Buy Pumpkin Italian Charm

Bat in blue Sky Italian Charm
Bat in blue Sky Italian Charm
Give your charms bracelet the Halloween touch adding this great Bat in Blue Sky Italian Charm. This charm is painted in blue, black and yellow enamel. The perfect stainless steel link fits all major brands Italian charms.

Demon with Pitchfork Laser Charm
Demon with Pitchfork Laser Charm
I bet you don't want this guy knocking at your front door! Charm features a wicked and grumpy looking demon guy with pitchfork in hand. Perfect for Halloween party favors!

Ghost Italian Charm
Ghost Italian Charm
This funny ghost is not scary at all!! Pretty ghost is painted in white and gold enamel and set on a premium stainless steel link. This charm is great piece for your new Halloween charms bracelet.

Pumpkin with Tooth Italian Charm
Pumpkin with Tooth Italian Charm
This wonderful and funny charm is just gorgeous. It looks absolutely lovely, cute and pretty. The pumpkin is painted in quality enamel and set on a premium stainless steel charm. You are going to love having this amazing charm on your Halloween bracelet.

More Italian Charms

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Interpreting Literature - A Myth and a Reality

G.D. Barche. Interpreting Literature: A Myth and a Reality.
(Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2008).
Pages 197, Price Rs. 175/-.
ISBN 978-81-7977-269-0

Interpreting a text is a knotty affair, from impressionistic, didactic, moralistic, humanistic or spiritualistic to mythic, modernist, structuralist, postmodernist, diasporic, pragmatic, etc. G.D. Barche is aware of the pitfalls of various critical approaches and theories, as he tries to locate the meaning of various literary texts. He recognizes the significance of the writer's language in context.

Stylistics, with its armoury of analytical weapons, gives importance to form and exposes how something is expressed. One cannot do a stylistic analysis of a poem or fiction without some basic knowledge of linguistics, structuralism and poststructuralism; grammatical categories such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs etc, and noun phrases, verb phrases, clauses, collocations etc; syntax, diction, and vocabulary; metaphor, sound and prosody features etc (in poetry); and point-of-view and speech and thought presentation, understanding of the function of speech and dialogue (in fictional narratives); textual and rhetorical aspects - formal description, meditative reflection and metonymic dimension of style.

While the text's intrinsic linguistic meaning or formal properties are basic to Barche's understanding, he applies certain extrinsic contextual factors that are taken to affect the meaning of language in discourse. He effectively demonstrates how pragmatic meaning, for example, can complement semantic meaning, as he draws on ideas and experiences outside the text to formulate his interpretation. The process of his interpretation rests on cues in the text which have a different significance, or are significant to a different extent.

Barche's book does not deal with stylistics as a discipline, rather it provides stylistic analyses of about 35 poems, 20 novels, and two plays. The focus of his analysis is not so much on analysis of the text itself but on analysis of the factors determining the meaning of a text in its social and spiritual context. His discourse-analytical approach to style in literary works is positioned against Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the Upanishads, the Bhagwad Gita, concepts such as klesa and citta-vrittis; layers of consciousness and ideals of detachment, freedom, love and self; myths of sin, fall, and suffering; symbols of Shikhandi, Sisyphus, Phoenix and Icarus, Adam and Eve, Purnima and Amavasya etc; and ironies, ambiguities and existential dilemmas that control the text or relate it to different contexts.

Throughout the 26 essays, composed to demonstrate how the written words relate to what is really meant, there is an intuitive presence of Patanjali's citta-vrittis and the various Upanishads that are the contexts of Barche's interpretations. He also regards the reader's autonomy vis-à-vis the text, and begins with an example of the reading and interpretation of Arun Kolatkar's 'Makarand', drawing our attention to what is known as the 'schema' theory. However, he quotes H.G. Widdowson to caution that given the unspecific and ambiguous poetic meanings, "there is no such thing as a definitive interpretation."

In his detailed analysis of a couple of poems by Kamala Das, Barche notes that the poet effectively gives vent to her "implicit or explicit anger" caused by klesas and nourished by viparyaya vritti. He also compares some of her poems with those of Sylvia Plath, who is equally experientially deep and psychologically complex but a victim of the viparyaya vritti which accounts for her deep-seated anger, pain and sufferings.

In another essay, Barche examines the 'Sun motif' in about twenty post-independent poets who show a secular rather than religious interest in the Sun. He also deals with Sunita Jain's poetry to reflect on the 'coupling' complex, i.e. convergence of physical, mental, emotional, and positional elements in man-woman relationship. In yet another essay he demonstrates the rejuvenating ('Phoenix') aspects as against the depleting ('Icarus') aspects of sex a la the Chandogya Upanisad's 'Vamdevya Chant' (Udgitha-Pratihara-Nidhana) in R.K.Singh's erotic poetry.

Among the words of fiction, Barche explores the built-in Nature-Culture forces in the protagonists of Arun Joshi's The Strange Case of Billy Biswas and Nguigi Wa Thiongo's The River Between. He creates the stylistic context for acquiring the tyaga vritti for 'nitya' (as against 'anitya') for everlasting blissful state.

His study of Anita Deasi's Bye Bye Black Bird and Arun Joshi's The Strange Case of Billy Biswas shows the process of alienation and rehabilitation via a 3-tier operation, viz. construction, deconstruction and reconstruction. If the characters in the two novels fail to experience rest and joy, it is because do not accept the Upanishadic truth that a man's destiny is to keep journeying non-stop.

Barche's approach enables him to deconstruct the deconstruction in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things to help grasp the 'why and how' of things that happen in "ever puzzling and peculiar ways in this world." He also examines facets of feminism in Indian English fiction, concentrating on Shashi Deshpande's Roots and Shadows, Anita Desai's Cry, the Peacock, and Jai Nimbkar's Temporary Answers and highlights the paradoxical position of Indian women.

He studies Manohar Malgonkar's The Men Who Killed Gandhi to reflect on existential ironies; Bapsi Sidhwa's An American Brat and Ruth Praver Jhabwala's Heat and Dust to highlight the psychological processes and underlying causes that bring about transformation in one's life; Shobha De's Second Thoughts to understand the feeings of emptiness of a woman amidst plenty, recreating the myth of Fall; R.K. Narayan's The Guide to follow the moral import of the character of Marco as woven in the themes and caught in the tragic human situations without excluding ironies, ambiguities and moral dilemmas of the freedom to choose; and Graham Greene's A Burnt-out Case to map the character of Querry in terms of our layers of consciousness, viz. kali, dvapar, treita and krutam. He also looks at the suggestive and symbolic instances in The God of Small Things ; the Shikhandi symbol as reworked in Shashi Tharoor's Riot, and the expression of Patanjali's avidya in Taslima Nasrin's Lajja/Shame.

The last two essays of the book concern the study of Shakespeare's Othello with a vritti approach and the study of Girish Karnad's Tughlaq with an abhinivesa approach. The former explores the cause of Othello's fall and suffering in terms of Patanjali's five citta vrittis, viz. Pramana (right knowledge), Viparyaya (false knowledge), vikalpa (imagination), nidra (sleep) and smruti (memory), and the associated painful (klista) as well as painless (aklista) vrittis. He views Othello's citta (consciousness) invariably occupied in varying degrees by one vritti or the other but chiefly by pramana vritti, which results in desolation and death.

The latter essay applies Patanjali's psychology to explore the failure and consequent sorrow of Tughlaq, a historical character as conceived by Karnad. Barche, instead of blaming Tughlaq for his impatience, impulsiveness, lunacy, or overconfidence, locates a very different factor-abhinivesa-a klesa, a deep-seated passion, which makes the Sultan act in one direction and is instrumental for dragging him down from an efflorescent state to a miserable one in life.

Barche's Interpreting Literature: A Myth and a Reality, nicely printed and attractively gotup, with its enlightening articles on contemporary poetry (09), fiction (15) and drama (02), all stylistically linked to Patanjali's psychology for various interpretations, is a major contribution to Indian English Literary criticism. He is original in the sense he adds God-dimension to the triad of writer, reader and text and is keen-sighted. His interpretations may not be the same as the original authors' or other readers' but he is convincing.

Barche's qualitative and emotive approach should help enhance our thinking and feeling about the language and form of the texts he discusses just as his critique should help us appreciate "the man who suffers and the mind which creates" on a broader basis. Serious researchers, college and university teachers and postgraduate students should find the book motivating and useful in their literary and stylistic understanding.

Dr.R.K. Singh, Professor & Head, Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian School of Mines University, Dhanbad 826004, India

Ram Krishna Singh

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Marriage Cheating Signs

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