MARCH 2012

The Wonders of Egypt Holidays

by: Kim Chambers (reading – 6.2. - 12.2.)

Everyone is familiar with the amazing temples at Luxor and the pyramids of Giza that have become synonyms for Egypt. Egypt has long been an attraction for explorers, couples who want to have a bit of mystery and culture lovers. Along the river Nile you can see the tombs and cast monuments dating back 6,000 years to civilisations then. Today this means tourists can enjoy a vibrant culture, miles of deserts, the jaw-dropping pyramids while staying in comfortable modern hotels.

An Egyptian holiday is definitely a very special one, one that will stay with you for a long time and will stand out from the others. Where else can you explore ancient history with the pyramids of Giza, mummies and other ancient artefacts, taking in the breathtaking views as you are floating down the Nile or go diving in the clear blue sea to take in the amazing coral reefs. No other place offers this amazing experience. The hotels here are amazing; you will find only the best quality hotels with marble floors, beautifully decorated interiors, huge swimming pools and large rooms.

For the family there are aqua parks and dolphin parks which is entertainment for all the family as well as Jeep safaris available so you explore more of this beautiful country.

Once you’ve taken in these wonders you could head to Cairo, a bustling metropolis where local traders sell everything you can think of, you can buy local goods and hand made gifts or if you are happy to relax you can enjoy the comforts of an air-conditioned room, pool and nearby beach.

Egypt offers great diving locations, where you can practice and take the professional padi. Sharm El Sheikh which is situated on the Red Sea has one of the worlds best scuba locations and great beaches to explore. The Egyptians are very friendly people on the whole and will welcome you with open arms to their country and encourage you to take a sample of their amazing country. Egypt holidays offer all year sunshine and only a five hour flight from London means the wonders of Egypt aren’t far away.

About The Author

Kim has 2 years experience in the travel industry. She Enjoys writing articles on different Travel related topics.

Visit the author's web site at: http://www.beatthebrochure.com



Art Auctions: Art Deco

by: Matthew Enright (reading – 13.2. - 19.2.)

In the field of modern art, art deco plays a large and impressively lavish role. The strong colors and sweeping curves lend art deco the trademark boldness that expressed much of the progress and modern advances of the twentieth century. Art auctions around the world still move many art deco pieces of various kinds. If you’re interested in collecting art deco, there are many art auctions both online and off that deal primarily in art deco.

In the twentieth century the decorative arts converged in what is known as the art deco movement, which grew to influence architecture, fashion, the visual arts as well as design. The term ‘art deco’ was derived from a World’s Fair held in Paris, France, called the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in the year 1925.

Though the movement and term comes from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, the term was not widely used until the late 1960s. Especially pre - World War I Europe influenced the art deco movement, though many cultures influenced and were influenced by this art movement. Much of the world was experiencing similar shifts in modern technological advances.

For the most part, the art deco movement was brought about and inspired by the rapid advances of technological and social facets of the early twentieth century. As culture responded to these increasingly changing times, the art deco movement was an outgrowth of these modern phenomena. Art deco is considered generally to be an eclectic type of decorative modernism that was influenced by a variety of artists and particular art forms. Art deco includes furniture, metalwork, clocks, glasswork and screens as well as paintings and other fine art types of pieces.

The art deco style is known for its lavishness and epicurean flairs that are attributed to the austerity of culture brought about by World War I. Strong patterns and bold colors and shapes were used, as were many particular motifs used universally.

For example, the sunburst motif was used in everything from the Radio City Music Hall auditorium, images of ladies’ shoes, the spire of the Chrysler Building and several other pieces of art, architecture and design. Other ubiquitous motifs found in art deco were stepped forms, the zigzag, chevron patterns and sweeping curves.

In the West, art deco lost its steam around the Second World War, but continued to be used all the way into the 1960s in colonial countries such as India, where it served as a gateway to Modernism. Then in the 1980s art deco made a comeback in graphic design. Art deco’s association with 1930s film noir led to its use in both fashion and jewelry ads.

Today art deco is revered by many and dismissed as old news and overly gaudy by others. Though it undoubtedly played a major role in art history, as with most art, individual taste frames the individual’s interpretation and like or dislike of art deco styles.

Art deco is one of the most well known art movements. This is mostly due to its wide base of influences and influenced art forms and cultures. Since much of the world was experiencing many of the same advances in technology and mass production, many of the same ideas and symbols were relevant in various parts of the world.

About The Author

Matthew is one of the treasure hunters at the Treasure Hunters Roadshow. If you would like the Tresure Hunters Roadshow to come to your city, contact 217-636-7900 or visit www.treasurehuntersroadshow.com



A Brief Overview of the Japanese Bonsai Tree

by: Anita Proach (reading – 20.2. - 26.2.)

Contrary to belief, Bonsai trees do not originate from Japan. Discoveries have been made in Egyptian tombs with sketches showing miniature trees in pots. These are thought to have been kept for decorative purposes and the pictures date back to 4000 years ago! There are also records dating back more than 2000 years that show Bonsai being grown in China. The practice of growing trees in a pot was originally Chinese, but the practice of growing the bonsai tree was made into an art form by the Japanese when the concept was introduced to them about 5 centuries ago.

This has led to quite different styles in Japanese and Chinese bonsai; the Chinese bonsai being much more freestyle and more lightly pruned than the Japanese miniature bonsai that are very heavily groomed and pruned and look much more like miniature natural versions of the full sized variants.

Many people think of tiny little Japanese trees cut and pruned to a miniature size but literally speaking, bonsai is a Japanese word, but its roots are Chinese and are derived from the word punsa meaning tree in a pot. These bonsai were not as small as the bonsai that people often envisage and were grown on an individual basis outdoors in pots. It was, though, the Japanese that took this art form and progressed it to the level it is at now.

It is a common misconception that the bonsai tree is naturally small, but this is not true. While they are smaller than their wild counterparts they do not have to be a couple of inches tall; they can be grown in a pot in the garden and will be smaller than their wild counterparts. The bonsai tree comes from the same seed as its larger counterpart, but is grown in a specific way to ensure that it remains tiny. It is vital for the beginner to know that the main element to growing a bonsai is pruning this is the technique used that allows the tree to stay small. Without regular pruning, the bonsai tree will grow to its standard height and size.

The bonsai tree can grow to various heights. There are trees that are a few inches high and some grow much taller. There are no restrictions; it is only important that the bonsai tree is grown in a pot and attains the image of a full-grown tree as it would in nature. In the beginning, growing these miniature trees may seem difficult, but it would not take long before you learn the art form of the bonsai tree and find that you simply cannot get enough of these unique plants.

Misconceptions About Bonsai Trees.

Some people believe that training Bonsai trees is a cruel pastime because the cultivator starves the tree and cuts it to such an extent that it becomes unhealthy. Quite the reverse is usually true; while they are cut and pruned quite heavily to keep them to the size of the pot, they are usually transferred from pot to pot regularly and are fed and watered much more often than their wild cousins.

Bonsai trees do not live shorter lives than wild trees. They regularly live for many centuries and are traditionally passed down from generation to generation. They lead nearly exactly the same long lives as their wild cousins and are often much healthier because of the attention they receive.

The Advantages of Growing Bonsai.

Not everyone has a large garden where they can plant numerous trees and let them grow as big as they want, and even those who do have large gardens still need to wait for many years before the tree becomes truly established. By growing bonsai you do not need any more room than the size of your pot and because you only need them to grow to much smaller proportions it really is accessible for anyone who is interested in growing bonsai trees. You can even grow them inside if you can recreate the correct conditions for the tree you want to grow.

The roots of a bonsai tree have to be pruned so that it will remain healthy. By pruning the roots, it produces a small thick ball or pack of root that permits it to be transplanted to an appropriate container. When pruning the roots, one-third of the roots are removed yearly so that new soil can be added and give space for new roots to develop.

It was not until the early 1900s that the bonsai tree was introduced to the western world, but it soon became not only a popular hobby, and requires attention to detail, foresight of how the tree will grow and plenty of time and care. It began to be considered a serious art form in horticulture by many people and today, there are bonsai tree displays and shows, as well as stores dedicated to the bonsai tree. You will undoubtedly feel considerable satisfaction if you decide to grow Bonsai and if you are any good at it.

Bringing the exquisiteness of a Japanese garden into your home with the bonsai tree is a great way to add beauty and elegance to your surroundings. If you are looking for a new type of indoor plant, or simply a new hobby, consider the bonsai tree.

About The Author

Anita Proach has always had a love for the Japanese-style. The traditions and history with the beautiful simple lines, the minimal approach to interior and exterior spaces and the blending of such wonderful elements like the bonsai, koi fish ponds, gardens, art and architecture, all working in harmony with nature.

The author invites you to visit: www.urban-planet.info



What Is Inspiration And Where To Find It

by: Amy Twain (reading – 27.2. - 4.3.)

Sometimes, I used to think what exactly is inspiration? I looked in the dictionary and thesaurus and found out that inspiration is similar with vision (which most people have), genius (hmm…maybe only a chosen few of us are), and also it's synonymous to influence (now, this really depends on the person and circumstances). But how do you define inspiration - is it something you do, see, hear, taste or smell? Is it anything which any of your five senses can perceive? It depends on the person really, the reasons behind why we look for it and the various situations surrounding it.

And real inspiration can be compared to a fingerprint, different for every person. My close friend Jessah is a musician and gets her motivation from the different sounds that we have around us. We were out walking in a rainforest one time and I brought along my camera as usual. Then, we came to a nearby clearing and we decided to sit awhile and bask in the relaxing atmosphere that surrounded us. Nature really has some of the greatest and the most original and best pieces of art for those of us that truly take time to notice. As for me, I started to take note all the things I can utilize in my work…the rough edges of the rocks, the shape and majesty of the trees, the grandeur and contour of the heavenly clouds.

However, my friend Jessah just sat down still while listening to the gay birds chirping, the subtle rustle of the leaves, and feeling the cool breeze over the mountains. She actually wanted to work out how to represent everything she absorbs in her music so that other people too would feel what we did that day. Therefore, same feeling, different people, same atmosphere or setting, different focus - the common denominator is, we were both inspired. For an artist like me, I am asked oftentimes where I get the needed inspiration for my work. So instead of my head, I can look into my heart for the answer to that.

Then, the best that I can come up with is anything that moves me as a person, fosters and animates me to do and prod me to do something that I enjoy and love doing. As to where inspiration could be found, well, that’s actually an easy one. If you want inspiration or need it that bad, look around you! It could be found wherever you go and just open your eyes to perceive it. Inspiration can be found everywhere. The universe can always provide something for you. But if you’re waiting for it to strike you like a flash of lightning, well, I suggest that you rely on yourself to get you off your cute little tush and go and look around to find the things to inspire you to lead you into the pathway to your destiny.

Inspiration is after all that very thing which makes you chase your dreams. It's that blissful and exciting feeling that you get when your heart glides and your soul is moved.

About The Author

The author of this article Amy Twain is a Self Improvement Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Amy recently published a new home study course on how to boost your Self Esteem overnight. More info about this “Quick-Action Plan for A More Confident You” is available at www.FabulousSelfEsteem.com .

The author invites you to visit: www.innerzine.com