Posts in : 2014 October

  • Oct

    A New Halloween Tradition!

    posted in Inspiration
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    We love Halloween! We love trick or treating! Our neighborhood is ideal for this annual event. Flat streets, sidewalks, good lighting, lots of participating homes – the perfect place to go trick or treating on Halloween night. We end up having over 100 kids, teens, families and pets visiting our home. We actually sit outside on our porch since the onslaught of visitors is constant. We encourage all ages in our neighborhood; no one is too old to dress up and have a good time. In fact, our most memorable trick or treaters last year were a trio of teen boys who dressed up with guitars and cowboy hats and serenaded us to earn their treats. Our house is known as the “water house” since we have begun a tradition of providing water bottles and juice boxes for thirsty travelers. We have been amazed at how many kids and adults alike will choose the water over candy or other treats. At the end of the night, we have given out several cases of water and juice plus several boxes of candy. As parents, we loved our kids to go out trick or treating and return to revel in the glory of their filled pillow cases of treats. But we also knew that we did not really want them to eat all of that candy. So what is a parent to do?

    We came up with a twist to our Halloween traditions. We called her the “Halloween Witch.” Similar to the tooth fairy, the Halloween Witch would exchange candy for gifts. Our Halloween Witch legend went something like this: The Halloween Witch would visit kids on Halloween night and see if they were feeling generous. The Witch would then come and take the offering and leave a small gift. The size and quantity of the gifts would be dependent on the generosity of the offering. The Witch knew which candy the kids liked and didn’t like so a bigger gift would be given if the offering included some treats that were favorites. Gifts would range from a new toy or maybe a new dvd or book to a trip to a favorite park or beach. The Halloween Witch would leave a note along with the gift to thank the kids for their generosity. Occasionally, our kids would go overboard in the excitement of the night and give everything away. When this happened the wise Halloween Witch would return some of the favorite treats along with the gift.

    So now what? You have what is probably a large supply of candy offered up to the Halloween Witch. You don’t want to keep it around the house for the kids to find, so what options do you have to spread the sweet wealth? We usually donated our goodies to the local school for the teachers as a special treat. Another great idea is to go to the local fire or police station to donate or perhaps find a charity that sends gifts to our troops. These ideas are wonderful and you can also involve the kids by having the witch leave a note with instructions on how to make these donations.

    Enjoy this very special time of the year and have a very safe and fun Halloween! If you are looking to start your holiday shopping, please consider visiting – Providing inspiration as well as unique and meaningful gifts to touch a heart and brighten a day.

    The Halloween Witch

    The Halloween Witch

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  • Oct

    Indonesian Treasures

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    Indonesia is home to an array of cultures, languages, and people.  It is the fourth most populated country in the world with land spanning over at least 17,000 islands. Due to the incredibly rich and multifaceted nature of Indonesia, their beautifully handcrafted wooden sculptures are each as unique and stunning as the area where they are made. We would like to highlight one of our artists, Nyoman Karsa, in this blog.

    Nyoman Karsa was born on December 31, 1967. He learned woodcarving from his father and the senior artists of his village, for example, the famous Wayan Winten. He has worked in his own art studio and shop since 1987. He usually carves sculptures from ebony, suar, crocodile, and hibiscus woods. Each of the woods has specific characteristics of color, durability, and aroma. Ebony comes from Sulawesi, while the others grow locally. Mass media and the everyday traditional lifestyle of his environment and community are the sources of his inspiration. When creating a sculpture, he first sees it in his mind, making an image of how it would look on a log or a piece of wood. He makes a draft on the wood piece, chiseling the initial form and detailing the parts, finishing it off by smoothing and polishing.

    Consider these amazingly detailed Indonesian crafts for gifts or as something to brighten your own home. This piece, for example, is not only a beautifully carved sculpture but also provides just the right amount of whimsy to bring a smile to your face. We all are familiar with the saying “See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.” This cute wooden carved statuette from Indonesia recreates this famous saying beautifully. These three little monkeys will be so cute on a desk or table. This carving is made from Suar wood and signed by the artist.

    wooden monkeys1

    Wooden Monkeys from Indonesia



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  • Oct

    Trick or Treat

    posted in Inspiration
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    Are you tired of passing out all that candy on Halloween? Here is a unique idea that has worked amazingly well in our neighborhood:

    We ran out of candy one year – our neighborhood is incredibly busy and we were left scrambling for something to pass out. We had some extra juice boxes and small water bottles so we decided to try that. Much to our surprise, the trick or treaters coming to our house were so excited to receive something to drink! In subsequent years, we usually end up passing out about 300 small bottles of water and at least one or two cases of juice boxes. We do still keep some candy on hand but have found that most visitors choose the water over the candy. Salty items such as chips are also very popular. The kids, and adults, in our neighborhood now count on our house to provide a much needed thirst quencher during a busy and tiring night. We here at wish you a very happy and healthy Halloween!

    Small bottles of water make a surprisingly popular treat on Halloween

    Small bottles of water make a surprisingly popular treat on Halloween

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  • Oct

    The Magical Moon

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    Total eclipse of the moon on October 8th

    The October 2014 full moon passes directly through Earth’s dark (umbral) shadow. The total part of the October 8 eclipse lasts nearly 1 hour. A partial umbral eclipse precedes totality by about one hour and 10 minutes, and follows totality by about the same period of time, so the moon takes about 3 and 1/3 hours to completely sweep through the Earth’s dark shadow. This full moon is commonly called the Hunter’s Moon which is the name given to the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, which occurred in September.

    North and South America, the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand, Australia and eastern Asia are in a good position worldwide to watch the total eclipse of the moon on October 8. If you live in the Americas or Hawaii, the total eclipse happens before sunrise October 8.

    Here are some fun facts about the Moon:

    The dark side of the moon is a myth:
    In reality both sides of the Moon see the same amount of sunlight however only one face of the Moon is ever seen from Earth this is because the Moon rotates around on its own axis in exactly the same time it takes to orbit the Earth, meaning the same side is always facing the Earth. The side we see is lit by reflected sunlight, while the side facing away from Earth lies in darkness and has only been seen by the human eye from a spacecraft.

    The rise and fall of the tides on Earth is caused by the Moon:
    There are two bulges in the Earth due to the gravitational pull that the Moon exerts; one on the side facing the Moon, and the other on the opposite side that faces away from the Moon, The bulges move around the oceans as the Earth rotates, causing high and low tides around the globe.

    The Moon is drifting away from the Earth:
    The Moon is moving approximately 3.8 cm away from our planet every year. It is estimated that it will continue to do so for around 50 billion years. By the time that happens, the Moon will be taking around 47 days to orbit the Earth instead of the current 27.3 days.

    A person would weigh much less on the Moon:
    The Moon has much weaker gravity than Earth, due to its smaller mass, so you would weigh about one sixth (16.5%) of your weight on Earth. This is why the lunar astronauts could leap and bound so high in the air.

    The Moon has only been walked on by 12 people; all American males:
    The first man to set foot on the Moon in 1969 was Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission, while the last man to walk on the Moon in 1972 was Gene Cernan on the Apollo 17 mission. Since then the Moon has only be visited by unmanned vehicles.

    The Moon has no atmosphere:
    This means that the surface of the Moon is unprotected from cosmic rays, meteorites and solar winds, and has huge temperature variations. The lack of atmosphere means no sound can be heard on the Moon, and the sky always appears black.

    The Moon has quakes:
    These are caused by the gravitational pull of the Earth. Lunar astronauts used seismographs on their visits to the Moon, and found that small moonquakes occurred several kilometers beneath the surface, causing ruptures and cracks. Scientists think the Moon has a molten core, just like Earth.

    The first spacecraft to reach the Moon was Luna 1 in 1959:
    This was a Soviet craft, which was launched from the USSR. It passed within 5995 km of the surface of the Moon before going into orbit around the sun.

    The Moon is the fifth largest natural satellite in the Solar System:
    At 3,475 km in diameter, the Moon is much smaller than the major moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Earth is about 80 times the volume than the Moon, but both are about the same age. A prevailing theory is that the Moon was once part of the Earth, and was formed from a chunk that broke away due to a huge object colliding with Earth when it was relatively young.

    The Moon will be visited by man in the near future:
    NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon to set up a permanent space station. Mankind may once again walk on the moon in 2019, if all goes according to plan.

    During the 1950’s the USA considered detonating a nuclear bomb on the Moon:
    The secret project was during the height cold war was known as “A Study of Lunar Research Flights” or “Project A119″ and meant as a show of strength at a time they were lagging behind in the space race.

    Looking for a perfect gift?

    Here is the perfect gift for someone who loves everything about the moon – Our Lunar Mova Globe. This globe is available in either 4.5 inches or 6 inches in diameter and features a beautifully detailed lunar surface. Not only a stunning piece of art but as you take it out of the box you understand that it is not your typical globe. As the ambient light in the room shines on the globe you will begin to notice that it actually spins! Right in your hand or on the desk or anywhere there is light. There are no batteries or cords to plug in – this globe will silently spin as long as there is even a small amount of light in the room. Check out the whole collection at



    Lunar Globe

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