Posts Tagged ‘totally bamboo cutting boards’

Fake can be fine if it’s faux‎

Sometimes “fake” is fine in the world of collectors.There are examples of “faux” marble made from plain white marble with a skillfully painted marblelike pattern. One of the most interesting uses of substitute materials dates from the late-19th century. Asian ideas influenced designers then, and bamboo furniture became popular.

Bamboo is soft and flexible, not strong enough for large, heavy pieces, so some American makers began to make faux bamboo from bird’s-eye maple. Bedroom sets that included beds, dressers, small side tables and washstands looked like bamboo charcoal products but actually were maple.

A top-quality furniture company, R.J. Horner of New York, sold many of these sets to upper-class New York City families. This well-made furniture is a bargain today, lower in price than it was five years ago.

Many of the posters included specially-designed type styles that had strangely-shaped letters of different sizes made to fill the space around the other designs. Some were done with fluorescent paint so they glowed under a blacklight. The posters are scarce today because most eventually were discarded. Search your mother’s attic. You may find some of your posters, and even in poor condition they sell for hundreds of dollars or more.

Every Royal Doulton figurine in the huge Harry Nixon series, introduced in 1913, was given an HN number. Nixon (1886-1955) was in charge of the figure-painting department at Royal Doulton’s factory in Burslem, Staffordshire, England. Each of your figurines, if in perfect condition, would sell for about $100 to $300 today.

Instruments meant for export to the U.S. had to be marked with the country of origin after 1891. Beginning in 1957, the words “copy of” were added to labels on some of these violins. Today, some manufacturers make violins using modern techniques that replicate Stradivari’s work and sell for high prices. But most “Stradivarius” violins are poor imitations and don’t sell for much. Prices depend on quality, and range from $50 to $500.

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the U.S. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Esso Gas & Oil pop gun, fabric pops out that says “Just as Sure as Shootin,’ ” pictures Esso station attendant on both sides, five-digit phone number, 1951, 4 3/4 x 71/2 inches, $50.

Bride’s dress for American Character Toni doll, tulle and taffeta with lace, rosettes on front, white satin cap headpiece with faux pearls, 1950s, fits 20-inch doll, $75.

Waterford crystal water pitcher, Lismore pattern, diamond-and-wedge cut, marked, 6 1/2 x 4 inches, $110.

Lenox “First Waltz” porcelain figurine, long red-and-white dress with large, puffy sleeves, pearl choker necklace, holding feather fan, 8 1/2 inches, $160.

Snow White china tea set, transfers of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, teapot, sugar, creamer, six cups, saucers and dessert dishes, box, Walt Disney Enterprises, Japan, 1937, $515.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. Write to Kovels, The News-Times, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York N.Y. 10019.

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Creating A Bamboo Oasis

As times become more hectic and money to travel is less available, people are choosing to turn their homes into their own sanctuaries.  Many gardens are being designed not only for beauty but also to provide an oasis for the mind and spirit. In particular,  Chinese Garden designs evoke a strong feeling of tranquility and peace of mind.  Chinese garden is all about harmony & balance, as well as using the right components. you can incorporate bamboo into your garden with bamboo garden structures in a variety of ways to exude an extra sense of peace and serenity.

Bamboo Fencing/Borders – Bamboo Fencing and Borders add privacy and block unsightly views.  The strong bamboo plant shields against excessive wind and remains green and exotic looking in your garden.  An added bonus is the melodic whistling that comes with the wind blowing through your bamboo plants.  If planting your own bamboo border, spread the bamboo plants 3 to 5 feet apart to form a dense screen.  Most bamboo plants will reach full height within 5 or 6 years and require very little upkeep once established.  You can even eat the shoots!  If you prefer to install bamboo fencing instead of growing it, there are a variety of options for you to choose from and still enjoy a natural look.

Faux Bamboo Furniture – Bamboo has a straight fine grain like oak wood but is stronger and can endure better in outdoor weather conditions.  It’s pliable enough to be made into variety of designs and lightweight enough to be made into folding chairs that can be stored and moved at your own convenience.  Make sure to look for products finished with natural oils.

Decorating With Bamboo – If growing a border of melodic bamboo is not an option, consider livening up your landscape with a bamboo wind chime.  Available in a variety of designs and sizes, wind chimes are the easiest way to bring a soothing element to your garden.

Bamboo Garden Structures – For those wanting to take their landscaping to the next level, consider installing a Bamboo Gazebo, Pergola or even a Bamboo Bridge.  These are great ways to enjoy your beautiful garden while giving yourself a place for quiet conversation or reflection

A garden with any Chinese design element will be your oasis from this crazy world, giving you a space to reflect, meditate and spend time with friends and family.  Bamboo is a natural and durable design option for the garden you desire (and deserve).

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Kapangan shows off bamboo crafts

THE Gaswiling Bamboo Crafters Association proudly displayed their bamboo hand woven baskets during Benguet State University’s 95th Foundation Day exhibit which ran June 27 to 30.The association from Kapangan, Benguet showcased varied products including their own designs of fruit stands, faux bamboo furniture and other crafts with bamboo.

 Association president Flordeliza Cosisy said the association started in 2009 when they discovered women skilled in weaving baskets out of “anes”, a local term for a variety of bamboo, with different designs. These women were then offered free training on basket weaving together with other interested women of the town.

The Shuntog Foundation helped the association tie up with the Departments of Labor and Employment and Trade and Industry, BSU, St. Louis University and other NGOs, which organized and registered them as an association. The partners also provided them with tools and materials during the first year of the association.

Cosisy claimed basket weaving is a laborious job taking one to two days to finish big sizes of baskets but somehow, it brings recognition for their town as their customers appreciate their beautiful outputs.

However, the councilor said the association needs more improvements through follow-up trainings; book keeping; and better packaging to draw more customers.

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Building a green home

As individuals (and consumers), we can make the choice to have a greener home.  We can choose Energy Star appliances.  We can put in skylights to reduce our energy use in the home.  We can stock our linen closets with faux bamboo furniture and organic sheets.  We can fill our closet with bamboo charcoal products.   And now, thanks to the Brentano Company, there are even more eco-friendly fabrics available for a wide range of interior applications such as drapery, panel and upholstery fabric. 

To qualify for the Brentano Green label, two of the following three green criteria must be met:

Raw Material – The choice here is between using energy saving recycled materials or to manufacture biodegradable fibers.  If there is a naturally grown fiber available, it must be a rapidly renewable resource and have the ability to grow with minimal chemical use.

The Process – In preparing the raw material for use, there are a series of steps taken.  From yarn-dying and spinning to the weaving and finishing of fabric, there should be no harmful chemicals involved.  Additionally, the manufacturing facility must comply with environmental protection laws governing energy conservation, water treatment and chemical regulation.

Facility and Social Responsibility – Taking in the human factor, this criterion demands that manufacturers comply with fundamental human rights laws for improved working conditions.  Also, manufacturers must initiate programs to promote green policies which can include recycling programs, using air quality improvement devices and educating employees on green consciousness.

To meet the first criteria, the raw material, bamboo is a natural (no pun intended) choice!  And Brentano is taking advantage of it with the introduction of their new drapery woven from natural bamboo fiber.  Elegant Silhouette is available in two stylish shades and is woven from 100% natural bamboo fiber.  While bamboo fiber has found a niche in the apparel industry, household goods is a less common application which Brentano is working to change.

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource and can be harvested within 4-5 years of growth with minimal impact on Mother Earth as it can be chopped at the root.  Bamboo can be grown with no artificial irrigation needed yet it is also a water conserving plant that can improve soil quality and stop soil erosion.  Growing bamboo also requires no pesticide or herbicides so even minimal chemical use is not necessary.

Meeting criteria two, the process used for preparing the bamboo fabric includes braising, crushing, decomposing and refining the material which allows the fiber to maintain the inherent properties of bamboo.  This means that the fabric is luxurious with excellent moisture absorbency as well as a high resistance to microorganisms and sunlight.  It also means that the fabric collection is a biodegradable choice.

Brentano’s other eco-fabric choices include eco-wool, organic cotton, recycled materials and even faux leather!  So for anyone who thought that going green would limit their choices in decorating, Brentano provides the answer with a wide array of eco-friendly fabrics in brilliant patterns.

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Weaving A Nest Of Our Own With Bamboo

And one such craftsman has taken the art of bamboo weaving  to a whole new level.Danish architect Soren Korsgaard designed a bamboo house with all kinds of bamboo charcoal products to promote bamboo as a sustainable building material.  And while many have used bamboo poles to construct, what makes Korsgaard’s design so unusual and eye-catching is that the house is not quite constructed.  Rather, it is a woven bamboo house.

For centuries bamboo weaving has provided everything from kitchenware to farm tools and the crafts with bamboo is a sacred one that is passed down from generation to generation.   The uses of bamboo and its resources were explored as early as seven thousand years ago.  In China, certain areas such as Jiang’an and Dongyang are well known for the bamboo weaving.  These areas, rich in bamboo, have fostered a distinctive tradition of choosing bamboo-related jobs.

The craft of bamboo weaving was one that was passed on from master to apprentice.  Apprentices usually spent three years training, beginning by simple repairs of products and graduating to their intricate designs.  To practice their handmade craft, bamboo craftsmen cleaved the bamboos into flat or thin bamboo strips of different sizes.  According to the product that is being made, bamboo was cut into sections and split into vertical halves.  The bamboo joints were then smoothed out and the halves were cleaved into strips.  Afterwards, the green scarfskin and inner yellow surface were removed and the strips were cut into thinner strips, layer by layer.  The strips could be divided into seven or eight layers.  After this basic procedure, there were a variety of ways to go depending on the product design.  Boiling might be required to finalize the shape and to soften the strips so they wouldn’t crack when they went through the plane.  The strips were put through a plane to ensure the same thickness and width.  Additionally, dyeing, plating and polishing procedures could be applied to the bamboo strips.

And while we might be lacking in masters to teach the art of bamboo weaving, perhaps we can take a lesson from the birds as Korsgaard did. His intent was to build the house as the birds did, weaving their nests from the materials available to build a home for themselves.

Bamboo is such an incredible resource, its remarkable qualities have made it ever so popular in the textile industry as well. Its soft absorbent characteristics make it a desirable fabric choice.

How to Select Bamboo Fishing Rod

With the days finally getting longer, we find ourselves heading into summer.  One of the best summer activities out there has to be fishing!  It is a great way to relax and spend time alone or with some of your closest friends.  You can do it from inside a boat or even from the shore.  It is a hobby that you can spend as little or as much as you want on. 

As many experienced fishermen will tell you, one of the most important pieces of equipment used is your fishing rod.  Fishing rods are made in a variety of materials such as graphite, fiberglass, or bamboo.  Did you know that a fly fishing rod can be anywhere from six feet to twelve feet in length?  The size of the fish you are catching determines what length of fishing rod you need.   The graphite fishing rod is mainly used by beginners whereas the fiberglass rod is used most widely because of its strength and durability.  However, it is on the heavier side. 

Bamboo poles tend to be considered one of the best fishing rods out there.  They are both light and flexible compared with the other types of rods, and you will find the most serious anglers out there using them.  There are various brands on the market such as Partridge, Sage, Shakespeare, Daiwa, and Greys to name just a few.  Bamboo rods can cost you anywhere from $5 up to hundreds of dollars for handcrafted fly fishing rods.  You can even make your own bamboo rod!

Since there is more demand for bamboo fishing rods now, production of them have started up again.  Many of the rods you see today are based on the past designs.  No matter if you are using a new bamboo rod or an old vintage one, bamboo is material of choice.  You can’t do better than the flexibility and strength of bamboo charcoal products.  Using the right kind of rod for the right kind of fish will help make your day an eventful and fun one!

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The Skills Of Bamboo Pole Drifting

While we knew bamboo could provide bamboo cutting boards and faux bamboo furniture (among many many other things), who knew it could help people walk on water?  We’re not talking walking above the water on a bamboo bridge, but rather right down on it with nothing but balance and a bamboo pole required.

Single bamboo-pole drifting is a designated national sport in China.  It requires an athlete to stand on a floating Moso bamboo pole and propel it forward with a thin stick of bamboo.  The sport itself originated out of necessity in the Wujiang drainage area 100 years ago and became popular among the ethnic minorities in northern Guizhou Province.  Because of the constant state of flooding in the deep valleys of Guizhou and in the Wujiang drainage area, travel was extremely difficult.  Locals overcame this problem by chopping down the Moso bamboo and drifting along on them down the river. 

However, the sport is becoming more recreational than functional with performers showing their delicate footwork at resorts around the country.  Single bamboo pole drifting looks to be a combination of tight-rope walking, gymnastics and water ballet.   In some performances, participants are walking as a team across a series of floating bamboo poles and in other pictures, they are doing the splits, one-leg poses and even using a hula hoop!

Events in the Ethnic Minority Sports Meet include horse racing, archery, sheep chasing on horseback, wrestling, swinging, springboard jumping, dragon-boat racing and mountaineering.  In an effort to re-establish traditional sports in remote areas of China, many training areas have been established as these sports not only provide a look at the rich history of tribes but they also keep them physically active and healthy.

Just as the northwestern United States has turned its natural hardwood trees into a source of recreation with a constant stream of log-rolling contests, so to have the people of China found yet one more way to utilize the populous bamboo plant.

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