Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Virginia Beach wedding florists offer a broad spectrum of services, making it easy to find a floral company that can deliver exactly what you need without going over your budget. Boutonnieres and bouquets are the foundation to your wedding flowers. For simple, intimate weddings, you may be happy with a florist that only creates these essential elements, or you can choose from the many Virginia Beach florists that design these pieces as well as centerpieces and other arrangements.
Full-service wedding florists can design and plan your entire celebration – from the most basic floral needs to enhancing your wedding look with lighting and accessories. Whether you’re looking for a few flowers or a complete wedding designer, these creative Virginia Beach wedding florists will get you moving in the right direction.
Virginia Beach Wedding Florist: Palette of Petals
A freelance floral design studio in Virginia Beach, this wedding florist specializes in unique floral arrangements that add texture and creativity to your event. From elegant, colorful bouquets and boutonnieres to romantic flower girl headpieces and flourishing table centerpieces, Palette of Petals can enhance your wedding theme with fragrant blooms and intriguing style. Consider an all-natural bamboo arch, draped with muslin and accented with flowers, to add romance to your beach wedding (rental rates start at $525).
Virginia Beach Wedding Florist: Catherine’s Distinctive Floral Designs
With 30 years of experience in the wedding industry, owner and Master Designer Catherine Gustafson takes pride in being one of Hampton Road’s most sought after wedding florist. Each arrangement is a unique work of art, designed and created specifically for the bride and groom requesting it. Schedule a consultation with Distinctive Floral Designs to discuss your ideas, wedding details, and budget.
Virginia Beach Wedding Florist: Cloud Nine Events
A full-service Virginia Beach wedding florists, Cloud Nine is a Bride’s Choice Award winner and offers an assortment of services to make your wedding day a beautiful and memorable event. Cloud Nine can help you plan and coordinate your special day, and can take care of every design detail – from the table linens to the lighting. This Virginia Beach florist and planner is also certified to manage butterfly releases at your event.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Related Crafts & Hobbies News and Articles From adzines
Woodworking: Protection When Working With Wood - Ignoring Could Potentially Harm Your Health Or Kill
Woodworking: Basic Safety Tips Woodworking can be a dangerous undertaking if you are not careful and choose to disregard safety guidelines. A circular saw, router, or other piece of power equipment can disfigure and even kill if not used properly. Even hand tools, which must be extremely sharp to provide best results, can cause serious injuries. In addition, the sawdust and fumes from wood can be harmful to the lungs if inhaled on a regular basis, especially if the wood was harvested from an orchard or tree farm where pesticides were used to control insects.
Family Fun on the Rails
Imagine your are five years old. As your family arrives at the train station, your hand slips free of your Mom's and you dash over to the tracks. Looking left, then right, your eager eyes scan the horizon, searching for your train.
Woodworking Tools: Right Selection And Care Will Save You Money, Part 6
Woodworking: Tools Of The Trade, Part 6 - Finishing Equipment A civilization's maturity and intelligence is judged, in part, by the diversity and sophistication of its tools. When it comes to woodworking, the human race is quite advanced. There are general tools that work well in many situations, and there are specialty tools made for one specific purpose. There are tools that require only manpower and a rudimentary knowledge, and others that utilize computer programs, a wide range of knowledge, and a powerful motor. We have even learned how to harness power for our tools and package it in a small battery component, giving us the freedom to take our tools wherever we need them.
Monday, September 27, 2010
You find the right outsourcing provider.
That is was what confronted Interflora UK a few years ago. Interflora is part of the world’s largest and most popular flower delivery network covering over 58,000 florists in over 140 countries.
“An enterprise can lose hundreds of thousands of sales dollars and chase away customers very quickly when its site crashes. This makes a pretty strong case for outsourcing, regardless of the size of the client company,” says Susan Plonka, President of her own Corporate Interactive Sales Consulting firm.
Adapting to a Changing World
Interflora UK was established in the 1920s as an association to represent the interests of that country’s flower industry. A lot of things have changed since the First World War. One was the global economy. Interflora took on more marketing and sales responsibilities for its members. It established a World Wide Web presence, outsourcing the design, management, and site hosting to a small UK firm. For a while, it was adequate and served the needs of the professional association.
After a time, the requirements of keeping pace with its competitors revealed shortcomings in not only its Web marketing and sales strategy, but its execution. This led to its Web site crashing during the Mother’s Day buying season a few years ago — the single busiest period of the year in the florist industry.
“We needed reliability from a new provider that could grow with us,” says Michael Barringer, Marketing Director at Interflora UK. “We wanted one who understood our business and had some floral Web retail experience — hopefully, a lot.”
So in 2005, Interflora encountered Novator Systems Ltd. of Toronto, Canada, a provider of Web marketing, design, and hosting solutions to many retail firms such as Lucas Films, Adidas, and Warner Brothers. Novator’s first Web client in 1993 happened to be the international florist FTD. Due to the provider’s long-term success with FTD, Barringer knew he had found the provider he needed to take Interflora into the future.
Online Retailing Today
“Today’s online shopper is extremely Web-savvy and expects more than ever, forcing retailers to raise the stakes,” says Scott Silverman, Executive Director of Shop.org. “Companies must invest in new features in order to keep customers coming back. Retail Web sites everywhere are getting major facelifts.”
Shoppers are becoming more discriminating about online shopping, raising the stakes for retailers to provide a consistently positive, sophisticated experience. In the summer of 2007, Forrester Research and Shop.org surveyed 150 retailers to discover their top priorities for accommodating increasingly savvy online shoppers over the next 12 months.
According to the study, released in September, top priorities include fixing Web site design and performance issues, improving the efficiency of online marketing, and enhancing cross-channel integration.
Provider Helps Power Interflora’s Business Model Transition
Those are some of the reasons Interflora selected Novator’s Virtual Retailer (VR) suite, an integrated system encompassing site design, hosting and mirroring, as well as merchandising, marketing, personalization, analytics, loyalty programming, and catalogue management.
“The fact that we didn’t have the resources in house to put together such a sophisticated program was a given,” Barringer says. “In a way, what we needed–and got–is a provider who could help us learn about the online florists business and help us to anticipate the future and plan for it.”
Virtual Retailer has the sort of scalability that Barringer and his associates were searching for during Interflora’s transition from business association to commercial model.
Another advantage of outsourcing: Interflora doesn’t have to worry about “the always-changing infrastructure.” Barringer knows Novator will “support our future growth producing additional site support for individual member florists without having to manually manage each one.”
As the partnership approaches its three-year anniversary, Barringer likes what he sees. Conversion rates (percentage of sales transactions to site visits) are up 20 percent and there have been no dramatic site crashes since the engagement began. “And we’ve saved on internal marketing, site design, and hosting,” he adds, “plus avoided a lot of mistakes we would have made had we tried to do these ourselves.”
The Novator/Interflora outsourcing partnership is moving to the next stage. “Now that I can look at real-time analytics on my screen and recognize the results, it’s easier for me to anticipate our next moves, and there are a lot of them,” says Barringer.
One Size DOESN’T Fit All in the Web Marketplace
Meeting the needs of an increasingly discriminating Web customer is not easy. Not only are the tools changing, but the interplay between features of retail Web sites and how they interact are unique.
“The issue for retail sites is matching up the capabilities with the actual needs of the client,” says Novator CEO Mark Fox. “It’s not just what they want because often there’s a gulf between what they want and what actually works for them.”
Fox says suppliers “have to mirror the way their buyers market.” For example, Interflora sells a lot of flowers. “That produces more interest in the merchandising. And they are willing to make the necessary investment that those who do not sell a lot will not.”
He has found the larger the buyer, the more aggressive its marketing tactics. “It’s the responsibility of the Web marketing provider to anticipate, understand, and respond appropriately,” Fox says. This produces better conversion rates and average order values since the idea is to produce more sales without having to deal with more traffic.
“There can’t be any surprises,” he adds. “This is why it has to be a partnership.”
Barringer says Novator provides “a seamless experience to our Internet customers, enhancing our reputation as ‘The Flower Experts.’ Our membership receives the latest technology and marketing support. And that’s why this outsourcing engagement has been such a success.”
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Send someone this basket of fresh fruits filled with all the essential vitamins which will help revitalise a weary soul and prepare one for life's journey ahead
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Share sweet moments together with your loved one as you present to her this gorgeous floral vase blooming with red carnations and red roses and accented with an apple.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A lovely and natural view to send to someone special on any celebration. Presenting a purple orchid plant in a matching pot.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Send your Mid Autumn Festival greetings with style through this classy gift basket. A bouquet of red roses comes with a selection of drink and tasty nibbles in this hamper.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Admire the bright pearly moon on the mid-autumn night and send your warm wishes with this gift. The tasty moon cake is made with omochi and enhanced with organic aloe vera gel and bee honey. Item can only be deliver starting 6th September 2010.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Look out for more egg, fruit, ice-cream, mushroom and chocolate mooncakes this year as people’s mooncake budgets tighten for Mid-autumn festival.
It's like kissing your 90-year-old grandmother on the lips, or welcoming your boss back from holiday. You know you have to, but you'd really rather not.
The giving of mooncakes during Mid-autumn Festival mooncake is one of those traditions that has become part of national protocol, despite revolving around a mouth-drying, insipid, and generally unpopular food item.
And now, believe it or not, they're getting more expensive.
That's like saying: "Come to the Expo, now with even longer queues!"
To be fair, we only have ourselves to blame. With Mid-autumn Festival only two weeks away, mooncakes are in high demand. And according to Shanghai Food Association officials, retail prices are up anywhere from five to 20 percent.
The price hikes are mainly attributed to the rising cost of ingredients.
A staff member at the Xinhualou Co, a major Shanghai mooncake producer, told Shanghai Daily that a box of eight of its mooncakes now costs RMB 68 compared to RMB 60 last year.
The more palatable flavors are particularly affected. Ingredients that are seeing as much as a 25 percent price hike due to terrible weather last year in many of China’s agricultural areas include lotus seeds, beans and walnuts.
To help consumers cope, many mooncake makers are substituting lighter (and cheaper) ingredients like fruit, ice-cream, mushrooms and chocolate, for traditional ones.
Hopefully not all in one Shanghai mooncake. But you never know.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Origin of Mid-Autumn Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as “Zhong Qiu Jie” and “Tuan Yuan Jie”, is the second largest traditonal festival coming after the Chinese New Year. Mid-Autumn Festival began from the Song Dynasty, and has become one of China’s major festivals since Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Custom of Mid-Autumn Festival
1) Enjoy full moon
The custom originates in moon-worshiping, and became popular in Tang Dynasty. Until the Song Dynasty, enjoying full moon has been a fixed activity and this folk activity was officially designated as Mid-Autumn Festival.
2) Worship moon
Moon-worshiping is an ancient custome. Set a large incense table, put the moon cake, watermelon, apples, jujubes, plums and grapes on the table, place the moon statue towards the moon, and the whole family worship the moon one by one. Then the wife carve the moon cake into several pieces with the same size for the whole family member and those who are out of home are not exceptional.
3) Eat crab and mooncake
Mid-Autumn Festival banquet was used to be very generous especially in the royal family, such as eating crabs. The moon cake is indispensable in Mid-Autumn Festival, which has grown up to two-feet-diameter and 10-kilo-weight in the Qing Palace.
4) Play lantern
Mid-Autumn Festival is one of Chinese three Lantern Festivals. Of course, the Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival is not as large as the Lantern Festival, and lantern playing happens only inside the family.
5) The fire dragon dance
Fire Dragon Dance is the feature of Hong Kong Festival Moon Cakes’ traditional customs. From the evening of lunar August 14, there will be a three-night grand fire dragon dance in Causeway Bay area. The fire dragon is more than 70 meters long, with 32 body section bounded together with pearl grass and filled with longevity incense.
Source : http://www.easyseosolution.com/blog/chinese-festival/moon-festival
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Many people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by lighting paper lanterns, which they carry on the end of a stick, or by lighting sky lanterns, paper balloons that float into the sky with the buoyancy provided by the hot lantern lit under them. Dragon dances are also popular performances at this time, and many people wear traditional Chinese clothing.
Mid-Autumn Festival Chinese Legends
Many of the stories surrounding the Mid-Autumn Festival center around the story of Chang’e, the lady who, according to legend, lives on the moon along with her companion, the Jade Rabbit. Chang’e was purportedly the wife of a famous hunter, whose search for eternal life finally yielded a single pill of immortality.
Chang’e accidentally swallowed the pill and became an immortal, floating up to the moon and leaving her husband behind on earth. Many Chinese people burn incense to the Moon Goddess, and her image is often featured on boxes of mooncakes.
Another story about mooncakes comes from Chinese folklore. In this legend, Ming dynasty fighters who were rebelling against the Mongolian Yuan dynasty used mooncakes to smuggle messages to and from rebel bands, enabling them to defeat the Mongols.
In China and in many Asian countries, Chinese mooncake festival is a legal holiday, and many people return to their hometown to celebrate this important Chinese festival with their families.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
17, 18, 19 and in the evening of 20 Sep 2010
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Vietnamese in 2010 is going to celebrate mid autumn festival that will take place in Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. The event of the festival that is also known as Festival moon cakes is organized by the cooperation of Museum of Yunnan ethics, Yunnan Opera Institute (China) and Chinese Embassy in Vietnam.
This is the first time Chinese opera has been performed in Vietnam Museum of Ethnology with excerpts of “Journey to the West” and also “boi singing”, a kind of traditional activities of Vietnamese Southerners. Besides, other performance includes lion – dragon dance and water puppet.
In this year’s programme, there will be many Vietnamese and Chinese traditional games and toys. 3 day programme is also an opportunity to enjoy Chinese tea as well as try baking 2 countries’ traditional cakes (mooncake). Other activities such as cultural screenings, singing and dancing, etc will also be carried out in this event.
This is the third time Vietnam Museum of Ethnology exchanges Vietnamese culture with other countries’ in the occasion of Mid-Autumn Festival. Before, Korean and Japanese Mid-Autumn Festival were also presented in 2007 and 2009 consecutively.
Adults: VND 25,000
Children: VND 3,000
Students: VND 5,000
Tickets are available at the museum.
Source : http://hanoigrapevine.com/2010/09/vietnam-china-mid-autumn-festival-2010/
Monday, September 6, 2010
So, what do you do during the Hungry Ghost Festival?
If on Festival moon cakes, we offer mooncake as the special food, on Hungry Ghost Festival we will have to make a lot of offerings to the ghost. Offerings come in term of food, hell note (fake money) & burning joss sticks.
Some will make offerings to their relative that have deceased by burning paper houses, shirts, money, hell notes and more.
These paper offerings are interesting. They can come in the form of houses, maids, LV bags, iphone, shirt, shoes, bicycle, tv, dvd and anything you can think of. You can even pay somebody who is in this kind of business to customize anything for you.
I really want to take pictures of some of these paper products and hell notes for this lens. However, I dun think I am comfortable doing it. Sorry.
You can watch a ge tai during the hungry ghost festival. These performance are setup on temporary stage around the housing estate. You cannot sit on the first row at a ge tai because these seat are for the ghost. These performances are usually held at night for the ghost.
You can participate in an auction dinner if there is one. It is believe that these items in the auction are blessed and will bring you good luck if you win them home.
Hungry Ghost Festival Superstition & Myths
1. Do not wear anything black so that ghost will not come close to you.
2. Do not wear anything that has a bell on it. Example, bracelet or charms with bells. Bells attract ghost.
3. Do not hang out your clothes at night. New ghost that are being blown onto your clothes will not be able to come out. Wearing these clothes will not be good for you.
4. All clothing should be kept inside the house before 5pm.
5. Umbrellas should be kept close and outside the house. No umbrellas should be kept inside the house.
6. Do not go out at night.
7. No swimming during the 7th month. The water ghosts will pull you into the water.
8. Do not go to the beach on the 7th month.
9. Do not let anyone pad on your shoulder. If someone does that to you, do not turn and look.
10. You should not whistle, sing or scream during the 7th month. You will attract ghost.
11. No wedding/engagement preparation during the 7th month. Of course, no wedding and engagement to be held on the 7th month.
12. Do not buy any property, do any renovation, or move your house during the 7th month.
13. Do not turn and look when someone calls your name at night.
14. Do not step or cross over ashes and offering for the ghost.
15. Do not comment/complain/feedback on the smell or burnt incense paper flying all over the place.
16. Do not travel oversea during the 7th month.
Source : http://www.squidoo.com/hungryghostfestival
Sunday, September 5, 2010
This legend is considered to be an extension of Chang'e Flying to the Moon. It tells about three sages who transformed themselves into pitiful old men. One day they met a fox, a monkey and a rabbit, and they begged for food. The fox and the monkey shared their food with the old men; but the rabbit, with nothing to share, jumped into a blazing fire to offer his own flesh instead. The sages were so touched by the rabbit's kindness that they sent it to live in the Moon Palace, where it became the Jade Rabbit. Chang'e, who lived alone after arriving in the moon, liked the Jade Rabbit at the first sight, and therefore kept it company. As the time went by, Chang'e and Jade Rabbit became inseparable friends. Hearing about the story of Chang'e and Hou Yi, the Jade Rabbit felt sympathetic to them and decided to make a special heavenly medicine, which could help Chang'e return to Earth. Unfortunately, the Jade Rabbit has still not been able to make it even though he has worked hard for thousands of years. Observing the moon on the Mid-Autumn Day carefully, we can still see the Jade Rabbit making his heavenly medicine.
Wu Gang Chopping the Cherry Bay
There is also another story about the Festival moon cakes. Many years ago, Wu Gang, an immortal in Heaven, was punished to chop down the cherry bay in the moon for his serious mistakes. The cherry bay in the moon was extremely luxuriant and sturdy with a height of 5167 meters. It would also heal up as soon as it was chopped, which made Wu Gang's work last for thousands of years.
The mid autumn festival has many traditions and activities in which people express how much their families mean to them, and how much they miss absent members and enjoying mooncake as the symbol of the legends.
Source : http://www.chinatravel.com/facts/chinese-festivals/traditional-chinese-festival/Middle-Autumn-Festival.htm#1
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Nowadays, people still like appreciating the moon on Mid autumn festival in China. Chinese family members have dinner together in the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival. After the dinner, they may talk about their work, the children, and their future plans. Sometimes, people go to a park to see the decorations made for the festival.
Source : http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/culture/middle-autumn-festival-custom.htm#beijing
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
markers, crayons, or paints
decorating things, like stickers or glitter
a hole punch or a sharp pencil
1. Take a sheet of colored paper. Draw small shapes, like stars, moons or circles on it. Make any shapes you like. Remember, the big piece of paper is the important one, not the shapes. Push the scissors through the middle of a shape and then cut it out.
Remember, just cut out the shapes. Don't cut anyplace else on the big paper.
2. Decorate the piece of paper with pictures or writing. Draw or write on the paper to decorate it. You can also glue things to the paper to make it pretty.
3. Get the tape. Roll the piece of paper to make a tube. Don't make it too tight.
Make sure that your decorations are on the outside to that everyone can see them.
Tape the ends of the paper to each other to make the tube.
4. Get the hole-punch and the string. Punch four holes at the top of the tube. Cut four pieces of string as long as the tube. Tie one piece of string to each hole. Tie the four strings together. Cut another piece of string and tie it to the other strings so you can hang up the lantern.
5. If you know any riddles, write one on a piece of paper. Tape it to your lantern.
Let your friends try to guess the answer. If you have some candy, you can give a piece to the friend who solves your riddle!