Lennox China – The Dinnerware of Presidents

Lenox was started in 1889 by its founder Walter Scott Lennox. Born in Trenton NJ in 1859, the foremost center for the American Ceramics industry in that time, Walter Lennox combined his interest in drawing and clay and began working at a pottery plant as a designer and decorator at 16 years old.

When he turned 22 he became joined Ott & Brewer as their design director. Ott & Brewer eventually folded a few years later and that’s when he decided it was time to go it on his own.

A mere seven years after taking the design director position Walter Lennox was starting his own company the Lenox’s Ceramic Art Company opening it’s doors in 1889. Walter created his ceramics as an art and even positioned his new company as an Art Studio instead of a factory. Most of his early productions were one-of-a-kind made of ivory china.

The Lenox China was originally made buy only 18 employees and consisted of a line of vases, pitchers and tea sets. Since he had laid the groundwork for his productions to be consider art they were picked up by the most elite shops of the time. In 1897 even the Smithsonian Institution showed a collection of Lennox China.

In the early 1900’s fine home dining came into vague and Lennox was quick to transition his company to handle the new dinnerware needs of the country. He began offering full sets of dinnerware to very exclusive families in early 1902, fighting the European control over the fine china trade.

As America’s demand for Lennox China continued to grow he changed the name of the company to Lenox Incorporated to reflect his reversal of philosophy from the Ceramic Art Company to more of a mass production company.

The company’s first large scale productions of Lennox China came in 1910 and were patterned with transfer prints that were then colored by hand. In 1917 Lennox China went to full color lithographic designs. The original two designs, Mandarin and Ming, were popular in America for over 50 years. These decals made sure every piece of dinnerware was decorated exactly the same and created a type of trademark look. Hosts were excited to have the new patterns on their dinner table that were easy to recognize so their guests knew they could afford Lennox China.

Lennox was becoming known as the china to have in the United States. In 1918 the white house ordered 1,700 pieces for official state services. Lennox China was the first American china to be used at the white house and has remained that way since.

Walter Scott Lennox dies in 1920 having succeeded in his quest for “perfection of American porcelain.”

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Source by Donald Arson

Home Decor – A Chef’s Kitchen

If you truly love to cook, you might want to design a chef’s kitchen in your home.  You will want to have an abundance of counters, with a large, study table (preferably butcher block) that can double as a work table and a dining table to be used for the casual meals or informal dinners.

The counter nearest the table should be used as a bar and serving station.  It’s a good idea to install a second sink at this location, since it will keep your family and guests away from the main sink you are working with. Your cabinetry should include a niche for your microwave and garages for your small appliances and tools.

A six burner range with stainless-steel cabinets on both sides can be stocked with your spices and oils. Traditional cabinets should surround the room on three sides. Organization in a room of this size is extremely important.

Basic white with bright color  accents will spice up the look. Specialty appliances like a fully equipped espresso bar,  built-in coffee makers, warming drawers, under-counter beverage centers and wine storage units are great fun  for those with the space and money.  A double oven, multiple refrigerator/freezer drawers, and even a cook-top with a separate range will make cooking for large parties a breeze in your upscale kitchen.

Have an indoor herb garden on your windowsill. What can be sweeter than picking your own parsley, rosemary, dill, chives, basil, thyme, mint etc. whenever you need seasoning for your masterpieces?  And what a lovely scent it will leave in your  kitchen!

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Source by Lisa A Mason

Natural Home Remedies For Controlling Pest Insects & Bugs

When it comes to pest control, you can spend all sorts of money hiring exterminators or buying smelly (and often toxic) sprays and chemicals for your home, but in some cases, you may not need to go to such extremes. There are a lot of completely natural insect and pest control remedies out there, many of which our ancestors have been using with great success for countless generations. You’ll be pleased to know that many of these useful items can be found in the average household.

Though pest control can refer to dealing with pest birds, bugs, and rodents, this article will focus on getting rid of insects.

Insect Control in the Garden

Believe it or not, aluminum foil can successfully keep hungry insects and slugs away from your vegetable garden. Simply mix strips of aluminum foil in with your garden mulch to deter bugs and slugs. In addition, since foil is reflective, it will shine light back up onto your plants, giving them a solar boost.

Mothballs are another handy insect control device for the garden. You’ve probably heard of using mothballs in the closet to protect your sweaters, but you can also use them to kill bugs on potted plants. Simply place the plant in a clear plastic bag (i.e. a cleaning bag), add a few mothballs, and seal the bag for a week. When you take the plant out, it will be bug-free (and moths will stay away for a while too). Animals also hate the smell of mothballs, so you can toss a few into your garden and flowerbed as well, to keep away cats, dogs, and rodents.

Did you know onions are a natural pesticide as well? Here’s an easy-to-make concoction that will repel insects (and animals too) in your flowers and vegetables: Use a blender to puree 4 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, and one quart of water. Put the mixture aside and then dilute 2 tablespoons of soap flakes in 2 gallons of water. Pour all the contents in your blender, stir it up, and this gives you an eco-friendly bug spray to use on your plants.

Black pepper is another home remedy that works great for pest control in the garden. If insects are harassing your flowers, plants, and vegetables, simply mix pepper with flour and sprinkle it around your plants. Bugs won’t be so eager to munch.

Lastly, you can make your own rock dust to get rid of insects in the garden.

Insect Control in the House

Dog and cat food, which is often left out around the clock, can be quite a temptation to ants and other insects. A simple way to make these six-legged intruders lose interest is to place a border of baking soda around the pet food bowls. Baking soda won’t bother your pets (though they probably won’t be keen on the taste), so it’s no worry for them if they lap a bit up with their meal.

Another household item good at getting rid of insects is vinegar. For example, if your latest trip to the farmers’ market brought back fruit flies as well as healthy victuals, then you can make traps for the flies by filling an old jar about halfway full with apple cider vinegar. Punch a few holes in the top, screw it back on, and the fruit flies will be attracted and trapped.

These are just a few of the easy ways to use simple household items to get rid of insects. So when you’re having a problem, don’t be so eager to pick up a can of chemical-filled bug spray. Look for natural solutions, and you will very likely find them!

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Source by TC Thorn

Bridal Bouquets

Brides strive to make an entrance with an enthralling and brilliantly attractive bridal bouquet. Like most wedding preparations, choosing the correct bouquet is also significant. The maid of honor or the bridesmaids often carry their own, smaller wedding bouquets. The flowers are so important in some ceremonies that some brides may choose an original watercolor painting of the bridal bouquet along with photographs for memorabilia.

Real flowers are usually an option, though expensive and seasonal. However, real flowers do not last long and will have drooped before the wedding week ends. Bridal bouquet preservation services may be hired, either to preserve bouquets after use or to make beautiful pressed flower arrangements. Prices of real flower bouquets vary widely. For instance, the transportation costs of roses fluctuate daily and therefore, an exact price cannot be quoted until 30 days before the event. Silk wedding flowers save money and can last a lifetime. Brides can now choose extraordinarily realistic silk flower designs and original fresh designs.

The bride, rather than her attendants, typically carries cascading wedding bouquets. However, hand-tied or clutch bouquets are becoming increasingly popular with brides.

It is the bride’s preference as to what style of wedding bouquet she carries. A round wedding bouquet is gracefully arranged on a plastic bouquet holder and covered with satin ribbon to give it a finished appearance. Arm bouquets are extended in shape and are to be cradled on one arm. This frees the bride’s other arm to hold on to her escort. Most bridal bouquets are not pre-made. Consultants work hand-in-hand with brides to ensure that they get exactly what they desire.

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Source by Max Bellamy

Chronograph Watches

Chronograph watches have done a lot for the world of sports and military. The industrial age has brought on a deluge of information from all over the place. Chronograph watches have been a small part of that deluge by providing precise information about the time and rate of certain events be it races, physical performances, or any number of complex schemes that needed precise timing.

Chronograph wristwatches were made available to the public in 1910 and subsequently began changing the way people viewed time. One of the major advances in design came in 1933 when the first waterproof version of a chronograph watch was introduced. Now swimmers and underwater operators had access to the uses of the watch.

Sports and competitions benefited greatly from the advent of chronograph watches because now the speed of racers of any kind could be measured with more precision and accuracy heightening competition between athletes and even generations. Practicing for races also became very important since you could calculate perfectly how fast you were running with any number of variables included.

Military is another industry that has gained a lot from chronograph wristwatches. The standard of physical prowess is easy to mange with the use of chronograph watches. Of course all military’s want to have soldiers that meet a high standard of health and physical fitness. The confidence to be gained from this is huge and can turn the tide of any scuffle, battle or war.

Chronograph watches these days are available to anyone. It is useful for someone wanting to increase the speed of their mile or to test themselves and perform something within a given period of time.

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Source by David Hymas

The Vintage Jewelry Designer Florenza

The Dan Kasoff Company first began to produce jewelry in the 1930’s; however, the name Florenza was first used in 1948. The company ceased operation in 1981.

Florenza jewelry has a style and design all his own, easily identifiable. Antique looking settings give the jewelry a Victorian look. Florenza always used the highest quality materials and rhinestones.

He also used the large beautiful stones as the center piece in his designs and rhinestones an inch or larger were also common. More so than just a designer of vintage jewelry, Florenza made picture frames and trinket boxes to jeweled pillboxes and pincushions.

The Florenza mark on back of his jewelry pieces is in script with the copyright symbol or it can be found in print style, with the copyright symbol. His signature look has interesting stones and expert metal work. Antique-looking gold tone, silver tone, or metal. Most pieces are unusual, with creative use of color.

Florenza Made beautiful jeweled dresser accessories. These are also fun to find, and often re-sell well. The Florenza prices on the collectible market today is rising.

For a beginner collector of vintage jewelry, I feel that Florenza is a terrific designer to look for, at least one or two pieces. Prices are only going to climb higher and is a good investment. The best thing to do is buy sets, pieces that move or tremble, and interesting figural pieces. Look for the wide bracelets, these are sought out by many collectors.

The Dan Kasoff Company (Florenza) created a large variety of interesting, well-made pieces that have remained beautiful through the years. A beginning collector can easily find appealing Florenza designs

that are also in excellent condition. Future collectors, find a piece or two that you like, that is important. You have to enjoy the piece that you purchase.

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Source by Beth Hendrickson

Diamonds From Sierra Leone – A History Of Violence

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that has suffered severely due to continuous rebel activities from 1991-2002. This nation relies heavily on its mining activities – diamond mining in particular – but progress has been particularly slow because of corruption and civil uprisings.

Diamonds from Sierra Leone are controversial because a number of them are not actually legal. Not all of the annually produced diamonds, worth around $250-300 million, are channeled through legal conduits because many are smuggled. These so-called “blood diamonds” are widely known to be used to finace illicit activities such as laundering.

In 2001, the United States put an embargo on diamonds from Sierra Leone. Starting from the 1990s, the diamonds from Sierra Leone have been used to fund the RUF, or the Revolutionary United Front – led by Corporal Foday Sankoh.

Sierra Leone had its first diamonds mined in 1935. More than 1 million carats were harvested within two years following the first discovery, and over 55 million carats were mined by the company DeBeers between the years 1930 and 1998.

DeBeers, the only company granted mining rights by the Sierra Leone government until 1955, have been mining and distributing diamonds from Sierra Leone exclusively since the year it turned out its first diamond.

In the movie Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, allegedly pressured the film’s producers into issuing a disclaimer stating that the events depicted in the film are fictional, but the company has denied this.

Diamonds from Sierra Leone have reportedly been spirited out illegally by 75,000 miners in 1955. In that same year, the new administration put an end to the DeBeers monopoly of the diamonds from Sierra Leone trade and allowed other companies to move in.

When insurgency broke out in the 1990s, rebel forces were reportedly getting funding for their activities by stealing diamonds. Thus, the term “blood diamonds.”

Unstoppable killings

The diamond trade continued to fund the RUF rebels who pursued their uprisings against the government. Despite an agreement between the RUF head and the government, the bloodshed went on. To put a stop to the anarchy, the United Nations then issued a directive that nobody could buy diamonds from Sierra Leone legally.

There were a few countries such as Liberia, however, which continued the trading of diamonds from Sierra Leone. It was a profitable underground business, and these unscrupulous individuals didn’t care about the repercussions, as long as they gained financially from their nefarious activities.

The diamonds from Sierra Leone were sold on the open market in Liberia, until this neighboring nation exported over four times the amount of their own diamond production – including them in the blood diamonds supplier list.

At present, certifications are issued to distinguish legally traded diamonds from the diamonds from Sierra Leone [http://www.topdiamondsguide.com/category/diamonds-and-pearls-on-your-wedding-day]. These Certificates are made to ensure that no one, as a buyer, would be supporting the killings that have been ravaging the nation.

This directive, however, is not foolproof and has not totally stemmed the illegal diamond trade from Sierra Leone

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Source by Jonathan Andrew

What To Say At Your Son’s Wedding

In traditional weddings only the best man does a speech for the groom but these days it is becoming more and more common for the father of the groom to say a speech at his son’s wedding. I think this is great because although the best man will know your son very well, surely you must know your son better than anyone.

OK so let’s talk about what to say at your son’s wedding. There are many things you can talk about but you need to remember what the father of the groom speech is all about. Generally the speech needs to show your bond or relationship with your son and need to make sure that he and his new wife have your blessing. The best father of the groom speeches are ones that are funny but emotional at the same time.

Other important things to do in your speech are welcome and thank all of the guests at your son’s wedding. Thank them for their support and for making the wedding day a great day. You can also pass on some advice to your son. This could be marriage advice or just general life advice if you are not in a position to give marriage advice. So let’s look at what kind of structure you can use to build a father of the groom speech.

So first of all you want to get everyone’s attention. You can do this by starting your speech with a small joke or by using a famous quote that everyone will know. Then you can go into to welcome everyone to the wedding and thank them for coming. Now you need to share a couple of stories or experiences that you and your son have experienced. Funny stories work really well but you need to make sure that any funny stories that you tell do not embarrass you son.

Finding the right kind of jokes for a wedding speech can be difficult. But the father of the groom speech needs to be slightly funny I personally think. So one tip I will share now is that you can aim the joke at yourself. Anything that you have done that you can link to the wedding and marriage would make a great wedding joke.

You need to then make a few nice complements about the bride, Say have lovely she is and how she has changed your son for the better. Thank her family and welcome them to your family. Now all is left is your final advice to your son and your blessing. I hope now that you know what to say at your son’s wedding. I was there once thinking “what to say at my son’s wedding”. Make sure you give yourself the time to write a speech and try not to worry too much. Start brain storming and writing ideas down. This way you can simply put everything together when you know what you want to say.

I wish you the best of luck and remember do not panic and I hope you have a great day at your son’s wedding.

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Source by Jonny Morrow

Benefitting From A Honeymoon Registry

What does going on a honeymoon actually mean for you? It should signify much more that just a vacation with a new spouse. In fact, it is far more than tha. What your honeymoon represents is a great leap forward in the starting of a new life. Actually, your honeymoon the first single step forward the beginning of a new path for you and your spouse. Therefore, a honeymoon should be planned out properly so that it becomes the vacation of a lifetime, a memorable experience forever.

How a Honeymoon Registry Can Help

In order to make sure that a honeymoon will be a memorable one, there needs to be deliberate planning undertaken to make sure that the best possible trip and itinerary have been planned. This can pose a challenge and become a daunting task for those who are not very familiar with the steps required to make sure a honeymoon is properly planned. This is where a honeymoon registry comes in handy.

At its core, a honeymoon registry service is basically a ‘spin’ on the classic travel agency. The honeymoon registry serves and important purpose. It allows you to devise and plan out every single aspect of your honeymoon long in advance. The benefits of this advanced planning is invaluable. Tthe honeymooning couple does not have to deal with the stress associated with planning their own honeymoon excursions.

No Small Gift

There is another unique and novel aspect to the honeymoon registry service is the fact that the service can itemize aspects of the honeymoon and then have these itemized aspects paid for as gifts by the wedding guests. This is, in effect, the actual registry itself the various itemized components of the honeymoon become part of a ‘registry’ and guests can donate towards the registry.

Indeed, this is an interesting addition into conventional wedding planning, but it has become increasingly popular and grown exponentially attractive to newly weds in recent years. (It also makes life incredibly easy for guests and it saves them the related responsibilities associated with purchasing gifts.)

While this may seem like a dramatic departure from what is the ‘norm’ in terms of wedding and honeymoon planning, it is also a harbinger of the wave of the future. Dont’t get us wrong. Tradition and traditional planning all have their proper place, but progress and innovation are also important and even in the area of weddings and honeymoons progress can be seen, and for the better. Look for the concept of the honeymoon registry to continue to grow in popularity as time progresses.

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Source by Darlene Berkel

eCommerce Electronic Gift Card Programs

An electronic gift card is becoming a much accepted and quite popular gift in the modern, hectic and crazy world that we live in. Gone are the days when gift cards and gift certificates were thought of as impersonal and unimaginative. More and more people are opting to give them as gifts based on sheer convenience and knowing that they can’t go wrong with a gift like that. The recipient can put it to good use by buying whatever it is they like.

With the online gift market increasing at such a rapid rate over the past few years, having an electronic gift cards program is becoming an essential part of all ecommerce businesses. Selling gift cards is no longer a feature offered exclusively by big name online retailers. In fact small online businesses need to provide it just to stay competitive with each other. It is a great way to boost sales revenue both during key holiday seasons and regularly throughout the year.

There are several advantages of providing your customers with a gift cards program. Most importantly it is one more channel for you to generate a sale which then leads to more purchases and more revenue for you. There is no inventory so there are less returns. From a customer’s perspective, you are providing them with more convenience and choice. Your traffic will increase, because both the sender and recipient must visit your site, and a recipient who has never visited your site before is considered a free customer acquisition. Lastly, any unredeemed credits turn into bonus profits.

Specific features are required of an ecommerce solution in order to properly handle the giving and receiving of an electronic gift card. Some major features of a gift cards program include:

– Auto generation
– Customization options to match the overall look of your site
– Secure distribution
– Accept multiple forms of payment
– Online gift certificate or by mail options

Finally, it is important to not just offer gift certificates to your customers, you have to find creative ways to use and promote it to either retain current customers or acquire new ones. An electronic gift cards program can be a great tool for your customer service. Use them strategically to compensate unsatisfied customers who are complaining about your products or services. It’s important to not only keep them as a satisfied customer but even more important to prevent them from spreading their negative feedback of your store all over the web.

An electronic gift certificate can also be a great promotional tool. Spread the word about your online store throughout the web by creating contests and rewarding the winner with a specified dollar amount to spend on your products. The great thing about this tactic is that not only will this winner be exposed to your products, but all the other participants who were unfamiliar with your business now have a good idea of what you have to offer. The best part of holding contests is your ability to capture the contact information of all of the participants. You can then further build a relationship with them and turn them into potential customers. Another cool tip is to use it as a reward or thank you for customers actively promoting your site to their friends and family members. All of that free advertisement is well worth the price of the card.

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Source by Amy B Xu

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