To many travelers, searching trying to find cheap hotel deals is like playing a friendly game of roulette: try just the right amount of combinations (locations, travel agents, dates) and you’ll land the best one. They forget to keep in mind however, that if they have to change their travel dates or find a better rate, they’ll have to pay a penalty of as much as $25 per night. On top of that, most hotels don’t allow the customer to use loyalty points for stays booked through discount reservation sites, factor that in and those bargain basement prices doesn’t seem so appealing. Here are 4 tips to help you avoid these pitfalls:
Tip 1. Check out hotel calendars. An increasing amount of hotel Web-sites use booking systems with long term day-to-day rates. For instance, Four Seasons lets you see prices up to nine months out. on January 7, the Bellagio in Las Vegas listed a rate of $801; when we checked the price of the exact room on January 11, it was $201. At the same time, various travel sites such as Expedia.com, Cheap Tickets and Orbitz have calendars that shows the cheapest rates for each day that information is accessible.
Tip 2. Try the new search engine on http://www.expedia.com/Hotels which uses a special algorithm to find cheap hotels deals. It analyses if the room rate is or isn’t a deal by combining current rates from 3 other sites- Cheap Tickets, Orbitz, and Reserve Travel- with historical data and prices from hotels themselves. This site removes sold out hotels from search results so your great deal won’t disappear when you go to book it.
Tip 3. Dial the phone Get a hold of the hotel directly (not the 800 number). Many times, hotels offer last minute deals that they don’t fill through the reservations line. Customer Service Agents aren’t normally permitted to negotiate the price. Because hotels often give only a set number of rooms to the reservation service, you may be told that the rate has been sold out, which isn’t the case all of the time. If you’re trying to find cheap hotel deals, call a travel agent. Many can get a better room rate than can be found online, with breakfast and an upgrade.
Tip 4. Look for the guarantee A lot of online agencies and hotels will match the price of other hotels. One such hotel is the Marriott. They will give you the lower rate, plus a 25 percent discount. Starwood does this as well but gives you a 10 percent discount plus give you 2,000 Starpoints. Swissotel offers 50 percent off of the first night’s lower rate and will match the cost the next night. There can be a catch however. Most will require that you file a claim within 24 hours of reserving your room.
Tip 5. Hidden deals to look for Membership in AAA, AARP, or in professional groups like the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association, may make you eligible for a discount. You can also look online for coupon codes at various coupon sites online.Travel | Comment (0)
The Cliff Stevenson Group, is one of the Calgary real estate companies that really makes purchasing or selling a home a breeze. These Calgary real estate agents know exactly what they are doing and it really shows in their work. Their team consists of four employees which makes dealing with them more personalized.
All four Calgary real estate agents – Cliff Stevenson, Dawn Seymour, Mike Ehrman, and Sandra Wiebe – are licensed and have years of experience under their belts. They are pleasant to deal with and are knowledgeable about Calgary real estate. The Cliff Stevenson Group will provide you with expert advice that can help you decide which home would be the best fit for you and your family. If you are a homeowner who is planning to sell your home they are able to provide you with advice that will help you get a very good deal.
The real estate agents at The Cliff Stevenson Group are always prompt and professional. When dealing with this real estate company you will feel like they are your friends and not your Calgary real estate agents because of the vibe that they give off. If you need real estate agents who have your best interest in mind The Cliff Stevenson Group comes highly recommended. They are ethical and explain the entire Calgary real estate process to all of their clients.
The Cliff Stevenson Group is very easy to contact as well. You can contact them via email, mobile phone, or their office line. These real estate agents are even active in social media. It is safe to say that they are the Calgary real estate agents that are more than willing to go the extra mile to keep their customers satisfied.
Stop by their website, www.cliffstevenson.com, and check out all that they have to offer. You will find the website to be very easy to navigate and also very informative. Each agent provides a brief background about themselves so you can make sure that they have the credentials that you are seeking in your Calgary real estate agents.
If you decide to use this Calgary real estate company it is guaranteed that you will not be disappointed with your decision!Home Decorating | Comment (0)
If you are someone who travels frequently overseas you will find that LuggageFree.com should be your number one choice when it comes to overseas baggage shipping. By using this service you do not have to worry about running into any unexpected luggage related issues because your bags will be waiting for you already when you arrive to your destination.
This overseas baggage shipping service is not going to let you down. You no longer have to worry about being held up at customs. Instead you can have a stress free trip as it should be. Not to mention the fact that when you use the services provided by LuggageFree.com you do not have to worry about packing light, you can pack as heavy as you want.
Pros of LuggageFree.com
LuggageFree.com has a ton of pros that comes along with using their overseas baggage shipping. Since they specialize in luggage delivery you can be sure that everything will go as it should. You do not have to worry about mistakes taking place because their minds are in other places. LuggageFree.com also provides their customers with the best customer support that one could ever imagine. When you give them your luggage you can be guaranteed that it is going to be shipped safely. It will be waiting for you at your destination the same way it was handed to them. There will be no tears, all of your items will be in your luggage, and your luggage is not going to get lost or delayed. Not to mention the fact that if, for any reason, you want to check on the status of your luggage you can always contact them since they are available around the clock.
The prices that LuggageFree.com charges for their overseas baggage shipping are very affordable and reasonable. In fact, their fees are based off of the weight of the luggage. They differ from other luggage shipping companies because they go with the exact weight and do not use the weight range system that other companies couldn’t imagine doing without.
LuggageFree.com is the overseas baggage shipping company that comes highly recommended!!!Travel | Comment (0)
I never really knew anything about brushed metal art before, but after hearing about Steve Prachyl’s amazing metal wall art, I decided to see what all the talk was about. When you hear brushed metal, you typically don’t think of beauty. After seeing this artist’s work, I now think of brushed metal art differently. I was immediately blown away with how stunning his works of art are. This artist sketches on pieces of metal with a grinder. I have never even heard of this art technique before and it truly is amazing.
Steve Prachyl’s metal wall art features lines, textures, bright silvers, shapes, and transitions. The pieces of art are available in two different styles and different sizes. I chose to order a composite style metal wall art, which is constructed with thin metal and is mounted on eluded plastic backer. I chose the piece “The Ornamental” because I knew it would fit perfectly in my living room. I was so impressed with the line work in this piece, the brilliant curves, and the way it looked after I hung it up on my wall.
Metal wall art is completely unique and not something people are used to seeing. I really like this type of art and I am very pleased with my piece from Steve Prachyal and I know I will be purchasing more art of his in the future. If you are looking for a piece of wall art to compliment your room, I suggest checking out metal wall art. It is something that will look great in any one of your rooms and it will create a beautiful focal point. I guarantee you will have a lot of people asking you about your piece of art as I do now.
Metal wall art is completely impressive and something I will be buying more of in the near future. I am so happy with “The Ornamental” piece of art and how it makes my room look and feel.Home Decorating | Comment (0)
Over the last couple of years the interest and prices for diamonds has increased. If you live in New York, you may have noticed that almost every jewelry store now buys diamonds. Lots of people are interested in selling their diamonds but don’t know how to take the first step. It is common for people to accumulate valuable jewelry over their lifetime, since it can be a great investment. However, selling diamonds or jewelry can sometimes be a little bit frustrating, especially for those who don’t know the true worth of their items. Finding the right place to sell your diamonds just takes a bit of legwork and some common sense. For example, there are some great options online if you choose to sell diamonds jewelry in New York.
Diamonds can be sometimes tougher to sell than gold. Among precious stone buyers there is a lot of controversy over “conflict diamonds” or diamonds that are found in certain locations of Africa. These controversial diamonds are sometimes used to buy illegal merchandise related to war. Diamonds prices have increased due to worldwide demand, especially in China and India.
Keep in mind that the true value of your diamond jewelry can only be determined by a certified appraiser. You can find a professional appraiser in most jewelry stores. Some professional appraisers charge a lot for their services but there are some others that can determine the value of your precious stones for free. The worth of a diamond is dependent upon many factors, especially on its quality and clarity. A diamond’s cut is also something that may affect its value, since there are some cuts are more valuable or rarer than others.
Sometimes, conventional jewelry stores can be difficult to trust, since many try to take advantage of the fact that most sellers aren’t well researched.
If you choose to sell diamonds in New York to someone in the jewelry industry, this means you can process the sell faster than if you should sell to a friend or family member. Many may instead prefer to go the route of using online auction websites such as EBay; however, the threat of getting scammed is higher. You should also only deal with jewelry stores that are certified from recognized institutions. Two great institutions are the American Society of Appraisers and the International Society of Appraisers. These are companies that do their best to maintain quality in the industry, so don’t be afraid to sell your diamond jewelry if the store is properly certified by those institutions.Clothing & Fashion | Comment (0)
The south of Sahara, the Africans cannot be distinguished from art. They have incorporated it every wake of their life starting from their dialogue, commuting with the spirits, the gods to the form of physical therapy. Naming the African art form as rich is just a name game. Their history treads back to 500 B.C., in the womb of nature and populous African country, Nigeria. As an art form, the ancient African sculptures were the first to be unearthed from the economic powerhouse of the continent. Along with these African masks and figures, many potteries were used in various religious ceremonies. Wood constitutes the main material for their art, which later flaunted with clay, feathers, ivory, metals, shells etc.
Though the entire continent is inclined to the making of African art sculptures, the western and central part of Africa take away the credit of the indigenous art. There are various forms of the cultural art as the history is a proof that it is a contribution of various tribes, but the abstract carving on wood is takes away the prize. The Nigerian people are well known for the human statues made of terracotta whereas the Cameroon grasslands call for the bold woodcarvings as masks and decorative textiles.
The explosion of the tradition especially the African art sculptures on to the international platform goes back to the 19th century when many archeologists discovered the bronze sculptures. These African sculptures are called as the Benin Bronzes, and they have inspired and uplifted many a man towards their royal patronage. Though they had a few materials as a necessity, today, these sculptures are made from various durable materials.
The reign of the human form
The human form as a way of art has always instigated the Africans in both live and dead. The souls of the hunters, chiefs especially are expressed in an abstract way to give a 3D effect. Some also used the same expression to give an anthropomorphic form of the god. The bronze and brass were used to represent realistic busts and were believed to be attractive and durable.
The significance of the Benin Bronzes with the European work
The Benin bronze art are believed to be the pioneer to many noteworthy artists. For example, the Auguste Rodin, the creator of the ‘The Thinker’ and who can forget Donatello and his famous David. The Benin Bronzes has an impact even over the creation of many remarkable artists. From Michelangelo’s ‘La Pieta’ to Pablo Picasso’s work, everyone has a hint from the famous African art sculptures
The modern day African sculptures
Though the ancient African sculptures would always be in a la mode, but the contemporary artists are going in vain. They are following the steps of their predecessor with fancy figurines, animals in action and the bronze nudes, which are mainly famous cause of the proportionate body.
The history of the African art influenced the artists worldwide with their aesthetic value and the qualities of them today still are inspiriting everyone day by day.
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The Djembe is a drum that has a rich history and importance towards Ghanaian and African culture.
But first of all, let us look at the Djembe through its physical attributes. The Djembe is a drum that is played with the bare hands. It is rope-tuned and skin covered. It has a shell (or a body if you will) that is carved out of hardwood and a drumhead that is made out of untreated goatskin. However, Djembe drums are not limited to these materials upon manufacturing. They can be made from a wide array of other ingredients for performers to play different sounds according to their liking.
The origin of the Djembe can be traced back to the Numu. They are associated with the Mandika people, specifically their class of blacksmiths. The Djembe drum’s wide dispersion throughout Africa may be the cause of the many migrations of the Numu. As such, the drums’ popularity became known throughout the continent.
Although the origins of these bongo drums came from the Numu, there are no restrictions in using it. Such cause calls for rejoice as the Djembe drums are different from many, more restricted instruments that can be found in Africa. Therefore, just about anyone who is interested in playing it can do so.
Furthermore, due to the Numu’s many migrations, the Djembe African drums can now be played by Ghanaian people.
The Djembe drums are an integral part of Ghanaian, and most importantly the entire African culture. Playing with the African percussion instrument has a great purpose to affairs, festivals, and ceremonies. The rhythms created by the instrument are only to be played at a certain time and only for certain reasons.
For example, playing the African bongo drums can play a major role when a person rises into the age of adulthood. It can also take on a significant part on marriages or when there is an event wherein there is a need to honour the deeds by professions or other groups of people.
Unlike instruments that are played in an orchestra or in a band, playing the Djembe drums is not performed in front of an audience but with the participation of the entire village. This allows the people to participate in the event or the ceremony.
Now even if it would seem that the same rhythm can be played for hours and hours on end, there will be other interactions that take place along with the drumming. For instance, dancers from the village can challenge Djembe drummers to mark and keep up with their dance moves. There are even ballets and ensembles wherein these drums play a major role for the performance.
The Djembe drums are a very cultural musical instrument that is not limited to a small number of African locales. These drums can now also be seen in Western continents where they pay tribute to our African brothers and take part of their own ceremonies and affairs with the use of these African bongo drums.
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Adinkra symbols can be traced back to their origins of the Asante people of Ghana, West Africa. Created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivorie (Ivory Coast), they developed these symbols based on history, philosophy and certain religious beliefs. Today they are widely used to give definitive meanings and messages through a wide range of different products, including jewellery, Adinkra cloths, clothing and even architecture.
The meaning of Ghanaian Adikra symbolism in African jewellery was portrayed through the Asante people in the 19th century, when they developed the unique art of Adinkra printing. Creating hand made cloths through a special process, these cloths were made exclusively for both spiritual leaders and royalty. As time has gone on, these African tribal symbols have been used for other special occasions, such as weddings, initiation rites, festivals and naming ceremonies.
The Asante have further developed the Adinkra symbology over time, with their own folk-tales and culture influencing the symbols created. Now incorporated into modern culture and designs, the meaning of Ghanaian Adikra symbolism in African jewellery and other items gives added significance to products, such as sculptures, african jewellery and clothing.
Traditionally they were hand printed of certain colours of hand-woven cotton, red, dark brown or black were the most common used. In modern times they have been frequently mass produced on a wide range of brighter coloured fabrics.
Some of the most commonly found Adinkra symbols include:
GYE NYAME – “except for God” – symbol of the supremacy of God
SANKOFA – “return and get it” – symbol of importance of learning from the past
FUNTUNFUNEFU- DENKYEMFUNEFU – “Siamese crocodiles” – symbol of democracy and unity
DENKYEM – “crocodile” – symbol of adaptability
DWENNIMMEN – “ram’s horns” – symbol of humility together with strength
Although, the Akindra symbols are now used by many other people, not just exclusively by religious leaders and royalty, the symbols themselves still have significant meanings to the people that use them. Both African jewellery for men and African jewellery for women exist, when worn they hold deep meanings and often have underlying philosophies behind them. African tribal jewellery has become more popular as time has gone on, now widely available, the symbols used can be traced right back to the history of African jewellery and the original Akindra symbols.
African tribal jewellery is available from a number of different stores, both online and in person. There are plenty of resources where you can research and learn about the different Adinkra symbols available in African jewellery, therefore allowing you to know which one is right for you. Go into your local store and talk to someone, or use one of the many search engines to discover more information. Before making a purchase, research which symbol matches your lifestyle, beliefs and personal philosophies.
Even though it has been many years since the symbols were first created, the meaning of Ghanaian Adinkra symbols in African Jewelry is still alive today and can be seen all over the world.African Art | Comment (0)
Kente cloth scarf was considered sacred in the past and only worn during royal occasions, but now it has spread worldwide and worn by everyone. Since the authentic African scarf is still expensive, only the rich people in Africa mostly wear it. The authentic pieces are weaved with pure silk and the rather economic ones are made of cotton. The cheapest kente clothes are the ones of rayon to make it more accessible to the general.
The Ashanti kingdom of Ghana is believed to be the inventor of the Kente cloth. The archaeological evidences say that this happened in the early 17th century and the weaving tradition must have existed back even in the 11th century. The people of the Ashanti region are still the main manufactured of the cloth.
The darkest colour black signifies maturity with spiritual energy.
The blue represents peace, love and harmony.
The green is for vegetation and harvesting growth.
The gold for royalty and glory
Grey symbolizes healing, as the colour is associated with ash.
Maroon is the colour of earth and linked to spiritual healing.
The female essence is the colour pink whereas purple represents the feminine aspects.
The red is for bloodshed and sacrifices.
Silver and white rejoice purity and joy.
Yellow denoted the royalty and fertility.
The kente scarf and the meaning of the patterns
As already mentioned, the Ashanti people of Ghana are the creators of the scarves and the symbols too, known as the Adinkra symbols. Hence, the scarves are referred to as the Adinkra cloths. The meanings derived from proverbs, beliefs, concepts etc., are used there even today. These not only form as an accessory but as a home decor too. Some symbols with their meanings are below:
Gye nyame signifies the dominance of the almighty and is the most beautiful symbol of the region. As unique as it is, it is a pure reflection of the religious character worshipped deeply the people. Adinkrahene is the chief of the adinkra symbols and signifies greatness, leadership and charisma. Hye Won Hye that literally means the one, which does not burn, is a symbol of endurance. This has derived from the stories where traditional priests used to walk on fire without burning their feet. Obi Nkye Obi Kwan Mu Si greatly implements the meaning that nobody is perfect in this world. Everyone makes mistakes and that they should be forgiven.
Asonawo Ahahamono Emaa Da represents one of the seven families of the Ashanti social league. Fathia Fata Nkrumah represents the unity of the African people. Here, Fathis was the charming Egyptian women who got married to Nkrumah, the president of the Republic of Ghana. Abusua Ye Dom celebrates the birth of newborn, the extended family and the well-being of others.
Adinkra clothes are not only attractive but the cultural reference is so interesting and important to the people. The representations of proverbs, stories, thoughts been beautifully expressed through the African scarf. Understandable or not, for the world unknown, it is definitely a magnificent creation.African Art | Comment (0)
Japanese rain chains have a long and colorful history. Originally used for temples in Japan, they are intended to create an attractive and pleasing architectural water feature out of something otherwise mundane. Available in a nearly infinite combination of styles and fashions, you will be able to find one that exactly fits in with your own home decoration styling.
In Japan, rain chains (kusari-toi or kusari-doi, which can be literally translated as “chain gutter”) are an integral part of most homes’ water management systems. Their purpose is to transport water from the roof of a structure, where it is picked up by a gutter system, to ground level or below, where it is then typically stored. The stored water can then be used for drinking, cooking, bathing, or any other household purpose after purification.
What makes them special is the variety of pleasing aesthetics they can bring to any home. You can replace your plain, unadorned gutters with beautifully crafted rain chains in any one of numerous designs. Just imagine how much nicer your home would look if you never had to deal with the hassle of cleaning or replacing your old gutters ever again, and instead had beautiful, functional art.
Not only are they a pleasure to look at visually, they are a treat for the ears as well! The soft, tinkling sounds of water as it passes down the chain increases to a soothing rush of sound reminiscent of a babbling brook when precipitation is heavy. Depending on the ornamentation of the chain you are interested in, bells and chimes may be incorporated as well, if you prefer a more musical tone.
Don’t forget the additional opportunity to be artistic at the base of every Japanese rain chain! Depending on where exactly the bottom is located, you can place anything from a decorative pot filled with stones, (as is common in Japan) to your own bowl or saucer. You can use this space to really express yourself and complete the artistic vision you have.
If space is more of a concern, you don’t need to dedicate a lot of square footage to being artistic. They drain equally well right into a hole in your deck or wherever you might want them to deposit the water. The fact that the water drips down the chain itself is the important factor in minimizing the damage it can cause to surrounding things like your landscaping. Carefully managed, none of this will be an issue.
It is easy to see why rain chains have been a popular option for decorative water management for such a long time. Not only are they clearly more pleasant to look at, listen to, and maintain, their increased functionality is a significant bonus also. With the variety of types available, from cup based models, to link based systems, to our completely customizable premium versions, you should look at what we have to offer and see if one of these wouldn’t help beautify your home.Home Decorating | Comment (0)