Javanese Arts

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ideas to Give Old Furniture New Life

by: Bob Benson

The best thing about old furniture is the new life you can give it. It doesn’t take much talent – just a little creativity and patience if you’ve never taken on a furniture project before.

Accept this challenge: instead of throwing out that old chest of drawers from your child’s room, think of a new use for it. Recycling furniture can be a lot of fun, plus it’s a good way to get a new look at a fraction of the cost. If you are not happy with the finished product, start over or then give in to purchase a new furniture piece.

Think about that old chest of drawers. Is there a drawer that’s broken? Maybe you can take out that drawer and create a shelf from the opening. Would it make a nice TV stand if it was just a little taller? Consider screwing finials that you can find in your local discount store onto the bottom to create “legs” or “feet.”

And never underestimate the power of a coat of paint! Old furniture gets a quick update when painted. If you like the shabby chic look, tatter the fresh paint job a bit by sanding around corners and other heavy use areas to create a worn look. If it’s your first time to try this furniture painting technique, invest in an inexpensive kit that can be found at any retail discount store.

If you are really creative and not afraid to try new things with your old furniture, you can create some funky new accessories for your home. Use an old dresser as a sink basin for your bathroom. Use the headboard or footboard from a twin size bed as the back of a bench.

Giving your old furniture a new look does not always include creating a new function for it. For instance, drape and tuck fabric over an old sofa or love seat to give it a “slipcovered” look. Or, hot glue some fabric on top of the old rattan panels on the coffee table you’ve had for years. Trim it out by hot gluing some braided trim around the edges and you’ve created a new look for the table.

If your piece of furniture was painted but you’d like to give it a stained look, give it a try. Most woods are easily stripped of paint and stain can be applied in the color and intensity of your choice. Just follow the directions supplied by the stain manufacturer.

Give the lacquer-look furniture popular in past years an up to date look by using a combination of painting and staining. To get a brown leather look, brush your lacquer furniture lightly first with sand paper just enough to rough up the surface so the paint will adhere better. Then, use a red primer color spray paint on the furniture. Once the primer dries, use an oil-based brown stain and a plastic bag to create the leathery look. Working with a small area at a time, use a sponge “brush” to paint on the stain. Crinkle a plastic bag and open it up. Press the crinkled bag on top of the stain and sweep the bag quickly off the furniture. The motion will pull the stain around, creating the lines associated with leather. Kits are also available for this technique.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Commercial Furniture for Any Property Owner

by: Michael Hargrove

Whether furnishing a hotel, restaurant, resort, or apartments, building owners need an inexpensive and hassle free way to furnish property. Commercial furniture is available to suit any type of property ranging from casual food service, to luxury resort suites. Commercial furniture is also available to meet any size or style of property, as well as meet any range of budgets.

Food service, to luxury resort. Many different types of property have many different furnishing needs. Several factors include what type of property, how much area needs to be furnished, and also it depends on what the property owner wants for furniture. A full service hotel needs a variety of furniture, ranging from upholstered furniture for rooms, food service furniture for restaurants, as well as patio furniture. An apartment building may only need to be furnished with indoor furniture, such as sofas, chairs, and case goods. In some cases, apartment owners will furnish patios and pools if available.

Ordering in quantity, Volume discounts. As seen, a large number of different commercial patio furniture types may be needed to furnish any property. To make large orders economically feasible, commercial furniture is available at volume discounts just for such property owners. When purchased in large volumes, commercial furniture is available for a fraction of the price of retail furniture. The larger the property and the more that needs to be furnished, the greater the discount.

Less expensive options. Whether the budget is small or very high end, there is something to suit all property owners. If the resort is a luxury themed resort, commercial furniture can be custom made to coordinate. Custom made commercial furniture is a great way to enhance the elegance of a resort. For smaller budgets, quality commercial furniture is available. There is a great variety of commercial patio furniture, upholstered furniture, and case goods at the lower end that will not break the budget.

Purchasing commercial furniture does not have to be painful. By reviewing a few simple tips and doing a little shopping around, any property owner can find the perfect commercial furniture collection.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rokok Kretek: The Culture and Heritage of Indonesia's Clove Cigarettes

by: Arnold Lee

Rokok is cigarettes, kretek is clove flavored, so rokok kretek means clove flavored cigarettes or clove cigarettes. For many millions Javanese and Indonesians, kretek is enjoyable companion, tasteful, it gives a feeling of relief & relaxation and its price is nothing compare to the comfort given.

Clove tree In restaurants, pubs, bars, discotheques, public buildings and in many other places outdoor, the sweet smoke from kretek are smelt. This is a common sight, but nowadays, many sites are divided to smoking and non smoking areas. Some air conditioned buildings even declared as non smoking.

Brief history

Rokok kretek was invented by a man from the town of Kudus, 50 km eastward of Semarang in the early nineties AD. The man Noto Semito was from a long time suffering from cough and asthma. Desperate to cure his illness, he rolled tobacco mix with crushed cloves in dried corn leaves - this is the original kretek cigarettes.

The rokok klobot (klobot is dried corn leaves). After smoking these kretek he was cured and become healthier. He began to manufacture his new kretek cigarettes with trade mark of BAL TIGA (three balls). He actively marketed the kretek every where, through radio, touring vans with music and dancers, even by air dropping promotion leaflets.

He become a very successful business man, a billionaire. His steps was followed by many others and soon kretek industry was mushrooming also in other cities. The fate of Noto Semito, The Father of Kretek, ended tragically, he was bankrupt in 1953, crashed by his invented kretek vast industry.

The Present Day

The kretek follows 'modernization' in cigarettes industry. The new filter kretek are major products, the contents of crushed cloves are smaller, changed with clove essence. The crushed cloves are kept to maintain the voice of burning kretek - crakling : tek, tek, tek, from here comes the name of kretek.

The leaders of kretek nowadays are Djambu Bol, Sukun, Nojorono, Djarum (in Kudus and Central Java), Bentoel (in Malang), Gudang Garam (in Kediri) and Sampoerna (in Surabaya). There are also smaller manufacturers, such as Menara (in Solo), Pompa (in Semarang), etc. More than 95% of local smokers prefer kretek than rokok putih or white cigarettes - non clove cigarettes.

No one denies that kretek industry brings a huge sum of tax to the state purse and millions of people depend their income to this chains of business, starting from the tobacco and clove farmers, workers at the factories, sellers in many shops and stalls, truckers, involved in this industry and it's worth to note - their families.

Tobacco Connoisseur

The kretek factories absorb a lot of tabacco. The buyers - mainly the kretek producers, they hire several connoisseurs, experts of tobacco, to secure the quality of their products. They are very well paid. No doubt of their specific expertise. Only by smelling the wet tobacco leaves or dried cut tobacco leaves, high qualified connoisseur should know precisely the origin of the tobacco. It is from Wonosobo , Magelang or Boyolali (Central java) or from Besuki (East Java), and knows the harvest year of every tobacco tested. The testing is important as prices differs from region to region.

Where to Buy

Most tobacco stores carry clove cigarettes. Try the local mall, Some convenience stores carry them, but not the major chains. You will have much better luck finding clove cigarettes at family-owned and operated convenience stores, especially stores owned by recent immigrants to the United States (since they tend to have more knowledge of clove cigarettes). But due to the high taxes of cigarettes people like to look for altervative sources. The best place to get your clove cigarettes without have to pay these high taxes is the internet. You can search the internet and you will find lots of websites selling clove cigarettes. One of the most trusted website that sells clove cigarettes is myKretek.com - The Original Indonesian Clove Cigarettes Online Store .With a long history in the clove cigarettes business and over 6 years of online experience, myKretek.com not only offers genuine products at competitive prices they also guarantee that all of their products are freshly supplied to the customers for their full satisfaction.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How to Find Antique Collectibles

by: Monique Hawkins

Are you an antique collector? Are you a serious collector that is looking for a specific antique such as a certain piece of furniture, a unique car, or perhaps a specific antique painting that suits your taste? If so, then you know it is not always an easy task to find the items you are looking for, especially if you don't know where to look.

Maybe you just love to shop for different antiques on a smaller scale. This could include collectible items such as toys and figurines. There are many different types of antique art that can be purchased and even a wide variety of antique books may be found. The key is to know where to find all of the great items that are out there.

Finding your antiques

So the question that many collectors have is just where to find the good stuff anyway? The thing that makes being an antique collector different is that you can't just go to the store and buy the item you want, no matter how much money you have. It can literally be an Easter egg hunt to try to find the treasures you seek.

When you are shopping for antique collectibles but do not have a specific item in mind or if you do not plan to spend a large amount of money, then a flea market is a great place to shop. However, if it is a specific item you are looking for, then many sites on the Internet can provide you with the location of these items. For instance, if you are looking for an automatic musical instrument, then MBSI is an organization that can provide you with many of these antiques. Several of these musical instruments may be viewed, bought or traded by its members at the conventions that are held. There are also many advertisements on the organization?s site that list antiques that people sell all over the country.

Another great organization that can supply you with automatic musical instruments is AMICA. This site can stun its visitors with their elegant antique player pianos. Organizations such as these can provide you with information on dealers both locally and from around the world. There are also many organizations that let you subscribe to lists that will tell you when they have sales and auctions for antiques.

Looking Online

There are many places online where you can look for antiques. The great thing about the internet is that it brings a much larger world straight to you. GoAntiques.com is a site that can help you locate a specific item by pinpointing precisely where you should look. If the item is being sold in more than one place, they can give you this information, allowing you the opportunity to find the best price available for the antique of your choice.

Anteq.com is another useful site. This company caters to antique collectors, antique dealers, and antique malls of the world. Anteq.com is committed to meeting the needs of the antiques & collectibles community by providing professional software and support.

eBay is yet another popular place to look online for antique collectibles. There are people from all over the world buying, selling, and trading collectibles and antiques on eBay. Some of the best deals out there can be found on eBay. Another great thing about finding your collectibles online is the wonderful and wider selection than you would find at a local show or sale. If you do not have a specific item in mind but are looking in certain categories such as, books, paintings, or coins, online sites such as eBay is a terrific place to look for these types of antiques. Antique jewelry and dishes are also a big hit with collectors and can be found on this site. It is one of the fastest and easiest ways to shop for collectibles.

Joining Clubs and Groups

You might also want to check to see if your local town or city has an antique collector's club or group that you can join. This would be a way for you to meet other people who share your passion and who can guide you to some of the best places to find what you are looking for. If none can be found in your town, why not start one yourself?

Antique collecting is a passion for many people. Finding the right collectibles may not always be easy. However, with perseverance and patience, you will be sure to find that perfect antique collectible you have been seeking.

Copyright 2005 Monique Hawkins

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Discount Furniture To Make Your Home Unique

by: Mark Woodcock


Furnishing and decorating your home can be a daunting and expensive task to undertake. It is not necessary, though, to spend thousands of dollars on high end furnishings and décor in order to make your home a unique showplace that represents who your are. All it takes is a little ingenuity, some detective skills, a good dose of creativity and thought, and a bit of money, and you can have fun finding furniture for your home. By seeking out different types of discount furniture, you will be recycling old pieces that are potential treasures, as well as keeping money in your wallet.

The first thing you need to do when you want to furnish and decorate your home is to figure out what you like. Do you like contemporary styles, pieces that are more modern with clean lines and no fussy fabrics? Or do you prefer a country or cottage style, with plush fabrics in woodsy or floral patterns? Or maybe you like the rustic look, with dark woods and leathers that will give your home a warm log cabin feel. Whatever your style is, you should scour magazines and the Internet to find just the type of pieces you are looking for, so that you have a basis to start from.

The next step is to find the discount furniture that is right for your home. You can try websites that sell reduced-priced home furnishings. Be careful, because you might find that the money you save in the cost of a sofa might be made up in the cost to ship it to you. You can also look out for sales at local furniture stores. Sometimes furniture stores are liquidating certain furniture collection to make room for newer ones. In addition, some furniture stores might have "scratch and dent" items. These items are sold as is and at a deep discount, and often the flaws are very minor. There are also furniture warehouses that specialize in scratch and dent merchandise, and the variety of discount furniture available at those types of stores is quite impressive.

Another great place to look for discount furniture is at consignments shops. If you can find a local consignment shop that sells furniture, you are likely to uncover some hidden treasures that might only require a few repairs. And the prices are sure to be reasonable, perhaps even negotiable. And if do it yourself work is your thing, there are abundant places to find old, used, and slightly damaged furniture sold at discounts. For example, searching flea markets and garage or estate sales might lead you to uncover collectibles, antiques, and rare furniture and décor items that can be restored for not a lot of money. These pieces will add a unique touch to your home. In addition, putting your own individual touch on the furnishing your restore or repair will give you a real sense of pride and accomplishment.

In addition to looking at flea markets, garage sales, and consignment shops for discount furniture, you can also find great décor pieces that can be added to your home to achieve a certain them or style. Paintings, pictures, gilded mirrors, vases, or any other type of knick-knack can be the finishing touches that you need to beautifully furnish your home.

You do not have to pay a fortune to furnish your home. By taking the time to seek out discount furniture, you can uncover some distinctive treasures, and even find new items at reduced prices. Taking the time to locate discount furniture will be easier on your wallet, and will help you make your home as individual as you are.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Outdoor Wood Furniture – Check The Wood Species Before Purchasing

by: Malcolm D Kay

Not too long ago, the vast majority of outdoor furniture was all made of teak. Teak has proved to be an ideal lumber species for outdoor furniture, due to its high durability, ease of working with machine tools, its low coefficient of radial and tangential expansion (which reduces potential problems in twisting, or swelling when wet), it's attractive colour and good working properties. But such widespread use of teak, including for marine decking, has come at a considerable environmental cost. The once great forests of South East Asia have been decimated to the extent that legally logged teak is now only available in very limited quantities, which is reflected in its high price. But unfortunately, illegal logging is still rampant and in many areas of South East Asia, ensuring its continuing supply to the furniture trade.

Plantations of teak have now been established in a number of countries including Costa Rica for example (presumably planted in most cases where the great forests once existed). But this plantation teak is harvested at a much younger age that has traditionally been the case, so caution should be taken in assuming that the properties of such younger lumber (including durability) will be the same as old growth teak.

Many responsible furniture manufacturers will now only used teak which has been certified by such independent bodies as the Forest Stewardship Council. If sustainability of forests and sound forestry practices are an important consideration in your choice of furniture, then look for the FSC logo or ask your retailer to provide documentation to show from where the lumber was sourced. Note however that even if the tag accompanying any wood furniture claims that the wood is sourced from sustainable forests, unfortunately there is no firm guarantee that this is true. You may be able to make some verification by checking the FSC website, which indicates which companies and even manufacturers have been given official accreditation by the FSC.

In recent years there has been a proliferation of different lumber species used in outdoor furniture as more manufacturing plants are set up in places such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, in particular. Unfortunately, a lot of furniture is now produced with price as the overriding consideration, with scant consideration being given to the durability or in service performance of the furniture. And all too often these days the name of the actual wood species in not even displayed – except perhaps a bland statement like “manufactured from durable hardwood species”. And of course a lot of lumber is transported to furniture makers located far from the original source of the lumber, making it even harder to track the actual supply country or region.

Thus there is often no guarantee that the furniture, which may look magnificent in a covered showroom, will survive the rigours of outdoor use, year after year, fully exposed to the elements. Apart from the failure to state what timber species has been used, sometimes a wood species is quoted which is virtually unknown outside its country of origin and data on its durability or other properties is either nonexistent or extremely difficult to locate.
Although we have only referred above to the durability factor, this not the only property you should be concerned with. Many species of lumber, although very durable, are also prone to twisting, warping and cracking under adverse climatic conditions, particularly where thin wood section are concerned. Again teak has proved to be a very stable species in this regard but other species are not necessarily so stable.

Whilst the lower costs and attractive colour of some outdoor furniture can certainly be appealing, we strongly suggest you should always ask your retailer to provide the name of the lumber species used and from which country it was sourced. If this species is not familiar to you, no other data is provided, and your independent research fails to locate data on such species, you should think carefully before making your purchase.. Good quality outdoor furniture should give many, many years of service and its higher initial cost will inevitably be repaid in terms of a longer service life and a much higher quality product.