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Tell a friend Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras king cake

Mardi Gras is a bittersweet celebration in New Orleans today. If you’re not there, you can vicariously experience the sights and sounds through the All Things Considered New Orleans radio diary and make yourself a traditional Mardi Gras king cake. You can also listen to my friend Farai Chideya‘s moving News & Notes piece, "New Orleans Resident Revisits Levee Break."

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Posted February 28, 2006 by Mariva in arts, community, edibles, holidays, news, travel

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Tell a friend Miri Ben-Ari: hip-hop violinist

Miri Ben-Ari, the "Hip-Hop Violinist"

I sometimes find myself intrigued with the classical or jazz instrumentalists featured in pop, rock or hip-hop songs. Who are they, and how did the pop artists and producers find them? One such musician is Israeli-born, classically trained violinist Miri Ben-Ari, who arranged nearly all the string arrangements — sometimes haunting, other times uplifting and lovely — on Kanye West’s debut album The College Dropout.

Because of her unique application of violin technique, Ben-Ari has been dubbed "the Hip-Hop Violinist." She has released a CD (explicit, clean) with the selfsame title, which features various hip-hop artists.

Posted February 27, 2006 by Mariva in arts, entertainment, music

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Tell a friend designer gift wrap

Modern Wrapping Paper Set

Half the fun of a gift is the packaging — and all the better if the wrapping paper is unique. If you’re lucky enough to have this unique designer paper, would you use it to wrap a gift — or would you frame and display the paper itself?

 

Posted February 21, 2006 by Mariva in arts, decor, gifts, home

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Tell a friend found and overheard

found & overheard

Sometimes what strangers say and write, taken out of context — especially when taken out of context — is fascinating. Overheard in New York publishes transcripts of random conversations overheard in the Big Apple. FOUND Magazine is a repository of personal ephemera — such as love letters, school notes, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, business plans, telephone bills, doodles and so on — that are lost by some and found by others.

Posted February 17, 2006 by Mariva in arts, community, fun, innovations, social

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Tell a friend patchwork wood frame

patchwork wood frame

This patchwork wooden frame looks like the hand-built exterior of a tropical beach cabin. This might be because, according to the product description, the frame is handmade in Thailand, using recycled wood from old boats, houses, schools and buildings.

In the print catalog, the colors look even richer. That’s an actual turquoise you’re looking at. Keep in mind, though, that because each frame is one of a kind, designs and colors vary slightly from frame to frame. Fits 4" x 6" photos.

Posted January 12, 2006 by Mariva in arts, decor, gifts, home

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Tell a friend U.S. postage stamps with new rates

Navajo Jewelry two-cent postage stamp

Well, the bad news is that U.S. postage rates are increasing slightly on January 8, 2006. The good news, however, is that postage stamps with the new rates are available today — and the Navajo Jewelry two-cent stamp is gorgeous. While you’re at it, don’t forget to order some last-minute holiday postage stamps. The holiday cookies are cute, and the Santa ornaments are pretty. There are also Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stamps, as well as a Dear Santa holiday music CD.

Posted December 8, 2005 by Mariva in arts, gifts, holidays, jewelry, news, resources, social

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Tell a friend The Design Patch

Kerri Hill Handbag: Red Rose on Blue Polka Dots

Art can be both beautiful and functional; The Design Patch offers an exquisite mélange of things to wear and use in your home. Viewing the collection of Goody Goody Bon Bon slippers is like taking a walk through a luscious garden in full bloom. My favorite slipper designs are Big Bow Pink, Pinky & Blue, Blueberries and Panache. If you love to match, check out the New Leaf slippers, which go with the New Leaf loungewear (in both women’s and girls’ sizes).

Other Design Patch goodies include jewelry, journals, festive glasses, light fixtures, children’s toys and accessories, pillows, romantic bed linens and fantastic furniture. One of my favorite pieces is the Cameo & Rose necklace. Vive la couleur!

Posted November 25, 2005 by Mariva in arts, decor, fashion, gifts, jewelry

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Tell a friend mail art

MailArtist.com

What a fun surprise it is to receive a beautiful or interesting piece of artwork in the mail; with mail art, the correspondence is the gallery.

I’ve been a mail art enthusiast ever since my first exchange of letters through the postal service. For the past several Januaries, I’ve taken the previous years’ wall calendars and transformed the pages into glossy, colorful envelopes using the simple templates from Haila Harvey’s The Envelope Mill. (Creative Correspondence by Michael & Judy Jacobs is an excellent mail art resource as well.)

Mail art doesn’t have to conform to a typical stationery-in-an-envelope letter. Here are some of the things I’ve successfully sent through the mail:

Posted November 18, 2005 by Mariva in arts, books, community, fun, resources

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Tell a friend WebExhibits

WebExhibits
A couple weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, I found out that it was an hour earlier than I thought it was. I’d forgotten to "fall back." I ran a search for the semiannual time changes so that I could mark my calendar once and for all, and therefore know when to expect them. During my search, I stumbled upon WebExhibits and learned not only when the time changes occur, but all about Daylight Saving Time in fascinating detail, the dates of which will be changing in 2007.

Posted November 11, 2005 by Mariva in arts, education, innovations, resources

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Tell a friend HistoryShots prints

HistoryShots

HistoryShots offers a number of gorgeous, high-quality history-related prints on subjects like American history (the political parties, the Confederate Army), human feats (the race to the moon, the conquest of Mount Everest) and the chronology of western civilization. Some of the prints are reproductions of original antique artifacts; others are technological creations of graphic precision. Just the background information on the prints makes for fascinating reading. There’s even a print titled Cycles of Greatness on the PGA Tour.

I hope HistoryShots produces more of these prints in the future. In the meantime, one of these prints makes an impressive gift for your favorite wonk.

Posted October 25, 2005 by Mariva in arts, decor, education

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