Know the Best Wood Types for Wood Carving

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood CarvingWood carving is among the most accessible and fun art forms. It doesn’t normally require costly equipment or studio. You simply need the basic set of carving tools, a wood and place to work in. In fact, anyone can enjoy wood carving. The difficulty, safety and quality of wood crafts will depend on the wood type used.

There are many wood varieties that can be used for wood carving. Each of these wood types has individual characteristics (color, hardness, texture, striation and grain), which make them suited for specific wood carving techniques and purposes. As such, it is very important for wood carvers and sculptors to know the different types of woods that they can use. Here are some of the different wood varieties for carving:

Basswood

Basswood is soft-wood type that is popular for hand carvers. It is close grained but relatively soft which allows it to hold detail very well. You can use a power tool, such as a reciprocating saw (find out more about this wood carving tool by visiting this review site), for cutting or shaping the wood.

This wood type has little grain pattern which may appear bland. Usually, basswood crafts need to be painted to accentuate the grains and carving details.

Northern White Pine

Under the pine category, the Northern White Pine has similar characteristics with basswood. It is readily available and also affordable, making it a favorite for avid wood carvers. Sugar pine is also another good wood type for carving.

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood CarvingCottonwood

Cottonwood has a characteristic white color which looks very attractive even when unpainted. It is a soft wood type that is easy to carve, however, has the tendency to split.

Butternut

The beautiful grain and color of butternut make it a favorite wood carving canvas. It has similarities with walnut except it is much easier to carve and with a lighter color. The cons with butternut are: it can be difficult to find and often attracts insects. Usually, this wood type will have wormholes in it – a feature unique to butternut.

Walnut

For advanced wood carvers, hardwoods such as walnut are the usual picks. A Bosch reciprocating saw or similar power tool comes in handy when working on hard woods. The tight grain and rich color make it a popular furniture wood and carving.

Mahogany

The reddish colored mahogany is a strong lightweight wood with characteristic straight grain. It can be easily worked with hand or power tool, but is also prone to splitting.

Basically, there are thousands of wood varieties that can be used by carvers. Other common wood types that are often worked with power tools include rosewood, fruit trees, maple and teak. The type of wood can have a huge impact on the final output, so make sure to choose the right one.

The Natural Beauty of Water

waterfall-335985_1280Years ago, a comedy was released. It was simply called Water. Starring British-born actor, Michael Cane, it was a parody of the last days of British colonial rule over one of their last remaining dominions. The details of the story line are not important and ultimately this show failed because it was barely funny.

But a point was made over the continuous battle for natural resources between the haves and have-nots. In this case, it was water that was being fought over. Whether it’s slapstick or cleverly written dialogue that passes for dry, intellectual humor, comedy only ever works if it can get audiences and readers to laugh.

The message doesn’t seem to be getting through

And if the device deployed in this sub-genre works, the message sometimes gets through. But today, surely no-one needs to be reminded just how precious water is in today’s times. Naturally dry regions, mostly on the continent of Africa are experiencing critical water shortages. Some of these regions are now in the throes of full-fledged droughts. Arguments are persistently being put forward that the increased incidence of dry, barren regions and their subsequent shortage of water is directly related to the harrowing phenomenon of global warming and climate change.

It was former US Vice President, Al Gore, who highlighted this in his best-selling movie and book series, An Inconvenient Truth. The graphs and photo’s he showed his audiences at the time were quite disturbing. Gore did not need to show future projections. He already had the evidence. Previously fertile regions were shown drying up at different stages over a period of years.

One of the factors contributing towards the extreme weather patterns being experienced today is the continued melting of ice in the Arctic regions.

Water is precious

Roland Emmerich’s breathtaking The Day After Tomorrow for-grounded the phenomenon of ice caps breaking up and spectacularly showed what could happen as a result. Sometimes it takes a fictionalized epic of reality to give humankind a shock. But most people have, in any case, become desensitized by what they see on the screen, so this shocking technique is not really effective. Another movie Emmerich made had to do with a different scenario but ended up becoming ludicrous because the event never happened. 2012 came and went.

2015 is drawing to a close and still nothing has happened. So most people complacently carry on with their lives without another thought of what would happen if, for instance, they had no water. But do those people who have water in abundance know that their water is contaminated? You can read more about the harmful effects of polluted water at Water Softener Land. What people really need to realize is that every natural resource left to them, particularly water, is precious and needs to be conserved responsibly without a second thought.

Apart from water being precious, it is also beautiful, soothing and good for us, particularly when it remains pristine and uncontaminated. Think about this the next time you go swimming at the beach or fishing near your favorite stream.

Greening art

Greening artGreen art is a popular sub-genre in art and architectural circles today. In today’s era of global warming and climate change, the thematic association with natural elements, both flora and fauna, could not be more relevant. Today, more and more environmentally-conscious men and women are taking advantage of their abilities to express themselves through art and architecture, combining artistic creativity with engineering skills and entrepreneurial inventions. Through art, we sometimes discover new elements in nature and consequently express ourselves through actions in response to our new awakenings. Owing to geo-political and economic factors, more people have become urbanized, withdrawing further from depleted natural surroundings.

Blending in with nature

For most people, preoccupied with their daily lives, it has become challenging to notice those objects of beauty which rarely escape the eyes of artists and designers. But to compensate, the less-artistic of society still appreciate the gifts of their creative peers. You only need to look around your own home to appreciate aspects of art being combined with mechanical functions. Even the automobile that you drive to work each day has been inspired by some form of artistic expression.  Modern buildings are functional and environmentally sustainable, engineered from scratch to be artistically assimilated with nature.

Previously, the concern was always over how much natural space had been appropriated by mankind. In the sport of golf, hardly a necessity to most people and merely a form of recreation for some, large areas of land were cleared to build acres of greens on which enthusiasts could then hit a tiny ball from one end of the park to another with a club. Fortunately, whether through legislation or necessity, even artistic expression, today’s designers of golfing links are a lot more considerate where nature is concerned.

In communion with nature

Whether by design or not, much of the flora and fauna has been left untouched by builders who lay out their greens around natural forests and streams as opposed to demolishing them. For instance, it is no longer a rare occurrence to hear of a golfer having to watch his natural surroundings carefully while sizing up his next shot. Some golfing greens have even been placed near rivers populated by alligators. But thanks to modern technology, avid golfers have the benefit of using a custom-sized GPS navigator.

It is mainly used to optimize their performance on the greens but discerning golfers may argue that the sport remains true when only relying on instinct and the naked eye. You would have to visit or join a golf club to fully appreciate all of this. This website shows you how you can get started and what you will need as a beginner. Hikers, skiers and cross-country runners would agree that battling it out with their natural surroundings is the essence of their sport.

Originally, humankind was designed by their own artistic creator to be in communion with nature. It is still pleasing to see that we are slowly but surely returning back to basics, whether out of necessity or by design.

Is Beauty Really Skin Deep?

Is Beauty Really Skin DeepIf you were to ask William Shakespeare what he thought about this question, he’d tell you that, “Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.” That is to say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Two individual people can look at the same thing or the same person in this case, and come up with differing opinions about what they see. This is a demonstrable quality of beauty and one of the things which make it difficult to nail down exactly what is beautiful. To be brief about it, no, beauty isn’t really skin deep. There’s actually much more to it.

If we’re looking at beauty in people or animals, a lot of that comes down to genetics. There are some facial structures, some body types, some other aspects of appearance which are generally better received than others – qualities people tend to generally agree are attractive. You cannot purchase these in a store or paint them onto your face with any makeup. In this sense beauty certainly runs well below the skin, beyond a microscopic level and down to the very genetic code which makes up a person. But this doesn’t account for everything. The personal tastes of the viewer are just as important.

If someone doesn’t find a sight, smell or sound appealing, there’s little to be done to convince them of its beauty. Personal taste has much to do with what we value as beautiful and consider to be unattractive. Just look at the way men and women have been portrayed throughout history. There was a time back in Ancient Greece and Rome where larger, fuller bodied women were considered gorgeous, though that is not the popular opinion today. Our ideas of beauty change right along with our perceptions.

That doesn’t mean the skin has nothing to do with beauty, however. In fact, taking good care of your skin can help keep it looking fresher and feeling firmer for years longer than it normally would. Things like regular moisturizing, microdermabrasion machines and exfoliating, and even regular washing can help to remove dirt and germs along with preventing skin from drying out and becoming a more hospitable place for those germs to live. Proper skin care is important for maintaining a beautiful appearance, so there is some truth to that old adage about beauty only being skin deep. It’s still losing credibility fast.

Some people find ways to purchase beauty for a price. Plastic surgery isn’t exactly rare in some parts of the world, especially the United States of America, which is home to a great percentage of all the operations performed per year. The side effects of such procedures vary. Some people take to the surgery very well and end up looking significantly more beautiful or handsome because of it. As for others, a quick online search for “bad plastic surgery” will show you what things look like on the other end of the spectrum. Beauty doesn’t seem to be something which can be purchased or surgically added.

Visit Hot Springs for health

Visit Hot Springs for healthI had recently been back from a long trip, which had included some great hot springs. The weather back home was chilly and I felt like going back to visit the hot springs again. Though you find top quality pool heaters that keep your outdoor and indoor pools heated to your liking all year through, the experience you get with a natural hot spring is certainly beyond words.

Before the present day sophisticated spa treatments, those who wanted to enjoy the wellness benefits headed to the various hot springs that are spread worldwide.  You can see plenty of hot springs right from the Dead Sea region to the wild West America. Not only are the hot springs good for your health they are situated in such stunning spots that you get to enjoy the surroundings as much as the hot springs themselves.

The word spa originated from the famous watering spot in Belgium, Spa back in 1600. In the years since, the changes in culture have led the way for man to search for natural and mineral enriched waters for treatment of various illnesses right form joint and muscle aches and sinusitis to cosmetic skin care.

The spas flourished during the Roman period when thermae baths were built in places where the mineral springs were identified. As years passed, the hot springs grew into such big attractions that towns were built around them with wellness resorts established where people flocked on advice of their doctors who recommended cure for their illnesses with the spas. Here are some best hot spring spots you are sure to get a great experience in.

Banff Upper Hot Springs, Canada

Situated in Western Canada, this hot spring bathhouse is a protected Heritage site. Completed in 1930s, the hot spring was first discovered in 1882 by workers involved in the construction of Canadian Pacific Railway.  Two springs were found in the Sulphur Mountain base and the springs got their first visitors in 1884 from Europe. The hot springs located 5,200 feet from sea level are the highest hot springs in Canada.

Rich in magnesium, sodium, calcium, sulfate and bicarbonate the springs are said to have muscle relaxing and skin healing properties. However, even if the springs travel quite a long way from the earth’s center they are the hottest of the springs found in Rocky Mountains with a temperature of 104 degrees.

Ma’in Hot Springs, Jordan

This spa has strong biblical roots. It is said that King Herod traveled to this spring for treatment purpose. The Hammamat Ma’in springs are from the highland plains in Jordan. The water is from winter rainfalls. The water as it travels over the valley gets heated by underground lava fissures. Minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, hydrogen sulfide are found here and are great for deep tissue level massage.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Although there are hundreds of hot springs in Mexico, this site is the most famous and the prettiest too. The thermal waters here have been used by the natives for several centuries. But the baths and spas were built only in 1950s.

Kayak Fishing to find Natural Beauty

Kayak Fishing to find Natural BeautySome of the most beautiful outdoor experiences that I’ve had have been going out on a lake in the woods for fishing trips. Fishing may not seem like the most artistic of pursuits, but it actually is. One of the things that it does forces a person into a different pace of life. It teaches a person to have patience, slow down and to take in the environment around them. I think these qualities are essential for appreciating the beauty of the natural world.

Kayak Fishing Equipment

When I was out fishing I spent my time in an angler kayak. I love kayaking because it feels really connected with the water. However, the small size of my kayak meant that I had to be very aware of what fishing gear that I took for the trip. So, I take only the essentials like a rod, a tackle box, a landing net, a spray skirt and the valuable fish finder. I tend to use a shorter rod due to my range of movement when seated in a kayak and I have a very small tackle box with carefully chosen types of tackle that I can creatively adjust to fit my needs on the lake.

Given that we have such a small space to work from, you may assume that the last thing take with me, the fish finder, seems odd or unnecessary, but I can assure you that it is not. One of the things that has benefited me the most was buying a Humminbird 408120-1 597ci. It has a great screen and is portable so that I can move I from the kayak to larger boat if I want. It really does help guide me in finding the best places to be, and I definitely catch more than I used to without one.

Kayak Fishing Tips and Tricks

While having a fish finder helps me to figure out where to be, I cannot stress enough that kayakers still have to be aware of surroundings. Kayaking is mostly about relaxing, but it has its share of excitement too. Kayaks are so small that they are always potentially in danger from larger, motorized boats. Any disturbance on the water from a boat, the weather, or even a fish on the line with a lot of “fight” can cause some interesting moments. These moments are really where making sure the paddle is always on hand and the spray skirt is fastened properly come into play.

Now, even with careful attention to what I take along, kayaking presents a unique challenge for me as a fisher. We simply do not have the same workspace as other fishers for making lures, so I find it best to decide on what lures I want to use and prepare them ahead of time. We also have to adjust our fishing technique since we are so low to the water. I try to keep the end of my rod as high as possible to help offset some the balance problems when I am reeling in a good catch. Also, I like to use a net to bring the fish in, but I know there are other ways as well.

I do pretty well in finding and catching fish from a kayak, but even if I am having a slow day it’s okay by me. The beauty of being on the water and being able to paddle around to see different parts of the lake is one of the best things about the experience.