Traditional Japanese Interior Design – Bamboo

If you’ve ever seen tall stalks of golden bamboo in a grove or in photographs, you might be surprised to learn that it is a grass. A very fast growing, tall grass. While ‘dwarf’ bamboo grows to less than a foot, some species actually grow 100 feet tall!

Bamboo is attractive, pliable and sturdy, and is the preferred plant used in the making of wicker furniture. (It’s also provides the preferred food of the Giant Panda, but that’s a different story.)

Once the wood has been properly treated to prevent insect infestation, bamboo forms a very tough hardwood that can be used in fences, canes, toys, musical instruments, clothing, and much more, including decorative baskets.

Bamboo grows in many countries around the world, such as China, Japan and Indonesia, and each country has its own traditional method of weaving baskets. So if you’re thinking of adding a decorative bamboo basket or two to your home decor, you can go with traditional designs of your own area, or purchase something unique from another country.

Baskets woven from bamboo are works of art in their own right, and can stand on their own as decorative pieces. But they are above all functional, and can be used for a variety of purposes, from holding various knicknackery to setting off plants or flowers placed within.

Don’t just go into a local store and buy the first basket you see. If you search the web you can find hundreds of examples of intricately woven baskets that will amaze you with their beauty. Even if your home is not furnished with an ‘Oriental motif,’ a traditional Japanese basket is such a unique work of art that it will stand out and complement its surroundings.

Because bamboo baskets can be so beautiful, it’s no surprise that it takes a long time to learn the craft. It can take artists up to ten years just to learn to master the art of bamboo weaving. However, if you like to create your own baskets, don’t despair, there are plenty of resources which will show you how to work with bamboo.

Books such as The Basket Book: Over 30 Magnificent Baskets to Make and Enjoy, Handmade Baskets: From Nature’s Colorful Materials, and The Craft & Art of Bamboo: Projects for Home and Garden are written for the beginner and have simple designs to start with.

On the internet, bamboocraft is a website chock-full of links to every possible subject you could want to know about bamboo and the art of working with it and creating everything from furniture to baskets to clothing! It includes a message forum so like-minded artisans can get together to exchange stories, hints and techniques.

The American Bamboo Society americanbamboo is another excellent resource – and it provides links to societies around the world, from Mexico to Europe to Australia to China and Japan. There’s a vast network out there for those who’d like to learn how to make beautiful bamboo baskets…or appreciate those who have.

Starting Your Business in Redesign, Home Staging and Interior Design – Just Go For It

I recently worked with a woman who was just launching her redesign business. When I had asked her why she thought she needed a business coach she said that she was not ready to begin her business, but wanted to be ready, with clients, at the end of 90 days. As a business coach, one of the first things I do with a new client is assess their business as it stands today, in order to establish the areas in which we need to focus.

As we went over the assessment, I became more and more puzzled as to why she wanted to work with me. Virtually every item listed under my “launching your business” category had been successfully completed. In fact, she had several items completed that I have listed under my “been in business a couple of years” category!

So again, I asked her why she wanted to work with me. Again she responded with, “Because I am not ready.”

After very little conversation, it was obvious she was not going to be ready any time soon. It wasn’t because the business aspects of her work were not covered; it was because she was hiding behind her tasks. The things she “had to do before she could possibly start her business.”

It is very easy to get caught up in the tasks of running your business. Aside from the fact that you actually will be designing for a client, whether you are doing real estate staging or a room redesign, you also have to act as sales manager, marketing manager, bookkeeper and administrative assistant. Don’t forget web designer and public speaker. So put together your to-do lists, and dive in, and in, and in.

There is a reason that large companies have departments to handle the various aspects of a business, because each facet, management, accounting, sales, etc. is a full time job on its own. Especially in the beginning, we typically don’t have the luxury to hire these tasks out, so we take them on ourselves.

I have found that it is very easy to use the “business” aspect of our work as a great big procrastination tool. It’s not as though the individual pieces don’t have to be done, because in fact they do, but the question to ask is “when?” When do they need to be done? Is it really necessary to have a three-page full color brochure ready before you tell all of your friends and neighbors that you are in business? Do you have to have a full blown computer accounting software program before you can accept a check for your services? Hiding behind business tasks is a very easy thing to do. I find that I do it most when the task I really should be doing, the priority task, is a task that I just don’t want to do: for example, invoicing clients. One would think that collecting for your services would be terribly exciting, but for some reason I find the task tedious, and have to use all kinds of tricks and techniques to actually find the motivation to do the work.

I tried to impress upon my coaching client that she could launch her business today! Right now! She could e-mail all of her contacts, and let them know she was open for business. She could call her five closest friends and ask them to call their five closest friends. She could pass out her beautiful fliers in her neighborhood this afternoon! We also talked about how you never can be, nor should you ever really be ready. There is always something new to try and something new to do, so have faith in what you have done to date and get started right now!

It turns out she was right after all. She wasn’t ready. And she has yet to launch her business. But you always have the opportunity to just jump in and go for it.

New Hybrid Battery Technology Needed – Interior Designs Considered

If it isn’t obvious to you, it should be. That is to say it should be obvious that we need a new battery technology, and we need more innovation in that sector if we are to enjoy the future of electric cars. Right now the batteries are too heavy, and they require elements and compounds which may not be readily available. Lithium for instance is in short supply worldwide.

Also, batteries only last so long before they are no good anymore and then we end up throwing them away, and this will cause problems for our landfills. There are many new research projects going on right now at some of the top universities in battery technology, but we need to move them along faster. Specifically, we need to work on the interior structure of the batteries, and consider some new designs. For instance, maybe the structures inside of these batteries need to take on the design and properties of;

Olympic Rings
Webbed Mesh
Foam Structure

Now then, if you’d like to learn more about battery technologies there is an interesting video that like to recommend to you online. It’s not too hard to find and you can probably discover it by using any major search engine: MIT Lecture; “How do we think against the grain? Pose the right question,” by Donald Sadoway.

The speaker makes very good points, and things we need to be cognizant of as we move forward into electric car future. Remember we need lithium for batteries for personal tech devices like cell phones, tablets, and computer systems. And that means the cost of the batteries for electric cars or hybrids goes way up. If we use other types of batteries, well they are not as good, and the batteries don’t last as long.

This becomes a problem for our nation’s dumps and landfills. It’s something we need to worry about, and it is unfortunate that we are moving ahead with electric cars before these problems are adequately solved. Nevertheless, here we go into the future, which brings me to my main point here; we need to accelerate research in battery technology to find the best combination for the forward progression of human technologies. Please consider all this.