Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan 23, 2012. Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is the brightest. Chinese New Year is the biggest annual event, where families will gather for a reunion dinner and friends will be visiting each other. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

For Chinese New Year celebrations, it is customary for Chinese families to have living blooms in the house, which symbolize rebirth and new growth. Highly prized flowers for the Chinese New Year are azalea, peony, water lily and narcissus. The Chinese believe that without flowers there would be no formation of any fruits, which in turn would negatively impact a family’s fortune. Therefore it is critical to incorporate flowers into your Chinese New Year decorations.

Breathing Fire into the New Year
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. 2012 is the year of the Water Dragon. Water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament. Water allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm and makes him more perceptive of others. Those born in dragon years are innovative, brave and passionate.

Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve. In North America, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families and found a sense of community through neighbourhood associations instead. Today many Chinese-American associations host banquets and other New Year events.

The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art painted with birds, animal, flowers, zodiac signs and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon, which might stretch a hundred feet long, is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colourful beast through the streets.

The most prominent colours of the Chinese New Year are red and gold. Red
symbolizes happiness, while gold symbolizes wealth. Prior to the first day of
the Chinese New Year many families decorate their living rooms with vases
of pretty flowering blossoms, platters of oranges and tangerines and a candy
tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit. Here at Helen Blakey Flowers
we have many flowers and plants to choose from to create the perfect
enviroment for Chinese New Year. Visit our secure website
www.helenblakeyflowers.com to view our beautiful selection.

We wish you, your friends and your family good luck
during this New Year, the Year of the Dragon.

 

The Story of Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade, “Painter of Light” is the most collected, living artist in the world. He has sold more canvases that any other painter in history.

Kinkade is inspired by the simple act of painting straight from the heart, putting on canvas the natural wonders and images that moved him. Thomas’s luminescent paintings and the products created from that art, reflect the simple pleasures and values; family, community and the celebration of beauty and goodness. Thomas’s artwork is recreated as collectables, such as the Teleflora Christmas Bouquet Collection. These collectable winter scene figures with fresh flowers have been extremely popular with our customers who love to collect the series. This year, 2011, as well as having lights in the home there is the addition of music to go with the Christmas Carolers theme.

Thomas’s goal as an artist is to touch people of all faiths and to bring peace and joy into their lives through the images he creates. Through his artwork Thomas conveys a message to slow down, appreciate the little details in life and to look for beauty in the world around us.

Thomas spent one summer on a tour doing sketches with a friend, which turned into a best selling instructional book, landing both men jobs creating background art for the animated feature film Fire and Ice. It was during this time that Kinkade began to experiment with light and explore the imaginative worlds that would play such an important part in his future work.

For a time, Kinkade earned his living as a painter, selling his originals in galleries throughout California. In 1982, he married his childhood sweetheart, Nanette, and two years later they began to publish his art. Kincade strives to lead a balanced life, committed to family values. He creatively fills his work with “love notes” by hiding the letter “N” in his paintings as tribute to his wife Nanette.

Thomas Kinkade has received many awards for his works, including multiple National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED) awards for Artist of the Year, Graphic Artist of the Year and his art has been named Lithograph of the Year nine times. In 2004, he received a special award from NALED recognizing him as Most Award Winning Artist in the Past 25 Years. As millions of collectors around the world sit back and enjoy his artwork in their homes, there is no doubt that Thomas Kincade has indeed achieved his goal of Sharing the LightTM.

Quote by Thomas Kinkade:
“I try to create paintings that are a window for the imagination. If people look at my work and are reminded of the way things once were or perhaps the way they could be, then I’ve done my job”