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Friday, October 31, 2008

Holiday Entertaining Recipes with an Asian Flair

Holiday Entertaining Recipes with an Asian Flair

Water Chestnut Appetizer


  • 16 fresh water chestnuts

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, or as needed

  • 8 slices raw bacon, cut in half

  • 16 toothpicks


Peel and rinse the fresh water chestnuts. (If using canned water chestnuts, rinse in warm running water and drain).

Soak the water chestnuts in the soy sauce for 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the water chestnuts from the soy sauce and roll in the brown sugar. Wrap a piece of cut bacon around the water chestnut and secure with a toothpick.

Place the water chestnuts on a rack in a shallow pan. Bake for 30 minutes, turning them over once. (Alternately, they can be broiled for 5 - 6 minutes).

Makes 16 appetizers.

(The appetizers can be prepared ahead of time and frozen before cooking. Placed in a sealed bag in the freezer, they should last for 2 - 3 months.)

Cranberry Black Tea Hot Punch Recipe

Ingredients :

8 bags Black tea

4 cups boiling water

2 cups unsweetened cranberry juice

2 cups apple cider

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp ginger

4 cloves

Recipe :

Make strong tea with the teabags and boiling water. Add cranberry juice, apple cider, brown sugar, and spices. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Garnish with orange wedge slices, and serve.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Save on your purchases through Big Crumbs in my eBay Store!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

New Inventory at The Crabby Nook


Hippo Terra Cotta Planter


Tile & Wood Hot Plate Trivet


Metal & Bone Candleholder 


Lady Bone & Metal Candleholder


Soapstone Kiwi Bird 


Wood & Metal Mask Sconce


Wood & Metal Mask Candleholder


White Jade Quan Kwan Yin

 Quan Kwan Yin-

Goddess of Mercy & Compassion[Kwan Yin] - Quan Yin (Lady Buddha)

Quan Yin is believed to help with healing. When placed within a room she is said to cleanse the environment of negative influences (such as disruptive issues, illness and arguments). Quan Yin is the eternal protector of all Woman and Children.

She also represents universal compassion and love.  She is said to enhance fertility.  A small pendant can be worn that wishes the owner patience and courage.

Quan Yin is the Female Buddha who blesses all. She is the Goddess of Compassion, Mercy and Healing, Symbolizing a calming and clearing quality.

Quan Yin is the energy of Yin (from Yin and Yang).

Shop for Quan Yin...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feng Shui Wealth Enhancement Symbols

Metal Art is HOT Home Decor this year!  New FALL Inventory!

I always like to change around or add something new to my home decor in the Fall.  We entertain differently in the Fall.  We no longer entertain our friends casually by the pool.  We move inside with spicey warm drinks, warm appetizers and sit in front of a fireplace.  I like to add warm rich colors in my decor with candles, leaf wreaths, pumkins and more! 

This year I added a few metal decor items on my wall and above my fireplace in our home.  Metal Art is HOT home decor items this year.  So, I decided to add items that could coordinate with your metal art decor in our inventory.  We have added an African Mask Wall Sconce, African Mask Candleholder, black Metal and Bone Candleholder and Bone and Metal Lady Candleholder.  These are wonderful art pieces that will enhance your home decor this Fall!  We know that you are going to love them!

Be sure to accent with one of our Soapstone Eggs or Balls and Animal Sculptures!

Shop African Collectibles....

We are offering discount coupons on your entire purchase if you use Google Check-Out15% Off your entire purchase on orders over $50.  Use code 15fall2008 at check-out.  To receive 20% Off your entire purchase on orders over $200 use code 20fall2008 at check-out.  We will combine shipping and will gladly adjust your invoice!

Shop The Crabby Nook on BluJay...


The Art of Feng Shui involves the placement of enhancement objects in relationship to our surroundings - in particular our home and business. In Asia, a Feng Shui Master will even be consulted by the Architect in the planning of the relationships of rooms, doorways and windows to themselves and the forces of nature. It is truly believed that the proper, or improper, positioning and association of all these elements will have a dramatic impact on your life. Here we offer the sacred objects with their meanings for your own Feng Shui collection.

Despite being an au courant fad, feng shui -- pronounced "fung shway" -- is nothing new to the Chinese. In fact, feng shui is a millennia-old practice. The Chinese have long believed that if a home or business had a harmonious and positive flow of chi', which refers to cosmic breath or energy, those living and working there would benefit, thus enjoying health, happiness, and prosperity. Palaces, farmhouse, temples, and even entire cities were laid out according to feng shui precepts.

 SMALL PIECE of JADE - Jade is considered a stone of good fortune in China and its green color symbolizes paper money in some countries. Place it on a kitchen window sill to attract wealth.a High position.

Shop The Crabby Nook     SAILING SHIPS FOR WEALTH - Enhance prosperity luck with a wealth ship sailing into your home or office. Returning home triumphant from its various conquests, the prosperity ship docks into you "harbor" bearing wonderful treasures and other valuables as trophies symbolizing its many victories. Display the wealth ship sailing into your house from your shen chi direction. Fill your ship with coins, ingots, crystals andother treasures to symbolize a wealth ship laden with money. Place metal ships in the northwest or wes, wooden ships in the each or southeast, crystal ships in the northeast or southwest.

Shop The Crabby Nook     DEER  - To the Chinese, the deer is a very popular symbol associated with speed, endurance and a long life. The word for deer in Chinese is lu, which sounds similar to another word that means good income and prosperity. It is thus extremely auspicious to have the image of the deer in your office and home. Display a figurine or painting of the deer in your workplace to symbolize the wish for the company to prosper and grow or place it in your home so that your family will enjoy a long life of ease and growing prosperity. 

     SMALL PIECE of JADE - Jade is considered a stone of good fortune in China and its green color symbolizes paper money in some countries. Place it on a kitchen window sill to attract wealth.

    8 PIECES OF JADE or 8 CHINESE COINS - Display 8 pieces of jade or 8 Chinese coins in your work area. Eight is the number of business and financial stability, so it can help you hold onto money or find ways to build slowly and steadily toward your financial goal.  Chinese Coins also symbolize the unity of heaven and earth, which are auspicious for career luck.     CRYSTAL LOTUS - One of the most potent enhancers of good fortune and when appropriately activated, it becomes an even more powerful attractor of business and prosperity luck. Display this crystal lotus in the center of your store or in the heart of your home and you will fnd your wealth increasing through extra income, i.e. pay raise, bigger deals, more customers, etc. Place it in your office in the same manner and you will find yourself closing more deals as it can help you to clear obstacles so that you get the upper hand in business negotiations. Place your crystal lotus near a window that receives sunshine so that your room will be filled with cascades of rainbows that will bring positive energies and a feeling of tranquility to your home. If you are seeking a perfect partner, place a Crystal Lotus in your romance area to symbolize a perfect union.     THREE IMMORTALS, or, 3 WISE MEN - The 3 Wise Men of Ancient Chinese Lore were high officials of the Gods that bestowed Long Life, Prosperity and Happiness on the Emporers of the different Dynasties. Possession of the 3 Wise Men is supposed to bestow these gifts onto the owner.  Lu Shin the Legend of rank and affluence seen holding a child, he symbolizes the opportunity for self-betterment. Fu Shinn the star Legend of happiness and wealth, he holds a symbol of wealth and is always in the centre of the three, while Lao Sau the Legend of Health and Longevity seen holding a peach, which blossoms every 3000 years symbolizing immortality. It is considered lucky to wed in the month of the peach tree flowers signifying long marriage. Fu Lu and Sau should be placed high on a sideboard over looking the dining table to bring the good fortune of always having enough good food to eat and for staying in good health.    DRAGON The Dragon is deemed the luckiest and most sacred figure in Chinese folklore. It reputedly has absolute power and symbolizes honor, power and all that is right.  Dragons enhance fame and career prospects and should be placed near a door or window in order to guard your wealth and health. They are a very powerful protection cure for your home or office. 

  • There are few symbols that surpass the Chinese Dragon in popularity amongst those who use Feng Shui. The Dragon is said to create the precious cosmic Chi' which brings good fortunes into our homes and workplaces. Displaying the dragon together with moving water is even more potent. Display such a WATER FEATURE in the North for limitless success in your career, or in the Southeast for plenty of wealth luck.

     FISH FIGURINES:  Displaying a fish figurine to your North is very good career luck.  Welcomes prosperity and luck.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Serve an Autumn Dessert with Sake

We recommend that you slightly warm a Hatsumago Sake and serve with an Autumn Dessert made from Pears, Apples, Grapes and Chestnuts.

Do not overheat your Sake because in most cases this will ruin your sake. Once a bottle of sake is opened, it should be refrigerated and not kept longer than five days after opened.

If you prefer a chilled sake, we recommend that you purchase a higher grade sake ginjo or a daiginjo. A chilled sake is also a wonderful selection to compliment an autumn dessert.


Simple Peach, Apple & Cinnamon Compote Recipe

Ingredients :

3.5 lbs peaches (use frozen if not in season)

1.1 lbs apples

1.75 oz brown sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Recipe :

Peel fruit, then cut into quarters.

Heat gently in a covered pan, with water, sugar and cinnamon, for half an hour, or until it has stewed to a pulp.

Serve warm.

Try adding yogurt or a few walnuts. My personal favorite is to serve with vanilla ice cream.

70 calories per portion.



Tea Sets & Sake Sets


15% Discount on your entire order over $50 when you use Google Check-Out. Use code # 15fall2008.

20% Discount on your entire order over $200 when you use Google Check-Out. Use code # 20fall2008.

We combine shipping so please let us know so we can adjust your invoice.


THREE LEGGED FROG WITH A COIN IN ITS MOUTH, or, MONEY FROG- Named Chachu will attract plenty of wealth into your home using three-legged Frogs with a coin in its mouth! This auspicious creature attracts good fortune into your home. Place the frog in any of the corners diagonally opposite you front door for best effect. At the very least, you should have one frog facing out to collect the money and one facing in to bring the money back into the house. You can also place him in view of your front door. Every morning turn him towards the exterior. Turn him towards the interior in the evening to prevent him from becoming exhausted, or, letting your money escape. Keep you frogs below the table, behind the couch or in other discreet areas of your home. I keep mine on top of my computer at night facing into the room and facing toward the window beside my computer during the day. The DRAGON TORTOISE is a mythical creature that gives you the support of the tortoise combined with the courage of the Dragon.

Place a figurine of the Dragon Tortoise on your desk or behind you to gain the support of your boss, counter office politics and get you the promotion you deserve.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

FENG SHUI - Figure Your GUA/KUA Number = BAGUA Directions


I was recently asked, "In what direction do you sleep?" To figure your GUA/KUA Numbers and your personal BAGUA Directions, you will first need to determine your number. I have posted a website on how to easily figure your GUA number:

After you have determined your GUA Number, you can read about your personal BAGUA directions more in-depth:

I have included a BAGUA Map Compass for you to print out to use to map your home and each room. Your personal number is in the left side column.

BAGUA Directions

Success Direction - Display items for Career, Prosperity, Strength, Stability, Protection and Wealth. You should always display Wealth and Protection symbols in this area at a minimum.

Health Direction - You should always display Longevity and Health enhancement symbols in this area. When you are chronically or terminally ill or know someone that is, this is a powerful, yet minute enhancement to vastly improve a quality of life.

Romance Direction - You should always display Love and Romance symbols here if you are looking to strengthen or attract a loving relationship. This area can be enhanced to strengthen work relationships in power and respect.

Personal Development Direction - This is always your meditation and relaxation area. You can use enhancement symbols for whatever need you want here. Want Creativity? Utilize creativity symbols. Want Power and Wisdom? Use power and wisdom symbols. Want Wealth or Career? Display these symbols. This is an area where you can spend a lot of time and work on the betterment of you.

Unlucky Direction - Be aware of this area and work to avoid negatives.
5 Ghosts Direction - Protection symbols are a key in this area.

Six Killings Direction - This is the perfect area to concentrate on working to dispel or absorb negative energies.

Total Loss Direction - Dispel and absorb negative energies. Protection symbols are a must in this area.

Feng Shui Symbols you should have many of…

Buddhas - You can never have enough Buddhas displayed in all areas of your home and business. A Buddha represents many things. I use them to welcome harmony in my family, welcoming wealth, stability, career and calming. I have Buddhas in every room. The neat thing about Buddhas is that you can display them anywhere in a place of respect. I have them in a corner of a room, on a shelf, in a plant. Buddhas come in Jade carvings, Gemstone carvings, Temple Stone carvings when you are lucky enough to find one, Crystal, Hong Tze, Stone, Bronze, Brass, Metal, Resin or Hong Kong Ivory, just about any element you can think of. I probably have one of every element display in my home.

Quan Yin- You can display a Quan Yin in every room of your home. The goddess of Mercy and Compassion will support you, protect you and enhance your relationships.

Money Frogs, Money Turtle, Money Pig/Boar, Dragon Ship, Lucky Coins, Fish - You should always have several of these displayed in every room of your home or business.

Protectors - You should always have at least one Kuan Kung, one Terra Cotta Warrior, pair of Temple Lions, pair of Dragons and Chinese Zodiac symbol displayed in your home and office.

Strength and Wisdom - You should have at least one Horse, Elephant, Tiger and Dragon displayed in your home.

Crystals - The minimum you should have is at least one Pagoda, one Lotus and one Etched Globe.

Jade - You should have at least one jade display in several rooms in your home. Jade is physically healing, welcomes wealth, absorbs negative energies, produces a calming effect.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


If you’re lucky enough to work from home, you’re probably the envy of everyone in the working world. Sleeping in, foregoing any sort of dress code, and being able to run your errands in the middle of the day are just a few of the perks of being able to earn your paycheck in the comfort of your very own home. On the down side, maintaining an organized work space in the middle of your home can be frustrating, as bill paying, laundry, and other household chores can find themselves in the middle of your office files. Below are 50 simple ways you can maintain a happy, clean, and organized office area at home by practicing the fundamentals of Feng Shui. By including the key elements fire, water, earth, and wood, you’ll have a work space that maximizes your productivity and energy while nurturing a calm, soothing balance.


Don’t obstruct the doorway. Keep shoes, umbrellas, books, and other items put away. Keeping the entrance way clear will allow positive energy, or chi, to flow freely in and out of the room, unconstrained. You will be able to improve your mood as soon as you enter the room since your eyes won’t immediately jump to the clutter and disorganization and you won’t be tripping over mismatched shoes and the raincoat from last month.
  • Rearrange furniture frequently. You don’t have to totally redo the setup of the whole room, but shifting your furniture frequently will maintain a healthy level of energy. You will subconsciously notice the changes, keeping you alert and on you toes. Try moving the desk a few inches closer to the window or switching the placement of two chairs. It may not seem like a big change aesthetically, but you’ll be able to feel the results instantly.

  • Move the TV to another room. Keeping the television in your home office will be a constant distraction. You can find all the news, stock trading information, and other work-related updates you need on the Internet anyway. Move the TV out of your office and leave room for healthier, more natural workspace.

  • Don’t lose sight of the door. Make sure all of your chairs and sofas are situated so that anyone sitting in your office will always be able to see the door. Having a way out and keeping track of who or what comes in is a traditional measure of good Feng Shui.
    Leave at least 3 feet between furniture. A standard Feng Shui tip for arranging your furniture is to leave at least 3 feet between all the pieces in the room. For instance, leave 3 feet between your desk and the computer chair when unoccupied. Allow 3 feet between your 2 lounge chairs or between a chair and sofa.

  • Make sure your furniture represents the elements. You obviously won’t be able to have a desk made of fire, but try to incorporate the wood and metal elements into your furniture constitutions as much as possible. Most of your furniture will undoubtedly be made of wood, but see if you can find an end table made of aluminum or one that features a metallic finish.

  • Add pillows and blankets. Buy a couple of throw pillows and a comfy blanket to give your office a cozy appeal. Let them lie easily on your chairs or couch, but only indulge in wrapping yourself up in the blanket if it’s really chilly. You want to promote an easygoing atmosphere, but you don’t want to fall asleep at your desk!

  • Don’t overcrowd the room. Putting too much furniture or accessories in your office will lead to overcrowding. Overcrowding leads to a tense, nervous energy. Keep the amount of items in the room to a minimum, including only the furniture and electronics you need to conduct your business and host clients in a basic, but comfortable, way.

  • Give yourself a choice of places to sit. If you limit yourself to the one desk chair you use while on the computer, you’ll end up feeling cramped and panicky. Have at least one other sofa or chair for you to sit in while taking a break from the computer once in a while.

  • Be comfortable. Make sure all the furniture in the room is comfortable to you. Since it’s your office, you will be the one spending most (if not all) of your time there. Being comfortable will keep your mind off your external circumstances and allow you to work.


    WINDOWS: When selecting a room for your home office, you should pick the one that has at least one window. Enveloping yourself in natural light helps keep you on track with the progression of day and night, keeping you in sync with the environment around you. Make sure the window has blinds or curtains, though, in case the sun is too bright or causes an irritating glare on your desk.
  • LAMPS: Putting lamps on your desk or end tables will allow you to control the amount of light you receive more pointedly. If the overhead light is too harsh for example turning it off and relying on lamps and the natural light from the window will keep you more relaxed and your eyes less strained. If the main light isn’t bright enough however, a lamp will help you see better and concentrate on your work, as your eyes will naturally be drawn to where the light is focused.

  • LIGHT BULBS: Choosing the right light bulbs for your home office is extremely important. You will want bulbs that radiate feelings of warmth. Avoid buying fluorescent lights altogether. Click here to read more about the benefits of lighting when creating a Feng Shui environment.

  • BLUE: Incorporating the color blue into your home office helps include an association with the element “water.” Blue is a soothing color and is best used in the East and Southeast areas of the room. According to Feng Shui expert Rodika Tchi, painting the ceiling blue is a great way to not only add color to your office, but to improve productivity and promote good energy.

  • GREEN: - Green “is considered to be a color of freshness, growth, and peace,” so try adding cushions or pillows in light, subtle shades to give your office soothing energy with a punch of personality.

  • RED: Bold reds are thought to introduce feelings wealth and happiness into a person’s life. Supplementing your otherwise subdued room with red accents will brighten your mood and perhaps even bring you luck. Don’t go overboard with strong reds or you may end up creating a negative energy infused with anger and agitation.

  • METAL: Metallic accents will brighten up your room in a subtle way. Use a bronze paperweight or hang copper wind chimes near the window to represent key Feng Shui element while allowing natural light to reflect off the metallic surfaces.

  • EARTH TONES: Earth tones are known to be soothing shades of yellow, brown, and green. They generally make people feel comfortable and at ease because of their relationship to nature, so stick to these shades when designing your home office. A deep yellow rug or tan curtains will create a simplified atmosphere perfect for work.

  • BALANCE: As with any Feng Shui practices, you must maintain a balance of color in your room. Adding too much blue and not enough red will leave your office vulnerable to the water element, for example. Keeping the elements in check through color is a fun, inspiring approach to Feng Shui interior design because of the choices you have to accessorize each area.

  • MIRRORS: Mirrors help positive energy dart about the room by letting in more light and allowing you to keep your eye on what normally wouldn’t be seen. Hang a mirror over your computer to watch the wall behind you and open up the space around you. Mirrors maximize your space by making rooms appear much larger than they actually are, making the office feel roomy and uncramped.


    Put up family photos To make your home office more inviting, hang up or display photos of you with family and friends. You’ll make yourself more comfortable by seeing familiar faces and recalling fun memories. Use a variety both wood and metal frames to incorporate the two elements.
  • PAINTINGS: Paintings are also positive additions to your home office. Choose ones that feature garden scenes, landscapes, and other natural designs to invite earth tones and keep you in touch with the environment.

  • CRYSTALS: Certain crystals like quartz, amethyst, and malachite increase the power of Feng Shui.

  • FLOWERS: Introducing plant life into your home office will boost your spirits and help balance out the elements. Plants, even flowers, represent wood. Put a potted plant on the windowsill or situate a larger fern or hibiscus plant in a corner to brighten up the room.

  • BAMBOO: Bamboo also represents the element wood and is considered to be extremely lucky.

  • FOUNTAIN: Having a small water fountain in your home office is good for many reasons. The sound of the running water will soothe your senses, the water element will be fully represented, the fountain will “attract and trap the chi.”

  • PLANTS: Having a plant in your home office will do no good if you can’t keep it alive. Dying or dead plants will increase the amount of negative energy, making you feel depressed and frustrated.

  • Place wall decorations at eye level. Hanging up pictures any old way is a direct infringement of Feng Shui practice. Let all your wall decorations hang at eye level, creating a consistent, organized aesthetic.

  • Avoid sharp-cornered objects. Sharp-cornered objects are not only potentially harmful, they are also believed to obstruct the pathway of chi. Your desk will most likely have sharp corners, but as long as you are not sitting where they point directly at you, the chi will still be able to flow around you easily.

  • If it doesn’t have a function, you don’t need it. If your end table doesn’t hold up a lamp or represent any of the key elements, you probably don’t need it. Get rid of any decor that doesn’t serve some sort of Feng Shui function by balancing out the elements, and you’ll free up space and feel better about everything that does belong.


    MUSIC: Play soothing music throughout the day to alleviate stress, calm nerves, and keep you relaxed. Try a Norah Jones CD or listen to something purely instrumental so you won’t get caught up in the lyrics.
  • ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS: Close the door if others are at home with you so that you don’t have to listen to distracting noises. Eliminating unnatural, exterior noise will keep you focused on your work and will allow the chi to move around your room with minimal disruptions.

  • EVALUATE YOUR REACTIONS TO CERTAIN NOISES. Does the sound of birds chirping keep you relaxed? Does the rumbling dishwasher make you stressed? Evaluate your reactions to everyday noises and then try to accommodate accordingly. Crack the window a little to let in natural noises and drown out that dishwasher. Or, turn up your music to keep out the bothersome weed eater outside.

  • PICK A ROOM LOCATED FAR AWAY FROM LOUD NOISES. When selecting the perfect room for your home office, pick one that is located far away from loud, distracting noises. For example, if your neighbors are always out on their front lawn playing or visiting, go to a room that’s located at the back of your house. If the neighbor on your left has a dog that barks all day long, choose a room on the other side of the house. Eliminating as much extra noise as possible will help you concentrate.

  • CANDLES: Light candles to welcome scent and give your office a relaxed atmosphere. The warm flame is a soft, natural representation of fire that also helps you feel cozy.

  • INCENSE: Lighting incense is another way to bring scent into the room.

  • GARBAGE: Take out the garbage often to get rid of bad smells that will interrupt your room’s chi. Mildew, garbage, and other noisome scents will also distract you until they are eliminated. Empty out your trash several times each week to keep bad smells from developing in the first place.

  • CITRUS: Citrus scents like tangerine and mandarin increase the amount of energy in the room, keeping you awake and alert even after hours of work.

  • GERANIUM and LAVENDER: These soothing scents will calm nerves and help you keep things in perspective.

  • BURNING OIL: Burning tiny amounts of oil will cause your room to smell better in seconds.


    Don’t use your workspace for any other chores. Clutter will immediately destroy any good energy that was present in your home office before. To help eliminate mess, don’t use your workspace for any other purpose other than business. Don’t fold laundry, pay bills, or let your kids play on the computer in the room that you’ve specially designed for work.
  • Organize your desk. Invest in a collection of wire baskets that stack on the top of your desk to eliminate floating papers and general clutter. Office Depot carries a large stock of desk accessories that will minimize the amount of roaming items and keep you from losing important items. Clean up the inside of your desk by sliding in dividers or small containers that will hold paperclips, rubber bands, and extra staples.

  • File papers. It might seem old-fashioned, but every office needs a filing system. Buy a simple filing cabinet and start filling it up. To make sure you can find your papers easily, make a folder for almost everything. Divide topics into subtopics, and divide those further. It might take a little extra work in the beginning, but when you’re trying to find a specific document, you’ll be glad you did. Choose multicolored folders and use separate colors for different projects, clients, or months.

  • Clean up before ending each workday. As a part of your daily routine, straighten up your desk and office before leaving each day. This practice will help keep you organized and ready for the following day, and when you begin work in the morning, you won’t be walking into a messy room. Instead of seeing stacks of papers and clutter, your eyes will settle on the calm organization you’ve worked so hard to preserve.

  • Hide unruly cords and cables. Even though you’ve taken the TV out of your office, your computer and radio and/or CD player have lots of messy cords ruining your simplistic mood. Having to look at a tangle of wires will stress you out and distract you from your work. Use a surge protector to safely plug in all those wires to your wall, and use hefty twist ties to prevent tangling. Try investing in a cable kit.

  • Bring in as little food as possible. Being able to work from home means that you can eat in the kitchen. Try not to bring food into your office, as it will only add to the clutter and garbage. If you do decide to have a snack, make sure you clean it up as soon as possible.
    Hide your magazines and manuals. Old magazines, guidebooks, and manuals can stack up quickly, leaving your home office looking more like a dusty library than a Feng Shui refuge. If you’re not ready to throw everything out, hide items in a basket underneath a side table or stash them inside hollowed out ottomans. You’ll never know there’s a messy collection of Reader’s Digest underneath you feet!

  • Buy a bookshelf. Use a bookshelf for books and manuals that you refer to frequently. Put taller items at the end of each shelf and shorter ones in the middle. This organization idea will make your books look better and stand straighter. Separate your mail. Sort your mail as soon as you come from the mailbox, and separate your personal items from business-related envelopes and packages. Take with you to your office the mail that is for work only, and keep it in a basket or on a shelf designated for mail. Each week, file or throw away old bills and envelopes to keep the stack small.

  • Make to-do lists to keep your mind clutter-free. Breathe deeply. Don’t get overwhelmed, you’ll be able to finish it all. To avoid panic attacks at work, make yourself several “to do” lists throughout the day. Whether they’re involved outlines on the computer or a simple note dashed on a post it, keeping track of what you need to accomplish will ease your mind and keep you organized. Re-prioritize after lunch, and make a new list for the afternoon or following morning.

  • Following the practices of Feng Shui will help organize the movement and energy in your home office, essentially increasing your productivity and improving your mood. By balancing out the elements of fire, water, wood, and earth as you arrange furniture, maximize the benefits and focus of light and color, decorate in an organized manner, realize the potential of sound and scent, and eliminate clutter, your home office will not only be a productive environment for work, it will also be your own personal refuge.

    Brought to you by The Crabby Nook

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    Feng Shui Gardens


    A garden is a place that should be inviting and pleasurable. How you arrange all the things in your garden is key to creating an oasis, and not a jungle. Feng Shui is the classic Chinese art of arranging furniture and possessions to help you find ways to live more harmoniously in your environment. To the Chinese, Chi, the natural life-force, can be out of balance if spaces are not inviting and tranquil. Adherents believe that how you set up your home, workspace and garden will influence every aspect of your life: your emotional and physical well-being, your career, even your love life. Whether or not you believe that, if you apply the principles of Feng Shui to your yard and garden, you will transform the area around your house into an oasis for you and your family. Those principles are the basics of smart and natural garden design that will make every garden more attractive and pleasing to be in.

    I see Feng Shui landscape designing, as another way of bringing balance for your personal enhancement. Working with the earth brings the qualities of earth to you. The basic element of earth is healing, regenerative,and without any effort at all, you recieve these benefits. It is a way of bringing forth a balance of the yin and yang, light and darkness are balanced by using different elements: water, earth,fire (example: pointy leaves of plants represent this element) rocks, wood element (trees), metals (flower pots, wind chimes or a metal bench to sit and reflect the days events. When you take these elements and use the bagua-the map of Feng Shui, you are able to draw beneficial energy to you and your home.

    A way to apply the Feng Shui philosophy to your garden is starting at the entrance. An arbor, for example, makes clear to people where to come in and makes the garden inviting." Ideally," the entrance faces south -- the direction, by the way, where your garden will get maximum sun exposure. A closed gate would be less inviting for people and energy, and it might shade some of your plants. Though there are no particular Feng Shui plants, Colors have a strong impact on energy flow, just as they have been shown to influence our moods. Hot colors, like red and yellow flowers, lift up your energy level when you're looking at them. The cooler-colored purple and white flowers are more soothing.

    Remember, Feng Shui emphasizes diversity. The five elements you want to have represented in your garden are wood, metal, earth, fire and water. Water, be it a fountain or pond or bird bath, is very soothing. By the way, attracting the birds is the best, most natural form of bug control, because they eat pest insects.

    The compass directions have corresponding colors to help create your balanced landscaping. When you involve the elements and colors of the bagua map, it creates the a good energy-chi and it is carried into your home to help empower you and your family. The balance of inside/outside Feng Shui will give you the extra boost it takes to live your life in harmony and balance. You will also realize that once you create this harmony, more birds, butterflies, praying mantis will arrive on the scene to share and add to this energized area. You will also find this area to be one that attracts the human race to your area.

    If you don't have enough space for a birdbath, there are other ways to incorporate water into a garden. A simple electric fountain would do. Just add water and the electric pump would recycle it.


    Landscape design is not just a matter of putting up a building, planting trees and flowers, or building an artificial mountain. It is a means of revealing one's attitude of life by displaying landscape esthetically. Landscape needs to be restrained, gentle, and understated. We should modestly hide, not boldly dominate as is fashionable in the West. This enables a more intimate experience and sense of fitting into the environment.

    The Chinese way of thinking follows a clear path:
    • Respect experiences.
    • Discern the truth by studying the past.
    • Stand between science and theology.
    • Combine ethics with esthetics.

    In Chinese history no special ideal or religion controls spiritual life — real life comes before anything else. Chinese respect nature and self-knowing, and people adapt into a natural world more easily.

    A Chinese will search for compromise while a Westerner wants a Yes or No answer. This constitutes fundamentally different approaches to landscape design.

    In Western thought we oscillate between total belief in a Creator (ignoring real life) or a full belief in human power to explore and dominate the world (which in many respects also ignores real life). Westerners measure their world in human dimensions, with the formal garden recognized as a symbol of human power and achievement. Humans in Western thought are conquerors and improvers of nature, so people want a walled-in and controlled copy of Paradise (perfection beyond real life).

    By enabling and worshipping human power, we lose our fear of wildness. We conquer nature, sanitize and "improve" it. And these ideas are intrinsically Western, coming as they do from Plato and Christian theology.

    There is an attitude of profit regarding land in the West. The practical and utilitarian trend is Western, which historically was restricted in the East. In the East the attitude encompasses humility and respect for the forces of nature and heaven.

    It is very rare in Chinese design history to place geometrical forms on hilly land, as is common in Western countries. Only in the Chinese Emperor's gardens were geometric forms acceptable, because for Chinese they are symbols of respect for natural forces (heaven and earth).

    You will find nothing about improvement of the land, no modification of perceived imperfections or a need to control or dominate the landscape. Even the Son of Heaven would not assume he had the authority to do such a thing.

      The four landscape elements are:

      • Mountain
      • Water
      • Plant
      • Building

      Yin and Yang in the landscape consist of:

      • Stillness and movement
      • Unity and variety
      • Locality and generality
      • Scenery and subjective reactions
      Practical Application

      Feng shui patios and gardens are closer in spirit to rock, English or low-maintenance gardens than to formal, artificial and overdesigned European gardens, which are characterized by unnatural features such as severe corners, angles and straight lines.

      Whether you live in a condo or a mansion, whether you are positioning a potted plant on your patio or having many acres professionally landscaped, putting everything in its right place according to feng shui principles will help create a healing, harmonious and natural environment.

      In designing your outdoor space, be mindful of the three basic concepts of feng shui:
      1. Energy flow (wavy or curvy is beneficial; straight lines are negative)
      2. Balance of yin (dark, soft, passive) and yang (light, hard, active)
      3. Generative and destructive relationships of the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

      Here's how to apply basic feng shui principles in your spot of earth.

      Stand in the center of your outdoor space.

      Use a compass to determine the eight directions.

      North - Creativity, Personal growth, New ideas, Inspiration, Prospects, Career, Music, Art

      • Use: Water elements
      • Good place for: Metal toolsheds, ponds, Jacuzzis
      • Shapes: Waves & curves
      • Avoid: Stone, clay, earth.

      Northeast - Knowledge, Wisdom, Meditation/reading, Inner journeys, Spiritual and intellectual growth, Nature

      • Use: Earth element
      • Good place for: Stone benches, rock gardens, repairing equipment, stones and boulders, statutaries, brick, flagstone, anything made from the earth
      • Shapes: Low and flat surfaces
      • Avoid: Plants and trees.

      East - New life and growth, Rebirth and rejuvenation, Harmony, Health, Family life, Nutrition, Healing

      • Use: Wood element
      • Good place for: Fruit trees, herbs, medicinal plants, play equipment, sauna, tai chi and other exercises, trees, plants
      • Shapes: Columns, cylinders
      • Avoid: Metal garden accessories, patio furniture, tools, white flowers

      Southeast - Wealth, Abundance, Material possessions, Communication

      • Use: Wood element
      • Good place for: Cultivation and display of show plants, flowers or fish
      • Shapes: Cylinders, posts and columns
      • Avoid: Metal garden accessories, patio furniture and tools, white flowers.

      South - Opportunity, Dreams, Aspirations, Awards, Fame, Achievement, Happiness, Longevity, Festivity

      • Use: Fire element
      • Good place for: Barbecues, fire pits, burning leaves, trees, flowers
      • Shapes: Pointed and triangular shapes
      • Avoid: Water elements such as ponds, waterfalls, and fountains.

      Southwest - Marriage, Romance, Motherhood, Love, Relationships, Partners

      • Use: Earth element
      • Good place for: Seating/dining for two, team sports
      • Shapes: Low, flat surfaces
      • Avoid: Wood patio or deck furniture, gazebos, fences and gates, the color green.

      West - Children, Creativity, Harvest, Socializing and entertaining

      • Use: Metal element
      • Good place for: Outdoor entertaining, bar, children's playground/garden, convalescing and healing, sunbathing
      • Shapes: Circles and arches
      • Avoid: Barbecues, fire pit, pyramid, red flowers.

      Northwest - Trade, Interests outside of home, International travel, Fatherhood, Mentors and benefactors, Helpful people, Supporters

      • Use: Metal element
      • Good place for: Statues of deities, angels, cherubs, animals, wind chimes, sounds
      • Shapes: Circles and arches
      • Avoid: Barbecues, fire pit, pyramid, red flowers.

      Brought to you by THE CRABBY NOOK

      Tuesday, July 22, 2008

      Feng Shui Symbols you should have many of...

      Buddhas - You can never have enough Buddhas displayed in all areas of your home and business. A Buddha represents many things. I use them to welcome harmony in my family, welcoming wealth, stability, career and calming. I have Buddhas in every room. The neat thing about Buddhas is that you can display them anywhere in a place of respect. I have them in a corner of a room, on a shelf, in a plant. Buddhas come in Jade carvings, Gemstone carvings, Temple Stone carvings when you are lucky enough to find one, Crystal, Hong Tze, Stone, Bronze, Brass, Metal, Resin or Hong Kong Ivory, just about any element you can think of. I probably have one of every element display in my home.

      Quan Yin - You can display a Quan Yin in every room of your home. The goddess of Mercy and Compassion will support you, protect you and enhance your relationships.

      Money Frogs, Money Turtle, Money Pig/Boar, Dragon Ship, Lucky Coins, Fish - You should always have several of these displayed in every room of your home or business.

      Protectors - You should always have at least one Kuan Kung, one Terra Cotta Warrior, pair of Temple Lions, pair of Dragons and Chinese Zodiac symbol displayed in your home and office.

      Strength and Wisdom - You should have at least one Horse, Elephant, Tiger and Dragon displayed in your home.

      Crystals - The minimum you should have is at least one Pagoda, one Lotus and one Etched Globe.

      Jade - You should have at least one jade display in several rooms in your home. Jade is physically healing, welcomes wealth, absorbs negative energies, produces a calming effect.

      Brought to you by The Crabby Nook

      Monday, July 21, 2008

      Feng Shui - The Six Power Animals of Protection

      The Art of Feng Shui involves the placement of enhancement objects in relationship to our surroundings - in particular our home and business. In Asia, a Feng Shui Master will even be consulted by the Architect n the planning of the relationships of rooms, doorways and windows to themselves and the forces of nature. It is truly believed that the proper, or improper, positioning and association of all these elements will have a dramatic impact on your life. Here we offer the sacred objects with their meanings for your own Feng Shui collection.

      Despite being an au courant fad, feng shui -- pronounced "fung shway" -- is nothing new to the Chinese. In fact, feng shui is a millennia-old practice.

      The Chinese have long believed that if a home or business had a harmonious and positive flow of chi', which refers to cosmic breath or energy, those living and working there would benefit, thus enjoying health, happiness and prosperity. Palaces, farmhouses, temples and even entire cities were laid according to feng shui's precepts.

      Power Animals of Protection. - You should consider displaying these animals in your home and business.

      The Bear (Vision and Leadership).

      The Bear was one of the first animals to be revered by humans. In Celtic tradition the Bear was the Primal Mother, Artio and intense protector. The Druids associated the Polar Star of the constellation of the Bear to King Arthur. The Bear was the scared animal of Artermis in Greek mythology. To the Inuit the "Mother Bear" gives Shamans the ability to see into the spirit world. The power of the Bear teaches us to go within, in order to digest our experiences, and to seek knowledge through contemplation and experience. Wisdom comes through the stillness of contemplation.

      The Elephant (Strength and Spiritually).

      The Elephant is a universal symbol of Strength, Wisdom, Dignity and Good Judgement. In many cultures the Elephant is also a symbol of peace, bountiful harvest and rainfall. In China, Africa and India they see the Elephant as an ancient symbol of sovereign power. The Elephant was the mount of Indra, the Rain God. The ancient Greeks believed the Elephant to cure illness with its breath. A White Elephant announces the birth of Buddha to his mother, Queen Maya. Aristotle called the Elephant "The beast that passeth all others in wit and mind".

      The Lion (Nobility and Courage).

      In ancient Egypt the prowess and greatness of the Female Lion was recognised and worshipped as Sekhmet, the Sun Goddess, a powerful Lioness deity. In size, strength, co-operative hunting and sheer power, no member of the cat clan can match the Lion. Invoke the totem of the Lion for strength, vigour, courage, luck, nobleness of spirit, medicine power and prosperity. The Lion is sacred to Buddhism as an emblem of valour and energy and is sometimes depicted offering flowers to Buddha. Sculptures of Lions are often seen at the gates of temples, homes and tombs as a symbol of scaring away demons.

      The Rhino (Durability, Fertility and Protection).

      In Indian classics the great god Vishnu rods on the back of a Rhinoceros. In Africa lore the Rhinoceros is a symbol of virility and vigour. It is personified as a spirited warrior endowed with an abundance of strength and tenacity. In Yemen, dagger handles were fashioned from the horn of the Black Rhino to enhance a warrior's strength and power to battle. Statue of a double horned Rhino is used at the entrance of homes to represent warding off evil and trouble.

      The Tiger (Judgment, Skill and Protector of Souls).

      Tigers are solitary creatures, living alone until it is time to breed. In ancient times the Tiger obtained the imagery of a supernatural power and also as the mount of Durga, the "Inaccessible One" who rode a Tiger into battle. Stone Tigers are often used seen protecting graves and doorways. In Japan the Tiger was said to live a thousand years and was adopted as an emblem of the warrior class. Tigers are often identified with masterful spirits of Shamanism; Traces of this culture still exist to this day.

      The Camel (Adaptability, Survival and Endurance).

      The Camel is a spectacular design of creation that can exist and prosper in harsh and unforgiving conditions. The Camel represents endurance, conservation and stamina. They can go for many days without water. Then when water becomes available, they can drink up to thirty gallons in a very short period of time. Their body has been created to assist its survival by having amazing techniques such as oxidisation of the fat stored in its hump for water. They have feet that do not interfere with the environment and double rows of eyelashes and hairs in their ears to protect against frequent sand storms in the desert.

      Saturday, July 19, 2008

      Where do I place the Dragon and Phoenix symbol?

      Dragon has an imperial and unsurpassed status. The chinese emperors called themselves the dragons which shows how driving and prestigious they were being considered. The Dragon brings upon the essence of life, in the form of its celestial breath, known to many as sheng chi. He has the ability to blow out cosmic "chi" from his breath, which is the base for studies of Feng Shui. Hidden in the caverns of mountains that are beyond reach or resting in deep seas, the dragon is able to transform and render itself visible or invisible to people. Some said the mountains, valleys, rivers, buildings and highways are all correlated to Dragon head, claws, tail, veins and his pearl, which translates to fundamental studies of feng shui. Besides drawing in water, the dragon also has the power to release water as it is the king of ocean. That is why ancient emperors used to pray to Dragon God in times of draught or for less rain in times of flood. He yields energy and generate power in the form of the seasons, bringing water from rain, warmth from the sunshine, wind from the seas and soil from the earth. In other words, it is said that the Dragon is the ultimate representation of the forces of Mother Nature. The greatest divine force on Earth.

      The Chinese Dragon is often seen as the heaven's supreme symbol of vigilance and incredible strength. The dragon is in charge of the east quadrant of the heaven and represents sunrise, good beginning and hope. People also often refer to the left side of their house (inside looking out) as the green dragon and is also considered luckier than the right side's White Tiger. Being the "yang" mythical animal, the Dragon can scare off wandering evil spirits, protect the innocent, bless one with safety and increases wealth to all that hold his emblem. The Chinese Dragon is look upon as the ultimate symbol of extremely good fortune. Today, all Feng Shui masters treat Dragon with great respect and have symbols of the dragon as their ultimate possession.

      Meanwhile, Phoenix is the goddess of all the winged creatures. Phoenix displayed by itself without the dragon gives "yang" energy. This heavenly bird will harvest opportunity luck, success and prosperity. The Phoenix surprises people by turning bad luck into good luck. It would mysteriously carve out path of opportunities to your business, work, career or all other pursuits of your life. Since it is associated to the south corner, its presence brings you fame and popularity. It would bring out the excellent side of the female. It can even remove quarrelsome energy of a kindling relationship with the fiery energy of the Phoenix.The perfect item as well for the single female or bachelor looking to find true love.

      Put together, the Dragon and Phoenix is the symbol of ultimate yin and yang and perfect feng shui. The Dragon is symbol of male vigour and fertility. The Phoenix symbolizes yin splendour and female beauty. They represent fruitful marriage blessed with a great deal of success and prosperity as well as many offsprings, and the beginning of a dynastic family.

      The Dragon-Phoenix is a must for those seeking for the start of a good family:
      Place in the Northwest corner of your living room to magnify Patriarch luck.
      2. Place in the Southwest corner to favour Matriarch luck and to favor love and relationship.
      3. For those hungry for good health, achievement, knowledge, advancement, fame, authority, power and status for the whole family, place this ultimate symbol at the east of your living room. 4. For those in the showbiz, politics or craving for fame and popularity, place this symbol in the south corner of your house and let lights shine on it.
      5. For bachelor women and men seeking for love and marriage, place it in your nien yen direction according to your GUA number.

      Figure your GUA Number:

      Brought to you by The Crabby Nook

      Friday, July 18, 2008

      Kenyan Bone Art

      For centuries, natural substances served purposes that are now reserved for sterile synthetic materials. Clay, soil, wood, seeds, leaf fiber, stones, skins, hair and bones were all elements of one's environment that could be employed for function and adornment. Today, the necessity of using natural materials is gone, but the appeal of goods handmade from organic substances remains.

      Kenyan bone artists use batik dying method to convert discarded domesticated cow bones into striking decorative and daily use items. By creating works of beauty for export to the world market from what many modern cultures would perceive as waste material. Kenyan artisans use elements of their heritage to progress in a rapidly changing world.

      We also carry a nice selection of Asian Bone Art!

      Shop for Bone Art...

      Brought to you by The Crabby Nook

      Thursday, July 17, 2008

      The Crabby Nook - What does the Peacock symbolize in Feng Shui?

      Ethnic Art & Collectibles from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

      If you are a collector, or, like to surround yourself with quality furnishings, you have found the right place. Many items are of museum quality and all are perfect for the upscale home.

      Invest in yourself with a luxury collectible that you will love for years to come and will make you smile every time you walk by.

      What does the Peacock symbolize in Feng Shui?

      Peacocks have long been a symbol of immortality.

      When you display the peacock in the South of your home, you will attract great acclaim. These birds are often seen to symbolize achievements that are associated with being recognized.

      Wednesday, July 16, 2008

      10 Feng Shui Tips

      1. Never have a water feature in your bedroom. The representation is loss of money and relationships. This includes paintings of rivers, waterfalls and also aquariums.

      2. Hang a cut crystal ball in one of your windows. Choose a window that gets bright sunlight and reflects the colors of the crystal. Be sure to keep your crystal clean.

      3. Writing affirmations are what helps you reach your Feng Shui goals. Write as if your dreams have come true and place them in a red envelope.

      4. Ensure that your entrance is warm and inviting and clear of any clutter. You will allow all the chi' to enter your home.

      5. Check for leaky faucets and keep your drains clear. Repair them because it will drain the chi energy from your home and you could face a financial loss.

      6. Beware of sharp objects and corners and these include edges of walls and accessories. They will deplete the energy of the person sitting in the area. Place a red dot in the area as inconspicuous as you can, to cure this ailment.

      7. Pathways to your home should be meandering and not straight like a road. Try to balance the area with plants and strive to make the area beautiful.

      8. For good business practice always make sure that you cross your t's and dot your I's to ensure that all your business projects have a good ending.

      9. Mirrors have many Feng Shui cures and one of them is to place them in your dining area, near where your guests are seated. Make sure that you can see the top of their heads and it will mirror your guests and double your chi' energy.

      10. Placing items in pairs in your home will keep you in a balanced relationship.

      By Yvonne Phillips, FSII Feng Shui Publications

      Brought to you by The Crabby Nook...

      Tuesday, July 15, 2008

      Caring for your Stone Sculptures & Carvings

      All jade and stone carvings/sculptures are wiped with beeswax or an oil substance to keep it moist before it is wrapped in a paper towel like packaging for shipping. Retail shops in China usually have small glasses of water inside the cases with their jade sculptures.

      Stone does dry out and it is important to have a regular care routine for your sculptures. Just like you would have a humidifier in your home for all of your wood cabinets, trim and furniture to keep it from drying out and becoming brittle. I keep a small glass of water in my curio cabinets. Also, at least once a month, I wipe down my jade & stone sculptures with a furniture polish called Liquid Gold or a natural beewax polish. It enhances the colors in the sculpture and keeps it from drying out. If your B, C and D jade or stone sculpture starts to show signs of dry "spots" before the end of the month, you might want to start wiping it with the Liquid Gold or beeswax more often than once a month.

      Do not use Liquid Gold on your white jade sculptures! Liquid Gold will turn your white jade yellow. I use a natural Beeswax polish for my white jade pieces. You might want to test a small section with your oil before applying it to see its reaction.