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Playmobil – The Toys Made For Success

Playmobil is the brainchild of Hans Beck, the German inventor who lived the dream he once had as a boy, and strived to fulfill the dreams of children. As head of development in the toy making company, Brandstätter, he developed a line of high quality yet safe toys for the children’s market.

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Playmobil toys were originally designed for children from toddlers to twelve-year-old schoolchildren. Even if Brandstätter believed that older children were no longer inclined to this type of toy, many of these youth loved Playmobil and never got over the fun of it from their childhood. Even a large number of adults have their prized collections of Playmobil which are widespread on the Internet. Many have created fan clubs and groups, where they organize various events and programs to show their huge support.

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Monopoly: The Most Popular Game in History

I recently found myself playing a game of monopoly with my family. A game I haven’t played since I was a kid, I didn’t even remember the concept! I decided I would learn as we played. What I realized was that the more I learned, the less I wanted to play.

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Monopoly is a game that really makes you think.

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Conviction is Success with Russ Berrie

The lottery of birth does not seal one’s fate. The poor do not stay poor forever if they dedicate themselves to improve their lives. Even though you are born without the proverbial silver spoon or a social pedigree, you can still dream big dreams. You need the conviction that people can achieve their dreams through the power of determination.

Russ Berrie was born to a simple family in New York City in the Bronx. His father owned a small jewelry business but Berrie was driven to be more successful than his father and brothers. His first attempt at business was when he was ten years old.

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Achieve Success!

Gary Player (Hall of Fame Golfer) lives by these 10 Commandments, enabling success the escape placeachieved by very few.

A good lesson for everyone!

  1. Change is the price of survival.
  2. Everything in business is negotiable, except quality.
  3. A promise made is a debt incurred.
  4. For all we take in life we must pay.
  5. Persistence and common sense are more important than intelligence.
  6. The fox fears not the man who boasts by night but the man who rises early in the morning.
  7. Accept the advice of the man who loves you, though you like it not at present.
  8. Trust instinct to the end, though you cannot render any reason.
  9. The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but that while their companions slept were toiling upward in the night.
  10. There is no substitute for personal contact.

 

All content © 2011 Black Knight International

Time To Lose Those 10 Pounds

Spring is almost here. Time to lose those 10 pounds you added during the winter. By now everyone should have figured out their workout, purchased their spiffy new workout 10poundsclothes and planned their diet. Now it is time to commit.

I enjoy going to the gym so for me it is the dieting part that is hard. In the interest of full disclosure I have decided to list the ten foods that are the hardest for me to give up. We would love for our readers to join in the conversation and let us know what the hardest foods for them to give up are.

My list (not necessarily in order of difficulty)

  1. York peppermint patties
  2. Margaritas
  3. Oatmeal raisin cookies
  4. Cinnamon raisin bagels
  5. Pizza
  6. Glazed donuts
  7. Rocky road ice cream
  8. Nachos
  9. Ritz crackers with slices of cheddar cheese
  10. Anything chocolate

My other bad habits are eating before I go to bed and eating when I am not really hungry. I also eat too fast and the feeling of fullness is slower than I eat so I usually overeat and then feel really full

I feel cleansed by revealing my weaknesses to the world. Will it make a difference? We will see.

From Beads to Jars: Applying the Artistry of Cloisonné

Cloisonné is an art. Artisans from all over the world have employed this technique of designing on metal vessels with colored-glass paste. The designs are put within enclosures formed from copper or bronze wires, which have been wrought into the desired pattern. Rightfully known as cloisons (French for “partitions”), the artisan usually solders or pastes the enclosures onto the body of the metal vessel.

These are only two of the varied applications of cloisonné which any creative worker will do:

  • Cloisonné Beads

Each cloisonné bead can take up to four hours to produce. Since each bead is handmade, colors and styles which the artist creates is different from another creation. It’s a real treat for creativity to shine!

The following are the general steps in making cloisonné beads:

  1. Mold a copper base then sketch the desired design.
  2. Paste or solder brass wire cells to form a pattern.
  3. Paint enamels in the cells and (in most cases, fire them into the bead).
  4. Fill in enamels in the uneven spaces in the design.
  5. Repeat filling enamels (and fire the paint on the cell for the third time) until every filled-in space becomes smooth.
  6. Smoothen and polish the surface of the bead.
  7. Finally, the cells are gold or silver plated. 
  • Cloisonné Jars or Vessels

Varying with an artisan’s experience and skills, a vessel made by the cloisonné technique takes a week at most to prepare from start to finish. This also depends on the design and structure of the created vessel – the size and length and the number of patterns in the design.

The following are the general steps in making cloisonné vessels:

  1. Mold your vessel, according to your designed specifications.
  2. Shape and solder copper or bronze wire patterns on enamel cell shapes.
  3. Fill the cells with multiple colors of enamel then put in burning kiln.
  4. Continuously fire or paint enamel on the cells – three or four times – until the surface is even and smooth.
  5. Sand and polish the surface so that the design will be level and uniform.
  6. Polish once again and coat the entire vessel with electro-plating – either gold or silver-plated.

Cloisonné is an art that is both interesting and engaging to whoever does it. So do not be afraid to try it – the creations will be a charm, when made with the best of one’s capabilities with heartfelt dedication.

When passion becomes an art, the heart takes control of the flow of the mind.

 

How to Care for Your Silverware

Whether you’re a collector or a user, care for your silver flatware is essential. No matter how beautiful they were when they started out, time will come when your precious silvers will dull and tarnish. This will especially be a problem if you don’t give them proper care or if you don’t use them as much as you should. Yes, you read that right. The more you use your silverware, the easier they will be to maintain, and the less often you will need to polish them. I sense a lot of perplexed faces on the other end of the screen but fret not, my darlings. There is no rocket science to taking care of your silverware, and, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take that much time either.

1. After each use, wash your silverware separate from cutlery and serving ware.

Use warm water and mild detergent or dish soap, to remove residues. The acids from food leftover on your flatware can corrode and tarnish them. Your safest bet will be hand washing but if you must use the dishwasher, place them at the top rack, and set it to the gentlest cycle like Crystal or China. This is to ensure that you don’t scratch or damage your silverware.

2. As soon as you’re done washing, dry them.

If there’s anything you should remember in elementary science, it’s that water corrodes anything and everything with enough time.

3. Polish your silverware.

As stated above, you don’t have to do this as often if you frequently use your silverware. With regular use, you only need to polish them once every few years. But if you’re an infrequent user, or collector, or are about to sell your silverware, here are a few tips on polishing them to brilliance and perfection:

  • After washing and drying, purchase quality silver polishing cream. Think gentle polishes from companies like Hagerty & Sons. Yes, it may be more expensive and may take more effort to rub the cream into the silver, but the constant rubbing for longer periods of time on silver actually brings out its brilliance.
  • There is a way to cut some time and effort from polishing your silver to perfection: Silver Cleaning Cloth. It’s specifically made to make your life easier and, furthermore, the material and production is tailor-made for silver. This way, you know you won’t damage your precious flatware.
  • No instant shines, please. Believe me when I say it’s worth it in the long run. The instant polishing creams are high in octane, which do produce faster results with minimal effort, however are highly acidic and abrasive. This means that each time you polish with these products, you strip off metal which decreases the value of your flatware. Even worse, if you don’t remove these instant shines properly, they leave unsightly translucent white film on your silver. Believe me, these are tough to remove.

4. Store your silverware in a dry place, away from the stove and fumes.

There are also tarnish preventive bags (should you choose to invest in them) which are advisable for those who live near the sea (as salt air has a corrosive effect on silver).

And that’s all there is to it! Wash-Dry-Polish-Store.

HamptonRenee

Check out The Escape Place’s Set of 2 Hampton Renee Pattern Dinner Knives Stainless Steel Flatware

HamptonRenee-Spoon

Check out The Escape Place’s Hampton Renee Pattern Solid Serving Spoon Stainless Steel Flatware Collectibles

 

Do you know any flatware care tips that I missed in this article?

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Let me know in the comments!

Teddy Bears & Care Bears

The fabulous thing about teddy bears is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a huge teddy bear that’s bigger than you or a small one for you to hold close, a teddy bear is a child’s best friend. Children’s love for teddy bears starts at a very early age.

When I was little, my teddy bears slept all around me to protect me at night. Some children carry their teddy bears everywhere they go. Some treat them like their best pal while others treat them like it’s their baby. My two year old nephew has a teddy bear named Charlie.

build-a-bearCheck out this cute teddy bear (Build-a-Bear Teddy Bear)

Charlie gets burped, has his diaper changed, and gets put in the swing when he’s crying. But teddy bears aren’t just for children. Many adults have collections of teddy bears. Those collections can contain hundreds of bears in multiple colors and costumes.

Teddy Bears are also used quite often to decorate the house or spare bedrooms. There is only one thing cooler than a teddy bear, and that’s a Care Bear. Care Bears are different than teddy bears in a few ways. First, Care Bears have cool powers that regular teddy bears don’t have.

Second, Care Bears are made of fun, bright colors, with different symbols on their tummies. Third, they teach children about feelings and about caring for others. Care Bears live in the Kingdom of Caring and go on missions using the symbols on their tummies to ignite the Care Bear Stare and emit a shooting light onto the villain. That light brings caring, happiness, and love onto its target. With the teddy bear and Care Bear having so many great features, how do you choose? You don’t, buy both!!

Visit our store for amazing plush animal toys and teddy bears http://theescapeplace.com/

The Magic of Build-A-Bear

buck. Some people would argue “Afterall, it’s just a toy”.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc (St. Louis, Missouri) is an interactive retailer of customizable teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Each customer who walks in the store has a selection of animals, accessories, sounds, and other features to choose from to create their own unique plushie.

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Build a Bear Teddy Dark Brown Plush

If you’re a first timer with the Build-A-Bear Make Your Own Stuffed Animal process, it goes:

1. Choose Me

The first step is in selecting from over 30 animals, you’d like to have as a new furry friend. From classic, warm, and fuzzy teddy bears, to “My Little Pony” characters; they definitely have an animal for each child.

2. Hear Me

The next step is recording your message or choosing from their collection of pre-recorded songs and sounds.

3. Stuff Me

In Build-A-Bear, you and even your kids take part in adding the stuffing to the plushie. It’s even encouraged to give the little critter a test hug to see if it’s “just right”. Afterwards, you get to select a heart for the new toy. This is a trademark of the Build-A-Bear Workshop. There’s an entire ritual for physically warming the heart, making a wish, and planting it inside the plush toy. Think of it as a symbol of bringing life to a new friend.

4. Stitch Me

By this point, it’s mostly the staff who stitches up the toy to make him/her “whole”. Although, they sometimes allow the kids to help in this step

5. Fluff Me

Now the furry friends get a “bath”, brush, and blow dry, kind of like a mini spa treatment for plushies.

6. Name Me

To complete the process of bringing the toy to life, it’s time to name the little critter. But Build-A-Bear doesn’t like doing things half way, so their naming ritual comes complete with a personalized birth certificate, and is registered in their tracking system which “helps lost animals find their way back home” (buildabear.com).

7. Dress Me

The last step is to give the animal little more character. Is it a pirate? A cheerleader? A princess? You have a myriad of ways to personalize, with hundreds of clothes and accessories to choose from.

8. Take Me Home

And that’s it! After styling, the new plushie is ready for its new home.
Believe me when I say that after seeing the look on your baby’s face, you’ll realize that it’s more than just a toy. It’s about seeing the look of pride in your child’s eyes in knowing that he or she participated in (quite literally) making a new friend. The magic of Build-A-Bear is in the experience. Try it with your little ones and experience a day of magic and warm hugs.

Enjoy!

Check out our Build-A-Bear Collections at our The Escape Place Store.

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Build A Bear Pink Yellow Plush Stuffed Teddy 

A Game You Can Play For All of Time: Chronology Trivia Card Game

Chronology: This is one card game that has surpassed the evolution of social entertainment over the years and has continued to bring amusement to consumers the world over. It’s practically a game of pushing your luck, which can go along with how well you know your history. Nonetheless, the entire goal of the game is for players to relish the sense of interaction with the company of family and friends, or whoever they’re playing with.

Chronology | Trivia Card Game

A Game Already Written In History

The first edition of Chronology, a party card game, came out in 1996. There have been other editions released throughout the years; the manufacturers released a junior edition intended for children below 13 years old and a sports edition – for sports enthusiasts/hobbyists.  The latest version had minor changes made, but in any case, the original essence and quality of the game is still there. The objective of the game is for players to form a timeline of events that occurred in history (with a corresponding year when the certain event happened) written on the cards. First one to correctly align 7 cards wins the game.

Easy as One, Two, Three 

A set begins with one card for each player; then a random player starts by drawing a card from the box and reads what’s in it (except for the year written on the card) to the player on the left. That player will then take a guess where to place the card on his timeline. If he guesses correctly, he takes the card and adds it to his timeline. He then has the opportunity to take another guess; his turn ends when he gets a guess wrong – with this, the cards he acquired in that particular turn must be discarded. On the other hand, if he gets it wrong on the first try, the next player gets to guess at the card and the games proceed. The card game has neither a timer nor a board which makes it easy to setup and easy to store when not in use.

Not Just For History Buffs

The events included in the set are from a plethora of categories – from current events, arts and sciences, entertainment, the greatest inventions, famous geographical discoveries, popular culture, general knowledge, to history dating back centuries. A player doesn’t really have to be a history geek to enjoy the game. Plus the fact that you only have to guess the events in an estimated way is like playing a mystery game; you aren’t really sure whether to trust your instincts or just take a wild guess. But that is the real thrill of the game which makes it nerve-wracking and amusing.

Improvise, Improvise, Improvise

If you find the “Race to 7 Cards” too easy and tedious you can always bend the rules and amplify the race to 15 cards; or you can even set a timer to create a fast-paced gaming sensation to the players.  Be creative: the possibilities are endless!

You can find the Chronology Card Game almost in all toy stores and on ecommerce sites such as eBay and Amazon. If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to share them below.