NBA Jerseys – Playoffs Call for Fashionable Fan Support

Now that playoffs are happening, now more than ever is the time to show your loyalty to your favorite NBA team. Playoffs are always an exciting time of year and typically when fans care the most about showing their support by wearing team jerseys, hats, t-shirts and all kinds of NBA merchandise.

Whether you’re a Rockets, Cavaliers or Celtics, you can still cheer your time on in style with authentic NBA jerseys, replica jerseys or swingman jerseys for men, women and children. As the playoffs heat up and fans are in the basketball spirit more than ever. Whether you wear your team’s color or your favorite players jersey, don’t wait until game day to get your wardrobe in order. As playoff games are sold out and expecting full houses, you can only imagine that the merchandise stores will be packed as well.

Like anything, preparation is key to success and just as your team is training, running drills and fine tuning skills to put their best foot forward come game day, fans are expected to put their best foot forward as well – and nothing says your fan better than NBA jerseys. True fans are just as proud of their attire as they are their team and sporting the newest jersey or even collectors editions shows the true testament to loyal fans. From hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts and NBA jerseys, fans of all ages can be comfortable and supportive.

Sports fans can take advantage of Spring savings and shop with confidence. Many retailers are running playoff promotions or getting ready to offload inventory to make room for new playoff related merchandise.

You can find quality sports apparel online and experience even greater savings. Often times, online retailers pass significant savings on to customers and boast discounts of 25-50% off regular retail prices. Also – with the WNBA starting up soon, it’s a great time to get NBA women’s jerseys ready for the season. Regardless of where you shop, make sure that the quality and availability is not going to disappoint you.

By lining up your playoff wardrobe now, you can ensure that come game day, you are styling and showing your support like a true fan. NBA jerseys also make great gifts for avid basketball fans and with the numerous sizing and styling options available now, you can be assured that you will find something that they are sure to enjoy.

Gear Up For the Game with NFL Sports Apparel & Jerseys

With football fans rallying around the weekend highlights, sharing Fantasy Football news and getting ready for Monday night games, now is the ideal time to take inventory of your gear. Whether you’re looking for cold weather apparel for looking your best at the games, tailgating threads to sport your team in style or you just want to say I’m a fan like no other, NFL apparel has never come in more varieties or styles.

From replica jerseys, throwback jerseys or true authentic NFL Jerseys, to pullover sweatshirts, tank tops, flannel pajamas, hat and beanies you can support your team and celebrate all that football season entails with NFL Sports Apparel. Bring game night chili sessions to a whole new level with an Authentic NFL Jersey of your team of choice or simply arrive in style to the Sunday cookouts with the guys. Football season is in full gear and there’s nothing like celebrating the season, supporting your team or displaying your passion for the game, like NFL jerseys.

Guys can pay tribute to your favorite players of the past with throwback jerseys and kids can even show up at the tailgating event in style with youth sizes in sweatshirts, t-shirts and jerseys. Ladies can show their love for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots outstanding victory over the Dallas Cowboys with the Premier (EQT) Replithentic NFL Jersey made for women and cut to fit the female form. With the women’s apparel, you can show support for your team without looking like your drowning in material.

Whatever your fashion calling is or isn’t, nothing says dedication like NFL football jerseys. Now more than ever, it’s never been easier with the ease of access to the latest and greatest in NFL Football Jerseys to find just the right jersey. NFL Jerseys come in three basic categories, Replica, Premier and Authentic. All are made by Reebok® and officially licensed with the NFL® logo, but the quality and price points will vary. There are many places you can buy NFL jerseys, but there’s one site that I ran across that sealed the deal for me. SidelineApparel.com has all 32 NFL teams and has everything from hats, sweatshirts, jackets and jerseys for men, women and kids. They have a unique “Any Size – Same Price offer that I haven’t seen on any of the other sites or stores. So regardless of whether I buy a small for my teenage son or a 5x for my brother-in-law, I can pay get the whole family in the football season mode for the same price.

So, whether you’re talking about the fumbles, turnovers, tackles or touchdowns, you can ensure one thing, win or loose, you will be there for your team, making a statement with the latest in greatest in NFL Jerseys. Stay warm this season and gear up for the game with NFL Sports Apparel!

Fashion Statements For the New Cyclist Who Wants to Arrive at Her Destination in Style

So we all know that it’s bound to happen. As new bikers we’re immune to the biking gear. We get our bike, our helmet, and maybe a bell and we’re good to go. At first we go out on our bike and we tool around town in our cute little capris and feel really good. We look at those other cyclists in their T-Mobile jerseys and skin tight spandex and think, “Oh please. That’s like wearing a Seahawks uniform for a backyard football game. What are they trying to prove?”

Then our rides get longer and one day we end up with the dreaded SADDLE SORES! We laugh it off at first…it was probably those underwear with Hello Kitty on them. Everyone knows Hello Kitty undies ride up. A little salve and some different undies and I’ll be fine.

It took me awhile before I’d give in to bike shorts. I mean come on…they leave NOTHING to the imagination and you’re supposed to wear them COMMANDO! Leave Hello Kitty home? Alone? Perish the THOUGHT! I tried getting different brands of undies that wouldn’t bite in my legs, but it was a no go. Finally I had to give in. Cycling shorts aren’t just a fashion statement, they’re a necessity. If you’re going to ride more than just down the store, you’re going to have to trade in your capris for real bike shorts.

The problem is, have you looked at the price of these things? A good pair of Pearl Izumi bike shorts can run you up to $100. Now I don’t know what exactly is magic about these shorts, but $100? For shorts? For shorts that feel like you’re wearing a diaper and practically ADVERTISE your back fat and belly pooch? Oh sign me up, and thank you sir may I have another!?

Fortunately there are other brands that are more reasonable in price, and there are some options for cyclists who don’t feel comfortable in tight spandex:

Biking underwear: You wear these under your regular shorts or even under a skirt. They have padding and are quite comfortable. Nary a Hello Kitty design to be found, alas, but much more comfortable than HK ever dreamed of being.
Baggies: These are padded where it counts, and have vents in the side that you can zip closed on a cold day, and don’t fit like a second skin! They’re a little longer than a regular pair of shorts, but they’re comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m having to walk around sucking my stomach in like a runway model all day. It’s no wonder they all look so grim…24/7 tummy sucking is hard work!
Cycling skirts: I SO need to try these because I love love LOVE running skirts, and on short rides will often wear one because while the running skirts don’t have the padding, they do have the little shorts underneath that don’t cut into the thighs and girly bits. They’re cute and comfortable. As for running in them, I always get a little tingle of pleasure when I run fast a guy who is (obviously) younger than I am in my running skirt and think, “Dude, you just got passed by a middle aged woman in a skirt. Are you going to take that?” So how much MORE fun to extend that joy to cycling?!

As for tops, sure you can wear the cycling jersey of your favorite Tour de France team, and honestly the more I get into cycling, the more I understand the appeal. At the same time, though, I really don’t want to be a biking billboard for a laxative company, no matter HOW hot I think George Hincapie is. (Okay, Geo isn’t sponsored by laxatives…but he IS kinda hot!)

Check out your local cycling store because there are a LOT of jerseys that are made just for women. Like bike shorts, a good jersey will set you back a few George Washingtons (who is not nearly as hot as George Hincapie), but watch the sales racks! You can find some good deals! And don’t forget to peruse the kids’ section. I recently found a Where the Wild Things Are jersey for $25. An XL child’s size fits me with room to spare. If you’re smaller on top, a large or XL child’s size might fit nicely.

When you’re getting a jersey, there are a few things to look for if you are planning on longer bike rides down the road.

Pockets are imperative. You ideally want three big, WELL SEWN pockets across the back of the jersey for stashing things in. Yes, it does look dorky to ride with three giant lumps on your back, but it does hide the back fat and trust me…on a 50-70 mile ride, you’re not caring. With good pockets you can stash your arm warmers without getting off your bike, hold an extra water bottle, stash a cell phone, and even carry a collapsible rain jacket and some snacks. It’s like kangaroo pockets on your back! Note: I would not suggest stashing your children back there. If you hit a bump, Junior goes flying.
A zipper that zips easily and opens down almost to your belly button. Getting on a bike in the Fall can be an exercise in frustration. It’s cold when you start, but you warm up fast. Too many clothes and you’re miserable. Too few and you’re miserable. Layering REALLY helps as does a bike shirt with a deep, easy to open zipper. Sun peeks out, zipper comes down to cool you off. Now obviously in this case you are WEARING something under the bike shirt like a modest sports bra or a tank top. I go for the top because I don’t want to scare passing motorists.
Bright colors…yes I know. Some cyclists out there look like Ringling Bros met mardi gras and they got together and had a parade all over your shirt! But there is a reason for this! As cyclists we want to be visible. Not just, “Oh I think there’s something up ahead” visible but “Oh my LORD what IS that up there?” visible. The brighter the shirt the better. No muted natural tones for this cyclist. I want the loudest, brightest shirt in the world. Besides, it gives the non-cyclists joy to be able to mock you as they drive past in their cars. You can’t hear it but they’re doing it. Don’t let it bother you. Just smile and wave.
Go up a size as long as it doesn’t hang on you. In cold weather you might want to wear a layer under your bike shirt so you can have your pockets handy.

There are a few other things that I find really handy in our changeable weather. I live in the Pacific Northwest where I can be riding in sunny spring weather one day, and snow, hail, rain, fire and brimstone the next…all this in April. So it is important to be prepared. Now is the BEST time to pick this stuff up, too because it’s closeout sale times at places like REI and Performance Bike. So last year as Fall came upon us, I picked up the following:

Shoe covers: These babies fit over your bike shoes and have a hole in the bottom for your cleats. They keep your tootsies toasty when it gets cold, and are machine washable.
Sleeves: These are awesome! Neoprene or spandex “sleeves” that you wear almost like leg warmers on your arms! They also make them for legs, but I just wear cold weather running pants over my bike shorts on cold days.
Balaklava aka Gaiters: Wear it around your neck like a scarf, except it’s one piece so you don’t have the danger of the trailing end potentially getting caught on something. Pull it up over your face for cold mornings. They also make full head ones that I wear in early spring and late Fall that are wonderful. Keep my head warm and dry!
Helmet Cover: These go over your helmet and keep the rain and bees out. I’ve had a bee get stuck in the vents on my helmet before. Neither of us were amused. I actually picked mine up at a thrift store. It has Spiderman on it. Yes, I do get teased, but I sustain that it gives me Spidey Powers. It also reminds me not to take myself too seriously. I’m out here to have fun, not win the Tour.
Rain gear: These just fit right over your top and bottoms and completely keep the rain out. Remember above when I referred to rain, snow, hail, etc? That was one day in April this year when I was being all “green” and commuting to and from work. It snowed, then it rained, then the sun came out, and then the hail started, and finally it snowed again. I was never so glad to have my rain gear stuffed in my pack! I got home and while I was a bit chilled, I was completely dry thanks to my rain gear and my Spidey powers.
Bike gloves: It is inevitable. At some point, or at many points, we are going to take a tumble off our bikes. Just one set of road rash on the palms will convince you why you need good bike gloves. Padded gloves also are more comfortable on long rides, and help absorb “road noise” (those nasty vibrations when you’re riding over rough roads). Plus they protect your hands when you have to change a tire and give you a little more grip.

As I said, the best thing to do if you’re planning on getting more into cycling is to get out and watch for those end-of-season clearance sales. You can pick up quite a few essentials that way. Another option is always a thrift store. Often people will buy sporting goods thinking they’re going to become the next Lance Armstrong, only to decide that it isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be when they could put sparkly tassels on their handlebars and playing-cards in their spokes. They donate their practically new stuff to the local thrift shop, and the thrift shop sells it to you for a steal. I’ve picked up two pair of Pearl Izumi shorts WITH tags for $5 each, and recently found this psychedelic acid trip of a bike shirt for $10. Watch for Bike Expos in the Spring as well. I’ve always found that companies like SheBeest are at these events selling last year’s line for a steal.

Don’t forget non-brand name goods as well. REI has their own brand of biking clothing that generally sells for 25-30% cheaper than the other stuff, and is just as good. REI also holds two Garage Sales a year where they mark down a lot of their gear REALLY low. If you’re a member ($15 for a lifetime membership with yearly dividends paid back to you based on what you spend) you get advance warning and can pick up some AWESOME stuff.

When you look good, you feel good and there’s no reason NOT to look and feel good while cycling!

Evolution of the Football Jersey

For more than 130 years, football has been a leading American sport across the nation. Game days unite both players and fans together for one common goal: to win. As the stadium fills with screaming fans, it is easy to determine which fans are for or against the home team. Though the color schemes differentiate players and fans from the opposing teams, it’s also a reminder of how far jerseys have come over the years.

In the early 1870’s, football jerseys were nonexistent and there were no formal uniform regulations for the players. Rivals had no means of distinguishing themselves from each other and appropriate sportswear was not worn. However, by 1875, there was an increase in university football programs and the need for better distinction as well as creating school pride grew. Players then began dressing in sweaters with lace up vests over them, making it difficult to tackle the opposing team. By the 1890s, teams replaced the vests with cotton or wool sweaters, which allowed more color coordination. But unfortunately, the wool absorbed sweat and rain easily, making the clothing much heavier for the players to run in.

As time went on, the evolution of the jersey had changed. It had progressed from the vintage cotton material to polyester and nylon. These materials were great assets to the players’ uniforms because they reduced excess weight and allowed the players to be more flexible as the moved across the field.

By 1916, football jerseys were required by the NCAA to have a number on the back of the jersey. The rule then changed in 1937, requiring that all jerseys have a number on both the front and the back.

Today, new mesh and lycra materials have been added to the jersey’s progression. They offer light-weight comfort which removes heat and perspiration from the body, an important feature for the players during the games. So now not only do the players sport the jerseys but roaring fans do as well.

Though football has been considered a “man’s sport” for many years, women are now being incorporated into the game. While the stereotype has been that women wouldn’t care for the sport because of the violence, this assumption has been proven to be false. Women make up a large portion of the fan base these days and are just as excited about Sunday football as the men are. The only problem they face is the jersey. Replicated from the players’ uniforms, the jerseys are not tailored to fit a women’s body.

Fortunately, newer designs save time and money for young women because they will never again have to purchase an over-sized jersey to then cut it up. Pieces such as the Free Agent tube top jersey and Playmaker jersey truly exemplify a true niche to the market. The innovation in today’s designs incorporate fashion into sportswear, a rarity in today’s sports apparel market.

Tiffany Pearl runs a successful womens college apparel company in Orlando, Florida and she invites you to visit her website for more information on Womens Football Jerseys at Miss Fanatic.

Only through this eZine article Tiffany is offering a 10% discount on her line of Football Jersey Apparel by entering the code: 8675309 at the time of checkout

Breast Augmentation Benefits for Women

Breast augmentation has long been viewed as a luxury that women indulge in to satisfy themselves. The reality of it is that this is basically true. It may sound shallow but it is not actually shallow and there are deeper meanings to getting this procedure done. It is an aesthetic based operation that utilizes implants which are filled with either silicone or saline solution to give the sacs volume and form. The choice of filling is always up to the patient and based on the recommendation of the attending doctor. The plastic surgeon usually cites several reasons why he or she prefers one over the other to the patient but the final decisions is that of the patient. The plastic surgeon will also describe the procedure as well as the recovery period to the woman in order for her to understand what lies ahead and what she can expect from him and the other medical staff during the operation.

Benefits

The benefits of breast augmentation are usually dependent on why the woman has chosen to undergo the procedure and what she expects from it. For most patients, they expect to be fuller and shapelier in the chest compared to their current status. This in itself is one of the benefits that one can expect from the procedure. The shapelier and fuller form can be immensely satisfying for the patient and from this satisfaction stems the benefit. The happiness and contentment that one gets from being satisfied are manifestations of a person’s reaction to the procedure. This satisfaction will show in the physical, mental and emotional state of the individual after the recovery period. Another benefit that comes with breast augmentation is the wider choice of clothing options, which are open to women who have a full and shapely figure. A flat chest can be limiting especially in the fashion department since many ready to wear clothes target normal sized women who find clothes according to size as well as numbers. A wide array of options when it comes to clothes means more looks and appearances to experiment on and check to see which suits the individual. Many plastic surgeons base the recommendations for the size and form of the implant on the physical appearance of the patient. Some patients have small tops and large bottoms which means the chest may need to be brought up to a bigger size for the woman to appear more balanced and well proportioned. For those who are struggling with the annoyance of having a chest size disproportionate with the hips, breast augmentation can be a boon. Proportional appearance also plays a huge role when it comes to a woman who may have undergone a mastectomy. This operation removes one or both breasts in order to prevent or treat cancer. It can be emotionally and mentally beneficial to have the implants put into the area where the disease was removed.

These are just some of the benefits that a woman can get from breast augmentation.

Men Should Know the New Laws in Casual Dressing

Esquire magazine for men says that there are new laws in casual dressing that men should know about before they assemble their outfit. Here are a few of them:

Shirt

o When in doubt, always wear an oxford shirt colored white. But it’s also good to mix shirts sometimes. Windowpane and Pinstripe shirts are good too.
o Fitted shirts are good, snug ones are alright, but shirts fitted tightly are simply wrong.
o You can improve your appearance by tucking in your shirt and by standing up straight.
o Remember to always tuck in polo and dress shirts hanging below your hip. Don’t ever tuck in turtlenecks and sweatshirts. Everything in between is negotiable.
o The universal language in casual clothing is cotton. You can wear it anytime to fit in.
o Only professional athletes can pull off the casual wearing of sports jerseys.
o The most masculine thing that man can wear is a rugby shirt.

Denim

o Denim is at the center of all things casual. However, some things naturally look better with it compared to others. Here are some examples:
– Denim looks good all the time with cashmere sweater, navy-blue blazer, brown loafers, t-shirt, or cotton button-down.
– It looks good most of the time with white sneakers, cotton turtleneck, tweed jacket, black loafers, and crewneck sweatshirt.
– Sometimes it may look good with sports jersey, high-top sneakers, and hooded sweatshirt.
– It doesn’t look good at all with necktie, flip-plops, silk shirt, and waistcoat.
– It looks worse with opera cape, suspenders, and cufflinks.

o Eastern Europe makes the best stone, acid, or other artificial washes. The best way for you to break in this kind of jeans is to wear it often.
o A pair of jeans that cost $40 will fit you as well as the jeans that cost $200. It will just take you a little longer to find bargains such as these.
o Never wear two denims or more at the same time, and also make sure that one of them is not a vest.

Shoes

o The more pointy or shiny your shoes are, the less casual it gets.
o Some of the best sneakers are inspired by athletes.

More Options

Men should always have more options when it comes to casual dressing. Here are some of them:

o Daytime Barbecue
– Good – polo shirt, khaki chinos, and brown loafers
– Better – short-sleeved rugby shirt, blue or red chinos, white canvas sneakers
– Never – tank top, cargo shorts, flip-flops
o Summer Cocktail Party
– Good – crisp oxford button-down, cotton chinos, blue wool blazer
– Better – rumpled oxford button-down, linen trousers, seersucker blazer
– Never – bright madras blazer, shorts or jeans
o Bar Drinking
– Good – button-down shirt, light-blue jeans
– Better – long-sleeved rugby shirt, dark-blue jeans
– Never – sports jersey, sweatpants
o Holiday Party
– Good – crewneck sweater, corduroy pants
– Better – turtleneck, cardigan sweater, flannel trousers
– Never – any holiday costume

Finally, there are pieces of clothing you can dress up such as white sneakers, blue jeans, khaki sports, and polo shirts. On the other hand, there are other items that are not appropriate to dress up – these are flip-flops, track pants, and sports jerseys.

Women’s Clothing: Styles and Trends for Everyday Life

Year in and year out, women depend on fashion trends to help them decide which items they should keep in their wardrobes, which ones to give away and which ones to add to their collection. This is not an easy thing to do as there are some clothes meant for specific seasons. Therefore, it is important to choose those that can be worn anytime of the year, any day of the week.

Styles and Trends

Here are examples of styles and trends in women’s fashion designed for your everyday wear:

1. Floral wardrobe

There’s something about flowers that make women look and feel good. They’re like the perfect symbol for happiness, and everything sunny and bright.

A floral outfit is not only for the summer or spring season; it can also be worn on gloomy winter days. The colors will add life to an ordinary bleak day. Pairing off a wintry sweater with floral pants and a pair of sturdy boots is one good idea. A long floral skirt paired with any bright colored top and chic winter boots will be good for any woman’s daily grind, whether she stays inside the office the whole day or do some errands for the boss.

Florals are associated with spring, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be worn any day of the year. All it takes is a little imagination and some creative matching.

2. Short suits

A short suit is basically a tailored blazer paired with matching shorts. It’s classic, cool and comfortable. It can be worn anywhere, any day of the week. A pair of printed shorts can be worn with a solid blazer or one can choose to go with a plain silk top. Printed blazers and tops can be worn casually, over jeans, short skirts or plain trousers.

3. Lace

Whether it is the simple white lace or the more intricate colored and black ones, adding this to a woman’s everyday wardrobe will make a big (and important) difference. An ordinary blouse can become an extraordinary fashion affair once paired with a laced skirt. Add in plain tights and boots, and you have the perfect everyday look.

This fashion can be rocked in the office (paired off with a blazer for a more corporate look, or as is for a smart casual look), to dinners with friends or a special someone and even to the moviehouse or a concert.

4. Emerald Green

Anything that’s emerald green is fashionable, especially for redheads. The 2013 color of the year can be a stunning fashion accessory. An emerald green silk top, blazer or one-piece dress will definitely get heads turning – especially if paired with the right accessories (bags, jewelry, shoes).

Emerald green is also good for striped dresses, pants and women’s suits.

5. The Black Bootie

The black bootie can be worn any which way you want to:

• It can be paired with a black hooded jacket, Jersey t-shirt and a wool mini skirt. This cool look is perfect for everyday wear. If the weather’s too cold, the jacket will warm you. If it’s a little hot, simply remove the jacket and let your Jersey t-shirt do the fashion talk.

• As an everyday winter wear, the black bootie can be paired with a double breasted coat, sweater, tube scarf and leather mini skirt.

There are many more fashionable ways to wear the black bootie. It’s up to you what kind of look you want to create. You can go with leather pants, trousers, fur jackets or jeans. You can experiment with colors, too, as black is basically perfect for any shade.

These are just some examples of everyday styles and fashion for women. As fashion is ever changing, something new is bound to come out in a couple of months. Whether you decide to stick with these styles or go with the new, the outcome will depend on your confidence level and how you wear what you wear.

If you’re looking online for an everyday women’s clothing, try TrueToSizeApparel.com.

True to Size Apparel is one of the largest wholesale distributors of Port Authority Clothing, selling work clothes to corporations, uniforms to schools and to men & women who know and buy the brand for themselves for over ten years. Port Authority Clothing is the largest brand of apparel sold by embroidery & screen printing companies in the United States.

The True to Size Apparel website is where to buy blank clothing online at a discount price, and it includes contact information and Port Authority Clothing sizes charts. The amazing benefit about selecting Port Authority clothes to uniform your business is the wide range of sizing, plus sizes up to 10XL and the colors! Some of the Port Authority Clothing styles have up to 45 colors, which is expensive, convenient & amazing.

Anne Hathaway is Hollywood’s New ‘It-Girl’

That’s how English romance novelist Elinor Glyn defined the term “it-girl,” a phrase that entered the public imagination with the 1972 film It based on one of her novels and starring the original it-girl, Clara Bow.

Hollywood is perpetually on the hunt for this elusive quality, this blend of sexuality and innocence, of materialistic chutzpah and good valises, of swagger and sincerity that tend to sell tickets. As the Cameron Diazes, Drew Barrymores and Gwyneth Paltrows age out of group that includes Amy Adams, Michelle Williams, scarlet Johansson and Keira Knightlely, contenders to the crown that for years belonged to Jula Roberts, perhaps the last female movies star who everyone agrees actually guaranteed attendance in the theaters.

At the moment much of Hollywood is chattering about pretty Anne Hathaway, another dark-eyed, dark-haired beauty, who was plucked out of relative obscurity by Roberts’ own star-maker, Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall. Disney was explicitly looking for the next Audrey Hepburn when Marshall cast this New Jersey-raised actress, with one short-lived TV series to her credit, as the lead in the 2001 hit franchise, The Princess Diaries.

Seven years later, the 26-year-old Hathaway has finally been transformed into the it-girl of the moment, with a string of commercial hits to her name, and heat fueled by her unexpected but thoroughly wrenching performance as an addict on furlough from rehab for her sister’s wedding in Rachel Getting Married. Already, Hathaway is getting Oscar buzz.

And she’s getting the sympathy vote. Ironically enough, there’s often nothing that endears a star to her audience more than love’s travails ,a bad boyfriend or two.

Hathaway’s Italian boyfriend of four years, Raffaello Follieri, has recently been sentenced to prison for 54 months for fraud. The double whammy of on-screen and off-screen despair has curious despair has curiously combined to give Hathaway heft and maturity, making her more than just another pretty face.

Hathaway also has deftly managed the media circus Although it-girls inevitably magnetize attention, it’s not every starlet who’s forced to explain herself to such august pop culture pashas as David Letterman, who recently grilled Hathaway about her personal life.

Dressed demurely in black, Hathaway tried joking, “As far as relationships crashing and burning, I did pretty great. Scorch that earth.” But being Letterman, he wouldn’t desist, asking her questions such as, “Was there ever stuff missing out of your purse?” She mostly laughed, except for when she hid her face in her hands, literally trying to shield herself from his comic barrage.

Vanity Fair offered up a pretty good vivisection of her jet-set love affair with Follieri, and it “made her more interesting,” notes one top talent agent. “There is something about the poor girl, the ones that can never find the right love interest. It’s part of the type, if you look back through history.”

Indeed, although film historian Janine Basinger recoils at the thought that audiences enjoy seeing their cinematic icons suffer, she does note that a little glimpse of real vulnerability can burnish a star’s allure. “There is some thinking that it makes all the women identify with her.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a bad boyfriend. One the appeals for a female star is sense of vulnerability or being human, of not being greater than the rest of us, of not being detached from us because they’re more beautiful or have better clothes. Historically, we like women stars like June Allyson who seem human.

“Our stars don’t have to be perfect. They just have t be imperfect in a way we can tolerate, and that’s unpredictable and related to how we see them on-screen.”

Of course, Hollywood also appreciates Hathaway’s growing box-of-fice clout. Insiders per her price per movie between $5 milllion and $10 million, and Hathaway’s seeming imperfections dovetail nicely with what has become her commercial niche, the girl-power comedy. Streep (or Miley Cyrus or any of the tween stars) — have risen to glory with a devoted female fan base.

For yound women, the greater fantasy is not finding a man but finding yourself, becoming the person you were destined to be. (That’s the real theme of Titanic, perhaps the biggest chick flick of all time.)

Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler. Recalls Hathaway pitching herself for the The Devil Wears Parada, which, at that very early stage in the game, didn’t hve Streep attached to play the viperous fashion magazine editor.

She was absolutely committed to getting the role. She gave us script notes on the third act, sys Gabler. “Annie was feeling that her character would walk away (from her assistant’s life). She is in Paris, and has a changed perspective on life.” The studio wound up using a version of this idea in the film, and ultimately cast Hathaway in the part.

More comedies are coming down the pike starring Hathaway, including Bride Wars, a female version of the burgeoning bromance genre, about best friends (Hathaway and Kate Hudson) who inadvertently turn into battling bridezillas; The Fiance, about a woman who want to dump her fiancé much to her parents’ chagrin; and a sports comedy in the vien of Broadcast News featuring Hathaway as an aspiring and definitively spunky sportscaster.

French Bead Flower Making – A Vintage Craft Is New Again

How do people use Bead Flowers?

Bead flowers can be used in every way you use silk or fresh flowers. The only difference is that it will be many, many years before bead flowers deteriorate. Therefore, they make ideal inserts in bridal bouquets, bridal headdresses, hair barrettes, pins, napkin rings, corsages, “potted” plants, 3D pictures and wall hangings.

A few notable people who owned and treasured examples of this fine art were Marie Antoinette, Madame Pompadour, Napoleon’s Josephine, Princess Grace, Princess Caroline, Patricia Nixon and William Randolph Hearst.

Bead flowers can be made out of many kinds and styles of beads, and beads can have a wide variety of finishes. The most common type of bead used is a seed bead, gauge 10 or 11, and used on wire of 24 or 26 gauge. I have seen very tiny flowers made with gauge 15 seed beads. The edges of the beads can be squared off or rounded, depending on the artist’s taste. Japanese beads are of very high quality and are very uniform. If you make bead jewelry, you may have used Toho or Miyuki beads in your jewelry and other projects. One-, two- or three-cut beads add sparkle, and trumpet beads and rhinestone centers can be used as an accent. Beads can be matte or pearly, colorlined or unlined, opaque or transparent, and the list goes on. Beads can be bought on hanks, or loose in bags and tubes.

As strange as it may seem, weather can have an effect on the availability of beads. Because of weather conditions in many parts of the world, certain colors of beads can be made only at certain times of the year. About six years ago, the fashion industry bought up all the available pink beads, and jewelrymakers and flower beaders had to use other colors until the climatic conditions changed again, production of pink beads could resume, and the supply could catch up with the demand.

History of Bead Flowers

The art of making flowers out of beads is many centuries old. Although there is very little documentation on the development of this art, research has shown that the first primitive bead flowers may have been made as early as the 1300’s in Germany, when steel needles and wire were developed.

In the ensuing years as the craft spread across Europe, different methods were developed: the Victorian method, also known as the English or Russian method, and the French method. The main difference is that in the Victorian method, which is similar to modern bead jewelry-making techniques, the thread or wire passes through each bead twice or more, and the wire passes from row to row on the sides of the piece; in the French method, the wire passes through each bead only once, and passes from row to row in the center or on the bottom of the individual piece.

One of the reasons that flowers are associated with churches has to do with beads. In the thirteenth century a form of prayer using a string of beads was instituted by St. Dominic. The string, called a rosary, consisted at that time of 15 units of beads. Each unit contained 10 small beads, preceded by one larger one. A prayer was recited at every bead. The word “bede” (sp) is Middle English for “prayer.” Because of the length of the original rosary, it became customary to pay someone, usually a resident of an almshouse, to recite the prayers. These people were referred to as bede women or men, and it was they who made the first bead flowers. The craft was handed down through the centuries and came to be associated with the church and its decorations.

The French used bead flowers as funeral wreaths. These wreaths were called “Immortelles,” and ranged from 3 feet to 4 feet in height. They would be left at the grave of the deceased. Since they were made on metal wire and were exposed to the weather, most of these items were destroyed within a year, but a few examples remain today. Occasionally you will see one on Ebay. Once an Immortelle disintegrated, leaving only a pile of beads, the beads would often be recycled into other projects. Not only are there bead flowers mounted on the frame of the Immortelle, but the frame wires are wrapped in beaded wire as well. Wires strung with beads might have been coiled or braided as well before wrapping onto the piece. The whole surface of the Immortelle would be wrapped over with wire strung with thousands and thousands of beads.

In Venice in the 16th century, middle class and poor women made bead flowers for churches, banquet tables and parade floats. At that time, someone could walk down the streets of Venice and see women sitting outside every door, making ornaments out of wire and tiny glass beads. At one time Venice was a center for the actual production of beads. According to one source, at one point all the beadmaking activity in Venice was moved onto the island of Murano. Murano glass vases and other items are still treasured today.

Around the Napoleonic era (1768-1821), Italian and French peasants who tended the vineyards in the summer were recruited to work with beads in the winter. They would be assigned to embroider the ball gowns and jackets of the court nobility with beads. Imperfect beads or beads that would not fit over the needle were saved and made into flowers. These imperfect beads may have been strung onto wire for the flowers with horsehair or human hair. These flowers were used to decorate church altars, and were carried by altar boys for Easter and Christmas.

In Victorian times, royal European brides often wore wreaths or circlets of bead flowers and carried bead bouquets on their wedding day. The custom was for the bride to abandon the fancy hair styles of the time, and wear her hair simply, straight down her back, and adorn her head with a floral wreath. If she were getting married at a time of the year when fresh flowers were unavailable, bead flowers were an excellent solution.

Wreaths

In response to the 9/11 tragedy, many flower beaders from around the world collaborated to make a modern-style funeral wreath for each of the three crash sites. These wreaths are now in the Pentagon, the Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the New York Wreath was temporarily placed in the Wheaton Museum of American Glass in Morganville, New Jersey. Recently the New York Wreath was moved to a permanent display case in a board room at the World Trade Center Museum Foundation Headquarters. The Pentagon wreath is in a large, glass wall-mounted case in a new hallway in the Pentagon. This hallway leads to a chapel commemorating those who died on 9/11.

Swarovski Project

Several years ago, when the Swarovski Crystal company was first making their line of crystal beads, they commissioned several bead flower artists to design and create the first Swarovski crystal bead flowers. The beaders adapted existing patterns and wrote new patterns to accommodate these new, larger beads. A sparkling garden of flowers was the result. This collection of flowers toured the world, and is now back at the main offices of the Swarovski company in Austria.

History of Bead Flowers in America

In 1865, Godey’s Ladies Book published a flower pattern that suggests the flowers could be used as decorations for hair and clothing.

The Dritz Traum Company released the earliest U.S. pattern, in 1928. It was titled “Hiawatha New Imported Crystal Bead Models.” You may recognize the Dritz name, since they still produce needles and other items.

By 1957, Samuel Wallach of the Walbead company was packaging and selling kits, “Bead a Bouquet,” which included a wide variety of beaded flower instructions.

In 1965, Aleene, of Temple City, California, released what was possibly the first U.S. book of patterns, simply titled “Bead Flowers.”

The art of bead flower making was popular in the U.S. in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s. Years 1966 through 1983 brought us a flurry of publications. These books are now considered the “bibles” of the French beader. The noted authors of these books include the highly respected Virginia Nathanson, Bobbe Anderson, Samuel Wallach, Helen Leibman, Ruth Wasley/Edith Harris and Virginia Osterland. Although these books sometimes appear in garage sales, collectors are willing to pay well in excess of $100.00 each, when they can be found.

Virginia Nathanson was a Vaudeville performer in her youth. Later on, she saw a bead flower arrangement in a department store in New York City. She wanted to discover the secret of these everlasting flowers, so she bought the arrangement, took it home, and took each flower completely apart. By this rather drastic forensic method, she learned the four basic techniques of French bead flower making.

Mrs. Nathanson’s first book, “The Art of Making Bead Flowers and Bouquets,” is now in reprint in softcover. The instructions in this book are very clear, and this is an excellent book for the beginner.

In the late 60’s and early 70’s, most of the seed beads sold in America were imported from Czechoslovakia. With the last phase of the Cold War, around the late 1980’s, Czech beads were difficult to find, and popularity for the craft diminished.

In 1991 Helen McCall produced a book dedicated entirely to miniatures, and in 1995, Leisure Arts produced a few patterns, in an ornament book. Still, the art seemed to be fading away, in the United States.

Then, the late 1990’s saw a dramatic interest in beaded flowers around the world. Books were published in Japanese, French, Italian, Russian, German, and Dutch. Although some of the styles “cross over,” most of these books use the Victorian technique.

In the last several years, Mario Rivoli bought up many vintage bead flowers and spray-painted them to create astonishing effects on the flowers. These beads are often seen in shops in New York City, and in magazines and on the Internet.

With the start of the new millennium, the United States has shown a renewed interest in French beaded flowers. Magazines are describing the art as “what’s hot” and French-style pattern books are once again appearing.

Quality beads are now available from many sources. The Internet is making the books and materials available to all beaders, regardless of their location. Many of the books are available from Amazon, and wire, beads and other supplies can be found online at very reasonable prices.

The art of bead flower-making is very old, but is new all over again!

Information About New York If You Are Visiting on a Holiday

Paris has style. Milan has fashion. London has edge. But a visit to New York will make it abundantly clear why this city is considered to be the true centre of the world.

Getting to NY by air is easy, using any of the three airports servicing it. John F Kennedy Airport, located in Queens, (20-30 minute drive from Manhattan) handles mainly international flights; La Guardia Airport, also in Queens, handles mainly domestic flights; and Newark Airport, just outside of New York in New Jersey, about a 30-40 minute drive, offers far more modern facilities than the other two.

Flights from Europe can range from as little as a few hundred USD’s to over a thousand at peak periods. Pricing obviously depends on availability, seasonality, oil prices, location, airline, flight preferences and time of booking. Being five hours behind GMT and six hours behind Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, one can definitely expect to be up and about at five or six in the morning on your first few days in the city.

But the truth is that being awake at five in the morning in New York City is no hardship at all as it truly lives up to its title, ‘the city that never sleeps’. New York offers an overwhelming abundance of activities, sights, sounds, and even smells that will meet every possible taste out there.

For history buffs, a stroll through the 5 boroughs will take you through New York both old and new. Along the way you will find historic landmarks such as the UN buildings, Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue and the spot where John Lennon was shot at, right across from Central Park. Harlem and Queens will introduce you to the life of everyday New Yorkers. The Bronx is a fantastically revealing part of modern America riddled with the complexity of race and class issues.

Music fans will be able to enjoy the most lively and dynamic scene with live venues all across SoHo, the Village and Williamsburgh in Brooklyn. Art fans can enjoy hours upon hours strolling through Manhattan galleries or losing themselves in one of the city’s art museums such as the Guggenheim or the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). If it is science and nature that excite you, the NY Natural History Museum is hailed as the biggest in the world, with both permanent and temporary exhibitions to choose from.

Shopping is an obvious attraction, and whether it is haute couture or the bargains of the century, New York will satisfy your sartorial needs. For bohemian, indie and trendy styles, Greenwich Village and Chelsea will offer a wide range of shops. For high street brands the main 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Avenues are your destination. Department stores meet exclusive designers and every corner seems to have a Gap, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel or Abercombie & Fitch store on it.

NY offers plenty of action for the sports fanatic too. With two baseball teams, a men’s and women’s basketball team, a hockey team, two American football teams and even a European football team (soccer in the US), there is always a game to catch. If you would rather play, a public court or park is almost always within walking distance. Just beware of game hustlers that will spot a sure betting opportunity from a mile away in a New York minute.

And when all else fails, or if you just feel like getting away from it all and avoiding the crowds, Central Park offers the perfect escape from the busy city streets. One of the most famous public open spaces in the world, Central Park offers an abundance of quiet spots, natural oases, a dog-walking heaven, cycle paths, running routes and most importantly, a green haven from the concrete jungle that is the city.

Over the past 10-15 years NY has gone through a fantastic transformation. The city has cleaned up its act and when it comes to wandering around sightseeing, almost all areas are now perfectly safe, with the South Bronx being the only notable exception. The subway system is clean and effective; the people are fantastically friendly and inviting. Simple common sense and heeding some sound advice is all you need to have a great time in this metropolitan centre of the world.