The word 'Art' is most commonly associated with pieces of work in a gallery or museum, whether it’s a painting from the Renaissance or a modern sculpture. However, there is so much more to art than what you see displayed in galleries.

The truth is, without being aware of it, we are surrounded by art and use it on a continual basis. Most people don’t realize how much of a role art plays in our lives and just how much we rely on art in all of its forms in our everyday lives.

The Joy of Art

You may be wondering why all of these things are so important to our daily lives and that you could probably survive just fine with essential items that were non-artistic. That is just the reason why art is so valuable! While art may not be vital to fulfill our basic needs, it does make life joyful. When you look at a painting or poster you’ve chosen to hang on your living room wall, you feel happy. The sculpture or figurines on the kitchen windowsill create a sense of joy. These varieties of art forms that we are surrounded by all come together to create the atmosphere that we want to live in.

Art and Music

The importance of art in our daily lives is very similar to that of music. Just like art, music can make life extremely joyful and can have a huge effect on our mood. In the workplace in particular, music is something that can help people set the mood for what they are about to do. If you have something hard or difficult to work on or are feeling tired, an energetic song will likely wake you up and add some enthusiasm to the situation. Similarly, when stress is high, many people find that relaxing to calming music is something that eases the mind.

Inspirational Art

Inspirational art, such as posters are often found in work spaces to encourage employees to continue being productive. There is now an increasing amount of companies using art in their offices, as well as playing background music, as it is proven to actually work in making end results far better quality. There may be a piece of art that you own that you personally find motivational. Perhaps a print with a positive affirmation or quote beautifully scrolled on it or a painting of a picturesque scene of where you aim to travel to one day.

SOME REASONS WHY ORIGINAL ART IN THE HOME IS AS IMPORTANT AS A BED

1. Creates Mood
2. Adds Personal Character to the Home
3. Makes Memories
4. Provides a Colour Palette
5. Makes a Room Feel Finished
6. Inspires and Fosters Creativity
7. Conversation Starter
8. Supports Artists
9. It is an Investment
10. Creates a Livable Environment
11. Keeps the Brain Active
12. Relaxation
13. Curating Your Own Gallery is Fun!

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Christmas Ham with Marmalade Glaze

We’d like to inspire you to start your own Christmas tradition this year and encourage you to volunteer to do the ham. This is a seriously easy, straightforward, no fuss recipe and the result is absolutely delicious. In fact it’s so delicious you may find yourself doing the ham for many Christmas’ to come.

Choose your Ham Carefully

OK – so other than loving the taste of Christmas ham, I need to be up front & admit that I am no expert in the origins and technical differences between various brands of ham. However, what I can tell you is that the one we get from our local butcher at our local shop is amazing. So go make friends with your local butcher; ask them about their hams, and find out what size will be best for your crew. Then you can order with confidence. Your local butcher will also be able to tell you how long your ham will need in the oven based on its size.

Ingredients for the Ham Glaze

Once you’ve selected your ham, you will need to get a few ingredients for glazing it. These aren’t complicated or hard to find, but together they are going to make your ham taste amazing.

So here’s what you’ll need to buy ahead of Christmas morning:

• Jar of Dijon Mustard...


Christmas Ham with Marmalade Glaze

We’d like to inspire you to start your own Christmas tradition this year and encourage you to volunteer to do the ham. This is a seriously easy, straightforward, no fuss recipe and the result is absolutely delicious. In fact it’s so delicious you may find yourself doing the ham for many Christmas’ to come.

Choose your Ham Carefully

OK – so other than loving the taste of Christmas ham, I need to be up front & admit that I am no expert in the origins and technical differences between various brands of ham. However, what I can tell you is that the one we get from our local butcher at our local shop is amazing. So go make friends with your local butcher; ask them about their hams, and find out what size will be best for your crew. Then you can order with confidence. Your local butcher will also be able to tell you how long your ham will need in the oven based on its size.

Ingredients for the Ham Glaze

Once you’ve selected your ham, you will need to get a few ingredients for glazing it. These aren’t complicated or hard to find, but together they are going to make your ham taste amazing.

So here’s what you’ll need to buy ahead of Christmas morning:

• Jar of Dijon Mustard (200g)

• Brown Sugar

• Bag of whole cloves from the Spice Section

• Jar of Marmalade (I really like Rose’s Lime Marmalade but anything works – orange, cumquat, or a combination)

When you get home with the ham just make sure you have a baking tray and platter that fits your ham easily.

Plan for Christmas Day

The key thing is to give yourself time – this isn’t something you can rush. So give yourself plenty of time – generally it’s best to start preparing at least 3 hours before you want.

STEP ONE – Prepare your Ham

OK – I’m assuming you’ve never done this before. Don’t feel intimidated. Our aim is to peel off the thick, tough outer layer while leaving as much of the fat layer on the ham as you can. Seriously, this is Christmas Day, so don’t try going fat free!

To do this - use a sharp knife to cut around the hock (the bit where the leg would have been…). Then using your fingers and thumb separate the skin from the ham leaving a layer of fat. The hock should still be covered in the thick skin. Throw the skin that you’ve peeled off away.

Then using your sharp knife again score the fat layer of the ham in diamond shapes. Really important – keep your cuts shallow – if you cut too deeply the fat will peel away as it cooks.

The next thing to do is to push a clove into the centre of each diamond. Its decorative and adds a hint of flavor.

Pop the ham into your baking tray (preferably sitting on a wire rack) and then put some water in the bottom of the tray to keep it moist.

Now’s a good time to get your oven preheating – set it to 150 Degrees C.

STEP TWO - Make the Glaze

Now you are up to the glazing. Mix together in a bowl:

• ½ cup of marmalade

• 200g Dijon Mustard

• 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar

Then smear the glaze over the whole ham. Don’t worry if you have some left over – you’ll use this for basting as it cooks.

STEP THREE - Bake the Ham

Bake your ham at 150 deg C for about 1.5 hours (this is right for about an 8kg ham). I add more glaze about every 40 minutes or so.

Glaze it one final time & then turn your oven up to 180 degrees C for the last 30 minutes or so, but watch the ham closely – you don’t want it to burn after all your hard work.

And there you have it – the start of your very own Christmas tradition a super tasty Christmas ham that’s really easy to prep. Enjoy & Merry Christmas.


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Image credit: https://www.lifestyle.com.au/content/donna-hay-christmas-glazed-ham.jpp


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How to Arrange Art

  • "People have a tendency to hang art too high," says Linda Crisolo, Art.com director of merchandising. "The center of the image should be at eye level." In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be lower. A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.
  • A common problem when hanging artwork above a sofa or sideboard is that it's not in scale. Having pieces that are too small or too large will make the whole arrangement look strange. "Make sure artwork is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or sideboard," Crisolo says. "For example, a 9-foot-long sofa should have a 6-foot-wide expanse of art above it."
  • In the bedroom, choose personal art, such as family photographs or your own photography. If you're arranging the pieces in groupings, Crisolo recommends sticking with one color theme, either all black-and-white or all color photographs.
  • "Above a mantel or fireplace is the perfect place to layer pieces," Crisolo says. "A house looks like a home when you can see layers of artwork and accessories."
  • In the kitchen, hang art in a place where it won't get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art above an office space, near the dining table, or above open counter space. Crisolo also recommends avoiding kitchen art in the kitchen. "I tend to shy away from pictures of asparagus in the kitchen," she says. "Vintage art with traditional frames works in a traditional kitchen. In a modern kitchen, try bright colors with stainless-steel frames."
  • A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. All-white frames and mats unify this grouping. "I like to use the same frames to create homogeny," says Crisolo.
  • When deciding where to hang images in your home, consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room. "Use small pieces between windows and doors," Crisolo says. "If small items are in a space too large, the pieces look lost. With larger pieces, allow room for people to step back and admire the work."
  • Artwork collaborates with other accessories and decor to create a visual story. Make sure images, moldings, and shelves all work together. "Hang artwork in front of a bookcase, on the face of the shelf," Crisolo says. "The shelves and ledges become part of a decorating story."
  • Make sure your arrangement matches your decorating style. "Symmetrical arrangements are more traditional or formal. Asymmetrical is modern," Crisolo says. "Also look at the image and style of the frame. For cottage-style rooms, stick with vintage images or botanicals. In modern rooms, choose large and abstract pieces."