Candle Producing Strategies To Get Started With

Before beginning the candle making procedure, the materials required are first well prepared. This can be accomplished simply by laying out all supplies in your work place and also checking to make sure you have all the required supplies for your specific candle. Once finished with the preparation the wax is melted employing a double burner.

This is among the most secure ways of melting wax. When wax is put on direct heat it might fire up or get burned.

The wax is put in a pot that is put into another pot containing water. It is heated using a stove as well as the water is brought to boil.

The wax is then dissolved with the boiling water’s warmth. When the wax has evenly dissolved, the mold is prepared as well as the wick is put in its proper position within the mold. The polish is then very carefully poured in the mold.

For simple removal of the wax, a non-stick cooking spray may be applied to the mold prior to pouring the wax. The wax is then put aside to cool down. Normal cool time will be overnight, but to assist speed up the chilling operation you can put the candle right into a freezer.

For safety precautions, prevent putting the candles in areas that could be reached by children.

When you build your own candles you can decide what kind and layout you want your candle to become. You can also use diverse dyes as well as decorations to create your creation better.

Also there are molds that can be used in which produce great shapes and forms, such as liquid latex, they are economical, versatile and peel easily. You may also duplicate forms and shapes which you like with this type of mold.

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Discovering how to make your personal candles could be a very rewarding experience. It could help develop your creativeness and sense of art. Candle making broadens the creativeness enabling candle makers to experiment and explore something totally new that will enhance their candles.

Once you know how to make your own candles, you could make them in to gifts, home styles and souvenir products. You may give your creations as presents during special events, or turn them into a business. In this manner you’ll get the pleasure and satisfaction of the candle making procedure while you generate items that are worthwhile.

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Getting Started With Night Photography

Taking a photo is not as easy as focusing on the subject and then clicking the camera. It takes quite a lot to be adept at this craft. Building the right skills often need lessons and instinct. We strongly recommend that amateur photographers take the right lessons and practice accordingly in order to be well versed in photography basics.

Amateur photographers, as well as some of the experienced ones, have difficulty with night photography, and with good reason – they are dealing with shadows and the difficulty in finding the subject in the darkness of the night. Below are some tips that any amateur photographer can use to master night photography.

Shoot Safely

The shooting process would always start with the photographer looking for the best possible location to start shooting. Remember that if you are going to do the shoot, you will have valuable equipment with you. Many locations, particularly inner city locations can be very dangerous in the evening. Never underestimate your safety and that of your equipment. You will benefit from having one or two people with you, due to the fact that you need to shoot in the evening, and not in the daytime with artificial lighting.

Bring Spare Batteries

Another reminder is that batteries often run out easily in cold conditions, so it is best to carry an extra or if you have none, try to fully charge your batteries before going out of the house and proceeding with the shoot. Night time weather can also lead to moisture seeping inside your camera, so a durable case for your camera can also come in handy.

Additional Equipment To Bring

Cameras with manual exposure settings, such as SLR (single lens reflex) cameras are ideal to bring along during the night time for your photo shoot. It is not advisable to use an automatic camera – more often than not, they lack the required specifications and power to work well in the darkness. A tripod, particularly one with a rubber leg, can be brought along to avoid slippage. And since you will need to leave the shutter speed open, bring a cable release with you as well.

Dealing With Longer Exposures

When taking black and white photos in the evening, take note that longer exposures are needed, as opposed to ordinary lighting. If you’re using color film, you don’t need to worry about this obstacle.

Use Of Flash

“Painting with light” is a technique used by many photographers, by using hand-held flashes to supplement the moon’s often meager light giving for photography. Other more sophisticated ones may also use movie lights and torches as additional lights.

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Why the Addi Turbo Is My Favorite Knitting Needle

When starting a new project, I always make sure that my needles are of good quality. This is because I really treasure the process of knitting, and want to enjoy it as much as I enjoy the product of my work. Working in a local yarn store has really opened my eyes to what a difference your knitting needles can make in your whole experience. Knitting with my favorite needles, the Addi Turbo needles, always makes my projects more enjoyable.

Material type is the most important element of a knitting needle. My favorites are metal, brass, and nickel, as they are the most comfortable in the hands and slide the yarn well from one needle to the other. While I find them a little clunky, bamboo needles can be great for beginners as it minimizes the number of dropped stitches because it holds onto the yarn very well. The Addi Turbo needles are made from nickel and brass, and really accellerate my knitting.

I would not recommend certain materials in knitting needles, like plastic and aluminum. Acrylic needles and plastic needles feel too light and overly pliable for knitting. Aluminum needles feel like they’re scraping against each other while you’re knitting.

Something I do recommend is knitting all your projects on circulars. My co-workers make all of their projects on circular needles. You will find that you have more control than you do knitting with straight needles. Your projects will have more room on the long cord than they do on straights.

Because of this, I recommend using an interchangeable needle set. These sets come with needles of many different sizes and different lengths of cord. Choose the needle size you want, and then twist it into the correct cord size for your project. Addi carries a three sets of interchangeable needles called Addi Clicks. You can get Clicks in the the traditional Addi Turbo needle, lace needles (made completely from brass), and bamboo. You never have to go and find a needle size again when you have a set. It also makes finding your gauge that much easier.

In circular needles, the quality of the cord is very important. The join where the needle meets the cord should be very smooth, so the yarn doesn’t “catch.” Cord pliability is also important. In a set, the cord and the needle should always stay fully locked and never twist.

If you need to find the right needle size for a project, consult your pattern. Needle size is usually found in the “Materials” section of your pattern, at the beginning of the page. Look at the tag on your ball of yarn if you’re not knitting from a pattern for a general size to use.

Try as many types of needles as possible! You may agree with me that metal, nickel, and brass is the way to go, or you may prefer something entirely different. Whatever your preference, Addi comes in many different materials, so there will always be a product for you.. The important thing is to always enjoy the process of knitting, so you treasure the product even more!

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Choosing The Right Piano

Buying a piano for yourself is a great way for anyone to improve their performance skills. Pianos can cost a whole lot of money, so before you go out and buy, make sure you’ve gone through all the options and chosen a piano that fits all your needs. It’s essential that you are one hundred percent decided, because these costly investments can backfire if you don’t choose the right model.

Is your piano too large, or just the right size to fit in your living room or music room? A grand piano, for instance, would be perfect for larger music rooms and living rooms, while you may have to go with an upright piano for smaller rooms. Obviously there are expensive and less expensive in both categories, but it is crucial firstly to understand your requirements to refine your search.

After you’ve decided between upright and grand classifications according to your space, you should begin to look at the models themselves. You should ideally opt for a piano with a full sized keyboard, so disregard anything of a small size unless this seems more appropriate for some other reason. Next, look for a piano that is towards the top end of your budget. This will give you some assurances as to the expected quality of the piano, and should allow you to gauge which seem more reliable models.

You will then want to ask the dealer if you can test the piano for yourself. Ask the music dealer if he’d allow you to play. This should let you get a feel for the way the piano sits, and to see how it feels in comparison to your playing style. There is no more important feature to consider when buying a piano than how it feels for you. After all, you’re the one going to be playing it at the end of the day.

If you need any help in further sorting out your options, you can ask the music assistant for help. Usually, their advice will be sufficient to point you in the right direction and lead you to a quality model. Always remember the assistant’s advice, though don’t commit into buying unless you’re 100% sure. Shop around, and ask at various places about what kind of piano you should be looking for in your price range and specification, and you’ll eventually establish a common denominator. Do your homework before you buy, to make sure you find the best value for your money.

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Finding The Artist In You

Are you a firm believer in the beauty of your art? Then you probably are. Discard negativity. What you create is what defines you. So if you have the soul of an artist within you, it’s important to feed that gift and make art. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece sold for thousands at a gallery. Paper and pencil are simple components of beginning a piece of art.

Career may not always be a choice for artists, it may be a hobby of choice. If making art has not been a regular part of your life so far, here are some ideas to kick your creative juices into high gear and make you the artist that you know you are.


Part of the creative process is getting your ideas down on paper. Sketchbooks are a popular item among many great artists. Don’t be afraid to jot down ideas, scribbles, thoughts, and images whenever the mood strikes. Carefully analyze drawings of the past and include new designs that can bring it to life.

Carrying a sketchbook is a habit to form today. A medium sized book that may fit in a small bag, but is big enough for art is idea. Include a quality tool to sketch with on your paper. Art Journalism

Putting your imagination on paper, no matter how, is known as art journalism. You can make your own art journal by sewing together sheets of paper or you can select a store-bought book. Find what is right for you.

Mixed media collages are a way to create an art journal. Use paper or a whole book to create a collage. Pages should be coated with water-base paint that is colorful. Choose a few colors to blend. Let the paint dry. Using a glue stick, glue a collage of images that you have cut or torn from magazines, old photos, postcards, junk mail or any other item you can find. Once the collage is down, you can add more images or words using paint and ink. Air drying and heat drying items only make a difference in the time it takes to dry the item.

Decorative Sketches

Randomly drawing doodles on a paper is creating art. Doodling is about making a simple design and then decorating it. An artist can strategize their doodling by incorporating intricate designs in a pattern of shapes or designs around a word or name. Build your concept on an item with little significance. Using a pen, close in open spaces. When you are done, you will find that you have created something that is interesting to look at.

Save anything you create, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. Loose items should be put in the same place as all your other art. Put references on your art work such as notes and the date and other things that helped you compose this piece of art. Be proud of all your work.

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Be A Better Photographer With The Right Lenses

For most photographers the most important factor in their photography is the sharp quality of their images. In order to reach these high standards, it’s important to use the right lenses for the right occasion. These are the different types of lenses used by photographers, and how they work and when you would normally need to use them.

By far the most common lens used is the standard lens. A standard lens has a focal length between 40 mm and 60 mm, which can be used for all types of photography. These lenses are very flexible – so don’t leave home without leaving your standard lens on the camera body.

Telephoto zoom lenses are ideal for nature photographers, as this is perfect for taking wildlife pictures. A telephoto zoom lens has a 60 mm to 300 mm focal length, and is ideal not only for wildlife photography, but also for sports photography. The telephoto lens is able to capture both objects at far away distances, as well as landscape images.

You can use this lens for close-ups, but be careful with your composition. Your picture could suffer from blank patches where areas of the actual image should have been.

Never forget to use a tripod when using a telephoto lens on your camera. Resting the lens on objects such as bean bags would have similar effects if you don’t have a tripod.

Wide-angle lens: is the choice of most landscape photographers. The focal length of these lenses is 17mm to 40mm, and they would allow the user to take up as much space horizontally as needed for a landscape shot. You would need to move closer to the object which you wish to make your foreground if you’re using a particularly wide lens. There are also ultra wide-angle lenses which have a focal length ranging from 8 to 28 mm.

Macro lenses average 100mm focal length and are best suited for extreme close-up photographs. Use a macro lens if you’re a nature photographer taking pictures of small animals like insects, as well as flowers. You can also make abstract images with the help of a macro lens. Create abstract figures with your photography by using an aperture – a wide one, preferably – with your macro lens.

Be careful with focusing when using a macro lens, it is tough on a good day and can be impossible if the weather is windy.

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The Beauty Of Crochet

Many people, when hearing the word crochet, instantly conjure the image of an elderly woman sitting in a chair, crochet hook held firmly in arthritic fingers as she concocts another table doily. Some older women truly seem to have a special gift when it comes to crochet, and that’s probably due to the fact that it was a skill sent down for generations. Even if the art of crochet is now rarely passed along in families any more, it is a beautiful, peaceful activity.

Today, it is common to find simple crochet patterns added to designs. From home decor to today’s fashion, the addition of simple crochet – either as the complete design or as a supplemental touch – can make an item truly unique. Tablecloths and dresses are only some of the items that can be improved by simple crochet patterns.

As the eye of the world continues to look towards Hollywood to see what the young, rich, and famous are wearing, we find the resurgence of simple crochet as a fashion statement. It is increasingly common to see movie starts wearing crochet patterns as they stroll over the red carpet.

In the real world, we might not be able to afford creations from the best designers, but we can still wear items that feature crochet. A simple crochet evening bag is always a touch of elegance. Crochet is also available on formal and casual clothing designs.

For those who want to learn the art of crochet, you need go no further than your local craft store. You can find all you need – both instructional and physical materials such as yarn and hook – in a craft store near you. It is also possible for you to find classes where you can learn the basics from the crochet masters.

You will reap many benefits from learning how to crochet. You will learn a new, rewarding hobby and great skills. And you will learn how to be creative. With a pattern of simple crochet, everything in your world will take on a different, more classical look.

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Choosing A Musical Instrument For Your Child

In order to encourage their children’s musical development, many parents encourage their children to play a musical instrument.

It is often the keyboard when it comes to the first instrument. Even the interest of young children can be stimulated by these reasonably priced instruments. Since some of the very low cost keyboards are limited, it may be wise to ask your school teacher for advice. For the more expensive keyboards, if they’re hit less hard then they play softer notes much like a piano.

It’s possible for your child to enjoy a particular instrument’s sound. It’s preferable to go with the child’s ideas since this is a major motivational factor. A lot of children would change their minds in the instrument they play during the first few years of their music education.

Many children may find it easier to play woodwind instruments like a clarinet than brass instruments like trumpets and trombones. Unlike brass players, woodwind instruments don’t require lip vibrations.

Most children’s choice of instrument is a matter of chance. It depends on what instrument a visiting music tutor favors.

There are more professional violinists than players of any other instrument. Because of this, parents would often encourage their children to learn to play the violin. But it’s tricky business to buy a violin.

You can buy a violin for less than 70 dollars on the Internet. Should you buy it? No. Don’t confuse a violin for a pair of shoes. You can buy and use shoes and once they wear out, you can throw them away. Violins can last for hundreds of years if they’re well-made. It’s not reliable to buy a $70 violin because you’ll end up throwing it away. Don’t waste your $70 on a violin that’s not reliable.

Wait and see if your child takes up the violin or any instrument before you buy one so for now, it’s better to just rent the instrument. That is the point at which you should consider buying.

Buying the best instrument you can afford is important. Linked with tonal quality is price. Listen to a range of violins, pianos or trumpets being played by the musician in the retailers. You will notice differences between the different instruments. Always buy a musical instrument you and your child like the sound from. With musical training, your child’s ear will be attuned to any deficiency in the instrument that you buy and this may cause the detraction from the pleasure of playing it.

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Factors To Consider When Organizing Your Wedding Invitation Cards

Planning for your own wedding is very exciting and exhaustive too. No doubt you must have engaged a wedding planner, but still you will have to get into every detail no doubt. But then it is worth all the effort and your wedding will really be special. If you have been looking at various wedding invite designs and are planning to get one printed from the printers, stop for a moment. How about designing and printing your own design and make a personal invitation card. It could be unique as well as special because every invitee will receive your personal invite through this. Wondering how to go about? Let us guide you through. It is very easy.

First and foremost find out a good graphic designer who can design the cards for you. Most of the designers take on freelance jobs to design for weddings, parties etc. It takes them only a couple of hours to come up with several designs for you to choose from. At the same time, they would first need a design brief from you to understand what your requirements are. Therefore you would have to first be clear and prepare what you had in mind in consultation with your fiancee regarding design, color, matter etc.

If the design work is underway, now it is time to look at the budget for the entire exercise. By now you must have a list of invitees ready and therefore know the number of invites you will need to print. Get the estimate of charges for design from the designer and find out the cost of paper board as well as printing. To this add the cost of envelops and postage. Now you arrive at the grand total which will be your total expenditure on this account.

While printing the invites, you have several options. You can either go to a commercial Fresno printer or get your graphic designer to print out the invites. The costing in both cases will vary. Fresno will charge you a minimum plate setting charges and add the cost of paper as it varies. Thus even if you order a hundred more invitations, the cost you pay might be slightly more but not very high.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have your both photos in the invite so that it looks as though you are inviting the guest in person? Choose some of the best photos you have and share them with your graphic designer and let him come up with the good layout options.

You can first choose the photos that you wish to have on the invite. It can be your individual photos too or a photo of both of you together. If the photo quality is not good, nothing to worry, the graphic designer can work on the image and correct the anomalies in no time. How you want things done is totally your choice.

You can make your own invite on the computer. Before you do this , please go through the variety of samples those that are available on the internet and then note down your color scheme, design elements as well as fonts you are going to use. Keep the language simple and straight. Do not use more than three colors and two fonts in the invite.

You will need to have the printed invites ready at least three weeks before the function and mail them in advance.

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How to teach children using finger knitting

In the olden days, finger knitting was primarily used to introduce the young children, especially girls, to the intricacies of knitting. It was used to teach young children how to carry out the process of knitting though the difference here is that no needles were used. But with the passage of time, the applications of finger knitting became quite diverse.

Children have become the biggest beneficiaries of using finger knitting as it has been used extensively in their education. The fact that very little resources are required when using finger knitting to teach children is an added bonus. A leading child psychiatrist has stated that the brain discovers what fingers explore. This knowledge has served as motivation to teachers using finger knitting as a teaching tool.

The import of what the psychiatrist above said was that through finger knitting, children learn how to coordinate the different activities their fingers carry out with their brains. As fingers create loops and determine the level of tension in the yarn children explore the full extent of what their tiny brains are capable of. Through finger knitting, these young children learn how to solve problems.

One of the major ways through which finger knitting helps in teaching children is through helping them in their all round development. While the young children learn how to create wonderful designs, their brains develop the ability to coordinate with their eyes and fingers thus improving their overall concentration levels. This emphasizes the important roles finger knitting play in helping to develop young minds.

Finger blindness is a condition that bedevils people who never got the chance to develop the use of their fingers better while at a young age. A child unable to develop the proper use of his fingers or to coordinate or even differentiate the true abilities and purposes of their fingers is said to be suffering from finger blindness. Finger blindness can hinder the full development and growth of the affected children.

Finger knitting is also helpful in teaching young minds how to mix and match different colors. It is upon the teacher to choose how many colors of yarn the children being taught finger knitting should be allowed to use. Use of different colors helps keep the attention and concentration of these young children for longer amounts of time as they are attracted to bright colors.

How to maintain perfect balance is another important attribute a young child gets taught through finger knitting. The perfect balance comes through designing loops that are neither too tight nor too loose as either option may lead to difficulties in making the most out of finger knitting. Children eventually learn just how to develop the right symmetry between their designs through finger knitting.

Through finger knitting young children can be taught to just play, or become creative enough and design scarves, headbands, belts, scrunches and so on. The child determines how big the material being designed will be. As has been made clear, there are various advantages presented to children when being taught how to use finger knitting.

Finger knitting is a great pasttime to consider learning for children and adults alike. If you are looking for a great pasttime to start or you just want to find ways on how to earn some cash from a pasttime that you love, you might want to consider learning how to finger knit.

Why It’s Important For Photographers To Develop Great People Skills

Photographers need more skills than pushing the shutter down. Photographers also need to make their client feel comfortable while doing their job. That’s where one’s people skills come in handy.

A photographer needs both skills and talents to take attention grabbing pictures. You can say that photography is an art and a business all in one. But if you don’t want your business to suffer, then you need to have people skills. If you want your photography business to succeed, then you need to make your clients feel comfortable and relaxed. You people skills will help you make your clients feel relaxed and comfortable. It’s possible for them to come back and be your long-term clients if they feel comfortable taking pictures with you. However, you may lose your clients if you fail to make them feel comfortable.

Great People Skills for Photographers

The Importance of Eye Contact: Line up the shot then step away from the camera if you’re going to take someone’s picture when using a tripod. Instruct them on their mood, angle, or position all the while keeping your eye contact with them. This technique is a lot better than talking to your client while looking through the camera. Talking to them while looking through your camera can make them feel along and uncomfortable. You can make your clients feel comfortable by keeping eye contact and speaking in a relaxed tone. Keep in mind that your client may not want to return if they have to talk to the camera for the whole session because it made them feel uncomfortable.

The Importance of Interaction. It’s very important not to let things run dry and keep the interaction going throughout the entire session. Make them feel like they’re talking to a friend while you instruct them on their position. If you want to earn their trust, then watch the tone of your voice, make good conversation, and make sure your body language projects a relaxed attitude. If you’re a shy person then this could be a challenge for you. But you can still learn how to be more open with your clients. You can practice your people skills alone or with friends and family. You can try imagining yourself as the client and imagine how they would feel.

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Seeing An Artist’s Point Of View

Sketches have taken viewers by surprise with its ability to come to life using only a pencil and paper. So how do they do it? Yes, some people are born with this gift, but it is something that anyone can learn.

Physical portrayals usually succeed

The first thing for the beginning artist to learn is that artists use a different vocabulary than the rest of the population when they are working. The trick is that they never name the object they are looking at. Significant, yet simple for those learning how to see. If you can see, you can draw.

Drawing a face could be your first task. What you may see with your eyes may not be what you can produce. This will clarify it. Artists don’t say to themselves ‘I am drawing a nose,’ because all noses are different. The overall structure and size of the nose should be analyzed more. Attention to detail is the number one concern of many artists. While they are looking at the details of line and shape, they continually look at the whole to determine how the line relates to the space and proportion of the rest of the face.

It’s All in Your Head

The right side of the brain must be dominant to improve the flow of your drawings as discussed and recorded by Betty Edwards in “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.”

The right and left side are two diverse components of the human brain. Organization and judgment is based on the left side of the brain. Whatever it sees, it tries to repeat in words. Logic wins interviews through impressionable behavior.

On the other hand, the right side of the brain doesn’t think in words. It sees shapes, space, distance…sound familiar? Indeed. It has a creative perception Creation of art is achieved by how you use your right brain. Examine an item without labeling before you get started. Think of it in terms of lines that bend and curve. Determine the position of a line. Estimate the length of a line and its shape.

Review Every Inch of the Model

Pay close attention to the object. Locate a specific line to draw in its exact form on paper. Art teachers prefer artists to examine their item instead of focusing on looking at the paper. Don’t worry about the details yet, just concentrate on the line. When the image is properly produced, any additional items may be added.

Comfort in this field takes a significant amount of practice. Work hard at it. There are many things that you can do with drawing.

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Scrap-booking To Give As Gifts

Through scrap-booking, you have learned many new ways to display your pictures. If everyone raves about your abilities as a scrap-booking genius, you might want to create a scrapbook to give as a gift for those who don’t have the talent or the time to make beautiful keepsakes like you do!

Everyone can go to a store and buy a gift for a loved one. But there is something special about giving a gift you have made yourself, as it shows you really care.

Do you know of any anniversaries coming up for your friends or family? A first year wedding anniversary is the perfect occasion to gift the bride and groom with a scrapbook celebrating their life together.

An older couple might also enjoy a scrapbook highlighting the joys of the years they have spent together. Put together a scrapbook that shows as much as you can share about the couple, but add some blank pages so that each of them can add their own memories to the scrapbook form their own perspective.

Milestone birthday parties are special occasions, and they would be great to give some one a scrapbook as a gift. Someone turning 40 would enjoy an “Over-the-Hill” scrapbook that shows their lives up to that point – providing they have a good sense of humor.

A scrapbook sharing special moments in the workplace would be great for someone getting ready to retire. Since many look at their workplace as a second home, and their co-workers as extended family, they would surely enjoy a scrapbook that can remind them of the good times at work.

You could feature the theme of ladder climbing, and show their pattern of promotions over the years. It would be nice to leave a few blank pages where photos and mementos from the retirement party can be added.

Scrapbooks always make wonderful holiday gifts. They’re easy and fun to make and show you put a lot of thought into the gift. Scrapbooks can magically take someone you love on a brief journey down memory lane, filling them with joy from reliving a treasured moment.

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Learn How To Develop Your Technical Skills In Nature Photography

Photography is the art of creating a special medium beyond your self-expression. When choosing your subject for photography, choose it with taste and appreciate the beauty behind it. If you have enough skills and know-how when it comes to the technical side of photography, then this just might be a lucrative way to earn a living and put food on the table.

One of the most interesting forms of photography is nature photography. It thrills every photographer with its mystery and the beauty of wildlife. One of the most amusing subjects for nature photographers are the birds. Bird behavior has had great impact on pictures. Many photographers and non-photographers are enchanted by the simple motion of a bird in flight.

Here are some guides that will help you focus on improving your skill in capturing images on these magnificent creatures of nature.

Ask yourself what interests you as a photographer. It always helps to research about your topics first. You should learn more about birds by investing on a good birding guide. This will help you know more about their behavior, breeding season, and bird eating habits.

You should always keep your subjects well being in mind. Avoid those instances that create stress on your images. If you really need to catch the bird in action, don’t catch it in an unnatural state, always allow it some time to recover. There are many reasons why a bird may be stressed when being photographed, and one of this is nesting season, where birds may see you and your camera as potential predators.

You should make your vehicle as your just like your camera an accessory. Who knows – birds are fickle creatures, and sometimes they could see your car or truck as less of a threat than the person driving it. You should learn how to be patient in finding the right place where the birds can accept the presence of your vehicle.

Fast shutter speed cameras can serve as an additional boost. This device is good in taking great bird images. Most birds are fast and can disappear quickly in the air. You can get good quality with a 1/500 speed camera. Such speeds can easily capture sudden bird movements.

Make the most out of your surroundings when taking bird pictures. Most backyards are home to many species of birds, so you can start out there and not have to spend a dime. You can get great practice shots that could even become actual shots as you continue to improve your photography technique.

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Canvas Primer

What is Oil Paint?

The combination of pigments with oil creates oil paint. Originally, artists combined diverse pigments and oils to create paint, but today many manufactures utilize linseed oil as a main component of paint.

Images are constructed by the combination of blends and layers of oil paints. You do not have to be a genius at art to create an oil painting.

Oil paints take longer to dry than water-based paints. The moisture in oil paints do not evaporate like water-based paints. Depending on the moisture present in the atmosphere, oil can dry at a different rate. This is benefit if you want to blend colors but are working on a project that cannot be complete in one sitting. A negative side to oil paint is meeting client deadlines while it is still wet. It’s not smart to rush on an oil painting. You can ruin your painting.

A Little History

The painters of old, such as Van Eyck, DaVinci, Titian, and Tintoretto, all made their own oil paints by mixing pigment found in plants, flowers, and other ingredients and then boiling the oil, or baking it in the sun. Unique mixtures were created by an assortment of ingredients or wax. It wasn’t until the mid 1800′s that paint production was industrialized and produced in tubes with caps, similar to the way we buy them today.

When tube-packaged paints debuted artists were able to utilize their time better. Pre-made paints made it easier to finish projects in a timely manner. Painting was not the same to artists after this. An assortment of color, an increase in free time and flexibility was a direct result of packaged paints. The introduction of this new concept aided the beginning of the impressionist movement.

Creating Art with Oil Paint

Stay away from stuffy areas. It is hard to get rid of the smell of oil paints. Even though a paint chemical may say odorless, it may not have a preferable scent.

Canvases and palettes are important to painters, but light is an important factor in how a painting turns out. Paint areas should have a nice amount of light. Find a space with natural light before turning on any lighting.

Canvas paintings are generally oil paintings. Primer is needed even for oil paints on a canvas to prevent fibers from quickly absorbing oil. Use gesso to prime an art canvas. Gesso is a water-based paint. Apply at least two thin coats to your canvas, allowing each coat to thoroughly dry.

Once the gesso has dried, it is time to jump in and begin your painting. You can apply the paint using a brush, a palette knife, your fingers, or whatever works for your. You can draw the image on the canvas first or just apply the paint and see where it leads. Have a passion for your painting.

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Buying Your Child’s First Musical Instrument

Children love to try out new things, and musical instruments are no exception. Children often love the idea of playing a musical instrument, but getting them to practice regularly can be a significant chore.

It’s been known that children who play musical instruments do better in certain things like composition, math, spelling, and reading. Children who play musical instruments tend to have higher levels of self confidence, so encouraging your child to play a musical instrument is always a good idea. But if you insist your child to play, you can be met with refusal and resistance to practice. To prevent your child from being a resentful player, don’t impose punishments just because they didn’t practice or are not playing very well.

Rather than assign a musical instrument for them, let your child choose as children are likely to change to their minds. Participating in a rent to own musical program will provide you with basic guidelines for the time your child decides which instrument to stick to and giving them the freedom to change their minds about the instruments they play.

Often, children would choose popular musical instruments. You may want to encourage them to try something a little more unique or something they are completely unfamiliar with. Very few are familiar with harps, cellos, or bassoons because the instruments they’re familiar with are pianos, drums, and guitars.

You can take your child to a qualified music store if they’re having difficulty deciding what to play because there are people there who can explain instruments as well as give demonstrations.

When your child has finally settled on what musical instrument they wish to play and begin the process, frustration is normal. It looks so easy when other people play musical instruments. A good musical instrument instructor will take them slow enough through the process that they won’t get overwhelmed, but they will also avoid boring them. To receive a better response, a musical instructor should mix more popular music with the classics.

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Sewing Machine Reviews

Are you contemplating investing in a new sewing machine? If so, it is best to read as much sewing machine reviews testimonials as you can so you can have more details about the pros and cons of the sewing machines available in the market. Most new sewing machine ratings websites rank the sewing machine well known and popular sewing machine brands such as Brother, Singer and Janome very highly. These three sewing machine producers have very many kinds of sewing machines.

Because it’s extremely hard to review every model of the giant sewing machine suppliers such as Janome, Singer and Brother, most sewing machine reviews search for the flagship models of a particular products line and review them. This acts the general reference of the sewing machine brands or models within that line.

The review companies contemplate various components in performing their new sewing machine. These factors include computerization levels, build quality, the stitches accompanied by the programmed functions, threading, motor power and needles to say only a few. You must also consider these aspects in your choice of sewing machine.

The most effective sewing machine evaluations adhere to the comparative system whereby they furnish objective insights of the features of a specific sewing machine over the others or the advantages of one sewing machine manufacturer over another. The evaluations should also notify you in regards to the price as most of the buyers are likely to consider the price of the sewing machine prior to the other factors. Listed below are a number of the highly rated sewing machines in most sewing machine ratings

Brother PC-240: this machine has lots of useful features. It has 294-stretch, decorative and utility stitches that are already developed in to the sewing machine so that the users can easily select the perfect stitches through the simple press of button. You also can make your preferred stitch designs and then save them in to the memory space of the machine.

Janome 7330 Magnolia: this is a computerized sewing machine which has 30 in-built stitch designs. It really is undoubtedly among the finest sewing machines in the marketplace. In most sewing machine testimonials it has been tagged by many users as a simple to use and rich device. Its bright LED display makes the choosing of the stitches very easy. It displays very clearly the stitch number that you are using. The users of this sewing machine can feed various types of fabric starting from the light weight silk to the heavy denim.

Juki Thread Overlock: this is a high speed two/three/four-thread, two-needle sewing machine. The equipment has automated lower lopper which is self-threading so that the users can very easily convert in to two-thread for roll hems and decorative stitching. It also features in-built safety feature in a way that the machine cannot run if its doors are open.

Brother 1034D: this can be among the finest sewing machines because more than 94% of its reviewers have given it rating of 4 or 5 stars. It has been described as a machine which is remarkably versatile and created to discharge effectively and fulfill various needs of sewing.

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The Wonder of the Market of Art Supplies

Time to get yourself off the game platforms and computers and inject a little creativity in your consciousness! Reveal the creativity in your minds through arts and crafts – it is an activity with no age restriction. Arts and crafts will not only boost your creative skills but will also reinforce the motor abilities of your mind. Through arts, you’ll be able to notice and luxuriate in the simplest joys of life.

Also, arts and crafts give you the sense of goal attainment through difficult work, dedication, and backbone. Arts and crafts can either be a burden for your body and soul or provide you a touch of satisfaction in life. It all depends on the kind of direction that you pick. Fortunately, they offer the latter to most folks. Only a tiny and potentially unadventurous portion of the globe’s population thinks that arts and crafts are a source of time wasting.

There’s simply no boundary to arts and crafts. Arts not only include paintings and the making of sculptures but may also include varied other activities like cooking, designing of garments, and using musical instruments to ease minds and perform for the general public. Women are the common practitioners of arts and crafts and they are the daily performer of these activities in places for example the market or colleges.

Arts are a dependable source of creativity for children and they appreciate them a lot. Most of the educational institutions favor arts and crafts and they make it a crucial part of the syllabus too. It increases the deductive talents in children and prompts them to try different things and explore. Be it coloring or sculpting, performing arts and crafts will give children a sense of attainment and satisfaction in life as it takes hours or days to finalize projects related to arts. Sometimes, they can achieve quick results without struggle, but in other times, they need to try hard with determination to reach any positive result.

The range of experiences which arts and crafts can supply makes it an entertaining alternative way to spend one’s time.

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Must-Know Techniques For Photographers

The most essential factor that most photographers want in their photography is the sharp quality of their images. If a photographer wants to get the best quality, then he/she needs to know which lenses to use and when to use them. Today, there are several lenses on the market that should be included in a photographer’s every day too.

Facts about standard lenses: On the market today, the most common lenses being used are the standard lenses. These lenses have a focal length of between 40 -60mm and it’s useful to all photography types. It should remain on the camera’s body at all times and it’s also known as the most flexible of all lenses.

What are telephoto zoom lens?: Telephoto lens are useful for those who are into wildlife photography. This can also be the perfect lens for sport enthusiasts because the focal length ranges from 60 – 300mm. Landscape images and far away objects can be easily captured using these lenses.

If you are to use these lenses for close-up shots, you need to be careful with your composition. Because large areas of the image will become blank, your picture could be destroyed.

Make sure that when you’re using telephoto lenses, your camera is supported with a tripod. Or you can let the lens rest on a beanbag when you’re taking your images.

What are wide-angle lens?: Wide-angle lens is what most landscape photographers prefer to use. With these lenses, you’ll be able to include as much of the scene as possible because of its wide focal length of 17 – 40mm. Remember that the wider the lens, the closer you have to be to the object if you want your photography to have impact. When it comes to ultra wide-angle lenses, the focal lengths are 8 – 28mm.

Facts about macro lens: When it comes to ultra close-up shots, the best choice would be macro lenses with focal lengths of 100mm. Macro lenses can be used to take pictures of small objects like birds and insects. Using macro lenses also allows you to take unique abstract images. Using a wide aperture with macro lenses will let you create amazing abstract images.

Macro lenses are touch to focus on good days and even more difficult if the weather is windy.

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Homemade Baby Shower Favors

Homemade baby shower favors help to make an excellent option irrespective when you have a minimal finances or if you just want to present the individuals with a thing special and honest. Favors are given away to friends as being a ‘thank you’ for his or her contribution. Furthermore to the money saving concern, homemade baby shower favors add a distinctive touch to the party. They send out a greater communication of appreciation since you took all that time and energy to make the favors manually.

The following are a few good examples of handmade baby shower favors that you just may see innovative and easy to set into practice.

Diaper FAVORS are made of napkins folded like baby diapers. You could load these with almonds, chocolate or other treats. They are inexpensive and help to make a very very good impression.

LOLLIPOP COOKIES are very easy to make in the home with some cookie dough cut into entertaining designs then lined using a layer of icing. Wrap them within a plastic bag and tie them using a ribbon for an extra fashionable touch.

BABY SOCK ROSES are nice flower plans which will definitely flatter the females collaborating to the baby shower. Connect a thank you note from your mom-to-be and the effect is comprehensive.

WASHCLOTH BUNNIES just take very little time to make. You just roll the washcloth, fold it and cover a ribbon around. There you might have the bunnies.

The above are merely good examples of the significantly more thorough checklist. The choice of this appropriate homemade baby shower favors belongs entirely towards the function planner. She should understand what best suits the situation, particularly with regards towards the formality or the informality of this function.

It’s unlikely to offer homemade baby shower favors to get a get together held within a whimsical cafe or reception hall. They may be much more ideal for baby showers organized at home, in a more personal space. If the get together follows much more classy a style, the favors will have to match up exactly the same trend and show elegance within the appreciation for the guests’ participation.

Homemade baby shower favors will as a result not match just any sort of baby shower. It’s also well worth talking about the truth that the tradition of supplying baby shower favors is in practice only in a few parts of this country. Ask around to find out if this tradition is in use, particularly when you are planning a baby shower on a budget. There could be other approaches saying thanks to your visitors for the participation.

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I Love Circulars

I love using circular knitting needles they are better than any other knitting tool in the cosmos. Okay, now that I have your attention, I’d like to tell you why knitting with circular knitting needles is so awesome.

Circular needles can be employed in place of strait knitting needles too. Pretty much everything that you might dream about doing with repeated knitting needles you may also do just as well with circular knitting needles. And that’s not all. There are projects, that are normally considered as regular knitting projects, which are even less complicated and more efficient to do with circulars than on strait needles. As an example, I knit up a huge afghan using circular knitting needles.

Now, you might think that knitting up an afghan with circulars appears mad, but it is so incredible. The rationale is that you don’t need to be reliant on the lengths of the knitting needles to keep a hold of the project, since the project rests right on the cord. I loved the circulars the whole project long.

Circulars are also the best way to knit the round parts of projects. Try knitting round parts another way and you will not like doing it. For hat knitting or knitting a pull over, or something similar, the circular knitting needles are definitely the apex of your project’s success. I am not sure if you’re starting to see that I really love circular knitting needles.

Let’s look at what makes the circular knitting needles special. First, they have the component of being real knitting needles. Then, there is the other aspect, being that there’s a nice cord in the middle. The cord makes all the difference. The cord allows you to put down a project to finish latter, and not worry about the loops slipping off the knitting needles. And every knitter knows that when the loops slip off the knitting needles you risk losing track of the entire project.

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Use These Great Tips To Increase Your Photography Skills

Learning about photography can be very overwhelming, but just like anything else, it can also be very easily researched, taught, and learned. Now that you have found this list of tips, hopefully you can come out a little more informed when it comes to photography, so that you can refine your methods and become a great photographer.

Keep your pictures relatively simple. A good image should be straightforward and easy to interpret and appreciate. It is important to take meaningful pictures, but in most cases your pictures will say more if you focus on a detail rather than put together a complex composition that might not strike people as much.

When taking group shots, pay attention to the height and build of each person in the photograph. Arrange the subjects so the taller ones are in the back row, with the tallest one in the center. If tall and short subjects must be placed together for some reason, consider having some people sitting and others standing.

Take candid shots. Instead of taking posed pictures, try taking pictures of your subject with family at work or doing something they love. When your subject is comfortable they will be more at ease and you will end up getting some unique shots. This works especially well when trying to photograph children.

Do you need to take shots of some subjects that have been rained upon? What if it hasn’t rained and your natural subjects are not wet with raindrops? Create the effect yourself by carrying along your own spray bottle and gently misting some “rain” on the subject that you need to photograph.

When taking pictures it is important that you have the right lens on your camera. If are serious about photography then you will need to have the right lens for the type of picture you wish to take. The right lens can make a big difference to photo quality.

When photographing a building or landscape, consider shooting from an angle that incorporates a strong point of interest apart from the “bigger picture.” Examples could include a colorful bouquet of flowers next to the building, or a majestic oak tree in the forefront of that distant sunset. Landscapes are often lost in translation if not defined by their proximity to other items.

In the past, you may have been disappointed with the results of your pictures. Learning how to use a variety of lighting techniques can be help make photographs more interesting. With the ideas presented here, you can take breathtaking shots that you want to hang on the wall for everyone to admire.

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Solving A Guitarist’s Problems With The Use Of A Guitar Stool

Today’s amateur guitarists have neglected the importance of guitar stools. Instead they prefer practicing on their cosy sofas and beds. The thought of practicing on sofas may seem pleasing and comfortable, but in reality it actually is not only less comfortable but harmful at the same time.

If you choose your bed or sofa, for example then barre chords will be no less than a nightmare for you to play! Moreover, if you are sitting in a position that requires you to strain yourself in order to get your hands to the fretboard then you will experience a hard time playing it.

Present day guitarists don’t give guitar stools the regard that they deserve. These stools are phenomenal in helping a guitarist play better because it helps you maintain the correct posture which is needed to hit the strings the correct way.

Stools are important not only in helping with quality playing, but at the same time they help maintain the right posture which further prevents you from incurring injuries. Even some severe injuries can result from adopting a wrong posture over a considerable period of time.

As if all the great benefits of guitar stools weren’t enough, this one will surely top the list. These guitar stools now even come with adjustable types, so that you can customize the height to fit your comfort level. The rightly adjusted height will make you play the best and strain your back the least!

Now, there are even adjustable guitar stools available that prove perfect in adjusting the height of the stool according to your convenience. This way you will have a better experience playing the instrument, having the comfort that you require.

Stools are available in all sorts of variety and price ranges. The starting price is $20 while the most expensive one can cost well over a 100 bucks. You can get the best functionality and comfort in a range of $30 to $35. So, there is no need to buy the most expensive one available.

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Photography Filter And How It Could Help You

Photographic filter is an attachment that will allow certain kinds of light to be able to pass through, and able to reduce or block out other unwanted light sources. In short, the term filter really means anything that modifies the incoming light in some way and includes: polarizing screens, multi-image prisms,close-up attachments, soft focus filters, neutral density (ND) filters, graduated ND filters, and color filters for black and white photography. Filters are generally of a round or square shape.

Filters play a special role in your photography craft, as they add a unique touch and interesting complement. One way you could use this would be when shooting in black and white, as you can use filters to change the tone of the subject in several ways. The color filters we mentioned in brief would come in the play, as you can adjust the tone of both an opposite color and the tone of the subject, as we had mentioned. One neat trick you can use would be to manipulate the red filter so that the leaves on an autumn tree look even more pronounced, while the blue sky in the background fades into black.

For an example, a red filter will make the red leafs on an autumn tree look very rich and bright, while on the other hand the sky behind it that was blue, is now almost black.

A neat filter is called the star filter. This type of filter in photography is placed on the cameras lenses to create a star look effect form any source of light. You may notice this in game shows on TV (especially the ones from the ’70s and ’80s) and adds some soft diffusion to ordinary portraits. A split field lenses is really a full lenses but only half of it is close-up, it is great for taking a picture of something close-up at the bottom like a small flower or bug in focus.

The other half, though, is empty or blank, and the camera would use the lenses to focus on the background or landscape of your choice.

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Proper Techniques In Flower Photography

Many people enjoy flower photography as their photography form of choice. There are different ways to go about this, including photographing flowers in your own garden or greenhouse or someone else’s, flowers in indoor arrangements or wild flowers in the forest.

You can use a standard film camera or a digital one for flower photography.

Depending on your flower photography needs, you can choose from a variety of lenses, from 17mm lenses classified as ultra-wide to super-telephoto lenses measuring 300 to 400mm, but closeup flower photography would be best enjoyed with a macro lens on your camera. Digital cameras would often come with a similar macro mode you can use. When photographing flowers, you would really need such a mode that would allow you to magnify your subject as close as you possibly could.

A tripod is essential because it reduces the chance that you’ll get a blurry image. But take note that most tripods, even at fully collapsed mode, are still too high to take pictures of low growing flowers. With that in mind, you will need a tripod that allows you to use it relatively close to the ground. For these specialized needs in which you need to snap small subjects (in this case, flowers), you will need a tabletop tripod.

Choose film that has color saturation. You can use ISO 50 or ISO 100 and get bright colors with your flower photography. For flower photography, go no faster than ISO 400 film.

You have to be very conscious about the quality of the light when photographing flowers, as it has to be a soft and diffused kind of light. Night photography is also an option. Flash would work well for these situations as a source of light for your subject. Wind is the most annoying factor when photographing flowers,so be patient and wait for the wind to die down before you take a picture.

For both indoor and outdoor photography, it is recommended to try something different when it comes to the angles you use. Photographing flowers in different times of day is one way you can go about this, such as using both early morning light, then later shifting to the afternoon light. Enhance the mood with warming filters. Water droplets added to your flower petals make it capture the moment of an early morning. Experiment with backlighting and try to highlight the transparency of the petals.

You can take your photos in color, which is the most popular form of flower photography, but you can get that old-school feel if you wish when shooting in monochrome.

However, no quick list of flower photography tips is complete without us advising you to practice regularly, and to do your homework. Botanical gardens and nature preserves are some of the places where you can not only take photos of flowers but also learn more about them.

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Play More Professionally And In Style With A Guitar Stool

The guitar stool is not much used as it was once used to be. They don’t look like an important need for guitar players anymore. They usually play on seats that are not really made for guitar playing.

It could cause different issues though. First off, if you’re a guitar player then you might know how difficult playing barre chords are. Actually, they are not really difficult to play, it’s just that the players are usually not in the proper playing position that’s why barre chords are not played very well.

These chords require a certain position, if not, you’re not going to be able to play them easily. This position could be achieved by playing on a guitar stool, since this chair is made to position the player to the perfect playing position. It would allow the player to play the guitar more accurately and easily.

Aside from helping you play those difficult chords, the guitar stool could also help on your posture, comfort, and overall health as well.

The next benefit that a guitar stool could give you is the correct position that would provide you comfort and prevent back pain. This is caused by the improper posture that guitar players commonly make while playing the guitar. This could cause problems to your back more so if you do this on prolonged periods of time.

Another important benefit of the guitar stool is that it gives your body the correct posture while playing the guitar that would not only allow you to improve the playing of barre chords but would also help your back not to strain itself from prolonged playing the guitar in an incorrect posture.

There are even adjustable guitar stools that you could adjust to a certain degree that is the most comfortable to you. Through this, you are not only going to play the guitar better, but you are going to experience comfort as well.

If you are now convinced to purchase your own stool, then there are a lot of choices for you to choose from. This is available with different designs and prices.

Besides music equipment, this author also regularly pens articles about guitar stools and electric guitar prices.

Scrapbooking Made Easy And Simple

Flipping through old photos can instill feelings of nostalgia, but it also can evoke disappointment and frustration when you no longer remember the people, details and emotions behind them.

One good way to preserve the memories by preserving the pictures and other memorabilia of years gone by would be by creating a scrapbook of your own.

Putting together a scrapbook can seem like a daunting project, especially when you first look at the boxes and piles of unsorted photos. Fortunately, one Joy Macdonell of EK Success has some easy tips that anyone can follow when creating a scrapbook.

Purchase the basic tools. To get started, buy adhesive, a paper trimmer, scissors, pens, paper and albums. Herma brand adhesive is recommended, as is the Zig Memory System line of pens. If you see words like “acid free”, “lignin-free” and “photo-safe” on the label then you know you’re buying a high-quality product.

Keep your pictures in order. Organize your photos by taking a few photo boxes with tab dividers (acid-free, of course) and designating each of them for each category, may it be according to theme, people involved or year. Use the pens you had purchased to write down the details on the back of each photo.

Choose the right photos. Choose the pictures that best illustrate the theme of your page. Store everything else. Beginners in scrapbooking can set aside three pictures per page.

Sketch the layout and determine the colors. Make a rough sketch of how you want each page to look like, and use temporary adhesive as you figure out where to place each picture or how to lay things out. Also, choose coordinating colors that complement the hues in your photos.

Crop and mat the photos. Cropping photos removes any unnecessary detail that doesn’t add to the image. To make sure the photos stand out on their own, create a quarter-inch mat on each side of the photo for a finishing touch.

By all means, add some life to the pages! Add life to the page with stickers, creative lettering or other 3-D embellishments. Start simple; you want your pictures to be the main focus.

Make each page into a mini-journal. Remember you’re dealing with what could be years’ worth of pictures, so you’ll want to write some details about each picture before the fog of age and time makes you forget these events. Bullet points are useful for keeping things organized and further helping you remember.

Finally, enroll in a class or do research on your own. There are scrapbooking classes available that could transform you into a dynamite scrapbooker in no time.

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Birding In Tobago Can Be Fun

Once you catch birding fever, it will overtake your entire life. One great way to get hooked is to start planning a trip so that you can start bird watching in Tobago.

Birding In Tobago Can Be Fun

Exotic is the term that best defines Tobago bird watching, an exciting and rewarding experience for bird watchers. As you may know, Tobago is part of the southern Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago – it is the smaller of the two islands and can be found off Venezuela’s East Coast.

Tobago bird watching focus on the marine environment and coral reefs as an unusual setting for bird watching. Some of the birds you could find in these islands are Red-footed Boobies, Red-Billed Tropicbirds and Magnificent Frigate birds, just to name a few. Tobago is the place where introduction to birding in South American began.

Tobago has about 40 percent of the 467 recorded bird species found on both Trinidad and Tobago. However, Tobago is a drier island, further offshore than Trinidad. Some of the other birds you can only find in Tobago include the Caribbean Martin, Pale-vented Pigeon and White-fringed Antwren – yet more reason why birding in Tobago is a pleasant diversion from birding elsewhere in South America.

One good way to go see the birds of Tobago is to go on a local tour, or to independently schedule a birding trip on your own – this is because you will not usually see the same birds if you visit Trinidad alone. Migration is another distinct advantage of Trinidad and Tobago’s many eco-tours and bird watching activities.

Some bird watching ventures are scheduled around the dates when birds form North America and other Caribbean Islands migrate to Tobago, adding a rewarding experience to bird watching. Among the birds migrating are cocricos, hummingbirds, jacamars and peregrine falcons – so why not book yourself a tour during migration period and see what you can find?

Still, birding in Tobago is a quality experience all year long, regardless of the season. To get the most out of your birding excursion, it is suggested to enlist the assistance of local islanders who know their location inside-out and can suggest great places to watch birds. The hotels in Tobago would suggest this as well, as they advise travelers to ask a local guide’s help before going birding.

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The Invention Of Bells And How They Were Utilized Centuries Ago

Bells have a special charm and touch our imagination. Whether they are ringing from a church nearby to tell when noon time prayers are, or ones that ring when we open a door to our favorite restaurant, they add a measure of magic and enjoyment to a ordinary moment. We are not the only people that have been touched by their pretty sounds.

Bells have been ringing for thousands of years. They have been much more than musical chimes or warning signals that were prevalent in the middle ages. They still are used today like that in remote parts of the planet. They were used in many ways, including for prayers, worship as well as in magical ceremonies. They were also used in people’s homes to invite blessings upon those who live there.

It was believed that smaller bells would drive away bad omens and bring protection from spirits and danger by those who wore them. It was thought that the sounds from bells would invite and draw kind and good spirits around people.

The bells that we are familiar with today get their roots from basic versions and designs. In fact, there have been artifacts discovered in the Middle East that resemble beehives and were made of bronze.

Bells that were found in South America were wooden and rectangular shaped, while those found in Asia are square.

The Christian Church started to cast bells as an art form in the eighth or ninth century. Over time, many redesigns have led to the discovery that if you shaped a bell a little longer, a deeper sound could be made.

On the other hand, they learned that if they were cast smaller and thicker, the bell made a more higher pitched sound when they were struck. The familiar bowl shaped bells that are struck from the outside emerged in Europe during the middle ages.

The bells that we see today come from hundreds of years of refinement and trial and error. Today, when large bells are rung, many of them can be heard for miles away.

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What Are Quilts?

Simply put, quilts are covers that are produced by stitching together three separate layers: the top of the quilt, a layer of batting, and a layer of material in the back. The layers are stitched together using the technique of quilting. Quilting means connecting different layers using needle and thread. The whole process can be done for practical purposes, but it can also use to create a decorative product.

The layers can also be joined by tying. This method is a lot more speedy, so it is used more often when the process of quilting is undertaken for practical purposes. The three layers still need to be prepared and basted. Thread or yarn is used for the process. Square knots are used to finish off the ties, which are placed 3-5″ apart all over the quilt. A tied quilt is also known as a comforter.

Back in the day, quilts were strictly created for necessity. Today, we rarely need quilts, but they are still created as a work of art. Gifted quilter’s are called fabric artists instead of the outdated seamstress or quilter. Not only are bed quilts popular, but quilted clothing and wall hangings as well. Handmade quilts can be very expensive – into the hundreds of dollars – and they are no longer just considered bed coverings but also wall coverings in museums. Amish quilts produced in Pennsylvania and Ohio are particularly desirable on the market, as are vintage and antique ones.

If you have be so lucky to inherit a beautiful quilt, you should make sure you take great care of it – aside from preserving the heirloom, you are also preserving its increase in value. Never store quilts in plastic bags, wooden trunks or boxes made of cardboard. You should also make sure your quilts get some air at least once every year, but try to avoid direct sunlight. If the quilts are extremely old, airing them out flat prevents unnecessary stress on the stitches. You always take a chance when you wash antique fabrics. Spot test it first. If you are using a machine, wash in cold water with a mild detergent and a gentle cycle. Dry your quilt on a flat surface. Using a fan and rotating it will speed up the drying process.

Quilts throughout history tell the stories of their times and makers. This is especially true during the depression when fabric was scarce. Historians even believe that hidden messages and codes have been hidden in the stitching patterns of many quilts throughout history. One such story relates to the Underground Railroad. A certain quilt pattern would mean it was safe for escaping slaves to continue on their journey. Not all historians agree on this idea, and also on the fact that signature quilts were used before and after the civil war to raise money. If someone made a donation, their names would be stitched into the quilt. These very unusual quilts were also called friendship quilts.

Today, the popularity of this type of quilt is increasing quickly. Memory quilts and t-shirt quilts are popular and treasured gifts. And thanks to developments in technology, today we are also able to add photos to quilts. Quilts are still widely used to gather funds at charity fundraisers and other events. Quilt guilds are also creating a new wave today, making it possible to pass down and save many of the favorite techniques and patterns.

Join artist Caroline Jasper to learn painting reflections in water in this detailed DVD.