How to Protect Your Belongings With a Home Safe

You may never be able to fully protect your home from burglary, but you can help protect your valuables with a home safe. Experienced thieves know where most people hide their valuables like fine jewelry, camera equipment, coin collections or guns. Protecting these items in a safe can save you worry.

If you only have a few valuables to store, though, it may be safer and cheaper to keep them in your safe deposit box. But if you need more storage space, a safe is probably the best bet.

Most safes are fire-resistant, but not fireproof. The Underwriters Laboratory grades fire-resistant safes based on how long the safes protect paper at a certain temperature and for how long. Class-C safes protect paper for an hour at 1,700-degrees Fahrenheit, class-B for two hours at 1,850-degrees, and class-A for four hours at 2,000-degrees. If you need to protect computer disks in a fire, you will need to purchase a specialized home safe.

If you keep money in your home, you could invest in a money chest. Money chests are smaller than most safes, but are built in your house or bolted to your home's frame. Money chests rated TL can withstand tools, TR torches, and TX explosives. The TL rating includes a number that indicates how many minutes the safe can withstand tools.

A combination safe contains a money chest in side a regular fire-resistant home safe, but can be attached to your home like a money chest.

You can visit a home security store or browse the Internet to find a home safe perfect for you. Online wholesalers may charge less than other stores, and you may still pay less, including shipping costs. If you do buy online for a cheaper price, try to find a model so that you can see it for yourself. You will be protecting your most important belongings in it.

Wallpaper Decorating Ideas – Wallpaper Dresser and Headboard

There are a variety of wallpaper decorating ideas you can use in your home. Gone are the days when wallpaper was reserved for your walls alone. It’s easy to take your favorite wallpaper or a leftover piece and put it center stage on a dresser front or as a headboard to create a unique piece that is full of style and personality.

Wallpaper Dresser

Wallpaper is a great way to bring new life to an old dresser. This is a simple project that requires no wallpaper paste!

1. Measure the drawer fronts, and cut your wallpaper to size. It’s a good idea to cut the paper slightly larger than what you need. You can trim any excess off after you are done. Play with the positioning of the paper so that the pattern flows together nicely.

2. Remove the pulls/knobs and take each drawer out.

3. Spray the fronts with spray adhesive and carefully apply the wallpaper, smoothing as you go to remove any air pockets or bumps.

4. For extra protection apply a coat of poly-acrylic sealer over the top.

5. Reattach the pulls/knobs or buy new ones to go with the new look.

That’s all it takes to give a plain dresser some new life and style.

Wallpaper Headboard

Use your favorite patterned wallpaper to create a unique, stylish, and affordable headboard. This wallpaper decorating idea takes a little prepping and work, but the outcome is fantastic.

1. Roll out the wallpaper to your desired headboard width.

2. Trace and cut out the pattern you want for the top of the headboard.

3. Apply the wallpaper according to instructions. The application method will depend on which type of paper you have. Some require wallpaper paste, and others are pre-pasted. Start applying the top of the headboard pattern and work your way down, carefully placing each piece to flow seamlessly with the next.

This project is much easier with two people, so find a friend to help you create a show-stopping wallpaper headboard.

How To Price Your Freelance Quotes

There are 3 main things which the webmasters look at before hiring a freelancer:

– Your resume, CV, portfolio, reputation etc. I.e. everything which can help them appraise your competence as a freelancer

– Your interest in and understanding of their specific project

– Your price

And it is not necessarily in that order. Some will look first at the price, others will be most interested to see that you understand their project, third will want to see that you are an expert. Regardless of which criteria is most important for your potential customer, all of them will have a big influence on their decision.

This article will help you win 1/3 of the freelance battle by giving the most appropriate quote.

The best quote is not the lowest quote

Even if the buyer of your freelance services values the price as the most important criteria, he does not always look for a low quote. Of course the customers in the freelance market can’t or don’t want to pay too much, otherwise they would contact some big company. Most of them want reasonable price.

What does reasonable mean? It’s not about how much you want to take or how much you think is fair. It’s not about the market prices, about how much effort is included or how professional you are. It’s about how much the customer think is fair. A reasonable quote must meet the following requirements:

– Does not include overcharges

– Is not too low. Your client does not want amateur to work on his project

– Does not make them feel scammed

– Does not make you feel underpaid

So how do you know what price to give?

Simple, ask them what is their budget! No, it’s a joke of course. I fact, it’s good to avoid asking the customer what is their budget. Direct asking may make the customer feel pushed.

Sometimes you will have “hints” about your client. They may give approximate budget themselves. You may know them from someone else. If you work on a freelance site, usually the projects have approximate budget or price category. In this case it’s easier. But knowing that is not enough.

Calculate your optimal quote

This is really simple. As a freelancer you must be able to estimate the amount of work involved in the project. You probably have average hourly rate. Multiply the hours to your hourly rate and you have the basic quote. Add to this any fees you may need to pay – for credit card procesors, bank wire, check fees, western union, escrow fees if any and freelance marketplace fees if any.

Now you have your optimal quote. But as said above, such a quote is not the best. Sometimes you may earn more, sometimes may need to work for less.

If you have a fair hourly rate (i.e. not too different from the market) your optimum price will not be too low, neither will be too high in the eyes of your customer.

Going below your optimal quote

Just like you have average hourly rate, you must have a minimal hourly rate. This is a price of your freelance work under which you won’t agree to work. For example it can be 70% of your average hourly rate. Do the calculations from the previous item and you will have your minimal quote.

You may need to quote between your minimal and optimal price in case you:

– are looking for longer term relations with the client

– are desperate for new work

– think the project will help you build expertise or portfolio

Even in these occasions, you need to do it only if you feel the customer won’t accept your optimal quote.

Going above your optimal quote

This is the best scenario. Sometimes the customer will be prepared to pay much more than your optimum price. Sometimes you will know that because they have stated what their target budget is. Sometimes you will be able to judge by the timeframe they offer or by their previous projects.

Being able to receive more does not mean you should overcharge your customer. It is just a nice way to receive a better payment than usual which will allow you also to do a better job. Try giving higher quote only if you feel your potential client is willing to pay more.

Don’t stick to your optimum price, calculated by your hourly rate. This is the market, something costs as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Be flexible when pricing your freelance quote.

Aluminum Decking Verses Treated Wood and Composites

Few building materials offer the flexibility and strength of aluminum. Combining it’s non- corrosive properties, longevity and minimal negative impact on our environment, aluminum is one of the greenest building products available. Made from bauxite ore, the most abundant metal on earth, together with being the second most recycled product makes aluminum very sustainable with an unlimited lifespan.

Utilizing extruded aluminum and bonded finishes consumers can achieve the look, design, and longevity combined with strength for all their outside projects. Posts, decking and rails constructed of aluminum will last 50+ years and offer virtually no maintenance.

Natural oxidization, a white film surface coating, is an extremely stable compound that does not flake off like rust on iron. This property makes aluminum the metal of choice in many components from aerospace, transportation, buildings and marine applications. It is quickly rising in residential construction for decks, docks, railings and fences.

Some Material Properties of Aluminum:

Corrosion Resistant Non-Toxic

Durable High Strength to Weight Ratio

Recyclable Non-Magnetic

Non-Sparking Non-Combustible

Lightweight Attractive

Resilient Paintable

Longevity Cost Effective

Treated Wood

Wood treated with chromate copper arsenate has finally been banned by the EPA for residential use. However, it is still accepted for commercial construction, posts, foundations & marine applications. CCA wood leeches arsenic and other deadly toxins into our soils and water contaminating the very area we hope to enjoy. Research has found 15 year old treated wood still has extremely high levels of arsenic on the surface along with high levels in the soil nearby. These toxins easily absorb through the skin with contact and wash from their surfaces into the water poisoning our lakes and rivers.

Since the ban of CCA, other treated wood products have entered the market which are deemed safer, yet they still have many pesticides, fungicides, and other toxins to preserve the wood from natural decay. Few studies have been done on environmental impact and the health concerns of these new products. To be sure, prolong exposure to will have negative consequences across the board. Keep in mind, wood still has a very limited lifespan and requires much maintenance.

The most common treated wood now available is Alkaline Copper Quaternary. Building with ACQ lumber presents new challenges that must be addressed if we desire our projects to hold up for more than just a few years. Because of the high levels of copper, ACQ wood must be fastened with either stainless steel or hot dipped galvanized steel to avoid galvanic reaction between the copper and steel causing quick corrosion of fasteners. Structural integrity will be lost if high grade hot dipped galvanized steel or stainless steel fasteners are not used in all construction. Check for approved suppliers and do your due diligence with contractors.

Composite Woods

Over the last decade composite wood, or plastic wood has been touted as the ‘no maintenance’ solution to docks and decking. Much money has been spent to convince the public that composites are better than wood and will last forever. NOT TRUE.

Composites are made from sawdust and recycled plastics mixed with various fungicides, pesticides, and preservatives. Even with all these chemicals added, composites still mold and stain because wood absorbs moisture creating internal fungus growth. Many of the cleaners are extremely hazardous and only clean the surface leaving the cause untouched.

Wood composites are not structural components. Most manufactures suggest 12″OC or less for joists because composite wood will sag under it’s own weight. Also, some of the new lines with hollow cores are easily punctured with high heels or patio furniture. Furthermore, composites expand and contract a greatly with temperature changes, causing loosening of fasteners & boards.

Environmentally, composites just don’t cut it. Yes, they are made from post consumer waste, however they quickly become consumer waste that cannot be recycled or reused. They are associated with many health concerns both in construction and VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions such as formaldehyde and other toxins linked to cancers, skin diseases and even respiratory problems.

Several lawsuits have been filed and a few settled with composite manufacturers. With big advertising budgets many people are lured to believe composite decking is a great choice. However, with minimal research one could spend days reading complaint after complaint on these products. Numerous composite manufacturing companies have shut down under one name only to reopen under another avoiding warranty issues. Composite woods are definitely a buyer beware product and not even close to ‘no maintenance’ and ‘lifetime warranty’.


Building materials for our outdoor living spaces need to be as clean and green as possible.

Often we are quite exposed being barefoot and barely covered while on our docks and decks.

Contact with toxic chemicals from wood or composites is never worth the cost.

Aluminum poses no such health concerns and will not rot, decay or pollute our soils and water. For decking and docks with no maintenance and lifetime durability, aluminum is the best choice for our children today, tomorrow and forever.

Removing Old Ceiling Tiles

Sometimes you need to remove the ceiling tiles for one reason or another. Removing ceiling tiles is a job you can do easily on your own. But the difficulty level of removing tiles is largely depends the way they were installed. Two types ceiling tiles are common suspended and interlocked ceiling tiles. Suspended These are relatively easy to remove, but difficulty arises when you have to remove interlocking ceiling tiles. Interlocking tiles requires more work and effort.

Another important fact you have to keep in mind before working with tiles is the presence of asbestos in it. Before 1980s, asbestos is widely used in tiles. Asbestos is dangerous for you. And if you want to know that your tiles contain asbestos or not you may have to send it to government authorized testing centers. In case tiles have asbestos, it is better to hire a professional.

Required Items

Following items are required to remove the old ceiling tiles:

– Needle-nose pliers
– Garbage can
– Putty knife
– Tarps
– Pry bar / claw hammer
– Utility knife


Removing Suspended Ceiling Tiles

1. Before starting removing the ceiling tiles, put a tarp on the floor. This tarp will help you to collect debris and dust come out of the ceiling. Arrange a large dustbin and place it in a room.

2. Push the ceiling tile up. To dislodge these from its track, pick it up.

3. To take the ceiling tile away through the opening between the tracks, you need to hold these in a particular angle. Take away all the tiles in the same way and throw them into the garbage can or dustbin.

Removing Interlocking Ceiling Tiles

1. First step is same as you follow for suspended in it. Cover the floor with tarp and place a large garbage can to collect all the debris and dust.

2. You have to figure out the way tiles are installed. Mostly tiles are stapled or glued to furring strips. Take a utility knife and notch the edge of the tile. Lift the tile gently with putty knife and see if it is glued or stapled.

3. Take the rim (molding) away from the ceiling. To remove the rim, put the putty knife along the edges of the rim and softly tap it with hammer. Pry the knife away to remove the rim.

4. For removing tiles, you can take help of pry bar or claw hammer. Place the pry bar or hammer on the edge of it and tap a little. Move the bar of claw hammer back and forth; this will loosen the hold of tiles. Remember glued tiles need more effort and force than stapled tiles

5. Remove all the tiles one by one and throw them into the garbage can. If your tiles contain staples, take them away with needle nose pliers.


– Asbestos is harmful substance and it should be treated with due care. The best way is to hire a professional to work on this. If it is unavoidable for you to work on the tiles containing asbestos, follow all the safety measures. You need to have a respiratory mask, safety goggles and protective clothing as well.

– Many states have some rules and regulations for treating and discarding asbestos. Follow the rules and regulations strictly.

Bamboo Floors and Flooring

The bamboo flooring is well recognized, reliable and stable flooring with an amazing look. It is produced out of split bamboo strips which are laminated on plywood planks. Though bamboo is light in color by nature, the process of carbonization can darken it by applying pressure and steam to it. The result being, the bamboo floors can be chosen from a wide variety of colors ranging from blond to medium dark brown.

A number of unique qualities make this type of flooring a good choice. It is quite resistant to bends and dents which can be caused by blunt impacts. In fact, this characteristic of the bamboo floor is better than most hardwood floorings. Bamboo has been recognized not only for its elasticity but also for its hardness. The wood hardness rating in bamboo is 1800, which far more exceeds those of hard maple, which has the rating of 1450 and white oak, rated at 1360.

Based on its natural origin in tropical areas, the bamboo has resistance to water. Even then, it does get affected by moisture and tends to contract and expand with the change in moisture. Also, it is stainable. Applying an extra coat of wax or polyurethane is recommended if you are planning to use it in the bathroom or kitchen. This extra coating makes sure that you get stain free flooring. You can refer to the manufacturer's instructions for this process.

The main benefit of bamboo is that it can grow in some years and makes it an environment friendly material. People who understand this and are concerned how the rain forests are getting destroyed may consider using bamboo floorings in their homes.

Such floorings can be comfortably installed on the traditional sub-floors. The already finished tongue and groove strips can be nailed, glued or stapled as per the floating floor installation. Always remember to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, which are enclosed in a package with flooring, if you are planning self installation. It is suggested to leave the flooring material in the room for a couple of days before installation, which would allow it to get used to the room temperature and humidity. The bamboo flooring will have to be applied with finishing material every few years as it can not be sanded.

The bamboo flooring is rated high by us, based on factors like cost efficiency, simple installation and environment friendly source.

5 Principles of Lean Management

Lean Management encompasses a set of principles and processes that help an organization to create greater value for its customers in a lesser time frame by using limited resources and minimizing waste. It is a great philosophy to implement in any organization irrespective of its size or type. These practices also help in innovation that is very crucial for today's business climate.

There are five Principles of Lean Management:

Specify Value: Lean Management lays a lot of emphasis on value and its maximization. It's important to identify and specify what constitutes this value to the customer so that your employees are clear about it too. Thereby, you can recognize the wasteful activities and processes which then can be minimized by your team.

Identify the Value chain: Value chain or stream is a set of activities through the organization that work on the product from the raw material stage to the finished good for the customer. Mapping and identifying each process in a chain helps in figuring out the logical order, wasteful processes and in streamlining operations to deliver greatest value in the least amount of time.

Create Flow of value: Typically only 5 % of activities for a product and 50% of activities for a service add value. This waste, if removed, creates a flow that ensures that the product or service smoothly reaches the customer without delays, defects, and waiting.

Respond to Customer Demand: An organization's production and inventory process must be closely aligned with customer demand. Remember that cost of storing and transportation are idle costs and do not add value to the product for the customer. Thus, understanding customer demand patterns better can help in improved production scheduling that can eliminate the huge wastage in terms of cost for storing excess products. Aim at producing what the customers wants when they want.

Aim for perfection: As you define and establish value flow, wasteful processes will begin getting eliminated. Customer pull will be better addressed. All this will create a reorganization of processes across the organization, whereby, more wasteful processes will become visible and the pursuit of perfection will be attainable. The end goal is always about adding value to the customer.

These 5 principles of lean management will help you bring about change, minimize wastage and implement policies that emphasize the right way of doing things in the organization. Processes will get streamlined in the endeavor to consistently deliver value to the end customer. Organizations that constantly monitor are able to handle any changes in business environments better and more efficiently.

Hunting and Camping: Tips For Your Next Trip

Planning your next hunting or camping trip? Are you a serious outdoors backpacker? Sure, you’ve got lots of specialized outdoor gear; you can also turn everyday items into something that you can use on your next trip into the wilderness.

Tent pegs causing you trouble? If they tend to slip or pull loose in soft ground or on a wet evening, all you have to do is overlap two. Offer the tent stake to which the tent is fastened just a little extra support.

For example, think about the silver reflective sunshades sold for car windows. Put one under your bed between the mattress and its wooden support, and you’ll sleep better. The sunshade will reflect your body heat; use it as a ground dampness barrier as well, or trim it to fit inside your cooler so that your ice lasts longer.

Another good idea is to cook your nightly meals before hand, and then freeze them in plastic freezer bags. Buy your steaks ahead of time, freeze them in their marinade, and then wrap them in aluminum foil. Pack these in the cooler, and they’ll stay fresh longer.

When you buy an 8-person cook set, you’ll find everything stored in a 12-20 quart aluminum pot. This will come in very useful at the campsite, even if you don’t cook stew for 12. Tie it to a rain fly to collect water. Use it to boil drinking water, or to heat the water you need for cooking and cleaning. When you’re headed back, stuff your sleeping bag in it and it won’t take up any extra space.

At the campsite, before you heat or cook your food, spread just a little liquid dish soap on the outside of the pots and pans. After you’re done, just rub them in clean sand and rinse. It couldn’t be any easier, could it?

Dome Awnings

An awning is a covering usually attached to the outside of the building and used to provide shade from direct sunlight, rain or snow. Awnings are great energy savers, because they prevent direct sunlight from entering the rooms. Lightly colored fabric-roofed dome awnings perform a dual function by adding elegance and beauty to the building. If a few inches gap can be maintained between the top of the awning and the face of the wall, accumulated heat can be vented from under a stationary solid surface awning. Over the years, dome awnings have become attractive, classic architectural enhancements for restaurants, hotels, shopping areas, storefronts, windows, doors, and even small or narrow outdoor patio areas.

Dome awning roofs can be made of metals, synthetic fabrics or canvas. Metal sheet roofed dome awnings are virtually maintenance-free and last for a lifetime. Fabric or canvas roofed awnings can easily last for up to ten years, with proper care. These awnings are made from the finest water repellent and mildew resistant synthetic fabrics. However, if dirt accumulates on the awnings, they will become susceptible to mold and mildew after a few rainy seasons. It is therefore necessary to wash the roof of the canvas or fabric awnings on a regular basis. Special cleaners and disinfectants are available in the market for this purpose.

Dome awnings, by virtue of their shape, allow the rainwater to run off and not collect in the middle of the awning. This of course, requires the canvas or fabric to be held tout against the frame. The frame for dome awnings is usually made with powder coated aluminum tubing or galvanized iron tubing, giving it the rounded shape.

Awnings help to reduce utility costs and also prevent degrading of the building. Dome awnings, when installed over windows, provide shade and prevent carpets and furniture inside the house from looking old and faded. They also decrease the indoor temperatures, reduce the need for air conditioner usage, and help save on energy bills.

Best Product For Sealing Pavers

Paver sealers are used to protect the pavers from damage and stains. Sometimes sealers lend a wonderful finishing effect and often add a glossy look thus; they further enhance the beauty of the pavers, making them look nice, colorful and vibrant. The finishing coat aids easy cleaning and maintenance. This also affords a far solid and stronger effect on the patio, walkway, or driveway and makes them long lasting. You could resort to cleaning pavers and then sealing pavers every year or so to make them look fresh and attractive.

Types of Paver Sealers

There are two basic kinds of products when sealing pavers. They are Film Formers and Penetrants. The Film Formers affords major protection against the adverse action of water and other elements of contamination. These sealers lend a shiny finish to the surface, making it far more attractive and long lasting. However, film formers are effective only for the top few layers. Penetrants easily seep through the numerous pores on the surface and reach even the bottom most layers. They are water as well as stain resistant. They provide protection against the deteriorating influence of water and other elements of weather over a period of time. They afford durability and longevity to the surface.

Paver sealers are either solvent based or water based.

Which is the Best Paver Sealer?

To come to a conclusion regarding which type of paver sealer is best, you have to decide on what exactly you want to attain by getting your pavers sealed. Is stain-resistance your objective or water-proofing your sole priority? You have to decide whether you prefer a natural finish or a glossy effect. Depending on what your priorities are, you should choose the suitable paver sealers to get the desired effects. If you need to seal pool pavers you should consider what your requirement is and then choose what is best for you. Some sealers will highlight the colors in the pool while others may afford sheen and still others may help resisting stains. Similarly you should choose the best sealers as per your requirements when you need to seal your patio, driveways or pathways.

Water based versus Solvent Based Sealers

Water-based sealers are eco-friendly, non-inflammable and non-hazardous. Water based sealers are not only effective they are also free from toxic fumes or odors and are not harmful to plants or any building materials. They are environmentally safe and are multi-dimensional known for multi-tasking. They afford long lasting effect on the pavers. Though water based sealers have no health or safety hazards, they have a few drawbacks. They take much longer to dry and do not penetrate as easily as solvent based sealers do. These sealers are not messy and are easy to use and apply as you do not need to blend different constituents. However, Water based sealers need two coats of application for effective water proofing purposes.

Solvent based sealers are known for better penetration than the water based sealers. When acrylic is dissolved in a solvent it penetrates deeper and they therefore give better protection from undesired wear and tear. The solvent based sealers are stain resistant and they provide a surface which can easily be recoated. These products are also clouding resistant so a whitish coat over the paver can be avoided due to their application. These oil based sealers provide protection against efflorescence, calcium formation, rusting, algae, mold and mildew. However the solvent based sealers are known to have quite high volatile organic compound (VOC) rating and are considered to pose both health as well as safety hazards.

Choosing a Type of Digital Camera (DSLR, Bridge Or Instant?)

One of the initial barriers to entering the digital photography field is selecting appropriate equipment. The sheer range of cameras and paraphernalia available is both breathtaking and daunting simultaneously.

One of the easiest ways to narrow your search is to decide what kind of camera you require by thinking about what you want from it. There are three main types of camera out there for those entering the world of digital photography.

If you are planning on taking your digital camera out and about with you, possibly on a night out on the tiles, perhaps a simple point-and-click camera would be most suitable for you. They behave in a similar way to a mobile phone camera with the whole process being very compact and easy making it ideal for snapping without flapping around with dozens of settings. The results of these point and shoot cameras are often very impressive and as far as simple, good quality photography goes they are hard to fault; especially as many of them begin to allow more manual control over the shooting process.

Then there is the awkward middle ground. This is filled with an aptly named range of ‘bridge’ cameras which resemble the more complex DSLR cameras despite being closer to the simpler, instant point and shoot cameras. They have non-removable lenses, different internal workings and often have smaller sensors. All this in theory suggests they are weaker than entry level DSLR cameras but this isn’t strictly the case. More often than not, the lens found on bridge cameras is superior in quality to kit lenses supplied with DSLR cameras. The quality of the lens is a huge factor to consider when trying to achieve good quality images.

Finally there are digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLR). These cameras tend to encompass all features found on the simpler as well as having full manual controls. These cameras tend to be more expensive and as a rule come with a poor standard lens. The main plus for these cameras is the expandability that can be achieved through changing the lenses and adding accessories to hep you take the best photographs possible. The main downsides are the costs involved for both the main body of the camera and for additional lenses and the bulky nature of them. It is also worth considering that removable lenses on DSLR cameras usually only fit one brand of camera so if you choose a Sony DSLR as your first camera and purchase lenses you will be locked into buying further Sony DSLR cameras in the future if you want to use your existing kit.

So which camera? It is best not to get caught up with the megapixel war as often this is almost irrelevant – it is accepted that five megapixels is all you would need to blow pictures up to A4 size! What is worth considering is what you want from the camera, how you want your hobby to evolve and what you feel most comfortable with. Price is a factor, however high end instant cameras and bridge cameras are easily in the range of entry level DSLRs.

Personally speaking I opted for an entry DSLR (the Sony a200) and I love it. The entry level lens is below the quality you find in bridge cameras of similar price, but I plan on using a range of lenses as my hobby develops to take specialist shots. However, if I was going to spend the majority of my time taking pictures of scenery or people from standard distances without getting too arty I would have chosen a bridge camera with the single, better quality lens and further if I wanted to carry the camera with me and take drunken pictures I would have gone for the most compact option in the form of an instant camera.

Do research, read as many reviews as you can and ask people who enjoy photography what they think just be wary that they might well be biased and only be willing to suggest equipment made by the same manufacturer as they use. Once you know which cameras appeal to you most try and get into a shop and play about with them. Feel the quality of the finish and use the controls and see if you feel comfortable with them. I had my heart set on a Nikon D40 until I had a chance to play with one alongside the Sony A200.

Overall take your time, have a play with cameras that are on your short list and consider what you actually want from a camera. Most cameras are capable of taking beautiful pictures suitable for most purposes. You need to select the hardware that matches all your criteria be it a DSLR, a bridge or an instant camera.

How to Find Companies That Offer Home Assembly Work

There are many companies that offer home assembly work. The problem is how to find legitimate home based assembly jobs.

It is true that there are websites and ads in local newspapers that are looking for home based assembly workers. But there are no guarantees if the jobs posted in online classifieds are real or not. So here are some tips which will help you to find home based assembly jobs.

1. When you search for home based assembly jobs on the Internet, make sure that the company offering the job is near your place. You have to remember that you will produce real products for such companies and not just digital products like spreadsheets or documents. Shipping the material will become a big problem if the company offering assembly jobs is located very far from your residence.

2. Avoid companies that will ask for money before they hire you. It is you who are looking for a job and you should be compensated for your work. Legitimate companies will train you for such jobs without upfront payment.

3. Find a company that provides all the raw materials for the assembly. It is not your responsibility to buy supplies. All you need are your basic tools such as scissors, cutters, glue gun, pliers, hammers, and other work implements. The raw materials should be provided by the company. Do not fall for assembly jobs that will ask for a security deposit for the materials.

You should also search online job opportunity forums. These forums have lots of home based jobs to offer and you can even download free ebooks and video instructions from these job portals.

Mounting Your Wall Coat Rack

When mounting the wall coat racks in your home you can throw it up on the wall and (hopefully) it looks good. Hopefully the colors are right as is everything else. Find someone who can do things like use a screwdriver or a drill. This may be your husband or your neighbor, who knows? It doesn’t matter who it is, it just matters that they have some handy knowledge. A handyman would work wonders at this and probably have it up in no time flat.

Another thing you are going to want to do is use wall anchors when you install coat racks. Wall anchors will make it so that your coat rack is able to hold way more weight. They have a stabilizing effect on the rack and that is why they come so highly recommended. Over the years many people will probably grab, rip, and tear at it so it must be enforced as much as possible at the beginning here. This is our opportunity to get things right from the beginning.

The bottom line with wall mounted coat racks is that they involve a two stage process. First, you think about stylistic ideas that you may have. What color do I want my coat rack to be? What do I want it to be made out of? And then there is the practical application of actually putting the thing up on the wall. This is where the rubber meets the road. But if you follow my directions given above you should be fine. Just know that the work and thinking that you are putting into this project right now will be returned ten-fold if you are detail-oriented and insist on being very thorough in your hanging.

Introducing: The Plum Blossom Hammer for Hair Loss Treatment

Acupuncture to the scalp is becoming one of the treatments of choice for men and women suffering from hair loss. People who suffer from the ailment opt ​​to do it at the clinic of a therapist practicing alternative medicine, but there are some who do their own acupuncture therapy at home through the use of a device called the plum blossom hammer. Satisfied customers have attested to the benefits of using the plum blossom hammer for hair loss treatment.

The use of the plum blossom hammer for hair loss treatment is a relatively new concept in English-speaking nations. The plum blossom hammer is a very small hammer with that is placed with around five to seven needle points. This hammer is pressed gently against certain areas of the scalp, and its daily use is said to be an effective cure to hair loss. However, it should never be used without prior authorization and instruction from a therapist practicing acupuncture.

Acupuncture to the scalp is becoming one of the treatments of choice for men and women suffering from hair loss. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical treatment that operates on the philosophy that life force, more popularly known as "chi," flows through the body. The unhindered flow of chi promotes good health and wellness, while obstacles to the flow of chi results in certain illnesses, depending on where the chi is blocked. What acupuncture does is to eliminate these obstacles and correct the flow of chi into the body.

In Western terms, acupuncture is supposed to stimulate the nerve endings just underneath the skin through the insertion of long and fine needles. The stimulation of the nerve endings in the treated area results in the improvement of the circulation of blood to the affected area. An improved circulation of blood in the said area means that the damaged cells in the area will be repaired more quickly and easily, and that more nutrients needed to encourage and accelerate healing will be brought by the blood to the area. Improved blood circulation also entails the development of new cells to replace the dead and damaged ones in the area.

The daily use of the plum blossom hammer for hair loss treatment, while not really proven medically to completely heal hair loss, is at least effective in encouraging the growth of new cells in the hair follicles of the scalp. The growth of new cells always means that the re-growth of hair is still possible. Nonetheless, the plum blossom hammer should never be used without proper instruction from the acupuncture therapist.

Glass Tile Mosaic Art – Andamento (Huh? What's That?)

Making wonderful glass mosaic tile art is easy! Let me show you how.

Andamento (Italian for "flow") is the visual movement of your mosaic created by placing tesserae in specific patterns to achieve the desired image (aka "coursing" your tesserae).

Opus (Latin for "work of art or literary work") is any work in any creative field, such as literature, architecture, music, and fine art. In our world of mosaic art, opus refers to how we arrange our tesserae. Different opera (the plural of opus) result in different flows. Understanding the various opera allows you to properly plan your work to ensure you achieve the desired look.

The following opera terms are based on Latin. Few people I know, including me, remember two minutes after reading about them what each term means. It does not matter what you call each style. For example, instead of saying "Opus Regulatum," you can call it "squares aligned like a brick wall." The point is to be aware of the types of opera, then plan which types give the results you want, and then create your masterpiece accordingly.

Do not get hung up on the names; simply be aware of the various styles and how your eyes react to each. Plan your work to give the desired flow and effect. I will not try to describe in fancy art-speak the effect that the eyes see in each opus because your eyes may interpret something very differently than mine. Besides, I never understand so called connoisseurs when they use art-speak like energy, strong, sharp, dynamic movement, and dynamic power to describe a particular opus. I remember a pretentious guy who once told me, "Your lines are crisp and intense, and give the piece a provocative personality." I confidently responded, "That's exactly what I was going for," although I had no idea what he was talking about. I felt I had to acknowledge what sounded like a compliment by pretending to understand his art-speak.

Surf the Internet for mosaic artists, study their work, and note the flow of their tesserae. Pay attention to how each type of flow makes you feel. Associate the flows with the feelings they stimulate in you. Then, plan your own work using the flows for the feelings you hope to evoke in others. Try mixing several types of opera into your work. For example, try using Opus Regulatum for the border, Opus Palladianum for the background, and Opus Sectile for the focal point.

Opus Tesselatum is a square or rectangle pattern with grout lines aligned, such as a checkerboard.

Opus Regulatum is also a square or rectangle pattern but with grout lines staggered like a brick wall. I sometimes use a variation of this opus as a background by enhancing the effect using light tesserae in the center and gradually darkening the tone to the border.

You'll find inconsistencies with the definitions of tesselatum and regulatum in that some believe they're reversed. Those who believe as I do have sound justification. For example, the Latin "tessella" means "small square piece of stone." The Latin "tessellatim" means "in a checkered or tessellated form." The modern "tessellate" means "arrange in a checkered pattern." Therefore, I'm comfortable being in the group that defines the two terms as noted above. However, there's another discrepancy, which is with the spelling of "tesselatum." Does it have one "l" or two? I use one "l" to stay consistent with the other "… latum" opera described below. Again, it does not matter what you call them or how you spell them as long as you understand that the two styles exist and they each can arouse different feelings when used in mosaics.

Opus Reticulatum is similar to opus regulatum or tesselatum but with slanted lines.

Opus Sectile is either a piece of tessera cut to one specific shape or several tesserae of varying sizes cut to shapes that fit together like puzzle pieces.

Opus Vermiculatum is typically a single row of tesserae following the outline of a focal point or main feature of the mosaic. Some artists use several rows to create the halo effect and add emphasis to the focal point. The background is usually done with a contrasting opus, such as opus regulatum. "Vermis" is Latin for worm, so think of opus vermiculatum as a worm surrounding your focal point.

Opus Musivum is opus vermiculatum extended out to fill the background, either all the way to the borders or to secondary focal points.

Opus Classicum combines opus vermiculatum with opus regulatum or opus tesselatum.

Opus Palladianum uses similar shapes laid in an irregular pattern. In my opinion, triangle like shapes with relatively equal grout spacing works best for this opus.

Opus Circumtactum uses interlocking fan like patterns for the background.

Making mosaic art is easy. You can do it. Yes, you can! Let me show you how.