The Pros and Cons of Goal Setting

No matter what age you are, or what stage of life you find yourself in, you need goals! Just in case you do not think that you need to set goals… run through this list and see how many of them apply to you.

– Even tho you are busy, you accomplish little

– You have little passion for what you do, nothing excites you anymore

– You spread out your work to fill your day

– You know you are not reaching your potential in life

– You wonder what the future holds for you

– You are waiting for someone else to make you successful

– Life seems boring to you

This lists seems like the list of somebody with a pretty miserable life! Let me show you how setting goals could change this for this person.

1. Direction

Goals provide you with direction. You know what you are aiming for. You know when you have to have it done by. You are investing your time wisely and for a purpose.

2. Control

You take control of your life. Your life is not controlled by situations, but by what you want to achieve.

3. Motivation and Energy

Goals motivate you because you know the end result and you want to achieve it. When you get momentum going, you gain more energy too!

4. Better Decisions

When you have a specific direction for your life, you make better decisions because you know what you want and what you do not want in your life.

Decide today that you will not waste another year by being busy but not actually achieving anything. Begin to look at your life, assess the areas you want to change and then start to make small goals that you can achieve to get the ball rolling!

Birch or Oak Wood Flooring?

Birch wood flooring has always been a popular choice due to the fact that it is cheaper than oak yet is still a hard wearing wood floor with plenty of natural colour variation. It’s worth checking out some pictures of birch flooring online so you know what i mean. As you can see its very different to oak flooring, yet both of these floors are the most popular solid woods sold today.

I believe its a trade off. Simply price over product. Oak is hard wearing and long lasting, but more expensive. Birch is cheap flooring, that is just not as hard wearing (or beautiful) as oak. People choose it because of price. Maple would be a better option for a light floor instead of birch, as it is more stable and harder wearing but it does not sell anywhere near as much volume. And that means it is simply down to price.

Of course now that engineered and multi-ply floors are getting more and more popular oak flooring has become even less expensive. But engineered birch flooring, would then also become cheap wood flooring if only it arrived on the wooden floor in some good volume. But as it is, it remains a niche and therefore very expensive product. And if thats not strange enough, due to lower volumes this less than high quality engineered wood is considerably less expensive than than its oak engineered flooring rival.

A good insight how a less quality product can become more expensive simple due to volume. Id say buy the oak any day. And if you really like the hard wearing but light floors, just buy some maple.

How to Make My Penis Longer Without Surgery: The DIY in Penis Enlargement

For those men who are well endowed, penis size was never a problem. But for men who are below average (average length is 6 inches); they would often ask how to make it longer. Some would look for ways to do it without the help of surgery.

How to make my penis longer without surgery?

Surgical method is done by cutting off the tendons that hold the penis, and letting it down and out so that it increases its flaccid length by an inch or two. Some would combine a method of clamping the blood vessel to retain the blood much longer thus making it engorged.

However there are ways said to be effective in lengthening the penis.

So, “How to make my penis longer without surgery?”, one safe way of doing so is simply making it look longer by cutting one’s pubic hair, or losing some weight.

Others would perform exercises like Jelqing and Jikok. This method is supposedly done to make the penis longer and thicker through exercising. The technique is also called “milking”. This is done by wrapping the thumb and the index finger around the base of the semi-erect penile shaft, drawing it away from the body. This movement forces the blood into the glans.

Another technique is by “Hanging”. This is done by hanging weights behind the glans penis for a period of time, gradually increasing the weight to “exercise” the penis with repetitions of around 5 to 10 minutes. This procedure however can result in serious damage like scarring, impotence, chronic pain and nerve damage. The reason behind “Hanging” is to stretch the tunica albuginea and other tissues of the penis.

Stretching is another form of non-surgical method to increase the length of the penis. This makes use of an extender apparatus and is attached to the penis for a certain period of time in several repetitions. This produces traction to the penis, which would supposedly make it longer and thicker.

Clamping is another risky procedure in enlarging the penis. It makes use of a “cock ring”. The objective of this procedure is to augment the girth of the penis. It makes use of constricting devices such as cable clamp, shoe string, or as mentioned a tight cock ring. The apparatus is clamped on the base of the erect penile shaft. Metal cock rings are discouraged by medical practitioners and those people who use clamping. This is because the trapped blood that is engorging the penis can make it unattainable to remove the metal cock ring without the use of amputation, or sawing the metal ring.

Lastly, the Penis Pump: According to some experts, rather than making the penis longer and thicker, it is more of the psychological satisfaction that it gives men. The penis pump is also known as the vacuum pump. This is a cylinder that is placed over the penis. As it produces mild suction, the blood is let into the penis making it engorged, thus having a harder erection. A flexible cock ring is also used with the penis pump. It is placed on the opening of the cylinder, after the suction, the ring is pushed to the base of the engorged penile shaft, and then the penis pump is released.

Penis pumps are commonly used for the treatment of impotence. The pump can also produce harmful effects such as ruptured blood vessels, blisters, cuts. In some cases, over-zealous pumping may cause the testicles to be sucked in the cylinder causing pain and possible injury from the said procedure.

It is indeed hard to find answers to the question on “how to make my penis longer without surgery”. Various procedures, pills, patches and ointments are presented to potential markets. But up to this moment, there are still no scientific proofs that these procedures and pills can enlarge your penis.

Scatter Diagram

A scatter diagram shows the correlation between two variables in a process. These variables could be a Critical To Quality (CTQ) characteristic and a factor affecting it, two factors affecting a CTQ or two related quality characteristics. Dots representing data points are scattered on the diagram. The extent to which the dots cluster together in a line across the diagram shows the strength with which the two factors are related.

Sometimes the scatter plot may show little correlation when all the data are considered at once. Stratifying the data, that is, breaking it into two or more groups based on some difference such as the equipment used, the time of day, some variation in materials or differences in the people involved may show surprising results.

The reverse can also be true. A significant correlation could appear to exist when all the data are considered at once, but stratification could show that there is no correlation. One way to look for stratification effects is to make your dots in different colors or use different symbols when you suspect that there may be differences in stratified data.

Why Use Scatter Diagrams?

To study and identify the possible relationship between the changes observed in two different sets of variables. Scatter diagrams are especially useful in the measure and analyze phases of the Lean Six Sigma methodology.

What Does Scatter Diagrams Do?

– Supplies the data to confirm a hypothesis that two variables are related.

– Provides both a visual and statistical means to test the strength of a potential relationship

– Provides a good follow-up to a Cause & Effect Diagram to find out if there is more than just a consensus connection between the causes and the effect. You must take care, however, so that you do not misinterpret what your diagram means.

What Scatter Diagrams Can Do For You?

To control variation in any process, it is absolutely essential that you understand which causes are generating which effects. A cause and effect diagram can help you identify probable causes. Scatter diagrams can help you test them. By knowing which elements of your process are related and how they are related, you will know what to control or what to vary to affect a quality characteristic.

Scatter diagrams can be used to prove that a suspected cause-and-effect relationship exist between two process variables. With the results from these diagrams, you will be able to design experiments or make adjustments to help center your processes and control variation.

How Scalene Muscle Trigger Points Can Cause Pain Right Down to Your Fingers

Trigger Points are a Pain in the Neck

If you experienced a severe pain in your hand, would it occur to you that the problem was actually in your neck? We all know the phrase ‘a pain in the neck’ but if you have myofascial trigger points in your neck muscles, that’s probably the last place you’re actually going to feel anything.

Because trigger points in the neck muscles refer pain to so many other parts of the body, they are very hard to diagnose, and many people continue to suffer agonizing pain or other symptoms because they can’t find the source of the problem.

The most common muscle group to experience neck triggers is the scalene group, three muscles known as the anterior scalene, middle scalene and posterior scalene. These muscles join the neck bones to the top of the ribcage and trigger points in any of them can cause pain in a variety of locations.

Impact of Triggers in the Neck

The pattern of pain caused by spasms in the scalene muscle group varies greatly from person to person, and can also change from one day to the next for the same person.

Generally pain from scalene triggers will spread down to chest, along the arms and into the hands, into the upper back, and up to the side of the head. Shooting pains in the arms and hands are common, but in the upper body stabbing pains are more likely. Scalene muscle tension can also cause a huge variety of other diverse symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Sinus problems
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Voice changes
  • Hearing issues
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Tooth pain

Treating Neck Triggers

Stretching the scalene muscles can be very beneficial, especially for combating headaches, but before stretches are attempted it is a good idea to try to massage out existing trigger points so stretching doesn’t make them worse.

The scalene muscles can be found within a triangular area between the collar bone, the trapezius shoulder muscle and the v-shaped throat muscles. This area should be massaged very gently with the pads of the fingers rather than the tips. Use small circles to find the bands of muscle and ease off if you feel the pulse of the carotid artery or jugular vein.

Massaging this area can feel strange and a little uncomfortable to begin with, and pressing on a trigger point may initially feel hot and sharp. However, with gentle pressure you should eventually feel a warn ache spread throughout your arm, shoulder and head, showing that the massage is having an effect.

Once you’ve deactivated the triggers within the scalene muscles through massage, a daily stretch can be very effective at relieving symptoms. The best stretch for the scalene muscles is very simple:

  1. In a standing position clasp your hands behind your back.
  2. Lower your left shoulder and tilt your head to the right.
  3. Roll your head backwards until you feel a stretch in the scalene muscles.
  4. Hold for ten to fifteen seconds and repeat on the other side.

Preventing Neck Trigger Points

One of the main causes of myofascial points in the scalene muscle group is poor posture, especially sitting incorrectly at a desk all day. Continually tilting the head upwards or downwards, twisting to the side, or slumping the shoulders forward can all place excessive stress on the scalene muscles which contribute to trigger points.

These tips on correct posture at your desk should help to reduce pain caused by neck tension:

  • Make sure your computer screen is at the right height so you don’t need to look up or down. If you are using a laptop make sure you have a docking station or a separate monitor.
  • Make sure your computer screen is directly in front of you so you don’t have to twist your neck to see it and you can keep your head in a neutral position.
  • Use a lower back support which will automatically pull your shoulders back and prevent you slumping forward over your desk.
  • Alter the height of your seat so your feet are flat on the floor, or use a foot stool. If your feet are too far from the floor you will lean forward to compensate, throwing your upper body out of line and increasing pressure on your neck.

Pain and other problems caused by triggers in the scalene muscles can be very hard to diagnose because the one place that doesn’t seem to be affected is the neck. However, gentle massage of the scalene area and regular stretching, combined with great posture can work together to limit the impact of trigger points in the neck.

Another Way On How To Kill Termites

We look for inexpensive yet positive ways to kill termites. Because termites cost us billions of dollars, we need to learn the proper ways on how to kill termites before they cost your thousands of dollars and in some cases your entire home. People who have left their home to termites, most of the time unknowingly, the home has to be torn down or gutted and started over. If we take charge of the situation before it gets to far out of hand, we can somehow save our homes from the damage done by termites, which is worst then floods, fire and hurricanes or tornadoes.

Many ways exist on how to kill termites, but what is good for one homeowner, might not be the right way for you. Everybody has a different idea on the best and effective way to do the task. Although all methods have proven to be effective, your time and money needs to be considered. Termites have become resilient over the years and so you need to pay close attention to the proper ways on how to kill termites.

Baiting has been a popular way for homeowners to rid their homes of termites

. Many professionals use this method and swear by the results, although other methods are just as effective. Baits contain toxins that are alluring to the termite and they flock to the bait boxes to feed in turn they die. The bait is put in the path of the worker termite or near a colony in order to make it easy for the termite to find it quickly. As the workers die off the queen and other reproductive will die because of no food. As food supplies vanish so will the termite colony.

More often, people choose to hire a professional pest control company to handle the job of ridding their homes from termites. Some people, like me, get that creepy, crawly feeling when being around these insects. Although they do not like humans, they still give you a devastating affect just knowing they are in your home. If you have a professional company, then they deal with the chemicals and you just pay the bill.

If the pest control company uses the tent method or a stronger chemical, you may have to leave your home for many days to allow the chemicals to work and kill the termites. When we think about how to kill termites, we never consider that they can force us from our homes, but they do eventually if the infestation is severe enough. Now you can choose the best way for you on how to kill termites.

Choosing a Mini Excavator and Its Advantages

The construction and landscaping industry has taken control of all their projects with the help of heavy equipment machines. However, if you would only want to do a certain construction or landscaping at a small area at home like improving your patio or making a small pond for your garden, you will not need a heavy equipment machine anymore because they can come in small sizes also. Choosing a mini excavator would be a very good idea because it will fit even in a small area just like that of your own home.

The mini excavators have a great advantage especially on its size. Due to its small size they can be used for home improvements. They can work efficiently on a small area. Aside from that, they cannot create traffic because it can only consume a small area in the road when there are some improvements done on pavements. Due to its small size they can even be transported from one place to another especially when it is needed for another small project. It can be towed behind a big truck.

The compact excavators are also considered very versatile machines. Different attachments can be placed to it for different tasks. For instance a bucket is used to help in digging and loading materials. It can also be used for other tasks like collecting logs on the ground by replacing the attachment with a grappler. Moreover, a mallet application is also used when there are objects that need to be broken down into smaller pieces. During the winter season, it can also be used to clear the way from piles of snow by just using another kind of attachment.

Because of its different applications, the mini excavators are considered very flexible and cost effective machines. You do not have to buy another machine for a specific task because all you need to do is avail of its different hydraulic attachments. You can consider it as a reliable machine for how many years that will help you through a lot of construction and landscaping tasks. Your estimate on the costs of machines will be lessened by its versatility. You can just spare the remaining money for other important materials that you will utilize for the whole project.

Lastly, these machines can be easily available for you. You can buy a brand new one from different compact excavator suppliers. If you do not have the budget for it, you can go for the used ones. They may not look like the brand new machines, but they can still be effective for working especially when the engine and all its other parts are still in good shape. Lastly, for smaller projects like that at your own home, you can decide to go for mini excavators that are for rent.

These are the advantages of choosing a mini excavator. Aside from its size, it can be used for different applications and you do not have to worry as to where to get hold of this kind of machine.

Quick and Easy Violin Mute

One of the reasons I picked up the violin was because it was easier to travel with than a guitar (not that I haven’t found some nice travel guitars, but that’s another story). It fits in an airplane overhead and is easy to carry!

However, I want to be considerate of the folks in the rooms around me when I’m playing in my hotel room. I decided I needed a mute — there are a lot of gizmos you can attach easily (and not so easily) to your violin to reduce the sound. I wanted something simple and effective — it had to be easy to slip on and off and it had to work!

Turns out it was really easy to find, too! Head to your laundry basket and grab a spring clothespin. Okay, go ahead and grab two — just in case. Slip the first clothespin onto the treble side of your violin bridge. Angle the pin downwards so it won’t interfere with your bow.

That’s it! Give it a try and you’ll be amazed at how the sound is muted. If you want even more muting, put the second pin on the bass side of the bridge. (When you do this, it looks like your violin is wearing a mustache!)

Doesn’t get much easier than this — plus there’s probably room in your case for the two clothespins. Simple, cheap, and effective (although it does look a little goofy).

Vehicle Safety Alert: Faded Plastic Headlights Can Be Very Dangerous!

Many of today’s modern vehicles headlights are made from a hard plastic called Poly-Carbonate. The plastic is very lightweight and very strong, and most importantly, much cheaper to mass produce. Today’s modern vehicle designs call for dramatic looking headlight styles and the automakers love using plastic for the headlight lens for more than one reason: First of all, plastic is much cheaper to mass produce. Just as important, the plastic lens is also very strong and lightweight. The days of using real glass for the headlight lens are all but gone. The main reason is that it would simply cost a heck of a lot more to make the lens out of glass. Also glass is much heavier than plastic and can be much more dangerous in a collision. The lightweight plastic lens is what the all automakers will continue to use these days mainly because they are always trying to keep the vehicles production costs low, and the automakers also want to keep the vehicle lighter and more economical. While the plastic lens has its many plus sides, the major down side is that the plastic lens will fade dramatically in time. Fading plastic headlight lenses are a problem here to stay, and if the cloudy headlight lenses are not fixed, it can be very dangerous to the driver, (and other motorists) and that is the simple fact of the matter.

Do all plastic headlights fade? The answer is yes! Due to UV exposure, the plastic lenses on all headlight assemblies will become cloudy in time. There is just no way around it! If a plastic headlight lens is exposed to the sun, it will eventually get cloudy and fade. Most automakers will cover the cost for replacement within 3 years, but after that, you are on your own. A cloudy looking lens condition can get much worse in time if not restored. A headlight that is neglected can turn yellow, or even brown, or perhaps a combination of both. This will have a great effect on the ability of the headlight to project light properly. Translation: Poor light output! A faded headlight lens can cut the drivers visibility distance to less than half in some cases. This is a very dangerous position for any driver to be in! Would you drive at night with your sunglasses on? A poor working headlight is basically the same thing. Less light means less visibility! It is very dangerous if the driver cannot properly see the road ahead. With less light output, the driver will have much less reaction time because the headlight beam is simply not projecting enough light to safely see the road ahead.

Please check your headlights! Are they faded? Are they cloudy? Do they appear oxidized? Do they have a yellow or brown tint? These conditions are all caused by UV exposure and age, plus the condition will become worse as the vehicle is subjected to more sunlight. Simply put: The UV rays from the powerful sun will fade the headlight lenses just as it will fade exterior paint. The sun is just too strong for the plastic and it is very important for you to maintain your headlights! There are some simple inexpensive do it yourself kits on the market that can save you some of your hard earned cash, however the results can be very poor. The much smarter choice is using a professional headlight restoration service. First of all don’t let anyone convince you that your expensive headlight assemblies need to be replaced. The only reason for replacement is if there is some really bad sand pitting, or if there are major cracks in the lenses that would allow moisture to get inside the assembly. Also, don’t be fooled by some of the products on the market that claim to be quick restoration kits for headlights. Most of these kits are garbage! Again, I recommend using a professional headlight restoration service that guarantees the restoration to last. Please be safe out there at night, and please check your vehicle’s headlight condition as soon as possible!

Tips to Resolve "Journal Inode is Deleted" Error

A Linux based computer system becomes unbootable in case its file system gets corrupted or damaged. In most of these situations, a Linux user encounters an error message that does not allow him/her to access the data saved on the Linux hard drive. Few main causes for corruption in file system (either EXT4, EXT3, or EXT2) can be improper system shutdown, inode corruption, superblock damage, virus infection, accidental system shutdown, and operating system malfunction.

To overcome such situations, the user needs to repair the damaged file system using ‘e2fsck’ command. This command checks and repairs the corrupted files system in almost all cases. However, the command does not ensure 100% repair in all file system corruption scenarios. For cases where the above command fails, the user needs to reinstall Linux operating system and then restore data from an updated backup. But, in the absence of a valid backup, you will need to opt for a commercial Linux Recovery application.

To illustrate the above situation, consider a practical scenario where you encounter the below error message while trying to boot your Linux system:

“ext2fs partition type 0x83….. ext3-fs: journal inode is deleted….mount: error 22 mounting ext3 error 2 mounting name switchroot: mountfailed:22 umount/initrd/dev failed:2 kernal panic – not syncing.”

Once the above error message flashes on your screen, the system becomes unbootable, further resulting in inaccessibility of hard drive data.

Cause:

The above error message appears when the files gets corrupted or damaged.

Resolution:

Follow the below guidelines to resolve the above error message:

1. Run ‘e2fsck’ command to repair the corrupted file system.
2. In case, the above command fails to repair the file system, follow the below steps:

Reinstall the Linux operating system.
Restore the data from an updated backup.
For cases where there is no backup available, use a third-party Linux Data Recovery software.

A Linux Data Recovery utility is a powerful tool that is specifically designed to recover data post clean reinstall of Linux operating systems. Such tools are very easily understandable and do not require any technical knowledge.

Stellar Phoenix Linux Data Recovery is a safe, fast, and effective Linux Recovery utility that recovers data from formatted Ext4, Ext3, Ext2, FAT file system based volumes. Supported by almost all Linux distributions, the utility recovers every file and folder, irrespective of its type and size. This powerful repair tool includes functionalities like hard drive cloning, create image, and S.M.A.R.T.

Improve Your Children’s Communication Skills Through Community Service

Society today is an ever-changing voyage. With Google, texting, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube shaping our children’s views and perceptions of reality, they need more. While there are some great benefits to each of these services, the time our children are spending using digital devices is substantial. With these non-personal interactions replacing many types of verbal communication, we need to teach our children the importance of direct face to face interaction. A great way to do this is through “hands on” community service.

One of the great things about volunteer work is that it usually involves dealing with people. And many of those people tend to embrace “Old School” communication methods. There are even some volunteers that continue to thrive in life without a cell phone or a computer. While technology can be a great asset in the coordination and management of community service programs, it rarely replaces the face to face efforts of the volunteers that get the job done.

New Technology Can’t Get the Job Done:

Whether it is Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Literacy Volunteers of America or any of the thousands of other great national and local causes, verbal communication, and socialization are irreplaceable. You can’t text a hammer to hang drywall. You can’t post a tweet to deliver a meal to a shut-in. You can’t help someone learn to read with a Like on Facebook. And while YouTube is great, it can’t prepare a hot meal at a homeless shelter.

A Hand Shake And A Smile Go A Long Way:

If you are helping a homeless family select some gently used clothing to keep their children warm in the winter, they probably won’t be able to try on the coat “digitally”. It is so much nicer to meet a real person with a warm smile and firm handshake that might just make them feel that someone really does care about their family.

And working on a job site, remodeling a house forces everyone to ask questions, share ideas and work together to complete the renovations. There are always supervisors walking around, talking openly about everything from the weather to sports or even careers with youth participants. While they may be reluctant to strike up these conversations with their parents, I have personally found they are very open and honest when sharing their thoughts with another volunteer.

Children Need More Social Interaction:

Old fashioned talking, helping others and working as a group cannot be replaced with new technology. Community service will force them to develop, enhance and use these skills more effectively which can only help them in all aspects of life. From career aspirations and interviewing to dating, marriage and raising a family. Those that possess great communication skills will always be able to handle situations better than those without.

Encourage them to use their adolescent years to experience both the new and old communication methods. I am fearful that if we don’t, the next generation will progressively lose their interpersonal skills, or worse yet, never develop any. I cannot imagine a world in which we rely entirely on digital communication. But that is the direction that our children are heading. It is time to turn that tide and your children can make a difference.

Summary:

Help your community and your children at the same time. Get them involved in activities that force them to develop and use interpersonal communications. Society will reward their volunteer efforts and their volunteer efforts will reward their future growth. And another great communicator can only help society as a whole. It is a “win-win” situation for everyone involved.

Curtain Ideas – How to Make Curtains the Easy Way

You’re looking for curtain ideas to give you some inspiration. So how can you get fantastic looking modern curtains made to fit your windows for just a few dollars.

1. You know your room needs redecorating and bringing up to date.

2. You have windows that are the wrong size for ready made curtains.

3. Or you simply can’t find the right color or design.

So you keep putting it off because it’s going to cost big money to get them custom made.

Well it doesn’t have to break the bank to turn your curtain ideas into reality. So what kind of window treatments am I talking about that are made to measure and don’t cost a fortune. Well they are called “Wave curtains” because they hang into pleats that fold in to a wave shape.

They are a really modern and contemporary style but can fit in most homes depending on the fabric they are made from. The beauty of this style of curtains is,

1. The look obviously.

2. The way they fall naturally into their special “wave pleats” when they are either open or closed. No more time dressing your curtains every time you move them.

So your probably thinking how do you get them for so little. The answer is simple “You make them yourself”.

This is the point your finger heads for the back button, well stop right there.

Don’t panic, you don’t need to sew or even know a thing about curtains. It’s so simple anyone can do this (even a grown man like me). How do I know, have I read about it somewhere and decided to share it with you.

No I have been there done it and have the evidence hanging in my own home. I have also written up full simple step by step instructions with photos. So you can repeat it yourself with no big expenses. Most people have the tools they need to make these around their homes already. If you need anything it won’t cost you much, or you can borrow it from family or neighbors.

The only things you will need are the fabric to make your “wave curtains” and the stuff to create the header and seams.

So your asking how do you make curtains like this. Well the first step is:

1. Side seams and hem are created using fusible web tape. The stuff you use to re-hem a skirt or trousers. You fix this with a domestic steam iron, the kind we all have at home. Believe me if you apply this tape properly it sticks rock solid. You will find it very difficult to pull the fabrics apart.

2. The header that creates the wave effect on the top of your curtains is created using fusible 5 or 6 inch wide buckram. This stuff again is fixed in place using a steam iron. Again it sticks really well.

3. Finally you will need pin hooks to hang this style of curtain. These hooks pierce the fabric and buckram allowing you to put them exactly where they are needed.

That in a nutshell is how it all works. They are super easy and can be made to fit any size window. So have a go yourself and turn these curtain ideas in a reality.

How to Create a Reverse Painting on Glass

Introduction:

Glass is a non-absorbent painting support which does not allow paint to easily adhere to it – apart from through the paint’s own drying process.

For this reason the outlines of a subject painted on glass need to be simplified when applied to an extremely smooth glass surface. Simplifying a subject does not necessarily detract from the end result after the painting is completed and the final result can often have an appearance similar to that of naive art in relation to composition and form and a certain number of other details. Many artists may find that such simplification can actually be very appealing.

Working the paint or changing outlines without smudging the surrounding areas of undried paint may require some concentration in the beginning, as well as a certain amount of skill, but with patience and the development of their skills using this painting technique, artists will find that applying and mastering the use of glass as a support will become easier as time progresses.

MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR PAINTING ON GLASS

Glass

Choose clear unflawed glass (or plexiglass) in the shape and size you wish to use. In order to begin mastering the technique of reverse painting it is advised to choose smaller sizes to begin with.

Paints

It is important to use a paint that will adhere properly to the surface of the glass. Oil based paints or acrylics are often used for this reason.There are also opaque and transparent ceramic artist colours that have been especially manufactured for using on a non-absorbent surface. Metallic colours (eg. gold, silver or copper) can also be interesting to work with. There are an increasing number of new art products available today that may be suitable for painting on a non-absorbent surface such as glass.

Paintbrushes

To begin choose a selection of small or medium-sized paintbrushes with fine, flat and pointed tips. Larger brushes can be used for working on a larger scale. Artists can also use less conventional tools for applying paint if they wish, depending on the effects obtained through experimentation that may interest them.

A penholder

Used for outlines (if required) and finer details. It can be an advantage to use interchangeable nibs suitable for creating both thick and thin outlines.

Ink for creating outlines on glass

The inks used need to be suitable for applying to a non-absorbent surface such as glass. As an alternative paint can also be thinned down into a more liquid form and used for creating outlines in which case attention must be given to to creating the right mixture of fluidity and thickness.

A painting palette or something similar to mix your paint on.

A palette knife -(optional) for mixing paint.

Artists paint cleaner or thinner – used for cleaning or sometimes for thinning, and depending on whether oil based or water-based paints are used.

A paint-drying agent – (optional) For mixing with paints to help speed up the drying process

Paper towelling or some clean rags

A mirror – (optional) can be used to check the progress of your painting while you are continuing to work. Place the mirror in a position where it will reflect your artwork from its viewing side.

Cellotape – or a similar average-width sticking tape

An easel – (optional) to prop your work on

A glass-cleaning product

PREPARING THE GLASS

Choose a piece of clear glass in the dimensions you would like to work with and check carefully to make sure the glass is neither scratched nor flawed. It is worthwhile remembering that a flaw in the glass itself will often detract from the finished appearance of a painting and may be impossible to remove after the completion of your artwork.

The sheet of glass that is to become your artwork constitutes the following:

(1) The ‘painting side’ – which is the side you will be painting on.

(2) The ‘viewing side’ – which is the side you will be looking at (or through) as you progress with your work and after it has been completed.

To render the cutting edges of the glass safe take a length of cellotape that will correspond to the length of one edge. Apply it carefully along that length (ideally so that it is folded equally over each side of the glass).

Repeat this procedure for the other 3 glass edges. The edge of the cellotape will also help mark the outer limits of your artwork.

Clean the surface of the glass thoroughly with a glass-cleaning product. Use paper towelling or any cleaning material that will not leave dust or threads on your painting surface.

Store the glass where it will be safe. If placed between sheets of newspaper it will be protected from scratches and dust.

CREATING OUTLINES

Art products in liquid form that are suitable for creating outlines on glass may be readily available in some countries. Oil-based paint,water-based acrylic and ceramic paint can also be used for this purpose.In order to create fine lines these paints must sometimes be thinned down in order to use with a pen nib or similar line-drawing tool.

To prevent lines from being effaced too easily you can use a paint that is oil based for creating the outlines of your subject if the paint you will be applying over the top of it (after it has properly dried) is water based. Reverse this procedure if your outlines are created with a water-based paint.

Always use a liquid paint product that will provide the best adhesion possible to a glass surface.

Due to pen nibs clogging relatively easily, attention must be paid to cleaning the nibs regularly.

OUTLINE METHODS

Method 1.

If you have a steady hand you can use a freehand method for applying outlines directly onto the surface of the glass.

Method 2.

Use an original subject for your painting (e.g. a drawing) and place this under the glass then copy it onto the glass surface.

Method 3.

Place a layer of carbon-paper on top of the glass then place your drawing on top of the carbon paper and with a pointed object trace the subject onto the glass. Be careful not to damage your original image (the image being copied) when using a pointed object.

Method 4.

A tracing table can be used for creating outlines. This is a table with a sheet of clear glass inserted into the top and with an electric light source situated beneath it. For those who frequently need to trace their work a tracing table can be very practical and useful.

Method 5.

You can omit outlines altogether.

APPLYING THE PAINT

Most artists have a preference for how to work when creating an artwork. Once it has been decided whether to work on a table or use a table-easel or a standing easel, it will be necessary to view the artwork regularly from its observation side in order to see its progress.

Some artists simply take the glass in their hands and turn it around to look at it directly from the observation side. Others prefer to use a mirror placed directly opposite their working area so that they can observe their progress while they paint.

Mixing and blending

If you are blending colours always do so on a palette or similar flat object before applying them to the glass. If colours are not well blended or mixed the result will be a streaky appearance in the paint on the observation side of the glass.

Avoiding smudges

When creating a reverse painting on glass it is important to watch out for smudges or particles of dirt or dust that may accidentally be transferred onto unpainted areas of your artwork as you are progressing. Unless removed these may appear as flaws that will show when viewing the artwork from its observation side. If they are also inadvertently covered with a layer of paint removing them afterwards may become very messy and difficult. When lifting off any smudges always be careful not to damage outlines or other areas of paint you have already applied.

Applying the paint

Once the outlines of your subject have thoroughly dried you can begin to apply paint to fill in the remainder of your artwork. Begin with the smallest and most detailed or intricate areas first e.g. eyes, faces, small figures or objects etc – and always keep in mind that your artwork will be observed from the opposite side to the one your painting on and that you are painting in reverse and that therefore foregrounds precede backgrounds.

When applying the reverse painting method it is a good policy to reflect carefully on the sequence in which your painting will develop before beginning to apply your paint. This will create a methodical attitude that is essential for this particularly interesting but also intricate painting technique.

Wishing you many pleasant hours of reverse painting!

FAQs on Murano Glass Part 1

1. What is Murano Glass?

It is hand blown glass, made famous by master artisans from the Island of Murano, an ancient seaport situated close to Venice, Italy.

Some of the items they produced included chandeliers, ceiling lights, wall sconces, floor lights, sculptures, vases, plates, drinking glasses, bowls, pitchers, decanters, magnificent jewelry, statues, and walls.

Murano is an island approximately 1 mile off the coast of the world famous city of Venice, Italy.

Its origin began in the city of Venice.

Towards the end of the 13th century, Venice was experiencing an outbreak of fires in the city. In order to maintain the factories and protect their secret methods for creating the glass, the Doges of Venice decreed that all the furnaces be moved to Murano. Today, Venetian and Murano glass are considered one and the same product.

2. How is Murano Glass Produced?

It is made of silica sand and mixed with various metal oxides. The silica sand and the metal oxide are blended together and placed into large vats surrounded by fire in gas heated ovens.

Temperatures are heated to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit in order to melt the silica and oxide blend. The glass Master will then dip his blow pipe into the incandescent glass and begin the delicate process of shaping the glass into magnificent creations. The glass must be taken in and out of the ovens while he is shaping the piece in order to maintain the correct level of softness required to blow and shape the glass.

It takes more than 20 years of apprenticeship and practice to become a qualified Murano Glass Master.

Thanks to the dedicated artisans and Master glass blowers, the art of Murano Glass blowing is being kept alive.

3. What Type of Objects Can You Make with Murano Glass?

It can be crafted into almost anything, from contemporary art glass and glass figurines to the famous Murano Glass chandeliers and wine stoppers to glass sculptures and vases. Also well known for jewelry and multi colored paper weights, however special attention should be given to Murano wine glasses or Murano champagne flutes as there really is an incredible choice of styles, models, sizes and colors you can choose from.

If you tend towards a rather modern style you should probably look for colored or stemless glasses, while if you are inclined towards a more classic one then the Murano wine glasses par excellence is a gold rimmed Murano champagne flutes.

Ice Melt – How Does It Work?

This time of year, many building managers and building service contractors have to deal with the problem of icy sidewalks. To keep sidewalks safe, most building managers use an ice melting compound. There are dozens of ice melting products on the market today, so what’s the difference? The active ingredient used in ice melt is usually a combination of one or more of the following ingredients:

Sodium chloride (rock salt). This is the most commonly used product, yet it has limited effectiveness in extreme cold and does not melt ice below 20 degrees. Rock salt does not chemically attack concrete, but it is corrosive to rebar and steel. This product is corrosive and can damage lawns, trees and shrubs.

Calcium chloride. This liquid is converted into pellets by removing the water. It can quickly absorb moisture from the atmosphere so it can work at extremely low temperatures, down to -25 degrees. The cost is generally higher for an ice melt that contains calcium chloride. Calcium chloride can also damage nearby lawns and other vegetation.

Magnesium chloride. This is similar to calcium chloride. It is considered less corrosive, safer for use on concrete and less damaging to plants.

Potassium chloride and urea. These are chemicals commonly found in fertilizer, but that does not mean they are safe around vegetation. At high concentrates these chemicals are harmful to plants. Since urea does not contain chlorides it is less corrosive and safer to use on concrete containing rebar and around steel structures.

Ice melting products may also contain sand or clay additive to help with traction.

How the products work. All deicers basically work the same. Deicers work by attracting moisture to form a liquid brine to generate heat to melt the ice. The product must reach the pavement to become effective. Once on the pavement this “brine” can spread out on the ice and break its bond with the pavement. As the ice is loosened it can be more easily shoveled away.

The rate of melting depends on how fast the specific chemical reacts to the existing moisture. Ice melting products work best if applied before snow or ice accumulates. Spread the ice melt thinly over the surface. In very cold weather it may be helpful to add some water to the product to begin the melting process as it is the chemical solution of the product and water that actually does the work.

Determining product effectiveness. One of the first things to look at is the range of temperatures that a product will work in a reasonable time period, generally 15 to 20 minutes. Calcium chloride works in the coldest temperatures, and magnesium chloride and sodium also rank high in this category.

An ice melter must dissolve into a solution quickly to be effective. Since calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are liquids in their natural states they return to a liquid quickly. Then when these chemicals come in contact with water a reaction is caused that gives off heat to melt ice and snow. Overall, calcium and sodium chloride rank the highest in effectiveness based on speed.

No matter which ice melt you decide to use keep the following tips in mind:

*Don’t over apply the chemical; follow the instructions on the label.

*Don’t try to melt everything. Before applying ice melt, make sure any snow accumulation has been shoveled or brushed off.

*Wear gloves when applying ice melt. The chemicals in some products can irritate skin.

*Make sure the container is tightly sealed when storing the product. Ice melt products can absorb moisture from the air and harden.

*Don’t use ice melt on new concrete that has not fully cured.

*All products will have some impact on the environment. If you suspect plants have been damaged from runoff (look for stunted growth, portions of the plant dying back, browning of foliage), flush the area with plenty of water in the spring.