How to Wallpaper Over a Brick or Cement Block Wall

The problems of concealing grouting and rough surfaces are easily overcome. Lining paper, if properly applied, will stretch over and hide the rough patches and the effect can be completed by using a heavy or embossed wallpaper.

This technique also applies to walls built of cement blocks. If you are building with brick or cement block and know that you want to wallpaper certain walls, ask your builders to apply the mortar so that you have a nice flat surface, rather than raking out the joints. With existing walls, the secret is in preparing the raw surface.

These are the tools you’ll need:-

A long table or bench, a trough, sponge or foam paste applicator, scissors, soft brush for smoothing wallpaper on to wall, a ruler, plumb line, razor for cutting.

A paint sealer is applied to dry any moisture from the wall, then a latex based wallpaper liquid size. A well soaked pre-pasted wallpaper lining will be just sufficient to soften the size and bond the lining firmly to the wall so that when wallpaper is pasted over, it won’t weaken in any way.

The same principle can even be applied if you are papering over rough-caste walls (walls that have been plastered and raked or scrolled upon when wet). If your brick wall has an extremely rough and raised surface it will have to be plastered over prior to wall-papering.

Here is how it’s done:-

1. Prior to start working on an absorbent raw wall, you’re first step is to seal and size the wall. Coat it with a paint sealer and leave to dry overnight. Next apply a latex based wallpaper liquid size; this is especially good on absorbent surfaces. This takes about an hour to dry. If time is short you can apply two coats leaving an hour between coats, instead of the over- night sealer.

2. Apply pre-pasted lining paper. Soak it in a trough to soften and roll out to arm’s length. Fold over and back half-way, forming pleats to the end of the roll.

3. Holding the top piece of paper in one hand, and pleats in the other, stretch the first pleat along the wall and flatten out with sponge. Stretch next fold and flatten and so on to the end of the roll.

4. To paper around a corner, leave 25 mm (one inch) overlap and “butt” the adjacent strip of paper on to it.

5. Repeat soaking and folding procedure and bring next roll of paper lining overlapping approximately 6 mm (quarter of an inch) onto the first. By having paper on paper you will prevent the joins from edging into the grooves between bricks.

6. Leave lining paper to dry overnight. As it does so it will tighten and stretch out over grooves and rough patches on the wall surface.

7. Before applying wallpaper, coat again with the latex based wallpaper liquid size as added insurance that the lining paper has sealed properly and tightened on to the wall

8. The type of wallpaper used is important. It should be embossed or a heavy natural weave to ensure that the imprint of the design is not lost when pasted on.

9. Hang your selected wallpaper vertically in the normal way.

Sit back and admire your masterpiece.

Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds

Before you start shopping for fireplace mantels and surroundings, you need to know the measurements of your hearth, fireplace facing, and a few other key elements. With those figures in hand, you can find a fireplace mantel or mantel and surround that will suit the scale of your fireplace and the look of your room. Determine What to Measure. If you're replacing your current mantel and / or surround, then you should measure that. If you are installing a new mantel or surround around a fireplace that has none, then you will need to make different measurements.

Measuring an Existing Mantel and Surround

Shelf Width – Measure the total width of the top of the mantel at the widest part.

Shelf Depth – Measure the depth of the mantel from the front edge to the wall.

Total Height – Measure the height of the mantel from the top of the hearth to the top of the shelf.

Total Width – Measure the entire width of the fireplace surround from end to end (if you have a surround). If you do not have a surround, measure the total width of the facing.

Projection Depth – Measure the depth of the side of the surround from the outer edge to the wall.

Opening Width – Measure the width of the fireplace opening.

Opening Height – Measure the height of the fireplace opening from the floor or the top of the heart surface to the top of the opening.

Side Distances – Measure from the edge of the heart or surrounding to the nearest light fixture, window, corner, or door on each side.

Measuring for a New Mantel and Surround

If you have a fireplace without a shelf or surround, then you would follow these measurements. These measurements assume you have a facing, which is a decorative material like brick or stone surrounding the fireplace opening. If you do not have a facing, skip those measurements. If you do not have a heart, which is a raised decorative surface on the floor beneeth the fireplace opening, then measure from the floor and skip the hearth measurements.

Facing Height – Measure the height of the facing from the top of the heart to the top of the facing.

Total Facing Width – Measure the total width of the facing from end to end.

Facing Width – Measure the width of the facing on one side of the fireplace opening.

Facing Depth – If the facing projects out from the wall, measure the distance from the outer edge to the wall.

Opening Width – Measure the width of the fireplace opening.

Opening Height – Measure the height of the opening from the floor of the fireplace, which is at the same level as the hearth, or the floor of the room if you have no hearth.

Hearth Height – Measure the height of the hearth from the floor to the top of the surface.

Hearth Depth – Measure the depth of the hearth from the front edge to the wall.

Hearth Width – Measure the width of the hearth from end to end.

Side Distances – Measure from the edge of the facing to the nearest light fixture, door, corner, or window on each side.

If you do not currently have a fireplace mantel and surround, please check your local building codes or fire safety department for the minimum distance from the fireplace opening to the mantel and surround.

Reflective Foil Insulation

What is reflective foil insulation (RFI)?

Insulation is a material that is placed on the side of a wall that is internal to space being insulated. RFI is a reflective insulation that has the explicit objective of insulating the inside space from heat generated specifically by light-ie sunlight. You'll likely find reflective insulation at the closest point of contact in which the sun hits the so called membrane of the inside room. This location is key, because the insulation is reflective, ie it bounces light and heat in, generally, the opposite direction. So, if you place RFI at the bottom of your insulation stack, your this will likely produce a sort of greenhouse effect, where whatever heat does get through the initial layers of insulation, will be reflect by the outer reflective insulation but will likely be false enough to be trapped at a rate of 98% back inside the room.

RFI is cost effective; it's a light material, and builders like it because it's amiable in terms of shaping in hard or difficult contorted positions on more intricate roofing and insulation projects. RFI is typically made of aluminum, and is reliably light weight and physically easy to manage.

Again, the location within the stack of insulating materials should be at the top or closest to the point of contact, ie closest to the sun. RFI is known to reduce the amount of heat that lower lying insulating materials have to absorb by a rate of 15 to 65%, depending on the quality, the thickness, the engineering of the aluminum.

RFI is reliably cheaper in the Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami, and Los Angeles metros due to those locations' overbearing sun exposures during the summer, or even year round. Some fireproofing insulation comes built in with RFI; these products though are only found in roofing insulations, and less so with room to room insulating materials and products. Foam board insulation does not typically carry any RFI features, while mineral wool insulation never carries any RFI features.

Where can RFI be installed?

RFI is typically installed in and during roofing projects. Again, the objective is to place your RFI where the building will be seeing the most sun-or any sun for that matter. If you're on a tight budget, you really should not skimp on RFI, though. It's difficult to undo or redo, and when you get insured, you incorporated such features as RFI into your risk profile-ie your insurance agent will ask you if you have RFI installed, and where you have it installed. Same goes for tax credits related to energy savings, so called green initiatives, and sustainability programs in your area.

RFI is usually installed toward the top of your house, but your sun exposure is unique to your building, and should be analyzed and respected on a case by case basis. Your foundation, as unusual as it might be, could be a point of high sun exposure. You might have a sun or moonlight feature that is an opening at mid ground to your basement. You'll want to check this point for abnormally high sun exposure, especially if it's on the side of the property that bears the brunt of the morning or setting, or worse, lunch time sunlight.

When can RFI be installed?

RFI is installed when the property project is completed; it's typically installed soon after the frame of the project and building is completed, when there's a roof to speak of, and an insulating room to protect the exposed insulation material from the elements. The timing of RFI installation is key, since it's very difficult to go back and correct poorly timed RFI pieces-especially if the roofing project is one that's intricate, detailed, or unconventional.

RFI is a great tool to use, if you're missing in space, or if you're in an industrial space that does not allow for very many of the conventional insulating materials that aim to absorb. They're also great for outdoor use, where humidity and rains can spoil absorption based insulating materials, such as wool insulation. The general rule is that if your property and building project is over 1,000 square feet, you'll not want to do this project on your own, but rather have a professional contractor do this for you.

Common Defects Found in Timber From Timber Merchants and Their Causes

We’ve all heard the horror stories of timber arriving and only half of it being usable. We thought we’d have a quick look at some of the reasons timber can be defective.

Cupping.

Cupping is literally when tangential-cut boards experience shrinkage due to the growth rings swelling faster at the heart, causing them to bow. Radial-cut boards are therefore a safer bet as their shrinkage will be less noticeable.

Knots.

Knots are often a good indicator of the quality of the timber. The fewer knots, the higher the grade of timber. Knots are evidence of where trees have started to grow branches that got broken off (branch fail!). Knots only tend to dramatically affect the strength of the timber if they are “dead knots”, or knots that have become loose.

Shrinkage.

As the cause of cupping mentioned above, shrinkage occurs as timber continues to lose moisture content. The drying process increases timber strength, but continued drying often leads to shrinkage.

Bowing.

Imagine a sagging shelf. Incorrect storage or even the board’s own weight if ill-supported can cause gravity to pull it down in the middle.

Splitting.

Like the fraying ends of cloth, splitting starts at the end grain and carries on through the board.

Shakes.

When enormous pressure builds up under the earth, fault lines are present where the earth’s tectonic plates slip past each other due to huge pressures. In trees, when growing (either non-uniformly, or sometimes due to frost) or seasoned, the release of internal stresses, and subsequent “crack!” result in shakes. Shakes can go all the way through the diameter of a tree, making a lot of its wood hard to use. It’s not always apparent until sawing that this fault exists.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of timber defects, but covers a few of the most common you may come across.

Minimising Wastage

Of course, the more timber you have that can be used, the less wastage there is and the further your money goes. Timber that consistently suffers from any of the above defects delivered time and time again is going to give any company a bad name.

Some merchants will simply ship you out what’s in stock, no matter what state it’s in. Merchants that commonly do this aren’t usually concerned with repeat business and you might find you have a hard time getting things rectified, with staff not wanting to know.

A merchant that prides itself on delivering quality timber will have rigorous quality control procedures and mechanisms in place. These should include the timber merchant company buyers visiting the sawmills that the timber is imported from and hand-selecting the timber that they know their clients will be able to use.

Because this is a time-intensive process, prices may be a little higher from a reputable timber merchant, but you’ll be able to use 99% of the timber you receive, rather than 50-60% in some poor cases, for which you’ll end up paying more in the long run in time and money.

Rotting Lumber, Rusty Hammer, and Angry Dad

I started hearing some banging and sawing and the noise of neighborhood children having serious fun a few months ago. Curious I followed my ears into the woods near my house and found them hard at work trying to build something. I had an immediate memory-flashback to my youth, and to my early parenting years watching my own young children.

Probably through the march of history, adventurous children have hiked off into the woods or behind the garage carrying hammers, nails, and lumber scraps, all "borrowed" from the family workshop. Their minds are filled with grandiose mental images of creating a fort, pirate ship, or clubhouse. Most of these construction projects start with a lot of banging and end with an abandoned construction site and a harried Dad looking for tools that are rusting and decaying over at the now-forgotten "Fort Apache."

The reason for failure is typically because the little adventurers started with a mental image of whatever they wanted to build, lots of childish enthusiasm and energy, but no planning. If they had a simple blueprint more clubhouses would actually get built.

It's pretty much the same with most Marketing Plans. They get started with grandiose mental images and dreams of success but very little, if anything, gets committed to paper and a formal (or semi-formal) planning process. Just as a blueprint for a building (or a fort) starts with a goal and plan, the Marketing Plan starts with an identifiable goal. Both the blueprint for a kid's fort and marketing plan develop in the same way, with foundation, position, themes, timetables, budgets, and sub-projects … all working towards the ultimate, identified end – a workable Plan.

The next time you think of starting a marketing project, stop! Think of an unfinished, rotting Fort Apache with a rusty hammer and an angry Dad. Then get out the paper and pencil and design the Plan first. What specifically do you want to accomplish – maybe it's expressed in sales volume or number of units to sell, or lost customers to reactivate, or new customers to attract. Then develop the theme, visuals, media strategy, timetable, budget, and fulfillment strategy.

You do not want your promotions to end up looking like that partly built fort, you want it to be a huge success that will accomplish your goals and that requires a plan. So, instead of banging away with youthful enthusiasm, put pencil to paper and get started.

The Real Estate Investors' All-Cash Formula For Buying a House

As you move forward into the business of buying and selling houses, you'll need to start looking at how successful investors make offers. Let's say you already have your marketing in place. You're getting leads, and you know how to pre-screen those leads by asking three questions:

1. Is the house pristine or neglected (pretty or ugly)?
2. Can you buy the house with immediate equity built in the day you buy it, or can you create equity?
3. What is the degree of the seller's motivation? The way you can answer that is by looking at the WWOW:

W : What is the property WORTH (value)?
W : How much do they WANT (asking price)?
O : How much do they OWE (the loan balance, if any)?
W : WHY are they selling (their motivation)?

Let's say a lead comes in on a property estimated to be worth $ 100,000 (after the house is fixed-up) by a certified appraiser, but the seller is asking for $ 75,000. They owe nothing on the house, and the reason they're selling it is because it was inherited.

You've now got clues to answer all three of the questions above. To the seller, that house is little more than a free pile of money gifted to them from a relative. Not only are they not emotionally attached to it, but they are telling you by their asking price that they are willing to give up $ 25,000 worth of equity. That immediately answers questions two and three. You know you've got them ruling in the right direction. Their motivations are in your favor.

By looking at the average house price in the market of the lead, you can tell whether it's a pretty house or an ugly house. In this case, let's say the market average in that area is $ 200,000. With this house being below market average (because it's only worth 100k) we would lean towards this probably being an ugly house, most likely needing some degree of repairs. Now there are really only two buying strategies when it comes to buying ugly houses-either All-Cash or Split-Fund!

The other four buying strategies are for pretty houses only because your exit strategy for getting rid of a property that you get a deed on, for example, is to owner finance or lease option that property when you sell it. You're taking over someone else's mortgage and then you're going to create financing with your buyer that wraps around the mortgage that you took over. You are only going to do that with pretty houses because you'll be selling to a higher-end buyer-they're usually more responsible and can pay bigger down payments.

Even if you can get a super deal on a house buying all-cash, you never do it on a pretty house because there are only two ways to lose money in real estate-writing a big check to buy a house or signing your name to a big bank loan in the process of buying. Even if you could get an $ 800,000 house for $ 500,000 all-cash, you do not violate those rules. Not that it's out of the question that this can turn out to your benefit, but it's rare-it'll happen maybe once or twice in your career career as a real estate investor, if at all. As a rule, it's a safer bet to take an option on a pretty house rather than risk your cash.

So we're going to focus on the all-cash strategy in this example.Since we've determined that it's an ugly house, we have to consider that it will need repairs. You do not have to be absolutely accurate about what estimated will be. In fact, you can underestimate and still not get hurt poorly because when you're using the all-cash formula, you'll be guaranteed to turn a profit. Based on what the owner says the house needs-new paint, carpets, minor upgrades as such-we can make a ballpark estimate that repairs will cost about $ 10,000. So what can you offer based on this scenario?

The maximum offer for an all cash purchase is 65% of the ARV (After-Repair Value) of the house.

That leaves a 35% profit, hedge factor, cushion, whatever you want to call it. For this example, let's say the ARV, based on legitimate comps, confirm that the house is indeed worth $ 100,000. Multiply that by .65, then subtract the $ 10,000 in repairs, and your maximum offer would be $ 55,000.

The reason why we buy at 65% is because we leave open one of our selling strategies-wholesaling. When you wholesale the house to someone, you're typically selling it to an investor who is going to buy it in cash from you, then rehab it and sell it again. When you buy at 65%, you can typically sell it fairly quickly to an investor at 70%, turning a 5% wholesale profit.

This formula only changes when you write a check and pay cash for a house when you current real estate market conditions decreasing in value. In such cases, you may want to lower your buying all-cash formula factor down from .65 to .50. Before you make the offer, make sure you have reliable comps on the house and include a repair estimate, a ballpark number that's reasonably considered. Also, when making an offer, you do not want to come out of the gate making your MAO (maximum allowable offer). You might want to start out around $ 48,000 in this case, or where you'd like, but you know that the most you will offer is your MAO of $ 55,000.

If we're writing a check for anything, we're either getting it at a great discount or we're not doing it. As long as the ARV is correct and you factor in repairs somewhat accurately, you will never get hurt using this formula.

4 Things to Think About Before Designing Your Own Custom Phone Case

One of the most popular personalized merchandise options available on the market today is the customized phone case. Not only do these make great gifts, but they also allow the designer to express their own creativity and personality through the images and text that they choose to adorn their cases with.

With many people reliant on their devices today to keep in touch with friends, colleges and family, having a nice phone case design can inject a little dose of fun into the everyday, and having pictures of loved ones on the case is a nice reminder of the people that you care about.

Before you start with your design, however, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration – here is what to do when you are thinking about how and where to create your own phone case.

Firstly, ensure that you choose a quality company to order from, as there are more and more service providers on the market today, yet not all of them are equally reliable. Quality is very important when printing images onto a phone case, and this is especially true when it comes to photographs, which need to be crisp and clear.

For this reason, look around at several companies that offer this kind of service before you make your mind up who to order from. If possible, ask to see sample photographs of completed orders and read customer reviews of the products that they received from the company – this will give you a valuable insight into whether it is worth your money or not.

Secondly, look into using a service that provides a clear and realistic online design tool that gives you a very accurate idea of ​​what you will be receiving when you create your own phone case. Some tools can be clunky and too abstract, meaning that your finished design might look different from what you were expecting when you placed your order.

Make sure that the online tool that you use gives you the chance to preview your design, and one that allows you to see a realistic 3D model of the phone case as you apply your images and text. This will help you get a better idea of ​​what the final product will look like and you are far less likely to be disappointed with your order for design reasons.

Another thing to think about is how long production and shipping time is going to be, and if you will be able to return and have the item refunded if it is not to your satisfaction. This is because many companies overseas offer this kind of service, but it may not be the highest quality out there and shipping and returning the product could be lengthy.

If you create your own phone case as a gift for someone else this is important, as you may be on a tight deadline. Take into account shipping times and consider using domestic services with free domestic shipping if you think this could potentially be a problem for you.

Lastly, make sure that on your end you are using high quality photos if you are applying these to your custom design, as blurry and overexposed photos will appear exactly the same on the case once they are printed!

Make sure that you take the time to be careful about the photos and images that you select for your design, that they are the right resolution and that they are of sufficient quality to be printed. A company may be unwilling to refund you for your mistakes in this department, so the onus is on you to be careful when designing in order to avoid receiving an inferior product.

Baseball Bat Trends – What's Hot in the Wood Bat World

Although the debate about banning metal baseball bats in youth baseball is not settled, high school and college players find themselves playing in wood bat summer leagues more and more these days. "It's clearly a trend," a coach told me last summer on opening day of the John Marzano Wood Bat Scout League in Philadelphia. "Kids know they need to do this, their coaches do too, and the scouts love it. Hitting with wood is a lot less forgiving than metal."

All of this makes for a more diverse baseball bat collection in summer dugouts – from Cape Cod to Surprise, Arizona. And as the wood bat trend spreads to youngger players, parents and coaches may want to know what the elite amateur players are using in tournaments like the World Wood Bat Championships held in Marietta, Georgia at the East Cobb Baseball complex.

In some ways you just have to look at the bats the pros are swinging. The two classics offered by Louisville Slugger, Derek Jeter's C71 and Alex Rodriguez's P273 are both guaranteed by the world's top bat company to be made of pro-stock wood. But if you watch Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols, they may be swinging Marucci bats; and Barry Bonds usually hits with a Sam Bat. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins have been partial to MaxBats over the past several years. And during much of 2008 Manny Ramirez was doing his dirty work with an X-Bat. As you'd expect, then, Marucci, Sam Bats, X-Bats, and Max Bats can all be found in amateur dugouts.

But do not let the pros be your only guide. There are only about 35 bat companies with bats approved and registered with Major League Baseball. Over 100 other companies make wood bats for amateur players. These companies tend to be small, primarily servicing regional baseball communities. Companies like NYStix, Carolina Clubs, Bayou Bat Company, Hoosier Bats, and the Barnstable Bat Company serve independent league players, adult leagues, and local wood bat teams extensively. NYStix got a real boost last year making bats for New York City high school teams in their first year of play under the city's new ban on non-wood bats. The company's owner told me last winter that he was having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

Amateur players also like Old Hickory (made out of maple!), D-bats, and M-Powered bats. In addition, the more standard stock that can be found with Rawlings, Easton, and DeMarini are common – especially DeMarini's composite wood bat wrapped in a fiberglass sleeve designed to help kids make the transition from metal to wood.

Who knows what bats will be popular next season. Zinger Bats out of Montreal is ramping up their marketing plans. Miguel Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, and Dan Uggla all used custom Zingers during at least part of last season. The influx of players from Asia has also been a boon to Mizuno. And when players get hot like Josh Hamilton did in the 2008 All-Star Home Run Derby, there's no question that the bat he used will be on the top of every young hitter's wish list (he swung an ash Louisville Slugger, Model C353; 34.5 inches and 33 ounces in weight; flame tempered with the special Smith finish).

In the end, the move to wood should keep young and old players alike online all winter long searching for just the right bat to start the new season with – maybe not as fun as playing, but certainly a useful past-time while we wait .

Building Sales Skills – SINALOA – Safety in Numbers and Law of Averages

Many years ago I was sitting in a big hall, with a lot of people, listening to a famous speaker, salesman, and marketer named Larry Thompson. He said that there is a little state in Mexico called Sinaloa and that before we left that room we would lock that into our brain and never forget it.

I thought, "Oh yeah, as if !!" but more than a decade later I still remember.

It represents one of the most basic lessons in sales that anyone who is going to sell anything, or who works with marketing, needs to know.

He said it is the name of a town but also an acronym, SINALOA, It stands for Safey In Numbers And Law Of Averages.

What does it mean? It means that you will never be secure in sales if you do not have numbers working for you rather than against you.

If you need to do 5 sales a week you have really good people to talk with then talking to 5 may give you the results you need but ….. if just 1 person does not go forward then you fall short of your goal.

If you expect everyone to buy from you but you still talk with 10 then you only need half to commit and you will achieve your numbers.

If you want to be successful you need to have lots of prospects, lots of people to talk to, lots of people thinking about what you are offering and a lot of people who are seriously considering taking what you offer.

It gets back to the old adage, "the harder you work the luckier you get."

Jim Rohn, the motivational philosopher, says "If you're the best salesman and you close 9 out of 10 people you talk with, and I'm new and I close 2 out of ten, then we can have a competition and over a month I'll beat you. Why? Because I'll talk to more people than you do. If you talk to 10, I'll talk to 100, you'll get your 9 and I'll get my 20. "

This is what Safety In Numbers means.

The second half of the acronym is LOA – Law Of Averages.

It works like this; if you sell widgets and make $ 100 for very one you see then have a profit number to work with.

If you're going door to door then, if you have a good product, a normal sort of exit is that for every 10 doors you knock on 3 people are likely to agree to look at what you offer.
If you then present to those 3, and do it well, then you are likely to make 1 sale.

Now the question – If you make one sale that day then have you made $ 100 on the sale or have you made $ 10 from it?

It you need to knock on 10 doors to get enough prospects to be able to make 1 sale then knocking on 20 doors you are expecting to make 2 sales, $ 200. If you think about this and realize that final profit is directly related to the number of doors you knock on. You need to knock 10 doors to make $ 100 then you are actually getting $ 10 per door.

You knock the first door and they say "No, we already have one".
You say "Thank you for the $ 10".

You knock on the second door and they set up a time to look.
You say "Thank you for the $ 10".

You knock the third door and they yell at you and call their dog to attack you.
As you run out the gate you say "Thank you for the $ 10".

This is the Law Of Averages.

These two things are very basic and we are all familiar with the idea but we need to keep them close to our heart if we are going to be successful in the long term.

A little state of Mexico, SINALOA, that few of us will ever visit, is a guide to us in a career in sales and marketing.

How to Submit Cartoons for Publication

The goal for any cartoonist is to see your work in print. Whether it's in a magazine or newspapers, there's nothing quite like having your efforts validated by a real, by-gosh genuine cartoon editor. My first published cartoon was in a nationally published magazine. It only paid me 25 bucks, but the value of being a published cartoonist was incalculable! Here's a quick primer on how to prepare a single-panel cartoon for submission.

Neat Drawing

Once you have worked out the details in your brainstorming session, you need to transfer your drawing to a clean sheet of 8 x x 11 inch sheet of paper. Regular printer paper is fine – as long as it's clean. Do not get cutesy with the size of the paper or the color. Bigger paper is a pain for editors who have to pour through lots of submissions, and submitting your work on brightly-colored fluorescent paper will not make it stand out – at least not in a good way. It screams amateur and will get it thrown in the trash.

I will often transfer the drawings straight out of my sketchpad onto printer paper via a light box. I like this process because it preserves the spontaneity and comical whimsy of the sketch which is sometimes lost when a piece is overworked in an attempt to make it "perfect".

Using a Light Box

You can get a light box at your local craft store for next to nothing, or you can go to the internet and look up plans for building your own. Simply tape the cartoon rough in place and then tape your clean sheet of paper over top. Turn on the light and you can clearly see the original through the paper. Transfer the drawing using a black pen. This also eliminates the need for erasing pencil marks which can leave your work messy.

Do not worry about drawing the border around your cartoon. The editor will do that if they need one – often they do not.

The Artist's Market

You can find lots of publications that accept freelance cartoon submissions by looking through a current edition of The Artist and Graphic Designer's Market . This book contains lists of magazines and what they pay, as well as the names of editors and submission details. Study them and then submit accordingly. This is important because different magazines require different things. Some have a minimum number of cartoons that you have to meet; many list things that they are looking for as well as things that they do not want to see.

Mail 'em Out

Once you have your submission packet ready, it's time to send them in. Most publications ask that you send in copies of your originals. Just make sure that you send them in on decent quality paper – not the thin paper most public libraries use. Each packet will require two manila envelopes: one for the packet itself, and another that you will put your own address and postage on. This is commonly called the SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and is a courtesy you offer the editor so he / she can conveniently send back your artwork (along with a check for any they decided to buy!). Do not worry about any kind of cover letter – they know what a submission packet is for, and your cartons will speak for themselves.

Once you've sent the packet in, it's time to get started on the next set of submissions. Keep doing this week after week and you'll always get that first sale!

Massage Oils – Advantages & Disadvantages

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is the most widely used oil for body massage. It is finely textured, smooth and free-flowing. It is high in linoleic acid (E.F.A.) and contains some vitamin E.. This will nourish the skin and allow it to store for longer, vitamin E. being an antioxidant prevents rancidity.

Advantages

o Smooth hence good for full body massage.

o Provides good slip and is easily absorbed.

o Suitable for all skin types and areas

o Cheap and readily available.

Disadvantages

o Usually produced by hot extraction, has lost a lot of its beneficial properties.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is a pale yellow, thick liquid that mixes well with most other carrier oils and essential oils. It is rich in nutrients, such as unsaturated fatty acids (EFA), and also contains a high percentage of vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, D and E. It is excellent in treating psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis due to its vitamin E. content. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, which allows it to be beneficial to conditions such as sunburn.

Advantages

o Stores well due to vitamin E. content

o Cold pressed therefore relatively pure.

o Has protective and nourishing qualities to the skin

Disadvantages

o Not suitable for full body massage on its own, becomes too sticky.

o Expensive

o Contra-indicated in diabetics, and those suffering from nut allergies.

Wheatgerm Oil.

Unrefined wheatgerm oil has a strong odour, which many people find unpleasant. It contains high levels of vitamin E., which is a natural antioxidant. Although expensive wheatgerm oil is the richest food source we have of vitamin E.

Advantages

o Moisturisers dry/mature Skin.

o Good for reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.

o Relieved symptoms of dermatitis.

o When added to an aromatherapy blend will help prevent oxidation.

Disadvantages

o Too thick and sticky for use on its own.

o May cause allergies, as it is a protein.

o Contraindicated with celiac sufferers.

Evening Primrose Oil.

Evening Primrose oil is an expensive oil, but has excellent moisturising benefits. It contains linoleic acid, and gamma linoleic acid (GLA). Also contains some vitamins and minerals.

Advantages

o useful for dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.

o Useful for PMT, period pains, arthritis and rheumatism.

Disadvantages

o Too expensive for use on full body.

Avocado

Avocado oil is a highly penetrative oil, rich in essential fatty acids, and also has a high vitamin content. It contains vitamin A. vitamin B. and vitamin D.. It also contains proteins and fats, and the minerals potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It can be mixed in a small ratio (10%) with other carrier oils, and is commonly used in beauty care.

Advantages

o Stores well.

o Emollient

o Unrefined,

o Viscous-but still penetrates the skin deeper than most carrier oils.

o Has healing properties-helps reduce inflammation (beneficial to psoriasis/eczema).

Disadvantages

o Can become too sticky during massage-blend with another carrier oil.

o Has a strong smell.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba is actually a liquid wax, not on oil. It is a nutritious oil containing vitamin E., minerals and proteins. It is beneficial to many conditions as its structure is similar to sebum, therefore it can be used on oily or dry skin. Unlike many oils, it can be heated to high temperatures and still retain its nutrients.

Advantages

o Nourishing-beneficial to all skin types.

o Highly penetrative with anti-inflammatory properties-excellent for acne, psoriasis, eczema and arthritis.

o Helps control the release of sebum, useful for seborrhoeic skin conditions.

o Stable-does not evaporate or react with air.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive-use small amounts, mixed with another carrier oil.

Calendula

This is an infused oil produced by maceration for its medicinal properties. It contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and healing properties. It is generally used for medicinal purposes on specific areas.

Advantages

o Very suitable for skin problems-chapped skin, eczema, bruising and sunburn.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive.

o Not as pure as cold pressed oil due to maceration process.

Macadamia

This is a stable, fine textured cold pressed oil, and is available either refined or unrefined. In either case solvents are not used and the oil retains its natural properties.

Advantages

o Emollient

o Contains palmitoleic acid (found in sebum), good for oily and dry skin conditions.

o Help prevent ageing, good for driving wrinkled skin.

o Good keeping properties, lasts a long time before becoming rancid.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive.

o Has slight aroma, nutty smell.

o Contra-indicated on clients with nut allergies.

Peach kernel.

This is cold pressed from the kernels of the fruit. It is similar in appearance and chemically to apricot oil and sweet almond oil. It is finely textured and rich in vitamins a, B1, B2 & B6. It is especially ideal for facial blends, since it is kind to the skin and easily absorbed.

Advantages

o Keeps well.

o Protects, nourishes and moisturises the skin.

o Useful for dry skins and eczema.

o Helps relieve itching, so can be useful for psoriasis.

o Good for sensitive skin.

Disadvantages

o Expensive

Advantages And Disadvantages Of On Site Landfill Leachate Treatment Versus Off Site

If there is a choice between On Site Landfill Leachate Treatment and off site at a sewage (municipal wastewater treatment) works or even at a commercially run industrial effluent treatment plant, which should you choose?

O.K. Here we go! On the one hand, there’s Pro; In Favor:

The principal point in support of on site landfill leachate treatment versus off site is that it is more efficient to treat leachate in a dedicated treatment plant which has been designed specifically for the high strength of a modern landfill leachate.

Your second supporting point shall be that the investment profile more closely matches a landfill business where a leachate plant built at the start can be paid for from the income (gate fee and landfill gas revenues) generated while the landfill is being actively filled. If someone else treats the leachate off site it will be on a per cubic metre treated basis for 30 to 50, or more, years. But, after the site has been closed the income drops, and soon there is only money put by for treatment to pay for it. So, it is much better to invest in the asset of a treatment plant on-site which will be in use for many years after the initial investment, so that only the running costs have to be paid for it once the landfill site closes and revenue from the landfill to pay for the leachate plant dries up.

The 3rd positive point is the owner of an on site leachate treatment plant has a much secure disposal route for their leachate than for an off site option treatment plant, because the provider of the external service can with little notice cease to accept the discharge.

A fourth big benefit is it is more efficient to treat leachate treatment in a dedicated plant optimized for the purpose, than in a sewage works or an industrial effluent plant where both are usually better suited to treating more dilute / lower strength effluents.

Lastly, the fifth point in support is going to be ((6))).

And conversely, for balance, the Con side, against:

The first point in contra for on site leachate treatment versus off site will be that site owners and environmental regulators (EA, EPA, Water Purification Board, River Management Authority) etc) are often concerned that an on site leachate treatment plant may fail and discharge polluting water into a river or stream. Although, this can be avoided with good design and training of the site staff in leachate treatment plant operation.

The second point in contra is going to be the landfill company may find it hard to finance the capital cost of an on site leachate treatment plant (although a rise in gate-fee to pay for it might be possible)

3rd point against will be there is a lack of space, which is unlikely on a large landfill.

4th point in contra will be the cost of bringing-in a power supply for the leachate treatment plant, although a supply line and electricity are usually available from the landfill gas (energy from waste) generators on site already.

Fifth and finally, last point in contra shall be a lack of landfill site forward planning to make the right decisions to save money on an on site leachate treatment plant over a long-term period.

Now both sides have been heard from and the Pros and Cons are stacked up, in favor and against.

So, who won? What could we conclude? Is on site landfill leachate treatment is more good than bad? or more bad than good?

We have a “Yes” response to both questions! on site landfill leachate treatment versus off site is a decision which will vary according to the circumstances of each landfill site, and the debate is a combination of good and bad… You, dear reader, will need to determine which side, the good or the bad, outweighs the other for your site.

Jungle Party Theme – Go Tarzan Wild While Planning Your Jungle Theme Party!

Jungle party themes are one of the most fun party ideas to plan, organize and attend. Whether it is a birthday party theme, special occasion theme or a Halloween party theme, everyone enjoys being party of a jungle party.

The ideas and party decorations seem endless and easily available; let's look at a few of the possibilities that fit in with the jungle party theme that can be used.

Jungle Party Ideas

  1. One of my favorite things that was used at a party in the past was using some old tan rope (you can buy some new rope from a department store that will work as well), fray the ends of the rope and cut into different lengths. Hang the rope (which will mimic the vines of the jungle) from the ceiling, rain gutters on a house, swing sets or anywhere else you can think of. Get some small stuffed monkeys, a stuffed parrot and medium Tarzan and Jane blow up figurines and hang them from these vines. Instantly this creates that jungle theme feel and your guests will like the effect.
  2. Make a large cupcake birthday cake (they are usually 25 times larger) and decorate it to look like part of the jungle and have a small fondant monkey grabbing the sides with his arms and peaking up the edge of the cupcake so the monkeys face is looking up to the top of the cupcake. It looks like the monkey is trying to climb up the side of the cupcake. Serve this large cupcake to the older guests and have some smaller (regular size) cupcakes decorated with smaller jungle animal figurines on each one. These work out great for the youngger guests at the party and they feel special getting their own.
  3. Download some jungle animal sounds and put them onto a iPod or MP3 player and play them over a music system on a loop so it plays them over and over. This makes the guests feel really into the theme of the party. Also download a copy of the Tarzan Yell and place it through out the animal sounds.
  4. Play some jungle themed movies for the youngger guests, there are many jungle cartoon videos that will keep their interest entertained.
  5. Serve some Jungle Juice that is made up of equal parts of 7-UP or Sprite pop with cranberry juice. Just before serving add one frozen pink lemonade juice and mix together. Add tropical fruit such as bananas, pineapple, kiwi and mixed berries, everyone likes Jungle juice!
  6. Put "caution" or "do not enter" tape in certain areas with signs warning of wild beasts and animals seen roaming in these areas.
  7. Add a safari tour around the house and yard, to make it interesting print off pictures of various animals and hide them in the bushhes, plants and behind fences. See if the guests can find them for prizes, make sure to give hints through the tour as to what animal they should be looking for.

Jungle Party Decorations

  1. Let's face it; everyone likes to hit a pinata. There are pinatas in the shape of a monkey, parrot, tropical palm tree, pineapple and more. If swinging a stick is not an option then opt for the pull string pinatas.
  2. Jungle party costume, it does not matter if you are having a general party or a birthday party. The addition of a couple costumes really sets the theme and mood in action. Birthday costumes are becoming a real popular item, the birthday person gets a costume that fits the theme and then also wears it for Halloween of the same year. It makes it a double whammy plus the theme is celebrated all year. Have one of the hosts dress up as a Safari Guide with the desert hat and make sure they are armed with a toy hand gun or rifle to protect the guests. The guide can really have a lot of fun with the guests around this theme.
  3. Removable wall decals are also becoming very popular for parties all alike. After the party they can easily be removed and put up in a kid's room for the year. Change it up each year which makes the look and feel for the kid's room very special.
  4. Jungle party kits make contain everything like the plates, cups, utensils and napkins all in one easy package. They are very affordable and make the dreaded clean up time a breeze! Some of them may also contain table or party favors as well, be sure to check them out.
  5. Clump your inside green plants together in corners of the room to play the whole jungle plant theme. This just helps make the party rooms feel more like the jungle, add a rubber snake or two in them to complete the look.
  6. Add some maps of Africa and the Rainforests so the guests can have a look at these countries we usually do not talk about a lot. Point out some of the more popular animals found in the jungle and safari showing your guests where the animals call home.

These are just some ideas and suggestions that you can use in your very own jungle party, there are numerous jungle party supplies available for this theme. So do not be afraid to go jungle wild and enjoy planning this event!

Clothing in Sub Antarctica

Clothing in Sub Antarctica is different but similar to clothing worn on the Antarctic continent.

The main difference is that in sub Antarctica it rains and it can be a cold, wet and windy climate. Most of the sub Antarctic areas of interest that Antarctic cruises and voyages visit and have stations or bases are islands or are on the Antarctic peninsula.

Most of the sub Antarctic islands and peninsula are subject to wet, drizzly and sleety conditions as the climate is kept above freezing point by the surrounding southern ocean.

This poses a challenge for the clothing as it needs to be waterproof, windproof and warm but it also requires to breathe allowing the perspiration and excess body heat to escape.

One of the most popular clothing materials which have all these properties is Gore-Tex. This is usually worn as the outer shell in a series of layers for clothing in sub Antarctica. Other windproof and waterproof materials are also used for Antarctica clothing, with venting panels and zippers to allow moisture and excess heat to escape

What to expect in sub Antarctica
While living and working for a year on a sub Antarctic island – Macquarie Island, it was of utmost importance to have the right gear and clothing so as not to risk exposure and hypothermia.

Ironically the most popular modes of transport are by foot or by IRB (Inflatable Rubber Boat), both are open to the elements, however by foot or walking has the extra problem of creating body heat and thus perspiration. If this excess body heat and perspiration is not expelled from your clothing you run the risk of hypothermia and exposure as the perspiration soaks your clothing and becomes cold or freezes.

On the IRB's the opposition was a risk as you sit in an open boat as you are traveling, increasing the wind chill factor. You had to keep dry from the outside and warm on the inside as your body does not generate much heat while sitting still.

So, as is the case with clothing on the Antarctic continent, the correct clothing layering is the trick.

Clothing in sub Antarctica: layering

  • Layer 1 – Polyester thermal underwear to wick away moisture from skin.
  • Layer 2 A warm insulating second layer such as wool or polar fleece jumper. Sleeveless turtle neck polar fleece vests are great if you will be walking or will be active as the arms are not restricted and they keep your torso core warm.
  • Layer 2; bottom – Shorts, preferably of light low water absorption synthetic material.
  • Layer 3 – Outer Gore-Tex or similar hooded jacket and long pants (waterproof and windproof outer shell)
  • Footwear – Synthetic low water absorption socks and Gore-Tex or similar hiking boots.

For most tourists visiting sub Antarctica the above list would be the most practical and suitable. Thick bulky ski type jackets are not a good idea for sub Antarctic regions as they will soak up the moisture and not allow the excess body heat and moisture to escape.

The idea behind the layering system is to be able too peel off or layer back on clothing layers, as necessary, in order to keep at the right temperature. The outer shell layer can be peeled off (pants and or jacket) as required if the weather warms up or the sun is out, then the second layer can be peeled off if necessary and so on.

Summary and tips:

  • Rely on the middle layer – Polar fleece or wool type jumper or vest for warmth.
  • The shorts are a good idea for that little bit extra warmth and wind-proofing for that most vulnerable part of your body. It also allows you to take off the outer shell pants if necessary but still have some protection and an insulating layer on top of the thermal underwear in that area.
  • The polyester thermal underwear will also keep you warm and wick away moisture from your skin

The Rock's Brahma Bull Tattoo – What You Need to Know

"The Rock" is a wrestler turned actor. His actual name is Dwayne Johnson, but he is commonly known as "The Rock". Recently he starred in the movie "The Scorpion King", which was a great hit.He belongs to Samoa, a Polynesian Island. Tattoo carries an important role in the Polynesian Culture.

Therefore, "The Rock" has a big tattoo on his upper left arm and shoulder representing his culture and heritage. He just got another one on his upper right arm. The tattoo is of a big bull's head with scary red eyes. The tattoo of Brahma bull on the body of "The Rock" shows that his sun-sign is Taurus.

The Brahma is a type of cattle. It is used for breeding and in the meat industry. The bulls are really huge in size and can weigh up to tons, yet they are taken as intelligent and gentle creatures. As we know, tattoos show our personalities. Therefore, anyone has a personality which co-relates with that of a Brahma bull should consider going for this tattoo. Also, if your sun sign is Taurus, you should go for the Brahma Bull tattoo. Its size can be as large as we want.

There are a lot of types of Brahma bull tattoo available on the market. You can also get to find them on the net. All you have to do is to browse the correct web-sites. Just go online to a good tattoo gallery and search the category. Remember to choose the best design as this will go to be with you forever. You can add your ideas to the design as well, before finalizing the design with the tattoo artist.

With so many tattoo designs available in the market, it is becoming difficult to choose one for yourself. One has to be a little more imaginative and creative to get the best tattoo design for him.