The Disadvantage of Using Proton Pump Inhibitors

Last year alone, millions upon millions of heartburn sufferers bought more than 25 billion dollars worth of proton pump inhibitors, making this product, one of the biggest pharmaceutical product sellers worldwide.

Although the medical communities are endorsing and promoting them as being a safe heaven for acid reflux and ulcer sufferers, recent reports have exposed some shocking revelation about the inducting side effects of these products.

People rapidly develop a dependency when taking (PPI’s) proton pump inhibitors, the major problem related to the negative side effect is sufferers are only supposed to use them for a short period of time. The prolong use of these drugs inhibits the production of acid in the stomach resulting in bacterial diseases.

Taken for a long period of time, PPI’s will adversely affect the natural process of digestion creating even more unwanted complication ranging from; Calcium deficiency, Diarrhea, pneumonia, bone fractures, C difficile.

Recent studies show some hospital patients using these drugs were at risk of developing C difficile, and pneumonia.

Research in regard to these types of drugs and C difficile suggested patient who’ve been administrated PPI’s are more susceptible to catching the disease due to the decrease of stomach gastric acidity.

Another reports discloses over dosage and long-term usage of these drugs may increase the risk of bone fracture, including hip, wrist and the spine. Wrist and hip fractures have been more predominant among Post menopause women.

In conclusion, proton pump inhibitors have a very high success rate among patient suffering from ulcers and acid reflux disease. Actually, 80% of hospital patients diagnosed with a mild case of ulcers, have been successfully treated by using these types of suppressors. However, the problem seems to depend on the way they are administrated. There is a need for stricter rules and treatments concerning prescription of anti- suppressors. Too many patients leaving the hospital still depends on these medications, and without proper surveillance, can develop serious side effects that could damage in the long run, the digestive system. Heartburn sufferers should take a closer look at what causes their problems instead of trying to fix them. Unhealthy eating habits like; junk, fatty, spicy and greasy foods are the primary reason why people stays stuck in the vicious circle of proton pump inhibitors. If people would just lay off these types of foods and eat more nutritional and natural aliments, they would stand a better chance of improving their lifestyle and become less addicted to pills.

Supplier Relationship Management – How Lean Principles Can Deliver Supplier Value

A Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) programme has a primary goal of increasing value for both the buying organisation and the supplier. One way to do this is to look at the core processes that deliver value along the supply chain and work together on projects to improve them. A key tool in the SRM toolbox is Lean Design. This article will show you how this works.

The purpose of process improvement is to eliminate the root causes of performance deficiencies in processes that already exist. These deficiencies may be causing real pain for the organisation or they may be preventing it from working as efficiently and effectively as it could.

A good tool to use is the Lean methodology.

Lean is about the elimination of waste in a process. These wastes are applicable to processes in both manufacturing and service sectors.

Lean methodology has five core principles. These are:-

1. The definition of Value.

2. The identification and integrated management of the entire Value Stream and elimination of waste.

3. The design of production systems that ensure materials Flow.

4. The introduction of Pull Systems to support customer service.

5. The continuous improvement of all business activities to achieve Perfection.

Let’s describe Principles 1 and 2 in a little more detail

Principle 1

A step in a process adds value if:

o the customer recognises the value

o it changes the product, and

o it’s done right the first time

A step may be non-value-added but necessary if:

o it is required by law, regulation, or contract

o it is required for health, safety, environmental, or ethical considerations.

Value-added activities change the form, fit, or function of a product or service delivered to a customer. If the activity doesn’t do any of these three, it is probably non value-added.

Principle 2

The value stream is the activities that are necessary to design, order and provide a specific product or service from concept to launch, order to delivery and raw materials into the hands of the customers.

To identify the value stream for a customer, a good idea is to “walk the process” and see what happens at every step. Keep an eye out for waste or non-value added activities as you do this.

It can be relatively easy to spot waste in a manufacturing organisation – it tends to create visible signs such as piles of work-in-process. But what about a process in a service industry? Here are some manufacturing terms with a description as to what the equivalent might be in a service organisation:-

o Defects – incorrect data entry

o Over production – preparing extra reports, reports not acted upon, multiple copies in data storage

o Transportation – extra steps in the process, distance travelled

o Waiting – processing monthly not as the work comes in

o Inventory – transactions or paperwork not processed

o Motion – extra steps, travel from office to office or desk to desk and extra data entry

o Processing – multiple sign-offs

The purpose of applying the Lean methodology is to identify waste so that it can be eliminated. This results in an improved service and a lower cost.

Waste is anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts, space and worker’s time that are absolutely essential to add value to the product or service.

There are many ways in which waste can be created. Here are some examples:-

o Layout (distance)

o Long set-up times

o Incapable processes

o Poor maintenance

o Poor work methods

o Lack of training

o Lack of adherence

o Poor supervisory skills

o Ineffective scheduling

o Inconsistent performance measures

o Functional organization

o Excessive controls

o No back-up/cross-training

o Unbalanced workload

o No decision rules

o No visual control

o Lack of workplace organization

o Supplier quality

o Inconsistent supply of detail parts

o Over-engineering

o Inspection

Working with your key suppliers in a SRM programme to identify and eliminate waste in the supply chain can significantly boost the value you get from your suppliers.

Top 5 Room Escape Games for iDevices

If you’re like me, you may have played a lot of room escape games online. But did you know that it’s also a growing trend in the Apple App Store? What’s great about iOs apps, is they can take advantage of the touch, tilt and shake abilities of the devices. Here is a list of some top-quality games you should check out. Many of them are even free.

1. Antrim Escape (1, 2 & 3) By Game Hive Corp.

This is a series of three games, with a possible fourth to come, set in Antrim Castle in Ireland. The first one is the shortest of the three, but definitely worth playing. I found AE2 to be the most challenging of the three, and AE3 the most balanced. These games have High quality retina-optimized graphics and take advantage of the tilt and shake features. When you finish these games, you’ll be wishing for more.

2. Ellie – Help me out…please By Ateam

This game offers a Japanese horror twist to the room escape genre. You are communicating with a little girl through a monitor, and you have to help her escape her cell. There are multiple endings, some good and some bad. So it’s worth playing this game more than once.

3. RoomBreak: Escape Now!! By Gameday

This is for the hardcore room escape players. There are 5 episodes with 5 rooms each, making a total of 25 rooms to escape. Each one has an exhaust meter. If you’re too slow to solve the puzzle, the meter runs out and you have to start the room over. This can be frustrating for most players, but for those who stick with it, it can be a very rewarding experience.

4. Diamond Penthouse Escape 2 By TeraLumina

While not as long or as unique as the other games in the list, Diamond Penthouse Escape 2 is a solid game with logical puzzles and a humorous ending. It’s free and definitely worth your time. Also check out the other games by TeraLumina, such as Haunted House Escape.

5. Escape Game: “The Drifting Locked Chamber” By IDAC CO., LTD.

IDAC is responsible for many room escape games in the app store. They vary in quality, but most are full of challenging puzzles that could stump even the best escapers. I think of the Locked Chamber as one of their better games, as all the puzzles felt logical. Like most IDAC games, it is very linear, but not frustratingly so. If you like their games, you should download AppNavi, which offers many more of their games for free.

If you exhaust these, there are usually new ones out all the time. You could even try Bored.com for more room escape apps that last about five minutes each. If you’d like to see more details about these games, or read about others, take a look at my List of Escape Games. I even wrote walkthroughs for most of them.

4 Reasons to Buy a Desktop Over a Laptop Computer

A few years ago, buying a new computer meant picking a bulky desktop. Laptops were simply not an option because of their size, and cost. Today, however, laptops are outselling desktops, and it can be difficult to decide what kind of computer you should invest in.

But if you are still undecided about purchasing a desktop or a laptop, maybe this article will help sway your mind towards the former:

1. Desktop computers tend to be a whole lot cheaper than notebooks in most cases. While you will be hard pressed to find any laptop below $500, you can find a lot of desktop computer models for a price tag below $500 that will perform very adequately.

2. If you have some important or sensitive data sitting on your computer, it is much better to get a desktop instead of a laptop. Laptops, because of their size and weight, are very easy to steal as compared to a desktop. If there is a robbery at your place, the thieves will have a hard time stealing your bulky desktop.

3. Continuing on the point above, it is also much harder to drop a desktop and cause potential damage to your data, as compared to a laptop, which can slip and fall easily.

4. Laptop computers, because of their small size, tend to overheat a lot quicker than desktops. There is a lot more ventilation available on a desktop as compared to a notebook, and if you are living in warmer climates, you will find that the desktop heats up a whole lot less than notebooks.

Always buy a computer from a reputed manufacturer. If you ware well versed with computer hardware, you can even try assembling your own compute – saving hundreds of dollars in the process!

Top 10 Restaurant Outdoor Dining Trends

As American culture continues to embrace the Foodie movement, more restaurants are choosing to elevate their atmosphere for a more multidimensional dining experience. The modern diner is looking for an enjoyable environment, and often prefers an outside dining option when the weather is nice. Whether it is a first date, a Friday happy hour or Sunday brunch with the family, dining outdoors is a desirable and fun experience. For this reason, restaurateurs are finding new and interesting ways to incorporate exterior dining options into their restaurant.

The following are the top 10 trends for outdoor restaurant dining we have observed in North America. If you are looking to add or remodel an outdoor space at your restaurant, the key to success is finding the right atmosphere for your brand as well as your particular climate. In many cases, seasonality and climate will limit how often your clientele will be able to dine out of doors. No matter which type of dining area you establish, adding in a series of commercial-grade outdoor patio heaters is a worthwhile expense that will extend your patio dining areas usability into the chillier months and evenings.

1. The Beer Garden

Alongside the Gastro-Pub movement, we have observed a rise in the fun and fabulous beer garden. These dining / drinking gardens are typically an inexpensive, casual addition featuring picnic tables, large patio umbrellas, and garden accents such as hanging plants and cheerful flowerbeds. Add in fun international accents such as beer steins and foreign signage, and you are most certainly going to attract lucrative, repeat visitors especially during happy hour and the weekend.

2. The Lounge

A swanky outdoor lounge is the perfect complement to an up-market restaurant. Create an atmosphere of urban sophistication with comfortable, luxurious furniture as well as en pointe aesthetics. If you are a design novice, it is worth hiring a professional designer as nothing destroys the lounge mystique faster than amateur design. These types of lounges are a perfect pairing with ultra sophisticated cuisine, small plates or tapas.

3. The Sidewalk Café

The sidewalk café mimics the common street dining found in France, Italy and Switzerland. The set up can be executed in two simple ways. The first is small café tables with plenty of garden umbrellas to provide shade. The second is pairing small café tables with a spacious awning. Red and red stripped awnings that feature the restaurant’s name are a particularly charming and authentic.

4. The Hipster’s Paradise

If your target demographic is twenty-something’s, consider a slightly more urban-meets-antique aesthetic. Eclectic furniture pieces, a graffiti-art mural and wi-fi access will attract hipster clients in droves. Make sure tables have space for both food and laptops.

5. The Sublime View

Not so much a new trend, but certainly a powerful one. If your restaurant is located in beautiful locale – be it desert, mountain or waterfront scenery – consider creating a patio that allows for broad panoramic views. In some instances this will require an elevated dining area. This investment, however, will almost certainly pay for itself as gorgeous views are in high demand and word-of-mouth referrals are virtually guaranteed.

6. The Intimate Courtyard

There are currently two predominant versions of the courtyard experience – the English and the French provincial. The English approach is a bit more formal and manicured and will require more rigorous garden upkeep as well as more formal dishware. The French provincial approach is a bit more casual… think dressed-up wooden picnic tables and authentically rustic – even mismatched – tableware. It should feel as though you were having a relaxed lunch at a winery in the south of France. Whether English or French in nature, the courtyard experience is all about pairing exquisite gardens with refined, continental touches, for an charming and intimate dining experience.

7. The Rooftop Party

The rooftop party mimics the highly sought after NYC rooftop space. These dining areas tend to be relaxed and often transition into a more bar-type atmosphere as the night progresses. Add in colorful lanterns, sparkling lights, and modern urban accents. A rooftop dining area is a fabulous addition to laid back, casual restaurants. Safety can be an issue, so invest in proper railing and consult a lawyer about mitigating possible liabilities.

8. Life on the Farm – Only Better

Many restaurants are placing a greater emphasis on using organic, local produce… and some are even growing a portion of their own produce on site, including vegetables, fruit and even poultry. The farm patio experience seeks to extend the dining room into the garden area, so the diner is truly immersed into the locally-grown experience. Unfortunately, with nature also comes the elements and it’s not fun to dine where it’s muggy and buggy… so these restaurants must vigilantly police the area for critters and flies using non-toxic methods inline with their organic branding.

9. The Convertible Patio

There has been a conspicuous increase in convertible patios – indoor dining spaces that can transform into patios by removing walls or portions of the roof. Many restaurants have installed garage doors and electric awnings so that entire walls can open up on more beautiful days. This tends to be more appropriate for casual dining destinations, but – with the right architect / contractor and sliding glass walls – can also work for a more sophisticated experience.

10. Southern Hospitality

Southern cooking and comfort food are definitely on trend in the US right now… and many restaurants are extending the experience beyond the dish to the restaurant’s atmosphere. Wrap around porches with southern charm are becoming very popular in the comfort food circle. Think flower boxes, pickle jars and large overhead fans that transport the restaurant-goers to a gentile Southern home.

Your Job Search Requires a Dose of Perseverance

Searching for a job can be painful, unsettling and fatiguing. We’ve all been through it at least once during our careers. When the pressures mounts, you can be tough on yourself – damaging your morale and self-confidence.

Many people want to work, but unfortunately the job search can take longer than expected, requiring some to pound the pavement for many months and even years. And yet, people eventually do find employment and their success is based in-part on persevering throughout multiple phases of the job search. How you approach your search has a direct effect on your success in landing a satisfactory position.

How do you overcome adversity and persevere during a protracted job search? Here are a few helpful tips:

Overcome your fear

Fear can be a detractor, but also a powerful motivator. Consider the consequences of not extending yourself well above and beyond during your search. For example, a diversity of new technologies have emerged in recent years to facilitate your job hunt. Learning about these technologies can be a daunting and intimidating experience. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to learn what LinkedIn and Glassdoor.com are all about.

Expect to hear “no”

Clearly, this does not simply imply to approach your job search with a defeatist attitude. Expecting to be rejected and being prepared to be turned down are radically different. When you expect to be turned down for the job, it affects your attitude during the interview and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Being prepared for a rejection is different. It’s an intellectual attitude, not an emotional one. Understand that not every interview will be successful.

Patience is vital

On average, it takes about four to six months of solid effort to find a suitable opportunity. Persevere with your job search, but also fight the temptation to accept the wrong role just to seize an opportunity and curtail any further despair after many months of disappointment. It’s better to wait for the right position as opposed to starting the job hunt process all over again in a year’s time.

Reinvigorate yourself

It’s important to understand that each one of us has a stockpile of energy just waiting to be exploited. As with competitive runners, a “second wind” is available and ready to be unleashed at any time and for any physical or mental activity we need to address. We all have an untapped reservoir of adrenaline to help us persevere when we think we’ve “hit the wall.” All too often, however, we fail to tap into our reserves.

Be selective with applications

Look for roles that best meet your skill set and allow you to present yourself in a most confident manner. It’s possible to eliminate many potential rejections by doing your homework thoroughly before ever sending out a résumé. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do not apply to every possible opening for which you may only remotely be qualified.

Seeking a new job is a huge undertaking, and virtually everyone encounters job search fatigue. Having confidence in yourself, in your skills and being optimistic are powerful drivers. Do not waver in your resolve. Instead, persevere.

What is Bridge Or Hard Money Lending?

As we all know from reading the papers and listening to the news, conventional banks are not lending. They are certainly not lending to marginal borrowers, and they are not lending to the most pristine borrowers.

This has created a great opportunity for those that have the ability to lend, whether they are mortgage banks or individuals with funds. Bridge money lending. As discussed below, Bridge Lending is a fantastic opportunity that has been made even better by the fact that banks are holding on to the money that has been given to them by the government instead of lending it.

The types of deals that have typically gone searching for bridge money have involved borrowers that may not have had great credit, or deals that required more done before a traditional bank would get involved. That is not the case now!

Today, there are many great deals with great borrowers that need to go this route because the traditional sources have dried up.

There-in lies the opportunity !!!

What is Bridge Money (aka Hard Money)?

As the name suggest, bridge loans are made to take a property owner, a builder, an investor or a borrower who needs money for a non-real estate purposes from one part of the process to the next. This type of loan, as discussed above, has always filled a certain niche in the mortgage lending market

An example would be the owner of a commercial property or residential property that needs to do some type of rehab work before the property is ready to be occupied or sold. The property as-is would not qualify for a traditional loan, but once rehabbed it would.

How Is The Lender Of Bridge Money Protected Or Secured?

When you lend bridge money, you will be secured by a 1st mortgage that is filed on the property that you are lending on. In addition, if the borrower has other property with substantial equity, you can demand that you get a 1st or 2nd mortgage on it to provide you with additional collateral.

One of the keys of bridge lending, is that the loan amount will only be 50% -60% of the quick sale value of the property. This is determined by an appraisal that is done prior to any loan amount being discussed. A quick sale is not the appraisal amount, but an amount less than that which will get the property sold in 90 days in the event a loan ever had to be foreclosed on.

As an example, a borrower has a property that they need to borrow against.

An appraisal is done and it comes back at $ 1,000,000.

At 50% -60% LTV (loan to value) that would mean a loan amount of $ 500,000 to $ 600,000. Right? No!

You would cut the $ 1,000,000 appraised value to a number that would get that property sold within 90 days.

In other words, it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $ 700,000. At 50% -60% LTV, this means that you would offer the borrower $ 350,000- $ 420,000.

As a bridge loan lender, you need to feel comfortable with your collateral !!!

What Is The Going Rate?

The going rate for bridge money loans is not an exact science. Typically, the greater the risk is, the higher the rate that will be charged. In the current environment, regardless of the fact that overall interest rates have been coming down, bridge loans will be in the 12% -15% range.

If there is enough equity in the property, many times the 1st years interest expense can be built into the loan.

While this type of lending may not be appropriate for everyone, for an investor that understands the process and the risks that are involved, it is a great opportunity.

The Importance of PCB Assembly

PCB, otherwise known as printed circuit board is used to connect by way of electricity the electric components with the use of conductive pathways and signal traces. These will go through etching from copper sheets which have been laminated to become non-conductive substrate. A certain PCB filled with electronic components is called a printed circuit board assembly or in short, PCB assembly. Printed circuit boards are usually present in almost all the simplest electronic devices which are commercially produced.

The development of PCB assembly started during the twentieth century. In 1903, Albert Hanson who was a German inventor gave a description regarding flat foil conductors being laminated to an insulating board in numerous layers. Also in 1904, Thomas Edison made an experiment with the chemical processes of plating conductors on a linen paper.

Furthermore, in 1913, Arthur Berry made a patent of a print-and-etch technique in Britain of which Max Schoop acquired a patent in America. It was also in 1927 that Charles Durcase obtained a patent regarding the method of electroplating circuit patterns.

Once the PCB is finished, the electric components should be attached so that a functional PCB assembly is formed. There are two construction processes which can be used in order to form the PCB assembly. One is the through-hole construction in which the component leads are inserted in the holes while the other one is the surface-mount construction wherein the components are situated on pads located on the external surfaces of the PCB. Both types of construction have component leads which are fixed mechanically as well as electrically to the board through a metal solder which has melted.

Moreover, there are various soldering methods to be used in order to connect the PCB components so that PCB assembly can be possible. Production that is of high volume must be done through machine placement and bulk wave type of soldering. However, expert technicians have the ability to solder very minute parts by the hand under a microscope. This is usually done with the use of tweezers and a soldering iron with a fine tip which is designed for small volume prototypes. Yet, there are parts that are impossible to solder with the hands just like the ball grid array.

PCB’s which would make up the PCB assembly have conformal coating that is applied by way of dipping or spraying once the components are done soldering. This coat will basically prevent corrosion and the leaking of current or possible shorting because of condensation. PCB assembly is static sensitive, thereby; it should be placed inside antistatic bags while it is being transported. Improper techniques in handling could transmit static charge through the board and as a result may damage the components.

TV Wall Mounting Brackets Are a Space Saver

Most living rooms are very full of furniture and it really wastes a lot of space to have a special stand, cabinet or shelf dedicated to your TV that takes up even more space that you can not afford to sacrifice. In addition, there are cables running to your TV that are unsightly.

A really great option to neaten up your living room is to hang your TV on the wall using TV wall mounting brackets. These handy little devices are relatively inexpensive when you company their cost to a stand, cabinet or shelf.

The only major decisions left are which wall you would like to hang your TV on and what type of TV wall mounting bracket you would like to use. There are three different types of wall mounting brackets.

1. Low Profile TV Wall Mounting brackets – the most simple type to install, but the disadvantages are that you can not move your TV to a different angle and you do not have access to the cables behind the TV unless you remove the TV from the wall .

2. Tilting Wall Mount – more expensive than low profile mounts, fairly simple to install and allows you to have full access to cables at the back of your set.

3. Full Motion Wall Mount – the most expensive choice, the most complicated to install (you may to enlist a few friends to help) but the most convenient, because you can move your TV around, side to side, up and down and change the angle to suit your needs.

When you shop for TV wall mounting brackets, decide first on which of the above three types of brackets you need. Next, measure your TV's height and width. It is also very important to know how much the set weighs. Once you know this information, your choice will be informed and easy to make.

Once you have your TV wall mounting bracket for installation, make sure that you have all of the tools you need for installation before you get started. Measure twice, or three times and drill once. Always check and double check your measurements before you drill any holes in the wall, and use a level and measuring tape (do not "eyeball"). If your TV is not level when it sits on the TV wall mounting bracket, it will definitely be noticeable. When you add the wall mounting bracket, it is a good idea to run your television cables through the wall. If you do not know how to do this, you may consider hiring a professional installer.

Hilti Brand Hammer Drill Information

If you are looking for the best type of drills in the market today, then you can always rely on a Hilti Hammer Drill. Such a drill is not only efficient but also powerful. It has the ability to drill in large areas as well as in cement and hardwood. The most efficient type of Hilti that you can rely on is the TE 70. This version is great for drilling and chiseling. It also increases the performance and output rate of construction because of its high speed control mechanism and strong drill bit capabilities. The tool life of the device is quite longer than other drilling machines because the device is embedded with stainless steel metals and shockproof protection. The low vibration would help increase the user productivity and speed while at the same time introducing comfort to the user. Due to the features, the Hilti hammer drill is still one of the best drills around.

Both jackhammers and drill hammers have the same problems. There are some versions of drill bits that have a rather loud air exhaust. Such an exhaust would be bad for you since it would usually emit sounds as loud as 100 decibels or even louder. Aside from the Hilti brand, there are also some other brands that have the same features and abilities. However, if you are a buyer then you must caution yourself in acquiring drills that are created by questionable companies. Such devices are dangerous for the ears so before acquiring a drill hammer, be sure that it is the right brand like a Hilti hammer drill.

Another problem with some drills is that they are fitted with metals that would rust easily. If the drill bit would rust easily then the user might have be affected by tetanus infection. There are also some brands that are does not have any anti shock systems. So before acquiring drills, be sure that they have the right brand such as the Hilti Hammer Drill. There are also other brands out there on construction stores and websites, but none can compare to the Hilti hammer drill.

Glass Mosaic Tile Art – How to Make a Permanent Signature on Glass

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

Ever wonder how to sign your indoor glass mosaics so the signature will not rub or wear off? Nothing seems to stick permanently to glass. Permanent marker is not permanent. Acrylic and enamel paint rub, chip, or flake off. Nothing works!

Until recently, I signed my indoor glass mosaics with enamel paint. I covered the entire mosaic (except the signature) with old rags and towels, and then lightly sprayed on two light coats of clear acrylic sealer to protect the paint. That method works okay, but it does not seem to be as permanent as my new idea.

I had an epiphany a while ago and I've been signing all my indoor glass mosaics with this method ever since. Try it and see how it works for you. Use this method only for indoor mosaics. Do not use this method for outdoor mosaics or mosaics that will be displayed in a wet environment (eg, a sauna or shower area).

CAUTION: Try this method on a piece of scrap glass before trying it on your mosaic art. Trying it on scrap glass first will let you know if this is how you actually want to sign your mosaic art. It will also give you practice before doing it on your mosaic art.

Using a fine-tip permanent marker, sign your name on the glass. I usually put my signature on the bottom-right corner of my indoor mosaics. Put yours where you like it best. I find a piece of tessera big enough to hold my entire signature so I do not have to write on any grout lines. If I have to write small to fit it on a single piece of tessera so I do not cross any grout lines, then I write small.

Lay your indoor mosaic art on a flat surface. Do this so the wet glue will not run or drip. If your mosaic is flat, the glue is thick enough so it stays where you apply it (ie, it will not run or drip). With your indoor mosaic lying flat, carefully apply plain white Elmer's Glue-All over your entire signature. Do not touch the tip of the glue bottle to the signature or the ink might smudge. Slowly squeeze out enough white Elmer's Glue-All to cover the entire signature. (White Elmer's Glue-All is the stuff we all went to school with. I can usually buy a big 7.625-oz bottle at Walmart for $ 1.50 about.)

Allow the glue to thoroughly dry overnight. White Elmer's Glue-All dries clear. When wet, the glue does not absorb or blur the ink. Instead, the ink stays intact and the signature looks good after the glue is dry and clear. The glass color also shows through so the glue does not affect the mosaic's appearance. The ink is entombed in the glue and the glue provides strong, permanent protection for my signature on my indoor mosaics.

Do not try to get cute by using a cotton swab or other tool to spread out the glue evenly. While trying to spread out the wet glue, if you press just a hair too hard and touch the ink, it will smudge. If you leave the ink alone, it will not smudge or blur, but it will with the slightest touch. Therefore, I suggest that you do not try to even out the glue lines. Instead, hold the tip of the glue bottle close to the glass and carefully squeeze out the glue. The edges will look a bit ragged (ie, not perfectly straight and square with each other). In my opinion, that's okay, they do not need to be perfectly smooth, straight, and at perfect angles with each other. When the glue is dry and clear, I do not notice the raggedness unless my nose is right up to the mosaic.

As noted, do not use this method for outdoor mosaics or for mosaics that will be displayed in a wet environment (eg, a sauna or shower area).

This process is explained on my website for free with lots of pictures, so if you do not quite understand it, go to my website and look at the pictures. Try this method on a piece of scrap glass and see if you like it. If you do, then you'll know a neat trick that allows you to sign your indoor mosaic art masterpieces and be comfortable that your signature will not rub or wear off over time.

Remember, making mosaic art is easy. You can do it. Yes, you can!

Laying Ceramic Tile – Top 5 Laying Tile Tools Used By The Pro’s

Being a professional part time ceramic tile installer for several years, I have learned that there are 5 top tools every professional needs for laying tile. If you’re thinking of laying tile for yourself here’s a list of the top 5 tools you should use to do the job like a pro;

1. You need a Tile Saw. A tile saw is a special tool that is made to cut tile. Without a tile saw you can’t do the job right. Borrow one from a friend or rent one from your local hardware store.

2. A knotched Trowel. A knotched trowel is a tool that is used to lay down the setting material for flooring. It looks a little like a rake. My personal favorite for the beginners and do it yourselfer is the super easy to use and do it right the first time trowel the UltraSpreader. You can find out more about the UltraSpreader online.

3. Tape Measure, just a regular construction tape measure from your local hardware store will do.

4. 2 Sponges. These are large, orange tile sponges that can be purchased at your local hardware store. Just ask for tile sponges. You will need one to wipe off extra grout. The second sponge is for a final clean up of the tile and grout after it is all grouted.

If you don’t use two sponges, in two separate buckets of water, then the grout area will never look clean.

5. An Angle Buster. The anglebuster tile and flooring tool is an easy to use tool that makes cutting angles as simple as laying the tool against the angle, setting it in place, then laying the tool right onto the tile for a perfect cut the first time.

This tool is excellent for do it yourselfers and novices because it makes cutting tough angles very simple and saves you from wasting tile by cutting it wrong again and again. Even professionals use this tool to save time and tile. The anglebuster tool can be found at HomeDepot or online.

With these five tools you can pretty much handle the job.

I can list a lot of other small items you need, like a pencil, level, rags, hammer, buckets, etc. But the top 5 tile laying tools listed above are an absolute must for a job done right. If you want a professional looking job, even if you’re a novice, put these tile laying tools on the top of your list of things to buy. Two of my favorite places to go for easy to understand tile laying instructions is;

[http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=770030566&channel=769302578]. This shows a

small Video on what tools you need and how to lay the tile.

Series: How to Use a Tile Saw

Expertise: He has owned and operated several finish construction businesses, and has installed ceramic tile professionally for ten years. http://www.expertvillage.com/videos/tile-saw-tools.htm. This video will show you how to use a tile saw, for those that think they can’t use one or are scared to try.

The goal is to make this as easy as possible on how to install tile. Just remember that Having the right tools when you start the job or project will make it go a lot smoother and result in a more professional looking tile job.

Combining Painter With Photoshop

The first time I used Painter, it was still sold in a can. Back then it was owned by Fractal Design and there was nothing else like it. That is true today as well, but I must digress here to put things into perspective. I remember that period when even layers in Photoshop were thought of as an exciting new development. I was one of the many digital artists rejoicing in the glory of the new layer-based Photoshop work flow when I launched Painter for the first time.

What I found in Painter was confusion. There was a drawer-based interface and everything felt all over the place. After some experimentation I was able to get to work and really explore the power of what the program had to offer. That power, for those of you who do not know, is the nearly flawless simulation of real-world art materials. I was blown away by how natural it felt, even at that early stage.

However, there was a handicap: The interface felt cumbersome next to what was happening in the most recent versions of Photoshop at that time. For that reason I drifted away from Painter. You see, Photoshop was really hitting its stride in terms of interface organization, and that was an easy thing to get used to. So, when I would decide to use Painter, it just felt laborious next to using Photoshop, and so I abandoned it entirely for years. Now, let's fast-forward to what is happening currently with Painter.

It is now owned by Corel and has been with that company for quite a while. Under the Corel umbrella, Painter has really blossomed. The materials and natural-feeling painterly workflow have done nothing but improve.

But something else has happened during Painter's term at Corel: It has begun to play nicely with Photoshop. Right now it has an interface that will no longer confuse Photoshop users, and bouncing back and forth between applications is intuitive and comfortable. All this contributes to realizing your vision without obstacles. You no longer have to get hung up on the workflow and can instead spend your time being creative. And Painter is one hell of a creative tool.

Antler Chandeliers

Despite the raised eyebrows and reproaches from environmentalists and animal lovers, antler chandeliers continue to be in vogue. Antler chandeliers, as the name suggests, are made from the branched horns of a stag or a reindeer, shed naturally. The frame obtained in this manner must be first thoroughly cleansed, and only then can the bulbs or the candles be fitted and made into a chandelier.

It is worth realizing that the antler chandelier, however attractive it may look, does not fit in all types of rooms and ambiences. For instance, the soft appeal of candles does not blend well with the sturdy and robustness of an antler chandelier. The look of an antler chandelier is such that it is totally out of place in a feminine-type room with soft furnishings and dainty furniture. It is more suited for the masculine-type rooms and ranch houses.

The horns of the chandelier can be obtained from the mule, the elk, the moose, or the whitetail. The chandelier frame can be made from the European antler, too. These different sources mean that the antlers may vary in size, texture and weight. The shapes may vary, too, from being large, medium or small to being two or three tiered. The three-tiered chandeliers are pretty massive in size and are best suited for substantially large rooms, for coupled with their stark, bold frames, they tend to tower over every other object in the room.

The stark, no-frills frame of the antler chandelier makes it ideal for rooms sporting a minimalist look. The antler chandelier has this outdoor feel to it so that it fits well with wooden furniture, brick fireplaces and stone mantelpieces; that is to say, in rooms possessing a homely, lived-in, countryside look.

The antler chandelier is easy to maintain. It only needs regular dusting and an occasional polishing to retain its glaze. It is not surprising that the antler chandelier is rapidly gaining popularity as a light fixture that makes a bold statement.

Walking Down the Wedding Aisle: Who Walks Who, Anyway?

Another dilemma that often comes up when planning a wedding is who will walk the bride down the aisle. Although traditionally it's the father that does this, the plethora of step-families has made it a more difficult decision. This is especially true when the step parents have been in the children's lives for a long time.

Breaking tradition

A bride that has both a step father and a biological father may opt still to have her biological father walk her down the aisle. This can be a way to show her family bond as well as stick with tradition. In the case of a bride that has not been close to her father, she may opt to have her step father walk her down the aisle. This is a newly emerging sight at weddings, and quite touching.

Of course, if the bride loves both of the men and wants to include them, there's nothing wrong with having both walk her down the aisle. It honors her relationship with both men and lets them have the chance to hold her arm.

This also holds true for the groom. He can choose to escort both a step mother and his biological mother down the aisle at the beginning is she should choose to. Or the best man can do so, as is tradition.

If the father has passed on, the bride may opt to have an older brother or an uncle walk her down the aisle. Likewise, if the mother of the groom has passed, then a sister or an aunt may want to walk with him.

Dealing with difficulties

While this all seems like a loving and simple solution to include everyone in the wedding, some parents may still have issues with their ex-spouses. And this can lead to bitter feelings about your choice in who walks who down the aisle.

Should you fight for what you want? That's entirely up to you. If walking with both fathers makes you happy, then you should do that – even if the opposite wives are not pleased for whatever reason.

If you feel that it may cause more trouble than it is worth, then you may opt to stick with tradition. Just be sure to include your step father in some other part of the wedding so he does not feel left out because of biological status.

In the end, remember that it's your day and your decision.