Lean Healthcare – Why Does It Work For Some And Not For Others?

There has been a growth in the use of Lean in Healthcare but is it always delivering the desired returns? Experts are being brought in to support Healthcare “Lean” programmes but are they leaving the organisations with robust new processes and the competencies to deliver Continuous Improvement? We see a premium for Trusts when their imported experts successfully transfer knowledge, develop staff skills and help enhance the right culture for leading and embedding improvement and experience is already showing that the focus on simple effectiveness does not automatically lead to long term improvements or the most effective processes.

The same is true outside healthcare for organisations in manufacturing where “Lean” has its roots but where it is nowhere near as ubiquitous as many assume. Indeed, many manufacturing companies that were “going Lean” fell by the wayside on their journey and the government continues to invest heavily in helping manufacturers to implement Lean more effectively and to develop the underpinning skills that are required to embed the change.

The NHS can learn from the experiences in manufacturing, not only of those who succeeded but also of those who failed to realise benefits. Already some of the problems experienced in manufacturing are becoming evident in healthcare. For example we have seen some organisations focusing solely on ‘Rapid Improvement Events’ (i.e. the implementation of the improvements) without preparing effectively (i.e. designing the improvements) or setting up systems to maintain and embed the desired new ways of working. This (error) approach to “Lean” can convert Rapid Improvement Events into ‘Rapid Ram Raids’ where:

o Improvements quickly occur BUT are not sustained.

o New risks are introduced (i.e. patient safety).

The organisation wide outcome is a loss of inertia, misunderstanding and lack of buy-in, etc, resulting in negative staff attitudes toward “Lean”.

Learning from manufacturing – Why has Lean not always delivered?

Some key reasons why Lean has failed to embed itself in some manufacturing companies are because the organisations have failed to:

o Set out an agreed vision and plan at the start

o Understand how the whole pathway functions prior to moving to ‘Rapid Improvement Events’

o Build sufficient internal expertise and relying too heavily on external consultancy support

o Engage the team effectively and a failure to recognise the need to change attitudes (cultures) at the same time as changing processes

Whilst these same “Lean” failure modes are starting to manifest themselves in healthcare organisations, there are specific ‘failure modes’ unique to healthcare which need to be considered.

It is obvious the way that processes are organised and operated contribute to the success of healthcare organisations in delivering an effective patient experience and high quality patient care. They also create a unique pattern of patient safety risks. Some risks are more obvious (e.g. infection) whilst others are less obvious or are hidden (e.g. failure to transfer information between organisations in a timely manner) which can lead to an adverse event occurring.

Current ways of working will include risk / patient safety management controls (e.g. checks and procedures) and changes to this ‘balanced system’ change both the performance of the area under scrutiny and the pattern of patient safety risks. Given many of the sources of these risks are less obvious there is a danger that changes introduced will also introduce unintended risks. These risks may occur outside the area changed as the change may result in unidentified “interface” changes leading to unexpected or unplanned changes elsewhere in the organisation.

For example, focusing improvement activities on Outpatients to increase throughput may place unacceptable demands on diagnostics increasing their risk of errors. The failure to include representation from these supporting / interfacing areas increased the likelihood of problems simply being transferred elsewhere in the organisation.

In looking to become a ‘Lean Healthcare’ success story it is important to consider who needs to be communicated with and how will they be involved, how you will manage the on-going process of improvement, how to change behaviours and cultures as well as processes and most importantly what unexpected risks your improvement efforts might be introducing. Having said that, done effectively and with due consideration for managing patient safety risks and with a focus on sustainability of improvements, using Lean can make a significant difference to your organisation’s performance.

In fact it could be said that doing Lean at the right time, in the right place and implementing it in the right way should lead to ‘Sustainable, Safe & Responsible Service Improvement’.

3 Signs That a Girl Likes You – Undisputed Effective Ways to Know Whether She Likes You Or Not

I once heard a man say, “Men are easy. All a woman has to do to make us interested is show up.” Well gentlemen, let me tell you it is not that easy with women. If you want a woman to show interest, you have to work at it.

So, how do you tell if she is interested? It is really quite easy to tell. Women have this look about them when they are interested in you. It usually is a romantic sexy and I want you look. However, if the look is not as obvious, check out the body language. We generally say much more with our body than we ever can with words.

There are three unequivocal, undeniable; emphatic ways a guy can tell the woman of his dreams is interested

First – She looks at you with interest and then smiles. Women have this intense desire to actually see what a man has to offer. We do not just view the body as an object.

When we are interested in a man, then and only then do we take in the entire package. We want to see the whole deal from head to toe. Therefore, if you see a woman take in the entire view, she likes what she see and wants to know more about the object of her eye.

Second – Her walk changes. When we see a man we want to spend some time with, we begin to walk a little differently. Our body movements are more pronounced.

You will actually see some twisting going on. Watch women as they look at men. If there is no interest, there will be no eye contact. However, if there is interest, the body movement becomes more flirtatious and eye contact is made.

Third – The head tilts and a smile is revealed. A woman will make this final and most important move when she is interested. It is a combination move. When she is interested and wanting to get to know you better, the head will tilt and you will see a smile. Either the smile will be very sexy with desire shown or it will be very slight as if she is inviting you.

How to Pick a Great Jogging Stroller

Jogging strollers are a wonderful way to spend time with your baby and get a great workout at the same time. There are hundreds of different jogging strollers available and each one offers a variety of features that are included for safety or for fun.

To get the best stroller for your needs, there are a few things to consider. Take a close look at the different features and quality to make sure you’re happy with the final purchase.

Wheels

One of the most important parts of a jogging stroller is the wheels. They have to be strong, durable and able to handle almost any kind of terrain. Since swivel wheels are very unstable while jogging, a good jogging stroller will have a good locking mechanism to keep the wheels perfectly straight at all times.

Handles

Since joggers come in many heights and sizes, it’s important to have adjustable handles that won’t get in the way of a jogger’s knees. Choose a jogging stroller that can adjust for the heights you need in order to ensure a fun and safe run each time.

Another important feature that should be considered is handle breaks. They are very important for inclines so that the stroller will never go out of control or easily slip away from you.

Safety Buckles

Finding a good stroller with sturdy safety buckles is a very important feature to ensure the baby’s comfort and safety while out over different terrain. Make sure buckles can be adjusted to fit the baby’s size and keep them snug in the stroller without sitting too tight. Buckles and straps that are placed too high, low, loose or tight will cause discomfort and potentially harm the baby throughout the run.

Sun Shade

A sun shade may not seem like an important feature for a stroller but it’s certainly necessary to keep the baby comfortable and protected from the harsh sun. Choose a jogging stroller that offers different adjustable angles for the sun shade, which will give you the freedom to provide partial or full sun coverage for a safe and fun ride.

Adjustable Features

Having different adjustable features is important for a comfortable and long-lasting jogging stroller. As mentioned earlier, having an adjustable handle will provide more comfort for your run and even having adjustable angles for the handle will give you more options when using the stroller on the run or for casual walks.

Adjustable features that are important for the baby would be the safety buckles, seat angles and the sun shade angles. The straps and buckles will provide safety in comfort, the sun shade will protect them from the heat and light and the seat angles will give the baby different options for sitting up high or resting peacefully for a nap.

Before heading out to get a jogging stroller, make sure to look at all of the features along with the quality and ratings associated with the style you prefer. Always keep the different features in mind to ensure you get the best design that will last for many enjoyable years outdoors with your little one.

The Plush Life For Your Storage Bench

As you build your storage bench, you may realize that it has a very plain feeling to it. While it is the perfect solution to all of your storage needs, and is everything you anticipated it to be, you still feel like your storage bench is just a little bland, compared for everything else on your patio. The good news is that with a little hard work, this can be very easily remedied.

That's right – with a little know how, you can upholster your storage bench, increasing its comfort value exponentially. By adding cushioning to this piece of outdoor furniture, people will be naturally drawn in by the sturdiness and comfort that it brings to everyone who sits down in it.

The very first thing to consider when you approach your storage bench needs is how it will be used in everyday use? Will it be facing the elements every day, or staying comfortably in your home? How will it reflect your tastes and needs? And how does it reflect the furniture that it is sitting around? By figuring this out, you will have a better understanding of how you should approach the upholstering of your bench.

If your storage bench will have to face the elements all year round, or will be constantly exposed, you may want to first consider a removable cushion before going for a full upholstering. A removable cushion can be placed on your bench every time you plan on having guests over, and can be removed very easily before inclement weather comes in. By removing it every time the rain and winds come, you will be able to make sure that you are keeping your cushion clean, and getting the longest life out of it.

If your storage bench will be going into a more climate controlled environment, or will be indoors all year round, you may want to consider permanently upholstering your furniture. A full-out upholstering for your bench is not nearly as hard as it sounds – while it may sound incredibly difficult to start, once you know how to do it, it can be a very simple procedure. Be sure to bring the right tools with you, and you will have yourself a very nice project to take on at your leisure!

When upholstering your storage bench, the most difficult thing to consider is the material you will use in the actual refinishing. There are many choices you will find at any arts and crafts store. But before you go, you need to consider what material you will end up using for the upholstering.

Now is the time to consider where your storage bench will end up at the end of this process. If your storage bench will be living in an enclosed space, under an awning, or will be coming in and out throughout the year, you may want to consider upholstering it with canvas. Canvas is a durable solution that is easy to clean as the elements give their worst, and will stand up to the test of time.

If you are keeping your storage bench indoors, you have a little more leeway on the type of materials you can use in order to make it happen. Letting it live in a controlled environment buys you the chance to let your creativity shine, by upholstering with whatever you so choose to sit in comfort on. The last step is to find plans to upholster your bench. Those can be found by running a simple Google search, as there are different plans and styles all around the internet.

Bringing comfort to your storage bench does not have to come at the sacrifice of style. Rather, with a little know how and some hard work, what was once a boring old bench can become the pinnacle of style for your patio that everyone will want to have the chance to sit on.

Benefits, Limitations and Uses of Roller Compacted Concrete – RCC

Paving contractors, road builders and even government agencies are turning to Roller Compacted Concrete as the pavement of choice in larger numbers as the acceptance of Roller Compacted Concrete, also known as RCC, grows across the United States. RCC offers unique qualities different from traditional concrete or asphalt that make the pavement an economical, fast-construction candidate for many applications previously reserved for asphalt or conventional concrete.

RCC has been traditionally been used for surfaces carrying heavy loads at low speeds because of its relative coarse texture, but in recent years RCC has been selected as the pavement of choice for a greater number of commercial and industrial applications. Cities such as Columbus Ohio have begun using Roller Compacted Concrete for residential streets, and Atlanta Georgia has used RCC for interstate shoulder construction. RCC is primarily used in the construction of industrial and commercial parking areas and low traffic road surfaces.

Typical applications of RCC include:

  • Industrial access roads and parking areas
  • Shipping yards and ports
  • Truck and freight terminals and distribution centers
  • Bulk commodity storage and compost areas
  • Aircraft parking areas
  • Urban, rural and park roadways
  • Large commercial parking lots
  • Temporary travel lanes

RCC is also being used in pavement systems for higher traffic speeds serving as base for traditional concrete or the lower lift in a two lift paving operation.

There are many benefits to the use of roller compacted concrete, but the main factor is the RCC can be constructed faster and cheaper than traditional concrete and multiple lift asphalt pavements. RCC can be constructed fast because it is typically placed with asphalt type paver equipped with a standard or high density screed, then compacted with rollers. Unlike conventional concrete the use of forms, dowels, reinforcing steel and vibration are not used. Additionally transverse joints are not required, however when project specifies they must be present the joints are spaced farther apart than conventional concrete.

The cost savings associated with RCC is attributed not only to the ease of construction, but the material also uses less Portland Cement the most expensive ingredient in conventional concrete. The specific savings associated with the use of roller compacted concrete is dependent on the complexity of the construction, size of the project and specified mix design.

Additional benefits of RCC – Roller Compacted Concrete

  • Durability and resistance to chemical attack
  • High freeze-thaw durability even without the use of air entrainment
  • High strength capable of supporting heavy repetitive loads without failure
  • Reduced cracking and shrinking
  • Rigid surface eliminating rutting except in areas of heavy tire chain or studded tire use
  • Resists abrasion even under heavy traffic loads and volume
  • Light colored surface reduces the required lighting for parking and storage areas
  • Light vehicles and cars can travel on RCC soon after completion

While the benefits of RCC are numerous it is important to understand there are also some limitations to the use of roller compacted concrete. For example the production of large quantities of RCC requires specialized equipment. While a transit mix truck can mix RCC the mixing time is significantly longer than conventional concrete and the amount of RCC than can be mixed in the truck is reduced because the dryness of the RCC mix. Also the surface of RCC may not be suitable for high speed traffic without diamond grinding.

Other limitations of RCC

  • Adjacent slabs and multiple horizontal lifts must be place within an hour to ensure good bonding unless a cold joint is planned
  • Pavement edges are more difficult to compact causing most specification to require 96% modified proctor density on cold joints
  • Admixture usage on RCC may be higher than traditional concrete because of the dryness of the material
  • RCC paving in hot weather requires extra attention to reduce the possibility of water loss and evaporation

When considering the versatility of RCC, its ease of application in comparison to conventional concrete and its durability as compared to asphalt it becomes clear the roller compacted concrete is a suitable paving substitute. When considering the rising cost of oil and petroleum based products such as asphalt it becomes clear that RCC is likely the paving material of the future.

Building a Model Train Bridge

One way to add a good deal of character to your model train layout is through the addition of a train bridge. This is an excellent way to showcase your skill as well. The materials that they can be made from varies greatly and mainly just depends on how much weight they will be carrying. By building a bridge you open up the chance to add more features to your layout including ponds, rivers, and more.

Once you have built your first few bridges you will then be ready to tackle some larger projects as well. To start your bridge you will first have to figure out how wide and and how long you will need to make it. Now that you know this you will be able to begin. You will start by building a base for the tracks themselves. This base should be strong enough to support the trains and the landscape. This means the bigger the train the stronger the wood that will be needed. 2×4's are normally the wood of choice for projects such as this.

Build your basic box and cover it with plywood. You then will have to create your arches. To do this you need to decide exactly what size you will want and how many of them you will be using. Much of this depends on if you will have a train that will pass through the arches as well. Place your arches along your structure making sure to place them evenly throughout. Next you will need two sections of foam core.

Trace the pattern that you want onto the top sheet of foam and cut it out. It is easiest if you cut both pieces at the same time and helps to make sure that they are cut out evenly. After you have gotten them cut out you can then glue them to the track bed. You will want to give the glue plenty of time to dry. You can then turn the bed upside down so that you can easily get to the bottom of the train bridge if you need to.

Supports will now need to be installed between each of the arches in order to provide strength to the bridge itself. Pieces of foam will work perfectly as long as they are cut to fit snugly. After you have made sure that they fit level across the bottom of the viaduct you will be ready to glue them carefully into place. You can now decorate the outside of your new project.

You can cover your train bridge with whatever decorations you would like to add. You can print out brick shaped designs and paint them as bricks or you can just paint straight onto the foam. Another option is to mix up a bit of brick mortar and use a stencil to get a real brick look. Stick the stencil into place and apply the mortar mix after water has been added. Use your imagination and paint your new model train bridge any way you choose.

Assembly Language Machine Architecture

Machine Architecture

Nobody writes programs in machine language any more, and the amount of assembly language programming done in industry is limited. However, learning those two languages ​​is still the best way to learn about what's "under the hood" of a given microcontroller (ìC) and prepare one for good high-level language programming. Debugging is often performed at the assembly level even for high-level language programs (which is usually C for ìCs). All compilers will generate assembly listings for the code they generate so the programmer can see the details of the code they produce. Hard to find bugs usually require inspecting the program logic at that level. Therefore, any ìC programmer should be able to read and understand assembly language code. Many people (this author included) believe the best way (arguably the only way) to become good at reading assembly language is to program in it. The best introduction to assembly language is to first look at a few programs written in machine language. It helps provide a better understanding of the ìC architecture, and an understanding of the purpose of many of the features that exist in assembly.

What do I mean by the architecture of a ìC? It is the detailed functional description (what it does – not how it does it) of the ìC. It is not necessary to understand anything about how to build a ìC in order to understand its architecture. It is, however, necessary to understand its architecture in order to either design the hardware for it, or to program it in assembly. In fact, you have to know a lot about the architecture of the I / O, timer, and possibly the interrupt subsystems even to program a ìC in C. Designing computers is the subject of other courses. Programming a ìC (and interfacing it to the world) is the subject of this course. Learning our ìC's architecture is the first step. The main components of the architecture of a given ìC is the description of its CPU, its memory organization, its processor control registers, I / O registers, and timer subsystems registers that exist. These later three are usually memory-mapped registers.

All You Need to Know About Photo Block Mounting

Photographs serve as a treasure box of all the moments that you have spent in the past. It brings about good memories and is often known to brighten up your day. Having photographs tucked into photo albums doesn’t make sense as you would pack them and put it back to a safe place. You do not get to see it every day and so to bring about a change to the normal method; framing is a better alternative. While you frame a photograph, you would serve two purposes where you would see the picture every day and feel good and secondly your walls would be adorned with realistic photo frames with memories framed in them.

One such realistic framing option is the photo block mounting. It doesn’t involve the conventional photo frames around the photograph but has the mounting expert mount the picture onto a wooden board or light foam. The look is kept intact with a simple enclosure behind thus giving it a frameless look without having to add heavy frames to it.

The popularity of photo block mounting

Apart from people using this method of framing for personal photographs and artwork, there are several businesses using this as a marketing option in public places. You would often notice it when visiting shopping malls, movie theatres and similar public places where there are commercial advertisements with catchy graphics mounted on the walls. This is something unique where it differs from the usual frames to set up commercial signage. It is also used by painters and artists to display their art work in public. It gives a realistic look to the picture behind it and thus making it look amazingly attractive.

Types of Mounting

Mounting is usually preferred by people who feel that the essence of the photograph should be portrayed for the viewer to understand the emotions behind it. It is commonly available in two types.

• Dry Mounting – This method involves pressing a photograph or artwork to a hardboard behind it. It is often pressed with heat or vacuum pressing methods to keep the photograph intact for a long time. This method allows the print to stay intact and prevents crinkling that is often noticed in typical photo frames. It is something that is permanent and thus expensive and irreplaceable photograph or art work shouldn’t be dry mounted.

• Conservation mounting – This includes the usage of hinges, adhesives, tapes, etc. which invites a time-consuming procedure but is worth the time as doesn’t cause any damage to the art work of the damage and can be replaced whenever one wants to. This method is used by artists to display their art work and also used by businesses to bring commercial attention to their business.

Mounting should always be done by professionals and doing it all by yourself without professional help may not produce results as you had expected.

Hammer Throw History From Past To Present

One very popular event in the track and field competition is hammer throwing. This type of sport was developed several centuries ago in England, Ireland and Scotland. The hammer throwing event can be traced back to a time when the Tailteann games were taking place in Tara, Ireland in the year 2000 D. C., and with it came a tale of a Celtic hero, named Cuhulanin. This hero was known to have grabbed hold of the axle of a wheel from a chariot and then was able to throw it to a distance farther than any mortal could ever throw it. The legend became a bit of folk lore and it also is known as being part of the hammer throw history.

As time pasted the event was later to become quite popular into the middle ages. During the eighteenth century this sport was then a big part of track and field competition in the country of England, Scotland and Ireland. Hammers were designed of forged iron back then the weight was never an issue in this event. The length of its handles were 3 to 4 feet.

This event was done by an athlete taking and swinging the object above the head and throwing it as far as could be with the athlete standing in one spot. The distance thrown was then measured fro the line where the athlete stood that was marked down on the field. The longest distance hammer throw recorded then was one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty feet.

The English would later standardized this throwing event in 1875 by establishing this object to weigh 16 pounds. The length went to 3 feet and 6 inches. The hammer was also thrown from a circle the athlete would stand inside of before throwing the object.

By 1895 a new way of hammer throwing was established. It was thrown through a three jumping technique. The wooden handle later was replaced with a steel wire which was fastened to a pair of grips.

This sporting event in 1900 was included into the Olympic games, which today is a very big part of track and field. One other thing that changed was the sector as it is now 34.92 degrees.

Working With Mosaic Patterns

The ancient art of mosaics is now used in modern homes in showers and on certain floor areas. This style can add a lot of color and interest to a room and you can find a wide variety of shapes, layouts, colors and textures to use. You can really make a room be different and stand out with the right use of mosaics. Many people use mosaic tile to create a combination of decor / art work, for instance a beautiful mosaic pattern as a backdrop on a kitchen wall tile.

Mosaic tiles are fashioned with small ridges on the back so that the glue can adhere and they will bond better. Mosaic tiles can be made of ceramic, stone or glass. The kind of glass used in mosaics, however, is not the ordinary glass that is sharp once cut. It is a vitreous glass that is closer to stone, and is opaque rather than as clear as glass. If you have decided to decorate with mosaics, you should make sure you work with tools and materials specifically made for mosaic work. There are specialized cutters for mosaics made from glass-you can not use regular tile snips because they will not cut them as accurately.

Many times you will see mosaic tiles made of ceramic used in architecture, since they are inexpensive and easily cut. Another often used type of mosaic tile is broken pieces of china or other dinnerware. These are difficult to work with since ceramic pieces are difficult to break, and therefore have very sharp edges when broken. Mosaic tiles will frequently be pre-designed and attached to a mesh made of fiberglass to keep the design intact. In this way, it can be glued all in one piece to keep the pattern intact. You can separate the tiles if you need to, by soaking them in warm water, which will cause the tiles to come free of the mesh.

Floors are not the only surf act where you will see mosaic tiles. Tabletops with mosaic designs are very lovely and can make a piece of furniture a true work of art. And of course, swimming pools are lined with mosaic tiles, sometimes just in a simple pattern, but sometimes with a design worked into them that can be seen through the water.

DIY Tile Work – Installing Ceramic Tile

Many people assume they have to turn to a professional company to have something like ceramic tile installed but that is actually not the case at all. You can take this on as a DIY task and have your flooring completed in no time, if you follow a few simple steps.

To go ahead with ceramic tile work you first need to gather together the necessary supplies. Of course you need an adequate supply of ceramic tiles, enough to cover the entire floor plus a few extras to go around the sides. For tiling work it is always better to have a few extra rather than end up being short. Tiles could break while you're installing them or some may be a little off in size so having some extra there could really help out.

You also need tile adhesive, grout, tile spacers, tile cutter, chalk line, grout float, tape measure, rubber mallet, tile nipper, notched trowel and a level. Although you may not actually end up using every single item here, it is handy to have them all around before getting started.

Now you simply apply adhesive to a small area of ​​the room, starting in a corner usually being the best idea. Use the notched trowel to go over the adhesive. It creates grooves in the adhesive which ensures the best stick once you apply the tiles over top. Set each tile down one by one, pressing it in and rubbing it into the adhesive a bit as you do. You want to ensure each tile is flat and level with the next.

Continue on in this pattern until you have reached the other side of the room. Chances are you are still left with space but probably not enough to fit another whole tile. In this case you would use the tile cutter for your tiling work. To make the tile works, you must cut each tile to the proper size then apply it onto the grout.

Go over the spread grout and scrape off all the extra. The more you can get rid of now the better off you will be. Once the grout has sealed, take a sponge and wipe off the remaining grout. Go over the entire floor with a sealant. This protects the grout and helps ensure the tiles stay securely in place.

Choosing a Gold Coast Painter

If the task of house painting seems too much then it’s worth considering a professional Gold Coast painter for your new house, renovation or repaint. Professional painting contractors are equipped with professional quality tools and materials that will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

In the past the Gold Coast was a very transient place. It was easy for people to locate here and set up shop in whatever field they chose. This was especially true for some sectors of the building industry, painting being one of them. Unfortunately unwary customers would pay good money only to be disappointed with the outcome. There was no way of getting their money back or making these amateur painters accountable for a job done badly.

In recent years the Gold Coast has grown in population, people are flocking here for our wonderful weather and beaches. The demand has never been higher for housing in this ever expanding city which has brought with it many benefits.

The Queensland Building Services Authority are the governing body over all Gold Coast trades and are responsible for licensing tradesmen in Queensland. It’s crucial to only hire a Queensland BSA licensed painter, this will protect you but more importantly it tells you that this painter is reputable and professional.

If a painter has been around for a number of years it’s safe to say they are credible. The best way to determine this is to ask for references and perhaps ring former clients and even drive past previous completed jobs.

Make sure that the painter you choose uses the best quality paints available. Our climate on the Gold Coast is extremely hot. We experience scorching sun and raging storms. Exterior paint especially has to withstand our harsh Gold Coast climate. Only the best quality paints contain UV protectors to prevent peeling, flaking and blistering of the paint. A good tradesman will only use the best materials.

It’s important to get the painter to your home for a personal quote. This will tell you a lot. Not only will you be given a price for the job but you will soon see if the painter knows what he’s talking about. There are always latest trends with interior decorating, paint colours and techniques. The Gold Coast is a city full of the latest modern architectural and design styles. A good painting tradesman will be up to date with all new products and finishes. He should be able to advise you on colours and make suggestions on different finishes.

When getting a quote from a there can be quite a variation in price. The cheapest quote can often mean the painter might cut corners with preparation or use cheaper quality materials and paints. When considering a quote don’t just choose on price alone, take everything into consideration first.

Finally you want to be sure that the painter has insurance and that he will provide you with a written quote and a contract.

Is An Antler Chandelier For You?

Picture this – rustic dining room in a cozy A frame or country home and a fabulous antler chandelier as the focus. It looks awesome! And if you don’t believe me have a look at some of the home décor websites.

One very unique feature of antler chandeliers is that each one is unique. Yes they may be similar in style or color but because each set of antlers is truly unique the chandelier must also be.

Antler chandeliers are truly a form of art that will add an element of design and beauty to your room. And what a great way to reflect on your western heritage!

So what type of décor do you use an antler chandelier in? Well you have plenty of choices. As mentioned early a country home with a country dining room. A rustic dining room would be very fitting as well, but so would an early American or Southwestern, or Native American theme.

Now those are all common sense decors but antlers can make quite a trendy statement too in a modern or contemporary room, especially if you take your time and choose a style that works as a piece of art. Antler chandeliers also look terrific in a room that’s filled with game hunters finds. Perhaps a taxidermy duck, bear, elk head, or any other fitting wild game.

Antler chandeliers are available with traditional candle settings or in their more modern electric form. There are many choices on the market and there are also several online companies that will allow you to customize your chandelier right down to the type of light socket covers it has. It’s a terrific option for those who know what they want right down to the last detail!

Here are some of the style options to consider.

1. Mule Deer Antlers

Mule deer antler chandeliers can range from smaller sizes around 28″ in diameter to much larger at 48″ in diameter. The number of light fixtures runs from as little as 6 to as many as 12 and occasionally even more depending on style.

The bucks’ antlers, begin growing in the spring and they are shed usually sometime in December each year. They are high and branch forward, forking equally into 2 tines with a spread up to 4 feet making them an excellent choice for a chandelier.

2. Fallow Deer Antlers

The fallow deer antlers make a very interesting and unique chandelier because of the type of antlers they have and the size of those antlers. A 50″ diameter is quite common.

This is a medium sized deer and the adult males have large palmate antlers. The bucks develop spike antlers that begin to develop in their first year and continue to grow until 3-4 years old. The cast only antlers comprised of beams and simple points.

3. Rocky Mountain Elk

The rocky mountain elk provides the basis for a spectacular chandelier and a wide selection in size and style. Their sharp pointed prongs with a beam that sweeps both up, back, and out has a nice artistic effect on the finished product.

By year 2 the bulls spike are anywhere from 8 to 15 inches long and by year 3 they have 4 or 5 points. By the 4th year the antlers have become much heavier and after year 5 they are much larger, heavier, and have at least 6 points. It is said they actually develop their best set of antlers as an old bull around age 11. By this age they can be 5 feet long with 10 points and weight more than 25 pounds. Now that’s a chandelier!

The mature bulls will shed their antlers during February and March while the younger bulls will usually shed later in May. New antlers begin to grow as soon as the old ones have been shed. The antler cycle is very regulated

You can quickly see why these elk horns make such great fixtures. Variety in age, size, points, and color provide a wealth of décor choices!

4. White Tail Deer

The white tail deer chandeliers come in a range of sizes, weights and fixtures from as few as 4 candle lights to as many as 10. The style of these chandeliers makes them perfect for a game room, family room over a pool table or in a dining room.

Only the male deer grow antlers which they shed each year. The growth starts in the early spring and by September the antlers are full grown. Deer antlers are actually the fastest growing tissue that man knows about. They will grow about ½” per day and they become covered with a live material that is called velvet that is eventually rubbed off.

A buck of about 10 months old and by one year of age spikes are commonly seen. Spikes are more common than branches in deer that are undernourished. Spike bucks shed earlier than branched bucks.

White-tailed deer mature at between 5 to 8 years and deer that with spiked antlers in their younger years often mature to be trophy adults. Trophy antlers make superb chandeliers

5. Faux Antlers

For those of you that prefer not to actually have the real deal not to worry you can make your fashion décor statement with faux antlers. These faux antlers are truly amazing with the same quality finish of the real thing. Generally they are made from resin making them very durable and a lot cheaper than the real thing!

If you’ve got a rustic, country, or southwestern décor consider adding an antler chandelier. You’ll love the look!

How to Handle Inter-faith Marriages

You’ll know long before you start the wedding plans if your faiths are different from one another–so this shouldn’t be a shock. And you may have already begun how you want to deal with this. It doesn’t have to be a problem; rather, it can be a great way to create a new ceremony for the both of you.

Deciding to convert

Before deciding to convert to one religion or another, you want to take your time to discover why you’re doing it. Do you truly want to convert to another religion or do you just want to make your spouse’s family happy? This is a very honest discussion to have with your self and there aren’t any good answers, except for the ones that are true.

If you feel that converting is a good decision for you, then by all means, go ahead and take the steps needed. Many times, you’ll have to take classes and speak with the religious head well in advance of any wedding plans.

The trick is not to feel pressured into converting. And with all of the emotions attached with a wedding, some families may have trouble accepting someone of a different faith. If you believe that you want to remain the faith that you are, you should do so.

And if your spouse is trying to coax you into converting, you may want to hold off on the wedding as well. This is a very personal choice, and it needs to be made by the individual, not everyone else.

A dual faith wedding

It’s actually very easy to have a wedding that incorporates two different faiths. Sit down and see what each faith requires at the wedding and then talk about how you can compromise to make sure all is proper.

You may want to have the wedding in a non-denominational setting so that you don’t have the ‘home court advantage’ for one faith or another. You may also decide to have two different ceremonies weaving in and out of one another, combing elements of both faiths. This really shows the commitment to each other and to the separate faiths.

You may also want to have two different ministers or one denominational. That’s up to you, but if you’re a part of a temple or a church, you may need to be married by one of the parish’s priests or synagogue’s rabbis.

Tools You Need to Maintain Your Yard

Many new homeowners are stunned by how much they have to shell out to even begin to maintain their property. Even existing homeowners who have moved from a condominium to a house with a yard can be surprised. Before you drop $ 1000 on tools you may or may not ever use, here are the essentials. I am going to start with the ultra basics you'll need to get the simplest jobs done and then work up.

1) Gloves

Do not go cheap on gloves – they'll just tear. If you ever expect to have yard help, get two pairs. They will cost $ 15 or more. You will need them for heavy work like hauling garbage bags, trimming trees, and unusual jobs like tearing down old fencing, or anything else where you might get your hands cut.

2) A broom and a dustpan

For sweeping off the front steps and the garage and anywhere else. Push brooms look more efficient, but most people end up using the old upright brooms because they are so much easier to control. A broom and a dustpan will cost about $ 25.

3) A rake

Get one with metal tines or really strong plastic ones – wimpy rakes are a pain. You want to be able to clean up leaves, or rake up pieces of cut grass, or easily pick up bits of any kind of somewhat light stuff.

4) A snow shovel

If you do not live in an area where it snows, you can obviously skip this. If you live where it snows a lot, you will need two shovels, just in case someone ever offers to help you shovel.

5) A dirt shovel

In case you ever need to dig even a little bit. Please note, dirt shovels are terrible for snow shoveling, because they are too heavy, and snow shovels are generally a joke for trying to dig.

6) A trowel

A tiny shovel for little jobs, like planting flower pots.

7) A hand rake

These are useful of very small cleanup jobs in the garden. You will use it more than you think.

8) A bucket

Have a bucket just for outdoor use, whether it is for dirt for flower pots, for washing the car, or for lugging your tools around. As with everything else, get a good one so it lasts and you will not hate using it.

9) A lawn mower or a weed wacker

If you have a really small lawn area, you may be able to get away without a lawn mover. That will save you a few hundred dollars, and leave a lot more room in your garage or shed. A weed wacker is more essential for keeping the weeds down and maintaining that neat look that makes the neighbors happy. You may need padded gloves to go along with your weed wacker, but the heavy-duty leather gloves you got will probably do the job.

10) Goggles

So you do not blind yourself using the weedwacker, and also for various weird jobs around the house where you want a little more protection than sunglasses.

11) Loppers

Big ones and little ones. These are the tools you'll use to trim shrubs and cut back trees. They are vastly better to use than a saw. If you are just starting up, get the small hand-held loppers for $ 25 or so, and wait until later to get the big 2 foot long $ 40 loppers for a larger job.

12) A wheelbarrow

It is just a matter of time until a job comes up where lugging heavy, bulky stuff is best done by a wheelbarrow.