Glass Mosaic Art

Glass mosaic art has been practiced for thousands of years, spanning back to Ancient Egypt, where it was initially used in palaces and tombs. The Egyptians were the first to discover the versatility of glass, later learning to use it not only to decorate their jewelry, but also to adorn their ships. In time, glass mosaic art became a flourishing industry; it spanned the centuries and is still widely practiced today.

Creating glass mosaic art is easier than it appears to be. A few supplies are needed: glass of various colors, a pattern, glass cutter, hammer, pliers, safety goggles, tile snips, clear silicone glue, and tile grout or cement. These items are easy to find, and the whole will probably cost you less than $50.

Designs: You can free-hand your own patterns, purchase them from hobby stores, or download them for free on many websites. Concepts for patterns are limitless, from geometric and floral designs to abstract art.

Glass: While many specialty stores and websites sell glass for mosaics, it is not necessary to buy new glass or specific glass. All forms of glass are useful, including the old glass dishes in your cupboard or those found in thrift stores or yard sales.

Tools: Although different types of glass cutters are available in specialty stores, this tool, as well as the other supplies, can be purchased from a hardware store.

Simple Project: A kitchen backsplash!

There are many simple, glass mosaic project ideas for beginners. A popular one is the kitchen backsplash, an easy and inexpensive project that will personalize your kitchen and give it a modern look. It will also showcase your talent!

The first step is to take the exact measurements of the backsplash area to cover. Then, you must buy backer board and cut it according to the measurements, taking note of the electrical outlets. Check to ensure that your backer board fits precisely into the area before gluing your glass pieces to it, as it will be adhered to the wall when it is finished.

To accurately cut the glass into the desired shapes, an oil glass cutter and metal ruler are the favored tools to ensure precision. You may want to practice by cutting old plates before starting on your glass mosaic art piece.

When all your glass pieces are ready, lay the pre-cut backer board on the floor and arrange them on the board, according to your pattern. Do not forget to leave space between each piece for the grout. Once all the pieces are in place, begin gluing each one to the board. Apply enough glue to cover the entire back of the piece, but not so much that it comes out the sides when you press down on the glass. When the task is done, leave your glass mosaic art to dry for 24 hours.

Now you can spread the grout over it, allowing it to set for about 10 minutes before removing the excess off with a cloth. Allow the grout to dry thoroughly before applying the finished piece directly to the wall. Sit back and admire your glass mosaic art!

Next Project: A table top!

Another easy glass mosaic art project is a table top; whether it is displayed indoors or outdoors, it will surely become the main topic of conversation. The method is similar to that of the kitchen back splash, except that the top of the table is used as the backer board. Choose any table you wish to embellish, clean its surface well, and glue the glass pieces directly to the top. Thereafter, follow the instructions given for the backsplash.

Glass mosaic art can be created on various distinct surfaces: wood, cement, tile, plaster, linoleum, pottery, and even glass. Common projects include tabletops, ornate sidewalks, vases, and a variety of wall décor. A glass mosaic project is an artistic creation and, like all other art forms should be the product of the artist’s imagination.

As simple as the process may be, wear safety goggles at all times when working with glass, cutting tools and chemicals. Furthermore, have a first aid kit handy in case of accidents. Remember the basics of safety and enjoy your hobby!

Garden Tools

Garden tools are very helpful in getting the work done efficiently; it makes the work easier to be completed. Without the garden tools you have to use some other method of how you want the job done. Garden tools are inseparable from gardens, and yet, while the history of gardens has been exhaustively explored, the story of garden tools has been virtually ignored Garden tools are a gardener’s best friend (besides his garden, of course). Garden tools can do more than just help a gardener weed his garden.

Garden tools are needed by a gardener for his practice of growing and maintaining plants and trees. A gardener needs a wide variety of tools Garden tools are any tool that can be used in the practice of gardening such as a shovel, hoe, pruner, trowel even something as big as a tractor or a combine for farming fields. Which is related to the practices of agriculture and horticulture? Garden tools are as necessary for a gardener as hammers and nails are for a carpenter. Make sure that you have the right garden tools.

Garden tools are commonly exposed to water and wet plants and dirt. It may take tools a long time to dry inside a shed or garage, so keep an old towel by where you put your tools away and give them a quick wipe down each time you put them away. Garden tools are simply essential to larger gardening endeavors. A garden’s life is fragile and must be taken care of properly. You should always harvest your crops before the fall’s frost comes in the late fall. A lot of people make the mistake of not taking the frost seriously. If the days’ high can reach in the 60’s (Fahrenheit) then its possible for frost to accumulate during the early morning. Water does freeze at 32 degree’s but frost can occur at 40 degrees.

Gardening magazines will give you lots of innovative ideas about things you can do to maintain your gardening tools Things like putting your long handled tools into a capped plastic pipe filled with linseed oil or storing your digging tools head down in a bucket of sand that’s had a quart of old motor oil poured in. Gardening is one of the favorite pastimes among people across the globe and everybody has an opinion about how to do it the right way.

Weeds are a gardener’s nightmare and can really spoil your enjoyment of you garden. A gardener’s dream is to have a lush, green lawn and neat, colorful borders all free from weeds. Weeding trowels are used for weeding in cracks or placing bulbs between pavers. They are provided with carbon steel large blade for quicker gardening results. Weed twisters also fall into this classification. Other terms often used for weed pullers are weeding tools weed tools weed diggers, weed knives, weed up rooter tools weed pulling tools weed puller tools crabgrass tools and various combinations of these and similar terms.

Weeds are far easier to control in the early stages of development. If the weeds do get a strong foothold, they will grow extremely deep roots that make it very hard to control and remove. Weeds are also a matter of perspective. Bermuda grass is a great turf grass, but it is considered a weed if it invades your flowerbed or mixes with your prized St. Weeds is divided into three classes. Class A Weeds are ones which are not yet widespread in patches but could have serious impacts if they became established.

Famouse Painter and Engraver – Rembrandt

In the art world, there is a list of names that everyone knows, even those who are barely familiar with art at all. Rembrandt is one of those names and some Rembrandt trivia will show that his contributions were as important as it might seem at first glance. He was a seventeenth century Dutch painter, although he is as famous for his engravings as he is for his paintings. He was also extremely important as a teacher. A lot of the world’s most important art comes from artists of Dutch background, and that is in a large part due to the teachings of Rembrandt which he passed on to the next generation.

A Rembrandt quiz will reveal that his first name was Rembrandt. This is simply interesting when you consider how many painters we remember by their surnames instead of their firsts. He was born Rembrandt Harmeszoon van Rijn, and was born in Leiden in the Netherlands. His family was wealthy which is how he was able to both attend school and then later become an apprentice of the painter Pieter Lastman.

Rembrandt trivia will show that he started his own career as a painter in Leiden, but would soon move to Amsterdam. His work attracted the attention of politicians and other powerful people, and he made a very large reputation for himself as a painter of portraits. Despite making a large amount of money and leading a largely affluent life, he would struggle with finances due to bad investments and large spending habits.

A Rembrandt quiz will show that many of his works are among the most prized in museums today. They hang in the highest places of honor in places like the Louvre, the National Gallery of London, and in the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg. He is thought to have produced between three and six hundred paintings during his life, as well as hundreds of etchings.

An interesting point about Rembrandt’s work is that while it remains among the most sought after by collectors and museums, that also has made it sought after and targeted by many art thieves throughout the centuries. One of his paintings, “Christ in the Storm on the Lake of Galilee” was stolen in 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It has yet to be recovered. Twelve other paintings were stolen that day, and it is the most successful theft of artwork ever carried out in America.

Crystal Chandeliers – Is It For Everyone?

Did you ever visit a home and can’t avoid to stare on its lightings? Or have you been in commercial establishments like hotels or museums with extravagant lightings and you can’t do nothing but stare on their chandeliers? And somehow you wish to also have the same look on your house.

Well, many think that crystal chandeliers are just for aristocrats. In the early century, crystal chandeliers are said to determine one’s way of living in the society, because admit it or not these extravagant kinds of lightings does not come very cheap that’s why many can’t afford to have one. However, nowadays almost everyone wish to have their own crystal chandelier hanging in their house, simply because they also wanted to give their house an elegant look.

You might have spent money in having these crystal chandeliers, but if you would just realize the pride and joy of having it, you’ll soon realize that it’s still worth it. Since you’ll be investing money on choosing the best crystal chandelier better choose something that would really give proper accents to your home. It’s not just a matter of having it but you have to think that it is important that the one you’ve chosen will fit the motif of your home.

Many would have think that these crystal chandeliers are exclusively used by wealthy people, but because crystal chandeliers are more than a lighting fixtures many are now eager to have one even those families on average income.

Crystal chandeliers gives warm light and sparkle on each every room where they were being hanged. You can choose different kinds of crystal chandelier that would is according to your taste. You’ll somehow ask an expert on home decors to properly decorate your house with crystal chandeliers. Since interior designers have studied different aspects of decorating a house sure enough that your house will be properly ornate with the right crystal chandelier.

Budget is an issue, these crystal chandeliers are really expensive but if you are really eager to have one, you can visit different store to check on price list that may fit your budget. You can also check the web with different styles of crystal chandelier. Some stores offer discounts some have promotions that you may also consider for you to have the crystal chandelier you wished for.

If you wished to have your house really attractive with chandeliers, better choose those made from high grade crystals, having crystal chandeliers is also like having a diamond in your house, it is pleasing to everybody’s eyes. Crystal chandeliers are also considered as piece of art, as you know it is made from crystals with branches of thousands of bulbs that serve its purpose as lighting to a certain area.

Having all these in mind, you’ll be thinking that you too can have one of these crystal chandeliers and decorate your own house or room to have the glamorous look you wanted as well as to create a sense of ambience.

Tribal Ace of Spades Tattoo – Tips on Getting Your New Tattoo!

Deciding to get a new tribal ace of spades tattoo? There’s definitely more to it than just choosing one. Tribal tattoos are super hot right now. I can honestly say they are very attractive. Before you get seduced by the design ask yourself a few questions before you leap into the ink chair. Think about your plan of attack! Are you trying to save time, money, or both? The ultimate plan is to have an awesome original tattoo and save a few dollars without compromising quality.

Search engine time right? Google Images here you come, right? That would be you and every internet user that uses Google Images. Tattoo lovers like yourself risk ending up with the same tattoo as someone else you know. That couldn’t be the outcome you wanted. So do yourself a favor…research well.

The best research I can recommend is a pay tribal tattoo site. Wouldn’t you like to find a place that gives you access to custom tribal designs, a variety of tattoo artists that specialize in tribal tattoos, not to mention a parlor with rave reviews? That wonderful place with this wealth of research potential can all be found at a pay tattoo site. These sites can help you with all of your questions. You can be a part of a huge community that will guide you to the right design.

The need to do some research is paramount if you want a design you love. With your pay tribal tattoo site you are well on your way. Good luck getting your new tribal ace of spades tattoo!

The Best Way to Farm Gold in WoW – You Can Leave the Gardener’s Shovel in the Shed

If you are looking for the best way to make gold in WoW you have come to the right place. There are plenty of things you can farm, and things you can kill for some amazing loot, but you need to prepare a few things before you set off to make your thousands.

The most important place to start is with your backpacks. It is important to maximize your inventory so you can carry more items per trip. If you are out to make as much gold per hour as physically possible, it is important to waste as little time as possible transferring or selling your items. I would advise that you get no less than 18 slot bags, and if you can afford them buy some 20 slot bags before you set out to make your thousands. 

The next place you need to start is with a bank alt. This is a character that you will make for the sole purpose of selling your items. Any items that you do not sell directly to a vendor you will send here. It will greatly help if this character is higher level and can disenchant your BoE greens as well, although many players will not like the idea of leveling a character to be a bank alt who can disenchant. If you do this one step you will save a ton of time and energy down the road. 

It is important to maximize your inventory space here as well, but nowhere near as much as it is for your main character. Once you can afford to up your bag space on this alt you need to do so. 

Porch-Lift PL-P Portable Wheelchair Lift

Porch-Lift PL-P portable wheelchair lift is commonly used in public buildings such as courtrooms, schools, stages and gymnasiums, where the need for wheelchair accessibility occurs very rarely. This lift model is primarily meant for temporary use.

Standard Removable Wheels for Easy Maneuverability

Ensuring ultimate security and protection for the users, this model comes with a wide range of specifications and safety features. The lift is provided with four standard wheels for easy maneuverability. These wheels are removable and can be conveniently taken out when not in use. A lifting lever and support block are also supplied along with them for easy installation and removal.

Advanced Security Features Eliminate the Need for Caretakers

You can find battery operated or electric powered Porch-Lift PL-P portable wheelchair lifts in the market. Battery operated ones are a real blessing for use during power outages. Assistance from your caretaker or a second person is not necessary for operating the lift. You can enjoy unassisted access to different levels of the building with the help of the automated functions.

Porch-Lift PL-P portable wheelchair lift has automatic powered ramps and sensitive sensors. There are also easy to use adjustable switches allowing the user to adjust the height limit. Some other basic features incorporated into the Porch-Lift PL-P portable wheelchair lift are:

o 36″x48″ platform

o 750 lbs capacity

o Ivory powder coat finish, a more durable treatment than paint

o Up to 6’3″ of travel with 2 stops

o Platform controls: constant pressure paddle with emergency stop and alarm. A key lock prevents unauthorized access

Your dealers can assist you with the installation and maintenance of the Porch-Lift PL-P portable wheelchair lift you buy from them. They can help you choose the right model with suitable custom gate and door that matches your building interiors and exteriors.

So What Do You Do? The Importance of Having an Elevator Speech

My first job after college was as an employee relations representative for Marriott Corporation at the company’s headquarters, just outside of Washington, D.C. I had only been in my role for a few months when en route to my fourth floor cubicle the elevator doors opened and in stepped Bill Marriott, the company’s chairman. With just the two of us in the elevator, Mr. Marriott graciously introduced himself and asked my name and which department I worked. After my initial response, he then casually asked, “So how are things in employee relations these days?

The encounter was memorable not only because it was the first time I met Bill Marriott but also because it was first time I was called upon to literally deliver an elevator speech. While I recall sharing something fairly relevant about some recent union organizing activity at our newly opened LaGuardia airport hotel, I knew I could have just as easily said something really nonsensical and embarrassing. After we exited a few a moments later, I took a sigh of relief and committed to myself that I would be much better prepared for any future such encounters with influential people in the company.

Now imagine you are applying for a corporate marketing job with Marriott and you happen to be riding in the same elevator with a department manager who is escorting you to your interview. If he or she asks, “So what do you do?” how would you respond before the doors opened? Both of these scenarios illustrate the importance of the concept known as the “elevator speech.”

Of course, elevator speeches are not confined to dialogue that only takes place in elevators. They are intended for job fairs, networking events and even social activities. For the purposes of a job search, you should always be prepared to give a 30-second statement that briefly highlights your skills, experience and career interests in favorable, yet not overly boastful, terms. For instance, an effective response to the question asked by the department manager above may go something like:

“I am a brand marketing manager. While most of my career has been in the consumer products industry with companies such as Procter & Gamble, I most recently worked at American Express on a new financial services product they plan to roll out to their premier customers. Right now, I’m very interested in pursuing opportunities that would leverage my skills and experience in the travel and hospitality industries.”

Regardless of your profession, your elevator speech should showcase your talents and be sufficiently open-ended so as to potentially expand your career opportunities into an appropriately broad range of professions or industries. If it’s too narrowly focused (e.g., “I’m a hotel sales manager”), you may miss out on opportunities where your skill sets are potentially transferable. If it’s too broad (e.g., “I’m a people person“), it comes across as too ambiguous or whimsical and risks diminishing your candidacy.

At this time, I recommend you take a moment and grab a blank sheet of paper and draft your 30-second elevator speech. While it may seem awkward and silly, I also encourage you to practice your speech in front of a mirror or a video camera until you feel comfortable with not only the content of your remarks, but also your delivery style. As with any step in the job search process, there’s simply no substitute for practice and preparation and that includes your elevator speech.

Unknown Facts About Pot Belly Cooking Stoves

A Potbelly stove is a type of wood burning stove made of cast iron. It is usually round in shaped with a small bulge in the middle. This seems to be the likely reason for the name of potbelly used in its description. These stoves are shorter and smaller than the normal antique wood burning stove most people are accustomed to. The potbelly stoves are constructed of heavy cast iron. Potbellies have been a part of the American tradition for many years and are a representative of Americana.

Historically these stoves have been very popular in the past as well as in current times. Apart from heating rail road stations, schools, houses etc, they have been used for cooking food in basically the same environments. Pot belly wood stoves were generally used for dual purpose of heating and cooking and were usually kept in the family kitchen. The potbelly stoves have a round shaped oven in the center of their body. These stoves come with at least one oven and in some cases many models came with dual ovens. In some of the more advanced stoves there is a mechanism which permits you to control the quantity of heat which arrives at each burner so that the person doing the cooking can decide the intensity of the burner according to the requirement of the meal being prepared.

In our modern times we are seeing the popularity of the wood burning stove being revived. There are a number of reasons for this occurrence. They tend to provide a very economic means of heating the home. If you compare the wood stove with electric or gas appliances these stoves actually will cut your heating bill by half. Though they can use wood or coal as fuels some people will actually use grains such as corn for fuel in their stoves. This alternative makes them even less expensive to operate. Apart from their economy of operation they are beautiful pieces of furniture. Some of them are quite decorative and stylish. They are well suited for installation within restored houses or houses with a Victorian or an old fashioned ambiance about them. Some people choose them to present a feeling of the past era in their home. Perhaps others feel that some older recipes can only be cooked on these stoves. Unlike gas burners and ovens these stoves tend to keep the kitchen warm besides merely cooking the food.

Some care must be undertaken prior to purchasing one of these stoves. You should purchase the stove according to the size of your requirement. In the market today you are presented with a choice where you can buy either a genuine antique potbelly wooden stove or purchase a replica of the older designed units. The older stoves are heavier and they are usually a collector item.

Rice Pudding: Pressure Cooker Recipe

If you love rice pudding, you will be happy to know that you can make it MUCH quicker if you use your pressure cooker!

This recipe is easy and delicious, especially when topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey.

My recipe was written for the Elite 8-Qt Electric Pressure Cooker but can be used in any electric pressure cooker 6-Qt or larger.

If you are not a big fan of honey, try using Agave Nectar or omitting it altogether and sticking with your basic granulated sugar. No need to increase the amount of sugar in the recipe, simply use 2 Tablespoons (of the 1/2 cup required) during the rice-cooking process and then follow along as directed.

Honey Rice Pudding

Ingredients

2 cups white rice, long- or short-grain

5 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups half & half

4 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fresh berries for topping

Directions

Plug in the pressure cooker, set timer for 10 minutes and press Start.

Add the water, butter, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the honey to the pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice until it no longer clumps together, secure the lid and set the valve to Airtight. When the cooking time has elapsed, turn the cooker off and let sit 5 minutes. Open the pressure valve and quickly drape a paper towel over the steam to catch any starches that may expel.

Open the lid and return the pressure cooker to the Keep Warm setting. Gently stir in the sugar and remaining honey. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the half and half, the egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Gently stir the mixture into the rice until well incorporated. Close the lid, leaving the valve to the exhaust position and let the rice pudding set for 5 minutes.

Serve warm in individual bowls topped with fresh blackberries, raspberries or blueberries and a drizzle of honey.

To store or serve cold, mix in the remaining half and half and put into individual serving dishes or into a large air tight container; place into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Keeps for 5 to 6 days.

Tip: Before serving cold, you may need to float a little extra milk or half and half on top, along with your berries, to compensate for the liquid absorption.

Enjoy! This recipe is a sampling from my new cookbook that will be available in February 2012.

Alison Scutte

The Best Panels

Many people like to build their own greenhouse and one of the first things they do is go out and find all about PVC greenhouse plans, because it is having these that can really make your life much easier than it needs to be. This article will take a look at what is available and what you need to consider before you go out and start to build your own greenhouse.

The first thing that many people do is to think about having a cheap greenhouse, and if you are looking for this one of the best things you can do is look online as you will find a full range available to you.

There are many different designs of PVC greenhouse and these include the pop-up style, the oblong, and the old-fashioned lean-to design. The hobby greenhouse is a one of the most popular, and it is these that have quite a lot of designs.

What many people really like to do is look for what is available in mini greenhouses, and if you’re looking to build your own this can be one of the best things you can do, because not only will it enable you to have a go at doing something that is a hobby, but will also enable you to build it cheaply.

When you’re looking to buy materials you need to make sure that they are correct for the type of greenhouse you are trying to build, and if you’re looking to build a small type you do need to get the correct plans because otherwise you can find it difficult to simply change it into smaller one later on. Getting the materials right is one of the most important things you can do.

Take a look at what is available in various greenhouse plans and it will make you a greenhouse you can be proud of.

Partner Workout – Plank Exercise

A partner workout is appropriate for people looking for a motivation to work out. If you find it boring to work out alone, then you should look into working out with someone. Exercising with a partner also allows you to gauge your progress against that of your workout mate. If you are a beginner, I recommend you select a workout partner with a similar fitness level as yours. If you are new to working out, you can be afraid of exercising with someone who has much more expertise than you do. However, when you select a workout partner who has the same basic skills as you do, both of you can have a lot of fun with your exercise routines. On the other hand, if you have been working out for many years, it is best to choose a workout mate who is very familiar with advanced exercise routines.

No matter who you pick for your partner workout routines, make sure your workout mate motivates you. If your workout partner is lazy and always postpones your workout sessions, then you should seek another person. When it comes to partner workout, each one of you should bring something to the table.

Plank Exercise

I am sure everyone knows how to do a basic plank exercise. However, you may not be familiar with the partner-assisted plank exercise. If you and your workout partner can do a plank exercise for at least 30 seconds without taking a break, then you should challenge yourselves even further, with the partner-assisted plank workout. This plank exercise will test the strength of your core. This means that your hip and pelvic bones will become stronger, as a result of regular partner-assisted plank exercises. Your shoulders and thighs will also benefit from this plank workout.

Directions

There are many varieties of plank exercises, but the partner-assisted plank may be the most challenging of all. To do the partner-assisted plank exercise, position yourself perpendicularly to your workout partner. If your workout mate faces North, you should face either East or West. Lay flat on the floor and carefully place your legs on your partner’s tailbone. Then lift your torso from the floor, using only the power of your elbows. Your partner should do the same. Make sure your legs are fully extended. Maintain that position for about 15 to 30 seconds, while breathing normally. Once the 30 seconds are over, carefully drop your knees to the floor and allow your partner to do the same. Relax for about 30 seconds, and then reverse roles. Keep doing this routine until you are completely exhausted.

Good luck!

7 Steps To Developing A Risk Management Plan

Risk is real for any company or organization. Don’t kid yourself. Things happen when you least expect them to happen. Are YOU ready for the unimaginable, the unexpected, the unwanted? As an executive, have you put your head in the sand around risk? Do you pretend that all is well, and nothing will change? If so, it’s time to face reality: data gets lost, buildings burn, people resign. When any of these occur, your organization is at risk for malfunction, inefficiency, chronic struggle, revenue loss, and even total failure. Is this the path you want to go down?

Beginning now, you can initiate the process of developing your organization’s risk management plan. Take charge. Form a committee representing Board members and staff, and ask them to partner with you to create this critical document. Make sure everyone understands the importance of the work, and explain to them how they can benefit from contributing to the finished product. Risk managements plans are not optional; they are essential for every company, large or small. There are no valid exceptions.

Implement the following seven steps, and give yourself and others a huge slice of peace of mind:

1.  Define what risk looks like for your organization.

What constitutes risk in your shop? Threats to normal operations? Threats or compromises to people’s safety? Loss of physical and electronic property? Loss of revenue? Decreased public/community support? Unethical behaviors?   Create a comprehensive definition of risk that means something to YOU and YOUR organization.

2.  Identify specific risks.

Ask the committee to brainstorm as many different risks as they can possibly imagine. Record them on a white board or flip chart. Examples of various risks include: firing of the chief executive, dwindling interest in one of your major products, departmental silos, Board infighting, inability to fundraise, economic downturn, layoffs, building fire, computer crashes, philosophical differences between key employees, extended leaves for managers, interruption in receiving necessary supplies. All of these are potential risks, and there are many others. Continue brainstorming until the group believes they have come up with an exhaustive list.

 3.  Categorize each risk.

Determine category names for the identified risks. Examples may be: Chief Executive, Board of Directors, Physical Property, Technology, Data, Employees, Products or Services, Customers/Clients, Stakeholders,. Place each risk under one of the selected categories. Create as many category names as you need.

4.  Rank each risk according to severity or significance.

Choose headings such as “most severe”, “moderately severe”, “of minimal concern”. You don’t have to use these same words for your headings, but be sure that your phrases adequately differentiate between the degrees of seriousness. Perhaps you would like to color code each risk according to its significance heading: red for “most severe”; black for “moderately severe”, and green for “of minimal concern”. Set it up the way it best works for you and your organization.

5.  Develop strategies for reducing or eliminating each risk.

Begin with the risks under your “most severe” heading. It’s critical that you don’t delay in thinking through possible solutions for those major issues. Ideally, determine multiple strategies for each risk. Be sure to consider who within the organization is going to be responsible for implementing the various strategies, and the resources needed to implement them. Omitting this information from the plan only causes big problems later.   

6.  Write your plan.

Using all of the above input, shape a readable document. Practicality is paramount here. The plan is worthless if nobody can follow it, interpret it, or actually rely on it as a guide during crisis. After it is compiled, seek feedback from the committee as well as other employees and Board members. Incorporate changes where indicated. Check for evidence of common sense throughout the document. Hold yourself accountable to a high standard around common sense. A pie-in-the-sky risk management plan doesn’t serve anyone.

7.  Test some of those strategies in your plan for viability.

Do they work? Can they work? Why or why not? Where are the pitfalls? What steps are missing? Would you benefit from having certain outside experts review your strategies? If so, which types of experts? 

Revisions to the plan may occur annually, as situations arise and your organization lives one or two of the strategies firsthand. Hindsight is often wiser. Don’t be afraid to toss some plan content when you know for a fact that this is what you must do. Remember: the plan needs to be current. On a day you least expect it, someone has to grab that document, refer to a particular section in it, and act upon it–fast.

Decorative Brackets Add Pizazz to Hand Rails

Hand rails are structures that promote the safety of people in a home or building. They are installed with a very important purpose other than just providing a decorative effect to any space.

Hand rails are required for decks or platforms that stand more than one meter tall. But before you think that these structures are easy to install, they’re not quite. For a one-story staircase alone, installing handrails can be tricky. Circular and spiral staircases are even more complicated and may need a professional such as a contractor to properly install it. There are other components that go with it other than the tubing or that part which people hold on to.

What makes the hand rails stay secured in their place are actually the brackets. These are the ones that are placed underneath the railing and that clamp-like part is screwed on the railing’s underside. These brackets are very important whether the rail is installed on top of a railing or platform or just on the wall. And depending on the length of the rail, several brackets normally have to be used. The longer the rail, the more brackets will be needed to keep the tubing sturdy and thereby serve its primary purpose.

Hand rail brackets come in different styles and designs today. They are also made from various materials and finishes such as wood and metal in polish, satin, flat black, oil rubbed and satin nickel finishes.

Wood has always been a popular choice for homeowners. This material has a very classic appeal it can complement any design theme. Today, various wood species are offered by many manufacturers. They can even be customized to ensure that the wood material matches the one already in place in your home.

The metal handrails and brackets are the more modern types mostly used by builders. This material can range from the aluminum, stainless steel, brass and die-cast zinc. All are durable and can last for a long time.

Basically, brackets can be of two major types – the round disc and the flat type. The flat bracket is ideal for rails with a flat bottom while the round disc is best for the purely round rails. The flat ones are the plain types while the round brackets are available in more decorative designs such as those that feature animal heads.

Most of the handrail brackets available today have a projection of about 2 ½ or 2 ¾ inches to the railing’s center. Ideally, handrails should be installed 32 to 38 inches from the first and last step but this depends on the codes in your specific area. Make sure to always check your local code before installation.

When it comes to the distance of brackets, manufacturers suggest making it at approximately three to four feet apart. Or you can mount a bracket on every other stud. Wall studs are normally spaced at least every 16 inches on the center.

The key to constructing a durable and attractive handrail is going with your personal preference. Consulting with a professional designer, architect and carpenter can also help you do it right.

Creating Concrete Molds and Architectural Features Using Foam

Whether it is being used to create precast concrete molds or as a perfect replacement for concrete and wood, coated foam is fast becoming the material of choice for architectural features. Lightweight, durable and easy to install, foam provides benefits that traditional materials do not, and it can be used to create a full range of architectural features — from columns, balusters and capitals, to moldings, arches and quoins.

While foam is an ideal material for creating these features, the related production processes and equipment are just as important. Hot wire foam cutting has become popular for architectural applications because of its ability to turn out consistent architectural features and concrete molds without time consuming manual processes — and without sacrificing quality.

However, while standalone hot wire foam cutting equipment can handle basic architectural features, there are limitations to the kinds of products that can be created. The nature of hot wire equipment, whether using straight or bent wire, limits production to basic architectural designs. Incorporating decorative patterns, intricate details or creative designs — the kind of qualities that set architecture apart — is simply not possible with standalone hot wire cutting technology. For those looking to move beyond these limitations, a new system that combines a number of technologies into a powerful foam carving solution is answering the bell.

Combining hot wire cutting with 3D laser scanning, CNC (computer numerical control) routing and various finishing capabilities, an integrated foam cutting and carving system pioneered by Streamline Automation represents the next level of innovation in architectural foam and precast concrete mold production. While hot wire cutting technology is an integral component of this system, it is the addition of the scanning, routing and finishing capabilities that introduces a new realm of creative possibilities.

3D laser scanning allows users to incorporate any design imaginable into their products. Customized software can be used to adapt, combine and scale these designs, while taking a design from positive to negative to create a mold is as simple as a keystroke. While basic architectural shapes can then be cut on the hot wire cutting machine, the CNC router can be used to mill literally any kind of organic shape, design or feature in either positive or negative. These routers really are the workhorse of the system, carving intricate designs that have traditionally only been possible with meticulous hand carving. Once pieces are carved, customized spray equipment or foam coating machinery is used to prepare for installation or concrete casting.

Thanks to the seamless integration of various complimentary technologies, this system makes it possible to take architectural features from concept to creation with an automated solution. Users can produce creative and decorative architectural features and molds without the labor of traditional hand carving processes, and without the creative limitations of standalone hot wire cutting equipment. Perfect replicas of existing pieces and models using either foam or concrete are possible, including accurate historical reproductions.

Beyond taking traditional architectural features to new levels, this system can also create product lines simply impossible with hot wire cutting. Scanning and routing capabilities allow for the creation of decorative wall panels, concrete reliefs, fireplace mantels, concrete sculptures and much more. It is not surprising that this system is gaining popularity as a means of delivering artistic and innovative architectural designs that stand out from the crowd. Bringing together modern technology and traditional craftsmanship, this system is revolutionizing the production of architectural foam features and molds.