The Perfect Laundry Facility For Apartment Management

The job of managing apartments is reliably straightforward, yet it can be difficult. All that is required is that you keep the units filled with residents that are pleased with their environment and maintain a positive monthly cash flow.

Picture one of your apartments ending as as the dream home of a couple endlessly looking to rent a flawless upscale apartment. The grass is freshly trimmed and well maintained, and the landscaping is flourishing. As soon as your prospective tenants pull into the property, the architectural design of your location fills them with a feeling of "coming home." The unit that you have to show them has an amazing layout, comes equipped with great appliances and lighting in the kitchen, and features high-speed Internet capability. Everything is extravagant, and they are about to sign the papers! But they first wish to see the laundry facility. It is now your duty to, reluctantly, escort them to the laundry area where they are suddenly plunged decades into the past.

It's Saturday morning, and the room is packed full of people doing their laundry. Everyone's going completely insane fighting over who is next in line for the dryer. Some guy over there is cursing at the machine that just ate four of his quarters. And, to top it all off, there's not a single working washing machine available. There goes every possibility of the couple signing the lease! After viewing the laundry room, the couple quickly leaves and you never see them again. It is time for a change!

Now picture the same scene again, only this time you show the laundry room and its associated features proudly instead of reluctantly. The Clothing Care Center uses coinless equipment that is state of the art. Machines are accessed with a "smart card" system instead of coins. When tenants enter their AccessCard into a machine, it pays for the load and they do not have to scrounge around for quarters. The AccessCard's value can be added at any time using a credit or debit card. The residents can also get prepaid AccessCards. The benefits of such a system are remarkable for both the business and the residents. There is no cash available to thieves, so the laundry area remains safe.

There are high-tech features in other areas too, not just with the coinless machines. Residents can check on the status of washers and dryers using computers, cell phones, or PDA devices through Laundry-Alert, which is an internet-based laundry monitoring system. The system even informs the residents when their laundry is ready to be picked up. Your new tenants will be thrilled with the laundry services your complex offers them; what a huge selling point to get that lease signed.

The cash flow in your business can easily be tracked with recent technology. Accountability ensures the accuracy of the commission checks and ensures that all revenue is accounted for.

Lots of places offer laundry services, so you may need to do a serious comparison. Find a service company that has great customer service, along with outstanding technology, wonderful maintenance and repair, and detailed revenue reports. And then make sure that the laundry room never forces you to lose potential tenants ever again!

Pick Up Lines to Get Girls

One of the biggest myths there is when you are trying to find a girl is that you should know a lot of pick up lines to get girls . I personally do not think this could be farther from the truth. If you want to use some tried and tested lines then you really need to be careful because if you say them wrong you will look like a bit of a fool. I will show you a few pick up lines in this article and compare them to something more natural.

I really believe that using pick up lines is a thing of the past. Girls are out looking for guys as well these days and have watched the same movies, read the same books and have seen the same television programs that we guys have also seen. As such they probably know more pick up lines than we do. Instead why not stick to something that is universal and natural that anyone can do and you can practice even if you are the shyest person on the planet.

Instead of approaching a girl and saying to her, 'the sparkle in your eyes almost blinded me' which is obviously a pick up line, why not simply tell her she has beautiful eyes. She will see the more genuine side of what you are saying and although it can also be seen as a pick up line, it is thinly disguised as a compliment as well. If you want to use the pick up line then make sure you are smiling when you say it or she will more than likely see you as the prize goose.

You do not really need to use anything to clever when you are trying to pick up a girl. Girls love a guy with a smile and confidence and they are the two biggest things that girls will say joins them to a guy. If you are looking your best and you feel confident then you should simply go and say hello to a girl and introduce yourself.

I had a friend who used ever line in the book and if he did not get laughed at he would invariably get a slap in the face. Some of the things he would say were insulting while others were just plain stupid. I also had another friend who used the most ridiculous pick up line you could ever imagine but he always said it with a smile and added the second part of his line before the girl would think he was too serious. This worked for him all the time. He used to say, 'Would you like to come back to my place for a cup of coffee and sex' and before the girl could react too much, and especially if she started to show signs of displeasure at his approach, he would follow it up with, 'Why are you shocked, do not you drink coffee?' I actually saw him use that a few times and despite the fact he was not a great looking guy, it worked. I really believe it was more to do with his confidence though then the actual line.

So rather than use pick up lines to get girls try and keep it simple. Introduce yourself, ask her what her name is and start a genuine conversation. I can almost guarantee your conversions will be much higher.

Accessories Tips Benefits of Using USB on Hold Players

Do you love to listen to music? If yes, have you heard of a kind of player called USB on hold players? Well, this kind of player for music is quite popular in the world nowadays. Everybody will try to have one so that they can enjoy music all the time, whenever they want.

Previously, you would listen to songs with the help of a CD player. But CD players are not the best tool now. If you rely on CD players to listen to songs, you will need to wait all the time. As you know, singers will release one album in several months of time and you have to wait for the release of it. And you may not love all the songs in the album – you may love one or two only. Then, when you loop the songs frequently, there may be cracks on those tracks and the quality of music provided will deteriorate.

But the USB players will not give you this kind of troublesome feeling. You can actually download all the songs that you love immediately with the help of some websites. Of course, I am not telling you to use illegal software or websites to download music because articles should not encourage people to do illegal things. There are actually sites which offer paid songs and you can download those songs for your enjoyment.

With this kind of player, you can play the songs from your phones too. As you know, there are cables which can connect mobile phones to USB devices, like this kind of USB players. With the help of the cables, you can then play your favorite songs from the cell phones and this is something that people love to do during party time. No doubt, this will spend the battery on your phone and you have to make sure that you have a spare one.

The technology of the human race is evolving second by second. In the past, CDs were the best way to store music files but not, USB is dominating the market..mp3 is the most popular file format and most people will keep music in this format. If you need to product a CD, you have to change the format of the music files to.cda and this requires software and hardware.

Therefore, if you wish to use the players to deliver your business messages or songs conveniently, the on hold players using USB based systems will be better.

Of course, if you want to optimize the use of the players to boost your business or to enjoy music, you have to search in some websites about the use of the players. Despite the fact that the control of the basic features of the players can be learnt easily, some features will require learning process and you should not think that this is something silly.

Hope that with the help from the internet sites, you will be able to control the players well and enjoy the experience of using the players to do the things that you like.

Right Materials For Your Aquarium

Are you ready to start a fresh water aquarium? Let's see, do you have your fish tank? Is it a mid size freshwater aquarium tank or some other size? Have you chosen the type of freshwater aquarium fish you want to keep? How about the plants for your aquarium, do you have them with you? If you have everything that you need, then it's about time to start putting your fresh water aquarium together.

With these simple materials, you can create your own freshwater aquarium setup. For some it may seem complicated or even difficult to accomplish. But with a little guidance, almost anyone can enjoy an aquarium setup that you yourself put together.

To start a fresh water aquarium, you need to first place substrate on your tank. This will be followed by the Tiny Substrates which is usually composed of small rocks and sand. This type of substrate is a favorite choice in making aquariums. Choosing the right type of substrate has their pros and cons. Smaller substrates are favored by fish when nesting. Another advantage is that it is a common material that you can find in almost all aquarium shops. However, when they pick it up and play with it, the smaller substrates can irritate the fish's mouth. Another important consideration is their effects on the types of freshwater aquarium fish and plants that you choose. Here are some materials that you should never put in your aquarium setup: Shells, Onyx, Limestone, Geodes, Dolomite, Quartz, Granite, Slate, Lava rocks, Sand Stone and Onyx.

As much as you want to create a unique aquarium, you should first consider how the materials that you choose affect the whole ecosystem. In creating the best setup, you should keep the potential ill-effects of the material in mind. Whether you are starting a mid size freshwater aquarium or some other size, here are steps to test your materials.

First, do the vinegar test. Put several drops of vinegar on the surface of the rock or stone that you want to use. If it foams more than expected, then it is NOT a good material for your set up. This means that the calcium in it will be detrimental to your aquarium. Another test is to place your substrates in a pail of water and test for pH and hardness. If it does not change after a week, then you're good to go. You can use kits like pH level kits, Ammonia kits and the like. All it takes is a little effort to create a viable habitat for your fish.

Spring Has Sprung – Time To Clean Your Parkade

Winters in the great white north can be harsh. Spring is a time for rebirth, a welcoming rejuvenation occurs. Many welcome the warmer weather to clean and fix up their homes and properties for the year. When spring has sprung, Spring cleaning fever hits in full force!

Spring is usually regarded as the best time book in the annual cleaning of parkade areas.

You might wonder why this is necessary, I mean isn’t a parkade meant to handle dirt and debris? Won’t it get just dirty again?

Let’s think about it for a second…

A parkade is a closed environment, meaning it does not have nature or rain helping to clean it. Parkades have high traffic, cars going in and out every day.

Vehicles drag in dust, carbon, sand, salts, fluids, dirty water, and other toxins. Vehicles blow dust around, create exhaust fumes and generally make large messes. Regular cleaning can transform a filthy, unhealthy environment into a fresh, healthy and inviting environment.

A scheduled cleaning session of your parkade involves power sweeping to remove the dirt and debris, followed by a pressure washing session to remove all ingrained dirt and spots. Finally, a power scrubbing machine finishes off the concrete surface, creating a dry and health space. A professional company with proper experience, training, and equipment can make sure that safety risks are minimized. The dirt and debris from your parkade should be removed offsite to an environmental recycling yard. Drains should be clean and clear and free of sand and debris.

A common inquiry from many owners is “Have often should we clean our stormwater drains, catch basins and sump pits”?

The correct answer is at least once a year. Preventive maintenance saves real dollars. If a parkade floods due to malfunctioning drain or pump, it can be an extremely costly ordeal. The best time to have these cleaned is when the parkades get cleaned after the messy winter season is over. The proper maintenance of your drainage system of the parkade should be a priority for your property.

After a thorough cleaning is a good time to have a professional assess the line markings of all stalls and roadways. It is recommended that lines get repainted every 1 to 2 years. This ensures that your parkade is as safe and problem free as possible, as faded lines can impede traffic control and encourage accidents. The best time to repaint lines is after a thorough cleaning.

Having a professional company complete a thorough parkade cleaning, drain cleaning, and line painting session after the harsh winter season will create the best environment for your parkade area and make sure that it’s safe and healthy for years to come.

Bathroom Renovation – A Step by Step Guide

Bathrooms are one of the smallest rooms in the house and they are also one the most costly to renovate. Bathroom renovation is a job that, if done well, can add value to a home and a great space full of design and light.

Bathroom design

Bathroom design is the first area of your bathroom renovation you need to get right. Just replacing the existing bathroom with the same design may not be enough. The key to great bathroom design is to design it with the people that are going to use it in mind. However be sure that your bathroom design also has a general use factor as well. For example: If you were designing a bathroom for families you could still design the bathroom with easy access to the shower and bath. This would ensure that the design would also work for people with limited mobility. This means if you decide to sell your home or if you are renovating for profit your design has a wider market appeal. Great bathroom design also uses the space well, taking into account the light or window space, size of fittings, and drainage options. Draw out a plan to scale and right down the sizes of your room. Mark the existing drainage points and then and water inlet points. Write down a wish list of the bathroom fittings to need and want with their sizes. Now marry the two together and see what fits. Note: Most bathroom drainage and water inlet points can be moved but this does come at extra cost.

Bathroom remodel

If you have decided to do the work yourself or part of the work it is time to hire a skip bin and pull out the old bathroom. If your home was made pre 1980 you may have fibro bathroom wall linings with asbestos in it and great care will need to be taken. You will need some full body disposable overalls, eye protection, and quality dust mask. Check with your local building authority or council regarding the regulation on bathroom asbestos wall lining removal.

Remove everything except the plumbing. If you keep the bathroom plumbing in place you will not have to turn the water off for the whole house. Also you will need to jack hammer the floor tiles up and the sand and cement bed that they are laid on.

Bathroom Renovation and construction

Bathrooms must be construction properly from the ground up to ensure that the finished job is correct and true. This also ensures the design and look of the bathroom will have a great finish

The Bathroom Renovation Process

  1. Install water and drainage pipe and electrical wires.
  2. Install wall lining and ceiling and then install the bath hob and bath.
  3. Waterproof the floor and shower and bath recess.
  4. Correct the fall of the floor with sand and cement ready for tiling.
  5. Lay floor and wall tiles and then grout.
  6. Install new bathroom vanity, fittings, and taps – install new electrical.
  7. Paint ceiling and final clean.

Step one – Plumbing and electrical

At this point all new plumbing is installed for clean hot and cold water and drainage. Careful attention needs to be taken when positioning the new plumbing so that the plumbing fittings are correct when the tiling is finished. For example: To centre a fitting in a shower recess you must take into consideration the thickness of the wall board, tile glue and tile so the fitting will be centred after the tiles are in place. The same applies to installing drainage pipes for a toilet; the wall lining and tile thickness must be taken into account so the pipe is in the correct position when the toilet is installed after tiling. Also rough in the any new electrical wires without connecting them to the mains power.

Step two – Install wall and ceiling linings

Install your 6mm wall lining being careful to nail the fibro board every 150mm without nailing into the new pipes and electrical wires. The best way is to measure and mark the pipe and wire layout onto your new wall board with a pencil as you go. Screw up (or nail) the ceiling lining, plasterboard is the most common. However if you are laying your tiles from floor to ceiling do not install the cornice as this is best done after tiling. If you are not tiling to the ceiling go ahead and install the cornice after the wallboard and ceiling lining have been installed. Also if your bath is not freestanding you can now make up the frame and install the bath. Ensure the bath is installed correctly allowing for the thickness of the tiles and glue.Be sure to check all linings and pipes before you continue with your bathroom renovation.

Step three – Waterproof your bathroom

Waterproof your bathroom floor, shower recess, and around the bath. When waterproofing the floor ensure that the waterproofing comes 100mm up the walls. The shower recess will need to be waterproofed 100mm above the shower rose outlet. Also the bath should be waterproofed 100mm above the lip of the bath right around and to the floor. At the doorway install a 25 x 25mm aluminum angle glued into place with quality silicone and waterproof into the lip. Your whole bathroom should now the tanked, so the all water will only go down a drain. Bathroom waterproofing tip: waterproofing is an easy job but quality and accuracy is most important.

Step four – Lay in the cement screed for the floor.

Before the floor tiles can laid the floor must be smooth and fairly flat with a slight fall to the drainage outlet. To do this you must use sand and cement mix and it is best to add a waterproofing agent into this as well. With a level, set the floor level at the doorway. Use the top aluminum angle as the finished floor level and measure down the thickness of the tile plus 10mm for the glue. Mark right around the bathroom with a level and then screed in your sand and cement mix with a 1 to 3 degree fall to the top of the drain outlet. Take your time and get it right with the finished level as smooth as possible. When the sand cement mix has set but is not dry (you can walk on it but you it is still a bit soft) rub it over with a house brick. This will remove all the small highs and lows and check with a level as you go. Let the bathroom floor fully dry and then you should have a great surface to tile onto. Tip: the more work you put into the floor screed the easier your tiling will be.

Step five: Tile floor and walls

Lay your tiles on the floor first and then grout. Then lay your wall tiles making sure that they are level as you lay. Once the bathroom tiles have been cut and laid, grout all your tiles and then buff the tiles clean.

Step six: Install plumbing fitting and fixtures

Install all your plumbing fittings and taps. Also fit all your towel rails and soap holders. Fit your new bathroom vanity making sure it is level and sealed around the top with silicone and also seal around the bath. Tip: make sure they are in the right place before you drill into your tiles.

Step seven: painting, and cleaning – enjoy

Paint your ceiling and do a final clean making sure everything is fitted correctly and that there are no leaks in your plumbing. – Enjoy your new bathroom.

Dream It – Achieve It

Do you possess the passion for clicking pictures? Do just wander around with a camera in your hand? Do you often get mesmerised by an object and think “I wish I had a camera with me right now?” If that is the case then there resides a very talented photographer within you who can turn his/her passion into a full-time successful career.

The final click by a photographer conveys his/her idea or imagination behind clicking that picture. And this is the goal of the institutes that teach photography. There are various different types of photography like fashion photography, wildlife photography, aerial photography, jewellery photography, etc. But, the one thing that is necessary for every genre of photography is the basics of photography.

Once your basics of photography are clear, you can opt any genre as your profession or you can become a versatile photographer by trying different genres. There are many professional photographers in India with whom you can boost your career. But, they specialize in a certain genre and there would not be much to explore.

The Indian educational sector is vast; there are hundreds of fields to opt from. The media sector is the fast-paced sector in the country. There are many leading photography institutes which offer tailor-made courses. These courses train students in such a manner that they produce a good quality product than just learning photography techniques and methods and theories for getting a degree. They cover the basics which later diverts into specialization.

Here is a list of Top 5 colleges for photography courses in India

Delhi College of Photography (Delhi)

Delhi College of Photography has become a mark of reputation over the past few years. In India, the institute is known as one of the top-ranking photography schools that produces quality photographers. The institute offers both long-term and short-term courses with specializations in organizational, creative, and commercial photography. There are three levels of courses that are basic, advanced and foundation. The courses are designed in such a way it satisfies the need of both newbie photographers and photographers who want to brush-up or enhance their skills to advance their careers. Some exciting courses offered by the college are Fashion Photography, Wildlife Photography, and Candid Wedding Photography. Apart from photography, the institute also offers courses in film-making and make-up.

AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research Center (New Delhi)

AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research Center (MCRC) was founded in 1982 by Anwar Jamal Kidwai who was the former VC of Jamia Millia Islamia. It is one of the most prestigious mass communication institutes in India. It is famous for its technical guidance from world-class instructors and aesthetic. AJ Kidwai established the Mass Communication Research Center in collaboration with York University. The York University sent the first generation of teachers while the Canadian International Development Agency provided the MCRC with a range of polished and refined production equipment. MCRC offers courses like Visual Communication programme and PG Diploma in Still Photography. Along with this, other courses offered by the institute are MA in Mass Communication, MA in Visual Effect and Animation, PG Diploma in Broadcast Technology, PG Diploma in Acting, MA in Development Communication, etc.

National Institute of Photography (Mumbai)

National Institute of Photography was founded in the year 1983 by the Late Prof Manohar Desai. The institute provides diploma courses and provides the certificate to the interested candidates. The Photography Programmes offer foundation training for various genres of photography like the press, sports, wildlife, bird photography, macro photography, nature, etc. The syllabus includes theory as well as practical classes that are designed to inculcate thorough knowledge about the subject to the candidates. The Programmes offered at the college include Foundation course, Crash course, Basic course, Advance course, Diploma in Fashion Photography, Videography, Diploma in Tabletop photography, Diploma in Wedding and Events Photography, Digital Photo-Editing Techniques, and Workshop on Fashion Lightings. The Photography courses offered by the College are Photography MFA Photography, BFA Photography, Bridge Course (Photography), and MFA Photography (PTPG).

Asian Academy of Film and Television (Noida)

Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT) was established in the year 1993 and is affiliated with International Film & Television Research Center as well as the Marwah Films & Video Studios. The Aspirants are chosen as the part of the institute based on their performance in an entrance exam, followed by the personal interview round. AAFT offers a 3-Month programme in Journalism and Still Photography, which is more specific to Photography. This is a full-time course, with a fee of Rs. 54,000. Some other courses offered by the institute are Bachelor of Fine Arts, Diploma in Acting for Film and TV, Bachelor in Performing Arts,Diploma in Camera and Lighting Techniques, Bachelor in Performing Arts, BSc Cinema, Diploma in Post Production, Diploma in Visual Communication, PGD in Film and TV Production Direction, Video Editing & Sound Recording, Camera & Lighting Techniques, Acting & Presentation, Screenplay Writing, Master of Fine Arts, Master in Performing Arts (Music Production) and Master in Performing Arts (Dance).

Light and Life Academy (Tamil Nadu)

A famous advertising photographer, named ‘Iqbal Mohammed’ established Light and life Academy. This institute is a well-equipped institute with all the modern techniques of teaching the art of Photography. Besides, it has a well-structured syllabus with a good student to teacher ratio. As mentioned on the official website of the institute, Light & Life Academy is a not-for-profit education trust and it was set up with the initial support of Kodak India & Eastman Kodak, USA. The college is supported by more than 40,000 sq. ft. of campus that is designed by Mr Jaisim, a celebrated architect and is spread across three acres of land. Some notable Courses taught at the college include PG Diploma in Professional Photography, Diploma in Professional Photojournalism, and Short duration workshops.

If it is your dream to become a professional photographer and achieve a successful career in photography, do join one of these institutes.

How to Find Vintage Auto Parts

You’re not alone if you count vintage cars as one of your hobbies. It’s a very popular pursuit that has also proven profitable in recent years because the value of vintage cars just keeps going up. Although collecting vintage cars has become easier and more commonplace than ever, maintaining vintage cars is another story altogether. Vintage auto parts are difficult to find and can be expensive to purchase. The task of keeping a vintage car in good shape is made easier if you know where and how to find vintage auto parts.

Vintage Auto Part Dealers

Some dealers and retailers of regular parts sell vintage auto parts as well, knowing that collectors such as yourself will always be looking for parts. You can easily find such establishments because they prominently advertise that they sell vintage wares. Looking for these vintage auto part dealers should be your first resort, considering that the manufacturers most probably don’t stock vintage parts anymore.

If there are auto restoration professionals – that is, people who fix vintage cars for a living or hobby – nearby, you should also try approaching those people. They’re the ones who constantly look for vintage auto parts, and they most probably already have contacts and reliable suppliers. Because of the nature of their work, they’re the people who are most familiar with the best way to go about getting vintage auto parts.

When you find somebody knowledgeable about the vintage auto parts market, you should try acquainting yourself with that person and establishing a relationship with that person. You can get further information and contacts once you’ve dealt with that person before.

Looking for Parts Online

The internet is a great place to look for vintage auto parts, especially if you live in an area that doesn’t have any of the brick-and-mortar establishments described above. Not only do you get so many choices, but you also have the added convenience of not having to move out of your computer seat to get the needed parts.

Some online retailers specialize in vintage auto parts and consequently offer a wide range of items. What’s more, those retailers often have suppliers from several places throughout the world, so you’re able to get a larger than usual catalogue of choices. Even if you’re looking for a vintage part for an imported, exotic automobile, you’re almost sure to find the item with an online retailer.

Auction and trading sites like eBay are also great places to look, although it’s more tedious because you have to inquire and deal with each of the small-time sellers individually. However, you have greater chances of getting the vintage auto parts you need for lower prices because the people there are more eager to sell the item, not make a big profit.

It’s not very difficult to find vintage auto parts once you know where to start looking for them. After you’ve gone through the process a few times, you’ll find that you can even get the parts you need for cheap.

Types of Retro Barstools

The term "retro" means almost any style that is a throwback to recent history, but most of us think of soda fountains and sock hops when we hear retro. A soda fountain theme is a great way to integrate your kitchen bar into the rest of your living area, while still giving it a distinct look. Although the typical look for a retro bar stool is red vinyl and chrome, there are actually a wide variety of colors and shapes for your kitchen bar stools. By getting a good idea of ​​what the differences are between each retro design, you can be prepared when you begin to shop for your bar stools.

Looking for Retro Barstools

The differences between most retro barstools lie in three areas: the seat, the legs, and the back, or lack thereof.

* The Seat – One of the most distinct things about a retro bar stool is the fire engine red vinyl seat. You can still get that retro feel, though, if you choose another color or even another type of material. This is probably one of the easiest places to match your bar stool to the rest of your decor. That red is great if you have retro furniture already, but a more noble black or brown can blend in well with other furniture. Light blue, purple, sparkly silver, and many other colors of vinyl are also available for the more adventurous.

* The Legs – For your barstools to be truly retro, the legs must be chrome. Wrought iron or wood, even if carefully crafted into the stylized geometric shapes of the 1940s, does not quite capture the true retro feel of the soda fountain. Most classic retro barstool legs have one or two foot rests and four legs that angle out, sometimes with column from the seat or an arch in the legs. You can also opt for a full column instead of the legs if you do not mind floor mounting your barstools.

* The Back – Some retro bar stools come with backrests and some do not. The difference is primarily comfort and style. Backrests are particularly nice on swivel barstools as they allow a little bit of leverage when you swing around.

Rubber Stamping and Watercolor Paints

The buzz in the stamping world is Watercolors. That's right good old watercolor paints.There are sooo many cool ways to use watercolors with your rubber stamps. Just remember to use waterproof / permanent ink. I like the brand StazOn, or if you do not have that, make sure that you emboss the ink that you have so that it does not bleed all through your image when you are painting with your watercolors. Also watercolors work best with watercolor paper. This paper holds its shape when wet and will not get all lumpy and bumpy. Try to find a smooth watercolor paper, just because your stamp image will look better.

If you are going to make a greeting card, a great idea would be to stamp your image on a piece of watercolor paper, and also paint on that piece of paper, but when you are finished, cut it out and layer it onto the cover of your card. This look will be so professional and if you put a border around it your image it will look like a beautiful framed painting.

I can not believe how many different types of watercolors are on the market now days. We have the good old fashion kind, the dry "circles" in a long case that you just put a wet brush on to get the color, or there are some that are in tubes and are wet already you just brush them on, some come in jars, pencils, and even crayons.

Watercolors are the easiest way to create shading, just by blending more ink and less water or visa versa. If you have too much water on your paper all you need to do is blot the excess with a paper towel.

The main thing is to have fun and let your creativity run wild.

Have a Great Day and do not forget to leave time to Craft!

House Painting With Natural Paints

If you are truly dedicated to the eco movement, you might consider using natural mineral-based paints for your next house painting project. In addition to being the most environmentally friendly option, these paints have particular characteristics that affect how you use them and when they are practical. Natural paints are those that are manufactured from only natural substances: pigments are often made from minerals and clay; solvents and fillers are also derived from organic sources, such as plant resins. House painting with natural paints, as we will see, is actually quite easy and delivers great results.

Natural milk paints are an excellent choice for interior walls, cabinets and furniture, although they have a different look than standard paints. They give a grainy look with very little shine, and are not particularly washable on their own, so it is often a good idea to seal with a clear coat. Milk paint actually comes in powder form, and you must mix it with water, usually 1 part water to 1 part powder, or according to the manufacturers instructions. They are fairly expensive: priced at $30 (Can.) or more for enough product to cover 150 square feet of surface. But you get both a green product, and a unique finish that is sure to impress.

Milk paint and other natural paints can be applied using conventional brushes and rollers, but the steps to the coating system are a little different. First of all, milk paint requires a porous substrate to bond well. It is excellent over bare wood, for example. If you want to use milk paint on a previously-painted or varnished surface, you’ll need to use a special milk paint bond coat. As you work on the project, you want to stir the paint every ten minutes or so, because the solids settle at the bottom over time. Milk paint also dries quickly, so you want to work efficiently to keep a “wet edge”; in other words, don’t let the paint dry too much from one area to the next. You will want to apply 2 coats of the paint, and then 1 coat of clear sealer for best results. Milk paint leaves a very even and desirable finish, and the clear coat adds to the color depth and gives a gentle shine.

Other natural paints come pre-mixed, and are used much the same, though they do not require a clear sealer as with milk paint. They also tend to dry fairly quickly. These paints have almost no odor, and no VOCs. Natural paints are great for bedrooms, ceilings, and even areas exposed to heavy wear, but you must realize that they wear differently than ordinary paints; the natural ingredients create a finish that wears gradually, creating an interesting patina and distressed look. They are also moisture and mildew resistant, and allow the material to breath, so they can actually perform well in a bathroom or kitchen. Milk paint should be sealed for improved washability, however. Clean up is very easy, and only requires water to clean tools. Overall, natural paints can make house painting a safe task, and give a very interesting look to your home.

Does Your Business IT Support Contract Still Include Microsoft Windows XP?

If you have a business IT support contract from your IT Support Company you would expect IT Support for your Windows XP computers to be included.

But that may not be quite the case

The problem is that Microsoft Windows XP is now rather old -not quite prehistoric in computer terms, but at least Jacobean!

Microsoft goes through a phased withdrawal of its products to give users a very reasonable amount of time to upgrade. Three are 3 main phases:

  1. Mainstream support – full support including bug fixes, security fixes and design improvements. Microsoft commits to provide mainstream support a product for a minimum of 5 years after release.
  2. Extended support – after 5 years or 2 years after the replacement product comes out it goes into Extended Support with only bug fixes and security updates.
  3. Custom support – after 5 years on Extended Support (or 2 years after the second successor product is released). During this phase Microsoft only supports the product on a chargeable basis. In other words for all practical purposes it's unsupported for small to medium sized businesses.

Microsoft no longer provides what it calls "Mainstream Support" for Windows XP and has not done so for almost 3 years. Microsoft Windows XP is now on Extended Support until early 2014.

It's not reasonable to expect your business IT support company to support a piece of software that the author themselves no longer supports. The problem is that usually your Business IT Support Company has not made you aware of this IT Support problem.

What does this mean for Windows XP IT Support?

Microsoft Windows XP went out of Mainstream Support on April 2009. If you are running Windows XP you should be aware that Microsoft only provides security updates now – no design updates, no bug fixes.

If you do have a problem Microsoft are not going to fix it for you unless you are very important or you pay them a lot of money. Neither of these applies to many SMB's, if any at all.

In short your Business IT Support Company will be unable to help you with most Windows XP problems, because it's out of their control to do so. However because XP has been around for quite some time most of the problems have been ironed out.

What does your IT Support company say?

Most IT companies will have a clause buried deep in their contract that absolves them of any responsibility for products that are no longer supported or fully supported by the software author.

At face-value that appears to be perfectly reasonable. After all, if Microsoft is not willing to provide support how can your Business IT Support company help you?

On the other hand it's not reasonable of your IT Support Company to keep quiet about it.

I'm sure they are not quite hiding the Microsoft Windows XP IT Support issue from you. They probably think you know or they are not proactive at keeping you informed.

Why do you need to know that Windows XP is out of Mainstream IT Support?

You need to budget to replace these computers. Across the entire business this could be quite a considerable cost. Even for a small or medium sized business the costs could run to tens of thousands. That's a cost that most SMB's will want to know about well in advance.

And just in case your IT Support Company is not keeping you informed

If you have any Microsoft Windows XP computers you should upgrade to Windows 7 within the next few years. The best way of doing this is the planned replacement of old XP machines as they come to the end of their life. They should be replaced with newer PC's running Windows 7 or Windows 8 in the not too distant future.

Cat Urine On Your Carpet – Do not Despair – Do This

Cat Urine On The Carpet? Oh, No …

Getting cat urine on your carpet is by no means one of the joys of pet ownership. It can be really disturbing and frustrating and it is easy to get angry at kitty …

Cat urine is one of the more challenging odors to remove especially when not using proper cleaning products. When cat urine is allowed to dry in a carpet, amino acids in the urine actually bonds with the fibers of the rug.

Not only do amino acids bind with the carpet, so do salts. Salts cause a bond with an ionic charge that is increasingly difficult to dissolve the longer the urine has been on the carpet. Steam cleaning, or home made cleaners will not dissolve these strong bonds, actually steam cleaning the carpet may make the problem worse.

Some cleaners available do nothing more than mask the smell. Other cleaners use chemical agents that attempt to absorb the smell.

This may help for the moment, but does not completely remove the urine, making the smell return eventually. With some ocean left on the carpet, your cat will be more likely to urinate on the same spot again.

The first action to take when discovering a wet spot:

1. Mop up as much of the urine as you possibly can. Use absorbent paper towels or old towels. Lay them on the spot and blot until there is no trace of wetness. Recognize that you may only see a small part of the spot as the urine soaks into the padding under the carpet. Be careful adding water to the spot. You do not want the spot to spread out into the padding underneath.

2. Use an enzymatic cleaner that you can inject into the padding underneath the carpet. Inject the cleaner in order to cover a spot 1/2 a foot in diameter, then spray the surface of the spot with the cleaner.

3. When using a proper cleaner, that is all you need to do. No rinsing needed. Keep your cat away from the area until it is completely dry which can take a few days.

Even though it can be easy to let the frustrations out on the cat, remember that cats do not eliminate outside the box without some, for them, good reason.

When a cat eliminates outside the litter box it is a sign that something is amiss. Frequently a medical issue such as a urinary tract infection is the cause which would need medical attention. The cause needs to be discovered and corrected to ensure future success.

Finding and eliminating the cause of the behavior while cleaning the urine with the proper cleaner will insure that you will have a sweet smelling home, and a cat that goes in the box.

by Virginia Sutherland

2017 NIST Guidelines Revamp Obolete Password Rules

Operating within the US Department of Commerce, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) develops Federal Information Processing Standards with which federal agencies must comply. Although NIST's rules are not mandatory for non-governmental organizations, they often become the basis for best practice recommendations throughout the security industry and integrated into other standards.

NIST Special Publication 800-63A was published in 2003. The password primer recommended using a combination of numbers, obscure characters, capital letters and to change them regularly. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, the author of the primer, Bill Burr, stated: "Much of what I did I now regret." Why does he regret it? The advice ended up greatly incorrect and had a negative impact on usability for the end user, including password fatigue. Cybercriminals have stolen and posted hundreds of millions of passwords online since 2003. The boom in data breaches has provided the NIST and other researchers with the necessary data to look at how our passwords stand up to the tools hackers use to break them.

A 2010 study conducted at Florida State University found that when required to create or update a password, the majority of users simply capitalize a letter in their password and add a "1" or "!", Making the password no harder to crack. When numbers were required in a password, 70% of users simply added the numbers before or after their password. These types of patterns are well known to hackers and they adjust their tools accordingly. (Interesting tidbit: Cartoonist Randall Munroe calculated it would take 550 years to crack the password "correct horse battery staple" all run together as one word versus a password like "Tr0ub4dor & 3" which can be cracked in 3 days.)

The average number of services registered to a single email account is more than 40, but the average number of different passwords for these accounts is 5. Over one-third of people forget their passwords weekly, requiring them to be reset – toss in length minimums , character requirements, mandatory password resets every 90-days and it becomes clear why we often reuse passwords, cobble one together by making minor changes to our current one or resort to writing passwords down on a sticky note.

Memorized Secrets and other NIST Digital Identity Guidelines

Special Publication 800-63B shows the shift in strategy regarding passwords and use policies, specifically advising to abandon outdated complex password rules in favor of user friendliness. The document also includes a new moniker for the term password – Memorized Secrets defined as: "A Designated Secret authenticator (commonly referred to as a password or, if numeric, a PIN) is a secret value that is intended to be chosen and memorable by the user. Memorized secrets need to be of sufficient complexity and confidentiality that it would be impractical for an attacker to guess or otherwise discover the correct secret value. "

The updated best practices for creating, changing or updating memorized secrets include:

Allow at least 64 characters in length to support the use of passphrases, copy and paste. Encourage users to make encrypted secrets as lengthy as they want, using any characters they like (inducing spaces), thus aiding memorization.

Do not require memorized secrets be changed arbitrarily (eg, periodically) unless there is a user request or evidence of compromise.

Do not impede other composition rules (eg mixtures of different character types) on memorized secrets.

Password Limitations:

Rather than doing away with password restrictions strictly, The NIST guidelines recommend shifting to 3 password limitations that are actually worthwhile:

Forbid commonly used passwords: The standards require every new password being checked against a "blacklist" that can include repetitive words, sequential strings, variations on the website name and passwords taken in prior security breaches. ( has expanded their offering to include a pwned password section for users to check if a password has been exposed in a data break)

Do not use knowledge-based authentication or password hints: Allowed a user to answer a personal question such as "What is high school did you attend" to reset passwords is now hidden, as the answers to these questions and hints can be easily found via social media or social engineering.

Limit the number of password attempts: There is a large difference between the number of guesses even the most typo-prone user needs and the number of guesses an attacker needs.

Other items address by the NIST include new password encryption standards and multi-factor authentication for any service that involves sensitive information. The full publication can be viewed on the NIST website.

We're glad to see the standard updated to make it easier for users to create stronger passwords and we know at least a few of you will be happy not hearing your IT department every 90 days telling you that it's time to change your password.

Remove Blackheads: Reveal the 4 Tips to Keep Your Face Clear

Blackheads are a single probably the most typical skin tone dilemma that most of us deal with these days. Achieving a flawless pores and skin appears to be impossible. Whenever you appear on all those minor black spots, it appears to be that it really is too challenging to remove them. Even so, to remove blackheads are not as tough as you believe. You only have to have the correct merchandise and the correct attitude to eliminate all those tiny black spots in your deal with.

Initial, just before we go to means on the way to remove blackheads, let's know a small far more about it. Blackheads are really the initial stage of pimples and are induced by improper cleaning with the deal with. It can be generally identified on the side of your nose, chin and forehead. It can seem black and at times even yellow in color.

Now, here are couples of suggestions on eradicating blackheads and keeping your epidermis clear:

1. Wash and Rinse: Washing your deal with on a regular basis is 1 with the finest approaches to remove and stop blackheads from displaying up with your experience. You may use facial wash with beads and bear in mind to go on a circular motion to seriously get into all those areas wherever oil can get stuck in. Its suggested to wash you confront prior to and soon after bed time.

2. Epidermis Peel: You'll be able to attempt employing a facial pores and skin peel which will aid your epidermis lift dead epidermis cells to renew your pores and skin. Via this method you will certainly lose individuals stubborn and irritating blackheads.

3. Blackheads Pore Strips: These are essentially adhesive strips that you just straight apply to an region the place your blackheads are forming. You basicallyought to strip it off you confront and your blackheads might be lifted.

4. Drink Water: This is the easiest way of eradicating blackheads or stopping any sort of acne popping out of one's confrontation. Drinking 8 glassed of water a day will support flush those people toxins away, leaving you with a clear skin color.

Eradicating blackheads and stopping them from appearing inside your encounter is straightforward. You do not have to squeeze it out to preserve your experience clear. Squeezing of blackheads may well truly result in far more skin tone irritation. You just must keep in mind to stay clean and wholesome. Wash your encounter thoroughly soon soon after a rough day and blackheads might be much less of one's worries.