How to Write a Motion Graphics Design Or Animation Treatment

Give Yourself the best chance of winning the Design or Animation project with these guidelines

The Title & Introduction

The very first thing you will write on any treatment is the name of the project, so it is highly advisable to make sure you get this part correct. When taking a brief it is always a good idea to take as detailed notes as possible about all aspects of the project including the people involved, key words, reference material, technical aspects or limitations, audio preferences and project working titles. These notes will assist when putting the basics into a treatment, and showing your fullest understanding of the brief, like the correct title, or key words that the client was at pains to describe the project with.

Once you have a clean leading page with the clients name, the name of the project, and any subtitle, you are ready to add the first and most important body of text, the introduction or approach.

The introduction, outline, premise or approach to a treatment is a vital and concise 2 or 3 line paragraph, clearly telling the reader what it is they are about to read, and the reason for reading it. Ideally this paragraph will ‘grab’ the reader immediately and tweak their interest, wanting to read the rest of the document.

The Writing Style

The use of descriptive language is an important part of the art of all writing, no less with treatments, where you ideally need to squeeze all the information into one or two sides of a4 paper to paint a clear picture in the readers mind’s eye of exactly what they can expect the final film or animation to look like.

When describing your concept, try and use flowing and elegant phrasing while being descriptive and to the point. A wide use of vocabulary will keep the reader interested and their brain visualising the result.

For example, The brief is for a television crime drama title sequence, and the Director wants the style of the title sequence to reflect the period, atmosphere and subject matter of the script. The Director may use quite descriptive words in a brief like, dark or chilling, ensure to re-use these words in your treatment and add some of your own to further embellish. For example; dark foreboding blackness, or chilling, spine jarring finale.

Try not to repeat the same word too many times, and think of alternative ways to describe the same or similar part of the project. For example; when mentioning a transitional effect in the animation or film, try and find new ways to write about that effect.

Your Branding

Ensure that your business, company or studio logo and branding is clearly marked on the front of the treatment, as well as the body of the treatment to ensure that all who read it will know where it is from and who wrote it. It will also help ensure your ideas stay as your own and are not borrowed by someone else. Another consideration is to flatten your document to ensure that the logo and graphics are displayed correctly and no one is able to edit your treatment or take paragraphs for re purposing into another document. Saving your MS Word or other word processor document as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file is an ideal way of achieving this.

The Concept

This is the main body of text where you can flesh out the idea in more detail. It is important to ensure that this paragraph is easy to read and to the point. Use this part of the treatment as a way of quickly describing the rest of the information that you eloquently touched on in your Introduction. Try and keep the sentences brief with enough space around them to be absorbed easily. Allow the sentences to flow together easily to ensure the reader does not get lost partway through, it is vital that your idea makes sense from start to finish giving your reader the chance of constructing the piece in their own minds eye.

Imagery

Consider including images to assist your concept.

You will probably be producing a storyboard separately to your treatment, but using additional reference images, character illustrations, environment and backgrounds or mood board images in your treatment can really help the reader to grasp what you are saying. Positioning the images is also important, breaking up the paragraphs can lose the readers flow, so try adding an image or series of images under a paragraph.

Using a large image under the Introduction can act as a real eye grabber for the rest of the document.

Reference Material

Reference material is key to helping sell your idea, especially if you can reference your own past work. It is another chance to showcase your work and give the client every confidence in your ability to deliver what you are writing about. References can be web links, embedded links, images, sounds, music tracks, illustration or video. If possible, try and collate it all into one place, an ftp location, a website, a file share location or as zipped attachments to make it easy for the client to explore your references and not have to go to many different internet sites. Again, keeping the treatment easy to read, follow and absorb is paramount.

The Technical Breakdown

The technical section of a treatment should be very factual, very brief and very clear. The clarity will, once again, illustrate to the reader that you have carefully thought the process through and understand exactly what it will take to achieve the finished result. You will always be able to change your thinking with kit later, but at least at this early stage you have approached the idea with a way of technically creating your masterpiece. This paragraph will also illustrate your ability to handle both aspects of any motion graphics project, creativity and technical knowhow, the core components to any motion graphics designer.

Think about outlining what and how many computers you will need, how much disk storage space and backup will be required, which software packages will you be using and are there any specific plug-ins or presets that are relevant. Also take into account the amount of rendering time and hardware that will be needed, archiving considerations, and final delivery formats and other delivery aspects.

Music and Audio

As we all know, music and sound effects can really bring animation and video to life and is a major part of any visual experience. Touch on ideas you have for the music and sound design, include references to other similarly styled videos and describe the tone and atmosphere that the music will evoke with your visuals.

The Budget & Estimated Costs

Costs and quotes are also a huge factor in whether you will succeed in getting the project you desire, but refrain from including any mention of money in the treatment. Instead provide a separate quotation document including any reference to technical or creative specifics in the treatment.

The Conclusion / Summary

The final part of your treatment should act in a similar way to the introduction.

It is a short paragraph that allows you to quickly remind the reader of the key points you discussed in the rest of the document. It is also a chance to use good language to leave the reader wanting to see what you have described, wanting to explore further, wanting to make it come to life.

List of Components

INTRODUCTION – short and sweet

CONCEPT – main descriptive body of text

IMAGES – reference material

TECHNICAL – geeky but essential breakdown

AUDIO – style and reference guide

SUMMARY – the final roundup

Free Outstanding Warrant Search

A free outstanding warrant search is a great service that most states now provide its tenants. The search allows you to search and see if someone has an outstanding warranty that is filed with the court. You enter the persons name that you wish to explore and the web site will tell you whether or not the person has a warrant filed against them.

Protecting yourself and your family is very important because you never know who might have an warranty. The government passed a law call the Freedom of Information Act which made the government divulge information related to public safety to the public. It is important for the government to protect its citizens from people that might be dangerous.

It is important to know if people have warrants filed against them. For instance, when doing a background check on a baby sitter or nanny you need to know who will be watching your children. You can check out the person who applied for the position by visiting a web site that does a free outstanding warrant search.

If while using a free warranty service you discover that someone has an obligation out for their arrest, please do not alert the person in question. People who have avoided correcting their outstanding warrants do not want to be turned in to the proper authorities. This creates a very dangerous situation.

You need to contact the proper authorities in your state and keep the person in question away from your family because they are criminals and can pose serious physical harm to you and your other family members. You should not tell other people outside of your family because if the person finds out that they are going to be turned in to law enforcement officers then they are likely to bolt or disappear and leave the state which is not a good thing.

Law enforcement officers need the help of the public to locate those people who have outstanding warrants filed. Never try to apprehend a person who has an outstanding warrant filed against them.

Hopefully these tips about using a free warrant search will help you keep yourself and your family safe.

How to Submit Cartoons for Publication

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

Neat Drawing

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

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

Using a Light Box

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

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

The Artist's Market

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

Mail 'em Out

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

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

Commitment Phobia & Fear Treatment and Cure

Commitmentphobia phobia can affect all areas of a person's life. Commitment phobics often fear committing to a relationship, a job, a pet, or anything else. These fears are exaggerations of normal fears of making the wrong choice of a mate or job. The sufferer generally fears most that which he or she wants most, which suggests the phobia is born of a fear of failure or a feeling of unworthiness and so subconsciously decide to reject someone before they can be rejected.

While most phobias can be treated by frequent brief exposure to the item or situation feared, a therapist can not expose a client to repeated relationships.

The only way to treat this condition is to hide and treat the root causes. Many commitment phobics experienced the death of a parent or a parental divorce or some other abandonment issue. Someone may have been abused or betrayed by a member of the opposite sex and so is afraid to trust.

These negative experiences and beliefs can be self perpetuating. The phobic person does not see his or her part in the break-up. This reinforces the belief that he or she can not trust members of the same sex and so rejects the next person who gets close.

There are some classic behaviors exhibited by phobic men and women. For clarity's sake we will use it in this list of common commitment phobic behaviors. You may see yourself or a friend in some or many of these behaviors.

– A history of short relationships – he may bolt when he senses you are looking for a commitment.
– He may be quite satisfied with a long distance relationship and resist suggestions that either of you move to be closer.
– He will be moody and distant and blame you for his behavior.
– He refuses to plan ahead because this represents commitment for him.
– He is evasive and secretive in order to keep you out of his space.
– He is not willing to socialize with your friends and family for fear this will be construed as commitment.

We could go on for pages and pages listing behaviors common to commit phobics. However one or two of these behaviors in an individual does not make him a candidate for commitment phobia and fear treatment and cure.

You may be wondering what kind of treatment is available for commitment phobia. First the person has to want the help and will willing to work with a therapist.

The therapist or counselor needs the determine whether or not the person really is a commitment phobic or if there is some other personality disorder present. If it is determined that the person truly has a commitment phobia, then the therapist and her client need to work on clearing what triggered the problem.

The phobic individual needs to figure out what commitment means to him or her.

Talk therapy helps the client to determine these issues. It also helps the person to deal with these things and reduce the stress in his or her life.

People who suffer from extreme forms of commitment phobia may benefit from mood stabilizing medications, since they can become depressed by not being able to carry on a satisfactory relationship.

It is a big step to even acknowledge the fact that you have a problem and being willing to seek help. The burden of having a phobia can be overcome and seeking a commitment phobia and fear treatment and cure is the way to achieve that goal.

For more information on cure go to http://www.symptoms-of-anxiety-depression.com

Civil Engineering Jobs in India to Rise in the Coming Years!

Civil engineering, one of the oldest and broadest branches of engineering offers vast career opportunities in sectors across. Although in 19802s, the demand of civil engineers slowed down a bit, it has regained its importance and today is one of the hottest career domains to be in. People in this domain are mostly involved in construction, design, development and maintenance of buildings, roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, dams, railway lines and so on.

The demand of civil engineers is anticipated to be on the rise till 2030. According to a report by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the country will need around 76.5 million skilled workforces in the India's prospering building, construction and real estate sector. In fact the construction sector particularly is projected to grow INR 11,954 billion by 2017, which is simply amazing! And it is likely to create more than 45 million jobs catering to people from all walks of life.

The construction sector is the second largest employer in the country after agriculture. It may surprise you but during 2000 and 2013, the industry wooed USD 40,399 million as foreign direct investment (FDI). It is further expected to rise and attract FDI of USD 180 billion by 2020. In fact the capital investments in the sector is expected to reach USD 1,181 billion in 2019-20 from USD 651 billion in 2012-13.

Moreover, with the govt's impetus in fast tracking investments in infrastructure projects across oil and gas, power, telecommunications The job creation process has been hastened in the engineering, construction and procurement sector.

Since, these particular industries are the typical recruiters of civil engineers, it is expected that civil engineering jobs will grow exponentially in the near future. It would be good to say that civil engineers in India enjoy plush job opportunities and are always high on the priority list of the employers.

Some job profiles-

Given the interdisciplinary nature of this stream, the candidates enjoy huge career prospects. Some of the prominent job titles in this field are listed below-

· Construction engineer

· Project engineer

· Field technician

· Structural engineer

· Site engineer

· Quality control engineer

· Estimation engineer

The employment prospects for the graduates is varied and not limited to just any one area. The best part is candidates enjoy an edge over other career fields when it comes to government jobs. Job seekers whether fresher or experienced are easily absorbed by various govt offices. Some of the most predominant workplaces for civil engineers in govt sector include irrigation, road and building and CPWD. Further, they also find placements in both private and public sector undertakings and infrastructure and construction companies.

In summary, it would be good to say that civil engineering has a wide career scope and its demand is not going to fade at least in the near future.

Retinal Detachment – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

The retina is an extremely thin tissue that lines the extreme back of the eye and is basically responsible for the assimilation of visual data, which is then transmitted to the brain by the optic nerve for interpretation. A retinal detachment is a separation of the retina from its attachments to the underlying tissue, usually due to trauma, bleeding, extreme near-sightedness, medications or surgery. This condition invariably leads to complete loss of vision, and needs to be treated urgently. Currently, surgery is the only viable medical option in the management of retinal detachment.

The limitations of surgery are that eyesight may not be regained for several months, and recovery may be only partial. In addition, complications like infection and recurrence of retinal detachment are also possible. Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be quite useful in these situations as supportive therapy, to prevent bleeding, reduce the severity of damage to the retina, induce faster healing, salvage the maximum possible vision in the affected eye, and prevent a recurrence of the condition.

Ayurvedic medicines like Tapyadi -Loh, Laxadi-Guggulu, Usheerasav, Saarivasav, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Triphala-Ghrut, Punarnavadi-Mandur, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, and Gokshuradi-Guggulu can be used to reduce or prevent swelling and bleeding in the interior of the eyes. Herbal medicines like Laxa (Purified wax), Naagkeshar (Messua ferrea), Sphatik Bhasma (Purified alum), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), and Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia) can also be used for this purpose.

Medicines like Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Tapyadi-Loh, Ekangveer-Ras, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Yashtimadhuk (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) are used to minimize eye damage and induce faster healing.

Further damage can be prevented by treating known risk factors like diabetes and hypertension, and by boosting the immune status of the body by using medicines like Abhrak-Bhasma, Trivang-Bhasma, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Suvarna-Parpati, Panchamrut-Parpati , Panch-Tikta-Ghrut and Maha-Triphala-Ghrut.

Retinal detachment is currently a medical condition which is difficult to treat and therefore, the potential contribution of Ayurvedic herbal treatment assumes special significance. It is important that all such patients should be under the regular care and supervision of a team of Ophthalmologists.

Know About Roofing Services

Replacement is critical for a roofing system. No matter how big or small your residence is, various kinds of ruptures happen due to severe atmospheric conditions or material wear and tear. Replacing the roof involves a lot of initial investment but some of the best service providers can economize your expenses. It also involves a lot of time as it takes quite a number of days, sometimes even months to get done. And while the roofers are working on your project your life becomes so unsettled and disorganized. Overpriced repairs impact and hinder the design and performance ability of the building with constant cracks and other disfigurements.

Industrial roofing is a business that is flourishing very quickly these days. The reason being the repair and maintenance of roofs is very important. If you have a beautiful house it becomes necessary to pay attention towards its saving from time to time. There can be sudden leaks or cracks that may develop into a bigger problem and therefore it is better to be prepared than to regret later. When it comes to roofers there are industrial and business roofing improvement specialists that provide a complete installation service for all kinds of roofing systems like pitched roofing, flat roofing, coating and slating, sheeting, felting, waterproofing and general maintenance.

Roofing project handling includes various schemes that can be chalked out as per client's requirement. Initially one is required to request a quote or a rough estimate that how the project will look like. Depending on the quantity and quality of work the roofers forecast the budget and timeline and schemes to change the appearance of your roof.

The roofing services staff contractors of contractors that take care of decoration and design, window fixing, bricklayers, plumbers and electricians. There are many service providers that are quite experienced and have a dedicated team to ensure top quality driven service that reflects craft and value effective solutions.

Everything you should know about Roofing

Roof Restoration – complete make-over of your roof

With the assistance of consultants that can help you to reconstruct the most integral part of your house, the roof replacement process is tailor-made according to the customer.

While getting your roof repaired one have individual desires and experiences that come into aspect. This field of business requires time and patience in dealing with the interests of customers. Well- maintained roofs last for a lifetime and therefore one should get this done by licensed professionals adhere to the norms and safety of the roofing.

Many roofing services provide complimentary services as well like fanlight windows, installation of electrical panels, restoration work and repairs, brick work and chimney repairs. Read the customer reviews and browse through the services of roofers and then decide which one to pick for your house.

Thick Pavers vs Thin Pavers

What is the difference between thick and thin pavers? Where should you use either product? Do thick pavers cost more than thin pavers? Can I install thin pavers on top of my driveway? These are common questions we get from homeowners all of the time.

Thick pavers range from two and three eighths of an inch to three and half inches in thickness. They are typically used in new construction. When you build a new home and choose pavers for your hardscaping, thick pavers will be used. If you add a new pool to your existing home and decide to install pavers as the decking surface, thick pavers will be used. If you want a new patio in your backyard, thick pavers will be used. If you want to redo your driveway with pavers, the existing concrete should be removed, and thick pavers will then be installed on top of base material.

Thin pavers were created to remodel existing pool decks, patios, sidewalks, and front entries. They are perfect for any non-vehicular application that remodels an existing concrete slab. By a technical definition, thin pavers are not considered pavers. Instead, they are considered to be a tile. Their thickness relative to their shape prevents them from being considered a paver. Typically, thin pavers are anywhere from three quarters of inch in thickness to an inch and a quarter. Since they are about half the thickness of regular pavers, they should cost less, right?

Unfortunately, on a material only basis, thin pavers cost the same as thick pavers. The reason for this is that overwhelmingly, thick pavers are in much higher demand than thin pavers. Therefore, it is a burden on the production company to produce their less frequently demanded thin counterparts. Paver manufacturers are in business to produce as many pavers as quickly and as efficiently as they can. When they have to shut the system down to change out shape molds and adjust machinery to accommodate thin paver thickness, they lose a lot of valuable production time. It can take hours to switch from one mold to the next. Additionally, since thin pavers aren’t ordered as often, the order quantities are frequently less and the manufacturer is forced to produce less pavers per mold and color. This inefficiency causes increased costs for the producers and they pass those costs on to their customers. So even though thin pavers use fewer raw materials to be produced, they take up more time, and time is money.

The good news is that if you are considering pavers for your home and you want to remodel an existing concrete surface, your job cost will be less than if you want to build something new. This is where the cost benefit of going with a thin paver versus a thick paver comes into play. To learn more about thick or thin pavers and how they can help beautify your home, contact Park Avenue Pavers today.

Fireplaces We Love

Every autumn as leaves and temperatures fall, I anticipate the first fire in the fireplace. I continue to build fires well through the cool spring nights. Each new fire is a personal test of my log selection and arranging skills-some of which I fail; my father-in-law and I have a running contest to see who's fire will smoke and go out the fastest.

When my home (and his) was built in the late eighth century, building fires was serious business. These fireplaces were undetected the center of the families' lives and sometimes sometimes made the difference between life and death. Those farmers cooked in their fireplaces, slept near them and made sure they never went out during the long cold winter.

In the late 1700's Count Rumford (who was born Benjamin Thompson in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1753) wrote about his fireplace innovations which included a high wide firebox as well as broadly spayed jambs. These changes greatly increased efficiency and reduced smoking. We often use Rumford designs today, especially when efficiency is paramount. The basic design of the fireplace is still the same after hundreds of years and although Count Rumford made great improvements to the efficiency of fireplaces, most people prefer a deep fireplace that can comfortably hold oversized logs.

Even though a fireplace in the 21st century is physically unnecessary to heat a house, it is the heart of what we consider home. There is a comfort associated with a roaring fire in the fireplace and a thrill to contain the most dangerous element any home can know. We all bring our memories of childhood hearth sitting to the table when we began to design our own fireplace. My daughters' favorite question after playing in the snow is "Can we build a fire and drink hot chocolate?", All she cares about is the comfort and the cocoa.

Modern building codes have encouraged us to become safer and more efficient in our fireplace designs. A house fire caused by a well maintained, well-designed modern fireplace is almost unheard of.

There are many alternatives to a traditional fireplace such as wood stoves, gas inserts and even LCD screens that show a crackling fire. While being very convenient, those alternatives will never compare to the first fire I start in my fireplace each fall.

To view photos associated with this article, please go to:
http://blog.crisparchitects.com/2009/09/fireplaces/

Wilton – American Dream

If you decorate cakes or have ever shopped for cake making supplies, then chances are you are familiar with the Wilton brand. It’s hard to miss their products since Wilton has led sales in baking and cake decorating products for over half a century. Based in the Chicago suburb of Woodridge, Illinois, Wilton has grown enormously from its beginnings as a family cake decorating business during the United States’ Great Depression.

Today Wilton Industries sells over 2,000 different bake ware and food-related products, from instructional manuals and cake pans to pastry bags and food colorings. Wilton’s products aren’t just sold in the United States either. Major retailers in over 150 countries carry Wilton products. And business continues to grow with approximately 400 new consumer products being developed annually.

It all started in 1929 when Dewey McKinley Wilton, with the help of his wife, began a small cake decorating business in Chicago. Then came the stock market crash and the nation’s Great Depression. Surrounded by high unemployment rates and bread lines, Wilton carved out a prosperous niche by creating wedding cakes for Chicago’s famous hotels and clubs. The Wilton family business grew throughout the 1930’s.

Decorating cakes for the rich and famous gave the Wiltons’ reputation a nice boost. So when they opened a cake decorating and candy-making school for caterers and chefs, they had no problem with enrollment.

By 1947, the “Wilton Method” had become a household word among cake decorators, and a leading department store chain, JC Penney, was now promoting and selling Wilton products.

Before long the Wilton brand name become synonymous with cake decorating supplies and schools. All of this publicity laid the foundation for the Wilton’s decorating empire that continues to influence wedding cake trends.

Then in 1977, under the leadership of Wilton CEO Vince Naccarato, three diverse companies were united as Wilton Industries: Wilton Enterprises, Copco and the Weston Gallery.

Today, each division is a recognized leader in its market. Wilton Enterprises is the number one preferred brand name in baking and cake decorating products, Copco is the premier designer and marketer of teakettles and quality kitchenware, and the Weston Gallery is a leader in upscale picture frame design and marketing.

Under the continued leadership of Naccarato, the company enjoys strong sales growth and national distribution, which are largely credited to “category management,” that is basing marketing on tracked trends, and through “supply chain management,” which helps retailers lower costs of merchandising.

According to Austin Chronicle report, the Wilton Method was the unquestionable ruler of cake decorating until the 1980’s when Martha Stewart’s methods gained popularity. Her made-from-scratch cakes and stance that taste is just as important as the decorating challenged Wilton’s use of cake mixes and vegetable shortening.

However, Wilton continues to enjoy great success and to lead the industry. According to Hoover’s November, 2006 business report, Wilton Industries employed 650 people and reported $325 million in sales for the 2005 fiscal year, a 7.8 percent increase from the previous year.

For three quarters of a century, Wilton has offered cake decorating classes throughout the United States and Canada, including the Wilton School of Cake Decorating in northern Illinois. Wilton is partially credited for bringing the intricate, European cake decorating method to the United States and Canada.

In fact, Wilton’s cake decorating classes enroll nearly 200,000 students every year and from all around the world.

While many cake decorators enjoy the Wilton classroom experience, others like the customer below, prefer learning at their own pace at home with video instruction, such as the “Cake Decorating Made Easy” series.

Another ingredient in Wilton’s recipe for success is its annual “Your Take on Cake” contest, which attracts thousands of talented cake decorators from across the United States and Canada who compete for $5,000 in cash and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend The Wilton School’s two-week Master Course for Cake Decorating in Darien, Illinois.

5 Keys to Building a Strong Determination

I saw him sitting on an evergreen branch outside my window as the Saturday morning sunrise lit the new-fallen snow as it would a carpet sprinkled with sparkling jewels.

He seemed so tiny and alone, a silhouette against the dazzling eastern sky. As the sun rose higher, I could see he was a small snowbird, obviously apart from his fellows who usually assemble and play in groups. Joyfully, they flit about upon the snow, find pieces of grain, and huddle together for warmth.

Watching him thought memories of a time when I felt very small and alone …

It was my first college year of clinical practice as a student therapist. I had to write and turn in reports
on each patient I worked with in the University clinic.

As children, we often shuttered when a teacher returned our reports with a few big red marks signaling our errors. However, Dr. Wilson, a man who I will always remember and admire, returned my clinical reports. He gave my first reports so many red marks that they looked like they had the measles!

One day, he said, "To write well, you need to read a lot and write a lot – and when you see these red marks, know that they are there because I believe in you. again. Just pay attention to them! "

I began to pay attention to each error, one by one, and one by one, the red marks few fewer. This experience fortified my determination and strengthened my courage in what I could accomplish.

How can we keep our determination strong down each pathway of achievement we travel? Here are some valuable ideas to think about …

1. Think with purpose; keep your heart and mind focused on the end goal you want to achieve.

2. Take three valuable actions suggested by Paul J. Meyer who wrote, "Construct your determination with sustained effort, controlled attention, and concentrated energy."

3. Remember the wisdom from an Indian proverb that reads, "Life is not a continuum of pleasant choices, but of inevitable problems that call for strength, determination, and hard work." Use obstacles as learning tools and stepping stones to reach what you envision.

4. Choose your ideal pathway based on your values, make a firm commitment to excellence, and take
responsibility for your choices.

5. Most of all, realize that the Creator wave you some very special gifts that no one can use exactly like you can use them. If you have not discovered those gifts, look closely at the activities that seem to light a fire in your soul. You will be very close to some amazing discoveries …

… My little friend waited in the evergreen branch for a while. Soon, several more snowbirds landed at the base of the tree. He gleefly joined them, and off they went to enjoy the morning.

That reminds me of a sixth key in building and maintaining determination: Have patience in all things.
Do what you can now, even if you must wait for your efforts to bring results. Then return your thoughts to your purpose, and you will attract many others of like "feather" to help guide you along the way!

Wood Finishing and Painting

Changes in the art of wood-finishing has come about through the rapid progress in the development of quick-drying, very permanent, nitrocellulose lacquers which are new finishes derived from the realm of magic and mystery. Present-day lacquers contain varnish-gums in addition to nitrocellulose, and dry so quickly that they are practically dust-proof; yet they set slowly enough so that they can be applied with little training by use of either a brush or a spray-gun.

The student wood-finisher in the school, the arts and crafts painter in the home who wishes to refinish old furniture, door toppers, or woodwork, and the professional painter will all find new and helpful hints and practical information about lacquer and its use .

While it is true that the emphasis has been placed on new materials and processes, mention should have made the fact that the entire field of wood-finishing, including wood-filling, shellacking, and enameling has changed.

Many microscopic studies have been made of the reaction of various finishes, especially wood-fillers, in the pores of several kinds of wood. Many technical difficulties were encountered in attempts to prepare photomicrographs of wood filler in the pores of wood, but soonless some interesting information was secured.

Some new and very valuable paint-pigments, such as lithophone, titanox, and "extenders," such as asbestine, are now used rather extensively in the paint trade since they were developed. For many purposes these new materials can be used to advantage. The person who applies paint at the present time has a wide field to choose from in selecting pigments, extenders, colors, drying-oils, and thinners, and needs information about these materials.

Another very fundamental characteristic of wood-finishing is that it is treated as a science as well as an art. It is for this reason that a rich background of related science is given in connection with the descriptions of the materials and the methods of using them.

The chemical formulas of the substances described are usually given, and some of the chemical and physical reactions of the materials are pointed out for the benefit of the amateur, the apprentice, or the master painter who may lack a thorough scientific background for his trade.

Experts gather information about wood finishing with meticulous care through visits to some of the best paint, varnish, and lacquer factories in the United States in order to obtain up-to-date, reliable information. A very careful study has also been made of the writings of scientists on this subject, on everything from finishing wooden bar rails to wood fireplace inserts.

In the industrial-arts departments of schools, wood-finishing and painting have often been taught in connection with woodworking, but at present there is a strong tendency towards the establishment of separate courses in which the informational aspect of wood-finishing and painting can receive proper attention.

The industrial-arts departments of 30 years ago gave little attention to wood-finishing, and attempts were made to finish articles in dusty woodworking shops; now separate rooms, after the universal practice of industry, will be found in all schools where serious work in wood-finishing is done.

The science and art of wood-finishing can be more clearly understood through a study of wood as a material. There is a book entitled "Wood and Lumber" which can be used to advantage in schools when related information and a scientific background are desired in order to give a more intellectual trend to shop work which may be too large manual or manipulative to be educational and vocational in the best sense.

Multi-Slide Doors and Pocket Glass Doors – The Pro's and Con's

It seems you almost can not build a house over 5000 SF any more without including a multi-slide door. What used to be a luxury is now almost a requirement.

This being the case it appears that more and more consumers want to update their existing homes with these products. Their popularity can not be denied so I feel the best way to discuss these doors are in terms of pro's and cons. Then, you the homeowner can decide whether the decision is right for you or not.

Cons

1. Poor Energy Efficiency – Usually multi-slide doors are such large openings that they need to be made of aluminum to be able to manufacture such large openings. As you probably know, aluminum is not very energy efficient. Also having such large sections of your home being glass will also require more energy to heat and cool as opposed to if there was just wall space there. However, luckily glass is getting more energy efficient all the time, and there are several low-e glasses available that perform surprisingly well.

2. Difficult to Install – This is one of the projects that I would seriously recommend you hire a licensed contractor to install. Most manufacturers only sell the product as an installed unit because of the difficulty of installing them; they require all installers to be factory trained employees. Even manufacturers that do not install, usually require vendors to be licensed glaziers.

3. Difficult for remodeling situations – Most multi-slide doors are designed with pockets and large spanning opening, they can be sometimes difficult to rearrange your existing framing to accommodate what you may be looking for. The home usually needs to be designed with the multi-slide door in mind to accommodate your exact design wishes. However, usually if you're flexible with the design and configuration, there is typically a way to make it work.

4. May require a general contractor – Most times when installing a multi-slide door, it may require framing changes. Depending on where you live, if the change is made to a load bearing wall, you have to pull a permit and have an engineer sign off on the change. This will usually require a GC to handle the details for you. A simple French door or window installation can be done by a licensed window or door company.

5. Cost – These doors can be quite expensive. Most time when I give a remodeling customer / homeowner an estimate on these doors, it usually becomes price prohibitive. They see a French door or sliding glass door at a home store for 800 dollars and figure these doors are three times as big, so they should be three times as much right? Wrong, you see standard size doors are made with stock sized tempered glass. Multi-slide doors are custom sized and the price grows exponentially when you go to custom sizes.

Pros

1. Dramatic effect – No other home improvement will such a dramatic effect on the design, look and feel of your home. Removing what used to be a wall and replacing it with what amounts to a moving glass wall can really improve the lighting, look, feel and design of your home.

2. Indoor / Outdoor – These doors are the best way to create a space where the lines between inside and outside are not so clear. Some people like to barbecue and invite lots of people over but do not quite have the space inside their home to entertain the way they would like to. Well, choosing the correct sill tract and continuing your flooring from inside to the outside and the lines between inside and outside disappear. The glass disappoints into the wall and voila, you have doubled your living space without actually adding any space.

3. Automation – If you are going to the expense of installing these types of doors, you might as well have them automated as well. You can set them up with a motion sensor so when you walk up; they automatically open for you or your guests when you are entertaining. This feature is easily disabled when the need is no longer required.

4. Resale Value – nothing will catch the eye of a prospective buyer from a large expansive opening across the back wall of your home. Your competitive neighbor may have nicer landscaping or a larger pool, but if you can not see it from inside the home, there is not the same perceived value.

So there you have the pros and cons of multi-slide / pocket doors. The fact remains that these are a luxury item and they are going to be expensive but like most things that are expensive, they are worth it.

Secure Your Windows to Prevent Home Burglaries

By some estimates, more than thirty percent of burglars gain entry to a home through a window that has been left open or is improperly secured. To prevent burglaries, it is vital that families conduct an inspection of their windows to ensure that they are secured against potential home security breaks.

Window Conditions
Carefully inspect your windows and try to put yourself in the shoes of a potential burglar. Check that the casements are secure, and make sure that the catches are strong and not flimsy. If your home is constructed of wood, check that the wood around the window has not started to rot. If you use metal hinges, check if there is any rust on the hinges.

Window Locks
One of the biggest home security mistakes is not properly securing your windows with good locks. Check to make sure that window locks are large and easily visible from outside. This can prove to be a major deterrent for potential burglars, who would have to resort to smashing the window to gain entry. Not only would this attract attention to their illegal actions, but it might also result in cuts and injuries.

You can purchase window locks from home security shops, hardware stores and mega-stores like Home Depot. There are several kinds of locks that are suited to different kinds of windows and home security needs. Casement locks require a key and are well-suited to all kinds of windows. There are also fanlight locks, which use a metal bolt and arm to control the opening and closing of the window, and special locks that can secure two windows together.

If you choose to use key-operated window locks, be sure to store the keys in a safe, secret place known only to the residents of the home. It's also important to remember that depending on the size of the window you would like to secure, you may need to use more than one lock. Even openings like skylights and fanlights should be secured and may need special locks.

Window Grilles
Consider installing iron home security grilles on ground floor windows that could have been particularly susceptible to theft. Such grilles are often seen in large cities but are cropping up more and more in suburban and rural settings. Some find them unsightly, but there are a range of decorative iron grilles that are more aesthetically pleasing. Plus, aesthetics are a small price to pay for security and peace of mind.

Check Surroundings
Finally, survey the area around your house to see if there is anything that could help a potential burglar gain access to your home through an improperly secured window. Are there ladders lying around your backyard or a sturdy tree which branches that could help a burglar enter a second-floor window? Is there shrubbery that could obscure a burglar trying to maneuver its way into a ground-floor window? If you live in an apartment building, is the fire escape easily accessible from the ground? Being aware of these security hazards is the first step to preventing home security breaches.

Smart Tips to Fix Comic Staples With Rust

Do you like reading comic books? If you do, you will find that these books have provided fantastic stories and many characters that still remain until today. In the business side, you will find that these books are also big business that is very promising and might bring many profits.

Regardless those things, for you who have many collections of comic might face some problem in storing comic books. One of them is rusting staples along the binding of the books. For this problem, you will find that it is actually easy to fix. The most important thing is that you are patient. The followings are the easy tips to fix rusting staples that you might find in your comic books.

The foremost thing that you have to do is to wash your hands and dry them out. This is important to do to wipe away oils on your hands that can damage the pages of your comic books. Then you should lay the comic book on a flat clean stable work surface. Make sure that you have enough lighting toward it. After that, you should open the comic book so that you can access the staples.

The next thing that you have to do is to get a clean cloth and lay it over the pages. This is done in order to prevent the pages from scratching. Then, you should place a nail file over the rusting staples and begin to file away the rusting staples. You can do it in long or strokes. Then, you should blow away the rust debris gently.

The last thing that you should do is to remove the staples by using a razor blade. This is done if you do not satisfy with the filing method. To do this, you should loosen the staple by inserting the tip of the blade under the staple’s edges and turn them upward. In this case, you should do it one by one. After the entire staple’s edges are loosen, then you should turn the book over and pull out the staple by insert the blade pin under the staple’s body. Make sure that you do this slowly in order to tear the pages. Then, you should insert the new staples in the same holes. Then, you should use the blunt part of the blade to press down the points of the staples.