Posts

Living in a Small Space

There are many reasons why people choose to live in small spaces. Sometimes the cost of buying or renting a small city unit is much more affordable than buying or renting a large home. There are people who have downsized and like the fact that housework is at a minimum, and there are those who just believe that living in small spaces is really just all they need.

However, living in a small space means that consideration has to be taken as to the most effective way to furnish the area. Some studio units have a kitchenette within the main body of the unit, with the bathroom as a separate room. There are other studios that are slightly larger and have the kitchen as a separate room. Then there are the units that have an alcove bedroom off the main living area, whatever the configuration it pays to think wisely before buying furniture.

 

Tips for Small Space Living

  • One of the best investments that the homeowner can make would have to be in purchasing a pull up bed that sits within the framework of a bookcase. The bed is pulled down every night and when not in use is transferred back into it’s recess, this then makes for a more user friendly living area.
  • The use of half or fold out tables that fit snugly against the wall is also a good way to maximize the space and minimize the need for bulky furniture
  • The use of bifold doors eliminates the loss of space when a door is open
  • Painting the unit in neutral colors will open the area up and make it look larger
  • Then using the monochromatic color scheme choose furnishings that do not take over the room
  • Using mirrors on the walls is a well used decorating trick that will make the space appear to be larger than it is
  • Clear out the clutter; the space will look much bigger with fewer items about the place
  • Eliminate a desk top computer and replace it with its small cousin the lap top computer; it’s far more space friendly

Living in a small space can be an exciting adventure allowing for a certain amount of creativity to decorate the small space. However, once the feel of the new environment is achieved the benefits will be immense. The need for less furniture will definitely translate to fewer costs and then the cost of maintaining the furniture and appliances will be much less than for people who allegedly have everything. The old saying that small is beautiful is very apt where a well decorated small space is concerned.…

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Family

Decoupage a Family Time Capsule

This is a simple craft that grew from a Girl Scout Brownie Try It. One of the activities to earn the "All in the Family" badge is to make a family time capsule. This is a simple and cheap project. There are 2 specialty supplies needed. Adult supervision is also needed, but an 8 year old can do most of the work. We started with a box my husband made, for this project, out of scrap wood. The lid is attached with screws. This makes a nice box, worthy of display.

Materials:
Wax paper to cover work surface
Wooden box, made or bought at the craft store (11 x 5 ½ x 7 inches)
1 bottle Mod Podge (4 oz)
Sponge brush
Assorted papers
Scissors
Paint pen
Memorabilia

  1. Cover work surface with wax paper.
  2. Collect papers to attach to the box. Since this is a family time capsule we used pictures cut from brochures left over from vacation as well as ticket stubs. We also cut logos of favorite games and activities. Post cards, stamps, and stickers can also be used. Have each member of the family select images that are special to them.
  3. Once the papers are assembled it is time to glue them on. The process of decoupage is very simple. Using a sponge brush spread the Mod Podge on one side of the box. Paint the back of the paper with Mod Podge. Then lay the paper on the wood surface. Use your finger to smooth the paper out. Get all the air bubbles out. Brush more Mod Podge on the paper, again smooth out. Keep adding glue and papers until that side of the box is covered. Cover the entire side with a layer of glue. Allow to dry. It doesn't take long, 30 minutes or so. Then continue to add glue until the surface is even and you like the appearance of the box. You can go on to another side as you wait. Follow this technique until all sides of the box are complete.
  4. For the lid, use a paint pen to write when the box can be opened. We chose 2031. That will be 20 years in the future. Then use glue and paper to continue the technique used on the rest of the box. I used an entire 4 oz bottle on our box. Thick papers take more layers of glue. Allow the box to dry well before moving on to the next step.
  5. Fill the box. Have each member of the family find items that represent them. Some of our items are silly bands, game pieces, newspaper, CD cover, score cards, postcards, and family photo. Items chosen should reflect the persons interest now. My daughter collects silly bands, so she added 2 of those. She also loves legos, so we added a mini figure. Talk about why you are adding these items. If you can't think of what to add, ask for help. Your family knows you very well, they can help you decide what to add.
  6. When the box is full seal the box closed. Place the box in a prime location for all to see.Such a simple craft, the whole family will enjoy.

Source: experience…

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Engineering

A Crash Course in Live Recording From the Engineer's Perspective

With the birth of digital recording equipment, live recording is becoming more feasible. In its simplest from, live recording can be a laptop connected to a microphone. Whether it is a complex 16 or 24 channel interface with a multitude of microphones, or a cheesy stereo microphone attached to an old tape recorder, preparation is key during a live recording.

Since you only have as much time as the band to set up, you must work quickly. It helps to have all of your microphones and microphone stands set up before the band goes on, that way you can just plop the microphones in front of their corresponding instruments. Find out ahead of time if you need to split the lead vocals microphone signal and the PA. If you do not have a microphone splitter, try to set up a microphone next to the singer's microphone (which connects to the PA) and ask him to sing into both. By the time you place the microphones in front of the guitar amplifiers and lead singer, and wire these back to your interface, the drummer should be done setting up his kit. This is your cue to run in there with the overhead microphones and kick drum microphone. To avoid confusion, you should memorize the order of the tracks in your recording program and which microphone they are connected to. For example, track 1 and 2 are the drum overheads, track 3 is the kick drum, track 4 is the bass guitar, etc. If you wire your microphones in the same order each time you do a live recording, it helps remind you which track is assigned to which microphone and what order to connect it to the interface.

Now all of your microphones are connected to the interface and in place on stage. However, you cannot relax yet. Boot up your interface and start a new session for the live recording. It is best to invest in an external hard drive, that way you don't have to worry about running out of space during the show. Another trick to avoid a potential crash during the show is to increase the hardware buffer (usually 128, 256, 512, or 1024), which would increase the latency between the sound and the recording, but it would increase stability, which is everything in a live recording. So instead of using 128 during a track by track recording, I use 256 for an all at once, live recording. Plan to record straight through the entire set, and try to mix the tracks quickly during the sound check. Once you get the mix to a comfortable level, take note of any instruments or singers that may need special attention during the show. I like to keep one hand on the volume for the lead singer, as in live shows, the dynamics of the voice tend to be too loud or too soft. If your interface is powerful enough, you could run the vocals through an auxiliary compressor track, but this may risk an interface crash which would totally ruin the recording. It is best to run the minimum amount of plug-ins possible and stick with the minimum amount of tracks as well. Some other things to look out for would be the use of effects by the band, which may or may not increase the volume of the track. Most guitarists match the volumes for their clean and distorted channels, but you can never be sure.

So the tracks are mixed nicely and you are recording into the second song, can you relax yet? Not really. You should constantly monitor the levels of the tracks and also check up on the microphones, for some may get knocked over or repositioned in some of the crazier shows. I find that the kick drum microphone is the hardest to keep still. After the set, you still have to be on your toes in order to break all the equipment down in time for the next band. The best routine is to disconnect all the microphone cables and start moving the microphones off stage. After you have gathered all of the stands and microphones, start winding up your microphone cables. "Snake" cables and snake boxes are best for live recording because it organizes all of your cables on stage to meet at one convenient box, which has a multitude of microphone cable inputs. If you had a snake cable, then this would make the breakdown process easier as well as provide you with more distance from the interface and the stage. The hardest part of the breakdown is to stay out of the musician's way as they get their gear off the stage. Just make sure you are constantly moving your gear off the stage to a open spot next to the stage, where you can break down your gear in peace.…

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Hobby

Tips for Organizing Hobby Supplies

No matter how different they are, most hobbies have one thing in common – they require a ton of supplies or gear. Whether you are a photographer or a quilter, you need to figure out a great way to organize your hobby supplies. Organized hobbyists protect their investment by keeping gear and other stuff from being ruined and save money because they don’t have to go buy a duplicate of a misplaced item. They also get more enjoyment from their hobbies when they don’t have to root around in a jumbled mess for the things they need to use.

Set Up a Hobby Supply Area

Depending on your hobby, your supply area can be as small as one plastic storage bin or as large as a garage. The important thing is having an area where you can put all of your hobby equipment. I have what was a pantry before the kitchen was moved to the other side of the house back in the 1950’s as a mixed media studio supply closet. All of my supplies fit into that space or into the studio area set up directly outside the closet. I also have a one car garage sized space for my photography equipment and studio. My quilting and needlework stuff fits into half of a small chest of drawers. The important thing about all of these spaces is that all of my equipment, supplies and even my instructional books and DVDs for each of these pursuits are stowed together. I don’t need to spend half a day hunting through every room in the house if I need a filter for my camera lens or a large embroidery needle so I can embellish a tea towel.

 

Make a Decision About an Organizational System and Stick to It

An organizational system with pieces that belong together looks neat and streamlined. Twenty pieces from twenty different organizational systems look like a yard sale gone horribly wrong. Choosing one system and sticking to it will help you keep things looking nice. Of course, if you can’t afford to buy ten wheeled carts, fifteen baskets and five sets of drawers all at the same time, it can be a lot harder to do so.

If you buy storage as it goes on clearance or as you come across something inexpensive, but functional, you can still get a cohesive look for your storage. Stow rolling carts under a table or counter and hang a curtain in front of them or stick hodge podge containers into a closet or cupboard. Since the odd items are out of sight, everything will look as though it goes together at first glance.

Label Everything to Keep Hobby Supplies Organized

Label makers are a great tool for hobbyists. Putting labels on every container that list the contents means that a search for items doesn’t need to involve opening every single container in the storage area. Make sure labels stay up to date so the system doesn’t lose its effectiveness.

While it can be tough to keep supplies for some hobbies organized, there are a vast number of hobby storage options available that try to help hobbyists keep them as neat and tidy as possible. Look around and experiment with different systems and soon your hobby area will be as organized as a library book shelf.…

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Family / Posts

What Car Should I Buy: A Beginner Guide!

What car should I buy for a beginner?

There are several cars you can start with, starting with an economical small car towing a light trailer behind a truck.

It is best to find at least two cars that are affordable and will get you on the road.

Once you know how safe a car is to drive, you can work your way up to a more powerful sports car.

The type of car you should buy depends on your style of driving, safety concerns, your wallet, and your needs as a driver.

When you consider what cars to buy for a beginner, the first thing you need to consider is the safety rating of the vehicle.

Is it worth buying or should you stay away?

How safe is it?

This question is most important when it comes to four-door sedans.

If the car has a low rating, it may not be worth buying, especially if the car will be used for transporting children.

A safe driver can get good grades in school, but that doesn’t mean you can take your car out on the highway without knowing how to drive it.

In fact, some people who are involved in an accident don’t even know how to fix their cars.

That is why it is so important to purchase a safe car.

There are so many different makes and models available on the market today that finding one that has been well maintained can help you avoid any costly repairs in the future.

Before you even begin thinking about what car to buy for a beginner, you want to think about what level of driving you plan to do.

Are you just learning to drive for pleasure or do you have a goal of becoming a safe, dependable driver?

Even if you want to become a safe driver, you can start by selecting a safe car from the beginning.

This is a great way to begin learning how to drive because you won’t have to worry about losing money if you get into an accident or have an accident that costs you lots of money.

The first and best thing you need to do is find out how safe the car you want to purchase is before you even begin looking.

You should first try to find out how much damage each vehicle has been through.

In most cases, vehicles that are sold for cheap are known to be unsafe because they have been abused.

Ask friends or family members if they can recommend any reliable dealers who sell cars for cheap.

If you don’t have anyone who can give you advice [click here] you can always check online to see what other people have said about various dealers.

Another way to find out about the safety of a particular car is to ask around your community.

People living around you will be able to tell you if a car is safe to drive or not.

Of course, you have to take their word for it, but it’s a good idea to ask around.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

It would also be a great idea to find out from your local police force if they know of any reliable dealers in your area.

Ask them for advice.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

If you are new to driving, you should get a vehicle that has a high safety ranking.

High-ranking cars are known to have a reduced chance of having accidents, which means that they are less likely to cost you a lot of money in repairs.

Now that you have found out what car should I buy for a beginner, you should make sure that you are ready to go out and drive it.

You never know when you might have an accident, and it would be horrible if you had an accident while on your first trip with your new car.

You never know when something may happen that could have unforeseen consequences.

That is why it is important to make sure that you are insured because if you get into an accident without insurance, you could owe a lot of money and be unable to get any money to fix the car.…

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Fashion

Zipper Fashion Rosettes

Supplies:
Metal zipper
Fabric scrap
Scissors
Hot glue
White glue

You might have been saving zippers to sew into other garments, if those zippers go bad, but sewing zippers into clothing isn’t the only way to reuse them. Cut zippers up and use them in an unusual way to make embellishments for fashions and home decorating projects, rosettes for crafting, and other fanciful items. If you already have zippers, you won’t pay a penny for the rosettes, which can be used in many different ways.

Unzip a zipper and cut it, straight across, to remove the zipper pull, and to separate the two sides of the zipper. Since each piece has fabric stitched to it, it’s necessary to remove the cloth. Cut the stitches to remove the biggest part of it; use a lighter to burn off the rest. Remember to hold the zipper with a potholder because the zipper will get hot as you burn the fabric off.

When all of the cloth is off of the zipper it’s the easiest thing to turn it into a rosette. Simply lay it flat on a table and begin winding it around itself. Hold one end down, and wrap the other end around and around the stationary end. You’ll make a flat circle of zipper teeth, which is metallic and lovely. If you want the rosette to be larger than it is when you finish wrapping, use a dot of hot glue to hold the end in place, and start wrapping another zipper-half around it.

The rosette you make is a flat one but you can give it dimension by making another one on top of it. The top rosette should be a bit smaller than the bottom one. Add another rosette, and another, to create the depth that you want; make each rosette smaller than the previous one.

The zipper rosette will be easiest to attach if you glue a piece of cloth or felt to the bottom of it. Glue the finished flower to a purse, a garment, a lampshade, a mirror or picture frame corner, or even a hat. Attach it to a piece of fabric to make a curtain tie-back, or make a large zipper rosette, and turn it into a coaster.

Don’t like the metallic color of the rosette? Paint it! You can easily spray paint the zipper before you start, or paint the rosette when you’re finished. That gives you many options for coordinating colors on your fashions, or for your home decorating.

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Internet / Posts

How to Build an Instagram Following From Scratch

With close to 500 million users, and counting, Instagram is slowly becoming a leading social media site, and we will try to help you get your first followers.

Simplicity is a major part of success when it comes to Instagram, and as we live in the society where information overload is a normal thing scrolling through the pictures with short captions seems like a perfect combination.

Both major and minor brands are trying to capitalize on this fast rise, so you should consider start to buy followers for instagram and avoid missing out on this opportunity.

In the next few paragraphs, we will lay down a roadmap and try to explain how to get free instagram likes daily, whether you manage your personal or professional Instagram profile.

1. Figure out your strategy

Before going any further, you should answer these few questions.

What is your end goal on Instagram?

Creating a community of regular paying customers on you web page from followers while providing good service. This is a top priority!

How will your Instagram page affect your business?

 

Your best bet is to have few established Instagram users in your niche promoting your product in exchange for money or free stuff. This way, you can bring traffic to you web page fast and have a better conversion.

What are you going to offer to your followers?

Ask questions, research, ask your peers what kind of content would they like to see from you. Check what hashtags are your followers using and use them in your posts only if they are relevant, you don’t want to annoy them.

After you got this down, you are ready to move on.

2. Setting up your Instagram profile.

This one is pretty straight forward. You just need to fill some basic info and add your profile picture.

Profile image

You should consider an image that is representing your product or your brand. Logo of your company is always a good solution.

Your bio

If you are not an established brand already, then you need to utilize this feature as much as possible. Make it sound natural and positive; you can also use symbols.

Link to your web page.

If you use Instagram for business, then this one is really important. Add your web page address at the end of your bio. This will give your followers a chance to buy your product and turn them into your customers. Make sure that your web page is mobile friendly; most of the Instagram users are on their mobile phones.

3. Setting up your content plan.

Goals and KPIs (key performance indicators like shares, comments, likes) are essential. Set them and use them to track your progress.
Your next step should be schedule for content uploading. There are various apps that can help you with this like ScheduGram or Simply Measured.

 

Choose pictures that you are about to post very carefully. Use only pictures that are related to your brand and your brand’s story. Make sure that quality of a picture, description and hashtags are all on point.
When it comes to effectiveness, you should consider this:

Brand-inspired images

Posting beautiful images with a powerful message can bring you a lot of exposure as people tend to react to the images that trigger emotions.
Some of the biggest brands in the world are using this technique and investing money in the production of their photos so they can use the power of visual storytelling to their advantage.

Reactive storytelling

Reactive storytelling is a great way of sparking conversation because when businesses use this technique, they can leverage a human truth or insight to generate instant feedback. This includes a cultural action, a brand relevant action or a niche action.

Inspirational quotes

One of the best ways to create a viral buzz is to trigger a strong emotional response. If you can achieve this, there is a big chance that you are going to see more shares, likes, and comments on your posts.
You should start by preparing ten images; this will be enough for the next three to four days, depends on how you spread them.

A Track Maven released a report suggesting that major brands are getting thirty-seven likes and comments per thousand followers. That’s 3.7 reactions for every hundred followers you make.

4. Build relationships with influencing people

There are places where you can get exposure and more followers like FreeInstagramFollowersNow.com, but there are people that have a big influence, and they are available only through direct contact. You can offer them free promotional stuff for shares, or pay them for the shoutout.

 

Instagram Direct is probably the best way for you to get in touch with the person who can help you promoting your product. It is private so you can send your offer that only influencer and you can see.

5. Manage your profile

With you profile, your connections and followers in place, it is time to manage your account. You can find a lot of very useful applications that can give you a better overview of your activities and activities on your account and also give you statistic and charts. Always have content ready for deployment and use the schedule as much as possible, it will make your life a lot easier.

How to grow an Instagram account from SCRATCH (With ZERO Followers!) - YouTube

Final thoughts

By now we hope that you realize how easy it is to have a successful Instagram page. Visual content is in high demand, and millions of users are already making a good use of it. Just remember to be clear with your ideas and always be in contact with your followers and respect them so you can see your brand grow and flourish.

Make sure to connect your Instagram page to your other social media accounts. This way you will be able to spread your brand and reach more people.
Leave your comments below and let us know if you had any success with the roadmap that we laid out for you, and how you managed to push your Instagram campaign to the next level.…

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Family

Having and Planning Family Night

Family night is growing more popular as children are finding more things outside of the home to do. Here are some tips and ideas to help you plan and have a wonderful family night.

Set a night of the week that everyone will be home and available. Plan your family night for this night.

Tell each family member and post it on the refrigerator, calendar and anywhere else that you can think of that will help remind everyone.

Decide your plans for family night. Do you want to play games, go somewhere else, see a movie or something else creative. There are some tips and ideas at the end of this article.

Do any shopping that is needed for that night prior to the scheduled night. This will reduce the stress on you.

On the planned day be sure to remind everyone that that night is family night and what time it is planned for.

Enjoy the night with your family and have lots of fun.

TIPS AND IDEAS

For each family night, choose a different family member and make on of their favorite meals.

Choose games that everyone enjoys. Some popular games are Monopoly, Uno, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. If you don’t have any games you can do several things to get some. Go to www.freecycle.org and sign up. Once signed up post a wanted ad for games and activities. Search at garage sales and thrift stores. You would be surprised what you can find in these places. If all else fails, and you can afford it, go to the store and purchase new ones.

Family night doesn’t have to be indoors or about games. You can take it outside or anywhere. Go to the park, play volleyball, go swimming, go to a museum, go to a movie, etc.

Make sure that everyone feels included. This will make family night much easier on you and more exciting for everyone else.

Try to do something different each night. Don’t tell everyone what activities you have planned. This will heighten the enjoyment and anticipation. Repeating the same activity will bore them and discourage everyone from wanting to do it again.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to plan the perfect night. This will discourage you from wanting to plan and do this again. Remember this is supposed to be fun. Things happen and it is OK. Just pick it up and try again.

If you have little children, plan many different things. Remember that young children have a smaller attention span and will lose interest quickly.

Ideas for young children could be anything such as reading books, playing with blocks or legos, coloring, doing crafts (also good for older children as well), watching a movie, playing outside, going to the park, etc.

Remember that family night is not about what you do. It is about being together as a family and enjoying each others company and time.

If it doesn’t go great the first time, don’t give up. Use this time as an example and change the way you do things and what you plan for the next time.

Once you start having weekly family nights, sit down at the end of each one and ask for suggestions for other family nights. This helps everyone feel involved and helps you come up with new ideas.

Try having a themed night. This could include Hawaiian night, pajama party, camping or whatever else you can think of. This makes things fun and exciting and you can come up with some pretty creative stuff to do.

Have a night where you all make the meal together or instead of making a meal, everyone makes their favorite snack. (It’s OK to do this every once in a while.)

I hope these ideas have helped you come up with some activities and a great way to plan your family night. Enjoy your family and the time you have together.…

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