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koukounari Means Pine cone in Greek ( 365 project day 4)

This was a closeup of pine cones from the nearby forest near my house, saved enough for the fireplace I still like the way those cones create patterns and textures. Also very interesting is, the light that falls on them in this photo.


365 Project


Just frozen the time at January 26, 2014 at 08:07PM

I have to finish my new poster U2 for a client..looks beautiful. .. I have it in my ETSY shop.... ##shot

from New shot

365 Project Storm Coming (day 3 )


Two days now continually raining The view from my balcony overlooking the mountains, everybody talked the storm comes.
The clouds are thick and heavy, the temperature has come down and i think in the mountains shall be snowing


All About Rosacea and Rosacea Treatment

The rising number of Rosacea patients across the oceans is now a strong excuse against the idea that people with American or Scottish origin get Rosacea only. However; extensive researches are playing a great role in bringing out innovative and improved technology for Rosacea treatment. Awareness campaigns on Rosacea are highly required for better fighting societies against Rosacea.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin inflammatory disease caused by inflammation and swelling in blood vessels under the skin. Rosacea targets face, neck, shoulders, back and sometimes legs as well. The disease can be clearly visible from a distance of several meters or it might require a magnifying glass to identify. Rosacea can become a permanent part of skin. In most of the cases, it comes and goes frequently.
Who Gets Rosacea?
Rosacea can target a person of any age. There is no specific gender or age classification for victimization. However; people from the age of 40 to 60 tend to be vulnerable victims of Rosacea. Commonly, the disease occurs more in women than in men. However; the severity of Rosacea is greater in men.
Where Does Rosacea Come From?
Rosacea is not any hereditary disease. Anyone, with or without Rosacea history, can be caught. It is not a contagious disease in nature. Several theories have been proposed about its origin. Theories about bacteria, mite, and virus relevance with Rosacea have been proven wrong. However; theories about ‘origin of Rosacea from improper lifestyle’ have been widely accepted. Improper sleeping routine, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and depression are some of the causes.
How Can I Identify My Rosacea?
You don’t need to go to the lab for identifying Rosacea. It is diagnosed at home with the help of its symptoms. Facial flushing or burning, redness, swelling of facial parts specifically nose and cheeks, appearance of tiny blood vessel networks on skin, acne, pus-filled pimples, red bumps on face, puffy eyes, redness in pupils, blurred vision and facial heat are the symptoms.
Can Rosacea Be Completely Cured?
Unfortunately, Rosacea cannot be completely cured. However; it can be treated medically and prevented for more than a decade with the help of lifestyle changes. People who fix their lifestyle problems can prevent their Rosacea forever life. Presently, detoxification is being researched for Rosacea treatment.
What Are Possible Ways of Curing Rosacea?
Rosacea is difficult to deal with. Because of complexity in its identification, Rosacea is often treated with acne medicines or heat or redness fixing medicines first. In extreme type Rosacea, which is also called Rhinyphyma, the skin starts swelling and thickening. Result is puffy skin part like a puffy nose.
There is no treatment of Rhinophyma except laser treatment. A puffy and swelled skin part can also be treated with surgery however; the chances of preventing Rosacea are greater in laser treatment. The possible ways for Rosacea treatment include these.
1.       Creams and ointments are applied for redness and facial flushing.
2.       Oral antibiotics help clear up the skin from bacteria and rebuilding the disturbed blood vessels.
3.       Eye problem of Rosacea are treated by an ENT specialist.
4.       For extreme blushing, a beta-blocker tablet is prescribed.
5.       Laser treatments are used to cure Rosacea in 1 to 6 sessions. The laser heat brings blood vessels to their original condition. Further lifestyle changes can prevent Rosacea forever.

This  article is by Victoria Swan, for more information you can contact Pulse Light Clinic as it offers all-encompassing therapy package, including a thorough free consultation, skin analysis and patch test along with nutritional guidance and further in-depth advice related to rosacea treatment.


Just frozen the time at January 25, 2014 at 03:14PM

Today here raining alot.. the meteo said storm coming with snow maybe..We shall see.. Winter is still here #shot

from New shot


365 project Day January 25, 2014 at 01:54PM

Photo 365 project (day 2) My daughter has a homework in school how she imagine a better world ... and she painted a sky with many colors and two suns to create the world more brighter .. #blog

from 365 project Day


Just frozen the time at January 24, 2014 at 11:05PM

The moon, let it to be the guardian of your dreams #shot

from New shot

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365 project Day January 24, 2014 at 10:03PM

I start my own 365 project with a heart tree, as I call it the tree of love. The tree is located in a village here on the island My first day!!!

from 365 project Day

5 Best Indian Cities to Live, Work and Play

Every Indian city has its own share of idiosyncrasies. But how to choose which the best Indian city to live is, work and play? Read the following post to know more.



Just as India is a diverse country, every Indian city also upholds the same. From Guwahati in the north east to Ahmedabad in west to Trivandrum in south to Jammu in north—each city offers something or the other. For example, if Delhi is famous for Chandni Chowk and rich historical heritage, Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India records the highest number of workers serving in the Information Technology sector. Every city offers something or the other in terms of Live, Work and Play. The following paragraphs examine some of the best Indian cities on these lines.

Bangalore: Popularly termed as the Silicon Valley of India, the Kannada capital continues to remain a hot favourite with youngsters, especially working professionals. It goes without saying that nearly 80% of these professionals serve software industry. If we examine it in other terms, it has been found that Bangalore is one of the most developed Indian cities that even reach up to international standards. Once known as the pensioners’ paradise, today, Bangalore’s population exudes vibrancy with the maximum cosmopolitan culture. It is also one of the most favoured cities for expatriates in India. The city offers almost everything – a robust infrastructure, to grand social infrastructure and of course an impressive real estate boom. If you are looking for a property in Bangalore you can check the Internet. Indian has some of the best property sites such as Browse these sites for all kinds of properties and find your best option.


Gurgaon: The IT hub of north India, Gurgaon matches up to world class standards when it comes to work, play and live. Very close to New Delhi, the capital yet distant from it when it comes to socio-political and most importantly work culture —all these make Gurgaon a favourable city to live, work and also play. The presence of multiple business parks housing corporates like MSN, Google and Dell, make Gurgaon one of the top choices among cities in northern India to work and live. Connectivity to Delhi with metro; more recently the inauguration of the Rapid Metro, that connects locations within the city, make it all the more a favourite with professionals. Presence of several shopping malls also adds to the effect of the city gradually scoring among all and sundry.

Surat: Does it surprise you? Well, you might be surprised but of late, the second largest city in Gujarat after Ahmedabad has emerged as one of fastest growing Tier II cities after Pune. Interestingly, Surat has bragged highest points in terms of infrastructural development, property market and the quality of life. Recently, the city has been adjudged as the third cleanest city and also the “Best Urban Cities in India”. If you plan to try your luck in Surat, it can actually turn out to be good.

Chennai: The biggest and the most important hub of all activities in south India, Chennai is currently ranked fourth in terms of work and living. Keeping these parameters in mind, Chennai has been declared as one of the most hospitable compared to many other Indian cities. What scores with the residents of the city are the reasonable costs of living. At present, the second biggest exporter of Information Technology, Chennai is essentially a great city to reside in with negligible percentage of crime reported.

Pune: Once a traditional Maratha capital, today Pune is known to the country for its educational institutions. However, Pune has more to offer when it comes to quality of life, work and play. Be it travelling to hill stations on a weekend or grueling over a presentations while sitting at the Koregaon IT Park—Pune offers both. Along with these remain the cultural pursuits, a cool and temperate climate and of course vicinity to Mumbai makes it a favourite with many Indians.


Author Bio: Sampurna Majumder is a professional writer who enjoys creativity and challenges.  Barely a year into new media, she has written several posts, articles and blogs for prominent websites like where one can find all kinds of information pertaining to the world of real estate and property.

Team Competition Coming Up? The Key is Success, Not Stress

It’s hard to avoid stress when you’re involved in the cheerleading, or any athletic, world. There are always so many things going on at once – practice, events, fundraising, driving, packing, and stretching… the list keeps on going! However, it’s crucial that you stay stress-free, particularly during competition season.
Whether you’re a coach or athlete, stress can really take a toll on your performance and prevent you from succeeding (and even surviving). Stress can even affect your overall mood and attitude. Many times, stress can make someone short-tempered, emotional, and easily upset. It can be harder to take a deep breath and move on. Stress can also make you feel more tired than usual, which will impact your daily tasks.

It’s not always possible to banish stress from your life. However, there are ways to reduce it and to prevent from affecting your performance.

Memorize Your Schedule.
Don’t just have a schedule; memorize it. Day planners and calendar apps can only help you so much. While they can remind you of upcoming events or due dates, it’s better if you already have the reminder saved in the back of your mind.

When we say memorize, we don’t mean reading your schedule over and over again like flashcards for a test. Instead, you should be frequently looking over your schedule. Every Sunday night, allow yourself at least half an hour to look over and study your schedule for the upcoming week. Make sure you have all tasks, events, and reminders listed and double check that nothing overlaps. 

Know When to Stop.
Sometimes, as much as you hate to admit it, you need a break. While everyone wants to do well at competitions, you don’t want to push yourself or your team too hard. Be honest with yourself and your team and understand what you’re capable of and what needs work. By trying to force yourself to learn a new skill, you’re not only adding more stress to your life, but you’re also putting your safety at risk. Getting injured will only cause more stress (and distress!) when you realize you’ll be sitting on the bench for the rest of the season.

It sounds obvious, but once you start deep breathing, you’ll realize you were never really doing it in the first place. Taking steady, deep breaths doesn’t happen at random. You have to control it and concentrate on it in order for it to work. If you can, find a quiet spot or put on headphones and listen to a soothing song. Close your eyes and slowly breathe in through your nose. Fill your lungs with as much air as you can (you should actually feel your lungs expand!). Hold your breath for a moment before slowly releasing through your mouth. Try to slow down your breathing as much as possible. A common tactic is to slowly count to eight – four counts to breathe in, and four to breathe out.

Remind Yourself That Stuff Happens.
Whether or not you believe in fate or destiny, reminding yourself that “stuff happens” will relieve some of your stress. Things don’t always work out and sometimes things truly do happen for a reason. No one has a perfect season every season. There will be some bumps in the road. It’s how you handle those bumps that will affect your future. Don’t dwell on a stumble or a trip. Nobody’s perfect. 

Focus on Yourself, Not the Competition.
Never let the threat of a rival team take away your excitement for performing. Focus your goals on having fun during your performance, not being perfect or beating someone else. By concentrating on your own personal goals (like performing better each time or jumping a little higher every competition), you’ll become a better cheerleader and you won’t be as focused on winning or losing. You will be much less stressed if your goal is to perform well, as opposed to winning.

For over twenty years, Omni Cheer has supplied cheerleaders with apparel and accessories. The cheer gear retailer guarantees the lowest prices on high-quality items, including uniforms, warm-ups, shoes, pom poms, practice wear, accessories, fundraising items, and body basics. To learn more, please visit the online store.

A Craft-Lover's Guide To Personalised Gift-Wrapping

Sending a gift to a friend or relative is, to most of us, a relatively mundane process which requires nothing more than a box, a label and a reliable courier company. We buy the gift, we wrap it, address it and leave it to the delivery experts to do their bit. The recipient then opens it once it’s delivered, looks at it, smiles with pleasure and moves on. Everybody’s happy, right?

Well, yes and no. Doing the bare minimum gets the job done, of course, but a little effort could have made the whole process a far more special one. It wouldn’t have taken a great deal of work to make the gift really stand out from the rest, and to have changed that ‘smiles with pleasure’ to a ‘beams with delight’. The next time you send a present to someone far away, why not make it more personalised, more attractive and more memorable?

Perhaps the most important consideration is the receptacle which is holding the gift. The plainest cardboard boxes provide the protection that’s needed for despatch, of course, but they can be made to look far more attractive by using personalised wrapping paper. There are several companies which will print messages and individual names on the paper, so your box can now feature a bespoke message that really stands out.

Needless to say, most ordinary boxes are of a standard brown or white colour, but you can brighten up any despatch by using brighter, happier shades. And how far you go with the colour is entirely up to you. Shocking pink? No problem. Sultry red? Absolutely. Neon yellow? Of course! The only limits in this area are in your own imagination, so try to think more in terms of creativity and less in terms of practicality.

Always put the effort in

A matching gift tag and perhaps even a shiny ribbon will really complete the look. Remember, when it’s time to give gifts a standard parcel delivery doesn’t have to be mundane and run of the mill. The more effort you put into the despatch of the item, the more likely it is that the recipient will remember it. Whether he or she if only living a few miles away or is on the other side of the world, this is one present which will always be special.

Many people go the extra mile when considering the actual contents of the parcel as well. Obviously, the chosen item needs to be secure and protected for the delivery process, especially if it’s a rather fragile item, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think a little outside the box when dealing with something that’s inside the box. A sprinkling of confetti, some shredded tissue paper or maybe even artificial flower petals with the recipient’s name on them could all be used to make it more individual.

Another good idea is to use not one box but several. A series of containers placed inside each other like Russian dolls would make the unveiling process an unusual experience. Each box could have a hand-written personal message written or printed on it, giving that special someone a chance to see how much he or she is loved. It doesn’t take too much imagination to make gift-giving a hugely enjoyable event, so next time you send a parcel why not turn a special occasion into an extra-special one?

Featured images:

Iain Aitchison is an avid lifestyle and culture writer from the UK. He enjoys writing on a range of creative subjects,

3 Of The World's Best Lighting Settings For Photography

For any landscape photographer, whether professional or amateur, there are three key things to consider: the camera (lens type, zoom settings etc.), the lighting and the landscape itself. With a vast range of lenses available offering different perspectives, the opportunities for unique, creative photography are endless. These three sites offer vastly different lighting opportunities, from the red sunset of the Grand Canyon to the crisp Autumn sunlight of New England fall, to the soft morning mist of India.

USA- Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most popular natural landscapes attracting thousands of visitors every year. With the rippled red rock set against the deep blue sky, it’s no wonder it’s a favourite with landscape photographers.

Time to go

Whilst sunset can create a stunning backdrop for the canyon, it’s worth remembering that this is a deep canyon carved into the rock, meaning there will be very little illumination after nightfall. However, if you’d rather shoot at sunset than during the day, it’s a great idea to use ND (neutral-density) filters on your camera to minimise highlight exposure in the sky to create added exposure in the darker areas of the canyon in shadow.

Camera setting

As the canyon is such a vast landscape, it’s worth considering a wide-angle zoom to capture more in each shot. A wide angle lens has a short focal length to offer a wider angle of view which allows you to capture both foreground and background elements. With a setting like the Grand Canyon, it’s a good idea to include some foreground elements to put the size of canyon into perspective- the crowd of tourists may not be such a hindrance after all…

New England- USA

New England is one of those rare natural settings in which the vast array of colours appear almost unreal. Naturally, the best time to visit New England is in the fall. The tall trees with red, orange, yellow leaves set next to glistening lakes are a sight not to miss.

When to go

Sunrise and sunset are ideal times to capture the best lighting. Though sunset can cast impressive shadows on the ground, the shade of the trees can make it difficult to gain enough exposure. Instead, early morning offers the crisp, bright lighting associated with a New England Autumn.

Taj Mahal- Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is one of the world’s most iconic sites and is a veritable feast of opportunity for landscape photographers. The building is a mausoleum built in honour of the Moghal Emperor’s third wife. Given the imposing symmetry of the structure and the flat surrounding landscape, it is a perfect structure to capture on camera.Taj Mahal, India

Time to go

Sunset or sunrise are prime opportunities for beautiful shots. If you head to the site early, you’ll find fewer tourists and possibly a light morning mist casting the building in silhouette. Alternatively, sunset offers beautiful lighting opportunities as the building is reflected in the waters of the landscaped gardens.

Camera setting

Unlike the vast landscape of the Grand Canyon which needs to be seen as a whole, the detailed architecture of the Taj Mahal deserves attention. With a telephoto lens, it’s possible to be more selective in what you include in the image. This is a fantastic tool for highlighting the curves, textures and intricate detailing of the building. However, it does depend on your own perspective and position in relation to the building. If you stand a great distance from the Taj Mahal, you may want to show the building isolated in its full setting, in which case, a wide angle lens would be preferable.

Understanding how lens optics can affect your photography is the first step to creating beautiful landscape photographs. Different lens functions are designed to optimise your image quality, making it easy to capture perfect images, whether you’re a photography pro or an amateur snapper.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source:|

Victoria works in the optics industry and understands how lenses are manufactured for perfect results. She writes for glasses online company, Directsight.

Fun Holiday Wood Work Projects

Every parent knows that familiar feeling of dread when their children are at home on holiday, how are you going to entertain them? While it would be nice to take them out shopping, to the movies and to visit friends, the reality is that you do not have the time or money to do that all summer long.

So, instead of having bored and whining children sitting around the home for two months, why not get creative and let have fun and create something useful at the same time? Here are some fun wood work projects for your kids this holiday season:

Designer art on wood: For this project, all you need is some scrap pieces of wood, a stencil and some paint. Take a few old pieces of wood, sand them down and then nail them together. Once you have prepared the wood properly, let your kids have fun painting different shapes and images onto the wooden board. This project will allow them have fun creating artwork and can also double up as Christmas gifts for friends and family come Christmas – a win-win for both you and the kids.

Portable toy box: Tired of tripping over your kid’s toys, why not let them built a portable toy box. This way they can take their toys with them anywhere around the house, without leaving a gigantic mess behind them. All you need is a wooden crate – which you can either choose to make or purchase –, some paint and a set of wheels to add underneath.

Wooden candle holders: Not sure what you should do with the thick branches you cut down in your garden? Why not transform them into candle holders? The easiest way to make the hole is with a spade bit – just be sure that you have a firm grasp on the branch to prevent it from spinning around.

Once you have created a hole for the candle, sand down the branch – to avoid any splinters from sticking out – and then let your children decorate the wood. Once completed, add a candle and set them around your home or give them to friends and family as gifts.

Wooden wall clocks: Let your children have fun decorating their own wooden wall clock that they can hang in their room. Once they have decorated the clock, get them to stick on the numbers and fix the hands and clock battery carefully into place. Once they have finishes creating their master piece, add a hook at the back, pop in a battery and then let them mount it on their bedroom wall.

Book Shelf: A book shelf is handy for kids to keep all their story books and school work books. Before creating a book shelf, be sure to measure the space available in their room and then buy the wood to fit that size. Once you have all the wood, help your children build their own bookcase and then let them have fun decorating it. 

When working with wood, you need to always sand it down carefully – making sure that you do not create any uneven bumps or splinters – and varnish it before decorating it. Once the wood is properly prepared, let your kids have fun creating their own wood work creations.

I am Greg Jones: a business owner, father and wood work lover. I recently made use of old tapered poles to build a sand box for my youngest child. I can now work from home in peace, knowing my child is having fun and doing so in a safe manner.

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Renting A Studio Style Photobooth

If you have been searching around for a photobooth to rent for quite some time then you’ve probably come across two types of booths i.e. traditional also known as classic photobooths and studio style booths, commonly referred to as CrazyBooths. While both these booths have a very similar concept but the way in which they execute taking pictures and handle people within the booth is very different.

Classic photobooths are assembled or constructed to be an all in one box that holds guests, takes pictures, provides print outs and fires a flash, then prints out a strip of photos immediately. There is no outside input required for it to function. Studio booths on the other hand are great for parties, they consist of a studio backdrop with strobe lights, a tripod mounted camera, LCD TV, remote control, a printer and laptop which prints out the strips.

As you can probably already figure out each design mentioned above has its own weaknesses and strengths. Both these designs will provide your guests with an excellent source of entertainment and, provide you with lots of captured photos of the event. However, if you want great photo quality in addition to other types of functionality then a studio photobooth makes more sense.

Reason no. 1: There is more space for more people

Perhaps one of the biggest advantage of hiring a booth that has a studio style design is that it has more space. Compared to traditional photobooths that hardly measure 40”x 60”, a studio booth measures a whopping 96” x 120”. The extra space allows for better group pictures something that is a welcome addition to any party or wedding venue provided that there is space to house the large booth. The extra space means that there is no need for people to spend time deciding who should be a part of a group picture, and still feeling bad that a few people had to be left out. On average a studio style photobooth can easily accommodate up to 14 people.

Reason no. 2: Having more space means more creativity

Now, having extra space does not just allow for you to cram in more people but there are other advantages too like giving you more creative possibilities something that you’re fairly limited with a traditional booth. You can practically think outside the box with a studio booth, for instance, you can use larger props, hang upside down etc., giving you more flexibility. You can also opt to change the lighting by bringing in an extra strobe light or a different colored light. All of this will change the way your photos look.

Reason no. 3: You get better quality with studio booths

More space in a photobooth is directly proportional to much better quality pictures. The reason being that you have the ability to change the light source by moving it slightly to the side, you can also soften pictures with a big light modifier, plus you can give your images and photos a 3D effect by photographing everyone there from different angles.

One really good technique used to get great photos from a studio style photobooth is to place your flash a bit off the axis from the camera. Even though this is something you can do with a traditionally small booth but its physical space restricts how much the flash can be moved. If anything your photos look over exposed in smaller sized booths.

The extra space that you enjoy when you rent a studio photobooth means that you are able to change the way everyone in the booth looks and how the lighting works. You can tweak the shadows, highlights, flash times, strobe lights etc., which makes everything more fun, artistic, not to mention better quality photos.

However, studio photobooths are known to be slightly more expensive than their standard counterparts. That said they are not too expensive, if anything you can expect to pay just 30% more than what you’ll pay for a regular booth but you get various other freebies with the booth like complimentary props, flash lights etc. Make sure that you find out from the hire company what freebies you will get with a larger booth. There are some companies that offer packages that are cheaper provided that it suits your event.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 

Mark has been in the photobooth rental industry for over ten years. He is constantly working on giving his booths an individual identity that people can associate with. While his rent a photobooth service mainly caters to people in and around Sydney, he is known to send his booths outside the city for high profile events.

5 Reasons Why You Should Make Birthday Cards Yourself

We’ve all been there – rushing to the supermarket to get a birthday card at the last minute, and promising ourselves that we won’t make the same mistake next year and give ourselves more time. But it’s a trap which is so easy to fall into. And it’s all down to the ready availability of cards in our local shops and supermarkets, as well as card sites which let you ‘customise’ your card and dispatch them at the click of a button.

Most birthday cards we see on the shelf in our local card shops are terrible, and we all know that. So why do we bother with them? It’s not always down to doing things last minute. Even when we have enough time, many of us tend to just settle for the least offensive card we can find among the racks.

However, there is an alternative to buying tacky cards – and that’s making them yourself. Here are five reasons why crafting your own birthday cards is much better than scouring the shelves at your local card franchise:

1. Personal Touch

All of the cards on offer in the shops are made for a demographic. Not for a specific person. Sometimes shop-bought birthday cards will feature a specific landmark age, or a first name, but that’s about as personal as they get. Making your own card gives you the edge in this respect. Not only can you address your recipient by name, but you can also tailor the theme to their specific interests, and use colour schemes or photos you know they will like.

2. Cost

Shop-bought cards are not cheap, especially for what they are. Hand-crafting your own may incur some initial costs for materials and equipment, and specialist tools such as die-cutting machines may set you back a little bit. But once you have these items, you’ve got them, and can use them over and over again. By making your own cards regularly, you’ll save money in the long run.

3. Appreciation

Without a doubt, a hand-crafted card will always be cherished more than a shop-bought card. The effort you’ve put into making your own card won’t go unnoticed by your recipient.

4. It’s Bound to be New

Making your own card gives you a chance to come up with something new and up-to-date. Many card manufacturers recycle their old ideas and put them out year after year – but by making your own card, you’re guaranteeing that your recipient something they haven’t seen before.

5. Participation

For crafters, the act of making the card itself is something to be savoured and enjoyed. There’s little (if any) satisfaction in picking something off a shelf and just writing someone’s name in it. Card-crafting provides the sender with a sense of achievement, as well as being creatively fulfilling. And if your card is for someone in your family, you can always get your kids involved in the creative process too, with paints and glitter. Just be prepared to clean up a little mess afterwards!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source:|

This article is written by Steve, who works for Craftsite. Craftsite offer card making supplies in the UK. On his days off, Steve enjoys visiting museums and national parks across the country.

Why Apps Are Important For The Modern Card-Crafter

In many aspects of our lives, modern technology is becoming increasingly present in the way we come up with and share our ideas. And you might think that the terms ‘technology’ and ‘card-crafting’ are not often used in the same sentence, but that’s all changing.

State-of-the-art programs and apps are having an effect on the way people express their creativity in all artistic forms, and the world of card-crafting is no different. The smartphone is a resourceful tool for the card-crafter, and can there are a number of apps which can provide us with some much-needed inspiration when we’re stuck in a creative rut.

So, without further ado, here are five apps which no card-crafter should be without:


If you’re into using photographs on your card designs, then this app is essential. It allows you to edit and add effects to snaps you taken on your phone, and you can also use it to edit photos you’ve taken with a camera too. For those vintage designs, this app lets you apply sepia effects and convert pictures to greyscale. You can also ensure your picture matches your card colour scheme by applying various coloured tints.


At a loss for ideas? Then Pinterest is the image-hosting site for you. You might have trawled search engines like Google Images for card-making ideas before, and had to sift through some fairly questionable material. You’ll be glad to know Pinterest isn’t like that. Without wanting to sound too elitist, Pinterest is what all the cool people are using right now, and most of the card-making projects you’ll find on there are of a pretty high standard.


Want to know about craft fairs in your local region? Want to be kept up to date with news on special offers from card suppliers? If you do, and you don’t have a Twitter account, you’re missing out. By following craft bloggers and retailers, you’ll be able to take advantage of any sales, be kept up to date with goings on in the craft world, and have an outlet through which to proudly display your work.


In a similar manner to Twitter, Facebook is a social media tool which helps you keep up with the game. By joining card-crafting groups, you can get talking to other people with the same interests as you, and even exchange ideas. Many companies also use Facebook as a marketing tool, meaning that you’ll be kept abreast of any competitions or new products being released, as well as any must-go events being held in the crafting community near you.


Once you’ve established yourself as a bit of a pro, you’ll want a platform to express your opinions and share your knowledge – and there are few places better to do so than a blog. Hosting platform WordPress has won numerous awards for good reason. It’s accessible, and very quick to set up. The app also lets you blog on the go. So, if you feel like you’re ready to show the crafting world what you’re made of, get blogging!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source:|

Adam is the author of this article, and he works for who specialise in handmade card making. On his days off, Adam loves to skate at the park, but generally hurts himself in doing so.

Create Your Own Fall Decorations

Trying to figure out how you are going to decorate your house this coming fall? Not looking forward to spending money on fall garlands, flowers, and other decoration pieces? Why not make your own fall decorations? Instead of looking at your black grout and being OK with some fall colors that happen to be in your house, make the effort to decorate the house yourself.

If you are a DIY person then these ideas are just right for you. The following are some great DIY fall décor suggestions and ideas to help you get started on decorating your house for the fall:

  • Wrap it With Twine
    Whatever decorations you have now, you can make look more fall-like by wrapping them with twine or burlap. Twine and burlap both have a tan ragged look that is perfect for fall decorations. For example, you can wrap glass containers and or candle holders in twine to give them a fall look.
  • Trace and Cut
    Using simple fall colored pieces of paper you can print, trace, and cut different shapes or figures that represent fall and Halloween. You can make ghosts, leaves, cats, pumpkins, bats, etc. Once they have been cut you can decorate the whole house with them, place them on doors, on windows, on mirrors, etc. You can also use fall colored paper to create fall paper chains to decorate with.

  • Pumpkin Seeds
    Instead of eating or throwing away the pumpkin seeds you find when you gut your pumpkins for carving, painting, and decorating; use them for decorations. You can bake them up then use them as a base for the inside of a glass candle holder, or you can glue them onto the outside of a larger candle. Pumpkin seed crafts are tons of fun.
  • Acorn Centerpieces
    Instead of buying acorns use the ones you find outside. Of course you will need to bake them, to make sure there are no bugs that get into your house, first then you can give them a clear coating of paint or spray paint to ensure they stay nice and brown and shiny. You can use acorns as the base for a clear candleholder, you can strew them around and use them as the base of other centerpieces, or your can glue them together and create your own decoration pieces.
  • Make Fall Potpourri
    You can create your very own fall potpourri and it will serve as a fall decoration as well as a great way to scent up your house. That way your house will look and smell like fall time.  Use things like vanilla beans, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice, cinnamon sticks, orange peels lemon peels, star anise, etc. and create your own great smelling potpourri.

Now that you have some ideas on how you can decorate your house, without spending a pretty penny, you can do some brainstorming of your own in order to really make your fall décor special, unique, and interesting. Take one of the above ideas and invent something new and different. Maybe try something you have never tried before. Part of DIY projects is the fun of never quit knowing how it is going to turn out.

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Madison Resare is a content creator who enjoys writing about DIY crafts, black grout, and seasonal décor.

The Rupee Dive Draws NRI Investors to Indian Realty

With the dipping value of the Rupee against the dollar, a rising number of non-residential Indians (NRIs) now have the opportunity to invest in Indian real estate. A number of real estate developers are even targeting their projects towards the expat target customers. According to Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), property dealers are already expecting to see a rise of nearly 35 per cent in enquiries in 2013. The following article will discuss about how the financial trends are affecting the buying pattern in the real estate market.

The Situation

In the present calendar year of 2013, the Rupee has dropped nearly 20 per cent in comparison to the US dollar. The falling value of the Indian currency has obviously frightened the Indian buyers. The record plunge has baffled most Indians as there are many who are anxious about the increasing prices of imported commodities like gold, diesel and petrol, while there are others who are tense about the rules levied by the Reserve Bank of India refraining to take funds out of the country. With the economy weakening, there is another area that is likely to suffer – real estate. However, this is the same sector that has been recently drawing a lot of attention from potential investors from outside India. Let us see how the falling Rupee trend will change the scenario for international investors who have been seeking to buy property in India.  

The Opportunity

For a person with non-Indian currency, namely dollars, the current developments can turn out to be favorable. For this NRI who earns in dollars, things here will be cheaper by 20 per cent. Taking an example of real estate in Mumbai, if a real estate dealer quoted the property for Rs. 5 Crore in January 2013 and the developer is ready to sell it at the same rate even today in August, an expatriate would actually be paying 20 per cent less than what he would have spent in January.  

The Assocham Report

According to the recent findings released by Assocham, the Rupee has collapsed by almost 34 per cent in contrast to the US dollar since August 2011 and has already surpassed the value of Rs. 65 against a dollar. This plummeting spree is being closely observed by the Indians settled abroad who were wishing to accelerate investment strategies back home.

 Assocham carried out a random study of about 1250 real estate developers in areas like Delhi-NCR, Mohali-Chandigarh, Dera Basi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Dehradun and Chennai. The survey revealed that the favorable exchange rates were prompting NRIs to explore and park their money in Indian real estate.

It is an ideal time for the non-resident Indians to invest as the sluggish realty market also seems to be on their side. They can save from 20 to 30 per cent on the value of their property. And if the Rupee continues to slip, one may see further interest from overseas.

Most of the property dealers and developers have reported that majority of the NRI enquiries and cash flow is coming from the Arabian Gulf region, primarily UAE.  After this, Singapore, USA, Australia, Canada, UK, and South Africa are countries with the NRI population rising up to India’s realty. The demand for property has pertained to the luxury residential projects and high-end commercial buildings.

The Remittance

About 5 million Indian expats reside in the 6 Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations of UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These NRIs, who have been growing in number, remit almost $30 billion to India each year.

The rising curiosity of these potential investors have instilled confidence in the Indian developers, who are now optimistic and look forward to a high number of bookings in 2013. The investor enquiries have also risen this year by up to 25 per cent.


clip_image002Author bio: Being a prolific writer, Devika Arora is dedicated to studying the current property trends and compiling facts and figures for the benefit of potential investors. Her articles and other write-ups analyze the realm of Indian real estate and its prospects. The above piece of work talks about the impact on real estate due to the falling value of the Rupee.



Wonderfully Different Candle Holders You Must See!

I love candles. I live in a hot country in a not so large apartment, so candles are not always the most sensible thing to be using but, I just can't help myself and find myself lighting them on every occasion- when I'm alone as a muse, when I want to create a romantic eating atmosphere for my husband and I and when I just want to add light to the apartment!

I am also a religious person so I light them on a weekly basis as part of our Sabbath ritual. When lighting the candles before the Sabbath I find that I am inviting in a peacefulness that is special to the Sabbath day.

Hanukkah Menorah During the week too I like to light candles- when I'm in a pensive mood and home alone, when I want to make a romantic meal and even when I want to enjoy the scent of the scented candles we have, as well as enjoy their light…

I also adore do-it-yourself home decor and recently stumbled across the idea of decorating glass holders for candles and thought "Of course! How didn't I think of this earlier?!"Let me share what I found with you so that you too can invite some more light into your home in wonderfully creative ways…

Transparent Paper

Hands up if you too haven’t played with transparent paper since you were in primary school and creating decorations for your respective festival of lights?! But really, what a great idea! An empty jam jar, decorated with transparent paper designs around it! Simple, cute and fun!

Pressed Flowers

Pressed flowers on glass candle holders look simply gorgeous- and I think pansies look especially pretty! In order to create this effect, press your flowers between book covers then glue them onto the candle holders.

Paper Bags

An old favorite of mine is placing candles in glass candle holders in paper bags and then tying a colored raffia ribbons haphazardly around the bag. So simple yet so chic.

Wine Glasses

I've actually seen this at many a "do"- large wine glasses filled with water, floating candles and petals. The candles and petals are often matching with the theme color of the occasion. There is really no reason not to copy this look in your own home and to make a simple evening dinner a special occasion!


I feel like I can't neglect one candle holder- the Hannukiah- used on the festival of Hannukah in Israel, the Hannukiah comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors and are a stunning way of displaying a number of candles.

Asian Paper

For the ultimate decoration for an Asian-themed evening, cover glass candles holders with newspapers from China, Japan or the like and the result adds so much to the themed evening!

Fragrant Candles

For those, like me, who love the smell of lavender and most other natural plants and herbs, the idea of placing candles in a glass container, firmly nestled in something like lavender is just a divine idea! Not only do you get a gorgeously natural look, you also get a stunning smell emanating from the candle!

Romantic Lace

For lovers of romantic themes- I find a glass holder with a wide piece of lace wrapped around it, romantic, summery and simply beautiful!

Seaside Theme

For those throwing a party with a seaside theme, or even for those just wanting to extend the summer fun a wonderful way of decorating a glass candle holder is by filling the holder with a layer of sand, followed by a layer of seashells and finally placing a tubular candle in the middle.

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  •  License: Image author owned 

Rivkah Abrahams writes for blog. She loves candles and furthermore, she adores unique items by Israeli designers such as in the above post by David Gerstein. To see more of these unique artistic style items, you are welcome to visit his category:

Thinking of Building Your Own Kit Home? Here’s What You Need to Know

We all have our own ideas of how we want our dream home to look like and how we are going to build it. However, due to the high costs of building materials and labor, talk of dream homes are put in the back burner until such time it is feasible to bring it out again. But what if you can not only have your dream home sooner, but be able to build it yourself without costing an arm and leg?
The emergence of kit homes has certainly brought many potential homeowners closer to their dream of having homes they can call their own. With its substantial affordability and flexibility in design and construction, kit homes are the answer to those sighs of longing and envying looks you cast the way of those who have gone and fulfilled their dreams ahead of you.

The great thing about kit homes is that they can be anything you want them to be – grand, tiny, comfortable. They can be sleek and modern or energy-efficient. Whatever the size and style of kit homes you choose, there will always come with it certain risks but risks that you can avoid with proper planning and thorough research.

First of all, you need to understand that the prices of kit homes are cheaper because that’s only the weather-tight shell. That doesn’t include the cabinets, lighting fixtures, electricity and plumbing you plan to install inside the house. The final cost can go higher or lower depending on what you plan to outfit your home with and if you choose to do it yourself or hire builders to help you construct your home with minimal fuss. 

However, that’s not to say that you won’t be able to save something. For one, you save on time and labor because everything is already laid out for you, like the roof, walls and floors so you don’t need to hire a whole crew of carpenters to help you erect four walls, nor do you need to spend weeks and months framing your home because it will only take you a few hours or weeks depending on the model of kit home you choose. 

Next, you need to know that the average price for new home construction can range from $80 per square feet to $200 per square feet, so if you’re planning to build a 1,500 square feet kit home that will cost you around $120,000 to $300,000. To ensure you build a kit home that is just right, check out online home cost calculating sites so that you can get an idea of how much of a budget you should set for your needs. This is also useful when you need to talk to the bank about getting a loan for your kit home and the kind of equity you bring to the table will also help the bank determine whether or not you need to hire a contractor or if you can go ahead and build it yourself. 

Knowing as well what kind of style you want for your home is good because then you won’t have to make so many changes and alterations which can add to the costs, unless it was specifically stated by your kit home manufacturer that all changes can be made for free. The thing about kit homes is that, prior to construction, you will already have chosen the kind of materials you want to use as well as the design you want to employ so that it is delivered to you exactly as you want it, nothing more, nothing less. 

And lastly, the most important thing you need to know is that you need to know what you’re getting into. Building your dream home is something that requires total commitment so if you are not prepared to devote every waking moment to this project or are ready to see it through the end, you’d be better off just putting it off until such time you are ready. If you are ready to dream, then you should be ready to build your 
kit homes Australia and be prepared to have a home you can call your own.

Zack Bauer is a blogger and web consultant for various companies that specialize in home improvement, organization, landscaping, and pest control. He loves writing and gardening, as well as DIY carpentry and other home projects.