Portrait Painting Techniques – How to Paint Hair

Painting Hair

Painting portraits is a great hobby that gives both the artist and the model much pleasure. It is better for both however if the texture, color and flow of the hair closely matches the model. Follow these steps to obtain more realistic colors in your next portrait.

Before painting hair, you should always have the rest of the face finished first. The flesh color extend into the hairline. This is so that the flesh color shows through and the hair does not look unnatural. Remember that hair is much more than one layer, therefore, you need to paint it in layers. There are also hundreds of shades of hair color. To keep it as simple as possible try to base each portrait with, blonde, brown (this includes red), black or gray.

Under paint the entire hair area with a very light mixture of one of these colors. These are called undertones. This under painting will actually be the highlights because as you work you will not cover all of this. Notice where the dark or shadowed areas are and paint them in. Now use a darker color and start stroking in hair strands. Black is the opposite. Start with the darkest as the undertones, then add lighter layers. Continue until you are satisfied with the results. It is very easy to overdo hair. Know when to stop!

Here are the colors you will use for any hair tone. Remember to apply the undertones first

Blonde (Reds) Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, (Alizarin Crimson)

Use Burnt Umber to darken blonde and red hair

Brown Titanium White, Burnt Umber

Use Cadmium Red or Ivory Black for red or blackish tones

Black Ivory Black Undertones

Warm Black – Ivory Black & touch of Brown

Cool Black – Ivory Black & touch of Blue

Gray Titanium White, Ivory Black for a Gray Undertone

Warm Gray – Ivory Black & touch of Brown

Cool Gray – Ivory Black & touch of Blue

Start the first layer, or undertones with a very watery mixture of paint. Use a medium to large brush because you are not painting details. Don’t try to paint in individual hair strands at this stage. Start adding more paint color to your brush and add some more layers. Pull the brush in the direction of the flow of hair. Use a liner brush to add some indications of individual strands. Add any deep pockets of color to really give the portrait depth. I added some deep shadow on the side of the neck.

Congratulations! You should be well on your way to being your own master portrait painter. As always, don’t forget to sign your painting.



Source by Julie Shoemaker

A Psychological Profile Of Janis Joplin

“The greater the feeling of inferiority that has been experienced, the more powerful is the urge to conquest and the more violent the emotional agitation.” —Alfred Adler

Biographical Overview

Janice Joplin was born January 19, 1943 in Port Arthur Texas to Seth and Dorothy Joplin. Janice was the first born child in a family that would eventually include a sister Laura, who was born 6 years later, and a brother Michael, who was born 10 years later. Janice’s early family life was relatively normal, and as a child she was exceptionally curious and bright. Janice often made up stories as a child and began writing plays while in the first grade, and even at a very young age her creative talent seemed to be developing.

One early story recounted in Myra Friedman’s (1973) book on Janis, recounts how Seth would take the Janis and eventually her siblings down to the post office to look at the pictures of the wanted men as a form of entertainment. Given Janis’s later utter and total disregard for the law and conventionality in her life, one wonders if Janis didn’t develop some kind of sympathy for the “outlaw” from these early experiences, as she certainly began to view herself as existing outside of the bounds of normal society.

In Janis’s words, “The whole world turned on me” when she entered High School, and these years seemed to have an especially profound influence on Janis as well as her later work. Port Arthur was in many ways a rough and even violent city, and as a port town had a number of bars and houses of prostitution to service the men who came to work there. Janis witnessed extreme racism while growing up in Port Arthur, and her tolerance and acceptance of people from other races quickly earned her the nickname “nigger lover” which was one of many that she would eventually acquire in Port Arthur. During this period Janis also gained weight and developed bad skin, and she was often also called a “pig” by the other children in the school.

Following High School Janice enrolled at Lamar State College which she found was much like her High School in Port Arthur, as she again experienced a great deal of rejection here and eventually dropped out. With her parent’s blessing, Janis moved to Los Angeles to live with one of her aunts. Janis eventually moved out of her aunt’s home into a place of her own in Venice Beach and it was during this trip that she began to seriously use drugs including heroin. Having nearly died during her experiences in Venice Beach, Janice again returned to Port Arthur, and eventually decided to return to school, this time at the University of Texas in Austin.

It was during this period of her life where Janis began performing seriously as a musician. She had discovered the blues through listening to records by Odetta and Bessie Smith, and Janis showed an amazing ability to imitate these singers, which was a lifelong talent she had developed even as a young girl. Janis would often play in coffeehouses and other campus spots around Austin, and it was during these formative years where she was able to put together her blues, folk, and rock influences into her own integrated and unique sound. Janis’s favorite place to play was the legendary Threadgill’s where she became close friends with owner Ken Threadgill who was a very positive force in Janis’s life.

Although Austin included many more anti-establishment types than Port Arthur, Janis was still ridiculed and mocked at the University of Texas, and her sense of inferiority as a result of this reached its pinnacle when she was nominated for the “Ugliest Man on Campus” award while attending school in Austin. This was the final blow to Janis in Texas, and shortly after this even she packed her bags and moved to San Francisco to pursue a career as a singer.

Janis moved to Haight Ashbury in 1966 which at the time was the epicenter of the 1960’s. Bands such as the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane were also coming up at this time, and the music and freedom made the Haight in the 1960’s for many a magical time and place to be. Janis found an incredible sense of belonging with Big Brother during this time, and their early work as a band represented the raw energy and improvisational nature of rock and Roll that people were beginning to take notice of.

Janice soon began to outshine Big Brother however, and although they were a highly energetic live band, their improvisational style did not translate well in recording sessions. Janice on the other hand took a great interest in the recording sessions, and was committed to recording an album …

Lighting a Fine Craft Trade Show Booth – Options for the Budget-Conscious Artist

Good lighting is a main ingredient of a successful trade-show booth. Just the right lighting system can help an artist create the atmosphere of a fine-craft gallery. This will lure gallery owners off the isles and into your booth – the first step toward making a sale.

Lighting is a relatively expensive investment. So how does the budget-conscious artist find the right solution?

When it comes to choosing a lighting system, artists new to the trade show circuit often become overwhelmed. Prices vary wildly, and each convention center may have its own lighting rules. Lighting technology is changing rapidly, making the choices harder still.

This article details what I learned while tackling the challenge of lighting my 10’X10’ booth at the American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE), a large wholesale show for American and Canadian craft artists. As I am new to trade shows, this information is meant only as a pointer for artists in the process of choosing lighting, and perhaps also for more seasoned artists looking to update their systems.

In examining many different lighting options, my objective was to illuminate my glass jewelry beautifully but inexpensively. I wanted the lights to be lightweight and modular, to fit in boxes for shipping to the show. I was looking for contemporary styling, in silver or black. And I wanted to have at least one special lighting effect – not too flashy – to give my booth a unique element.

In his CD on booth design, art business consultant Bruce Baker suggests 1,000 watts will light up a 10’X10’ booth very effectively. I decided to stay at or under 500 watts, however, because the ACRE show includes 500 watts with the booth price, and the halogen lighting I ultimately decided upon illuminates my displays very well. Since I bought the lights at a “big-box” store with sites in virtually every city in the U.S., I can add more lights once I’m at the trade show if necessary.

The Battle of the Bulb

Contractors Choice Lighting (www.ccl-light.com) says a light fixture is simply a “bulb holder.” The bulb, therefore, should drive one’s choice of a fixture. This is somewhat true for trade-show lighting, although the fixtures may dictate the types of bulbs, depending on the choices available at the store where one shops for the lights. The CCL website offers a “Bulb Photometrics” page ([http://ccl-light.com/photometrics.html]), whose graphical representation is a refreshing departure from the complex descriptions of lighting options that have proliferated on the web.

Halogen is the bulb of choice for many trade show exhibitors. It offers a crisp, white light. Although people commonly refer to halogen as non-incandescent, it is in fact a kind of incandescent lamp. It generates light by using a thin filament wire made of tungsten, heated to white by passing an electric current through it. According to General Electric, the first halogen lamp was developed in 1959 – not too long ago for many of us!

Halogen bulbs differ significantly from the traditional type of incandescents we grew up with. The halogen bulb’s filament is surrounded by halogen gases (iodine or bromine, specifically). These gases let the filaments operate at higher temperatures. The end result is a higher light output per watt.

The gases also do something rather miraculous: Tungsten tends to evaporate off the filament over time, and the gases actually help re-deposit the tungsten onto the filament. This extends the bulb’s life way beyond that of the traditional incandescent bulb, whose evaporated tungsten clings to the walls of the bulb like a smoky apparition and eventually the uncoated filament snaps. Who hasn’t rattled a burnt-out light bulb and enjoyed the jazzy cymbal sound of the broken filament inside?

In addition to giving off more light than traditional incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs emit a whiter light that provides better color rendition. “For highlighting and bringing out true colors, use halogen lamps,” suggests USA Light and Electric’s website (www.usalight.com). “Nothing looks better than the drama brought in with halogen lamps.”

Baker also suggests halogen lights – floodlights in particular – for a contemporary look, especially for jewelry and glass. It’s important to consider that other fine craft materials such as ceramics and wood might be better enhanced with halogen spotlights, or even with some of the more traditional incandescent lights that emit a warmer color.

Having decided upon halogen lighting, my next task would be to choose bulbs. The ACRE show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which has instituted a strict halogen lighting policy. Each light cannot exceed 75 watts, and all halogen bulbs must be factory sealed in glass (not in a removable lens or linear shape).

Thankfully, there is plenty of factory-sealed halogen lighting, in the form of PAR halogen bulbs. PAR is an acronym for “parabolic aluminized reflector.” PAR bulbs …

Modern Financial Management Theories & Small Businesses

The following are some examples of modern financial management theories formulated on principles considered as ‘a set of fundamental tenets that form the basis for financial theory and decision-making in finance’ (Emery et al.1991). An attempt would be made to relate the principles behind these concepts to small businesses’ financial management.

Agency Theory

Agency theory deals with the people who own a business enterprise and all others who have interests in it, for example managers, banks, creditors, family members, and employees. The agency theory postulates that the day to day running of a business enterprise is carried out by managers as agents who have been engaged by the owners of the business as principals who are also known as shareholders. The theory is on the notion of the principle of ‘two-sided transactions’ which holds that any financial transactions involve two parties, both acting in their own best interests, but with different expectations.

Problems usually identified with agency theory may include:

i. Information asymmetry- a situation in which agents have information on the financial circumstances and prospects of the enterprise that is not known to principals (Emery et al.1991). For example ‘The Business Roundtable’ emphasised that in planning communications with shareholders and investors, companies should consider never misleading or misinforming stockholders about the corporation’s operations or financial condition. In spite of this principle, there was lack of transparency from Enron’s management leading to its collapse;

ii. Moral hazard-a situation in which agents deliberately take advantage of information asymmetry to redistribute wealth to themselves in an unseen manner which is ultimately to the detriment of principals. A case in point is the failure of the Board of directors of Enron’s compensation committee to ask any question about the award of salaries, perks, annuities, life insurance and rewards to the executive members at a critical point in the life of Enron; with one executive on record to have received a share of ownership of a corporate jet as a reward and also a loan of $77m to the CEO even though the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US bans loans by companies to their executives; and

iii. Adverse selection-this concerns a situation in which agents misrepresent the skills or abilities they bring to an enterprise. As a result of that the principal’s wealth is not maximised (Emery et al.1991).

In response to the inherent risk posed by agents’ quest to make the most of their interests to the disadvantage of principals (i.e. all stakeholders), each stakeholder tries to increase the reward expected in return for participation in the enterprise. Creditors may increase the interest rates they get from the enterprise. Other responses are monitoring and bonding to improve principal’s access to reliable information and devising means to find a common ground for agents and principals respectively.

Emanating from the risks faced in agency theory, researchers on small business financial management contend that in many small enterprises the agency relationship between owners and managers may be absent because the owners are also managers; and that the predominantly nature of SMEs make the usual solutions to agency problems such as monitoring and bonding costly thereby increasing the cost of transactions between various stakeholders (Emery et al.1991).

Nevertheless, the theory provides useful knowledge into many matters in SMEs financial management and shows considerable avenues as to how SMEs financial management should be practiced and perceived. It also enables academic and practitioners to pursue strategies that could help sustain the growth of SMEs.

Signaling Theory

Signaling theory rests on the transfer and interpretation of information at hand about a business enterprise to the capital market, and the impounding of the resulting perceptions into the terms on which finance is made available to the enterprise. In other words, flows of funds between an enterprise and the capital market are dependent on the flow of information between them. (Emery et al, 1991). For example management’s decision to make an acquisition or divest; repurchase outstanding shares; as well as decisions by outsiders like for example an institutional investor deciding to withhold a certain amount of equity or debt finance. The emerging evidence on the relevance of signaling theory to small enterprise financial management is mixed. Until recently, there has been no substantial and reliable empirical evidence that signaling theory accurately represents particular situations in SME financial management, or that it adds insights that are not provided by modern theory (Emery et al.1991).

Keasey et al(1992) writes that of the ability of small enterprises to signal their value to potential investors, only the signal of the disclosure of an earnings forecast were found to be positively and significantly related to enterprise value amongst the following: percentage of equity retained by owners, the net proceeds raised by an equity issue, the choice of financial advisor to an issue (presuming that a more reputable …

Comparing the Epson Stylus Pro 9890 to the Stylus Pro 9900 and 9880

This article will compare the 44-inch wide Epson Stylus Pro 9890, announced Fall 2010, with the Stylus Pro 9900 and 9880. While these printers share many of the same features, a few differences will be examined. These differences include the ink set, color gamut and print speeds.

Epson Stylus Pro 9880

The 9880 was released in mid-2007 replacing the Stylus Pro 9800. The main difference between the 9880 and the 9800 was a reformulated magenta ink formula. The two new inks were called Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta. This printer uses a total of eight inks with the choice of either Matte Black or Photo Black ink being loaded in the printer at any given time. A purge process is required to switch black inks, usually taking about 15 minutes and more than $30 worth of ink.

With each model that is released, print speed usually improves. The 9880 can produce a 16×20 in 6:41 and a 20×30 in about 12:00. The print speed is based on the printer being used in SuperFine 1440 dpi mode.

Epson Stylus Pro 9900

The 9900 was released in December of 2008 as an additional option to the 9880 aimed primarily at the packaging and proofing market. This printer added an Orange and Green ink to help expand the color gamut that the printer is able to produce. Epson also added the ability to auto-switch between Photo Black and Matte Black ink. This auto-switch capability is something that photographers and fine art printers had been waiting for. Based on this and the expanded color gamut, those businesses needing to produce high quality photographic and fine art output quickly migrated to this printer.

The Epson Stylus Pro 9900 also offered improved print speeds over the 9880. Print times are a minimum of 25% faster than the 9880. The 9900 can produce a 16×20 in 3:47 and a 20×30 in 6:39. Like the 9880, the print speed is based on using SuperFine 1449 dpi mode.

Epson Stylus Pro 9890

The Epson Stylus Pro 9890 was released in December of 2010. As stated previously, the 9900 initially targeted the packaging and proofing market. The 9890 was designed with the photographic and fine art print market in mind.

When compared to the 9900, the 9890 has the same ink set, minus the orange and green inks. While the orange and green inks expanded the color gamut compared to the 9880, most photographers and fine art printers couldn’t take full advantage of the gamut produced by these two inks. The end result is a printer that performs like the 9900, but users have the option of purchasing this printer at a lower price point and do not have to stock two additional inks.

The 9890 also offers improved print speeds compared to the 9880. These print speeds are identical to the 9900. A 16×20 can be printed in 3:47 and a 20×30 in 6:39 in SuperFine 1440 dpi mode.

Conclusions

The Stylus Pro 9900 and 9890 meet the needs of those businesses requiring high-resolution, photographic quality prints. Both printers offer an expanded color gamut over the 9880, with the 9900 having the largest gamut. However, the 9890 should meet the needs of the vast majority of users, especially photographers and fine art printers. Both printers also offer improved print speeds over the Stylus Pro 9880. Keep in mind that print speeds are measured when the print head starts moving and when the print is finished. Total throughput times will vary based on RIP software, image size, resolution, and printer connection type.



Source by Sean P McGettigan

7 Reasons Why You Should Read Fiction

I'm a bit of an oddball amongst reporters, because I do not condemn the television set. On the contrary, I think everyone, and especially serious writers, should watch plenty of TV, including TV comedies and dramas, because the audio / visual format provides a perspective that you can not get from reading a novel. This flies in the face of the common rant, that TV is a scourge that should be eliminated from the entertainment landscape.

On the other hand, the recent trend has been to watch more TV and more movies and read less, and when one reads, to read non-fiction instead of fiction. The reasons given range from "Reading is hard" to "Novels are uninformative." But what most people do not realize is that the written word, and fiction in particular, provides benefits you can not get from other media. For example:

  1. Reading fiction can help you improve your people skills. A 2008 study by Raymond Mar found that people who read more fiction score higher on tests of empathy and social acumen, and that people who read more non-fiction score lower . This is due because through fiction, you experience the characters' social interactions and relationships in a way impossible with most non-fiction.
  2. Reading fiction stimulates the imagination. While reading fiction, your mind reconstructs each scene in much more detail than the author described it. It does so by visualizing the non-existent people and places of the story, often basing these visualizations on actual people and places you've seen. This is the human ability to imagine, to daydream, to speculate, to ponder. The ability to imagine separates us from other animals. It allows us to strategize, to plan, to reason, to learn, to create a better world than previously before.
  3. Books are cheaper hour-for-hour of entertainment than movies or DVD's. Especially in tight economic times, it makes sense to foster the enjoyment of written fiction. For the same amount a 2-hour movie or DVD costs, you can get a book that will entertain you for days, or weeks. Or you can borrow it from your local library for free.
  4. Reading relieves stress, and does not overstimulate like TV can. Most modern television programming is designed to capture your attention by constantly pinging your brain with abrupt sounds and transitions. This gears your brain up and creates stress. Research at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent. Or as cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis put it, "Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation ."
  5. Fiction allows us to enter into the narrative, imagine ourselves there, in ways that non-fiction can not. Even a biography is already finished before you begin reading it, because it's about a real person. Even if you do not know the specific history of a particular biographical figure, biographies are seldom written about losers, whereas the loser is the staple of the fictional story. Or as one English teacher from Wichita, Kansas put it, " Fiction's unknowability causes it to be a whole lot like life as we experience it."
  6. The mind absorbs new information most easily through stories. Humans are by nature story creatures, learning through experience and metaphor. Teaching through storytelling is a tradition as old as human thought itself. This is one reason why, even though fiction is about people who never exist and events that never happened, all fictional people and events are based on reality. As psychologists Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell explain in their book Dreaming Reality , "The reason that stories are so satisfying and illuminating is that they tap into the same process that nature uses for the transmission of knowledge."
  7. Reading, and reading fiction in particular, can make you a better speaker and writer. In modern times, communication skills are more important than ever. And because storytelling is such a key skill in transmitting knowledge, you will become a better communicator if you learn how to tell stories. And the best way to learn how to tell stories is to see them being told. In general, exposing yourself to the language, as happens when you read, will instinctively improve your own language and communication skills.

Still can not imagine yourself reading through a whole novel? Try the short story. Yes, the short story has been dying for some time, but that's because readers have been uninterested. Even so, classic and newly released short story collections continue to be published, and for the busy, 21'st-century citizen, the short story offers the benefits of fiction in bite-sized portions that he can more easily enjoy.

Fiction should be a staple of every person's lifestyle, because anyone who does not read it at least often is missing out on the benefits it offers.



Source by J. Timothy King

Translation: Is It a Science or an Art?

Translation is the interpretation of the meaning of a source text and the subsequent creation of an equivalent text in other words, transmission of information into another language.

This definition seems to explain accurately the essence of the so-called science. If you’re reading this, then probably you most likely either a written or oral translator and you have to understand this classic tackle that continually faces almost every translator: you understand the context of a source text, but you are not able to find the equivalent in your own language; you are also not allowed to change the context of a text and your main aim is to find the solution and find appropriate words in your native language.

From this point of view, everything depends on the text that is in front of you. Legal document or a patent must be translated with precision surgery, while at the same time sales presentations, marketing documents, as well as artworks must sound naturally on a target language.

To give a translation natural-sounding requires a certain linguistic skills, understanding of language and its processes. Translation can hardly be called a science, but it is rather the inner music of language, a stream of phrases that are connected into the text, with a precise set of terminology.

Someone still believes that translation must be considered as an exact science. They say that the main thing is professional skills and knowledge, but not a subtle perception or sense of language. The science alleges it is a properly prepared and trained mind that can easily transform one language to another – like a computer.

Translators can be divided into two groups: those who always use logic, concentrating on the original text, and those who do it with a sense, focusing on a language. It also applies to consecutive and simultaneous interpreters. There are technical translators who possess the ability to translate a technical text and make it sounds quite naturally and translators who literary translate the text that adhere to the original context and create a huge number of pages, hardly amenable to reading and understanding (the last statement applies in particular to translation of literary texts in Chinese or Japanese languages in Europe).

The process of translation and interpretation reflects how it is complex to transmit communication messages. And especially if you are doing interpretation, being a person who wants to facilitate communication and understanding between the two other people, you might want to translate something that was not said: the “hidden” meaning of words or something that someone did not say out loud, for example, because of uncertainty. Without exaggeration I can say that you, as an interpreter, can influence the fate of nations. A good example of what you’ll find in a novel by Javier Marias “White Heart» (A Heart So White). Read it if you are interested in the literature on translation activities.



Source by Sergii Litvinov

Positive Partial Reinforcement

At one point or another, we’ve all wondered, “Why is it that the people I’m interested in are not interested in me? And the people I ignore keep contacting me?” It would be statistically improbable, if not impossible, that every time you liked someone they didn’t feel the same and vice versa. So what’s really going on here? Is this some sick joke from the Universe?

I would like to introduce you to your new best friend when it comes to solving this dilemma and that is: Positive Partial Reinforcement (PPR). This is a psychological term where the reward is not granted every time the desired action is taken.

The effectiveness of PPR is the cornerstone of Vegas. People stay at the slots or tables because they are only rewarded at random intervals. If they were never rewarded, they would soon give up. If they were always rewarded, they would eventually get bored and move on.

In one experiment, a pigeon given a random reward for pecking a button over a one minute interval, continued pecking for over three hours without reward.

You naturally do this with the person you’re not interested in – you see them or talk to them when it’s convenient for you. You throw them a bone once in a while, but you don’t go out of your way for them. These are the people who end up being crazy about you. You are witnessing the effects of PPR.

However, the person you are interested in, you make yourself available for, talk to them for hours on the phone, return their texts immediately, etc. These are the people you always seem to have to work so hard to get!

It’s the things you’re doing, your behavior, which determines the other person’s interest level. So how can you apply PPR to the person you’re crazy about? Follow these simple rules:

AVAILABILITY- You can’t always be available. By always being available, you diminish your value. It’s human nature to not appreciate something that’s always there. When you like someone, you of course want to see them as much as possible, so you make yourself available – that’s the kiss of death! Do the opposite. This keeps him from being satiated and keeps him wanting – and that’s where you want them.

BEHAVIOR – Think of how you behave when you’re not really into someone and behave that way with the person you are into. When you don’t care, you take your time returning calls, texts and emails. Sometimes you even ignore the texts and emails and don’t respond. You may even get upset with them if they text too much!

ATTITUDE – When you like someone, your attitude is: I have to have this person. When you’re not that interested, you naturally hang back and have a wait and see attitude. You think: We’ll see what happens; maybe they’ll grow on me. It’s this attitude and the above behavior that makes you most attractive.

One thing people mess up is that they think they have to mistreat the other person. No!! While you want to practice limiting your availability, having a wait and see attitude and throwing doubt into the mix, you must treat the person well. People like you because of how they feel when they are with you. So compliment, appreciate and praise – just don’t seem too eager to seeing them.

People find this hard to do – they think the other will be mad if they turn them down or if they end the date early, whereas with the person they’re not interested in, they couldn’t care less if they get mad.

PPR is not an easy thing to do because you naturally want to see/talk to the one you like – it feels unnatural to avoid them, not see them and/or not talk to them every time they want to see or talk to you.

One way to make it easier on yourself is to see other people. Don’t tell me you can’t! If you want to improve your chances with the one you really want, then you absolutely have to do this.

You can stop using PPR once the one you want has declared their love for you. However, you can always bring it back, if you sense they are starting to take you for granted!



Source by Lucia Demasi

Hand-Made Personalized Anniversary Gifts – Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate a Relationship

Starting to think ahead about what to get your spouse as a gift for your next anniversary? There are lots of great options for creative gifts that will not only surprise your loved one but also allow you to show greater meaning; you just need to know where to look. Especially for anniversary occasions it seems most appropriate to find a personalized gift that can have special significance for a relationship — show renewed commitment and celebrate shared joy.

Consider working with an artist to create a personalized anniversary gift just for the two of you. There are many groups of artists on the Internet who specialize in different kinds of art and can use photos sent in by you to create something highly personalized. For example, an artist can paint an oil painting of a couple using a formal portrait photo as a reference, or create a more casual painting based on a snapshot from everyday life. Take a photo of a special moment in your shared past, and consult with the artist on what creative ways he or she can think of to create a highly personalized anniversary gift. Think your partner may be self-conscious about her appearance in the photo you’re considering? Mention that to the artist and he or she may be able to adjust the painting so it addresses your spouse’s concern, such as painting a person thinner, younger, with fuller hair, with a more flattering posture, or any of a number of changes. Remember, the photo is only a loose reference to tell the artist about you. The artist can then creatively adjust the painting to get just what you’ve imagined.

To get started, perform a search for personalized anniversary gifts and evaluate different artists. They’ll each have different specialities, so it makes sense to evaluate several different ones until you find one that suits your taste.



Source by Peter Burchhardt

Birthday Party Games – Three Emergency Last Second Tactics!

Some friends of mine were having a birthday party for their son a while back. They had carefully planned every aspect of the event. The food was a hit, the entertainer was professional, and everyone really got into the theme.

There was only one problem.

The games went quite a bit faster than anticipated. One game that they expected to last over fifteen minutes was over in less than three! When dealing with kids you’ve always got the element of surprise. It doesn’t matter how much planning you do, there’s always a curveball at the last second.

The parents weren’t supposed to be back to pick up everyone for another half hour. When the children ran out of things to do, they naturally got antsy. Mom and dad started giving each other terrified looks.

Fortunately, I was there to help. Here are two fun birthday party games that don’t require any equipment or preparation. They can be done at the last second and stretched out without getting boring. Keep these in your arsenal at all time just in case.

Heads Up! Seven Up!

Seven players stand in front of the group. The group sits down and closes their eyes. The seven in front go around and each touch one person. After seven people have been touched, the seven choosers go back to the front of the room. Then the seven would say “Heads up seven up” and each “touched” student gets one chance to guess which of the seven touched him/her. If they guess right then they get to change places with that person. If they did not guess right, then the same person gets to stay up do it again.

Grocery List A-Z

Start out by saying, “I went to the grocery store and bought apples.” Then ask the players to add to the list something bought at the grocery store that starts with the letter B such as “a brush”. The next player continues with the letter C and so forth all the way to Z. If a younger child can’t think of something, the adults and older kids can help.

Last but not least there’s one other emergency preparation that you should make before the party begins.

Have a Movie!

Stop by your local movie rental store and pick up a popular kids movie. If all else fails you can pop it in and the children will be entertained until their parents come to pick them up.

During the planning process you should prepare for any possible emergencies. Having these games (and a movie) on hand will save you from disaster in case things go wrong!



Source by Malachai Goodman

3 Reasons Why Americans Choose Mexico For Presbypopia LASIK Surgery

Presbypopia literally means “old eyes,” highlighting the fact that as we age our eyes become less flexible, making it more difficult to focus. This normally occurs between the ages of 40 and 50 and progresses through age 65. Initial symptoms typically include difficulty reading smaller print, leading to the use of reading glasses, bifocals, and trifocals.

The high cost of vision care and optical surgery in the United States has sent many people seeking treatment for their vision problems to medical travel agencies representing the largest private hospital network in Mexico where the price for high quality medical care is considerably more affordable for Americans.

In addition to wearing eyeglasses, there are several treatments for Presbypopia, including monovision LASIK (which leaves one eye suited for distance viewing and the other for close-up viewing); conductive Keratolasty (used to help one eye see better up close while the other eye remains untouched with a contact lens correcting distance sight); Surgical Reversal of Presbypopia (SRP) with Scleral Expansion Bands (SEBs); and refractive lens exchange (RLE), which entails replacing the natural lens with an artificial lens.

Innovative PresbyLASIK Procedure Approved In The U.S. In 2010, In Mexico NOW

One of the newest and most promising treatments for presbypopia is multifocal LASIK or PresbyLASIK. PresbyLASIK is a procedure currently in clinical trials in the U.S., but the procedure has been approved in Mexico and Europe. With multifocal or PresbyLASIK, different ‘zones’ are created on the surface of the cornea to correct vision at near, intermediate, and far ranges. With monovision LASIK correction for presbypopia, patients must use their eyes independently for seeing near or far; with PresbyLASIK, patients are able to focus naturally with both eyes on any object of any distance.

Although the multifocal PresbyLASIK procedure is not yet FDA-approved in the U.S., it is performed with state of the art VISX technology in Hospital Angeles Tijuana, just 15 minutes across the border from San Diego. Hospital Angeles is one of 20 technologically modern hospitals comprising the largest private hospital network in Mexico, and frequently hosts American medical travelers searching for affordable, high quality medical and surgical care.

Low Cost Of Medical Travel To Mexico Attracts Patients From Around The World

Surgical procedures and hospital stays in the most modern hospitals are available in Mexico for as little as one-third of the price paid in America. The U.S. nonprofit Medical Tourism Association reports in its survey of American medical travelers (estimated at more than 500,000 per year) that the great majority are enthusiastic repeat customers and referrals of the state-of-the-art private hospitals and medical centers of Mexico where they received their surgerical procedures. While private Mexican hospitals are every bit as modern as famous U.S. hospitals, they typically cost less than half as much as their American counterparts do. Although Angeles Hospitals feature identically sophisticated equipment and resources, the U.S. healthcare system has higher costs associated with medical education, training, insurance, and facility construction. Costs are driven up even further by the U.S. healthcare insurance industry. The net savings to the Mexico medical travel patient working with a medical travel, Mexico, agency is often quite substantial, from 50-75% less than U.S. medical and hospital costs.

Convenience And Savings

With the help of a medical travel, Mexico, agency, getting to the right hospital is easy. There are 20 hospitals in major metro areas throughout Mexico with direct flights from most major American cities. Most medical travelers have easy access to inexpensive flights in and out of Mexico on a daily basis, which makes affordability an appealing option when long wait times are added to the sky-high prices of medical and surgical care in the U.S.

Because Presbypopia LASIK surgery can be performed on American medical travelers over the period of a weekend (flights, procedure, and hotel inclusive), the savings are high for this type of medical travel package for Americans. The innovative procedure implemented on the latest VISX technology, costs less than $5,000 (both eyes), while the procedure is expected to debut in the U.S. at $10,000-$15,000 or more. According to the Medical Tourism Association survey of medical travelers, patients engaging in medical travel to Mexico frequently enjoy tourism time, including fine dining, relaxed shopping, and resort beaches; more than 8 in 10 said they would definitely choose medical travel, Mexico, as a solution again in the future.

Mexico Meets And Exceeds Current Medical Standards

While many people know Mexico offers gorgeous beaches, delicious food, lively music, stellar golf, and excellent deep-sea fishing, in the past decade Mexico has rapidly become widely known for quality, affordable medical care. Even the most sophisticated medical and surgical care in Mexico is typically one-third the cost of the same medical care in the United States. After factoring in travel-related expenses, U.S. medical travel patients realize considerable savings by …

The Pros And Cons Of An Open Mind

An open mind is good thing – most of the time. New ideas, new experience, increased knowledge, personal and professional growth, better relationships and an overall positive approach to life are just a few of the benefits of having an open mind. However, there are some pitfalls. Like an open window or an open door in which bugs can enter the home, an open mind is susceptible to litter, junk, lies and deceptions, false information and misdirection. The open mind, like an open window, needs a screen to keep the bugs out. The mental screen is called “discrimination.” It is an attribute everyone has. Discrimination is the capacity to see differences. Like any tool, discrimination can be used wisely or foolishly, for good or for bad. Unless we want our open mind filled with all kinds of non-sense, we must learn to differentiate between what is of genuine value and what is junk. You might say that our discriminative capacity is like an email spam filter. We can set the parameters to filter out the junk and let in the useful information. Generally, what is important to us is considered useful and gets through. What is important to you? An open mind, with a screen to prevent the bugs from entering, or a spam filter to block the junk, is a wonderful thing.

The open mind is also susceptible to a lack of conviction. Too many conflicting ideas can enter an open mind and cause indecision. It is necessary now and then to close the mind, disallow any more input, make a decision and act. Perhaps more important than having an open mind is having a mind that is capable of being open – or closed. We need a mind with hinges – well lubricated and in good working order. The hinges of our mind is our ability to decide. We can decide to accept or reject information. We can decide to consider a point of view or not. We can decide to open or close the window. A home would become cold and drafty if the doors and windows could not be closed now and then. But, it would be awfully stuffy if they could not be opened. We simply decide to open or close the window – or the mind. But, our decision must be made from intelligence and reason, not emotional reactions. An emotionally reactive person would likely open the doors and windows during a blizzard – or close the mind to beneficial information.It’s the mind that remains closed that prevents creative growth.

It’s the closed mind that stated in the late 1870’s that the telephone had too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a communication device or in the early 1970’s that no one would ever want a computer in their home. Charles Duell, the Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents in 1899 said “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” In 1981, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, said “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” Even the most visionary person may close their mind to possibilities. Perhaps there is a bit more effort in keeping the mind open, just as smiling requires a little more muscle movement. But, the results of a smile are so often rewarding – and the fruits of an open mind can be very enriching. Despite the predictions of “experts” quoted above, it appears the mind will strive to be open and will move forward into new experiences hitherto thought unavailable or unreachable.

Ultimately, the cons of an open mind can be dealt with and the pros of an open mind are too important to neglect. As Charles Kettering, the American engineer and inventor said, “Where there is an open mind, there will be a frontier.” Living as we do on the verge of global catastrophes, we need a frontier. We need a vision of a better future, and a path towards that future. For that, we will need an open mind.



Source by Ken Fields

To Paint Or Not to Paint Your Teak Bench

Do not paint a teak bench. This is the easy way out, and almost universal answer to the question. Teak furniture is a worthwhile investment that goes great in the backyard, in the home or wherever it is needed. The durable and long-lasting Class 1 hardwood ranges from a light straw color to deeper and richer hues. Because of its admirable characteristics, it usually costs a bit more than other types of wood, but customers know they are getting a good buy for their money. That said, why would anyone try to cover up a teak bench with paint or stain? The reality is, if furniture is scratched up, old or just in general disrepair, the prospect of a fresh coat of paint could sound really appealing and sometimes be the best option. Before breaking out the brush, though, make sure you know what you are doing. A botched foray into painting will only leave wood looking worse than when you started.

However, in addition to simply covering up beautiful grain and color of the wood, painting a teak bench is discouraged for a more logistical reason. The reason? Teak is notoriously hard to paint because the wood produces natural oils which make the adhesion of paint much more difficult. On the positive side, these oils help keep the wood from splitting and cracking, as well as repel fungus and insect infestations.

If you still insist on going ahead with the project, you will need to first clean off the surface of the wood. An already finished surface will need to be wiped off with mineral spirits to remove grease, wax or other grime. If the wood is unfinished or you decide to strip off the finish, you will need to clean the wood with acetone. The acetone breaks down the natural oils. Failure to do so will not allow the primer to stick properly. Next, use mild sandpaper or a scotchbrite pad to smooth the exterior surface. Once the wood is clean and even, apply a coat of primer, like Zinsser 123 for example. Allow the primer to fully dry, which usually takes a day or so, before proceeding to the paint. Try to only use outdoor latex paints. Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore are probably the two most popular brands on the market. Using a semi-gloss or gloss paint is best for keeping away dirt. Whatever you choose, apply one even coat to your teak bench, then let that set. After it has dried fully, administer a second coat of paint. The more coats you apply, the stronger the color will come through, and especially with teak being such an absorbent wood, you may even want to use three coats.

Now you will be finished, and hopefully achieved the results you were after. Unfortunately, even those who are extra careful can find the results of painting a teak bench disappointing. Paint, especially after a time has a tendency to peel or even scar the wood, and tricky teak is especially known for this. Before you try your hand at painting, the best course of action is to consult a specialist at your local hardware and garden store who can best recommend a product for your specific case.

So should you paint a teak bench? The answer is still yes and no. If you do a good job with it, painting can breathe new life into otherwise old and dilapidated furniture. Also, with the countless paint colors available, you have the benefit of being able to match furniture with other décor. In conclusion, painting depends on what you own. New teak furniture really does not benefit from being painted. You are just covering up the natural beauty of the wood, which you probably paid more for, anyway. When purchasing new furniture, just use a sealant once to twice a year to protect it. The natural oils in the wood will help your teak bench continue to look great on its own, with little maintenance necessary.



Source by Tonya Kerniva

What Happened In The UK In 1996?

Breaking 1996 down into the biggest news, sports and entertainment events; here’s what happened…

Two tragedies hit the hearts of Britons in 1996, the nation’s sympathies going out to the people of Dunblane and Manchester. In Dunblane, a crazed gunman went on a shooting spree in at a local infant school, killing an entire class and their teacher. Later in the year, as a direct response to those ill-fated events, the Government announced that it would be outlawing almost all handguns in the UK.

In Manchester, a huge bomb devastated its busy central shopping area just as it was filling up with eager Saturday shoppers. Police managed to start an evacuation before it blew up but scores of people were still killed or injured in the blast. Such was the damage caused, that the episode led to a total regeneration of Manchester city centre.

Also hitting the news in ’96 was the introduction of the first genetically modified (or GM) food to go on sale in British supermarkets. Modified tomato puree was the cause of all the fuss with some critics dubbing it a “Frankenstein food”.

The world of sport was dominated by England’s hosting of the European football championships (Euro ’96). The England v Scotland group stage match drew much attention with Gazza’s wonder goal eventually stealing the win for the home team. Cheered on by home support, the ‘Three Lions’ made it all the way to the semi-finals, the nation going football crazy as it looked as if England were really going to win a major tournament for the first time since ’66, then, as really should have been expected, they lost on penalties to Germany.

Entertainment wise, carrot topped Chris Evans re-invented the chat show format with his hit show ‘TFI Friday’.Presenting celebrity gossip, the hippest bands and lad friendly guests, this unscripted, chaotic program briefly made Evans the most sought after man on TV. Over on the BBC, a group of thirty-something lawyers were gaining huge ratings; ‘This Life’ being a bit like the American ‘Friends’ but with much more ‘bad’ behaviour and saucy goings on.

The big screen was blessed with one of the jewels of the British film-making crown, ‘Trainspotting’. Despite featuring heroin, needles, vomit and disgusting toilet bowls, this was the coolest thing of the year and took Ewan McGregor from nowhere to ‘Star Wars’. The more family friendly film of 1996 was ‘Toy Story’; it being the first feature length movie ever to be animated entirely by computer. The results were quite stunning and people flocked to see ‘Woody’ (a pull-string cowboy) and ‘Buzz Lightyear’ (a high-tech space ranger) battle it out to become little Andy’s favourite toy.



Source by Mark Thomas Walters

10 Ways to Make Money With Body Painting

Are you considering making a living (or at least a little money on the side) doing body painting? Is it even possible to make a living doing body painting? Yes, you can make good money as a ‘pro’ body painter, and even kids as young as twelve have made good money (like $500-$400 in an afternoon) doing simple painting techniques like airbrushed temporary tattoos at fairs and festivals.

It may be difficult to believe that there are so many different ways to make money doing body painting. I know that when I first discovered the art of body painting, I thought maybe you could make some temporary money at a party or fair. But there are many, many more possibilities, as you will see.

Here are just 10 of the ways you could get paid to do body painting:

1. Doing body painting at parties. You could hire yourself for a night or a day and get paid either by the hour or a flat fee for the event.

2. Painting party-goers before they go to a party or event. Themed or holiday parties would be a good opportunity for this. Make sure you mention that you could body paint their friends, too!

3. As a professional body painter for the theatre. You could do one show for a discount to get in the door and get some recognition, if you don’t have a track record yet.

4. Travel with the circus as their ‘in house’ makeup artist.

5. Become the official body painter for a dance company. Again, you could work for a low fee or even free to get in the door.

6. Face painting alone opens up several opportunities: parties, festivals, fairs, and special events all are possible places for you to set up shop. Just make sure (as with all these options) that you are using proper, non-allergenic paints meant for face painting alone.

7. Special events like graduations, celebrations, fundraisers, and reunions.

8. Sports events: painting fans in their team colors and symbols has had a long tradition.

9. Festivals around the world. There are several festivals specifically for body painting around the world, but there are many more that would be a great place for body painting. Look up the festivals in your area and find out how to become a vendor and what their requirements and rules are.

10. Teach others how to do body painting. You could hold a one-time workshop, give ongoing group classes or even do an online body painting course (as I am doing).

I hope this gives you some good ideas about how you could make money as a body painting artist. Maybe you have even thought of some ways that I didn’t include…great! Choose one method, research what you need to do to get started, and go for it!

Bonus Tip:

Here’s a secret hint…as you are considering one of the possibilities above. Don’t choose what you think would make you the most money…choose what you think you would happiest and best at doing. You will always make more doing something you love doing, in the long run!



Source by Jodina Meehan

Top Ten Reasons David Letterman Always Wears White Sox

There are three talk shows that I watch on television, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (I now also watch The Colbert Report. with Stephen Colbert.)

Stewart comes on too late for me, but I can catch it several times the next day along with Colbert.

In our area, Leno starts at 10:35 p.m. and Letterman comes on at 11:05 p.m. Why they come on at these times instead of 10:00 and 11:00 is a mystery to me. I would just like to say that it really tees me off. I guess I’m picky, picky!

Jay Leno

I watch Leno the first half hour of his show and then Letterman the first half hour of his show.

Sometimes I change back and forth. Clickity, Click!

I usually don’t stay up for the second half of Letterman unless he has a guest that hits it off with me.

Leno has (do not put derogatory remark here) writers. His jokes sometimes stink. But he has that funny little-boy humor that gets him through the monologue. Occasionally, all the jokes are funny, but not that often. When he finds a stinker, he points it out as being just that, and usually gets a laugh.

It’s the albatross around his neck.

At times, Leno’s orchestra leader, Kevin, saves him during the dialogue. Kevin sometimes destroys him. Leno is a good sport and shakes it off.

I don’t think there is enough malice, selfishness, anger, etc., in Leno to make him a great comic, but he usually gets the job done.

Sometimes the show’s skits come off and some times they don’t, but I like skits and hope for the best.

Sometimes he has a report from outside by a person who might be funny. He had a couple of young ladies a couple of years ago who were fun to watch. I think they are now raising babies, one in Oklahoma.

His recent reports have not been as funny.

There is a rule in the business that says:

If it’s not funny, it’s too damned long!

Okay!

There is NO such rule!

I made it up.

I was just trying to show that I’m an expert on this subject.

Leno is not nosy enough or interested enough in his quest to be a good interviewer. He never gets you into the nuts and bolts of his guest.

Leno could be more effective if he would simply say to a guest, “Let’s see. You were born in Kentucky?”

Or,

“I heard that you wanted to be a chiropracter when you were a little kid.”

He likes to sniff the women and say they are pretty. (Letterman does this “sniffing” too, but in a less intrusive way.)

I like it when Jay has animals. He is very good with them. He always goes beyond what is required.

He is also good when his fellow comedians come on. That is his bailiwick stemming from his continuous standup comedy routines off set.

His sidewalk interviews and headlines are always worth watching.

He is the King of the late night with a big audience.

David Letterman

David Letterman is an old man with a young child. He has had coronary bypass surgery. We know he is human.

Letterman doesn’t rely on the monologue. He tells two or three jokes, one about rats or squirrels and their nuts, and that is that. Orchestra leader, Paul, like Kevin on the Leno show, adlibs and either screws up or reinforces the monologue.

Letterman cant wait to get to his table and from that point you don’t know what will happen.

Letterman uses facial and verbal antics to get attention. He throws pencils and cards around the studio. The other night a flaming man ran through the studio as did the New York Marathon winners. He had a bear that they put away every night which is now in hibernation. He plays “Will it Float,” drops things off buildings, fools around with the diner owner across the street, and sometimes terrorizes the neighborhood by jumping motorcycles in the street.

Letterman talks to the audience much as Leno does, but he has “Know Your Cuts of Meat,” etc., to add interest. Sometimes his guest has a trick or tries to fool the band with a song.

I have a song that I want to trick the band with. It’s “Once I Went in Swimmin’.”

Letterman is a very good interviewer but not as good as Jack Paar or Johnny Carson. He has deeper questions than Leno. I have only seen him dumbfounded by one quest. (Paris Hilton seems to have something missing that helps most people to answer questions rather than just sitting there saying, Duhhhh.)

Letterman never forgets his …

Welding Jobs: Ideas You Can Use At Home To Make Money Welding (No Boss While You Make $100,000)

What if you could make $100,000 a year welding from home?

What if you could make even an extra $500 a month from home, using your current skills? If you are a welder with basic welding skills and you are between jobs or you are being under paid in your current job, it might be worth your time to read this article – let’s think outside the box for just a minute on how you can make money welding from home.

From Home Welding # 1:

Teaching or tutoring any skill is a very profitable business. In any town of any size you’ll see at least one tutoring business in a strip mall brick and mortar location. In that same town will be at least a dozen other tutors working from home, making good money.

Yes, most of the time they are tutoring math and reading to students. Lean back and think about what skills you have that can also be used in a tutoring business you can set up and milk cash from, like milk from a cow.

Let’s say you are good enough with TIG to weld razor blades or pop can butts.

If you can teach a non welder to operate a TIG torch good enough to go on and practice on their own at their home in about 3 hours of your hands on theirs – they will pay up to $100 an hour for 3 hours of TIG instruction. Just 2 students a day would bring you $100,000 a year. If you think I’m kidding I’m NOT! There are many reasons why education is so valuable – and that includes intense, focused tutoring in welding.

6G pipe welding is the highest paid of all welding certifications – most 6G welders make $100k to $300k a year – and demand is crazy. However, if you are a 6G welder and you want to stay home, you can set up and teach 6G in your garage. Let’s say you do this with 7 students, each paying you $10,000 for a 3 month course. Yes, they will pay it – especially if you show them how they will have more time with your hand on theirs (the #1 secret to learning 6G fast).

From Home Welding # 2:

I was in Palm Springs the other day. I have been in and around the trades for 30 years… and when you see a tradesman’s truck and it is late model without dents or many scratches, clean, organized and well equipped, it means (99% of the time) that guy is making money.

I pulled up to a light behind just such a truck – “Joe’s BBQ Service and Repair.” That’s it – that is all Joe does. He will weld cast aluminum or steel. He’ll clean and polish. He’ll replace a burner or a control. OR he’ll buy your old unit and sell / or sell you a new one.

Yes, you need a town with a lot of high end BBQs. Other than that, go get it.

From Home Welding # 3:

Large steel cut outs. In art of all kinds, size matters. For example, 20 years ago we purchased two 4′ long coat racks – each is a piece of 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 1/8″ angle 4′ long with 6 horse shoes welded to the angle to hang the coats.

On the horizontal surface of the angle is welded a scene made of 7 horse and 7 tree cut-outs. We paid $185 for each of these 20 years ago… that would be about $300 a piece in today’s dollars.

The problem with you making these is that the 14 cut outs on each unit are too small too many to cut by hand – you need a computerized plasma table to make these.

Here is where the magic of size makes all the difference.

The artist who drew the cut outs on our coat rack was good. Each of the 7 horses is different and beautiful, as well as the trees. Any – or all of these – cut outs can be scaled up with chalk onto a sheet of say 4′ x 8′ x 3/16″ steel. Now, all you need is a plasma or an oxy torch to create the large version.

What would a horse cut from a 4′ x 8′ sheet sell for?

$300 to $700. It would depend on where you are and how you market it. Marketing is a large part of any business. Good marketing is not hard – you can do it.

You can see, if you could get a “business pipe” full of inventory and sales and you were delivering 2 horses a day, you could easily make $100k. The other major opportunity with big cut outs is gates. The …