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The Power and Freedom of Consumer Choice

That moment when you’re kicking back in your hotel room with the laptop booting up in your lap, the screen glowing and the friendly Netflix logo bouncing into view. Your pupils dilate. Your pulse quickens. You’re about to get what you want; hours of streaming digital entertainment that you’ve been looking forward to do for hours. After a long flight to Canada from Los Angeles it’s all that you were looking forward to; finishing up Gotham when suddenly – content unavailable! This is why you’re wasting time Googling Netflix USA instead of watching your show because some jerk over at the studio demanded Netflix pay extra to stream in Canada and they decided not to pay it.

I’ve always wondered why shows cycle in and out like they do for certain areas. I’ve never understood it, or had to deal with it, until now.

3D Animation / Graphic Design Job Description

Graphic design and 3-D animation blend art with technology to communicate informative, entertaining and inspiring ideas. Graphic design focuses on creating visual concepts for brochure, advertisement and magazine layouts, while 3-D animation focuses on creating three-dimensional virtual objects for use in digital products. These professions are ideal for individuals with strong artistic abilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for graphic designers was $44,150 as of May 2012. The median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $61,370 as May 2012.

Many graphic designers and 3-D animators work for advertising agencies.

Doing the Work

  • Superior creative skills play a key role in the effectiveness of 3-D animators and graphic designers. They must create visual concepts and ideas than can engage and appeal to consumers of their products. These professionals also require strong computer skills and a deep knowledge of design and animation software to formulate ideas and prepare their products. In addition, they need time-management skills to plan their time well and beat tight deadlines. Because graphic designers and 3-D animators may work in teams — especially when working on large projects — they need good communication skills to confer effectively with project staff and clients.

Animating Objects

  • The main responsibility of 3-D animators is to create virtual objects that can move and rotate like real-life objects in movies, music videos and computer games. In the production of an animated movie, for example, 3-D animators may capture an actor’s movements to create computer generated images, which they can manipulate to make animated scenes. These animators can also manipulate light, texture and color to create 3-D drawings and illustrations for product labels and presentations.

Developing Designers

  • Graphic designers are responsible for the overall look of a website, ad, magazine or brochure. They might create the images to appear on the front cover of a magazine and select the size, font, color and length of headlines, heading and texts. They might also present statistical data in the form of visual graphs, images and tables. In advertising, graphic designers create designs for company logos and product illustrations.

Getting There

  • Employers of graphic designers and 3-D animators prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees. Aspiring graphic designers can earn bachelor’s degrees in graphic, computer or multimedia design, while 3-D animators can secure bachelor’s degrees in 3-D animation or closely-related fields. Individuals with degrees in other disciplines, such as education, can pursue certificate programs in graphic design or animation to enter these professions. A master’s degree in fine arts, combined with vast work experience and a strong portfolio, can help 3D animators and graphic designers secure large and high profile projects and break into multimedia management positions.

Calligraphy in Islamic Art

Tile with Arabic inscription, Iran, about 1215. Museum no. 1481-1876

Tile with Arabic inscription, Iran, about 1215. Museum no. 1481-1876

The development of sophisticated calligraphy as an art form is not unique to Islamic culture. Other examples include Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and illuminated bibles from north-west Europe including the famous Book of Kells. In the Islamic world, however, calligraphy has been used to a much greater extent and in astonishingly varied and imaginative ways, which have taken the written word far beyond pen and paper into all art forms and materials. For these reasons, calligraphy may be counted as a uniquely original feature of Islamic art. The genius of Islamic calligraphy lies not only in the endless creativity and versatility, but also in the balance struck by calligraphers between transmitting a text and expressing its meaning through a formal aesthetic code.

The Arabic language, and subsequently the art of calligraphy, is held in great esteem by Muslims because Arabic was the language in which the Qu’ran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. The Arabic text of the Qu’ran is sacred to Muslims, and its high status gave rise to an associated respect for books in general. However, it is important to remember that while the Qu’ran’s holy status provides an explanation for calligraphy’s importance, by no means all Arabic calligraphy is religious in content. In general, calligraphic inscriptions on works of art comprise one or more of the following types of text:

  • Qu’ranic quotations
  • other religious texts
  • poems
  • praise for rulers
  • aphorisms

These types of text can be seen across all art forms.

Since Muhammad’s time, Arabic has become a great world language, used over a huge area as a language of religion, government, commerce, literature and science. In time, the letters of the Arabic script, with the addition of a few new letter forms, were also used to write in Persian, Turkish and other languages, as well as Arabic.

Leaf from the Qur'an, Middle East, 800-900. Museum no. Circ.161-1951Leaf from the Qu’ran, Middle East,

800-900. Museum no. Circ.161-1951

How the scripts developed

Although many dialects of Arabic were spoken in pre-Islamic times, and some are known to have been written down, most literature was transmitted orally. The Qu’ran, too, was preserved by oral transmission until after the Prophet’s death when it was recorded in written form. This required that the Arabic script be standardised. We know that the standard form of script was in use by the end of the 7th century. It was employed, for example, on the first surviving monument of Islamic architecture, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, built in AD 691. The new writing also appeared on the coins minted for Muhammad’s successors, the caliphs. Both the Dome of the Rock and early Islamic coinage use Qu’ranic quotations to declare Islam as the new monotheistic faith.

Dish with inscription in floriated Kufic script, Iran or Uzbekistan, 900-1000. Museum no. C.66-1967

Dish with inscription in floriated Kufic
script, Iran or Uzbekistan, 900-1000.
Museum no. C.66-1967

The first formal calligraphic style is called the Kufic style after the city of Kufah in Iraq. It was used in many early Qur’an manuscripts and for inscriptions, including those at the Dome of the Rock. Confusingly, the same name is also commonly used for a second major group of script styles, which came to prominence in the 10th century. These new, more angular styles came to include many fanciful variants such as foliated Kufic (decorated with curling leaf shapes) and floriated Kufic (decorated with flower forms). This second group of Kufic styles was used in contexts as varied as Qu’ran manuscripts, coinage, architectural inscriptions and the decoration of ceramics.

While this second type of Kufic was being developed in the Middle East, probably in Baghdad, a new style was developed far to the west, in Muslim-ruled Spain or Morocco. The Arabic name for this western region is al-Maghrib, and so the new style was called Maghribi. Some calligraphers in the region still use this Maghribi style today. In the Eastern Islamic world, however, the Kufic styles had more or less died out by the 13th century, replaced by the range of more rounded styles in use now.

Bowl, Iran or Uzbekistan, 900-1000. Museum no. C.47-1964

Bowl, Iran or Uzbekistan, 900-1000.
Museum no. C.47-1964

It may be that the new, more fluid styles developed in the East because paper had replaced parchment and papyrus as the main medium for important manuscripts and documents. The surface of the paper could be sized (coated with starch) and rubbed with a stone until extremely smooth and glossy. The pen moved over this surface with great ease. (Parchment continued to be used until a much later date in the Maghrib).

Another factor was the type of pen used, which was made from a reed. The nib was made by cutting the end of the reed with a knife. Different effects could be achieved by cutting the nib in different ways. The later, rounded scripts were written with a nib cut at an oblique angle, which allowed the calligrapher to create both thick and thin lines, adding elegance and variety to the script. The width of the pen was also important: wider nibs were needed for larger script so that the width of the line stayed in proportion to the overall size of the writing.


Alif image

A system of proportion based on the width of the nib also determined the shapes of the individual letters, and the relative sizes of the letters in a line of writing. The letter Alif, for example, consists essentially of a single vertical stroke. In one style, it is only three times as high as it is wide, while in another it is seven times as high. The letter Alif is therefore far more prominent in the second style and contributes to its overall appearance. Variations were allowed to take account of the different contexts a letter might occur in, and there was also flexibility in the length of the ligatures, or joins between the letters. This was important because the Arabic script is always cursive, or joined-up, and never has separate letters, as in printed English.

Another basic ingredient in the formation of a style was the nature of the base line. In many scripts, the imaginary line on which the letters were written was strictly horizontal. In others, each new group of letters began above the base line and then sloped downwards to the left to meet it. Arabic script, unlike English, reads right to left. These ‘hanging’ scripts were originally devised as a security feature in official documents, because the ‘hanging’ groups could be placed very close together to prevent unauthorised additions. Later, though, this feature was used in other contexts because it was considered elegant.

Materials and techniques

Designs with calligraphy were created out of many different materials. Yet calligraphy often imitates the technical effects of pen on paper, even when it appears on other media. It is possible to see, for example, the graceful range from thick to thin line and the square shape of superscript dots written with a square-cut pen nib. Artists often made their designs by copying from prepared templates written out (on to paper) by a calligrapher.

Ink on parchment

Before the invention of paper, vellum or parchment was the highest quality writing material available. It is made from prepared animal hide. A reed pen, with the tip cut at an angle and filled with ink, would have been used. Writing on vellum can be erased or altered.

Ink on paper

The calligraphy would have been created using a reed pen and ink directly onto starched and polished paper, which provided an excellent smooth surface for writing.


The calligraphy tile pictured below was deeply carved with the inscriptions (and plant designs) and covered with coloured glazes, before the final firing. This technique was used in Central Asia only for a brief period, from around 1350 to the early 1600s.


The letters were carved and then painted. In the image below the paint has now mostly worn off though you can still see some traces remaining.

Leaf from the Qur'an, Middle East, 800-900. Museum no. Circ.161-1951

Leaf from the Qur’an, Middle East, 800-900. Museum no. Circ.161-1951

Detail of page from the Zafar Nama epic, Iran, 1500-1600. Museum no. E.2138-1929

Detail of page from the Zafar Nama epic, Iran, 1500-1600. Museum no. E.2138-1929

Tile Fragment, Bukhara, about 1359. Museum no. 971-1901

Tile fragment, Bukhara, about 1359. Museum no. 971-1901

Detail from wooden panel with Arabic inscription, Spain or Morocco, 1150-1250. Museum no. 378A-1907

Detail from wooden panel with Arabic inscription, Spain or Morocco, 1150-1250. Museum no. 378A-1907

Stained glass

This window pictured below is made from small pieces of glass of different colours, which have been arranged in patterns within a plaster framework.


The weaver of the silk from Muslim Spain has accurately reproduced the flowing lines of a written inscription in Arabic, a task requiring enormous care in the design. The phrase ‘Glory to our lord the sultan’ has been repeated within the widest band in the design, creating the illusion of a long frieze of calligraphy.

Enamelled glass

The lamp was made by blowing hot glass into shape and then leaving it to cool. The enamel colours and gilding were then painted on – the enamel was a solution of colours and ground glass that melted and fused on to the lamp when it was reheated in a kiln. The blown glass would have been decorated with enamel and gilt, possibly using fine brushes.


Metalworkers chiselled out tiny areas of the brass surface and filled them with pieces of silver and gold. They added details by chasing the surfaces of the softer inlaid metals with a hammer and tools and adding a black filler to create contrast. The casket pictured below has a strip of calligraphy around the sides and on the lid.

Window with the Shahadah, the Muslim profession of faith, carved stucco and coloured glass, Egypt, 1800-80. Museum no. 1202-1883

Window with the Shahadah, the Muslim profession of faith, carved stucco and coloured glass, Egypt, 1800-80. Museum no. 1202-1883

Silk with Arabic inscription, silk and metal-wrapped thread in lampas weave, Spain, 1300-1400. Museum no. 830-1894
Mosque lamp, gilt and enamelled glass, Egypt or Syria, 1340. Museum no. 1056-1869

Silk with Arabic inscription, silk and metal-wrapped thread in lampas weave, Spain, 1300-1400. Museum no. 830-1894

Mosque lamp, gilt and enamelled glass, Egypt or Syria, 1340. Museum no. 1056-1869

Casket, brass, with inlaid gold and silver, Iran, 1300-1350. Museum no. 459-1873

Casket, brass with inlaid gold and silver, Iran, 1300-1350. Museum no. 459-1873

Decorating calligraphy

As well as being written with great elegance, there were many ways in which calligraphy could be enhanced by adding decoration. The words themselves could be written in gold, or in colours other than black. Letters and words could also be outlined or could lie against a background pattern. In addition, calligraphers combined different sizes, colours and styles of text for different phrases or sections of text (but always sticking to the rules of proportionality within each section). These Qu’ran folios show how calligraphers could make functional details of formatting and punctuation into beautifully designed elements.

Notice that the decorated frames and background patterns do not interfere with the clarity of the script, or distract from the content of the text. This is very important because the Qu’ran is considered to be the word of God.

How to Antique Brass

New brass is a shiny golden color, but over time it darkens and takes on a green, brown, or reddish patina. If you prefer the appearance of older brass, there are several ways to hasten or imitate aging. Read on to discover which method to select for your purposes, and how to prepare your brass beforehand to ensure the antiquing process works.

Preparing the Brass

Make sure the object is brass. Some other metals look similar to brass, but will respond differently to these aging methods. The wrong treatment could corrode your object, so take your object to an antique shop or other expert if you can’t identify it yourself.

  • Clean brass has a bright, golden brown appearance. The most similar metals in appearance are copper, which is brown or pink-brown, and bronze, which is a much darker brown.[1]
  • Brass is slightly magnetic, but should only respond noticeably to a powerful magnet. If a small magnet sticks firmly to the surface, you probably have an object made from a different metal, then plated with a thin layer of brass.

Learn what to do if your object is not brass. If your object is only brass-plated, try using a gentle treatment such as vinegar or salt water, as harsher materials may corrode through the thin brass layer. If you are trying to age copper, see these linked instructions. To antique bronze, purchase a “bronze ager” and follow the Using Antiquing Solution method.

If the brass is lacquered, remove it with nail polish remover. Lacquer is a clear, hard, protective finish that prevents the brass from oxidizing, which is the aging process you’re trying to encourage or imitate. Apply the nail polish remover, also known as acetone, to the object to strip off the lacquer.[2]

  • Wear rubber gloves and work in a ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Let small objects soak in the acetone.
  • Use a paintbrush to brush the chemical onto large objects. Be sure to coat every corner of the object.
  • Methyl alcohol, paint remover, or lacquer thinner will also do the job.

Pour hot water over the object after treating it with nail polish remover. Wait a few minutes or until the lacquer is peeling off or dissolving into goo. Wash the object in hot water to remove the lacquer

  • Check to make sure there is no remaining lacquer. Modern brass objects are often protected with tough lacquer that can take several attempts to remove entirely.

f there is a thin protective film or no finish at all, wash with gentler materials.If the object feels greasy or has a thin layer of polish on it, you can probably clean it with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol or a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. For completely untreated brass, a thorough wash with soap and water should be enough to prepare it for antiquing.

  • Wear gloves even when using these skin-safe cleaning products, since oils from your hand can get on the brass and prevent the antiquing effect from taking place evenly.

Dry completely before continuing. Do not begin the antiquing process until the brass is completely dry. A hair dryer, propane torch, or oven can speed up this process.

  • Be cautious when applying heat to a brass object that recently had its lacquer removed. If you missed a piece of lacquer, it could catch on fire or release fumes. Dry the brass in a well-ventilated area with no flammable objects nearby.
  • You can now use any of the methods described below. If you’re unsure which to use, read the first step of each one to learn the benefits of each option.


What Is Digital Media Art?

Artistic expression has evolved through the ages of human civilization based on the tools we have at hand. Ten thousand years ago our ancestors painted on cave walls with natural pigments. Early Mediterranean peoples in Crete painted frescoes on the walls of their palaces. The development of art has progressed throughout the course of human history. The advent of computers and software art programs has simply created yet another set of canvases and tools through which artists can express themselves

This is an example of fractal art

Digital Media

  • According for the Centre for Digital Media in Canada, “media experiences made possible by the advent of primarily computer-mediated digital technologies” belong to category of media experiences known as Digital Media. In other words, Digital Media includes any picture, music file, video game or website produced using computerized or digital technology.

Digital Art

  • Works of Art which are created using computerized or digital technologies also belong to the Digital Media family. This Digital Media Art, or Digital Art as it is commonly called, presents itself everywhere in our society. The clip art used in printed fliers, the emergence of digital photography and the development of photopainting all serve as examples of Digital Art.

Digital Photography

  • According to the digital artist behind WithDigitalEyes, digital art falls into three formats: Digital photography, digital painting and fractals. Digital Photography involves the use of photographs, whether digital or from film, and computerized technology. “The artist uses image editing and special effects software to perform darkroom type manipulations.” Photopainting represents another form of Digital Photography, one that involves using painting software that allows the artist to infuse the picture with additional artistic expression.

Digital Painting

  • Works of art created completely within the bounds of computerized digital technology and image editing or painting software represent works of Digital Painting, the second main format of Digital Art. Images produced wholly within the computer environment may present as either two-dimensional or three-dimensional pictures, depending on the artist’s intent. According to SurrealPixelStudo, this form of art includes “hand-illustrated artwork which has been created by drawing brushstrokes with a pressure sensitive pen onto an electronic canvas, called a tablet.”


  • The third main form of digital art involves the use of mathematical algorithms to create fractal images involving repeating patterns of geometric shapes. According to Fractalus, a FractalArt FAQ website, Fractal art “seeks to reflect and emphasize the eternal expressions of order and chaos that permeates Nature’s structures and behaviors as well as the intricacies of humanity through the use of self-similar patterns and shapes.”

Watch College Pigskin Online – Its Simple To Anticipate Free

If you’ve purchased a Wii recently, you’re most likely not even associated with what a powerful gaming system you receive. This console does things you’re probably not even associated with. All in all, this little machine really packs a punch.

The latest version, of course, has most of the predecessors’ incorporates. There is a single thing making it one of the most special, though – its hard drive capacity. With 160GB, it might possibly do a growing number of than its forerunners!

While driving to a college football game last Adore Oxford, MS to see Ole Miss play, somebody and I were talking to a sports radio show that predicted the idea spreads of football games. Diet plans . quite cheesy and was essentially a poster for various subscription services that promised to choose the point-spread winners of top games. By calling their 800 number you could supposedly hear one men and women picks free-of-charge.

My Wii Downloads is a game download website provides the service for downloading Wii games, movies, music, application, software and game cheats. Something is a subscription based program that has an one time fee. As the member of your program, absolutely download unlimited amount of Wii games and others stuffs absolutely no restriction. The game come in digital file so when you’ve got downloaded the game, could certainly play it on your Wii console instantly without waiting the time. pro evolution soccer 2010 is easily download inside my Wii Packages.

Maybe you are inspired goes your own videos? Spark your playstation 3, playstation 3 or PC and show us whatever you can come plan. Also, if you know any other great GTA IV videos or other good for you to have fun in sport while looking forward to GTA V (rumored to be released next Fall), let us know within comments.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl – An activity that pits player against player AKA Mortal Kombat or any single or two player fighting or wrestling game, but the twist available? You play using some beloved characters from the Nintendo environment.

You the how they won in Dallas on Thanksgiving. They are besides happy moving the chains and getting the next first down. Effectively going for that throat that much as they’re able to. Against the Bengals, Drew Brees got that matchup on apparently for Meachem twice, the very one for their 52-yard touchdown.

Craft Supplies For Rainy Days

When it’s pouring with rain outside and your kids are bored but you have no money to go on a day trip, what do you do? One of the best ways to keep them occupied and ensure they don’t drive you crazy is to make sure you have a well-stocked craft box at all times. You can keep this in their playroom, if they have one, or if not then in a place where they can make a bit of a mess without fear of the consequences. Craft supplies don’t have to expensive so you can get in a good variety – indeed, online suppliers such as can offer great deals on multiple orders. Here are some of the essential craft items you should be continuously replenishing:

  • Glues and Adhesives: Your child’s craft box isn’t complete if they don’t have some proper adhesives to hold their models and other projects together. Glue sticks are more practical than tubes of glue, mainly because they are less messy and easy to control accurately. If you want something a little different you can also buy glitter glues in a range of colours and these are very popular – although they do come in tubes so they’re likely to make a mess! Lastly, a sellotape dispenser designed for children is useful in situations where glue can’t be used.
  • Paper: There is no end to what your child can create with a good range of coloured and patterned papers so buy it in bulk in as much variety as you can., already mentioned above, has a large range of papers and cards including corrugated, glittery, striped or even zebra print. Tissue paper is also good as it can be used for layering or scrunched up to add texture to a card or a picture.
  • Scissors: This is another essential tool for crafty kids and it’s as well to get them used to using scissors as soon as possible so they can start to be more independent. Safety scissors are available for children from the age of three upwards although they will need supervision to begin with to ensure they are using them properly. Make sure you buy a good set from a well-known supplier so you know they are properly made and adhere to all the guidelines. A good way to start is to encourage your kids to cut pictures out of magazines or comics and make collages from them. This will help to build their dexterity and accuracy.
  • Markers: Your child will also need plenty of crayons, felt tips or paints for their craft box. Crayons are very cheap to buy of course but if they want something with a bit more impact then why not go for some washable markers so there’s no panic if they get all over something they’re not supposed to! If you’re buying paints, then make sure you get lots of different sized brushes and sponges as well so they can experiment with textures and brush strokes. And do remember, if they are going to be painting, to put down plenty of newspaper and give them aprons or old clothes to wear so they can make as much mess as they like without it being an issue.
  • Decorations: Children love to cover their craft projects in decorations so make sure you give them plenty of choice. Plastic gemstones and sequins are always very popular and you can buy them cheaply in a wide range of colours and shapes so it’s worth getting a lot. Beads, buttons and glitters will always work well too, as will coloured ribbons or shells.
  • Recycled Extras: Lastly, you don’t always need to buy the items to stock your child’s craft box. Be thrifty, and environmentally friendly, by recycling things such as yoghurt pots, toilet roll holders, empty margarine tubs, old bits of dried pasta, cereal packets lolly sticks – the list goes on. Basically, whatever you might be going to throw in the recycling or the bin, let your child think first about how it might be re-used. This is a great way to nurture their imagination and creativity.

New year, new craft space

If you have designated ‘more crafting!’ as your top resolution for the new year, isn’t it time you got a work space sorted out?

With lots of new craft projects on the horizon, it is essential to have the best organised, most well-designed, optimally functioning work station you can manage. Read on for top tips on achieving a craft space that exudes efficiency whilst enhancing creativity…


Be a storage star

All crafters are familiar with the idea of mess – it’s just the collateral damage that occurs when you get stuck into creative projects. It’s natural for a little chaos to be triggered by the artistic process, but in order to keep a lid on progress, great storage is non-negotiable. Craft creates clutter, so make sure your work station offers as many drawers, shelves, hooks, nooks and crannies to stow away all your materials. And when you think you’ve got just enough space to squeeze it all in, double it. Because you can never have enough space for craft materials – and if you really do need to fill up empty cupboards, is that really such a bad thing? When you go to amazing online stores such as HandyHippo art and craft supplies, with so many inspirational materials for your projects, those cupboards won’t be empty for long.


Smooth surfaces

Okay, so now you have all that amazing storage, it leaves the way open for the perfect work surface. Desk, board on trestles or dining table – whatever surface you choose to work upon it needs to be clutter free, stable and large enough to accommodate your works in progress. If space is tight, consider long narrow trestles that hug the walls and can house a stool slipped underneath when not in use. Alternatively, dining tables with collapsible leaves offer useful flexibility. A desk is also a wise choice, select one that has inbuilt drawers to house all those extra bits and bobs you know will materialise like magic.


Light it up

 Working on fine beadwork, paper craft or other detailed crafts requires really good lighting. Natural light is best, so maximise whatever you have by minimising window treatments and promoting light-flow through the room. Pale wall colours help reflect light and create a more luminous ambiance. Adjustable overhead lighting suspended above the work station makes sense – it enables you to work fast and accurately and reduces eye strain. HandyHippo art and crafts supplies provide a wide range of materials for projects ranging from card making to decoupage, stencilling and jewellery – so if you find yourself running low on the essentials, get online and put in your order for quick and convenient delivery.


Floor focus

 Select a practical floor covering in your studio that is easy to clean. Dropping sequins, beads, glues or paints onto the floor on a regular basis is all part of the crafter’s life. An easily maintained and wipe clean floor surface that is easy to sweep at the end of the day, makes good sense. Your crafting time is precious, why waste it on extra clearing up when you don’t have to?


Important details

Surround yourself with things that inspire you. A pin board above your work station featuring images, photos and clippings that you admire, is a great way to keep things fresh and creative. The ambiance of the room is important – consider playing music while you work, include a few pot plants to improve air quality and surround yourself with favourite objects to promote feelings of well being. Having enough space to move around is important to enable creative feelings to flow, so look at the layout of the room to ensure all space is maximised. A comfortable work chair will allow you to work longer and more efficiently – select an ergonomically designed, adjustable model that encourages good posture. When designing your storage plan, make sure that the materials you regularly use are close to hand and easy to reach without having to stretch too far.


Making space

If you don’t have the space for a dedicated craft room, consider installing a curtain across an alcove, re-purpose an old wardrobe or commandeer the cupboard under the stairs. Garden sheds, garages, attics and spare bedrooms are all regularly used by crafters to practise their arts, so remain open minded and stake your claim on whichever part of the house seems up for grabs.

With a well-designed craft space for indulging your creative side, who knows what the new year could bring? A future packed with exciting ideas and crafty concepts is assured when you have the perfect space to work…

How to Preserve Bodies After Death

Preserving bodies after death is a process that has evolved considerably over the centuries. Ancient Egyptians would mummify dead bodies by removing the major organs and packing the inside and outside of the body with salt to dry it out over 40 days. The corpse would then be wrapped in linens which were treated with waterproof resins. Today’s process for preserving a dead body is aided by more modern technological techniques but still requires the ability of someone trained and experienced in the process.

Preserving a dead body for any length of time takes some expertise.


  1. Move the body into a refrigeration unit. The colder the body is, the slower decomposition will be. This will make it more difficult for bacteria to cultivate.
  2. Place absorbent padding at each of the orifices of the body to prevent seepage.
  3. Wash the body with soap and water to remove any dirt or grease. Spray disinfectant around the eyes, nose and mouth, as these areas tend to decay first.
  4. Pour embalming fluid (such as formaldehyde) into an embalming machine and hook up the machine to the body. Inject the intake tube into the carotid artery in the neck and the outtake tube into the jugular vein.
  5. Run the embalming machine to remove blood from the body and replace it with the embalming fluid. The fluid makes it harder for bacteria to grow in the body and break it down.
  6. Insert the trocar (a long metal tube, plastic hose combination) into the body to the left of the belly button of the body. The trocar should be connected to a hydroaspirator. Turn on the hydroaspirator to suck moisture out from the major organs in the body. Move it around through the initial puncture to find the kidneys, spleen, and other organs. Once they are drained, reverse the flow of the hydroaspirator to pump more embalming fluids into the organs.
  7. Seal the puncture from the trocar with cotton.and dress the body as needed.

Jobs That Fit a Philosophy & Religion Degree

Your degree in philosophy and religion provides excellent preparation for many careers. You have explored the basic principles of existence and gained valuable insight into matters of social justice and human rights. You have well-honed communication and critical thinking skills, a combination that will open doors to both traditional and not-so traditional careers.

You can explore other options.


  • With an advanced degree in philosophy and religion, you can teach in a college or university. If you have chosen the field of education, you can enjoy working with students and keeping up with the latest developments. In addition to preparing and implementing lesson plans, you will evaluate the students, serve on committees and write articles and books. You may also be asked to design “distance learning” courses over the Internet. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will be an increase in employment of post-secondary teachers during the decade ending 2018.

University and College Support Positions

  • It makes sense to explore opportunities in a familiar field where you have experienced success. Entry-level opportunities exist in many areas, including admissions, housing, athletics, student life and alumni affairs. You can apply your expertise to helping students survive and thrive in a new environment. Each year, colleges and universities hire alumni to fill many of these positions. The field is a very dynamic one with frequent moves and promotions, especially among admissions and alumni affairs officers. Admission officers recruit potential students, create promotional materials, review applications and interview students. Alumni affairs officers write publications, coordinate social events and conduct tours.


  • Many entry-level positions exist for generalists who can handle all aspects of philanthropy, including planning special events, writing grants and proposals, recruiting volunteers and soliciting funds.These jobs are more altruistic than profit related and may appeal to philosophy and religion graduates.You could raise funds for a particular charity, oversee a scholarship fund or sponsor a youth group. Arts organizations also have fundraising professionals on staff. Museums, symphonies, ballets and operas rely heavily on grant funds, corporate donations and general solicitation campaigns to fund their activities. Volunteer with a nonprofit organization and determine whether or not philanthropy is a good option.


  • You can understand and analyze complicated texts, develop a well-structured argument and express ideas in a clear and persuasive manner. As a recent graduate, you have worked with state-of-the-art software applications and have developed programming skills. Most entry-level jobs in the computer field do not require specialized knowledge; they simply require a comfort level with the present technology and a willingness to keep up-to-date. You can also parlay these skills into technical writing jobs. Use your well-developed research and writing skills to create proposals, manuals, articles and instruction sheets. You qualify for many government jobs, especially those associated with developing programs and writing reports. In the political arena, you can help plan campaigns and write speeches for the candidate of your choice.

Best Tattoo Artist In Goa

It’s like an intimate piece of artwork that becomes a part of you forever. Tattoos are an amazing addition to the body, especially when the design has a personal meaning behind it. It adds something unique and memorable, an imprint that will stay with you forever!
There are a lot of so called “Tattoo Artists” out there, but how good can they really be? Inexperienced Tattooists getting hired at cheaper rates, it’s hard to tell whether or not you will be receiving the best design and quality. Inexperience not only affects the artwork itself, but what about the health risks that you’re putting your body through?
Artists focus on health and safety practices while providing exceptional custom tattooing and body piercing. We believe in treating each and every tattoo as a custom, individual work of art. Our professional artists never rush and take time to work with our clients to make sure you love the final result. After all, your tattoo should be as individual as you are. Our studio provides professional services in a clean, sterile environment. All tools are sterilized every day, our disposables are all single use and the studio is cleaned ceiling to floor regularly!

We excel at taking your ideas and turning them into a spectacular custom tattoo, designed to last. We offer all styles of tattoo work and body piercing services in Goa with the highest quality equipments. The majority of tattoos done in the shop are custom designed to meet the client’s specifications but there is a variety of flash and books in the shop to provide inspiration.
We are a fully licensed, custom built tattoo and piercing studio in Goa that maintains a professional, clean environment. We continually surpass environmental health code requirements, and are fully equipped with up-to-date modern sterilization equipment for all tattoo and piercing requirements. We use only single-use and autoclaved needles for all tattoos and piercings.
And of course, we adhere to the strictest standards of safety and sterile procedures, making sure your experience is both fun and safe.
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What Contributions Did the Greeks Give to Modern Day Society?

In the current era of technology and convenience it is hard to believe a civilization that thrived from 1000 B.C. to 323 B.C. made any lasting contributions; however, the ancient Greeks have made an impact on history that is still visible in modern society. Many of their ideas and innovations are taught today in schools worldwide.

An ancient Greek amphitheatre


  • The presentation of written word known as theater began in Athens and diffused to other parts of the ancient Greek empire. Fifth-century playwrights Aristophanes and Sophocles produced comedies and tragedies, respectively. During the early days of theater, masks were used to represent a variety of emotions and to disguise male actors playing female roles. Only 44 plays from the ancient Greeks remain today, serving as the foundation of Western theater.


  • Just as Athens was the birthplace of theater, in 508 B.C. it became the world’s first democracy. Democracy is a system of government in which citizens elect representatives to advocate for them in the government. Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher, wrote “Politics” and encouraged citizens to question the established government. Only free adult men could be citizens during this time; women and slaves were excluded from owning property or voting.


  • The most recognizable contribution the ancient Greeks made to architecture are their columns and pavilions. There are two types of Greek columns, Doric and Ionic. Doric is a minimalistic style, while Ionic columns were more ornate, with scrolls carved into each side. Many buildings in Washington, D.C. were based on classical Greek buildings. Universities and colleges, such as the University of Virginia, have ancient Greek influenced structures. The beautiful, clean style is still appreciated today.


  • During the Classical and Hellenistic periods of Greek art, the ancient Greeks idolized the human form. During this time, advances in sculpting and painting techniques were made that would influence the Italian Renaissance centuries later. Once classical Greek art was rediscovered, Italian artists began depicting the beauty of the human body as the Greeks once did. Along with modern religion themes of the time, Italian painters also painted scenes of popular Greek myths and stories.

Definition of 3-D Design

The term “3-D design” is a widely used abbreviation for three-dimensional design, incorporated commonly in design procedures associated with computers and other electronic drawing systems. In 3-D design techniques, a designer uses all three axes (x, y and z) to interpret and develop a realistic figure of the desired object.

Cubes are designed in 3-D.


  • Almost all 3-D design techniques incorporate four fundamental processes while interpreting an object electronically in its three dimensions: modeling, layout designing, animation and rendering. Modeling in 3-D designs is referred to the interpretation and development of basic object shape, while layout designing deals with the placement of an object within a suitable background. Similarly, the process of animation deals with any movement or motion associated with the object, and rendering defines angling and positioning of the light source within the design.


  • Three-dimensional designs are usually developed on electronic interfaces, such as computers or other image/video processing machines, using some specially developed common software applications like Photoshop, AutoCAD, Flash, 3-D Studio Max and Maya. Upon development, these designs can be viewed electronically or in the form of printed 3-D objects.

Tools & Technology Used in Classical Greek Art

The ancient Greeks developed notions of ideal proportions and mathematics, which they applied to sculpture and architecture. The Parthenon, for example, contains a number of careful mathematical and optical refinements. The importance of mathematics and proportion to Greek architects finds an echo in the work of Greek sculptors, who composed human figures according to idealized proportions of human anatomy. For the Greeks, sculpture, painting and architecture were much closer disciplines than they are in the modern era–hence art historians of Ancient Greek art consider architecture as part of art.

The Classical Greeks thus developed tools for measurement and alignment in order to create these subtle mathematical and architectural refinements.

Post-and-Lintel Construction

  • The Classical Greeks used a relatively basic form of architecture known as “post-and-lintel” construction. Post-and-lintel refers to how an architectural structure supports weight–in Greek architecture and other ancient cultures, two vertical posts supported a horizontal lintel, somewhat like a doorway.

    Post-and-lintel construction cannot support much weight–if there is too much pressure over the middle of the lintel, the lintel will break. Thus the Greeks used colonnades, series of columns to support the weight of the roof.

    Examples of post-and-lintel construction in Classical Greek architecture include the Doric Temples at Paestum, the Temple of Artemis in Corfu and the Parthenon. The Parthenon includes two colonnades: the exterior is ringed of columns, while the interior room, or “cella,” has columns at the front and back.

Architectural Orders and Proportions

  • There are two types of Classical Greek orders: Doric and Ionic. Doric is simpler and generally squatter–the proportions of column diameter to column height are 7:1. Ionic columns are longer (the column proportions are 9:1), and the top is capped by a scroll-shaped capital called a volute. The Propylaia of the Acropolis in Athens, by the architect Mnesikles is an example of the Ionic order (the Parthenon's exterior is Doric).

    The Corinthian order developed during the Late Classical period, which is very similar to the Ionic but has a capital carved a bundle of acanthus leaves instead of a volute.

    The proportions of each Greek architectural order echo the importance of proportions in Classical Greek figural sculpture. As Galen remarked on Polykleitos' Doryphoros (Spearbearer) from 450-440 BCE: “[Doryphoros] holds beauty to consist not in the commensurability or “symmetria” [ie., proportions] of the constituent elements [of the body], but in the commensurability of the parts, such as that of finger to finger, and of all the fingers to the palm and wrist, and of those to the forearm, and of the forearm to the upper arm, and in fact, of everything to everything else, just as it is written in the Canon of Polyclitus.”

Measuring Tools

  • Greek measuring units were also based on human body parts. The “dactylos,” for example, is the breadth of one finger.

    Greek mathematicians developed sophisticated tools for measuring large objects (even astronomical distances) and surveying tools–though Greeks recorded the development and use of these tools, their exact nature is not always known to modern scholars. Nevertheless, such tools assisted in the construction of Greek architectural marvels like the Parthenon, where the Greeks measured, cut and carved the elements of the building before erecting them with levers and pulleys.


  • The Athenians of the Golden Age (also known as the Age of Pericles) used Pentelic marble–marble collected from Mt. Pentelikon, somewhat northeast of Athens. Pentelic marble is white with a hint of yellow (which makes the material glow warmly in the sun), and without streaks.

    Pentelic marble is a particularly hard type of marble, and the Greeks often used harder tools for marble carving than later cultures used.

Carving Tools

  • Greek sculptors mainly used the hammer and chisel to carve out the basic forms of a sculpture. A chisel is metal bar with a sharp edge and the sculptor hammers the chisel to carve stone.

    However, hammer and chisel leave a rough surface, so the Greek sculptor would smooth with an abrasive emery stone to create the smooth curves that Greek sculptors are so famous for. After sanding, the sculptor used a slightly softer stone to add polish, also called a patina.

    Some Classical Greek sculptors also treated their works with a sealing compound to create a glowing effect (this process was called “ganosis”).

    The classical sculptor Praxiteles first used the “smoky” style endowed by ganosis. Praxiteles wanted to create soft lights and shadows that flowed along the contours of his figural sculptures.

Cast Bronze

  • Outside of marble sculptural decorations for architecture (like the Acropolis of Athens), the Greeks created many bronze sculptures. Many Greek bronzes are lost, as later civilizations melted them down to reuse the metal in times of war. A few bronzes lost in shipwrecks and recovered during the modern era stand in museums.

    The Ancient Greeks used the “indirect lost-wax” technique for bronze casting. Many cultures separately developed the lost-wax process, and it is particularly effective for metal sculptures. The lost-wax process involves a positive and negative mold. The sculptor creates a positive sculpture and then creates a cast (usually of plaster or clay). The positive sculpture is then placed inside the negative mold, with a thin layer of wax between them. Pins hold the positive still inside the negative and the caster applied heat to melt the wax away. The caster then pours bronze, which sets and creates a hollow sculpture.

How to Write a Craft Tutorial

A craft tutorial is a set of instructions for a craft project. It generally includes a step-by-step procedure for creating the craft, pictures or illustrations and helpful do’s and don’ts. It is important that your tutorial is easy to read and understand, and that someone using your tutorial to make a craft can actually end up with the results your tutorial is purposed for. Follow these guidelines for how to write a craft tutorial.

Choose a specific title for your tutorial. Your title should let readers know exactly what the tutorial is about, so you should therefore avoid using titles that are abstract, referential or metaphorical. For example, a tutorial for making ant-fabric baby bloomers should be called, “How to Make Ant-Fabric Baby Bloomers,” rather than, “Ants on My Pants.”

Explain the craft. Introduce the craft by including a clear picture of the finished product, so crafters know exactly what they will be making, and write a tutorial introduction with the following information:

  • Name of the craft. Part of writing craft tutorials is coming up with descriptive, creative and relevant craft names. Use specifics about the craft that makes it stand out. For example, instead of calling the craft a jewelry box, call it a rhinestone treasure box.
  • Purpose of the craft. Describe what it could be used for, who might use it and for what occasions.
  • Level of difficulty. It’s a good idea to include a general age range for people who would most likely be able to successfully complete the craft project, plus an estimation of the effort it takes for completion (easy, medium or hard).
  • Forewarning: If, for example, your craft requires special considerations, like ventilation, high heat or power tools, mention those before outlining the craft instructions.
  • List the things needed to finish the project. Your list should include tools and supplies, and should be comprehensive enough for crafters to use at the store for shopping. Provide exact amounts and measurements. Additionally, provide resources for hard to find supplies, if applicable.

Break the craft procedure into simple steps. When you write a tutorial, follow these guidelines for creating procedure steps:

  • Each step should involve only 1 action, such as, “Cut all the pattern pieces.”
  • Begin each step with an action verb (i.e. measure, draw, glue, etc.).
  • Number the steps of your craft tutorial so they are clearly differentiated.
  • Use bold and/or italicized font to accent important information.
  • Include tips, warnings and pointers along the way, as necessary. When you write a tutorial, it helps to tell readers what mistakes you made that they can avoid, as well as useful shortcuts you learned through experience.
  • Provide a picture for each step.

Edit your craft tutorial. Be sure to run the spelling and grammar check, as well as to read your tutorial out loud several times through in order to identify and correct any mistakes. You may also want to have someone else read it and provide feedback so that you know your tutorial makes sense logically and chronologically, and that your instructions are easy for readers to understand.

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Most Famous Piece of Ancient Roman Art

Ancient Rome has left a legacy that still persists in the modern world. Even if you don’t know the names of art pieces or exactly where they come from, chances are you have seen famous examples of ancient Roman artwork. They have appeared in countless reproductions, tourist magazines and art textbooks.

The remains of the Roman forum.


  • A few large, marble body parts are all that remains of the Colossal Statue of Constantine I. The statue was about 30 feet high, in a seated position, and was originally placed in the Basilica Nova of Maxentius and Constantine in the Roman Forum. The hand, with a single finger extended, is probably the most recognizable bit.
    Not intact, but still quite famous.
    Not intact, but still quite famous.


  • The ancient Romans kept domesticated dogs for safety and companionship. Cave Canem, a simple mosaic found on the floor of The Tragic Poet in Pompeii, is simply named for the Latin words “Beware of Dog,” which are also part of the mosaic. Many homes in Pompeii had similar mosaics cautioning visitors about the resident canine.
    Some things never change.
    Some things never change.

Paintings and Frescos

  • The paintings and murals that decorate The Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii are not only famous for their form but for how well they have been preserved. They depict a mysterious procession that is not fully understood, but is generally believed to be part of an ancient initiation rite into adulthood. Few paintings have survived to the present day from ancient Rome.
    Frescos in the Villa of Mysteries are some of the few paintings that have survived from ancient Rome.
    Frescos in the Villa of Mysteries are some of the few paintings that have survived from ancient Rome.


  • There are many structures and buildings that still strike the onlooker with wonder and awe, but the Roman Colosseum is by far the most famous. The word “Colosseum” is the most popular search term on the Internet under the buildings category. The real name for the Roman Colosseum is the Flavian Amphitheater and it was completed in 80 A.D.
    The Roman Coloseum at night.
    The Roman Coloseum at night.


  • Christianity was not well thought of in ancient Rome, but its presence did create at least one piece of famous art. The Alexamenos Graffito dates from the first century A.D. and was sketched by an unknown artist and discovered on the Palatine Hill in 1857. This simple etching is famous for illustrating how the average Roman viewed Christianity. It is clearly not complimentary, giving the person on the cross the head of a donkey and mocking the human figure — presumably Alexamenos, who is also named in the etching — for his worship of the crucified figure.

Digital Vs. Analog in Art

Digital technology is engulfing all aspects of contemporary life, and the art world is no exception. Analog art forms such as painting, sculpture and film-based photography are more frequently either combined with or replaced by digital processes. Even in areas such as documentation of art, digital technology is having an impact. Many artists combine digital technology in their art process, either in creating the artwork or in using digital technology to create a finished piece, such as a giclee print.

Digital technology is increasingly prevalent in art.


  • Analog art is any art where the material making the art is manipulated by hand, like paint. You can control any portion of it. Digital is constituted of many individual pieces of electronic information–such as pixels, in the case of digital photography–which cannot be further broken down.

Analog Art Forms

  • Painting, sculpture, printmaking from ink and film photography are considered analog. These are the traditional fine arts, made from tangible materials that are manipulated by hand or with simple tools

Digital Art Forms

  • Online art and digital photography are digital art forms. More and more artists are incorporating the web either to make their art or distribute it. Some artworks now only exist as online entities, and have no physical presence except for what you see on the computer screen.

Combining Digital and Analog

  • Sometimes digital and analog forms are combined in the creation of a work. For example, a painting done in acrylic is scanned electronically, rendering a digital image, which can be manipulated with a photo editing program. A high-quality
    giclee print of the painting can then be printed from digital image. Some giclee prints are printed onto primed canvas to re-create the look of the original painting. Many artists use computer tools to either capture or create images which are then produced in analog form.

Documentation and Distribution

  • Artists used to have to take slides of their artwork using film cameras. This entailed shooting (and often reshooting) artworks and distributing individual slides, which were seldom projected. Digital photography makes it easier to get high-quality images and distribute them to galleries or place them online for viewing.

How to Start a Craft Store

Running a craft store can be a lucrative and rewarding business. It gives you a chance to teach others and be immersed in creativity. It’s also possible to make a good living, since the craft industry is a billion dollar industry. A craft store is versatile; it can be run online, from your home, or from a retail location. You also have a choice of selling finished crafts, craft supplies, or a mixture of both. These are just some of the decisions you’ll have to make when learning how to start a craft store.

Decide what to sell and how much you’ll need to sell to make a profit. A craft store could sell products that you produce as well as crafts made by other artists. This could be purchased through a consignment program or wholesale. In addition, you could sell supplies and hold classes and craft parties. Study the competition in the area to see what is offered already and find a niche.

Start writing a business plan and a marketing plan to get a better understanding of your business and market and learn more about how to start a craft store. This can be as simple as a few pages or a complex document written by a professional, depending on your needs. If you plan to get investors or bank financing, detailed, standard plans will be needed.

Find the necessary space that you will need to run your craft store. For a home based store, you’ll need a place to work and a place to store supplies and finished products. For a retail location, you’ll need to purchase or rent a store that has a lot of foot traffic and enough square footage to display the products you want to sell. If you plan to run classes, you’ll also need space for people to work. Ideally, there should be room to set up a space for children to play while their parents shop, without having to worry about them damaging merchandise or disturbing other shoppers.

Get an understanding of the administrative and financial tasks you’ll need to take care of to run your business, including bookkeeping, inventory, accounting and advertising. Either learn how to take care of these tasks and prepare to do them, or prepare to hire someone who can.

Create a website or online store, depending on what you are going to sell and how you are going to sell it. To sell craft supplies, set up an online storefront and an eBay store. For finished products, set up your own website and storefronts on eBay and Etsy. For a brick and mortar location, a simple site that gives information about your store and its location is a good starting point. Be sure to register with Google, Google Places, and online directories related to your location and products. Keep an online presence with blogs, copy that is optimized for search engines, membership in forums and online press releases and articles. Advertising through Google is another way to gain an audience online.

Get all necessary licenses for your state and municipality. You’ll also need a tax identification number for ordering wholesale products and paying taxes and applicable insurance for your store and items.

Design a logo for your store, or hire someone to do it. This will be used on signage, stationary and website pages. Choose colors that will be used in website graphics and store fixtures and decoration.


How to Do Fimo Nail Art

Fimo nail art — a special, 3D way of creating special nail designs — is handcrafted from Fimo polymer clay. The technique comes from Charlene “Cat” Therien, a polymer clay designer who creates the products in a cookie dough-like roll formation that is then cut into ultra-thin, identical designs. The designs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, including hibiscus flowers, roses and hearts. You don’t have to visit a salon to get these artistic designs; you can apply them at home.

Talk to your manicurist about getting Fimo nail art next time you visit the salon.


  1. Purchase your Fimo nail designs online; there are several websites that sell this type of nail art. Some require you to slice the designs yourself, while others are pre-sliced for your convenience. The four-inch cane-slicing blade can be purchased from most craft retailers.
  2. Slice your Fimo designs with the cane-slicing blade, if you purchased the designs in roll form. Slice the roll as thin as possible, so the design does not extrude too far off your nail’s surface.
  3. Apply a layer of base coat nail polish to each of your fingernails. Make sure the coat is thin, so it won’t clump up.
  4. Affix the Fimo nail design to your fingernail carefully, pressing the design into the still-wet layer of nail polish. You might need to use tweezers for accuracy, as the Fimo nail designs are incredibly small.
  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 on the rest of your fingernails. Allow the designs to dry to the nail for about 60 seconds.
  6. Apply a thin layer of top coat over each of your fingernails to seal in the designs.

Look Into the Effective Use of Decal Stickers Printing

Today almost all the business owner wants to keep the pace of the business with the most updated creations along with the most impact ful innovations as the preferences, tastes and mindsets of the consumers keep on flickering. People these days are looking to have the product through whom they could deliver the message regarding the product or services in a short yet crispy way.

Decals printing give you the best solution especially when you want something to be promoted in a different way. They are so flexible that they can be easily posted on any smooth surface like on windows, walls, and almost all types of vehicles. While comparing to other modes of promotion, they are cheaper and offers more catchy attention. They only thing which is needed is to have a perfect place to stick in so that it will help in garnering more attention. In short, they are the perfect tools to comply with expectations of the customer as it alerts, amazes and appeals the customer.

Till now decals have prove themselves as a really effective marketing strategy. One of the biggest benefits of having decal printing is that their colors are bright and not get fade away under any climatic conditions. One can also utilize doors for decal printing since they are the most perfect place of promoting about the products and services. There are so many good reasons to adopt these impressive and creative methods. With Decals Printing one can accomplish various fundamental objective of the firm like the objective of having low cost for production and the promotion of the product as well. Yes! These decals are quite easy on the pocket too.

The decals are cheap and as well as eco-friendly too. Business offers for CONCESSION, announcement for NEW PRODUCT, invitation for SALES, etc can be printed on this eye – striking stickers! The leading online printing service provider, Print Mania also brings their exclusive printing services for Decals printing with a wide array of options like alarm decals, car decals, outdoor decals, parking decals and lots more.

How to Make a Rainbow Mobile

Whether you want to create a peaceful display of beauty in your backyard or your child needs an idea for a science project, designing a mobile that catches light will create a rainbow–no rain needed.

Clean the chosen tree branch. When you select the branch, look for something that will hold all your dangling prisms, while at the same time acting as an anchor or base for your mobile. If necessary, use light sanding paper to smooth and refine the branch. Otherwise, simply brush off debris and any remaining dirt.

  • Measure the tree branch to determine the number of hanging prisms. You can use any number of hanging prisms but should space them evenly across the branch.
  • Mark off places along the branch where you plan to hang a prism.

Select prisms and beads. Gather the number of prisms you will need to create your rainbow. Each hanging prism should be anchored with the prism, with decorative beads lining the cord or ribbon.

  • Map out each hanging prism design. Lay prism on a flat surface and move beads into place to mock up the final design.

Cut cords or strings. While each cord or string piece does not have to be exactly the same length, you’ll want to cut strands with lengths that closely match each other (in order to create that rainbow effect).

  • Lay cord/string next to each mock up prism design.

String hanging prisms. Tie a knot at the bottom of the first piece of pre-cut cord/string.

  • Drop the prism to the bottom of the knotted cord. Make sure the knot is large enough to prevent the prism from passing through and falling off the cord.
  • Add beads according to your pre-determined design. You can add a small knot in between beads or allow the beads to stack upon each other on the cord.

Tie completed hanging prisms to pre-marked spots on your tree branch.Wrap the end around the branch and knot. Consider adding a double knot in order to ensure the hanging prism stays in place (especially if you plan to hang this mobile outside).

Hang mobile. Using your fishing wire, find a sunny area to house your mobile. When the sun shines through the prisms, a rainbow design will appear.

How to Become an Antiques Dealer

So you’re looking to make a living or add to your income through the buying and selling (dealing) of antiques? Here’s what you need to hit the ground running.

First off, know your market. There are so many antiquities considered to be valuable, that you should start by finding a few categories that appeal to you, or preferably, antiques which you already have some familiarity with. Gather a thorough understanding of time lines associated with that particular vertical (i.e. pianos, guitars, coffee tables, china, decanters, matchbox cars, you name it…) and find out which items in that genre are valuable, to whom they are valuable, and why they are valued.

Once you find this information and begin your journey towards understanding the product(s), be sure to get to know the grading systems associated with your antiques.Much like diamonds, the subtle variances in condition, wear, and restorations can mean the difference between hundreds, and hundreds of thousands of dollars! The biggest key to success is knowing what you have or what you’ve found.

So to kick off your venture into the world of Antiques, what is it you need after your head is full of knowledge? Why, Capital and / or Antiques of course! A great method to finding that diamond in the rough is through, storage and estate sales. Craigslist is another fantastic place to find these sales, as well as for sale by owner ads. Leverage all the resources that you can in searching, and be sure to read a few of my tips below!

Lastly, I leave you on your way to profitability... How? Where? E-Bay! Craigslist! Networking! All of these routes lead to cost effective sales. There is no need for a brick and mortar business, unless you have an abundance of wealth, antiques, and a client base. Selling and turning a profit is all about the art of negotiation and knowing your market. You’re now on your way towards success in the wonderful world of antiques! Be sure to ask questions, gather knowledge, and most importantly enjoy the journey!


How to Design 3D Images

Designing a 3D image requires the use of a computer program that can create a 3D model and computer-generated imagery (CGI). The 3D image requires the use of specific lighting and texture attributes to complete its final look. Some animation programs enable you to do all these in a single program, while some are dedicated for specific CGI works such as 3D modeling, animation, lighting and texturing.

Designing a 3D image requires the use of a 3D perspective.


  1. Conceptualize the look you want for your 3D image. You can do this by hand or digitally-drawing a still image. Collect all 3D modeling data required to design your image in the computer. The data may include those acquired from a motion-capture camera or those acquired from a 3D-scanned scale model, especially for 3D images meant to be used for animation productions. If you are only designing the 3D image and not animating it, use your still image as your primary guide for your design.
  2. Start making your 3D model using a 3D-modeling program or an animation program that is also capable of creating 3D models. This model serves as the skeletal system of your image, which is essential in finalizing its look. The 3D-modeling process requires the creation of “avars” or hinges, which are dots that compose the 3D image’s skeletal system. These dots — forming various geometric entities such as lines, triangles, rectangles and flat and curved surfaces — are required to complete the image’s shape. Collectively, the avars you make also work as bones and joints, which are important when intending to use the 3D image for an animation project.
  3. Form and shape the body, skin and/or surface of your 3D model. Incorporate all other body or object parts to cover the 3D model’s skeletal system. If your design is a human character, design the clothes and establish the character’s personality based on its physical attributes. If your design is an animal or object, design its physical attributes accordingly as well.
  4. Render your final 3D image and export it to your desired file format.

Read more :


  1. Conceptualize the look you want for your 3D image. You can do this by hand or digitally-drawing a still image. Collect all 3D modeling data required to design your image in the computer. The data may include those acquired from a motion-capture camera or those acquired from a 3D-scanned scale model, especially for 3D images meant to be used for animation productions. If you are only designing the 3D image and not animating it, use your still image as your primary guide for your design.
  2. Start making your 3D model using a 3D-modeling program or an animation program that is also capable of creating 3D models. This model serves as the skeletal system of your image, which is essential in finalizing its look. The 3D-modeling process requires the creation of “avars” or hinges, which are dots that compose the 3D image’s skeletal system. These dots — forming various geometric entities such as lines, triangles, rectangles and flat and curved surfaces — are required to complete the image’s shape. Collectively, the avars you make also work as bones and joints, which are important when intending to use the 3D image for an animation project.
  3. Form and shape the body, skin and/or surface of your 3D model. Incorporate all other body or object parts to cover the 3D model’s skeletal system. If your design is a human character, design the clothes and establish the character’s personality based on its physical attributes. If your design is an animal or object, design its physical attributes accordingly as well.
  4. Render your final 3D image and export it to your desired file format.

How to Purchase an Antique Engagement Ring

Buying an antique engagement ring instead of a new ring is a special way to propose marriage to your special someone. Some brides prefer an antique ring with some history and character, as opposed to contemporary rings and styles. Antique rings tend to have diamonds of a higher quality, and the value of the ring appreciates more because the detail of the prongs and settings are often intricate and difficult to replicate. Purchase an antique engagement ring by observing the cut, color, clarity, carat and character of the ring.

Know the difference between an antique ring and an estate ring. To be classified as antique, a ring must be at least 50 years old. Estate rings are less than 50 years old.

Set a budget. Depending on the ring you want to purchase, you can expect to spend less than $200 on an antique engagement ring, or over $5,000.

Consider the “Four C’s” if you are buying an antique diamond ring. Modern jewelers consider cut, clarity, color and carat when appraising diamond engagement rings.

  • Look for an antique ring that was cut by hand. Modern engagement rings are cut by a laser. Older stones will have a more unique and custom look.
  • Assess the clarity of the antique ring by looking for flaws in the stone. The clearer the stone, the more valuable the ring will be.
  • Find a color that suits the taste of your future spouse. Antique engagement rings often come with diamonds that have yellow, green or soft pink tints.
  • Compare the carats in antique engagement rings. The carat measures the size of the stone. In the early 20th century, settings were often used to make a smaller diamond look larger.

Find a ring with character that includes quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. An antique engagement ring should be one of a kind.

Decide if you want to buy a ring from a particular period in history. Antique rings often represent the period that they were made and worn.

  • Look for a ring from the Victorian era (1835 to 1900) if you want a ring set in yellow or rose gold. Rings from this period also featured a mine cut, which includes an extra row of diamonds at the bottom of the stone.
  • Choose a ring from the Edwardian era (1900 to 1920) for a platinum ring that might be crafted with scrollwork on the band, or lacy and pierced details.
  • Select an Art Deco (1920 to 1930) antique engagement ring for a geometric look with influences from Asian and Egyptian artists. These rings are often platinum and include gemstones other than diamonds.

Shop around. You can find antique engagement rings in antique stores, pawn shops, at estate sales and auctions. Some small jewelry stores specialize in antique jewelry.

  • Shop online, but be cautious. It might be hard to get a good look at the ring if you cannot see it and hold it in person. Many antique rings are resold on sites such as eBay.

Ask for a gemologist report. This will provide proof that the antique ring is as old and valuable as the seller claims. If such a report is not available, get a written description of the ring from the person you buy it from.

Ask the vendor about the return policy, in case you change your mind about the purchase, or your bride to be does not like the ring you buy.

Game Design Colleges in Japan

The video game industry kicked off in Japan in the 1970s, and the country is home to major companies such as Sega, Namco and Nintendo. Therefore, Japan is an ideal place to study for people interested in pursuing a career in the game design industry. Various Japanese colleges offer game courses, including some of the largest schools in the country. Some colleges offer special courses for international students, while others emphasize small class sizes.

Close-up of teenage boys playing video games.

Japan Electronics College

  • Japan Electronics College in Tokyo was the first Japanese college to offer courses in gaming and CG technology. The school offers two game courses. The two-year game production class concentrates on game programming including graphic design and music. The three-year advanced game programming course offers additional computer graphic and sound engineering classes. As a project, students are required to create their own video game. According to Japan Electronics College, students have been scouted by leading Japanese game companies such as SEGA and Capcom.

HAL College of Technology & Design

  • HAL College of Technology & Design with campuses in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya is the largest specialized training college in the country. It is an institution specializing in technology and design fields including video game design. The school offers classes covering all aspects of game production such as computer graphics, design and planning. It also has close ties to major companies, including Microsoft and Nintendo, which allows students to be in contact with possible future employers. HAL College offers two- and four-year programs as well as weekend and night courses.

Nihon Kogakuin College — Creators College

  • Creators College is a branch of Nihon Kogakuin College and is located at two campuses in Kamata and Hachioji. The school’s game creator department specializes in all aspects of video game production including designing, programming, planning and marketing. In the two-year program, students are also taught business skills so that they know how to market themselves to secure a job in the game or IT industry after they graduate. Special courses in Japanese and English are held in the summer to acquaint international students with the school and its culture. Additionally, the rate of foreign student employment after graduation is high.

Arts College Yokohama

  • Arts College Yokohama offers a three-year video game course. The game creator course is divided into four subjects — game programmer, game character, game planner and game sound. This ensures that students are knowledgeable in various aspects of the video game industry, opening them up to more job options. The program is small, with only 40 students enrolled at a time and aims to provide a focused and tight-knit environment.

5 Easy Photoshop Tips for Beginners

In this article I will walk you through some basic Photoshop retouching skills. These 5 easy Photoshop tips for beginners will be a great start to learning to proces your photographs.

1. Learning Keyboard Shortcuts

Learning keyboard shortcuts will help you to speed up your processing workflow. There are few key shortcuts for different tools in the tool bar. A few of the most widely used shortcuts are:

Photoshop keyboard shortcuts

  • V = move tool
  • F – toggles through display screen modes
  • Space bar = temporary hand key
  • B – paintbrush tool
  • D – sets the foreground/background colorss to default
  • X – swaps between background and foreground color
  • E – eraser tool
  • S – stamp or cloning tool
  • W – quick selection tool
  • Ctrl+j – duplicates the selected layer

There are just few of the most regularly used Photoshop shortcuts. When you start using the program more, your knowledge of shortcuts will gradually increase. Once you are aware of the most used shortcuts retouching pace will be faster than ever.

2. Color Enhancing – Saturation versus Vibrance

Photoshop tips vibrance

Color is another domain you can try while enhancing your photographs. Generally when you are beginning in photography, enhancing the color of every image looks good, as if the colors are speaking out of the photographs. It will be lot more helpful if you can understand the difference between how saturation and vibrance works. Go to Image menu and choose Adjustment under the menu

As shown in the image to the right, select the Vibrance option. You will get two options under the menu – Vibrance and Saturation. Vibrance increases the saturation of less saturated colors. This option avoids yellow and orange skin tones. Basically vibrance works best for portraits.

Photoshop tips saturation color adjustments

On the other hand, saturation increases the intensity of all the colors in your image equally. This may not be a good option for portraits or peoples photos. What I can recommend is this: slowly start with vibrance for the color enhancement and use saturation later if you want to pump up the color more.

If you compare the two photos below, you will understand how vibrance is only responsible for increasing the intensity of less saturated colors, where as saturation increases the intensity of all colors equally.

Photoshop vibrance adjustment

Photoshop saturtation adjustment

3. Adding a Vignette

Photoshop vignette

Vignetting is basically a technique to darken the edges of your frame so that the eyes move to the subject more easily. This procedure works best when you have a subject in the center. Our eyes tend to move towards the brighter part of the image and recede on the darker side. This technique will result in dark space around the subject.

There are lots of manual ways you can add vignetting in your photos but I will talk about how to easily add vignetting in your images via Photoshop. Go to Filters Menu at the top and select “Lens Correction”, then choose the Custom Tab on the right. The third section down is for adding a vignette. Slide the Amount to the left to darken, and Midpoint to adjust the size of the circle.
Photoshop tips vibrance Photoshop tips vignetting

4. Adding Sharpness and Details

Photoshop filter lens correction vignette

Adding sharpness is another technique for beginners in Photoshop. This will make your image look more detailed. I would suggest detailing most of your images with appropriate values. But make sure you sharpen, or detail your images with a small value if you are going to upload images on Facebook because it compresses the images and adds some detail to make it took a bit sharper. So when an already sharpened image is uploaded in Facebook, there is a change of it looking too edgy.

 Photoshop high pass filterLike any other technique, there are many ways you can add details in Photoshop. I will show you a very simple technique. Once you understand how this works you can experiment with some of the other techniques.
  • Step 1. Duplicate the selected layer with a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (PC) or Command+J oP MAC
  • Step 2. Open the High Pass filter: Filter > Other > High Pass on the top layer
  • Step 3. Apply an appropriate value (just to see the edges in the image) and click Okay
  • Step 4. Change the blending mode of the top layer to Overlay
  • Step 5. Adjust the opacity of that layer to your taste


5. Photoshop Filter Gallery

Photoshop tips filters

Filters are basically automated effects that you apply to your images with a few clicks. Filters can help you to achieve certain special effects or looks. There are various filters in Photoshop, which you can pick individually, each filter results in different effect when applied to different images. You an also apply more than one and stack them. Though I don’t use filters much, it’s good to explore if you are just starting out in Photoshop. Later, when you are more familiar with advanced tools and techniques you can try to create the similar effect from manual options and controls.

To apply a filter select the layer and go to Filter > Filter Gallery. Before you apply any filter in the gallery make sure to change your image to 8 bit. You can do that by going to Image > Mode > 8 bits/channel

Photoshop filter gallery

I hope these 5 basic Photoshop tips will help you to retouch and enhance your photos. If you have others suitable for beginners please share in the comments below.

How to Get Your Craft Show Business off the Ground

For years, family, friends and even people who you just meet, have really liked the crafts you produce. They are the centerpiece for conversation at holiday dinners, or the, “that’s a great idea”? thing when neighbors come over for a coffee. So, you’ve decided that you might be able to make a profit off of selling your crafts to others. Great! Here’s what you need to do to make it work!

Have a plan – Even if you just scrawl it down on a piece of loose leaf paper, that will work – but you should definitely go into this with a plan. You will plan for things like: how many craft shows you will attend, the cost to make the craft and how much you should sell it for, craft show expenses (they vary from show to show), how many crafts you want to produce, and so on. By going into this without a plan, you are essentially going in blindly, without a path to follow. This can be a precursor to failure – and that isn’t what we want. Set some goals, determine a few craft show costs and you are going to be much better off.

Search the markets – A lot of people have expressed an interest in your craft, but are they going to buy it at craft shows? In order to find out, you need to go to a few craft shows before you start out on your own and decide if this product you have will sell. Are others selling it? If so, how is it selling? Further, you can talk to craft store employees, other crafters, people at the craft shows – essentially anyone who might have an interest in your product and see if your craft is something they would buy. This is a slimmed-down version of market research – but it will be valuable to help you get your craft show business off the ground.

Present well – If you have put together a plan, done your market research and you are ready to take this crafting business to the next level, then here is something you need to think about – presentation. If you just have a few tables with your crafts strewn about on the table – people will be less likely to buy.

However, if you create an attractive sales area, make your products easily accessible and provide a simple transaction for the customer – they are far more likely to buy!

The price is right – You bet it is! You will have to do a little bit of price discovery when you start, just to see the price when most of your crafts are going to sell. Some tips for finding the best prices are: go a penny lower than the next highest number; for example $9.99 instead of $10. Ask people what they would be willing to pay for it. The question may come as a surprise to them, but chances are they will give you an honest answer.


How to Make an Antique Cloth Bookmark

Want a bookmark that looks old and authentic? Make this one!

Find a piece of rectangle cloth and put it in a mixture of coffee powder and water.

Leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes.

Take it out and squeeze the excess coffee out. Put out to dry.

Choose a font or lettering. You can go online and find various styles, like calligraphy or even Viking runes.

In pencil first, mark out your name on the bookmark you have just made.

Use a permanent pen to go over the pencil.

 What Is a Religious Icon?

A religious icon is a representation of a saint, the Blessed Virgin or Christ that may be rendered in paint on wood, ceramic mosaic, precious stones or metals, weavings and tapestries, marble, ivory or other media. Most commonly, icons are defined as paintings on wood panels, displayed and venerated in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. They are symbolic windows to the sacred through which the faithful contemplate holy mysteries and, some believe, the figure depicted in the icon offers a blessing in return.

A 12th-century mosaic at the Hagia Sophia shows the Virgin and Christ Child against a gold background.

Portable and Permanent Icons

  • Religious icons are created to inspire direct communication with the saint or deity depicted. Believers seek a sense of the presence of the sacred, and they petition the subject of the icon for a special grace or healing. Small icons, like religious medals, can be worn around the neck. Historically, icons were suspended on poles and carried into battle to secure victory in the name of God. Other forms of icons include wooden triptychs, which are three-fold painted panels that open out, “awakening” the icon and firing up a connection to the divine. Church frescoes and mosaics are fixed panels and walls showing sacred figures and scenes. Churches like the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a magnificent domed basilica with a ceiling and walls decorated with elaborate mosaic icons, were designed to celebrate Christian articles of faith in images.

Breathing Spirit

  • Making the traditional painted wood icon involves a series of symbolic actions. The selection and preparation of the thinnest panel of seasoned wood reminds believers of the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. The breath of life is evoked when the iconographer breathes on the image to moisten it slightly so the delicate gold leaf will adhere to it. Gold represents the divine light of paradise, and it shines behind the image of a saint to indicate that the saint is looking down from heaven. Each of the egg tempura colors has its own meaning. Red is divinity or martyrdom, white means wisdom or purity, white with black symbolizes truth, orange is faith, greens and browns mean the earth and humanity, and blue is the symbol for eternity. Even the egg in the paint mix is a symbol for resurrection.

Widespread Iconography

  • Icons are associated with Christianity, but they have existed as powerful and mystical objects from earliest recorded history. Cave chambers covered in paintings may have been sites of religious worship and revelation. Pagan images evoked the gods and goddesses. Asian religions continue to connect icons with powerful blessings; Hindu statues of deities are believed to be murtis — living figures of the gods. Artistic depictions of religious scenes and saints were important teaching tools, bringing the great mysteries of many faiths to the uneducated and illiterate. Today, Roman Catholics expressly permit iconic statues, paintings, carved panels and stained glass windows in their churches for purposes of inspiration and contemplation. But Catholics are reminded to venerate the idea represented, not the image.

Not by Human Hands

  • Some icons are considered miraculous, their origins not attributed to work by human hands. The term for these icons is “acheiropoieta,” and they include a Byzantine cloth, called the Mandylion, bearing the image of the face of Christ. This is a concept nearly identical to the Roman Catholic Shroud of Turin, believed to be the grave wrappings of Christ that bear his imprint. One characteristic of acheiropoieta is the ability to transmit iconic images — copy itself to another media. Another acheiropoieta, the Keramion, is a ceramic tile said to have received the Christ image from the Mandylion after coming in contact with it. These supernaturally produced icons — like the Mexican statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe — are venerated as relics and seen as sources of divine power and healing.Read more :

Ea Sports Launches Event Marketing Tour For Fifa Soccer 11

Gym memberships always spike in a sluggish start the halloween. With a small fortune and a signed contract, you can spend time with Lars and a location full of perfect human specimens. Whenever you fumble while using routine within your “not so perfect physique” you are reminded of high school gym class and the self conscious desire to slide back in the locker place.

First, I’ll go over my top picks for optimum deals undertake it ! find at Wal-Mart this Friday if you are willing to pass through the people-traffic nightmare. However, I would suggest that since Kingwood can be a small town, you might prefer to work shop here and very likely be able to secure great deals without getting trampled onto. It may be lengthy shot, nevertheless will oftimes be less congested that the Morgantown area Wal-Marts. I’ve separated my picks into four categories: Electronics, Toys, Clothes, and jewellery. While I know this doesn’t cover everything, it certainly covers nearly all of noticing be looking for the best.

There is not a Madden 2012 game with no NFL season. Therefore ea sports will have to travel without a Madden game for to start with since ’94. No one will be happy about this, which means gamers tend to be upset while using the NFL very much like all one other NFL freakouts. ea sports will lose a lot of money, as a result of NFL players and team owners.

Also starting out with the league is Heritage, which reached the playoffs as a member of the Mountain Pass League a last year. Patriots’ running back Scott Benson logged 1,148 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns last season. He has a quality offensive line around him, led by 240-pound David Hogan.

With a balance board when a fitness program like gym cardio workout or fifa 15 Active, start your fitness routine right a good family rm. No muss, no fuss workouts without Buffy judging you in the trunk row. It can save you money, lose weight and have fun all concurrently. If you find you need something different, you can also hook down the Fun Xercise Bike that connects on the box and allows in order to definitely pedal your method around motion picture world.

Do end dismayed, though, because assist be discussing basic facts and theories regarding pro football bet. First off, know the standards. One of the most standard rule is that games are official soon after the game has begun for 55 minutes. Overtime plays are counted but may stop depending upon bookie. Should there are disputes pertaining to being settled in regards to the teams even after the game, these disputes are taken into account to decide who is winner could.

He was firm and fair. Could something we pray for during the Prison Services. We pray the all of the officers is actually firm and fair, and the prisoners appear appreciate that particular.

Go for the most luxurious hotel perfect afford and spoil yourselves. Take along some massage oils and order room service or wine. Watch the sunset from of the question or balcony, hang the ‘Do Not Disturb’ register the door and leave the TV switched down.

How to Price Antiques and Collectibles

Evaluating an antique prior to purchasing or trying to determine a good selling price can be tedious and drawn out or it can be quick, simple and even fun. The important thing is gathering information as quickly as possible. The value of any antique or collectible is defined as what someone is willing to pay for the item on a given day. Items in antique stores sit year after year doing no more than collecting dust because they are priced beyond their value. This is a very expensive mistake for the dealer. An item sitting may be replacing other items that may have sold in short time. It is better to make a small profit on a lot of items than no profit on a dust collecting overpriced white elephant. Here are some ways to find and use resources for both sales and appraisals.

Scour TV and Radio shows for useful pieces of information. The best example would be Antiques Road Show – more for fun for the casual collector but the serious collector will savor and set to memory all the trinkets of information offered up the guest appraisers. Often these guests are “appraisers of all trades” to coin a phrase but are a master of there own passion. That’s where the great info comes from. Those little tidbits increase the value of every item to some degree.

  • Example: Let’s say you own a 1967 Camaro. Worth a few dollars. If the president is well known for having a similar car and still brags “it is the favorite car I ever owned”, That tidbit will increase the value slightly. Now let’s say that the same Camaro was owned by the president when he was in college. That piece of info may double the value of the car. Obviously a Camaro isn’t an antique but as “Road Show” viewers will attest, the highest values almost always have a story with a name attached.

Be sure any book you buy is loaded with pictures. Antique and collectible books are loaded with information and you can buy books about almost anything antique or collectible. The best places to find these sources are bookstores like Barnes and Noble or Borders, online in places like Amazon or Ebay and in larger antique stores.

If you use a professional appraiser, get two, three or more until you are pretty sure about the consistency of the evaluations. Some will take your item, look it up in a book, charge you a fee and are finished without further effort. Be careful. The best appraiser is going to be from an auction house that caters to your type of antique or collectible. They want to sell the item for you and are not likely to throw a random number out there. In any case never take one appraisal as the final value.

Browse antique stores. Antique stores are great because you can touch and see the items. Having that hands on experience will tell you a lot about your item. While there find the owner or an employee and and ask questions. In most cases people who work in antique stores are dealers and have a pretty good base knowledge about most antiques and collectibles. However this could be a regional thing or even limited to what they like. Use their info as a base or guide. Be very careful in taking a dealer’s information as the final word unless you yourself are very familiar with the product and dealer. That said a dealer who has been in the trade a long time or who has spent time as a “picker” may be the best source you’ll ever find.

Visit auction houses. Two familiar auction houses are Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Both offer appraisals. In some cases free, in other situations there may be a need for a fee. There are a great many auction houses out there and contacting them is as simple as getting online and doing a search. Another nice thing about auction houses are the item catalogs printed for the auction. Most will have an estimated sells value and because of the pictures and the pre evaluations the catalogues themselves are collectable resources and have a fine resell value. Items sold in these types of establishments are usually upper end and this is where you might find very important collectibles from a Rembrandt painting to the original Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key were it ever made available by the United States Library of Congress.

Check online auction sites. Ebay, Amazon and others have great sites with plenty of items. Here is where you will get what is the closest true evaluation of of your antique or collectible. Remember anything is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it – not the asking price. On Ebay sign in and search your item. Go to thecompleted listings (you’ll have to sign in in you haven’t already). This is what people are willing to pay and is probably the best real time estimate of you item’s true value on any given day. If you don’t try any of the other sources don’t skip this one.

How to Determine if a Painting Is an Original or Reproduction

If you are buying a painting for your own enjoyment, buy what you like and what feels reasonable. But buying a work of art as an investment is very different. It is not so much the art as who painted it, and the provenance: the proof of the artist’s actual connection to the piece.


Do your homework. Research the piece, know the artist’s work, look at many of his pieces, compare signatures, get close-ups of the signature. Increasing your knowledge is critical to examining the piece and knowing what to look for when judging authenticity.

Visit museums study the patinas. If you ask to see the back of a painting, the staff may show you. Examine the feel and look of old art works. Study the depth and number of layers of paint needed to achieve the color desired by the artist.

Look at the front and back of the piece.

  • Examine the patina of the piece itself: dirt and dust of the ages, texture, the brightness of colors, or lack thereof.
  • Study the canvas, do a thread count, modern or old?
  • Is there some patina on the back surface of the canvas?
  • Look for anachronisms. If the canvas is stapled on the back of a 1800’s piece of art, something is wrong.

Look at the patina of the wood to determine whether the wood is old.Determine how the frame is put together, considering what kind of nails and hanger are used.

Look for bristles. Painted copies sometimes will have hairs from the cheap paint brush still in the paint on the canvas.

Use your nose. When you do get your hands on the painting, smell it. It takes oil a while to dry and years to completely lose the smell of oil.

Decide about how the piece feels to you. Balance everything, many fakes for example have no depth of paint, layers, it’s easy to copy a piece electronically but a photo copier cannot get the layers of paint a real piece has.

Check for consistency. A fake painted copy needs everything else to match, frame wise, and a patina is hard to reproduce.

Get the work appraised. If it is something you are in love with, you need a third party to independently review it, someone who is not in love. How do you know if the appraiser is reliable? He or she should have a certificate from one or more of the professional associations of art appraisers, have a history of work with the particular artist or medium or period, and preferably not be a dealer or broker of art himself. One example is <a href=”” target= “_blank”>Wearing Art to be an Hobbies</a>, who is an expert in Salvador Dali, whose prints are often copied. Research the market history of the artist. What have other works of this artist sold for at other auction houses, this size, time frame, and same medium?

Note that some dealers, perhaps including those on cruise ships, may attempt to confuse the buyer with sizes and periods, even mediums to sell a lesser piece at inflated prices. Look for signature and number. For prints they must be signed, and numbered.Signed in stone is of little interest, because unlimited copies can be drawn.

Research the gallery. Many pieces will have gallery stickers or information written on the back. Research that gallery to learn whether it is. Look for signs of wear. There should be some signs of wear, on the frame, even the canvas sometimes. Wooden edges not quite as sharp after 50, 100 years, and drier. Research the artist for reputation. Know that some artists are known to have signed blank paper, which later have prints drawn on/from them, which means the artist did not even supervise the pulls. These would be of significantly lesser value. Salvador Dali was know to have done this,

Beware of a scam where the print is not numbered but another document is, which is meaningless, as any signed in stone can be used in place of the real item.

How to Make Paper Art

When you hear the term “paper art,” you probably imagine origami–those cute little animals and birds made from folding a sheet of paper into intricate folds, creating the image of a living being. Origami may be the most widely known paper art, but there are many other forms of paper art that you can enjoy.


  1. Choose a design that appeals to you. There are patterns available for many different designs that come with full instructions for folding the paper.
  2. Purchase origami paper. This paper is designed for use in creating origami. It is thin and lightweight and folds easily. It is available in many different sizes and colors, often with each side of the paper a different color.
  3. Follow the instructions for the design you wish to create. If you are new to origami, it is best to choose a simple design for beginners. Be patient as you learn this new art form. Your skills will develop as your practice folding and creating designs.

Paper Mache

  1. Consider paper mache for creating 3-D art forms out of paper. Paper mache can be used to create elaborate and detailed sculptures and other pieces of art. Although you may think paper mache is just for kids, you are mistaken. Some truly wonderful designs are possible with nothing more than some paper and a little glue and water.
  2. Shred newspapers into strips 1/2-inch by the length of the paper. These pieces will be used to develop the base of your project.
  3. Mix plain white school glue with warm water. Add enough glue that the water feels slippery and smooth to the touch. It does not have to be gooey and sticky.
  4. Soak the paper strips in the glue and water mixture until they are soft and well saturated. Do not leave the strips in the water for long periods as they will dissolve.
  5. Cover the object you are using for a base to your project with strips of paper mache. Smooth them with your hands to remove and wrinkles or bumps. You can create a base with inflated balloons, chicken wire or any other lightweight material.
  6. Allow to dry overnight. Add layers to your piece of art by using newspaper and the glue mixture. To build up areas, you can use finely shredded newspapers that have been nearly dissolved in the glue and water mixture. Squeeze out excess water and apply to the area like sculpting material.
  7. Paint the finished project.

Paper Models

  1. Choose a design that appeals to you and purchase or download the appropriate patterns and instructions. See the resource section for free patterns for paper models.
  2. Follow the instructions for creating the 3-D model. These are similar to origami, but are made from multiple pieces and are not folded from one sheet of paper.
  3. Be patient and don’t get discouraged. Building 3-D paper models is difficult and requires time.

Business Potential Of Developing Mobile Apps

What we use today? Nowadays any mobile device has a wide range of features: messages, gaming, music and streaming services, watching videos, social networking, shopping, online surfing, news, etc. That is why portable devices become more and more popular during the recent years.
Thus mobile devices industry evolved a lot and doesn’t stop to expand: mobile phones, smartphones, tablet sales, mobile Internet subscribers and app downloads — all goes in the favor of bright future for the industry.
Let’s just take a look at some of the amazing facts in numbers:
– Total number of mobile subscribers is around 5.3 billion (and there are only 2 billion of desktop Internet users) and 30 percent of the total amount represent smartphone users;
– The global mobile games market actually hit $9.6 billion by the end of 2011 and mobile gaming revenues will surpass a stunning $16 billion by 2016;
– Canalys predicted that direct revenue from the sale of mobile applications, in-app purchases and subscriptions for only smartphones and tablets was more than $14 billion in 2012 rising up to $36.7 billion by the end of this year;
– Google’s gross revenue from just mobile advertising is more than $1 billion per year; Android is became the number one smartphone operating system in 2011 (taking a total of 38.5 percent of global market).
Now, take a look at the facts surrounding the apps market:
– The most popular game, Angry Birds, cost $140 000 to develop and has already generated $70 million revenue;
– The App Store has featured over 100 000 games;

– In 2011 alone, Apple announced that more than 18 billion of applications were downloaded from their App Store;
– On average, US phone users have around 10 applications on board and smartphone users have 22 apps;
– Twitter has around 11.4 million mobile visitors, and the number is increasing daily;
To better understand the market potential of mobile apps, you need to know which categories earn the most. Those are games, news, maps, social networking and music.
The mobile industry goes hand in hand with the mobile devices market. The development of these apps is the most potential market. It is focused on any small, medium or large mobile applications. People want to buy plane tickets, make reservations, order food, pay debts and bills, access their social networking sites, edit documents, share photos and entertain with the help of their mobile phones.
Most mobile devices have only some basic applications, but you can download thousands of other applications to customize and personalize your mobile device. Our phones are becoming our most private property. To run a successful business far from the office, it’s important to have shared mobile business tools to view and edit Microsoft Office documents, powerful organizers (complex schedules, contacts), online services for social networking, online conference (e.g. Skype), maps, business cards and many, many more. Every single one of them has a market potential as well as it has financial.

How to Design 3D Models With Paper

Making 3D models out of paper is a complex and time consuming craft. It is sometimes used by draftsmen and even architecture students to create a preliminary building design, but it can also be used for many other types of designs. Boats, planes, animals and even dinosaur skeletons have been made in paper crafts. Keep in mind that you will need to use a thick card-stock paper and a sharp craft knife, like an Exacto knife, to cut out tiny parts

Depending on your design, you may be able to use one of these to cut the paper.


  1. Decide on what you want to make. A building has slightly different requirements than a dinosaur skeleton.
  2. Use a photograph to analyze what you want to make from every side and angle if possible.
  3. Draw a scale image of every visible (exterior) part on graphing paper—for a house, draw the outer walls, roof and chimney; for a dinosaur, draw each tiny bone. Make sure your measurements are accurate and consistent so that each piece will fit together.
  4. Cut out the shapes of every section you have drawn. Don’t forget to cut out something to mount them on if necessary. For example, your dinosaur will need an appropriately sized spine to hold each rib and vertebra.
  5. Lay out your pieces all together and in order so that you can see what goes where. Build from the inside out—for a house, start with the inside of the house, move to the roof, and then finish with the exterior walls; for a dinosaur, start with the internal bone structure and build onto it while moving out so that you end with the extremities and the head.
  6. Use a quick drying glue that will still allow enough time for correcting any possible mistakes. Modeling glue is ideal.

How to Refinish Antique Furniture

Valuable tips on refinishing antique furniture. Tips to refinish like a pro without damaging the integrity or value of the piece. Maintain your investment.

Confirm that you are not removing the patina from an expensive antique.What you don’t want is to take a $1,000 table and refinish into a $100 table.

Before you begin always read and understand instructions on all labels of the chemicals and solvents you are using and always work in a well-ventilated area. The fumes can cause dizziness or death if not used in a properly ventilated space. Also, your local hardware specialist can serve as a great source of information with this project, its steps, and material needed.

Wash vs. Strip: Decide whether the old finish should come off or if a thorough cleaning will do. Perhaps a rejuvenating coat of varnish will bring it back to its original luster. If cleaning an unpainted piece, hand cleaner containing pumice used with a toothbrush to get into crevices works well. After cleaning you will know better what you are working with. In many instances you can save a lot of work by just refinishing parts of the piece i.e. the drawer front and top of a table or bureau or maybe just the arms and seat of a chair and then rejuvenating the rest of the piece.

Strip/Paint Remover: Always use rubber gloves and a mask when using stripper. Use lots of remover and do not brush back and forth. Put on a thick layer of stripper with one stroke. The stripper will form a skin, like pudding. Place plastic trash bags or newspaper on top of the stripper to help keep the stripper from drying out. Always position the piece so you are working on a horizontal surface, this also keeps you from doing too much at one time. Place a piece of masking tape over the backside of any key and knob holes so the stripper doesn’t spatter the back of the drawer.

Don’t remove any stripper until you can rub with one finger (without scraping) down to bare wood. If the piece has a carving, plan to leave the stripper on those areas longer.

Removing the Stripper: Periodically peek under the plastic to determine how quickly the stripper is working. You may need to flow on additional stripper if it the finish is thick. When the finish is soft, scrape it off with an expired credit card or a putty knife, but a credit card is less likely to damage the wood.

Wash: When the stripper has softened the finish, scrape off as much as possible, so you can wash down the piece with the appropriate solvent or water. It is very important to read the container to determine appropriate washing liquid. Scrub with a stiff brush with course wood chips, hamster bedding from the pet store will work just fine! This will clean and dry the piece around spindles and carvings. If the piece you are stripping is veneered, be careful when using water as to not lift the veneer. When refinishing, it is more desirable to make every effort to bring forth the original surface and not produce a new one.

Sand/Sandpaper: To remove light scratches, which is all you should do, use fine grit sandpaper. As a novice, the finer the sandpaper you use, the longer it will take to make a mistake. 120 C open coat aluminum oxide will do nicely. To remove any stripper residue and set the wood up to accept a finish, 220 open coat aluminum oxide is good. To sand various shapes and moldings on your piece you can use old felt. Shape it and cover it with sandpaper. (Important information on sandpaper: The 120 refers to the grit size. The lower the number, the coarser the paper.)

Stain: Your best bet is to purchase the leading brand of pigmented wiping stain, which are color fast, direct-to-wood stains formulated to develop and highlight the grain of all wood species. They can be cross-mixed to achieve different tones i.e. adding mahogany to walnut for a reddish brown color or ebony to walnut for a deep dark brown. Brush the stain on, leave it for a moment and wipe it dry. Make sure to use rubber gloves and a mask during the staining process as well.

Remember to place all used rags in an approved airtight container. Do notleave them on the bench all bunched up, as spontaneous combustion may cause them to burst into flames! If you do not have a container, lay the rags out flat to dry, preferably outside. Any rags containing solvents are extremely dangerous.

Finish: Now your piece is ready for the finish. To keep it simple the best method is a wipe on finish. There are even wipe on polyurethane finishes for optimal protection. Just put the finish on with a soft cloth keeping it wet until it doesn’t seem to want to absorb any more finish, then wipe it dry. Wait 24 hours and then give the piece a light sanding with 320 sandpaper and apply the finish again. You can do this as many times as you wish, but three or four coats should suffice. Start out with a gloss finish and the last coat should be a semi gloss. Your piece is now ready for that special spot in your home.

Facts About Digital Art

Today, digital art is on display practically everywhere you go. Billboards, train and bus advertisements, and magazines are all laden with digital art. Digital media or art is created using digital processes like video to make “independent films,” digitally shot prints by photographers, some music, paintings and other visual artwork. It is in demand at cultural and educational institutions such as museums, libraries and archives, the publishing industry, and other arts and entertainment venues.

Digital art is becoming increasingly important to many different industries.


  • Engineers and scientists in the mid-1960s were at the forefront of computer technology and art. During this time, they were the only ones who had access to mainframe computers. Algorithmic methods were used to create scientific artwork instead of the interactive graphical user interfaces that are used today. Many artists rejected this new form of digital art at first, but soon accepted the intertwining of art and technology. In 1965, the first digital or computer art exhibitions were organized by a group of scientists at the Wise Gallery in New York and in Stuttgart, Germany. Billy Kluver and artist Robert Rauschenberg in 1967 formed an organization, EAT or Experiments in Art and Technology, that promoted the collaboration of artists and engineers. This lead to Cybernetic Serendipity, one of the most important milestones in digital art exhibitions. It was held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1968.
    Computer art became popular in the mid-1960s.
    Computer art became popular in the mid-1960s.

Early Digital Artists

  • In 1968, Vera Molnar, from Budapest, Hungary, invented “Machine Imaginaire.” She transformed different geometric shapes, such as a triangle, by rotating and deforming, erasing parts or merging them with other geometric shapes (similar to some screen saver images today).

    Larry Cuba was a pioneer in animation art and produced his first computer animation in 1974. One of Cuba’s most famous works was for the animated sequences used in the movie “Star Wars.”

    Lillian Schwartz is a digital artist best known for computer art and analysis in graphics, film, video, animation, special effects, virtual reality and multimedia. Her artwork was the first computer-generated art to be acquired by the Museum of Modern Art.

Digital Art Software Companies

  • Wavefront Technologies was founded in 1984 by Mark Sylvester, Larry Barels and Bill Kovacs. They started out producing computer graphics for television commercials and movies, which later led them to design the Dream Quest software that was used to create more than 90 visual effects sequences for the movie “Crimson Tide.” Wavefront also join together with Atari to create the software Gameware, which was used to create Atari video games.

    In 1983, Stephen Bingham, Nigel McGrath, Susan McKenna and David Springer founded Alias Research. Alias created a realistic 3D video animation software package for the advertising and movie industries. They launched Alias/1, in 1985, a software that produces smoother and realistic lines or surfaces for animated creations.

Digital Art Exhibitions

  • The Society for Photographic Education (SPE) sponsors an annual exhibition throughout the United States for the discussion of photography in media and its value as a means of creative expression. ISA International Sign Exhibition is another traveling exhibition that displays new and innovative designs for billboards and other public advertising mediums.


  • Growing and expanding industries have a high demand for digital art skills. There is a great need of digital artists in computer and game designs, animation, web design, publishing and other communication and visual media. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, employment of artists is expected to grow through the year 2018, as advertisers and computer design firms demand innovative technology artists. Digital art also has great significance to interactive media such as cellular telephones and personal digital assistants, PDAs. It covers a broad spectrum of art and technological industries with no foreseen decrease in popular demand

How to Make Paper Look Old

Old paper has a mysterious charm. Here are several methods for making common paper appear artfully antique and damaged.

Solvent (tea, coffee, OJ) and Baking

Pick a solvent. To age your paper, you can soak it in coffee (darker color), tea (medium color) or orange juice (light color), or a combination of brewed tea and coffee grounds. If you choose orange juice, you may want to skip the next step.There are a few ways you can make the paper look old, even if its new fresh paper. You can write on it and send it to someone far away or where you live. Do not overdo one of the steps, or it will not turn out as great as you want it to be.

Brew the coffee or tea (optional). For a lighter-colored solvent, use very little coffee or dunk a teabag in a warm mug of water a few times, then remove. For a richer tone, use more coffee grounds than usual or let the tea bag steep in hot water for five minutes. Because making tea and coffee usually requires hot water, let your solvent cool for a bit before using it on your paper – you don’t want to burn your fingers.

Place the paper on a baking or cookie sheet. Make sure the paper can fit inside the sheet easily, without going over the edges.

Pour in the solvent. Start pouring in a corner of the baking sheet, not directly over the paper. Only pour enough liquid to make a small pool beneath the sheet of paper; the paper does not need to be completely covered because it will soak up the solvent beneath it.

Preheat the oven. Set the oven to bake at 200ºF (90ºC). It will be warm by the time your paper is done soaking.

Let the paper soak for five minutes. Allow plenty of time for the paper to absorb the pigment from the solvent. If you notice any dry spots, spoon up some of the liquid and pour it over the paper.

Pour off the excess solvent. Put one finger down on the paper to anchor it to the baking sheet, then tilt the sheet over the sink to drain the leftover liquid. You can also gently transfer the paper to a clean baking sheet, if you prefer.

Modify the paper (optional). Before you put the baking sheet and paper in the oven, you can add a few touches to make the paper seem even older while it’s damp and easy to manipulate. Tear a thin, jagged strip off the side. Or, dig small holes out of the paper with your fingernail; you can crumple these tiny wads and move them to other parts of the paper for a bumpy, parchment-like look. Additionally, you can press down on the paper with something like a fork to leave imprints.

Place the paper and the baking sheet in the oven. If you can, put the sheet on a middle oven rack.

Bake for five to seven minutes. Keep an eye on the paper as it bakes. Once you see the edges starting to curl up, it’s finished.

Remove the paper and allow it to cool. =Give the paper 10 to 15 minutes to cool down before you attempt writing on it.


How to Design a 3D Kitchen Using Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is an excellent tool for creating just about any digital image. While Photoshop is not normally used to create 3-D artwork or designs, there are options and tools that can be used to create the effect. These techniques can be picked up with relative ease compared to using a more traditional 3-D-based design software. Once completed, your kitchen design can be used to create a full overhaul of your existing kitchen layout.

How to Design a 3D Kitchen Using Adobe Photoshop


  1. Click the line tool and set the pixel size to 4. Click the circle on the middle left section of the the screen and create a small (1-inch diameter or less) dot for the vanishing point of the illustration. This will allow you to create a 3-D kitchen using single point perspective. Draw a rectangle around the perspective point so that the dot is in the upper right corner for the back wall. Click the line tool on the upper right-hand corner and drag it to the upper right hand corner to create a ceiling line. Click on the bottom right-hand corner of the back wall rectangle and drag this to bottom right corner of the screen to create the bottom of the right wall.
  2. Click the line tool inside the dot and drag the tool diagonally to the upper right to create the top of the cupboard. Click and drag another line just under this to create the bottom front edge of the cupboard. Click on the top cupboard line halfway up the line and drag a vertical line down to connect to the bottom front edge of the cupboard. This will create the end of the cupboard.
  3. Click in the bottom left corner of the cupboard and drag a horizontal line across the screen to the right to create the bottom of the cupboards. Click inside the dot and drag two lines going diagonally to the bottom right corner of the screen to create the top of the oven and kitchen counter. Click inside the dot and drag a line down and to the right so it goes off the middle bottom right of the screen. This will create the bottom of the kitchen counters and oven. Draw a rectangle with your line tool to the left of the perspective point to create the refrigerator. Click on the upper right and bottom right corner of the refrigerator and drag a line from each corner into the perspective point.
  4. Click on the line denoting the front edge of the kitchen counter, directly to the left of the back wall. Drag a line horizontally to the right until you hit the back edge of the kitchen counter. Click at the same point where the horizontal line was started and drag a vertical line down from this point to the bottom edge of the kitchen counter. This will create the back corner of the kitchen counter.
  5. Add three vertical lines inside the cupboards to create the separate cupboard doors. Click inside the dot and drag a diagonal line that is between the bottom of the cupboard and the top back of the kitchen counter. Add four vertical lines, one near the end of the counters, two grouped close together near the bottom right of the screen to create the top right section of the oven, and one in between to show the left end of the oven. Add two perpendicular horizontal lines to create the right side edge, and then two more perpendicular vertical lines to show the rest of the right side edge of the stove. Repeat this on the left end of the stove.
  6. Add the handles to the refrigerator and cupboards with small rectangles that you create with vertical lines. Add the cabinets to the kitchen counter with two diagonal rectangles under the right side of the kitchen counter. Click on the square brush for the eraser and set the size to 25 pixels. Erase all the overlapping or unnecessary perspective lines you used to create the cupboards, oven, refrigerator and kitchen counter.
  7. Use the paint bucket tool to add color or shading to the picture. Click on the color you would like and dump this on the area you want colored. Create shadows by choosing a color two shades darker and dumping that on the underside or side areas of the object. Save the image as a Jpeg at maximum resolution. You can take this design to an architect or interior designer, and they will help you bring the design to life.

Getting involved in the arts yourself

Get involved! The arts are about creativity and self-expression, so whatever your passion, get out there and enjoy the art. Arts are broad, including drawing, painting, performing, street theater, making murals, crafting, engaging the community in artistic projects and much more, so there are plenty of things to explore and find your own artistic niche within.

  • If you haven’t yet discovered the activity that’s for you, find out about free or cheap tester classes you can join. Ask if you can borrow materials initially, or look online for many cheap options such as auctions of art materials people no longer need.

Do some reading. Go to your local library and find books on photography, art, ballet or even the art of performance.

  • Read up on these arts online, whatever your particular interests are. There are many reviews and articles on all of the arts available for free. That frees your budget to make knowledgeable purchases from local artists.

Go to a museum or art gallery. Find an art, ballet, photo or performance museum. If you can’t go in person, see online exhibits if they are available.

  • When on vacation, visit museums and galleries in your vacation area. You’ll broaden your appreciation of your favorite arts and appreciate your local artists’ works even more by deepening your knowledge. You’re on vacation anyway, so why not see what artists and musicians, etc., are producing in the cool place you visited? If you take vacations in the same place every year as some people enjoy doing, you can become an annual regular and support particular artists — the local painter in your holiday spot, the little pub that always has good Celtic music, that theatre, the opera house.
  • If you like opera, definitely get at least bargain tickets and experience it live. Opera houses operate on a shoestring despite the number of millionaires that donate. They need to sell those empty cheap student seats at the back and it’s a wonderful experience. The productions cost so much and involve so many live people not only performing but doing all the work of creating the production that they’re always operating at a brutal budget. If you’re an opera lover who lives near an opera house, consider volunteering your time and effort to help keep the house going.

Donate to charities who support the arts or donate to organizations directly.For example, the National Endowment for the Arts, who help art programs throughout America. Donate to art programs You can donate to programs in your school or city.

  • Organize a monthly art hop. Sign up various art venues in your area that will open their doors on one evening per month. A map and list could be offered in advance to help those planning their tours. Finger foods and beverages could be served at each spot.
  • Donate directly to local theatres, performance companies and arts events. Many of them accept donations. Your local arts council and local theatre troupe may need the donations more than something as big as the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Support PBS. Make a steady annual donation or watch when their pledge drive auctions and bid on things you want. Volunteer to work the phones at PBS pledge drives. PBS always needs it, everywhere, and doing this will also get more of your favorite programming purchased by your local PBS station. They listen to fan requests.
  • Purchase new copies of your favorite books at full price from living authors and donate them to your local library. The community will be better for it, those that can’t afford it will get to read it sooner, those that might never have found your favorite author may wind up buying their own copy when they have to return it. Everyone wins, and your author is more likely to continue writing instead of taking up something else because the bills need to be paid.

Get out there and experience it! The only way to boost your appreciation and support of the arts is to experience as many performances as possible. Be open-minded and you never know which new genres you will discover.

  • To save money, opt for cheaper seats or buy last-minute tickets from discount websites.
  • If you can’t afford original paintings from your favorite painters, consider their smaller works, sketches or limited edition prints. Whether you opt for lower priced works from the newest indie unknowns or the lower priced works by more successful artists, you will always be supporting the arts — and that supports the economy both local and national.

Get to know the artists. All of the arts are about communication. Forming relationships with artists and artisans, studying art appreciation and encouraging those that are growing in their arts also improves the quality of your own life. From furnishings and objects that you enjoy more than mass produced goods, to the social success of becoming more refined and knowledgeable to the inner spiritual growth that comes from awareness of beauty, supporting the arts will enrich your life in more ways than you would expect.

Asking for a commissioned piece of artwork

When buying art, choose an artist you enjoy (of any kind, performance or tangible) and then keep your description of your commission simple. Stick to the type of work that’s their specialty.

  • Don’t haggle over changes, give them a hard time or get too controlling. Part of supporting the arts is to encourage the artist to go on being an artist. You’re not buying real arts in order to get the cheapest bargain or rip off the painter for a masterpiece by paying less than he did for the materials! If you do that, there’s a good chance the artist will get disgusted, quit and do something else for a living, which reduces the appreciation of that masterpiece.


How to Choose a Craft Project

If you craft, you almost certainly have unfinished projects sitting on the shelf. Did you ever stop to think about why or where those came from? Would you like to choose projects you’re more likely to finish and use? Here are some factors to consider when choosing your next craft project.

Have a purpose in mind. Your purpose might be to make a gift for someone, to have something to exchange with another crafter, to use up certain materials you have on hand, to practice or demonstrate a new technique, to produce a useful or decorative object, or to encapsulate memories or sentiments.

  • Knowing your purpose will guide your design decisions. For example, it will help you to create an item that is sufficiently durable to withstand its later use. A bag that will be used to carry objects will need sturdier materials and construction than a wall hanging.

Have an audience in mind. Will you use or display the resulting craft yourself, give it to someone you know, or perhaps sell or trade the craft?

  • Thinking in terms of a purpose and an audience or recipient at the beginning will help you to choose a particular craft and design.
  • It will also focus the process itself and make it more likely that you will persist and complete the project.

Experiment and invent. Give yourself the time and space to doodle or tinker without purpose or direction. This is the opposite of the previous two steps, but crafting is a creative endeavor. At least every now and then, don’t be deliberate, at all; just play. You can use scraps and leftovers if you’d like to conserve resources.

Browse around and be on the lookout for inspiration. You may find inspiration in others’ work, in what materials are available, in craft kits, in books or on websites. You may also find inspiration in nature, in your friends, in your life, and in what you want to express.

Show your crafts to others. If you have already done some crafts, show them off or demonstrate them to somebody you know. They may have insights you don’t about how to use a particular technique or what sort of project to do next. Even if they don’t add much, explaining something may put you in the right frame of mind to build on (or expand beyond) your earlier creations.

Start small. Particularly if you are starting out with a new technique or craft, try a smaller sample piece to make sure it’s something you enjoy and have a feel for. You might knit a small bag, rather than an entire sweater, especially if this is your first attempt knitting. Make a greeting card or bookmark rather than an entire scrapbook.

  • Work up to larger projects. If you know you can keep at it long enough to quilt an entire bedspread, go for it. If you’re just starting out in quilting, go for a wall hanging, instead.

Read the directions. If your project has directions, read them. Do they make sense? Do they call for techniques or stitches you don’t yet know? If possible, read the direction before you buy the pattern or any other materials.

Think it through or sketch it out on paper. If your project doesn’t come with instructions, or if you’ll be changing anything compared to plans or patterns you are following, plan how you’ll go about it and make your own patterns or templates if you need to.

Make a sample. If you do need to try a new technique, try it on a small piece or scrap material first to get the hang of it before using it on a larger project. Samples and test pieces can also help you gauge and size a knitted or crocheted work and see what a finished color combination will look like on a larger scale.

Start in your stash or even your scrap bin, not the craft store. If you already have a supply of yarn, fabric, paper, wood, or anything else, chances are you collected these items because they interested or inspired you somehow. Sometimes you will incorporate these materials into a larger project. Other times, you can create wonderful things from materials and tools you already have.

  • Use the serendipity of combining whatever is in there. You might come out with a different result than you originally envisioned, and that might be a good thing.
  • Consider the ordinary pencil and paper. You almost certainly have them already, and if you can use them skillfully, you can create a drawing or a novel or sketch out a new invention or compose a song, all with the same simple tools.

Obtain any new tools or supplies you need. Do this after you have reviewed your existing supplies and committed to the project.

  • Don’t forget about the possibility of borrowing an item or buying it used, especially if it is a larger item or something you will only use rarely.
  • Sometimes you can improvise a piece of equipment or build your own from items you have.
  • Don’t let a craft project get bogged down for lack of appropriate materials.

Begin the project and be persistent. Many craft projects will require some practice to master the technique; many more will take a lot of time.

How to Buy Antiques

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. This certainly applies to antiques. Would you like to know how to start your own collection? This article may help.

Learn the difference between true antique, near antique and vintage:

  • true antique is at least 100 years old according to the majority of antique dealers. This is based on tradition and the customs laws of many countries. However, some societies define antiques as having been made before 1930.
  • near antique is anywhere between 75 to 99 years old
  • vintage means ‘of a certain time’. It is the description used for a range of collectibles, and especially those from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Explore your closets, attic, basement and/or storage room. Something that is already under your own roof might just answer one of the descriptions: the linens and silverware Grandma received as a wedding gift, a baby bed that has been used “for ages”, the toys your parents played with when they were children… the list goes on. Any of the objects you find could be the first piece of your collection.


  • Whether you want to keep these valuables or sell them. Either way: have them appraised, to make sure your insurance is adequate, that is, that it covers the value of all your antiques in the event of theft, damage or loss, or, if selling, to make sure you get a good price.
  • What exactly you are looking for:
    • A certain kind of object such as a sculpture?
    • A piece from a certain artist?
    • Artwork from a certain period, i.e. Art Deco?
  • How much you are willing to spend.

Browse at garage sales. You won’t be the first to find a rare object that was dismissed as “junk”… Remember the saying: “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure”?

Visit house auctions. What goes for you goes for anyone: pieces that don’t mean anything to other people might be just what you are looking for.

Search the Internet. Famous auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s can be visited online too. You may even find something at eBay.

Attend an auction at an auction house. Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams have offices all around the world, probably in your country as well. You will be able to see the pieces more closely before they are auctioned, and make a better decision whether or not you want a particular piece.

Bid online or on the telephone. This is called an absentee bid. To bid online, you are required to fill out a form either on paper or online. When your form is processed, you are registered to bid.

How to Use a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion

Religion plays a major role in the modern world, from the holy wars of Islamic jihadists to issues about diversity in the workplace. The study of religion is also a study of cultures, which can add considerably to a student’s knowledge and prepare her for a variety of careers outside the typical path of the ministry.

A religious social worker reads to a senior man.

What You’ll Learn

  • Before you consider how a degree in religion might be useful in a career, take stock of the skills and knowledge such a degree offers. A religious study major learns critical thinking skills by comparing and contrasting different religions and the cultures to which they belong, according to “The Princeton Review.” Religious studies will help improve your cultural literacy, according to the Why Study Religion website developed by the American Academy of Religion. You’ll learn how to analyze perplexing ethical questions and be trained in data gathering and direct observational skills. Finally, you will learn to value others’ perspectives and develop empathy.

Many Career Options

  • Religion majors have entered diverse careers, such as business, counseling, social work, education, journalism, law and medicine. They can be found in the hospitality and service industries, government positions, the Foreign Service, marketing, management, museums and the arts. Louisiana State University reports its students have gone on for graduate study at law school, nursing school and seminaries, and have earned degrees in biblical studies and social work. Other possible careers include community organizer, church administrator and high school teacher.

Start or Finish

  • Whether your bachelor’s degree is the last step in your education or the beginning of a longer journey depends on your ultimate goal. If your goal is social work, a bachelor’s degree in religion might be acceptable to some employers. Many teaching positions require only a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, if you want to pursue a doctorate of divinity, you’ll need to go on for a master’s degree and then enter a doctoral program. If your goal is medicine, your bachelor’s degree will allow you to enter medical school as long as you also complete prerequisites such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and English, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other Considerations

  • Education is only part of the picture for many careers. In addition to your bachelor’s degree, you might need other credentials or training to enter some professions, according to the BLS. Some states require social workers to be licensed. Teachers must typically complete a teaching internship to gain experience and must be certified or credentialed by the state in which they work. Physicians need a license and most choose to become board-certified, while lawyers must pass the bar examinations. Contact the governing board or professional association in your state to determine what you might need for the career you choose.

Pros & Cons of Promoting Creativity in the Classroom

There are many different views on promoting creativity in the classroom. Teachers view creativity as an ingredient for success for certain classes, but not others. Students love to be creative because they can create their own boundaries on projects, and make choices on how to complete assignments but “out-of-the-box” thinking is sometimes discouraged because it may infringe on the rules and the rights of other students.

Some school subjects are more conducive to creativity than others.

Pros of Creativity in the Classroom

  • Some argue that children need to learn how to be more creative so they can deal with the ever changing world when they become adults. They will need to rely on their thinking skills, wits, and intuition to keep pace with technology updates and problem-solving skills required for jobs and promotions. Creative mindsets are becoming more and more in demand. Creative employees are sometimes able to see options and solutions where others can’t, often saving companies large sums of money and creating jobs.

    Creativity builds a child’s self-esteem. It gives them a sense of satisfaction when they can come up with innovative ideas and can make their own choices. Promoting creativity assists children in learning how to solve problems and do projects in different ways. Instead of being told to do an assignment in a certain way, teachers can build on creativity by allowing students to choose their own methods of completing a homework task.

Cons of Creativity in the Classroom

  • Some subjects, such as science and math, are not very conducive to creativity. There are ways to be creative with projects and ways of figuring problems, but the scope of creativity is limited. Therefore, promoting creativity tends to work best in classes such as art, writing, and music.

    All children are creative, but some are much more so than others. By promoting creativity in the classroom, some of the students will have the upper hand while the others will be at a loss as to what to do, and feel left out or overwhelmed by the projects or assignments and the lack of structure and guidelines.

Teachers and Creativity

  • Creativity can be difficult to promote because there is so much emphasis on group involvement, structure, rules, and boundaries. All children are creative to some capacity, and it is up to the teachers to draw out the creativity in a productive and optimistic manner.


  • Creativity does have its drawbacks in some classroom situations, but for the most part it is essential to the total development and future success of the student. It is fast becoming a survival skill in today’s world, as the creative person is more adaptable and can come up with solutions to problems more quickly and easily.

Localizing your support for the arts

Support the arts in your local area. Youth theatres, amateur organizations and school productions need your support! There are hundreds of ways to get involved, whether you’re designing posters, sewing costumes or selling tickets.

  • Organize and help set up at festivals and fairs. Just helping a bunch of artists and crafters get their stuff unpacked and set up, or helping to organize an event that they can all show up to helps them big time!
  • Help promote local arts events by posting about them online, blogging them, making flyers or stapling flyers up.
  • If your town or city has an arts committee, find out what they need volunteers for. If it doesn’t, consider trying to form one.
  • Some types of local events you can help organize or prepare for are concerts, live performances including outdoor ones, art fairs, studio tours for artists, book signings and poetry readings, any of the arts can benefit from a public event and its exposure. If the artists have any recordings or physical things to sell, be sure the event’s rules allow them to sell their works even if the performance or show is free.

As you know practice makes perfect, so keep practicing and cultivating regularly. Be sincere.

  • Take classes in humanities or art, music or literature appreciation at your local community college. Some local community charges have a much lower “audit” fee if you attend the class but don’t take the tests, get a grade or college credit for it. When you’re attending just to improve your appreciation of the arts, auditing is just as good as taking the class to get in the right number of Humanities credits and leaves you more in your budget to buy real art, pay local musicians, get tickets, etc.


Supporting the arts with your money

Buy the arts! Don’t argue about the price, just look at your budget and decide what you need and want in life. No matter what your income or social class, you have at least some entertainment budget and you have choices in what to get for your necessities. When buying art, you support an artist in his or her pursuit of art, so every little bit counts. The following steps provide practical suggestions for purchases that support the arts.

  • Both fine art and artisan creations (crafts, chefs and arts that aren’t seen as fine art) support the local economy as well as give you a higher quality of lifestyle. You may find you can afford more personal luxury after you know these artists and discover what you like most. They also need to eat, do their laundry, pay their rent and local taxes on everything, so they are also helping everyone else in the area keep their jobs by pouring your spending money into building a stronger community. In all of these things, follow your personal tastes.
  • Don’t buy stuff you don’t need or like just to support the arts. Specifically support the artists and artisans whose work you enjoy and collect more of it over the years as they grow artistically. Your collection will deepen as well as broaden and you’ll be an important patron to these artists. It’s a luxury, so the point is to indulge yourself and get the best of their work.

Support the indie artist first. When deciding to go out for a show, consider tickets for live theater instead of a movie or an indie film rather than a first-run blockbuster. You’re supporting new actors, directors, producers and live theatrical houses when you make these choices. If a favorite comes along go ahead and get the first run viewing but opt for a matinee to save money so you can also see the indie film. You’ll have more variety in your viewing pleasure and your dates may find that you are more educated, sophisticated and intellectual than if you just go to the same movies everyone talks about.

Buy real paintings and drawings from living artists to decorate your home.Collect real art within your budget. If you like artists you can’t afford, consider smaller original pieces, sketches rather than paintings or archival limited edition prints. Then take care of your art collection by storing it in a cool, dark, dry place (attic, closet or other air conditioned indoor area).

  • Frame everything and look up basic art conservation for collectors. If you vary which artists you collect, the entire collection will appreciate in value. You may not know which of your collections will become super valuable by the artist’s fame growing, but your kids and grandkids will have an incredible legacy if you spread that investment around — and do it from the heart.
  • Buy the artwork you fall in love with. Then stash them if your tastes change because collectors or your kids may love them later.

Buy books from living authors at full price. Very often discounts and bargains get taken out of the author’s royalties. The author gets paid on the net, not on the gross value of the books printed. If it’s print-on-demand and you discover independent authors you like, always purchase them direct from the author’s website versus Amazon.

  • If you collect e-books from living authors, you won’t need as many bookcases.
  • Don’t feel bad about purchasing hardcover versions of paperbacks or e-books you liked and want to reread, that’s a way to reduce your bookshelves to manageable.

Buy tickets to music, dance and other live performances. Again, do this within budget and focus it on your tastes. You may like Riverdance more than you like formal ballet, or you may prefer live theater off-off-Broadway types of productions. You may like concerts with big famous bands or symphony orchestras or opera. Yes, this includes live theatre as mentioned above or any type of performance art you enjoy.

  • Pay full price tickets to magicians and musicians.
  • When you pass a street performer, put some money into the performer’s hat or tip box.
  • Buy CDs of independent musicians who self produce them, you may be launching a someday-famous band and have a collectible — or just have a beloved CD of famous music. And if you download their music, pay for it––don’t be a freeloader as the “free music” attitude has ruined the livelihood of many a struggling yet very talented musician.
  • Be polite and quiet during live performances. This is especially important in pubs that have Celtic music, as the Celtic tradition is very keen on respect for bards. Don’t talk during live performances. You’re not only distracting the audience who’d like to hear the music, you may be distracting the musicians too and throwing them off their stride.

Hire live local musicians for your personal events — weddings, graduation parties, child’s bar or bat mitzvahs, Sweet Sixteens, family reunions or get-togethers. Why not celebrate your anniversary by hiring a live musician to serenade your spouse at a romantic dinner — or have a romantic dinner at home with a musician performing that you both love? Any kind of holiday or personal event can become lavish if you have live music. Book them well in advance, talk to them in person after a concert and find out their rates.

  • Find out when the band’s off season is and what causes it. You may wind up getting a bargain or a shorter wait time if you book them during a time of year they don’t get many gigs. The opposite of tourist season is often good.
  • For the holidays, try to book the band early, so you’re the one that gets them for your holiday party.
  • If you like variety, turn your annual music party into a “guess what the band is” event.

If you need to buy new clothes, especially for evening or party wear, consider finding a textile artist, tailor, seamstress or other artisan. Instead of going to an upscale shop where you’ll pay a high price for fancy clothing, go to an artist who will fit it to your individual body much better, create it to suit your precise looks, complexion, style and taste, and support another type of independent artist. You will get more than your money’s worth because a quality handmade original garment will last longer and if you pay for their best work, wear better than anything from even an expensive store. You can reduce the size of your wardrobe while raising its quality.

  • Buy handmade boots and shoes from leather crafters and artists. Again, they will be expensive but they’ll fit better, look better and wear much longer than shoes and boots from stores.
  • If you like buying shoes often, find your favorite artisan and have new ones designed for you periodically for fun. You might start getting a “regular customer” discount working one on one with the artist instead of just purchasing something made by mass production to sell to thousands of others. Remember, your shoes are unique, unlike anyone else’s. If they were made to fit your Christmas dress and you love them, maybe take them to your clothing designer next year to get a new Christmas dress inspired by the shoes. Artists sometimes work together on things like that. The more you know them, the more personal and unique their works are and the closer they come to your personal tastes.

Have jewelry handcrafted for you by artists. On a low budget, start with small silver and semiprecious stones. Once you’re up in a fine jewelry bracket, you can pay for more elaborate workmanship and more expensive materials. Especially pay attention to their original pieces or commission original pieces. Buying the stock rings and necklaces they have on hand helps the artists to survive, but when you choose their best work or commission something unique that takes the best of their skills, you also feed their souls.

Eat out at small chef-owned original restaurants. Food is an art form, so is ambiance, these one-of-a-kind restaurants are sometimes a lot higher quality than chain restaurants. Once you find your favorites, you’re likely to get personal attention and extra good service for a more enjoyable experience.

Buy handmade toys, furnishings, furniture and gifts from local artists. No matter what it is, if a local artist makes it, you are getting originality and personal attention. Your entire home can become a collection of treasured, unique, beautiful objects. Many of those things will be higher quality than manufactured goods.

Buy locally grown food from farmers and gardeners. Hire local landscapers to take care of your yard, unless you’re a gardener. Find the ones who are artists, look at their other gardens, then give them some artistic freedom. Yes, the flowers in your yard and the landscaping can be artwork that is an expression of who you are and what you love.



How to Paint a 3D Children’s Wall Mural

Painting a 3D children's wall mural
Learning how to paint a 3D children’s wall mural sounds like a big challenge. In fact, adding three-dimensional elements to your children’s wall mural might be as easy as raiding your sewing closet or placing an order online. Several companies specialize in 3D wall elements; if you’re creative, you can come up with your own 3D elements for your child’s wall mural. Allow whatever paint you use to dry completely before you apply any 3D elements to your wall to ensure the elements adhere properly without damaging the paint.


  1. Design your child’s wall mural. You can draw your own design, or make photocopies from your favorite book.
  2. Turn that design into a transparency that you place on an overhead projector.
  3. Use the overhead projector to trace the mural onto the wall. You can sometimes borrow an overhead projector from your local library.
  4. Paint your child’s wall mural according to the colors and designs you select for your design.
  5. Determine which items you can make three-dimensional. Large-scale items in the mural, like a sky, don’t always make the best 3D objects because of their size. However, smaller items like trees, vehicles, fish and flowers work well.
  6. Shop for 3D elements you can add to the space. Some companies, such as rondo, sell soft, thick foam with a self-adhesive backing that you can peel and stick to your wall for a 3D effect.
  7. Cut your own 3D elements if desired. Using any type of wood, draw the design of your 3D item onto the piece of wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. If you need help drawing the item onto the wood, use your overhead projector and a transparency of your drawing. Paint the wood according to your design.
  8. Think about other opportunities to add 3D elements to a children’s wall mural. If you have an underwater mural, consider using felt as the water and adding Velcro fish to the felt. You can use crepe paper to make trees and vines in a jungle room. You can even use green fringe on your wall to look like grass.
  9. Secure your 3D elements to the wall. Use wood screws to secure wooden 3D elements; use staples for paper, fringe and Velcro. If your 3D item comes with a self-adhesive backing or tools to install the item to the wall, read the manufacturer’s recommended installation instructions.

Negative Effects of Digital Technology

Digital technology goes back to well before the modern era. It basically involves the use of a special language–a system of signs that combine together to convey information. Technically, a book is a form of digital technology. Today, most people use the term “digital” to refer to computer technology, which uses a binary language of 1s and 0s. The modern computer has changed the world in ways both positive and negative.

Digital technology is changing the world in ways both positive and negative.

Alienation from Nature

  • From a certain point of view, digital technology is merely the next logical step in a long process that has seen mankind lose touch with the natural world. Critics fear that this alienation has been both the cause of unhealthy mental habits and neurosis in individuals, as well as the cause of environmentally destructive habits in society at large.

Loss of Originality

  • The critic Walter Benjamin famously described art in the 20th century as having lost its aura. Works of art were now being mass-produced by machines and originality was less important. Digital technology has taken this process even farther than Benjamin imagined, making the reproduction of digital artwork (such as a music or movie file) unlimited. Critics claim that this cheapens art and makes it harder for a creator to benefit from his or her originality.


  • Digital technology has proven to be a very destabilizing force where it has been introduced. Older hierarchies in business and politics have already been disrupted by computers and the Internet. Digital technology is inherently difficult to police and as the world becomes more digital, it will also become more lawless and out of control. Critics point to the breakdown of copyright law as an example.

Digital Divide

  • As computers and other digital tools become more important, the difference between those who have digital technology and those who don’t becomes more dangerous. Many critics point to a “digital divide” which increases the differences already existing between the rich and the poor. Bringing access to digital technology for the world’s poor is a developing problem in the new modern world.

Computers as Nature

  • From one point of view, computers are as much a creation of the natural world as trees or the rain. This is because human beings are a product of the natural world. It stands to reason that anything human beings create will be as much a part of the natural world as they are. Understanding the digital in this way shows the promise and danger of technology, as nature can be both cruel and kind.

Sculpting Materials of Beginner

Sculpting can be a rewarding and therapeutic form of art making. Working with hands directly with medium is a unique experience. Unfortunately, many sculpting materials are expensive or not conducive for use by beginners. In this post, we’ll take a look at some sculpting materials that are easy to find, inexpensive, and most importantly – appropriate for beginners (and young artists).

Before we look at sculpting materials, let’s briefly discuss sculpting processes. There are basically two “umbrellas” sculpting processes fall under. These two “umbrellas” are additive processes and subtractive processes. Additive sculpting processes involve adding materials to “build up” the sculpture, where subtractive processes rely on the removal of the material to “reveal” the sculpture. Additive techniques include modeling and assemblage. Materials typically used for additive processes include clay, wax, and plasticine. An example of a subtractive processes is carving. Typical materials used for subtractive processes include wood, plaster, and marble.

Obviously, some of these materials may not practical for beginners. So, let’s take a look at a few that are.

Materials for Additive Sculpture Processes

Model Magic – Model Magic is made by Crayola. It is a non-toxic and inexpensive sculpting material that air dries. It can be painted with water-based paints when it is dry. It’s fairly sticky stuff and will adhere to an armature pretty well. Art snobs may turn their nose up at Model Magic, but it’s an interesting sculpting medium that’s perfect for beginners that want to have an experience with modeling without the mess or the expense.

Plasticine Clay – Plasticine clay is colored, oil-based clay. It’s what most of use think of when we think of modeling clay. Because it is oil-based, it will not dry out. Most plasticine clay is labeled as non-toxic, but I wouldn’t recommend using it with smaller children. It’s also pricey. If you are considering a larger sculpture, then plasticine clay may “break the bank”. But for smaller sculptures, maquettes, or just playing around, plasticine may be the way to go.

Polymer Clay – Polymer clay is actually PVC. Liquid is added to make it pliable enough to be formed and shaped. Pigment is added to the clay to give it its color and it comes in a wide variety of them. The more you work the polymer clay, the easier it is to work with. Small or weak hands may have some problems manipulating this modeling material when they first start working with it. Polymer clay can be baked in the oven to fix it into shape. This makes it a popular material for making small pieces of jewelry. Polymer clay, however is the most expensive modeling material on this list. You are pretty much limited to small sculptures with this material.

Air Dry Clay – There are a few companies that make air dry “clay”. Each of these products vary greatly in quality and price. For children, your best bet may be with Crayola Air Dry Clay. It’s very inexpensive, non-toxic, and can be painted when its dry. For more developed artists, AMACO Marblex Self-Hardening clay may be the way to go. It’s relatively inexpensive and can result in professional results.

Home Made Play Dough – My mom made me homemade play dough all the time growing up and I loved it. It was warm and mushy and she would make it any color that I wanted. It’s incredibly easy to make, non-toxic and fun. But this medium is pretty much for kids and open-minded adults. Don’t expect professional results from homemade play dough.

Materials for Subtractive Sculpture

Soap Sculpture – Soap is a great material for carving. It’s safe and well-very clean. Dull blades can be used and still create good details. Soap is also inexpensive and perfect for a class project. The best part is that the cheaper soaps are better suited for sculpture!

Plaster of Paris – Plaster of Paris is easy to find at most art stores. It’s inexpensive and easy to mix. Pour it into empty paper milk cartons. Peel away the paper after it sets, and you’re ready to create a sculpture. Use a rasp and sand paper to remove the plaster to reveal your sculpture.

Balsa Wood – Balsa wood is soft and pliable. It’s extremely easy to carve. It makes a suitable wood for beginning carvers. Balsa wood can be picked up at most art stores, but larger pieces might have to be special ordered. Balsa wood is not very expensive, but it’s not cheap either. Carving with Balsa wood might not be suitable for younger artists, since sharp knives are recommended for carving.

About Choctaw Religion

Choctaw is a well-known Native American tribe. It is considered to be one of the five civilized tribes because it was quick to adopt many of American customs and technological advancements. Choctaws belong to the Muskogean linguistic group. Originally, Choctaws did not practice the Christianity religion. Instead they had their own religion with principles similar to the Mayans and Incas.

The Facts

  • The root of the Choctaw religion is based around the sun and worshiping it. Members of the ancient tribe considered the sun to be a god, most often called Hashtahli. The moon was thought to be his wife. The tribe referred to her as Hashi Ninak Anya, and believed the stars at night were the children of the sun and the moon. Fire is extremely important in the Choctaw religion because it is considered to be a secondary representation of the sun and its heat. Four is a significant number to the religion because there are four seasons and four cardinal directions, as well as four key elements. The tribe has always acknowledged the presence of evil in the world, but they did not consider it to be from a single source, such as the devil in Christianity. Instead, there were said to be several different entities of evil and mischief, such as Impashilup, who was capable of consuming a person’s soul if they allowed him into their thoughts as well as many others who could be found anywhere from the river to the woods. When a Choctaw dies, it is believed that their spirit goes to “the Happy Land” similar to heaven in Christian beliefs.

History of

  • Ancient Choctaws are believed to have descended from the continent LeMuria, which is believed to have been washed away by the Pacific Ocean. It is said the tribe emerged from the ocean to be dried by their deity, the sun, and then moved east before settling in what is now the state of Mississippi. It is believed the tribe is possibly related to the Aztecs and Mayans, as well as the Incas and that their religious beliefs stemmed from those of these ancient cultures.


  • There are basically two main groups within the Choctaw tribe. The first is simply referred to as “the tribe” and can mainly be found in Mississippi. The other group is called “the nation” and presides in the state of Oklahoma. Both sects of the tribe share the same religious background because both originally are from the same area.


  • The Choctaw religion deems women as the givers of life because they bear children and are responsible for growing the vegetables. Therefore it is somewhat of a matriarchy in that when a man marries a woman, he becomes a member of her family and lives with them from that point on. He is never considered an actual member of the family because he continues to be a member of his own mother’s family. Still, he stays with the family and works with them. Men are considered to be takers of life because they hunt and kill the food the tribe eats.


  • The religious beliefs of the Choctaw tribe have evolved over time. Today most members of the tribe practice at least some version of Christianity. This is most likely due to the tribe’s integration into European American culture. Still, there are some who continue to practice the ancient Choctaw religious beliefs.