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Flower Photography Tip: Photoshop Layer Blending

You will find your work more meaningful and your work flow more purposeful if you start from a firm concept in your head. True, there are happy “accidents” in Photoshop, but you will work faster from a mental blueprint than you would aimlessly trying out Photoshop effects, not to mention you will find the end product more satisfying.

Step 1

Take the picture

I asked my friend if could take a photo of their roses, and he gladly gave me three. Though three’s a dynamic number in photographic composition, I decide to photograph just two of them to represent my friend’s and his wife’s vow to stay together forever.

I position the two flowers on a sheet of white light cardboard and light them with a large soft box, set to its lowest intensity for shallow depth of field. I manage this with my 100mm f/2.8 lens full open.

Step 2

Prepare the background elements

You’ll be surprised what you can use as props and background if you just put your mind to it. To create the first background layer, I scan a piece of ply board on a flatbed scanner. This board was not a model of perfection: it had golden yellow paint smudges on it, and in addition, I rough it up some more with sandpaper.

First, get a photoshop mac download, then open the scan in Photoshop, I make a copy (Image  gt; Duplicate…) and change the color to green using “Image  gt; Adjustments gt; Hue/Saturation” with “Colorize” checked. I’ll call this the green rough texture.

I make another copy of the scanned texture and change the color to blue in “Hue! Saturation.” This is the blue rough texture.

Step 3

Improve contrast

Going back to the green rough texture, I press “Command-J” (Windows: Control-J) to duplicate the Background layer. In the “Layers” palette, set the blend mode of this duplicate layer to “Multiply” and reduce the “Opacity” to 90% and “Layer Fill” to 70%. This is to give more contrast against the flowers.

Step 4

Create the document

Create a new document, A4 size, with white as background, and drag the blue and green rough textures over, one above the other. Resize them to the same width but not to the same height, leaving some white around them and between them.

Step 5

Open the second background layer.

Scan another rough board for a second background layer. By the way, when scanning rough objects on your flatbed scanner, be very careful you don’t scratch the glass surface of the flatbed. You may want to put a sheet of the clearest plastic between the glass and the object.

Step 6

Extract the inner texture.

I’m not using the whole texture pattern of my second scan, just the inner portion. I will use a “Channel Mask” to extract this portion.

In the “Channels” palette, examine each of the RGB channels by pressing the Red (A), Green (B), and Blue channels individually. Pick the one with the highest contrast, which is the Blue channel, and drag this channel to the “Create new channel” icon at the bottom of the “Channels” palette.

With this duplicate channel active, choose “Command-L” (Windows: Control-L) for “Levels.

Step 7

Add the second textured background.

Holding down “Command” (Windows: Control), click on the modified channel to load it as a selection, then press “Command- Shift-I” (Windows: Control-Shift-I) to invert the selection. Back in the “Layers” palette, click on the “Create a new layer” icon at the bottom of the palette, and fill it with white (Mac OS: “Command-Delete”; Windows: “Control-Backspace” to apply the Background color).

Drag this white texture over to my document in progress and press “Command-T” (Windows: Control-T) to resize it to fit inside the green and blue rough textures. Before pressing “Return” (Windows: Enter) to commit the resizing, “Control-click” (Windows: right-click) on the image and choose “Flip horizontal” then press “Return/Enter”.

Step 8

Add the flowers.

Open the flowers photograph and drag it to the composite document, above the textured backgrounds, and resize it by pressing “Command-T” (Windows: Control-T) and dragging out the handles.

In the “Layers” palette, “Command click” (Windows: Control-click) on the thumbnail of Layer 3 (the white texture) to load it as a selection. With “Layer 4” (the flowers) still active, click the “Add layer mask” icon in the “Layers” palette to clip the flowers image to the white texture.

Since the last step turned the white background of the flowers into a white textured background, delete the white texture (Layer 3) so as not to increase its density in the next steps.

Step 9

Finish the upper half

Press “Command-J” (Windows: Control-J) to duplicate Layer 4, and click the eye Icon of “Layer 4” to hide the layer. In the “Layers” palette, I change the blend mode of “Layer 4 copy” to “Linear light” and reduce its “Opacity” to 60% (A).

Choose “Image  gt; Adjustments gt; Hue/Saturation” on the menu and bump up the “Hue” slider a bit. “Command-click” (Windows: right-click) on the layer mask and choose “Apply layer mask.”

“Command-click” (Windows: Control click) on the thumbnail of “Layer 2” to load it as a selection, then click on the “Add layer mask” icon in the “Layers” palette to clip “Layer 4 copy” to the blue background.

Step 10

Finish the bottom half; make another copy of “Layer 4,” and likewise apply the layer mask of “Layer 4 copy 2”.

Choose “Image  gt; Adjustments  gt; Hue/Saturation” on the menu and bump up the “Hue” slider to make the flower petals more yellow than orange.

Press “Command-J” to copy this layer and set the copy’s blend mode to “Overlay” and its “Opacity” to 60%. Then make a copy of this “Overlay” layer too.

Press “Command-E” twice to merge the two “Overlay” layers with “Layer 4 copy 2,” and reduce the “Opacity” of the resulting merged layer to 70%.

“Command-click” on the thumbnail of the green background to load it as a selection, then click the “Add layer mask” icon in the “Layers” palette to clip “Layer 2 copy 2” to the green background.

Step 11

Final touches.

Click on the eye icon of Layer 4 to unhide it and drag this layer downward below the green and blue rough textures. At your option, you may apply the layer mask (Command-click and choose apply). Before closing the file, reduce the “Fill” to 70% in the “Layers” palette.

Gift Ideas for Lord of the Rings Fans

People are just as crazy about the Lord of the Rings as they are about Harry Potter. When the third movie came out, Lord of the Rings fans went to theaters and spent all night watching all three movies which are probably over seven hours long. In other words, Lord of the Rings fans are very passionate about this series. There are several gifts that help feed this passion. In fact, here are eight great gift ideas for the Lord of the Rings fan in your life.

Companion Books:

Those who have read the Lord of the Rings series will tell you that it can be confusing at times. This gift helps to explain certain parts of the story. There are several different ones. One that I suggest is the called, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Middle Earth. Rivendell elves Play a supportive role in the drama lords of the rings. The character has built a strong image for the engagement of the audience in the book and the movie. 

Jewelry:

Well, for anyone whose ever read the Lord of the Rings series or seen the movies, they know there is one great piece of jewelry to be had; the ring. One ring to rule them all. There are other great gift ideas from this category. For example, there are several pieces of jewelry that were worn in the movies. Everything from rings to necklaces and all of them can easily be found online.

Posters:

Every Lord of the Rings fan, who has seen the movies, has a favorite actor/actress. A poster of that favorite actor/actress is a gift that the Lord of the Rings fan will surely love. In fact, I know they will because I got my Granny two Lord of the Rings posters for her birthday a couple years back (she’s a huge Lord of the Rings fan) and she loved them.

Special Editions:

Lord of the Rings fans are just like Harry Potter fans when it comes to special editions. They want all the different covers, the edition that has all the books in one volume, and then there are also the leather bound editions. Look around and see what you can find.

First Editions:

A Lord of the Rings fan would bow down at your feet upon receiving such a gift. In other words, these are very hard to come by, but if you can and it’s at a reasonable price, you really must buy it. Used bookstores, yard sales, etc may be run by sellers who don’t realize what they have and you may find a great price. Keep your eyes open when shopping at such places and just maybe you’ll find this perfect gift.

DVDs:

If the Lord of the Rings fan in your life doesn’t have these DVDs, you really must buy them for them. A perfect gift in this category is the editions that come with the collectibles. The Fellowship of the Ring Gift Set comes with a set of Argonath bookends, The Two Towers Gift Set comes with a statue of Gollum, and The Return of the King Gift Set comes with a Minas Tirith keepsake box.

Collectibles:

There are so many great gifts in this category. Everything from fancy chess sets to figurines to goblets. One of the best places to find these gifts is from The Noble Collection. Any Lord of the Ring fan would love gifts from this site. My Granny has found several gifts that she would like to have on there. Please note that these collectibles are not cheap, but are very high quality.

Autographs:

Now finding a Tolkein autograph would be absolutely amazing. The prospect of getting such a gift would make most Lord of the Rings fans drool. You would probably have to shell out a few hundred, if not thousand for such a gift. Instead, find out who their favorite actor/actress was in the films and buy an autograph of one of those people instead. Better yet, send a letter to them and request an autographed picture. Do this several months before the holidays to ensure the picture arrives in time.

These gifts would make any Lord of the Rings fan very happy.

Explaining the Popularity of the Gamefaqs.com Noble Nine

Every year since 2002, the video game information web site gamefaqs.com has held one or two competitions to determine the most popular video game characters or series. The competition is run via a series of polls that are open to anyone who loads the webpage. The competitions between video game characters are called Character Battles. Sometime in 2003, after the first few character battles had occurred, a member of a video game forum called Board 8 noticed a pattern in the battles. This member, known as Slowflake, realized that 9 specific characters did consistently well in the Character Battles and only ever lost in polls against each other. Slowflake coined the term “Noble Nine” to refer to these nine members.

The Noble Nine are Link (Legend of Zelda), Mario (Super Mario Bros.), Samus Aran (Metroid), Cloud (Final Fantasy VII), Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII), Crono (Chrono Trigger), Mega Man (Mega Man), Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid), and Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog). While it may have been premature to label these characters after only a year, the Noble Nine lived up to their title for almost seven years. Until 2010, the Noble Nine won 124 one-on-one battles during Character Battles against characters not in the Noble Nine. During the same time, the Noble Nine characters never lost any one-on-one battles against characters not in the Noble Nine.

There are different characters whether it is Noble Nine or Non-noble nine buy let’s not categorize them in either because each one has their own brand value like Pokemon and one needs to have skills to achieve Pokemon go accounts for sale to get to goals and all of the above mentioned games fall in similar line.

In addition to being popular characters in the gamefaqs.com Character Battles, it is quite probable that these nine characters are the most popular characters in all of video games. But, if these characters really are the most popular characters in all of video games, the question is what exactly makes them so popular?

For Link, Samus, Mega Man, Mario, and Solid Snake, there appears to be one consistent answer. All of these characters are the main characters of long running series originally made popular by a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game. While console gaming existed on the systems like the Atari and Commodore 64 before the NES was released, due to the Video Game Crash of 1983, Nintendo is generally considered to be the godfather of the video game industry. Many NES games are considered classics, especially those that started popular series. The love that gamers have for games like Legend of Zelda and Mega Man transfers to a love for the characters.

The single notable exception to the above is the incredibly popular Final Fantasy series. Despite thirteen games in the series, which originally started on the NES, only one game in the series has characters in the Noble Nine. This is primarily due to the fact that Final Fantasy games rarely maintain plot or character continuity in sequels. Thus, the characters from each game are judged independent of the series. Unsurprisingly, the most popular game in the series, Final Fantasy VII, is the game that produced the two most popular characters. And, most fans of the game would claim that the reason the game is so popular is because Cloud and Sephiroth are such excellently designed and portrayed characters.

Looking further down the list, there is one character that is the main character of a series that did not start on a Nintendo console. In fact, the popularity of Sonic the Hedgehog can almost be entirely attributed to the fact that the game is not a Nintendo product. The original console wars between Nintendo and Sega were fierce. And, while Nintendo eventually won, Sega fans never forgot the rivalry. The rivalry is long since forgotten by the companies, but millions of fans continue to root for the underdog. As such, Sonic the Hedgehog is something of a dark horse favorite and has gained a cult following that is as strong as or stronger than Mario’s fan base.

The final character in the Noble Nine is considered the most unlikely. Crono is the main character of the SNES classic Chrono Trigger. While the game is generally considered a classic, it is comparatively unknown relative to the other games that feature Noble Nine characters. Chrono Trigger was a role playing game released before Final Fantasy VII made role playing games mainstream. It also has never produced a true sequel, nor did it sell particularly well on initial release. Despite this, role playing game fans almost universally agree that it is one of the best role playing games ever made. This unified popularity among fans of the genre is rare, with even classics like Final Fantasy VII having a large number of detractors. So, while the game doesn’t have mass popularity, the near universal appeal to genre fans gives the game, and the main character, a surprisingly strong fan base.

Nearly a decade later, the designation of the Noble Nine seems to be a rather insightful bit of nomenclature. In the gamefaqs.com Character Battles, these characters continue to dominate year after year. Outside of the Character Battles, despite the creation of new games and new series, no character seems to have garnered any form of massive popularity amongst a high population of video game players. Partially this is due to which games have become popular. World of Warcraft has no protagonist and Halo has an unnamed protagonist. But, this is also partially due to the fact that these original nine characters were simply incredibly well designed characters that appeal highly to gamers. Even should a new popular character come along, the Noble Nine is likely to remain popular for a long time to come.

Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Home Mortgage Loan

Buying a new home isn’t as easy as it used to be. As a matter of fact, it is downright confusing. There are so many different numbers to keep track of it can make your head spin. My advice is if you’re going to pay attention to any number at all, make it the interest rate you pay the most attention to.

For those of you looking to finance the cost of a new home, then there is a good possibility that you will face the choice of picking between more than one Dallas mortgage loan options. You’ll be offered Dallas mortgage loans with various interest rates, payment terms and length. As you can see, the interest rate you are approved for is the most obvious way save money on your Dallas mortgage.

A Dallas mortgage loan with a low interest rate means lower payments and less overall cost for the loan. For potential homeowners with poor credit, you probably won’t be approved for the best interest rate. That doesn’t mean all is lost. There are other ways to save money on your Dallas Texas Mortgage loan. Here are just a few:

Choose the right home mortgage

Dallas mortgage loans are available with a range of interest rate choices. Short term adjustable rate loans are your best bet to save money since they come with lower interest rates than 30-year fixed-rate Dallas home loans. After the initial fixed period, the monthly payments adjust with the index for the rest of the 30 year term.

You don’t need mortgage insurance

Dallas home loans with less than a 20% down payment will require mortgage insurance. There is no getting around this. This rule was created to protect the bank’s investment. The Dallas mortgage industry can avoid mortgage insurance by cutting your loan into a combo loan. The first mortgage being 80% of the loan, and the remainder of what you did not pay as a down payment. After you’ve paid 20% of the loan off, drop the insurance and save money.

Make more payments

There are a few other options which come with a Dallas Texas mortgage. One of your options is to go with a bi-weekly payment which works great for people are paid on a bi-weekly basis. Each time you make an extra payment, the life of your loan is shortened. Two payments a month instead of one, takes a little over 23 years to repay a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Using just one or two of these above tips can save you hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in the total cost of your overall mortgage. You can also try docker.com if you want to ensure utmost financial security. You’ll have no problem paying off your loan faster.

Network Installation Guide for the Windows XP Operating System

Hardware Selection: Important Information

You want to make sure that you already have some type of broadband connection such as Road Runner® or DSL already in place. Also, your computers will need to have wireless capabilities having either an internal/external wireless card or a USB network adapter installed. The newer computers are the more likely they already have wireless capabilities built-in. But if your computer does need wireless capabilities, then you will want to get a USB network adapter for a desktop and a PCMIA (or PC-card) network card. The next step in designing your network is to select a wireless router which will admit an internet signal to multiple connections in your home. There are many different types of wireless frequencies, the most common are 802.11b and 802.11g. 802.11g is a faster connection than 802.11b so you will probably want to choose this type of wireless router. But, if you have a 192.168.1.20 wireless card in any of your computers, it will be compatible with an 802.11g router. It does help to buy the same manufacturer’s products for the network adapters and also the router, although mixing and matching manufacturers’ products seem to be work fine.

Choosing a Router

The two most popular manufactures, respectively, are Linksys® and Belkin®. Other well-known manufacturers are D-Link® and NetGear®. Linksys® tends to be a little more expensive than Belkin®, but the difference in performance is near impossible to notice. I personally recommend Belkin® over Linksys® not only because of the price but the firmware (the software that is loaded on the router) is much easier to use and it has several more features than Linksys®.

All routers now usually enable sometime of firewall, which is a basic safeguard that helps to promote internet security by blocking connections people are attempting to make to your network. And wireless routers have many different ways of securing your network so that you can have a secure environment. The instruction manuals that come with the routers usually have a good detail of information telling about the certain features each router has installed. All wireless routers also have some hardwire ports that can be used. Their price can range significantly $30 over $100. You can usually find a good deal on eBay®. Many factors help to drive the price up to such as its security features, the number of ports, the number of wireless connections allowed, etc. Most wireless routers have a certain speed, in gig hertz (GHz), so the higher the gig hertz the faster your wireless connection will be.

Network Installation

To begin the network installation, unplug the power cord of the cable modem and set the router next to the cable modem, leave it powered off also.

If Going to Have any Hard-Line Connections

Then, take a look at the length from the router to the computer(s) that you wish to connect via an Ethernet cord. You want to have a measurement of the length from the router to the computer(s) and then use this/these measurement(s) to determine the length of the Ethernet cords you will have to purchase. Once the Ethernet cords have been purchased, make sure the computers have been powered off and then place the Ethernet cords in the network port in the back of the desktop(s) or laptop(s) and then connect them to the ports in the back of the router. In the back of the router, there will be port numbers; for example, 1 to 4 for a 4 port router. Place the Ethernet cords in any of these open numbered ports. There will also be a port labeled WAN. Do not place the Ethernet cords that are going to be connected to the computers via a hard line connection in this port. This port, known as the Wide Area Network (Your ISP is considered the Wide Area Network), is used for the Ethernet cord connection from the modem to the router. This step will be performed later on.

Once you have connected the cables from the computer to the router, leave the router turned off. Then turn on the connected computers and let them start up normally into Windows®. This will allow the computers to recognize that there is a LAN connection that will soon be present (Local Area Network – which refers to your home network). You may get a message from Windows® saying the Local Area Connection has been unplugged; just disregard this message for now.

The Cables for Hard-Line Connection

The cables used for a hard-line connection are called Ethernet cables. They are very similar to telephone cables except telephone cables have 3 wires and Ethernet cables have 6 wires. An Ethernet cable must be used to connect the cable modem to the router. Most routers include an Ethernet cable in their packaging which you can use for this purpose. If a hard line connection is going to be used for a computer on your network, an Ethernet cable must be used to establish the connection. If you have an older computer, you may want to make sure you have a 10/100 LAN Network Card. This can be seen by

looking at the back of the computer. The following image gives a good idea of what the port looks like. The cable you see in the picture to the right is what an Ethernet cable looks like. Most computers post 2000 era have the network card built-in already. The cheapest place to get Ethernet cables is probably on eBay®. Most large retailer stores charge approximately $30.00 for a 50′ cable, which is pricey. Unless you are in a time constraint, shop around for the best price you can find for the length of cable that meets your needs.

Needed for All Connections (Wireless and Hard Line)

Now plug the router’s power cord into the wall. The router will not perform certain tests and diagnostics to see what exactly is connected to it. (For hard-line connections only) – The router will then recognize the connected computers. You can know this for certain if you look at the front of the router and lights

are blinking for activity and connectivity under the associated numbered ports for which the computer(s) is/are connected too. Next, make sure the modem is connected to the router via the WAN port in the back of the router. You can use the Ethernet cable that usually comes in the packaging with the router.

If completed, plug in the power for the modem. The modem will go through a few diagnostics tests; you will see blinking lights for Power, Send, Receive, and Online usually. It may take up to 2 or 3 minutes before the sequence is done. (For hard-line connections only) – After a minute or two, you will see a pop-up box on the computers that say Local Area Network connection established. This process has synchronized the router with the computers and also the router with the cable modem and ISP service. Once this is done, you will now need to configure the router’s setting.

15 Stocking Stuffers For Men For Under $5

Great stocking stuffers for less than $5? You bet and they’re not just for children either. In fact, here are some ideas for the men on your list.

Miniature toy cars: Wanna surprise him with a new car that will fit in his stocking? Miniature toy cars are great ideas and are well under the $5 mark. This works for sons, husbands, dads, and friends. The toy car keeps it fun and inexpensive while still letting him know you care enough to give him the car of his dreams.

Skin care and grooming products: Consider putting skin care and grooming products in his stocking. Avon has skin care products which are under $5, including after shave skin conditioners in a variety of fragrances as well as body washes. Yves Rocher has hair+body shampoo for $5. Trial sizes are an excellent way to experiment with a new scent or even a new product.

Gadgets: Men love gadgets, it really is that simple. Avon has a mini universal remote key-chain for less than $5. Wal-Mart and K-Mart also have a variety of small gadgets for $5 or less.

Toy guns: These are for the younger at heart, nerf makes some nice ones. Lots of fun and budget-friendly and as a bonus, good way to get some exercise too.

Puzzle books: Most of the men I know like a good puzzle. Crosswords, sudoku, and even search-a-words are all good, every bathroom needs at least one. The crosswords and search-a-words can even be customized. TV guide crosswords for the TV fan or movie puzzles for the movie buff.

Paperbacks: The least expensive way to indulge your book lover. Barnes  amp; Noble, Walden Books, and many other bookstores offer paperbacks and sometimes even hardcover editions for under $5. The best strategy is to go often and browse through the bargain books shelves. Some of these retailers have cards which give discounts and programs which will email coupons to members.

Cologne: Remember trial sizes are a great way to experiment and to keep the expense down. Yves Rocher has try me sizes of fragrances for less than $5.

Wallets: Small minimalist wallets are the hype today. These could be a nice present for guys from any ages. These minimalis wallets usually come with stylish and modern design. This can be a nice present for the men of your life such as your father, husband, friends or even colleagues.

Chapsticks: What about those lips? Men’s lips need protection from the elements too. There are many different types from which to choose. Avon has some basic chapsticks for less than $1 right now.

Gift certificate for a movie rental: Netflix has plans which start at $4.99, definitely a budget conscious choice. Some local owned video stores offer gift certificates in $5 increments. A place often overlooked is the grocery store. Most stores offer gift cards and video rentals.

Microwave popcorn: This can be purchased either individually or in a box and separated out. Either way, it makes a delightful addition to a movie rental gift certificate.

Movie size boxes of candy: Most towns have at least one Dollar Tree or similar type of store. These stores carry movie sized boxes of candy which make a great accompaniment to the movie rental gift certificate and microwave popcorn.

Golf balls or tees for the golfer: What golfer doesn’t need these accessories? If not these, how about some other accessory for his favorite sport or hobby?

Fishing lure for the fisherman: Every fisherman needs more lure or other accessories for his hobby. Most stores which have a sporting goods department have accessories for the fisherman.

Travel bag: Even if only for a toothbrush, shaving supplies, and antiperspirant every man needs a travel bag. Filling it with trial/travel sizes of his favorite products is a great way to make it more personal.

Magazine subscriptions: The men in my life love magazines, so a great personalized gift idea is a subscription to their favorites. bestdealmagazines.com and magsdirect.com are two great websites which offer magazine subscriptions for less than $5 per year.

These are 15 gift ideas for men which are $5 or less each. Most can be personalized and remember it is the thought that counts when giving a gift. Taking the time to think about what the man in your life cares about and enjoys results in the perfect gift whether it costs $5 or much more.

Paint By Numbers: Perfect Method For Aspiring Artists

If you are a beginning artist in painting but don’t have any idea on how to further your skills, you are in the right place. This article will go through the benefits of paint by numbers kit for aspiring artists like you. This system is certainly the best method for you to get started and to enhance your painting skills. As such, here are the following reasons why paint by numbers is perfect for beginners.

Teaches colors

One of the most important elements of painting is color. This is something that every beginner should learn first for him or her to easily get his or her hand at painting. Colors have a strong impact and relationship to your final artwork. Generally, colors on their own will appear very different when you have painted another one next to it. Hence, it is really important to study its effects. Paint by numbers is certainly one of the best ways to learn the basics of colors.

Creative Control

Through painting by numbers you will also be able to practice and enhance creative control.  Creative color will manifest once you became more confident about your painting. As you go on painting, you will find yourself experimenting with the different types of brush strokes and you will also try some new colors. As a result, you can easily control your hand on painting and you will become more creative.

Lean dark and light values

When painting by numbers, it is advisable to start first with the darkest colors and end with the lightest ones. With this, you will be able to learn the concept of dark and light and how their values work in order to create an amazing picture. Painting by numbers will show you the dark and light areas through its numbering system. Certainly, paint by numbers is a great tool to learn these essential values in painting.

Organized

Another reason why paint by numbers can help beginning artists to gain painting skills is because the system of paint by number is organized. Whether it is a patterned or a custom paint by number, it is always organized through its number system. This will provide beginners guidelines on how to get started.

Master the brushes

For a beginner to become an effective painter, it is important to master the values of brushes. Basically, there are several types of brushes in paint by number kit. As you go on practicing, you learn the functions of each brush that you have. In addition, you will also learn the proper brush strokes that you need for the every shape in the picture.

Builds Confidence

Lastly, paint by numbers will help beginners build confidence.  It can be daunting to just look at a blank page and think of a way on how to create something great from it. But beginners no longer have to experience that with paint by numbers. Since it has a number system, it is now easier for beginners to get started.

Consumer Alert: Caffeine-infused Products – Do They Really Work?

My daily consumer alerts are ways for me to help inform my readers about potential risks or ways in which you are being misled. Today’s article addresses the growing trend of caffeine-infused skin products. These products are popping up all over the market.

There are nearly 2,000 different types of caffeine-infused products to choose from. They all advertise that they will help “infuse” you with a jolt of energy. Basically, the caffeine in the product is supposed to have the same effect as drinking a cup of coffee, soda, or even an energy drink. Results are showing that this could not be farther from the truth.

A close friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, has led a group of students at his university in a study. They decided to purchase around 100 of these caffeine-infused skin products. The purpose of buying the products is so that a small group of five people would use the products. The usage of the random choice of different products would last for eight weeks. Each student was required to keep a book of data on how they felt after each use. They were also required to write down the amount they used the product, the amount of time spent using the product, and overall result.

All of the results showed similar results. The caffeine products could give us a jolt of energy, but only if you overuse the product. You would have to take nearly and hour of rubbing the product into your skin to feel any results. Why would anyone bother to do this when they could brew their own cup of coffee or pour their own glass of soda. Each task only takes us a matter of seconds to do and a few minutes to drink. So is it truly worth buying any of these products?

Results show that purchasing the products simply for their caffeine jolt is not worth the investment. Many of these “new” products coming out are products that have already been out on the market for many years, except for a small change. Manufacturers are taking popular product formulas and adding a touch of caffeine to them. This is so that they can jump on the bandwagon craze of selling caffeine-infused products.

It is a known fact that our society is currently on a “I want more energy craze”. Companies are taking advantage of this by releasing more and more caffeine relate items. You will notice this by simply going to your local drug store. The massive variety of these products is quite frightening. You can find energy drinks, candy, and even food products that have caffeine added to them. Experts believe that the market will only grow larger due to the demand of the public. A website named coffee supply here can be launched through the sellers. The demand for the coffee drinking will be increased in the economy. Different varieties of the coffee powder should be available for the sellers online. 

My consumer alert is to tell you to not purchase these products unless it is something you just want to try. There is actually no need at all for the product. The product is quite similar to many of the products you have used over the years. Try to not believe what your friends are telling you and the hype you might hear from co-workers. They are simply trying to make themselves believe that the product was a good investment and that because it was advertised to them as a pick-me-up, it has to be. The results do not lie, it does work, but not enough to waste your money.

Which Tile Saws Do You Need At Home?

Tile saws are a very important device that can help you fix and cut through tiles, as you can understand from the name. If you have come across a situation when you just threw out a chipped or broken tile right out of the window, the you already are aware of the problems of poor quality tile saws. Everyone out there always want to place clean and premium quality tiles without the risk of chipping or wavered edges.

If you invest in the wrong and inefficient tile saw machine, then you are in for some trouble. There are different kinds of tile saws that are available in the market. Take a look at them in this blog and decide for yourself which is the best tile saw.

Snap or Rail Cutters – this tile saw machine works by placing a single tile on the device anf then dragging a wheel across the tile. Once the tile is scored, the foot heel of the machine helps yo assemble the tile to snap into the scored pieces. It is a bit complicated to use and that is why you might break a few tiles initially which practicing. But, once you get into the flow, you will have no problem in setting the tiles easily. It is simple and comes with low cost mechanism. This is very much ideal for do-it-yourself projects which are done on a small scale with simple cuts and tasks that are easily manageable. However, keep in mind that you cannot use it to place stone tiles and the variants with Titanium coating offers the best cuts to the overall process.

Handheld Wet Tile Saws – handheld wet tile saws make full use of a power coated diamond cutting wheel which can easily grind away the tile it comes in contact with. Water is usually supplied with the help of a hose connection or with an on-board container. Dry cutting is only possible, but broadcasts the dust particle across the air. These tile saws are much more convenient for being used to give special cuts and design to the tiles. They are available in both corded and cordless variants. The cuts that are provided with the help of the device are natural and looks really good. It is not that heavy or bulky, making it easier for you to port anywhere.

Table Top Wet Tile Saws – with the help of Table Top Wet Tile Saws, tiles are usually pushed through the table using the diamond cutting wheel that is mounted beneath the table. The wheel continues to rotate in the pool of water that keeps it cool and drastically reduces the amount of dust that goes flying into the air. You need to be really well prepared to use this time saw and without prior experience you should not try it out. The line of sight might not be accurate at all times, making it difficult to use. The friction received by pushing the tile on the table, makes way for a smooth cutting. You can use a mitier attachment for more precise cutting.

Overhead Motor Wet Tile Saws – this tile saw travels across the table by using a rail system that goes through the cutting wheel. Some of the variants also come with stands or there are stands that come separately for purchase. Using submersible pumps, water is supplied to the delivery systems. If you want highly precise cards, then this is the best tile saw variant to use. These are the largest devices among all the other three and that is why you will need some space and time in order to set it up completely. You will get a much better and accurate line of site while using this device because the cutting wheel us situated just above the tile in front of you. There are lasers and LED lights attached to the premium variants for much better accuracy.

So, here are the different kinds of tile saws that are available in the market. All of them have their own set of benefits and disadvantages, which you should be well aware of. Depending on your needs and requirements choose any of the variant you think will be helpful for you.

Rid Your Kitchen of Clutter

Is your kitchen full of clutter jamming the linear rails of your drawers? Despite the fact that it is generally the cleanest room in your house, it is typically more cluttered due to the volume of necessities needed in that space. My kitchen is rather small, so being able to keep the chaos in the cabinets to a minimum proved rather difficult at first. I was able to eliminate the clutter though and have kept it at bay ever since. You are really going to have to roll up your sleeves though, this is tough work.

Pick the cabinet that looks like it is ready to burst at the seams, and begin with it. Take everything, and I do mean everything out. Once you have it all in front of you, go through and see what you are using and what you are not. Any non-perishable food items that are not outdated but are not eaten can be donated to your local food pantry. Anything that has expired needs to be tossed out. The same can be said of items without a visible expiration date or label.

Examine pots, pans, and eating utensils. Chances are, you have things that are not in proper working condition and shouldn’t be kept either. Just throw it away. The pots and pans that you do not regularly use, the roasting pan per se, should not be stored with the other items. The things that you just don’t use period should either be donated or disposed of. If you are anything like me, you will find several items that don’t even belong in a kitchen. Set these in a box or container to be sorted later

Don’t be too quick to put the items back in the cabinet. The goal is to not only rid yourself of clutter but to prevent it from happening again. There is an easy system for this. Least used items don’t need to go somewhere for really fast access, most frequently used goods should be right there for easy consumption. Put items that expire first at the beginning of the row so that they are used first. Organize pots, pans, and eating utensils in the same manner.

Move on to the rest of your cabinets and do the same thing. After you’ve finished, take a good look around the room to see if there are any other items in the kitchen that does not belong. A lot of people tend to collect mail and similar things on the top of the refrigerator. Make sure that there is nothing laying on the countertops that aren’t used on a frequent basis. Take the “does not belong” box out and put the items where they belong, and you are finished. Maintenance is easy, simply throw out the item when it’s not working properly or expired. Take a quick two-minute sweep, if that long, on a daily basis to make sure that nothing is there that shouldn’t be and that things are put away.