Category Archives: Entertainment

How to choose the best bouquet for every occasion

Whether you’re offering a friend your condolences or expressing your love to your significant other nothing can face a message of love and support more than a beautiful bouquet of flowers. This may be why flowers play such an important role in so many of our traditions from weddings to funerals. However, because flowers are given so often by so many, you run the risk of coming off as cliché and unimaginative if you simply reach for a dozen long-stemmed roses for every occasion. Because all flowers have special and important meetings, it’s always best to choose a bouquet that has a meaning that matches the occasion. Here’s a list of flowers, their meanings and what occasions you should give them on.

  • Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums represent optimism, fortuity and long life. Because of this, they make the perfect flower to give to an expecting mother or else a mother that just gave birth.

  • Daffodils

Daffodils are representational of rebirth and New Beginnings. Because of this, a bouquet of daffodils is a perfect gift for a housewarming or graduation.

  • Gerbera daisies

Gerbera daisies symbolize fun, light-heartedness, and cheerfulness. Because of this, a bouquet of Gerbera daisies has become a favorite get well gift.

  • Gladiolas

Gladiolus symbolize faithfulness honor and strength. Because of this, they make the perfect anniversary bouquet.

  • Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas symbolize heartfelt emotion and gratitude. Because of this arrangement of hydrangeas makes an ideal bereavement or thank you gift.

  • Carnations, Gardenias, and Roses

Carnations, gardenias, and roses all symbolize love. However the type of love they can be changed depending on their color. For example, yellow roses symbolize close friendship. Whereas red roses symbolize romantic love. An arrangement containing all three would make an ideal Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day gift.

  • Calla lilies

Calla lilies symbolize magnificence and beauty and are often used as a wedding flower. Because of this, they make the perfect choice for those looking to send an arrangement to congratulate a couple on their engagement.

Now that you know more about flowers and their meeting it will help you choose the right arrangement for every occasion. And you can find arrangements containing all of these flowers and much more at one 1800flowers.com.

Storms Really Damaged My Roof a Lot

Every time a storm came last year, it did more damage to my roof. I knew that I needed to just have a roof replacement in Brooklyn NY done, but I was hoping to wait it out another year if possible. When the last storm took off over a dozen shingles though, I knew that it was time to stop being so stubborn. I wanted to save money, but I also did not want to have rain, snow, and bugs coming into my house because the roof was so damaged.

I was actually embarrassed to contact a roofing company, because I knew that it was in such bad shape and most other people would have had it repaired or replaced by that point. Continue reading

How To Produce Ten Different Lacing Styles

There are several lacing or thonging styles which though form part of the construction of the article, also improve the aesthetic appeal of the article. Some of these styles are discussed in this article.

1. Oversew/ whip stitch
After the holes or slits are created, the thong is passed through the first hole from the underside of the leather and then passed on the top. It follows continuously in that manner till the process is complete.

2. Oversew with two colours
This lacing technique is similar to the oversew technique. However, the difference is that two different coloured thongs are used alternately.

3. Couching
In this process, a different coloured strip of leather is ‘laid’ in skived and stuck in position between the slits and the edges of the leather before the oversew lacing is done on it.

4. Criss-cross/ Cross loop/ Baseball X stitch
Two rows of thongs are used for creating this style. The first row is worked from left to right while the second row is rather worked from right to left. However, intermediate slits or holes are left when the first row is worked on for the second row to fill them in creating the criss-cross pattern.

5. Close criss-cross
This is an oversew thonging style that is worked in an alternate direction like the criss-cross technique. Two different coloured rows of thongs are used.

6. Running
Slits are cut at right angles to the edge of the leather instead of it being parallel with it spaced at equal distances. A flat needle is used to pass the leather strip in alternately in an ‘over-one’, ‘under-one’ manner to create a running thong.

7. Point de Ganse
In this technique, the strip of leather is passed through the first slit and down through the second leaving a small loop. The thong is then pulled up from the underside and passed through the small loop created from the top, pulling the stitch tight.

8. Slanting
As the name suggests, slanting thongs slants to the right. Two rows of slits are created in a slanting direction on the surface of the leather piece with a thonging tool. The thong is passed from the underside through the first slit at the left-hand end of the top row and down through the slit in the bottom row. It is then brought up through the second slit in the top row and down through the next slit in the bottom row.

9. Oversew and Buttonhole
This is a combination of oversewing and buttonhole styles which are done using two thongs of contrasting colours. One of the thongs is used in creating the oversew thonging. After that, the buttonhole is created. It involves threading the thong through one of the overcast stitches already made. It is then passed down through the bottom of the next stitch of oversewing pulling it through, leaving a small loop. Bring the thong up through the small loop and pull it tight. Pass the thong down through the loop while pulling the stitch tight.

10. Slanting and threading
Two contrasting colours of thongs are used. One row of the thong is made in the slanting thonging style. The other thong is threaded under and over the slanting stitches.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9556898

How to Prepare for Model Casting

Awesome, you have just got your ticket to enter an exciting industry. However, your performance at Casting is pivotal in determining whether you get selected by the agency and paves the way for the subsequent opportunities you will acquire as a model.

1. Check and follow the requirements

Important details such as the timing of the casting call, what you need to bring, expected dress code and all the important details must be strictly followed to ease your casting process. It is very unlikely that you will attend an audition where there aren’t many others casting for the same opportunity, and the agency rarely has much time to waste. So being late or not bringing what is required will significantly slow down the process and cause you to wait much longer. Besides, that is the last first impression you want to create (Or the last impression you will make). Check the website to see what’s required for casting and call the agency and clarify directly.

2. Your overall look: Simple.

Your look is something you need spend some time thinking about. A model agency wants to see the raw talent and beauty you can offer them for them to work with. If you wrap yourself up in makeup, fancy patterned shirts/dresses, and excessive jewelry it will interfere with their creativity which is trying to suit your natural look to multiple modeling styles. You will result in creating an impression that you are not a versatile model. Go as simple as you possibly with the lightest makeup. For example, a bit of foundation to hide some blemishes and scars.

Check if there is a dress code in the description else just wear a solid colored dress, jeans, tank top or anything that makes you comfortable so long as it’s simple and plain colored. A further tip, don’t apply too much perfume or cologne as it may put off the judge/interviewer if he/she doesn’t like that smell. Apply some basic deodorant to ensure your odor is in control and that would suffice.

3. Healthy lifestyle, radiate natural beauty

The best way to look good naturally is to stick to healthy wholesome foods and completely avoiding fried, oily and fast food. You also want to drink enough water and get the adequate sleep you need as you lead up to your casting call. You should stay off alcohol and late nights at least week before your casting call.

4. Expect to wait

Waiting is going to be hard if you are impatient. Casting calls are usually filled with many aspiring hopefuls so you will most likely have to wait for some time before your turn. Bring a book or newspaper you can read while you wait, and don’t let the waiting affect your emotion and thought. It is completely expected and normal to wait, and no matter what time you are called you should always go to your casting with a cool head.

5. Wear your confidence

Whether you get selected by a model agency or not, remember to be vibrant, lively, smile and be enthusiastic about the whole casting session. Answer the question posed to you confidently and that alone should sail you to land the spot.

Conclusion

Have fun, be confident and give it your best shot. If you fail, it’s not the end. Ask about what you can improve on, work on your look and style and try again at the various agencies available.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9550939

How To Care and Clean Leather and Its Products

Leather has to be cared for to prolong their use. They must be cleaned regularly to free them of substances that can slow down their performance when used for the production of articles. Every type of leather has a special way of caring for it. For instance, Deerhide, Buckskin, and Elk leathers can be cleaned by washing them with mild soap and water. However, do not squeeze or wring it dry because it brings wrinkles in the leather.

Suedes are cleaned using a stiff bristle brush or fine sandpaper can be used to clean away dirt and most spotting on them. The suede is brushed vigorously until the dirt disappears. It is then wiped with a damp sponge. An art gum eraser can equally be used to remove dirt on suede. A commercial suede cleaner can be purchased and used to clean suede.

Smooth leather is cleaned with several commercial leather cleaners such as Saddle soaps, Omega Carnauba cream as well as leather conditioners can be used to clean smooth leather. Saddle soaps are applied with a wet sponge or brush worked into thick leather. It is then wiped off with a cloth and then polished to a soft luster. Examples of saddle soaps include Kiwi saddle soap, Belmont saddle soap, Propert saddle soap, Castile saddle soap and Blue Ribbon saddle soap.

Don’t store leather garments in tightly sealed plastic bags. Leather garments should be stored in an area where there is both ample space and circulation of air. Plastic bags tend either to stick to leather or even discolour it. Also, do not spray commercial moth repellent sprays on leather since they contain chemicals that may discolour it.

All dye applicators used in water-soluble dyes can be rinsed clean in warm water. However, those used for oil and spirit solvent dyes can be rinsed clean with a mild alcohol solvent. After they have been rinsing cleaned, they should be washed with soap and warm water and then dried.

Leather items are affected by several factors and conditions. Most of these are environmental factors. If these factors and conditions are not controlled or curbed effectively, the leather articles cannot perform their functions well. It could even result in the spoilage of the leather items. Some of these factors are dirt, water, oil or grease, chemicals, and drying.

1. Dirt

This is the common factor that can affect virtually all leather items due to the fact that it is circulated with air. Therefore, leather product users should on a regular basis clean off the dust that finds their way on their leather items. A clean, damp cloth can be used to wipe off the dust from leather items. However, dirt in eyelets and closed up the corners of leather products can be blown away with a blower. Leather items on showcases displayed for sale should be covered with a transparent rubber to shield them from dust.

2. Water

Water can cause leather items to warp or shrink. It can render them very weak, dull and unattractive. All leather users should be very cautious of its effects. Water should be kept away or far from where leather items are stored or kept. If water mistakenly pours on a leather product it should be wiped out immediately and allowed to dry slowly at moderate temperature.

3. Oil/Grease

Oily substances though can be used to enhance the surface quality of leather items when they are applied well, they can also cause adverse effects when they find their way expectedly on finished leather products. They can soil or stain an aspect of the leather item. This certainly affects its general outlook.

4. Chemicals

Chemicals can cause drastic effects on leather items. They can eat off the top layers of the leather items. All chemicals, especially corrosives ones like acids must be kept away from all leather items.

5. Drying

Leather items should be dried slowly at moderate or room temperature. They should not be exposed to the harsh radiation of the sun. Exposure of leather items to the radiant heat of the sun can cause them to fade or pale. Continual exposure can cause the leather products to shrink in size.

There are some time-tested ways of taking care of leather. Some of these ways include storing, cleaning, conditioning and flattening.

1. Storing

Store the leather in airy places. Humid atmosphere or environment must be avoided. Crumpling of leather must also be avoided when storing a pack of it. They must be flattened. Already finished articles in leather must be stored with stuffings. The storage area must be free from excessive heat, which would definitely affect the leather. Before the artifacts are stored, they have to be dried thoroughly. Special fungicide compounds must be sprayed on the stored leather material to prevent molding.

2. Cleaning

Smooth leather must be cleaned by the use of neutral soap. The soap would help remove the soil at the surface of the leather. The surface dirt can also be cleaned by brushing or wiping with a damp cloth. Suede leather can be cleaned with a stiff brush or fine wire brush to remove dirt and restore the nap effect or texture.

3. Conditioning

Wet leather articles have to be dried slowly at moderate temperatures. In all conditions, excessive heat must be avoided. Solvents such as benzene, carbon tetrachloride or naphtha should be used with great care to remove soil or dirt spots. Dirty spots are stains or spots which do not yield to soap and water. They are cleaned by the use of solvents.

4. Flattening

Crumpled and rolled or folded leather need to be straightened and flattened. It is achieved by rolling the leather on the opposite side/surface while moistening the leather and placing it under a flat weight. It is then moistened and rubbed with a flat tool. Finally, it is moistened and toggled to achieve flatness.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9562580

Tanning After-Treatment Processes

There are some treatments that are given to leather after they have been tanned. Some of these include washing, setting out, oiling, stuffing, and drying.

Washing
It is also referred to as scouring. This is done to remove any surplus tan from heavy leathers and chrome salts from light leathers.

Setting Out
This is done to stretch the leather to remove any wrinkles and flatten heavy leather. It is also done to remove creases and surplus moisture in light leather. After this process, the pelts still contain about 60% moisture.

Oiling
This is the application of oil to the grain side of the leather for it to be flexible and be of good colour. It is done to replace the oil lost during earlier treatments.

Stuffing
This is the process of impregnating the leather with oil and fat to make it waterproof or suitable for mechanical leathers or make it more resistant to wear.

Drying
This is done by pasting the hide onto a glass plate or metal sheet or by toggling that is pinning the leather onto a large wooden sheet with holes in it. This is done to compress the leather and make it firm and flat. Another process of drying it is to paste the pelts on large plates. It is then scrubbed, wiped and dried either with the solar energy or in a drying oven. The drying process also helps to remove the remaining moisture or water and smooths the grain. Again, it helps in avoiding hardening or shrinkage of the leather.

Conditioning
This is the process of re-wetting the pelt with a fine spray mist of water to raise the moisture content to about 25%. The drying process makes the pelt too hard and unworkable for most consumer use. Therefore, this is done to re-establish the pelt to its proper moisture content.

Staking
This is the process of mechanically softening the pelt by both pulling and rolling to make it pliable. It gives the leather its final firmness and softness.

Buffing
This is a mechanical sanding process that reduces the visual appearance of surface blemishes on the grain side of the leather. A full grain leather is not buffed.

Finishing
This is the process of applying a thin finish film on the grain side of the leather to enhance the colour and increase the pelt’s resistance to stain and abrasion.

Plating
This process smoothes the finish grain surface and assists in fixing the finishing film on the leather.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9562568

Types, Characteristics and Uses of Paper

There are several kinds of paper which are used in executing various activities such as drawing, tracing, printing, calligraphy etc. Papers are available in an extensive range of sizes, thicknesses, and finishes, as well as in differing degrees of quality, permanence, and durability. A particular type can often be used for another purpose. Print papers, for example, can be used with acrylics, and many graphics papers are ideal for drawing. Keep in mind, however, that certain sheets have poor ageing characteristics and should not be used for permanent fine artwork.

1. Art Paper- This is a smooth, high gloss, coated paper with both sides coated with Kaolin. It is used for making calendars, brochures, covers for magazines, labels, book jackets etc.

2. Bond Paper-This is a strong printing material that has been given a plate finish. It has good durability and strength. Its stiffness is good and has a good erasing quality. It also has an excellent ink-receptive quality. It is used for drawing, printing, making of letterheads, magazines, notebooks, brochures etc. Watercolours and permanent markers can be used on it with success.

3. Bank Paper- This is a thin, smooth, light-weight paper usually white though some are coloured. They are used for producing currency notes.

4. Brown Paper- This is a strong, buff coloured sheet that has great tensile strength. It is used for making envelopes, covering notebooks and for wrapping items.

5. Blotting paper- This is fairly strong and glossy used for producing flowers.

6. Cartridge Paper- This is strong, heavy stock, and textured. It is also coarse, off white, absorbent and thicker than bond sheet. It is used for drawing, making prints, book covers and poster work.

7. Carbon Paper- This is a thin material that is either coated at one side or both sides with a dry impressionable ink. It is used to produce identical copies of original documents.

8. Cardboard- This is a thicker, stiffer material that comes in a variety of colours and weight. It is used for producing boxes, books and packages.

9. Cover stock- This refers to any heavyweight paper that can be used for binding magazines, brochures, booklets etc.

10. Chrome Coat
This is a type of glossy paper that has been coated with chrome at one side of the paper.

11. Copier Paper- This type is used for making a photocopy. It can be used in photocopiers and fax machines.

12. Chipboard- This is a heavy, stiff paper with off white glossy side at one part and an ash (grey) side. It is used for making packages, book covers etc.

13. Textured paper: This type has one texture at one side and the other side is smooth. The eggshell is textured like an eggshell while basket paper is textured like a basket. The duplex has both sides textured.

14. Manilla board: This is stiff, sturdy, and smooth usually white though others are coloured. They are used as surfaces drawing, the making of folders, flat files, book covers etc.

15. Newsprint: This is a weak, grey coloured paper which turns brownish after some time. It is used for producing newspapers, handbills, exercise books, telephone directory, jotters, proof prints etc.

16. Rice Paper: This is a very absorbent paper from the Orientals.

17. Sugar Paper: Like the rice paper, it is very absorbent. It is very good for printing, painting etc. They are mostly black and grey.

18. Wall Paper: This is a type of paper coated with multiple colours or floral designs used for decorating walls.

19. Straw board: This is a very strong, stiff board in grey colour. It is made of straw pulp.

20. Antique paper: This is a type of printing paper having good bulk and opacity with rough or matt surface.

21. Tracing paper: This is a strong, light weight, transparent paper used for tracing or transferring images from one surface onto another.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9536428

The Challenges in The Leatherwork Industry

The leatherwork industries are faced with several difficulties or challenges. Experts in this area must know the challenges so as to devise means of arresting them. The discussed challenges in this article, however, have been dealt with appropriate solutions.

1. Problems of Material Acquisition

The leatherwork industries are faced with the problem of material acquisition. Materials for the production of articles are usually in scarcity. The means of obtaining some of them is very difficult since there are no or few local producers of them. The majority of the materials for leatherwork productions is imported from foreign lands into the country. This makes them very expensive, resulting in high production costs and exorbitant prices for the products. This has seriously affected the patronage and sales of them.

This problem can be curbed by the establishment of more local industries who would produce these materials for leatherwork productions. This would invariably reduce the cost of them and the cost of the products produced from them resulting in higher purchase and patronage. Also, if some of the materials would be imported, the government should reduce the import duty on them to enable customers to be able to purchase locally made leather products.

2. Lack of customer confidence in locally made leather products

Some leather craftsmen fail to use good materials in their productions, but they also impose high prices on their products. Some are very dishonest. They lie to their clients that they’ve used natural leather for their productions while they have used synthetic leather. This has waned the trust that buyers have in local leather craftsmen. They now prefer to buy foreign leather products which have quality as its hallmark unlike the locally produced items which is not durable.
A remedy to this problem is that leather craftsmen should be honest with their clients and speak truth to them. They have to also use good or quality materials for their leather productions. This would bolster the patronage and purchase of the products.

3. Compliance with hallmarking requirements

Most leather craftsmen fail to comply with the hallmark requirements in the leatherwork sector. These include quality control, finishing, packaging, etc. This may be as a result of the deficiency in skill acquisition. This has accounted for the low patronage for locally made leather products.

All leatherwork enterprises should be made to join the professional leatherwork association in a bid to remedy the situation. The association should enforce the hallmark requirements for all leatherwork enterprises. The penalty for infringement of the requirements should be meted out to defaulters to serve as a deterrent to other leather craftsmen.

Also, training should be offered to leather craftsmen on how to maintain these hallmark requirements. Workshops, seminars, forums and talks should be periodically offered to leather craftsmen to abreast them with modern production techniques, finishing etc. Moreover, lectures should be given on work ethics, moral and human values, attitudes etc. If these measures are taken, all leatherwork enterprises in the country would meet the hallmark requirements.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9562589

Description of Marking, Measuring, Cutting and Sewing Tools in Leatherwork

There are several tools used in the field of leatherwork. Most of these tools are locally made while others are bought from shops that sell imported leather tools. The tools used in leatherwork are very many and varied. Therefore, for purposes of easy identification and study, marking tools, measuring tools, cutting tools and sewing tools are described in this article.

1. Marking Tools-
This category of leather tools is used for marking purposes. They are used for creating lines to serve as a guide before sewing, cutting, thonging or stitching is carried out. Examples of tools under this category are:

Edge Creaser- This tool is usually dragged along the edges of leather products to create a creased guideline for sewing and thonging purposes.

Edger- This is a marking tool that is used for creating lines along the edge of leather items to assist in sewing.

Leather Marker- This tool is used for marking out lines as a guide for cutting and designing purposes.

Tracing Tool- It is used for marking and tracing out lines of templates or patterns before sewing.

Spacing Wheel- This tool is used for marking equivalent spaces on leather before punching holes for sewing.

Stitching Groove- It is used for marking lines to serve as a guide when stitching.

Edge beveller- This tool is used for beveling and neatening the edges of thick leather.

Edge groover- This is a metal tool with a round wooden handle. It has a snub end with an adjustable screw recessed into the end, and the groove cutter extends out from the tool on a metal shaft that can be adjusted in length by means of the recessed screw. It is used to produce a shallow groove on the surface of leather into which the thread is recessed below the leather surface.

2. Measuring Tools-
These are tools that are responsible for ensuring straight and accurate routes for stitching, cutting, thonging and decoration. Examples of measuring tools used in leatherwork are:

Dividers- It is used for measuring, creating small intervals for stitching and the setting of circles for the cutting of strips and thongs.

Metal Ruler or Straight Edge-It is used for measuring. It also serves as a guide when creating straight cuts of leather.

Measuring Tape- This is a long rubber tape used for taking accurate measurements.

3. Cutting Tools-
This group of leather tools is used for general cutting purposes. They are used for cutting patterns and pieces or parts of leather. Examples of cutting tools for leatherwork are:

Shears or Scissors- This is a paired sharp cutting tool used for the cutting of cards and papers for use as templates and for the cutting of light leather, linings, foams, and fabrics.

Skiving Knife- This is a sharp knife that is used for removing the bulkiness of leather by thinning. This technique is commonly referred to as skiving.

Strap Cutter- This cutting tool is used for cutting long straps of leather used in making handles of bags, belts etc.

Swivel Knife- It is used for making light cuts or beveled lines to aid in the folding of leather.

Head Knife- This knife is used for cutting and trimming thick pieces of leather.

Gouge- This cutting tool is used for creating grooves to make folding and creasing easy in leatherwork. V-Gouge- This type of gouge is used for creating ‘V’ grooves. U- Gouge- This type of gouge is used for creating ‘U’ grooves.

Bevel Point Knife- This cutting tool is used for cutting leather at right angles.
Glass or Zinc plate-It is the surface on which the leather is placed for cutting.

3. Sewing Tools
These tools are used for sewing pieces of leather together to form the article. Some of the tools in this category help make thonging and the making of decorative stitches very easy. Some of the sewing tools used in leatherwork are:

Needles: There are various types of needles used in leatherwork. While some types like the lacing needle are used for sewing pieces of leather together, others like the Glovers and Harnesses are used for sewing thongs at the edges of leather articles.

Thimble: This is a protective metal tool worn mostly on the index finger as an excellent aid for sewing.

Sewing Machine: This machine assists in the sewing of pieces of leather, foam, and other leatherette materials.

Loop clamp: This is a tool used for holding small belt loops in the stitching clamps when sewing them closed. The jaws are small enough to enter the loop and the clamp can generally be held in the jaws of a pair of stitching clamps.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9563081

Importance of Paper Designing in Leatherwork

Designing is an important step that ensures the success of any article.The truth is that the leather material for the production of items are costly and as such, a leather craftsman cannot just experiment with it, thus, paper is used to test the feasibility of a particular design before it comes to life using leather. Detailed merits of paper designing prior to actual three-dimensional production in leather sounds professional and advantageous for many reasons,some of which have been dealt with in this article.

1. It helps us to generate various unique and original designs from which articles can be produced- Designing takes several phases or stages in their development which some designers’ term as idea development. This systematic development ensures that original designs which are not already in existence are created.

2. It helps designers in incorporating client’s preferences into the design of the article- When articles are carefully planned and designed, it gives designers the opportunity to include the taste of customers with respect to colour, shape, form, etc. in the design. This deepens the trust that clients have in the leather craftsman, paving the way for commissioned future projects.

3. It helps designers to visualize the final outlook of the product- Designing of products before they are actually produced help designers to first preview how the product to be produced will look like. Thus, when shown to clients saves designers from unpleasant surprises from clients.

4. It helps us to make corrections before the preparation of templates and the cutting of leather- If designs are first generated before actual production, corrections can be conveniently made before it’s too late. When designs are made and shown to clients before actual production, the changes the client wants the designer to make can be easily carried out.

5. It saves time and resources- All the toils and difficulties that result in the production of articles is mainly due to the failure of leather craftsmen in taking ample time to plan and design the article. However, all the efforts in designing is time worthier. This is largely true because the time and resources that would be wasted if a mistake is committed would be far greater than the time that was spent in designing.

Owing to the enormous advantages of designing products before their actual production, the author of this book is advocating that a product in leatherwork must not be produced if the paper work (design) is not carefully and properly carried out.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9563078