A Guide To Buying Art From An Auction

The best way to find high-end art bargains is through buying at auctions. This is how I’ve found my most precious pieces of art.

Don’t bother with the pre-packaged artworks like those found in home shopping catalogs; you should strive to get items that are unique and collectable. It’s important to attend as many auctions as possible before making a big commitment.

Getting used to viewing items before the sale and checking items for any damage is very important. Here are expert tips in buying auctioned art.

A Trial Buy


When feels that they have the confidence to buy art and how best to bid, try buying an expensive item.

It’s an exciting experience, try to control your nerves and excitement. Once the thrill is felt, you’ll be hooked, but it’s important to set a price limit and to stick to it.

You should always keep in mind that the auctioneer’s job is to keep the crowd in a frenzy mood. This is done in order to create a bidder war between two or more bidders.

Never be tempted to go overboard since the auctioneer wants to get the highest price possible. Always listen carefully to the description of the item and the conversations that is going on around.

This helps in determining the value and authenticity of a piece of art. Note the selling prices so that you review them.

Understand The Catalog Estimates


The estimates that are given are always valued by an expert of the auction house and the sellers. They are designed to achieve the highest possible prices just the way house prices are set.

In some cases, they are set at low prices in order to attract buyers who thought that they can’t buy the pieces. This low pricing helps to generate the pushing of the bid price.

Estimates are also influenced by the previous sales of the same type of art but many factors can change the pricing.

The concern should always be buying the art at a fair price no matter the auction. No one wants to significantly overbid the work unless one wants it so much.

Buying art is also an investment, especially those old pieces and so you should be careful. If the art is well maintained, it’s possible the art value will increase.

Bargains Are Hard To Find


If a price is deemed too good to be true, in art auctions, it’s probably not worth that price. Always be suspicious and try to know what other bidders know about the art that you don’t.

You should check thoroughly the provenance of the work piece. The piece should always be accompanied with a letter of authenticity preferably from the Certificate Of Authenticity COA.

This is an added advantage in case one wants to insure the piece. You should inquire whether the artist is still around in order for the artist to produce the authenticity letter.

This is in addition to the signature of the art piece as well as the letter. When bidding, find out when the auction house adds premiums to the piece. This increases the selling amount by 10%. Find out the mode of payments the auctioneers prefer.

Online Auctions


First, online bidding poses huge threats and is extremely risky. However, legitimate sites are available and they are preferred since there are huge savings to be made.

Auction art websites are devoted to tracking and selling rare art pieces. There is easy communication since there are no middlemen involved. The buyer has different choices to choose from.

The artists who are selling their own work are unlikely to manipulate prices.

There are secure payment modes which makes it easier to buy art online such as PayPal. You should always check the size of the location where the artwork will be hung.

Consider the requirements for framing and also shipping cost depending on where to buy art from. Check some of the reputable online galleries such as eBay, mybestcanvas.com, Art.com just to mention a few.

Hobbies on a Budget

Life can be rough, no question about it, and the merry grips of the recession have left most of us dreadfully short in the pocket. Sadly, the first thing to go in the icy grips of poverty are hobbies and the small joys in life. Unfortunately, when you're under terrible pressures and the stresses of trying to stretch too little money too far, it's probably the last thing that you should do – even businesses are beginning to notice the human need for hobbies and distractions.

A big part of keeping it together when things are hard comes in the form of having a release value. Whether it's a sport or simply painting miniatures, it doesn't matter. In a manner similar to the art of meditation, having a hobby you enjoy and can focus on takes the brain offline from the bigger worries and the swirl of thoughts it navigates daily, and gives you vital time to refresh and relax. In turn, the knock on effects include stress relief, the lowering of the nasty little trap that is the excessive adrenaline response and more.

That's not all a hobby does, though. It's also a one way pipeline to boosted creativity. It can boost creativity, expand your horizons and enhance your social opportunities. And there's a ton to be said for the simple fact that performing a favorite hobby forces us to unitask – something incredibly rare in this more, more, more multitasking world.

The world, unfortunately, has not been kind to 'the poor' since the 80's and the 'I want it now' mindsets of Reagan and Thatcher. Somehow, no matter the trying economic circumstances around us, those who struggle to make ends meet still are blamed for it solely as their own fault. Look at the classic phenomena of bad credit. True, there are a lot of people out there who've wrecked credit scores through their own stupidity. Let's not deny that. But there's no relief for those forced into those bad decisions as a salve for even worse ones, either. If you've ever tried to get a bad credit personal loan, you'll know what I mean. Although, if you clicked that link, you'll see that there is hope out there, and that there are a host of steps you can undertake to repair your credit score and make getting that loan easier. In Australia, it's even possible to get loans for people on Centrelink. If you're not familiar with the Land Down Under, that means people with bad credit who're unemployed. But there's no doubt it's a generally punitive system.

The same goes with keeping up a hobby when times are tight. I can almost guarantee you’ll get the side eye from those around you who think you should sit in ashes and sackcloth if you're 'bad' enough to be having a hard financial time. Of course, you'll have to take a long hard look at what you can do with a more limited budget, and there will be sacrifices you have to make. But don't let the naysayers talk you out of the things you love straight away- not only is it none of their business, it's also going to be incredibly detrimental to your health to isolate yourself from everything you love just because you've hit a financial rough patch.

The History of Model Art and Miniature Art

The term miniature basically means something of small size or reduced scale. This genre is so unique since one has to really pay attention on the details. Even if the details are too small to be seen, they cannot escape the prying eyes of many critics. Don Giulio Clovio was among the most exceptional miniature artists during his time. It was around 1550. He loved painting small things. However, it was in the 16th century when the term miniature was described as an art form. It was said by Sir Philip Sydney. Another person used the term miniature in France. It was used in the book Les Ouevres written by P. de Ronsard.

The succeeding artists were basically nonconformists. They tried to bring a unique dish on the table and did not follow the guidelines set by the society. Instead, they just worked on what they think was art and some others worked with other artists who understood their craft. However, some others tried to create art forms based on what the buying public had dictated.

In recent years, miniature artists have faced more challenges as the art form starts to fade. With the rise of rival art forms such as photography, less people are interested in miniature art. However, there are a lot of revival efforts in order to make this art appeal to a broader market. It is considered a formidable task given all the consequences, but many artists think it is possible. Those who have started their passion in creating miniature arts continued doing what they love and some others have succeeded in making more people appreciate what they do. The future of this art is quite bleak for now, but artists are hopeful that they can tickle the interest of more people through this art form.

Insuring Works of Art

History can attest on how even world-renowned artworks can be stolen even when kept in a museum, which is heavily secured. If this kind of threat is possible, then more artists are at risk since they only keep their artwork at home or in their studio. If you are one of these artists whose works are really of high value, you might want to consider insuring your art.

Types of Insurance

There are 2 types of art insurance to choose from. The first one is called Title Insurance. This is important to prove that the artwork belongs to you. This means that it was not stolen from someone. In the event of intellectual rights cases to be filed against you later on, you have a wall to protect you. Another type of insurance is called property insurance. This is the more common type of insurance that protects artists against thefts and burglars or property damage due to fire. When you artwork is stolen, you can claim certain amount of money.

The Unpopularity of Art Insurance

Aside from artists, those who love collecting artworks must also insure their collection. However, many people don’t do it. In fact, according to recent statistics, the amount of insured art is just around $1 billion. This means that there are a lot of other artworks out there that were not insured yet. These works are on the risk of being stolen and the owner gets nothing if they are lost.

However, many artwork owners or even artists don’t necessarily see the value of this insurance. They collect these items just because they love them. They don’t think about what happens if they will be lost. Besides, they have this wrong notion that no one will pay closer interest to these items.

If you wish to secure your artwork, whether you have personally made them or not, you need to be buy this insurance now. Rest assured, there are lots of premium packages available. This does not necessarily have to be expensive. Also, there are tons of insurance companies out there that can give you more affordable rates.

My Unique Bedroom Blind Designs


There are many ways to spruce up the ordinary look of your bedroom. One of the best ways is to buy blinds that will create a unique effect on your room. Take note that when you place a cover on your window, it will be very visible and it could potentially dictate the overall ambiance of your room. Here are some ideas that will help you make your bedroom look really unique and stunning:

  • Use bamboo blinds. These are made from refined bamboo sticks. Some blinds are coated with dark varnish for a more unique effect. Some others are left the way they are for a more natural appeal. The best part about using bamboo blinds is that not so many bedrooms have them. Therefore, when you invite someone over, you can easily wow this person. Besides, if you really want to make your bedroom feel more relaxing and villa-like, this is the best possible choice.
  • Go for printed roller blinds. These blinds were digitally printed based on the design that you wish to have. You can have your own photo or an image of your most favorite celebrity. You can also paint something and have it digitally printed as blinds. Of course, since it is customized, you have the assurance that it can’t be seen in any other bedroom. Though this costs a bit higher than regular blinds, they are definitely worth it especially if you are going for a more unique look.
  • Pair up classic white neon blinds with a colorful printed curtain. Though the blinds are not the ones that will create the effect that you desire to see, their combination with colorful curtains will surely make you achieve your goal. You just have to be careful not to overdo things as some curtains can be very overwhelming. Also, you have to match your curtains with other bedroom designs.

By using these unique blinds, there are a lot of things that you can do to your room. For sure, when you have put them on, you will be surprised with their ability to transform the overall look of your bedroom.

Exploring the art, Dunnottar Castle

Art is not just painting and photography. Architecture is among the most important art forms, especially in ancient times. There are some buildings that trigger strong emotions even just looking at them.

The castles

Who does not love castles? How many of us have not dreamed for once in a lifetime to own the Lord or Lady’s castle?

Castles have a look that is sometimes romantic, sometimes majestic and occasionally disturbing. Whatever the emotion you experience when viewing a castle, it is certainly a strong one. It is impossible to remain indifferent to the charms of a castle.

Most castles are located in Europe and have emerged as the residences of rich and important historical figures or as strategic points of defense from enemies. Some are located on the shores of a lake, others on top of a mountain, very often in hard to reach places.

Their purpose was to defend the local Lords and the general population from potential invaders and enemies.

Dunnottar CastleA true wonder is the Dunnottar Castle in Scotland. It is a wonderful work of art. Situated in a peninsula in the North Sea, approximately 1 hour drive from Stonehaven, the castle as you can see today dates back to the about 1200 A.D, although evidence suggests the existence of an older structure dating back to 700 A.D.

There are tour guides who organize tours to visit this castle. The tour starts in the afternoon from the center of Stonehaven. You can walk a long path and the scenery is lovely and a little ‘magic’. Scotland plays host to a beautiful expanse of green and there is the scent of grass and moss in the air.

Arriving at the peninsula we are located along a small hill, with a series of steps carved into the hillside. Approaching the fortress you realize just how massive and imposing it truly is.

Once on the cliff overlooking the sea, the emotion is strong. We find ourselves scrutinizing a cold sea, rocked by massive waves crashing on the rocks. The castle is not habitable. Many parts are in ruins, but you can understand from the remains what it was like to live in this castle.

If you stop to look at the horizon it is easy to imagine Viking ships approaching the shore. If you are lucky enough to visit the castle in a beautiful clear day you can witness a beautiful sunset typical of the north of Europe. A sunset’s colors reflected in the water is in constant motion.

During the excursion, remember to bring a few basics:

  • A waterproof jacket that is suitable for the season, remember that you are in a location far to the north, and even in summer it is quite cold in the evening.
  • A powerful flashlight and maybe a battery. In this way you can linger in the back in the country and enjoy the absolute silence of the walk back in the dark. It is really an experience to try.
  • An umbrella. In Scotland it rains often and unexpectedly.
  • A camera. The landscape that you face is unparalleled and deserves to be photographed from every angle.

If you have the opportunity to take a trip to Scotland do not miss the opportunity to visit the fortress of Dunnottar Castle. From my point of view it is a superb experience for those who appreciate art.

Fun Hobbies You May Want To Consider

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of having a hobby.  Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress, keep your mind active and have some time for yourself to relax and unwind.  There are a ton of different activities you can choose from, whether it is collecting coins or playing some sort of sport.  However, choosing something that requires skill and some learning may be much more rewarding.  Below are a few hobbies you may want to consider, and who knows, you may find that you have a passion for them.

Woodworking

Woodworking can be a lot of fun to take on as a hobby.  It gives you an opportunity to express yourself in a creative manner using your hands.  It is also a fairly low -cost hobby to take on as you can use simple tools for cutting and shaping the wood.  With only a few tools and other resources needed, woodworking is a great hobby for beginners to take up.

To get started in woodworking, the first thing you want to do is acquire the basic tools that you will need.  There are three types of tools needed:

  • Tools for measuring and marking wood – When working with wood, you need to make marks and measurements on where you plan to make your cuts.  Generally these include a tape measure, pencil and combination square.
  • Tools for cutting wood – Cutting wood is the most important aspect in woodworking.  You can use a simple handheld backsaw if you are on a budget.  However, it is recommended to get a handheld circular saw for straight cuts and a jigsaw for round cuts.
  • Tools for shaping wood – You will also need something to help shape the wood your are working with in order to provide nice finishes.  A block plane for creating beveled edges and a router for creating some intricate patterns are essential.
  • Tools for joining wood – Lastly, you'll need some tools to help you join pieces of wood together.  The basic tools include some screws and nails, glue, a cordless drill, screwdriver, hammer and clamp to help your wood projects.

Once you have these basic tools, you can experiment with various woodworking projects.  If you can master wood joinery and learn to apply great looking finishes, your projects will come out fantastic.

Sewing

Although most people tend to associate sewing with older women, it is actually a great hobby for anyone to pick up.  Once you learn the basics, you can create all sorts of awesome things.  The best part is that it's fairly easy to get started with the basics and you don't require that much equipment.  You can learn how to create all types of clothing, bags, quilts and even decorate and personalize all sorts of items.

To get started in sewing you go with either sew by hand or learn how to use a sewing machine.  Both have their benefits and cons, it may be a good idea to learn both.  If you are considering purchasing a sewing machine, be sure to read some reviews beforehand.  There are a ton of different sewing machines available on the market and choosing one can be difficult.  Aside from a sewing machine, below are some common tools you may need:

  • Thimble – This will prevent the needle from slipping and it can protect your finger from getting poked.
  • Seam Ripper – A small tool to rip apart stitches.
  • Needle or Sewing Machine – These are self explanatory.  While needles are inexpensive, a good sewing machine can cost up to $2000, so do your research first.

Sewing can take up a lot of time and can be difficult to master.  Using a sewing machine can be expensive, but there is a much cheaper alternative in sewing by hand.  Despite this, sewing can be very rewarding and a lot of fun.

My Passion For Model Making

As best as I can remember, my passion for model making began when I was about eight or nine years old. At the time, my family lived in England and every Saturday my brother and I would be allowed to go to the local cinema for their Saturday morning show. For some reason, I found it quite fascinating to pick up various small candy boxes, plastic spoons and other odds and ends from the floor, take them home and then try to put them together using glue. Of course, my parents weren’t happy that I was bringing home filthy odds and ends from the cinema floor, and I seem to remember my brother just trod on whatever I made anyway, but that’s how it all began.

After a while, I gravitated to plastic kits and balsa wood, and remember spending hours putting together those plastic tanks, planes and battleships and then painstakingly painting them. Half the fun was displaying the finished product in a plastic display case, or putting several completed models together on a painted surface to resemble a battle scene – a diorama, I think it was called. Even more fun was buying a packet of those tiny plastic soldiers, each about an inch high and placing them alongside or in the completed models. I’m not sure what happened to all those finished models; somehow over the years, they just got broken or thrown out.

Making models from light and flimsy balsa wood was just as much fun as I remember, although again, I’m not sure what happened to all those balsa wood houses, castles and railway stations I built. At the time I was fascinated with motor racing, and had grand ambitions to construct an entire racing track out of the flimsy wood, including the grandstands, all the other buildings and the cars themselves. The biggest problem seemed to be that it all took so long, as I could only afford to buy a couple of pieces of balsa wood each week with my allowance.

Fast forward about 30 years to the United States, and I am too busy going to work, raising a family and paying bills to make models, although I have fond memories of the pleasure they brought me. To cut a long story short, a few months ago I found myself laid off from my job – the same company I had worked for since leaving college – because of a medical negligence case which I researched here. While I wasn’t exactly happy about this, it slowly dawned on me that it gave me plenty of time to do some of the things I used to do and never had time to do anymore. Things haven’t changed too much when it comes to model making, and you can still buy huge plastic kits of planes or tanks which take weeks to make, and will occupy you for an entire evening just attaching the wings. It’s somehow nice to know that my passion for model making is just as strong as it was all those years ago.

A Wonderful Afternoon

Siesta time does not always have to be nap time. You can do more things than laying down on your bed and wake up in the heat of the afternoon with a headache. You can redefine afternoon rest by learning creative model making in your spare time!

Recently I have been working almost everyday in improving my art modeling skills. It actually requires a lot of practice, time, and dedication to learn how to use the right tools. I recently bought a Leatherman New Wave as my main knife for my woodwork projects. At the beginning I was confused about what type of tool was better for me, so my friend searched for the best multitool at BestMultitoolReview.net and recommended to buy the Leatherman New Wave.

Going back to the main topic, spending your nap time into something productive and artsy is a whole lot better than sleeping. It’s like traveling on your spare time into your inner self, and you come back to your daily routine refreshed and feeling accomplished! Now that’s a wonderful afternoon!

Nothing is better than taking those ideas floating in your head and make them real. Like an ideal vacation home, a dream car, or an aircraft you wish to fly, but before they occur in real life, you can experience them in a small scale first with art modeling. Building a model of your future house or a historical fighter plane from the Great Wars in your spare time is a great way to kick the stress out of your system. Whether you are into model making or an arts and crafts fanatic, you can give this hobby a try while you enjoy your coffee!


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Certainly you have tons of ideas of infrastructures, places, vehicles, scenarios and communities you wish to make a model of. Make them come to live while others take a nap in the afternoon. Did anyone tell you couldn’t build a rocket? Well prove them wrong because you sure can! A model of it though. Besides that, you can make a firearm model, railroads, military vehicles, aircrafts and cars, architectural models, buildings, and anything you can think of! You can have your favorite tourist spot on a table in your basement and whatever else you wish to make a model of – the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids – you name it!

In your next siesta time, make sure you don’t just dream in your sleep but you realize these desires with model making.

Overall, this is a great way to take advantage of your time and sharp your art modeling skills. Moreover, if you are interested in getting our tutorials on art modeling delivered to your email, don’t hesitate to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Next week we will be having an interview with one of the winners of the National Art Museum Miniature Art Competition. We will be covering topics such as advance modeling techniques, where to buy your tools, how to take care of your tools, and we will be also sharing some exercises for improving your skills.

I’m Building A Collection Of Model Firearms

As a lover of models I enjoyed making models as well as collecting models. I do recognize my limitations, however, and in some cases I would prefer to buy my models than build them.

Over the last few years I have become a collector of model firearms. These model firearms are so perfectly produced that, when full size, they are indistinguishable from the real weapon.

However of course as you would expect they are not functional, being a model, which is good because it would be illegal for me to own these weapons in some states if they were real weapons, and it’s even illegal in some states to own them as models.

I don’t just collect any type of model firearms, I collect specific models. In particular I love flintlock firearms. And in particular the flintlock pistol. Many people assume that the term “flintlock” refers to the particular model of pistol, however it is in fact a term which refers to the type of firing mechanism used.

In fact there was a wide range of flintlock weapons available in the 1700s including flintlock rifles as well as flintlock pistols and muskets. And surprisingly flintlock weapons are still in use today with some shooting enthusiasts.

The term comes from the fact that the firing mechanism actually users a piece of flint, or stone, in the firing mechanism. When a piece of flint strikes steel it produces a spark and it is this spark which discharges the weapon. Therefore the firing mechanism required small pieces of flint for operation.

I love flintlock pistols, and have quite a collection of model pistols. In fact my entire collection would now be valued quite highly, and for this reason I decided some time ago to purchase a proper gun safe to protect my model pistols from theft. Not knowing a lot about gun safes I did some research on gun safes and bought a gun safe which would hopefully be safe from break in.

As I say I am buying my replica weapons. Most of these weapons have extremely fine and detailed metalwork and my model making skills do not extend to crafting model weapons in this type of detail.

The weapons that I am buying are made of cast metal with an antique finish as well as polished European hardwood handles and it’s not easy to reproduce replica weapons of this quality.

I was surprised to find, as I’ve mentioned, that there are restrictions on owning some of these weapons despite the fact that they will not fire. An example of this is that residents of California and Kansas must buy a frame or a presentation box with the weapon or it is illegal for them to own them.

And if you live in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin or Minnesota you are not allowed to own any replica firearms at all unless they are pre 1898.

I am gradually building up my replica firearm collection to the point where it will be a very significant collection. Hopefully my gun safe will keep my firearm collection safe in the event of a burglary, I would hate to lose them all.

How I started my career with 3D Modelling in Dubai

One of my earliest memories of doing arts and craft projects with my mother are from when I was 6 years old. We would scout around the internet for new projects and then plan on how we could do something similar ourselves. One of the best projects we did was one where we made a 3 tier paper lamp with 100 small LED lights installed in it. It took us 20 days to complete the project and the lamp now sits proudly in my parents living room. Small projects like these brought us closer as a family and we had a blast doing them too.
We used to live in Dubai during my childhood years. At that time, Dubai was still not very developed and life was quite laid back. If we compare the current Dubai to what it was 15 years ago, the differences are shocking. As UAE becomes more popular, the number of people moving to Dubai is increasing every month. One of the sites that keeps track of people moving into Dubai recently posted a report showing the increasing trend of expats coming in from all across the continent. They also reported that residents of Dubai had the highest rate of changing homes in the region. On average, a resident of UAE moves every 2.5 years. This is evident by the large number of moving companies that have mushroomed in Dubai in the recent years.moving companies
After I finished high school, I decided to go to a small college that specialized in building 3D models of heavy building machinery. I wanted to take advantage of my existing skills of building things with my hands and enhance it enough so that I could make a career out of it. However, I realized pretty quickly that 3D printing requires you to be an expert in using 3D modelling computer programs. So I spent a semester at an engineering school and took computer programming and 3D graphics classes. It’s amazing how these printers have revolutionized the prototyping industry. What used to take months to get done in specialized hardware factories can be done in a couple days with just a simple 3D printer. And the best part is that this technology is still in it’s infancy, the printers and their capabilities are only going to get better and better as we go along. Just recently, I designed a model of a high pressure valve used in dams to control the flow of water. By creating miniaturized version of it in just 4 days, we were able to prove the function of the valve without even venturing out of our offices.
My passion for building these huge things also got me into trouble sometimes. During my second year in college, we had designed a prototype for a stretchable car bumper. I had to take it to our client for testing, but the delivery guy called in sick at the last minute. So I decided to put the bumper in the back seat of my car and started driving to the client’s office. Since the bumper was really big, it blocked my rear view completely. At one intersection, when I stepped hard on the brakes, I failed to see the car behind me and got rear ended. Thankfully I was not hurt, but my windshield got cracked by the impact. On my way back, I stopped by at the repair shop to get my windshield fixed. I even searched online to find low cost windshield replacement options so that I wouldn’t have to pay that much. In the end, I decided to go with a local workshop that get my front windshield replaced in just 3 hours. Overall, I’m loving my new career and hope to advance in it as technology advances.

An Exciting New Project and a Renovated Workspace

Recently, I read a fantastic article about air ambulance and MEDEVAC services. I hadn’t realized how deep and rich the history of that emergency service really was. It was interesting to learn of the evolution of the aircraft used to transport patients to medical facilities. I became so intrigued and inspired by the article that I have decided to embark on another model making adventure. I have made it a goal to create models of what I consider to be the key innovations in these aircraft both civilian and military editions. I’m going to focus mostly on historical aircraft in 1/64 scale from all over the world. This will most definitely be a long term project and one that I am looking forward to starting.

This is the perfect project to celebrate my newly renovated workspace. In the past I have found it a chore to try to keep my work area at a comfortable temperature consistently. Central air conditioning and small furnaces were not an option for my space so I was forced to use a combination of an electric baseboard heater and a small window air conditioning unit. These units worked ok but were not designed to work well with the space I had. The heater only worked well in the immediate area where it was placed and it also took of valuable shop space. The air conditioner also only worked well in the immediate area around it. Not to mention if I just wanted some fresh outside air I had to remove the unit which was a hassle.

Those problems are now in the past. After a bit of research, I decided to purchase a ductless mini split system made by Fujitsu. It is far

Fujitsu mini split indoor unit.

more powerful than the units I had in the past and it serves both my heating and cooling needs in one unit. The larger working part of the unit stays outside on a small concrete pad with an indoor unit ‘register’ that is mounted on the ceiling out of the way. There were options for a floor mounted or a wall mounted indoor unit but I really wanted to make the best use of my space so I chose the ceiling mounted unit. It came with a programmable digital thermostat just like you would find in the larger central air type home units.

Since I consider myself to be quite handy I wanted to install and configure the unit as much as I could. Mounting the indoor and outdoor units was relatively straightforward. I only had to cut one hole in the exterior of the building and route the duct to the ceiling and then cut one hole in the ceiling to connect the indoor unit. It was at this point that I started thinking I should hire a professional to finish the rest of the installation. I like to do things myself but, first and foremost, I like things to be done correctly and I wasn’t fully confident with the wiring and to do any work with refrigerants requires certifications. So to finish the installation of my mini split I hired a fully certified HVAC technician. I am glad I did. When he was here finishing the install he also gave me tips on what I could do to increase the efficiency of my unit.

Overall I am very pleased with the whole process and can’t wait to get started on my air ambulance models and test out my improved workspace.

An Exciting New Project and a Renovated Workspace

Recently, I read a fantastic article about air ambulance and MEDEVAC services. I hadn’t realized how deep and rich the history of that emergency service really was. It was interesting to learn of the evolution of the aircraft used to transport patients to medical facilities. I became so intrigued and inspired by the article that I have decided to embark on another model making adventure. I have made it a goal to create models of what I consider to be the key innovations in these aircraft both civilian and military editions. I’m going to focus mostly on historical aircraft in 1/64 scale from all over the world. This will most definitely be a long term project and one that I am looking forward to starting.

This is the perfect project to celebrate my newly renovated workspace. In the past I have found it a chore to try to keep my work area at a comfortable temperature consistently. Central air conditioning and small furnaces were not an option for my space so I was forced to use a combination of an electric baseboard heater and a small window air conditioning unit. These units worked ok but were not designed to work well with the space I had. The heater only worked well in the immediate area where it was placed and it also took of valuable shop space. The air conditioner also only worked well in the immediate area around it. Not to mention if I just wanted some fresh outside air I had to remove the unit which was a hassle.

Those problems are now in the past. After a bit of research, I decided to purchase a ductless mini split system made by Fujitsu. It is far

Fujitsu mini split indoor unit.

more powerful than the units I had in the past and it serves both my heating and cooling needs in one unit. The larger working part of the unit stays outside on a small concrete pad with an indoor unit ‘register’ that is mounted on the ceiling out of the way. There were options for a floor mounted or a wall mounted indoor unit but I really wanted to make the best use of my space so I chose the ceiling mounted unit. It came with a programmable digital thermostat just like you would find in the larger central air type home units.

Since I consider myself to be quite handy I wanted to install and configure the unit as much as I could. Mounting the indoor and outdoor units was relatively straightforward. I only had to cut one hole in the exterior of the building and route the duct to the ceiling and then cut one hole in the ceiling to connect the indoor unit. It was at this point that I started thinking I should hire a professional to finish the rest of the installation. I like to do things myself but, first and foremost, I like things to be done correctly and I wasn’t fully confident with the wiring and to do any work with refrigerants requires certifications. So to finish the installation of my mini split I hired a fully certified HVAC technician. I am glad I did. When he was here finishing the install he also gave me tips on what I could do to increase the efficiency of my unit.

Overall I am very pleased with the whole process and can’t wait to get started on my air ambulance models and test out my improved workspace.

Welding Degree for Hobbyist Craftsmen – is it Worth it?


Making arts and crafts from used materials is an excellent hobby that lets you express your creativity while providing you with plenty of new décor items for your home. When you have the ability to make what you want to see in your house, the possibilities of what you can achieve in terms of interior decoration are limitless. You can create mirrors, photo frames, chairs, tables, cupboards, shelves, ornaments and the like which usually cost a great deal if you pick them up from professional furnishers or decorators.

One extremely versatile addition to your art and craft fabrication skills can be welding – taught as a professional degree by several well reputed welding schools of which you can find more information here. Once you have mastered the art of welding, you are able to manipulate metallic pieces, old and new, and fashion them into any piece of décor you want. As an example, you can think about fashioning the metallic fittings, sconces, mirrors, handle bars of your bathroom on your own. If you get these items from a retail décor shop, you will probably end up with an empty wallet thanks to the current demand for vintage décor. On the other hand, consider this: you go to a scrap dealer and collect metal pieces cheap and use these to fashion your own vintage bathroom décor – you will be saving a considerable sum of money while also enjoying your favorite pastime. The same thing can be applied to your living room, dining room or any other part of the house which requires metallic décor.

Crafting items from metal is much more than just a simple hobby that will let you make items to adorn your own home. Think of it as a valuable professional qualification – talented and creative welders who are able to craft works of art from metal are few and far between, even these days. You can take your hobby to the next level by creating items from scrap metal and selling them at slightly reduced prices to those who require metallic decoration. This will be a win-win situation for both you and your client since scrap metal won’t be much of an investment and you’ll be making a name for yourself in interior décor circles which is sure to bring in more business in the future, whereas your client will be able to get their décor at a more affordable rate than what a bigtime interior décor company would have charged them.

There can be a lot of diversity in welding degrees and the courses they offer so it is a good idea to check out http://www.bestweldingschools.org/, which is an excellent resource on everything welding. Based on your particular taste and level of interest you can go for basic degrees that teach you only the elementary skills in welding to advanced ones which allow you to master the various types of welding. Because your main aim for learning welding is to advance your arts and crafts hobby, online welding programs may be best for you because of their asynchronous nature which won’t tie you to a fixed schedule.

My Idea for Waterproof Decals to Spruce up My Old & Used Fishing Kayak

Decals are all the rage right now – there are laptop decals so you can transform your boring laptop into a work of art, wall decals to decorate your home, and even decals for your car (FYI, putting sticker on your car does not make them an art car!) So, after a few hours of browsing the net and looking at all the interesting images, patterns, and scripts – it hit me! Why couldn’t I spruce up my kayak, or in fact any outdoor sports equipment with decals.

Surfboards often boast interesting decals and stickers to make them unique, so it would look just as great on kayaks. This would certainly prevent your equipment from becoming dull and outdated. My kayak, for one, is in desperate need of sprucing up, as it is looking rather old at the moment. I decided that decals would be a fun and affordable way to give it a new lease on life instead of going through the whole research process of finding the latest and greatest kayaks in the market by reading reviews on the best fishing kayaks (my sport of choice) and trying them out.

Obviously, these decals would need to be properly made so that they are waterproof, so I started researching this a little bit more, which is where I discovered the world of vinyl decals and stickers, which can be printed using a special inkjet printer. I am really excited about making these to sell online! So, here is what I have envisioned:

  • Kayaks withstand a lot of water pressure, sun and wind exposure, therefore the waterproof vinyl decals would need to be of high quality.
  • The designs can range from long swirls and other interesting shapes and tribal patterns to smaller images like animals or flowers. Names or wording is also a great idea to use on your kayak, however it is traditional to embellish this kind of outdoor sport gear with animal or nature symbols.
  • I would also like to create smaller 5 inch decals for decorating paddles and such.
  • I definitely want to create color decals along with the usual black ones, so that there is something for everyone.

Decal Designs

So, the main designs that I like for my kayak, and which I aim to add to my collection to sell are marine animals – whales, dolphins and fish. I love these creatures and being crazy about the sea and everything in it, I think this would be perfect for decorating a kayak or a surfboard. In order to make them a little more grown up and keeping in line with the high quality look I’m going for, I plan on making these slightly abstract in design. Not so much “tribal”, but using swirls and elements that create a less “clean and pretty” look, if that makes sense. I want it to be more like a cool tattoo that a cute sticker.

Making the Waterproof Decals

Once I have all the designs, I will make them using my design program and ensure that they look good when printed out in the appropriate sizes. Just using normal paper, at first, I will print out some test samples and check out the results on my kayak. My kayak is blue, so I will print some in black and then also test out some in a turquoise and also using red, green, and yellow just for variation.

Once I am happy with the final design, I will go ahead and use the special, high quality printer papers I found. I am testing out the following types:

  • Inkjet Clear Water Slide Decal Paper
  • Inkjet Rub On Decal Paper
  • Inkjet Adhesive Waterproof Vinyl

So, there you have it! This home business project shouldn’t take too long and I am excited to start selling these awesome waterproof decals for kayaks online, all I have to do now is a create a simple to follow set of instructions on how and where to stick these decal and that’s about it.

Is Nail Art an Art?

If there is something I love doing more than anything in the whole world its pampering myself – and what woman doesn’t. When it comes to my image I spear no expense. From hair, clothes, shoes, make up and trendy nail art I go the whole 9 yards. While some women tend to ignore their nails when putting together their overall look paying attention to all the little minor details of that particular appearance you are aiming for goes a long way in complementing the image of you want to achieve.

While nail polish adds to the beauty of nails and brings out the elegance of my long perfectly manicure fingers, nothing completes the look more and adds a touch of uniqueness than incorporating creative decorative patterns to the mix.

What is nail art ?

Nail art for those of you that are unfamiliar with the term is the practice of adding artistic unique patterns to nail polish coated finger and toes nails to create a pleasingly chic look. Originally used in ancient Babylonia where men colored their nails with kohl as a symbol of class or status, the practice has in recent time grown in popularity in the fashion and beauty industries with more and more women seeking manicurist’s services that encompass nail art.

While nail art may seem to quite a number of us as something simple that does not require any artistic skill whatsoever, this is far from true. A good illustration of this can be simply observed from comparing nail art designs from DIY (Do it yourself) nail kits and nail art designs from nail salons completed by professional nail technicians.

When it comes to selecting the right nail art design for your desired look there are literary endless possibilities. Whether you decide to create your own nail art design, go for one of the beginner nail art kit designs available commercially or opt for the artistic nail art designs created by you local nail bar technician there are numerous patterns that that you can choose from and equally as many accessories and tools that you can employ to achieve your desired design.

Some of the more popular designs include: flowers, dots/ spots, bows, animal prints, glitter prints and holiday themed prints (e.g. Easter, Christmas etc.). Other more common nail art prints that are both elegant sized strips to make nails look more attractive.

Bold designs

The advancement made in the nail art industry today allows women to go a step further than simply painting their nails and adding prints. On my tour to France last month for instance I came across a cozy little nail bar in the South of the country that offered crystal and metallic nail art finishes through the use of heat activation which not only enhanced the appearance of my nails but also prevented my nails from flaking and chipping (the owner also runs two great nail arts website which you can visit here and here with amazing pictures of nail art). You’ll find amazing nail arts pictures on them)

The next time you’re thinking about getting your nails done add a unique twist to your look by incorporating beautiful eye catching nail art designs that are sure to get heads turning.

Nails art can essentially be viewed as a means through which women can get to express their personality or affiliation to various fashion styles or classes through the use of ‘statement’ nail art designs. Most female heavy metal and Rock artists for instance typically like wearing black nail polish with themed gothic prints as a genre statement to their type of music while some women believe that wearing red nail polish with feminine flower or polka dot prints make them more attractive to the opposite sex.

Photographing Art and Staying Safe!

Owning a model studio, I was fascinated one day when I was reading about photography classes available in my area. As began to look over the course curriculum, I was instantly intrigued. I decided to take a class so I could start learning how to photograph my current models. When I looked into the courses, I decided to start off learning how to photograph art, which is another one of my passions. Below you will find 5 tips I picked up during the class.

Tip #1: Fill in the frame with as much of the artifact as possible

Make sure you get your lenses as close as possible to fill in the entire frame with the artifact. This is regardless of what kind of quality camera, sensor, and lenses you own. The closer you are able to get to the artifact, the better.

Tip #2 Get the Best Lighting as Possible

Make sure you can get as much light into your location as possible. If you are outside, it’s best to take your photos when the sun is at its peak and there are no clouds impeding the sunlight.

Tip #3 Use a Tripod

To get the most steady and focused image possible, you should use a sturdy tripod. One of the biggest killers of quality images is movement. A tripod will allow you to not worry as much about keeping the camera sturdy, and allow you to focus on angling your camera to get the best shot possible.

Tip #4 Focus

Another killer of photographs is not focusing enough on the image. If your camera allows, magnify the image on your LCD screen by five times (5x). Some cheaper cameras don’t go this high–and if that is the case–then magnify it as much as it allows.

Tip #4 Choose Raw Format

If you have the option between raw, tiff, and jpeg format, then always choose raw. Raw images contain the most digital information, allowing you to adjust the sharpening, color balance, saturation and contrast after the image has been created.

Keeping Equipment Safe

I am a bit paranoid about keeping my equipment from being stolen, so I bought a gun safe to keep it in. I know, I know, it’s overkill, but by the time I paid for the safe, it cost the same as having to replace my camera equipment, so I figured it was all the same! I also am quite thrift and read this guide about keeping costs down…

Earning Income as a Photographer

After I took all of my photography courses and gained some experience, I thought about how I could make money by offering photography services to others. You can actually make a fairly decent living as a professional photographer, and it is a great way to earn extra cash on the side.

But how much money can you actually make? This will depend widely upon your experience. There are usually a couple ways you can charge a client, either charging by the shot, or charging a daily rate (or half-day rate, etc). When you’re new to photography and not sure how to charge, using the daily rate is a better option. If you’re new art photography, then you must realize there is a big difference between a new and emerging photographer vs. someone that is an experienced seasoned expert. There are always many factors that need to be calculated into how much a photographer charges. They can include insurance, lawyer fees (for setting up contracts), equipment handling, etc. These overhead charges need to be estimated first before you can finally determine how much you can potentially charge so you can determine how much profit you can make.

Staying Legal

Whenever you take a photo of art, it is important that you don’t infringe against the artist’s legal rights. There may be times when photographing art is illegal. If you have ever gone to an art display and thought about taking a photo, you might want to reconsider. There is only one circumstance when taking a photo of art without permission is legal, and that is when it is considered “public domain.” In order for it to be considered public domain, the art would have been created before 1923. If this is the case, then you are allowed to take photos and do whatever you please with it without any legal action being taken against you.