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.

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.

Model Making – Can be a Real Pain in the Neck

If you have never tried your hand at model making, but find it at least vaguely interesting, I invite you to give it a shot because you won’t regret it. There are few things in life that are as satisfying as the feeling you get once you have completed your first model. All of the hours of work put into it, which were often frustrating, are now worth it. I can’t explain why, but making something with your own two hands is extremely fulfilling. It may be due to the fact that we have all forgotten the good sides of manual labor. Nowadays, we type away at our keyboards, completely detached from the final product of our efforts, assuming there is one in the first place! Unfortunately, most people if you were to ask them, would not be even able to tell what is it they actually do and why.

I’m not going to lie, my day job is one of those as well, so I fully understand the sentiment. But, model making and all of the other arts and crafts ideas I try convert into reality are an escape from all of that. Perhaps the best thing I can take away from it is the fact that I have even surprised myself on occasion, because I never thought I could pull it off. But for all the benefits, there are some downsides. First of all, you have to arm yourself with a ton of patience. And then go out and find another ton.

Also, and you will notice model makers complaining about this, is the back pain they get when they spend hours on end working on whatever model they are trying to put together. It is a serious issue for anyone who spends a lot of time model making. For years I struggled with pretty severe neck pain and all along I realized it had to do with my posture. It is difficult to maintain good posture whilst bent over your latest creation.

A physiotherapist friend told me that the best help would be from regular exercise to strengthen my neck and shoulders. He recommended trying an elliptical trainer as these are easy on the body. I had never heard of elliptical machines so I did a little research online and found loads of information – this site was great, it explained the benefits of using an elliptical trainer for a low impact workout, and had some useful reviews of the best machines for use at home. They are great for strengthening your core and back muscles, which suffer the most when you are sitting all day hunched over, whether it’s in the office, or for the sake of your hobby. Plus, an elliptical trainer can easily fit into your home and it will be there whenever you need it. You won’t waist precious time by going back and forth between your home and the gym.

Yes, I can already hear you complain. I’m not a gym rat either, but trust me, if you want to be able to dedicate yourself to your favorite hobby, you need to be in shape to do it, and this is the best way that I have come across so far. No one ever talks about neck ache and model making but for me it was a real issue. Simple exercise was my cure and I would recommend it to anyone who spends long hours hunched over a desk!

But, apart from having a nervous breakdown on occasion and a broken back, model making is just sweet. All joking aside, of all the hobbies that I have tried out in my life so far, and there have been quite a few, model making has been one that has stuck with me the longest and provided me with the most joy, and frustration. I invite you to join the club. Meetings are on any spare desk in your home or workshop, whenever you find the time!

The Hard Side of Crafting

If you’ve hung around here for any length of time, you’ll know more about crafting then you probably ever thought possible. You’ve learnt tips and tricks, been exposed to different styles and more. But there’s one side I’ve never really tackled before- and it’s the bad one. The terrible dark side of crafting. It’s…the cleanup.

The bit no one wants to talk about, let alone enthuse over. When the muse has departed, the fruits of your labour are drying in the sun, and now you have to figure out how to get No 5 yellow enamel out of your carpet.

If there’s one thing you need to make your life easier, it’s the right tools- just like with your crafting, making sure you own the best steam mop for the job is essential. I’m being flippant, of course, but my point actually stands. If you follow that link, you’ll find yourself on a useful resource packed full of tips, tricks and reviews for the various steam mops out there, and it certainly makes the process of tracking down the right one for your needs considerably simpler. In this digital age, you can probably get the one you pick delivered to your door, too, meaning the time you need to spend separate from your latest craft project is minimal.

Steam mops are actually one of the most useful craft cleanup tools you can have, as they’re remarkably good at cleaning up those oopsies that hit your floor. Another great tip for those of you who enjoy fibrous crafts- whether it’s re-hairing vintage toys or crotchet or knitting- is to look to invest in the best vacuum for pet hair you can bring yourself to own. These are specially designed to tackle Fido’s fur, and can make a great tool in you back pocket for cleaning up those irritating lingering strands too.

Whether it’s for some light-hearted messing around with the kids, or your own personal craft room, there are some other great tips out there for keeping it simple, clean and tidy at your workstation. We may all groan at the thought, but it is essential. Who hasn’t spent hours you could have spent working on the next stage of your project untangling wool, prising rock hard paint brushes out of indistinguishable gloop and otherwise wasting time that could have been far more productively spent on the project itself.

Now, I’m no great stakes at organising, but it’s amazing what you can do with a little common sense. From investing in a few tools to help you clean up spills and accidents as they happen, to using some of the great space saving hints out there to organise paints, yarns or whatever your particular materials are so that they’re easy to find, nicely presented and above all not lying in a tangled, impenetrable mess instead of being used to fuel your imagination. No one wants to be told to pick up their toys, let alone when you get past the age of having your mom nag you to do it, but at the end of the day it will make for happier, more productive crafting.

A Look at Some of the Largest Model Airplanes Ever Created

Tony Nijhuis, a 46-year-old British model maker in Hastings, East Sussex, likes to do things in a big way. If you doubt that, have him show you his Boeing B-50 Superfortress that he built in his garage. It’s wings span more than 20 feet and it weighs about 100 lbs.

Nijhuis has spent the last 30 years building model airplanes when he decided to create his version of the classic World War II aircraft from scratch, largely using balsa and plywood. And not only does it fly, but it also has working bomb bay doors and pneumatic landing gear. Give this RC behemoth at least 50 meters of runway and it’s airborne for everyone to enjoy. When traveling long distance, Tony even uses freight shipping because this plane is just massive.

But Nijhuis is just one of many modeling enthusiasts who challenge records with their creations. Take another modeler in Belgium who has created a B-29, named “Dina Might,” that has a 30-foot wingspan and with four 160 cc engines can take its 463 lb creation to the skies and back.

One of the all-time largest model airplanes, however, hangs proudly in the Radio Control Hall of Fame in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, despite the fact that it’s not an RC aircraft. It’s a B-36 built by a legend of model building, James Nick Pappas, in the attic of his mother’s home in inner-city Indianapolis. Pappas overcame skeptics as well as groveling poverty to single-handedly create some of the most impressive model airplanes every built, including this B-36, which he completed in 1952.

For several years, Pappas devoted himself almost exclusively to his models. He worked occasional part-time jobs to fund his projects and spent most days on their building. This aircraft features a detailed cockpit, machine guns with real bullets, operable control/trim tabs on the rudder, elevator and ailerons. There is even a functioning drogue chute in the tail.

Working solely from photographs, Pappas drew his own plans, fabricated his own parts, then assembled everything is his mother’s attic. Despite the wings being removable and the fuselages made to be broken down, these components were too big to be moved downstairs, so they were taken out through a double-window to the roof of the house, then lowered. Many times the move required a freight moving company because the plane was just too large to put in a car to truck. Pappas won many awards for his models, including this one. In fact, models built by Pappas were nearly always in a class by themselves due to their size and detail.

Another serious contender for the world’s largest model airplane ever built would have been a model of a Cub built by an RC modeler named Alex Schneider, a prominent member of the San Francisco Mustangs, who pioneered many advances in not only modeling but radio controls. Schneider is largely responsible for the development of control over rudder, elevator, and engine which is so popular today.

Unfortunately, private builders continue to dominate the world of the largest model airplanes. Commercial makers have yet to catch up, much less exceed their efforts. That might be a good thing since this keeps the door for more creative endeavors open. You can be sure that the most creative minds in this business are still working to build the largest, fastest, and most realistic model aircraft that they can create.

Payday loans for small projects

I have always believed in getting someone personal gifts, the idea of buying stuff from a store and gifting was never in me. Since I consider a person with multiple talents, I would always invest my time and creativity to gift my special people something that I would make, something created by me. I do this because it is the only way I feel I am really giving some part of me in a gift. This time the special someone was my fiancée. I wanted to be creative yet modern in my approach. I had to think hard on what to get her, she is a book lover, and I knew that it would have something to do with books, but I was not sure what. I saw this amazing small bookshelf on my way to work one-day and decide to get her something similar, I couldn’t reach back to get started.

I had a clear idea and the process I would follow, and then it dawned on me – I did not have the resources to procure the material I would need to make a bookshelf. I did not want to borrow money from friends, my self-esteem didn’t allow me, and I felt lost. I also thought about asking for loan in my bank, but the idea of filling papers, getting my bank statements, and finding a guarantor wasn’t that attractive when I had to finish the project in less than one week and a half. Finally, I thought of asking for a payday loan.

By that time I didn’t know anything about payday loans. I have heard about them, but I have never requested one. I did a quick search in Google and I found all the information I needed to know. There was an excellent guide for newbies like me that explains the difference between a payday loan and a mini credit (Guía de Préstamos Rápidos y Crédito online) Translation: Payday loan and online credit Guide. What it surprised me the most about payday loans is that you can get your loan in a matter of minutes, to be exact in less than 15 minutes. If you are abroad and are in the need for some cash, read this Frequent Asked Questions(source: Qué son los Mini Préstamos) before requesting for an online loan. You will get a lot of tips and recommendations for getting the best loan.

Going back to the main topic, after reading a little bit about what were my options for getting the money for my fiancée gift, I decided to go immediately to get the payday loan for my small project. I was not asked many questions or did not have to produce any documents; I used my bank statements, and the loan was granted. I was elated. The process was easy and I did not have to do anything much. I promised to pay the loan back at the earliest. I calculated in mind that the earliest paycheck I will get would be used towards this purpose first. I went back to the process of creating my bookshelf, while I thanked the lenders for allowing me to use the money, which is might not be productive for them, but is of great significance to me. My fiancée loved her new gift, and I made all the arrangements for payment towards the loan so as to secure my position for later needs if there arise any.

Why Buy A Dollhouse When You Can Make One?

Doll houses have a great history,they have even been found in Egyptian tombs, but they gained popularity during 20th century when they started to be commonly seen as toys. Tinie Toys Company of Rhode Island was one of the most accurate doll house makers. They make their houses according to set of standard rules. If you have an image of an exact dollhouse from your past or one that you would like to have for your own children, it may be difficult to find. Most dollhouses have certain styles or colors already set.

I have a solution! Have you ever considered making your own dollhouse? Most people think that this kind of a project is a ton of work and that they could not undertake it without masterful woodworking skills. The truth is, it is not as difficult as it seems. You would obviously need access to some basic tools and be willing to learn a few new skills, but it is not out of reach.

It can be a great way to relieve some stress. There is something about making things that most people find to be very relaxing. Even better than that, the quality time you will enjoy if you get your child involved in the process is worth it’s weight in gold!

When you make your own dollhouse, you are the architect. You can incorporate anything that you wish! You can even make a Japanese style inspired house! Try to find one of those in the store! You can attempt to recreate that elusive house of your childhood memories or make something completely out of the ordinary and unique for your child to enjoy for many years to come.

The Internet is a great place to start for ideas if you really have no idea how to go about this kind of project. There are many video tutorials available. All the way from how to find the right wood, measuring and even how to join or attach moldings! You can find tutorials about making doors, windows, roofing and stairs.

The furniture can be purchased online or made as well. There are plenty of websites out there where you can find relatively cheap furnishings for this house. I would suggest at least buying a couple of pieces as you are getting started. This part is a little trickier than building the actual house itself. Though, once you get the hang of it this it’s pretty fun too. I just finished a piece for my daughter’s house that is a recreation of her digital piano! This is actually her digital piano on this site! The replica came out just as nice…in my opinion at least! She seems to love it as well.

This is a great hobby. You can either do it by yourself or get your children involved. I highly recommend the latter! It is so rewarding to see the looks on their little faces as parts of the projects get completed. Their sense of accomplishment and pride when they begin to play with it is unmatched! You will help to boost their skills and creativity as well. Working together, you will be able to build the dollhouse of their wildest dreams!

Craft Your Own Cookbook To Help You Get Fit

One of the hardest things about getting in shape is making sure you eat right. Eating right is also one of the most important things you need to get right when you’re trying to stay fit. Since we focus on crafts we decided a fun way to make sure you were eating right was to create your own cookbook! Below you will find ideas for how to craftily create a cookbook that will be inspiring to you to make sure you stay on track with your diet, we’ll also share some other tips to help you with your journey.

Step 1: Find Recipes 

There are a plethora of recipes out there on the internet, do some research and hunt down some meals that sound appetizing to you as well as being healthy. You are looking for recipes that contain lots of fruit and vegetables and as many whole foods as possible. Whole foods are what you can find on the outside edge of a grocery store. In the middle of the grocery store you will find all of your processed and packaged foods which are foods you should try to avoid when you’re trying to get fit.

Print out all of the recipes that you’d like to include in your recipe book and get them ready for step 2.

Step 2: Craft Your Cookbook

Depending on how into this project you want to get you can either just cut out each recipe and glue them onto colored construction paper, or you can take the time to artistically hand write each recipe out onto fancy paper. You can buy food stickers and craft foam to decorate each page of your book. You will use more craft foam and fancy letters to create the front and back cover of your book.

Once it’s all set, put it all together and punch holes along the top or sides of the book and then use ribbon or string to tie it all together.

Nice! Now you have a beautiful book full of healthy recipes to keep you inspired. Now on to step 3…

Step 3: Get Into The Gym

For the final part of your transformation you need to make sure you’re getting frequent exercise and lifting weights. The best way to do this is to join a local gym. If you’ve never gone to a gym before I’d highly recommend watching fitness videos on YouTube or hiring a personal trainer who will make sure you’re doing all of the exercises properly so you don’t hurt yourself.

Also ask the personal trainer to help you choose supplements that will help you make faster progress in your fitness. One of the best ways I stay motivated is by using pre workout supplements before I go to the gym. There are many different pre workout supplements to choose from so check with your personal trainer for their recommendation or use the internet to help you select one that fits your specific needs.

With these steps you will do quality research into what are healthy meals for someone trying to lose weight, then you will take the time and effort to craft a quality cookbook. The time and effort that you put into it will help you stay motivated when you’re down as well as keeping you healthy. Finally, going to the gym will ensure you’re maximizing your diet by staying fit!

Top 5 Android Apps for Artisans

Making arts, crafts and modelling projects remains a popular way for many people to express their artistic creations. As a matter of fact more people now than in the past are making a variety of art specific projects that they use for decorations, items in the home or for commercial purpose. Since so many people are still making artistic items, many application developers have decided to create some useful apps that could aid them in their endeavours. The following Android apps can be used by Artisans (Craftsman) to help them in the process of making art.

Michaels Stores

Michaels is a company that specializes in arts and crafts. Millions of people go visit Michaels annually to get materials and ideas for different and unique art projects. They have projects for kids, general craft ideas and people can also get ideas for beading and jewellery making. Michael stores now has an app that customers can use to find new craft ideas, to learn about discounted prices on supplies and merchandise and to sign up for exclusive deals. Clients who use this app can also share their project creation and ideas with their family and friends and they can even locate the nearest Michaels chain within their area.


Jo-Ann fabric is a place where millions of people go to find fabric to make clothing or unique creations. Jo-Ann has been in business for many years providing customers with high quality fabric and merchandise for projects. Jo-Ann has developed an app that allows users to get discounts on merchandise. Not only do customers receive discounts on merchandise they can also learn about the arrival of new merchandise and craft ideas that they can make on their own. They offer customer product reviews and if a person does not know where a Jo-Ann’s store is located they will now be able to find the nearest location with this app.

Tip Junkie

What makes Tip Junkie such a great Apps for arts and crafts ideas is that it provides a great deal of information on how to make different projects, arts and crafts. Tip Junkie users can download this app and learn how to make home-made gifts, holiday crafts and yummy recipes all in the comfort of their own home. The app provides news and information from the Tip Junkie website and its social media component allows users to watch YouTube videos that feature arts, crafts and recipes. Users can even connect through Facebook and Twitter to share ideas, talk on forums and show off their creations to their friends, family and members of the Tip Junkie community. Tip Junkie users can even support mom’s who open up businesses selling their own home-made craft products. The app also allows tips to be submitted and shared for the community.

Crafty Gemini

Crafty Gemini is a video tutorial business that features Vanessa Wilson who is known for her clothing designs, quilting skills and cooking ability. Wilson has many video tutorials that appear on YouTube and the videos provide viewers with a wealth of information about how to cook quick and easy dishes for their families, how to make their own dresses and how create some unique and amazing home-made gifts for birthdays or Christmas. The Crafty Gemini app will allow users to instantly connect into Vanessa’s video feeds to experience her latest creations, tips and projects.


Evernote is the type of app that artisans can use to manage their arts and craft projects and to store them for future use. Evernote captures pictures, makes to-do-lists and people can even use the voice recording feature to make live notes. They can also create video presentations with Evernote that can help them to record their projects while they complete them. Users can sync Evernote with their computer and other devices and they can make budgets for their art projects. This is one app that a serious art craftsman or sewer should use to keep track of projects and to monitor their inventory.

You can find all of these apps on Google Play Store easily. In case you don’t have access to Google Play or you don’t have opened account with it, then you should search on-line for APK files to download and install manually. One great resource for all kind of APK files for Android are available on this website. When you open the site, just use the available search function, find the application you are looking for and follow installation instructions.

Tips and hints on creating an art studio from your attic space.

Whether you consider yourself an artist, or just someone who loves to paint, chances are you will need an area where you can be alone without distractions, and get the inspiration you need to create beautiful pieces of art, sculptures, or whatever it is that you love to create.

Setting up in a garage or bedroom, if you have either spare, is a great start, but for the rest of us who are space limited, where can we go? If you live in a house, chances are you have a great space lying dormant: the attic. The attic, being at the highest point in your house, is normally uninhabited, and free from distractions. With a little creativity and elbow grease, you can transform this area into a beautiful, inspirational and motivating art sanctuary, which may be all you need to take your creation journey to the next level.

Here are 5 tips on transforming your attic into the art studio you’ve always dreamed of:

1. Building work

If your attic has not been converted yet, chances are it’s dark, dusty, and down-right UN-inspirational! We recommend that if you’re serious about creating a beautiful art studio, you invest a little money into getting contractors to professionally convert your attic space. An attic conversion can surprisingly be a cheap renovation project – providing no major structural member need to be moved. The more basic the renovation the better, all you need is a floor, sealed walls, and some good lighting: the rest is up to you.

2. Check for pests

It’s wise to ensure that your attic is being used by you, and only you, as they are commonly places where certain pests love to hide. For more information about the most common creepy crawlies you may come across, visit www.atticpestauthority.com, and learn how to deal with them properly. The last thing you want is for your beautiful new piece of art to be destroyed by a family of attic squirrels, which unfortunately love to seek refuge in attics and are expert chewers. Once you are sure the attic is being used solely by you, it’s time to get creative

3. Furniture: less is more

Furniture is not something that should bother you when setting up your art studio, no matter where it’s located. Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away and sprinkle a little furniture around, but the reality is, it all serves as a distraction. The attic is perfect in this situation: it’s a tough job getting furniture up there in the first place, so less is more.

4. Light is key

Creating an inspiring environment is an easy task if you have plenty of natural light, so here are a few tips on getting your attic as bright as possible:

  • White: paint everything white, apart from the windows. White makes small spaces look larger and will help to create a relaxing and inspiring environment to create art from.
  • Big windows- if you have large open windows you will know that they present a great setting to draw inspiration from. Budget permitting, installing a few dormer windows will add more natural light, as well as space, for your art studio. Bigger is better here.
  • Use LED bulbs in light fittings – this will save you on power costs (you could be up there for hours at a time) and give you a more natural lighting atmosphere if you are lacking in true natural light.

Once your attic is up and running as an art studio, you will have no trouble finding inspiration and motivation at even the toughest of times. As an added bonus, you may increase the value of your home! A simple Google search of ‘attic art studios’ is a great way to start forming an idea of what you would like your attic-turned-art-studio to look like.

Improving Your Gunsmithing Skills With a Small Restoration Project

When you start out with your first gun restoration project, it is important to understand that as a beginner, your skill is limited. This is why you need to stick with a model that isn’t too intricate for you to handle. The best bet for a novice gunsmith is a modest, break action, single shot shotgun. These are available quite readily from any used gun store and do not have much in the way of antique or monetary worth. As a beginner, there is a good chance that your restoration project could go south, and if this happens with this inexpensive gun, it won’t set you back all that much. Of course, some might find this task daunting and some gunsmithing classes may come in handy.

However, if you decide to brave it, go for a gun that is in good working condition, with a functional hammer, dependable trigger and undamaged stock. Basically, the gun’s mechanics need to be tip top, even if it has a worn out appearance. In a nutshell, don’t go over your pay grade when making a choice for the gun you will restore as part of your arts project.

Some candidates for your guns include:

  • Old 30-30 caliber bolt action carbines from makers like Stevens
  • Old 22 caliber rifles
  • Antique pump actions from Remington and Mossberg
  • First and Second World War era military class rifles that have been authorized for sporting purposes
  • Antique double barreled shotguns.

Whichever one you go for, make sure that it is mechanically sound, even if it is missing minor components like trigger guards, magazines, butt pads and aiming sight. Steer clear of those with technical issues such as problems with shooting/chambering rounds; faulty bores; twist/Damascus barrels; hard to replace or damaged stocks; or unidentified calibers. Guns such as these may be unsafe to operate, even after their restoration.

Most gun vendors will advise you to seek an expert opinion from a reliable gunsmith before firing an old weapon. This is great advice and although it should be followed to the hilt, it is often ignored by hobbyist gun restorers. On the other hand, good gunsmithing advice is hard to come by anyways, since professional gunsmiths are hard to find, and don’t have time for hobbyist queries. The prudent thing to do in these circumstances is to go through the mechanical aspects of the older weapon, and if there are any discrepancies, stay away from it. It isn’t worth making any manner of investment in, because it could malfunction and harm you and others.

However, you wouldn’t have to worry about looking for a seasoned gunsmith to guide you in your purchase if you were to learn the tricks of the trade at a good gunsmithing school from the pros themselves. These institutes are established all over the country and offer a diverse and exhaustive lineup of courses for aspiring gunsmiths. You will learn exactly what you need to know about gunsmithing, its pre-requisites, the skills involved and by the time you’ve graduated, picking out the right gun for a restoration project, whether small-time or big-time, won’t be an issue.