Do It Yourself Home Improvement

Many of us are participating in the home improvement thing today. There are a number of great benefits to be derived from doing your own home improvement. We can save money of course. We can also design our own projects so that they typically satisfy our needs and add the personal touch exactly as we envision it.

A number of software packages are available to produce a 3D home design and show us the results before we ever spend a penny on materials. This new home design software has not only become much easier to use, while becoming much more sophisticated in what it can produce, it has also become wider ranging.

Packages are now available that target specific home projects. You will find that these products allow you to fully design a new deck, complete a new landscape design outside, modify your house interior design, or the big one will let you design a new house from start to finish.

The computer and software are great but more help is available today. The big box home improvement stores have come a long way since the original Lowes concept. These big box stores maintain a complete inventory covering every imaginable product you may require in your project. The also carry a large educated staff that is most often quite willing to offer you assistance. That is good but they also appear to be well founded in the knowledge required to provide you with assistance.

If that is not good enough, the big box home improvement stores also conduct routine seminars to educate you regarding specific products. All this assistance comes at no cost to the customer. The intention is to encourage and help you to complete your own home improvement.

Not only will these projects save you money but they will also increase the value of your home. It is quite practical for the average handyman to purchase a fix it up house, do some small improvements itself and then resell the house at a profit.

A wide range of near professional quality tools is available at your home improvement stores. Competition in the marketplace has been beneficial to the consumer. You can now purchase excellent quality tools to complete any phase of the job from preparation of raw, rough lumber to spray painting the completed project. All this is available at very competitive pricing.

One final benefit to this whole experience may be the chance to work together with the rest of your family. It will never be lost time when you pass on some of your knowledge and abilities to children and grand children. A world of opportunity is available.

5 Tips for A Creative Retail Branding and Design Strategy

Quality retail branding is meant to connect businesses with customers in a way that builds trust and desire in the consumer for the brand and their product. Branding has been around since ancient times (from Roman columns to Chinese stamps), but modern commercial branding is a new phenomenon. People are more involved with brands than ever, locally and globally, to the point where two golden arches are immediately recognizable by almost everyone around the world, without any words in the picture.

In the complex world of retail, which is composed of multiple elements and disciplines, a consumer can see connections, or a lack of connections, between all the different aspects of retail at a glance. And that is where design comes in. Retail branding and design aims to create a harmonious and holistic schema out of all of the elements of retail, from personnel to product presentation. Design is not just about looks, but about function. Without a good branding and design strategy, retail stores are a mishmash of unrelated ideas that can confuse and put off potential customers.

Design your layout based on traffic flow:

When customers enter the store, where do they look? Which way do they go? Position your best products in areas where customers are more likely to notice them. Pedestrian traffic is often influenced by vehicular traffic. That is, in areas where people drive on the right side of the road, in-store traffic patterns tend to move in a clockwise pattern. Use these patterns to your advantage.

Create a focal point in your visual displays:

Don’t just bring attention to anything and everything in the store, but draw customers in by featuring one item prominent, whether that’s in a window display or in the middle of your store. Strategically position lights and other items to point to your featured product and avoid distracting customers by putting equal weight on too many items at once.

Make window effects:

Windows make small spaces look larger and more inviting. Creating windows in the walls separating two rooms can give the entire building a more airy ambience, or creating visual illusions of windows such as white panels or drapes around mirrors, can also create a window effect, increasing the feeling of light and movement, especially if you are in a small space.

Avoid clutter:

Clutter feels noisy and uncomfortable for customers. Don’t overload your customer’s visual circuits with signs and patterns and displays galore. Instead, use neutral colors for larger items and accent the space with smaller items with brighter colors, and do not place your merchandise too closely together.

Use lighting to your advantage:

Lighting is important in any shop, and especially so in small corners. Make sure that your store is well lit, or else you will not be making good use of your space – customers don’t usually prefer to wander into dark, shadowy areas, so any merchandise displayed there will not receive a fair consideration. Use a combination of different lights to keep the space illuminated and to add variety and interest to the space.

Jewelry Making Or Perfume Making – What’s the Difference?

Very recently I've stumbled upon what proves to be another new hobby of mine, making perfumes using natural, essential oils. I've purchased several oils from the UK so far, and started combining them to make perfumes. Which does not seem to be so easy as I first thought. Most of the concoctions smell horrible, at best as a bad medicine.

I've searched a lot the internet for recipes on the subject, but it's hard anything out there. There are a couple of real life workshops that one should attend, at over $ 1000 a piece, and very few books on the subject, mostly touching the history of perfumery and the ingredients, but less the actual blends, mixes. So I broke down and purchased from Mandy Aftel the Level 1 Workbook, at a price of $ 375 (yep, you've read it right!) And shipping to Europe $ 80 (right again!), As this looks pretty much the only feasible avenue for somebody to really learn perfumery without spending a large amount of essential oils on trial and error, by not knowing what is one really doing in the process.

So now I'm waiting for it to arrive …

And in the meanime I'm musing …

Most probably since the time I started with wire wrapping, I did spend about this amount or even more on books and tutorials, however the difference between this workbook and the tutorials for wire wrapping, is that I've bought MANY tutorials, on all aspects of wire wrapping and jewelry making. I've learned a lot of skills in the process. I have now a new level of appreciation for all the wire wrappers who so freely share their knowledge in allowing the rest of us to learn their secrets, and to make their jewelry pieces. Without all these tutorials, and book out there, it would have been much more challenging to learn wire wrapping, even to the level I am right now (which is not that far). It is a completely different world between the two.

Perfumers guard their secrets as if with their lives, they will not share but the very basic of blends, which does not bring one very far, and wire wrappers, or jewelers in general are very generous, and share. Yes, for a price, but the prices are very reasonable, anything between $ 5 and $ 15 for learning how to make one pendant, a pair of earrings, a ring, any items from start up to completion. Plus there are also many free tutorials out there, which allow you to build on your existing knowledge and widen it too. Best example out there is Eni Oken, who has many tutorials for a veeeery reasonable price, but also many freebies to get you started.

Cost Efficiency and Performance Drives Organizations to Cloud Computing

In the past decade there have been various achievements for the IT world and amongst that Cloud Computing is a very important one. Cloud Computing has consistently evolved and has turned into an ultimate IT solution for any organizations computing needs.

With all the benefits that Cloud Computing offers to users the major ones being reduction in capital costs and improved efficiency it makes an organization very flexible. The USP of Cloud has always been cost savings for the organizations. It also brings the organizations load of looking after maintenance and support activities. In addition to that it also allows the users to shift focus to more important business activities thereby increasing productivity.

Even though there have been various issues with the cloud initially but now more and more businesses are moving to the cloud and making use of the latest in technology to give their businesses a competitive edge over others. SMB's also have embroidered the cloud given the cost advantages it provides to the company. And large organizations that adopt cloud computing usually do so as way to transfer their not so important aspects of business to the cloud resulting cost reduction for the company.

The Cloud is used in various ways:

Many people know cloud computing as a single solution. However, there are various ways to deploy a cloud solution based on an organizations requirements and budget. The Cloud is split into three delivery models viz. the Public Cloud, the Private Cloud and the Hybrid Cloud.

Many users adopt the Public Cloud model which is third party service often provided for a fee or rent for using the computing resources of the service provider. On the contrary, a Private Cloud is a set-up on the organization premises to be used exclusively by the business and partners only. It may be cost to deploy a private cloud but it has its own set of advantages as well including increased security and controlled access to data. A Hybrid Cloud on the other hand is combining the public and the private cloud. It makes possible use of both the cloud environments by shifting the work according to the needs.

With competition intensifying day by day it is necessary for businesses to switch to more modern and flexible IT solutions like Cloud Computing and reduce their dependence on traditional systems. However, it is also necessary to make a proper analysis of all the three models of Cloud computing before choosing anyone for the organization.

The Cloud is a very useful IT solution and businesses need to assess their requirements properly to deploy the correct model and make use of this highly efficient technology and boost their productivity.