Quick and Easy Window Treatments

Window treatments are fabulous.

Why? For one, well-dressed windows add wow to any room in the house. And they’re functional too-they can be used to block light, create privacy, soften sounds, draw attention to great views (or conceal less pleasing ones), and more. And they look darn good doing it.

To help you figure out which window treatment styles are right for your home and tastes, here’s a rundown on the basic types. Don’t want to spend a fortune? I’ll throw in some easy DIY ideas for dressing up your existing curtains and shades too.

THE BASICS

Curtains typically hang on rods from rings, tabs, or ties and are pulled open or closed by hand. This type of window treatment is made in a variety of styles and fabrics to fit windows large and small, in settings formal or informal.

Drapery panels tend to look more formal than curtains. Drapes are attached to a rod with hooks that allow for opening and closing simply by pulling a cord. They usually hang from the top of a window or even the ceiling to the floor.

Blinds help control light and privacy and may be used with other window treatments or alone. All sorts of materials-including vinyl, wood, and faux wood-are available to match the style of your spaces.

Shades are used to block out light and provide privacy too. Styles include simple roller shades; top-down shades; Roman shades with sleek, defined folds; and balloon shades that billow when they are pulled up.

Cornices are affixed to the wall at the top of the window. Typically made of plywood and dressed up with paint, fabric, wallpaper, molding, or other embellishments, cornices are used to add architectural detail to windows.

Valances, much like cornices, are hung across the top of windows, cover curtain rods and add structural interest. Fabric valances may be tailored to create a distinctive shape or draped loosely across the top of the window.

THE QUESTIONS

The tricky part about window treatments is deciding which ones to use and in what combination. A few questions to ask yourself:

What is the style of my windows and the room they’re in?

Formal, floral-print window treatments may look absolutely ridiculous in a contemporary home, while inexpensive blinds probably won’t do justice to a bank of windows in a formal setting. I prefer simpler shades and curtains over gaudy layers of fabric in my own home, but there’s something to be said for a well-designed, formal living or dining room with exquisite folds of fabric framing a window.

What is the function of the room?

This may guide the materials you select for your window treatments. For instance, it’s smart to pick fabrics that stand up to moisture for bathroom windows and ones that are easy to clean for windows near heavy-use areas of the kitchen.

What size are my windows?

Trick your eyes into thinking your small windows are larger by positioning the curtain rod above the top of the window. Are your windows too narrow? Extend the rod beyond the sides of the window frame. Or if you’re lucky enough to have large windows, but they’re out of scale with the size of your rooms and the furnishings in them, opt for simple treatments with minimal layers and patterned fabrics to downplay the expanse.

What functions should my window treatments fulfill?

If you love natural light as much as I do, you might want sheer fabric panels and nothing more. But consider issues such as: privacy (so the neighbors can’t see you making coffee right after you stumble out of bed in the morning), light control (if you want it as dark as possible when you sleep, window treatments with blackout lining may be the way to go), and temperature regulation (in drafty rooms, honeycomb shades are a good choice for providing a level of insulation).

Oh, and don’t forget to consider how your windows look from outside too!

THE DIY OPTIONS

Formal window treatments with their many layers and multiple fabrics and patterns require more sewing and decorating know-how than this Know-It-All is willing to jump into at the moment. But informal window treatments are a breeze to make over yourself. The key is to keep it simple, functional, and fun.

Add oomph to store-bought curtains (or panels you’ve sewn yourself) with ribbons, buttons, bows, beads, tassels, cording, or whatever other embellishments suit your style.

Paint wooden blinds a vibrant color.

Sew your own café curtains-they’re easy to make with funky fabrics or leftovers from other projects.

Create a custom roller shade by purchasing a DIY roller shade kit from a craft or fabric store. Or purchase plain roller shades and decorate them with acrylic paint-try stamped shapes, freehand flowers, polka dots, or stripes. Still feeling crafty? Hot-glue ribbon along the bottom edge of the shade, create a shade pull with leftover ribbon and a charm, and voila! you’re done.

Or if bare windows are calling your name, tear those drapes down like Scarlett O’Hara did in Gone With the Wind and make yourself a dress.



Web Designing: Is Virtual Reality the Future?

With Virtual Reality penetrating every aspect of our digital experience – be it gaming or smartphones- it is now time to gauge its scope in web designing. As someone at the helm of a web designing company you’re perhaps busy estimating possibilities. Is VR at all possible in web designing? Is VR the future of web designing? We will explore all that and more-right here!

What will VR websites be like?

You know that a regular 2D website in order to convert into VR, needs to offer users a more immersive and interactive website. If regular videos made for one of the most obvious avenues of immersive experience, VR is going to take on from here. So, if today you’re visiting a website to find out about Egyptian pyramids, today you might as well expect to take a virtual tour of the Egyptian pyramids while seeking information about them.

Taking the 3D perspective in view, you might as well be able to try out a dress that you’re searching on an online store. What more? VR will also empower you to create multiple versions of the same dress and try them out at the same time.

Your immersive experience goes several notches higher when you’re actually checking out the website of a car dealer. Thanks to the integration of Virtual Reality, you can actually go on to test-drive your car, select options and tweak the seating position as per your liking (if at all you need to do that).

Is Web VR the future?

With some of the biggest names – including Sony, Facebook and Google investing in VR, the stakes are actually running high. A credentialed web designing company, once assigned a project will definitely consider the possibility of integrating VR elements in your website.

There are, however, a few experts who believe that Web VR is not going to be a reality – at least not in the nearest future. It’s amazing to think about the potential of trying out dresses in Amazon or test-driving cars, but the technology is not “woven” together through hyperlinks like websites in their current form are.

So, keeping the aforementioned points in view, it can well be opined that though the potential of web VR is huge, we still have to wait some time till it goes big. 2017 may just not be the year. It is very important on your end to educate yourself more about the nuances of Web VR.



Tinting Plastic Lenses

Before you begin this project you need to have the following handy:

800 grit sandpaper, a bowl of water, paper, tinting product of your preference, paint, paint thinner, and tack cloths.

To assure the tint takes to the lens start by sanding the entire surface with 600-800 grit sandpaper. Pay close attention to the edges and any corners. This will give the lens a soft scratched look. Wipe the edges with paint thinner and start masking off the area you do not want to tint.

Green painters tape works best for this. With the edges masked off, now tape paper over the backs of the lenses to keep over spray from entering the inside of the lamps. Check the masking one more time and if everything looks ok, start cleaning the prepped surfaces. The best way to do this is wipe them with a cloth soaked in thiner and come back with a second cloth to remove any dust.

With a clean surface you can now start the tinting process. The key in this step is to keep the spray and thickness as even as you can. Too much VHT or tint and the lens will look overly black. Too little and you risk the lens looking splattered. To give you an idea of the technique you wan to use I have prepared a video at: http://volvospeed.com/Mods/tinting_vht_niteshade_imron.html. A lot of painting comes down to practice but seeing it does is easier to follow than reading about it. With a little patience you should not have any problems achieving god results.

Apply as many coats as needed to get the results you want with the methods shown above. After you have the look you want, the key to a great result is clear coating. For that OEM shine take your newly finished lenses to a local paint and body shop. For a few dollars they will spray your lenses with a polyurethane clear coat. This coat will resist UV fading an cracking as well as help prevent any scratches from forming. All said and done this is a great modification to update the look of you car for under 50 dollars.



Web Design and Its Evolution

Web design has come a long way since August 1991 when the first ever website was launched. Tim Berners-Lee published a text-based site on behalf of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. The site itself was informative only and in no way interactive. Primitive in its looks, content included hyperlinks and was actually removed from the web in 1993. It was later decided to reinstate the website due to the importance of human and technological development.

Q: What’s one of the biggest differences between websites of the early 1990’s and those of today?

A: The first website ever created was solely for informative purposes whereas today, owners can offer a wealth of information, sell products and services, provide platforms for social interaction and much more. All of this is carried out in a visually appealing manner.

Q: Can we talk about speed?

A: Absolutely! You may have been around long enough to remember the days of dialup internet. If not, its highly recommended you look into it. Those used to lighting fast fibre broadband will almost certainly be enlightened to learn the process of dialup and how this would mean the telephone (land line) could not be used and was somewhat slow and at times intermittent. Taking this into consideration, websites of 90’s were based primarily around text. Design layouts were a concept of the future along with imagery, typography and navigation. Due to the simplistic (looking) nature of a primitive website, it meant that the user experience was as optimised as it possibly could be and this notion was based upon a user requiring information from a website that worked through a dialup connection.

Q: So what happened next?

A: Towards the mid 1990’s on site page builders began to grow in popularity with web designers choosing this option as a preferred layout. Offering tables, columns and rows, content was able to be separated into specific blocks based upon a subject or category. This meant a web page held even more visual appeal than that of those from the early 1990’s. The main focus continued to be the users’ experience.

Q: Do you remember the page counter?

A: Page counters were great landmarks, offering insight into the number of people who visited a web page. This type of information was important to both the website owner and the customer. The former gives an idea of the number of people landing on the website with the latter giving the potential reader an idea of website popularity.

Q: Can we look at page structure then and now?

A: As previously mentioned, early website structure was based heavily around text before moving onto a more boxy feel in terms of blocks and columns. Today, web pages are hot on offering great navigation in order to complete a call to action in as fewer clicks as possible. Great images, well-written content and trust signals are all strategically placed within a professional build.

Q: Can we learn about the 2000’s?

A: This is where content and design saw a clear separation through the magical realms of CSS. Whitespace became a positive aspect making way for the eradication of block colours throughout a web page. Another positive feature of this era included the addition of links to icons as well as text. Resolution and pixelation moved to the forefront of important design considerations.

Q: What about today?

A: Known in the industry as the ‘modern web’, and starting out with the birth of Web 2.0, this modern era has built up over time including the likes of social media integration, interactive content and multimedia applications. Results over time have mapped out how websites are built and how we have come to market them today.

With the user experience always at the forefront of design and development since 1993, it will be interesting to re-visit in a further decade.



Web Design Guidelines for the Perfect Business Website

Whether you’re a start-up or an established enterprise, your most important asset for marketing your products or services for little cost is your website – a web domain can be picked for just a few pounds.

Despite a new trend for “drag and drop” website builders, the best way to ensure your website is of a high-quality and, consequently, as attractive as it can be to potential customers is to employ the services of a professional web design agency. Web design specialists will have extensive experience working with businesses like yours and will be able to ensure your website is as effective as it can be.

When consulting your web design agency, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

REDUCE THE CLUTTER

No one wants to be bombarded with pop-ups, adverts, and buttons the minute they land on a website. When having your website designed or re-designed, be sure to keep everything clean and clear – content should be concise and to-the-point and you should aim to have plenty of white space, too. Years ago, it was considered essential to have hundreds of pages with in-depth information about every aspect of your businesses, however, times have changed. Potential customers landing on your website should be able to clearly identify the purpose of your website and what you’re offering within just five seconds – any longer and you’re at risk of losing the prospective customers’ attention.

DO YOUR RESEARCH FOR A WEBSITES

Before consulting a web design agency, it’s important you research, looking at your competitors, to get an idea of what your website should look like. Your web designer will be able to advise on the aesthetics and usability of your site; however, the process can be made easier and, sometimes, cheaper if you have a thorough outline of what you would like before you get started. However, always try to keep your website unique, taking it to a new level above your competitors – getting inspired and taking small features is fine but you don’t want to replicate your competitors’ entire website.

KEEP YOUR WEBSITE FONT SIMPLE

It sounds juvenile; however, many business owners go wrong at the first hurdle with their website by choosing an unclear, stylised, or incorrectly coloured font. When choosing the typeface used on your website, remember to keep everything readable – font size 10 is a good standard – and clear. Popular website fonts that are also contemporary looking include Open Sans, Arvo, PT Sans, and PT Serif. Generally, always choose black font for a white background and white font for a dark background.

REMEMBER THE “VISUAL HIERARCHY”

Here is a little technical information for you. Your web design agency will be experts in implementing the “visual hierarchy” properly, however, it’s good measure for you to be aware of why your designer is laying your website out in a special way. The visual hierarchy is consumer research that proves, as customers, our eyes move from the top to bottom of a website before scanning left to right, which means you should position your call-to-actions effectively to ensure maximum conversion. For instance, to push customers to call you, display “call now” with your number top left of your site.

OPTIMISE A WEBSITE FOR MOBILES

More than ever, having an effective mobile website is essential to converting customers on the go. Plus, mobile optimisation gives your website a green tick for SEO, too. A recent study suggests that 51% of online sales are made using a mobile phone or tablet so, especially if your business is in e-commerce, it will pay to optimise your website for mobiles – allowing your customers to shop on the go.



Points to Know for Quality Web Design

Usually, we know that importance of quality web design is none other than foundation to any business online. It helps to draw huge attention of viewers and enables to let them stay on the website for the moments. As the web content plays an important role to convey message to the potential clients, excellent web design is successful to turn prospective clients into regular customers. Now let us know what benefits of quality web designs are.

More Visitors to Spend Their Time

Sure! You are not the one who looks for the Clicks at your website. In reality, you want visitors to browse through your site and discover who you are. Also bear in mind that most people will disappear after one glimpse at your site. In short, it asks you put something special on your website to keep them interested. So rely on quality web design and get your website able to steal attention of potential clients.

Inspiration for Competitors:

It is common to know that good work always works as an inspiration among its viewers. No matter who you are, you may get innovative ideas to take your business at its peak. When it comes about web design, good-enough websites witness to have been attracting huge number of online users. Within one industry, you may find that there are many websites that appear the same. Unfortunately, they do not rule over Hearts their clients due to repetitive/common design or factors of website. Here matchless and custom-made web design is what may become inspiration for competitors. Altogether, quality intends distilling all of unique selling points into one logical visual message.

Refined Facts

The preference of fonts, space of text and contrast are what that make diversity in the overall quality of your website. These kinds of distinction may not seem important, but they influence how readable and efficient the website is.

Brand Uniqueness

Proficient website designers dwell on the big picture. They intend to create a visual yet lovely language for your brand that is unfailing all across diverse contexts. Your website, logo, business cards and even your E-social profile need to form a consistent whole. Brands that come with a consistent visual language build a more brilliant impression than those that appear different side-businesses.

Customers

Calls to action (CTA) buttons are the sign-up and buy now buttons that helps user of website also to learn more parts of the site. Where they are on the web page, how they seem and what they say will find out how many more people decide to get something from you.

Layout

Yes, web design need to be perfectly-united on your website. Most people will not understand what you intend to say. Large blocks of small text and puzzling navigation may ensue to turn visitors away. So it is important to keep in mind that role of web designers plays an important role to take audiences/visitors interested on you wish to say.



Prices for Do It Yourself Sunroom Kits

Once upon a time, if you wanted to build a sunroom onto your home, you would have to hire and pay a contractor to do it for you. But with the introduction of sunroom kits, that is no longer necessary. You can order a do it yourself sunroom kit from any number of sunroom manufacturing companies, who will then ship to you the elements that are necessary to put the room together. The idea behind sunroom kits is that you should be able to save money on getting your sunroom installed by putting it together yourself. Not only are you providing the labor, but you are also cutting out the ‘middle man’ in the process of building your sunroom. This allows you to save money on the materials as well. Plus, depending on the do it yourself sunroom kit that you choose, you can also save money on future energy and maintenance costs.

First, understand that the price of a do it yourself sunroom kit will vary depending on your home’s particular situation. For example, if you are choosing to build a small, aluminum sunroom on top of an existing deck or cement slab, it will be much less expensive than building a block foundation sunroom with more windows and wood framing. If you have an existing deck or slab, then it makes sense to choose that location for the sunroom because it is already properly graded and prepared. In that case, you can measure the deck or slab and get the proper measurements for ordering your kit. But if you don’t have a slab or deck already, then you will need to decide on the proper location for your sunroom. You will also need to grade and prepare the area before you can begin construction. This obviously changes the amount of work that you will be requiring of yourself when installing your do it yourself sunroom kit. Of course, you could always hire a contractor to put in the slab for a block foundation sunroom, and then build the rest of it yourself.

Choosing the Type of Do It Yourself Sunroom Kit

When you are ordering a sunroom kit, realize that it is usually designed for a sunroom that is not going to be connected to your HVAC system. If you want your sunroom to be heated or cooled by your existing system, then that is likely not a project you will want to take on with your do it yourself sunroom kit. Otherwise, you’ll be relying on fans and portable heaters or coolers to keep your sunroom comfortable. Depending on the climate where you live, this may be just fine for you.

Getting a Quote for Your Sunroom

Companies that provide do it yourself sunroom kits have a number of standard sizes and types that they are ready to provide for you. These are the least expensive options because they are able to mass produce them and package them at a savings to them, which they will then pass on to you. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find the right kit for you and the design that you have in mind. If you find that the standard kits you can find don’t fit the sunroom that you are looking to create, then you can certainly get a custom kit created, but you need to realize that it will cost more to do so. In order to get a quote for the sunroom kit you want to order, you will have to provide them with the measurements that you have selected for the design. This doesn’t just include the dimensions of the sunroom itself; it also includes knowing how many windows you will have and where they will be placed. You will then also have to choose the materials that you want the sunroom to be built from, and the types of windows that you want. Will they all be stationary or will they be movable? What kind of glaze will they have on them? If this seems like it’s an overwhelming number of decisions to be made, don’t worry; you can get a great deal of help from the sunroom manufacturers themselves. Many of them have online design pages that will walk you through all of the choices you will need to make for your custom sunroom kit. The final kit, based on the design that you created, will be shipped to your home and will include customized installation plans as well.

Possible Problems With Do It Yourself Sunroom Kits

Probably the most common problem with a do it yourself sunroom kit is that the person who ordered it is simply not prepared for the type and amount of work that is involved. If you are not absolutely certain that you have the time and know-how to install the kit, you should think twice before attempting it. Also, remember that if you are doing the installation yourself, the work is not going to be covered by a guarantee of some kind. The materials will be, but the actual construction itself will not be. Plus, if you do make an error, any damages to your home may not be covered. In fact, it is a good idea to check with your homeowner’s insurance policy before deciding to install your own sunroom so that you know whether or not you are covered for accidents that damage your home or cause injury to yourself or others. Otherwise your ‘savings’ could quickly become extremely costly if you have an accident.



Oh Snaps

Riding out on the open road is a freeing and exhilarating experience. Riding while wearing a leather motorcycle jacket is peace of mind. Leather is very abrasive resistant, therefore if a rider is thrown from their bike or has to lay their bike down, wearing leather creates a layer between them and the asphalt.

There are different parts to a leather motorcycle jacket, if each of these parts are good quality, this makes for a better riding experience. One part to a jacket is the snaps. Snaps on jackets typically come in silver, brass, antique brass, or brushed silver. They are decorative, as well as functional, keeping pockets closed, and the necks on euro motorcycle jackets snapped, and unsnapped on the collar of a classic motorcycle jacket to raise the collar on colder days. A good quality snap holds it’s snap, as well as opens easily, and stays functional for the life of the jacket.

When did snaps become part of clothing and who invented them? Snaps first were patented by a German man named Heribert Bauer in 1885, and were called “Federknopf-Verschluss”. This fastener was used for men’s trousers. When did they start being called “snaps”? It was when Jack Weil patented a new kind of snap that that word came into being. It is good to know who it is we have to thank for the inventions that are part of our everyday life. Jack Weil was quite a character. He was the founder and CEO of the Denver based western clothing manufacturer Rockmount Ranch Wear. He is known for saying, “the West is not a place, it is a state of mind”. Jack lived to be 107. He claimed to have quit smoking at age 60, drinking at age 90, and eating red meat at age 100. He did say though that he had a shot of Jack Daniels twice a week for medicinal purposes to keep his blood thin. Weil is believed to be the oldest working CEO in the United States.

Leather motorcycle jackets are an important part of the riding gear for a biker, really, top of the list a long with a helmet. So the next time you are out on the open road enjoying the freedom of riding, the beautiful scenery and the peace of mind that comes with wearing leather, think of Jack Weil when you snap your collar closed keeping out the chill of the morning ride.



I Can’t Figure This Out!

How to Ask for Support

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s how to use a new software program or trying to figure out why your email stopped working, at some point in time we all need to contact a company and ask for support.Now, there’s a good chance prior to picking up the phone or completing an online support ticket, you’re just a little cranky already. After all, if things had been going right in the first place, you’d never be in this predicament. Why can’t things just work the way they are supposed to? Oops…a little private venting going on there. Forgive me.

So, you pick up the phone and are required to go through a series of button pushing to get to the proper department. You can’t help but feel that someone is pushing YOUR buttons. By the time Beverly picks up the phone (who has a very strong Asian accent for someone named Beverly), you’re ready to give her a piece of your mind!

But wait! Poor Beverly has no idea all the trauma you’ve been through today that has brought you to this phone call but she really does want to help. It’s what she gets paid to do and is probably pretty good at it. If you’ll just give her a chance. Likewise, if the support system implemented by the company is done through email, firing off a heavy-handed support ticket is probably not the best way to reach out and touch that support person who is “just doing their job.”

I realize the above is rather tongue in cheek so let’s talk about how to really ask for support:

1. Before you post a question or make a call, let your fingers do the searching. Many answers to your questions can be found by doing a simple Google/Yahoo! search. For example, if you get an Outlook error message, Google it. If nothing else, be sure to provide that detail (the error message) when asking for help.

2. Do you have a user manual? Whether printed or online, it’s expected that you take the time to review these documents prior to making a support call/contact.RTFM.

3. Have your FACTS ready (know your account name, pin #, basic stuff like that).

4. Make your subject line VERY clear. Things like “Help” or “This stuff sucks” is not helpful to anyone. Be specific and yet use brevity.

5. Be courteous. Enough said.

6. Understand the difference between support and training; the two are not synonymous.

7. Be patient. Someone else has probably waited just a little longer than you and now it’s their turn.

8. Remember, the more information you provide initially,the faster your question/issue can be resolved.



The Pros and Cons of eBay

As effective as eBay is, it has its pro’s and con’s. In today’s world, people find e-commerce extremely helpful. With busy schedules and tons of work to accomplish in less than 24hrs, almost everyone prefers buying online. Hence eBay is extremely popular with the masses. Just the fact that one can buy stuff without moving a muscle is exhilarating. eBay is the most renowned online buying sites.

Like any other site or online buying site, eBay has its own advantages and disadvantages. One has should keep this in mind while ordering online.

Let us begin with the advantages:

It is nothing but a simple process and is extremely easy. Your shopping spree is always only a few clicks away.

eBay offers you a large variety of products to choose from.

eBay is fun and very entertaining. You have the most unusual items to choose from. The graphics are neat and extremely colorful. The weird listings and the quirky listings, you will find are quite entertaining as well. If you are interested in any sort of unusual product you can normally find it here.

eBay educates on the prices of various products in the market at the current time. You can learn the price of any product at any given time online. eBay lets you know what people are willing to pay for a given product in real time.

Surprisingly enough, eBay most often than not refunds their customers, should anything go wrong with the product. Most of the sellers have return policy’s that they follow. Be sure to check out the seller’s feedback to determine if they do what they say they are going to do in their listing.

Now let us look at reasons why eBay is not a very good option:

You cannot be sure of the quality of the product you are buying. Almost all sellers will claim that their product is in excellent condition, on delivery you will find that your product is not exactly in good condition; scratches cannot often be seen in pictures.

When you buy a product online, it is usually mailed to you. You cannot be guaranteed that the product will not get damaged when mailed. Very often, the delivery is extremely expensive and you spend a whole lot of money on it. Especially if you are in a different country from the buyer, you will need to pay international charges that are just all too expensive. Be sure to get the item insured by the seller when ever possible.

Buying online steals you of the time at the mall and the cups of coffee with your friends. Though buying on eBay is not time consuming, it isn’t as much fun as your time at the mall. Somehow at the mall, you bump into friends, get to see and touch the products you want and just enjoy an evening out, whereas you can’t do the same with eBay.

On the net, you can never be too careful of frauds. You almost have no idea what to expect. It calls for you to trust a perfect stranger. Always check the sellers feedback and ask questions to ensure that your sales transaction is fair for both parties.

When selling products for a profit on eBay it can be very difficult to find products that you can profit with unless you use a membership based company to find wholesale products like The North American Wholesale Co-op Association (nawca.org).

You will find that you get hooked onto it. Soon enough, you will be buying almost everything online.