Textured Abstract Painting

Abstract art uses various elements like colors, shapes, light, and lines to bring a painting to life. When textures are added to this art form the painting becomes a magnificent piece of art that can never be recreated and is an original unto itself.

There are various ways to add texture to a painting including simulated texture and actual texture. Both of these forms can be intermingled or used on their own to create a desired effect.

Simulated texture

This is the simulation of texture when there really isn’t any there. It is a visual effect created on a flat surface. You may have seen this type of simulated texture when viewing a painting that has a series of lines that look much like a ripple, or may have seen a painting where the lines seem to jump out at you.

This form of painting is actually giving the illusion of texture. This is accomplished using the principles and elements of design. You will probably feel like touching this contemporary painting that has been created this way to find out for yourself whether the surface is raised or smooth. That is how realistic one of these paintings can appear.

Actual texture

This type of abstract art painting uses real materials to create texture. Some artists may use layers of paint to build up this textures while others may use materials added to the canvas that are then painted over. The effect can be stunning when this type of textured feel is added to an abstract painting.

You are able to feel actual texture. The abstract art painting will be rough whereas, with a painting that uses implied texture, the surface will be smooth. They both have a completely different look and feel about them.

An artist using actual texture can use different mediums including clay and gels that are available from art stores to build up the canvas first before the painting begins. Mediums can also be added directly to the paint to make it thicker thus creating a textured feel. Some interesting mediums include sand, salt, and even shredded paper.

An artist can also create a painting and then add materials to the finished contemporary painting. As an example, a real ribbon may be added to a final layer of clear paint over a child’s ponytail in a painting to add a new dimension to the work of art.

Each individual artist will use different variations of materials to add actual texture to their abstract art paintings. This is what makes textured art so very appealing. It can never be exactly duplicated and lends a uniqueness and style to the world of art of its own.

The Importance of Paper Shredding for Small Businesses

As the owner of a small business – as an example, let’s say fewer than ten employees – you may not think you require all the security trappings needed by a larger corporation. However, if you value the privacy of your employees and clients/customers, you must stay aware of what happens to your data. This includes expired paperwork, hard drives, flash drives, CD-ROMs, and other types of data storage. It’s important to make sure your business is never compromised.

When it is time to destroy unneeded data, you will consider your options. You can invest in a document shredder and shred paper as you go along – removing invalid invoices and statements so numbers are not taken for dubious purposes. You might find, however, your business is better off outsourcing the removal of surplus data to a professional shredding company that specializes in small businesses. Hiring out gives you the opportunity to have paperwork and computer storage destroyed so nobody will attempt to gain access to sensitive information on a disk or hard drive.

Why is it recommended to outsource shredding services? Even small businesses are capable of generating a significant amount of paperwork, and when stored too long you risk cluttering your office space and losing important information. Establishing a schedule of a monthly shred and document destruction, either once a month or once quarterly depending on output and space, is a great way to keep your office clean and productivity high. When you take on the responsibility of shredding yourself, however, you run the risk of moving off schedule. Shredding day comes along, and you put it off for a priority assignment. Next thing you know, the work piles up.

Hiring a shredding company, however, sets a fixed schedule that you will meet. A reputable shredder will arrive in a special truck with state of the art equipment and take your materials to destroy on site. You want to hire a company where employees are bonded and you are guaranteed that your information is destroyed beyond recognition.

As you relieve your office of invalid documents and data, you bring peace of mind to your company. Employees can work without worry of paperwork cluttering their space, and customers feel safe knowing their personal information is protected. You stand to improve workflow and profits.

If you are a small business owner looking for economical and effective ways to keep your information secure, consult with a professional shredder for an estimate on their regular services.

The Hand-Held Paper Shredder

We normally think of paper shredders as being operated by electricity and of the size of a trash can. If that size is too big, due to limited space available and you need to safely destroy documents that you do not want to share with anyone, you can consider the hand-held paper shredder.

A device that resembles a mutant pair of scissors is called the shredder hand. It is something that appears to be out of a horror movie, but is an ideal choice for those with limited space. Since it is manually operated, just like a pair of scissors, there is no need for an electric connection or a battery.

A possible addition to your collection of tools for arts and crafts as well! The hand-held paper shredder can be an effective device for people living in boarding houses, studio apartments and such limited spaces, to destroy sensitive documents as a protective precaution. Something to be kept out of reach of children, an Aihon shredder with nine connected blades is available for $17.

If the use of batteries does not bother you, you can upgrade to the next stage, a battery operated, hand-held shredder, small enough to be stored in your desk drawer or your suitcase.

At a price of about $13, many of these can be bought and kept at different locations to avoid lugging one around with you. One each for the car and kitchen, another for the office and so on.

There is another device that can be called a hand-held shredder though it does not come with a waste bin. The Royal JS55 strip cut shredder is available at $16.50. It does come with an automatic on and off switch and can handle five sheets of paper at a time.

With the hand-held shredder you need not worry about disposing of the waste. Once destroyed, all that you need to do is to find any trash bin and dump the waste there.

Children could be entertained by asking them to participate in the shredding process to help out Mom or Dad. This of course needs to be done under careful supervision to avoid accidents and the destruction of unnecessary things like the cat’s tail! The shredder must be stored out of reach of children and their curiosity.

Some shredders in alluring shapes resembling cows, elephants, hippos, frogs and pandas are also available and can be bought as gifts. They are bound to raise a smile on the receiver’s face and are sure to brighten up an office or a desk.

Priced at about $13, they are crank operated and so are limited to the extent of the strength in your hands. They also double as pencil sharpeners and can be gifted to students.

Craft Ideas For Passover

Like many of our holidays, Passover is a great time to break out some craft materials for our children and help them make a great work of art. Not only can this teach them about the holiday, but it can help get their creative juices flowing. Here are some good craft ideas you might use to help your child celebrate Passover. While this list won’t go into the details of each project, it should be enough to get you started.

1. Greeting Card

This is perhaps one of the easiest craft ideas, and it is ideal especially for young children who might not be too coordinated yet. All you need is some construction paper and crayons, but you might want to use some glue and glitter for an even more elegant touch. You can have the child address the card to a parent, sibling, or even a friend. Teach the child how to draw the Star of David or Moses on the front of the card. You can even teach them how to write a simple Hebrew phrase.

2. Toilet Paper Moses

An empty cardboard toilet paper roll is a great craft tool which can be used as the starting basis for a figurine of a person. You could have the child make any of a number of Biblical characters, but Moses is an excellent and popular choice. The toilet paper roll will act as Moses’s body. Pipe cleaners are great for creating the arms or for fashioning his staff. You can use a small piece of brown felt for his robe. A cotton ball is great for bushy white hair. Get creative! There are many different ways to run with this idea!

3. Placemat

There are so many things a child might draw on a placemat. He could draw a biblical scene, or write out verses from the Torah. He could draw his family gathering together for a prayer or draw the Star of David. All you need for this project is a sheet of white poster board and some drawing materials. You might need some colored construction paper and glue to really spice things up. Finally, you will need some Con-Tact paper so that you can laminate the placemat when the child is finished. This is a craft item he can eat off of and truly enjoy long after the project is completed.

4. Elijah’s Goblet

According to legend, Elijah visits every Passover Seder around the world and takes a sip from the goblet of red wine left out for him. You can have your child make a beautiful goblet just for Elijah! Start with a plastic wine glass, gold tissue paper, some plastic jewels, and glue. Just shred up the tissue paper and glue it around the outside of the cup. Then add on the jewels and any other embellishments you’d like. Soon you’ll have a golden goblet which looks like it is fit for a king.

Secrets and Tips on Clutter Control

If you want to have a home that’s clean and organized, you’ll need to be able to keep your home clutter-free. It can become a challenge to do some serious cleaning if the clutter in your home is out of control. Before you can get down to the real task of cleaning, you’ll need to do some de-cluttering and this can not only use up a lot of your time, but also your energy. By the time you’re done de-cluttering the kitchen counter, for instance, you’d be tired to continue cleaning or maybe you don’t have any more time to finish cleaning. The issue at hand then is how you can control clutter so you don’t become overwhelmed by it. Here are some de-cluttering tips you can use right now.

The most common of all home clutter is paper clutter. Paper clutter can be the mail, bill statements, newspapers and magazines, paperwork your spouse brings home from the office, your children’s school projects, etc. It doesn’t take much time for paper clutter to accumulate; that small pile of unread mail or old newspapers can turn into a huge pile in just a matter of weeks.

So how do you tame the paper clutter beast? For one, make it a habit to go through your mail immediately – as soon as they’re delivered. Have a garbage bin just for junk mail. Place all your junk mail in this bin and shred its contents every week or two weeks. Don’t simply dispose of your junk mail without shredding, unless you want to be a victim of identity theft.

What about your other mail? Have a “To Do” basket and put your payable bills and statements in it. Keep the basket close by the phone or computer. This way, you’re always reminded that you need to have them settled. File the other important papers right away. Avoid leaving them in a pile on your desk, telling yourself you’ll deal with them later. Chances are you’ll forget them.

The same applies for paperwork your spouse brings home with him from the office or for school projects your children take home with them. Assign a spot in the computer room or living room where your husband can keep his “to do” paperwork in one area. If your children have a study room, put a basket on each of their desks and have them put their current home work and projects on this basket.

If you want to keep all the things your children make, know that they can quickly clutter up their room or desk. That is, if you have no filing system set up. If it’s really hard for you to throw away those old home work and art projects, get large plastic containers to store them. You can store these containers under your children’s beds, or stack them up in the garage, basement or attic.

Don’t let old newspapers and magazines pile up. If you intend to recycle them, find a place to store them and pile them up neatly. You can also assign a garbage bin just for disposing of old newspapers and magazines. Keep this bin close to your garbage can. Every time you empty your garbage, you can empty the bin too.

Paper clutter isn’t the only type of clutter there is. Clutter can also be your old furniture, damaged or broken appliances, and old clothes. You’re likely to be tempted to keep these things instead of disposing them when you’re de-cluttering. Eventually, they’ll accumulate to the point that it’s become very difficult to clean the house.

So here’s what you can do: ask yourself if a particular item is something you’re likely to use again. For instance, if it’s been more than a year since you’ve used a item, it’s unlikely you’ll use it again, so better just get rid of it because it’s clutter. If it’s still in good condition, you can donate it or sell it. If you’re still undecided about an item, place it in storage for about 6 months. If you haven’t used it by then, throw it away.

You can put seasonal items like clothes and decorations in storage. Buy several large stackable storage crates. Label each crate so it will be easy to find things later on: “Jenny’s winter clothes,” “Christmas and New Year decorations,” “Paperback books”.

As for items that are stained, broken or damaged, throw them away unless they are heirlooms or have any family or historical significance. This applies for any item, seasonal or non-seasonal. Unless you get rid of them, your home is going to continue to be clutter and cleaning is always going to be a challenging task.

Glass Mosaic Tile Art

Making wonderful glass mosaic tile art is easy! Let me show you how.

Tessera material comes in varying thicknesses. Stained glass is about 1/8-inch thick, vitreous glass tiles are 3/16-inch thick, smalti can be as much as 1/4-inch thick, and marble gems are about 1/2-inch thick. The 1/16-inch difference between vitreous glass tiles and stained glass doesn’t sound like much, but in the context of mosaics, it’s significant.

Early in my mosaic life, I made the mistake of indiscriminately mixing vitreous glass tesserae with stained glass tesserae. I thought I’d creatively combine the two types to give my work texture, depth, and a sense of perspective. I spent two months carefully cutting and gluing each tessera piece. Finally, I finished. It looked wonderful. Time to grout. I mixed a batch, slopped a big pile in the middle, and spread it with my float. Good grief, what a nightmare. The float wouldn’t squeeze grout into all the joints because the thicker vitreous tesserae stuck up too high. No matter what direction I spread, the vitreous tesserae prevented me from squeezing grout into all the spaces. Additionally, grout built up too high in the joints between the vitreous and stained glass tesserae. Sweat beaded on my forehead dripping all over my mosaic as thoughts flew in my head, “Oh, no, what have I done? All that work and now it’s ruined!” I scrambled using the float, paper towels, and old rags to fill the joints and wipe away excess grout before it set. Success at last (whew!). Finally, I had uniformly filled all the joints and wiped away the excess. The final product looked okay, but it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. Also, I destroyed my favorite grout float, which added to my disappointment. The float’s rubber bottom ripped to shreds from running it over the sharp points and edges of tesserae that stuck up higher than others. Good grief.

If you’re a mosaic novice, I suggest using tesserae of similar thickness for your first few projects. However, that doesn’t mean you absolutely cannot incorporate varying thicknesses into your work. Texture can create beautiful effects. For example, you may want to design your mosaic wall hanging with vitreous glass for the border and stained glass for everything else. In this case, ensure the grout joints between the thicker vitreous glass and the thinner stained glass are a bit wider than normal so the grout can properly slope downward without covering the stained glass. Although grouting spaces between the vitreous and stained glass tesserae requires extra care, it can, indeed, look great.

When selecting tessera types, be aware that varying thicknesses require extra care and work when grouting. Also, it’s important to plan your project well to know if varying thicknesses are appropriate. For example, suppose your mosaic trivet or tabletop requires a flat surface. As a novice, it’s easier to get a flat surface using tesserae of the same thickness.

Remember, making mosaic art is easy. You can do it. Yes, you can!

Bill Enslen has created beautiful mosaic [http://www.glassmosaictileart.com/] art for 30 years. Please visit his website at Glass Mosaic Tile Art [http://www.glassmosaictileart.com/] While browsing his mosaic gallery, you may think, “I wish I could do that.” Well, you can! It’s easy, fun, and you don’t even have to be artsy. Have you ever read a mosaic book or website and thought, “Okay, so now what?” or “How in the world am I supposed to do that?” or “What does that mean?” You’re not alone. To solve this dilemma, Bill wrote a new eBook, Mosaic Pieces: Essentials for Beginner and Professional Mosaic Artists. It gives you step-by-step details for creating your own mosaic masterpieces. It’s jam-packed with color photographs and illustrations that make the process extremely easy to understand. Visit his website and read the free sample chapters. Let him show you just how easy it is. With Bill’s help, you can do it.

How to Shred More in Less Time

The right shredding container can ensure that more materials are shredded in less time. This means more revenue can be earned with less money spent on operational costs. Collection consoles should feature state-of-the-art designs, be easy to open, simple to collect and safe to use. This will ensure that a company’s money is spent and earned effectively. This article will outline how to get the greatest return on equipment investments so a company can shred more in less time.

A container should be designed with the latest in collection efficiencies. For example, shredding consoles which are lightweight can be transported with greater ease and in less time. Also, containers which are equipped with durable grip handles ensure that the materials can be dumped into larger containers or wheeled to a mobile shredding truck more effectively. This enables the shredding service provider to take less time with each individual customer. Hence, a more comprehensive shredding service can be provided with less time spent with more customers.

The easier the container can be opened the faster the materials can be shredded. Consoles with locks that open on a quarter turn and return to a secure position automatically eliminate the time lost using traditional mechanisms. This time will add up gradually with more and more financial gains overtime. Also, all containers should be locked uniformly. Having the console locks keyed the same will eliminate the time taken to fumble through numerous keys. This reduces the amount of time shredders spend in the office and the operational costs to have them there. As the value of the service remains the same and the costs are changed a greater profit can be earned.

Containers should be simple to collect. Several obstructions can get in the way of getting the materials into the shredding machine. The more time spent on correcting the obstructions the greater the cost of the operation. A container should account for these obstructions and make the collection process simple. For example, tight nylon bags should be secured to the container. This will ensure that no paper misses the bag. The nylon material will also make sure that the bag does not break from the weight of the paper. This will remove the time wasted on collecting misplaced paper from the bottom of the console and maximize the investment spent.

Shredding equipment should always have safety at the forefront of its design. There are several hazards involved with getting into the shredding industry the collection console selected should not be one of them. Containers which feature 180 degree nylon hinges can reduce some of the hazards associated with shredding. Nylon hinges eliminate the cuts or scrapes which can be caused by metal hinges. The safer the collection process can be performed the happier the service providers and the faster the job can be completed.