Thursday 23 March 2017

Steps To Having An Old Fashioned Christmas Holiday

There are many Christmas traditions that are gradually being lost in today's high-tech, always-on-the-go world. But Christmas is the perfect time to slow things down and get back to basics to really enjoy the season. The following are three ways to have a traditional, old-fashioned Christmas.

1. Decorations

For many people, decorations are what make Christmas time special. The right decorations can set the mood for a traditional Christmas and let the whole family get involved in creating the Christmas spirit.

Start with an old-fashioned Christmas tree. Traditional decorations were all hand-made. Take a day early in December to get the whole family together to create the decorations such as stringed popcorn and chains made from colorful paper. Play Christmas music, serve eggnog and get everyone into the spirit.

Check your local thrift or antique shop for some old-fashioned decorations. Wax or blown-glass ornaments were commonplace in years past, and there are often some great examples to be found in thrift stores for next to nothing.

You can also look for antique tins with Christmas themes. These make great candy or fruit dishes.

2. Baking and Cooking

Baking and cooking come a close second to the Christmas tree for setting the mood for Christmas. Cookies, pies, and hot cider are all staples of an old-fashioned Christmas celebration.

The entire family can take part - even the non-bakers. They can help to decorate the sugar cookies or gingerbread men. Kids can help cut the cookie shapes before they're baked.

3. Christmas Day

There are plenty of Christmas day traditions that can help create old-fashioned fun. Find someone to play Santa Claus and deliver the presents for everyone in the family.

Make the gift exchange time special. Don't just tear into them en mass, give everyone a chance to open them separately. This gives everyone a better chance to show their appreciation, and people get to watch their reactions.

If you're lucky enough to have a white Christmas, take some time out of the day to go sledding or have a snowball fight. Top it off by serving hot cider or hot chocolate.

These family traditions can be passed on from generation to generation, with each one adding their own extras.

Simple But Powerful Songwriting Tips

Do you feel frustrated or unfulfilled with the songs you have written? Do you think your songs have to conform to a certain standard before they are any good? If so, what exactly are you comparing them to? You may find you have an unrealistic expectation of yourself or what you think a song is or should be.

If you are unhappy with the songs you have written or think your songs are not what they should be, examine these three songwriting tips to focus your attention on clarifying what you think you want to gain from your songs.

1./ Why Do You Want To Write A Song?

What do you want to communicate? Don't dismiss this, answering this question is more important than you think. If you know why you are doing something, your path will be a lot clearer. For instance, do you see yourself performing on some late night TV rock show with the audience going wild for more, or do you want to write a romantic love song to impress your partner? Or maybe you want to perform an acoustic set down at the local bar? The answer will influence your behaviour and your writing style.

2./ Write About What You Know And Do What You Know.

Do you know how to put chord progressions together on the piano and improvise over the top or do you know how to link drum machines and turn tables together to a whole plethora of midi equipment to pump out the biggest, baddest beats this side of Georgia? There is no difference. Your song will have more style and impact if you can find the courage to be yourself and use those talents you have today, not in what you think you should be doing, or what your song should sound like.

3./ Develop Your Habit Of Songwriting.

How are you coming up with your ideas? Repetition increases the likely hood of repetition, that means the more you do something, the more you are likely to do it. The more you get into the habit of writing down lyrics in a notebook that you carry with you at all times, the more likely you are to write down lyrics in a notebook that you carry with you at all times. Get into the habit of writing down your thoughts when your inspiration strikes because ideas always strike when you least expect them.

Your inspiration could be in the form of a lyric, a sound you heard in the street, an unusual chord change you heard on the radio or a rhythm your mum was tapping out on her coffee cup. By doing this, you can consult your own wisdom as and when you need it. These are the gems that will determine your style and show you your way forward.

Disciplining yourself to these three songwriting tips will give you confidence in yourself and your music. Realize that to write a song,  you do not need to be anybody other than who you are, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Whether you are beating out a rhythm on a pair of spoons or bowing an upright punk guitar accompanied by someone tap dancing in a different time signature, songwriting is subjective. Someone somewhere will love whatever you do, someone somewhere will absolutely trash it as the most unbelievable pile of garbage to ever appear on the music scene in the history of music. The most important question you need to ask yourself at the end of the day is, do you like it?

Must Know Tips For Creating The Ultimate Scrapbooking Room

If you are a scrapbooking junkie like me, you know that your scrapbooking supplies can really stack up from your various projects. Many people just find a place to do their scrapbooking wherever they can find a spot.

It can get pretty difficult to be creative when you are cramped in a tiny space or have a lot of distractions around you while you scrapbook.

Why not create a scrapbook room that is all yours? Below you will find some tips on how to create the ultimate scrapbook room.

Make the Most of Your Space

While you’re designing your ultimate scrapbook room, you’ll want to get the most use of your space as possible. Do this with shelving. You can get floor to ceiling shelving to have a lot of storage space.

You know what they say – if you can’t build out, build up. One great thing to do with this shelving is to purchase some great bins or baskets to put small things in. You can place stickers, embellishments, ribbons, markers or any other little thing in bins like this.

Set the Mood

A scrapbook room is not only about storing your supplies, you also want it to be inviting and cozy for when you are working on a project and spending time in there. Here are some things you can use to your scrapbook room comfortable and appealing:

- At least one big cozy armchair. (Depending on how big your space is, get a few for when friends come over to scrapbook with you.)

- A great inviting and relaxing paint color. This will welcome you and make you feel peaceful while working on your scrapbook projects.

- Art. Placing some stimulating art on the walls will also help make your scrapbook room welcoming, and give you some much-needed inspiration.

- Candles. Get some great scented candles to light in your room. This will make your environment cozy and special, along with adding a little touch of scent.

Prepare the Necessities

For your scrapbook room to really be perfect you will need the ultimate work area. You can get some functional items that will help you in your projects and give you the tools you need to be efficient and productive. Here are some great things you will need to add to your space:

- A large table or flat working space.

- A bright lamp or light to help you see the little items you will be working with. This is a great thing to help keep you from straining your eyes while you’re working on projects.

- A cabinet to place all of your tools for scrapbooking. Some of these might include: hot glue guns, staplers, scissors, paint, etc.

Making your ultimate scrapbooking room can be fun and beautiful if you use your imagination and a bit of creativity. Think of the things you use the most and place them at reachable level. The things you use less often can go in higher places.

You need a space to relax and be able to create your beautiful art works and think outside of the box. You will be very glad you’ve decided to give yourself this gift. Use these great tips to help get you on the track to more efficient and productive works of beauty.

Birthday Party Games Everyone Will Love Playing!

What’s a birthday party without games? No party at all that’s what! Games bring excitement to any party and birthday parties are no exception. Sure there are the traditional birthday party games like pin the tale on the donkey and smashing the piñata open, but times have changed and while these traditional games remain classics, there are a few more out there that are sure to go down in the history books. The next generation will definitely be calling these games ‘classic’.

Balloon Stomp – Here’s how this game works. Tie balloons to your ankles and stomp on each other's balloons and try to pop them. A lot of movement may be required. Six or more players can play. You'll need rubber bands and balloons. Blow up a lot of balloons and tie a rubber band to each of them. Put a balloon around each player’s ankle by stretching the rubber over their foot. If you want you can put a balloon on each ankle. Make sure players wear shoes to protect their feet. Play some music and have everyone stomp around, trying step on and pop the balloons of other players. Whoever has the last balloon left around their ankle is the winner!

This next game is not called ‘The Ultimate Water Balloon Game’ for no reason! Here’s how to play. Depending on how many guests you have, you may need to fill up one hundred or more water balloons before the party starts. This is a four part game and every game can have a different winner. The first game involves teams of two. Each team gets one balloon. They start really close to each other and the teammates have to toss them back and forth, with each successful toss they both take one step back. If your balloon pops then you are out. The last team standing wins. The second game is hot potato but you sit the kids further away from each other so they have to toss it. Everyone who gets wet is out. Each person left with the balloon is out too.

The third game is a free for all! Let them have a water war with the balloons. And for the last and final game, you give everyone a bucket as a party favor, and you tell them who ever picks up the most balloon pieces out of the yard gets the last and final prize. The kids will clean the yard so well!

Important Suggestions When Purchasing A Diamond Saw Blade

What are diamond blades you may ask? Well, have you ever been driving down the road and you see some construction workers cutting either the road or cement? The circular metal tool that actually cuts the material is what the diamond blade is. This metal is very strong only if it is used correctly. There are many different diamond blades made especially for different types of metals and concrete. Each diamond blade is made for certain abrasive material and if you do not have the right blade for the job it will not cut it. Finding the correct diamond blade for the job is crucial if you want to complete the job. Diamond blades can be used to cut through many different types of abrasive metals and concretes.

Diamond saw blades are usually used on construction sites, home remodeling, or repairing city roads and highways. There are many different diamond saw blades and accessories such as core bits to select from but each one is made for certain abrasive materials and if you choose the wrong one I can guarantee you that you are not going to be happy with it. Each diamond saw blade is made unique so that it is very efficient in cutting a certain abrasive material.  Diamond blades are made unique to cut through asphalt, concrete, brick, and block. The reason why each diamond saw blade is created different is so that the user can get the maximum strength and potential of the blade without having to replace it every time you are finished cutting.

When selecting a diamond saw blade you will have to take into consideration which core bits you will need to use. The core bits are basically used as the power of the diamond saw blade and the diamond blade actually does the cutting. You have to make sure you match the core bits and the diamond blade saw. Just like diamond saw blades the core bits are matched to fit certain diamond blades to provide efficiency, speed and strength. Some core bits are used especially for speed because some material needs a higher rpm to cut through it and if the blade does not have the required speed it will either warp or probably break. If not the blade will not work to its potential and may even warp or break. Some diamond blades are also made to cut while running water over them while they are cutting. This helps keep the diamond blade temperatures lower so that the blade does not warp and keep it from cracking. You will want to make sure that you do not purchase the wrong diamond saw blade and core bits because you will be spending a lot more in replacements. These are not cheap so please do your homework.

There are many varieties of diamond saw blades and core bits to choose from with each made for cutting a specific type of abrasive material. Make sure you take your time and plan which blade and core bit you will need to purchase for the desired abrasive material you will be cutting. There are also many online diamond blade distributors that you may be able to purchase some blades at a discounted price. More importantly these online stores can provide you will online information and some even provide a phone number that you can call to receive more information. Good luck on your purchase and the job it will be used for.

"Wrapping" The Impossible-To-Wrap Christmas Gift

"The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value." - Charles Dudley Warner

You've found the perfect gift, one completely appropriate for the recipient. But now you've realized that this gift also happens to be the impossible-to-wrap gift.

Maybe the gift is oddly shaped and won't fit in a box. Maybe the gift is digital and doesn't have a physical form. Or maybe the gift is too big and can't fit through your door. Here are ideas about how you can easily "wrap" even the most impossible gift.

Oddly Shaped Gifts

Some gifts just were never meant to be wrapped. Try one of these ideas to get that oddly shaped gift properly covered.

- Gift bags are a popular way to wrap an oddly shaped gift. Just place the gift in the bag and cover with brightly colored tissue paper.

- Put a large sheet of wrapping paper on the floor, design side down. Place the gift in the middle, and pull the four corners of the paper up and toward the middle. Close the top by tying the corners with a festive ribbon.

Gifts Without a Physical Form

Our modern computer age has brought a whole new challenge to wrapping gifts, those gifts like electronic books, downloaded software, or downloaded music. These ideas will turn your digital gift into something that can still go under the tree.

- Burn the files for the digital gift onto a CD. Alternatively, buy a thumb drive or memory stick and copy the digital files onto the memory device.

- Print the download instructions for the digital gift. Then purchase (or make) a Christmas card and include the printed instructions inside the card.

Gifts Too Big to Fit Under a Tree

For large gifts you'll have to find a "safe" hiding place. Some merchants might allow you to store the present at their store until just before Christmas. Alternatively, perhaps your garage or a storage shed can server as a good hiding spot. You might even consider using a neighbor's garage (and getting your neighbor's permission first is probably a good idea!).

With the gift in a safe spot you can still "wrap" the present and put it under the tree with one of these ideas.

- Use a Christmas card (or make one either by hand or using your computer) and announce the gift inside the card.

- Wrap a small item to represent the gift and put it under the tree. Try to choose an item that hints at what the present is without immediately revealing the secret. For example, you might use a bike tire pump to represent a new bike, a car owner's manual to represent a new car (I think most of us won't be giving a gift this big), or a house key to represent a new house (this one requires some possession of sizable wealth).

So don't let the impossibility of wrapping a gift keep you from selecting the present that is most appropriate for your loved one. Use one of these fun ideas to get that present "wrapped" and "under the tree."

"Songwriting Tips: Un-original Melodies Can Be A Good Thing..."

The moment that people create a melody which they feel is great, many think it already sounds like another song. This is common, and I suffered from this many times. What you've got to understand is that ALL SONGS are RECYCLED MELODIES.

Every song has a 'portion' of the tune which will be the same as another. So don't worry if you feel your song sounds like another.

What's important to know here is that if your melody is a familiar one, then that's a GOOD THING. I'm not talking about a 'rip off' here, I'm talking about a part(s) of your melody that sounds like another song(s).

Why is it a good thing? Because it means PEOPLE can RELATE TO THE MELODY even more. They will want to listen to your song because of the familiarity.

Remember, most people aren't songwriters. So chances are, most people won't even realize where it may or may not have been inspired from. And what if they do? Well... ultimately, as a whole, it will be your own words, your own tune and eventually with your own music. So it will be YOUR SONG. So don't fret.

Here, I'll share some methods that will jump start the process of creating a melody:

- Pick a song that you like and know *quite* well, and when you are NOT listening to it, hum the tune of the song. DON'T' SING THE WORDS, just hum the melody. This way, you will think 'melodically'. Eventually, you should force yourself to sing certain variations of the melody (ie. completely mess around with the tune). When this happens, you'll end with your own melody.

- If you play an instrument (it doesn't matter which or what level you are at) try and figure out the melody of another song on the instrument. If you figure it out easily, then mess around and CHANGE certain parts of it. Then SING (hum, la, etc) this CHANGED MELODY out aloud. If you can't figure it out, then forget about it! CREATE A MELODY YOU FEEL IS CORRECT! Again, don't prejudge while doing this. Just go where your fingers take you and just 'la' the tune simultaneously. Loop this melody once you feel you have something good.

- Grab a song that you DON'T KNOW AT ALL. Listen to the song once, and then listen to it again. The second time around, sing along to it. More than likely, you won't remember the tune. This is normal! What do you do now? Yup. You guessed it. MAKE UPYOUR OWN MELODY to this obscure song. NOTE: This one may work better if you bought a CD of backing tracks that have no guide vocals on the songs. This way, you HAVE TO make up your own melody to a track that's already playing. Just make sure you DON'T KNOW the all.

You have no idea how powerful this is. I've written fresh songs on one's I had no clue about! And believe me, they are original songs - they don't sound like a copy of anything at all. This is because of what I said earlier - ultimately it will be your own lyrics, your own message and your own music which then translates into your own song.

*Keeping The Melody Simple*

Lastly, there is absolutely no point in making a melody that's 'musically clever'. You're not trying to impress musicians here. What you want is to create a melody that's SIMPLE yet INTERESTING.

So how do you do this? Well, melodies often re-occur several times in a song. In fact, the verses and choruses alone will often have the tune repeating itself. It's the basic structure of nearly all songs under the sun. The verses will repeat and so will the choruses.



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