Home comforts: why choosing the right floor is so important

When redecorating or moving into a new home, choosing the right floor can be a daunting task. You need to decide which flooring is right for you – wood, laminate, cork, tiles, carpet or vinyl – and choose the colour scheme. Your floor takes a pounding from people walking across it, from spills, and from children or pets playing on it. It is a long-term investment; therefore, it pays to think ahead about the right floor for your lifestyle. Here are some ideas to start you off. Continue reading Home comforts: why choosing the right floor is so important

Which is the Best Type of Wooden Climbing Frame for Your Kids?

If you have small children and a big enough garden, you may be thinking about investing in some permanent play equipment.

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One of the most versatile and long-lasting pieces of play equipment on the market is a wooden climbing frame. Good looking, adaptable, and available in different sizes and specifications so they will fit in with most sizes of garden, wood climbing frames will provide your children with many, many hours of entertainment.

According to Early Childhood News, playing outdoors benefits children in several different ways. It not only provides them with essential opportunities to exercise, but also encourages them to invent games and use their imagination.

But which climbing frames are the best, and what do you need to consider when deciding on which type to buy?

What Type of Wood?

Most wooden climbing frames are made out of either pine or cedar wood. Pine is generally cheaper, so your choice will probably be informed partly by your budget, but there are other factors to take into consideration too.

Light-coloured pine can be stained to your own specifications, while cedar can also be stained but is darker in colour.

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Out of the two, cedar is naturally more weatherproof, so will probably look better for longer. It also has a tighter knot structure, so is pretty resistant to splintering and splitting – great for building frames which children are going to be crawling all over for years.

Pine, on the other hand, is a softer wood and will require more regular treatment to ensure it retains its strength.

Sawn or Round?

Wooden climbing frames are usually made from either round or sawn wood. Both look great and have their own benefits, although round wooden frames are usually cheaper.

Those made with sawn wood allow more adaptability in their construction.

Allow for Growth

One of the main things buyers require from wood climbing frames such as those available at http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames, is that they are able to adapt and change as the children using them grow older.

It therefore makes sense to buy a frame which has plenty of activity choices. Thankfully you can buy everything from a basic frame to one which contains all manner of additions, from climbing walls to swings, slides to Wendy houses.

If you go down to the woods today…

If getting some fresh air in the great outdoors is how you love to spend your free time then you won’t go far wrong with a visit to the Royal Forest of Dean. Whether you enjoy the thrill of mountain biking or are an avid lover of nature, you’ll be sure to find the perfect activity here.

During Medieval times, the forest was used as a royal hunting location and then became a source of timber for the Tudor’s navy warships. Later in Victorian times, it became a major hub for coal mining with tramways running through the countryside. Although it has changed a great deal over the centuries, it remains a very beautiful part of the country.

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You’ll spot an wide array of wildlife here and a great many places to explore. The four main visitor sites are:

Cannop Cycle Centre – different trails to suit all levels and you can bring your own bike or hire one for a day of exploring. There is also a café for refueling pit stops.

Symonds Yat Rock – here you’ll find an Iron Age fort with incredible views out over the River Wye. A great chance to spot as many birds of prey as you can.

Mallards Pike Lake – a perfect area for a stroll and a picnic by the lake. This is also where you’ll find Go Ape, the adventure trail featuring high ropes and tall challenges in the tree tops. You can also hire a segway and explore the forest in fun style.

Beechenhurst Lodge – here you will find the popular Sculpture Trail, cafe, play area and climbing tower. This is the ideal starting point for exploring the forest.

The Forest of Dean covers more than 110 square kilometres of mixed woodland and is one of the surviving ancient woodlands in the country. The main sources of work here was forestry, charcoal production, iron working and coal mining. The earliest mining has been dated back to Roman times. The area was occupied by the Romans at around 50 AD as they were attracted by the abundant natural resources including iron ore, ochre and charcoal. For a Gloucestershire Wedding Hotel Venue, visit http://www.thespeechhouse.co.uk/weddings/.

Offa’s Dyke gets its name from the Saxon King Offa of Mercia who built his dyke high above the River Wye to firmly mark the boundary with the Welsh. Due to its proximity to Wales, it may have come under Welsh rule at times during the Medieval period when its history becomes a bit obscure.

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The area forms a rough triangular shaped plateau with the River Wye sitting to the west and north-west and Herefordshire to the north. The River Severn lies to the south with the city of Gloucester to the east. The highest point in the forest is the Ruardean Hill at 290 m.

Some famous faces to hail from the area include members of the band EMF who are from Cinderford. James and William Horlick were the inventors from Ruardean who created malted milk powder and gave their name to the drink Horlicks which we still enjoy to this day. Dennis Potter, the famous playwright, was born near Coleford and used the area a great deal in his work. Even the world famous J.K Rowling has spent time in the region, living on the edge of the forest in Tutshill between 1974 and 1983.

Tourism in Cuba blessings and challenges

More and more tourists visit the socialist Caribbean island. Many Cubans benefit from this. After the resumption of diplomatic Havana. Victor Leonardo looks out of the window of the tourist bus that winds its way through the palm-lined streets of the Cuban tourist town of Varadero. “Cuba has changed rapidly over the past decade,” he says. Continue reading Tourism in Cuba blessings and challenges

How to Achieve Professional Photo Printing Quality at Home

Although you may love taking photos, you may not love the process of uploading your digital prints to a store website, waiting for them to be processed, and then being required to go pick them up.

From start to finish, this process can feel like more of a hassle than it’s worth. Unfortunately, many people struggle with printing quality photo images from their homes, and thus, feel as though they don’t have any other options. The good news is that this isn’t true. It’s very possible for your to print beautiful images without ever leaving the comfort of your own home, and it’s actually a lot simpler than you might imagine. Here are a few tips and tricks for ensuring that your photo prints will look great every time.

Choose the Best Paper and Ink

Quality images begin with selecting proper photo paper and ink.

Most retailers will carry both glossy and matte finish photo paper that are ideal for printing pictures. Keep in mind that black-and-white prints tend to look better on matte paper, while color pictures look best on glossy paper. You’ll also need to take size into consideration. If you’re printing photo images onto business cards, greeting cards, etc. , you can either print multiple photos on one 8.5×11 inch photo sheet, or you can look for wallet-sized paper (2.4×2.5 inches). You may also be able to find photo paper that’s album/scrapbook ready (4×6 or 5×7).

From here, you must select a photo-friendly ink. Companies such as Ink Technologies provide high quality ink at reasonable prices. Just be sure to consider factors like resistance to water, smudging, aging, and fading. For best results, choose an ink that is recommended by your printer’s manufacturer.

Prep Your Printer 

To ensure that your prints will look great, you’ll need to take a few moments to get your printer photo-ready. First, take a look your printer’s current dots per inch (dpi) settings. The higher the dpi, the better your prints will look. You can avoid frayed or jagged edges on your prints by using a printer with at least 600×600 dpi.

Next, check out the print quality settings to choose the right print options and preferences for high quality. Your printer’s manual will provide instructions. Finally, you’ll need to ‘”tell” your printer what type of paper you’re using (card stock, photo paper, etc.) and adjust the printer tray for size.

Maximize Image Quality 

After everything else has been taken care of you’re ready to focus on photo formatting and print resolution. You should understand that the higher the resolution is, the better your photos will look when printed. Here’s a quick guide to finding the right resolution for the photo size(s) that you plan to print:

  • For wallet size photos: 1-2 megapixels
  • For projects like calendars, greeting cards, or 5×7 reproductions: 3 megapixels
  • For 11×14 inch photos for hanging at home : 5-6 megapixels
  • For 16×20 photos: 8 megapixels
  • For prints larger than 20×30 inches (ie: posters) : 10 megapixels

All this assumes you use the full frame you took, without much cropping.

You’ll also need to choose the correct file format for your photo prints. Although JPEG file formatting (which compresses image data) is okay for e-mailing pictures or posting them on social networking sights, stick with larger TIFF files when actually printing photos of larger size. Keep in mind that while this will consume more space, these TIFF images are smoother, sharper, and far superior to JPEG images.

The final step before printing will involve any photo edits or enhancements that you would like to make to your pictures. You can use Photoshop programs to soften edges, play with lighting and color, remove blemishes or red eyes, and make any other changes that will improve your photo’s quality.

There’s no need to waste time and money on printing photos at your local drug store or retailer. Once you master these simple steps, you’ll be able to easily produce beautiful photo prints right from home for a fraction of the cost.

Choosing A Web Designer – Important Things You Need To Consider

Choosing a web designer need careful planning and research so that it best represent your corporation’s name and online presence. Your business web site represent for you when you cannot. Here are the following tips for finding the right web designer:

Portfolio Samples

Reliable web designer or design companies do have portfolio and links to some of their current and previous web site designs. You must take time perusing the designer’s web site and some of their client’s sites to get a feel for their expertise and also to be sure all links and navigational features are properly functioning. Often unskilled web designer’s sites will have flaws like dead links and misspelled words.


You must remember that trusted web designers and companies will definitely post and boasts client testimonials and feedbacks on their web site in order to verify that they expert and most of their clients are satisfied of their work. Also, they will link their client’s testimonials to their sites so you can assure that they are in fact a happy customer.

If a web designer’s testimonials aren’t readily available ask, and verify them. You can contact or email the references and ask how their experience was with the designer and if they were contented with the output. This may seem a heavy task but having a web site professionally designed is a financial investment and an imperative one to your business. It’s smart enough to do your homework before leaping and making any decision.

Contact Information

Good web designers do have clear contact information like physical address and telephone number. Some designers that only displays their email address and website address as their contact information are not trusted and as a client you must request and confirm the designers contact information prior to paying for or putting a deposit down on your web design services.

Look for Their Affiliations

You can distinguish a reliable web designer if display popular and reliable logos such as Visa and MasterCard, PayPal verified logos and other affiliation logos because it presents authenticity to the web site and the company

Who Is

Using WHOIS database, you can search and find out information about an existing domain name like the owner, how long it’s been registered and other useful information. The WHOIS database will give you with the contact information of the person or organization that registered the domain name you’re asking about.

Why you should have a marquee wedding

Marquee weddings have been a popular choice in England for years, and for good reason. Able to accommodate just about any size guest list and fit in any venue, a marquee can be erected everywhere from your back garden to an empty field and a marquee can be transformed into a veritable paradise with minimal effort.

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Marquees are also ideal for all weather, and whether it’s a beautiful summer day or a typically grey and rainy afternoon, you and your guests will be safely ensconced inside and protected from the elements. If the weather is good the sides of a marquee can also be lifted to let in sun.

Stylish inside and out

The wedding industry has grown tremendously and there are décor options available to suit every bride’s preference. With a marquee you can choose not only how to decorate the interior, but also the exterior, giving you free range to create the exact look and feel you desire.

With a marquee, you have a blank canvas that you can personalise completely. It offers you the exciting opportunity to design the layout and to decorate and set up in the way you wish.

Flexibility and location

Marquees also provide bridal parties with an enormous amount of flexibility. Within reason, you can choose where you erect the marquee, and marquee hire in Kent such as http://www.2intents.co.uk/ should also be able to advise you of some ideal spots, should you be short of ideas.

You can choose the size of the marquee too, with few restrictions apart from the availability of space you have to work with.

Catering and entertainment

A marquee lets you have complete control over the food you serve too, and whether you prefer a buffet or a five-course sit-down meal, your needs can be easily accommodated. You are not restricted to a wedding venue’s menu and you can budget accordingly, opting for food that works for your special day.

When it comes to entertainment your options with a marquee are also unlimited. You can have a DJ, a string quartet or a full band, and you don’t have to stick to a cut off time as stipulated by so many wedding venues. There won’t be additional after hours charges either and you can even supply your own booze if you prefer!

Everlasting Art

Over the centuries, some incredible artists have given the world some stunning artwork. Artwork that inspires us and makes us see the beauty of humanity and the world we live in. There are many sculptors who have created long lasting, classic and iconic pieces and here we will take a look at some of the most wonderful sculptures ever created.

Bronze David

This is one of the most famous sculptures in the world and was crafted by Donatello in the 1440’s. It was the first unsupported standing work cast in bronze during the Renaissance period. It depicts a young David with his foot on Goliath’s head, after triumphantly defeating the giant. For modern day Bronze animal sculptures, visit http://www.gillparker.com/.

The Kiss

Another iconic sculpture, this was made in marble by Frenchman Auguste Rodin who lived between 1840 and 1917. It shows the 13th century Italian noblewoman from Dante’s Inferno who falls in love with her husband’s younger brother. The couple are discovered and killed by the husband. The sculpture shows the lovers with their lips not quite touching, suggesting that they were interrupted before they could share their love and met their demise.

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Lady Justice

Another one of the greatest known sculptures and is not attributed to one particular artist. It is a globally recognised symbol of law and justice and it adorns many courthouses across the world. It is also known as the Scales of Justice, Blind Justice and most commonly, Lady Justice. It has been in use since antiquity, dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times as the Goddess of justice.

The Thinker

Auguste Rodin is also responsible for another extremely well-known work in The Thinker. It was originally called The Poet and was commissioned by a museum in Paris to act as an impressive piece for the doors of the museum. Using Dante again as his inspiration, The Thinker is based on The Divine Comedy and called the doors the Gates of Hell. In the end piece, he sits atop the gates and ponders his fate in the fiery depths below. He is naked, in the classical tradition to represent intellect and poetry.

Venus de Milo

This sculpture is very old and was made between 100 and 130 B.C. She is believed to be the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Incredibly, the sculpture was discovered by accident in a farmer’s field! It is marble and slightly larger than life with its original arms and plinth having been lost over the centuries. It is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch and is available for public viewing at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The Discus Thrower

The original of this sculpture has long since been lost and we only have copies to show us what the original looked like. Originally it was sculpted in bronze way back in 460-450 B.C. The copies have all been made in marble or smaller versions carved in bronze. The athlete is naked, as always in depictions of Greek athletics.