Four DIY Projects And Their Tools

Four DIY Projects And Their Tools

There comes a time in life when the kids would rather spend more time out than at home; work is slowing down a little and chipping away at the mortgage has made a dent. You’re wondering what to do with the new found lifestyle you’ve come across – the kids don’t need you as much, the guys only play gold every second weekend, and the wife’s work has picked up, leaving you time on your hands.

Time to get stuck into those DIY projects you’ve been putting off for the last two decades. There’s always something around the house that you can do – plus, it’ll be ten times cheaper tackling it yourself than getting someone in. Here are four DIY projects to get stuck into and give a go yourself – worst case scenario you patch it up and call the experts to reverse what you’ve done.

Building A Letterbox

How much do you love the letterbox you already have? Not very much? It’s easy to just settle for what you get, especially if you didn’t build your own house, and before you know it twenty years go by and you’re still stuck with that letterbox, you said you would always fix the hinge on. Why not give building a new one a go? They can be surprisingly easy and can satisfy your inner metal-worker – because you’ll need a heavy-duty tool to weld this one. A plasma cutter is an ideal machine to use for a job like this – pay a visit to Cuts Like Butter first, and I ensure you it makes the job a whole lot easier than trying to fashion it any other way. Building a shiny new metal letterbox is the perfect answer to saving a bit of cash and replacing that old, tired one that’s seen better days.

Modern House Numbers

Speaking of mailboxes, how hard has it been for the mailman to figure out exactly which number your house was anyway? House numbers can be confusing to figure out at the best of times, and if you’re someone who has built a new letterbox because its number display was barely readable, then you probably don’t have anywhere where the numbers are displayed clearly.

Getting into the tool shed and making a wooden plaque for your house numbers is another great DIY project to get stuck into – its practical and it requires woodwork, which can be deeply satisfying. Pick where you want to display your new house numbers – whether it’s on the frame by the front door or further down the fence by the driveway – and then you can choose how big the plaque needs to be. With these and a new letterbox, there’s no way the mailman can miss your house now.

Wood Mat

Sticking with the wooden theme, the third DIY project you can get stuck into is a wooden mat for your front door. This is probably another tired part of your house exterior too – having been used hundreds of times over the years, it’s probably a bit worse for the wear and starting to see the ground underneath. This is also the perfect project to take on once you’ve completed the plaque house numbers – you can even pick out the same wood and make a mat that matches them, adding to the aesthetics. The beauty of this project is that you can make it as practical or ornate as you would like – there are cheap wood and costly wood out there that you can make it from, it just depends on what kind of doormat you want to end up with. The options are endless.

Flower Pot Grill

The fourth and final DIY project to get stuck into is the flowerpot grill. This project is practical and economical, perfect if you’re looking for a way to save a bit on a grill. Grills can be bulky, expensive and often faulty, so looking for alternatives is usually the way to go. Getting a grate and fashioning an old flowerpot into a functioning grill will bring out the crafty side of you while keeping with the practical theme – and I’m sure the wife will be happy when she sees how much you’ve saved.

In conclusion

If you’re near retiring, thinking about it or just retired, it’s a good time of life to think about the home, and what projects there are sitting around that you could work on – there are guaranteed to be some. It’s easy to put off those too-hard-basket jobs that can be saved for a rainy day. Now is the perfect time for that rainy day and you’ll get some satisfaction out of doing these DIY projects. Plus if they fail miserably and you discover you’re not cut out for it, you can always get someone in.

How – And Why – Have Traditional Weddings Changed

How – And Why – Have Traditional Weddings Changed?

If you ask someone in the United States, Canada or New Zealand to describe a “traditional” wedding you are likely to get a rather standard response. It was held in a church; the bride wore a white dress; the photographs were posed and staged; the cake was made of fruit and had a dry, hard icing.

It isn’t that people didn’t have any imagination, rather it was a time when people generally did what was “expected” of them as it was easier than swimming against the social current. The occasional couple might elope – gasp, shock, horror – but even their grandchildren would still be talking about it two generations later.

Why have things changed?

While many couples opt for the well-worn traditional route, an increasing number of people want something “different.” That may be defined as anything from a wedding on a beach in the Caribbean, to a ceremony at the local pub with family and friends to celebration on a farm in the mountains.

The venues for wedding in the 21st century are limited only by people’s imagination and budget. And while getting married in outter- space isn’t an option, it may soon be.

How have things changed?

The idea of “themed” or destination weddings is increasingly popular as couples want to make it personal. To leave their own mark on their special day.

That is why destination wedding are increasingly popular. Why? As well as being the wedding, it is also the honeymoon. Not everyone will be able to attend – some can’t afford it, others are too sick or old to travel, while a number of people are terrified of flying – so it is easy to keep down  the guest list.

Then again, if you want a gift from Aunty Kay and Uncle Steve, send them an invitation and they will likely come across with a present even if they don’t come to Jamaica for the ceremony.

Has anything stayed the same?

If you strip it back to the bare-bones, the French are right: Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Or “the more things change the more they stay the same” for those who are not Francophiles.

The bride still wears clothes – even if it is a tailored suit rather than a dress; there is still a specific spot where the couple says “I do”; photos are still a very important part of getting married as they are a record of the event; the cake may be dark chocolate with blueberry icing. But is it really any different?

The traditional posed black and white photo of the bridal party – where the bride often looked like someone had stepped on her toes and the groom wore a straight-ahead gaze – have evolved with the times.

Historically, photographs were expensive, so they were carefully guarded and shared with family and intimate friends as newly-weds couldn’t afford to pay for a copy for everyone. And it was a time where there were only a few negatives to choose from, so the rule of thumb was to pick the one that looked the least horrible.

These historical records of wedding sat in the bookshelf – or on the piano — to be dusted from time to time. They were literately “a snap-shot in time” that people forgot over the years. Do you recognize the people in your great-grandparents wedding photo?

So, although photos remain an essential element in the wedding, the genre has – fortunately many will say — evolved. Lots of photos; the bride being videoed from her waking moment until the newly-wed couple drives off into the sunset for their honeymoon; copies of everything are sent to everyone; the wedding video is on Facebook a second after the couple said “I do.’

How to decide what sort of wedding to have

Perhaps the first consideration is the age of the couple. First timers might want to have a traditional wedding to make a statement of their intentions.

Others in their 50 or 60s for whom it is a second or third marriage, might want to opt for a subtler ceremony that includes only family and close friends.

The point isn’t what kind of wedding you want, the important consideration is to tailor it to suit your specific situation.

First, decide what sort of impression you want to create. Then pick the venue, the dress, the photos and the cake accordingly.

Laser Marking the Organic Way for Natural Branding

Is Laser Marking the Organic Way for Natural Branding?

Due to regulations and industry standards, marking on foods and food packaging is a challenging issue. This is especially true in the organic food sector where they strive for everything to be as natural and organic as possible in the presentation and marking for public consumption. This is where laser marking is making a huge difference.

The world’s population is starting to seek out better and healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and the environment. This demand has created a huge growth in the organic food business. One organic food company, Eosta (international fresh organic vegetable and fruit distributor), recently eliminated the use of stickers on their produce.

This Dutch company is now using CO2 laser marking systems to naturally brand their fruits and vegetables before distributing them to stores. This kind of ‘natural branding’ is a no-contact method that is also eco-friendly, making it an obvious choice for the organic food sector.

What Makes CO2 Laser Marking Natural?

No additives or chemicals are used in laser marking, unlike ink marking. The use of CO2 laser marking machines also doesn’t create other chemical substances or speed decay or contamination of organic fruits and vegetables. The low-energy process of CO2 laser marking simply etches the desired image on the outer layer of the produce’s peel and only removes pigment. CO2 laser marking doesn’t change the attributes of the produce.

A popular company to get these machines from (not necessarily the one Eosta uses though) is Needham Coding.

A New Concept

This natural branding concept is still relatively new, but more organic food companies are likely to follow in the coming months to years once they see how it works for Eosta. Imagine the organic fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products that will benefit from natural branding like this. This will revolutionize the industry in a good way.

Compliance Standards

One of the legislative regulations requires that companies differentiate between nonorganic and organic products. That’s exactly what CO2 laser marking does, so it’s also compliant.

Organic food companies are always striving to find better ways to integrate environmentally friendly options that meet legislative and industry requirements and standards.

Fruits & Vegetables Marked

Eosta distributes produce such as sweet potatoes, apples, mangos, and avocados. They have eliminated sticker marking from these products completely using CO2 laser marking for natural branding. It helps to eliminate plastic and other packaging materials as well, making it even more eco-friendly. They claim that by eliminating plastic packing from their avocados alone, they will save 750,000 plastic packs this year.

What Markets Have Eosta Produce?

ICA Sweden, a grocery retailer already has some Eosta’s naturally branded, organic sweet potatoes and avocados found in the produce section. Each piece of produce has its PLU, product name, and country of origin laser marked on it.

Peter Hägg, one of the store’s produce managers, said that now they don’t have to separate the organic products from the others in the store.

CO2 laser marking, now being called natural branding, has become the organic form of laser marking. Since it’s being used to mark organic produce, it’s relevant to the market. Natural branding leaves a mark on the produce, not the environment.