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Simple home sewing projects for beginners to try

If you are a novice when it comes to sewing, it is important to try simple projects before you move on to more complicated things. There are many different items for the home or family that beginners can make successfully, mostly based on simple shapes and stable fabrics. Here are three easy but rewarding projects to begin with.

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Reversible scarves

These are easy to make and are excellent gifts for all members of the family. One side is cut from a soft woollen fabric whilst the other is a light printed cotton. Decide on the overall size and cut out the woollen and cotton fabrics allowing a half inch seam allowance all round. Place the dressmaking fabric right sides together with the cotton on top and machine stitch all round, leaving an opening in the centre of one short side. It is easier to stitch on cotton than on wool and the fabric is less likely to slip if you do it this way. Trim the corners, turn and press neatly before slip stitching the gap closed. This article in the Telegraph offers advice on choosing your first sewing machine.

Party favour bags

For unique party favour bags, make your own from scraps of fabric. Select printed dressmaking fabrics and cut rectangles measuring 11 by 7.5 inches. Fold each rectangle in half with right sides together, and sew each long side and one short side with a half inch seam allowance. If you have pinking shears, finish the open side with these. Turn the bag inside out and fill with treats. They can be tied closed with a strip of contrasting fabric.

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Scented sachets

You will need some different pretty cotton fabrics such as those available from http://www.quality-fabrics.co.uk/dressmaking-fabrics-14-c.asp and some moth repelling lavender buds. Cut the fabric into five-inch squares and sort into pairs of complementary colours/patterns. Sew them right sides together with a half inch seam allowance, leaving a gap where they can be turned right sides out. Fill with lavender and sew the opening closed. These will keep your stored linens fresh for months or could be placed under pillows to aid a restful night’s sleep.

There are many sewing projects that beginners can make at home, but starting with these really simple ideas will give you the confidence to tackle more complicated items very soon.

What’s Hot in Photography?

As with any industry, photography is subject to fashions and trends as well. Here are some recent trends that have had an impact of how professionals take photos:

  1. Going Green

Plants have increasingly been making an appearance on the photography scene. The use of large palm fronds has been a recurring theme in many interior design shoots. Even small, well-arranged succulents have been getting in on the act. Plants will soften an interior and it would appear that people posing for photos like to half hide behind them too.

Green is the easiest colour in the spectrum for the human eye to see and has always been associated with feelings of calm and soothing. Maybe we are also becoming more environmentally conscious as getting out and taking landscape shots is also becoming increasingly popular.

  1. Collages

Instagram is inundated with photographers uploading their work so how to make your work stand out from the crowd? This is where the use of collages and diptychs come into their own as a way of standing out from a sea of square images. This method is employed in magazines as well and looks fresh and funky. Perhaps this is a trend that might take off in displaying wedding photos in a unique and unusual way. To discuss the latest trends in wedding photography for your big day contact a Bournemouth Wedding Photographer like nickrutterphotography.co.uk

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  1. Minimalist Fashion Shots

Recent trends have taken us away from decadent, glamour and focused more on understated urban fashion in realistic, often stark surroundings with no touch-ups or softening. Makeup and hair looks are becoming more minimalist as people seek a more authentic look rather than the traditional digital enhancing that has taken place in recent years. This trend should continue to be popular as there is a call for more realism and diversity in fashion photography as a whole.

  1. Technique is Everything

The thought process behind taking a photo will become more important than the image itself. It’s the clever technique that makes the photo timeless. As we are bombarded by images more than ever, online and on social media, new emerging photographers will need a personal technique with which to stand out and create stunning timeless images.

  1. Visual Storytelling

In the past, it was enough to place our photographs in an album but increasingly we are seeing visual books and photo journals being used to showcase photos in a form of storytelling. Finding new and exciting ways to present photography will remain a continuing trend in the field and will no doubt be employed by young emerging talent.

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  1. Technology

The progress of technology never ceases and with new equipment comes more creativity and experimentation. Increasingly, equipment is becoming more advanced and easy to use, giving rise to a wide choice of lighting options and sensors etc. This gives photographers a much broader scope for trying different equipment, experimenting with different methods and constantly aiming for the ultimate in high-quality photography.

Why Visit the Wye Valley?

Planning a trip couldn’t be easier if you’re travelling to the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean. There are many towns and villages within easy reach so you’ll have somewhere different to visit every day. Here we take a look at some of the fascinating towns in and around the Wye Valley:

Cinderford

This historic town is a market town in the heart of the Royal Forest of Dean. There was once a ford here but it was replaced by a bridge in 1674. This was a result of improvements made to the town after the upheaval of the English Civil War. Thanks to the elevation of the town, it enjoys wonderful views across the valley and of the River Severn. It’s a main commercial area of the Forest with a vibrant open-air market and plenty of pubs, restaurants and shops.

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Littledean, Drybrook and Ruardean

Not far outside of Cinderford are the villages of Drybrook, Ruardean and Littledean. Here you’ll find warm, welcoming country pubs with great food. In Littledean, you’ll discover the bizarre gaol designed by architect William Blackburn, imposing and made from red sandstone. At Littledean Hall is a Roman temple which wasn’t discovered until the 1980s. It is thought the temple here was a shrine to the water deity of the River Severn.

Ross-on-Wye

This attractive market town is shaped by the distinctive St Mary’s Church spire which has overlooked the town for more than 700 years. It’s an iconic destination in that it’s been called the birthplace of modern tourism and the area has long been a magnet for visitors. There are plenty of things to see and do, including mini golf, art galleries, the amazing hedge puzzle and the ruins of Goodrich Castle. There are some stunning wedding venues in this area so if you’re looking for a Wedding hotel venue Gloucestershire then visit http://www.thespeechhouse.co.uk

Gloucester

For a city, Gloucester is relatively small but this makes it easy to get around and see all the sights. From the historic docks to the cathedral that was used in the filming of the Harry Potter films, there are lots of tourist attractions to enjoy. The Quays offer a state-of-the-art shopping, restaurant and cinema complex in the heart of the renovated Victorian docklands. There are two museums to visit and the National Waterways Museum located in the docks.

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Newent

Newent is located in the north of the Forest of Dean and as beautiful unspoilt historic market town with buildings as old as the 13th century. The half-timbered market house in the centre is the focal point of this lovely heritage conservation area. Newent Lake is a haven for wildlife and the town is also famous for its annual onion fayre. The surrounding countryside is picture postcard quality with fields, ancient hedgerows, narrow lanes and woodland charm. The iconic daffodil walks are a must in the springtime.

Symonds Yat

There is much to do on the water here with canoe hire being very popular. If you want to experience outdoor pursuits then there’s also kayaking, climbing, raft building and abseiling adventures available here. For a more tranquil experience, a visit to the butterfly zoo and maze is highly recommended.

5 reasons to choose a staycation

With the average professional’s life becoming increasingly hurried, it stands to reason that short getaways where people can escape the grind, deviate from the routine and recharge their proverbial batteries are essential to maintaining a healthy mental state.

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Staycations are here to stay as more Britons ditch the extravagant out of town holidays and opt to stay closer to home. According to a recent report by Visit Britain, the number of people vacationing at home is up by 23% year on year. So it’s clear that Britons are viewing this phenomenon as a viable holiday option with a number of wins:

Saves money and time

This approach to affordable holidaymaking offers the obvious perks on money and time saved from exhausting and expensive air flights and complex visa applications. Travellers can also escape the ever-thorny process of searching for and securing foreign accommodation.

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Offers added convenience and flexibility

Planning a large family vacation internationally or domestically comes with its own logistical gremlins. A holiday in one’s local city provides the convenience and comfort of being close to the familiar but is also perfect for those who are more spontaneous in personality and need the flexibility to cancel a holiday should the weather turn for the worst suddenly or the office calls in with an urgent project.

Saved money can be redirected to luxury spending

Shorter local holidays offer the possibility of extra discretionary funds that travellers can splurge on luxuries like spas at a local hotel, fine dining or a theatre date with their partner. While Airbnb offers a slew of affordable accommodation options, for the more discerning traveller, boutique fully serviced apartments Birmingham No.8 Waterloo Street apartments may just be the perfect fit.

Provides an opportunity to explore the local city

The UK is replete with a rich cultural heritage and history yet few locals give themselves the opportunity to indulge in these treasures. A holiday at home allows travellers to enjoy epic adventures locally.

Supports the local green economy

Millennials are looking for opportunities to live out their lives with greater altruism. Staycations offer them the opportunity to contribute back to the green economy – less travels by car, train or plane equates to reduced carbon dioxide emissions which does a world of good for the environment.

4 Reasons to Take Occasional Breaks from Your Work Routine

No matter how much you love what you do, everyone needs a break work. The everyday routine can stress you out and create friction in your mind, resulting in headaches and susceptibility to illnesses, like annual flus and more serious diseases. Stress is a killer, for sure. Which is why it’s important to take occasional breaks from the ins-and-outs of your usual work routine.

Refresh Your Mind

When you break up the monotony of work, you give yourself a break from stress and hassle. No getting up super-early to meet a deadline. No rushing to shower and dress to make it to a meeting. No spending hours at a desk or on your feet for the profit of someone else. Occasional breaks refresh your mind and center your focus. So, when you do return to work, you will be ready for the challenges, which helps better manage the stress.

Unwind Your Nerves

Breaks from work are prime opportunities for you to do something great for yourself. Take a bubble bath, sleep in for a few hours, sharpen your mind with challenging brain teasers, and watch a bunch of television. Or, better yet, plan a trip, charter a cruise, or go on a nature walk to breathe in fresh air and really clear your mind. Do things that you love to do while you are free to do them.

Bolster Your Business Knowledge

If your work is your life, fueled by passion for a specific hobby or interest, then you probably thrive on new ideas and innovative business strategies. In which case, some of your break from work could be used to bolster your business knowledge. Do some research to better your business ventures, especially if that business is your own.

Live in the Moment

Taking a break from work allows you to live free and clear for a few days. You can plan your days as they come, live in the moment, and really focus on doing the things that make you happiest. Not to say you should hop in a plane and jump out in a daredevil stunt, but you should totally get back to the basics with hobbies and interests that make you smile.

Why should you take a break from work? Because you should work to live, not the other way around. No work, regardless of what it is, should be worth your life. Take a moment, take a break, and get back to who you are when you’re not stressed out by deadlines and time constraints.

I Will Survive!

If you’ve ever watched the film Castaway starring Tom Hanks, you might have wondered in passing if you could survive as well as his character did for that long on a deserted island. It seems we have become obsessed with matters of survival and there are many online games that feature scenarios where you must survive being abandoned alone in hostile territory. In the highly unlikely event you find yourself in your own version of ‘Stranded’ then here are some potentially life-saving tips:

  1. Don’t Panic

Easier said than done but many people, with no survival experience, have survived for long periods of time by clear thinking and the ability to remain calm. Keeping a positive mental attitude enables people to continue with life-saving routines and not give in to despair. For all your outdoor kit needs, whether on a desert island or a harmless hike, you need an Online bushcraft store. For more information, visit angloforro.co.uk

  1. Water

This needs to be priority number one as you can survive for longer without food than you can without hydration. If you’re not conveniently located near a stream, you’ll need some kind of water collection device. Search for something that can be used to catch rain or any possible caves where you might find dripping water. You can also locate water by digging a hole, putting a container in the bottom surrounded by wet leaves and covering with tarp. Weigh down the tarp or any other plastic with rocks so water will collect and drop into the container.

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  1. Food

Eventually hunger will make you stir crazy but avoid the potential dangers of unidentified plants and stick to bananas or coconuts if you’re on a desert island. Fishing is your best bet if you’re surrounded by ocean. It’s not easy but you could try using a sharpened stick or maybe a safety pin for a hook. Look out for crabs on the beach and molluscs, clams and seaweed are all edible.

  1. Avoid Getting Hurt

If you have been injured from a plane crash or ship wreck, you must see to your injuries first and try not to sustain any other whilst you are on the island. In a tropical environment, a small cut can turn septic quickly and ultimately lead to gangrene. The best piece of equipment is a bit unexpected but is actually a pair of wellies. Keeping your feet dry, avoiding cutting your feet on broken shells or the poisonous barbs of a cone shell or jellyfish make wellies a life-saving item. They can also be used to collect and store rainwater. So, forget the matches and the spear, what you really want are wellies.

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  1. Shelter

During the day, you’ll need shelter from the sun and believe it or not, you’ll need shelter from hypothermia if thunderstorms occur in the evenings. Sleeping arrangements must be off the ground in case of snakes, building a fire around your shelter will also help deter them. If you can find any sort of netting then this should cover your sleeping area to avoid insect bites as much as possible. Avoid building your shelter underneath a coconut tree as you don’t want one falling on your head!

Smart ideas for organising your desk

Once you’ve been using a desk for a few months, whether at work or in a home office, you’ve probably accumulated so much ‘stuff’ that your productivity is starting to drop off just because of excess distractions, and more time spent trying to find what you need.

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The old adage says that time is money, and simply organising your space is an extremely low-cost way to save yourself time and frustration.

To that end, then, here are four things to focus on to organise your workspace and improve your productivity.

Declutter aggressively

This will fit into every other suggestion in some way because it all boils down to simply being willing to very aggressively declutter and organise your workspace. Start by taking an inventory of your desk and immediate area surrounding it, and consider which items you actually need instant access to. Printer toner is certainly important, but you will need access to it so occasionally that it can afford to be kept out of the way, rather than taking up ‘prime’ space on or in your desk.

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Use aggregators and organisers on surfaces

This doesn’t necessarily mean going all-out and buying a bespoke commercial desk like one from http://simonkohnfurniture.co.uk/our-work/commercial/reception-areas-and-desks/, but it certainly is an option.

More usually, this means things like desk drawer trays or magnetic blocks to keep small metallic objects from being loose in the bottom of drawers, investing in a more organised charging station to keep your devices and cables in one place, or looking into a corkboard or whiteboard for reminders and note taking.

Keep most-used items close to hand

Like the aforementioned printer toner, move things you need only occasional access to away from your immediately accessible workspace and keep the things you constantly reference close at hand.

If you are stapling documents dozens of times a day, keep a stapler on your desk instead of tossed into a drawer. Regardless of what the objects you use are, look at keeping them on your desk or in your easiest to reach drawers.

Organise your space by function

To find things quickly, organise them by function as much as possible. That can mean one drawer being earmarked for pens, sharpies, and highlighters, and another being for staples, tape, and paperclips, or some other system that makes sense to you.

The benefits of glass door refrigeration

During hygiene inspections of restaurants and other food outlets, the most commonly discovered infringement involves food storage temperatures. Frozen foods should be kept at -22 degrees centigrade ideally, and they should never be allowed to rise again beyond -18 or the food is considered unfit to keep. Temperatures for other perishable goods are less clearly defined because they vary for different foodstuffs, but generally they should be kept around 2 degrees centigrade and never rise to 8.

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It is often difficult to maintain working conditions at temperatures suitable for your workforce and food temperatures required by food hygiene regulations, so having reliable, good-quality refrigerators is essential for any commercial enterprise involving food such as shops, cafes, restaurants, canteens or bars.

Domestic refrigerators are available in many shapes and sizes, from small tabletop fridges designed for a few chilled cans up to deep chest freezers and five- or six-door fridge-freezer combinations. For commercial establishments, the range is even wider, with walk-in freezers for behind the scenes storage or pass-through and multi-door display units especially suited for front of house.

Glass Door Refrigeration available for commercial catering establishments has several advantages over using solid-door units.

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Easier stock control

Glass doors, often combined with specially designed racks that queue replacement items and push them to the front each time one is removed, make monitoring your stock levels much easier. You can see precisely how many are still available and easily reload the products that are selling the fastest.

Self service

Logistically, some businesses depend on customer self-service in order to be economically viable. Glass-doored refrigeration units are essential to enable this, especially when combined with those dispensing racks.

Marketing

It is almost too obvious to point out that your customers are more likely to buy things when they can see that you have them. This is even more true when it comes to introducing new brands or products. Glass-fronted storage units let them simply sell themselves.

At home

Many of the advantages above apply just as well at home, especially if you have a large household to cater for. Not only do glass door refrigerators encourage your dependents to be a little self-catering, they also make it easier for you to keep track of your shopping supplies. Some units can also be a very good-looking addition to your kitchen.

Cornwall is Home to the UK’s Best Fish Restaurant

A Cornish seafood restaurant has been crowned the best in Britain after toppling the previous champion’s five years at the top.

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Good Food Guide

The annual food directory, Good Food Guide, placed Nathan Outlaw, a restaurant named after its chef owner, above L’Enclume of Cumbria, ending its winning streak.

The restaurant located in Port Isaac leads the likes of traditional favourites The Fat Duck, run by Heston Blumenthal, and The Ritz, which continue to feature in the list of the top 50 restaurants in the UK.

The Good Food Guide is published by Waitrose and began ranking the UK’s best restaurants in 1951. Each year, the guide receives thousands of recommendations by the public, which it whittles down to a list. Inspectors for the Guide are then sent to these restaurants, posing as normal customers, to rate their experience.

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The Secrets of Success

Outlaw attributes the success of the restaurant to the tireless efforts of his restaurant team. The 39-year-old launched the restaurant in 2007. It has been awarded two Michelin stars, and it first made the Good Food Guide in 2009, debuting at number 11.

Perhaps this is an indication of the rise in popularity of fish and shellfish in cuisine, which has long been praised for its health benefits in our diet.

The Best of the Rest

Despite falling to number two, L’Enclume has maintained its perfect score of 10. The restaurant is located in the picturesque village of Cartmel in the Lake District and is run by Chef Simon Rogan.

The London restaurant Pollen Street Social, Nottinghamshire restaurant Sat Bains, and Berkshire restaurant The Fat Duck each scored 9, and came in third, fourth and fifth places respectively.

To ensure your own restaurant success, it is vital to have commercial dish washers at your establishment. Choose a supplier such as https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/commercial-warewashers/commercial-dish-washers.

In contrast, a tiny restaurant called Stark, in Broadstairs, Kent, has gained popularity. The restaurant is so tight on space that it is unable to house toilet facilities; instead, diners use the local pub’s lavatory.

Ben Crittenden, Stark’s chef, has been awarded “Chef to Watch” in the Guide. “Chef of the Year” was awarded to Peter Sanchez-Iglesias. He serves cuisine at Bristol restaurant Casamia, which was listed tenth in the Guide.

Business Maintenance and Commercial Pressure Washing Service

Pressure Washing Service for Businesses

The business world is a fierce one, to put it mildly. If you want your business to be a major force, you have to do what you can to keep it competitive. You should aim to make sure that your business is always the best it can be. Appearances count in the business realm, too. If you want to achieve a commercial setting that’s professional, polished and trustworthy, a clean environment is essential. If you want to attain a commercial setting that makes customers feel at ease, cleanliness is critical. Professional commercial pressure washing service can help businesses reach their highest potential.

Pressure Washing Can Simplify the Cleaning Process

Properly cleaning a commercial structure can be a hard job. Diligent scrubbing can only do so much. It often just isn’t enough to get rid of stubborn stains, however. If you want to relieve yourself of the stress of seemingly fruitless scrubbing work, professional pressure washing service can save your sanity. Pressure washing service is efficient. It eliminates impressive levels of lingering grime, debris and dirt, too. If you want to say farewell to those things without even having to get your hands dirty, you need professional pressure cleaning in your life.

Pressure Washing Can Help Keep the Need for Repair Work at Bay

Pressure cleaning can revamp your business and make it appear energized, radiant and fresh. It also has the ability to stop additional building problems. The collection of grime, debris and dirt can bring on mildew and mold. Remember, too, that pressure cleaning can effectively eliminate persistent bird droppings. These droppings are highly acidic and because of that are potential structural damage triggers. If you want to keep problems with mildew, mold and structural damage away, pressure washing is the way to go. It’s important to understand that taking care of mildew, mold and structural damage can often be time-consuming, complicated and costly.

Pressure Washing Can Give Customers More Confidence in Your Business

People tend to question businesses that look dirty and shabby. They often wonder how seriously their owners and managers take them as well. There’s nothing unreasonable about that. If you don’t put time and effort into the appearance of your commercial structure, customers will think that you don’t care about your business in general. If you want to maintain your business well and give it a sense of credibility, a clean look is imperative. If you want to draw customers in, a clean appearance is vital. You should try to find a highly regarded firm that offers commercial pressure cleaning service nearby. Look for a company that has excellent reviews and ratings. Search for one that’s been in business for a while, too.

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