Get Fotor Pro Now to Easily Make Personalized Greeting Cards

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There is always a special day to celebrate like a Birthday, Baby Shower, Wedding, Anniversary, and of course all the holidays throughout the year and what could be better than create personalized cards for your loved ones.

Now you can, by downloading the Fotor Pro program you can receive the
Annual Plan at a discount of %15 off Until 10/31-2020

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Best online photo editor, collage maker and designer!
Get Fotor Pro now to easily make any kind of greeting card to express your friendship or love to someone special. Or make a sweet collage of you two to recall the good time.

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Floral Oil Painting: Tips and Techniques for Beginners

Tips-and-Techniques-of-Floral-Oil-Painting-for-BeginnersThe spring season is on the horizon, and various plants will soon bring out their beautiful flowers. Many artists are waiting for this season to do one of their favorite activities: floral oil painting

If you are an aspiring artist who loves flowers, this is the right time to practice your skills in painting. If you have no idea where to start, this guide will help you in determining what materials to buy and the proper techniques to make your art easier.

List of Oil Painting Materials for Beginners

As a beginner, you may be overwhelmed by the intricacies of painting in oils. However, with some outstanding basic skills and the right materials, you can easily overcome your apprehensions. Here are some of the necessary painting materials you will need in a floral oil painting:

  • Painting brushes – As a beginner, you will need several student-grade bristle brushes in various sizes. Purchase six brushes: two sizes 2, 6, and 12. Every pair must consist of a flat brush and a filbert brush. The former requires to have a squared-off tip, while the latter must have a slightly rounded tip.
  • Oil paint – Because you are still learning, you should buy the cheaper but good quality paint. Some of the popular colors that you can select are cadmium red, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, titanium white, ivory black, permanent alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, and cadmium yellow light.
  • Turpentine or mineral spirits as paint thinner – You can only clean oil paints with mineral spirits or turpentine. Purchase them at a home improvement store rather than an art store because they are cheaper there.
  • Palette – You will use it to mix the paint you will need.
  • Charcoal pencil – You need to sketch out the flowers you want to paint, and you can do them using charcoal pencils.
  • Canvas or painting surface – This is where you will paint your flowers. As a beginner, you may use a piece of paper first to practice.
  • Painter’s easel – Buy an easel that can be adjusted to your height and hold your canvas securely.
  • Linseed oil – You will use the oil to facilitate the mixing of paint. This material is optional, as you can still paint without it.
  • Old newspaper – You need to clean your brush when utilizing another color in your painting. Newspaper cuttings are excellent materials for squeezing the paint out of your brush.
  • Palette knife – You will use this material for mixing paints.

Tips on How to Paint the Correct Way

Painting with oil can scare off a lot of beginners. Here are some tips to help you do it the right way:

  • Grip the brush handle to your arm’s length to gain the best degree of control.
  • Practice your brush orientation.
  • Familiarize the use of light, medium, and heavy strokes to attain your preferred results.
  • Maintain the purity of your color to preserve its intensity.
  • Utilize two color mixtures if possible.
  • Do not over-mix your colors to maintain the vividness and interest to your paint.
  • Use your palette knife to create exciting strokes.
  • Try to use of wet-on-wet and dry-brush techniques.

Floral painting arouses the creative mind in you. As a beginner, you may also buy some floral oil paintings done by professional painters for you to better appreciate the beauty of the genre.

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The Importance of Vinyl Cutting Machine Blades

The-Importance-of-Vinyl-Cutting-Machine-BladesFirst the Basics

Vinyl cutting is the act of using a machine called a vinyl cutter to cut out designs created with a software program into vinyl sheets. When the machine is done the cutting, there is a need to weed the sheets and remove any waste from the sheets before transferring the final design to where you want it.

These designs can either be labels, 3D objects, card wraps, signage, cards, origamis or decals which can be used on scrapbooks, cars, walls, laptops, signs or crafts.

These machines, which are computer-controlled, look like printers but instead of printing cartridges, they make use of blades that carry out the actual cutting. Their movements are controlled by the software used in making the design that is being cut.

These cutters can also be referred to as plotters or craft cutters as they can do more than just cut your vinyl designs. High-quality cutters can also make designs on paper, tissue paper, cardstock, and thermal transfer materials while some can emboss on wood and aluminum. Check here for more on this process.

It follows from the above that blades are one of the most important parts of your vinyl cutter. It is therefore important to give some attention to them.

Important Factors to Consider

Selecting the Right Blades

In this process, there are different materials with varying levels of thickness. Using the same blade for all these materials will dull it quickly. For thicker materials like flock especially, use a separate one. You should have a different set for materials of different thickness levels and also have something to differentiate each of them.

Be Sure of Compatibility

The brand you purchase is important as they are not universally compatible. Both the blade and the holder must fit snugly together, therefore, you should ensure that you get one that will fit with the brand of cutter you are using.


As the tip of the blade is tiny and sharp, it is not very easy to know when it is broken. If it is, it severely affects your work as the cut lines might taper off towards the end of a job or the design won’t cut at all. The sure way to make sure they are sharp is to take care of them and change them regularly.

Get the Right Cutting Depth and Exposure

Another important thing is to get the right blade depth for whichever material you are cutting. The most popular depths are 300, 450 and 600. The one you will use will be dependent on the material you are cutting. For thicker materials, you will need a higher depth and exposure.

Blade Force or Pressure

These determine how precise your cuts will be so you will need to get them right. For personal use, it may not be very important but when working professionally, you must get it right.

Tips on Caring for Blades

  1. Keep them in their protective case when not in use.
  2. Always start cutting with a low pressure.
  3. Do a test cut each time before your main cut.
  4. Use different blades for different materials and different thickness levels.
  5. Tag them to be able to differentiate them.
  6. Change them regularly especially after a lengthy/busy time of use.
  7. Be cautious when removing them from the holder. The cutting tip must not touch anything other than the material being cut. It must not be touched in any way.
  8. Keep holder clean of vinyl debris.


A blade plays a key role in cutting success. To get the best possible result and reduce time spent, take care of them and use the right one for the right material. Before selecting one, consider its compatibility with the machine you have. See for reviews on different cutting machines available.

How long any tool (including this one) will last will largely depend on how it is used and what kind of materials it is used for. The way you set your blade for the materials you cut also affects its lifespan. Also, do not cut too deep.

Anytime you are not getting the required results, it is most likely the cutting blade is dull or damaged. One way to know is to look for chips along the edges. When you cannot spot that, try a new one to see if there will be any improvement.
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Turning a Hobby into a Business

Have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a business?

Turning a hobby into a business can make you some serious money
Image: Skirball Cultural Center

I’m pretty sure you have that one activity you derive immense pleasure and fulfillment doing daily. Could be writing, cooking, painting, barbecuing, we could go on and on, the list is endless but it all boils down to the fact that you’re happy doing it. Most of the time, it could be all that is needed to light up your day that has so far been hellish. But you are so engrossed in the excitement that you barely think of monetizing it. For you, it’s the joy that it brings that’s most paramount. However, if you’ve ever thought about monetizing – converting your hobby into a business, then that’s quite thoughtful of you and I’ll be sharing with you 6 helpful tips that will give you a head start. 

1. Understand the Business Potentials of Your Hobby
Before trying to turn your hobby into a business, it’s of utmost necessity that you look at the business prospects of the hobby. It’s the very first thing you should consider. If you venture into business without taking this into consideration, you are making a blind move and chances are, you are going to crash sooner or later. Is my hobby in demand? Are people constantly in need of what I’m about to sell? These are questions you should ask yourself. I’m not trying to sound like a pessimist or realist but trust me, the last thing you want is answering questions nobody gives a hoot about by selling something no one is interested in buying. So ask yourself, will people buy what I’m about to sell? Ask the people themselves too “hey guys! Are you going to buy this thing I intend selling?”

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2. Get Terrific at Your Hobby
Whatever it is you love doing, be certain you are very good at it before you think of towing the business lane. Mediocrity is going outlandish and people love the extraordinary, so if you really want to sell, then you’ll be better for it by bringing your A-game to the table. Take out time to hone your hobby which from tip one above, you’ve realized its marketability, then gather resources and glean from them. What you do in business pre-season determines the goals you are going to score when the league kicks off. So use your pre-season to prepare very well.

3. Establish a Reputation
How many people know you are a hot-shot cook in your neighborhood? How many people are aware that the key to your happiness lies in counseling people all day? You see, when people know you for who you are, the journey becomes less stressful. Thinking about making some cash out of your hobby? Then gain a widespread reputation for what you do. Let them know you for who you are and they will run free publicity for you when you eventually start your business. This reputation can be gained by offering free services to people around your locality in preparation for the business on the pipeline, this shouldn’t be a problem if it’s really a hobby.

4. Start Your Plugging
Plugging is synonymous to pitching, publicizing, preaching or promoting whatever you do either by word of mouth, social media or proxy. Employ any means possible to get the word out on the street that you are very good at what you do. This is a sequel to building a reputation but the slight change here is that you are selling yourself to the entire public and telling them that you are an ace at what you do. Your reputation, on the other hand, is all about your activities in the neighborhood that’s silently building you a brand.

5. Get a Business Plan if Need Be
Not every money making venture requires a business plan. Before you raise your brows at me, do you need a business plan to start singing and getting paid for it? But you need a business plan if you love cooking and you’re about to open a cafeteria right? It’s all about the nature of your hobby and the business direction it’s leading you to. Basically, most businesses that demand capital investments go with a detailed plan. Write a business plan if necessary.

6. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet
Granted, the adrenaline rush is energetic and you can’t wait to stop working because it is said that “when you convert your hobby into a job, you won’t have to work a day in your life.” I had to paraphrase that to fit into the context, be that as it may, do not be tempted to quit your job. It takes time to fully turn a hobby into a full-time business. While carrying out all the listed tips above, retain your job. When things pan out fully, you can quit, but in the meantime, stick to your 9-5.

We all have various types of hobbies. You have and I do, but what matters most is what we do with them. Your hobby has the potential to make you rich. This can only be achieved if you develop that hobby of yours. You might love to sing, but if you don’t develop yourself in singing, your chances of monetizing it become slim, same goes for other hobbies.

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