Washington D.C.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington Dc, C

Washington D.C is a striking and interesting town with an overload of cultural diversity. There are so many awesome places to visit where you will have a great deal of fun whilst sightseeing and learning about the town’s notable history. Besides all the well-known touristy monuments and museums, here are a few of my favorite neighborhoods to have fun in DC.

It’s quaint with century old homes and buildings sprawled along subtropical streets which have retained all their charm over time. A whole lot of Washington’s crème de la crème and politicians live here and it is no wonder, it’s among the most gorgeous areas in DC and is close to almost everything, such as the downtown. Strolling along Georgetown’s roads can easily transport you back in time, as even most stores have maintained their awnings, doors and standard architecture. These stores are often family businesses and market one of a kind artifacts, foods, furniture and clothes pieces at high-end rates. Georgetown M Street provides a far more contemporary dining and shopping experience with a vast variety of restaurants, shops and well known brands and chains to satisfy all tastes and budgets.

While in DC you may want a night out. If you want a exceptional nightlife experience, you have to go to Adam’s Morgan. It has a high choice of restaurants, clubs, and lounges. The distinctiveness of the area is you will encounter all sorts of people from all around the world and of all walks of life. It’s one of the only areas in Washington where gentrification is not so clearly perceptible, adding to its charm and character. There are various venues featuring all kinds of food and music to cater to all. Everyone just comes to Adams Morgan to party together or to consume its famed giant pieces of pizza out while laughing out loud and making acquaintances with other people since it is customary on a standard Adams Morgan night outside.

It’s home to many embassies, historic websites and restaurants from all cuisines. There are lots of exceptional book stores strewn all over the area that are worth a trip, and are ideal places to have coffee or brunch.

Facts about Africa

South Africa, Landscape, Scenic, Sky

Africa is largely considered by scientists to be the place for origin of all of mankind. The continent is vast – rich in diverse customs and culture, traditions, history, climates and topography.

Here’s a list of ten interesting facts about the continent of Africa.

The largest waterfall in the world is the Victoria Falls. It’s the largest curtain of falling water though it’s not the highest nor the broadest.

Africa is home to the largest hot desert in the world. The Sahara desert stretches over most of northern Africa from Egypt and Sudan in the east to Mauritania and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. It’s 9.4million sq km (3.6million sq miles).

There are about 2000 different languages spoken in Africa, including some originating from Europe and Asia.

Africa is the second largest continent on the planet. The complete area that the continent covers is 30.22 million sq kilometers

Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, is the biggest island in Africa and the fourth largest island on earth. Africa has islands in the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Africa is the most multilingual continent on the planet. A lot of people in Africa speak different African languages, some including Asian and European languages.

Ice hockey is played in South Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya. The first African Nations Cup has been held in 2009 in South Africa with three participating countries – South Africa, Morocco and Algeria.

The longest river in the world is the Nile. It is 6853 km (4258 miles) long. Because of blocking of the river with a chain of volcanoes in East Africa, the Nile dropped some headwaters and otherwise would be 1400 kilometers (800 miles) more than it is now.

Africa has 54 autonomous recognised states. The newest of these independent countries is South Sudan.

There’s so much more to learn about Africa, which is home to deserts, grasslands, thick tropical forests, steppe climates, humid subtropical and Mediterranean climates. The continent is surrounded by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans in the east and west, and the Mediterranean Sea in the north. Precious metals and minerals found in Africa include gold, copper, iron and steel, platinum, uranium, diamonds and other precious stones.

Why Should You Use Expedia? What Are Some Top Destinations?

Indiana Dunes State Park, Beach
Pack your bags and prepare for your next trip, which shouldn’t cost much at all as long as you take advantage of Expedia getaway deals. It doesn’t matter where on Earth you want to go – Expedia offers discount travel to just about every nation.
Founded in 1996, the company has come a long way. In 2002, it had been bought out by USA Interactive. Today it is the leading online travel booking organization and has affiliation with hundreds of thousands of hotels, airlines, resorts, cruise lines, and car rental companies all around the world. This extensive network makes it possible to provide affordable travel solutions to businesses, professionals, leisure travelers, tourists, etc..
So far as getaway deals go, there is a variety to choose from, which range from weekend trips to Vegas to some 7-day adventure at the Grand Canyon. You can go overseas, on a cruise, to Alaska, and just about anyplace else you want to go. There are factors that determine price, like the time of year, destination, state of tourism in the area, and so forth.
Expedia enables users to search for certain deals by going into the departure city, destination, and dates on which they travel. Users can select to search for the airfare itself, or in conjunction with either a hotel room, car rental, or both. It’s recommended that you play around with the dates and timing a bit to see if you’re able to get a cheaper deal. Airfare fluctuates considerably – sometimes on an everyday basis.
What are a few of the most popular destinations?
Some of the best Expedia escape deals include the following destinations:
• Las Vegas
• Orlando
• Key West
• Caribbean
• Cancun
• Hawaii
• Myrtle Beach
• Atlantic City
• Chicago
• Alaska
Some of these destinations obviously cost more to see than others, but based on the time of year (and fortune ), you still may find a discount or two to help you save.
Don’t feel that an international holiday will be too much cash.
Once again, airfare and hotel rates are subject to change based upon the time of year and an assortment of other reasons. Just keep a look out on Expedia getaway deals until you find an offer on one of your perfect destinations. Subscribe to the newsletter and download the program on your smartphone or tablet.
You might already have a notion of how beneficial it is to make your travel plans online. If you haven’t used any Expedia promo codes yet, now is the time. Look over all the offers carefully. Where would you like to go? .

Lavish Indoor Environments

Bathroom, Luxury, Luxury Bathroom, Sink
Aim for the simple effect that often leads to powerful esthetics! The Domino Porcelain Tile Collection achieves minimal effects with white and black shades and matte and gloss finishes. The shapes and sizes ensure grand decoration. Large-format ceramic tile simplify life with several advantages like easier cleaning with less grout.
White Domino Porcelain
Wet spaces such as bathrooms would do nicely with porcelains that keep water out. Grout is less too with the uniform shapes and sizes of tiles. Cleaning grout is simple too with a regular spritz of vinegar or mild bleach solution. Install a pure white shower surround for a splendid effect.
Bathrooms ought to be a place for relaxation and rest, according to modern ideas. The large formats present clean spaces with few grout lines which are intensely soothing. If grout colors are matched, the result is a uniform expanse of the identical shade. Matte tiles are safer in wet spaces like the shower with less slippery surfaces.
Consistency is the hallmark of a cute room design and the spaces seem so coordinated. Rooms look bigger with the uniformity of layouts. White porcelain tiles on the bathroom walls would produce an electrifying effect with the White Domino large-format tiles. It is a fashionable and modern look that is truly unbeatable, superb in simplicity.
Even in smaller rooms, large format tiles create illusions of larger spaces! The benefit is less of boundary lines to break the visual impression. It’s a high contrast black and white effect which makes a balanced environment on the toilet floor.
Large format tiles were constructed for bigger spaces. Large tiles are installed very fast. Graceful kitchen environments are created with this super effect. Countertops and cabinets are an attractive overall part of the design scheme, but the tile overlooks.
Domino ceramic set is so durable and long lasting that it takes the strain out of planning and construction design. High traffic kitchens and bathrooms need not worry with the water resistant qualities and easy to maintain porcelains. Look forward to many years of happy porcelains.
Inspiration Gallery takes you through the total Domino Collection following the few samples you know. Aside from the dramatic large format tiles, other shapes and sizes are also available to suit specific needs and fancies. Pick the traditional black-and-white porcelain tiles to experience an elegant, easy happiness.

Dads and Their Divided Attentions

People, Father, Daughter, Smile, Happy
In not being present, in pretending I could hold two or more attentions concurrently, I betray eternity’s moment for the temporary release I feel I could have by taking a look at just a tiny machine in the end of my arm.
When it is an important email I’ve been waiting for, or some kind of message by a friend, or an acquaintance, or even a prospect, I really do need to admit that there is always a buzz to receiving email.
I believe the earliest I can recall feeling excited about mail was when I got a postcard or a letter or even a package in brown paper wrapped with string through the mail for a pre-schooler. (There is something about a package wrapped in brown paper and string that takes me all the way back to the 70s.)
The issue is partly about availability, about us being too accessible, but it is also partly about craving info.
The timing of this article is poignant given that it is Father’s Day in Australia. The Fathering Project have elevated the role of Dad significantly over recent years. And it’s normal for dads to expect to be celebrated on this one special day of the year.
However, what if as fathers we took some time to reflect on the interruptions our devices create?
Let’s just be honest.
Could we be as daring to think about some structure of discipline that would restore our control over the machine rather than relinquish our control to it?
I have done like many individuals have over the years and deleted apps on my phone. But there are still the text messages and e-mails that I like to answer in a timely manner.
I have needed to be reminded occasionally to stop taking a look at my phone during family times, and I guess for me I have come to accept how quickly I substitute my precious family time with superfluities. It is fortunate that my wife can be direct . However, it saddens me how many precious family moments I’ve missed with my children. I doubt if they would have even noticed, because it’s not that big a issue, but that is just the problem; we continue to allow the technology to interfere with and occasionally ambush our lives. And some of the time it can be completely necessary.
So here’s a message to dads: Have you been able to be fully present with your children for the precious seconds you have them?
It appears that youth never ends for parents, but like anyone with adult kids would inform us, once that time has gone it’s gone. I am so glad they are adults now, but as parents, if we’re honest, we miss them. Yet I am so proud they have their own lives. And I still have a five-year-old who’s such a gift to us.
I think for me being a good father is about refocusing daily and discovering ways of simply being present.
Fatherhood is for today. We can’t afford not to make the most of each moment, but inevitably we’ll waste lots of them. Let us make the most of as many of those moments we might otherwise waste.

Impact of Corporal Punishment

Vintage, Limericks, Edward Lear
Although current policy regarding violence in schools states that corporal punishment is banned, we find that it is being widely practiced in schools as a common tool for discipline with hardly parents’ ability to report or stop it. Reporting is usually for extreme cases reported about serious injuries or even death of children that are published to the public like the death of a child in one of Punjab schools as a result of a teacher’s beating. There’s very little record on child abuse or child death resulting from violence.
Possible reasons for expanding the use of corporal punishment in schools despite its legal ban may be administrative acceptance represented by the school and social acceptance represented by parents. This occurrence is stirred by administrative approval represented by the faculty through not implementing the policy effectively; lack of communication with family; inability to find alternative way of discipline to teachers; and marginalizing the role of social workers. Social acceptance is exemplified by parents’ acceptance; lack of awareness; applying CP on their children at home; and refrain from reporting actively their kids’ exposure to assault believing that the school will not take deterrent action.
This study demonstrates that CP is widespread in schools especially in public schools. This failure of implementation was mainly attributed to administrative and societal acceptance. We’ll consider in this chapter how to reduce the gap by handling factors involved. We introduced earlier what strategies have been adopted in other countries to enforce the ban of corporal punishment. In this section, we will develop a professional approach to correcting student behavior which is most suitable for the Egyptian context for a strategy for combating corporal punishment in schools, as well as specifying alternatives to corporal punishment.
Generally, policy enforcement cannot be the responsibility of one single party. Rather, all organizations and entities involved in policy making and policy implementation must collaborate to successfully reduce and then eliminate corporal punishment from schools to achieve the best interest for the child. Traditionally, the Ministry of Education represents the policy makers in terms of education legislation and policy formulation; however, empirical experience indicates a vital need for other entities and organizations concerned with child rights to interfere with new applications for child protection that work in accordance with the ministry’s policy. To develop an approach to combating corporal punishment in schools in Pakistan, other strategies that have been successfully implemented by other countries should be taken into account and assessed with terms of the Pakistani context.
In this regard, the following proposed strategy would reflect a blend of different states’ experiences in combating corporal punishment with regard to the general atmosphere in Pakistan.
To start with the school-based factors, professional applications designed by specialized NGOs such as Save the Children and UNICEF must be introduced and supported by the Ministry of Education. The pilot implemented by Save the Children in Alexandria demonstrates a way forward in this regard.
The practical experience of the latter project demonstrates that even successful projects cannot avoid going through the long path of bureaucracy so as to scale up their approach. There has to be full awareness that policy enforcement will not be achieved without providing required facilities which quicken program initiations by entities and organizations assisting in policy implementation. This would also facilitate scaling up these programs. In regards to the UNICEF module, the schools where the program has been piloted ought to be labeled with a different name such as”child-friendly school” to distinguish them from regular colleges, as experimental public schools are distinguished from regular public schools. As explained previously, the project is in need for proper financial support to continue since it depends heavily on external donations.
One approach to overcome the budget problem, might be to allocate part of their education budget to fund these programs as long as the final outcome would be directly associated with developing education system in schools. Data findings and other studies indicate that eliminating CP from schools will need the MOE to spend some money as a partial step to develop education. This budget allocation would not exceed the cost required to give annual training to teachers, social workers, and school principals across the lines of the annual training for schools in preparation for the yearly school contest sponsored by the USAID.
At the school level, the role of social workers in schools needs to be activated to match what is stated in their job description. To put it differently, a social worker would signify a mediator or facilitator between pupils and teachers in order to oversee the connection between them, sustain policy enforcement, report coverage violation cases, and research students’ learning and behaviour problems in order to solve them. In order to add this dimension to the social workers’ job, they should be empowered by the ministry and get expert training through specialists in NGOs concerned with learning and education processes. Activating the social worker’s role this way would take from the instructor the burden of correcting students’ deviant or violent behavior and the use of teacher would be solely for teaching and reporting the pupils’ progress to their principals. In order to empower and activate the social worker’s assignment in tracking policy enforcement and reporting policy violation, they ought to report directly to the Ministry of Education. So, rather than having a general inspector who comes to school a couple of times per semester to assess teachers’ performance in class and be certain everything is going well, with the social worker’s assistance, the entire school would be consistently committed.
With regard to the teacher, it is obvious that most teachers lack proper qualifications as indicated in previous sections. The procedure for accredited teachers and continuing their development should begin at early stages. To start from scratch, teachers ought to be familiar with alternatives to non-violent disciplinary techniques and behavior-management techniques early through the faculty of education where they learn the basics of teaching. The two years of instruction they invest in schools before graduation would be an ideal venue to practice those techniques and talk with their professors the challenges they confront. Later, upon actual recruitment, they need to get regular training by the ministry or specialized NGOs as part of a piloted program. Teachers who exhibit commitment and excellence in such training could be given a professional certificate from a reputable educational organization. As a necessary complement to the promotional and training programs, there should be a well-developed deterrent policy for teachers who use corporal punishment despite training. Depending on the size of policy violation, the sanction policy would say that those teachers would like have a permanent mark in their career file, have delay in their promotion, or be prevented from getting any kind of usual incentives.
Considering disciplinary methods, educators need to find means of punishment that are not degrading or humiliating to students to convey a message to the students that it’s the misbehavior that has been punished not the student himself. Among the most proactive way of discipline is”Meaningful Work” that curbs the student’s misbehavior through delegating tasks to them such as raising the flag for a while, helping out at the school’s cafeteria or any other activities that require physical exertion. This strategy is apparently one of the best ones because apparently it incurs punishment but actually it satisfies the student’s need to feel important by doing something useful. Another example suggested as an alternative to corporal punishment is to increase the time spent on doing school-related tasks such as by giving extra homework. In-class time outs also would be a fantastic alternative technique which targets temporary isolation for the student from the class to give them an opportunity to calm down and reevaluate their mistake. Moreover, the student could be punished through depriving his or her from engaging in any of the college’s actions or from taking a break. Finally, there might be a daily progress sheet for each student where teachers may take notes of the student’s misbehavior. This sheet could be sent daily to the pupil’s parents to involve them in reforming the student’s misbehavior and keep them updated with the student flaws.
The study findings demonstrated a positive connection between administrative acceptance and the use of corporal punishment in schools in the sense that school administrators themselves practice corporal punishment. Moreover, they deal passively with parents’ complaints, don’t communication with parents, barely apply sanction on teachers violating law, and have neglected to activate the role the social worker. The study findings also proved a direct connection between social acceptance and the use of corporal punishment in schools in terms of practicing corporal punishment at home with children, poor follow up with the school, approval of corporal punishment in school, and refrain from reporting knowingly their children exposure to corporal punishment.
It can be concluded also from the research findings that corporal punishment is not seen by the majority of parents or teachers as an effective way of discipline, even though a minority see it as somewhat useful. Therefore, there should be sufficient support for non-violent means of discipline if they are properly chosen and implemented. This result denies the traditional assumption that corporal punishment helps students to study and acts well, and keeps the teachers’ respect in class. Conversely, the findings support a conclusion that violence triggers more violence among students, produces a grudge against teachers and the faculty, and causes students to challenge teachers.
In response to the study findings that conforms to our hypothesis, recommendations were formulated to take care of school-based factors and family-based reasons for corporal punishment in schools. Regarding the school, it has been recommended that policies should be enforced by implementing sanctions on professionals; the social worker should be involved in reforming students and organizing activities; and that teachers need more training on disciplinary practices. Schools should involve parents more in reforming their children’s behavior. Concerning parents, it has been suggested that civil society organizations including the media and religious communities might help in raising parents’ awareness of the necessity to eliminate CP from school and home, specifying the right course of action to report this, and clarifying the damage of CP on kids. Additionally, parents’ attention should be drawn to the perfect course of action to be taken against corporal punishment against their children and better means provided for doing so.

The 5 Biggest Differences

London, Parliament, England, Ben Ben
So, to the meat and potatoes (arroz y habichuelas in Puerto Rico)! These observations are purely facts (with a small bit of my opinion thrown in) and not listed in any particular order. Thank you for reading this far! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the remainder. Of course, I must mention that I did bulge Europe, a continent composed of 50ish states (depending on your political views), into a single entity, but I was careful to choose things that I have personally observed and experienced in at least a few different countries in Europe. So, that should count for something, right?
I recall a time in the US if you’d go to a restaurant and they would ask you,”smoking or non-smoking?” Now, what’s non-smoking. Most public places are smoke-free zones. As a non-smoker, I love this. However, moving to Europe might not have been the wisest place to move to get a non-smoker who is bothered by the smell.
Granted, there are a number of locations where you’ll see a no-smoking sign, but they’re few and far between, especially if you want to go out for nightlife. And even if there’s absolutely no smoking indoors, there are, without fail, at least three smokers sitting directly in front of the door of whatever non-smoking establishment. Europe seems to be getting the”smoking is bad for you” rhetoric and scientific evidence to back it up, just slightly later than the US. Although, I am aware that France is aggressively tackling the issue and has seen adequate results.
I cannot say with any assurance that European drivers are worse than American drivers. I can say that driving expectations are different and so affect how drivers act. For example, on European highways there are not exits every 12 miles with gas and food options, like in the states. Or, that you can turn right on red in America, but this is prohibited in Europe. And, my personal/least favorite, there are no highway cops, and any ticket you’ll get will come from a (sometimes cleverly hidden) camera on the side of the road that flashes a bright white light of guilt at you, and you get to lament speeding, all the way home.
The grocery store in the states is quite similar to a European grocery store, but only add two more cereal aisles, a whole chips-candy-soda aisle, three more health food aisles, remove the wine and beer aisle(s), and voila, the stores are identical.
In Europe, the rations are not large enough that there’ll be any food left, but if you request to take the food home you may received some perplexed stares, and may possibly leave empty handed.
Nature Calls
In America, if you gotta go, it is fairly easy to find a restroom at a gas station or a public place (excluding New York). In Europe there are plenty of countries that charge you to use the bathrooms at gas stations and in public places, but there are some others that simply do not even have a bathroom to offer. If you’re accustomed to not going before you leave the house in the states, when you go to Europe, I would not suggest taking that chance.
Customer Service
We all knew it was coming. Anyone who has been to Europe (or even Europeans who have visited the US) understands that most European countries are not known for their stellar customer support (cough, cough France & Germany cough,cough). Shoot, if you’ve ever seen a movie or heard someone else talk about their visit to Europe, you probably knew that!
A bad customer service experience in Europe is one of those things that is not always as bad as it seems, but it will for sure happen to you once; just like in the united states! But, the differences are the motives and your recourse. In Europe, they do not, so kissing your butt isn’t vital to their livelihood. Also, in Europe, there is no Better Business Bureau, so if a bank teller or store owner is rude to you, you just have to suck it up and not shop there anymore.
So, what do you think?
Am I 100% right or just 99% right?


Image result for Panini


Remember, Panini is a Italian sandwich, that is recommended by 100% reviewers, so there is no way you’d not enjoy it, if you bear in mind a few small advice. Additionally, make sure all of the ingredients you use are clean and fresh, before adding them in to your Panini recipe.

  1. Tasty Panini

It’s now time to produce the Panini value its popularity! While grilled poultry and poultry meat are well known components, they may not be the right for you.

So as to find the tastiest Panini for you, be certain to use your favourite ingredients in it! You might prefer ham or porch, rather than turkey meat, so don’t be afraid to replace it in to your Panini! The key thing, however, is to not overlook any of these: beef, cheese and vegetables.

The timeless Panini includes meat. But if you’re a vegetarian, Vegan Panini’s are well known from the Indian kitchen, and are made out of fruits and veggies, so you can adjust them to your preferences, too!

Only a little advice: Panini is great with beef, obviously, so you’d better use it so as to feel the authentic, heavenly flavor of the Italian food!

  1. Beautiful Panini

Here we are, at the primary point!

Do not use only ciabatta or michetta bread, but also baguettes and create various notches on the top surface of them, to be able to give it a nicer aspect. Utilize as many ingredients – it is preferred to use as many colours as possible (red tomato, green salad, brown meat etc.), to provide it both very best look and taste simultaneously.

Using this information, not just your Panini will suppress your hunger, but will also enchant you with the best taste.

Can You make That??

Painter, Paint Cans, Brush, Paintbrush

Most people know now that personal financing will be getting tighter and tighter. Everything is going up in cost, including art materials. How are we to maintain painting, whether we are selling our job or not?

There are various ways in which costs can be kept down. This article aims to explore and find out what some of these are.

Online Shopping (and indeed offline).

Always keep an eye open for discount offers. If you purchase from various online providers as I do, you’ll be on their mailing lists. When discounts are operating, it’s a good time to buy things which are normally quite expensive, such as oil paints or quite heavy-weight watercolour paper. If you can stretch your handbag, consider bigger tubes of paint (such as 200ml) especially oils and particularly if they’re the more expensive colors. The top brands will last for a long time (unless you are painting huge yacht-sail canvases).

EBay is worth a punt, but note that many sellers are extremely aware of what things normally go for and, although their costs may appear lower, they then need to add the postage on. A tube of paint priced #2 or so lower than the norm may not prove to be much of a saving from the time you’ve paid #3 postage for that single item. Having said that, if you trawl frequently through the art supplies sections, you can encounter bargains. I once purchased a complete set of Daler-Rowney pastel pencils for nearly half-price, simply because the firm had made adjustments to the pastel formula and had discontinued the present boxes of pencils.

Similarly, there are branded paints which are actually good quality, but are not household names to the majority of people… these occasionally come up for sale and are available with no competing bids simply because most individuals aren’t familiar with them.

Grade of Paints.

If you market your work, you’ll probably prefer artist-grade paint; but it’s not uncommon to find professional artists choosing certain student-grade colors for their work simply because they like the colour or the handling of the paint. Student grade paints from the big names are usually excellent value; especially in acrylics, where they often come in large quantity.


Piles of canvases come from many places in the East these days. You can purchase whole boxes of them at discounted prices from online suppliers, including eBay.

The one thing I would note is that the build quality. Many are OK; but some are badly assembled. I have had”square” canvases looking anything but square. What happens is that if a single stretcher-bar is a little longer than the rest, a perfect square or rectangle isn’t obtained. The subsequent canvas looks absolutely awful when hung on the wall and it is not fit for purpose… even if you ARE a penny-pinching artist.

Dud canvas? Better still, invest in a complete roll of canvas. Expensive outlay but you will have the ability to cut off precisely what you want, when you want, and prepare it as you wish… and it could last you simply years.

Canvas Boards

Another way to save is to use canvas-boards. A whole lot of professional artists prefer them. They last for a long time; I have canvas-board paintings from the 1970’s and they are absolutely fine.

You can purchase boxes of them from some online providers and eBay isn’t a bad place to look .

And even cheaper…


Medium density fibreboard has found favour with many painters. Available in a number of thicknesses, the 3mm and 4mm sizes prove popular. Easily cut into any size (and shape) that you need, MDF needs sealing and priming before use. You can use a normal sealer followed by several coats of acrylic gesso, with light sanding in between. Remember the edges also. If you reduce your own, use a dust mask, MDF does produce a good deal of flying particles.

However, MDF isn’t quite as stable as people believe. There is a problem sometimes with what’s known as substrate-induced discolouration (SID). There are some solutions on the artists’ marketplace that will deal with this.

Conservation experts are not convinced about the long-term stability of MDF, but most of us are not going to be painting masterpieces that will need to last for a few hundred years. Properly prepared, MDF is fine. Some artists find it is too smooth for their own liking. It is also feasible to prepare a panel and then glue proper canvas around it; this may offer the additional tooth that some prefer.

And really really cheapskates…


It’s possible to paint oils on watercolour paper so long as you prime the surface , acrylic gesso is best. This creates a barrier, preventing (or certainly reevaluate ) destruction of the paper by the oils. Just how long it lasts for, I really don’t know but I would suggest not producing too many masterpieces this way; just to be on the safe side. Acrylics on watercolour paper do not cause a problem.

There are now special papers offered for oil-painting; these look the same as watercolour paper but have been specially treated to handle the destructive properties of oil-paint. They are not always cheap per sheet… however… a complete sheet for six or seven pounds will cut up into whatever size you want, and you will get several work surfaces for your money.

I am not sure about this one. The ideal hardboard is one without oils inside (untempered) but I don’t have any means of telling one from the other. If you use it, sand the surface first, use SID therapy and provide several good coats of primer.

Attempt to use artists’ primers rather than those from a DIY shop.

Making your own…

It is possible to make rather good panels by gluing sections of cotton shirts or old bedsheets onto MDF or hardboard. Use pva or an acrylic medium to perform the sticking. Wrap the material over the borders and fix to the back, before adding a primer to the surface.

Acrylics can be painted onto plastic surfaces, opening up many ideas for using acrylic-sheet, perspex and other similar substances. Among the best places to trawl is, again, eBay, look for offcuts or someone promoting panels.

Additional Media… Watercolour.

Fantastic quality watercolour paper could be costly. So why not consider the lightweight papers such as 90lb? I’ve read about artists spreading water on both sides of the 90lb paper and simply letting it stand flat–with no taping– into a very clean smooth board like formica or marble (an older kitchen work-surface would likely do). The sheet remains in place for a reasonable length of time. Other people do not tape it, but only place bulldog-style clips to affix it to a board, allowing the paper to stretch, cockle and then dry again without fiddly taping.


There are options for developing a variety of surfaces that can make you less dependent on”ready-done” papers.

Gritty or grainy papers are extremely common now for pastel work. You can create your own gritty surfaces using several materials along with a kettle of pastel-primer paint. Consider using the primer on mountboard (which is conveniently acid-free), or other thick card. There is a tendency to using MDF as well, painted and prepared with a gritty primer. Even plastics and metal will hold a proprietary pastel-primer.

This medium really has a good tooth and a few coats will most likely give you all of the grip you need.

If you’re keen you can purchase a bag of 4fine-grade pumice stone and mix it with white gesso, to paint in your surfaces.

I have known people use sandpaper from the hardware store; yes it does work, but the paper isn’t acid-free. Pastel is however a sterile medium, so if you really want to be experimental then get yourself a sheet or two of fine-grade sandpaper. Avoid the rougher grades, the grain will consume your pastels in minutes.

Eventually… PAINT SMALLER!

The main issue is that you are able to find ways of keeping your skills alive when cash is somewhat tight. If you can paint,… or perhaps just DRAW… during those times, you’ll have a collection of work ready to sell when the dark clouds draw away and things improve .

Sweetest Pups

Puppies, Dog, Golden Retriever, Puppies

No, it was not creepy at all, because my little Golden Pup was sitting beside my bed, wagging her tail as she waited for me to wake up and play with her.

Golden Retriever puppies are definitely one of the cutest things in the world. Shiny gold coat, twinkling eyes, and softest paws are something which could melt anyone’s heart. If you have always wanted a dog, this breed would be the perfect selection for you. These are extremely obedient and friendly puppies that make a excellent family pet.

Choosing the name

Deciding the best name for your puppy is a huge task because that title would be called out each time. The name is like an identity of an individual and same is true for puppies. Firstly find the names that are pleasant to the ears and are easy to pronounce.

Possessing a unique yet simple name would be an amazing thing. If you have more than one puppy, try to avoid naming them with rhyming words as this causes confusion when they hear you call out their name. Look for names that perfectly portray the character or looks of your golden retriever.

I and my hubby named them in the most incredible manner. We wrote our top three favourite names on little pieces of paper and held them in front of our puppy. She noticed them and caught them with her little teeth!

We named them Rosie and Noddy, and such names felt as if they were perfectly picked out for our dogs. These names suited them nicely and they responded to them better than I could have imagined.

My Experience with two dogs

People feel blessed when they get a pup, I was super, super lucky to have two little darlings! Having two golden sisters was among the happiest phases of my life and the moments we shared are something that I would always cherish.

I got two 8 week old golden retriever puppies, which were nothing less than fluffy, comfy cotton balls. They would play around all of the time, and take away household items, which we later have to snatch back from them.

Cleaning the house was just another challenge that was faced as these mischievous fur balls always wanted to play and cuddle. Their best activities included:

– Running around the house

– Looking cute every single second!

These are the very best things which most golden retriever puppies would do till they grow into a dog. Some could even do these things even after being a full- grown up because after all, they’re the most cheerful, happy and friendly breed of dogs in the world!

If anyone looked in my golden retriever pups for the first time, they would have a real tough time identifying them on the basis of their looks. Since I had sisters, it was easy to get confused and call out wrong names.

I had my little secret when it comes to identifying my puppies. It may sound unique to some of you while common to others, this little trick always helped me to stay away from the problem of confusing between the Golden Sisters. Noddy, the elder puppy had warm, dark golden ears which almost looked brown. Rosie, the younger sister had whitish ears that had a tint of gold like her body fur. This little color distinction helped me in easily identifying my dogs and I was never confused between them.