This text is so, illuminating!

As with having a webpage today owning a book in the Middle Ages was a pretty big deal. The fact that you did meant you were very rich and extra credit was due if it was a bible donated to a Cathedral like say Gloucester’s. Unlike the price of book ownership in the past, Gloucestershire website design is more affordable. In the past if you were looking for something like a Bible and you wanted to really show off and get in God’s good books then you would have had to have it illuminated. Each chapter would have started with a fancy picture and way over the top capital letter.

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Any illuminated book needs a heavy dose of gold and silver, the idea is to begin the book with a real splash. This is usually a picture of the theme of the chapter. First the Monk copies out from the scripture/text on the subject itself. Once that is done, and it was a very lengthy process, it was sent off to the first stage of illumination namely that of the rubricator (You can find out more about this role by following this link). This chap (they were mainly men) went through the book sorting out all the titles in some lovely red but other colours were also available. This would take a while too as the ink needed to dry sufficiently before the illuminators could get their hands on it.

It wasn’t a case of knocking out a quick pencil sketch of Christ’s Ascension to Heaven or the Battle of Tours followed by a bit of colouring in.  The initial sketch was done using tiny powder dots in black graphite then joined up using Silverpoint. This was a technique where a silver rod is the pencil and the paper are covered in primer. You can’t rub out mistakes so that killing of Thomas Becket or unfurled angel’s wings need to be spot on first time. No pressure then.

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Gold, being everything, the next stage is gold dot time and then the adding of the required colours. To have the ‘gold leaf’ treatment on your website take a look at The Illuminator had quite a varied palette to choose from. Red was made of cochineal or insects blood. Dangerous chemicals like red lead were also employed so no licking the end of the brush. Yellow was safer as it used spices like turmeric or saffron, green came for the berries of a buckthorn bush or ground up malachite. For blue there was the old standby woad made from leaves and for white we have our old friend Lead or the less thick but safer option of chalk. Black was the easy as there was plenty of charcoal, but it seems that the ink from cuttlefish was greatly prized too. To really blow the budget Gold leaf and Silver leaf were used to finish it all off.

Get inspired by the latest lighting trends

Lighting is no longer a case of choosing between visual appeal and practicality. Today’s lighting trends are easy to copy and combine the best of form and function, lending your home that well-aired feel without compromising on everyday performance and energy awareness.

Environmental trends.

Recent years have shown a huge leaning towards eco-lighting in the home due to austere financial times and a growing environmental consciousness. LED bulbs are by far the most energy efficient compared with other methods of lighting, reducing overall electricity bills while providing the instant brightness that usually eludes other energy-saving bulbs. They provide good clarity and are equally as effective as style statements: install a row of LED spotlights along your bookshelves, in a window awning or even on the stair treads, to create a truly modern look.

While architectural lighting has been leading the way for innovative new steps in domestic interiors, technological advancements such as CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) are placing the environment and money-saving right at the forefront of the home lighting market. It’s definitely something to consider when thinking over your own lighting needs.

Get decorative.

As far as today’s lighting designers are concerned, a lot can be achieved with a fresh new lighting plan and a bit of inspired thinking. In terms of colour, you don’t have to limit your decorating to painted accent walls and feature throws for a room. Instead, think directional lights in key colours such as emerald or turquoise.

If coloured lights aren’t for you, try amping up your fixtures by introducing some brass. The warm metal lends a vintage quality to a free-standing lamp, ceiling light or wall fitting and is bang on trend for this spring/summer season. Or if you want to go really ornamental, invest in some crystal lighting, minus the chandelier. A bit of pomp and ceremony can be brought right up to date with some hanging crystal strands around a simple pendant.

Textural ideas.

In fact, many homes are now getting in on the action when it comes to innovative fixtures. The sculptural look is on-trend for 2013, with detailed and intricate designs emulating the foliage of the natural world; think leaf-shaped bulbs and asymmetric wireframes. At the other end of the spectrum, bold abstraction is leading the way, with functional geometric shapes given a stylish twist with bright colours or unusual angling.

It’s a good idea to plan your natural light sources as carefully as your artificial arrangement: while bulbs and lamps can create the desired look, make sure you’re maximizing the daylight through windows and sky openings. Whether you’re making a focal point in the lounge, getting inspired by architectural lighting or revamping the bathroom cabinets, the smallest of changes in lighting design can make a huge impact on the feel of a room, so take some time to study all the trends and pick the right look for your home.

How You Can Recreate and Extend Your Home with the Eco Homes Option

Home decoration has never been so easy with so many options for home improvement and enhancing the space you have today. The efforts have come about thanks to the economy; more and more people are looking for ways they can really make the most out of the home they have instead of packing up and moving on. House prices aren’t great, so if you can extend your home for considerably less than you thought and save energy in doing so, then you need to consider your options so you can enjoy the home you have. Read more

Energy Efficiency

Being energy efficient is becoming increasingly more important, not just for the environment, but for our wallets as well. From light bulbs to the fridge, from the water heater to the oven, household appliances are becoming more geared towards energy efficiency.

As with many things in life, sometimes the first steps to becoming energy efficient are the most difficult. Once you get started, the results can be long-lasting and help you for years to come. With a little bit of help, you can take the steps to change the way you use energy.

Getting started

What’s the hardest part about learning how to drive stick? Getting started. You aren’t going to be driving up and down hills the first time you get in the driver’s seat of a manual car. Sometimes you aren’t even able to get out of first gear your initial try. With help and guidance from those who have done it before, you can become as skillful as Mario Andretti. Although this car you drive may not be the most energy-efficient car.

The same is true with becoming energy efficient. The first step is always the hardest, but with help from those who have done it before, research, and testing it out, you can become as energy efficient as Al Gore. Well, maybe not that much, but close. There are so many resources available; you just have to find them.

The facts

Sometimes when we think of becoming energy efficient our first thought goes to clips of melting ice narrated by Morgan Freeman, but there is so much more to it than that. If you don’t care about the polar bears, global warming, or going green, become energy efficient for selfish reasons.

Moving towards efficient energy use can save you money every year. Here are some of the reasons to switch to more environmentally minded products:

  • Current fridges use 40% less energy than those just ten years ago, reducing the electric bill
  • Most newer appliances save on energy costs, plus who doesn’t like to go out and buy something new?
  • By installing solar panels, not only can you cut spending with the power company, but sell power back to them, earning some extra cash
  • Appliances that are more energy efficient usually last longer
  • It can be as easy as using different light bulbs, or as drastic as replacing all the windows in your house

You’ve always wanted to remodel the house, and you love buying new things, so why not make the switch to energy efficient products? You’ll save so much in the long run, it’s ok to splurge a bit while remodeling the kitchen.

If you want your house to be cool and comfortable in the summer, and have superior heating in the winter, switch to energy-efficient products. Reduce your water bill by upgrading to a better washer. Switching to energy efficient appliances is a way for you to save money; helping to reduce greenhouse gases is just a byproduct of that. Work towards a home that is environmentally friendly and save money. The low costs will be something that lasts the rest of your appliance’s life.

By Cassie Costner

Cassie has researched how to reduce her own carbon footprint, as well as reduce her heating and electric bill. After her heater went out during the winter, she has begun looking for the most superior heating available, while still being energy efficient.

Inexpensive Ways to Create an Awesome Playroom

During playtime, your kids learn social skills, exercise their imaginations and prepare for real life. Give them the best playroom ever without spending a fortune as you encourage their creativity and make play the highlight of your child’s day.

Prepare the Room

Do you already have a designated playroom? If not, choose a room that’s big enough for fun and close enough to the living area for supervision.

Empty your chosen playroom, clean it thoroughly and make a list of any needed repairs. It might need a new coat of paint, nonslip flooring or updated fixtures. Save money on the repairs when you buy discounted materials and supplies at a local Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Bartering is another tool that helps you save cash. In exchange for homemade meals, babysitting or lawn mowing, your handy friend could install the flooring, paint a wall mural or hang new ceiling tiles. You stick to your budget while creating a play space that’s safe and clean for your kids.

Plan to Play

What do your kids enjoy playing? Plan the playroom to maximize the space and give your kids enough room to enjoy their favorite creative activities.

If your kids love to dress up, designate one corner for a stage that showcases their fashions shows. Include space for a mirror and a dresser that organizes the costumes and accessories. Lego enthusiasts will appreciate a table with bins for the bricks and room to walk around it. For art enthusiasts, outline a chalkboard on one wall and plan to set an easel, table, and supplies bin nearby.

Find storage solutions when you look around your home for objects that are easy to repurpose. Empty bins attach to the wall and hold books. A hammock hangs from the ceiling and holds stuffed animals. An old coffee table and drawers serve as a crafting center. Baskets collect toy cars or clay accessories.

With planning and creativity, you think outside of the box and maximize the play space in the room.

Stock Toys

Now that the room is prepped and planned, you’re ready to stock it. Find inexpensive toys when you raid your kids’ toy box. It contains long forgotten toys that are like new to your kids and probably includes toys your kids have outgrown or no longer want. Consign everything you aren’t keeping, and use the money you earn to buy new toys.

Thrift stores and yard sales offer an abundance of secondhand toys. Make sure all the pieces are included and don’t buy any recalled toys. Additionally, search the clearance bins at department stores for after season sales on new toys, Halloween costumes, and art supplies. You can also organize a toy swap with local moms, check out Freecycle and shop online deal and auction sites as you stock the playroom on a budget.

Just remember that even the best deals are a waste of money if your kids won’t love the item you buy.

To create the most amazing playroom for your kids, don’t spend a fortune. Simply plan the room carefully and look for bargains. Your kids learn so much during play, and they don’t care how much money you spend on the room as long as it includes the toys they love and plenty of room to play all day.

Holly is an Indianapolis native with an interest in running and baking. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she loves.

Luxury Gifts for Valentine’s Day – Luxury Handbags and the Weekend Away

Valentine’s Day, of course, has been and gone by now. That doesn’t mean that people can’t be thinking about what to do for their loved one on the next special day of the year though. It doesn’t even mean that people can’t be thinking about what to get their loved one for Valentine’s Day next year.

Luxury gifts in general are items that evince a certain quality and style. The word “luxury” when referred to “luxury handbags” or to any other luxury item of a sartorial nature, is usually an indicator of the quality of workmanship or manufacture. It speaks of handpicked leathers and othermaterials; and of design that takes its cues from acknowledged style classic of the past.

The whole idea of luxury is something we should explore in detail before we return to the concept of gifs and gift giving. By understanding what luxury is, and what it might mean to a recipient, we can understand more about what we do when we look for gifts for our loved ones.

There is a sense in which all luxury is an indulgence. That is, if one buys luxury handbags one is buying not simply because one needs a bag, but because one wants one. More importantly, perhaps, one is also buying a bag whose price and design take it way beyond the realms of the practical, and into the more rarefied air of the simply desirable.

Anything can be luxurious under the right circumstances. Having a long hot bath full of scented bubbles is a luxury, where a quick shower would do. All high class food is a luxury, where bread and beans would just as well serve the nutritionalrequirements of the moment.

Luxury handbags, then, are items that are wanted much more than needed. Because of this, they help us understand what it is that we do when we look for and buy presents for the people we love.

A gift of love, particularly a gift given on Valentine’s Day, or on the birthday of the loved one, is a gift designed specifically to make the person receiving it feel special. This distinguishes it from a practical or a useful gift – for example, giving a ruck sack to someone about to go on a trip. The useful gift is just as thoughtful and kind: but it loses the patina of opulence that may only be attained by buying someone something she doesn’t need, simply because you want to make her happy.

It is, of course, a mistake to think that buying your lady gifts will make her love you more. Money buys only luxury handbags, and not (as the Beatles once pointed out) love. However, that doesn’t mean you should be stopped from wanting to make the object of your affection smile because she knows you have gone out of your way to get her something you think she will like.

Actually, there is a final element of the gift giving conundrum we have to face. Getting her what you think she likes is not enough. It has to be something you know she’ll like…

Turning Lame into Game – How to be a Shy Charmer

If you’re familiar with a little tv show called The Big bang Theory you might also be familiar with one of its characters, a shy man by the name of Raj. Raj is a chronically shy Indian who can’t even talk around women unless he loosens his tongue a bit with some alcohol. The funny thing is that if Raj hits the sauce a bit hard he becomes quite the ladies man.

Funnier Still is that there are dozens of people out there who have the same problem. Some are just shy, others don’t know when to shut up, the point is that with a little training and a few Art of Charm dating tips they can turn into true ladies men. Because being shy can be an actual advantage in a dating game that’s full of over-the-top, talkative creeps.

First and foremost, understand that being a silent, overanalysing type can be a huge asset even if your silence stems from being incredibly shy and your deep thought gaze comes from overthinking instead of doing. You know who else is silent and brooding and looks like he has a lot going on inside his head? Ryan Gosling. Emulating somebody like him, or the likes of Cary Grant in his prime if you’re down with the whole ‘retro’ thing can be a great way to stand out and make women notice you. Instead of being the guy who talks too much and tries to woo through poor compliments you’re the silent guy who smiles and talks very little but clearly has something going on. Channel your shyness into an air of mystery and you’ll have ladies swooning over you in no time.

Second, try to adjust your body language to impress. Use all of your body at all times. Think of your posture at all time as if you’re teaching a dance class: put your shoulders back, and stand taller and think about projecting an aura of confidence. Make eye contact and smile a lot but don’t stumble into creepy territory. A silent, confident man appears mysterious to women and if there’s anything they want to do is to unravel that mystery.

Perhaps the most important thing in order to be successful with women is to feel successful. Get yourself in the right frame of mind and there is no limit to what you can achieve. More than just self-help bull, this type of approach actually works quite well as long as you believe in yourself and in your ability to impress those around you. Dressing well can do wonders in this case as you’re no longer fixated on yourself but rather on your attire instead and you can be more natural around women.

Anything is possible if you just set yourself into the right frame of mind and learn to take your perceived flaws and turn them into assets. A good smile, a friendly gaze and well-tailored suit backed by some basic dating tips can turn any quiet guy into a mysterious and irresistible stranger that women will fawn over.

Secrets of Successful Internet Marketing

What is internet marketing? If you want to be successful in this area, you need to understand the secrets of successful internet marketers. These secrets will allow you to find the right target market, communicate your message effectively and showing visitors the path to purchasing. Here are some of the secrets of successful internet marketing:

  1. Traffic Generation

Marketing pages are no use if nobody knows how to get there. Generating traffic can be achieved through a variety of ways, including Google Adwords, targeted website advertising, the application of SEO principles and Bing Ads, for example. Take a look at similar websites to your own who will have the same audience and negotiate great rates for your marketing campaign. For help with attracting more traffic, visit a WordPress Web Design London company, such as

  1. Marketing Pages

When a visitor lands on your page, make sure it’s not a generic page. Those looking to purchase won’t know what to do next. You need to make it easy for visitors to take immediate advantage of whatever you’re offering. Create a specific page for leading people to your product or service like a billboard to showcase your offers. Don’t put any unnecessary obstacles in their way, and make it easy for them to make a purchase.

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  1. Testimonials

 These are a fantastic way to sell your products or services for you. When a customer reads positive comments about your business, it satisfies them that they can trust your business. Try to gain testimonials and reviews after every purchase so you have a wealth of information to draw from for your site.

  1. Offer Something Different To Your Competitors

This might require some research, but you must aim to offer something totally unique. If it’s too similar to every other offer, visitors aren’t going to be interested. They need a reason to continue on your site, something compelling to grab their interest. Providing something free or heavily discounted is always a good angle to attract interest, like a free trial or free evaluation, for example.

  1. Developing Trust

You need to be seen as reputable before people will buy from your site. When purchasing online, customers want to be assured that their card details and personal information are protected. It’s therefore beneficial to display information about safety online and icons such as VeriSign.

  1. Provide a Guarantee.

What’s more reassuring than a guarantee? Customers will feel much more comfortable in parting with their money if you offer a satisfaction or money back guarantee. This helps to ease and justify the risk of making a purchase for the customer.

6 Must-Read Tips For Inner City Cyclists

Riding a bicycle in the inner city is exhilarating but dangerous. Here are seven tips from an experienced city cyclist to make your ride fun and safe.

1. Any sense of security is a false sense of security.

Riding a bicycle is fundamentally unsafe. There is a lot that can go wrong and precious little crash padding. Your only real protection is your reflexes. Never take anything for granted on a bicycle. Anything that distracts you is dangerous. You should never, ever let your guard down when you are on a bicycle.

2. Never cross in front of a car without making eye contact with the driver

If this sounds to you like you will have to go too slow, then you are correct. This is difficult, and it is time-consuming, but it is essential. In the age of texting and driving, the only way to be absolutely sure that the car sees you is to look into the eyes of the driver.

3. Never be afraid to argue with a driver.

On the other hand, you have a massive advantage over drivers. They are sitting down in their little cars, and you tower over them, flushed with exercise and the picture of health. They know that they are little tyrants trapped in traffic, and they envy you the freedom of your bicycle. What is more, in a city traffic, a bicycle is often faster than a car. In the inner city, it is often possible, when a careless driver nearly runs you off the road, to catch up the dangerous car at the next traffic signal. Do not be shy. Ride up beside their window and let them know how close they came to hurt you. You will be doing all cyclists a favor.

4. Do not listen to music.

The problem with listening to an MP3 player while you ride your bicycle is that music is too good. There is nothing better than a thumping soundtrack while you are working out. When you are on a bicycle it is simply too dangerous. You need your ears.

5. Avoid cars at night.

It is easy to avoid automobiles, especially if you are in a neighborhood that you know well. A driver at night might be distracted, tired, drunk, or simply unlucky. Do not give them the opportunity to make a mistake that would hurt you. Take side roads. Cross the street to get away from cars, or go onto the sidewalk, or simply get off and walk. If you are on a bicycle, then you probably are not in a big hurry anyway. Take the time, enjoy the night air, and make sure you arrive safely.

6. Safety is everything.

Riding a bicycle is great fun and good exercise. Help make sure that your good time lasts for a long time by being careful and safe. The most important thing that you can do as a cyclist is keep yourself free from harm. Go slow, be aware, and make it home in one piece. Make sure your give your bike a regular checkup at your local bike shops to make sure there are no faulty parts.

The Importance Of Pruning And Knowing The Right Time To Do It

It is important for a tree’s health to be pruned.  Pruning can reduce problems for a tree as it grows, in addition to being safer for homeowners and increase the value of their property.  But there is a difference in timing for pruning and how to prune between areas and trees so if you’re not sure on how or when to prune you may want to consult a tree pruning professional.

homeowner that intends to prune a tree themselves should learn about the branch yoke.  The branch yoke is the part of the branch that connects to the tree where the tissue is contained.  A homeowner should not cut into the branch yoke/collar because it is what holds the power to seal the parts of the branch that should be trimmed, as well as, creating for insects and disease to enter the tree.  It’s important to not leave a stub or cut into the branch collar.

It’s good to prune a tree while it’s young so help ensure its growth is healthy and safe.  Since a tree has its own defense system to seal properly performed pruning cuts, small, young branches will seal more quickly.  In order to know if a tree needs pruning it should be looked at from a distance.  If it has dead or dying limbs it would need pruning.  Limbs that are growing too high, in the wrong direction, or are cross limbs should have some attention.

It’s important to understand that pruning a tree is not the same as tree topping.  Tree topping is not good for a tree like a tree pruning is and one should never prune the crown by more than 25%.

In Nevada, the pruning season is quite flexible.  But for most trees pruning should be done in late winter or early spring months which allows a less chance for disease, fungi, or insects to wound the tree.  When it comes to dead branches, however, they can be cut out at any time.  If you don’t understand the difference, you may want to contact a tree pruning company to assist you.

It can be quite dangerous to prune high branches so if you choose to hire a professional tree pruning company make sure they are certified or licensed and carry insurance.  This way you are protected if something happens during their servicing.

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