Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Do It Yourself" House Warming Gifts

What gifts can we give to a DIY (do it yourself) enthusiasts? He probably already have all the tools needed for his hobby. You wouldn't want to load him up with more tools. I believe what a DIY (do it yourself) enthusiast will appreciate will be materials to use with his do it yourself skills, especially materials that will make his home more comfortable, attractive and welcoming.

Address signs is an online merchant that you may get that material for a Do It Yourself enthusiast. Here is one for a Do It yourself wannabe - Personalized Doormats. You can do your own personalization can call it something you did it yourself. The only deficiency (in my opinion) is that Roland's House Warming Gifts did not have a gift voucher program. Otherwise, a family member, relative, friend, colleague or invited guest can get a Roland's gift voucher as a house warming gift for the Do It Yourself practitioner who then can do the customization himself or herself (got to make sure the fairer sex don't start knocking me for not supporting sexual equality) and claim it as his or her real do it yourself project. That is no lie, for after all, the customization was done by himself or herself.

Or even better, add a "wish list" so that a Do It Yourself new home owner can put up his needs and use that also to ensure there are no duplicate, triplicate or quadruplicate gifts, for if no one knows exactly what the new home owner needs, or what had already been pledge, the poor Do It Yourself new home owner may end up with house warming gifts that he or she (just making doubly sure the fairer sex are satisfied) do not end up with house warming gifts he or she (here we go again) cannot use, or end up with duplicate, triplicate or quadruplicate or whatever-plicates house warming gifts, the excess which he or she (just to make sure) have to use creative power as to what to do with them.

Hey, I think that these are such a good ideas to suggest to Roland's House Warming online merchant I think I will do that as soon as I publish this post.

Door mats are not the best choice for a "do it yourself" project, but there are better alternatives - custom address plaque. That should do a better job of convincing a visitor that it is a real do it yourself project.

New home means a change of address, so you may want to get Personalized Change of Address Stationery, perhaps even persuade Roland's House Warming Gifts to make the personalized change of address stationery looks hand made or something, so that it will look like another do it yourself project.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bathroom taps and shower heads for your DIY bathroom project

Why would anyone want to DIY (Do It Yourself)? Most do it to save money, some do it because of interest, some do it because their spouse expect them to do it, etc. But I think the majority do it so that they can do some fixing up or small renovation of their home because they don't need to pay the repairman or the contractors, and therefore can do it for less. Now if you have any intention to do something with your bathroom, an online merchant which called themselves taps4less, The Bathroom and Kitchen Superstore, can probably help you do it for less.

They don't call themselves the Superstore for nothing, for they have a huge selection of stuff for your bathrooms and kitchen. You may want to install some bare essentials bathroom taps. Here, you will find a range of Minimalist range of bathroom taps with either lever or cross heads which are the most functional type of heads for taps and one easiest to use.

Have an itch for something more than bare essentials? Have a peep at their impressive looking range of specially designed bathroom taps. You may have a taste for the out of ordinary like their unique waterfall taps and shower heads.

If you want to go for brand names, they have a very large range of branded taps and shower heads like the Mira showers, Hudson Reed taps and showers, etc. There are many more to chose from. You will have to see for yourself. Here is the advantage of having an online merchant merchant. Chose at your leisure and convenience from the computer in the comfort of your home. You can place and pay for your order online, plus get free delivery to anywhere in mainland United Kingdom.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 is having a May Sales Extravaganza

Window dressings are a very necessary addition to windows in any home. They enhance the attractiveness of windows by their geometric lines, they let air and light in and when you desire privacy, they can be closed to shut out prying eyes. Fixing up blinds for windows is such an easy DIY job that almost anybody can do it, so you can shop online for the best blinds to suit your fancy and budget online and fix it up yourself.

An online store offering a wide variety of blinds is For DIY's planning to fix up the blinds themself, they have and easy system for getting quotes online. Just select a product, enter the width and height (feet and inches), click "Get quote" and you will get an instant quote.

Having trouble deciding? You can get tips from Window Blinds and Shades How To Information, Tips and Advice. To help you decide, they even offer free samples at Request Samples. You can request for up to 12 samples.

And the best part is is having a May Sales Extravaganza. You can get from 10 to 15% discount. So if you plan on getting some blinds for your home, this month is the best time for you to get it.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

What It Takes to Build a DIY Web Business

What It Takes to Build a DIY Web Business
by: Michael Kay

So you want to get into business on the web, and you've decided that none of the pre-packaged opportunities quite do it for you. If you go do-it-yourself (DIY) you're in for a real ride!

Like any business, web business has a body of tricks and techniques. Success means mastering them. Now to be fair, you can learn as you go - but, the need to address each of seven disciplines remains.

The Seven Disciplines of Web Business are:

1. Designing your business: even if you throw the business together it still has a design. Careful design can guarantee success just as unthinking design can guarantee failure. Look around the offline world and ask yourself "How does this business make money?" You need to think through the same things on the web.

2. Position your business: an extension of the problem of design, positioning a business means marking it out from the competition and attracting customers to spend. Look at a crowded business offline - such as food groceries. How are the different stores positioned so they don't compete head to head?

3. Stocking the shelves: what you sell and how you source it is a fundamental skill in any business, even the web. The logical next step from positioning, think about the difference between a discount furniture store and a top end one. The product range will suit how they go to market.

4. Web design: acres of screen space have been devoted to this topic, a measure of its importance. Poorly designed web pages can still make money, but with the advent of software for the non-technical, anyone can create simple sites.

5. Generating traffic: separates the successful from the also-rans. Generating traffic is the most profoundly difficult activity on the web. Solved – you are wealthy. Read all you can about traffic generation and make the necessary investments in tools. It is too important to just hope!

6. Converting your traffic: so you got them to the door, now get them to buy! Writing sales copy is a real art. Either invest the time in learning how - or hire someone.

7. Exploiting the customer base: your email list is your most valuable asset. Properly managed it will feed you for life! They say "the money is in the list", and so it is. Form relationships with your customer base and they will feed you for life.

The above represent The Seven Disciplines of Web Business. But alone they aren't enough for success. If you are at the decision point, try these questions:

Do you have the time and persistence to deal with the long learning curve on all the Seven Disciplines or am you looking for some form of 'ínstant' success? If you feel under pressure to get there quickly, then Do It Yourself (DIY) isn't for you. There is nothing wrong with this. People come to web business typically under financial pressure and looking for a quick resolution to their difficulties. Getting going with a pre-packaged solution may well work, and if it doesn't they you will have learned a lot

Do you have something to say? Or a product to hawk? If you do, then DIY may be your solution. It may take you longer, but the intensity of the satisfaction will be greater and the financial potential is much higher

Are you technologically challenged? DIY for your first venture may not be the solution, technology is an inescapable part of web business

Are you a serious player, or is this a passing fancy? Be brutal. If you have a steady job, little entrepreneurial background and no burning need to do anything, then chances are you won't succeed at an entrepreneurial venture on or off line. Being an entrepreneur requires either deep drive, something to say or prove, or a complete inability to stand conventional employment. Not everyone has that drive. No reason they should. But if you don't and you're still interested then you are a hobbyist; have fun, the web isn't only about becoming rich. Setting up a web business, is a low cost affair compared with offline operations. The true cost isn't in money, it is in time.

Mastering the Seven Disciplines of Web Business takes time. But if you are successful, you have a skill that will feed you for your entire life! Now there's a reason to DIY... insurance in our uncertain world!

About The Author
Michael Kay is Research Director of HBB Research a business school based research program looking at web home-based business. He is the lead author of HBB Research's recent Report: The Gold Rush. The Gold Rush is currently being serialized in the Insights Letter, the free info-letter of HB Research. To subscribe to the Insights Letter go to

Thursday, March 22, 2007

DIY, Holiday Creative Giftwrapping, Pretty Packages

DIY, Holiday Creative Giftwrapping, Pretty Packages
by: Madeleine Langlois

Pretty Packages
Gifts trimmed with flair by: Maddylane Designs

Skill: Easy.

Materials & tools:

Assorted paper remnants, rice paper, plain coloured papers
Glue gun and sticks
Double-face tape and regular adhesive tape
Ribbons in assorted colours, widths and styles
Assorted findings: custom jewellery, belt buckles, quilling paper strips, feathers, sequins, tinsel garland, wire, beads etc.
Fabric remnants, fun fur, taffeta, fuzzy wool, scrapbooking tools, snowflake punch, decorative edge scissors, hang tags, rub-on lettering
Also see each gift wrapping description.
(Materials for this project are available at arts and craft stores.)

My favourite part of the holidays is wrapping the gifts. It is the perfect occasion to use up many remnants from various projects and to let my creativity run loose, just for fun. Since my wrapping room is shared with the laundry room, it is a sure place to find some peace of mind during all the craziness of the holidays.

Minimalist with a touch of Ritz, great gift wrapping ideas start with cool findings. The secret to achieve the look of these French bonbon gift wrappings is all in the trimmings. Personalized to make an impact, even simple gifts can look elegant with a little accent. Don’t be afraid to extend the colour palette beyond the traditional; it’s all good because, really, anything goes. Even though I used assorted colour combinations of bright turquoise, greens and blues with soft pastels amidst accents of silver, angelic whites and chocolate brown, the theme is what brings everything together.

Fuzzy wool for a cozy warm feeling: Super easy yet stylish. Once a gift is wrapped, affix one or two ribbons around the box and then wrap a few lengths of fuzzy wool as decorative trim around the package. Assorted fancy yarns provide an inexpensive and chic way to dress up bonbon or cracker-shaped gifts.

Rows of ribbons: Create basic plaid patterns using satin, grosgrain and velvet types of ribbons in assorted colours and widths over a tissue-paper wrapped gift. Garnish with dash of white tinsel garland. A length of wide satin ribbon looks stunning when applied over the centre of larger gifts and plain paper bags. Secure the ribbons at the back of a package using hot glue. Wide ribbons can also be adorned with lengths of fuzzy wool.

Bejewel using recycled jewellery and belt buckles: Recycle odds and ends jewellery pieces, earrings, and charms. Glue these onto a ribbon to create an elegant centre ornament. Paint plain or wooden buckles silver or gold (or any colour) and fasten a length of ribbon around a fabric-wrapped gift. Top it all off with a single feather.

Dazzling with sequins: Make your gifts sparkle and dazzle with sequins. Use by-the-yard sequins as you would ribbons. Double rows of brightly coloured sequins look spectacular onto plain silver-wrapped gifts. Further embellish by randomly gluing individual sequins on wrapped presents.

Quilling for snowman: Quilling, also known as paper filigree, is the art of rolling thin strips of paper into different shapes and using the shapes to form designs. Quilling papers comes in packages of assorted colours. Creative accents, such as plain snowman shapes or monograms, can be crafted to garnish plainly wrapped boxes. Affix designs to gifts using double-face tape. You can even apply the papers in flat strips or fashion a checked pattern. Simple swirls make wonderful gift garnishes.

Cut-it-out with paper snowflakes: So easy to make and yet so enchanting. They make magical trimmings onto gifts, in assorted sizes. Just cut snowflake shapes using scissors with folded plain or assorted types of recycled papers. You can even have the kids help you out with this one. Paper garlands can be quite stunning too.

Punched snowflakes: Paper punches with holiday designs are wonderful to use and incorporate into gift trimming. Using a snowflake design punch and assorted papers, from velum to silver, punch out snowflake shapes and glue them onto gifts, ribbons and cards, in a row or randomly. I even used the punched out negative to make decorative bands around gift boxes, and trimmed the edges with decorative scissors.

Monograms letters: Letters, initials make delightful gift topping accents and can be shaped with wire of various colours or beaded wires.

Fabric remnants: Excellent for wrapping larger gifts, and to use up fabrics that you know you won’t use within the next year or so. I utilized fun-fur remnants to make a snowman decoration onto a larger gift box.

Hang-tags embellished with rub-on decal lettering, clip art, micro beads and photos of the gift recipient also make fantastic gift trimmings.

Get wrapping and happy trimmings!

Tips: For all gifts wrapped using fabrics, make sure to iron out any creases out first and wrap the gifts as you would with paper wrapping. Use hot glue to secure the folds instead of tape.

Variations: Other creative gift wrappings include holiday dishtowels, table cloths, fabrics, and wallpaper. Or, you can opt to make the wrapping part of the gifts using a variety of household and clothing items.

Older Christmas tree ornaments that you are no longer using also make fun gift toppings.

Don’t be bashful to use colours such as lime green, hot pink, bright orange, mauves, vibrant turquoise and blue; They are very “in” and trendy colours this season.

Pretty packages can be integrated into your table decorations, to grace a mantel, or even used outdoors. Double them up and use as name card holders.

Copyright MaddyLane Designs © 2006

About The Author
Madeleine Langlois

Born in Montreal, Canada, Madeleine Langlois resides in Hudson, Quebec with family.

Madeleine better known as Maddy is an artist and freelance décor designer/stylist with 25 years designing experience and many creative ventures to her credit. Maddy is the force and soul of "Maddy Lane Designs". From her Hudson home studio workshop, she creates innovative, savvy yet accessible home decorative projects for her private clientele and her syndicated column.

Her DIY décor projects are published weekly in the Wednesday edition of the Montreal Gazette in the Art & Life section. Her work is also featured in Canadian magazines. Her various projects advocate the latest in home decorating trends. Her innovative contributions also extend to demonstrations and lectures at trade shows and special events. Maddy’s creativity goes beyond current lifestyle trends, inspiring people to transform ordinary every-day objects into trendy decorative accents for the home. Her inventive passion started at an early age, and when on to work as a fashion designer and illustrator for many years. Her artistic touch has also graced children’s books, unique giftware products, Christmas decorations, as well as product development for major Canadian companies.

With a keen eye for photography and product merchandising, Maddy enjoys taking all the stylish pictures for her articles. Her up-to-date and imaginative ideas are due to her combined backgrounds both as a fashion and giftware designer, which have created her trademark and distinctive style.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How To Select a Great Topic For Your Book or Ebook Part 5 of 5

How To Select a Great Topic For Your Book or Ebook Part 5 of 5
by: Aaron Morganstern

These are fiery hot topics that are sure to be on the rise. You can pull any one of these to use for your first ebook. Then come back and pull another topic for your next ebook.

Using the latest electronics. We are a society obsessed with having the latest and greatest technology. Do an ebook on iPods, email/camera cell phones, wireless Internet, digital TV, or any combination of these items.

Home improvement. There's so much of a craze in this area that do-it-yourself (DIY) stores are on every corner of major cities. If you haven't been to a Home Depot or Lowe's lately, then you are one of the few. Sure, apartment dwellers and young students aren't in this market, but people with homes and money to afford them are in this market. In fact, some cable TV services offer entire channels dedicated to home improvement.

Especially of current interest are in-home automation systems. DIY home improvers are eager to learn about and buy things that will make their home lives more relaxing, high-tech, or fun. Create a book to teach them how to make their lights come on for them before they get home from their jobs, or how to press a button to adjust window blinds, music, or temperature. Or how Bill Gates' house works. Or how to add automation to an existing home, or how to build-in automation when a house is constructed.

Identity theft prevention. Especially because ebooks are marketed on the Internet, this is a great topic. This is because people who purchase over the Internet are concerned that their credit card numbers will not be seen by others or misused in any way. Even away from the computer though, consumers are on-edge about identity theft. Today, people are shredding their receipts, removing their personal information from the face of their checks, and cautiously covering themselves when they type in passwords at public terminals or ATMs. Microchips are being installed on ID cards. People are worried. Tap into this by writing an ebook (see about it!

Safety. Along the same lines as worrying about identity theft, people are worried about their safety from other things like crime, chemical warfare attack, and natural disasters. Watch the evening news tonight, and you will be able to list at least twenty things that people are afraid of. When you talk about safety, you are speaking their language. Titles along the lines of be prepared for any natural disaster would go over well, as would those like never be a crime victim again, how to defend yourself in a parking lot, or prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

How-to manuals for any new product recently on the market. This harks back to the Dummies series but takes it one step further. Target your ebook to people who want to buy the most current commercially available item. How to use the new model John Deere tractor. You will be sure that no one else has a book like yours, and you can say so in your sales pitch.

How to survive any phase of life. People face numerous demons and battles as they live their lives. For many, when they're in need, they'll be reaching out for help. Support groups, private therapy, being with friends, starting over - these are all solid topics for an ebook. You could also reach out specifically to certain people needing emotional assistance. How to get through the terrible two's. How to cope with a cancer diagnosis. Living with your own shortcomings. How to live with someone who is dying. Surviving high school. Any of these will do.

Anything to do with pets. People are pampering their pets more than ever before. Some pets are treated better than people. It's the people who spend small fortunes on their dogs (see that will also be willing to pay good money for an ebook that gives them ideas on how to treat their animals even more royally than they already do.

Write books on how to pamper your parakeet, homemade meals for picky dogs, how to potty train a puppy (see, where the pet spas are, how to train your kids to be cat-friendly, million dollar homes for mutts, which animals make the best pets, or pet psychology.

Traveling mixed with the subjects above. Not only are people traveling like crazy, but they want to customize their itineraries and their methods of travel with their hobbies and lifestyles. Try a few of these on for size: where to dine around the globe and still stay on a low-carb diet plan. Hotels with the best exercise facilities. How to travel exquisitely with large dogs. Crime-proof your campsite. Be creative. There's a market here.

Using the Internet to meet people. As I said, the craze is upon us. Everyone's online, and sometimes folks spend more time chatting with Internet buddies than they do talking face to face with actual friends. I know I've been guilty of this one myself. Anyway, along with the advent of the World Wide Web, came people who need a little help figuring out how to get where they want to get. They want to find like-minded people, find a date, find love, find support.

There's a huge ebook market for hooking people up with people online. Here are just a few things that could be covered: speed dating online, virtual music jams, taking online classes, hooking up with people who share your hobby, and finding online support groups. Any of these and more are of interest to people who wish to get maximum benefit from their ability, thanks to the Internet, to network with people in the farthest reaches of the world. In fact one of the appeals with online communing is that distance does not matter. Help these people in foreign lands find each other with an ebook.

Topics of special interest to women. The facts don't lie. Women dominate the Internet, and they spend or influence spending of 80 cents for every dollar changing hands. What women want has never been so important to business owners and authors.

Certain topics appeal particularly to the female set. These include beauty, health, decorating, emotional support, and life enrichment. Women do a few things, generally, that men don't. They play bunko, wear make-up, and talk for hours to their girlfriends on the phone. They send more greeting cards, prepare more casseroles, and vacuum more often than men. They eat more salads and go shopping more often for clothes. They get more pedicures and love to dance more than the average man.

There are two things to keep in mind with regards to women and ebooks. If you want to attract a female market, you need to write about a topic that women like to read about, and you want to make the title friendly towards women.

Here's a female-oriented subject and title: Where to find great shopping bargains in Taos. And here's a male subject: Where to catch the most fish in Taos.

Here's a female-friendly title (same as above): Where to find great shopping bargains in Taos. And here's a male-friendly title on the same subject: Keep your money in your pocket in Taos. See the difference? Know your market, and if you need to choose between one or the other, you're safe going with the women's title.

Sex. People don't need to sneak out of bookstores with erotic books in their hands anymore, and they know it. They are looking on the Internet for sex materials, toys, and books. The Internet is private, individuals can take their sweet time, and indeed they can surf with or without a lover sharing their chair. There's been a recent ebook success entitled Orgasms for two. There is room for more similar ebooks. On the subject of sex, this is one case where a fiction book may also do the trick. You could create erotic short stories or a how-to-have-great-sex ebook. Either ebook would entice adults interested in this category (and incidentally, most adults are indeed interested in this category).

I hope this massive brainstorming session has been helpful to you! If you still don't have any ideas, go back and read every article in this series. If you still can't think of an idea after that, maybe you shouldn't be writing a book after all. Thanks again for reading, and best wishes for your writing.

About The Author

Aaron Morganstern is a freelance copywriter, and has ghost written ebooks for several well-known internet marketers. He resides in Utah with his wife, and enjoys skiing and other outdoor activities. For more information about ebooks and writing he recommends the website Writing Cash and he can often be found on writing forums giving helpful advice to aspiring young authors.