Buying presents for folks at Christmas is always hard for me. I don’t just want the usual fair. I went to buy something s bit more special, something that shows a bit more thought. And this year I think I’ve found the perfect gift idea.
It’s something that most people wouldn’t have come across, so I know it’s going to be something special. So what I’ve decided to do is to buy everyone some art. Small sculptures, African sculptures, from Zimbabwe. Also called Shona Sculpture. There’s some good examples here African Shona Sculpture
Shona Sculpture – A taste of Africa
I came across this by accident, a colleague of mine comes from Zimbabwe, a very nice lady and we have coffee together. As time went by, we got to meet up outside the office and would go shopping together. I’d invite her to my house for one of our many barbecues and she, in return, invited me to her house for a braai (this is how Zimbabweans refer to a barbecues).
The first time I went there, I was immediately impressed by her many stone statues, sculptures. There were animals, human figures, abstract forms. All hand carved and all individual. There’s no mass production here.
They looked wonderful. So natural, so beautiful. Years ago they would have been hard to find in this country because they’re stone, they’re heavy. But now they’re easy to obtain. The only difficult part is choosing which one. They’re all so good. In the end, it all comes down to personal taste.
For my family I’ve decided to get more abstract designs. As I said no two are alike and that’s going to make for perfect a presents. And not too big, maximum 12 inches high will be fine.
I just have to wrap them up and take to my family individually and hopefully they’ll love them. Just as I do.
My latest gift from Jack, my husband, is a “robot vacuum cleaner”. Flowers, chocolates, jewelery take a back seat in the gifts department, from him to me. He’s a gadget man. But to be fair, I never by him gadgets, I’m always getting him clothes, underwear, socks. Which he never seems to buy.
I suppose we’ve just gotten used to each other and fill in the short comings in the other. Which is nice and shows we’re in a good place, relationship wise.
Back to my gift, the “robot vacuum cleaner”. This has proved more useful than I’d imagined. I’m not a big fan of gadgets, especially the one’s Jack gets for me. But the robot vac is one of those exceptions. It’s really quite good.
This a good place to go if your interested in buying one yourself top vacuum cleaner robots And if you get the same model as me, you won’t be disappointed the Dyson 360 eye.
And although not cheap, it works really well. Obviously it can’t do the impossible. So you have to help out to help you. But if you keep the room decluttered and remove obstacles, then everyday it will vacuum for you.
The only thing you have to do is check if the first collection container needs emptying or not. And this is made easy as a little red light comes on when it’s time to empty.
The other advantage we have is we live in a single floor apartment. So if we leave the doors open to all the rooms, the whole apartment gets vacuumed. It goes with hard floors as well as carpets. So it’s near perfect.
My only gripe is that it won’t go right into corners. So I’ve still got a handheld vac which I used once a week and just do the edges and corners. Other than that, it’s perfect.
When traveling we always have to plan what to pack – what to take and what not to take. Then we have to revise our list as we realize that we don’t have enough room to pack everything, because the suitcase is not big enough.
The answer to this is to have more than one suitcase. That way you can pack more things but that also presents other problems. The solution for me was to buy a three piece luggage set.
The Three Piece Suitcase
A 3 piece luggage set does a number of things. The first, which was quite important to me, was that when not in use I can pack each smaller case inside the next big one. So storage wise I have just the big case with the smaller cases tucked inside. I have a small apartment so this feature was very useful indeed.
You can find some very good three piece suitcases here 3 piece luggage set And this is what should be your important criteria when shopping for a knew set of suitcases.
Buy a Suitcase that’s going to last
Suitcases are a bit of a Cinderella when we think about trips and vacations it’s easy to just think of the suitcase as just an accessory and go for the cheapest. But this would be wrong and ill conceived.
By spending more and by buying something a little more expensive, a little more robust. You could potentially have a case or a set of cases that will last you years. And, if it lasts you years then it will save you money in the long term.
Ideal Feature for a New Suitcase
There are only three things to consider when buying a new case our set of cases. The case carcass construction, the locking mechanism and the handle, or handles.
If the suitcase has wheels, as most do these days, then this is the fourth thing to get right.
These three/four factors rather than style designer labels, are what you need to get right. Because by getting these right you’ll have a set of suitcases that will last you years and years.
When photographing objects the most important aspect is to control the light and this includes reflections. You see for an object, whatever it is, to appear at its best you have to light it in such a way that it’s form reveals itself to the viewer.
When the lighting is awry or a high gloss object is placed in a busy room, the viewer’s cognitive skills ( subconsciously ) have to be brought into play and this detracts from the final presentation. You want to avoid this whenever you can.
For bigger objects we use screens and defusers to control the light. But for smaller objects we can use a light tent or photo box. Real Light Box Examples
Introducing the Light Box
Photo boxes come in various sizes and consist of translucent sides and a backdrop. The backdrop is normally white but can be other colors too. The backdrop curves at the far edge so that there’s a blur between the base and far wall of the tent. This makes the background a seamless transition from top to bottom with no hard edges. A very desirable feature when shooting still images.
The translucent sides allow spots or flash flash units to be placed either side of the object. The allows a defused light to be used in lighting your objects, rmemoving any hard shadows in the process.
With the three sides surrounding your object you’ll also remove the vast majority of reflections as well. So your “starting point” photo becomes a clean, crisp image that could be used immediately.
For very shiny objects, it’s not possible to remove all reflections, there will be you and your equipment picks up on the photo. You’ll need a Photoshop type piece of software to correct this. And Photoshop combined with a range of add-ons that can automate a lot of the effort.
We live in a great age today. An age where the airplane has made corners of the globe accessible to us. And in this blog I intent to document all my travels, where I go, what I do when I get there and the people I get to meet.
Being an avid sportsman, I like get into the outside world and explore, that means cycling for me but I also do canoing when I can surfing (that I want to improve). All these activities take me far and wide and it’s all going in here.
So come and visit again, when I’ll have more stuff and pictures and videos to share.