How To Paint the Furniture To Retain Its Elegance

When I was chatting with my friends about home renovation, many of them felt that painting the furniture is a waste of money. I argued against that point by drawing an analogy between human beings and furniture pieces. I compared human dressing with the paint applied on the furniture and I explained them in detail about the advantages of paints. Finally, I won the argument and had a treat.

I am using this space to share a few important points that helped me to win over the argument and also help you to revive the charm of the furniture. We should take a cue from the nature. The ozone protects us from harmful UV rays, similarly the furniture has to be protected from environmental issues. But be clear that the painting a wall and furniture are different except for a few points.

If you are planning to paint the furniture, spare some time to read the following points.

Primer

Firstly, the furniture has to be coated with a primer. It is an undercoat to prepare the furniture for painting. It facilitates the paint to stick on the surface instead of spreading. It also increases the durability of the paint besides protecting the furniture.

The primer must also match the paint you are going to use. For latex paints, choose a latex primer. It is easy to use and it blocks stains. It won’t smell like an oil-based primer.

Similarly, Oil-based primers must be used for oil-based paints. They offer good adhesion and stain blocking compared to latex ones.

Metal enamel primer is known for its durability. This type of primer comes in satin and semi-gloss finishes.

Paint

Many often get confused what to use either Oil-based paints or Water-based paints

Oil paints have been used for centuries. They generally took long time to settle and dry.

Water-based paints are of different types namely Mud, Standard latex, Chalk and Milk paints.

Mud paints give antique appeal to the furniture. They have smooth, flat finish with great coverage. It works well with wax or any water-based coat. They also don’t need a primer as it is inherently adhesive.

Standard latex require a long curing time. They are relatively durable. They need the support of the primer.

Chalk paints have many benefits over other. They don’t require primer as they are normally adhesive. Another advantage is they don’t even need sanding.

Milk paints are commonly available. They can be easily applied to all kinds of surfaces. They are eco-friendly and non-toxic.

Over and above, take some safety precautions while painting as many of the petroleum-based paints are toxic. Paint the furniture in open surroundings as it is a hazardous work.

7 Best Tips For Healthy Clay Pot Cooking

Clay pot cooking is the oldest and time-tested method for healthy cooking. While people are struggling to fight the ill effects of modern ways of cooking, with this safe and simple way of cooking, nobody ever had complaints. This is probably the reason people are slowly going back to their roots by switching to clay cookware.

There is a new challenge with clay pot cooking today it is rare that people are making it with the health value in mind so the clay pots available in the market are unfortunately chemical laden and coated with toxic enamels and glazes (like ceramics). The more beautiful and colorful they look on the outside, the more toxins they may leach while cooking. The cheaper they are, it’s possible that additives are used to make them faster and smoother. It’s important that you choose a truly healthy pot and here are 7 tips to choosing and using the best clay pots:

1. Always Choose Primary Clay

Primary clay is the purest form of clay – it has absolutely no toxins. Only primary clay is naturally inert, so doesn’t react to food like metals and ceramics. There are many clay pots available in the market that are made from secondary or tertiary clay but they have contaminants that may leach into your food while cooking.

2. No Chemicals, Glazes or Enamels

Most makers start using chemicals to make the process easier. In fact, every mechanized process needs the raw material to be treated with chemicals. The glazes and enamels might make your clay pots and pans colorful, attractive and even robust but they contaminate food. So always choose a cookware made from unglazed primary clay (or pure clay).

3. Seasoning Is Important

Seasoning your pure clay pot as per instructions is very important for cooking delicious food every time and it also increases the life of your pot. Pure clay is naturally non-stick, so after proper seasoning, if done right, the food should never stick to the bottom.

4. Choose Ingredients Carefully

You have finally chosen the healthiest clay pot – great, but it will all be in vain if you won’t use the right ingredients. For healthy clay pot cooking, make sure you choose all-natural organic ingredients that are unprocessed and nutrition-rich. A balanced diet is all you and your family needs for a healthy body, so always pay attention to the nutritional value of your ingredients.

5. Cook At Medium to Low Heat

Pure clay pots are great retainers of heat and the near infrared heat radiating from their walls cooks food evenly with gentle heat. It keeps nutrients intact and food cooks in almost the same time at low-medium heat as it does on high heat in metal/ceramic cookware.

Cooking at low-medium heat not only prevents food from burning and sticking to the bottom, it also improves the durability of your pure clay pot.

6. Choose A Pot That Manages Steam Well

Steam management is an important aspect of healthy cooking. In conventional cookware, the steam pressure inside the pot gets too much while cooking with harsh, near-infrared heat from metals/ceramics. So their lids have vents to release excessive steam in order to protect the pot from exploding.

Not many are aware that steam is water-soluble nutrients. As the body can’t store them like fat-soluble nutrients, they are needed every day. If the steam is released freely while cooking, the food becomes nutritionally deficient.

An ergonomically designed pure clay pot and lid make sure when steam rises from food, condenses at the inner surface of the lid (the lid being cooler than the pot) and settles back into the food before cooking is complete. This way, the water-soluble nutrients are preserved and your body is nourished with them regularly.

7. Clean With Water – No Soap

Regardless of what the label says, all soaps are toxic. When you are using a 100% non-toxic cookware, it’s important that you keep it away from anything toxic or chemical laden. Pure clay pots are naturally porous, so food doesn’t stick to the surface. You can always clean them with bare hands in normal water. Though you can scrub it a little if burnt food sticks at the bottom.

By following these simple yet useful tips, you can do wonders with healthy clay pot cooking. This will not only keep your body nourished with essential nutrients but will also protect you from common infections and diseases by strengthening your immunity.

Developing A Strong Trademark And Copyright Strategies Can Be Vital To A Business

A company’s trademarks, whether in the company’s name, or likeness, or in that of its products, are crucial to protecting the goodwill generated through its investment in people and capital. It is significant to its brand, as it helps identify and protect the integrity of a brand, and ensures that the company distinguishes itself from its competitors. The trademark also readily informs the consumer that the goods or services are of a certain quality or standard. The goodwill derived from a strong trademark can improve business by giving the consumer a positive impression about the product and doing business with the company itself.

Trademark rights arise from actual use of a name, logo or symbol in the marketplace. There are several actions that a company can take in order to protect its trademark portfolio, namely its registered trademarks, service marks, unregistered trademarks, domain names and corresponding copyrights.

A first suggestion is to develop a strategy to determine which marks are important, and how, where and when the trademark rights are to be asserted. This action includes determining which legal jurisdictions are important from a business and marketing perspective. Once a trademark attorney has conducted the necessary trademark searches and cleared a proposed mark, it is advisable to rapidly file for a federal trademark registration. The timing of an application for registration is also critical because typically the first to file takes priority over subsequent filings in respect of identical or similar marks. Once the proposed mark is registered, it is important to note the registration date and the renewal date in order to ensure continuous protection of the mark.

Another action relates to trademark usage. In managing a trademark portfolio, it is important to ensure that rights do not lapse due to non-use of the mark. Depending on the relevant jurisdiction, the ownership rights to a mark may lapse if the mark has not been used for a period of three to five years. It is important to implement programs based on a competent attorney’s advice to ensure continued use, or at least a seasonal or rotational use of marks to prevent cancellation or revocation of them. It is also advisable to ensure correct usage of the marks because they can lose their distinctiveness and value if they become eroded.

A recommended strategy to maximize the value of a trademark portfolio is to be vigilant and to take swift action to prevent infringement or deal with it accordingly when it is detected. The owner of a trademark portfolio must be prepared to take action to preserve rights by employing both defensive and offensive strategies. Defensive strategies, including marking the products with TM, SM and ® symbols can help reduce legal fees and establish legal damages through fair warning to would-be infringers. Defensive tactics also include conducting consistent surveillance of the market place and the competitors’ activities, and educating the consumer on how to identify genuine products as well as alerting them of infringing products.

Numerous offensive strategies are advisable as well. For instance, a company can appeal or oppose the registration of marks that are identical or confusingly similar to its own marks. It is also advisable to issue cease and desist letters, or publish warnings when infringement is detected.

In taking these actions, it is advisable to seek the best legal consultation regarding the management of the trademark portfolio, itself, as well as determining the instances and nature of potential infringement. Leading trademark counsel are also effective advocates that can provide advice and counsel on how to deal with infringement, through amicable resolution or an enforcement action if necessary.

Therefore, choosing the best law firm that is qualified to provide sound legal advice on trademark and copyrights related matters is a critical issue for any business venture. Good advice can mean a strong brand in the marketplace that serves to protect capital investment and deter infringement by competitors. The alternative is erosion of goodwill with customers, and easy infringement. The latter may mean loss a fortune in human and financial.

Do Alt and Title Attributes Help With SEO?

A highly talked about topic is the SEO world is, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” Well to help shed a little light on this topic, I did some research and came up with a few good conclusions. I’m not suggesting these are 100% accurate but from my initial research they seem to be right on target. I welcome all other SEO experts to share their opinions on this topic by posting their comments – because as we all know, every little bit of information can help us all.

Well to start, I want to provide a brief introduction of each attribute to help you understand their “intended” purpose.

The alt attribute is, popularly and incorrectly referred to as an alt tag and is commonly misunderstood to provide a tool-tip for an image. Both of these are incorrect. First of all, the alt attribute is an attribute and not a tag. The alt attribute was always intended to provide alternative information about an element and is generally required for image and image maps and is not meant to be used to display a tool-tip. The alt attribute, can be used for the img, area, and input elements to help provide alternative information to users who cannot display that element in their browser. As an example, here is how you would define an alt attribute for an image: <img src=”imagepath.gif” alt=”this is our company logo”>. If the image is not displayed the text, “this is our company logo” will be displayed in the place of the image.

The title attribute, on the other hand, is meant to provide additional information about an element, which is displayed as a tool-tip by most graphical browsers. The title attribute can be used to describe any HTML element except for base, basefont, head, html, meta, param, script, and title.

An excellent use for the title attribute is to provide descriptive text within an anchor tag to let the users know where the link will direct them if they click on it. When the user places their mouse over the link, it will display a small tool-tip displaying the title text that you’ve provided. An example would be

So as you can see the alt and title attributes have different purposes but how do they affect SEO? This is the true question we all want to know and understand. Do they help with SEO or are they simply ignored by the search engines? I tested several different scenarios, all in Google, and after my research I’ve come to the following conclusions.

Alt attributes seem to be picked up by Google, whether or not there was a link within that element. Some SEO experts have mentioned that if there is no link, then the alt attribute would not be indexed… from my research I’ve found this to be false.

Going further, I noticed in one testing scenario, if there was an image with an alt attribute and a link to a completely other site, that other site was also indexed by Google when searching for the text within the alt attribute. It was difficult for me to verify this multiple times but I definitely verified it in one testing scenario.

I also took this one step further and analyzed my results with what Google Images was displaying. I immediately noticed that Google sometimes takes the alt attribute text and provides this text as the description for the image in Google Images, something that is very valuable to know and understand when doing SEO for your website.

In all of my testing scenarios, the title attribute do not seem to be picked up by Google and adding a link to that element did not seem to affect this result at all. If you really think about it, this makes complete sense. Since you can place title attributes in almost every element of a website, it would be very easy for a user to affect the search engines by keyword stuffing throughout their web pages, something that Google and the other major players do not want, hence why title attributes do not help with SEO.

In my opinion, you should use the title attribute to help with your user’s experience and not with SEO. Since tool-tips provide more useful information to the user about images, links, fields and much more, you will help your users to understand what is happening around the web page.

So from my testing I’ve determined that a title attribute is meant to provide tool-tips to the user for user experience, whereas the alt attribute is helpful in terms of providing alternative information to the user when their browser cannot display an image or input element and helping to increase the SEO of a website. My recommendation is to pay close attention to when, where and how you are using your alt attributes. If they help with SEO, then you should pay close attention to what you are adding.

When adding images always be sure to add an alt attribute to the code of each image. If you do not have one, then just specify a blank one, such as alt=”". Also, be sure to add alternative text that is relevant to that image, the content on that page and be sure not to specify an alt attribute greater than 100 characters in length, as this may be perceived as spamming.

I hope you find my brief overview on the topic of, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” to be beneficial for you and your business. I’m sure one could dive deep into this topic, spending weeks determining the differences between how Google, Yahoo! and the other major search engines handle title and alt attributes with regards to SEO for a website.

I welcome all comments and/or feedback.