The potential for losing computer-based data is increasing rapidly, so take extra steps to protect your files from loss or corruption.
If you do much work on a computer, you know that along with convenience comes the risk of losing data due to a variety of problems. Power outages, equipment failures, down time, and hackers, along with viruses, can send all your hard work spiraling down the cyberspace drain.
Don't wait for the next accident of fate to catch you unprepared. Take the necessary steps to protect your work and keep it safe from disaster.
1. Back up your word processing documents frequently. Some experts recommend doing this every thirty minutes or so, while others say every hour or two is adequate. Depending on how much you use the Internet, you may want to back up your work by clicking "save" rather frequently; better safe than sorry. This is especially true if the document is lengthy or important. Don't take a chance on losing hours of your valuable time. 2. Store your files on reliable disks. Some disks that you purchase from the store may be unformatted, or they may not work for one reason or another. When you get them home, try several to see if they will hold the data that you try to save to them. If they don't, return them to the purchase site for an exchange or a refund. Don't wait to try your disks when you need them, as they may not work for you. 3. Use both the hard drive and a disk. Don't depend on a single storage site for saving your work. Either might fail at some point, and you would have nothing to show for it. Save both on the hard drive and on a disk. Label the disk clearly and right away to avoid later confusion. Store your disks in a dust-free environment, preferably with a cover, to keep them intact and easy to use when the time comes. 4. Print a hard copy. In addition to the hard drive and a disk copy, print out a tangible copy of the document or file contents. Keep it in a safe place that you have designated for that purpose. It doesn't help to save something in print form when you don't know where to find it when needed. Label files clearly and create an organized filing system to help you find needed copies later. 5. Maintain your computer equipment and programs. Find out how to clean your machine about once a year. Better yet, hire an expert to do it for you. This might include the keyboard and monitor as well as the interior mother board and computer chip. Cords and auxiliary linkages, like a computer, should also be kept in quality operating condition to reduce the risk of malfunction or breakage. 6. Install reliable anti-virus programs. McAfee and other programs can detect and remove dangerous viruses from your computer. Scan all programs and emails that you are uncertain of to remove any possible threat of contamination and data loss. Have this function checked when you take in your computer for annual maintenance. Protect your data in these and other ways so you don't end up losing hours of hard work.
Decorating crafts: securing dried flowers in shadow boxes
These tips and tricks to securing dried flowers in a shadow box will assist in creating various and decorative displays. Drying methods for flowers and creative box ideas should spark the crafter in everyone.
To create and accent a photograph, invitation, child's artwork or selected piece of literature in a shadow box, experiment with dried flowers to frame or highlight the selected piece. These tips and tricks should result in assurance and crafter ideas that will result in a changeable and unique shadow box display.
Dried flowers, though typically thought of as an autumn decoration, can be used throughout the year for craft projects. Many florists and craft stores carry a large variety of dried flowers through each season; or you can dry your own flowers from your garden or from the wild.
There are many flowers that dry quickly and easily. Some of the easiest and most attractive dried flowers are violets, roses, carnations, zinnias, daisies, hydrangea and thistle, to name a few. Leaves such as fern, clover, oak, and maple maintain color and texture as well.
To dry flowers that have been collected from your garden, florist or next nature walk; you simply need a method of eliminating the moisture without causing rot. In general the thinner the flower, the less drying time is needed. However, thinner flowers become more fragile when dried. Try one of these methods; hanging, sand drying, container or pressing, to dry your flowers.
Hang flowers in a well-ventilated, dark spot, for about week. Simply tie the flowers in a neat bundle and hang upside down.
Sand drying allows the flowers to retain their cup shape. Fill the flower with sand and place it in a box of sand stem down. Allow to dry for about week. Use sand purchased from a craft store to ensure the sand is dry - sand from the outdoors will have moisture; even if taken from the beach.
Airtight containers also work well for drying flowers such as hydrangea, carnations and other bulky headed flowers. Just pop in a container, close and forget for about a week to ten days.
An unconventional yet effective method is refrigeration. Simply pop a bouquet or flower in the refrigerator for about two weeks and allow it to dry. Carnations do very well with this method.
Finally, flower presses are an easy way to dry relatively flat flowers. An actual flower press need not be an expensive contraption you buy in the craft store. It can be as simple as a few leaves in between sheets of newspaper, or a thistle dried in between the pages of a book.
Once you have dried flowers, cut the stems to within an inch of the flower and carefully arrange and re-arrange within the shadow box. A long-handled tweezer can be very useful with the very delinquent flowers. Regular tweezers and/or kitchen tongs can be of assistance as well.
Craft glue or rubber cement hold dried flowers in place best. Working in a small area, about two inches wide, will help eliminate errors and allow you to work around the shadow box. Place the flower stem or leaf in the glue/cement and allow to set for a moment. Stand back and analyze the results before working on the next two or three inch segment.
Putty such as florist putty can also be used to cement flowers in place. Putty works well if the dried flowers are to be changed from season to season. However, putty does dry and crack with exposure to the air and the sunlight, so be cautious to the location of the shadow box. Too much sun exposure will result in saggy flowers.
Patience is the key. Flowers can always be cut off their stem or pulled immediately from the glue/cement should the arrangement be incorrect.
Arranging the flowers as a frame within the shadow box around a wedding invitation or anniversary/birth announcement creates a very special remembrance and gift. To highlight a poem, photo or piece of literature that is meaningful, frame the piece in bold colored flowers. Children's artwork can be framed from season to season with daisies, roses and mums to highlight the theme. Experiment, create and never be afraid. The end results can give your home the warmth of your gardens you so carefully tend to during the growing season.
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