Tag Archives: art

Should You Major In Liberal Arts Or STEM?

Standard
Should You Major In Liberal Arts Or STEM?

There was a time, perhaps a couple of decades ago, where the liberal arts – a.k.a. the humanities, dealing with the study of literature, history, philosophy, art, and the like – and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) worked together in harmony. These days, there seems to be a major divide between the two when it comes to college. At least, that’s what a lot of commentators and even politicians believe.

Back in 2014, Barack Obama called into question the usefulness of a liberal arts degree. He caught quite a bit of heat for suggesting that a degree in art history may not provide you with the job opportunities that an education in trade and manufacturing will. Oddly enough, this actually put him on common ground with the Republicans, who have long questioned the usefulness of degrees such as literature and anthropology!

stem1

He didn’t always please the liberals!

But how right are the critics of an education in liberal arts? Before people even get an opportunity to ask “How do you get a bachelor’s degree?”, they seem to be hounded by such a question. If you feel a bit torn and confused about the whole thing, here are a few points that you should keep in mind:

Manufacturing and Trade Aren’t Dead: So many people out there seem to think that we’ve moved past the need to have so many students doing STEM subjects because there isn’t much career potential in manufacturing and trade. Here’s the thing: Obama wasn’t actually so much criticizing liberal arts as he was criticizing this idea. The fact is, that these are still essential fields in our economies, and fulfilling and lucrative careers are still common in those fields. Don’t dismiss manufacturing and trade as dead fields because they are very much alive and kicking if you know where to look.

Liberal Arts Education Isn’t Just “Training for Starbucks”: An education in the humanities does not doom you to a dead-end job, the way that a lot of people tend to dismiss it. Having said that, there are certainly courses out there that are so steeped in postmodernist denials of reality or objective truth and so much closer to ideological indoctrination rather than education that job prospects after graduation are genuinely lackluster.

But, a degree in philosophy has been shown to get people into well-salaried positions. In fact, the average philosophy major earns more than the average accounting major. As for an English degree, so often mocked by humanities haters, it’s a massive boost for many careers due to the degree showing your ability to read and analyze deeply. Talent in theory and criticism is more useful in business and technology fields than you may think!

stem2

Starbucks & studies!

And Remember: while Bill Gates has dismissed liberal arts degrees, Steve Jobs has pointed out that his company would never work it if hadn’t been a perfect marriage of STEM and liberal arts.

stem3

Take that, Bill Gates!

Remember Part 2: the value of a degree is both overestimated and underrated – it’s the former in a more general sense, but the latter when you take into account oft-disparaged subjects such as those you’ll find in the humanities. At the end of the day, higher education isn’t pointless, nor is it a waste of time – as long as you pursue your education with purpose, you’ll get something out of it.

Featured Image By: Wikimedia

Advertisements

Making Gifts: 5 Things You’ll Wish You Knew Earlier

Standard
Making Gifts: 5 Things You’ll Wish You Knew Earlier

Making gifts is one of the best ways to show somebody how much you care about them. Taking your time over a gift like this is one of the most thoughtful things that you can do. No matter how big or small the gift is, they are bound to appreciate something like this over a store bought item. However, before you start making gifts, there are a few things you should know. Don’t waste hours of time making gifts when you could save yourself some hassle. Here are a few things you’ll wish you knew earlier:

Gift Baskets Are Awesome & Easy: Gift baskets are a brilliant gift and so easy to make. You have the opportunity here to get creative and include anything and everything that you can think of. All you need to do is make sure that it’s presented in a way that the receiver will love! If you’re struggling, it’s a good idea to start with one thing, so you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s all too easy to think of the word ‘gift basket’ and go into panic mode because you think you need to buy 101 things and you don’t know where to start. Start with one thing you know you’re getting, and just go from there. Even if it’s just the basket!

Make sure you include textures in your basket. Using as many different textures as possible makes things look far more exciting and interesting. That’s why this principle is most commonly used in fashion and decorating a house! It could also help you to think of a theme if you’re struggling with what to get. Is this person a music lover? Do they enjoy gardening or reading? Base it around that. However, you don’t need to explicitly stick to your theme if you think of something else to get. Just use it as a guide.

Finally, it’s a great idea if you can include something handmade in your basket, even if it’s a cake or something small, like a Christmas decoration. It’ll give your gift basket that bit of extra oomph and really impress the receiver!

You Don’t Actually Have To Make It Yourself: OK, some may consider it cheating, but you don’t actually have to make this gift yourself if you haven’t got time or you don’t want to for whatever reason. You don’t have to pretend you made it yourself. You could, but that could definitely be considered a little naughty, and what would you say if they found out? Regardless of if you make it or not, they’re going to enjoy a unique handmade gift better than a standard store bought gift.

You can get somebody else to do this for you on the internet, using sites like Fiverr. That’s where you’ll probably find it cheapest, but it isn’t a site made specifically for crafts. Look on Etsy if you want the widest selection of crafts imaginable. You can find all kinds of handmade crafts, from clay charms to handmade wire jewelry, and even customized clothing. Whatever you have in mind, you’ll find it on Etsy. You may even be able to contact a seller to see if they’d be willing to make something specific for you for a little extra cost.

There’s A Tutorial For Absolutely Everything: So maybe you really do want to flex your creative muscles and see what you can come up with. You don’t have to come up with your ideas alone. There’s a tutorial for literally everything on the internet. Want to make a far out, colorful seashell? There’s a tutorial. How about your own customized bath and body care products? Tutorial. Want to make your own glow in the dark bouncy ball? There’s a tutorial for that, too. Honestly, there are an endless amount of things that you can make, so check out YouTube and other sites for help. You can even find picture tutorials on sites like Pinterest.

Remember, you don’t have to follow one tutorial to the T, either. You can add your own twist to it to make it your own, and even use a number of different tutorials and different methods to come up with something entirely unique.

You Don’t Have To Make Anything Super Fancy: Think you need to pull out all of the stops and buy the contents of your local craft store to impress the receiver? You don’t at all! You don’t have to make anything super fancy to have an impact on the receiver. They’ll love that you took the time to make them something, regardless of what it is. A few pretty but easy things include colorful paper flowers or a vintage looking candle holder. You could even make a card, and they’d be equally as impressed. Maybe you could customize a photo frame or make them a scrapbook. In some cases, the more simple your gift idea, the better. Don’t doubt yourself!

diyyyyy

CUTE!

You Can Make Gifts Out Of Things Around The House: You don’t even need to buy any craft equipment to make a gift. You can make gifts out of things that you find around the house! You can use a permanent marker to transform a plain mug into something funny, with a quote or word that will perk the receiver up. You can use colored markers to transform a white plate into something beautiful. How about using paint with wine glasses to make something super pretty? You could also use a picture and mod podge to make a glass even more meaningful. Why not try making jewelry from old t-shirts, and even pasta? Chances are, you have something in your home that you can transform. All it takes is a little imagination.

One of the only gifts on par with a beautiful handmade gift is an experience gift. Whether you want to make a gift or give an experience, make sure that you consider this person’s likes and dislikes. Personalizing the gift is the best way to make it more meaningful!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure

Standard
Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure

Hi everyone and TGIF! Yesterday was a HELLUVA day because someone t-boned the Little Red Love Machine, making this my second accident in four months that I’ve been in that was far from my fault. With twenty-five hundred dollars worth of damage to my car thanks to someone disregarding a stop sign, I was left feeling stressed, depressed, well dressed, and pissed off! BUT, thanks to a boozy BFF evening and carrying out a long time friendship tradition, I was left feeling infinitely better.

My best friend, Lea, and I are going on about ten years of friendship and in high school we began a tradition of coloring Easter eggs together every year. Last night just so happened to be our egg dying eggstravaganza, which was so needed after my car trauma earlier in the day. We had a dozen blown out eggs, two bottles of wine, and excellent company considering that Lea’s family is basically like my second family.

We created some crazy cool tie-dye eggs, which we learned how to do from a Facebook video that Lea’s mom showed us. Take a look at our finished product and then I’ll tell you how it’s done:

Caution: Your hands will get messy!

You Will Need:

  • EGGS. Either blown out or hard boiled (but don’t expect to eat the eggs if you use hard boiled because shaving cream)
  • Shaving cream
  • Plastic containers or something similar
  • Food coloring
  • Cooling rack
  • Paper towel

How To Guide:

  1. Take your containers and coat them with a healthy layer of shaving cream. Make sure that you spread it evenly.
  2. Choose two or more food dye colors and add them to your shaving cream. Then, use a knife and blend the colors. You can make as many color combinations as you want!
  3. Take an egg and then cover it with the colored shaving cream.
  4. Place your eggs on a cooling rack and let them sit for twenty minutes.
  5. After the color has set, take your paper towel and wipe the shaving cream away very gently!
  6. Clean up your work space and enjoy your new tie-dyed eggs!

Lea and I had SO much fun creating our shaving cream colored eggs. We had lots of wine, lots of laughs, and we will definitely remember this year’s eggstravaganza for many years to come! Of course, a best friend hangout wouldn’t be complete without some pictures so here we are looking mighty cute! Also featuring her twin brother, BILL!

lealea1lea2

^^^ I LOVE US! And the second picture is one of my favorite ones ever, even though Lea doesn’t like it! Her brother was making us laugh when he was taking our pictures and obviously Lea was holding it together better than me!

So there you have it, Sarah & Lea’s Eggcelent Adventure! Who has traditions with their best friends? What is your preferred egg dying method? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Live Well And Be Happy! Bringing Luxury Into Your Living Room

Standard

In this day and age, it’s important to try to live well. Of course, it’s just as important to live within your means so you don’t have any financial problems or get into any debt, but equally, if you have the cash, it’s important to try to enjoy it with a little luxury in your everyday life. Maybe you do that by using high quality toiletries – there’s nothing like hand soap that moisturizes as well as cleans. Or maybe you like to check out the occasional high priced restaurant in the city where you live. No matter what your vice is, though, we all have a home – and we all like for it to look good. Here are some luxurious touches you can add to your living room for a dose of comfort and glam:

A New Couch: First things first: do you need a new couch? If yours is starting to make protesting, grumbling noises and creaks every time you get up, then it’s probably time to go for a new couch – for example, check out the Duresta sofas and chairs. You want to make sure that you get a couch that looks good but that you can curl up on during the long winter evenings. And speaking of that…

lux.png

 Lol at her book!

Comfortable Throws: What’s the point of a couch if you don’t have a throw to snuggle up beneath? Of course you’ll need soft pillows too, but the throws are really where it’s at. Go for soft, colorful wool that you can keep folded on the back of the couch during the day. If you’re feeling decadent, you could go for fake fur so you can imagine you’re on Game Of Thrones as you watch it on TV. And seriously, who doesn’t want that?

lux1.png

 Pixabay Image

Surround Sound: If you enjoy watching TV, then go for some new speakers and surround sound. It might not be great to feel like you’re in the aforementioned Game Of Thrones – what if you die? They all seem to die a lot – but as a general rule, better sound is always good for your TV and to enhance your viewing experience.

lux3.png

 Pexels Image

Blackout Blinds: If you don’t have blackout blinds in all of your rooms, it’s time to invest in some. Make sure you keep them pulled back during the day so they let some daylight and heat into the room, but at night you can draw them. Not only does this mean you won’t have to deal with any creepy reflections late at night, but it’ll also keep the heat in, meaning your heating bill will go down. But mainly creepy reflections – Yikes!

lux4.png

 Make sure you give your plants some light!

Add Some Art: If you’re into art, your living room is the perfect place to put it. Make sure that you don’t overwhelm the space – don’t put more than one piece on each wall. You could even go for just one spectacular piece, like a piece of sculpture or a painting that stretches the length of the wall. If it’s a really incredible, breath-taking piece then you can arrange the rest of the furniture around it so it becomes the focal point of the room and people will pay attention to it.

lux5.png

 Check out local artists for a one of a kind piece!

Amazing DIY Projects You Need To Try Next Year

Standard

Being able to make something out of practically nothing is pretty awesome isn’t it? There’s nothing more satisfying than starting out with just a few chunky pieces of wood and ending up with something super awesome to fill your home or garden with.

Furniture and decor these days is so stupidly expensive that it makes sense to do it yourself. Even the pieces that are supposed to look old and shabby cost a fortune these days, if not more, so why bother forking out all of those extra dollars when you can do it for a much cheaper price yourself?

DIY projects aren’t just great for the final result, either. You’ll have something to fill your time with, a new set of skills, and, of course, the patience of a saint afterwards. If you’ve got some spare time on your hands (or little to no spare cash), then try these DIY projects and kick start your new year in style.

  1. The Most Stylish Table Lamps You’ll Ever See: This one is actually amazingly cheap as well as super easy. If you have some spare wine glasses around the house and a few paper shades (if not, both of these items are easy to find and can literally be purchased for a few dollars), drop an LED tea light into the wineglass and cover it with a paper shade. These make the perfect dinner table lampshades that are both safe and stylish to use.
  1. A Side Table With Style: If you have some old window shutters in the garage that haven’t been used in years, then why not put them to good use? You’re clearly not going to use them for their original purpose again so, instead, make a table from them and have an amazingly quirky looking table in one of your rooms for little to no cost.

diyny

Pexels Image

  1. A Lick of Paint Never Did Anyone Any Harm: If you’ve opened a tin of paint recently and got all of your walls finished, then you don’t need to throw the leftovers in the bin. Paint is expensive these days so you don’t want to waste a drop! Use what’s left to freshen up the furniture around the house. Chairs, tables, display surfaces – whatever is looking a little downbeat, spruce it up in the simplest, cheapest, and easiest way possible.

diyny1.jpg

 Pexels Image

  1. A Little Woodwork Knowledge Goes a Long Way: If you’re not much of an expert where woodwork is concerned, then don’t worry because that doesn’t need to stop you from having great wooden furniture in your home. Simple projects like a stowaway bench will bring character to the kitchen or garden play area. For tips on what sort of equipment you’ll need to get the job done properly, check out Straight Kerfs’ homepage.
  1. Make Your Decor Pop With Mini Bursts of Color: If you find that your all white furniture leaves your home looking a little boring, then there’s no need to go out and spend a fortune on replacing it all. Simply cover the metal or wooden handles with patterned fabric swatches. You can mix or match and have your home looking far more colorful at the cost of just a few dollars.
    diyny2

    Bring on the color for a fun new look!

How do you DIY? What is one DIY project that you’re really proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

DIY Projects That Could Transform Any Space In Your Home

Standard
DIY Projects That Could Transform Any Space In Your Home

When it comes to decorating a home, we all have our own personal style to contend with. Some people like to stick with the catalogue inspiration you find in many magazines, while others like quirky and unusual items to accessorize their homes. However, one thing we can all get involved in a little more is creating our own pieces for our home.

You may think that you are not very crafty or perhaps haven’t got much time or patience for creating things yourself. But, some things are so easy that you just might be tempted to give them a go. Thanks to websites like Pinterest there is more inspiration than ever before, from the complex to the easy you are bound to find something that you could do. I thought it would be a great idea to share with you some DIY crafts that could help you get started.

Homemade Soft Furnishings: All of us have some sort of soft furnishings in our home, so why not create some of them yourself. They’re amazing to style a room with and can help create a theme or carry out a color scheme that you had in mind. Here are some of the top homemade soft furnishings you could create.

Cushions: Cushions are one of the easiest things that you can sew. With many patterns online to help you cut out the fabric and even tutorials on how to use the sewing machine you can’t go too wrong. The great thing about this is that you get to choose the fabric, so it makes an unusual dressing feature to a bed or couch. Cushions are allowed to be loud and fun so don’t be afraid to pick out a bright and vibrant fabric with a crazy pattern. It could transform your living areas and make great talking points. Plus, they are one of a kind so there is no chance of someone having anything the same as you.

diy4

CAT!

Bed Linen: If you are a little more daring or brave, you could take on the challenge of creating your own bed linen. In theory, it’s just like creating one giant cushion cover, but there is a lot of fabric to work with so you may want to keep with the practice on smaller items. Again, the best thing about it is choosing your own fabric so you can be as unique and daring as you want to be with vibrant patterns or unusual color choices.

Bed Spreads: A bedspread is a little different. Traditionally being thicker in material and something that is more for dressing the bed area than sleeping with. Most people tend to create a patchwork quilt for this sort of thing. You could collect cuts of fabric and design to create something totally unique. A quilt like this may be a more long term project.

diy5

Flickr Image

Blankets: Blankets make great presents, especially for friends and family who have just had a newborn baby. But, they are also amazing in your home for those cold winter nights. A cute tip to remember for the future for when you have your own family is to keep outgrown baby clothes. Use pieces of the material to create a beautiful patchwork blanket that could be a keepsake for years to come.

DIY Touches to Already Existing Items:

Sometimes we don’t have the time to create DIY items from scratch, but that doesn’t mean that your home interior can’t have that DIY touch. This is when you could get creative with existing items in your home.

Twinkly Lights: Everything looks better by fairy light glow, am I right? Especially at this time of year where the twinkly lights are out in full force. But, this kind of lighting doesn’t have to be reserved for Christmas. Adding some cute fairy lights to a bed headboard makes a bedroom feel cozier and more inviting. You could even add some twinkly lights to shelves, plants (my dad put lights on a fern this year, lol), or large pictures that hang on the walls.

diy6

 Pixabay Image

Embellishments: If you love having a bit of bling to shine through your home, then get a little handy with gems and a glue gun. Add some gems to an existing lampshade, a shelf, or even a desk area. Hot glue guns and adhesives are easily purchased online and can be very simple to use. You could also add embellishments to clothes or other DIY projects you are making like blankets or cushion covers.

Add Some Personalized Artwork to Your Home:

Finally, nothing is more personal than art. We all have our own taste, ranging from textured paintings, canvas drawings, or real life photographs. Use this in abundance and create your own DIY projects to decorate your home with art.

DIY Canvas Prints: If you have a talent for art why not use it? Blank canvases are easily purchased, giving you that chance to create something from the heart. Perhaps you love bright and vibrant brushstrokes of paint, or something a little more delicate like a portrait or a painted landscape. Using your talent to create a piece of artwork for your home is satisfying (Especially when someone might compliment you on it!). It’s a great way to continue a theme or color scheme in any room decoration.

Photo Montage Wall: If you prefer the real life side of art and you have a passion for photography, then why not get a little snap happy with your camera more often and take those pictures. Create a photograph montage wall in one of your favorite rooms. You could use a theme of black and white prints with matching frames, or just go a little crazy and place random shots in no order. It’s such a personal thing and should invoke happy memories every time you look at it.

diy7

 So sweet.

Think About the Lighting: Finally, one last thing that you can do is open up your curtains to let the natural light in. It can transform a room. Even on the darkest of days that we are getting this winter, you will still be able to make the most of the midday light.

I hope this has inspired you to add a bit of a DIY touch to your home decoration! How do you DIY? What was your biggest DIY epic fail? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Pexels

Must-Have Tools For The Serious DIY Lover

Standard

DIY enthusiasts can be found all over. Some people start doing DIY out of necessity but soon find that they love it. Others try their hand at some tasks because they think it will be fun and they discover that it is. Some people do a bit of casual DIY, but a few can get really into it. Serious DIYers will start with fixing a few things but will soon find themselves coming up with their own projects that they carry out. They will happily invent something to make or improve upon if they get to do some DIY. These people need to make sure they have the right tools. They need something a little more powerful than the standard items to make sure that they are making the most of their DIY. Like some of these, for example:

Power Sanders: Any DIY enthusiast worth their salt who likes to work with wood needs to have a power sander. Sure, using sandpaper is excellent for finishing something off, but you don’t want to do everything by hand when you have a huge project to tackle. If you want to take on a big project, you’ll need something more powerful to help you out. Sanding will help to prepare a surface or finish it off at the end of a project. There are different types of sanders to consider, though, so it’s important to get the right one. They include belt, disk, pad and random orbit sanders.

diy2

 Handy is dandy!

Impact Drivers: If you’re a fan of DIY, you’re likely to have a power drill or screwdriver. However, if you’re serious about DIY, you should consider getting an impact driver. An impact driver is like a power screwdriver but with much more weight behind it. It has more force behind it, allowing you to drive a screw further into any surface. You can find out more about impact drivers on any good DIY or product review website.

Angle Grinders: Angle grinders are excellent because they will do several jobs at once. They can cut, sand, grind, and polish materials. If you’re a DIY enthusiast with a limited amount of space, this is the one tool that you should consider investing in. It’s one of the most recommended tools to have in your DIY kit so you might want to choose it over some other options. They don’t need to be expensive and you can find them at different price points from excellent brands.

Nailers: It may seem like a simple tool, but a nail gun should be in any DIY lover’s tool arsenal. Who wants to waste time with a hammer, pounding nails into various materials and surfaces? A nailer takes the pain out of the job, making putting in multiple nails quick and easy. It might be a relatively simple tool, but it can be one of the best for a dedicated DIY enthusiast. It can help out tremendously with tasks both big and small.

Anyone who loves DIY should make sure that they have the best tools for carrying out their work. If you take it seriously, your tools should be serious, too!