End the holiday blues with these DIY projects for parents and kids

When it’s too cold outside, and there’s nothing much to do at home, parents and kids can still have a great time indoors with arts and crafts activities that will maximize their creativity. Check out these easy to make DIY projects:

Image source: Pexels.com

Artsy paperweight: This project requires fist-sized flat stones, art brushes, and paint. Parents and kids can have fun choosing their own designs and patterns. Or if they want to go with the stone’s shape, they can make it look like a turtle, fish, car, or a face. Throwing in some quotes or catchphrases with fun patterns is also a good idea.

Crate storage: Old wooden or plastic crates can be turned into storage bins that will eliminate clutter in a child’s room or play area. These materials can be upcycled by painting them in bright colors before mounting them in a child’s room. Parents can let their children have fun in the designing and painting process. As for the finished product, these crates can serve as sturdy shelves or baskets for toys, books, clothes, shoes, and even gadgets.

Image source: Pexels.com

Corkboard wall: Corkboards are cheap and easy to mount. To start, get a large-sized corkboards and heavy-duty mounting tape. Parents and kids can decide whether to paint the boards or add embellishments such as washi tapes and stickers before putting them up. After painting or designing the boards, put them up in a good spot where a child can proudly show off his or her artwork, awards, and other interesting stuff. The corkboard can also be used for notes or reminders.

These easy do-it-yourself projects are quick and cost-effective, perfect for hours of old-school creativity. Turn cold and lazy days into memorable times with these artsy activities.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala works primarily as a medical abstract writer. He is also a sports enthusiast, arts lover, and avid landscape photographer. Get to know more about his interests by visiting this page.

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Top tips for better landscape photography

There is a reason why amateur landscape photography pales in comparison with a photo taken by a professional. Professionals take into consideration multiple elements and plan ahead when taking a picture instead of just whipping out a decent camera. If you want to take frame-worthy landscape photography, here are some tips to help you out.

Image source: lightstalking.com

Showcase depth: One of the strengths of landscape photography is the amount of detail one can show in an image. Simply wasting this space with a subject and the sky or the horizon as a background won’t get you much. When taking landscape photography, imagine a visual journey where the viewer sees one layer after another. Using a wide-angle lens immensely helps you capture a bigger frame.

Image source: iso.500px.com

Use water to your advantage: Water can be used in many ways even in landscape photography. You can use water as a reflective mirror to fill the image further provided the water is still, and the reflected image is crisp. Capturing the movement of water is another way of utilizing the element. When doing this, try practicing your long exposure skills to create amazing images.

Use people as subjects: The difficult thing about landscape photography is when people are detached to the photo. To better appreciate the image, people sometimes need points of reference just to see how big the image is. Besides objects, using people as subjects in landscape photography magnifies the image further. Keep in mind that the subject doesn’t have to be at the center of the image.

Vijaya Boggala has written a number of medical abstracts for scholarly journals. An artisan at heart, he also enjoys the arts and is particularly fond of DIY projects. He is also a photography enthusiast. More on Vijaya’s work and interests here.

Fun and creative DIY projects to work on

There are tons of cool do-it-yourself ideas you can find online and inside magazines, all aimed at sparking that creative and innovative side in people. DIY endeavors also make better use of things laying around or ready to go to the trash bin, making for more efficient and less costly living while supporting the call for environment-friendliness. Let’s list down some awesome DIYs to try out.

Image source: pinterest.com

One neat DIY idea is to use old nail polish to color-code the heads of your various keys, so that you know exactly which one opens which door or compartment. They would not only look eye-popping but get you better organized.

Another is to recycle dilapidated winter coats and sweaters by tying up the ends of the sleeves, inserting pillows inside, and using them a comfy and fluffy sleeping beds for y0ur pets. This project is easy to do, obviously, and your cats or dogs will be very comfortable with your smell while, well, being virtually hugged by you every time they lie down.

Image source: averiemakeup.com

For your kitchen, get a chopping board and drill a large enough hole on it where peels and other excess parts of cooking ingredients can just fall straight to a waste basket you’ll place directly below it.

Lastly, test your lettering and art designing skills by using a sharpie marker on your white mugs to make cute, personalized logos and put witty statements, like “I like my sugar with coffee and cream” (which comes from a Beastie Boys song).

<ahref=”https://sites.google.com/site/vijayaprakashboggala01/”>Vijaya Prakash Boggalahas written a number of medical abstracts for scholarly journals. An artisan at heart, he also enjoys the arts and is particularly fond of DIY projects. More on Vijaya’s work and interests <ahref=”https://www.flickr.com/people/141907604@N04/”>here.

The many reasons tennis is a beloved sport

Most sports give individuals the opportunity to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically.  Tennis is among the most loved sports of all time.  The benefits of playing (even watching) tennis is enjoyed by recreational and professional athletes of all ages.

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Tennis is a great workout.  From tossing the ball for service to hitting a volley, tennis keeps the body moving.  Over the years, team workouts have become a thing, yet tennis players have been doing that for decades.  The sport promises minimal injuries.  Yes, there could be sprained ankles or hurting wrists after hardcore tennis for years, but tennis is still considered a safe sport as compared to contact sports.

The sport can be considered affordable, even if it’s considered an elitist sport.  While tennis rackets, balls, and gear can be expensive, with the proper racket, footwear, and a free court, money won’t be an issue.  Tennis is played everywhere and is well-loved around the world.  Many friendships have been formed through playing the sport.  Learning to play tennis would mean having a skill for life.  Many tennis players who have quit playing for a time find that their bodies still know how to hit shots, thanks to muscle memory.

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Image source: auburnpub.com

As a social sport, it helps a person develop interpersonal skills that can be useful on and off the court.  Families are brought closer together by their love for the sport.  Tennis is a classic sport that has a wide following around the world.  It teaches a lot about how it is to have good sportsmanship in times of triumph and defeat.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala enjoys watching cricket, tennis, basketball, and other live sports.  Visit this blog for similar updates.

Essential tips and tricks for landscape photography

So you’re there, fronting a kaleidoscopic sunset or a break in the clouds that just revealed some majestic vista.  Understanding the basics of landscape photography is most important in these situations, as the challenge is in capturing the fleeting scene in all its glory.  Here are some tips to ensure that you will bring the moment with you.

Use a tripod

Even the most minute of shakings can ruin a photo, so a tripod is not just important but necessary.  Longer shutter speed requires such stability compensations because of the resulting small aperture.  Consider getting a wireless shutter to make the camera even more still.

A focal point is a must

As in all good photography, focal points allow the eyes to rest on a fixed position.  Without such a fixture, the shot will look dull and barren.  Use the rule of thirds when deciding where to situate the focal point in your shot.  These reference points could be, among others, a particularly interesting tree, rock, building, or plant.

Depth of field is key

Even more recent smartphone cameras have this function, and it’s because their depth of field is crucial in landscape photography.  Keep in mind that the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth.  Make it a point to get as much of the scene in focus; you are not taking portrait shots here.

Be conscious of lines

Lines that exist in the scenery, however subtle, lead the eyes of viewers into the image.  So be extra aware of them and how they create an illusion of movement and offer depth, pattern, and scale to your photo.

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Image source: playbuzz.com

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is a photography enthusiast.  Action photography, slow shutter speed photography, and landscape photography are among his favorite approaches.  For similar reads, drop by this blog.

Imagination and Mental Health: The Real Benefits of Art Therapy

When we hear about various creative fields like music, poetry, or the visual arts being used in therapy, we feel the urge to shun and judge what many consider New Age hocus-pocus. We have to remember though that they all have long histories of experimental trials and interventions. The pioneering theoretical expositions of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung on the therapeutic possibilities of art (i.e. visual) helped in its validation as an alternative to the more cruel methods used in asylums.

The shift from asylums to mental hospitals was a crucial one in the establishment of the changes that were to take place in the twentieth century. The redirection of focus from procedural medication and diagnosis to healing and a more interpersonal approach to it provided the entry point for most alternative practices.

So how does art become a medium, or an outlet, so to speak, for people suffering from different mental health issues? Experts usually mention communication as one of the most common struggles of patients. The prospect of talking to another human being is daunting, demanding emotional and mental openness. Art can serve as an intermediary between the patient and the rest of the world. Jung talked about patients giving “visible form to the image” as a way of “doing something about it.”

Image source: pixabay.com

Obviously, learning a skill also promotes a sense of achievement and builds overall confidence, especially with the help of a supportive community that recognizes the tedious process of overcoming these mental problems but is resolved to wait for the patient to come to terms with the necessity of self-revelation in his or her own time.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala has written a number of medical abstracts for scholarly journals and enjoys doing acrylic and oil paintings in his spare time. You can learn more about his interests and professional bcakground by visiting this site.

Dad’s Best Friend: Strengthening Father-son Relationships

Father-son relationships are beautiful and complex. However, some fathers think it’s not so “manly” for them to build a communicative and intimate relationship with their sons because of what others may think. This can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding as the child grows. Here’s how fathers can make stronger bonds with their sons.

Image source: shutterstock.com

Develop similar interests. Even if fathers work full-time, they can still make ends meet by spending time at home. Weekends are a great time for fathers and sons to explore similar interests like sports, literature, and other activities. Bonding over activities can both father and son become more open to one another.

Don’t be afraid to talk and listen. A lot of men struggle with expressing their thoughts and feelings effectively. When fathers take the time to talk (and listen) to their sons, they are teaching them to become effective communicators.

Image source: thewildvoice.org

Encourage sons to do better. A little word of encouragement goes a long way. Stress and negativity might bombard them in school or with their friends, but fathers must always focus on the positive. When fathers encourage, sons feel that they celebrate their accomplishments together. This develops trust and excellence.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is a medical abstract writer, artist-at-heart, and a proud father to a four-year-old boy. He is currently based in Greensboro, NC. Learn more about fatherhood, writing, and art when you visit this blog.

How To Encourage Children To Appreciate Art

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They say that a child’s brain is like a sponge, which means that toddlerhood is an opportune time for parents to teach kids the skills necessary for them to succeed in life. And art is known to improve children’s literacy and early development. Appreciation and practice of art help encourage their self-expression, imagination, creativity, open-mindedness, logic, and courage to take risks.

The following are some tips how to motivate children to take up art:

Give them access to open-ended art materials

When toddlers are given room to experiment and discover things they enjoy on their own, it is easier for them to fulfill their potential. Thus, in the home, there should be a wide variety of materials, including non-toxic drawing materials, papers, collage materials, and more. Parents should remember, though, that children are prone to putting things in their mouth, so kids doing art projects should be supervised, if possible.

Compliment the artworks

For young ones, the process of creating the artwork is much more important than the end product. Parents should then avoid criticizing the work of their children, and instead, focus on making open-ended comments to understand how the kids came up with the artwork.

Image source: whitevan.org

Take the kids to art museums

Not only can art museums sharpen the children’s comprehension of art elements, but it can also enhance their emotional, communication, and social skills. Parents should be prepared to discuss with their children their observations and analysis of the pieces of art they find in the museum.

Medical abstract writer Vijaya Boggala is an artisan at heart who enjoys a wide array of arts. He is also a proud father of a five-year-old boy. Subscribe to this blog for more articles about arts.

Grand Slam Kings And Queens:Players With The Most Slam Titles

The just-concluded French Open saw Rafael Nadal win his 10th championship in the Grand Slam event, further cementing his title as the “King of Clay.” The French Open is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments held every year – Australian Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open are the others.This makes winning even one a rarity for the hundreds of tennis players that compete, except for these all-time great men and women athletes.

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Margaret Court

Margaret Court won a total of 24 Grand Slam singles titles in a professional career that lasted 17 years. With these championships, it is hard to argue with people who consider Court as the best player ever. She is a pioneer in the sport as she is the first woman to include fitness training and weights in her workouts, and as a result, she had a long and generally injury-free career.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams trails Court by just one singles title, and given her dominance of the competition in the recent years, everyone assumed that she would pass Court’s record this year. However, Williams announced earlier this year that she was pregnant with her first child. Thus, overtaking Court would have to wait for at least a year.

Rafael Nadal

While Nadal is considered the greatest clay court player ever, he is no slouch on other surfaces either. He has five non-French Open Grand Slam titles, bringing his total to 15. If it were not for recurring injuries, he might have won more championships.

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Image source:theringer.com

Roger Federer

Few people would dispute that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. He holds numerous records, including the highest number of Grand Slam titles among men players with 18. And at the age of 35, he is still competing for major championships; it would not surprise people if Federer bags another Grand Slam title or two.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is an avid watcher of live sports, which include tennis, cricket, and basketball. Read more about these sports by following this Tumblr page.

Photography 101: A Study In Exposure

Exposure matters. Even with the existence of cameras with automatic settings, it’s always best for photographers to handle exposure manually. By mastering exposure, the quality of an image can change for the better.

First, understanding the “exposure triangle” is crucial. Setting the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will dictate how much light will be processed in capturing the image. This is where underexposure and overexposure come into play. Underexposure happens when the finished image looks dark due to lack of lighting. Meanwhile, overexposure occurs when there’s too much light.

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Image source: Photographylife.com

Now, think of aperture as a small hole within the lens that controls how much light will pass through it. F-stops measure this aspect. The lower the f-stop, the larger the opening. So, if the setting is f/4, more light will enter.

Shutter speed controls how the camera will capture movement. For example, for sporting events, photographers favor a faster shutter speed as it captures each movement without blurring. For landscapes and portraits, a slower shutter speed allows for better processing of a still image.

And lastly, there’s the ISO. This aspect can be considered the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO is more sensitive to light while a lower setting makes it less reactive to it. For the majority, a lower ISO is always better as it prevents image noise.

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Image source: Itsjustlight.com

These three aspects are important to create a memorable image. Mastering how to manipulate these three requires trial and error. But once a photographer gets the hang of it, he’ll be able to come up with remarkable renditions of the images he captures.

Vijaya Boggala works primarily as a medical abstract writer. He is also a sports enthusiast, arts lover, and avid landscape photographer. Get to know more about his interests by visiting this page.