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Author Archives: Adrian Evans

Temperature Control Kettles

The world of commerce is always looking for ways to sell things to us. One way they do this is to create/invent new products that they think we want.

Sometimes this results in something completely new and that becomes a must have product. But most times the new product becomes a fad and slowly disappears, never to be seen again.

Evolving by Design

old fashioned stove kettlekettle whistleYet another approach is to take an existing product and enhances it in some way that makes it even more useful. This is quite tricky as most products that have been around for a long time tend to have reached their pinnacle of design. For example – how could you improve a hammer?

Well I’m going to direct your attention to the humble kettle. The kettle has been with us for a very longtime over a thousand years. It’s only function is to boil water. The addition of a whistle, attached to the spout, told you that the water had boiled.

A big step forward for the humble kettle was the use of an electric element. This allowed designers to provide a mechanism to switch off the electric, once the water had boiled.

See the modern kettle story

Now we have Variable Temperature Kettles

Today we have the variable temperature kettle. This is the latest innovation, what it does is to turn the kettle into a water heater. Yes, it can still boil water, fulfilling the kettles primary function but in addition it can heat water to any other temperature that it’s owner has set.

So you can set your kettle to heat water to any temperature you choose and the kettle will stop once that temperature is reached. Not only that, these kettles are designed to maintain that temperature for a short time. Meaning that if you’re delayed using the water straight away, you don’t have to reheat the water again, it will be at the temperature you set. Usually this period of time that the water is kept at the set temperature is approximately fifteen minutes.

Apps for a Kettle

iphone-6s-plusLove them or loathe them, we now live in the era of the smartphone. Everything that comes to us these days has its own app. And yes you guessed it, so do some variable temperature kettles.

These apps, which as you would expect, come for both Android and iPhone, are actually quite useful. If you fill the kettle with water then you can switch it on, wherever you are, set the desired temperature and the kettle goes to work. When the kettle has done its job, it will contact you via the app to let you know that the water is ready. phone apps explained

modern kettleThe Kettles Future is Assured

This is an evolution of the humble electric kettle which greatly extends the kettles usefulness. With the advances of modern tap design in the kitchen, where both boiling water and filtered cold water can be delivered instantly. Questions were being asked as to whether we still need a kettle at all.

The variable temperature kettle adds a new and very useful function to our kettles. Which means that the familiar kettle is still be with us well into the future. Kettle past and present

iphone being usedMy Old iPhone

I’ve had my current iPhone for three years now. I don’t really need to upgrade yet. What I use my phone for is basic texting and social media. I don’t really need a super camera on a phone I can do all that with my dSLR camera.

Although the new models do look nice. I can wait a bit before upgrading. If I lost the phone or it breaks then I’d have to upgrade but that’s an extreme situation which hopefully won’t happen.

iphone ready to goWirelessly

But looking at those new phones that Apple introduced I can see they have wireless charging and that is something I’d be quite interested to have.

A colleague of my has an Android cell phone, with wireless charging capability built in, just like the new iPhones. He has a wireless charger pad at home and one in the office, attached to his computer screen.

When he’s in the office he just puts the phone on the pad and it charges. He said that it charges quite slowly but then it’s on the charging pad most of the day. So it’s always topped up and ready to go. The best thing is, he said, that he rarely has his phone on a low charge anymore.

And he does the same thing at home puts the phone on the charger as soon as he gets home. This gives him two benefits the phone is already charging and he always knows where his phone is.

iphone workingI Want One

I decided I wanted what he had but I’m not an Android type guy, it has to be Apple. That’s when I found that you can get a kit, like the ones here That allows any iPhone charge wireless charging no matter how old the phone is.

So I bought one and it takes 30 seconds to fit and it works! It’s just so simple, now and just like my colleague I’ve got a charging pad at home and one in the office.

A really useful feature to have and recommended to anyone with an old iPhone.

beginners guide to the iphone  the iphone story


making music88 key digital piano

This Christmas past, I decided to get my son a piano. We don’t have room for a real piano, even a small upright piano would be too big. So, as a compromise I got him an 88 key keyboard from

Key Requirements

The most important thing for me was that it had to be piano like. By that I mean it had to mimic the way a real piano behaves. Luckily most of the ones on the website do this with aplomb.

I wasn’t sure if my son would take to it at first, because he sees his piano lessons as a form of school homework. But he’s really gotten into it now the holidays are over and his piano lessons have started again.

I think that because it’s ‘his’ keyboard he feels in control of it. And we haven’t forced him in any way, that has sort of worked to our advantage.

Choosing a keyboard for kids

child playingMy Son’s Loving It

The other aspect of a keyboard over a piano is that being electronic it can synthesis different sounds and that does keep him engaged as he’s really stepping beyond just the basic piano lessons.

Amazingly, and really only possible on an electronic keyboard, is that you can split the keyboard in half sound wise. So the high notes would mimic say an alto sax and the low notes could be a baritone sax. This would be too advanced for my son at this stage but I’m sure he’ll discover it soon and start experimenting.

Chord Progression for Youngsters

digital pianoToys for Christmas

He’s quite lucky in some ways, having lots of uncles and aunties all buying the usual toys and books for him at Christmas and birthdays. So that’s why I decided on something more cerebral. And thankfully is paid off.

There seems to be willingness to have his piano lessons now, whereas before Christmas I felt that resistance to go his lessons. Now I don’t have to cajole him anymore, which is perfect.

Modern Interior

Interior Designers – Feng Shui London

Here in North London, we’re always on the lookout for good Feng Shui interior designers and we found this one London interior design

Interior Designers

A standard interior designer is a fine choice for any interior space. They consider the requirements of the space, its purpose, its function. They then formulate a cohesive design around your likes and preferences.

The really good Interior designers, offer a complete range of services from just a design plan, for you to follow – to a complete, project managed, makeover. Which could be a house, a restaurant, an office or shop. Any interior space can be transformed by their services.

Pebbles in balanceThe Feng Shui Element

However companies like Kenza Design offer something extra – Feng Shui. This is not a common combination of skills as to become a Feng Shui master takes many years of dedication to learn all the skills. But the two disciplines complement each other perfectly.

The Five Feng Shui elements in your home

The Feng Shui Way

Feng Shui is all about our inner well being and our outer prosperity. Arranging all the elements around us to keep the body healthy and give good balance in your life. And the places we live in are very important. They needs to be purposely designed and set up in the right way to get the right levels of chi to flow through. When you combine the skill of a Feng Shui expert and that of an interior designer together, you get the best of both worlds. Delivered in a beautiful aesthetic way. With all the design elements working together, in harmony with the Feng Shui charms and cures providing balance.

Rules for Decorating he Feng Shui way

Interior Designer London

Good interior design covers a range of disciplines, from aesthetics to ergonomics to just good taste. The skill of the designer is to bring harmony into the space, while at the same time creating an interior that is practical and fit for purpose.

Interior design need not be that expensive, when taken in proportion to refitting a complete house, it’s quite a small cost. Especially as the cost of getting wrong could cost you a lot more.

Interior Design Ideas

Photo Lightbox - Alarm ClocksImages for ebay

I’m an eBay seller and I take lots of photos of products that I then list on eBay.

When I started I was so pleased I could buy stock and list it on eBay within a few minutes. I’d use my phone and just upload the images to eBay, write a quick description, add the price and the terms – done.

It became apparent that my photos weren’t as slick as some of the other sellers. With things in the background, which made the image look cluttered, I just took photos in our small warehouse. The warehouse was quite dark so I always had to have use the phones flash and that made things worse.

Photo Lightbox - Pocket WatchBetter Images

If I was going to get serious I had to improve the images going onto eBay. Luckily I have a friend who’s a photographer and he showed me what I needed and how to set things up and use them. I didn’t want to become a photographer, just take better images.

I bought a Canon dSLR, nothing to grand just one up from entry level and a tripod. This was the base of the setup as he explained to me. A good camera to get quality images and a tripod to make the it rock steady.

The images certainly improved and the camera was now set, I could use low shutter speeds and not use the camera’s flash, which improved things a lot.

Photo Lightbox - pocket-watchI had to use a Photo Lightbox

But there was still something missing. Let’s say I felt my images could be improved. My photographer friend told me to get a my photo light box. But don’t go cheap, he said. Get something of quality and make sure it’s big enough to do handle the objects you want to photograph.

So he pointed me to this site Photo Lightbox Which have various models that give great results. The model I bought comes with its own set of lights as well. It didn’t take long to master and that was the missing piece I needed.

Choosing the right Light box

Now my pictures on eBay look really good, professional quantity. They look clean and uncluttered and it’s important that only the item I want to sell is in the shot and this is what the photo light box does with aplomb.

The quality also gives the customer the confidence that they’re dealing with someone that provides a quality service not some backstreet outfit. As a result sales have increased as well.

So setting up with some quantity photographic gear has definitely paid for itself. A worth while investment.

how to use lights with a photo lightbox

African Shona Sculpture - Ladies

My Sculpture

I love my Shona Sculpture, which we have on our the lawn at the front of the house. It’s an African sculpture imported from Zimbabwe, although you can now get then sourced here shona stone sculpture

The Old Bird Table

We used to have a bird table in the front but I always felt that looked a bit odd. I wanted something more impressive out front. We moved the bird table to the back in the middle of our little pond and I think out looks a lot better there, more natural. And also when we spend those late spring and early summer days in the garden, we get to see all our little visitors coming to the bird table.

All about Bird Tables

The New Sculpture

Once we moved the bird table we now had a gap in the front, which needed filling. It’s amazing how it is that when something was there and is taken away, that you realise that something is missing, I wanted to make a statement, a visual statement and I already knew that it was going to be a sculpture of some kind. But I didn’t want something too expensive, as for 1 – I couldn’t afford it, and 2 – it might get stolen or damaged in some way. Our neighbourhood is quite quite, we don’t tend to get any vandalism around here. But something valuable might be a temptation for somebody.

How to Place Garden Sculptures

African Shona Sculpture

When I can across the link above, I was fascinated by the range and types of sculpture on offer. The web site even has some details on how the sculptures are made African shona stone sculptures. Shona Sculpture has a real African feel to it as though the spirit of the African continent came with it.

Because they are all hand made, carved from stone, no two sculptures are every the same. Therefore the Shona Sculpture you buy will always be unique. Like ours is.
But above all the give us great pleasure and people always comment on them as they pass the house.

More images of Shona Sculpture

waterbest water softener system

There are some great inventions already in the 21st century. But for us, those that save time or makes our lives more pleasant, are the most useful.

Here we take a look at a device, which although simple, should be more prominently featured. We’re talking about household water softeners.

They’re small, require no maintenance and fit onto your water supply, converting it from hard to soft water. Occasionally, you have to refill the softener. Which are just blocks of common salt, one of the cheapest and abundant of the earth’s raw materials. Like the ones shown here

Antique Brass taps

more about hard water

house water softener

So why are they so beneficial to you?

Well hard water really is fairly destructive and it’s the reason that many water appliances (washing machine, dish washer and boilers) need to be replaced every five years or so.

Taps, showers, baths and sinks, all get a build up of limescale which are mineral salts contained in the hard water. These leach out off the water all the time but especially as the water gets hot.

The problem is always there and it gets worse as the years go by. The limescale deposits accumulate. With taps and stopcocks, the limescale, dissolved in the water, is able to penetrate the thread in these devices. Then just like glue, they seize up.

hard water science

water softening systems

Pipes clog on the inside, just like arteries clog with cholesterol, so water pipes in hot water systems clog with limescale. But you won’t ever see this but you’ll notice that central heating systems weren’t as hot as they once were.

But it gets worse, you see limescale stores heat, just like clay bricks do. When this limescale starts to build up on heating elements, a lot of heat energy is stored in the limescale deposit, which is acting as an insulator. The result, your feel cooler in your house even though you’re paying the same amount for your heating bills.

We’ve just shown you a few of the benefits here. There are many more. For more information about limescale, take a look here ??

Studio Set up

How it all Started

Like a few photographers I know, I started photography at college. Because camera equipment isn’t cheap I began with black and white film. The advantage of this was that me and my fellow students could buy really good camera bodies and lenses real cheap, because everyone,at the time, were going over to digital. Apart from the fact that the only electronic piece on my camera was the light meter everything else had to be set by the me. So that old Nikon camera did a lot to teach me the basics of my craft on.

Digital Age

After college I soon moved onto digital and although I marvelled at all the sophisticated software and camera capabilities, I felt I’d lost overall control. But I soon got the hang of the new technology. And because I like to be in control I decided to shoot in manual mode. Not everyone’s choice but it works for me.

Later as time went by I wanted to do more studio work. So I tentatively began buying lights soft boxes, light meters and the like to work with light and set things up just the way I like to get the best shot. And that’s what I do today, product shots mainly. Sometimes with models,sometimes not.

I went from a studio in a room in my house to a studio in a much bigger double garage, net to my house. The garage is great but lacks a bit of height, but it’s free. The next step will be to rent a proper studio with north facing windows, somewhere in the country where I live. But that’s for the future, when the amount of commissions I get make it work while.

But although photography is now a job for me, I still also include it as one of my hobbies. When I’m out and about I can be more creative, more adventurous. I suppose photography is in my blood.