Drawing of the day – Chillin’ with an iPad

Drawing v. 1New drawing in my sketchbook – Me chilling’ in my Furlicious Beanbag with my new Ipad Air
Drawing v. 2

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I love discovering interesting products and love to write about them. I’m planning a renovation at our apartment and was looking at the cool furniture pieces, when I came across PB Teen website. While their target audience is teenagers and college students, their cute designs might find the way to the hearts of some grown-ups too. At the end, we’re all children at heart.

Furlicious beanbag is in my opinion the perfect addition to any interior. I love fluffy and comfy things and can easily imagine myself getting cozy in it while drinking hot cocoa, listening to nice music, drawing, reading a book or playing with an iPad.

This beanbag can be ordered online – Furlicious Small + Large Beanbags

And with a limited time special you can get it at 84$ for the small one (actually not that small – 36″ diameter) and at 185$ for a large one (huge one to me – 41″ diameter). Price includes slipcover and insert and doesn’t include  the delivery. You can also buy slipcover or insert separately.

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“The rule of thirds” is one of the basic rules of composition. The main object of your photo shoot will look more interesting if it is not centered, but closer to one of the corners. iPhone camera has the built-in grid feature which will make your life easier. Prior to ios 7 you could turn on the grid right in the Camera app. Now in ios 7 the grid is hidden in the General Settings.

In Settings select Photos & Camera
In Settings select Photos & Camera

Slide the finger to turn the Grid on

Slide the finger to turn the Grid on
How to turn on the grid - 3
Now you can see the grid lines when you take a photo!

If you want to learn more about ‘the rule of thirds’, visit iMore’s How to make your iPhone photography more striking with the “rule of thirds” or look at Business Insider’s Rule of Thirds and lots of other tips on how to make iPhone photography better.

Natella’s view: “The rule of thirds’ was very useful. I went out and tried to compose my pictures using the rule and was pleased with the result most of the times. But, as they say, rules are meant to be broken, and some objects looked better when centered like the big flowerpot in one of my pictures below. “

So. here are the pictures using and breaking ‘the rule of thirds’. All of them are black and white, because it suited my mood, but I will add more color photos later. All photos have been done in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Rule of thirds - 3Rule of thirds - 2Rule of thirds - 1Rule of thirds - 6Rule of thirds - 4Rule of thirds - 5

Hope you found the info useful and if you decide to try using this rule in your photos, I would love to see them.

 

iPhoneography 101

About two years ago an iPhone (my first Apple product) entered my life and ever since I’ve been thankful to Steve Jobs and the Apple company for changing my life in so many ways. This may sound exaggerated, but it truly made my life so much easier and simpler and every interaction with this piece of technology is a wonderful experience.  One of the features I use and admire the most is the iPhone camera. It takes such great pictures that it eliminated for me the need to carry around the usual camera. Mine wasn’t professional and very heavy, but it still took a lot of space in my bag. Now iPhone does it all for me. The indoor pictures aren’t that great, but the ones done outdoors and with a good light are truly colorful and amazing.

I love taking pictures and as an artist I must take great pictures. You don’t always get an opportunity to paint outdoors, so by capturing a great moment on a camera, I can later use it as a reference for my drawings and paintings. Additionally, the chance of using the same reference picture with another artist is close to zero.

I like my photography skills, but there’s always a room for improvement. I made my research on the subject and found some great tips and advice. I’ve looked specifically at iPhone photography tips, but most of these advice can apply to taking pictures with any kind of camera. In this post, I will make a list and continue to add separate posts on each advice together with my own pictures using that advice. Let’s start!

1. Use “rule of thirds” for your images – Set your camera settings to show the grid or imagine your screen split into 3×3 squares and try to place the object of your shot closer to the intersection of these lines rather than in the center of the picture. Not always, but most of the times this makes the picture compositionally more interesting. The same rule also applies in drawing and painting, by the way.

If you never used you iPhone camera, this post will help you to get started. It was written before ios 7 been introduced, but you still can get the idea. http://www.imore.com/iphone-photography-starters-guide

Hope you have a great time taking pictures and would love if you share your tips and views on the subject!

The Secret Movie

I take a great pleasure in writing this post about the movie that transformed the lives of billions – The Secret. It is rather difficult to find a person who hasn’t seen or heard of this movie. But, if by chance you haven’t, I hope you can dedicate 1 hour and 30 minutes of your precious time to watch it.

I watched the movie about 4-5 years ago and it was a stepping stone to the amazing changes in myself, in my thinking and in my life as a result of those inner changes. Once I saw this movie, I remember I couldn’t stop talking about it to all my friends and relatives. And then I witnessed tremendous changes in the lives of those of them who were willing to change their thinking.

Today I found this video in my Recommended list on YouTube and decided to watch it again. And I noticed so many more insights from the first time and remembered again some of the concepts that I already forgot. So, even if you watched the movie before, may I suggest you to watch it again, especially if you’re having rough times. I’m sure the movie will raise your vibration and positivity level up again.

To sum up the movie in few words, The Secret = The Law of Attraction. You attract what you think about. If you focus on your problems, you draw to yourself more of that. If you have more positive thoughts, thoughts of happiness and joy, as a magnet you will attract joyous and happy experiences in your life. You are the creator of your life and the Universe responds to your every wish. It doesn’t differentiate the positive from negative. So, if you want to change something in your life, all you have to do is to shift your focus.

The creative process can be described in 3 simple steps:
1. Ask
2. Believe
3. Receive

Before this movie, I didn’t even realize how many negative thoughts I had. The process of transformation for me wasn’t very easy and didn’t happen over a day or a month. I’m still working on it every day. However, I put a lot of effort in it and now about 70% of my thoughts are focused on health, wealth, joy and abundance. And, as a result, day by day I attract amazing happy people, joyous experiences and a lot of times I receive such pleasant surprises from the Universe, I didn’t even know were possible.

After ‘The Secret’ movie, it’s amazing author, Rhonda Byrne, wrote “The Secret’ book, ‘The Power’ and the ‘The Magic’ books. Her new book, ‘The Hero’ hit the stores November, 19th and I can’t wait to get myself a copy.

If you liked the movie, you can also find a lot of useful information on ‘The Secret’ official website – http://www.thesecret.tv/. I enjoy reading the stories from different people all around the world on how ‘The Secret’ and the proper use of the Law of Attraction transformed their lives. You can find them in the http://thesecret.tv/stories/ section.

Wishing you health, wealth and abundance!

 

The Secret to Personal Change

Great advice from my favorite Deepak Chopra, which I found here: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130928001037-75054000-the-secret-to-personal-change

Most people want to change something about themselves. In this country we have an optimistic tradition about “getting somewhere” and “reaching higher,” which includes getting somewhere with the self. Change and optimism go together. It seems, in the current economic downturn, that optimism is lagging, but there’s still a strong motivation to succeed, which means overcoming obstacles. Many, if not most of the obstacles that people face in their rise to success, are personal. Which is why almost everyone wants to change a habit, a personality trait, a chronic state of anxiety, and so on.

The problem with personal change is that if you attack your old habits directly, the task is quite difficult. The mind that desires change confronts the mind that is bound by old conditioning. The result is inner conflict, with one side pushing and the other side resisting. Countless people feel trapped inside this war, whether their goal is to stop overeating, manage their anger, become more assertive, or stop being fearful – the desire to change isn’t enough, and keeping up the motivation to change soon wears out.

The secret to personal change is to stop fighting against yourself. If the inner war was winnable, you’d have won it long ago. I’m not advising you to give up. Giving up takes you out of the war zone, but that’s not enough to create positive change. Your brain is still trained to follow the pathways set down by habit and conditioning. This is where the secret to personal change comes in. Change occurs by giving the brain new pathways. Without these new pathways, your default reactions will remain in place. Brain wiring isn’t the same as house wiring. Even if you are “wired” to overeat or to lose your temper quickly, these reactions can be over-ridden.

The process has a few steps that need to be repeated anytime you find yourself having a familiar, undesirable reaction.

1. Notice what you’re about to do.

2. Pause, close your eyes and wait until the surge of your reaction quiets down.

3. Ask yourself if you really need to react this way.

What you’re doing with these steps is bringing in the higher brain, which is the only part that can decide to change and then carry out the change. The part that keeps you from changing is emotional and impulsive – in other words the lower brain. The lower brain has quicker access than the higher brain, which is why you jump when you hear a car backfire and only seconds later make the decision that you are not in danger. Survival impulses like hunger, aggression, and fight-or-flight aren’t stronger than reason; they are just faster and thoughtless.

By pausing and waiting for the surge to pass, you give yourself time to do the things that the higher brain is expert at: considering, reflecting, weighing options, etc. But here comes the tricky part. If you have given in to impulse and habit many times, ignoring the choices available to your higher brain, grooves of habit become the path of least resistance. In a word, the more often the lower brain is favored, the weaker your decision-making becomes. That’s why overeaters feel helpless to change their eating habit. They aren’t hungrier than other people; they’ve weakened their other choices.

So your campaign, whatever kind of change you are aiming for, is to take back your power to choose. You must do this over and over. Only repetition can rebalance your brain, allowing stronger pathways to be built and older grooves to wear out. Besides the three steps given above, the following are also very useful.

– Write down how you feel.

– Make a note whenever you make a better choice.

– Appreciate your good choices and celebrate the fact that you made them.

These additional steps reinforce higher-brain awareness. They reconnect you to your emotional brain and teach it to see that it doesn’t feel good just to overeat, lose your temper, or act aggressive. It feels just as good to make a better choice. Celebration, which many people leave out, reinforces the positive emotional side of making better choices. When you put all these steps together, they make change possible, not by fighting against yourself, but by adding the fulfillment of knowing that you are the author of your own life story and can turn the plot in any direction you want.