Getting Into Art & Drawing


Everyone would love to be able to draw or paint and make beautiful pictures. But how to start? Not everyone has the time to go to Art School!

We know that starting it can be daunting. So we’ve made it easy. We’ve got a page for each type of art. We’ve taken the best ‘How To’ DVDs for each type, and a link to the best online artstores with exactly what you need to get started.

So all you have to do is to choose what you want to learn. Do you want to make beautiful oil paintings? Wonderful watercolors? Delightful drawings? Or do you want to start by learning about the History of Art and Composition? Maybe it’s your children. Do you want to help your children discover their inner artist?

Whatever you want this is the place to start. You don’t have to wade through pages and pages of information that you don’t need. Everything is here.
Have a look through the different types of Art, select the one that appeals most then click on the ‘How To’ to get the best DVDs and Step-by-Step books and then on ‘What You Need’ to get the exact materials you need – all at great prices and delivered to your home.

Start to learn art today and soon you will be producing beautiful artworks for your friends and family to admire.


Who hasn’t wished they could just pick up a pencil and create something beautiful? If you watch artists at work they make it look so easy. And by following the step by step instructions you will find that you learn the techniques which differentiate you as an artist.

Anywhere Anytime

Who hasn’t doodled in a class, in a meeting, at their desk? Drawing can be done anywhere. You can practice your techniques while carrying on with your everyday life!

Pencils and Charcoal

Drawing is the most affordable of art forms. All you need are pencils and paper. Pencils range from hard (4H) which are used for precision drawing, through to 6B which is soft and great for smudging. Charcoal is great for smudging and effects, but be prepared to have messy fingers!


You can get beautiful paper which just begs to be drawn on. Thick, textured and creamy. But you don’t need that to start with. Ordinary ‘Visual Diaries’ come in many sizes. They have good heavy paper and are very reasonable.

Colored Pencils

Colored pencils are not just for children. They can make beautiful art works. Their huge advantage is that they are the easiest things to pick up and put down – no preparation, no dried out brushes. Just pick up your pencil and go!

The Most Affordable Medium

Colored pencils are very cheap, and you can buy individual pencils if you tend to use some colors more than others.

Portable and Always Ready

You can use them anywhere! Light and easy to carry, you can put them in your bag or pocket without worrying about mess. And they are ready anytime. No preparation needed.

You Can Add Water!

Watercolor pencils are similar to colored pencils, with the added benefit of being able to use water for different effects. You can paint with water over your drawing, pick up color from the pencil using a brush, wet the pencil and draw with it or wet the paper you’re working on. Have fun experimenting with all the different ways!

Portland Seniors Getting Ready For Retirement Living

Planning for retirement living involves so much research since you have to factor in numerous factors such as the cost of living, where you expect to live, tax burden, lifestyle expenses and long term health costs. On the other hand, the definition of a happy retirement differs among different people. For some, it may mean spending more time with family. Or maybe you envision a transition from a full-time career into part-time work, visiting the golf course regularly, or starting a garden. Therefore, it is vital to figure out exactly how to get there financially by planning your strategy and building funds.

Hawthorne-Gardens1. Define the life you want in your retirement

How do you want to spend your retirement? Write down all your goals, starting with the most important objectives. For now, focus on ideas rather than the budget and be as detailed as you can. For instance, instead of simply listing “travel”, you can list “touring foreign countries” or “or regular trips to the ocean”. This will create a clear picture of how you envision retirement. Moreover, you should be practical in order to rule out any unnecessary expenses and make sure your financial needs can be met even as you brainstorm. Focusing on realistic goals makes your retirement living plans even more tangible and attainable.

2. Analyze your assets

Take stock of any nontraditional assets that can be used to fund your retirement. Perhaps you restore cars or collect antiques. Most skills and hobbies can easily help you generate extra income during retirement. For instance, you can teach piano lessons or start trading antiques. After listing all your nontraditional assets, hobbies and skills, it’s time to think how these skills and hobbies can be morphed into money making ventures.

3. Assess your health

It is critical to be as healthy as possible in order to get the best out of retirement. This can be achieved through preventive medical attention such as preventive exams and checkups. Work with your doctor at each appointment to plan how you can improve your health. Healthy living can include simple measures such as commitment to healthy living, getting enough sleep, exercising or staying mentally sharp with books, puzzles and brain games. On the other hand, most healthy foods are satisfying and very delicious. One of the most effective ways of maintaining good health both mentally and physically is staying in contact with friends and family because it fights off any blues especially when you are retired.

4. How much do you want to work?

In most cases, retires either have to give up some retirement goals and stretch out limited funds or continue working in some capacity in order to pay for their dreams. Therefore, you must consider how much work is necessary when listing your retirement objectives. However, you should not wait until retirement to decide how much time you need or want to spend at work (number of hours per week) during retirement in order to reach your retirement goals. This will help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of working.

5. Create your retirement budget


· How much you are earning

· The amount of debt you have

· The total cost of reaching your retirement goals

You can start by tracking your expenses and income for several months and figure out how much you’ll need to support the lifestyle you desire in retirement. You also need to assess your investment and diversify your portfolio but be sure to invest only in things you understand. Include monthly payments to settle your debts if you have any. Once you have successfully created a budget you can stick to, put it into action.

6. Start thinking and talking about moving to a retirement community

There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the ideal retirement community including your lifestyle, needs, and budget. Discuss all your expectations with loved ones in order to make the right decisions. In fact, a recent research by AARP (American Association for Retired Persons) shows that 75% of children with parents who are approaching retirement age have considered independent living options for their parents. Consider the importance of amenities, activities, and location.

Medical expenses are inevitable especially in retirement and you might even require extra help. Therefore, you need to consider purchasing long-term supplemental insurance if there is a chance you’ll eventually need to move to a retirement community.

Is Portland becoming the top relocation destination?

As many of you have probably noticed or heard in the news, Portland, Oregon is becoming quite the popular place. The city is getting a lot of buzz in various media outlets and seems to be on the subject of a lot of talk as far as one of the booming cities and destinations for people to relocate to.  The economy is doing well and with major companies headquartered nearby such as Nike and Intel, there is plenty of workforce availability for the high tech industry.

According to this CNN article Oregon was the top destination for people who moved out of state in 2015. That statistic is staggering but to those living in Portland it does make sense as we’ve all noticed things getting more crowded.  If you take a look at the graph below it shows the high level of interest and number of Google searches for those inquiring about moving to Portland online, and the majority, as shown in the 2nd chart, were searching from California:

According to CNBC one of the main reasons people are flocking here is because pricing, relatively speaking, is reasonably low for good and housing. This is the case especially when compared to our neighbor from the south, California, where home prices have been skyrocketing for over a decade. Coincidentally California happens to be where the majority of new Portland residents are relocating from. Bend, Oregon has seen a sharp population increase in the last 10 years and over 70% of those new residents are former residents of the bay area.

Ref. Portland’s best SEO company, Updraft SEO.

How’s the Weather in Portland?


As many of you have probably already heard it does rain a lot in the Northwest, and Portland is no exception to that rule.  Having lived in the Northwest my whole life (mainly the Seattle and Portland metro areas) I can tell you that the rain is just something you learn to live with for a chunk of the year. It usually comes down pretty hard in the fall and winter months (between October and February) and, depending on the year, this can really seem like 5 days out of the week are gloomy and drab. This can really wear on certain types of people so it does take a special person to be a Northwestern’er.  Some years the rain is less however and it is much easier to tolerate overall.

Come winter we never expect much in the snow department but if we’re lucky we will get a few inches once or twice during the winter season. This is a welcomed treat for most people and it’s especially nice to have a white Christmas.

The spring and summer are really where it’s at in Portland and is when all the people seem to come out with smiles on their faces. Summers in the Northwest are truly some of the best in the country. There is so much green from everything getting an overabundance of water for several months and even the plants and trees seem alive and happy.

For any contractors looking to move into the area the Portland economy is also booming. Not to mention there is plenty of rain to keep your siding company or roofing company busy 🙂

Why You Need To Visit Portland

Portland is a city with many diverse and welcoming people, beautiful parks and landmarks, and lots of delicious food and breweries. Portland is more of an experience than simply a city. Here are some of the attractions, and features of Portland that make it a must visit.

The landscape of Portland is tranquil and welcoming. Portland is full of beautiful and lush forests. There are trees everywhere. The city is divided by the Willamette river.

The river allows the city to have a plethora of amazing bridges. Each bridge has its own unique design, and the trees and bridges combine to make things aesthetically pleasing.

A Real Food City

One of the things Portland is becoming known for is their many delicious food trucks. Compiling a list of the best food trucks in Portland is too difficult, as they have so many high rated food trucks. The food trucks have something for everyone from Thai food, vegan food, pizza, chicken, Mexican food, and anything else you can think of.

In addition to having some of the best food trucks in the country, Portland has some amazing breweries. Deschutes Brewery in the Pearl District of Portland, makes some of the finest craft beers. The Fresh Squeezed IPA, which is a blend of citrus and grapefruit flavors, is not to be missed.

If you are a lover of desserts, then you must pay Voodoo Donuts a visit. The original location in Southwest Portland often has waits of over an hour to eat some of the most inventive donuts around. Voodoo Donuts have interesting ncity-of-portland-orames and flavors such as the Bacon Maple Bar, the ODB which contains Oreos and Peanut Butter, and Triple Chocolate Penetration which features Cocoa Puffs on top.

Many Different Attractions

Portland has plenty of cool attractions to check out as well. The Portland Zoo at Washington Park runs through a forest. Unlike other Zoos, the animals at the Portland Zoo have plenty of room to roam. Each enclosure is quite spacious.

Also at Washington Park is Portland’s famous Rose Garden. The Rose Garden features enchanting roses of all colors. The beauty of Washington Park continues above the Rose Garden at the Japanese Gardens. The Japanese Gardens are perfect to visit when it’s raining.

The sound of the rain hitting the Koi fish ponds is quite relaxing, and the Japanese Gardens just seem to transport you to an early century in Japan. Between the Rose Gardens and The Japanese Gardens, it’s easy to spend at least a half day there soaking in all the beauty that nature can offer.

Something that makes Portland its own experience is that it doesn’t do landmarks like other cities. The phrase “Keep Portland Weird”, applies as it’s weird that a bookstore is a wonderful place to visit. The Pearl District contains an enormous palace of books named Powell’s City of Books.

Powell’s bookstore is so large that there are information desks peppered throughout the whole store. The workers there are friendly, and can help you find the book you are looking for.

Portland also has a world renowned medical science industry that centers around The Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) located in the downtown industrial district. It is also known for its LASIK surgery also known as LASIK eye surgery.

Between the food, the people, and the amazing scenery Portland is definitely a city to come visit at least once. Its little quirks and charms separate it from similar cities like Seattle. When you leave Portland, you will likely leave with pleasant memories, and want to return soon.