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Archive for October, 2013

Design The Perfect Flea Market Stand

Posted on: October 30th, 2013 by Quik Shade No Comments


Whether you sell vintage lamps, handmade scarves, or an eclectic mix of unusual trinkets, flea markets are a paradise for shoppers and vendors alike. Any vendor who has attended even one flea market knows that competition can be stiff, however, and the most successful stands are the ones that take care to create a welcoming and interesting environment.

Here are a few tips on how to create a great flea market stand:

 1. Keep All Items Organized and Neatly Labeled

Particularly if you have a wide variety of items at your stand. Try using colorful bins or even vases or other interesting containers for items and use bright and easily visible labels to indicate pricing. Using a variety of shapes and sizes for organizational bins can give your stand an inviting look and the correct amount of labeling will help avoid confusion.

 2. Use a Pop Up Canopy For Shade

Most flea markets take place in wide open spaces with little to no shading. Protect yourself, your customers, and your merchandise from the sun by bringing a pop up canopy. They are very quick and easy to assemble and can add a fun splash of color to your stand while they provide sun and heat protection.

 3. Keep a Water Cooler at Your Stand

Shoppers get thirsty walking around at flea markets, and offering them a cool sip of water is a great way to put them in a good mood, as well as inviting them to spend some time at your stand. A cooler full of ice water and some disposable cups can be well worth the money. You may also want to look for biodegradable cups, such as those made from corn, so that you can keep your carbon footprint small as you keep customers rolling in.

 4. Have Interesting Visuals At a Variety of Levels

Staggering engaging visuals is a way to draw people to your stand and sends the message that there is a wide variety of fun stuff to explore there. Try dangling light items from your canopy roof. If you are not selling anything light, there are always items like mobiles and pinwheels to consider. You can also set up a tall backboard behind you to display your merchandise in an engaging way.

 5. Play Some Tunes

Bring an ipod dock or other type of speakers and welcome shoppers to your stand with some upbeat and fun music. Keep the volume low enough that you do not disrupt other stands, but high enough for shoppers to want to come get their dance on at your stand.

 6. Make All Signage as Professional Looking As Possible

Hand drawn signage is okay, as long as you have very neat writing, but to look truly polished, create signs on your home computer. You can often even download specialty fonts for free that may tie in perfectly with what you are selling. Another option is to get stencils from a craft store and create handmade signs with a truly artistic flair.

 7. Take Good Care of Yourself

One of the very best things your stand has to offer is the personal touch that only you can give! Your passion and knowledge about the items you’re selling may very well be what gets customers buying, and the happier you look, the more likely they are to stop by. Flea markets can be tiring and often require early morning set up, so get plenty of sleep the night before. Eat a healthy and filling breakfast, stay hydrated and keep your set up process as quick and simple as possible. 

photo credit: NatalieMaynor via photopin cc

5 Easy DIY Projects to Enhance Your Home

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 by Quik Shade No Comments


Ah, home sweet home. It’s your safe haven, the place you retreat to after a long day. Having a home you love is an incredibly gratifying feeling, and making improvements to it can be incredibly satisfying. Just because a project improves your home doesn’t mean that it must be very costly or time consuming.

The whole idea of a D.I.Y. project is to create great items that can add to your home without breaking your bank account. Here are some great D.I.Y. projects that can help enhance your home and are a lot of fun to do!

1. Wooden Barrel Storage Wall Mounts

If you can’t seem to find a place to keep all of those miscellaneous items that seem to keep piling up in your house, consider making some simple and lovely looking barrel storage mounts. They’re rustic chic and look great in almost any area of the house, from the kitchen to the living room to the bathroom.

Simply take a wooden barrel and use a power saw to cut it into cross sections between twelve and thirty inches deep. Take some slats of wood, and measure them so that that are as wide as the diameter of the barrel. Place the slats into the barrel wherever you’d like to create shelves, and nail them in from the outside. Mount wherever you need extra storage!

2. Concrete Block Fire Pit

A fire pit is the perfect way to keep an outdoor party going long into the night. This one is also inexpensive and very easy to put together! Simply get enough cinder blocks to create the perimeter of the fire pit you’d like. This can be anywhere from one to five feet. Then also take into account how high you’d like the pit to be.

Three blocks high is generally a good height. Use enough paver tiles or other large tiles on the surface of the pit, and arrange the blocks the way you’d like them. Set this up with a pop up canopy in your backyard, and you’ll have the perfect party scenario for day and night.

3. Rope Light Garden Borders

White lights in a garden create simple lines and add a lovely touch of elegance. Rope lights are great because they can be set to a timer and are very inexpensive to purchase and easy to install. Simply line the rope lights up against any border you’d like to create, for example, you may want to place them along any planters or fence edges. Use small ties to keep them in place, and voila! Your garden is transformed.

4. Wine Cork Board

Commemorate special bottles of wine you’ve shared with your significant other and give yourself a great way to post cards and important notices with this simple and fun wine cork board. First, you’ll have to save your corks for a while.

Then, take a picture frame and a hot glue gun out. Arrange the corks the way you would like them on your board – either all aligned or slanted can look great. Use the hot glue gun to glue the corks in place, and wait a few hours for it to dry completely before using.

5. Mason Jar Candelabra

Mason jars give any house a homey feel, and these candelabras are a great way to feel cozy on a cold winter night. Take a slat of wood, and cut out circles the size of your mason jar base.

Use a glue gun or other type of epoxy to secure mason jars into the wood. Stick candles into the jars, and light them whenever you want a little candlelight to go along with your night. This project is quick, simple, and easy to enjoy!

photo credit: Landscape Design Advisor via photopin cc

The Coolest Camping Destinations in the West

Posted on: October 17th, 2013 by Quik Shade 1 Comment


The west coast of the United States is home to arguably some of the most naturally beautiful sites in the world. With a wide variety of geological sites and miles and miles of coastal splendor, the west is truly a camper’s paradise.

Here are some of the most picturesque camping spots the west coast has to offer:

 1. Camp Homer, Homer, Alaska

The incredible splendor of Alaska can best be taken in in the peace and calm of this tent camping site. Here, there a plant called fireweed grows in the summer and is so healthy and fast growing that it serves as something of a wall in between campsites. Many of the tent sites here also offer prime views of Mt. Iliamna, a nearby active volcano.

 2. Doe Bay Resort, on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands, Washington

The islands off the coast of mainland Washington are truly majestic and an incredible way to see wildlife like migrating orcas, and a wide variety of gorgeous birds. This campsite offers several different types of camping, including yurts, but the spot with the best view here is an area called Seal Landing where tent campers have a great view of the cove and easy access to the site’s soaking tubs and saunas.

 3. Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

This spot is ideal for taking in Oregon’s biggest state park, and includes awesome hiking, including a  7 mile hike into Ten Falls, which meanders through waterfalls and stunning wildflowers. In warmer months, Silver Creek offers great swimming.

 4. 16. Fall Mountain Lookout, Malheur National Forest, Oregon

Spots at one of the country’s premiere fire tower sites are fantastic because they offer panoramic views through windows that look out over the entire park. This charming and unique spot offers visitors 14 by 14 foot rooms and the chance to have a visually stunning adventure on catwalks perched above a 20-foot scaffold. These high altitude vantage points mean getting a superb look at the Strawberry Mountains and the John Day Valley.

5. Wallowa Lake State Park, Oregon

This is a water sport lover’s dream with plenty of water fun to be had. Campers can swim, fish, and boat. There is also a gondola that runs campers up to the summit of Mt. Howard, which stands at an impressive 8,150 feet tall.

6. Point Campground, Near Stanley, Idaho

This campground, situated in the beautiful Sawtooth National Forest, has plenty of tent sites and offers truly breathtaking views of the Sawtooth Mountain range and Mt. Heyburn and Grand Mogul. There are also boats available for rent and great trails for hiking or leisurely strolls.

7. Lone Fir Campground, Okanogan National Forest, Washington

The northwest is at its finest here, where campers can enjoy the quiet beauty of the woods along a beautiful creek. In the warmer months, swimming is great at nearby Pearrygin Lake.

8. Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, Big Sur, California

Big Sur is legendary for its cliffside views of the ocean, and this place offers all of the incredibly stunning ambience of Big Sur’s many five star hotels at a fraction of the cost. Enjoy hikes from moderate to medium or just soak in the inspirational beauty that has brought artists to this area for years.

9. McGrath State Beach, California

Nestled in the area between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, Ventura boasts a climate that makes camping possible year round with the help of canopies. The ocean here is home to some of the most ideal surfing in the world, and the beach is surprisingly uncrowded. Wildlife is plentiful, so expect to see some beautiful birds in the sky as well.

10. Salt Creek Recreation Area, West of Port Angeles

Majestic views over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and vibrant tide-pools at Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary make this an outstanding site. Choose a spot with a view!

photo credit: Unhindered by Talent via photopin cc

5 Ways To Avoid A Tailgating Disaster

Posted on: October 15th, 2013 by Quik Shade No Comments


The weather is getting colder, and your favorite team is getting hotter! Whether you follow college games or the NFL, or both, one thing is certain: the key to a great game day is perfecting your pre-game warm up.

When your team is in the locker room getting ready, you’re diligently in the parking lot getting ready to rumble. Tailgating is an awesome and essential part of any true fan’s ritual, so don’t let yours turn into a major loss. How am I to do this?

Here are five ways to prevent your tailgating party from being a total disaster:

1. Pack More Than Enough Food and Beverage

Nothing puts the brakes on a sweet pre-party like running out of food or beer, so always pack a little extra! Frozen items like patties and frozen potatoes can be reused, so keep a reusable ice pack in your cooler so that you can bring home any leftovers for the next big game. Consider shopping in bulk by going to a wholesale store rather than a traditional grocery store. You’ll get a better deal and be able to get enough food and drink to keep you, your friends, and even new fellow fans satisfied.

2. Use a Collapsible Canopy to Protect Against Bad Weather

As fall turns into winter and regular season turns into play-offs, the weather becomes more and more unpredictable. You certainly don’t want to be rained out of the party, so always pack a foldable canopy, which will fit easily in your trunk and offer sure-fire protection against unexpected rain or snow. It’s a good idea to have this handy even when the sky is clear, because, as any die hard sports fan knows, it’s very easy to get sunburned, even when the weather outside is cold.

3. Make a Playlist Ahead of Time

All great parties require a solid playlist, so make a list of songs that will get you and your buddies amped before the game. Bringing your own playlist eliminates the risk of being subjected to your local radio station’s “Special Soft Rock Weekend,” or any other kind of radio music that is anything but amped up. You may want to bring an iPod dock or portable speakers so that you do not have to drain your car or truck battery just to keep the stereo on.

4. Avoid Soggy Food By Using Dry Ice

No one wants to eat a hamburger bun that has been fully submerged in ice water, so avoid taking your food for an icy swim by packing dry ice instead of regular. Dry ice lasts much longer than regular ice and it vaporizes rather than turning into a liquid. Try calling your local butcher or ice cream shop to see if they carry it.

5. Plan on Staying Warm

You’ve got a long day ahead of you, so don’t let your tailgating party suck the life out of you by leaving you cold and unhappy. Pack an extra jacket or two. Even if you don’t use them, someone in your group may have forgotten theirs, and you can help avoid grumpy friend syndrome by having a jacket to spare. Warm beverages are also a way to keep you toasty from the inside out, so bring a thermos filled with hot chocolate or coffee. Small hibachi grills are also perfect for tailgating because they are simple to clean and fit easily into a car or truck, and offer warmth and a convenient way to cook meat while giving everyone a place to warm their hands.

Follow these few simple tips, and your next tailgating party is sure to be championship material!

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