Written by Arleen M. Kaptur

When you think of herbs, you probably think of seasonings. These precious little gems can add taste to any dish, add to its enticing aroma, and even change an entire recipe.

Herbs offer much more than this. They can be used as decorative plants in your garden. They make great room decorations, scented sachets, wonderful as dyes, and create exceptional home-brewed teas.

Herbs are versatile in many ways. You can plantrepparttar tiny seeds in containers and place them on your windowsill or deck. They make very creative borders for your flower or vegetable gardens, and they even fill in as ground covers. Even when they are dried, you can make wreaths that will give a delightful aroma to anyone who comes to your door!

Many people strongly believe in their medicinal qualities such as herbal teas for many ailments, hot wraps, and digestion enhancers.

If you grow herbs indoors, it may surprise you that they never get very large. While dinner is being prepared, a snip here and a snip there will add that very special flavor to your meal. It will also keeprepparttar 116343 plant small but always producing their flavor for you to enjoy. They definitely add zest to any culinary endeavor as well as fill your home withrepparttar 116344 aromatic treat of appetizing smells.

A beginners guide to marketing images with mats

Written by Jim Fishwick, Manager, MatShop

Professional and semi-professional artists and photographers must effectively market their images. This market is very competitive, and keeping costs down while using quality materials is of prime importance. Thoroughly professional ways of presenting your product in an effective manner is essential. In some instances an image can be marketed by itself, but more often an art mat is used, and at times a frame is added.

Some ofrepparttar common places to marketing matted images are through retail stores, street markets, art and photography exhibitions, craft shows and find raising projects. You will find a lot of competition with any of these alternatives, so you must be prepared to providerepparttar 116342 best possible product atrepparttar 116343 least price. Assuming you have a photo or artwork that is readily sellable, there are ways to present that product torepparttar 116344 end user in a highly attractive manner.

Using art mats: Try putting your artwork behind several different mats. This can be done at most photo stores, or userepparttar 116345 corner samples at a custom cutting counter. It becomes readily apparent thatrepparttar 116346 perception ofrepparttar 116347 image changes radically with different combinations of colors. Most will enhancerepparttar 116348 image, and some will stand out immediately as excellent choices. In most cases double mats will work best, but images without bright colors will often work best with a single mat. Adding a single or double mat will usually be cost efficient, as most end-users will appreciaterepparttar 116349 added value.

Here are some fundamental ideas when considering using art mats.

Single mats: If a single mat is used, it is often safest and most desirable to use a neutral color, such as off white, Cream, light Grays etc. These go very well with most images and fit into most home settings. If you wish a stronger color, try to matchrepparttar 116350 mat color with a dominant color inrepparttar 116351 image. i.e. Lots of dark green trees inrepparttar 116352 picture, use a dark green mat. For black and white photographs, off-white mats with a black core are very effective.

Using a double mat: Double mats add considerably torepparttar 116353 richness ofrepparttar 116354 presentation. The safest method is to use a neutral outer mat, and a color forrepparttar 116355 inner mat that matches a dominant color inrepparttar 116356 image. The amount ofrepparttar 116357 inner mat that can be seen is calledrepparttar 116358 “reveal”, and varies withrepparttar 116359 size ofrepparttar 116360 mat. A reveal of 3/16” is close to being an industry standard, but use your own judgment. When using a white mat over another white mat, a reveal of 1/2“ or even much more can work very well. Double mats are usually twicerepparttar 116361 price of a single.

Adding decorative cuts: Closed and open “V-grooves”, decorative corners and graphics can be attractive, but often unnecessary. A closed v-groove is very common, and can be quite cost effective especially with larger artwork. The extra cost can be recovered by a higher retail price. Closed v-grooves can be especially effective on single mats of conservation quality.

Types of Mat Cuts:

1.Open v-groove, 3/16” reveal
2.V-groove gap
3.Closed v-groove
4.Message box, 3/16” reveal
5.Double opening, 3/16” reveal
6.Single opening
7.“Fancy” corner
8.Floatingrepparttar 116362 image
10.#246 Walnut frame
11.Double mat, light blue outer, dark blue inner.
Visit: http://www.matshop.com/cuts.html for a reference image to list above.

What type of mat to use: The two common types are regular mats and conservation quality (rag) mats. It would always be nice to use conservation quality, but this market is very competitive, and price is important. Regular matboard is still of very high quality, and we suggest they be used for any image that does not have a high value in itself. Example: Photos and printer copies. Conservation mats should be used for original artwork, high quality prints, Limited editions prints or any image that has a high value in itself. Price wise, a presentation using regular mats will cost less than half that of using conservation quality. Technical information on mats can be seen onrepparttar 116363 pages ofrepparttar 116364 two largest mat companies, Crescent and Bainbridge.

Size of mat: Use standard sizes when possible, allowing your customer to buy a frame easily. Non-standard size mats mean an expensive custom frame is necessary, and most end-users recognize this when purchasing matted images. Standard sizes are 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 16 x 20 and 20 x 24. The borders aroundrepparttar 116365 image should be a minimum of 1 1/2 inches for small images, and up to 3 inches or more for large images. A 5 x 7 image in an 8 x 10 mat will give borders of 1 1/2 inches all round.

If you plan to provide a frame withrepparttar 116366 mat, keeping to standard sizes is not important.

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