Category Archives: business

Born to Decoupage

The ideal hobby for creative minds

It is generally accepted and even encouraged for people to have a hobby. Whether it’s reading, woodworking, or 3D printing, not only is a hobby relaxing, for many people, it’s a way to unleash their creative side and even earn a little on the side.

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, but other than books I’m always looking for other ways to keep my hands busy.

A few years ago, I got involved with adult coloring. I bought a couple of books and pencils and set them to work. I was enjoying myself until I joined an adult coloring group and saw the kind of work others produced. I was not nearly as good as they were, and my flame of enthusiasm was snuffed out.

Never mind though, I soon found something else to do. I discovered diamond painting. If you’re not familiar with diamond painting, this hobby involves placing hundreds or even thousands of tiny drills onto a sticky canvas to create a sparkling tableau. I started with something small but soon expanded to larger and even enormous projects.

Image courtesy of Jessie Hamilton

When I bit off a bit more than I could chew and the project dragged on for months, I lost my zest for diamond painting and went looking for something else. Quite by accident, I stumbled onto decoupage. Hello, now here was something my creative mind could sink its teeth into. I watched a couple of videos and then headed straight over to Amazon to buy the necessary supplies: chalk paint, acrylic paint, varnish, glue, brushes, and of course napkins.

If you’re not too sure about what decoupage is, this is just one of many videos.

My newfound hobby quickly got out of hand. Whenever I was in the Dollarstore, I stocked up on bowls, jars, plates, and other supplies. My collection of napkins grew too, especially once I found Snow’s Boutique. Oh my goodness, their collection was enormous and one napkin even more beautiful than the next. Flowers, birds, a spring collection, a Christmas collection … oh so much to choose from. What’s more, whenever I was looking for something specific and couldn’t find it, all I had to do was contact the store and I was sent several suggestions.

https://snowsboutique.com/collections/napkins-collection

It got to the point that I didn’t dare to visit the website of Snow’s Boutique anymore, because whenever I was there I bought several designs. With each order, Snow’s Boutique included a free gift, which was much appreciated.

Unfortunately, not every project was a success, I ended up with quite a few ‘lemons’ which were only good for one thing … to throw in the bin. And right about that time, I noticed what others could do. Oh my goodness, the talent of some people.

Feeling thoroughly discouraged, I posted a message in my favorite decoupage group on Facebook asking if others occasionally produced a ‘lemon’ too. More people than I thought possible responded, saying that they too sometimes ended up with something less than satisfactory. Overall the messages were clear … don’t give up, keep on practicing, watch videos, you’ll get better as you go along.

Okay then, rather than bowls, jars, and coasters, I was going to try bottles.

The problem was that I don’t drink and if my son drinks three or four bottles of wine a year it’s a lot. So how was I going to get my hands on some bottles? Inspiration struck … I would post a request for empty bottles on the notice board of the condo building where I live. 50 cents each.

Good heavens, within no time I had bottles coming out of my ears. Wine bottles, champagne bottles, whiskey, and gin bottles … I had to rush to take the request down because suddenly there were bottles everywhere, in the kitchen, in the dining room, in my walk-in closet. If anyone had visited me, they would have thought my son and I had a serious drinking problem.

The bottles I produced weren’t half bad. I was not nearly as good as Katerina, but my first bottles were definitely not ‘lemons’.

Of course, with decoupage one doesn’t have to limit oneself to bowls, jars, or bottles, anything and everything goes. While some people buy their intended projects in a store, others transform old items into little works of art. An old rusty kettle, an empty tin of soup, a cutting board, wooden spoons, candles, even soaps are used to create artwork.

Just take a look at what other members of the decoupage group came up with. Images used with permission of Gabriela Dascalu, Susan White, Denise Towler, Wendy P Jacobs, Joy Beard, Karen Roberts, Sandra Lee, Senka Rengel, Madilyn Greiner, Lora Schwartz, Dee Dee Sellers DuPre, Kellie L. Davila-Martinez, Kathy Chestnutt Mercer, Anastasia Birba, Sally Ames Marshall, Neolien Vorster, Vlasta Hladnik (coaster video), Katerina (glasses video), RockinArt58 By Sandra (three jars video)

Is it Facebook, Scambook, or Sexbook

Scamming people is okay, pointing out the scams is not

When I joined Facebook some ten or eleven years ago, it was a place to stay in touch with friends, make new friends, post pictures and experiences, and generally have a good relaxing time.

Over the years, Facebook has changed. Ever so gradually various members started advertising their services. Writers offering other writers with their craft; editors wanting to help those with poor grammar and spelling; marketers who promised better sales with their help.

Personally, I never took any of them up on their offer of help. We all know that the self-publish industry has exploded over the last few years and it has brought about a number of scammers.

Over the last few weeks, the scams have reached an all-time high. Whenever I open Facebook I have to scroll past several dubious posts.

Amazon needs packers. $30 an hour. Contact me at …
(At least fifty in one hour)

JOB OFFER, A PERSON NEEDED URGENTLY!!!
Urgently looking for a part-time office assistant, this is a daily job that will only take a few hours of your time, 3 to 4 hours daily job and the Duties would include sending and receiving of email, scheduling, going to store once in a while to make findings, etc very low-stress job with no prior experience needed. Experience in Personal assistant and simple accounting is a plus but not required, as this is a home-based office work only available for people currently in Canada. Compensation:: $600weekly

(Up to 100 posts a day)

My friend, Jeanine, replied to an ad that promised her $100 a day to do data entry and surveys. She was informed by Em M. that to get started she would have to complete six tasks. She agreed. He sent her task 1 which was to register with a survey company and take two surveys. Upon completion, he sent her tasks 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, which were also to register with a survey company and complete two surveys. Three hours later Jeanine was finished and Em M. said she would find $100 in her PayPal account. When three hours had passed, Jeanine wanted to contact Em M. but not only could she no longer reach him via Facebook’s messager, he had deleted his profile.

Scammers such as Em M. go by different names. They create a Facebook page, post two or three pictures, and construct carefully worded messages promising money. They know that plenty of people are unemployed or don’t make enough money in their jobs, so they don’t promise them a fortune but enough to relieve their financial burden. Then they sit back and wait for the unsuspecting to fall for their scam.

Then there are those who offer duct cleaning services. Not one or two offers, but according to my last count, 27 of them in one day. None of them are actual duct cleaning companies, they are people fishing for information. As a trusting customer, you provide these people with your name and address and this leads to identity theft. If you need cleaning services, ducts, gutters, carpets, or anything else, contact a reputable company, not someone who advertises on Facebook.

Next up, individuals who claim to be social media managers. Their scam is primarily aimed at self-published writers and graphical artists looking to broader their horizons. After all, who wouldn’t want more exposure on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. without putting in the effort? Let someone else do the legwork. The individuals claim to work for large organizations and guarantee client satisfaction. This of course is another scam. After you paid the so-called media manager their fee, you never hear from them again. When seeing such an ad, pay close attention to spelling and grammar. More often than not, there will be mistakes. True media managers don’t make spelling and grammar mistakes. They proofread their work because they know that even one mistake in their presentation can ruin their reputation.

Once you start paying attention, you’ll start to recognize scams quite easily. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If money is promised with little or no effort, rest assured it’s a scam. If someone claims to be a millionaire and promises you financial independence, run a mile. True millionaires won’t contact you via Facebook or any other social media site. Keep in mind that where it comes to money there are only four legitimate ways of getting it: you can earn it, find it, win it, or inherit it. Quick rich schemes are just that, schemes and sooner or later you will kick yourself for believing in them.

Other than scams, Facebook recently became the go-to place for sex ads. The most popular one shows a woman on a date, discreetly taking her pink lace panties off while sitting opposite a man at a table. The caption merely states ‘PM me’. By sheer coincidence, I met a guy who took her up on her offer. He stated that after one or two innocent messages, the woman asked for a picture of his unclad lower region. Proud of his ‘equipment’ the man complied. Within minutes she replied to send her $300 dollars via Western Union or she would splash his sexy picture all over Facebook. Gentlemen, you’ve been warned.

A rather overweight young woman, with a Dolly Parton bust and the legs of a bodybuilder, runs the same scam. She offers her ‘services’ to one and all. First, she wants to see a picture though, a special picture if you know what I mean. No sooner does she have this picture than she wants money or she threatens to expose the man to his Facebook friends.

Seeing these ads once is bad enough, but seeing them over and over and over again is downright annoying. When these ads started pulling on my last nerve, I started commenting, calling them scams. Within 24 hours I received a warning from Facebook that my hate speech could land me in Facebook jail for three days, ten days, or have me banned from Facebook permanently.

This begs the question, where are the admins and the moderators of these Facebook groups? Why is it okay to post deceiving ads and sex ads, but not okay to warn others that these are scams?

Instagram isn’t much better. Everyday videos are posted with advice on one thing or another. A 16-year-old kid gives advice on hair care, a 14-year-old kid shows an extremely dangerous technique on how to get fuller lips, women barely dressed entice men to contact them … it’s all allowed. But let nobody point out the dangers of what these kids are doing because their account gets removed.

Then there’s Tik Tok, literally crawling with sex ads. I had to delete my Tik Tok account because I couldn’t deal with the number of sex ads of young girls. They film themselves in their living room, bedroom, or bathroom, barely dressed, ‘dancing’ to entice whoever is watching. I put dancing between apostrophes because what these girls are doing, one cannot really call dancing. They’re standing there wiggling like silly worms, tossing their hair, pressing their boobs together, twisting their butts.

I feel sorry for the parents of these girls. They are little tarts who sooner or later will end up in trouble. Perhaps you should check out Tik Tok, see if your daughter is there.

Jeff Bezos Waste of $5.5 Billion

It’s safe to say that the world is in a financial crisis. Due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, businesses are closing, people are losing their jobs and with it their homes, their savings, their possessions. And what does Jeff Bezos do … in this time of extreme financial distress he goes and blows $5,5 BILLION to spend FOUR MINUTES in space.

What you should know about Jeff Bezos’ Tuesday space launchBezos is set to be the second billionaire space jockey, after Richard Branson rode a Virgin Galactic spacecraft on July…fortune.com

I can’t even begin to express how I feel about such extravagance. Disgusted, outraged, flabbergasted. If I could get my hands on this silly man I would slap him and shake him until his teeth rattled.

Now he should be forced to donate $5,5 billion to those in need. I’m not referring to charities, and I’m certainly not referring to African nations, I mean people in need right here at home.

Not the ones who are on welfare, but to people who have a job, even two jobs, and still have to deny themselves the minimum of luxuries. People who can’t afford medical care for themselves, their family, or their pets. People who would love to send their children to summer camp or have them partake in a sport, but just cannot afford it. In other words, those who do their very best but still struggle to make ends meet.

Take for instance the building that recently collapsed in Florida. Those people lost their home, their furniture, and all their possessions. Where will they go? Will they get a new home? New furniture? Will they have sufficient funds to bury their loved ones and their pets?

If it were up to me, I would hold all those silly millionaires accountable. From what I understand there are already thousands who put themselves on the waiting list to take a trip on Jeff Bezos’ spaceship. Price of a ticket, $2.8 million.

The price tag to go to space with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is now at $2.8 millionGoing to space like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos comes with a hefty price tag. Bezos – the richest person in the world …www.cnbc.com

Wouldn’t it be lovely, wouldn’t it be absolutely delightful if those millionaires were forced to share their wealth? If they can waste their money on a four-minute trip into space, they can certainly afford to help their fellow countrymen and women.

A Facebook friend pointed out that Bezos created jobs for a number of people. I can only laugh at this. Sure Bezos provided work for maybe a few hundred people, meanwhile millions suffer. Not to mention that his Amazon staff is overworked and underpaid.

The Facebook friend calls this ‘The beginning steps into a huge industry of the future’. This time no laughter but a sad headshake on my part. Why not fix Earth, which we thoroughly destroyed, before reaching to the sky?

The world has gone nuts. Absolutely crazy. I’ve known it for some time and now it’s confirmed.

Tough Interview Questions and How To Answer Them

As if interviews aren’t stressful enough, interviewers like to throw in some tough questions to get a glimpse into the candidate’s character.  Sometimes these questions seem quite innocent, but your answer could make or break your chance of getting the job.  Let’s have a look at though interview questions and how to answer them.

Tell me a little about yourself

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?  But this question is a minefield.  Depending on your answers the interviewer will pick up if you are merely confident or totally blasé.  If you have a career plan or prefer to fly by the seat of your pants.  While it’s acceptable if not preferable to be confident, try not to stick too many feathers in your own hat.  And while you don’t have to have your future mapped out, it is recommended to have some idea of where you’re going and how to get there.

Why do you think you are right for this job?

Whatever you do, don’t say that you are a hard worker, that you like the responsibility that comes with the job or anything that refers to your character.  Instead, focus on the company.  The interviewer has heard these kinds of clichés a hundred times.  Instead of focussing on yourself, focus on the company.  Show a belief in their products or services.  Be enthusiastic about that.

Why did you leave your previous job?

Another minefield.  If you quit because you were bored with your job or didn’t like your boss, you can’t say that.  You can never speak ill of a past employer.  Neither can you say that you were bored, because the new company might wonder if you will get bored with them.  If you were fired it’s best to be honest without going into detail.  The company you’re applying with is going to find out anyway when you need to supply references.  You could word it differently though and say that you were let go because you and your boss didn’t see eye to eye. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question is will reveal more than you think.  If you answer right away: you have given your future a lot of thought and know exactly what you want.  You are ambitious and will use any means to get to an end.  If you answer after a long pause: you haven’t given your future any thought at all.  You are happy with your life as it is, and will take your future one step at a time. 

What are your weaknesses?

Does anyone really want to reveal their weaknesses?  Of course not.  Whichever weakness you admit to, don’t say that you are a perfectionist, too organized, can’t work with people who don’t live up to their full potential, or anything else that will make you look perfect.  You are not perfect, nobody is, so stop trying to look like you are.  A good answer might be, that you are more of a leader than a follower and that your ideas are not always welcomed by management.  Companies like leaders and like new ideas.  They might not always like your ideas, but they like someone with initiative.

What are your salary expectations?

This may seem like a thought question.  After all, set your salary too low and you might be underselling yourself.  Set your salary too high and it may cost you the job.  The answer to this particular problem is simple, name a salary range.  If for instance, you want to earn $50,000, you could say that you would like to earn between $48,000 and $58,000.  Chances are, in such a range they will offer you $54,000. 

The best advice anyone can give you before going to an interview, is to be yourself.  While it’s a good idea to be prepared and research the matter of tough interview questions and how to answer them, don’t memorize the answers.  Interviewers go online too and know what’s out there.  They can spot a copycat a mile away.  Read the questions and answers and then make them your own. 

It’s alright to stumble over an answer or having to take a minute before replying.  Being a smooth talker doesn’t always work in your favor.  An interviewer has seen and heard it all and will enjoy your honesty.

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www.connymanero.weebly.com

Getting the job

I came across an article yesterday entitled ‘I got my job with my looks, I kept it because I was good at my job’. I had a good look at the writer and while her face was ordinary, her body was the kind that men admire and women envy.

Alicia (not her real name) knew that with limited education and no business experience, her chances of finding a job were slim to none. Oh, she could work in a coffee shop, become a waitress in a bar, or work as a checkout girl in a supermarket, but Alicia had set her sights a little higher. She wanted an office job. A job where she could sit down, a job where she could wear nice outfits, a job that earned her respect. So, she came up with a plan.

Knowing that employers research job candidates online, and that their go-to place is Facebook, she put a few photos of herself on her Facebook page.

She posed in a skimpy black bikini, a long sheer white shirt draped around her shoulders, billowing in the breeze as she stepped out of the ocean.

In another photo she was wearing the same black bikini, minus the white shirt.

In a few others she showed off her ample bosom in various Victoria Secret lingerie, striking seductive poses.

So much for women’s liberation, ladies. We might fight for equal rights but then a little trollop like that comes along and blows us out of the water.

Her plan worked like a charm. When she send her unimpressive resume to company XXX, it took only hours for the manager who needed an assistant to invite her for an interview. She was hired on the spot.

Given the fact that Alicia had no skills to speak of an no practical experience, I wondered how good she could be at her job and what that job was. Was she good at her desk, was she good at the manager’s desk, or was she good under his desk?

Alicia is far from the only one. Marion said more or less the same thing. In a blog post she wrote she stated ‘I was promoted because I was good at my job and being a woman didn’t hurt.’ Hm, exactly what kind of job was she so good at?

Many years ago, job applicants were permitted to attached a photographs to their resume. When it was found that older and less attractive people were discriminated against, photos were no longer allowed.

While at first this seemed like a good idea, precious time was wasted. All sorts of people showed up for interviews only to be discarded based on age and looks. Here and there companies were happy to hire older staff, but the majority preferred young, beautiful puppets. I witnessed this first hand while working for a marketing firm. One of the managers needed a personal assistant and instructed human resources to get him a temp.

The first temp that showed up was a very short and thick set woman with a tight perm and bottom of jam pot glasses. By lunch time she was let go.

The second temp was the complete opposite. A giant of a woman, with muscled arms and legs and a booming voice. After only one day she was gone too.

And then number three showed up. A pretty young thing, with long blond hair, clear blue eyes, a mouth like a cherry, and a body clad in a sheer linen blouse and a skirt the size of a broad belt. It was plain to see that she wore no bra.

Not only was she allowed to stay, by the end of the day the job was offered to her on a permanent basis.