Nelshael Fri, 18 Nov 2022 08:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nelshael 32 32 Over the Mountain Studio Tour Bids Farewell to Sycamore Pottery Owners and Welcomes New Artists | News, Sports, Jobs Fri, 18 Nov 2022 08:00:35 +0000

Over the Mountain Studio Tour founding members and Sycamore Pottery owners Ren and Pam Parziale stand by some of their pottery on Sunday afternoons. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The 33rd annual Over the Mountain studio tour wrapped up Sunday night, ending what may have been one of its busiest tours. According to founding tour members Ren and Pam Parziale, who helped basket weaver Anne Bowers realize her vision for an annual Jefferson County Art Studio Tour, Saturday’s warm and bright weather drew so many attendees. that they have sold the majority of their pottery stock. That day.

“It’s all about cooperation and sharing. We share information on how to advertise, how to price, how to write a press release – it’s all about marketing and how to take what you know and help other artists succeed,” Pam said, indicating that helping other local artists become more visible brings increased attention and support to the wider arts community, based on the long-standing success of her business and that of her husband. , Sycamore Pottery.

“It’s a basic philosophy, ‘If we succeed, we all succeed. If we do well personally, other people will do as well.” said Pam. “It is important for us to raise awareness that some objects are still made by hand, not everything is made by machine!”

Ren noted that Sycamore Pottery’s 50 years in business would never have been achieved if the Parziales had not been driven by a deep passion for their craft and a willingness to work hard to create the best possible product. This dedication to the success of their business began at the same location it continues to this day, Stop 5 Tower in Kearneysville. What was once a hay field gradually turned into a green, wooded area with four buildings, two of which were built to serve as an art studio and art gallery.

“When we moved here, there was nothing here – no buildings, no trees, just pasture where they roamed the cattle here,” Ren said. “Pam and I have planted over 4,000 trees [here]. Every spring and fall we would get a few hundred seedlings from the state of West Virginia that were available very, very cheaply. All the trees you see around here, chances are we planted them!

Shepherdstown-based artist Danielle Corsetto chats with old and new fans at her home, which served as Stop 7 of the Over the Mountain Studio Tour, on Sunday. Tabitha Johnston

This year’s tour proved particularly significant for the Parziales, as they announced it would be Sycamore Pottery’s last.

“We are slowing down, we are not stopping. I will never stop until I have to stop! Ren said, mentioning that producing enough pottery for the large number of tour participants had become a challenge, which led to the couple quitting after that year.

However, Ren said Sycamore Pottery will continue to create and sell pottery at smaller sale events in the future, including continuing their annual Mother’s Day sale at their gallery. And, as for the future of the tour to which the couple have dedicated decades of their lives, Pam said she was confident its future was bright.

“I think the studio tour will continue very successfully, because we have a lot of new, younger artists with enthusiasm and good work, who understand social media and how to advertise,” said Pam.

While tour attendees may have wondered if the presence of new artists with artforms already represented would hurt sales of returning artists from the forms, Pam said she doesn’t believe that’s the case, based on the fact that Sycamore Pottery was nearly sold out. of its stock this year, despite the introduction of a second potter on the tour. And that potter, Shepherdstown resident Esther Murphy, who was in Shepherdstown’s only art studio on the tour, Stop 7, echoed her statement, after recording healthy sales figures.

Greg Coble from Shepherdstown looks at a collection of mugs created by potter Esther Murphy, at Stop 7 of the Over the Mountain Studio Tour in Shepherdstown on Sunday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

“It’s been awesome! The tour has been really good for me and it’s been a fun weekend,” Murphy said. “It’s nice to connect with a part of the local art scene, which I didn’t have before, because I started in Frederick, Maryland, and connected there.

“I thought it would be my first and last year, but it was such a great experience that I will be back next year,” Murphy said, mentioning that in addition to her electric-fired pottery, she also sold wood-fired pottery, which added a differentiating element to her work.

Sarah Kleckner, from Harpers Ferry, chats with weaver Denise Ray, at Stop 7 of the Over the Mountain Studio Tour in Shepherdstown on Sunday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

Over the Mountain Studio Tour participants leave the Sycamore Pottery studio on Sunday afternoons. Tabitha Johnston

The Best Cheap Home Decor 2022 Thu, 17 Nov 2022 21:18:00 +0000

The citizenship

Similar to your wardrobe, when it comes to outfitting your home, there are pieces worth investing in (read: a mattress, a couch, and maybe a dining area), and others you can basically steal. Affordable home decor can range from accessories to furniture, so there are plenty of routes to consider whether you’re decorating a space from scratch or just refreshing a corner or two. So we scoured the internet for the best cheap home decor and we didn’t come up empty handed.

Our secret? Cheap parts that may shock you because they see Dear. Take, for example, a set of old-school inspired cups and saucers that are vintage but priced under $4, a 1960s Robert Sonneman chrome pendant for $200, or a set of plastic storage baskets. handwoven wicker on sale for $60.

All in all, there’s plenty of cheap decor out there, you just have to know where to look. Luckily, we’ve done all the heavy lifting and share our favorite spots with you. All you have to do is choose your best products and decorate. Did we mention that several upcoming seats are also on sale? If you miss the promotions, don’t worry. Every week we launch a roundup of home-centric bestsellers, so you’re always bound to find affordable home decor at incredible prices.

Scroll down and you’ll also see big hitters like Wayfair and Amazon’s hidden home outlets section. At the same time, consider unique places like The Nopo, a platform selling handmade decorations from artisans around the world. The options are endless, to say the least!

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Macrame Nylon Hammock Shield

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Robert Sonneman

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Metal frame swivel wall mirror

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Cloe Bone China Hybrid Small Bowl

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Home items

Wool Blend Waffle Knit Throw

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Hello my dear

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Cassia Rattan Bar Cart

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Organic Cotton Comforter Set

What furniture and decor should I splurge on?

Pieces that don’t serve an essential function, like flower vases or decorative accents, aren’t worth splurging on. We recommend investing in pieces that you plan to keep for years, like couches, mattresses, and rugs.

Can I decorate my living room for less than $1000?

Yes, you can decorate an entire living room for less than $1,000, as long as you know where to shop! Be sure to check out our favorite stores above for big sales and remember that you don’t have to blow your budget to get your space organized.

Beautiful houseShopping editors spend their days scouring the internet for the most stylish decor at unbeatable prices, so you can count on this list to be the best of the best.

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Candid and Street Portraits – Photo Review Thu, 17 Nov 2022 03:08:15 +0000

Although everyone knows what candid photos are – and most of us have been subjected to them in one way or another – few people fully understand the exact nature of this diverse genre and even fewer are really good at taking candid photos.

The essence of candid shots is their unposed nature. It has nothing to do with the subject knowing – or even consenting – to having their picture taken.

Candid photography is at the heart of cliché, photojournalism and street photography. This can be the most fruitful approach to photographing children, parties, and family or community events.

Candid photography is about capturing spontaneous moments. In this case, using a shallow f/4 aperture with a shutter speed of 1/2000 second made the subject stand out against the splashing water from the fountain behind her.

Above all, candid shots should capture a sense of spontaneity, recording a “decisive moment” in time. To achieve this, the photographer must master the art of making people so comfortable in the presence of a camera that they forget it is there. It is essential to “blend” into the environment, whether domestic, official or in a public space.

Eye contact is a great way to engage with the viewer and should be attempted when taking close-up portraits.


Keeping it simple, small and light is the best advice when choosing equipment. A single camera with a standard lens (24-105mm in 35mm format) should provide enough reach to capture unique small group subjects in any situation.

Use available light as flash alerts subjects to the camera and may make them embarrassed or hostile. Forget tripods; in addition to getting in the way, they draw attention to the camera.

The flash would have distracted the subject and also produced an uneven distribution of light due to the inverse square law. Shots like this are only possible with ambient lighting.

Work within the capabilities of your equipment. Almost all the latest cameras allow you to set limits to the range covered by the Auto ISO feature to set the lowest and highest ISO settings for a particular shot. This is a reliable way to minimize image noise.

In Auto ISO mode, the camera’s processor always sets the slowest shutter speed it “thinks” you can handle when hand-holding the camera. However, this can increase ISO sensitivity to unacceptable levels by setting a shutter speed faster than necessary, especially if the camera and/or lens has built-in stabilization.

We suggest limiting the ISO range to 6400 or less, depending on the nature of your camera. If your camera is over three years old and uses a cropped sensor, you may need to lower the sensitivity to ISO 3200 or even lower. Take RAW + JPEG pairs to give you the best chance of getting editable images.

Shooting with long lenses and wide aperture settings can produce some interesting results. This portrait was recorded with an extended zoom range compact camera using a 500mm equivalent focal length at f/4 with ISO 6400 sensitivity. This combination has blurred foreground and background detail to create interesting selective focus.

Stabilization built into the camera body and/or lens provides more possibilities for shooting in low and variable light conditions. The latest cameras can integrate camera and lens IS systems to provide at least five stops of camera shake correction – and 7.5 stops isn’t inconceivable.

Practice your shooting technique and learn the slowest shutter speeds you can tolerate in different conditions. Most cameras allow you to customize sensitivity and shutter speed values ​​based on what you can handle with the lens you’re using, taking into account available stabilization.

Shooting tips

The best results are achieved by photographers who are part of the scene; close to the action but not drawing attention to themselves. Don’t try to hide; it only draws attention and makes people suspicious of your intentions. If you keep thinking people don’t notice you, you’re more likely to behave in a way that keeps you “under the radar.”

Study the scene carefully before you start filming. Look for useful vantage points, move around and get your camera ready to record the moment when a “decisive moment” occurs.

Success comes from practice and the confidence you develop as a result.

Public events are a great place to practice street photography. You don’t need long lenses to photograph subjects in crowds.

It’s easier to take pictures in crowded places where there’s a lot of action. Not only is your choice of topics wider, but you’re also less likely to stand out in the crowd. Trust your instincts. If taking pictures feels right to you, it probably is; do not shoot if it seems wrong or dangerous.

In potentially tricky situations, it can be helpful to have a friend with you who can provide first aid assistance. You can also try taking shots from the hip, either guessing how to frame the shot and using a wide angle lens with plans to crop the frame later to get the desired result, or using the LCD screen to frame the scene. High-resolution cameras (over 20 megapixels) are needed in situations that require heavy cropping.

Find a place with a useful background or setting for your photos, then wait for the special moments to happen. This tried-and-true strategy can often be the best way to achieve attractive lighting and camera angles.

Photos like this are possible if you choose the right location, have the right lens, and are willing to wait. Taken with an 85mm equivalent lens and an ISO setting of 250 plus a fast shutter speed of 1/100 second.

Don’t be afraid to ask people if you can photograph them. However, if your subject is an artist of any type and you want to photograph them with their work, don’t be surprised if they refuse. It is perfectly legitimate for them to want to protect their original designs from reproduction by others – and you should respect that.

Don’t be afraid to ask people if you can photograph them. This pair of buskers in Tokyo actually asked for this photo to be taken!

Street artists and street musicians are logical targets for your camera. Since they want to attract attention, they are used to being photographed and often “perform” in front of your camera. Be generous with what you throw in their hats.

Street performers can make wonderful subjects for your camera.

Take lots of photos. Although you might think that famous photographers only took one photo to capture “the defining moment”, in fact most of them took several photos and decided which one to print next. Put your camera away as soon as you detect signs of hostility. Use your common sense and move on. If your approach is refused or if you encounter antagonism, do not shoot! No photograph is worth an unpleasant argument.

Rules and regulations
Australia does not have privacy legislation that protects a person’s image as such, although the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 provides some protection against the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. State laws may also provide some privacy protection. However, on the whole, these laws apply to personal information; not photographs.

In most places, you are free to take pictures of people, buildings, or public places without asking permission. This includes photographs containing people you don’t know – as long as they were taken in a public place and the photographs are for your personal use. Situations where someone “reasonably expects privacy” are prohibited if the subject has not given permission.

All photographs that will be used for publicity purposes or placed with a photo agency MUST be accompanied by a signed model release authorizing you to sell the image. Image libraries also require model releases for all shots that contain recognizable people, even when they involve side or rear views. A sample Photographer Model Release form can be downloaded from the Arts Law Center of Australia website.

Most states prohibit any action that could be construed as leering or prying at another person. Criminal harassment is also prohibited and photographs that could be construed as child pornography may result in criminal charges.

When taking photos on private land or in sports fields, theatres, museums or similar public spaces, permission may be required. Non-commercial photography is normally permitted, but permission is required if the shots are to be sold.

Federal government legislation makes it illegal to photograph defense installations and military bases. Your camera may be confiscated and you risk arrest if you attempt to do so. Other government property, such as ports, rail yards, electrical installations and similar establishments, is also prohibited.

With respect to privacy, situations covered by the definition of “personal use” include photographs that will be exhibited in exhibitions, published in magazines and online “blogs” and entered into contests. – as long as no payment is made for the use of the photographs. Note that some competition and exhibition organizers place restrictions on the types of images they accept and many require model releases for photos containing recognizable individuals.

The Australian Copyright Council publishes two fact sheets (G0011 and G035) covering photographers’ copyright as well as a general guide, G11 Photographers and copyright. Both are available for free download from the Council’s website.

See more street photography tips

See profile of award-winning press gallery photographer Alex Ellinghausen

Extract Portrait Pocket Guide, by Photo Review technical writer Margaret Brown.

Portrait Partner pocket guide:

]]> Soundproofing tips for your bedroom and apartment Wed, 16 Nov 2022 17:37:07 +0000

When you share a living space with another, or just live in an apartment with neighbors, you can understand how thin the walls can be. Whether you have multiple roommates in an apartment or have neighbors on either side of your apartment, you know how far noise can travel, from casual music streaming to loud children throughout the day. Although the apartments can be adapted to accommodate several, they are unfortunately not the most soundproof accommodations you will live in. Luckily, there are things you can do to help soundproof your bedroom and apartment to make apartment living easier.

Keep reading to find soundproofing tips for your bedroom and apartment.

Photo: Pexels

Add window inserts

If your sound problems stem from outside noise filtering through your windows, you may want to consider placing window inserts around your apartments. Window inserts are usually clear glass or acrylic panes that you can place over existing windows inside your home.

Depending on the type you choose to purchase, the sound can be reduced by at least 50%.

Add seals to door gaps

If you have noticed that your doors have gaps between the door and the frame (extra light or air leaking in), this may be the cause of extra sound leaking in and out of your bedroom and apartment. You can add a door sweep (usually with a rubber strip) or a windbreak between the bottom of the door and the floor.

Hang heavy curtains

Not only can curtains prevent unwanted sunlight from making your room brighter and warmer, but they can also help soundproof your room and apartment. For example, IKEA sells curtains that are thick and designed to absorb and reduce echo and reverberation from mid- to high-frequency sound.

While not specifically designed to be soundproof, or advertised as such, opting for heavy curtains advertised as blackout or insulated can help soundproof your apartment.

If your apartment has the default flimsy blinds that come with many rentals, you can always install heavy curtains with a tension rod to make the soundproofing hack tenant-friendly.

Hang acoustic panels on your walls

Although typically used for home studios or home theaters, you can use acoustic panels to soundproof your room and apartment. Panels are usually square or rectangular shaped fabric covered panels that can be hung on the wall to reduce noise and echoes.

If you consider acoustic panels to be against your desired aesthetic, you can play around with different shapes and colors to achieve your desired design.

Hang fabric on your walls

If the look of the acoustic panels doesn’t match the mood or design you’re looking for, you can choose to hang fabric on the walls instead. All soft surfaces can help absorb sound, so adding soft fabrics from tapestries to blankets and quilts can help soundproof your bedroom and apartment.

Choosing to hang fabrics as a soundproofing hack can also help you incorporate a bit of decor into your bedroom and apartment when you have the option to play with the color, size, pattern and textures that fabrics can. to offer.

Rearrange your furniture

Something as simple as rearranging your heavy furniture can help soundproof your bedroom and apartment. Moving larger, heavier furniture up against walls shared with roommates and neighbors can help muffle the sound.

Moving a bookcase from a wall that is not shared with anyone to a wall shared with another can help soundproof it. Moving your sofa to lean against a shared wall or pushing an upholstered headboard against a shared wall can help.

Lay down rugs or foam mats

For a quick soundproofing hack that’s tenant-friendly and doesn’t require you to hang or install anything, place interlocking foam mats on the floor. While these mats can muffle the sound of any movement on your side if you’re jumping or working out, they can also help minimize sounds coming from the ground above you.

This might not be your favorite hack if you don’t like the look of foam mats on your floor. If you don’t live on the ground floor of a building, place rugs in a room where you know you’ll be moving around. You can also place rugs on the floor which gives you additional decor as you can play with textures, colors and patterns. The thicker and more padded a rug is, the more effective it can be at soundproofing your room.

Hope these soundproofing tips can help you minimize the noise in your room and apartment. If you’re still dealing with the extra noise from roommates and neighbors, it might also be time to take a step up in communication to get all parties on the same page.

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts debuts in Vinh Phuc, Vietnam Tue, 15 Nov 2022 07:18:20 +0000

Crowne Plaza Vinh Yen City Center is the first to offer the brand’s new Plaza workspace and WorkLife room in Southeast Asia.

IHG Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, and Bao Quan Investment & Construction Joint Stock Company, officially opened Crowne Plaza Vinh Yen City Center, the first international upscale hotel in Vinh Yen City, in Vinh Phuc province.

The first and only five-star hotel under an international brand in Vinh Yen City, Crowne Plaza Vinh Yen City Center is a 45-minute drive from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and a 30-minute drive from scenic Tam Dao. Tay Thien National Park and Scenic Relics. Its central location is also close to 19 industrial parks such as Khai Quang, Binh Xuyen, Ba Thien or Tam Duong and 4 highly rated golf courses.

The hotel offers 170 spacious and contemporary designed rooms and suites, ranging from 43 to 164 m², with amenities that can accommodate both short and long-term stays. Each is bathed in natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows, overlooking the iconic Tam Dao Mountain or the town of Vinh Yen. Freestanding bathtub with fantastic views of the surroundings and full-size bath products from the New Zealand organic beauty brand, Antipodes®promises the most luxurious moment of relaxation for guests, access to the Executive Lounge on the 22nd floor and privileges are aimed at the most discerning guests, and include early check-in and check-out, complimentary buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapes, and daily turndown service.

Crowne Plaza Vinh Yen City Center offers guests more options for working and socializing. Along with the brand’s signature Plaza Workspaces on the lobby level, it offers the largest pillarless ballroom in the city at 900 m² and can accommodate up to 1,200 guests. Fitted with a 361-inch integrated LED screen, state-of-the-art audiovisual system and well-placed pull-down projectors, the ballroom extends to a spacious domed entrance hall as well as a separate ballroom for meetings and events. . Outdoor terraces at 4e floor and the 22n/a floor offer panoramic views of Tam Dao Mountain and are perfect venues for social and networking events. Supported by IHG’s award-winning Meet with Confidence program and an on-site Crowne Plaza Meeting Manager, guests can rest assured that any gathering planned at the hotel runs smoothly from start to finish.

The hotel offers two restaurants and a bar, with HỢP Kitchen – an all-day dining restaurant offering a varied selection of international cuisine with a focus on various Asian hot pot options and HỢP Bar for a curated selection of coffees specialty and local craft beers. Jin Restaurant will open soon – serving traditional Korean barbecue and banchan as well as Jin Bar, a speakeasy and cigar lounge. Wellness facilities at the hotel include the Amber Spa, a nail salon; a spacious, natural-light filled fitness center and yoga studio; and outdoor pool and hot tub.

Customers will have access to a best-in-class loyalty program, IHG One Rewards, which is focused on its customers – offering them richer benefits and more ways to earn than ever before, all powered by cutting-edge technology on its new mobile app. Dine, save and earn at Crowne Plaza Vinh Yen City Center by joining the IHG One Rewards Dining Privileges program where members can save up to 20% off their bill and earn 250 IHG ​​Rewards points for every $25 spent when they present their membership card. or virtual card on the IHG app. Non-members can visit IHG One Rewards to learn more or register to become a member

To celebrate its official opening, the hotel is offering an opening offer by December 31, 2022. The package includes one night’s accommodation in its new WorkLife room with a luxurious free-standing bathtub, a delicious buffet breakfast for 2 people, 250,000 VND food and beverage credit and 20% discount on rejuvenating spa treatments. For reservations, please visit the hotel website.

Hotel website

Crowne Plaza Vinh Yen City Center, an IHG Hotel
Khai Quang
Thành pho Vĩnh Yên, Vietnam

+84 211 3778 899

Keep your young children comfortable in flight with these tips Mon, 14 Nov 2022 19:31:21 +0000

Babies are cute, but most people don’t want to sit next to one on an airplane.

The crying, screaming and general commotion can be a real pain for your senses, especially on long-haul flights.

For parents traveling with their young children, it is stressful to have to take care of a difficult baby while being aware of the side eyes you get from other passengers.

If you are the parent of a baby or toddler and are traveling with your children, here are some tips to keep them comfortable and lessen their distress during the flight.

Relieve their distress during take-off and landing

One of the main causes of distress for babies and toddlers is the change in cabin pressure during takeoff and landing. Feeding your baby during these times and giving your toddler a crunchy snack or a pacifier to suck on helps reduce distress.

Walking with a car seat

Some airlines allow you to use a car seat or safety seat for your children. On American Airlines and Caribbean Airlines, for example, you must have purchased a seat for the child in order to use a safety seat. Window seats are preferred for safety seats to be installed. CAL indicates that the car seat cannot be used in bulkhead seats or seats that would block anyone’s access to the aircraft aisle, emergency exit row, or the row in front of or behind an emergency exit row. The car seat must also meet FAA/CAA approved requirements. AA says safety seats aren’t allowed in first or business class on some planes due to seat angles.

Put them at ease

Keep them warm with a pillow and blanket and her favorite stuffed toy. Check with your airline if they provide cribs for your baby to sleep in and make sure they are neither too hot nor too cold.

Bring extra food and clothes

Make sure you have enough formula for your baby if he is formula-fed as well as water to mix the formula. Pack extra snacks for your little one if they’re hungrier than usual on a long flight or if your flight has been delayed, and make sure you have extra clothes, wipes and diapers.

Keep them engaged

Take your kids’ favorite book, plush toy, or device to show off their favorite shows to keep your kids engaged. Feel free to walk up and down the aisles with them if they want to move around.

Time your flight

If you can, book your flight for a time when you know your child is likely to sleep so they are less likely to be awake and restless during the flight. If possible, make sure diapers are changed before the flight so your baby stays dry and comfortable on board. If you need to change diapers, check the airline’s policy. CAL does not allow changing diapers in the cabin, only in the bathroom where changing tables are installed.

You can win a fully equipped Mercedes Sprinter van at Omaze Mon, 14 Nov 2022 15:56:54 +0000

Please note: If you purchase through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.

In partnership with Omaze

I know a few people who have converted vans, turning ordinary haulers into very comfortable houses on wheels that give boutique hotel suites a run for their money. The online #vanlife craze never really appealed to me, but seeing these well-appointed motorhomes in person? It converted me into a believer.

If you’re like me (and most normal people) – not quite up to the task of stripping a vehicle down and refurbishing it in style, but have dreamed of picking up a motorhome on your own version of the Great American Road Trip – you’ll want to enter the contest happening at Omaze. They currently offer you the chance to win a Mercedes Sprinter Van with an $80,000 upgrade by Vansmith, one of the best van conversion companies in business today. It’s an all-in-one adventure machine that’s ready to roll as soon as it hits winner’s lane, no DIY skills needed.

The contest is already going on a bit, but right now you have less than three weeks to enter, as the draw ends on December 2 and the winner is announced a month later, around January 4. After you make sure there is in the garage (or driveway or street) and decide to put your name in the hat, use our unique code INSIDEHOOK50 when you enter which will earn you 50 bonus entries.

You’ll definitely want that extra edge, because who wouldn’t want to head off into the sunset in this spacious Sprinter? Especially once you learn that there’s even more to this Vansmith build than the tantalizing pictures let on.

You can keep the plane window views, that’s the one we’re looking for.


Specifically, this Mercedes Sprinter Van will be fitted with Vansmith’s Green Pack, which uses a number of sustainable materials for construction, such as wool for insulation, insect repellent pine for ceilings and bamboo for countertops. . But it’s not just about the immediate impact, as this version also includes a carbon offset package that amounts to 72,000 pounds of CO2. Vansmith is thinking about the big picture here, so you can drive all around this great country knowing you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle that was made with intent.

Not just you by yourself, watch out. This is no way to travel. You’ll want to bring someone along for the ride because this van seats (and sleeps, thanks to a double bed) two people. There’s also a modern galley with a sink and 85-litre fridge, plus storage space for all your gear, snacks and the souvenirs you’ll pick up along the way. In other words, it’s got everything you absolutely need, more than a few hardware comforts, but nothing too complicated for anyone who’s never experienced VR life before. Plus, it’s a more than manageable size (144-inch wheelbase), so it’s like driving a modern pickup truck, not a monstrous motorhome that’ll leave you with sweaty palms every time you need to park.

The open door to a motorhome courtesy of Omaze, with a view of the welcoming interior with a bed and a kitchen

It can accommodate two people, so who will be the happy companion?


So we have the van, your companion, now all you have to do is think about where you’d like to take this traveling base. There are a few upgrades for the winner to choose from, which can impact your grand plans. For those who would choose to add a rear rack, you might want to head to Moab, Utah for some of their best mountain biking trails. If you opt for the upgraded suspension and all-terrain tires, you might want to go off-road in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve also mapped out a number of wanderlust-satisfying itineraries ourselves, from 20 Best Scenic Drives to 21 Most Underrated (And Crowd-Free) National Parks in the country. That should be enough to keep you busy for… a year? Of them? Either way, if you land in this van, you’ll probably have to negotiate an additional furlough in 2023.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though. To make your Mercedes Sprinter Van dreams come true, you will need to participate in this Omaze giveaway. And for this particular award, Omaze is raising money to support the Justin J. Watt Foundation, an organization led by the current Arizona Cardinal that provides after-school opportunities for middle-aged children. A great cause associated with an excellent vehicle.

A beige and black Mercedes Sprinter Van converted into a house on wheels by Vansmith, which is currently up for grabs via Omaze

The person who wins this gift will be able to choose certain accessories, bike racks with improved suspension.


You only have until December 2 to participate. when you do, be sure to use the code INSIDEHOOK50 to add 50 bonus entries to your tally (although no donation or payment is necessary to enter or win). Oh, and just to be clear, we take no responsibility if you win and the call of the road inspires you to quit your job and become a true #vanlifer.

Ababu Namwamba relaxes after working all week and shares video dancing with his sons Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:23:35 +0000
  • Ababu Namwamba had the chance to relax at home after a long week of work with no rest
  • CS shared a cute clip in their house dancing to Shakira’s Waka Waka with their handsome boys
  • Ababu also gave Kenyans a glimpse of his luxurious home, which featured state-of-the-art furniture and appliances.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has shared a video of him relaxing in his luxurious home with his children after working all week.

Ababu Namwamba relaxed with his children after working seven days without rest. Photo: Screenshots by Ababu Namwamba.
Source: UGC

CS said that after working seven days without rest, he finally had the chance to bond with his two children, with whom he was captured dancing to Shakira’s tune Waka Waka.

In the cute clip, Ababu, who was wearing comfy sweatpants and a white t-shirt, was seen playing and dancing with the boys who matched his vibe.

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They were all kicking a ball while dancing to the tune that seemed to rejuvenate his spirit after his long week.

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They alternated kicking the yellow ball with their heads and feet and also made a few moves that CS managed.

“Relaxing at home on Sunday evening after intense and fruitful official duties all weekend, a 7-day working week. Wiki njema wangwana! he wrote on Twitter.

The beautiful living room of Ababu Namwamba

The video also offered a quick look at Ababu’s gorgeous home, which is outfitted with state-of-the-art furniture.

Upon entering, one would easily mistake the house for a five-star hotel as the lounge had white leather coaches while a huge television stood out.

The wall decorations and lighting also made the whole room tranquil and charming.

Most notably, CS had three flags standing in the vast hall, while more luxurious seats were seen in the far corner.

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Eclipse Exploring the Unknown Regions is a double-edged sword Sat, 12 Nov 2022 19:00:00 +0000

The revelation of star wars eclipse excited fans everywhere as it promised an engaging, choice-based title in a franchise so dear to many. Developed by Quantic Dream, the mind behind the likes of Fahrenheit, Heavy rainand Detroit: Become Humanthe project is the studio’s first since EA’s exclusive on star wars ended. Branching stories are something the Paris-based company has become known for, as its releases have always provided players with choices – big and small – that can affect the outcome of the story. The game promises new characters and unique environments to explore. The latter is something worth further consideration because star wars is already densely packed with impressive locations.


From the Dagobah system to the bustling settlements of Coruscant, the Disney-owned franchise boasts a litany of iconic locations, and while star wars eclipse may visit some, it also has the potential to venture further into the unknown than the franchise has done before. This gives the project infinite potential for expansion star wars‘ horizons to create a memorable story, but could also significantly tone down the atmosphere of the world in which it is set. Exploring new locations could rob the game of its identity, and extending the license is something a new developer perhaps shouldn’t do so soon.

RELATED: Star Wars Eclipse could be another example of a game announced too soon

The unknown regions are shrouded in mystery

Appearance of Jedi Master Yoda in Star Wars Eclipse

There are many places explored in star wars, but a setting as vast as space was always going to have a limit on how far the series could go. While it may be a geographic restriction, places with so much mystery often do well to make a fictional world more appealing. Having a huge, unexplored place in lore can do wonders for range, considering even the most remote locations, but seeing and experiencing them is a slippery slope that, if mishandled, can go horribly wrong. star wars eclipse might find success heading into the Unknown Regions, but in doing so he straddles a difficult line that could do more harm than good.

Providing clarity to a previously unknown area would also come at the cost of more familiar places not getting the attention they need. Kashyyyk, for example, is fascinating, but largely unknown to casual IP fans. The Wookies house has been featured in a handful of games, but with the genre shift it could see a whole new audience. star wars eclipse could do well to give more clarity to places that are still ripe for more stories to be told in their atmosphere.

Star Wars is a galaxy of endless possibilities

star wars jedi fallen order planets

star wars is bigger than ever in 2022, which means many new projects are being created to give every corner of the galaxy, far and wide, the chance to shine. star wars eclipse can fit well with franchise events, being a new format for star wars but serving to bring more personality to the decor in the same way as Andor and The Mandalorian have been. With the ever growing list of star wars projects, exploring the Unknown Regions could be a great way for Quantic Dream’s next game to instantly feel like it belongs in the movies, shows, and games that came before it.

star wars eclipse has the makings of something memorable, and bringing a new story, characters, and locations to such dedicated fans is a valiant task to undertake. There’s a chance it will fall at the first hurdle, but it could pull off with flying colors. and exploring the unknown Regions could be the catalyst for either outcome. Whether star wars eclipse can learn everything from his rival star trek franchise is that going boldly where no man has gone before can bring huge upsides to go with the big downsides.

star wars eclipse is currently in early development.

MORE: Star Wars Eclipse Shouldn’t Be High Republic’s First Game

]]> 10 tips for great portrait photography at your local park Sat, 12 Nov 2022 07:30:58 +0000

Portrait photography is a fantastic way to hone both your camera and social skills, and lets you experiment with both studio flash and natural light. It can seem like a dark art though, how do you light your subject, get the best poses out of it, and what kit should you use?

This month, we aim to answer all of these questions and more! We’ve teamed up with a PhotoPlus reader: The Canon Magazine (opens in a new tab)Carole Stevens, for a portrait masterclass with portrait professional Rebecca Faith at her local park in the beautiful, picturesque city of Bath, England.