Welcome to KatrinaKaren.com

welcome to katrinakaren

I finally completed the move to a new website after a few weeks of trying to figure out how to implement the changes. I am now starting from scratch in terms of SEO (search engine optimization) but I did not give much thought to SEO in the previous blog so not much harm was done, I think. I hope I have placed enough preventive measures against vulnerabilities in my new website. Having gone through website rebuilding, I can always create a new one should this one encounters a problem in the future. (This is not a sound advice for those setting up their websites. This is me trying to play cool and unfazed over stressful matters like website downtime, hackers, trojans and viruses. So do not take my word for this. Always have a backup and maintenance plan.)

Let me walk you through the website and let me be your tour guide. The  first part of the homepage is a slider. The front page opens with a slide of my current mantra: Dream. Create. Love. Repeat.  On the right side of the header, there are links to the different pages of the website.

welcome to katrina karen dot com

When viewed on devices with smaller screens, the menu can be found on the upper left part of the header.

katrina karen menu

The slide automatically shifts to another one but you can also click on that arrow button to swipe to the next slide. The next slide introduces me, the website owner, and what this website is all about. When you click the “Read more”,  a window opens with my about-me page.  I wish I had a newer photo and had photo shoot specifically for the site. I no longer look like this person in the photo. I was thinner and younger in this photo. On second thought, let’s stick to this photo.  Ha!

welcome to katrina karen

The next slide has a link to my art portfolio. I am happy that I was able to set this up. I was too lazy to set it up in the previous website because the main page was already the blog itself. I was trying to figure out how to incorporate it with theunstressed.com. Now that it is KatrinaKaren.com, it is all about me so it is easier to include my art. (That sentence sounded so narcissistic  but you get the drift.)

welcome to katrina karen art portfolio

I hope you also noticed my logo.  It is k-squared for the double “K” in my name.  My father taught me my signature when I was kid so I always sign with k-squared even before I learned what squared in Mathematics meant. I guess I was pre-destined to major in Math in the future.  (Yes, I have a Mathematics degree which I now conveniently use in estimating pixels and ratios in art.)

If you scroll down my site, you can read my recent blog posts. I was able to get my blog posts from the old blog. I am just glad I was able to retrieve seven years of writing so you may find some of my photos marked with theunstressed.com. I will not be editing some of those photos. I am still in the process of checking broken links. I had 380+ posts. I don’t know if I have the time to change the watermark of the photos inside those 380+ posts.

katrina karen recent posts

If you are not much of reader, you can follow me on Instagram and just view my photos.

welcome to katrina karen

Or you can also subscribe to my Youtube channel for travel, recipe and art videos. I am still thinking if I should start vlogging. Ha!

welcome to katrina karen

And if you like to receive updates, you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow my social media accounts.

That’s it. I wish I can do a lot more in terms of design and functionality but this will do for now. I hope you like the new design.   You can always send me a message if you find a glitch or ask me any question in general. You may also leave a comment below.

Thank you for visiting KatrinaKaren.com!

welcome to katrina karen

Original Watercolor Paintings for Sale and How to Display Them

“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”
― Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

So here I am. I finally completed 12 botanical paintings that are for sale. It was an exciting process of finding the subjects that appeal to me. I have to paint what I like because if these paintings will not end up in somebody else’s home, I am keeping them and I will still be happy.  I find joy in the creative process but the business side of it is what I dread most. What do I know about selling? Nothing. However, these words spoke to me.

“Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.”
― Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”– Gail Devers,  three-time Olympic champion in track-and-field.

Seeing the paints, brushes, paper and other materials I have to buy to continue doing what I love is my motivation. Ha! So I am now putting my paintings for sale on my Facebook page. These are all botanical watercolor done using artist-grade watercolor and 140 lb. hot-pressed watercolor paper in A3 size (11.7″ x 16.5″). I used Holbein for the watercolor and Daler-Rowney for the paper. All the paintings in this set are in landscape orientation but there are some paintings that still look okay when displayed in portrait orientation.

I am selling these paintings unframed because it is easier to ship them that way. The paintings will be shipped from the Philippines. When a painting is unframed, the client has the option to choose the right frame that will match the interiors where the the painting will be displayed.  I suggest that the painting be framed in a glass to protect the painting from dust and water.  For those who do not want the glare of the glass in a painting, there is always the non-reflective glass but it may cost a little more.  One can go a step further by using a conservation glass with UV protection against harmful rays.

To help you visualize how the paintings will look like in frames, I made the mock-ups below.

I have taken a step further by putting the paintings in an interior scene so you can better visualize where to possible display them in your space.

I hope I have convinced you enough to brighten up your walls with my paintings. You can have a closer look at my paintings in my Facebook page.  Message me there for details.

For larger photos of the paintings, click here.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney


Sources for the mock-ups:

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/blank-picture-frame-on-a-wooden-wall-background_852393.htm http://www.freepik.com/free-psd/ipad-screen-on-wood-background_1096356.htm https://365webresources.com/10-free-poster-frame-mock-ups-graphic-designers/ https://www.freecreatives.com/mockups/photo-frame-psd-mockups.html

5 Ways to Pay Off Debt and Avoid Filing for Bankruptcy

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You can throw away the notices, ignore your email inbox or evade the debt-collector but your debts will not go away. As of December 2016, the average credit card debt for a United States household is over $16,000. This is on top of student loans, mortgages, personal loans, and many other forms of debt that rapidly drowns many people today. You can avoid these responsibilities only for as long, and the interest rates will make it worse. In time, you will be left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy—a time that many wish not to come.

Even when your debts seemed overwhelming and your income is just not enough at this time to recover, you can still pay it off with some effective strategy and a heap of determination. Here are tips to help you deal with debt and avoid filing for bankruptcy:

1. Settle or Negotiate Your Debts

You know you can’t run away forever from debts, so you might as well face it. Debt settlement is similar to the concept of debt consolidation. This means to negotiate with your creditors to arrange a more suitable payment scheme for your current situation. Most lenders are willing to work with you to settle your balances and devise strategies including temporary waiving of payment, adjusting terms, extending deadlines, and many others. Talk to your creditors as soon as possible and negotiate.

2. Property Selling

If your current income is insufficient to cover your debts, you might want to start selling some properties so you can afford to pay. Make an inventory of your properties and identify what valuables you can live without. You can sell your second car, some jewelry, antique collections, etc. This is much better than filing for bankruptcy and have your cherished properties taken from you.

3. Borrow Money from Family and Friends

It takes a lot of pride- swallowing, but borrowing money from family or friends without interest may cover what you need at the moment. Just make sure to pay them when you already can. Confronting money issues takes practicality and you have to be realistic about it. Your family and friends may understand your situation and you might just get your debt break.  

4. Adjust Your Lifestyle

Living a life of frugality is the first step to financial independence. Find even the smallest ways to save money by adjusting your lifestyle. Do away with unused subscriptions, cut down on unnecessary spending or minimize eating out. There are a lot of ways to save money, you just have to be practical about it.  

5. Seek the Help of  a Professional

Hire professionals who can help you with your debt, it can be a financial adviser or a Houston bankruptcy lawyer. These people have all the necessary experiences that can help you get out of debt in the best way possible. Make sure you hire someone trustworthy with a proven track record of excellent services.

Getting out of debt requires discipline and character. Once you decide to follow these steps, you need to commit and see them all through until you reach your desired financial independence.



7 Skills & Qualities Every HR Manager Needs in 2017

Nowadays, most of us would agree that HR management becomes a lot more complicated than before. And swiftly growing businesses which are progressively focused on high profitability will demand their HR team to convey beyond just new hires.

Thus, HR managers are going to need a few new leadership skills and ways to manage employees successfully. It might be helpful for you to look at the seven qualities that all modern HR managers must have to flourish.

1. Adjusts to Technology and Industry Development

The world of technology grows continually and impacting the place we dwell in, and an HR manager must take such development in their stride. They should focus on what technology is accessible and how it’s molding the contemporary workplace, whether it’s advanced messaging, video conference calls, shared digital workspaces, virtual hubs or worker engagement software.

2. Proficient at Manager-Employee Relations

The excellent relationship between employer and employee doesn’t simply happen. This relationship is the outcome of an approach and actions that employee-relations-managers design to improve collaboration between worker and management. Therefore, it is vital that HR managers have the emotional intelligence to support these connections.

3. Effective Time Management Skills

Busy HR managers must deal with their time successfully to do their day-to-day tasks and future project requirements. With great time management skills, you are on top of things, your time and your pressure. Likewise, you can gain development at work and keep up a good work and life balance.

4. Mentoring Resources

While HR managers encourage executives and employees to progress in their careers, they as well support the company’s growth and constructively affect the foundation.

By focusing leadership skills and behavioral areas that need consideration, they can help enhance employee relations and progressively impact efficiency and profitability.

5. Comprehends What Drives Company Success

Fruitful HR managers must have industry knowledge, as well. They should go out of their way to go ahead with their education and keep up on the most recent Human Resources trends, policies, approaches, and legislations.

6.Habit of Thinking Big

An outstanding HR manager knows they are part of a company and they need to keep at least one step ahead of where the association is going. When you see a future need, get ready to fill it with the suitable talent. In that way when the opening turns to be formal, you can get straight down to business.

7. Trustworthy

HR managers manage highly sensitive matters, for instances, violations of organizational policies, compensations, benefits, or individual difficulties affecting work.

Hence, it’s essential that workers feel their HR manager is somebody they can talk to with trust and assurance.

The year 2017 really is different. You will need several new skills to prosper and new ways to manage employees to be an efficient HR manager. However, when you have these skills and qualities you will be light-years ahead of your competition.

Also, a well-rounded HR manager must constantly magnify their knowledge of the industry to carry on. Remember, each HR professional must be the face of the company; internally and externally.

Business Idea: Food Vending Carts

You might have decided that it is time for a change in your occupation. If this is the case, you might want to consider the purchase of a food vending cart. There are some things you will need to look into if this appeals to you. You should not simply go out and buy the first food vending cart that you come across. After all, you are going to be depending on this cart for your livelihood. You need to be certain that it is up to snuff. Do you want to buy a food vending cart? If so, here are a few things for you to keep in mind.

1. Do you see any rust?

Preferably, you should try to buy a brand new cart. However, this might be out of your price range. In which case, it may be necessary for you to buy one that is used. It is very important for you to thoroughly inspect any used food vending carts before you buy them. One of the things you need to be most concerned about is rust accumulating in the compartments where the food will be prepared or stored until it is sold. Needless to say, it would not be good if the food you sell gets combined with rust. Be sure there is no rust present anywhere inside the cart.

2. How old is the cart?

Older food vending carts often have problems that newer carts do not. These problems can sometimes get in the way of your business. They can prevent you from being able to easily move your cart. Obviously, that would be a big problem for you. Find out the age of any food cart that you look at. Do not consider buying a cart that is more than 10 years older. Older carts often have rust build up on the axles. This makes it difficult for the wheels to turn. This makes the cart harder to push. To view a selection of ice cream carts, take a look at http://www.allstarcarts.com/pushcarts.

3. Is a payment plan available?

A payment plan would definitely be beneficial to you if you are strapped for cash. Some food vending cart retailers may be willing to work with you on a payment plan. Each retailer is different. Contact as many places that sell vending carts as you can find. This will ensure you have the greatest selection possible.

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