Category Archives: Beauty

Brighten up the Home and Garden with Cedar

There are various types of wooden railings and cedar is one of the options you can choose. Not many people consider cedar due to the fact that it is not widely advertised. However, as well as adding a natural color to the home, cedar railings are also lower maintenance than other wood railings are.

Cedar Railings and Their Many Advantages

Cedar is derived from the cedar tree and they are grown in various different parts of the world. The trees grow to around fifty meters and the leaves grow to up to three feet long. There are various different types of cedar and they include:

o Cyprus cedar

o Turkish Cedar

o Deodar cedar

o Lebanese Cedar

Cedar railings have a natural color and it comes in either red or white. This means that you get more of a choice when it comes to which type of wood you would like to use to brighten up the home.

The main advantage of course is that cedar railings do not need as much maintenance as other types of wood railings. Usually you only really need to add a little lacquer once every three years and that only usually takes just fifteen to twenty minutes for every one thousand square feet. Apart from that the cedar looks its best for years before maintenance is needed.

So Easy You Could Do It Yourself!

Cedar railings are so easy to create you could literally do it yourself as long as you had the right tools. Due to the fact that cedar is fairly common, it shouldn’t be a problem finding some cedar and most of the time the railings are pre cut so all you have to do is install them wherever you want to. You can inform the supplier of where you are buying the cedar from what the measurements of the area you are installing it into are and the design which you would like, and they could then send that off to the manufacturer and you could have your own, specially designed cedar railings to fit your home.

The only thing you may need to do if installing the railings yourself, is to chip certain parts of the wood away.

Overall cedar railings not only look good, but they are also easy to maintain compared to other wood railings and they also have a nice, sweet smell to them too. You really cannot go wrong with cedar railings if you are looking for wood railings to make your home complete.

Warm and Inviting Lighting Style For Home and Garden

Mission style lighting is a straightforward style of outdoor lighting characterized by its bold yet simple geometric shapes, its use of organic, earthy materials like Oak and Cherry wood; copper, brass, pewter, and iron; stained glass, slag glass, and mica. The Mission style of home design and home decorating was originally associated with the Spanish missionaries living and working in the North American Southwest.

The hallmark features of Mission design are straight lines and simplicity of design. Mission style homes typically have architectural features such as textured stucco walls, twisted columns, and rounded design of its windows and doors. Decorative touches might include patterned tile work around windows and on the walls, stone carvings, and elaborate grillwork. In contrast to Victorian decor, the Mission style is basically simple, not ornate or super detailed. The Mission style is a uniquely American offshoot of an English and American design philosophy known as the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Arts and Crafts movement began in England in the late nineteenth century when a group of painters and craftsmen vocally criticized the mass produced, machine made furnishings and decorative products of the Industrial Era. Artists and architects rebelled against the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and mass produced products. Artist colonies were founded to explore individual craftsmanship and creativity.

American designers picked up on the style and it became very popular by the early 1900s. The Arts and Crafts Movement emphasized creating harmony between the furnishings of the inside with the surroundings of the outside. “William Morris, Gustav Stickley, and Frank Lloyd Wright are among some of the most well-known designers who produced furniture and architecture in the Arts and Crafts style, while many others produced ceramics, glass, textiles, wallpaper, and silverware in the same vein.”(Barbara Mayer)

Mission style outdoor lighting is widely available on the market today. The many beautiful choices include wall sconces, chain hung chandelier and pendant fixtures, post and column mounted fixtures – all perfect for your deck, porch, or outdoor living room and kitchen. These light fixtures are of strictly geometric design, featuring stained or slag glass, or translucent mica, set into a frame made of wood or metal. Lighting fixture color schemes are earth tones such as cream, amber, deep greens and browns, burnt yellows and oranges, dusty rose, sapphire blue. These outdoor fixtures will look and feel hand crafted even if they are not. Tiffany style glass panels in geometric, right angle designs are also easy to find. Because Mission lighting is made for inside and outside, you can coordinate your interior and exterior decorating. Great, because that holistic design approach is a main tenet of the Arts and Crafts philosophy!

Creating a Mission style for your deck, patio or outdoor living room means you can also use design ideas from styles such as Art Nouveau, the Prairie Style of architecture, bungalow style houses, Mission oak style of furniture, Tiffany stained glass, Mexican rustic, and most definitely the English landscape designers Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens. Mission style is simple and accepts a eclectic mix of elements, as long as all the elements together create squares and rectangles, strong earthy colors, and rustic, handcrafted look.

Saving While Enhancing the Beauty of Your Home and Garden

So what are solar lights? They are basically lights that are being powered by the sun’s energy or solar energy. Not only are they quite great in decorating your house with it (may it be in your deck, porch, walkways, garden or terraces), they are also helpful when it comes to easing down your electric bills. It is known to be economical and it enhances the beauty of your house and even outdoors. This is best for those who are too conscious about their electric bills and ones who are concerned about safety. Did you know that these solar lights are known to be the best and safest type of lighting equipment? Whoever will install this; will not need to be afraid about the safety of their pets or children or themselves when it comes to wiring it up and getting it connected. Moreover it is basically easy and quick to install.

With every solar light bulb, it has its own solar collector pane or panel that converts the sunlight to energy, electrical energy that is. If there is a thing that you must bear in mind, it is that these types of lights perform on the amount of sunlight it received during day time. The more sunlight it gets, the better it will perform when used. These types of lights also do require a good and unobstructed amount of sunlight for it to be able to recharge its batteries. Said type of light is quite ideal for places that is still out of the reach of electric companies, or places which barely has access to electricity. However, solar lights are not that useful for all applications that we need for lighting. Basically it is ideal to accent the design of our indoors and outdoors, this is because these types of lights does not necessarily produces that much light compared to regular bulbs that are powered by electricity. But then again, if you do not have an access to any light at all, this is the best one for you.

Today’s lights are way better and superior to first batch of solar lights. Again, they are way efficient as they do not use electricity and they are powered by their solar rechargeable batteries (solar panels or cells). They may be quite expensive, but they are sure worth it. In addition, most solar lights now use the latest Light Emitting Diodes or LED as their main and only light source. This is of course, compared to the ordinary solar lights. As most LED powered lights are ever reliable. Also, they are now more popular today, most especially the white colored ones.

You can also easily find your own solar lights online. There are lots of vendors that are now selling through the internet. You can choose from their vast selection of solar powered lights. Whether you want to enhance your outdoors or indoors, or you want to save on your electric bills, or you simply want the benefits of having a light, then why not try solar lights now?

Spare Parts for the Home and Garden

REPAIR and DIY are scary concepts to many of us but with the world economy in a downturn it is a clear and obvious way to save a great deal of money.

The average labour bill from a garden tool repair workshop can be £30 HR plus call out plus spare parts and this can quickly add up to a large bill.

The best time to check your lawnmower for wear and tear is out of season when not in use (winter).

Think of your lawnmower as two units, the chassis and the engine (or electric motor), you need to keep and eye on both. Common engine faults often relate to the fuel and oil. Common chassis faults are often related to physical damage.

The lawnmower engine:

  • Always use clean fuel from a clean container – any dirt will break your engine
  • Always check your engine oil – it is quick and easy to check your dipstick to see the oil level is between the high and low marker lines
  • The lawnmower chassis:
  • The common parts are the blade, push handle, control cables and wheels.
  • Blade – this must be sharp to otherwise it will strain your engine and pull at the grass rather than making a clean cut. You can resharpen your blade with a file
  • Cables – you can squirt aerosol light oil like WD40 onto the cables to help them last longer.

What if i find something that is worn of broken?

1- Identify your lawnmower – what is the make and model of the Engine? (engine powered mowers only) – what is the make and model of the Lawnmower?

2- Identify the part as Chassis or Engine component

– the Engine will have its own unique identifying data plate showing model code and serial number. This is often stamped into the engine metal work.

– the Chassis will have its own unique identifying data plate showing model code and serial number. This is often on a silver badge or sticker near the rear wheel.

Tips For Home and Garden

If you plan to enlarge your house, you just first consider the effect the extension will have on the overall shape of the building. Certain shape combinations are auspicious, while others are not. At the same time, you must analyze what effect the extension will have on the overall position of the house and what impact it will have on the directional sector it occupies.

Another method of determining the Feng Shui effects of extensions is to look at the element represented by the sector where the extension is to be built, and then check its impact on e element represented by your main door. Thus, if the extension is to be built on the northern side of the house, it represents the element water. If the main door is located facing the southeast(which represents small wood) then the extension will enhance the door’s Feng Shui, since water produces wood.

If, on the other hand, the extension is located in the northwest, representing big metal, then the extension will have a detrimental effect on the door, since metal destroys wood. This method of analysis is highly recommended, since element analysis is one of the fundamental principles of all Feng Shui practice.

This same analysis can be applied to the building of gazebos, stand-alone garages, and other large structures planned for the home.

Fences and walls serve to divide the boundaries of the house from external influences. Walls, for instance, are effective barriers that can block out the effect of harmful objects such as boulders, fast-flowing or clogged up drains, telephone poles, and whole host of other inauspicious structures. The design of walls should, however, be harmonized with the landscape.

Mass Plants For Better Homes and Gardens

For a coffee table or for a narrow shelf, choose a small gem that asks and deserves to be looked at closely. Just as an attractive ashtray or a colorful pillow can be a tasteful, decorative accent, so can small plants. They can pick up room colors, provide interesting contrast of form, and add attention-getting detail. But just as it would be wrong to expect a small accessory to carry a big decorative role in the home, so it would be a mistake to hope for big impact from a single small plant.

But a grouping of plants, many small, or one or two big plants, can carry important roles in a decorating scheme. The mass effect of a handsome grouping of plants has universal appeal. Any one plant in the group may be beautiful in its own right, though possible to overlook if alone. But put several plants together in the right setting and you can’t possibly ignore their presence.

Of course, there’s more than one way to group plants. A well-chosen pair is often just what you need to give a room that special touch. An assortment of many flowering varieties gives the same pleasure as looking into a florist’s shop window. An all-foliage cluster, such as the one on the opposite page, is equally appealing.

Ideally, the area that you select for a dramatic display of plants should receive a good amount of natural light. If the day light’s inadequate, however, give preference to the setting that you have chosen and then consider what steps can be taken to reinforce natural light with artificial light. You can do this with ceiling spots, recessed light fixtures, or fluorescent tube lighting.

It is also feasible, if your plant group is not too large, to install it on a mobile cart, taking it by day to a window location, then returning it after sundown to the room placement that you prefer.

Since plants grown indoors vary considerably in amounts of light required to promote good growth, you’ll be wise to choose for a dramatic grouping – varieties that have similar light needs. If the available natural light is low, choose plants from the group that can easily tolerate low light. If, on the other hand, your best location offers medium to strong light, select all of your plants for that kind of light.

To help you select from the right group, turn to the section entitled ‘A Portfolio’ of Recommended House Plants/ in which plants are grouped according to the kind of light they need.

Another important resource is your florist or greenhouse man.Besides supplying you with facts concerning light needs,he can give you a great deal of added information on plant cultural requirements (soil, water,humidity, etc.). From years of experience in the field, he will know which plants are cinch-to-grow types, and which are not.

After checking on compatibility of cultural needs, you’ll want to seek contrasts of color,texture, and form within your group. Some of the greens vary from the palest chartreuse to almost black tones. Some plants have shiny foliage; others have a furry or velvety finish. There are also plants with big, pointed shaped leaves as well as rounded and pierced ones to choose from.

Get variety in size, too. Combine some tall and some short plants. Place taller ones toward the back; the shorter ones, forward. For a start, consider these combinations: a pot or two of small yellow chrysanthemums made to look still more flowery when backed by a good-sized dieffenbachia; or delicate ferns that take on the appearance of green lace if backed by the solid foliage of big-leaved philodendrons or rubber plants.

Unusual Halloween Decorations for Your Home

During the whole month of October each year, many people would be in a tizzy helping with the preparations for a Halloween party in the office while also searching for a fancy costume to wear. ‘Tis no wonder that these busy bees barely had the time and energy to dress up their homes before All Hallows Eve. Finding these novelty holiday decors for Halloween certainly cuts down the guesswork. The following decorations looked most unusual and fashionably grotesque to put in your backyard garden or front lawn and to hang on the walls and windows of your home.

The Right Kind of Weird Decorations for Younger Kids

Sharing and listening to scary stories about ghostly apparitions and haunted houses always make any campfire gathering fun and exciting. However, imagining the monsters under the bed doesn’t compare to terrorizing young children with the sight of severed limbs scattered on your lawn and wet blood splattered on your front door and windows. Older kids and adults may appreciate the awesomeness of your hyper-realistic props and makeup, but smaller kids are too young to realize at first that everything’s fake. The blood and gore weren’t real and nobody had had been chopped up and left to rot somewhere.

Age-appropriate decorations normally include bat and skull decals, glow-in-the-dark skeletons, and a crashing witch décor on the front door. String up some party lights of grinning ghosts or glowing skulls under the eaves and on window frames. Line up several three-inch skulls covered in purple, orange or black glitter on the window sill. But, the best Halloween decors for little children are those animated figures that light up and make spooky sounds. Popular items include the laughing witch that spins around crazily after dancing the boogie across the floor. She stands more than twelve inches tall dressed in a blue frock with gold stars and moons and holds a flashing skull in one hand.

Give Your Visitors a Fun and Frightening Welcome

If you’re familiar with dioramas, then you’ll immediately see why it’s more fun to decorate the front lawn than any other part of the property, including the landscaped yard at the back. Use your front lawn as a staging area for a climactic scene with the rise of the undead just like in the movies. Find a groundbreaking life-sized skeleton that you can stake into the ground. There’s even one that includes batteries for its light-up brain. Stop strangers and neighboring folks from trampling all over your lawn by staking a fence of skull-tipped spikes than stand almost two feet from the ground and connected to one another with a hanging chain that’s almost four feet long.

Most garden sets for Halloween have stakes or sticks with a skull decoration on top. This time the voodoo skull has long straggly hair hanging at the back while a short plait of hair sticks out of its chin. The skull’s grinning visage is decorated with a small skeleton sitting atop its head. The stick is less than two and a half feet long and can be used as yard decoration or as a prop for your Voodoo Priest costume. As a final touch, post some giant animated figures near the entrance to your home or on the edges of your lawn to give passing strangers a frightful surprise. So far, the best item among them is the movement-activated screaming skeleton with red flashing eyes that’s a little more than a meter tall with an umbrella base.

Improve Home and Garden Security

Security is the prime concern of all human beings, be it for their property, assets, finances, job, career, etc. Man buys home to have a secure and permanent shelter from the weather and to have his own place to relax at the end of day after work.

For that he spends a fortune to build up a home of his and his family’s desires, accommodates many things like luxury, usability, beautifying and functional structures, and so on. The bare minimum one wants is all this dream like result of sheer hard work goes to some burglar!

No Compromise on Security

So, security is one factor that cannot be compromised at all under any circumstances, especially when it deals with costly assets like your vehicles and home. Installing fences is a simple way of ensuring some deterrent to burglaries.

Australian Bureau of Statistics survey reveals that break-ins were the most common household crime. Foil theft attempts by choosing iron fence gates and heavy-duty wooden or iron fences.

The garden area is prone to break-ins as it generally has access points that open to the main road or another open, public and susceptible area.

Though wooden fences can add to the beauty to your property and the green surrounding, you might consider chain link fence design more appropriate if you stay in a packed residential complex.

Different Fence Styles

There are many fence styles that give you security and also beautify the property too. Depending on your property value and if you have a garage too, you can select safety fences that suit your home decor and purpose. Budget is also one of the important criteria that people consider while installing fences as they call for at least once-in-a-year maintenance.

Chain link fences are the most popular design that professional fencing services are approached for. They are light, interwoven wire mesh that protects the property from trespassing, allows visibility from both – inside as well as outside, demarcate your area, has your pet, restricts small animals from entering the lawn, etc.

Security Fence Selection Tips

Though fences in general up the security, there are some technical points that one should consider before finalizing and installing a certain type of fence.

  • Choose strong and durable material for the fences so that it can’t be easily broken
  • Determine the right height for fences so that climbing over is not an easy option
  • Select a fence style like ornamental iron fencing, for less visibility and increased privacy
  • Choose gates that can lock at nights or, when you are not at home
  • You need to keep up the fences after a year, foresee the possible damages & choose the right fence type

You have permit to install high fences from the local authority. By following these tips and guidelines for fences mentioned above you can contribute towards making your home a more secure place to live in and enjoy.

How to Buy a Folding Wagon for Home and Garden

Deciding to buy a folding wagon is one of the most common things today. To carry the weeds that you have plucked, to carry along the tools like spades, trowels, gloves, pesticides, pruners and the rest of the team, it becomes very challenging to move them to and fro in the backyard. A person finds it hard to carry multiple items, hence, the need for a wagon. This handy, fold-able, comfortable and portable utility is by far the best in providing the support one needs when they go gardening.

Dimensioning: With its weight no less than 30 pounds, as most of them come around 22.5pounds, these rectangular carriers with wheels and a pulling handle work like a charm. With larger room space of 35.5″ x 20″ x 22.5″ inches, these folding wagons are a steal. There is no assembly required for it to fold and it takes a couple of seconds to fold them to its diminished size of 29.5″ x 20″ x 8″, which would fit into any blocked space in the store room or shelf. This truly is an engineered product as it is very large when unfolded and very small when folded. Furthermore, they come with a handy and convenient carrying case making it perfect for easy transportation, setup and pack up.

Strength and Durability: The wagon’s sturdy frames and material have the capability to hold 150 pounds of your gear. The fabric is made durable with high-quality Denier fabric. The features list goes on, the utility wagon comes with an adjustable handle, making the transport of the wagon effortless across pavements, grass and other surfaces. Smartly designed, these also have two cup holders on either side of the handle keeping your beverages secured.

Sturdy Wheels: Whatever your purpose be, outdoor sporting events, beach or park trips, or gardening in the backyard, these folding wagons are very easy to use and have high durability. The pull type handle extends up to 16″ past the wagon. Wheels are smartly designed, not small like one would think of, but big and thick to make easy mobility on sand and water with better grip. Working very well on dirt and hills as well, apart from the usual grass and road sidewalks.

Applied Benefits: Furthermore, it is not only a pulling wagon, if you lock it in an upright position, it increases the ease of usage. It is easily foldable and can be placed in cars. Because of the build quality, when you begin or grow your gardens, it is often very tiresome to carry the heavy soil packages. The 55 pounds (25 kilograms) of fertile soil when it has to be applied in the garden, is extremely hard to carry manually. It needs at least two people to carry out the task. With wagons, even a single person can carry out the task with ease.

Stained Glass Mosaic Stepping Stones for Your Home and Garden

Making your own stepping stones is actually quite easy, a bit messy and a lot of fun. It’s a wonderful outside family craft for a warm seasonal day. Crafting a personalized hand-print and/or footprint stepping stone for each child, parent and even the pets will not only add charm to your garden path but also become prized keepsakes. The kids will enjoy comparing their hands and feet to their parents as they grow and the parents will cherish the memories the little prints’ will hold of childhood for many years to come.

The easiest way to craft stepping stones is to make them using a method called the “Stone Topper”. If you have never made a mosaic stepping stone or are looking for a quick and inexpensive way of crafting a number of stones, this method is perfect. No molds, no expensive kits, little mess and you probably have most of the needed materials on hand!

For each stone you will need:

1. A 12″ already made plain cement stepping stone. Any shape will work.
2. Five pounds of Cement Mortar Mix, this can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
3. Broken pieces of stained glass, glass nuggets and/or marbles.
4. A roll of strong and sturdy duct tape, enough to wrap around the edge of the stone.
5. Water.
6. A plastic bucket or large plastic bowl.
7. Measuring cup for liquids.
8. A garden trowel or old large spoon.
9. Dust mask, eyewear protection, and latex gloves.
10. A level work surface covered with paper or plastic.
11. Paper towels and trash bag for clean-up.

To make:

· Soak your stone in water until thoroughly wet.
· Wrap the top of the stone with duct tape forming a 1 ½” deep bed into which you will pour your cement mortar.
· Mix your cement following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
· Pour the cement into the duct tape bed leveling the mortar evenly throughout.
· Press your hand or foot into the wet cement.
· Decorate with the glass and let dry 5 to 7 days before placing outside.

The garden stones can easily be made in an afternoon and after a few days of drying they will be ready to set in your yard or they can become the perfect gifts for the Grandparents to enjoy in their yard.