Silk Hanging Plants

If you are not an interior designer, redesigning the inside of your house or your office is no easy task; But a way to liven up the room is to utilize the natural beauty of plants. The initial reaction for plant decorations to someone could have been the overwhelming responsibility that comes with having to maintain a balance of sunlight and water to these plants, or perhaps the threat of possible infestations from insects of different kind that might start inhabiting the plants. You may also think of the expense you might incur in having to replace the plants every time they start to wilt and die.

A solution to that apprehension is to use silk plants. Silk plants are artificially manufactured plants made of, as the name impressions, silk. These plants eliminate the responsibility of tedious and expensive maintenance. To keep these synthetic plants bright and beautiful, all you need to do is use a wet towel or a wet rag to wipe off the dust that they might occasionally catch. You can find different plants like ferns, cactus, floor plants, flowering plants and trees, greenery plants, greenery trees, hanging plants, outdoor plants, palm trees, topiaries, bonsais or wreaths, garlands, and swags.

Among the different silk plants mentioned, a particularly popular type is the artificial hanging silk plant. You can find Spider Plants, English Ivy Hanging Bush, Wandering Jew Hanging Bush, Mini Philodendron Hanging Bush, Mini Pothos Hanging Bush, Sage Ivy Hanging Bush, Purple Clematis Hanging Basket, Light Purple Wisteria Hanging Bush, Violet Wisteria Hanging Bush, Deluxe Bougainvillea Hanging Bush, and other different hanging plants.

Whichever type of silk plant you suits your taste and matches the decorations at your home or your office, you will find that silk plants are more affordable and less tedious to maintain as compared to the real thing. …

Making Small Areas Look Larger: Three Time-Honored Tricks

Many homes today lack the amount of space desired by residents for the atmosphere they really want.  And the cost of housing takes the major portion of the average citizen’s lifetime income.  So most seek to make the best environment out of what they have.  In many cases, this entails making a smaller home appear more spacious than it is.  Using these techniques and strategies, anybody can accomplish this.

One approach is the use of wall color.  While rich colors are attractive and give off the tone of warmth, without the proper amount of lighting they tend to produce a sense of enclosure that makes a room feel smaller than it actually is.  When coupled with low level lighting and average height ceilings this effect reduces the sense of spaciousness.  The obvious alternative is to use colors that are lighter.  Colors that approximate the outdoors tend to seem more spacious, helping to make a room more attractive and inviting.

Another strategy is to minimize the space consumed by furniture.  Try items that expose more of the floor to view.  The ability to see open floors gives the impression of more space, thereby making the room or area seem larger.  Similarly, take advantage of wall mountings whenever feasible.  For example, instead of using floor-standing cabinets and furniture, try installing shelving that is mounted into the walls, leaving the floor itself open.  One can shelve all their primary reference materials and books from Barnes and Nobles on wall-mounted sets of shelves that can serve as a family “library.”  New books, texts and research materials –  obtained using Groupons for discounts of up to 90% off new and used text books, for example – can expand the area collection into a quiet study area and/or workspace.  Even desk and counters can be mounted in the walls, thus leaving open floor space below.

A third trick is to use area rugs rather than leaving the floor naked – be it carpeted or wood or tile.  The use of the area rug gives the image that there is additional space since it doesn’t cover the entire floor.  And use furniture that has defined legs which also permit the floor beneath them to be visible to the viewer.

While none of these tactics increases the room size, they give a sense of airiness or spaciousness that becomes increasingly desirable when space is at a premium.…

Tips for Finding the Right House Plan

Identify your outer style – what homes styles are you drawn too? French Country, Traditional, Spanish , Cape Cod, Colonial or Craftsman. When searching for the right house plan it is important to choose one that not only meets your individual needs but also keeps in mind the style of home that is most appealing to you.

Identify how your family lives -will you need formal spaces, recreational spaces, informal spaces, indoor-outdoor spaces, Determine if you prefer a one story or a two store home. Also determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms will you need. This will help narrow your search for the right house plans. Keep in mind the lot characteristics including dimensions, natural landscaping and future marketability of the home. Your lifestyle is a key consideration in selecting a house plan. Do you entertain frequently? Consider a formal dinning room and traditional living room for large formal entertaining. Are you nearing retirement? Consider a one story to limit stair climbing. Are you starting a family? Be sure to include enough bedrooms to allow for your expanding family. Do you love to cook? Be sure you have ample room and amenities in the kitchen to accommodate.

Walkthroughs – Walk through houses under construction in your area to see what things you like and don’t like about each plan. During these walkthroughs take careful notes about what you like and don’t like about the features in each home. Request floor plan samples from the various builders. Attach your notes to each floor plan so you can quickly recall the features of each house plan that you liked. Check with your local homebuilders association for the location of new home builders in your area. Visit each builder, walk their models and review their available house plans.

Careful note taking – Make a folder of ideas and pictures from magazines that you like. This will help you identify your style and keep a record of the features that you might want to incorporate into your home plan. As you perform your walkthroughs, take a camera so you can take pictures of the various homes you visit and key features of each home that you want to remember.

Search through stock home plans – Research styles and plans on the Internet. You can also purchase house plans on the web or in books at your local new or used bookstore. You should be able to get hundreds of home plans through these sources for little or no money. These house plans can be modified to meet your needs. Also visit new home builders in your area to get great house plan ideas.

Can’t find that perfect home floor plan? – Find a reputable architect who can custom design the perfect house plan for you. Make sure to research the architects in your area and visit their work if at all possible. Using the notes, magazine clippings and photograph you’ve collected the architect should be able to design a home that is a …

Pest Control Advice (How to Kill Cockroaches)

If you live in a warm climate, you know that roaches can be everywhere and that they can enter your house at any time they want. And it is very disgusting to see cockroaches crawling on your wall, floor, and any part of your home. Cockroaches have been around longer than we have and so getting rid of them won’t be easy. You will need the assistance of a pest control professional in dealing this kind of problem.

There are simple rules which you can follow in dealing with the cockroaches. First thing you should know about cockroaches is that they breathe through their skin. Cockroaches need oxygen and they cannot breathe if their shells are covered. An easy way of killing them is by putting oil to their skin. You can use olive oil or any kind of oil would do just fine. All you need to do is spray them with water mixed with the oil. This method will suffocate the cockroaches.

Another thing that many people recommend is vinegar. Spraying vinegar will suffocate the roaches as well, according to experienced home owners. Vinegar is known to work not just in cockroaches but in spiders as well. Rubbing alcohol is also another suggested cockroach killer. Mixing rubbing alcohol in water and spraying them with the roaches will be effective. Any way in which you can put a cover on them so they can’t breathe would be an effective strategy.

You really have to address the issue why these roaches are hard to find and look for ways to eliminate their food source, shelter, and other ways that they can survive. Seal any food source in your home properly. Make sure you clean the kitchen, the floors, and all areas which would be potential for roach infestation. Also make sure that there’s no water or moist area waiting for them.

These methods are very common and you can adopt them on a daily basis. But if you have tried all these tricks and still found roaches crawling in your house, then it would be high time to call your local pest control company for quality assistance.…

Building a Custom Boat Seat

Boat seats are often very expensive and it is not so easy to find them cheap. I spent a lot of time surfing the internet to find seats for my last boat building project. I am a big DIY fan and there is quite a lot of things that I already built for my boats.

I started looking for an online tutorial on building a custom boat seat but had no luck finding it so I decide that I will try to build seats for my boat on my own. I had drawn a few sketches of how I wanted my seats to look like and started to calculate the amounts of materials needed for the job.

I planned everything very well so at the and I came up with this great tutorial with all the answers provided for those of you who would like to build you custom boat seats. Not only you can save a lot of money by doing this yourself but you will find out that the same skills are used to make yourself new kitchen or bar chairs.

I used some marine graded plywood to build a frame for my seat and additionally protected it with some marine paint and this presented a basic construction for my seat. I bolted an aluminum rod to the bottom side of the seat that is later used as the seat’s leg. I then bought some artificial leather and cut out a shape of my frame and an additional 8 cm wide tape.

I then used a normal sewing machine and some polyester thread to sewn the top seat cover. Between the plywood frame and the seat cover I put a 5cm green seating foam. I then used a stapler to attach the foam to the seat frame with stainless steel staples an also to attach the final top seat cover to the frame.

To give my product a final touch I stapled black artificial leather cover to the back of the seat frame to hide the painted plywood.

I took my about two days to make two custom boat seats for my new boat I was rebuilding at the time and they came out very nice.…

Free Classic Movies: Suddenly, DOA And Thirteenth Guest

[N.B.: All of the following movies are public domain movies – available online and free to watch.]

Suddenly (1954)

Tod Shaw (Sterling Hayden), the sheriff in the small town of Suddenly, has fallen in love with the beautiful widow Ellen Benson (Nancy Gates). Ellen lives with his only son Pidge (Kim Charney) and father-in-law Peter (James Gleason). Her husband was shot to death in Korea during World War Two. Tod Shaw hears that the U.S. president himself will be stopping by their small town for a visit. In the meantime, John Baron (Frank Sinatra), a psychopathic sniper, arrives in town with his two assistants. John is involved with a plot to assassinate the US president. He takes over Ellen’s house and holds the Benson family hostage. Thus it becomes a rush against time to stop the three hired hit men and save the president.

Main casts are Frank Sinatra, James Gleason, Kim Charney, Nancy Gates and Sterling Hayden. This film is also known as “Der Attentäter”.

More Info:

Director: Lewis Allen

Country: USA

Total Runtime: 1 hr 15 min

Filming Location: Santa Clarita, California, USA

D.O.A. (1950)

California accountant Frank Bigelow (played by Edmond OBrien) goes to Los Angeles police station and tells them that he has been murdered. What actually happened is that he was poisoned by someone. Doctors have already informed him that he is living on borrowed time.

Someone switched his drink and gave him a fatal dose of luminous toxin while he was hanging out at a bar, The Fisherman. Frank is bewildered, furious, tired and sick. Yet he makes up his mind and strides off to find his killer.

Main casts of the film – Edmond OBrien, Beverly Garland, Luther Adler, Lynn Baggett and Pamela Britton. This film is also known as “Dead On Arrival”.

More Info:

Director: Rudolph Maté

Country: USA

Total Runtime: 1 hr 23 min

Filming Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Thirteenth Guest (1932)

Young and lovely Marie Morgan (played by Ginger Rogers) is the daughter of a wealthy millionaire. Her father was killed by a mysterious person walking in the house during a dinner party. The Morgans then abandoned the house. On her twenty-first birthday Marie arrives at her family manor in order to get her inheritance. But she finds out that someone hired a woman to impersonate her. The family lawyer is later found murdered in the house. Captain Ryan and private detective Phil Winston try to solve the mystery. Thirteenth Guest is a low-budget movie but it is the puzzling mystery that makes it worth watching.

Main casts of the movie include Erville Alderson, J. Farrell MacDonald, Lyle Talbot, Paul Hurst and Ginger Rogers. The filming locations include Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA. This film is also known as “A Convidada”.

More Info:

Director: Albert Ray

Country: USA

Total Runtime: 1 hr 9 min…

What Are Lava Rock Beads? How They Are Formed and How to Make Lava Bead Jewelry

What are lava beads

They are a new type of jewelry-making gemstone that is becoming increasingly popular. Everyone who makes and sells home-crafted jewelry should try some. The inexpensive stone is surprisingly light, making the present fashion for large chunky jewelry, comfortable to wear. The chic usually-black beads are also available in many different shapes and sizes allowing creative designs. Some are even dyed brown, and others brighter colors.

How they are born

Lava beads started life as molten rock over 1,000 degrees Celsius. It takes this high temperature and huge pressure to make rock melt beneath an active volcano. Most rock deep inside the Earth’s interior is not molten. This molten rock is spewed out of the erupting volcano and flows in streams until cooler air freezes it solid. Sometimes the flow can travel as fast as 30 km/hour on steep slopes and reach tens of kilometers, destroying everything in its path. However, usually it moves less than 1 km/hour, giving people time to move out of the way.

Properties

Lava beads promote strength and fertility. Bringing stability in changing times, driving away anger – and helping one to understand a problem in order to spring back to a stronger position. A very grounding stone that strengthens our connection to Mother Earth.

Lava bead jewelry

Beads from these rocks make very unusual jewelry. Used as pendants or parts of a necklace, these unusual black beads ooze style and mystique, drawing attention whenever worn. When admiring lava bead jewelry, people will ask, “whatever is it made out of?” This ensures all the mystique and power of a volcano are in your design!

Designing lava bead jewelry

Take advantage of how light these beads weigh, and try making long earrings to match large lava bead pendants for necklaces and bracelets. Mix different sizes and shapes to make the design interesting. Because most are jet-black, they go well with any color or style of clothes, making them more appealing, and so easier to sell. By their nature, these beads create an earthy rustic style – ideal for “wild” outdoor jewellery, especially for late-in-the year or Halloween. And as most are large and powerful in a design, you need fewer beads to make your piece, saving you money.

Lava bead finish

Although looking coarse with tiny holes and cracks, most of these beads are polished to feel smooth, making your jewelry comfortable to wear.…

Cooking with a Wood Fired Barbecue

Long before the advent of charcoal briquettes and propane people were cooking their meals over wood fueled fires. From the days of cave-men to less than one hundred years ago wood was the fuel of choice when it came to cooking. In this modern age we are constantly looking for a faster, cleaner and easier way to do everything, including preparing our meals. This has led to the development of larger accessory laden gas fueled grills lining the isles of home improvement stores and showing up in our backyards.

But for the barbeque purists out there nothing tastes quite the same as preparing their favorite barbeque dish over a wood fired grill.

Why is this? What could possibly work better then the latest and greatest in barbecue technology?

Depending on the type of wood used the "Grill-Master" (that guy who hovers over the grill creating barbecue master pieces) can create flavors in the meat, poultry or fish that just can not have over a more modern gas fueled grill. This flavor can further be adjusted just by the amount of wood used, how hot the fire is, and how much smoke the meat is allowed to marinate in.

There are several types of wood fired barbeques on the market today. They are sometimes referred to as smoker grills.

The offset firebox is the one most of us are used to seeing. These come in all sizes, from small family sized units to large trailer born monsters capable of feeding several hundred people. The distinguishing character of the offset firebox is, well the offset firebox. Set off to the side and slowly below the main cooking chamber is the firebox. This separates the food from direct heat and allows for a nice slow cooking temperature.

The bullet style smoker is not actually a smoker but more than what is called a cold smoker or water smoker. They use a pan of water between the heat source and the meat, thereby blocking any direct heat that would cause any overcooking. In a sense they are not really considered a barbecue because of the way they work.

The main chamber cooker is the third type of wood fired barbeque. These are barrel shaped and allow the fire to be built off to one side with the meat offset from the wood allowing for an indirect cooking method. You do need to be careful with how large of a fire gets built because there is no physical separation between the heat source and the meat. The fire need to be kept small and tended in a timely manner through the cooking process.

Of course all this is a moot point if you do not select the right type of wood. For a wood fired barbecue nothing works better than a fruit bearing hardwood such as oak, hickory, pecan, maple apple and of course from Texas mesquite. Do not use softwoods or the wood from evergreens or conifers. Aside from burning at a lower temperature …

It's Time to Remodel Your Bathroom! Do You Know What to Do?

How can you tell when the time is right to do a makeover on your bathroom? It's probably a job you've been putting off while, telling yourself that it really does not look all that bad. After all, the toilet works most of the time, and only a little of the grout is gone from between the tiles, and there's just a little rust that you can not get out of the bathtub, and … Wait a minute! I'd say it's time for a makeover. What do you think? Take a good look around and see what other little things you can find that are signaling you that now's the time:

Start by looking at all the little details you might have been ignoring. Are your porcelain fixtures looking a bit yellow? Maybe there's a ceiling tile missing from the renovation of 1974. If you have wallpaper, is it starting to curl up a bit on the edges? None of these problems in itself is a world-stopper, but they are still the clues you need to motivate you to get busy remodeling.

If your bathroom still looks like something out of the '70s, that's another clue. Look for the 1 "wall tiles, stained vinyl flooring, and the colors that will date your room on their own: harvest gold, avocado green, and bright oranges. If this is what you're seeing, it's definitely time you did something about It.

A good time to remodel is when you've decided to sell your house. A nice bathroom is a real selling point for most people and can even raise the value of your home. You know for yourself, from being in some yucky public restrooms that no one likes a crummy bathroom, so spruce yours up a bit, and you'll have a hit on your hands.

It may be that you do not want to completely remodel everything in the bathroom. Maybe you're only interested in making it look better without the effort and expense of an excessive makeover. One way to do this is by changing the accessories in the room. If your bathroom is too far gone, this will not work, but if the room is just looking tired and dreary, new accessories can make a world of difference. You might get new fixtures, some fluffy towels, soft cozy rugs, or bright shower and window curtains. By adding these new things, you'll probably be amazed at how much nicer your old bathroom looks.

For the major overhauls, you might want to hire a bathroom contractor. I know they cost money, but unless you're a better plumber than I am, you will find it money well spent. You do not have to hire a contractor to do the whole room, but it would be good for any plumbing and fixture installation you want to do. Have you ever lived a porcelain bathtub? Believe me, a contractor comes in mighty handy for that kind of work. Find someone who comes with a lot of …

How to Build Your Own Home – Lesson 3 – Your Plans – Draftsman/ Designer Vs Architect

1. The Draftsman/Designer

Draftsman/Designer’s have expertise with design of interiors, carpeting, furniture, paint, etc., in actuality; draftsmen follow the directions of an architect, engineer or designer to make (vs. create) the plans. They are not licensed, as an architect is, to stamp plans in order to receive city building permits – More on this later.

If you choose to hire a draftsman/designer, be sure to find one that has a good working knowledge of building. I knew a draftsman/designer that designed beautiful country homes but you could tell this designer was relatively new to the industry because some of her designs could not be built the way they were drawn. This is because designers often do not understand how the construction process works. This is a key difference between draftsman/designers and architects. Choose someone that has had experience creating drawings that have been successfully built from by homebuilders, and who comes highly recommended.

Another source for a qualified draftsman/designer is the American Institute of Building Design. You can locate member in your area by visiting their web site. If you see a home that you like, check with the owner to see if they know who designed it. If the home is fairly new, you could go to the building department and possibly see the plans on file, you can acquire the name of the designer from those plans.

2. The Architect

Architects have expertise in design but are especially helpful because of their knowledge of technology and structural aspects of how to put together a building. He or she has gone to school a long time and are licensed professionals who are qualified to offer clients a wide range of services. Working with an architect can give you someone to lean on from start to finish. He/she can help you with your site and landscape plans. He/she can help you select colors, furnishings, etc. as well. The architect can offer several other valuable services to help your construction plan go smoothly. For example, he/she can visit the site, monitoring and observing construction. The architect can be a valuable asset in reviewing contracts and helping you ultimately select a reputable contractor or subcontractor.

Another service the architect can provide is to walk through your plans with the city/county to expedite getting the necessary permits.

Keep in mind that an architect’s fees are going to be higher than those of a draftsman/designer, which makes sense considering all of the additional services and safeguards that you’ll get the benefit of. A good architect can charge anywhere from 7% to 10% of the final cost, or more. Fees may be negotiable, though. For example, I hire very qualified architects in the Atlanta area for less than a third of those figures, which, by the way, is a very cheap price to pay for someone that qualified to create your house, plans and see the job through to completion.

As always, when hiring someone, it is best to discuss the exact services …