Month: March 2019

Getting Your Kids Involved in Home Improvement

Home improvement is a concept generally limited to adults: power saws and drills, for obvious reasons, just are not suitable for children, at least not children who want to keep all of their fingers. Nonetheless, home improvement is still something kids can be involved in. Keeping your kids to assist you with certain activities, or allowing them to perform easy tasks on their own, is a great way to help your kids feel included. It's also a great way to get things done around your house at a more expedited rate. The following is a list of home improvement tasks that are typically kid-friendly.

Painting: Kids love to paint: they paint with paint brushes, they paint with their fingers, they paint by simply splattering colors all over the place. Why not put their love for painting to use by having them help paint the house, the garage, or the backyard fence. The higher areas, and the ones that require a steady hand, may be off limits, but the larger ones are perfect for a child's touch. You may have to perform some touch up work after they're done, but your kids will help you get at least part of the painting out of the way.

Cleaning the Garage: For those of you with kids, the concept of a garage used to store tools, cars, and garden materials goes down the driveway, and into the gutter: your garage is more easily stored with bikes, toys, and sporting goods . Ask your kids to go through their items and throw away the ones they no longer want or no longer use. Then have them store their things neatly, and sweep out any leaves, dirt, or gravel. Since most of the things filling up your garage belong to your kids, it's only fair that the chore of cleaning the garage belongs to them as well.

Mowing the Lawn: Young kids really have no business mowing the lawn, unless the lawnmower they use is one that blows bubbles. Older kids, however, are more than capable of mowing. A task that is fairly simple, mowing the lawn is a great way to get your kids outside in the form of a weekly or biweekly chore. You may have to start the lawnmower for them (those things can be tricky) but after that, your kids just might find that mowing the lawn is kind of fun … it's a home improvement activity that totally kicks grass.

Cleaning up the Yard: The dog that learns how to clean up his own poop will never see the inside of a pound. Until that happens, humans – the superior species – are left doing the dirty work. Your kids might not be completely elated with their assignment of doodie duty, but, chances are, they are the ones who wanted a dog, so they can help take care of one.

Pulling Weeds: Pulling weeds might not be as fun as a game of tag or a day at the amusement …

Learn Quickly to Draw and Customize Your Own House Plans

When it comes time for you to start thinking about building your own dream home, you will want to consider drawing and customizing your own house plans. After all, it is going to be your home for some time – do you really want it to look like a carbon copy of someone else’s home? Why not learn to draw your own house plans, floor plans, and home design, to suit your unique tastes and needs, and make it your signature house by drawing it yourself? Here are some details about drawing your own house plans to get you headed in the right direction.

It Does Not Take Long To Learn

Learning how to draw house plans with CAD can be learned in just a few short weeks. While learning CAD itself will certainly take longer, a special course designed to teach you to draw house plans will enable you to learn just what you need to know to put your dream house together before long.

It Has Almost Unlimited Potential

Just think about what you could do if you knew how to put together your own house design! You would not have to settle with pre-made house plans – like everyone else, or pay high prices for architects to draw everything for you. Of course, if you live in a city, you need an architect’s approval, but you are free to present your ideas to him or her with already drawn house plans in which you have already worked out many of the details. This could lead to some real savings for you.

Once you learn how to use the home design software, you could apply it to your custom-designed home. You will learn how to draw:

  • Foundations
  • Walls – exterior and interior
  • Cabinets – kitchen and bathroom
  • Basic electrical – 110V and 220V
  • Stairs, decks and porches
  • Front, side and elevation views

It Is Usable For Years To Come

Even after you use your house plans to build your home, you can still use the instruction you gained to build other things. You could design and add on a garage, a workshop, a pool house, or even use it for interior remodeling and additions. Each of these projects requires floor plans and a similar design structure to build. Besides that, who knows, you may even be able to use your talent to get a job drawing house plans.

It Is Uniquely Your Design

Like other people that have built their own homes, you will certainly be able to enjoy it. You, however, will have an even greater privilege and be able to point to your home with pride and say – “But I designed my own home and laid out the floor plans, too.” How many others do you know can say that?

Learning to draw your own house plans simply starts out by looking into some of the details of the course and understanding what is involved. The cost of the first course is low, but it …

Garden Perennials – The Geranium

More and more of us are becoming interested in landscape gardening, so much so that even those with the smallest of backyards like to have some plants growing. Perennial plants are those plants which grow year after year and can prove very useful when trying to create a low maintenance garden. Luckily there are many garden perennials which are considered low maintenance and the Geranium is one of the easiest to grow successfully.

Originating from Africa and introduced into Europe during the sixteenth century the Geranium is available in a wide range of colors from pure whites to almost black, from pink to mauve and through to deep blues. Some of the flowers of the Geranium have veins which are of a darker shade creating both interest and beauty. The leaves are usually mid to darkish green but can also be found in shades of gray or silver green.

Most species of Geranium will grow in almost any soil which is well-drained. Many species also grow well in full sun while others grow best in partial shade. They grow to various heights ranging from about 10cm (4 inches) to as high as 90cm (3ft). Geranium plants can grow to a width of between 15cm (6 inches) to 75cm (2.5ft). This makes the Geranium suitable for nearly all gardens, as well as looking wonderful in mixed borders that can also be used for ground cover or they can be used to fill awkward shady places such as below trees.

Popular Geranium Species

In total there are around 422 different species of Geranium, the list below includes the most popular.

G. cinereum which grows up to 15cm (6in) high and 30cm (1ft) across.

G. dalmaticum which grows up to 15cm (6in) high and 60cm (2ft) across.

G. endressii which grows up to 45cm (1.5ft) high.

G. grandiflorum which grows up to 30cm (1ft) high and 60cm (2ft) across.

G. ibericum which grows up to 60cm (2ft) high and 60cm (2ft) across.

G. macrorrhizum which grows up to 30cm (1ft) high and 60cm (2ft) across.

G. phaeum which grows up to 60cm (2ft) high and 45cm (1.5ft) across.

G. pratense which grows up to, or even over, 60cm (2ft) high.

G. psilostemon which grows up to 90cm (3ft) high and 75cm (2.5ft) across.

G. renardii which grows up to 23cm (9in) high and 60cm (2ft) across.

G. sanguineum which grows up to 25cm (10in) high and 45cm (1.5ft) across.

G. subcaulescens which grows up to 15cm (6in) high and 30cm (1ft) across.

G. sylvaticum which grows up to 75cm (2.5ft) high and 60cm (2ft) across.

G. wallichianum which grows up to 30cm (1ft) high and 60cm (2ft) across.

Cultivation and Propagation

You can plant your geraniums from early fall to early spring, in well-drained soil and in sun or partial shade. G. cinereum can be rather delicate so it is best to plant this in a sunny but sheltered site or leave planting until early spring. The taller species will need to be …

Putting an Extra Effort on Railings

The railing design in your house says a lot about your home. A simple design or stylish design whatever your choice is portraits the lifestyle of the owner.

Many people do not think the design of the indoor railing to be important. But indoor railing is the main element of the living room and the entrance. It creates the delusion of the movement. You will naturally look up the railing and to the top of the stairs. Therefore it is necessary to add a bit more appeal and charm to the interior railing.

The main element of the design of the railings is the material with which the railing is made. Many railroads are made from wood. If you would like to make your railing of wood then you again have many different options. Woods such as maple, pine, oak and cherry are the ones most commonly used. The patterns of wood determine the style of wood that you would like it to be. If you pay more attention, then you can have a beautiful staircase. Other forms of interior railings include iron and steel, if you do not prefer wooden ones. Some people like to add new touch to the wood by adding extra feet to it which are made up of marble or stone. There are many ways that you can add a new feel to the boring, standard wooden railing.

To add class to the wooden railing you can also add some decorative elements to it. These can be as complicated as you want them to be or even a simple if that is your preferred choice. You need to check the different options that are available to you. These decorations can be placed at different locations on the wood railing to suit your taste. You can also purchase a new wood railing with complicated details and detailed carvings, which beautify the entire look of the house.

The entire shape of the railing is also very essential. A straight or a curved railing is the best option. A railing that is straight would keep the eye straight which will create a hallucination of height. A staircase, which is round, will keep the eyes to focus on the entire details.

Features, which are added to the railing, are also important. From holding a decorative item to the simple adding of steel or ironwork will make the post a luxurious entrance. Designing of the railings will be based on the feature that fits your style. The current trend is the round shaped staircase and that is why most people are opting for it. A more luxurious look to the staircase will bring more praises for you and your home. …

Interior Design Course

Skilled interior designers are highly thought after professionals and can there before earn quite a lucrative income so if you are thinking about taking an interior design course with the intent of becoming a professional interior designer afterwards, then it is a good idea to know what it involves.

A professional interior designer can be more or less described as someone who has the necessary education, qualifications and experience, as well as the imagination, creative talent and artistic flair to enhance and transform interior rooms into spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and at the same time functional. They also have to bear in mind and consider health and safety laws, building standards, their clients 'taste and of course their clients' budget. No two projects will be the same either and each one will bring its own individual issues and challenges.

In other words, a professional interior designer has to develop and use a variety of skills to produce a standard of work that is not only acceptable, but also fully embroidered by their clients and to do this they have to be able to anticipate, understand and deliver their clients needs as well as their personal preferences. So the first step to gaining the education and the qualification would be to take some sort of interior design course.

There are also many people who want to take an interior design course simply to learn the skills that will enable them to practice interior design in their own homes. Fortunately, there are many different interior design courses available throughout the country and whatever your interest in interior design, there will be one that is suited to you and the following list will give you an idea of ​​where to start looking.


You can search for suitable interior design courses at [] where there are details of over 50 universities and colleges across the UK offering interior design related courses. UCAS is the central organization that processes all applications for full time undergraduate courses taking place in the UK so if you want to study at this level; UCAS is a good place to begin.

The Interior Design School

The school, which is located in London, provides a number of different courses, which include day courses, professional diploma courses as well as summer and evening courses enabling you to learn the necessary skills you need to practice interior design professionally or within your own home . You can find out more at []

The American Intercontinental University School of Interior Design

This university enables students from the US and from other countries including the UK, to embark on a career relevant degree program and also offers some students the opportunity to work towards an American and a British Batchelor's Degree at the same time. Students can opt for an Associate of Arts in Interior Design or a Batchelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. On completion, students are automatically entitled to become International Interior Design Association (IIDA) members. There are certain …

Great Tips and Info on House Painting

Painting on or in a home is one place that a novice can save loads of money on fixing up their own home. This is because other things on a home such as decorative carpentry or roofing require a certain level of experience to see the job through correctly.

If your home is a one story home then you are in luck and the job will be that much easier but you still are going to need some ladders which can be rented if you do not want to buy them. Clean your home well before you begin the job and scrape off any loose crud that you find and pay close attention to the windows and anything els that is going to be masked off so the tape will stick good.

If you are going to be using an airless spray you will also have to "roll the paint in" after it is sprayed on and it takes people to "spray and roll." A very important tip is to check out a rented airless spray carefully before you leave the rental yard with it. This is because they have to be cleaned and maintained completely after each use and rental airless sprayers can get neglected.

If you try to do your job with a "crud filled" and "gummed up" rented airless you will be left screaming cursing and dripping with paint as it will continualy clog and make the job impossible. Be extra careful when spraying paint or you may be stuck following your next door neighbor a new paint job on his car. The fine mist carries so easily in a breeze and by the time you realize what has happened it will be too late.

Good heavy canvas tarps work great but they are expensive to buy so you might think of renting some of them before you begin your job, because heavy canvas tarps are the only way to go when covering floors or patios. …

Ealing in England

The Borough of Ealing
Ealing is actually the principal town in the London Borough of Ealing, one of the main metropolitan centers in the London Plan. This place is also known as 'the Queen of the Suburbs'. Some of the main attractions that one can find in Ealing are the Boston Manor House, Musical Museum, the Kew Bridge Steam Museum and many such attractions. Some of the major towns in Ealing are Kew Bridge, Kew Green and Greenford.

Boston Manor House
The Manor House is a Jacobean manor house which was built in the year 1623. It is located in parkland and contains a beautiful lake along with ancient cedar trees. This house was purchased in 1670 by Clitherow family who stayed in the house till it became a local council property in 1924. Presently, this magnificent 17th century house can be visited and enjoyed by general public for free. There are the state rooms on the first floor and dining room and library on the ground floor.

One can find some excellent decorated plaster walls of the past era and there are more than 80 painting collections on the wall. This includes historical views of Chiswick, Isleworth and Brentford. Some parts of the house can be rented for functions and wedding receptions too. The opening timings, admission charges and directions to visit the house are also specified on the site, wherein the information is provided.

Musical museum
One can experience some fascinating world of automatic musical instruments during his visit to the musical museum. There are non-stop demonstrations wherein the instruments are properly explained and played. One can get to hear the sounds from the past like the sweet tone musical box, the concert pianist subtle sounds, the grandeur of pipe organ and many more. Whether such instruments were manufactured for the exclusive wealthy homes or for more humble dwellings, their entire background is described to the person who can see and hear them play automatically. Thus, it takes around 90 minutes of journey in such museum.

Kew Bridge museum
The Kew Bridge museum has a wonderful collection of water pumping machines.

A lot of engines are on view and "steamed-up" each weekend including the Grand Junction 90 which has pumped water to west London for a century. This is the largest working beam engine in the world and houses a magnificent 19th century pumping station. There are over five original Cornish Engines with unique range of modern diesel and steam pumping machinery.

Osterley Park
Osterley Park is a spectacular 18th century house. The interior of the Osterley Park house is one of the Britain's most complete illustrations of Robert Adam's work. There is also the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew which offers its visitors lots of interesting sights. There are displays of welcome spring flowers, tints of autumn and colorful summer columns in the arboretum.

One can also visit the natural history museum along with the science museum wherein there are some great wonders of the ancient, industrial …

Top 10 Recital Rules For Audience Members

With summer fast approaching many studios are preparing for end-of-school-year recitals. An important aspect of a successful piano recital is the observance of proper recital etiquette. Below are the top ten rules that audience members should observe when attending a recital.

The Audience:

(1) Arrive on time, or a little early. When audience members arrive on time it provides the best opportunity for the performance to begin on time. Arriving a few minutes early will also allow for time to get a program and to get seated. In fact, those who arrive early usually get the best pick on seating.

(2) Limit perfumes or colognes. While perfumes, colognes and scented body lotions do smell good, in a recital/concert setting it is NOT considered appropriate to wear strong smelling scents. Many people have allergies to perfumes. So, out of respect to the other members in the audience it is considered proper etiquette to limit, or refrain from, applying scented items on your body or clothing.

(3) Sit QUIETLY and listen to the performances. The role of the audience is to provide appropriate support and encouragement to the performer, and to receive enjoyment from the performance. As such, it is expected that audience members follow some basic rules:

* No talking, loud whispering, or humming along during a performance. Additionally, noisy candy or cough drop wrappers should be avoided! This can be very distracting to the performer and can (especially in young students) cause problems in the performance. It is also quite distracting for audience members.

* Remain seated during the performance (no wiggling or walking about), and only leave between pieces if absolutely necessary.

* No gum. Smacking and chewing noises can distract other audience members. And, gum dropped in a recital venue can create a “sticky” mess. It is best to use (quiet) breath mints instead.

* No whistling, yelling, or other loud methods of congratulations should be done, especially prior to the performance. If a performer is focused and ready to play, but becomes distracted with the “cat-calling” and “whooping” it can really throw off his performance. While boisterous congratulations are meant to show support for the performer, it may actually cause unintended problems instead. The best way to show appreciation for the performance is with thunderous applause, and an occasional “bravo” at the end of an especially great performance.

(4) Go to the bathroom BEFOREHAND. If it becomes absolutely necessary to leave the hall during the recital it should be done quietly and between pieces rather than in the middle of a piece.

(5) No flash photography. If pictures or video are allowed in the recital it is best to stand in the back and be as unobtrusive or noisy as possible. And, cameras should have the flash turned off. Random and/or unexpected flashing of cameras (along with the clicking noises) can really distract a performer.

(6) Turn off your cell phone or other electronic devices. It’s obvious enough that phone ringing …

A 2020 View of US Elections

America began a new era in world history when Mr. Barack Obama became its first black president. Before the elections of 2008, as illustrated in a newspaper comic, a sixth-grade class was asked, "Who wants to be president of the United States"? Only a few white hands went up. A parallel illustration with the same group, and the same question – after the election showed that almost every hand- some, even of foreign nationalities – were raised in confidence of being the next commander-in-chief

They all saw the possibility; Although, a presidential candidate must be a natural-born citizen.

In this 2016 election campaign, Mr. Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, has now taken the lead as the republican's best candidate. On the democratic side, the former Secretary of State, Mrs. Hilary Clinton holds her poise as the Democrats # 1 choice.

Looking ahead to election 2020– I wonder, what would it be like to have someone of the LGBT community, become the next US president?

From where I'm standing, here's the view:

A. As a lesbian, because of her sexual fluidity, her spouses will become – one as the First Lady, another as House Speaker, and yet another as White House Chief-of-Staff. Since we do not know the amount of her fluidity, we'll have to wait and see who will occupy the many other offices.

B. As a gay man, he, of course, would make history as the first openly gay "Commander-in-Chief." Therefore, the DADT (do not ask, do not tell) policy will be elevated to a " Show and Tell. " Also, the First Lady will, for the first time, be the first man. I can see this person gaining much more popularity (both locally and internationally) than the president.

C. As a bisexual, he or she, depending on the mood will have great difficulty in making serious decisions-especially in the event of that 3:00 am, phone call. Who's interest will be the priority?

D. As a transgender, finally, here's an open-minded president, a leader of the people, for the people, by the people, and with the people. One who can easily transform, depending on the occasion. So too, will the first lady. (Another first in history)

The White House then becomes a theatrical main-stage with appearances by world-renowned performers and actors. Also, as the host to bi-weekly, bipartisan, spectacular events when locales are invited.

New seasons of "Scandal" will now be aired live on PBS. (The Public Broadcasting Station.) Viewers can expect many new characters appearing on set, over the next 4 years.

The secret service will have an entirely new commission on White House secrets.

ABC, because of it's skyrocketing net-worth, will have to franchise, its most popular program – 20/20. …

How to Build Your Own Home – Lesson 3 – Your Plans – House Styles and Finding House Plans

While you're searching for a lot you should be thinking about your house plans. Look in magazines and start a file of those things you like in a home. However, I recommend that you wait until your lot is under contract before making a final decision on your house plans.

1. House Styles

What someone in Atlanta, Georgia would call a "cape cod," someone in Connecticut would probably laugh at. To avoid any miscommunication between you and your architect / house plan designer you may want to purchase one of the many books available which will properly categorize the various styles of homes.

Some types are more popular in some areas than in others. As the baby boomers age, the ranch is gaining in popularity. In areas where split foyers and split-levels are common, a builder of a new split foyer or split-level may find it hard to sell. You'll know if you've ever lived in one, that you're always half a flight of steps away from where you always want to be.

2. Finding House Plans and Design Information

You will find popular house plans from all over the country in magazines like Building Ideas published by Better Homes & Garden. Of course you can find these magazines at any magazine stand, but you can also find a large variety of "home building" plans via the Internet.

The government book store has publications on affordable housing, housing for the elderly, housing for the handicapped, energy efficient homes, developing land, etc.

In most major cities you will find a number of companies that draw house plans. These firms will have catalogs showing different sizes and styles. You can find them listed in the Yellow Pages under Home Planning Services. Call these companies and they will send you their catalogs. If you can find something in a catalog you are happy with, this is the cheapest way to go. If you can not find plans in a magazine or catalog that you like, the next cheapest route is to hire a good qualified draftsman / designer. …