Archive for January, 2010

Cool Weather Flowers

Friday, January 29th, 2010

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In areas where winter freezes are uncommon, now is the time to add some color to your winter garden. Pansies and snapdragons can be planted now and will blossom right through springtime. Start with plants in 6 packs and 4-inch pots, and you’ll see them gain in size throughout the weeks of cool weather.

Other suggested flowers for cool weather include perennials such as candytuft (Iberis), cyclamen and English daisy.

For more suggestions, see Sunset.com

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Designing with Custom-Printed Fabrics

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Printed Designs for Fabric and Wall Art crop

Many home decorators, crafters and do-it-yourselfers have longed for the ability to design a piece of fabric that exactly matches their vision. Thanks to digital technology, it’s now possible to order a custom-printed fabric in an amount small enough for a single pillow at a reasonable price. Two websites, Spoonflower and Karma Kraft, have streamlined the process of uploading a digital design, previewing the fabric and ordering the correct amount. Spoonflower offers a variety of cotton fabrics for printing, while Karma Kraft offers silk and linen in addition to cotton. Karma Kraft also provides a sewing service which will turn a custom-printed fabric into a pillow, bag or purse. Basic printing at both websites starts at around $20 per yard.

Let your creativity take over and imagine the possibilities when decorating with custom prints in your home!  This YouTube video from Spoonflower explains the entire process:

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Kitchen Organization

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

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The New Year is a great time to get organized. Chances are that your kitchen cabinets are cluttered and there may even be some outdated foods. The best way to start with kitchen cabinet reorganization is to empty everything out and give the shelves a good cleaning. When replacing the dishes, think about how they’re organization. When plates and bowls are stacked, it can be hard to get the dish you need. Think about using portable shelf organizers to create different levels for storage. Move the items that you don’t use on a daily basis to higher shelves.

kitchenBefore replacing food items in your cabinets or pantry, check for expiration dates and discard expired items. If you can’t remember how long you’ve had an open package, it’s a good idea to toss it. Next, go through and group similar food items together. If you have lots of cans and small bottles, use organizers to store more in less space. Group like items together in the cabinets. For example, put coffee, tea and cocoa together. You’ll save time and money with well organized cabinets that put the food item you need at your fingertips.

For more tips, see this article on the HGTV website.

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Tips for Maximizing Light during Winter

Thursday, January 07th, 2010

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Avoid letting the gloom of the winter months into your home.  By following a few simple lighting tips, you can keep your home bright, warm and inviting.

  • Dust off bulbs and light fixtures.  It’s amazing how a little settled dust can limit the amount of light that gets through.  When the bulb or fixture is cool, wipe it with a damp cleaning cloth.
  • Maximize outdoor light in your home by keeping curtains open during the day.  If windows have become cloudy or streaked, give them a good cleaning.
     
  • Put light where you need it.  Install under-cabinet light fixtures in the kitchen to bring light to your counter work area.  Use desk lamps and reading lamps instead of relying on the ambient light from overhead fixtures.
     
  • Use nightlights to provide illumination at night.  There’s no reason to stumble around in the dark.  Bathroom and hallway nightlights provide just enough light to get around.
     
  • Focus incandescent lights on your houseplants if light from outdoors is scarce.
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