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  • October 14th, 2009

    How to Stay Warm When Entertaining Outdoors

    If you love to entertain outdoors even in cooler weather, setting up proper outdoor heating is the key to enjoying your backyard to the utmost. When the cooler time of year rolls around and temperatures plummet, this is often a great excuse to enjoy an outdoor fire and spend time with friends and family trying to stay warm and toasty.

    There is more than one way to heat an outdoor space. The simplest option is to purchase a wood and pellet burning fire pit – the most elaborate solution involves installing a large outdoor fireplace that runs off gas. In the end, the type of outdoor heating you select will be determined by what you need, your budget and by the look you want for your patio or backyard garden.

    Fire Pits

    If you don’t spend a lot of time in your backyard, it may be easier and less expensive to purchase a fire pit. Fire pits are also great if you have limited space on your patio. If you’re going for a simple rustic theme in your backyard, a fire pit is the perfect way to top off the whole look. Plus,
    fire pits are entirely portable so you can move them around your patio or garden to wherever heat is needed.

    Outdoor Fireplaces

    If you are looking for a more elegant and sophisticated look and want to entertain a large amount of family and friends, an outdoor fireplace may be the perfect solution for you. And because
    outdoor fireplaces are often fueled by gas, it’s very easy to get a fire going.

    Outdoor fireplaces do have some disadvantages however. They can be expensive. You can only install it in one spot, and don’t have the option of moving it at a later date. You also have to plan ahead and make sure the fireplace integrates well into your dÈcor and meets local government requirements.


    Chimineas are another option to consider. They are a great way to add a unique look to your backyard and keep you warm. They are beautiful works of art that provide heating for a large area.

    Chimineas have actually been around for hundreds of years. They are large clay structures with a hole in one side for providing heat. Basically, a
    chiminea is a simple or rustic fireplace made out of clay. Traditionally, they were used for heating the home and preparing meals, but today they have been adapted to modern life and make great space heaters for outdoor use.

    In the past chimineas were made out of a single piece of fired clay, but today they are constructed out of more than one type of material. You can still find them in clay if that is what you’re looking for, however they’re also available in cast iron and cast aluminum.

    Patio Heaters

    Patio heaters are a popular choice for outdoor heating. They are reasonably priced and are portable so can be moved around the patio or garden as required. They come in free standing or table top. Ensure that you determine the area you wish to heat prior to purchasing a patio heater. The more heat required, the more powerful the patio heater needs to be. Also ensure that the patio heater is fairly stable and has an anti-tilt shut-off device.
    Finding the right space heater for your backyard patio or garden doesnít have to be difficult. Do your research and you should be able to find something that works well for you and your family, at a price you can afford.

    Visit Outdoor-heating-guide.com – A consumer guide to outdoor heating including safety tips for outdoor fireplaces, firepits, infrared patio heaters, tabletop patio heaters, chimineas and gas outdoor heaters.

    Posted in Living Outdoors | I Welcome Your Comments »

    October 14th, 2009

    Green Living And Your Neighborhood

    Submitted By: Sharon McMillan
    Green living is no longer a vague term known only by environmentalists. One of the ways we know that an important social trend has hit the big time is when major consumer providers adopt the term. Just about every major influencer in our society from Walmart to national broadcasting networks, are using the term to promote products and attract audiences. Green living is a welcome lifestyle that individuals, families and companies are choosing to ensure that the things they do and the products they use have as little an impact on the environment as possible. One of the best ways that you can build this thinking into your lifestyle is to live in a community that subscribes to green living.

    If you are among the population of people who live a green lifestyle as a member of a rural community, you are in a good position. I would suggest, however, that you think about ways you can support a lifestyle movement that seeks to protect rural areas of our country (like your community), by making the more urban areas more livable, sustainable and green. This movement is here and it is strong and it is called new urbanism. New urbanism is a movement affecting areas where most of us live, including those in the suburbs and city centers.

    One of the key threats to our beautiful rural areas and farming communities is the spread of urban development. New urbanism seeks to contain that spread by encouraging the development of communities that can accommodate more people. I’m not talking about increased high rises and ugly housing complexes. I’m referring to the development of lovely and affordable urban houses, town homes and condos/apartments that reflect the beautiful architecture and unique detail of those neighborhoods that were created in America before World War II.

    New urbanism neighborhoods are found in newly built developments and renovated communities both in the suburbs and older city centers. This new mindset has taken almost 20 years to take root in our national psyche. It is at its essence a straightforward, fundamental focus on changing where we live to improve our quality of life. We are tired of choosing or rating successful neighborhoods based on the largeness of the yard or house. Life is much more than that.

    In the new urbanism mind set, quality of life is defined by how our environments affect our emotions and our ability to live a life according to sustainable, healthy values and core life priorities. New urbanists believe that if we can develop more communities that make it is easy to enjoy green living, working and socializing right in our own neighborhood we can make a positive impact on our environments.

    Benefits of New urbanism communities:

    • New urbanism will contribute to less vehicular pollution by making it easier for people to find employment close to where they live or to establish their own businesses at or close to home. New urbanism communities, because of their location near or close to population centers, have the technological and business resources to support entrepreneurs and a wide range of businesses.
    • Communities that subscribe to new urbanism principles attract residents who want to live a green lifestyle so it will make it easier for you or your family to adopt green lifestyle practices.
    • The greenbelts surrounding your city or suburban area will be better protected if new urbanism communities in your region thrive since new urbanism encourages home buyers and renters to choose existing urban centers over new developments on large lots in shrinking rural regions.

    New urbanism provides the structure needed to influence the largest percentage of our populations in North America and around the world.

    About the Author:

    Sharon McMillan is a writer and advocate for the healthy “new urbanist” lifestyle. She’s a suburban mom of two who has developed a career around marketing and promoting healthy productive communities for families and businesses. If you have comments or questions please visit http://www.newurbanmom.com or contact Sharon directly at [email protected] .

    Article Source: www.iSnare.com

    Posted in Living Green | I Welcome Your Comments »

    October 14th, 2009

    Turn regular or digital photos into canvas art at Canvas On Demand®.

    Do you have a digital camera? I bet you are one of those fabulous amateur photographers with great photos taken on your latest vacation or photos of your children or pets. There is a great way for you to display your favorite photos.

    Canvas on Demand® turns your photos into works of art. Your photos will be printed on canvas and stretched. They also offer five wood framing options. You can choose from various techniques, such as:

    Photorealistic™ – They artistically crop your photo, then enhance the color, hue, brightness and sharpness for the best photo on canvas rendering.

    Light BrushStrokes™ – Their artists create each brushstroke by hand, without the use of a filter, then render on canvas for the look and feel of an oil painting.

    Black and White or Sepia – Black and White or Sepia tones look very rich when rendered on canvas. They can start from a black and white original photo or color photo.

    Photo Restoration – It’s now possible to take old photos that are cracked, faded, torn and damaged and repair them before they print.

    Colorization – Give them your vintage black & white photographs, tell them what the hair, eye and skin color is…and they’ll s.end you a masterfully colorized canvas. A great vintage look.

    Collage – They will take multiple images and arrange them on one canvas for you. Imagine a canvas with all of the grandchildren or a keepsake from a family event.

    It’s fast and easy to upload your photo to Canvas On Demand®. They’ll walk you through the upload process and your finished canvas will ship within 4-5 business days from the time the image is uploaded.

    Canvas on Demand is a perfect gift. The results are stunning! You will want to order many more. CanvasOnDemand.com-Your Photo on Canvas as Art! Click here!


    Posted in Tips & Ideas | I Welcome Your Comments »

    September 5th, 2007

    What is Mid-Century Modern?

    Mid-century modern is a design term applied most frequently to residential (and some commercial) architecture, interior design and furniture. Related to the Space Age, the International style and Googie, mid-century modern translated the ideology of Modernism into a sleek, cool, yet accessible lifestyle. Mid-century modernism was more organic in form and less serious than the International Style. Scandinavian and Finnish designers and architects were very prolific at this time, with a style characterized by simplicity, democratic design and organic shapes. They had an influence on Mid-century modernism in the rest of the world, including the US. Mid-century modernism has become popular in recent times, and has influenced contemporary modern design profoundly.

    Standard designers of the mid-century modern era include: Eero Saarinen, Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, Rudolf Schindler, Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Hans Wegner, and Craig Ellwood.

    Posted in Vintage Home | I Welcome Your Comments »

    January 10th, 2002

    An Air Devine

    Period authenticity continues to gain prominence among historic home owners desiring to recreate the past in their homes with as many details as possible. One avenue to maintaining authenticity which is gaining popularity involves incorporating the use of restored antique and vintage electric appliances in home or building renovations. One of the few antiques that can capture the charm of the past while serving a utilitarian function is vintage electric fans. In days of old these machines were manufactured with such quality and longevity in mind that many have stood the test of time and are finding purpose once again in renovations and new homes. Antique and vintage electric fans were manufactured in ceiling, desk, and other styles including pedestal versions, making them as suitable in today’s interiors as they were during the last century. Vintage Fans, L.L.C. www.vintagefans.com specializes in reviving these examples of industrial art, which were originally manufactured from the late 1890s to the 1950s.

    Like many vintage appliances, electric fan styling followed the design trend of the day. From Antique ceiling fans with early Art Nouveau inspired design to table fans incorporating Jet Age styling, virtually any design theme can be completed with the use professionally restored electric fans. For more information contact: www.vintagefans.com

    Posted in Vintage Home | I Welcome Your Comments »

    May 19th, 2001

    Renovating Your Old House

    By Susan Clifton

    Tin Ceiling tiles

    If you love old houses or old furniture then you need to know about Renovator’s Supply. For generations they have been helping in the restoration of old houses. So before renovating your old house visit their site for products ranging from plumbing fixtures, hardware, lighting, incuding architectural cornice and moldings.

    Tin Ceiling tiles

    I love their fabulous tin ceiling tiles. They carry 19th century reproductions that are carefully crafted from real tin. This is a look that is very popular again. I always loved the tin ceilings in my New York loft years ago.

    Tin Ceiling tiles

    Don’t forget the details.

    When restoring your home the details make a big difference. Elegant glass door knobs, brass register’s, period plumbing hardware, and door hinges. Window hardware is a must. They have it all.

    We are pleased to be a Renovator’s Supply affiliate. Click the logo for on-line shopping at www.rensup.com

    Posted in Vintage Home | I Welcome Your Comments »

    September 10th, 2000

    Vintage style kitchen remodeling

    The hot trend today in restoring old homes is to restore the kitchen to reflect the period it was built. But what do you do about the appliances? There are many companies specializing in restoration of vintage appliances. Whether your kitchen was built in the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s or even the 50’s you can find the appliances needed.

    AntiqueAppliances.com has great examples of vintage Ranges and Refrigerators all carefully restored and ready for installation. This Magic Chef was built in 1937 and is an 8 Burner Gas Range with 2 baking ovens and 2 broiling ovens, a warming compartment and a high-back shelf with a fully functional “MeasuredTime” clock. Click here for more information.

    heartland appliancesBut if vintage appliances do not meet your culinary needs and you’re looking for state-of-the-art technology, there are vintage-style appliances in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Heartland and Elmira Stove Works manufacture fabulous nostalgic looking appliances in the finest quality ideal for an old house.

    Posted in Vintage Home | I Welcome Your Comments »

    April 20th, 2000

    The Rebirth of the Roaring 20’s – Art Deco Design Reborn

    There is only one Art Deco. Originally known as Art Moderne and deriving from the 1925 Exhibition International des Arts in Paris, this period affected architecture, furniture, and fashion like no other era did before or after. Art Deco was born out of the revolt of the whimsical, fanciful curves of its predecessor, Art Nouveau. It was the only era to see furniture as “interior architecture”. Americans wanted a simpler, more classic form of art and architecture. This, along with the impressions of early Roman, Italian and Greek influences solidified Art Deco not just a movement, but a bonafide historical period of time. It’s span stretched from the Roaring 20’s and the Great Depression of the 30’s, until 1940.

    Existing treasures from this era include the Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building, both in New York City, as well as the Park Central Hotel and the Greystone in Miami, Florida. (Ocean Drive in Miami’s fashionable South Beach is considered to be the Art Deco capital of the World with an entire district dedicated to its cause.)

    What was it about this period that makes its timeless style continuously emulated? Whatever the reason, today more than ever before, historical designers have felt a rebirth of Art Deco. Historic interior specialists are noticing a definite upswing in the market for this type of design. It’s clean classic lines, vibrant colors, and gracious forms are showing up in furniture, art, and fashion and surprisingly shows no signs of slowing.

    One of those historical interior design firms is Circa Century Interiors in Atlanta, Georgia. Circa Century specializes in the historic recreation and renovation of Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco interiors.

    Circa Century Interiors creates designs for homes, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and any other space interested in the true authenticity of the Art Deco era. Shaynee Holmes, Allied ASID, VSA, ADS is the firm’s senior designer and owner. She credits an extensive knowledge of historical interiors, fabrics, furnishings, and color to accurately re-creating these masterpieces. The firm travels worldwide for the cause of preserving or re-creating these architectural works of wonder.

    Posted in Vintage Home | I Welcome Your Comments »

    February 10th, 1999

    Collecting Depression Glass

    Anyone familiar with flea market shopping has seen the collectible glassware known as Depression Glass. Mass produced from the late 1920s through the 1940s, much of the glass was given away at movie theaters, with an oil change or with the purchase of oatmeal. My mother remembers dish night at the movies.

    Recently I met Joyce Nichols at a Depression glass show and she told me a story about an old box of oatmeal she used to use as a display at the shows. The Sandwich pattern bowls were given away with this cereal. Someone saw the box and made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. For the box! You never know what people collect these days.

    Depression glass was made in many colors — pink, red, yellow, green, blue, lavender and amber. There were also many patterns. Collectors today, work hard to complete their sets. You still can find this beautiful glass at reasonable prices although there are some types of glass that is of finer quality from that period that is a little more of an investment. Rare items are usually butter dishes, serving pieces, or lids. I searched for years for my lid to the sugar bowl. You can also find glass lamps.

    Many of the patterns are very deco in their styling. Mixing and matching patterns and colors can make a very creative table setting. Most collectors use their glassware. It is very durable although I admit I keep it out of the dishwasher.

    If you are looking to start a collection of Depression Glass, I suggest you purchase the book “The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Depression Glass” by Gene Florence. This is the guide that many dealers use to price their merchandise. It is the perfect book to familiarize yourself with the different patterns and their colors.

    Collecting Depression Glass can be a fun and rewarding hobby while adding charm to your home. Visit these links for more on Depression Glass.

    Posted in Vintage Home | 2 Comments »

    July 1st, 1998

    The Armoire

    The armoire has been rediscovered and re-invented. Today we find the armoire in every room in the house. In the family room or bedroom it conseals the television and stereo. In the bath, it serves as a linen closet and in the kitchen, of course, a pantry.

    But there was a time when the armoire was “the” clothing storage unit. All cultures have their version of “The Armoire”. From Mexico to the Orient, the Armoire has its place. The styles can be casual or ornate. You’ll find all types of woods, inlaids, carvings, and painted techniques.

    This pine armoire from Northern Europe, collapses to eight pieces, making it easier to transport through tight doorways, up narrow stairs etc. It was crafted with tongue and groove joints and the heavy cornise holds it together with no tools needed. Amazing!!

    In France “The Armoire” was the pride of every provincial housewife and a sign of her prosperity. Many of the antique armoires you can find today, as well as the reproductions, are French Provincial. In the United States there were many beautiful armoires from the South or maybe you would prefer a simpler shaker style closet.

    This federal period armoire features sliding trays on which folded clothing was stored.

    Today you can find many reproductions. Some are made of old wood, to give a genuine antique look. They are usually already outfitted for your media center. If a reproduction is what you want, find one with good craftsmenship. Think of it as a future heirloom.

    Posted in Vintage Home | I Welcome Your Comments »