Author Archives: Ramon.KGS

Wallpapering Ceilings

Many people regard the papering of ceilings with horror. In reality they are easier to deal with than walls because they are flat, do not have any awkward angles (except in rooms with sloping ceilings and dormer windows), and have few obstacles attached to them apart from the occasional light fitting(fixture), which can in any case usually be removed quite easily.

The only thing that takes getting used to when papering ceilings is working on an upside-down surface. The basic technique is no different from working on walls. The wall covering is simply positioned, brushed into place and then trimmed where it meets adjoining surfaces.

The most important thing to plan carefully is access equipment that will safely allow a complete length to be hung across the room. Nothing is more dangerous than attempting to step off of the chair; proper access is a must. The best solution is to use scaffold boards or lengths of staging, supported by stepladders, trestles or home-made supports to create a flat, level walkway spanning the room from wall to wall at a height that allows the ceiling to be reached comfortably. It will take only a few seconds to reposition after hanging each length, ready for the next.
This is also a job where an additional pair of hands will be a big help, at least before gaining the knack of supporting a concertina of pasted wall covering with one hand while:.-rushing it into position with the other— this can be done only with practice.

The first length should he hung to a guideline on the ceiling. The best way of marking this is with a chalked line against the ceiling at both ends snapped against it.

PAPERING CEILINGS

1. Paste the wall covering in the usual way, but fold it up concertina-fashion with the starting end of the length folded over on itself. Lining (liner) paper has been used here.

2. Hang the first length to a chalked line just less than the width of the call covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering.

3. Trim the overlaps at the ends and along the side wall. Then hang the second length in the same way, butted up against the edge of the first length.

4. On meeting a pendant light fitting (fixture) pierce the wall covering over its centre and make a series of radial cuts outwards front the pierced point.

5. With the power turned off at the unscrew the cover and trim the tongues off, flush with the base of the fitting. Replace the cover.

6 Where the ceiling runs into an alcove, CIA the wall covering in line with the sidewall of the recess and brush it into place.’

PAPERING ARCHES

The shape of an arch makes it impossible to get a pattern match along the curved join. It is best to choose a wall covering with a small design motif and a random pattern, to use different but complementary designs for the face walls and the arch surface, or to use lining (liner) paper inside the arch and paint it a plain colour.

To paper an arched recess, cover the face and hack walls first turning cut tongues of wall covering onto the arched surface. Then cover the arch surface as described below.

To paper a through archway, hang the wall covering on the two face walls and trim out the waste to leave an overlap of about 25 mm in all around. Make cuts in the edge so that the tongues can be turned on to the arch surface. Then cut a strip of wall covering a traction narrower than the width of the arch surface and long enough to cover it in one piece, and brush this into place. Work from the bottom of one side upwards to the top of the arch, and then down the other side. Always use special overlap adhesive with washables and vinyls.

Wallpapering Corners

In a perfect world, rooms would have corners that were truly square and truly vertical, and it would be possible to hang a wall covering all around the room in a continuous operation, simply turning the lengths that ran into the room corners straight on to the adjoining walls. In reality, corners are seldom square or true, and, if the covering were hung in this way, lengths would be vertical on the first wall but could be running well off the vertical by the time they returned to the starting point. This would be visually disastrous, with vertical pattern elements out of alignment are corners, and sloping horizontal pattern features.

The way to avoid these problems is to complete each wall with a cut-down strip that only just turns on to the next wall. Then hang the remainder of the strip with its machine-cur edge against a newly drawn vertical line on the second wall, so that you can trim its other edge to follow the internal angle precisely. Any slight discontinuity of pattern will not be noticeable except to the very closest scrutiny, and the remaining lengths on the second wall will be hung truly vertically. The same applies to paperhanging around external corners

PAPERING AN INTERNAL CORNER

1. Hang the last full length before the corner of the room, then measure the distance to the corner front the edge of the length and add about 12 mm or 1/2 in.

2. Use a pencil and straightedge to mark a strip of the required width, measured from the relevant edge (here, the left one), and cut it from the length.

3. Paste the strip and hang it in the usual way, allowing the hand-cut edge to lap onto the adjoining wall. Trim the top and bottom edges as usual.

4. Brush the tongue into the internal angle. If it will not lie flat because the corner is out of true, make small release cuts in the edge and brush it flat.

5. Measure the width of the remaining strip, subtract 12 mm/1/2 in. and mark a fresh Vertical line on the adjoining wall at this distance from the corner

6. Hang the strip to the marked line, brushing the wall covering into the angle so that it just turns on to the surface of
.the first wall.

7. Use the back of the scissors blades to mark the line of the corner on the wall covering, then cut along the line and smooth the cut edge back into the angle. Use special overlap adhesive when using washables and vinyl on all lap joints.

PAPERING AN EXTERNAL CORNER

1. Plan the starting point so that lengths turn external corners by about 2.5 cm/1 in. Brush the paper on to the next wall, making small cuts so that it lies flat.

2. Carefully tear off a narrow strip of the wall covering along the turned edge to leave a ‘feathered’ edge that will not show through the next length.

3. Mark a vertical line on the next wall surface, at a distance from the corner equal to the width of the wall covering plus about 6mm or 1/4 in.

4. Hang the next full length to the marked line, with its other edge overlapping the feathered edge of the strip turned from the previous wall

5. Brush this length into position, trim it at the top and bottom as before, and run a seam roller down the overlap(do trot do this on embossed or textured wall coverings).Again, use a special overlap adhesive with washable and vinyl coverings.

Urinary Tract Problem


Fortunately, treatment of women suffering from symptoms in this age bracket is very successful. Today, therapy is well advanced, and the majority can benefit. Most women can again discover a full, happy, and well-adjusted life with minimum therapy.

Treatment is based on the artificial use of hormones. These are identical to the ones nature produces normally. The most widely used is called ethinyl oestradiol. This is given in minute amounts, from 10 to 20 mcg daily. Treatment is usually tailor-made to the woman’s apparent needs by the doctor. It is varied in accordance with her response.

Treatment is usually given for short courses. Special caution is needed if there has been any cancer history.

Many doctors prefer to use a variation of this medication called conjugated equine oestrogens, which is widely known by its trade name Premarin. A common satisfactory dose of 0.625 mg a day is prescribed. Many believe this gives a more normal type of reaction, and may be preferable, but it is usually much more expensive.

Today, there are definite guidelines laid down for the use of hormones for menopausal women. This follows some fears encountered in the mid-1970s that continual use might cause adverse repercussions, and there was talk of cancer.

However, this has been refuted, provided the oestrogen is taken for a set number of days per calendar month, and taken in conjunction with the other female hormone, progesterone (or Gestalten), in small doses, for a certain number of days per calendar month. The progestogen pill is usually one of the brands used for contraceptive purposes, being norethisterone 350 mcg (Micronor) or levonorgestrel 30 mcg (Nlicroval).

The method of taking the medication (which will be confirmed by your doctor) is as follows:

Take the oestrogen tablet daily from Day 1 to Day 24 of the calendar month, then discontinue until the first day of the following calendar month. In addition: Take theprogestogen tablet daily from Day 15 to Day 24. then discontinue until the 15th day of the following month. Usually this will cause a slight menstrual bleed about three days after the tablets have been discontinued. But most women will accept this fact of life as small payment for the relief obtaineol from symptoms. Keep in close contact with your doctor, especially regarding this so-called “withdrawal bleeding,” which is not due to cancer despite your age. However, some doctors still believe investigation of the womb (probably before or after medication is started) is advisable as a preliminary safeguard.

By the use of these hormones, a general feeling of wellbeing often occurs. Depression and anxiety may vanish. the world smiles again, hot flushes disappear as if by magic, the old irritability wanes, nerves settle, sleep improves, and the outlook brightens.

In some women, the skin becomes less wrinkled, the fingernails and toenails grow more rapidly, and break and crack less easily.

Many cases have been reported where the hair becomes more attractive, wavy and shinier.

These hormones have often been called the youth pill. Women taking them and gaining these results are often apt to agree, but it is not the universal panacea for greater beauty, and it is not the eternal fountain of youth. But it certainly may help.

The bladder is located in very close proximity to the vagina and uterus. The urethral outlet, the tiny external opening through which urine escapes from the body is located just above the vaginal entry This short canal, about three centimetres in length, is closely related to the front wall of the vagina, and it runs into the bladder, also closely related to the front vaginal wall.

With a weakening of the overdistended vaginal walls during the passage of time. a cystocele can readily occur. As the vaginal walls weaken, the bladder presses into the vagina and tends to prolapse down its length. In this way, residual urine can collect in the bladder, and this often becomes a source of chronic infection.

Cystitis persists unless action to clear it up is taken. This can be by the use of the appropriate antibiotic, or more sensibly by surgical repair.

However, another situation can occur concurrently with this, giving rise to a condition called stress incontinence. The valve of the urethra becomes weakened, and any sudden forceful stress on the bladder can cause the sudden release of a small amount of urine, over which the person has little (if any) control. This may be difficult to differentiate from a bladder infection.

It is most important that bladder infections be treated promptly. If they are not, the infection may spread up the canals that lead to the kidneys (called the left and right ureter), and produce kidney disease that may become serious. It can produce its own set of symptoms, such as loin pain, an elevated temperature, nausea. vomiting and rigors.

Enormous numbers of women suffer from urinary-tract disorders, particularly infection. In recent years much work and research has been devoted in major centres to this problem. It seems that many women suffer from urinary-tract infections (UTI) without knowing, and without symptoms being produced. If major infections occur, then the typical burning. scalding, frequency, malaise and urgency occur. But with minor infections which are serious, just the same, due to their implications), symptoms are often entirely absent.

It is well-known that urinary infections can readily be cleared up with the use of suitable antibiotics. But there is a tendency for recurrences. These days, long-term treatment with antibiotics and certain sulfa compounds is widely used. The lower part of the urethra (the canal leading from the bladder to the exterior) normally has bacteria in its lower third. It is well-known that these can be pushed into the bladder following sexual intercourse. Many women complain of cystitis the following day.

A simple and effective way to overcome this is to get out of bed and pass the urine as soon as possible after intercourse. on every occasion. This may present a nuisance problem, but those taking the trouble to do it regularly find the beneficial results well worth the small amount of effort and inconvenience involved. This immediately gets rid of the urinary reservoir and sweeps out the germs that may have recently penetrated there. and so denies them the opportunity for multiplying, which they will surely do otherwise.

How to Make Couch Cushion Covers

Cushions add comfort and a stylish touch to most rooms. Newly covered cushions are also a relatively inexpensive way of livening up a monotone color scheme, as they require little fabric compared with curtains (drapes) or blinds (shades). Simple shapes such as squares and circles show off strong colors and patterns to the best advantage, and both shapes can be decorated with frills, piping or both combined.

Both types of cushion shown here have a zip (zipper) inserted in the hack seam -a neater method than making the opening in a side seam. A zip is the most convenient method of fastening a cushion cover, making it easy to remove for laundry. You can close the opening with a row of slip stitches, which you will need to remove and then replace whenever you launder the cover.

Frills and piping in matching or contrasting fabric add interest and a nice finishing touch to round and square cushion covers.

Choose sumptuous fabrics for cushion covers to complement curtains and wall coverings for a harmonious decorating scheme.

MAKING A SQUARE CUSHION COVER

1. Measure the cushion pad, and add 12 mm/1/2 in all around or ease plus 12 mm/1/2 in for seam allowances. Pin and stitch the centre-back seam 12 mm/1/2 in from the raw edges, making sure to leave an opening large enough to accommodate the zip (zipper).Press open the seam.

2. Pin and tack (haste) the zip in position at the opening, allowing the fabric to meet centrally over the zip teeth. Using a zip foot on the machine, carefully machine stitch the zip in place.

3. Press the seam allowances around the zip. Open the zip, making sure that the fabric does not catch in the teeth and that the ends are stitched securely. With the zip still open, place the front and back pieces together so that the right sides are facing.

4. Pin and machine stitch twice around the edge, 12mm/1/2 in from the raw edges. Carefully clip away the surplus fabric close to the stitching at the corners, in order to reduce the bulk. Press the seams and turn the cover to the right side through the zipped opening. Press the seams, insert the cushion pad and close the zip.

MAKING A ROUND CUSHION COVER

1. Measure the diameter of the cushion pad, and add 12in all around for ease plus 12 mm/1/2 in for seam allowances. Make a paper pattern to this size using dressmaker’s pattern paper. Pin this on to the fabric and cut out one piece for the front of the cover.

2. Rule a line across the paper pattern to mark the position of the back seam. The line should measure approximately 12.5 cm/5in longer than the zip (zipper).Cut the paper pattern  along this line.

3. Pin both pattern pieces on to the fabric and cut them out, remembering to allow an extra 12 mm/1/2 in for the seam allowance on the straight edge of each piece.

4. Pin and stitch the back seam, leaving an opening long enough to accommodate the zip. Finish off the cover in the same way as the square cover (see opposite page).

PIPING

1. Fold a piece of fabric in halt diagonally and press the fold. Open out the fabric and mark out strips parallel to the fold about 4-5 cm/11/2-2 in apart. Cut out the strips. Join the strips with a flat seam to make the required length. Place the piping cord along the centre of the strip, fold it over and pin. Tack (haste) and stitch close to the cord.

2. Lay the covered cord on the right side of the fabric, with raw edges aligning, and tack in place. Cover with a second piece of fabric, right-side downwards and with the raw edges marching. Stitch the layers together along the seat using a zip (zipper) foot on the machine. Remove the tacking stitches. Make up the cover in the usual way.

MAKING A FRILL

For this you will need a piece of fabric that is twice the depth of the finished trill plus 3 cm/1 in, and between 1 1/2 and 2 times the outside measurement of the cover (you may have to join several strips together).

1. Join the ends of the strips together with a flat seam. Fold the strip in halt length ways with the wrong sides facing. Make one or two rows of running stitches along the raw edges of the strip, taking the stitches through both layers and leaving a long end of thread at one end of each row.

2.Gather the frill by pulling up the long threads until the frill is the correct size to fit around the cushion front. Wind the long threads around a pin to secure them and then even out the gather with your fingers.

To add a trill to either a square or round cushion, align the raw edge of the frill with the raw edge of the front cover, right sides together. Tack (haste) and sew the frill in place, then make up the cover in the usual way.

Vitamin Needs

Vitamins are certainly an important factor in life. Fortunately, the average  diet, both for baby and adult, is adequate in most cases to meet daily vitamin needs.

However, some babies do have vitamin deficiencies. The most likely to be encountered are those due to a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin D.

Vitamin C is present in breast milk. If baby is breastfed, and is taking a reasonable daily intake, vitamin C needs will be adequately catered for.

Cow’s milk is devoid of this vitamin. A supplement is essential.

Correct. This is most simply given in the form of orange juice, which is very rich in vitamin C. One orange contains about 60 mg. It is essential that the juice, when squeezed, be not boiled, for this could destroy the entire vitamin C component. Give it to baby freshly squeezed. This can be done between feeds. It can serve a twofold purpose – adding to the fluid intake, and providing the essential vitamin.

Scurvy is the disease produced by a lack of vitamin C.

Rickets, due to a lack of vitamin D, is uncommon these days. Sunshine assists the vitamin to be produced in the body. However, occasionally cases of premature babies with rickets have been reported. Giving babies a vitamin supplement is practically standard practice in many developed countries. Doses are usually marked on the label.

Outdoor Safety

Before allowing your mobile child to explore the great outdoors around your home, take a child’s-level survey of any area she might reach. If she’s a skilled crawler, keep in mind how fast she can move while your attention is diverted.
If you have a swimming pool, make sure that a childproof fence surrounds it. (Some states require this safety barrier by law.) If your yard contains a spa, it should be securely covered when not in use.
Check the lawn for mushrooms—if you are not absolutely certain that they are nontoxic, get rid of them because anything a young child finds will likely go straight into her mouth.
Make sure that potentially hazardous items such as garden tools, insecticides, or fertilizer are not accessible to children.
Older children should not use garden, hand, or power tools until you teach them to use them correctly and safely. Give them detailed instructions (including demonstrations, if appropriate) and safety precautions; they should repeat back to you both directions and cautions before they are allowed to handle any potentially hazardous equipment.
Protective eye wear must be used if the any tools will produce flying debris. In addition, ear protection should be used when using loud power tools.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) rating of 15 or more if a child is going to be outdoors for any length of time, especially between the hours of 10 A.M. and 3 P.M.—even on a hazy or overcast day. This is particularly important at higher altitudes or around lakes and seashores where the sun’s ultraviolet light (which provokes the burn) can reflect off of water and sand. Special caution is needed for infants, because a baby’s skin can become sunburned after as little as 15 minutes of direct exposure. Sunscreens containing PABA shouldn’t be used on a baby’s skin before six months of age. If you take your baby outdoors for any length of time, keep her in the shade or use an umbrella, and make sure that her skin is covered with appropriate clothing (including a hat or bonnet) if some sun exposure is unavoidable.

Weather Safety

  • Dress your child appropriately for the outing, allowing for adjustments if the weather changes.
  • Carry rain gear in your car.
  • Apply sun block (SPF 15 to 45, depending on skin type) before you or your child go outside.
  • Take and use hats and sunglasses.

Bicycle Safety

  • Make sure your child takes a bike-safety class or teach him the rules of the road yourself
  • Stick to bicycle paths whenever possible.
  • Children under age six should not ride on the street.
  • Make sure that the bicycle is the right size (take the child along when you buy it). When sitting on the seat with hands on the handlebars, the child should be able to touch the ground with the balls of his feet. When straddling the center bar with both feet flat on the ground, there should be at least one inch of clearance between the bar and the child’s crotch.
  • Do not buy a bicycle with hand brakes until the child is able to grasp with sufficient pressure to use them effectively.
  • Keep the bicycle in good repair and teach your child how to fix and maintain it.
  • Insist that your child wear a bicycle helmet and always wear one yourself.
  • Discourage your child from riding at night. If it is necessary for him to do so, be sure that the bicycle is properly equipped with lights and reflectors and that your child wears reflective (or at least bright) clothing.

Safety Gear

  • Provide the protective equipment appropriate for any sport in which your child participates. Make sure it is worn at practices as well as at games.
  • Your child must wear a properly fitting helmet that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation when riding a bike or when sitting in a carrier seat on your bicycle. Wear your own helmet as well, both for self-protection and to set a good example. Critical injuries to the skull and brain can occur during a bicycle accident, and a helmet can reduce the severity of damage by as much as 90 percent. As your child grows, the helmet will need to be sized upward accordingly.
  • Make sure that your child uses wrist guards, elbow and knee pads, and a helmet for roller blading and skateboarding.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Fence off and/or supervise any outside play area.
  • Provide a play area that prevents balls and riding toys front rolling into the street. Prohibit riding of Big Wheels, tricycles, and bicycles in or near traffic or on driveways. Hold a young child’s hand when stalking around traffic.
  • When crossing the street, teach and model safety measures: Stop at the curb, then look—left, right, then left again—before entering the street.
  • Plan walking routes that minimize crossing heavy traffic.

Motor Vehicles Safety

Seat Belts and Car Seats

Over the last 20 years, widespread use of seat belts has led to a steady reduction in traffic fatalities. Proper use of seat belts and car seats decreases the risk of serious injury or death by as much as 50 percent. But in the United States, the leading cause of death in people underage thirty-five continues to be motor-vehicle-related injuries. Most of these individuals were not properly restrained by seat belts or car seats.

Safety on the Road

  • Parents and children should wear their seat belts. Do not start the car until everyone is secured in an infant or child seat or properly belted.
  • Never hold a child in your lap when you are riding in a car.
  • A child under twelve should never be placed in the front seat of an automobile with a passenger-side air bag because deployment of the bag can cause fatal injuries in a young passenger—even during a minor accident.
  • For children under 40 pounds (18 kg), use a car safety seat approved for your child’s age and weight in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. (Make sure you have a safety seat for your infant’s first important ride home from the hospital.) The seat should be secured in the rear seat of the vehicle. For an infant who weighs less than 20 pounds (9 kg), the seat should face backwards. Buy or rent the next size up as your child grows larger.
  • Toddlers 40 to 60 pounds should be properly secured in a booster seat.
  • When the child reaches 60 pounds, lap and shoulder belts should be used. The lap belt should be low and tight across the pelvis, not the abdomen. The shoulder harness should be placed snugly over the collarbone and breastbone, not the shoulder.
  • If your child takes off his seat belt or gets out of the car seat while you are driving, pull over safely and stop the car. Do not attempt to deal with this (or any other) problem while driving.
  • Insist that your child wear a seat belt, no matter whose car he rides in.
  • Never leave your child unattended in a car.
  • Never transport a child in a cargo area that is not properly equipped to carry passengers (specifically, the back of a station wagon, van, or pickup truck).
  • Do not allow your child under age twelve to operate a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, motorbike, trail bike, or other off-road vehicles. An adolescent should operate one of these vehicles only if he is licensed and properly trained, and has demonstrated appropriate responsibility.
  • Be very cautious about allowing your child to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle, motor bike, trail bike, or off-road vehicle. Insist on a proper helmet, slow speed, and a mature, sober driver.

Wall Fixings

Before making fixings into solid masonry, make a couple of test drillings to find out whether the wall is built of brick or lightweight blocks. It brick is identified from red or yellow bore dust, use ordinary plastic wall plugs; but if grey dust suggests lightweight blocks it is better to use a proprietary block plug which has larger ‘wings’ to grip the softer material. In either case the screw must be long enough to penetrate at least 38 mm long into the masonry behind plaster, so use screws are at least 62 mm/21/2 in. long for a plastered wall. Increase this 1.0 75 mm/3 in for fixings that will carry heavy loads. Screw gauge 8 will be adequate for normal loads; increase this to gauge10 for 75 mm/3 in screws. Make sure, too, that the screw and wall plug sizes are compatible, and take care to drill the holes are right angles to the wall surface, deep enough to accept the screw length.

Making fixings to stud (dry) walls poses fixing problems. Cavity fixing devices such as spring or gravity toggles and cavity anchors can be used only for fixings that will carry the lightest loads. For any other use, the fixing must be made either to a horizontal twigging (cross bridging)fixed between adjacent scuds difficult to fir except during construction of the wall framework — or directly to the vertical studs themselves. These will have to be located with an electronic stud finder or, less satisfactorily, by wrapping and test drilling — they are usually at 400 mm/16 in or 600 min/24 in centres. Make sure that pilot holes are drilled into the centre of the stud, not near its edge, since this could result in a weak fixing. Use screws 50 mm/2 in long for medium loads, 75 mm/3 in long for heavy ones.

MAKING FIXINGS IN MASONRY

1. Mark where the fixing is to go and use a masonry drill, sized to match the wall slip. Wind tape around the drill bit to act as a depth guide.

2. If the drill has an adjustable depth stop attachment, use it instead of the tape to set the drilling depth. Drill until the stop touches the wall surface.

MAKING FIXINGS IN PLASTERBOARD (GYPSUM BOARD)

1. If the fixing must be between joists or studs rather than into them, drill a clearance hole for tile fixing device through the plasterboard

2. Push a cavity anchor into the hole so it can expand against the hack of the board, and drive in the screw. Using toggles, thread the screw through the object first.

3. Choose a wall plug sized to match the screw being used, and push it into the hole, insert its rim is flush with the wall. Tip it with a hammer if necessary.

4. Thread the screw through a clearance hole drilled in the object being fixed, insert it in the mouth of the wall plug and drive it home.

5. Alternatively, use long-sleeved frame plugs. Drill holes through the wood and into the wall, insert the plug and tighten the screw to make the fixing.

MAKING FIXINGS INTO STUDS

1. Use an electronic stud finder to locate the stud or ceiling joist positions. It works by detecting the nails which secure the plasterboard (gypsum board).

2. When the stud or joist positions are marked, drill clearance holes in the object to be fixed at matching centres. Check these for accuracy.

3. Drill pilot holes through the board surface and into the stud or joist. Make sure that the drill bit is at right angles to the surface of the wall.

4. Insert screws into the clearance holes, then offer up the object to be fixed, align ii with the pre-drilled pilot holes and drive the screws home.

Exposure to the Cold

Exposure to the cold on a normal basis is harmless especially when properly clothed. However, once the body receives prolonged, unusual or unprotected exposure to excessive cold temperatures it will begin to experience stresses on its normal functions that can lead to serious complications. Hypothermia is one such condition.

Being immersed in ice cold water or in areas that are cold can force the body’s temperatures to drop significantly and hypothermia can set in within minutes. Wet clothing in cold environments is also a common cause since this helps to rapidly remove the body’s natural heat. Infant and small children have a high susceptibility to hypothermia.

The reason the conditions sets in so quickly is the simply fact that the human body as a very narrow temperature window or range in which its metabolism, central nervous system and physiological functions can operate. When the body loses heat several internal responses occur in a bid to maintain temperatures close to 98.6 98.6°F or 37°C which is noted as the body’s core temperature.

The body makes an attempt to preserve the heat present in vital organs like the lungs, heart and brain by diverting its blood flow to the upper parts of the body. The lower limbs and hands become cold before other areas do. Once cold, the muscles in these areas begin to contract involuntarily to produce a motion know as ‘shivering’ which is actually the body’s natural defense against the cold air around it. The feet, legs, arms and hands are therefore built to handle the cold better than the areas that the blood is redirected to.

Symptoms and Treatment for Exposure to Cold

Once hypothermia starts to set in, symptoms such as loss of coordination, staggering, lethargy, numbness, weakness, sleepiness, inappropriate behavior and confusion present themselves. Moving victims to warmth is the best treatment since getting the temperature outside the body back to normal will stop damages and the condition from progressing as well as restore the body to its natural state. Depending on the length of exposure or the dramatic difference in temperature between outside and inside the body, higher than normal heat may be needed.

In the event that removal is impossible, victim should be sheltered from cold winds and where possible wet clothing should be changed. Once not immersed in icy water, victim can be placed in a sleeping bag to generate heat. Someone unaffected by the temperature can join the victim thereby contributing to the process with their own body heat. In the absence of a bag, multiple jackets, towels and body heat can be used instead. If symptoms continue, consciousness is lost or victim was immersed in water, rush person to the nearest emergency hospital.

Frostbites (hardened, numb skin that is often white) can be caused by exposure to cold as well. It frequents the toes, fingers, ears and nose because these tend to be exposed or have a limited blood supply. Remove victims from cold; try thawing frozen areas with warm (not hot) water or compresses. Immerse body in a tub of warm water if affected area is extensive or numerous. Avoid direct heat since areas can still burn and do not rub or irritate them. An Acetaminophen (pain killer) can be given if pain occurs in thawed areas. Keep the body warm until normalcy is returned.

The best way to deal with exposure to the cold is to dress appropriately for it. Both conditions can easily be treated however, in extenuating circumstances, death or loss of affected body parts (necessary amputation or deadening of area) can result.

Soft Furnishing Sewing

Most items of soft furnishing are expensive to buy ready-made but they can he made just as successfully at home and much more cheaply. Curtains and drapes, cushion covers, bed linen and table linen require the minimum of sewing skills and little equipment beyond a sewing machine and an iron.

The choice of fabric plays a major part in setting the style of a room, creating accents of colour to enliven a neutral decor or providing a means of coordinating different elements effectively in a loom. Colour is an important consideration when furnishing a room —light shades tend to open it out, while dark and vivid shades tend to enclose it. Many people tend to play safe by choosing neutral or pastel shades which, although easy to live with, can look rather boring and impersonal.

Making soft furnishings at home is the perfect way to experiment with colour and make a visual statement. Most items require a few metres (yards) of fabric at the most. A good point to hear in mind when selecting fabric is that there are no hard-and-fast rules, apart from trying not to mix

too many different colours and patterns in one setting. Most good stores will supply swatches of furnishing fabrics without charge for colour matching at home.

Another consideration is that the chosen fabric should be suitable for the intended purpose — for example, heavyweight cloths will make up into good curtains and cushion covers but will he too stiff to make a successful tablecloth or bed valance. Many of these details are primarily common sense but, when in doubt, be guided by the sales assistant’s specialist knowledge.

Stamping is a quick and effective way of repeating a design on a wide variety of surfaces, using many different mixtures of paints and inks. It does not require a great deal of specialist equipment; many of the items used are found in most households.

Craft knife: a sharp-bladed craft knife is essential for cutting your own stamps our of thick sponge or foam. Use a cutting mat to protect your work surface, and always direct the blade away from your fingers.

Lino blocks: linoleum blocks are available from art and craft shops and can be cut to make stamps which recreate the look of a wood block. You will need special lino-cutting tools, which are also easily available, to accurately scoop out the areas around the design. Hold the lino with your spare hand behind your cutting hand for safety. Always cut away from you. Masking tape: use for masking off areas of walls and furniture when painting. Natural sponge: available in various sizes, use for applying colour washes to walls before stamping.

Paintbrushes: a range of decorator’s brushes is needed for painting furniture and walls before stamping. Use a broad brush to apply colour washes to walls. Stiff brushes can be used for stippling paint on to stamps for textured effects, while finer brushes are used to pick out details or to apply paint to the stamp. Pencils, pens and crayons: use a soft pencil to trace templates for stamps, and for making easily removable guidelines on walls. Draw motifs freehand using a marker pen on medium- and low-density sponge. Always use a white crayon on black upholstery foam.

Rags: keep a stock of clean rags and cloths for cleaning stamps and preparing surfaces.

Ruler and tape measure: use these to plan your design.

Scissors: use sharp scissors to cut out medium- and low-density sponge shapes, and are especially useful for cutting out the basic shapes. Also handy for cutting out templates. .Sponge rollers: use to apply the paint evenly over the whole stamp. Small paint rollers can be used to load your stamps, though you will need several if you are stamping in different colours. Use a brush to apply a second colour to act as a highlight or shadow, or to pick out details of the design

Storage Shelving

Wall-mounted shelving is either fixed or adjustable. With fixed shelving, each shelf is supported independently using 2 or more shelf brackets, which are fixed both to the wall and to the underside of the shelf. With adjustable shelving, the shelves are carried on brackets, studs or tongues which are slotted or clipped into vertical support strips screwed to the wall.

Shelves can he made of natural wood or manufactured boards. Ready-made shelves are usually made of veneered or plastic-coated chipboard (particleboard). The latter traditionally have either a white or imitation wood-grain finish, but pastel shades and bold colours are now more widely available. Otherwise, you can cut shelves from full-sited hoards: chipboard, plywood, (medium-density fibreboard) and blockboard are all suitable.

There are many types of adjustable shelving on the market, with uprights and brackets usually made of metal but occasionally of wood. All operate on broadly the same principle. Start by deciding on the position and spacing of the uprights; this will depend on what sort of shelf material you are using and what load it will carry. Hang the uprights on the wall, making sure that they are perfectly vertical and level with each other. Finally, clip in the brackets and fir the shelves.

You may also want adjustable shelves inside a storage unit. There are 2options. The first involves drilling a series of aligned holes in each side of the unit, then inserting small shelf-support studs. The second uses book-case strip — a metal moulding with slots into which small pegs or tongues are fitted to support the shelves. You will need 2 strips at each side of the unit.

USING SHELF BRACKETS

1. Select the correct bracket spacing, and then attach the shorter arm of each bracket to the underside of the shelf, so that it is flush with the rear edge.

2. Fix the shelf to the wail with a Screw driven through one bracket, check that it is horizontal and mark the remaining screw positions. Let the shelf swing downwards 011the first screw, then drill the other holes.

3. Insert plugs for masonry wall fixings if needed. Swing the shelf hack up and drive in the remaining fixing screws. Tighten them fully so that the screw heads pull the brackets against the wall.

PUTTING UP ADJUSTABLE SHELVES

1. Decide where to posit ion the shelves, then fix the first upright to the wall by driving a screw through the topmost hole. Do not tighten it fully.

2. Pivot the upright until it is vertical. Mark the position of all the other fixing holes. Swing the upright aside, drill the rest of the holes and drive in the screws.

3. Use a spirit level to make a mark on the wall, level with the top of the first upright and at the required distance front it. Fix the second upright there.

4. Mark the upright positions on the rear edge of each shelf. Align the back of each bracket with the edge of the shelf and with the mark, and screw it on.

5. If the shelves are to fit flush against the wall, cut notches at the upright positions to fit around them and then attach the brackets as shown.

6. Position the shelf brackets by inserting their tongues into the slots in the uprights. The weight of the shelf will lock them in place. Adjust the shelf spacings as wished.

USING BOOKCASE STRAP

1. Mark the positions of the top ends of the strips to ensure that they are level, then mark the screw posit anis to a true vertical and screw on the strips.

2. Insert pairs of pegs into the strips at each shelf position, checking that their lugs are properly engaged in the slots. Lift the shelf into place.

USING SHELF SUPPORTS

1. Use at simple pre-drilled jig to make the holes for the shelf supports in the sides of the unit. A depth snip will prevent you from drilling too deep.

2. Drill 2 sets of holes in each side of the unit, with the top of the jig held against the top of the unit to guarantee alignment. Insert the supports.

PLANNING SHELVES

Think of how to make best use of your new storage area. It is a good idea to make a rough sketch initially, in order to take account of factors such as the height of books or record sleeves, or the clearance that ornaments or photographs will require. Aim to keep everyday items within easy reach— in practice, between about 75 cm/2 ft 6 in and 1.5 in/5 ft above the floor. Position deep shelves near the bottom so that it is easy to see and reach the back. Allow 2.5-5 cm/l-2 in of clearance on top of the height of objects to be stored, so that they are easy to rake down and put back.

Think about weight, too. If the shelves will store heavy objects, you must choose the shelving material with care — thin shelves will sag if heavily laden unless they are well-supported. With 12 mm/1/2 in clipboard (particleboard) and ready-made veneered or melamine-faced shelves, space brackets at 45 cm/18 in for heavy loads or 60 cm/2 ft far light loads. With 20 mm/1/4 in chipboard or 12 MM/V2 in plywood, increase the spacing to60 cm/2 in and 75 cm/2 in respectively. For 20 mm/1/4 in plywood, MDF (medium-density fibreboard) or natural wood, the bracket spacing can be 75 cm/2 ft6 in for heavy loads, or 90 cm/3 ft for light ones.