Author Archives: Ramon.KGS

Window Treatment Ideas

When planning a window treatment, think of the scheme as an integral part of the whole room. Consider the proportions of the window with respect to the rest of the room, the contents and the dominant colours. Successful window dressing should be part of the ensemble rather than influenced by the whim of fashion.

If you are starting from scratch, with bare walls and no furniture, then you almost have free range. For some, total freedom can be daunting, so if you have an existing carpet or soft furnishing fabric, take this as a starting point when making your fabric colour choice. The best way to choose colour is to do it on site, with the windows and the rest of your belongings around you. Look through glossy magazines, hooks about art, travel, style, food, gardens — anything where you see combinations of colours that appeal to you. This should he fun and not a chore, so feel free to draw inspiration from whatever appeals to you. It’s easy to become bewildered by choice when looking through fabrics in a store, so allow yourself time to consider the other options available.

Bear in mind, however, that your personal preference is the most important of all, so go with your instincts. There are so many reasons why we like or dislike a colour, so even if purple is the most fashionable colour of the moment but you find it depressing, avoid it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one person’s boring beige is another’s delicious oatmeal. If you like the natural look, consider earthy reds, Oranges and browns that have been dyed with natural pigments. They are warm and restful and look good with ethnic trimmings and accessories.

Practically speaking, you should consider two main elements when deciding on which treatment to use —the weight of the fabric and the state of the wall. A heavy fabric needs the security of strong brackets supporting the pole. You will need brackets at both ends and possibly in the middle as well. It should stay level, not bow in the middle. Check the walls before you invest in the coveted iron pole. Old plaster does not always conceal sound masonry, and it will need to be rock solid. Check both sides of the windows.

If the fabric is light, it may need no more than a wooden dowel and two cup hooks. Sew a channel along the top of the curtain (drape), and feed the fabric on to the dowel to cover it. Then paint the small exposed ends. With this method, the hooks screw into the wooden window frame, so no drilling is needed. Curtain clips are another option for lightweight fabrics. You can adjust their spacing at will to change the way they drape and, with ring attachments, draw the curtains.

The very simplest no-sew way to drape a window is to use a pair of sheets over a pole. Simply throw them over and pull the back and front to the same length. The two sheets should meet in the middle of the pole and be

A selection of materials suitable for hanging, attaching and decorating curtains. Most materials are easily bought and are not difficult to use. It is worth going to a good fabric or furnishing store to ensure the widest selection of materials, such as rings, hooks, brackets, cord and wire pulled back to each side of the window. The idea can be adjusted to fit most windows. Any extra fabric could be arranged on the floor below for a touch of opulence. Fabrics like suit lining, mattress ticking and calico are ideal for draping this way. Allow about three times the drop of your window, and start in the middle at the top. Arrange folds and swags, pleating as you staple. Be creative, and don’t feel as if you have to copy any ‘correct’ way of draping the fabric. There are no set rules, just ideas and inspiration.

How to Sew a Box Cushion

Circular bolster cushions look attractive on most types of furniture and make a good visual contrast against the more usual rectangular cushions. This shape of cushion works particularly well with striped, check and tartan cloth, especially when a contrasting tassel, ribbon how or pompom is used as a trim.

A box cushion adds comfort and style to a sofa. This cushion has been made by tie dyeing individual patches of contrasting fabric then sewing them together. A box cushion adds comfort and style to a sofa. This cushion has been made by tie dyeing individual patches of contrasting fabric then sewing them together.


  1. Cut out the fabric then cut the hack gussetin half lengthways and place together with the right sides facing. Pin and stitch the seam 12 min/1/2 in from the raw edges, leaving an opening for the zip (zipper).Press the scam open.
  2. Pin and tack (baste) the zip in position along the opening, as shown, allowing the fabric to meet centrally over the zip teeth. Stitch the zip in place using a zip foot on the machine.
  3. With the right sides facing, join the four gusset pieces together along the short ends, taking a 12 min/1/2 in seam allowance and leaving 12 mm/1/2 in unstitched at each end of the seams. Press the seams open.
  4. With the right sides facing, pin and stitch the top edge of one gusset section to one edge of the top cover piece, taking a12 mm/1/2 in seam allowance. At the gusset seam, leave the needle in the fabric, raise the machine foot and pivot the fabric so the next section of gusset aligns with the next side of the top cover piece. Continue pinning and stitching each section around the top in this way. Open the zip, then repeat the procedure to attach the bottom cover piece to the remaining side of the gusset. Trim away the surplus cloth at the corners and then turn the cover right side out.


  • Cut out the fabric then pin and stitch the length of the bolster cover with a French seam. Turn right side out and press. Turn under is double 12 mm/t/’ in hem at each end of the tube. Pin and tack (baste) the hem in place using a contrasting thread.
  • Stitch along the hems, keeping the stitching close to the inner folds. Remove the tacking (basting) stitches and press thoroughly.
  • Using double thread run a row of gathering stitches along each end of the tube, close to the outer fold of the hem, leaving a long thread end. Insert the holster pad in the tube, then tighten the gathering threads to close the cover. Secure the thread ends, then cover the small hole left at each end by attaching a furnishing tassel, ribbon how or a button.


There are a great variety of tassels available in shops to be attached to the corners of cushions or on the ends of a bolster. The colors, shapes, sizes and designs are infinitesimal, but if you want something a bit more tailor made, create your own.

Cut out two pieces of cardboard to the length of your finished tassel and 10 cm/ 4 in wide. Place them together. Put .30 cm /12 in of your yarn to one side and then wind as much of the rest around the card from top to bottom until there is sufficient for the type of tassel you are making. The more you wind on, the fuller will be the result.

Stitch along the hems, keeping the stitching close to the inner folds. Remove the tacking (basting) stitches and press thoroughly. Thread the set aside yam through a needle and then pass the needle through the top of the wound yarn and tie at the top. Repeat several times so that you are left with a strong loop at the top of the tassel, it will be attached later to the item you are dressing up. Holding the yarn firmly in one hand, cut through the yarn at the bottom between the two pieces of cardboard then release the cardboard and then bind the tassel as near as possible to the top to ensure that the head remains firm. To neaten, comb out the yarn using your fingertips and then give the whole tassel a good trim.


A French seam encloses the raw edges of fabric and prevents them from fraying. It is worked in two stages: first stitch with the wrong sides facing (top). Trim the raw edges close to the first row of stitching then stitch with the right sides facing (above).


Box cushion: Measure the length and width of the top of the pad and then add 12 mm/1/2 in all around for seam allowances, two pieces of fabric this size are needed, one for the top and one for the bottom of the cover. The gusset is made from four pieces of fabric joined together. Measure the depth and width of the pad and add12 mm/1/2 in all around for seam allowances. Cut out three pieces of fabric to this size. Add an extra 2.5 cm/1 in to the depth of the fourth piece for the zip (zipper) seam in the gusset.

Bolster cushion: Measure the bolster from the centre point of one end, along its length and around to the centre point of the opposite end, adding a total of 5 cm/2 in for hem allowances. To calculate the width, measure the circumference of the pad and add an extra 2.5 cm/1 in for seam allowances. Cut one large piece to fit these dimensions.

Home and Interior Garden

Plants can create an interior style of their own or can be used to enhance existing decorations in your home. Flowering plants add a further dimension by either complementing or contrasting with interior color schemes.

The architectural style of your apartment, its proportions and the way it is decorated will affect the choice of plants you display there. Traditional interiors tend to suit small plants that complement fabrics, wallpapers and other furnishings. Starkly decorated modern rooms can take a bolder statement in the form of larger, more sculptural plants. The other main considerations to take into account when selecting plants for your home are the size of the plants in relation to the room area, the way that they grow and their shape and color.

Plants and Scale

If plants are to make a positive addition to an interior, they must he compatible with the space in terms of both size and shape. A large specimen, for example, needs a spacious, high ceilinged room in order to spread its elegant, arching branches and to make a suitably dramatic impact. These large indoor plants generally grow very slowly, and are cultivated in a wide range of heights, so if the room requires a 2 nil6 ft palm, select one at that height or slightly smaller, you could wait a longtime for a 1 m/3 ft specimen to fill the space you have allowed for it.

The lush, bushy shapes of Soleirolia soleirolii make an ideal choice for a low coffee table. These plants can tolerate bright, indirect light or semi-shady conditions. If you want height and a compact shape, select a climbing plant that can be trained to grow up a moss pole or bamboo stake. Ivies will naturally wrap themselves around poles and stakes and with a little pruning can be trained into the desired shape very easily. Several ivy plants grown together in a large container soon make a tower of green or variegated foliage.

Tiered Displays

Shelving is another useful way to gain height, with the added advantage that you can display a range of plants in oneself contained unit. A multi-tiered etagere is a specially designed piece of plant furniture, consisting of an upright from which stem six or seven small square or circular shelves. It is often made from wrought iron, and was particularly popular in Victorian times. Originals are much sought after, but authentic reproductions are now available thanks to the revived popularity of conservatories.

As a variation, you could create a striped sandwich effect by interspersing green plants with seasonal colors. The advantage of fixed shelving is that it can be used to combine both display areas for plants and storage for other items. Fitting triangular shelves in the corner of a room is an economical way of providing a permanent plant display area. Painted the color of the walls or the wallpaper, the shelves simply merge into the back ground, making the plants the focus. Higher shelves and those above shoulder level should be filled with cascading varieties to avoid only the container being seen, with lower shelves devoted to upward growing types of plants.


Color is another important consideration when it comes to choosing plants for your home. A delicate paint effect or softly toned wallpaper can be swamped by heavy, dark green foliage. However, the pale fronds of fragile ferns or pastel and white flowering plants will enhance a gentle color scheme rather than dominate it. Pale plain colored walls will complement most plants, but introducing foliage or flowering plants into a scheme with floral or patterned wallpaper and furnishings needs more thought. Take a piece of the fabric or wallpaper with you to the garden centre or plant specialist and use this to help you select an appropriate shade of green.

With the huge selection of seasonal flowering plants available, it is quite feasible to create a continuity of color with different varieties throughout. With this in mind, consider widening a window sill to provide a deeper platform for plants. A recessed window fitted with narrow glass or solid shelves provides the ideal support for a display of small bushy or trailing plants; while light loving climbers will quickly provide a green curtain right to the top of the window if the plants are given a series of thin wires to climb up. Climbers can also be encouraged to act as a frame. A climbing plant trained to scramble around a large picture hanging above a mantel piece, for instance, looks stunning.

This wrought-iron candle sconce has been designed to incorporate a small plant such as this ivy. Be careful not to let the candle burn too low and scorch the leaves of the plant.

This moth orchid provides a graceful organic touch to a collection of wall-mounted stone-colored vases.
If sitting plants at the window, it is essential to select ones that can tolerate hot summer rays or at the very least strong, bright light. A light, bright room may be partially separated by using a group of tall plants to create a room divider, usually partitioning, say, a dining space from a sitting area. As an alternative, fill an open shelving unit in the centre of a similar well-lit room with plants that are viewed from both sides. If the light levels on the lower shelves prohibit living plants, use them for storing books or displaying other inanimate objects instead.

Grouping Plants

Metal wall sconces designed to hold candles are easily adapted for trailing plants. Decorative wire wall containers for bathroom and kitchen accessories also make excellent pot holders. A group of these arranged closely together creates a considerable impact. Table top displays are the other obvious choice for many rooms, but most plants hate being moved around, so it is important that they can be left in peace. Narrow console tables require little space and are ideal for the purpose. If the space around the table is restricted, limit the display to upright plants. Bushy or trailing plants can be introduced if they will not be regularly brushed against. Combined with several treasured objects and planted in carefully chosen containers, these create an attractive still life that needs only a lamp to highlight the collection at night.

A group of low-level plants arranged together in one shallow basket or ceramic bowl, is perfect on a coffee table where it will be viewed from above. Put all the plants in one container making it more convenient if they need to be moved temporarily. A central display table needs plants that are attractive from all sides. Several small pots of miniature roses, Exacumaffine (Persian violet) or primulas grouped together when the table is not in use can then be split up to form a pretty line of color for a dinner or lunch party. These plants will be viewed at very close proximity, they need to be in perfect condition and may remain so only for a couple of weeks.

Plants seen at a distance are better able to carry imperfections, especially if they are arranged in a tight group. With a sensitive selection of colors and shapes, considerable impact can be made using relatively small, inexpensive plants. Choose a color theme of, say, white and green where a Dieffenbachia compacta sets the height of the arrangement for a range of smaller, bushier plants such as Thirnieamenziesii (piggyback plant), Syn (goniumand Fittonia).

A trailing tradescantia will add further dimension to the overall shape of the display, and a brilliant white azalea, Argyranthernum frutescens (marguerite) or scented gardenia will provide seasonal interest and variation. The success of these loose, informal groupings relies on establishing a strong central theme. While they offer numerous possibilities of choice and presentation, it is important to remember that the permanent plants must share the same light and temperature requirements.

What is a Kilojoule Diet?

Provided there is no serious or obvious cause, it is then fairly easy to embark on a straightforward dietetic routine that will increase the weight.

The basic idea is to increase it slowly. Do not think you can gain four to ten ki1os in the first week. Eating about 2,000 (500 calories) per day in excess of what you normally do will bring a gradual simple weight increase. This is the rest idea. Nothing will turn an underweight person off food and give feelings of  revulsion more quickly than a plate stacked high with a conglomeration of food. It could achieve an effect opposite to the one desired.

Meals consisting as far as possible of foods that the person likes, but in progressively increased amounts is the aim. Serve these daintily, with an eye to the psychological reaction, and the underweight patient is well on the road to gaining an appreciable amount.

Emphasis must be on foods high in calories. However, there must also be an increase in the protein content, and adequate amounts of protein is also required. Apart from trying to increase the fat layers, the muscles need building up and this must come from protein. This may be in the form of meat, fish, poultry, eggs or, for the vegetarian, soya tan and gluten products. Gluten is the protein of wheat, and many delightful and appetising savoury dishes may be prepared from it. The same applies to the soya bean, which is very rich in protein id is a very versatile protein food. With some thought and ingenuity, a  reasonably good cook can readily suitable foods that are appetizing, nutritious and weight-inducing.

Some of the foods that, will increase weight are fairly high in calories and fat content. Ideally, with the current knowledge about the risk of animal fats in cholesterol, and sugars increasing triglyceride levels, “not overdoing it” is important. These products increase blood-fat levels, and an excess of these is a known cause of premature heart attack.

Conversely, of course, the thin person’s heart has far less work to do than that of an obese person. Obesity is a serious cause of heart disease. So, while one hazard may be marginally increased, the thin person is less likely, on statistics, to be a heart patient.

Keep a Record

Keeping a daily record of the weight is a good idea. Weigh in a similar manner to the overweight person who is trying to reduce.

The best time to check the basic weight is first thing in the morning. Attend the toilet and urinate. Then weigh with no clothes on. Record this weight. Each day, you may see a marginal increase in your weight. Keep the record, and after a month or more you will probably be happy with the results.

Of course, you are the best judge, looking at yourself stripped in front of the mirror. This will soon tell you if you are too thin, just right, or starting to get a bit on the overweight side. It is important that you retain the correct weight (or thereabouts) for your size (height) and sex.

A Sample Menu

Here is a list of the foods that an underweight person may include in the menu.

Use it sensibly, and as a guide.

600 ml milk

100-150 g meat, fish, poultry (or other protein, probably of vegetable source for vegetarians) (preferably trim excess fat)

1-2 eggs

1 serving wholegrain or enriched cereal (eg muesli)

4 servings of vegetables including:

1 serving green or yellow vegetable

2 servings white or sweet potato, corn, beans

1 serving other vegetable

2-3 servings of fruit, including one citrus fruit

28 g (1 oz or 2 tablespoons) or more of butter or margarine.

Mei-calorie foods to complete the caloric requirements: cereals such as macaroni, rice, noodles, spaghetti; honey, molasses, syrups; glucose; salad dressings; cakes; biscuits and pastry in moderation; ice-cream, puddings, sauces.

Vary this basic type of menu according to your likes and dislikes.

It is possible to calculate fairly easily the number of kilojoules per day you actually require to carry out your normal duties. Add 2000 kj (500 calories) to this, and you will get an idea of how many you need.

If you wish to calculate these more accurately, turn to the section on overweight (obesity), and use the figures in the tables reproduced there. As there may be absorption or actual dietetic deficiencies in some underweight people, taking a multivitamin-mineral capsule daily may be advisable. Added quantities of iron may be needed if the red-blood-cell count is reduced.

It is necessary to point out that weight increasing diets must be looked at given considerable care. From experience we have noted that many thin, and so-ca. “underweight” adolescents (boys girls), with the progress of time, and normal maturity, tend to put on weight automatically. With exercise, greater physical activity, normal development inevitably follows regular hormonal p:roduction occurring naturally in the tee: most put on weight as they develop secondary sexual characteristics. Getting into the way of “eating more foods put on weight” may later prove to counterproductive, and a difficult habit to break once established.

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


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.


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.

Wallpapering Tips

The first length of wall covering must be hung correctly if the decoration of the rest of the room is to go according to plan. The first thing to do, therefore, is to decide on exactly where to hang this. The usual starting point is close to the door, just less than the wall-covering’s width away from the frame, so that the inevitable pattern discontinuity that will occur on returning to the starting point can be concealed on the short join above the door. If you are using a wall covering with a large design motif in a room which has a chimney breast (fireplace projection), it is preferable to start paperhanging on the chimney breast itself so that the design can he centre don it. When papering only part of a room, the starting point should be just less than the width of the wall covering from one corner of the room, to allow the edge of the covering to be trimmed accurately into the corner angle.

Next, use a roll of wall covering as a yardstick and mark off successive widths around the room walls with a pencil to check that there will not be any joins on external corners such as the sides of window reveals. If these occur, move the starting point along by about 5 cm/2 in and then re-check the positions of the joins all round.

Finally, mark a true vertical line on the wall at the chosen starting point, using a pencil and a plumb bob and line. Failure to do this could result in the pattern starting to run seriously out of alignment as you hang successive lengths, with disastrous results.

Paperhanging on flat, uninterrupted walls is quite straightforward, calling only for the basic positioning and trimming techniques. Turning corners is only slightly more difficult. The trouble is that rooms also contain doors and windows, as well as wall-mounted fittings and fixtures such as light switches and socket outlets (receptacles). Papering around these obstacles can be fairly tricky, but there are procedures for dealing with them successfully.

Doors and window frames fitted flush with the internal wall surface present few problems; all that is necessary here is 10 trim the wall coveting so that it finishes flush with the edge of the architrave (trim) or casing. Where the window or door is recessed, however, you will need to do some careful patching-in of extra pieces in order to cover all the surfaces of the reveal. It is also important in this case to select the correct starting point, to avoid joins between lengths falling on the external corners of such reveals; always check this point before beginning paper-hanging, and adjust the starting point by about 5 cm/2 in if it will occur.

Paperhanging around electrical fittings (fixtures) is fairly easy. Always turn off the power supply to the accessory first. The idea is to make diagonal cuts over the faceplate, cutaway most of the resulting triangular tongues and tuck what remains behind the loosened faceplate. Do nor do this with vinyl (Oils, which can conduct electricity; instead, simply trim the covering flush with the edges of the accessory faceplate. In the USA, it is possible to remove wall plates and socket outlets separately without disconnecting the wall receptacles or switches, which makes the task of paperhanging around them much simpler.

Other paperhanging techniques

As well as the traditional method of pasting the wall covering on a pasting table and then hanging it, you may sometimes also need to use 2 other techniques. The first is hanging ready-pasted wall coverings, which are growing in popularity, and the second is hanging specialty wall coverings.

Hanging ready-pasted wall coverings could not be easier. The back of the wall covering usually a washable or vinyl type— is coated during manufacture with an even layer of dried paste. To activate this, simply cut the length that you need, roll it up with the top of the length on the outside of the roll, and immerse it in water. Special soaking troughs are sold by most wall-covering suppliers, and are intended to be placed next to the skirting (baseboard) beneath the point at which the length is to be hung. Fill the trough with cold (not hot) water, immerse the length and then draw it upwards on to the wall so that all the excess water drains back into the soaking trough. Hang and trios the covering in the usual way.

Many specialty wall coverings are designed to be hung by pasting the wall itself, rather than the covering, which some people find easier. Some types of coverings also have untrimmed edges, which need to he cut after overlapping adjoining lengths, but this is simple to do.


1. At your chosen starting point, use a plumb bob and line to mark a vertical line on the wall surface. Join up the pencil marks using a straightedge.

2. Fetch the first length of pasted wall covering, having left it to soak for the time recommended on the label. Carry it draped over your arm.

3. Unfold the upper flap and press the top edge of the length against the wall. Slide it across the well until the edge lines up with your marked line. Use a paperhanging brush (or a sponge for washables and vinyls)to smooth the covering into place, working from the middle outwards

4. Use a pencil or the curved back of paperhanging-scissors blades to mark thetrittuning line at ceiling level. Do the same at floor level.

5. Peel the end of the length away from the wall so that you can trim the excess using scissors. Brush the end hack into place. Repeat at the bottom.

6. Hang the near drop with the lengths exactly edge to edge. Brush the wall covering into the wall/ceiling angle and into the internal angle.

7. On the wall coverings, run a scant roller down the joins to ensure that they stick securely. Never use a steam roller on embossed or relief wall coverings, as this will affect the pattern.


1. Place the trough next to the wall, fill it with cold water and immerse the rolled-up length in it, with the top end outermost, for the recommended time.

2. At the end of the soaking time, grasp the top end of the length and draw it upwards so that the excess water runs off and back into the trough.

3. Slide the nip of the length into position on the wall, aligning it with a marked line or butting it up against its neighbour. Take care not to step in the trough.

4. Use a sponge rather than a paperhanging brush to smooth the length into place on the wall — this will help to absorb excess water from the surface.


1. On reaching a flush door or a window frame, hang the previous length as normal. Then hang the next length to overlap the door or window frame.

2. Cut away the unwanted wall covering to within about 2.5 cm/i in of the edge of the architrave (trim) or window casing, and discard the waste strip.

3. Press the covering against the frame so that its corner is visible, and make a diagonal cut from the waste edge of the paper to the mark.

4. Use a paperhanging brush to press the tongues of paper well into the angles between the wall and the door architrave or window casing.

5. Carefully peel hack the tongues and cut along the marked lines with paperhanging scissors. Brush the trimmed edges back into position.


1. On reaching a recessed door or window frame, hang the previous length as normal. Then hang the next length, allowing it to overlap the recess.

2. Carefully make a horizontal cut into the overlapping edge, level with the underside of the reveal, to allow the central portion of the length to cover the side wall.

3. On a recessed window, make a similar cut lower down the length, level with the top surface of the window sill. Trim it to fit round the end of the sill.

4. Cut a patch CO fit on the underside of the reveal, hip, enough to turn on to the adjoining wall and frame surfaces. Press it well into the internal angles.

5. Tear along the edges of the patch that will be covered when you brush the piece above the reveal and the tongue covering its side wall into place.

6. Trim the edges of the patch and tongue to meet the frame neatly. Hang full widths when you reach the other side of the reveal, and repeat steps 1-6.


Always turn off the power supply before you begin. Make diagonal cuts in the paper towards the corners, trim off the triangles and tuck the edges behind the loosened faceplate.

How to Use a Paintbrush

The paintbrush is the most versatile and widely used tool for applying paint. Choose the brush size to match the surface that you are painting. For example, for painting glazing bars (muntins) on windows or narrow moldings on a door, use a slim brush or perhaps a cutting-in (sash) brush if you are painting up to an unpainted surface, such as glass, where a near edge is needed. For expansive, flat areas, select larger brush for good coverage. Get rid of any loose bristles in a new brush by flicking it vigorously across the palm of your hand before using it. Wash previously used brushes that have been stored unwrapped to remove any dust or other debris from the bristles, and leave them to dry out before using them to apply a solvent based paint.

Paint rollers are generally used to apply water based (latex) paints to large, flat areas such as walls and ceilings. Choose a sleeve with a short pile for painting plaster, a medium pile for painting embossed or textured wall coverings, or a long pile for sculpted surfaces such as those created with textured finishes (texture paints).Rollers can also be used to apply solvent based (oil) paint to flat surfaces such as flush doors, but tend to leave a distinctive ‘orange-peel’ texture rather than the smooth finish left by a brush.

There are some drawbacks with paint rollers: they cannot paint right up to internal comers or wall/ ceiling angles, so these need to be painted first with a brush or pad. They can also splash if ‘driven’ too fast, and the sleeves take a good deal of time and effort to clean thoroughly, especially if they have been used for a long period and there is dried paint in the pile.

Paint pads tend to apply less paint per coat than either a brush or a roller, so an additional coat may be needed in some circumstances, but they make it easy to apply paint smoothly and evenly with no risk of brush marks.


  1. Tie a length of string or wire across the mouth of the paint kettle. To load the brush, dip it into the paint, but only to about one third of the bristle depth. An overloaded brush will cause drips, and paint will run down the handle. Use the stung or wire to scrape excess paint from the bristles.
  2. Apply the paint to the wood in long, sweeping strokes, along the grain, until the brush begins to run dry. Load up the brush with more paint and apply it to the next area. Blend the paint using short, light strokes, again along the grain direction, so that no join is visible.
  3. Repeat this process while working your way across the whole area to be painted, always blending the edges of adjacent areas together using light brushstrokes.
  4. At edges and external corners, let the brush run off the edge to avoid a build up of paint on the corner. Repeat the process for the opposite edge.


  1. Wipe the lid to remove any dust, then prise it off with a wide lever such as the back via table knife to avoid damage to the lip. Decant the paint into a paint kettle or small bucket. This will be easier to kindle than a full container.
  2. Remove any paint skin from partly used containers. Strain the paint into the paint kettle through a piece of old stocking or tights (panty hose), or a piece of muslin (cheesecloth), to filter.


  1. Pour some paint (previously strained if from an old can) into the roller tray until the paint level just laps tip to the sloping section. Slide a sleeve on to the roller.
  2. Brush a band of paint about 5 cm/ 2 in wide into internal corners and wall/ceiling angles, around doors and windows, and above skirting (baseboards).
  3. Load the roller sleeve with paint by running it down the sloping section of the paint, then roll it tip and down the slope to remove the excess.
  4. Start applying the paint in a series of overlapping diagonal strokes to ensure complete coverage of the surface. Continue until the sleeve runs dry.
  5. Re-load the sleeve and tackle the nest section in the same way. Finish off by blending the areas together, working parallel 1’0 corners and edges.


  1. Pour sonic paint into the special applicator tray and load the pad by running it backwards and forwards over the ridged trading roller.
  2. On walls, apply the paint in a series of overlapping parallel bands. Use a small pad or a special edging pad (see step 4) to paint right up to corners or angles.
  3. Use smaller pads for painting narrow areas such as moldings on doors or ginning bars (muntins) on windows, brushing out the paint along the direction of the grain.
  4. Special edging pads are designed for painting right up to internal angles, and leave small wheels which guide the pad along the adjacent surface as you work.
  5. Some larger pads can be fitted to an extension pole to make it easier to paint ceilings and high walls. Make sure than the pad is attached securely.


Aerosol paints and varnishes are ideal for hard to decorate surfaces such as wicker work. Always follow the maker’s instructions when using them.


What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is essential that the stability of the skeleton and the bones that form it be maintained. If these weaken, then the entire system may gradually lose its strength, and the basic foundation of the body is in jeopardy.
Other disorders of the bony system may occur. Fractures resulting from direct trauma are common. Almost any accident may result in a bony fracture. The bones are frequently the site for secondary cancerous deposits that have been carried there from other parts of the body. These are termed metastases, and may lead to premature fractures of the bones. These will not be dealt with either.
The main disorders that will be covered will include osteoporosis, osteomalacia, osteitis deformans (Paget’s disease). osteomyelitis, with brief mention of some less common ones.
With advancing years, the bones of the body tend to lose their calcium, which makes them weaker and more liable to ready fracture. This may occur with minimum trauma, and under normal circumstances, in younger persons, would never produce a break. just when normal calcium loss merges into abnormal loss is a debatable point. It is usually demonstrated by X-ray, but by the time this is noticeable, a large amount of calcium has already left the bony substance.
There are many causes, but advancing years and senility hold first place. Second, postmenopausal osteoporosis in older women comes in strongly. These far outweigh all other causes combined. However, a certain number are due to disorders of the internal (endocrine) gland system. Patients with excessive thyroid function and with the fairly rare condition called acromegaly (gigantism) arc claimed to have a higher rate than normal.
Nutritional disturbances from an inadequate diet can theoretically cause osteoporosis, but in practice, this is probably very rare.
If a person has been immobilised for any reason and is confined to bed for a prolonged period of time, then the bones tend to lose calcium rapidly on this score alone. In most cases, the heavy bones comprising the vertebral column arc usually affected first.

Osteoporosis Symptoms

The bones lose their calcium, so tend to become spongy and brittle. This means they lose their strength and fracture (break) far more readily. The bones are not tender, except when a recent fracture has taken place, for example in the vertebral column where the bones may simply collapse. In the early stages, there are often no signs at all.
As the bones weaken, they tend to fracture readily. As each fresh fracture takes place (commonly in the back), it is accompanied by local pain at the site. But this soon heals. The person may find relief from going to bed for a while, and in four to eight weeks the fracture heals. Or the patient may elect to use a wheelchair during the acute period of discomfort. Stress on the back may initiate these fractures. Stooping and lifting a heavy weight is a common predisposing cause. But in others the fracture merely takes place for no obvious reason.
Each time a fracture occurs, there is a shortening of the total vertebral column. At first it may be unrecognised, and only when it causes symptoms in itself will the patient be aware of it.
As this condition progresses, chronic and constant backache tends to result, but this is usually a late symptom. It is often aggravated by a forward tilting of the back.
Apart from the back bones, others may be involved. The hip is a favourite site, and the neck of the femur notorious, as evidenced by the large number of fractures in this region in older people seems that nature endeavours to protect the brain, for the skull is rarely the site for spontaneous fracture.
These changes tend to occur most commonly in women usually in the sixth and seventh decades. They are irreversible. However, the period of the recurrent fractures and height loss is usually limited to about 10-1.5 years. Diagnosis made these days with a special examination called the mineral bone density test. There are various forms of this, one being the dual photon densitornetry Tests are usually carried out in special units attached to the major public hospitals in Australia and New Zealand.

Osteoporosis Treatment

As osteoporosis is largely irreversible efforts are chiefly concerned at reducing the rate at which calcium is being removed from the bones, so halting the process. Many treatments have been tried over the past several years, and there have been all manner of claims made. At present, the most successful treatment seems to be a highly nutritious diet, plus hormonal therapy in conjunction with a high daily calcium intake. Fat reduced milk is also good.
Calcium is given at the rate of 100 grams daily. The use of relatively pleasant effervescing tablets has greatly facilitated the intake of this clement.

Female hormone: It is now universal accepted that if women past the menopause regularly took “HRT”—short for Hormonal Replacement Therapy—the risk of osteoporosis would be greatly reduced. This is now considered to be perfectly safe, provided it is taken according to an exact routine. Generally, the conjugated oestrogens are recommended, and taken in conjunction with another female hormone, a progestogen.
The recommended routine is as follows for women who still have their womb (uterus) intact (ie have not undergone hysterectomy): Take one oestrogen tablet daily from Day 1 to Day 24 of calendar month, then stop until the first day of the following month, when an identical course is taken. Then, from Day 14 to Day 24 of each calendar month, one orogestogen tablet is taken each day, then stopped until the same day of the following month.
For women who have lost their womb,having undergone hysterectomy, there is no need to take progestogen. This is  needed when the womb is present and estrogen may cause the womb lining to break down and there may also be a small risk of uterine cancer developing. But this is virtually negated when progestogen is taken. This may cause some vaginal bleeding (like a period) three to four days after the cessation of medication, but this is usually considered a small price to pay the beneficial effects.
This routine, carried out under medical supervision, will almost entirely remove the risks of osteoporosis. Women are the main sufferers—it is uncommon males. The use of the anabolic steroids i:e. taken by injection has had its advocates. Fluoride is claimed to be necessary to put calcium back into the bones, and is often used. Calcium is at present under investigation.
A diet high in protein, and high in calcium and vitamins C and D is necessary. Activity should be encouraged, and frequent bouts in bed are unwise, as this will aggravate the situation. Avoid all unnecessary stresses that may produce ulcers.

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.


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.


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).


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.


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.

Spina Bifida

Spina Bfida is claimed to occur about once in every 1,000 births. It may even be less. Spina Bifida is a developmental abnormality, the spinal canal failing to completely close over. Various types are possible, but those occurring in the lower part of the back are more common.

Spina Bifida Symptoms

There may be a lump along the course of the spinal column, for example at the lower end. Symptoms may be mild or nonexistent, especially in the form referred to as spina bifida occulta. There may be a weakness of the lower limbs, and later, paralysis may set in; there may be a lack of control over the valves of the bladder and bowels. The parent may be first made aware of it when the child has difficulty in normal toilet training

Spina Bifida Treatment

Many mild cases may live a reasonably normal life. I treated a patient for many years, and he lived until his mid-50s before he died of sudden renal complications. He held down a normal, responsible job, and coped remarkably well. He married, and one lad was born who was perfectly normal.

Often if the disorder is picked up early, say at birth, when obvious cases may be quite apparent, surgery is attempted. A great deal is possible at the time, but unfortunately these children, although saved from death at the time, may endure a very difficult time afterwards and pose a major problem for those undertaking their care from that time on.

All patients will be cared for in accordance with their symptoms and their own level of attainment. Some may require intensive hospital care for a long period of time; other milder ones, such as my patient, may live for many years and engage in useful work.

It is possible to diagnose some of these cases antenatally now? Yes, with the so-called AFP (short for alpha-feto-protein) assessments, cases may be diagnosed before birth. This chemical is produced by the open nerve canal, and may be present in the amniotic fluid of the uterus, or increased amounts may be present in the mother’s blood.

In women who have sustained one case, there appears to be an increased risk of further babies with the same disability, and these women may be screened. It is an indication for a legal termination if the mother so desires it but this of course is an emotive and individual topic.