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Waterbrash

by on Friday, December 26, 2014 7:48 under Do it Yourself.

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In this common condition an excessive amount of saliva is produced by the salivary glands. It may be more common in women, and often there are psychogenic reasons producing this, such as nervous fears, anxieties, tensions and frustrations. It is more likely in patients with hiatus hernia and reflux, an increasingly common disorder.

However, it may also occur in association with many other pathological conditions, such as any disorders in the mouth, tongue or throat, and it may be associated with duodenal ulcers. It is more common during menstruation and early pregnancy.

The saliva forms and is swallowed. A certain amount may enter the cardiac valve and the stomach (often along with air, which in itself often produces dyspepsia and a feeling of abdominal fullness). This gas may finally regurgitate into the lower part of the oesophagus, and together with the collected volume of saliva there, regurgitate into the oral cavity, frequently with an audible burp.

Treatment is aimed at discovering the basic cause and, if any exists, treating and curing that. Otherwise, it is a typical nervous-related problem that often settles down as less thought is given to it, and the mind is directed in other more fruitful paths.

Outdoor Safety

by on Thursday, December 25, 2014 19:39 under Health.

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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.

How to Make a Table Cloth

by on Thursday, December 25, 2014 7:19 under Do it Yourself.

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Both square and round tablecloths are quick to make. For practical uses choose a washable fabric, either plain or patterned, in a shade which matches or co-ordinates with the general color scheme of the room as well as any favorite tableware.

Cotton and synthetic blends are easy to sew, require practically no ironing and so make a good choice for everyday table cloths in the kitchen or dining room.

Plain, heavy cotton and linen look better for more formal occasions, but they require more hard work to keep them looking good over the years. Always treat stains on table linen immediately and launder as soon afterward as possible. Choose a pretty printed fabric to make a covering for a rectangular kitchen table.

HOW TO MAKE SQUARE TABLE CLOTH

1. Measure the sides of the table top, adding twice the required drop from the edge of the table and 25 mm/1 in all around for hem allowances. Cut out the fabric. Turn and press a 12 mm or 1/2 inch hem around the sides.

2. Unfold both hems and carefully cut across each corner diagonally, as shown, within 6 mm or 1/4 inch of the corner point at the inner fold.

3. Pin the diagonal edges together, with the right sides facing, and stitch a narrow seam 6 mm or 1/4 inch from the raw edge. Stitch from the inner corner point and make the seam 12 mm or1/2 inch long. Press and turn the corners out to the right side

4. Refold the double hem. The diagonal seams at each corner make a neat miter. Stitch around the edge of the table cloth, close to the inner fold. Press the hem.

Cover a round occasional table with a floor-length plain under cloth, and then top it with a small square cloth made of co-ordinating fabric.

HOW TO MAKE ROUND TABLE CLOTH

I. Measure the diameter of the table top and add twice the depth of the drop plus 25 mm or 1 inch for hem allowances. Make a pattern from dressmaker’s pattern paper using a pencil tied to a piece of string measuring half your final measurement. Hold one end of the string and draw a quarter circle on the paper. Cut out.

2. Fold the fabric into four and pin on the quarter circle pattern, aligning the folded edges of the fabric with the straight edges of the paper. Cut out using sharp scissors.

3. Stitch around the outside of the fabric 12 mm or 1/2 inch from the raw edge. This line of stitching marks the hem. Press the edge over on the wrong side of the fabric along the line, without stretching the fabric.

4. Carefully turn under the raw edge to make a double hem, and then pin and tack (baste) the hem in place. Stitch around the edge of the table cloth close to the inner fold of the hem. Press the hem well.

JOINING FABRIC

When joining fabric to make either a square or round table cloth, avoid making a seam down the centre as this can look rather unsightly. Instead, cut out two pieces of fabric to the correct width and use one as the central panel. Cut the second piece in half lengthways and join to either side of the panel, matching the pattern if necessary. Use an ordinary flat seam and neaten the raw edges.

What To Do In An Emergency

by on Friday, December 19, 2014 4:50 under Health.

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To a person with a reasonable knowledge of the simple basics of first aid, there is usually a clear-cut course to follow. There is no need to panic. This helps nobody, least of all the victim. Here in this section you will find the basic needs that may help in coping with the general run-of-the-mill accidents that commonly occur. It is not a complete manual, but it should serve as a guide in emergencies. However, this does not replace first aid training.

Read it through and get to know the requirements of how to act in an emergency. Who knows, but the next time it is needed you may be able to save someone very close to you – one of your children, relatives or friends. First aid knowledge will never go amiss, even if you use it only a few times in your lifetime. If it saves one life or more, then it will have been all worthwhile. It is possible to take courses in first aid in most countries.

To start this section, a few of the essential ingredients of first aid care will be outlined. It is not an exhaustive list, but covers the more important and more pressing needs.

Remain Calm

It is essential that the person offering first aid remain calm throughout the entire procedure. In major accidents, fear will no doubt strike the heart of any amateur not regularly geared for the unpleasant sights that may occur. Seeing humans in pain and distress is never easy, and a sense of empathy is inevitable. However, do not be overcome with anxiety, for this will reduce your efficiency. It is preferable for the adrenaline produced by your system to convert you into a more efficient unit. When you are calm, you can think clearly, act with precision, with dignity and authority.

Others will tend to listen to you, and are more likely to be helpful. Most important, your patient will appreciate kind, authoritative words, filled with good cheer, confidence and hope. Do not tell stories about the last person you saw with similar injuries who died two days later. Right now the patient wants good cheer, hope, confidence, life, more than anything else. Use this to its full effect, no matter how you might feel, and how poor the outlook appears. It is a major factor, and is repeated often in the following headings of guidance.

Breathing and Heartbeat When attending a person who has sustained an injury, or some type of medical emergency, there are several steps to follow. These may be summarised as follows:

1. First, make sure that both you and your patient are in a safe position. This is especially true of roadside accidents, where passing traffic may cause further serious injury to you both. Or with electrical emergencies, make certain that the power has been turned off, so that further danger cannot occur.

2. It is essential to check the patient’s level of consciousness.

3. Next, check that the airways are open and clear. When this has been done,

4. Check for breathing, and

5. Check the pulse in the neck (the carotid artery pulse). This may be felt by the fingers just below the jawbone on the side of the throat.

If the patient is not breathing automatically, it is necessary to take steps to force air into the lung system. This is called expired air resuscitation, or EAR for short. It used to be called mouth-to mouth breathing or resuscitation.

If the heart is not beating, indicated by an absence of the carotid pulse in the neck, it is essential that this be started again. This is carried out by external cardiac compression (ECC for short. formerly known as external cardiac massage). More likely both procedures will be carried out together, and this collectively is called cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR for short. In summary, EAR + ECC = CPR.

It is essential to get the blood flowing again as urgently as possible, for it is well-established that irreversible brain damage may occur after three minutes, although this is a variable time. Sec the section on Resuscitation and learn by heart the methods to be used. The methods have various names, but names are unimportant; the basic steps are what matter. Any first aider must be aware of the system and be able to put it into immediate action at any moment. It is frequently life-sustaining.

These measures must be continued until normal heart and breathing action resume, or the patient is handed over to professional personnel geared with other methods of sustaining life.

Stop Bleeding

Once the heart and lung action have been re-established, the next most pressing emergency action is to check any abnormal bleeding. Blood loss is crucial, and it must be stopped as a matter of urgency The more forceful the loss (and the greater the volume being lost), the more urgent the measure.

If this does not happen, fluids are lost from the body, and very quickly the patient may submerge into various states of shock. This may lead to unconsciousness, and death may quickly result.

Blood loss, irrespective of where it is coming from, must be checked. External loss can usually be stopped or greatly reduced by direct pressure using some form of clean padding. It doesn’t matter what this is during an emergency. Be as sterile in your actions as possible, but stemming the flow comes before sterility with haemorrhaging.

Other Injuries

After these first essentials have been attended to, it is then possible to reassess the patient and attend to other injuries. These may include such features as broken bones (fractures), dislocations, soft tissue injuries such as lacerations, sprains and contusions (bruises). It may affect burns, foreign missiles and any number of items.

If the patient is unconscious, it may be impossible to decide what has happened. In any case, the patient is then best placed in a stable side position (see instructions and pictures), and medical help obtained.

Medical Help

Many accidents need urgent help from doctors and ambulance officers. Do what you can on the spot, and then summon assistance. Ideally, if living in the city or in areas where ambulance services are available, call them urgently, or have an assistant do this.

You will need to state clearly your address. and often the nearest cross-street, for this can help quicker access. State how many are injured and need help, and briefly the nature of the accident. Great details are unnecessary. Simply state: “There has been a motor-car accident and three persons are badly injured and two are unconscious.” That is adequate. Usually the ambulance depot gives you a reference number that is worth remembering in case there is some subsequent delay, or something goes wrong. If this is not available, get the help of a doctor.

If this is not forthcoming, then getting the patient to the emergency ward of a large hospital is the next best thing. The sooner this can be carried out the better. This is particularly difficult with serious accident cases, and unconscious victims or persons with a probable spinal or other serious fractures. However, in an emergency when there is no help available, you can only do your best.

First Aid Kit

Often many minor accidents can be helped a great deal if you happen to own a simple first aid kit. It is wise to have it ready for all occasions, and use it as need be. But after use, make certain you replenish the items used so that once more it will he readily available.

It is worth while having a photocopy of the methods of resuscitation and the stable side position glued to the inside of this kit, and also glued to the inside of your home medicine cabinet. Also, have the emergency phone numbers of likely persons you may need to contact similarly listed in these two places. It can make it so much easier when an emergency arises. How often have you seen people trying to fumble through the small print of the telephone book in an emergency. desperately trying to locate a much-needed number? Often they will miss it many times over because their nervous system is trying just too hard, and they are too overwrought to know what they are seeking. This even applies to such vital services as the ambulance, doctor, police and fire brigade. if these are clearly written in an obvious place, then you will have less worry, and you will be able to act in a more calm, positive and beneficial manner.

Summon Help

Often accidents require the assistance of many persons. Often you will need a neighbour or friends. Often there will be plenty of people around. But even though the crowd rapidly gathers when an accident occurs (especially spectacular events such as fires and road smashes), often there is hardly a soul who will willingly come forward to offer help. Far better to be able to call a friend or neighbour to lend a hand, and ideally someone who also has a little knowledge of first aid.

As a Last Resort

If, as a last resort, even though you are unfamiliar with first aid, and do not know too much about general principles, at least try to remain calm and do your best. Fortunately, commonsense often comes to the rescue, and will suggest to you what to do next. Be guided by your inner directives, and frequently this will help – at least until somebody with some more direction and knowledge turns up. Good wishes and success in your first aiding.

Soft Furnishing Hot Tips

by on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:40 under Do it Yourself.

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Stamping is a quick and effective method of repeating a design on a wide variety of surfaces, using many different mixtures of paint and inks.

There are several efficient ways of applying paint to a stamp. If you are using a roller, pour a little paint on to the side of a flat plate, then use the age roller to pick up a small amount and roll it out over the rest of the plate until you have an even covering. Roll the paint on to the stamp.

Alternatively, use a fairly stiff brush and apply the paint with a dabbing or motion. This technique enables more than one colour to be applied and for detail to be picked out. Be careful not to overload the stamp, as this may cause it to slip when stamping.

If you want to use a sponge, spread the paint on a plate and use a natural wenge to pick up the paint and dab it on to the stamp. This method allows you to put a light, even covering of paint on to the stamp. For a dry look, use an ink stamp pad. Press the stamp on to the inkpad several times to ensure a good covering.

MAKING STAMPS

1. Use high-density sponge for sharply defined and detailed designs. Trace your chosen motif on to the sponge using a soft pencil for dark, clear lines.

2. Roughly cut around the design, then spray the tracing paper with adhesive to hold it in place on the sponge while you are cutting it Out.

3. Cut along the outline using a sharp blade, then, pinching the background sections, cut them away holding the blade away from your fingers.

4. Sharp scissors, rather than a blade, can be used with medium-to-low density sponge and are especially useful for cutting out the basic shapes.

PLANNING A DESIGN

1. With the aid of a spirit level (carpenter’s level), draw a faint pencil line to use as guide when stamping. Once the stamping is finished and the paint is dry, this guideline can be removed using a cloth wrung out in soapy water and rubbed along the line.

2. Stamp the motif several times on scrap paper and cut out the prints. Tape them to the wall so that you can judge how your will look.

3. When using a stamp mounted on a block, draw a straight line on the back to help with positioning.

STAMP EFFECTS

Although stamping is sometimes thought of as another form of stenciling it is essentially a form of printing. The same stamp, cut different effects with stamps, depending from high-density sponge, was used on the paint mixture you use and the make all these prints.

1. Half-shade: Roll the first, paler colour over the stamp, then roll a second, darker shade over one half only, to create a three-dimensional shadowed effect.

2. Sponge print: Applying the paint with a sponge gives variable, individual prints.

3. Two-tone: Using a dry roller, load the stamp with the first colour, then apply the second to the top and bottom edges only.

4. Stippled: This stippled effect gives the print lots of surface interest: apply the paint with a stiff brush and a dabbing, stippling motion.

5. Light shadow: The paint has been applied with a roller, covering each element of the motif more heavily on one side to create a delicate shadow effect.

6. Contrasting detail: Pick out details of the design in a contrasting colour: apply the first colour with a roller, then use a brush to apply the second colour in the areas you want

How to Make Couch Cushion Covers

by on Monday, December 15, 2014 15:22 under Do it Yourself.

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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.

How to Use a Paintbrush

by on Thursday, December 11, 2014 14:31 under Do it Yourself.

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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.

PREPARING THE PAINT

  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.

USING A BRUSH

  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.

USING A ROLLER

  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.

USING A PAINT PAD

  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.

USING AEROSOL PAINT

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

Proper Table Setting

by on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 23:35 under Home & Garden.

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China, glass, cutlery (flatware) and overall linens together make up the overall look of any setting. On to that framework can be added candles and their holders plus the table decorations, which are the icing on the cake. These are obviously areas where you can add personal touches that may be quite different from anyone else’s, and not even very different each time you entertain. But with imagination and flair, you can be creative with all the elements that go into laying a table. Your existing tableware will have the greatest influence on the table settings you create. You will probably instinctively choose designs that suit the style of your home, whether it is elegantly modem, traditional or has a more relaxed country look. Given this starting point, however, there is no reason why your table has to look the same each time you set it. Of course, you may have a favourite look, and you may always want to re-create it. But there will be occasions, such as Christmas, Easter or at special celebrations, when you wish to make your table look more special than usual. The other main reasons for wanting to adapt the look of your table settings are that, as time goes by, fashions in home style change and personal tastes develop. You may want to reflect these changes in your table settings.

China

The art of successful table setting is to be clever with the crockery, so mix, match, adapt and adorn your dinner service to suit the mood and the occasion. The effective way to mix pieces from different sets is to link them by colour. So by collecting all white or all cream, for example, you can create a wonderful overall effect from pieces that were not necessarily designed to match. Another way is to collect two different but harmonious colours, black and white for example.

Under plates, too, provide a lot of scope. Buy brass to lend sparkle at Christmas or other celebrations, or coloured glass to add a new look on any occasion. Alternatively, you could put clear glass plates on top of those from the main set, with something decorative between, such as leaves, fabric or flowers that will show through and can be changed to suit the mood.

Whatever style of cutlery (flatware)you choose, a collection that complements the overall setting will enhance the look of the table.

Highlight the gold rim of elegant porcelain soup cups by contrasting it with brass. Even if your dinner service is plain, it will look richer if set on metal. Add a gold tassel and wrap party favours in gold organza for very special occasions.

Cutlery (flatware)

Knives, forks and spoons can have a wonderful sculptural quality to them, which may be used in many ways in a table setting. The formal and obvious way is to lay them, in accordance with etiquette, soldier-like on either side of each plate. But try adorning the cutlery, tying it in pairs or threes with ribbon, raffia or string. You could also tie in a place card, or tuck in a flower, leaf or, if you wish, a chandelier crystal, a tassel or a shell for extra decoration.

Glass

Glass is so beautiful that it needs little decoration, but it is lovely to make something special of, say, a pre-dinner cocktail. Frosting the rim with egg white and caster (superfine) sugar is a traditional idea, and one that always delights. Tassels, ribbons, cords and beads can be tied decoratively around the stems of glasses, or golden wire wound around them in graceful imitation of Italian wine bottles.

It is not difficult to be innovative with linens. Napkins can very easily be equipped with unusual ‘rings’, embroidered or embellished with beads. Nor do table cloths necessarily have to have been purpose-made. Any suitable length of fabric — bedspreads, saris, sheeting or curtain lining — will do. When a fabric is not too expensive, you can embellish it with stamps, stencils or fabric paint; choose to appliqué or embroider it, or stitch on less obvious trimmings, such as buttons and shells, pebbles and even twigs.

DECORATIVE IDEAS

Create a table decoration that is as simple as a few seasonal flowers in a vase or as elaborate as a formal arrangement. But the real creativity comes when you add your own flair, perhaps transcending the obvious. Wrap vases in almost anything from brown paper to string to give myriad new looks. Place flowers in vases, ready-tied to give them natural-looking support; if the container is glass, the securing string will add to the decoration. Gild flowers, foliage and berries, and add fruits or vegetables to a floral arrangement. Stand flowers with straight, sturdy stalks, on plates or in shallow bowls, tied to keep them in an upright position.

Fruits and vegetables make wonderful organic table arrangements. As well as the more obvious grapes, pears, figs and pomegranates, use pumpkins and marrows (squashes),perhaps decoratively carved and internally lit with a night-light. Gilding fruits and vegetables, or tying them up with string or raffia, adds the extra touch to make them different.

A witty reference to silver chain decanter labels can be made with a necklace. There is something sensuous about this one, made of chandelier crystals and feathers.

Evocative of American Indian dress, a leather thong bound round and round natural linen, then trimmed with a few game feathers, looks fabulous.

Wood Embellishment

by on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 21:17 under Do it Yourself.

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Even the most minimal of design schemes includes a piece of wooden furniture. The variety of design possibilities and the practicality and indispensability of chairs, tables and doors mean that spending time, money and energy on them is very worthwhile. Junk-shop finds, sometimes bought for next to nothing, can become individual masterpieces of your own devising, giving your home a wonderful sense of personality and your own style.

Paint effects

A lick of paint is the quickest way to transform a piece of wooden furniture from a derelict shell to an object of baroque opulence or nonchalant charm. While painting, you can opt either for a decorative pattern or for a complete, all-over paint effect such as marbling. Sometimes, as in the case of the garden chair, rather than making something that is already old look as good as new, you want a new piece to have a more weathered appearance. There is a particular charm in garden furniture that looks as though it has stood in its place for many years.

Using a dustcover as a throw is a simple and effective way of giving a new lease on life to an old chair. The large buttons are a neat finishing touch.

Modern technology means that the colour range available today is virtually unlimited, so painting allows you unrivalled opportunities for playing with colour. When selecting your colours, remember that complementary colours (red and green, violet and yellow) used together have tremendous impact. For the most subtle effects, use different shades of the same colour. If new to painting, you can buy kits for different paint techniques from good paint or craft shops.

Fabric effects for chairs

There is generally a distinction drawn between fabrics that are intended for upholstery and those that are destined for the world of high fashion and the couture house. However, there is no reason why you can’t use fabrics for something different from their original purpose, and there are many fashion fabrics that will give a magical richness to any upholstery. For example, stunning effect can he created by using velvet instead of a dust cover for a buttoned chair. Wrap a chair in a large velvet tablecloth and then add buttons in the same or a contrasting colour. You can fold scraps of fabric over self-covering buttons and attach them to the back. With this in mind, always keep your eyes peeled for large pieces of material, such as old curtains that are no longer being used for their original purpose, because they can always be used as a chair throw. Second-hand shops are good hunting grounds for bargains and ideas.

To keep things simple, avoid using fussy buttonholes or zips on your covers, tic fastenings can look far more stylish as well as being extremely practical. Glue guns and staple guns are invaluable, as they give quick results. If you are at all nervous about sewing or do not have a sewing machine, take full advantage of both these and the many non-fraying fabrics available that do not need hemming.

Few things areas immediately effective as gold, and these gold tassels add a touch of luxury to everyday chairs. This table has been decorated with a stamped Egyptian motif, transforming it from the ordinary to something quite fun and individual.

Instant embellishments

Great effects can often be achieved by simple techniques. It’s worth attempting an easy, very fun look on a spare piece of furniture, which can then be a lasting centrepiece in a dull corner of the hall, cloakroom or bathroom. Here are some ideas, though don’t be afraid to experiment:

• Colourwash the doors of kitchen units and stamp a simple floral pattern around the edges.

• Stamp classic Egyptian figures around a freshly antiqued table top.

• Tassels are available in a wide range of colours, sizes and materials, from bright pink plastic and simple muslin to luxurious-looking soft silken yarns. On a wooden chair, hang them from the hack struts, or for a soft armchair, sew them on to the front of the arms.

• Matching trimmings and braids are a quick and simple way of drawing attention away from worn patches in chairs and for covering blemishes.

• Go to craft stores and garden centres for more unusual materials to fire your imagination: rope, garden twine, raffia, even chains and electrician’s wire could all he used.

• Use water-gilding techniques to add gold and silver to furniture.

• Glue flat pearly buttons in a straight line up the back struts and around the seat edge. This looks particularly effective on a dark wooden chair.

STARFISH BATHROOM CHAIR

1. Sand or strip the chair, then apply a coat of white emulsion (latex). Mix a thin wash of about five parts water to one part yellow-ochre emulsion. Use a dry brush to drag a little glaze at a time in the direction of the grain. Keep drying the brush as you work, to ensure you do not apply too much glaze.

2. Spread some light grey paint on to a plate and run a roller through it until it is evenly coated. Ink the starfish stamp and print around the edge of the chair seat so that the design overlaps on to the sides.

3. Fill in the seat area with starfish stamps, rotating the stamp to a different angle after each print. Space the stamps quite close together to make a dense pattern. Leave to dry before applying a coat of varnish to protect the surface.

PAINTED DRESSER

1. Apply a coat of shellac to seal the hardwood. When dry, paint the dresser dusky blue emulsion (latex), following the direction of the grain. Allow to dry.

2. If desired, rub candle wax along the edges of the dresser before painting with a second colour. The wax will prevent this coat from adhering completely, and will create a distressed effect. Add the second colour, if using.

3. Paint the hacking hoards cream, again following the direction of the grain. When dried, use medium-grade sandpaper and wire (steel) wool to rub down to bare wood along the edges, to simulate wear and tear. Finally, apply a coat of antique pine varnish to the whole dresser to protect the surface.

GRAINED DOOR

1. Sand the door and then paint with a coat of blue emulsion (latex). Leave to dry. Mix tour parts blue emulsion to one part wall tiller. Paint on to the door, working on one small section at a time. While still wet, comb in lines using a rubber comb and following the grain. Leave to dry.

2. Paint the door with a thin coat of lime green emulsion, applying in the same direction as the combing. Leave to dry and then sand, revealing lines of blue paint beneath the lime green coat. Seal with two coats of acrylic varnish to protect the surface.

CRACKLE GLAZED DECOUPAGE TRAY

1. Prepare a large wooden tray by painting it with corn yellow emulsion (latex). When dry, gently rub the surface with fine-grade sandpaper.

2. Carefully cut out your paper shapes. Turn them over and paste the hacks with wallpaper paste, right up to all the edges and then glue them in position on the tray. Use a soft cloth to smooth out any bubbles and leave to dry overnight.

3. Apply a sparing coat of clear satin varnish to the whole surface of the tray. When dry, rub lightly with fine-grade sandpaper and repeat this process as many times as possible.

4. For the crackle glaze, first apply the base varnish on to the tray. Leave to dry (about 20 minutes). Then apply an even coat of the crackle glaze and again leave to dry for 20 minutes. Rub a small amount of artist’s oil paint into the cracks, using cotton cloth. Raw umber was used here, which gives a naturally aged effect, but any colour can be used.

5. When the cracks have been coloured, gently rub the excess paint from the surface, using a soft cloth. Finally, give the tray at least two inure coats of clear satin varnish, though more are desirable as these will give it a better finish.

A good tray will be strong enough to carry mugs and plates, and handsome enough to hang up as a decoration when not in use. This one has been decoupaged with a selection of old engraving tools, but you could follow the method using any design you choose

Vertigo

by on Monday, November 24, 2014 20:40 under Health.

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What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a fairly common symptom, and means a subjective sensation of rotary movement, either to the person or of the environment. Often there is inability of the upright body to remain so, and there may be a falling to one side. Sometimes the patient may fall to the floor. but the subjective sensation is that the floor has come up and hit the patient. Disorientation occurs.

Vertigo comes from a word meaning a turning, and the sense of rotation that takes place is an apt description of symptoms. The so-called eighth cranial nerve (the auditory nerve) has two parts. One, the auditory component, is concerned with the appreciation of sound. The other, called the vestibular part, supplies the balance mechanism located within the inner part of the ear.

Often infections of the labyrinths (commonly in association with an upper respiratory tract viral infection – often called URTI) may adversely affect the vestibular nerve and mechanism. So an acute labyrinthitis may occur.

Vertigo Symptoms

Intense vertigo, usually with a marked tinnitus (ringing sensation in the ears), a staggering gait, and possibly irregular eye movements may occur.

Vertigo Treatment

Bed rest for a few days is essential, for it may be impossible to carry on normal activities in the upright position. It is worth treating any intercurrent infection (such as an URTI). Antibiotics are usually useless, for this is often viral in nature, and antibiotics will not kill viruses.

Treatment is entirely symptomatic. A darkened room with peace and quiet is often preferable. Sedation or the use of tranquillisers may he ordered by the doctor. Prochlorperazine, either in tablet form (Stemetil) or injection, may assist in alleviating the dizziness. But such treatment must be ordered by the physician. As the URTI or intercurrent infection subsides, the symptoms of the labyrinthitis usually decline and phase out with no aftermath. Any persisting form, of course, needs adequate medical investigation.