Author Archive

Otic Barotrauma

by on Sunday, January 18, 2015 15:57 under Health.

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What is Otic Barotrauma?

This fancy name merely indicates the discomfort that can occur in the ear when situations creating pressure differentials between the middle ear and the exterior take place. In today’s jet era any people travel by air, and during transit, the problem is most likely to arise. It is far more likely if the person is suffering from a mild head cold, or any infection that may block the patency (openness) of the Eustachian canal. This canal maintains air pressures within the middle ear equal to that on the outside, and this is vital to continued comfort. Other conditions where a similar problems can occur include tunneling, and scuba diving in deep water.

Otic Barotrauma Symptoms

Often in a person who has a cold or upper respiratory tract infection there is sudden onset of pain in the ear(s) as the plane descends. The pain may become extremely acute and may even be excruciating. Examined soon after, the drum may he very red and infected, and on occasion bleeding may result. Fluid may accumulate and deafness occurs.

Otic Barotrauma Treatment

Being sensible and avoiding flying whenever possible if a head infection is present will avert trouble. If this cannot be avoided, or if it is not noticed that there is a mild infection, or if the condition occurs during flight, using this simple maneuver may give prompt relief. This involves holding the nose between the forefinger and thumb, and then trying to blow into the nose.
This may help open the canal, and a “click” to occur, so allowing the pressures to equal. It should be repeated many times over. Sucking sweets may also help by opening the partially blocked canal. If unsuccessful, medical attention may be necessary. The middle ear must be aerated, and this will probably be done by the ENT doctor through Eustachian catheterisation or by paracentesis under antibiotic cover.

Undescended Testes

by on Friday, January 16, 2015 14:45 under Health.

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Undescended Testes happens fairly frequently. Normally the testes descend from the body to the scrotum shortly before birth. But occasionally they seem to get lost. They may partially descend, then return to the body. This may keep on occurring. Alternatively, the testes may have developed in an abnormal manner, and are situated in some different place. This is termed an ectopic testis.

The testes belong in the scrotum from birth onwards. If they remain in the body, as age progresses, the sperm-producing capacity is adversely affected and infertility may take place in later life.

The other may be very hazardous. Testes remaining in the body have a high risk of turning cancerous. What’s more, it may be a very serious, rapidly growing and spreading type.

Undescended Testes Treatment

If a parent notices the testes are missing or come and go, referral to the doctor is essential, and the sooner the better.

What treatment is carried out? This will vary with the patient and the exact diagnosis. Some doctors prefer to give hormonal treatment a trial run first. They administer the hormone chorionic gonadotrophin, and this is occasionally successful in bringing the testes into the scrotum.

What if this fails?

And fail it often does. Then a surgical approach is taken. This is invariably successful. The testes are found and anchored securely into the scrotum. The operation is quite straightforward; the patient rapidly recovers, and usually the beneficial effect is lifelong. It is a highly successful procedure. But as you said earlier, the sooner a parent takes action, the better. Never neglect any disorder in this region. It’s often quite obvious, and a check is very simple.

Von Willebrand’s Syndrome

by on Thursday, January 8, 2015 11:48 under Health.

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This is also an inherited disorder, and is practically identical to haemophilia. It occurs about once in 150,000 persons. Bleeding occurs from mucosal surfaces, particularly the nose and gastrointestinal tract. Excessive menstrual bleeding is also common. Pregnancy may be hazardous. The chief difference is that after infusion with Factor VIII, the level rapidly rises, and is maintained at the high level for 24 – 36 hours.

Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasis. This is another rare inherited disorder. Telangiectases (prominent capillary blood vessels) occur in the nasal lining, on the tongue, lips, face and the alimentary system. They increase in size with time. Although they are seldom serious in youth, with time they may cause serious blood loss and anaemia.

Continuous nose bleeding may become a problem in later years, necessitating the continual use of iron therapy. There is no cure. Nasal lesions must not be cauterised (a common treatment for recurring nosebleed in normal patients). Therapy is similar to that of haemophilia. Sometimes female hormone is given, as this may produce a protective layer over the lesions.

How to Make a Stencil

by on Thursday, January 1, 2015 21:58 under Do it Yourself.

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A variety of materials can he used for stencilling, from special stencilling paints and sticks to acrylics and latex. Each has its own properties and will create different effects.

Acrylic stencil paint: acrylic stencil paint is quick-drying, reducing the possibility of the paint running and seeping behind the stencil. Acrylic stencil paints are available in a wide range of colours, and can be mixed for more subtle shades.

Acrylic varnish: this is useful for sealing finished projects.

Emulsion (latex) paint: ordinary household vinyl emulsion can also be used for stencilling. It is best to avoid the cheaper varieties, as these contain a lot of water and will seep through the stencil.

Fabric paint: this is used in the same way as acrylic stencil paint, and comes in an equally wide range of colours. Set with an iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it will withstand washing and everyday use. As with ordinary stencil paint, do not overload the brush with colour, as it will seep into the fabric. Always back the fabric you are stencilling with scrap paper or newspaper to prevent the paint from marking the work surface.

Gold leaf and gold size: these can be used to great effect. The actual design is stencilled with gold size. The size is then left to become tacky, and the gold leaf is rubbed over the design.

Metallic creams: these are available in many different metallic finishes, from gold to copper, bronze and silver. Apply as highlights on a painted base, or use for the entire design. Creams can be applied with cloths or your fingertip.

Oil-based stencil sticks and creams: the sticks can be used in the same way as a wax crayon, while the creams can be applied with a brush or your fingertip. With either one, there is no danger of overloading the colour, and they won’t run. The disadvantage is their long drying time (overnight in some cases); also, the colours can become muddy when mixed. Sticks and creams are also available for fabrics.


Stencilling does not require a great deal of special equipment; many of the items used are commonly found in most households. A few tools, however, will make the job easier.

Brushes: it is worth investing in a set of good stencil brushes. The ends of the brushes should be flat and the bristles firm, to let you control the application of paint. A medium-size brush (4 cm/11/2 in diameter) is a useful, all-purpose size, but you may want to buy one size smaller and one size larger as well. You will need a selection of household paintbrushes for applying large areas of background colour, and small artist’s paintbrushes for adding fine details.

Craft knife: use for cutting out stencils from cardboard.

Cutting mat: this provides a firm surface to cut into and will help prevent the craft knife from slipping.

Masking tape: as the stencil may need to be repositioned, it is advisable to hold it in place with masking tape, which can be removed fairly easily from most surfaces.

Paint-mixing container: this may be necessary for mixing paints and washes.

Pencils: keep a selection of soft and hard artist’s pencils to transfer the stencil design on to cardboard. Use an ordinary pencil to mark on your object the positions of the stencils before applying.

Stencil card (cardboard): the materialised to make the stencil is a matter of preference. Speciality stencil card is available waxed from specialist art stores, which means that it will last longer, but ordinary cardboard or heavy paper can also be used. It is worth purchasing a sheet of clear acetate if you wish to keep your stencil design, to re-use time and again.

Tape measure and rulers: some patterns may require accuracy. Measuring and planning the positions of your stencils before you begin will aid the result.

Tracing paper: use to trace and transfer your stencil design on to stencil card

Stencilling is not difficult to master, and you can create some wonderful 3-dimensional designs but it is worth practising first to get used to handling


1. To transfer a template on to a piece of stencil card (cardboard), place some tracing paper over the design, and draw over it with a hard pencil.

2. Turn over the tracing paper and, on the back of the design; rub over the lines you have drawn with a soft pencil. Turn the tracing paper back to the right side and place on top of a sheet of stencil card. Draw over the original lines with a hard pencil.


1. Block stencilling: Use for filling in large areas in a single, solid colour. As in all stencilling, remember not to apply the paint too heavily – less is more. Always blot the paint on to a piece of cardboard before you begin.

2. Block stencilling with second colours tippled: When applying two colours, always apply the lighter shade first, then the darker. Do not cover the entire surface with the first colour; leave a gap for the second shade, then blend later. Use a separate, clean brush for each colour.

3. Dry-brushing, rotating from edge: Using big circular strokes, work from the outside of the whole stencil, moving inward. This should leave you with more paint on the outside, as there will be lesson your brush as you move inward.

4. Two-colour blocking: When you apply the first colour, do not fully block out the petals; instead, outline them with the first colour and leave the centres bare. Use the second colour to fill. Take care not to apply your paint too heavily.

5 Stippling: This method uses more paint and less pressure than rotating or flicking. Taking a reasonable amount of paint on the bristles of your brush, simply place it down lightly. This gives a rougher look. Do not go over it too many times, as this spoils the effect.

6 Dry-brush stippling: This is similar to stippling, except that it is essential to dab most of the paint off the bristles before you start. This gives a softer effect.

7. Rotating and shading: Using a very dry brush with a tiny amount of paint, place your brush on one side of the stencil and rotate the brush in circles. Repeat, using a slightly darker colour on the edges for soft shading.

8. Flicking: For the flicking effect on the leaves, use slightly more paint on the brush. Working from the centre, flick the paint outward once or twice. Be careful not to overdo.

9. Flicking upwards: Using a reasonable amount of paint (not too wet or too dry) on your brush, flick upwards only. This creates a line at the top of the petals and leaves.

10. Dry-brushing and rotating: Apply a tiny amount of paint by rotating the bristles from the centre and from the outside tips, to give more paint in these areas. Work along the line, using less pressure than on the centre and the tips. This gives a soft shade in between.

11. Brushing up and down: Using slightly more paint on your brush than you would for rotating, brush up and down only, taking care to keep your lines vertical

How to Use Fresh Ingredients

by on Friday, December 26, 2014 20:09 under Do it Yourself, Featured.

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Fresh ingredients are essential to a healthy, balanced diet, and we are now encouraged to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Vitamin C is found almost exclusively in fruit and vegetables and because it cannot be stored by the body, levels need to be topped up continually.

Fruit and vegetables are also extremely rich in fiber, particularly when eaten with the skin in tact. High-protein foods such as meat, game, poultry and eggs contain many other essential nutrients. Use frozen produce when fresh is not available; it is perfectly acceptable from a nutritional point of view.

Fresh ingredients

Fresh Fruit

Fruits are very versatile and can be enjoyed raw or cooked, on their own or as part of a recipe. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C. A piece of fresh fruit makes a quick and easy, nutritious snack at any time of the day. Try topping whole wheat breakfast cereals with some fruit such as raspberries for a tasty and nutritious start to the day.

Fresh Vegetables

Vegetables are nutritious and are valuable sources of vitamins and minerals, some being especially rich in vitamins A, C and E. Vegetables also contain some dietary fiber and those that are particularly good sources include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, fennel, okra, parsnips, spinach, spring greens (collard) and sweet corn. Vegetables are also very versatile and many can be eaten either raw or cooked. Add vegetables to dishes such as soups, stews, casseroles, stir-fries and salads, or simply serve them on their own, raw or lightly cooked and tossed in a little lemon juice.


Potatoes are one of the most commonly eaten vegetables in the world and are valuable in terms of nutrition. They are high in carbohydrate, low in fat and contain some Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Wash old and new potatoes thoroughly and cook them with their skins on, for example baked, boiled and roasted. The flavor will be just as delicious and you will be getting extra fiber.

Potatoes are very versatile and are used in many dishes. Mashed potatoes (with their skins left on, of course) make an ideal topping for pies and bakes. For roast potatoes use a minimum amount of oil, and if you like to make chips, leave the skins on and cut the chips thickly using a knife. With baked and mashed potatoes avoid adding high fat butter, soured cream or cheese and instead use skimmed milk, reduced fat hard cheese and herbs to add flavor.

Fresh Beans and Other Pulses

There are many varieties of fresh beans and pulses available, either fresh or canned, including peas, broad (lava)beans and runner beans, and more unusual ones such as fresh flageolet beans, black-eyed (peas) beans and butter (wax) beans. Fresh corn on the cob and sweet corn are also popular.

All are good sources of dietary fiber and contain other nutrients including vitamins and minerals. Beans and pulses are very versatile and can be used in many dishes including hot and cold salads, stir-fries, casseroles, pasta sauces, soups and curries. Some varieties, such as sugar-snap peas and mangetouts (snow peas) can be eaten either raw or lightly cooked.


Virtually a complete food and extremely versatile, eggs provide protein, iron, zinc and vitamins A, B and E.


Increasingly research points to the great benefits gained from a diet high in fish. All fish is rich in protein, B vitamins and minerals; white fish is very low in fat. Oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna, trout and salmon, also provide vitamins A and D and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are believed to be beneficial in helping to prevent coronary heart disease.


A good source of quality protein, B vitamins and some iron, poultry is also low in fat, particularly if the skin is removed.

Meat and Game

Although the general health advice is to moderate your intake of red meat, thus reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet, red meat is still the best source of readily absorbed iron, zinc and B vitamins. Meat today is much leaner than it used to be, and it fits the profile for a healthy diet if it is cooked with low-fat cooking methods.


Because nutrients in fresh foods, especially valuable vitamins, deteriorate as food ages it is important to always buy the freshest and best quality available. Storing the food correctly at home will also ensure that the minimum of nutrients are lost before they are eaten. Whilst some fruit and vegetables can be kept at room temperature, they will not last for long in a hot kitchen and should be stored in a cooler environment. Quickly perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy products should be stored in a refrigerator.
A freezer is useful for keeping many fresh foods longer term. You can buy them when they are plentiful and cheap for the freezer, using them when they become out of season or more expensive in the shops. Follow the freezer manufacturer’s instructions for storing and blanch fruit and vegetables as required.

Storing Fresh Fruits

Those fruits that can be kept at room temperature while still unripe include apricots, kiwi fruits, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples and plums. Once ripe, refrigerate and eat within 2-3 days.

Fruits that can be stored at cool room temperature include apples (although they will be crisper if refrigerated), bananas, dates, grapefruit and oranges. Apples can be kept at room temperature for a few days, dates for several weeks, and grapefruit and oranges for up to a week. Unless you intend to eat them on the day of purchase, refrigerate fully ripe and perishable fresh fruits. These include berries, cherries, figs, grapes, lemons, limes, melons, pomegranates and tangerines. They can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Storing Fresh Vegetables

Like fruits, there are some vegetables that can be stored at room temperature. A dark, cool place (about 10°C/50°F) with good ventilation is ideal, however. Suitable vegetables are garlic, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes, swede and pumpkin can be kept for about 2 months. Store tomatoes at room temperature until they are ripe, after that, refrigerate.
Perishable vegetables should be refrigerated. Some, such as peas or sweet corn, should be used quickly, while others like carrots or cabbage, can be kept for a longer period. In most cases, do not wash the vegetable until just before using. Celery, frisee, escarole, spring greens (collard), herbs, lettuce, spinach and watercress should be washed before storage.

Cold Storage

All foods kept in the refrigerator or freezer should be well wrapped or stored in sealed containers. This preserves flavor and moisture, and prevents the flavors and odors of other, stronger foods being transferred. It is essential to keep raw meat and poultry well wrapped as their drippings can transfer bacteria to other foods.

Perishable fresh foods, such as meats, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, cheese and other dairy products, and many fruits and vegetables must be kept refrigerated at a temperature ofI-5°C/35-40°F. For longer storage, many can also be frozen at 18°C/0°F or lower. Cooked leftovers must also be refrigerated or frozen. Use a special thermometer to check temperatures; integral thermostats often give false readings over time. If temperatures are too high, food will spoil rapidly


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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