April, 2016

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Garden Gnome Statutes Bringing A Bit Of Luck And Whimsy To Your Outdoor Decor

The history of Garden Gnomes Statues has it’s start in folklore and fantasy. Long before the first gnome appeared in that first English Garden in the 1800s these little people were the subject of various stories that were told and retold.

It seems that according to legend gnomes lived underground where they would protect various buried treasures. Of course they sometimes did appear above ground and having a gnome visit your property was thought to be extremely good luck. So, as the story goes a landowner in England decided to purchase a statue of a gnome and put it in his garden for good luck. This first charming little fellow struck a cord with other property owners and soon these little people were popping up all over. Many of these original garden gnome statues were handmade of clay and so each had their own distinct personality which made them all the more appealing to those who sought the luck of these little fellows.

While the gnomes in the stories were never described in any great detail, the garden gnome took on a distinct look. The male gnomes all had white beards, red hats, and simple clothing. The women were dressed pretty much the same, with long hair and they originally looked very much like a witch.

Then along came the 1960s and the manufacturing of cheap plastics which resulted in the mass production of rather bright colored and garish looking garden gnomes. For awhile, these cheap imitations were popular, but they soon died out as those who owned original gnomes found these cheaply made plastic creatures something of an affront to the statutes of old.

However, with the advancement of technology and new resins hitting the market, the manufacturing of garden gnomes once again began to take on a more polished and appealing look. However, these newer garden gnome statues do not simply sit or stand around in the garden but, seem to be quite active. While some hold watering cans or nap among the tomatoes or beans, others moon passerby or even take a bath in the middle of the yard.

While those who are set in their ways still turn up their noses at these newer more brightly colored little people and their various activities, a new generation of gnome lovers find these gentle little visitors a complete delight and a way to add a little color, personality, luck and whimsy to their yard and garden.

With the resurgence of their popularity these little fellows are popping up in all sorts of interesting places. You might find one sleeping in a hammock, peeking from behind a tree or simply sitting on a rock reading the latest adventure or fairy tale. Wherever you find them and whatever they may be doing these little garden gnomes are sure to bring a delightful smile to your face and a lot of charm to outdoor decor. And who knows, they just might bring you a bit of luck as well.

Necessary Points To consider When Choosing An Outdoor Oven.

This summers must have garden accessories are sure to be outdoor ovens and wood burning pizza ovens. It is amazing that no matter how hard we try this taste which dates far back, just cannot be re-created. With time people have forgotten what it takes to cook properly with a outdoor oven or wood burning stove and what they should or could expect from it. We have all too accustomed to the convenience of microwaves and fan assisted ovens and neglect these ancient but delicious cooking methods.

although pre-heating times may be more than that of a conventional oven, once at temperature these outdoor ovens can often deliver piping hot food just as quick as their modern counterparts. Rather than waiting for hours for your modern oven to cook them. The extreme temperatures that wood burning pizza ovens and outdoor ovens can reach is largely the reason for this. Of course cooking times will and do depend heavily on how efficient the design of the outdoor oven or wood burning pizza oven is. There are various designs which are available to you from various suppliers. Temperatures in excess of 600 degrees can be reached with many wood burning pizza ovens and outdoor ovens.

While building a DIY outdoor oven or wood burning pizza oven is a possibility it is not advised to do this due to the extreme temperatures that they will have to withstand. Instead, make sure you buy your outdoor oven or wood burning pizza oven from a reputable supplier, this will ensure that your friends and family are safe.

If ever decide to move, your wood burning pizza oven or outdoor oven could act as a very useful selling point, although it is not likely to increase your property value. However, not everyone shares this view, some may view an outdoor oven as an inconvenience or a waste of space. Of course if you get the same use as most people do from their outdoor oven or wood burning pizza oven, then the investment in time and money will repay itself many times over in both enjoyment and the great taste of foods that have been cooked in the great outdoors.

Choosing the right wood burning pizza oven or outdoor oven is not the only choice you have to make which of course a specialist outdoor oven supplier will help you with but selecting the right place to site your new outdoor oven or wood burning pizza oven is for safety reasons critical. I must finish by reiterating the safety of all as wood burning pizza ovens and outdoor ovens can produce temperatures we could not even start to comprehend.

How To Transform Your Kitchen Into A Bright Modular Kitchen Design

Modular kitchen is increasingly becoming popular and has become a vital part of the modern kitchen design. Kitchen is undeniably the heart of the house where you cook, eat, chat, greet your morning and end your evening. With recent trends in designing it is outgrowing the dull and dreary image linked with only store and oven. Modern kitchen designs are conceived and applied to transform your kitchen into a bright, lively and spacious place where you would love to cook and spend time as well. It also ensures that the kitchen facilitates your working and storing besides being easy to maintain and clean. An unorganized and untidy kitchen could spoil the picture of even the most tastefully done house.

Modular kitchen comprises of modules and sections of cabinets, shelves, work top and other hardware allowing ample storing space. It also includes an array of fixtures like dish washer, chimney and various other kitchen appliances to enhance efficiency and comfort. It is termed as modular because it consists of various modules assembled together to offer maximum manageability and accessibility to your kitchen items. Modern kitchen designs are conceived keeping in consideration all the aspects from storage to appliances and washing space to looks, everything is well thought of and planned. Cabinets are the primary storage space in a modular kitchen and their designs are selected to optimize the available space and sort out the storage of kitchen items as per their use and sizes. Fridge, microwave, cooking range food processor etc are various appliances which are now found in nearly every kitchen.

Modern kitchen designs allocate specific places for each gadget, sorting out power switches, electric wiring and space issues .The big appliances like fridge, microwave and dishwasher require ample space where as gadgets like mixers and gas burner ought to be easily accessible. Kitchen work tops are also a crucial part of kitchen and are chosen on the basis of sturdiness as well as the texture and color blending well with the kitchen theme.

The current trend favors granite tops amidst the vast array of acrylic counter tops, designed stones, wooden counter tops with laminations and stainless steel tops. Where the kitchen counter tops are small an island can be introduced to complement the top, at the same time enhancing the storage area. Flooring, whether ceramic tiles or wooden with laminates also play an integral part in the entire set up of the kitchen. Tiles are also employed in the back lash highlighting the entire kitchen. The color of the tiles or the laminates is thus selected to further enrich the chosen theme and enliven a sense of unity.

Modular kitchen besides organizing and updating also facilitate by its unique capacity of being taken apart and easy re assembling in an instance of relocation. The modules could also be done one at a time, bliss for the budget conscious people.

Rowing Machine Benefits – 3 Reasons Why an Indoor Rower Can Help You Get Fit

A rowing machine is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a great, total body workout without leaving home. Forget about expensive memberships, long lines to use machines, and searching for parking at the local health club. A good rowing machine can meet all of your primary fitness needs.

Although it common to look primarily at treadmills and elliptical trainers when shopping for home exercise equipment, a good indoor rower might be a better choice for you. Here are three key reasons why you should consider buying one of these machines.

1) Low impact

The rower provides smooth, low-impact exercise that will be easy on your joints. For this reason, these machines are often recommended for prenatal exercise. They offer an excellent way to improve your overall fitness level without the risk of injury.

Key to using a rower safely is proper form. Initiate the movement from your legs, not your lower back. Don’t fully straighten your knees, and pull the handle in a fluid stroke.

Some of the best rowers come prepackaged with instructional videos and manuals, demonstrating correct form and technique. Look for this when you shop.

2) Total body workout

The act of rowing involves several major muscle groups, including your legs, buttocks, arms, and back. It’s as invigorating as any workout that you could complete in a regular gym with multiple pieces of equipment.

Rowers use different resistance methods, each of which stimulates your muscles in a different manner. The four resistance types are piston, air, magnetic, and water.

Air and water rowers provide the most realistic rowing experience and would be a good choice for serious workouts. If you’re just getting started with rowing, look into a piston-driven machine. Piston models still deliver a complete workout and tend to be less expensive, and are easily stored under a bed or in a closet.

3) Cardio

Ever watched the rowing competitions during the Olympics? If so, you’ve seen how hard those guys breathe! A rowing machine provides outstanding cardiovascular exercis; it’ll get your blood pumping and condition your heart and lungs in a way that few other pieces of exercise equipment can match.

Any good machine includes a console display that tells you calories burned, time, distance, and your heart rate. You’ll know precisely how hard you worked during your exercise session.

Kettler, Concept 2, Tunturi, Stamina, and LifeCore manufacture some of the best rowing machines on the market. You can find several quality rowers for under $500, less than the cost of an annual gym membership.

Indoor Bungee Jumping Sheffield

Believe it or not there is actually a place in the UK where you can experience the thrill of bungee jumping indoors.

Imagine climbing up a flight of metal stairs to 150 feet and then jumping straight off into the darkness with flashing lights both sides and smoke coming from a whole. This is the incredible experience of indoor bungee jumping in the Magna centre in Sheffield.

Of course all this takes place after the all-important safety briefing which covers all aspects of the jump youre about to complete.

If you are under 16 years old you will need to have your parent or guardians permission and the minimum age for the bungee jump is 14.

Also its worth bearing in mind that it is not recommended you bungee jump if you suffer from high blood pressure, heart conditions, epilepsy, asthma or of course if you are pregnant.

Also if youve ever had any damage to your back neck legs or even eyes you will need to get clearance from a doctor in order to jump.

You should allow around two hours for the whole bungee jumping experience and try to make sure that you arrive at the centre around half an hour before your allotted time.

Of course the great thing with indoor bungee jumping, is that it is completely unaffected by the weather so you will be able to jump whether the sun is shining or not.

Indoor Bungee jumping is it not for the fainthearted, but like anything that is very scary to do, the sense of achievement afterwards will be the reward.

If anything it could be argued that indoor bungee jumping is more frightening than outdoor jumping as you cannot see the floor and youre jumping into darkness.

You will have to climb 143 steps to the top of the jump and then you will be issued with a harness by a member of staff who will make sure you are safe and ready to jump. Then comes the big moment where you are expected to throw yourself off into the abyss with music blaring and lights flashing while falling out of around 100 mph.

At the time of writing, the only place you can do the indoor bungee experience in the UK is at Sheffield. If you are travelling a great distance to arrive at the centre, you should make sure that you believe in plenty of time to make your allotted time slot.

Bungee jumping indoors will no doubt be one of the most memorable things you ever do and your friends wont believe it when you show them the photos after the events that are available to purchase on-site.

Indoor Water Fountains, Negative Ions, And You

Interior water features are quickly increasing in popularity in North America. Today, an impressive array of beautiful models of indoor water fountains are showing up in homes throughout the country. However, appearances are not the sole reason for the recent interior fountain popularity. Indoor fountains are also gaining interest for their mood-changing qualities. Interior fountains as a treatment for depression? It might not be as far fetched as it sounds.

Indoor fountains give off airborne particles called negative ions. As you might recall from high school chemistry class, a negative ion is a molecule that has dropped one or more electrons, and consequently has a negative charge. For water fountains the negative ions are airborne water molecules created by the turbulence in an indoor fountain. The negative ions can have some very positive effects. Negative ions, due to their electrical charge, adhere to harmful particles in the environment, eliminating air-borne pollutants such as dust and smoke particles. Furthermore many scientists now believe that negative ions, like those generated by an indoor water fountain, may also have a strong effect on mood.

A scientific study at Columbia University confirmed that inhaling negative ions, like those created by indoor fountains, can increase the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter tied to feelings. Individuals with clinical depression produce abnormally very low levels of serotonin. Because of this, most antidepressant medications counteract the disorder by increasing serotonin levels.

You can easily imagine serotonin as “joy juice”; the more you have, the happier you are. Additional research is necessary, but ion therapy may provide an alternate therapy for depression, by raising serotonin levels without the hazardous side effects associated with most anti-depressant prescription drugs.

As with all preliminary research findings, this one has its limitations. It is unclear what size of an indoor fountain would be required to yield useful levels of negative ions. The research is still in its early stages. What is clear, nonetheless, is that no indoor water feature will hurt. Even a small indoor water feature, with its soothing white noise, is sure to brighten up your surroundings… and perhaps your disposition as well.

Weekend Warriors Top 5 Home Improvement Projects

If youre like most of us you love to watch those home improvement shows on TV, they make it look so easy to change the appearance of your home by doing some simple home improvements. And if youre like most of us and have to work Monday thru Friday any home improvement projects have to be done on the weekend. So for all you weekend warriors here are my top 5 weekend projects:

Bathroom or Kitchen facelift- Im not talking about a major remodel here just a simple facelift can totally change the look of a kitchen or bathroom. Refinishing the kitchen cabinets, new paint and wallpaper, replacing a toilet, or maybe even replacing that old bathroom or kitchen facet can greatly improve and update the look of any home.

Install new lighting- Installing new lighting can not only brighten your home but give a room a totally different look. Whether installing a light kit on a ceiling fan or replacing that old outdated fluorescent light in the kitchen with some of the new kitchen lighting on the market, installing new lighting is a weekend project thats relatively easy and comes with a big return.

Install tile- whether a kitchen floor or backsplash or new tile in the bathroom, installing ceramic tile is easier than you think and is a great weekend project for weekend warriors. Most home improvement stores have everything you need for professional looking results, one tip: Be sure to rent a tile saw, it will save you a lot of time and is well worth the cost.

Changing the color of a room- Color is in! You will be surprised how a splash of color can totally change the look of any room. Many homes have either white or off-white walls but many homeowners have found adding color to a room can brighten and warm up a room and is a great weekend home improvement project for anyone. As with any painting project the time you spend in preparing before actually painting will speak volumes as to the results.

Staining Garage Floor or Patio- This is a great project for weekend warriors. Perhaps you have a garage with oil spots, old paint, and other unidentifiable stains on the floor. Staining your garage floor can bring new life to any garage and look great! Some of the new epoxy products on the market offer numerous color choices and colored flakes that you wont find in most home improvement superstores and will give your garage a unique and customized look.

Being a weekend warrior when it comes to home improvement projects can be fun and rewarding. Be sure to do your research about the best products and techniques before starting any home improvement project, but dont be scared to try something you have never done before. There is an abundance of information and how-to books on just about any project you decide to tackle, so go ahead and conquer that weekend project.

Spanish Colonial Revival Style Architecture

Spanish revival architecture is hugely popular in California, and increasingly across the nation. The mission revival style and colonial revival styles grew in popularity at the beginning of the 20th century, but people today still chose to emulate the Spanish style when building their homes and public establishments. Why do people continue to use this Spanish style? I argue that the Spanish colonial style represents the very beginnings of the United States on the west coast, and this time in the US history continues to spark peoples imaginations. The aesthetic elements are iconic, and people still commission architects to create the homes of their dreams in this style.

The Spanish Colonial Revival style was created in the United States in the 20th century, and it was sparked after the opening of the Panama Canal. The novel Ramona also had a great influence on the popularity of this architectural style. The early Spanish colonies of North and South America had their particular style of architecture brought from the homeland, and this style was them updated to accommodate the new century in the US. Between 1915 and 1931 this style was all the rage, and movie stars in Hollywood clamored to get their Hollywood hills homes built in this style. Mostly the single-level detached home saw this style. On a personal note, my own grandmother has one of these homes in California, and its pink!

The Spanish Colonial Revival style is very similar to the Spanish Mission Revival style, but with a few key differences. Its also similar to the pueblo styles of the west and southwest, and influenced as well by the arts and crafts movement that was the foundation of these architectural styles. The iconic use of smooth plaster, stucco walls, and chimney finishes, clay tile roofs, terra cotta and concrete ornaments is still a highly noticeable, recognizable style. Other elements include porches and balconies, and Roman arcades and fountains. Youll also see canvas awnings. The most important Spanish Revival architect in California was George Washington Smith who practiced during 1920s and 1930s. Perhaps his most famous house is the Steedman House in Montecito, CA, now a museum called the Casa del Herrero.

But there are other architects who took this Spanish style across the globe. Take for example a lovely Spanish Revival building in St. Louis, by the architect T.P. Barnett, son of George I. Barnett; another famous architect in St. Louis. The T.P. Barnett building is particularly interesting because it also has Art Deco influences, making it one of the most unique buildings in the Grand Center region of St. Louis. Certainly the next time youre in St. Louis, you need to visit this Spanish Revival building on Washington Avenue.

How To Decorate Your Garden

If you want to start a flower garden, you should know that with a few basic ideas and a lot of imagination you can have your outdoor space decorated with wonderfully displayed flowers. A garden is the ideal place to be, when you come back home from work and you want to relax and enjoy the view your corner filled with cheerful colors and greenery can offer you. Gardening can be a great hobby, especially if you adore flowers and you want to have various types of them planted into your garden. Anyway, it is very important to consider the type of soil you have in your garden. It might be possible for the flowers you want to plant in your garden to need some fertilizer, so make sure to care for your flowers accordingly.
If you want to know how to decorate your garden with wonderfully displayed flowers and even certain garden furniture, in order to make your space functional, then stick close and read on the tips we provide in the following lines.

The first thing you need to know is that, when it comes to the flowers you can plant in your garden, you have endless options. You can choose among both annuals and perennials for the species of plants you like the most.

The overall arrangement of flowers is very important in learning how to decorate your garden and it is recommended to place the plants that grow fast and tall in the back of your garden. Keep the small plants in front, in order to ensure a perfect view over the blooms all the flowers provide when they mature. If you want, you can divide your garden by tracing garden paths in the middle. Moreover, you can allow some space in the front of your garden, in order to place various garden decorative items like garden ponds, benches or stone statues.

Once you have decided on what flower arrangement to set in your garden, you should also think of the garden furniture that can add to the functionality of your outdoor space. The Internet abounds in offers and you can easily find the type of outdoor furniture you want, be it wooden or metal furniture. A good tip in how to decorate your garden would be to pick portable tables, chairs or benches which can come in handy, when wanting to change their place in your garden. Another good idea would be to grow climbing roses on lateral fences, which will give your garden a more appealing aspect.

Using The Feng Shui Wood Element In Home Decor

Here are some key items of this element: the color green, east or south-east direction, the symbol of a dragon, and more Yin than Yan energy. The symbols that depict it include flowers, trees, wooden items, rectangular furniture, straw crafts, paper crafts, fabric crafts, and paintings depicting a forest.

Its easy to add this element to your home using special feng shui figurines made of wood. Here are some good examples of such figures, and an explanation of their properties.

Elephant: The elephant figurine will help to make you more powerful and successful. Elephant became the symbol of a just and respected leader in China. The Elephant will help you acquire the necessary qualities to achieve recognition and high status. Place the statuette in your office or near your workplace at home.

Toad: A toad with coins in its hands is a talisman that helps to attract money. You need to place the toad near the entrance door, diagonally. Dont set it too high or too low. A money toad should look at the front door, welcoming wealth into your home. A money toad holds Chinese coins that symbolize prosperity.

Dragon: The dragon will help improve the energy of your home and help you succeed. The Dragon will activate the Yang energy that’s needed for success in new endeavors. The Dragon is one of the 4 protector animals, each of which corresponds to one of the four cardinal points. A dragon guards the eastern direction, so the statue is best put in the eastern sector of your house. However, the dragon embodiment of the feng shui wood element can be placed anywhere.

Dragon on a pearl: The dragon is a symbol of the Yang energy. In China, the dragon also symbolizes rain, which nourishes the earth and makes it fertile. The Dragon brings prosperity. The dragon that sits on the celestial pearl can help to make wishes come true. This figurine can be placed anywhere in your home or office.

Double happiness: The hieroglyph Double Happiness helps to harmonize relationships and strengthen love. In China, it’s a tradition to present this hieroglyph as a wedding gift, so that the newlyweds union remains strong. The hieroglyph is best hung in the south-west part of the bedroom, to attract and maintain love.

The mystic knot: The mystic knot is one of eight characters that appeared on the soles of the Buddha (according to legends). This sign is identified with the endless love, so beautiful that it has no beginning or end. It’s a good idea to hang this sign in the bedroom, to help prevent separations in your relationship.

These figurines are typically carved from a single piece of mahogany tree, Abash tree, and many others. They can become a perfect decoration for your home and help you balance your life using the feng shui wood element.