Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paint guide (link)

This HGTV webpage paint guide includes a paint glossary, prep and brush tips, painting over tile and old laminate bathroom countertops, staining, and painting do's and don'ts: Link: Home Improvement : Tips, tools and tricks: Get the basics on interior painting : Home & Garden Television

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Making the most of a small bathroom (link)

There are some useful tips on this Kohler webpage. Their e-newsletter showed a square toilet and sink that looked even smaller. One thing about a pedestal sink, you just do not have enough storage. If it's in a powder room/half bath, it's not as important though. Link: KOHLER: Planning Tips: Tips for Small Bathrooms: Bathroom: Articles

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Home ideas

There are a lot of fascinating stories and ideas about living in small spaces in the October/November issue of ReadyMade. The 10x10 foot studio sounded small, but I'm not sure it was smaller than the one where "I could open the fridge while on the bed and grab the soap on the kitchen sink while in the shower."

There's also a helpful guide to buying a house and an article about a man making his home from wooden pallets; and among the many home decorating and furnishing ideas is one I would never have thought of--using bubble wrap (with a removable adhesive) on your window for privacy. I've bought frosted and decorative plastic sheets for privacy with light, but this is certainly interesting and cheaper.

I liked the architectural model sculptures, which included skyscrapers, the John Hancock bulding in Chicago, and bridges, plus bridge (the Golden Gate and Brooklyn) bookends. [I love fancy bookends and have quite a variety in my library.] Now I'm going to check out the sconelettes website.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Green building products (link)

This HGTVPro webpage shows a number of current green building products, including solar photovoltaic panels, soy-based foam insulation (no CFC, HCFC's or formaldehyde), glass walls, and a biofuel furnace.

Link: Slideshow : IBS 2009: Green Building Technology :

Thursday, September 24, 2009

House cleaning hints (link)

Here's a webpage full of cleaning info from HGTV's webpage: Organizing : Household Cleaning & Organizing: Tips To Make Your Home Sparkle : Home & Garden Television

Find advice on decluttering, speed cleaning, organization, what cleaning products to use, and making your home sparkle! (I suspect that I'll have to dust it first.)

Breaking a room into areas and deciding where to put everything is a smart first step. You might want to make a list of things to do 'cause it feels so good when you check something off of it. (I keep a list of things to do next to my computer. 'Course it has nothing to do with cleaning, but I understand the concept.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Useful concrete-related products (links)

There's a list of interesting concrete products you can check out (via the HGTVPro e-newsletter), including brick stencil patterns, concrete landscape logs, Ez-Footings, Stain-Crete, Chameleon Pigments & Effects, Decorative Masking Patterns, and Concrete Repair Products. Link: Concrete Contractor Top Products

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fire pits

There's a variety of fire pits and patio heaters on this Home Depot webpage--my favorite is the big one with the tile rim--but what I really want is a built-in fire pit--in ground or above. I loved the one on a recent HGTV home show--one that focused on masonry, as I recall. [Possibly stone is in the title; I will check.] Do not forget to line the fire pit--if you build one--with fire bricks! Here's the Home Depot garden club e-newsletter fire pit link: Stay Warm on Cool Nights with Fire Pits and Outdoor Heaters - The Home Depot - Garden Club

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New laminate flooring

"The new generation of laminate flooring provides the warmth of real hardwoods for less money, plus it's easier to install." So check out these floors on this HGTVPro webpage: Slideshow : Laminate Flooring Options :

They do look nice, though I prefer the lighter colors. Hopefully they'll stand up to the dogs and their toys. (Every time the Corgi drops one of his hard toys on the tiles, I cringe. I appreciate the fact that they've never cracked.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Paint color trends for 2010

"Yellow, one of the most popular paint colors of the past two decades, will be hotter and brighter than ever. For years, interior designers and color experts have sung the praises of yellow's uplifting impact on our moods. Next year, they’ll take it to a whole new level, recommending much brighter shades than the toned-down hues that had been favored in the past."

For other trendy colors, go to: - Paint Color Trends for 2010

Monday, September 14, 2009

Publication news

My article, "Man-Kzin Wars: Behind the Scenes of a Great and Long-running Series," has been accepted by the editor of Tales of the Talisman; it will run in volume 6, issue 1, which will be published in summer 2010.

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Browse my short stories

You can browse stories at Anthology Builder from classic and contemporary authors--including me--and genres, create your own anthology with a cover from their art collection, or browse anthologies already created. Check out the AB library: AnthologyBuilder: create your ideal anthology

You can also buy my story collection, Aliens, Animals, and Adventure. My stories include: Hot Yellow Planet, The Haunted Garden, Stray Cats, Lost in the Long Dark, ... : AnthologyBuilder: create your own science fiction or fantasy anthology

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bathroom ideas

There are a number of great bathroom decorating ideas on this HGTV webpage, including adding a granite countertop and a fireplace or making it your craft display space--if you like clutter: Bathroom Makeover & Bathroom Remodeling Projects & Ideas

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tile ideas

This HGTVPro webpage has a lot of useful info on tile design. Check out tile design ideas, trends, tricks, and professional advice. There is stone and glass tile, but "porcelain remains one of the most durable and efficient tile products." It's harder than granite, it says too. Link: Tile Design: Ideas, Installation Tips & Tile Photos For Your Kitchen & Bath :

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Home ideas

The October issue of Country Living has a ton of great ideas for decorating and entertaining for Halloween. It also has home furnishing ideas, including side tables. I love the one with the pullout shelf above the drawer. (My desks have pullout shelves, and I use them a lot; there's one by the printer, and they're essential when I do a lot of sorting.) My house is full of Shaker pegboards, but the idea of using reproduction wooden spools to hang clothes on is also useful.

The Halloween decorations include bleeding candles, a spiderweb candelabra, and torn cheesecloth for a spooky effect. And there's an article on Halloween collectibles, plus one on devilish desserts. The big black spider on a cake is not appetizing, but the white chocolate spiderwebs were fun.

Speaking of food, the magazine has a column on using a vegetable that's in season. This month it's kale. Who'd have thought you could use it as a snack, with pasta, and stir fry?! This issue has pumpkin recipes also, and crystallized ginger in the pumpkin waffles sounds delicious.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

House plans (link)

These house plans are supposed to be Southwestern, but most of them are a combination and look like the house exploded: House plans, home plans, floor plans, home blueprints, construction plans, home designer, house plan at