Monday, June 28, 2010

Concrete logs

Log homes made from concrete logs are becoming more common as people see the advantages of being protected from wildfires and bugs; plus, these logs won't shrink and they hold paint and stain better than wood.

Companies include: aka

Nitterhouse Masonry Products - Handcrafted Concrete Logs

Advantages of Concrete Log Siding - Home Remodeling Ideas at

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Decorating and entertaining ideas

There are some imaginative ideas for garden, home, and Fourth of July entertaining (red, white, and blue dishes, glasses, etc.) in the July issue of Southern Living. Plus a listing of southern architectural salvage shops, including Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Virginia. (The black dog is their black lab who's in many of the photos.) And recipes include chicken salad, burgers, blueberry salsa, and desserts.

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Remodeling priority (link)

"Des Plaines, Illinois, June 8, 2010—According to the latest poll conducted by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) on its Web site, the majority (56%) of homeowners cite functionality as their largest concern when it comes to their home.

"The functionality of a home is very important, especially over the long term, as many homeowners in this economy have opted for remodeling over moving to new homes," ..."

For more on current and future needs, go to: Functionality is Top Remodeling Priority for Homeowners : Trends : News :

Monday, June 21, 2010

Home sizes are shrinking (link)

"The size of new single-family homes completed declined last year, ... according to detailed information ... released recently by the Census Bureau.

After increasing continually for nearly three decades, the average size of single-family homes completed in the United States peaked at 2,521 square feet in 2007. It was essentially flat in 2008, then dropped in 2009, ....

"We also saw a decline in the size of new homes when the economy lapsed into recession in the early 1980s," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "[That] turned out to be temporary, but this time the decline is related to phenomena such as an increased share of first-time home buyers, a desire to keep energy costs down, smaller amounts of equity in existing homes to roll into the next home, ... . "

For more: New Homes Are Still Getting Smaller, and Buyers Are Looking for Single-Story Homes : Trends : News :

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great American Backyard Campout®

Join National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Backyard Campout®. Create lasting memories by connecting with family and friends in the great outdoors. It’s something simple you can do to promote happier, healthier children. Find out more by visiting the website.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Organization (links)

Check out these organization ideas at: Organizing and Storage : Organizing : Home & Garden Television (I'm much more impressed by the pantry than the shoe library...)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kitchen and bath trends for 2010 (link)

Current trends include concealing your kitchen and hiding your appliances so they don't intrude and overpower surrounding rooms... (I'm almost afraid to go on!) Ah, a beverage station for your kitchen. And be sure you scale your elements... For more: NKBA's Top 10 Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2010 : Slideshow :

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Color code your bathroom (link)

For shared bathrooms, color coding towels, washcloths, toothbrushes, and small bins to hold personal belongings is the way to go: Color-coded bathroom-Home Made Simple

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

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nuture your landscape in a natural way (link)

"A recent National Gardening Association survey found that 9 out of every 10 homeowners say they consider it important to care for home landscapes in an environmentally responsible way. However, only half say they know how to do that, and 30 percent admit they are “not at all” or “not very” environmentally conscious in the ways they care for their landscapes."

See these ten suggestions for responsible gardening and landscaping: Ten ways to let nature nurture your landscape

Friday, June 4, 2010

Publication news

I recently submitted my second rewrite of my SF novel, Strike Three; and one of my short stories made the short list of an anthology, while I'm waiting to hear back from other editors about some other stories.

Meanwhile, you can check out:

Some of my short stories in my reprint collection--Aliens, Animals, and Adventure:

Sugar Time, an audiobook of three time travel tales with sound effects & music. Check it out at:

Magistria: The Realm of the Sorcerer: This shared world anthology of mages and magic includes my story, Seedlings, in which plant mages fight alongside their sentient plant companions. You can buy it on amazon:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ideas for small spaces (link)

Here are some suggestions for making the most out of your small kitchens, tiny bathrooms, and cozy closets using color, light, and imagination: Small Space Design Guide : Decorating : Home & Garden Television