Friday, December 31, 2010

Joy's Galaxy of Fun update

I've added two more stories to Joy's Galaxy of Fun; one is a spoof and the other is one of my stories, You Are What You Don't Eat, that I think food and pun fans will enjoy. And the price is still the same because I haven't gone over my page limit, so if you haven't ordered it yet, you'll be getting two more stories for the same price as the first edition! Check out blurbs and excerpts here: AnthologyBuilder: Joy's Galaxy of Fun

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kitchen cabinets and countertops (link)

Here are some tips for choosing your countertops--concrete, granite, solid surface, etc. and your cabinets--style, color, and function--and islands. Check out these designers' ideas: Cabinets & Countertops: Design Ideas for Your Kitchen & Bath :

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Simple living and salvage

There's an interesting article about living in a cottage in the desert in the January issue of Soutern Living., along with lovely photos of the views and lifestyle there. And check out her cowboy boot collection! Another article shows off the makeover of a bedroom that started with a designer floral fabric. And a gardening article focuses on anthuriums, moth orchids, peace lilies, and succulents.

Learn about salvage stores in the January issue of Old-House Journal. Great stuff at good prices! Browsing and furnishing my home from salvage stores is one of my favorite things. And they rescue tons of quality building materials that too often end up in landfills 'cause people don't care and don't recognize their value.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Keep warm!

I hope you all are warm! We're having another hard freeze tonight; it's even colder than last night, and the temperature has been steadily dropping for hours. We're down to 37 degrees--according to the porch sensor--and the dogs don't stay out long. We're expected to get down to 27 degrees tonight here. We've covered the well pipes with rugs and blankets, including our big wool one to keep them from blowing away (the neighbor has a horse blanket holding down the other blankets), and I'll start the kitchen faucet running when I go to bed. According to the noon weather report, this may be one of our five coldest Decembers ever. Yes, I know that here in Florida we don't have snow--yet.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ghosting aka thermal imaging (link)

Thermal imaging is the technical term for ghosting that you sometimes see on the walls and ceilings in your home. Here's an interesting article on the subject; I was surprised to learn how much soot candles can emit: GHOSTING - HouseMaster eNewsletter

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter home changeovers (link)

To dress up your home for winter, try using heavier tecxtures and larger patterns for more impact and drama. Try textiles such as chenille and wool with a high pile. (I'll skip the cowhide and furs, thanks.) Heavier drapes create a warm look. Or add shimmer with silk. For more ideas, go to: Decorate for Winter With Textiles : Decorating : Home & Garden Television

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Joy's Galaxy of Fun

If you're thinking about staying inside and reading in this cold winter weather--once the busyness of the holidaze are over--I want to tell you about an anthology I recently created. No, none of these stories are mine. I love funny SF and fantasy so I recently browsed the humor category at Anthology Builder because I'd been thinking about editing an anthology. I'd already made notes of some titles, and then I came across "They Laughed at Me in Vienna..." there. I'd seen it earlier listed on the Asimov's Science Fiction magazine Reader's Award ballot so I decided to put together a humor anthology right now and include it, and then I added a couple other stories I'd also taken note of. I should be getting the paperback soon, and I'm looking forward to reading those stories. Here's the link: AnthologyBuilder: Joy's Galaxy of Fun

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Energy efficiency upgrades (link)

Here's an interesting look at energy efficiency upgrades and how they pay off: Weatherization: The Return on Your Investment : Green Building :

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Living room makeovers (link)

Here are some basic ideas for freshening your living room--matching slipcovers, hanging your draperies above the windows (beautiful room, btw), and casual is welcoming, but more sofa pillows--I think not. Link: Money-Smart Living Room Upgrades : Rooms : Home & Garden Television

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saving on home energy quiz (link)

Here's a fun and educational quiz on what you know about energy--or think you know: HGTV Green Home Building Quiz :

Note: Keep track of your answers so you can compare them with the correct ones.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas (link)

There are a lot of helpful and imaginative suggestions for holiday decorations and entertaining on this HGTV webpage: Holiday Ideas: Christmas Crafts & Handmade Decorations (I love sparkle and glitter and wrapping and unwrapping Christmas presents; I'm also grateful for those colorful Christmas bags!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa bread (link)

I rarely post recipes, but this caught my eye. It's from the Taste of Home website and would really impress your friends and family: Santa Bread Taste of Home Recipes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Creating more space in your closet (link)

Here are some helpful ideas for transforming your closet into an office or laundry room. It's amazing what a difference removing a door and cleaning up the door frame makes, and color and shelving can help too. Check out these makeovers: Maximize Small Spaces: 8 Revamps for Your Closet : Decorating : Home & Garden Television

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Preparing for a freeze

We've had a few frosts already this year, but last night we had to prepare for a hard freeze. (A hard freeze here in Florida is when the temperature drops below freezing for several hours.) On the late news last night, I watched the strawberry growers around Plant City began watering to save their plants. When they did that last year, there were dozens of sink holes of varying sizes and many wells went dry in the area. Everyone's hoping it won't be as bad this year though we've got at least two more nights of freezing weather, with another Arctic blast coming next week. We had two faucets running last night to keep our pipes from freezing, and we covered the well pipes with a big wool blanket. And today I went to a nursery to get more top soil because Blizzard continues to dig holes all over, and the woman there was about to join the crew laying palm trees down to cover them to protect them. She said the place behind them, which tends to be colder, had its freeze start about 9:30.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gray is hot and trendy this year (link)

Check out the flooring, paint, furnishings, fabric, and even dinnerware: Design Happens » Archive » Shades of Gray

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

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ideas for building a beautiful green home (link)

"When selecting materials for HGTV Green Home 2011, Michael strayed slightly from the Prairie School, which emphasized the use of natural materials, including plaster, brick and wood." Check out the striking homes (Prairie School and Foursquare) that influenced the HGTV Green Home: HGTV Green Home 2011: Modern Prairie Style : Slideshow :