Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The A to Z Blog Challenge

I just entered the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, which takes place in April. Each post has to begin with the appropriate letter, starting with A. I get Sundays off--except for April 1.

Link: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/what-is-blogging-from-to-z.html

(Well so much for my attempt to enter the A to Z badge.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kitchens with drama (link)

If you want a kitchen that's unique and makes a statement--a very loud statement--check out these ideas: Out-of-the-Box Kitchens : Home Improvement : DIY Network They make my kitchen look very quiet...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bathroom makeover ideas (links)

Here are some interesting and colorful suggestions. However, "Make over your bathroom with cheap, chic design ideas from HGTV, including bathroom makeover essentials like granite countertops..."

Essentials?! I don't think so! I was recently checking out Corian, Silestone, etc. at a kitchen and bath store. Beautiful selection of everything. Look around. As for me, I'll be going for one of the quartz products.
Link: Bathroom Remodeling Projects & Makeovers on a Budget

Friday, January 27, 2012


We’re still landscaping our new home. 'Course this'll probably go on forever. We called The Tree Lady to take a look at our trees, some of which need to come down, but her estimate was too high for us right now! (There are a number of trees we want to get rid of, and at least one will require a crane to lift it over the house because we don't have easy access to the back yard.) So we dug out three small trees; they had bad root systems (root bound), and The Tree Lady’s crew took down the cherry laurel. We enjoyed watching them. After limbing it and taking off one trunk (it had a split trunk), they tied a cable to the remaining trunk and branches and dropped it in the front yard. (There was a rail fence on two sides of it.) It missed the bottlebrushes and house; they gauged it well. They did a good job of clean up also. And since they had to park in the road (busy street) one of them had to direct traffic. We were very impressed by them! Now we have to find something for that corner. We ordered a crape myrtle and dwarf pampas grass earlier for elsewhere, but we‘d need a big one for that space, and I think that's what we're going to do. Pink pampas grass looks pretty in catalogs, but one we ordered years ago was sort of beige. I saw one online that looks good--Gold Band. I like it, but we'll see.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book listings for writers and readers (link)

Here’s a blog where you can browse books in a variety of categories: http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-other-peoples/

Each book has a one-line description. Check out my ebooks: Hidebound and Sugar Time (Prose: novels); Pretty Pink Planet and Hot Yellow Planet (Prose: Short Stories); and Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure (Non-Fiction).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Early bathroom colors (link)

"In the early days of plumbing, everything was white. The sink, the tub, the toilet. And there’s a reason for that. When you think of the color white, what do you think of? Clean? Sterile?

"That’s exactly what manufacturers wanted you to think, and it’s why many of the first products were white. A Kohler associate publication from 1928 explains:

“Take the case of plumbing fixtures. There are only two reasons why they remained white so long. One was that white was thought to be the appropriate color to symbolize cleanliness. The other was habit. The plumbing world got into a rut of white fixtures…” Kohler of Kohler News, February, 1928."

Check out the early colors! I love them, as do a lot of other people. Read the comments: Kohler Colors: The Early 1900's « Kohler Talk

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Punctuation (a primer)

My review of Punctuation by G. Miki Hayden is on The New Book Review. Check it out, along with the other books reviewed there: http://www.thenewbookreview.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gardening and landscaping ideas

The Early Spring issue of Country Gardens has articles on plants, including amaryllis, daffodils, and clivia; garden borders; public gardens; miniature flower arrangements and landscapes; Beatrix Potter's garden and art; and other gardening ideas; but the article I enjoyed most was the one about reclaiming empty lots in New Orleans. Growing Homes is a local program to restore neighborhoods by enabling homeowners to buy the empty lot next to their home if they improve the lot and plant a garden. The improvements include orchards, rain gardens, and ponds. People are planting trees and vegetable and flower gardens. This is one of the most constructive programs--besides rehabbing empty buildings--I've ever come across. This is a fantastic issue!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Check out these current colors (link)

Add zip to your home with these colors, starting with Tangerine Tango, Feel-Good Mustard Yellow (brighter than mustard, actually), Juicy Cranberry (I really like this one), and gold (not just plain gold, and the ottoman looks metallic). Browse through all the colors: Try These Now: Winter's Hottest Color Trends : Decorating : Home & Garden Television

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hardscaping your landscape (link)

These HGTV hardscape suggestions cover your driveways, paths, etc. Think not only about the design, but about maintenance, environmental impact, and drainage. And can you get the product locally? Link: Hardscapes: Landscaping's Bones : Outdoor Projects : HGTV Remodels

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lovely color ideas for your home (link)

Do you have a favorite gem? Check out these jewel tones, including blue topaz, pearly opal, smoky quartz and royal amethyst: Color Palettes: Jewel Tones Home Made Simple

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bathroom flooring ideas (link)

Browse these bathroom flooring ideas and check out the lovely bathrooms; and there's what looks like a miniature, raised bathtub (#3). And apparently there's a trend for larger floor tile (12x12 or 18x18 inches) so there are fewer grout lines.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Help for restoring old houses

Lots of interesting articles in the March issue of Old-House Journal. I especially enjoyed the ones on two restored bungalows; an article on Arts & Crafts fireplaces; the rebuilding of Grass Lawn (destroyed by Hurricane Katrina) in Gulfport, Mississippi; and the history of Dearborn, Michigan. Lots of lovely photos. This magazine is a great resource for restoring or furnishing historical homes, and check out the book reviews of Passion for Primitives and Patina Style. For those wanting more background on old haunted houses, be sure to read the letters to the editors.

House hunting

Thursday night on Bones, they're house hunting. Will they have to compromise? As a fan of House Hunters on HGTV, I'm curious to see how this couple handles it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pretty Pink Planet review (link)

Here's a new review of Pretty Pink Planet: http://www.bookstackreviews.com/2012/01/pretty-pink-planet-by-joy-v-smith/

You can get it free on Smashwords, btw. On Amazon, you have to find the Get It Cheaper Elsewhere button.

Smashwords link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93615

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reach-in closets (link)

These reach-in closets are the next best thing to walk-in closets, but they take up a lot of wall space, and you need an open doorway, curtains, a sliding screen, or folding doors. Link: 10 Stylish Reach-In Closets : Interior Remodeling : HGTV Remodels

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

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Up and coming color (link)

"Pantone’s 2012 color of the year is a rich, spicy, warm and energizing hue: Tangerine Tango. A shade that looks good on absolutely anything, from walls to furniture to accessories. It can mix with a variety of diverse colors, from bright fuchsia to pastel shades like mint." Link: Color Crush: Tangerine Tango Design Happens
It certainly will brighten up your home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Decorating ideas

The February issue of Country Living focuses on white and neutral decorating ideas; you can turn a fabric wrong side up to reveal a subtle pattern and use texture to add interest.

If you plan to entertain on Valentine's Day, check out their Alice in Wonderland theme. The Real Estate sampler looks at some cute little homes--or cottages--under 1,000 square feet; and there's an article on interesting match safe collectibles, plus recipes, etc..