Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bathroom design decisions

The September Consumer Reports has articles and ratings on bathroom countertops, flooring, sinks, and toilets. (Btw, if you missed seeing the recall in the paper, they have a sidebar on the exploding pressure-assisted flushing sytems. I never wanted one because if you lose power, you can't flush. Hmm. Unless I'm thinking of the pump for carrying the waste to the septic tank. And stainless steel is moving into the bathroom.

Other articles focus on home insurance, blenders, and streaming to your TV. (This issue's a keeper for when I get around to doing some upgrades.)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Joy's writing news

There are only a few days left to get my remodeling e-book, Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure, at half-price: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71560

And here are my other e-books:

My latest e-book (story collection), The Doorway and Other Stories, is available only on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SV1FB2 , but there are free Kindle apps on the wepage.

Hidebound: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ICFOHY (SF) After Anfissa meets Ferenc, they flee to a planet where even the grass is deadly.

Pretty Pink Planet (free e-book): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93615 (SF) Lori, an agent of SOESFOL, visits Prism to track down planet pirates and rescue aliens.

Hot Yellow Planet: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94029 (SF) In tis Pretty Pink Planet sequel, Lori and Chiing continue their adventures.

I also have an audiobook: Sugar Time; it is three connected time travel tales: http://hadrosaur.com/audio_books.html

And I’m still waiting to hear from two different editors about my two SF novels.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Home design ideas

The August issue of Southern Living is worth picking up for the 101 house ideas from the their 2012 Idea House. My favorite ideas include the dogtrot-like central hall, an old wooden horizontal filing cabinet used as a coffee table, hand-sanded wood floors, and grouping a collection together tightly to give the impression of "one element" (but, please, not little skulls!),

And they had ideas I didn't much like. I don't like subway tiles unless they're not white, and a random pattern is better. Btw, two interesting shades of white are Pearly White and Spinach White (pale green) by Sherwin-Williams. And I would never lean a mirror over a sink! Or put a modern vessel sink into a distressed table. Something I wouldn't do, but is a cool idea, is painting a room in a large-scale gingham pattern.

There is also an article on crape myrtles, which include some of my favorites; unfortunately they're at our last place; the crape myrtles here are old varieties. Other articles focus on a moss lawn, Preserving Summer (canning), chickens, watermelon recipes, Tex-mex recipes, and fig recipes.

Travel articles visit Charlotte (Deomcratic convention) and Tampa (Republican convention); North Carolina Highlands; and Mobile, Alabama; a Miami restaurant; and Winter Park, Florida.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kitchen countertops (link)

When considering countertop materials, think about function, style--and price! And maybe you can mix surfaces. Check out the options on this HGTV webpage: http://www.hgtvremodels.com/kitchens/kitchen-countertop-buying-guide/index.html?nl=HGRM_072412_subfeatlink_kitchevent-counters&sni_mid=48370&sni_rid=48370.405.406489

Btw, next time I'm going for quartz.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Design Star winner

Danielle is the new Design Star, and her HGTV series, Shop This Room (as I recall), begins Saturday, August 4. 

(I still think Mikel was just as talented and would have made a great host.  He was fun and relaxed.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Making the most of a small apartment (link)

"Caitlin needed a functional space plan for an apartment that was one large, open room. 'Technically, the apartment is referred to as a junior one-bedroom since the sleeping area has French doors that close it off from the dining room,' explains Caitlin. 'But almost everyone who's been over thinks it's a studio apartment.'"

Check out the before and after plans and her ideas.  She thought outside the box: http://www.hgtvremodels.com/interiors/making-a-tiny-apartment-livable/index.html?nl=HGRM_071712_subfeatlink_tinyapartment&sni_mid=47764&sni_rid=47764.405.250307

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shrubs for shade (link)

Here's a collection of shrubs to choose from for your shady area; they include azaleas, camellias, and nandinas.  Cherry laurel is included, but I think that's a weed tree--down here anyway.  Check them out: http://www.preen.com/articles/shrubs-for-shade

Note: This is on the Preen website.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Design Star

Design Star is down to three contestants.  (I was surprised that Mikel got sent home; he wasn't the only one to make mistakes, and he does great presentations.)  This coming Tuesday they'll be working inside yurts; that should be fun.  David Bromstad is a wonderful host and mentor, btw.  And here's a link to find out more background: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv-design-star/show/index.html?xp=ds7&nl=HGI_071112_bottom3link1&sni_mid=47366&sni_rid=47366.324.1027554

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Small kitchen suggestions (link)

There's no room for homework or other projects in a small kitchen; you have to focus on function.  But you can open up your cabinets for a roomier feel or use glass doors, and choose fun and beautiful details for your counters, flooring, appliances, etc.  For more ideas, go to: http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/small-kitchens-8-design-ideas-to-try/pictures/index.html

Friday, July 6, 2012

Loving the color yellow (link)

Check out the shades of yellow and how you can use them on this HGTV webpage.  You can use yellow on interior rooms to make them look lighter.  That is a great suggestion.   And "A pale yellow can make a compact room feel larger."  We have a small, interior bedroom (no windows) that's painted a creamy white, so it's not dark.  I wonder if a light or bright yellow would be even better?  Our kitchen is a creamy yellow, btw.  Not too dark and not too boring.  Find more ideas here: http://www.hgtvremodels.com/interiors/behind-the-color-yellow/index.html?nl=HGRM_070312_featlink4_coloryellow&sni_mid=46974&sni_rid=46974.405.306004

Monday, July 2, 2012

Joy's writing news

My e-book, Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure, is half price this month at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71560

My review of Time Machine Troopers (sequel to H. G. Wells' The Time Machine) is up at The New Book Review: http://www.thenewbookreview.blogspot.com/

And my short story collection, The Doorway and Other Stories, will be available free as a Kindle download on July 7. Don't forget that you can get a free Kindle app on the website: