Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bedroom design dont's

Check out these warnings for what to avoid in your bedroom sanctuary: Don't go for bold there. Try a more subtle shade of your favorite color for a more soothing atmosphere and be careful about the scale of the furnishings you choose.  Don't buy furniture that overwhelms the space, and leaving room for navigating the room is always smart. More Do Nots here:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Whortleberry Press (links)

I'm pleased to announce that my SF/fantasy collection ebook, The Doorway and Other Stories, has been listed on Whortleberry Press' ebooks friends webpage:

Looking for Christmas gifts?  Check out their books, which include Strange Christmas (how apropos), Strange Halloween, and Strange Mysteries:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Entertaining for the holidays

The December issue of Southern Living is full of ideas and recipes. The shallow bowl of red roses surrounded by those hard red and white mints is festive. And yu can fill glass containers with a variety of peppermints. Make an outdoor Christmas tree out of a tomato cage strung with lights. The white cake recipes include fillings, frostings, and garnishes, such as meringues and almond bark. And then there's the Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake. The appetizers include bacon recipes and grits... How about Pepper Jack Grits Poppers?! This is a yummy issue with gift ideas and travel destinations too. Christmas at Williamsburg would be fun...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kitchen remodeling help (link)

This HGTV webpage has links to kitchen remodeling worksheets, kitchen designs, and more.  The Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire is thorough!  There may be questions you've never ever thought about before.  Link:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Purple: The color of drama (link)

Purple isn't my favorite color for a wall, but, of course, there are a variety of shades.  Check out the suggestions on this HGTV webpage and explore the drama and mystery of this "combination of calm blue and exciting red."  Btw, I am definitely not fond of this color on the exterior!  Link:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home for the holidays--or not

I came across a really cool idea in the December/January issue of Country Living. Rent a home for the New Year's holiday on a beach in a northern state, such as New York in this case. for your family or multiple families. It's cheaper than in summer. Enjoy relaxing and playing games inside or having fun outside in the snow. The children enjoyed the choices too, and the adults weren't on the clock, so-to-speak.
There are other entertaining and decorating ideas in this issue, and the edible treats include gourmet marshmallows; and the mini brown-sugar cheesecakes certainly look tempting. Hang sleigh bells on your door knobs and have the wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree match the colors of the tree decorations. Now that's a challenge. Put the kids to work doing that!
There are deer figurines (from Michaels) on a mantel in one home; we just picked up a nice one at Junk Prince. We bring our deer figurines out on center stage at Christmas.
And if you're into soap making, wrapping the oval bars in coffee filters before packaging them is a lovely idea. My sister makes soaps for Christmas gifts now and then, and she likes that idea.
The Real Estate Sampler focuses on houses with turrets. These are the real deal--more than 100 years old.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Painting help (link)

Here is a collection of painting tips on the HGTV website; they tell you about sheens, selecting the correct color combo--including classic combos that defy trendiness, and they address some basic FAQs:

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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Helpful home hints

Here are some helpful tips from Lehman's 1213 calendar:
Bake cupcakes in ice cream cones.
Whip up your store-bought frosting to make it go further.

But I'm not sure if storing your sheets in the matching pillow case (to keep them from being separated) will work.  I've never tried that, though I've read about it before.  Stuffing them in a pillowcase would not be easy, and I wouldn't want to put pressure on the pillowcase material.  Let me know if anyone tries it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas craft ideas

The Holiday 2012 issue of Lowe's Creative Ideas for Home and Garden magazine has some creative ideas for this holiday season. You can hang red snowflakes on your white kitchen cabinets (or use other color combinations), make pet ornaments for your Christmas tree (see below), and make a fire for your fireplace out of cardboard (see below).

Pet ornaments:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pantry ideas (link)

Pantry storage and display space is a good idea if you have the room. My big pantry at our old house had plenty of room with space on the floor for coolers and heavy items like bottled water, bleach, etc.; underneath the bottles I had cardboard liners in case of leaks. I had enough room on shelves that I didn't have to mess with pull-out shelves, and I never needed cubes or cubbies, but if you have children putting groceries away, containment might be a good idea. In another house I had a standalone country cupboard in the dining room (next to the kitchen) that we used for a pantry. Check out other ideas you can use at:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bathroom flooring choices (link)

Check out this HGTV webpage to learn about bathroom flooring types and styles--and trends if you can afford to waste money (unless you're remodeling or building):