Monday, May 30, 2011

Wonderful Home Decorating Fabric

Fabric has a very important role to play in the matter of perfect home decoration. When you decide to renovate your home with modern concept, you must think positively and it is your responsibility to keep the elegance and aesthete of the rooms intact. Fabric is such a wonderful accessory which has become an indispensable item for the decor of the lounge and bed room.

Suppose you like to opt for the Victorian, Modern or Oriental theme to design your tiny bed room or dinning space, you must choose the durable and attractive fabric which will add the extra glow to your room. However, you must put your 100% effort and time to find the best fabric items which will last for year after year without being damaged.

In this connection, you can browse the internet or go through the magazines and other information booklets to know clearly how to purchase qualitative fabric to serve the purpose. In case you have any wish to apply the Victorian style in designing rooms, you must try to find those fabric pieces which look like the Old Victorian models.

You need to create the Victorian ambiance in your room by selecting the old fashioned fabric which will bring back the Victorian temperament to your room. Bed and curtains must be designed with the good and fantastic fabric which will make these house ware accessories nice and beautiful.

Frankly speaking, the selection of the high quality brocade and velvet will be much advantageous and profitable to you to decorate the rooms in Victorian style. The usage of ribbons and beads with the good and qualitative fabric is also much helpful to bring back the lost brightness and radiance to the home decor.

However, modern teens like the gorgeous and colorful products and furniture pieces. They always like to use the fashionable collectibles. If you love to utilize the modern style for the decoration of your spacious bed room or lounge, you need to search for the good quality fabric which will be much more prominent and bright in color. Pillows, backdrop, curtains and other home ware accessories can be designed with fabrics and these will increase the glamour of the room. You will feel comfy to stay in this highly decorated room.

Your room will be much more nice and beautiful if you choose the Oriental type home decorating which has earned huge fame and recognition in the fashion design. If you are interested, you can do some experiments by decorating the rooms with the installation of elegant accessories which are designed with the beautiful and eye catching images of Chinese elephants, fans and many more. Window is the vital part of the room.

It acts as ventilator which enhances the easy entry of light and wind into the room. You can make the windows much more glamorous and modern by decorating them with good fabric curtains. The color contrast is also an important factor for the home decoration and you need to find the suitable colored fabric accessories to bring back the elegance to your bed chamber or living rooms.


Reusable Coffee Cup Reviews

Reusable coffee cups and mugs come in all shapes, sizes and styles, but with so many different kinds how do select a premium reusable products? Normally, coffee mugs come in plastic, porcelain, ceramic, glass or stainless steel. While all these different types of materials offer different features, some of these materials are known to be better than others. By looking at these different materials that make up the coffee mug, a buyer can choose the perfect cup to accommodate their needs. Finally, we will look at how these different types of mugs effect the taste of your morning coffee.

Plastic coffee cups offer a variety of styles and sizes for you morning coffee, but this flexibility is substituted for quality in the overall cup. These cups can add the flavor of their materials to your coffee, altering the taste. Although, you might not realize it at first, the flavor is slowly eroded by these kinds of cups. Even worse, there is some debate as to whether these cups will release some of their more toxic ingredients into your coffee because of the high temperature of the water as it sits in the cup. Lastly, these cups are made of a porous material so they may absorb coffee oils and deposit them into your next cup of coffee, effecting the taste of the next cup. Although, these cups seem to offer a flexible material and can be considered a non-fragile cup, these cups are considered in the same classification as Styrofoam or paper cups.

Porcelain, glass and ceramic cups all fall in the same classification. These are the best of the best in terms of allowing your coffee to taste as good as it could. Because it's not porous, it holds the warmth for longer which preserves the flavor. These mugs are also reusable so they're environmentally friendly too. However, these mugs are very fragile and even though they may be suitable for an office environment, they may not be able to take on a more aggressive environment.

Stainless steel is a very common type of reusable cup, and is used in many different living or working environments. The advantages of a stainless steel cup is that these cups are made to be very tough, so they can be used in more extreme environments. These cups can be knocked over or dropped without cause any harm to the actual cup. Additionally, the style of these cups are very modern and cool, but offer a masculine look overall. The sizes of these mugs range from single serving up to a thermos to ensure you have enough coffee to get you through the day. Lastly, the taste of you morning coffee should not be affected by using a stainless steel cup, since stainless steel is not porous and hold heat well. However, you need to ensure that you wash this cup before your first use or you may have a metallic taste in your first cup of coffee.

Combined material cups are now making a statement in the reusable cup market. These mugs offer porcelain, ceramic or glass lined in stainless steel, which offers the quality of a porcelain, ceramic or glass cup with the durability of stainless steel mug. Additionally, these cups come in many shapes, sizes and styles to ensure it fits your needs. Lastly, due to the amount of different products in the reusable cup market it is best to find the perfect fit for you needs. Whether you are looking for quality through durability or style, there is a reusable cup out there for you.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Types of Dams

A dam impounds many tons of water. If its mass and muscle aren't adequate, the heaviness of the water may be enough to collapse the dam or slide it downstream. Also, water leakage under the dam can cause it to settle, break and eventually burst. To guard against this, a mixture of cores, barriers, and asphalt blankets are usually built-in into the dam formation. Another danger is the possibility of flood waters that may over flow a dam, eroding and disintegrating it as they pour downstream. To meet the threat, an overflow spillway should be built either in the dam itself or as a separate pone exit channel cut into the hillside to one side of the dam. On a site where the flood potential is great spillway may be the dam's dominant feature.

Rock fill dam requires rock-hard base of bedrock, compressed sand or gravel to put off settling and rupture of watertight facing. When constructing on bedrock, secure dam with bolts and seal joint with concrete.

Frame Dam is made-up from planks that have been covered with such stabilizers as creosote or pentachlorophenol to prevent decaying. To prevent leakage, face upstream side of dam with asphalt or a layer of fine silt or clay.

Concrete dam is chosen whenever overflowing is possible, since a spillway can easily be included. To prevent wearing down under the spillway, pile rocks at the base or shape the base to redirect the down warded rush of water.

Log dam can be built of treated 6 inch logs, such as oak with stone or gravel used as fill. Face the upstream side with seepage-proof boards. Wood dams don't last nearly as long as stone or earth dams and should not be more than 4 feet high.

Earth dam is the oldest and most ordinary type. For steadiness its slopes must be very gradual. To inhibit leakage, a core of resistant clay or concrete may be used.

Article Source:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cute Luggage Bags: Function And Style

Travellers are aware of how important having a cute luggage is. Contrary to what others might think, a cute luggage is more than just an accessory. It allows you to look stylish without having to sacrifice the purpose of a functional luggage.

Apart from giving elegance and storage space, cute luggage bags are compact and light weight. This is definitely suitable for people who are constantly traveling. You should know, however, that there is a wide array of bags to choose from. So, get ready for a challenging maze in looking for a cute luggage bag for you.

So, if you intend to purchase a bag, you need to consider the person who will use the bag. Determine her personality and choose what is appropriate according to her preferences. There are a lot of style and models of luggage bags. If you are purchasing a bag for a child, then pick out the appropriate design for kids. You can check out a playful design that matches the liking of a child. Meanwhile, you can choose a stylish and elegant bag for women and mannish luggage for men.

The make and brand of the bag is another consideration that you should keep in mind. It is vital that you check the details of the bag along with its overall quality. Make sure that it is worth its price. Aside from that, it is advisable that you get a cute luggage bag with guaranteed durability like for instance, leather.

As we age, traveling is much easier if we have luggage that we can drag along with us. But, this doesn't just apply to adults. There are now cute luggage bags for kids, too. Imagine how life would be without a luggage. You will always have to worry about their bulky back packs, and they won't be able to enjoy summer camp without carrying a heavy load of things.

Cute luggage bags have features like padded straps for ease, waist belts for security, compartment for a more organized things, and pockets for easy accessibility. But, all these attributes come with style. In fact, they have a myriad of options with different styles and designs that make them more striking for both girls and boys. However, if your child can't pull off a back pack, there are now trolleys with handles that features an assisted pulling. You can also get one of these with LED lights making it more fun for kids.

Another alternative would be ride on cute luggage suitcase featuring colourful designs and neat accessories. It basically allows kids to be pushed along with the suitcase, or they can also be dragged along. As for toddlers, there is a blend of harness back packs which allows them to hold on to a soft toy whilst making it possible for parents to maintain a close distance to their kids.

Cute luggage bags are not just for kids. These are also for men, ladies, and babies alike. However, make sure to select not just a cute bag, but the ultimate bag with a reasonable price.

Paul T Simpson is a passionate writer with years of experience. In his spare time, he writes about his previous encounters as well as issues on shopping for a cute luggage.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is Magic Real?

In the Harry Potter movies we watch children play Quidditch on a broomstick and little wizards and witches casting quick spells here and there with their magic wands. In the movie, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," we watch martial arts heroes literally flying among the trees to fight. These days we're flooded with all kinds of movies that bring magic into our lives. With all this new found interest in magic, most people are asking, "Is magic real?" What do you think? Is magic real and can you really have magic in your life?

Yes. Magic is very real and has existed as a precise science for thousands of years. Whether you call it magic, magick or majick, it is real. Every single person can learn to do magic. We were ALL born with the talents and abilities that empower us to do magic. The only reason that magic seems so, well, magical is that this society no longer teaches the art and science of magic. In the distant past, magical study was just as important as math, science or the arts. Even the miracles that Jesus performed were based on the use of magic. In fact, magic was and still is the birthright of EVERY planetary citizen.

Can you learn to do the kind of magic portrayed in the movies? Yes - and no. The movies are great at giving you a taste of what you can do with magic, but they aren't very accurate. In the Harry Potter movies, for instance, the characters use their wands for every magical operation. In reality, you can only use the wand to handle air energies. Your wand would actually explode or catch fire if you tried to use it to throw firebolts and fireballs like the characters do in the movie.

So what can you actually do with magic? Quite a lot. Here's a short list to get you started:

- Balance your energies for healing and manifestation
- Change old beliefs
- Defend yourself against physical and psychic attack
- Heal yourself and others
- Find hidden information and see possible futures
- Psychically communicate with other beings
- Create sacred space
- Find lost people and objects
- Manifest what you want and need in life

At the very basis of magic is the understanding of the four elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Called elemental magic, these foundational elements are real. Air, Fire, Water and Earth are part of our natural everyday environment. What makes them magical is the understanding of how they operate not just on the physical level, but also at the levels of mind and Spirit.

For instance, while on the physical level Air is just the stuff we breathe, on the magical levels Air is the conduit of psychic communication, enlightenment, understanding, dreaming and more. If you want more of any of these things in your life, then you need more magical Air. How do you get more magical Air? Wear more Air colors, including white for communication and sky blue for enlightenment and understanding. To take this one step further, you could also take on more Air to make your body lighter.

By just extending your understanding and use of the basic ingredients of nature, you are doing magic! Seen in this light, magic isn't all smoke and mirrors, nor is it the result of Hollywood special effects. Magic is the result of truly understanding and working with the very elements that are all around you.

One final note: Many masters, including Wayne Dyer, have said, "You'll see it when you believe it." The same is true for magic. In other words, the suspension of disbelief and the willingness not to exercise contempt prior to investigation are requirements for magic to be "real." Magic is all around us, and always is, but our ability to perceive and use the forces of magic depends on our willingness to be open. No one else can show it to you, only your direct experience and observation can "prove" or demonstrate to you that magic is real.


Monday, May 23, 2011

I Believe In Love

My heart skipped a beat as it excitedly pounded in my chest after hearing the words, 'I love you'! They resounded in my mind as I realized that I loved with my whole being. I had never felt this way before and now I knew that : "I believed in love."

When love is returned it is like a symphony of music coming together in a crescendo. It is like finding a treasure so valuable that you become bubbly over what you will do with your gigantic find. It is like the most romantic love song that demands you drop everything in order to hold onto the one you love.

Love is a feeling that binds two souls together for a lifetime. A house that is built on a foundation of love that stands up against anyone or anything that comes against it.

Song of Songs 1: 2-4a, "Your lips cover me with kisses; your love is better than wine.

There is a fragrance about you; the sound of your name recalls it. No woman could keep from loving you.

Take me with you, and we'll run away; be my king and take me to your room. We will be happy together, drink deep, and lose ourselves in love."

Love demands a reaction. It swells within your soul and bursts into a flame of fire that will not go out. It makes you stand up to parents, society and cultures. It is a force so strong that it empowers lovers to give up everything just to passionately hold onto their love.

Song of Songs 8: 6&7, "Close your heart to every love but mine; hold no one in your arms but me. Love is as powerful as death; passion is as strong as death itself. It burst into flame and burns like a raging fire.

Water cannot put it out; no flood can drown it. But if anyone tried to buy love with his wealth, contempt is all he would get."

Love is a feeling that surpasses all understanding. It is a force that is so strong that when activated it cannot be denied. Love holds two people together and makes them one person, a family that can stand up to the storms of life and win whatever battle that rages against them.

Many people ask why love is so powerful a force. Let me tell you the story of love. Love created the universe in all of its magnificent splendor. Love erupts in the hearts of man because it is not just a feeling but a "Deity"!

Let me explain to you the story of love. God is Love! Love is the reason why we exist. Love is why man was formed. Love is the reason why our world has life. From the very beginning of existence God revealed His very nature through the concept of Love.

Whenever you love another person you are reflecting God's identity. Whenever your heart jumps for joy because of love, you are reacting as if God were inside of your heart connecting you to the heart of another. Love is like a super glue that is so strong, it cannot break.

1 John 4: 7&8, "Dear friends, let us love one another because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."

Real love is electrifying. It stimulates our senses and opens our eyes to celebrating every part of life. It helps us to look past a difficult job, an illness, or the devastation of losing our home in a flood. It gives us the strength to begin our lives all over again because we have someone to share the every day burdens of life.

Knowing that God is love helps us to achieve the impossible. He keeps couples together when they have a difficult child on drugs. He helps families survive hurricanes and wars. He gives strength when a person is desperately fighting the attacks of aids and cancer. God is not just love, He gives life in a cruel and corrupt world.

It is so important to understand that God is love. His supernatural capability rescues us when human strength has given out. Just think of how love feels. It swells in our hearts and pushes us out of depression and hopelessness. Love reacts like a supernatural flow of positive energy. It endures destructive fires and injustices we suffer in a court of law. Love never gives up on you and it never fails!

When we live in a world where there is so much negativity then understanding the difference between love and hate is essential. The media, television programs and radio blame God for every bad thing that hurts people. Movies and television tell us it's okay to take God's name in vain, blaming Him for the decisions that bad guys make in real life and on the silver screen.

Evil people who have given into the dark side of living life have no respect for love. Remember, God is love! If the soul of a person is geared towards evil then love is their enemy. If a television program condemns God then it is showing people that it is not interested in true love.

We are in a world where good and evil walk side by side. This is the reason why it is so hard to hold onto love. When we don't have God in our lives then all we have is temporary human love. Human love is easily tempted by the lure of another person who wants to break up your relationship. Human love cannot last because it depends on the binding force of Satan. Satan cannot hold love together because he fights against love. Remember God is love.

Satan is the god of this world and this is the reason why our world is full of corruption and evil. Satan wants to destroy people's lives. He wants to stop God from reaching down from heaven and protecting love in the hearts of men.

1 John 1: 5, "Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him."

This means that God can do no evil to anyone. He doesn't harm people by bringing disaster. God loves people and He fights for His very nature to be inside a person's heart. His spirit helps us to stand up against evil and to hold onto love. While Satan is the great deceiver and he wants to destroy love.

1 John 3: 10, "Here is the clear difference between God's children and the Devil's children: anyone who does not do what is right or does not love his brother is not God's child."

When God's very nature of love dwells in our hearts it binds the love of two people together. Love is a supernatural power that gives us the strength to stand our ground against anything the enemy Satan can do to people. While Satan wants to destroy our lives, God gives us the ability to win every battle that tries to come against us.

Songs of Songs was written by King Solomon. He had a thousand wives and knew all about passionate human love. Many Jews and theologians have interpreted this book as a correlation between God and the love He has for His people.

God loves and adores people. He is our husband guiding us with the hand of love through an evil world filled with hate. It is important to hold tightly to love. I believe in love, but all people who disrespect God and use His name in vain have no concept of love!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Flowering Cherries

While the briefness of their glory has to be acknowledged, cherries really are the hardy spring-flowering trees for temperate climate gardens. I can think of no others, apart from their close Prunus relatives and some of the magnolias that even come close to rivalling flowering cherries for sheer weight of bloom and vibrance of colour.

The genus Prunus, to which the cherries, plums, almonds, apricots and peaches belong, includes around 430 species spread over much of the northern temperate regions and has a toehold in South America. Although including a few evergreen species, such as the well-known cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), the genus is mainly deciduous and generally hardy to the frosts likely to occur in most New Zealand gardens.

The genus Prunus is widely recognised as being divided into 5 or 6 subgenera, though some botanists prefer to recognise these as distinct genera. The subgenus cerasus is the one to which the cherries belong. This group includes a wide variety of species, many of which are not highly ornamental. The species which are of most interest to gardeners are the Chinese and Japanese cherries, not only because they tend to be the most attractive, but also because they tend to be reasonably compact, often have attractive autumn foliage as well as spring flowers and because centuries of development in oriental gardens have produced countless beautiful cultivars.

The Japanese recognise two main groups of flowering cherries: the mountain cherries or yamazakura and the temple or garden cherries, the satozakura. The mountain cherries, which tend to have simple flowers, are largely derived from the original Mountain Cherry (Prunus serrulata var. spontanea), Prunus subhirtella and Prunus incisa. They are mainly cultivated for their early-blooming habit, which is just as well because their rather delicate display would be overwhelmed by the flamboyance of the garden cherries.

The garden cherries are the result of much hybridisation, mostly unrecorded, so we can't be exactly sure of their origins. Prunus serrulata (in its lowland form) and Prunus subhirtella also feature largely in their background. The other major influences are Prunus sargentii, Prunus speciosa, Prunus apetala and possibly the widespread Bird Cherries (Prunus avium and Prunus padus). The result of these old hybrids and modern developments is the wealth of forms that burst into bloom in our gardens every spring.

Regretfully, that complex parentage and those centuries of development and countless cultivars combined with Western misunderstandings of Japanese names and multiple introductions of the same plants under different names has led to considerable confusion with the names of flowering cherries.

Most of the popular garden plants are lumped together under three general headings:

1. Prunus subhirtella cultivars and hybrids;

2. Sato-zakura hybrids;

3. Hybrids no longer listed under parent species, being instead regarded as just to difficult to classify in that way.

But however you view them, flowering cherries have so much to offer that a little confusion over naming and identification shouldn't stand in the way of your including them in your garden. And now that many of them are available as container-grown plants that can be bought in flower, it's really just a matter of choosing the flowers you like.

Nevertheless, it's nice to know exactly which plant you're dealing with, so that you can be sure of its performance and size. While most of the larger nurseries and garden centres take care to supply plants that are true to type, make sure on first flowering that your cherries match their label descriptions. Misidentification, or perhaps misrepresentation, is common.


Prunus subhirtella cultivars and hybrids

Although the flowers of Prunus subhirtella are usually small and fairly simple, they appear from early winter well into spring, depending on the cultivar. Not only that, the cultivars themselves are long-flowering, often being in bloom for three weeks to a month. There are many cultivars, but most are similar to, or forms of the two main types listed below.

'Autumnalis' ( 'Jugatsu Sakura')

This is the most reliable winter-flowering form. It often starts to bloom in late April to early May and can carry flowers right through until mid September. It seldom produces a massive burst of bloom, rather sporadic clusters of flowers. This is just as well because the flowers are damaged by heavy frosts. The flowers of 'Autumnalis' are white to pale pink opening from pink buds; those of 'Autumnalis Rosea' are the same but with a deep pink centre.

'Pendula' ('Ito Sakura')

Prunus autumnalis tends to have weeping branches and 'Pendula' is a cultivar that emphasises this feature. Its flowers are usually pale pink and open in late winter to early spring. 'Falling Snow' is a cultivar with pure white flowers, while those of 'Rosea' are deep pink.

Sato-zakura hybrids

'Fugenzo' ( 'Shirofugen' )

'Fugenzo' was one of the first, if not the first, Japanese cherry to be grown in European gardens. It 's origins can be traced back to at least the 15th century. Its flowers are white to very pale pink, opening from pink buds, and when fully open how two conspicuous green leaf-like pistils in the centre of the flower.


'Taihaku' , also known as the great white cherry, has white flowers up to 5cm across. It grows to at least 8m tall with a wider spread and its flowers open at the same time as its bronze foliage expands, making a pleasant contrast. Thought to have been lost to cultivation, this cultivar was identified in Sussex garden from an old Japanese print.


Although 'Ukon' mean yellowish, this cultivar has very distinctive pale green flowers and is one of the few unmistakable cherries. Its foliage develops purplish tones in autumn. The unusual flower colour contrasts well with the likes of 'Sekiyama'.

'Amanogawa' ('Erecta')

'Amanogawa' grows to around 6m tall, but only around 1.5m wide, and has pale pink single flowers with a freesia-like scent. It blooms in mid-spring and in autumn the foliage develops striking yellow and red tones.

'Shogetsu' ('Shugetsu', 'Shimidsu-zakura')

'Shogetsu' flowers late and produces pendant clusters of white, double flowers that open from pink buds. The flower clusters are up to 15cm long, which makes a tree in full bloom an arresting sight, especially considering that 'Shogetsu' is not a large tree and that its weeping habit means it can be covered in bloom right down to the ground.

'Sekiyama' ('Kanzan')

Certainly among the most popular cherries and most often sold under the name 'Kanzan', 'Sekiyama' has a relatively narrow, upright growth habit when young but eventually develops into a spreading 12m tall tree. Its flowers, which are pink and very fully double, are carried in pendulous clusters of five blooms. They open from reddish-pink buds. The foliage has a slight red tint.

'Ariake' ('Dawn', 'Candida')

This cultivar grows to about 6m tall and flowers in spring as the foliage develops. The young leaves are a deep bronze shade that contrasts well with white to very pale pink flowers.

'Kiku-shidare' ('Shidare Sakura')

'Kiku-shidare' is similar in flower to 'Sekiyama', but it has a weeping growth habit. It is a small tree and is often smothered in bloom from the topmost branches down to near ground level. The flowers can each have up to 50 petals.

'Pink Perfection'

'Pink Perfection' was introduced in 1935 by the famous English nursery Waterer Sons and Crisp. It is a probable 'Sekiyama' × 'Shogetsu' hybrid and has flowers that show characteristics of both parents; the clustered blooms of 'Shogetsu' and the pink of 'Sekiyama'. The flowers are very fully double and the young foliage is coppery.


'Kofugen' has graceful semi-weeping branches and a fairly compact growth habit. Its flowers are not really single but semi-double, though the two whorls of petals are flat rather than ruffled, so the effect is not that easy to see.

'Shirotae' ('Mt. Fuji')

This beautiful tree has a spreading growth habit that in the best specimens shows distinctly tiered branches. Its flowers, which are white and semi-double on mature plants, start to open before the foliage expands. They are pleasantly scented.


Although possibly a Prunus × sieboldii cultivar, 'Takasago' is now more widely listed under the satozakura cherries. It bears clusters of semi-double pink flowers with bronze-red new foliage.

'Ojochin' ('Senriko')

This tree, rather squat when young, but eventually 7m tall bears single white flowers in such profusion as to give the impression of double blooms. Opening from pink buds, the flowers are up to 5cm in diameter and among the later to bloom. 'Ojochin' means large lantern, which aptly describes the shape of the flowers.

Other hybrids, species and their cultivars


One of the most popular of all garden cherries, 'Accolade' is a Prunus sargentii × Prunus subhirtella hybrid that develops into a flat-topped small tree. In spring it is smothered in pendulous clusters of large, bright pink, semi-double flowers.

Yoshino cherry (Prunus × yedoensis)

Well-known as an avenue tree, this Prunus subhirtella × Prunus speciosa hybrid is smothered in white to very pale pink blooms in spring before or as the new leaves develop. When the flowers are spent they form drifts of fallen petals around the base of the tree. There are several cultivars, such as the pink-flowered 'Akebono', the pale pink 'Awanui' and a weeping form ('Shidare Yoshino' or 'Pendula').

Taiwan cherry (Prunus campanulata)

The Taiwan cherry is valued for its early-flowering habit and fiery autumn foliage. The flowers, which are usually a vivid deep pink, are heavy with nectar and very popular with birds. Taiwan cherry is rather frost tender, though once established it grows well in most coastal areas.


Introduced in 1947 by the British authority Collingwood Ingram, 'Okame' is a hybrid between the Taiwan cherry and the Fuji cherry (Prunus incisa). It is usually quite hardy, though this appears to be variable, and it flowers heavily in early spring. The blooms open in late winter to early spring before the foliage develops and are a bright soft pink. 'Pink Cloud' is a similar though more compact cherry raised by Felix Jury.

Himalayan hill cherry (Prunus cerasoides)

This species is rather frost tender, especially when young, but is a beautiful tree where it grows well. Not only does it produce pink flowers in winter, when little else is in bloom, it has attractive banded bark and the unusual habit of shedding its foliage in late summer then producing new leaves before winter. The variety rubea has deeper pink flowers in spring.

Cyclamen cherry (Prunus cyclamina)

Flowering on bare stems in early spring, the cyclamen cherry is a hardy small to medium-sized tree from central China. The flowers, which are rose pink, are followed by bronze new growth that retains its colour for some weeks before greening. The leaves fall late in autumn and often colour well.

Sargent's cherry (Prunus sargentii)

This large and very hardy Japanese species is probably best known as one of the parents of the very popular hybrid 'Accolade'. It can grow to as much as 18m tall and will withstand at least -25°C. Its 3 to 4cm wide, bright pink flowers are complemented by red-brown bark.

Kurile cherry (Prunus nipponica var. kurilensis)

Usually little more than a large shrub, this Japanese cherry can reach 6m tall under ideal conditions. The flowers, which are soft pink and open from early spring, are backed by red sepals that hang on for a while after the flowers have fallen, thus prolonging the spring colour.

Prunus × sieboldii

This hybrid has given rise to several popular cultivars. The original cross is a slow-growing small tree with semi-double 3 to 4.5cm wide flowers in spring. The new stems are often very glossy.


Flowering cherries are largely undemanding plants that thrive in almost any well-drained soil. For the best display of flowers they need to see at least half-day sun and if sheltered from the wind, the blooms and the autumn foliage will last far longer than if exposed to the full blast of the elements.

Cherries are often seen growing as lawn specimens, but they can be planted in shrubberies, borders or small groves. By choosing a selection that flowers in succession, it's possible to have bloom from mid-winter to early summer.

Cherries are natural companions for azaleas and rhododendrons, and can be used to beautiful effect as shade trees for the smaller varieties of these or to shelter a collection of woodland perennials such as primroses and hostas. Japanese maples also blend well with cherries and they can combine to make a brilliant display of autumn foliage.


Flowering cherries seldom need major pruning once established. Young trees can be lightly trimmed to develop a pleasing shape and mature plant may be kept compact by tipping the branches, otherwise just remove any vigorous water shoots and suckers that sprout from the rootstock. Make sure that any pruning is done in summer to prevent infecting the trees with silver leaf fungus (Chondrostereum purpureum). Although this disease is present throughout the year, cherries are most resistant to it in summer.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Foot Pronation and the Figure Skater

There are many factors that will affect a figure skater's ability to perform jumps, spins, and various moves with correct technique. One would consider lack of muscle strength or flexibility, poor coordination, lack of sound technique, or poor concentration. Those with a biomechanically oriented mind will automatically think of a skater's alignment and body mechanics, looking at the skater from the bottom up. This may start by looking at the skater's feet and ankles.

There are two different types of foot dysfunction: over-pronation (pes planus) and over-supination (pes cavus). A person who overpronates presents with an arch that is flatter, more flexible, and closer to the ground than normal. One who oversupinates presents with an arch that is higher and more rigid than normal. For this article, only pronation will be discussed.

Pronation occurs from the joint between the tibia bone (lower leg) and the talus (ankle bone), and the joint between the talus and the calcaneous (heel bone). As the foot flattens, the ankle will cause the tibia to rotate inward. As the tibia rotates inward, this will affect angle of the knee joint. When the knee joint turns in more the normal, this is called an increase in the valgus angle of the knee. When a skater bends the knee, this phenomena increases, and the valgus angle gets larger.

Now picture how many times you see a skater bending into a deep knee bend on the ice: all the time! The biomechanics of the knee, ankle, and hip are involved in almost everything a skater does, notably jump entrances and landings, spin positions, basic turns, and stroking. If a skater has anatomical abnormalities such as excessive foot pronation, the entire kinetic chain of movement will be affected, making it difficult to achieve positions that are 'technically correct' in numerous skating moves. Think of the frustrated coach who attempts to correct a skater's technique, yet that skater cannot complete the correct positions due to poor biomechanics.

Let's take a lutz jump as an example. Skater A is riding backwards on a solid outside edge, preparing for the takeoff. As she reaches back and bends the skating knee, she immediately flips to an inside edge and must alter her shoulder and hip position to compensate. Skater A's coach notices that Skater A's knee turns inward as she is bending. This could result from two problems: pronation and/or hip weakness. The pronation could cause the knee to turn inward, making the opposite hip drop. This will shift the skaters weight to the inside edge, resulting in an incorrect lutz takeoff. How do we rectify this situation?

How Do We Correct Pronation?

The most ideal way to correct pronation is through a pair of custom fitted orthotics. A podiatrist, orthotist, or physical therapist who specializes in orthotic prescription will cast the foot, measure various angles of the foot and ankle joints, and evaluate a skater's gait pattern. This will result in a customized arch support that will prevent the foot from over-pronating and reduce the stress angle at the knee. The negative is, orthotics cost between $300-$400, which is a large expense. A young skater is also consistently growing, and may outgrow the expensive pair of orthotics in less than a year's time. Orthotics can be a big investment that last for a short time period. An adult skater or a teenager who has passed his or her growth spurt will be able to use the orthotics for several years, increasing the value of the investment.

An additional option for a young skater or a skater's family that may not be able to afford custom orthtics is a non-custom brand. The 'Superfeet' brand has created an arch support specifically made for skates, which can be trimmed to fit comfortably into the skate. This type of arch supoort is firm and will prevent the arch from collapsing in the skate. The negative to a non-custom arch support is the lack of differentiation between supporting forefoot versus rearfoot motion. In some skaters, pronation is caused by too much movement in the front of the foot, as opposed to the back of the foot. A custom orthotic will address the rear or forefoot movement with posting or wedging. You may find some experienced boot fitters who are able to add posting to a superfeet brand.

Pronation can also be affected by a skater's gastroc and soleous flexibility in the calf, which can be addressed by simple stretching. In conclusion, it is very important to address over-pronation in any level of figure skater. Simple biomechanical correction will help to improve technique and balance, prevent knee or back pain, and allow the skater to maximize his or her skating potential.

Lauren Downes, MSPT, is a licensed physical therapist, figure skating professional, and off-ice trainer. As the owner of Sk8Strong Inc. at, she has created sport specific strength and conditioning DVDs for figure skaters of all levels, a training manual, and various reports to educate the skating world about proper off-ice training techniques.


Finding Twilight Gifts

Looking for Twilight gifts for that Twilight fan in your life? We have a few great Twilight gift ideas for you. Understand from the beginning that a Twilight fan likely already has all four of the Twilight books. So you are going to have to get creative to find Twilight merchandise that they do not already have.

Twilight Clothes Twilight clothes are the easiest gifts to find. You will find official Twilight shirts at places like Hot Topic and Torrid. If you are looking for more customized Twilight shirts, look to custom printers like CafePress, Zazzle, and Customized Girl. You will find official merchandise there as well as unofficial, fan-made Twilight merchandise. More importantly, you can customize length of sleeve, size, and color on most of the shirts.

Twilight Jewelry Twilight jewelry is hot right now. Hot Topic, Torrid, and Amazon all have official Twilight Jewelry, which is mainly jewelry made with the Cullen Crest found in the movie. If you are looking for something more original, you will want to try eBay. There are hundreds of different pieces of Twilight jewelry made by fans on eBay. You'll find earrings, rings, bracelets, and pendants made for each of the characters. One of the most popular is the Bella Bracelet, made with charms like those given to Bella in the book series.

Twilight Collectibles Now that the Twilight movie is out, there are more Twilight collectible items, including trading cards, a board game, bag clips, buttons, and keychains. Most of these are official Twilight merchandise, but other fan-made items are making their way to eBay.

Twilight Christmas Ornaments Ornaments make a nice, inexpensive gift but can be difficult to find. Check CafePress for fan-made flat bulb ornaments. A better variety of Twilight ornaments can be found on eBay, including wooden carved ornaments and hand-painted ornaments.

The number of Twilight gift ideas increases daily, and you can find the most up-to-date Twilight gift ideas at sites like Most of these ideas will also work as New Moon gift ideas, Eclipse gift ideas, and Breaking Dawn gift ideas.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Effect Plastic Bags Have on the Death of Wildlife

A plastic bag can literally take 1000 years before it breaks down so after one animal dies from eating the plastic and its body decays, the plastic is left behind and can be ingested by another animal.

Turtle Food

Approximately 40 percent of autopsies done on turtles confirm the death being due to plastic bags stuck in their intestinal tract. When plastic bags float on the water, they look very similar to jellyfish which are a favorite food source for some turtles. These deaths can be prevented if everyone would simply use reusable grocery bags every time they go to the store.

One turtle in 2007 was found to have more than 50 items in her intestinal tract including nylon rope, plastic bags, cling film, balloons and candy wrappers. The less plastic that enters into the environment, the safer the wildlife will be.

Shameful Seas

A Bryde's whale that became stranded and died on Cairns beach in August, 2000 had an autopsy done to reveal 20 square feet of tightly packed plastic, primarily shopping bags, lodged in its stomach. So many whales like this one die in the ocean where the plastic eventually is exposed back into the water for other sea creatures to feed on, creating a viscous cycle.

It is estimated that over 100,000 marine creatures are killed each year because of plastic pollution. These animals are not dying instantly, they are suffering. Imagine not being able to digest any food and then not being able to eat because of it and literally just starving yourself to death all because of plastic bags and other plastic products. Every time consumers go to the store they make a conscious decision to either use a reusable shopping bag or not. It is not understandable why anyone would still choose to use traditional bags, knowing the harm that they are creating.

Changes Coming?

It is not uncommon to find flamingos, platypus and other animals, strangled from getting tangled in plastic bags and not being able to twist their way out. In Australia in 2008, a crocodile was found dead with 25 plastic bags in its stomach. Additionally, pelicans, seagulls and other birds are found daily with the same cause of death.

Due to these figures and other environmental concerns, many countries such as Bangladesh, Taiwan, China and Italy have either banned plastic bags completely or have issued laws to charge for them, making reusable bags the primary choice.

Sadly, in the United States, plastic industries rally hard to resist possible laws or bans, claiming that jobs will disappear. It is estimated that Americans throw away a minimum of 100 billion bags per year. Some cities, however are taking their own approach. Places like New York City are talking about imposing a six cents tax per plastic bag dispensed. Many stores already offer small incentives to consumers that bring their own Eco-friendly bags with them when doing their shopping.

Small changes are happening but you do not have to wait for city taxes or state laws to make a difference. Stop using plastic bags today to save the animals of tomorrow.

Eliza Reeder writes articles that deal with environmental concerns and eco-friendly living. She encourages everyone to help protect our planet's future by doing things like using reusable bags. You can find more eco-friendly living tips on her reusable shopping bags site.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Effectiveness of Online Training

Online training is known by numerous names and acronyms--computer-based training (CBT), web-based training (WBT), cyber-training, distance learning, e-learning, etc. By whatever name, online training is a method of delivering training through an electronic medium without the immediate presence of a human instructor. By taking advantage of technology, online training can be more cost effective by delivering more knowledge in a more flexible and efficient manner.

There are distinct advantages to online training that may apply to your organization. With an online training course you have the ability to consolidate education and training across geographical and time constraints. Courses can be delivered to people in different offices without the expense of travel and with less interruption of work schedules. For individuals with busy schedules, online training courses offer the flexibility of being available when the people are able to take the training.

This flexibility is the strongest facet of online training and the flexibility extends beyond scheduling. For many people, an online training course supplies material in a more palatable manner then instructor-led courses. This certainly isn't true for everyone, but the power of online training to help many people makes it an important tool for your training program. Online training is self-paced and includes interactive tutorials, questionnaires, case studies, self-assessment, and other features that easily assimilate to individual learning styles. Because people have more control over their training experience, online training offers the opportunity to learn in a non-stressful environment.

An online training course combines the advantages of uniformity in training and self-paced training. The basic course is the same for each trainee (while still offering you the chance to tailor instruction more easily) but can be delivered to different people at different times. While a human instructor is only available a limited time, online training materials don't "go home" and trainees can review the subject matter as needed or desired. Support can be supplied via e-mail or phone.

Online training most likely will not require any additional equipment at your location. Training is delivered through existing computers and an Internet connection. Most online courses will run through any Internet browser on any operating system. You will need to dedicate newer and powerful computers to the training is the course has graphics, sound or video. Don't make the mistake of using old castoff computers as your training computers. That will just make your trainees frustrated.

Still, being in an electronic format alone does not ensure that training is effective. How do you make the online training course effective for your people? To be effective, an online training course must be interactive without being messy. Bells and whistles are not always a benefit if they overburden the user. The course material and its interface should be streamlined. So, while you can incorporate video and audio instructions, interactive simulations, testing modules, and the like, the question you should be constantly asking is: "does this add to the substance of the course?" Does the way information is being portrayed supplement the learning object of a particular topic. If it does not add to the real content of the course and increase the knowledge of your trainees, then all of the flash and pizzazz will end up being more distracting than helpful. Likewise, always be sure that the learning interface, navigation graphics, and control buttons are easily understood and useable.

The self-paced flexibility of online training can also be a negative as well as a positive. Flexible should not mean unstructured. Yes, people can take the training when it fits their own schedule, but that schedule should still be a structured, set time, not just starting and ending when they feel like it. Thus, you probably want to have the online training course only available on computers inside a dedicated training room. Assign specific times for trainees to come for training in an environment where they can train undistracted. Really, your online training environment should be similar to an instructor-led training environment--a room conducive to learning and concentration where trainees can get the most out of their time.

When designed and carried out systematically and in an organized manner online training can be highly effective. Either as an addition to or a replacement for the face-to-face classroom environment, online training can be a strong part of your organization's training environment.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Portable Car Lock Alarm With Remote Protects Your Car

Here is one stat that you may not be familiar with but should be: every 25 seconds, a car is stolen in the United States. This is quite an impressive statistic for such a negative situation. Many people in this country don't have any sort of car alarm to protect one of their largest investments and most valuable assets. We have many personal protection items and once we saw this amazing statistic for ourselves, we knew we had to do something to help. We have searched long and hard to find some of the most affordable and practical car alarms just for you.

The portable car lock alarm with remote is one of our best-selling car alarm systems. It has protected millions of Americans from getting their cars stolen and will continue to do so in the future.

This car alarm is quite simple to use and is recommended for all that do not already have one installed in their vehicle. This great device is meant to deter potential thieves from making your life miserable by breaking into your vehicle. The portable car lock alarm with remote will most certainly deter any thieves as it is a very sensitive alarm. To set the alarm off, one only needs to tap the window or push on the car. One great and very convenient feature with this alarm is the fact that it has a remote. You will be able to arm/disarm this remote for easy use and access.

If you want something with a little more vocalization, then you should consider the 125 db steering wheel alarm with remote. This is a perfect alarm for an older vehicle that doesn't have a built in alarm. This alarm not only makes noise to let others know a crime is occurring, but it also features a flashing strobe light and alternating warning LED lights so that they can see that something is wrong. Also, like the portable car lock alarm, the 125 dB steering wheel alarm comes with an easy to use remote.

If you are looking for something that is a little more economical, we have a fake car alarm by Streetwise. Although it doesn't actually emit any type of alarm, the mere presence of this device is enough to dissuade any burglar. This "car alarm" features two bright LED lights that would normally be on any car alarm thus making any potential burglar believe that you actually have one.

Another type of alarm that can be very helpful is one that informs you of nearby objects when you are in reverse. Not only does this protect you and your vehicle, but it protects those around you. This is a very simple and affordable alarm that takes your driver safety to the next level.

We have found some of the most affordable and easy to use car alarms for you. These alarms could be the difference in whether your car is broken into or not. Do not become a victim of car theft when you have access to some of the most protective devices. Do not become a part of the daunting car theft statistic; protect yourself with a car alarm today.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Health Benefits of Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds are becoming more and more popular these days. It is no wonder why. The benefits you get from a good night of sleep and proper posture are numerous. Everyone needs to get a solid period of restful sleep each night. Believe it or now, humans spend around thirty percent of their lives in bed. That is a lot of time for the average life span! It makes sense then, that you should invest in a quality mattress and bed that will let you sleep comfortably. Old beds just do not cut it anymore. The future is now, and there are all kinds of great new sleeping products to help you get a better night of rest.

Amazingly, lots of people sleep on these old style beds and put up with discomfort on a daily basis. They wake up with aches and pain every day, but they never get around to doing anything about it. You do not have to keep suffering with your old mattress. There are tons of adjustable beds to choose from, and you can get one that is specifically customized to your needs. Why damage your health and keep hurting your posture? Making the switch to a comfortable adjustable bed is a wise move if you want to feel your best each day.

The results are in, and people everywhere have reported improved posture, reduced back and neck pain, better circulation, and a more restful sleep. An adjustable bed really does make a big difference. When you sleep on a flat old bed, your body is not properly supported. There is a lot of tension, and the curves in our body do not align correctly with the mattress. That is why you experience so much discomfort at times. Sleeping this way for years on end will lead to chronic health problems. Circulation and posture are important for a healthy lifestyle, so it makes sense to switch to a new bed before things get any worse.

An adjustable bed allows you to elevate various parts of your body to get the correct alignment. With special memory foam mattresses, you can increase circulation and reduce pressure on the rest of your body. That means less swelling in the legs and feet, less back pain, and more restful periods of sleep each night. You'll feel better than ever with an adjustable bed, so try one out soon. It's just one more way to live healthier.

On your quest for better sleep with a better bed, you should consider a GoldenRest premium adjustable bed. You will be pleasantly surprised at the craftsmanship and durability of adjustable electric beds when you choose GoldenRest.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tips On Recycling Office Paper

There are several good reasons why office paper must be recycled. First, papers used in offices are usually high-grade, and it's a shame to see these quality paper reduced to waste. A staggering 77% of these papers are recyclable. Second, an average business office employee can produce a pound and a half of paper waste in working for a business office daily. Finance offices generate waste paper from two to three pounds per employee daily. Third, production costs can be lowered simply by reducing office paper costs and using used paper whenever possible. Removing office paper from the garbage can reduce waste collection fees by 50%. Fourth, a ton of paper recycled is 6.7 cu yds saved landfill space. Removing this much paper from our waste would prolong the service of present landfill sites. Whether your paper supplies are plain white paper, copier paper, office paper, inkjet paper, or letter paper, these are all easily recycled. There are easy steps to recycling office paper. Recycling can start as soon as your employees are informed and consulted regarding the adoption of recycling schemes. Make sure that all employees know about the recycling program of your company. Recycling systems as simple as monitoring paper use and separating white paper from colored paper are widely-practiced in most offices. Placing labeled trash cans has proved to be an effective recycling method. Be sure, however, that the cans are placed where waste paper amounts to a significant number like in the computer rooms and records sections. Put the recycling can together in an accessible area so people will actually use them. Consulting the employees who work in that particular area where to position the recycling cans is a good idea. It's always a good idea to separate white papers like bond paper, copier paper, paper supplies, office paper, inkjet paper, and letter paper, together rather than mixing them with other paper like cardboard and newspapers. This way, even if you don't reuse the paper but sell them to recycling shops they will a higher value, since white paper costs more. It's also important to inform the maintenance crew. After all, you wouldn't want to waste your employees' recycling efforts undone by having an uninformed janitor haul your papers and dump them with food garbage. It's advised to train them how the recycling system works. Lastly, these reams of bond paper, copier paper, paper supplies, office paper, inkjet paper, and letter paper materials can bring you good money. So it's recommended to have a log book or record book handy to record the amount or weight of office paper that came from your company. This way, you can keep track of your paper wastes and evaluate if your recycling paper program is actually working to reduce paper use and waste in your office. Also, by keeping a record and receipt, you can be sure to be properly paid for them by the recycling companies. Article Source:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bedsheets Decorative Tips Article Source

Are you a person who strive to get artistic touch to everything? Do you find yourself bored with your present home furnishings? Are you trying to get rid of that old bed sheet but can't do it as it is not so old? Have you bought bedsheets that don't interest you enough to use on your bed now? Do you want something beautiful and inexpensive too? If even one of these questions generate a 'yes' as an answer then this is where you'll find creative ways to use your bedsheets.

Pillows and Cushions: Use bedsheets to make covers for pillows and cushions of shapes that interest you- rectangle, square, heart shape or round. What all you want is pillow forms, scissors, threads, and needle or you can simply get stitching kits including all the required items and make that exquisite pillow cover. You can even use ribbons, laces, beads, sequins etc. to embellish these covers to your entire satisfaction.

Curtains: Use your bedsheets to make curtains of various styles- swags, valence, paneled curtains or cafe curtains. If you are comfortable with sewing, make it yourself and if not, then get some professional help or you can manage to learn it from net about how to make curtains.

Quilts: They are simply adorable- the colorful quilts. You can use a number of sheets for making interesting patterns. Use embroidery, appliques or beads to embellish the quilts and you'll amazed to know how you don't recognize your bedsheets now!

Round Table Covers: Do you have a round table, and not getting the right sized table cover? Use your bed sheet to cut a circle from it, wide enough to cover the table down to the floor, sew the hemline and here is your round table cover ready for your use!

Mats: Have you bought mats made of rubber or coir but now you don't like their feel. Just cover them up with bedsheets and colorful, soft mats are ready for use. You can permanently sew them up with the mats or temporary arrangements, like attaching with the help of Velcros, can also be made.

These were only few of ideas that can be applied for using new bedsheets to decorate as well as reusing them for required purposes. Let your imagination do rounds to find out more interesting ways to use those bedsheets!

Looking for more home furnishings equipment like cushions, mats, quilts, curtains.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Selecting and Buy Wood Flooring

Are you in love with the warm rich look of wood floors? You aren't alone, wood floors have steadily increased in popularity over the last five years. They can be found in new construction as well as in homes undergoing renovations. So what's driving this trend toward wood floors? Actually it isn't just one factor, there are two very important factors. One is wood flooring technology and the other one is affordability. Both are remarkably connected. Advances in wood flooring technology have made it possible for just about anybody to afford the look of wood without the hefty price tag. Not so long ago one would expect to pay a small fortune to have wood floors installed. The materials alone were three to five times as expensive as other flooring options such as carpet or tile. Keep in mind that solid hardwood floors are still quite expensive but homeowners now have options in the forms of engineered woods and laminates.

In order to make a sound decision regarding your future floors you will need to know a few things. First you will need to understand the differences between solid wood, engineered wood and laminates. Then you will need to determine if you are qualified to install the flooring yourself or if you will need to outsource the labor. Finally you will need to outline what your flooring budget is and which wood flooring option best suits your current financial requirements.

Types of Wood Flooring

Solid wood is without a doubt the most luxurious and most expensive. Typically you can buy this wood in a variety of thicknesses like 3/4 and 3/8 inch in strips or multi-strip planks which are nailed to a wood or plywood sub-floor. As with engineered and laminate woods the multi-strip planks are precision cut to make installation easier and faster. A benefit that is seen in lower labor costs. Solid woods have a characteristic called hardness which is the degree to which the wood can withstand dents. Stability of a natural wood floor is it's ability to withstand changes in states due to contraction and expansion. Natural solid woods are graded from select to rustic. The more select the wood the less the notable flaws such as knots or color variations. A top-notch premium select wood is expected to have a clear grain and uniform coloring.

Engineered or laminate wood is a man-made strip or plank made from laminations of wood cuttings from one or more species. With advances in technology these woods can be as hardy and stable as solid woods. Some can even be sanded down and refinished in the same fashion as solid wood. This is a viable and fashionable option for those who want the look of wood without the price tag. Engineered woods have evolved quite a bit in the last decade and now it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between solid wood and engineered wood by just looking. Engineered woods also come in every style of wood available in its natural counter-part .

Characteristics of Wood Flooring with Regards to Decorating

Wood Species We are all familiar with the common woods; maple, oak, cherry, pine and walnut but exotics are rapidly replacing these tried and true wood species. Expect to see more woods with names like Brazilian Cherry, rosewood, purple heart, Bolivian Teak, mahogany, bamboo and cork gracing the floors of homes throughout the United States. ColorThe color temperature of wood can range from the cool end to the warmest end of the spectrum . Color choices range from the blondest woods to the deepest black walnut. Graining The tighter the grain of the wood the more smooth the texture of the wood. Conversely the more dispersed the grain the rougher the texture of the wood. LayoutThe direction the wood is laid in can create an optical illusion. If you want to create the appearance of a larger room then setting the wood flooring diagonally will achieve that goal. To direct the eye to look first in and then out or across the room lay the flooring in narrow strips running in one direction. PatternWood flooring is now available in the patterns from the simplest to the most complex. All visual treats that add a unique and custom feel to your home. FinishMost wood finishes are either matte or glossy. There are varying degrees of matte and glossy to suit every decorating taste and style.


In general if you have a large area to cover and you are faced with complex room layouts then you should seek out a professional floor installer. For solid wood floor installations the expertise of a professional is highly recommended. Most engineered woods or laminate woods are created with the do-it-yourself in mind. They typically are very easy to install however having said that if you are faced with a floor that is not perfectly square or even (is there one?) then you may find yourself in a tough situation which will require cutting the wood to fit. If you don't feel comfortable measuring and cutting the wood and possibly making mistakes then you should seek a professional installer to lay your engineered wood. It may be a bit expensive in the short term but in the long term you will save money by avoiding the additional purchase of another bundle or two of wood to replace the ones you butchered.


Decide what you can afford for both materials and labor and then add 15% to that total to give you your most likely budget costs. Shop around and compare. Keep doing that until you find the flooring that fits your style and budget.

Carmen Natschke is an award winning designer and co-founder of an online home decor shop and decorating resource. Carmen is passionate about decorating and has shared that passion with hundreds of women through her Decorating Divas workshops and seminars. She is currently working on her book "Decorate Like A Pro" which is based on the innovative approach to decorating taught in her workshops and seminars. Read other decorating articles [] by Carmen or visit her decorating blog [] for daily decorating advice and articles.


Using Buttons and Badges in the Health Care Industry

Buttons for hospitals can be a great way to spread motivation, identify people, and help with the healing process. There are a great many uses and fun projects that hospitals can do utilizing buttons. From Public Relations to patient care, buttons can serve you well in a hospital environment.

Any hospital with a children's ward should have a button maker machine. Children in the hospital are often frightened, disoriented and of course ill. For patients who are able to sit up and draw, button making can help fill those hours between visitors, occupy their mind and make them feel useful. A positive outlook plays a critical role in a patient's recovery and for children, it is important to inspire creativity to take their minds off their environment. Button making for the children can be both beneficial to their mental health and fun.

Provide a template to a child and some crayons or markers. Family members can bring photos or other flat items to add to the button. The children can be left to their own creativity or a daily or weekly theme can be used. For children who are long term patients, giving them a button to make everyday can ease anticipation and give them something positive to look forward to the next day. This will also help in establishing some form of routine, which in smaller children will help them feel safe in their environment. Completed buttons can be worn by the children, their families, the staff, or displayed on bulletin boards outside the door of their room. Displaying the buttons will make walking the halls interesting and fun for both children and family.

Buttons can be another great gift item in the hospital gift store. These are an inexpensive and easy item to make for sale in the shop. "Congratulations!" in pink or blue on a button for births would be a great idea for the new older brother or sister to purchase for mom. This same button can be added to a stuffed bear or bunny. "It's a Girl!", "It's a Boy!", and "Get Well" would all be great sayings for buttons to be added to stuffed animals or cards that are sold in the gift shop. For example, you can post a sign that reads "Buy a Stuffed animal and get a button for only a dollar more." Buttons make great keepsakes and are so inexpensive to produce that even at the price of one dollar you can make a handsome profit for the gift shop.

Buttons for patients and staff are another use for the button making machines. An interesting proposition for the new parents is to have a "New Dad" and "New Mom" button made up for them with the name, birth date, weight and length of their new child. These are great keepsakes for parents to put in baby albums. Proud parents can wear these buttons in the hospital and you can sell additional buttons for their family members such as grandparent's aunts and uncles. Imagine the pride on a new older brother's face as he wears a button that reads "Ask me about my new baby sister". These buttons show that you go the extra mile for your patients and their family.

Greg Allison is the marketing director for Button Biz. Button Biz is an online distributor of button maker systems and button supplies. Each button system includes a button maker, button parts, and circle cutter. Choose a round or rectangle machine in several different sizes.