Monday, April 30, 2018

Reviewing the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier

Honeywell is my choice for allergy and migraine relief.
Allergy season is upon us. While many people buy air purifiers to help reduce seasonal allergies, I have purchased the Honeywell True HEPA as an experiment to see if I could get some migraine relief. While the migraines have not ended, I have had some significant relief in the severity of my headaches.  I have also noted significant decreases in allergy symptoms and in unpleasant odors in the apartment. Honeywell is known for making a quality product and I'm really glad I made this purchase - whether or not it is the reason for my decreased migraines.


Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover HPA300


This air purifier is advertised as being able to handle up to a 465 sq ft area. It has clearly made a difference in the air quality in my apartment. I began my experiment with placing the air purifier in my living room - with plans to move it to my bedroom if I found that it didn't seem to be working well. However, I have not felt the need to move it. It seems to be clearing the air in my entire (albeit small) one bedroom apartment. 

When I decided to buy an air purifier, I asked my friend for his opinion regarding what I should look for. He works in HVAC and maintenance and I know he'd have at least one tip for me. My friend told me to be sure to choose a machine that has a "carbon pre-filter".  While that sounded like gibberish to me, I made sure to choose a machine with that feature.

The Honeywell True Hepa HPA300 uses three HEPA filters and one carbon pre-filter.  I will update this at a later date if I find that I am unhappy with having to replace that many filters. But in the meantime, that many filters seem to be what I needed.

It is advertised to be able to remove dust, pollen, gases/VOCs, some bacteria, mold, pet dander, and smoke from the air. 

It circulates the air 5xs per hour when in a 465 sq ft (or less) area.

It has different settings - including the "turbo" setting that I use for a few minutes nearly every day. This air purifier also has settings that run it for the amount of time chosen (2, 4, or 8 hours) before shutting itself off.

The filters were easy to install and once I realized that controls operated by a touch, it was easy to choose my settings. The blue light indicates which setting has been chosen.
top view: control panel


My Migraine Experiment


Without going into three decades of details, I've had severe migraines for a long time. The triggers for migraines are mysterious and hard to identify. As I have aged, my migraines were decreasing and I was hopeful about the comment from the neurologist that they should end with menopause. Yippee! Come on menopause. Imagine my disgust when my migraines had nearly ended, only to return with gusto.

During this past winter, I woke in the middle of the night suddenly thinking that the apartment was on fire. You may or may not recall that I live in a small, old, and poorly maintained apartment. I realized that some of my new neighbors smoke like coal fired steam engines. Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic. But I realized that I had resumed waking in the night with migraines around the same time as a massive turnover of neighbors in the adjacent apartments. Neighbors who smoke a lot.

Later, I realized that when I went on trips to visit my children in their homes (all non-smokers and not living next to Ceech & Chong and the Marlboro Man) I was migraine-free. Coincidence? Maybe. But people with migraines will try just about anything to find relief. I decided to try an air purifier.

So far, with the purchase of this air purifier, my migraines continue frequently, but are much easier to manage the pain level. And they end much sooner than ever before. I have not missed a day of work due to migraines since adding this Honeywell True HEPA to my home, and that is saying a lot.

I run this air purifier at least 8 hours every day. And I hit that "turbo" button when I can smell the neighbors (any type of smoke, their cooking, the exhaust fumes of the truck outside, etc).  

The reasons to run an air purifier are as individual as every individual living space. I have found that for the smoke, allergens, and pet dander I am seeing a difference in my comfort level. I'm really glad I made this purchase. And fingers crossed for continued migraine improvements.






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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Most People Are Good by Luke Bryan

Listen on Apple Music
When I first heard "Most People Are Good' on the radio, it reminded me of a poem I wrote nearly 20 years ago based on the same premise called, 'I See Good People'.

If you find yourself frustrated with the negative energy that seems to infect our airways and unfortunately the internet, then you'll want to listen to the bit of hope expressed in the music and lyrics of this Luke Bryan song.

Are Most People Basically Good?

The operative word here is 'most'.

One way to answer that question is through a famous quote in the James Allen (b.1864-d.1912) book, 'As a Man Thinketh':

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills,
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass

James Allen, a British Philosophical Author, is quoted as saying, "A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts".

Another famous quote by Buddha says exactly the same thing, "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world".

We march through history with lists of famous souls who have repeated this same principle from century to century. I think they're trying to tell us something?

Life's Challenges Can Shade Our Hearts

No matter how much sunshine we allow in our life, there's always some darkness to overcome. However, those dark moments don't have to define us.

Luke Bryan expresses it well in this verse:

(Lyrics) I believe them streets of gold are worth the work
But I still wanna go even if they were paved in dirt
I believe that youth is spent well on the young
'Cause wisdom in your teens would be a lot less fun
I believe if you just go by the nightly news
Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose

Every generation has it's struggles, and progress isn't easy, but basic goodness is something we can only control from within, and as James Allen so eloquently states in the above quote, "The tool of thought, shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills".

According to most of the great minds that came long before us, 'we are what we think'. Simple, yet hard to master.

Luke Bryan's song reminds us that it may be as simple as choosing to believe that most people, are in fact, good.







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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Crobots – An Amigurumi Robots Crochet Pattern Book Review

Pixabay Image w/Text by Fotojet
Robots have fascinated people for many years and are especially popular with children. No doubt the favorite robot in recent years is R2D2 from Star Wars!  The robots, androids and artificial intelligence we have seen are machines made of metal or some other hard material which are fascinating to watch and fun to look at, but not to hold. 

How about if we made playtime toy robots out of something soft, such as yarn?  If you were to crochet a yarn robot, it might be called a CROBOT





Crobots


Crobots: 20 Amigurumi Robots to Make
In this crochet pattern book called Crobots by Nelly Pailloux, there are instructions to create 20 tiny creatures which are cute and cuddly and adorable. 

Each Crobot pattern includes a color photo of the finished 'robot', an ingredients list showing you everything you need to match the photos in each section, along with instructions for creating them.  Each Crobot is crocheted in sections, then joined together. The instructions also include a Blueprint page showing you how the sections fit together. 




Many of these crobot creatures are decorated with beads, sequins, buttons, jewelery fasteners, and even nails & wire springs. 

Big Bot Created for an Anime Shop
This is Big Bot made using sequins for eyes and a spring nose.This version of a Crobot looks really cute if you are making it for an adult Sci-Fi, Steampunk or Anime Fan to perhaps decorate a work space or give as a unique gift.  

Thinker I call Snow Bot

But I crochet primarily for children, so my version of these crobots are finished with simple embroidery to keep them soft & safe all over. Whichever version you choose, these tiny Crobot robots are fun to make in crochet. They include a Space Mouse, a Cosmic Bear, a Dogbot, a Catbot, a Zombiebot, a Geisha Girl, a Ninjabot, an Alienbot and a dozen more.  They each take very small amount of yarn and are fun to make. 


A Few Examples of Crobots I Created from this Book




The Thinker


This quiet little doll is called THINKER in the Crobot crochet book.  I decided he looked like a Snow Bot and crocheted him in white acrylic yarn filled with soft polyfil toy stuffing. He has burgundy ears on his large Amigurumi head, and embroidered features. His spindly embroidered arms and sweet wistful face show off the fact that he is a thinker who likes to sit quietly and figure things out. He's the perfect companion for a quiet child. He'd also sit quietly on someone's desk at work to help them concentrate.

Sammy the stuffed snow bot robot doll measures just 5 inches tall. He's soft and sweet and ready-to-ship. 


Matryoshka the Housekeeping Crobot



Burgundy Babushka Robot Doll

In the Crobot pattern book, Matryoshka is described as having a babushka mother and a robot for a father, making her quite technical at heart with the rivets, dials and switches shown in the pattern.  I decided she'd make just a sweet babushka doll, so her features are embroidered.  My version is round and soft and comfortable for little hands to hold.

My cute little Babuska doll is hand-crocheted in burgundy acrylic yarn with a white face with embroidered features. She is softly stuffed with polyfil toy stuffing and measures just 4 inches tall. 

Burgundy Babuska doll will fit nicely in a pocket for a child to carry around to play with. She is very squeezable in her round shape and would fit perfectly on someone's desk at work as a cheerful presence. She could also make an excellent stress ball and wouldn't mind at all if you squeeze her. :)

Burgundy Babuska would also make a cute Valentine's Gift, stocking stuffer, or a cute gift for little girls for a birthday or anytime gift.



Geisha



Geisha Girl Amigurumi Doll
This is a Geisha Girl Amigurumi Doll who is a sweet and shy little doll dressed in Geisha Girl style. 

She measures 6 inches tall and has a sweet hand-embroidered face. 

Her elaborate hairstyle has red ties and she is wearing little sandals on her feet. 

Geisha Girl Doll is hand-crocheted in acrylic yarn in black and white with a Sunshine print Kimono. 

She is filled with new polyfil and is ready-to-ship to a toybox near you or be a friendly companion on your desktop.  






Past Examples



A few other examples of Crobots (a Baby Bot and a Sumo Robot Doll) I have made from this book are shown above.  These have sold, but can be recreated by a request through my Etsy Shop, Coastal Crochet Crafts.



Crobots Summary



Crobots Craft Book is Available on Amazon

This is a unique and interesting little crochet pattern book for crafters who like to make little dolls, especially with a Sci-Fi or Steampunk theme to them. 





(c) 2018 by Wednesday Elf







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Friday, April 27, 2018

Illegal Harvest: An Up-cycling Mystery Reviewed

Illegal Harvest:  An Upcycling Mystery Reviewed

Illegal Harvest: An Up-cycling Mystery Reviewed
(Roni Rainer Mysteries Book 2) 


A few months back, I was delighted to review Death Takes A Spin:  An Up-cycling Mystery which is the first book in the series.  Today I want to introduce you to the second book in this fabulous series by Beverly Owens.

If you have read Death Takes A Spin, you will already be familiar with the main characters in these books.  However, if you have not read that book, please allow me to give you a quick list and description of them.


The Characters of Illegal Harvest:  An Up-cycling Mystery


Roni Rainer inherited her grandmother's antique store, Revived.  In an attempt to keep the store profitable, Roni has started up-cycling (renewing) old decor in order to make it have new appeal.  After all, the current generation does not embrace antiques just because they are "antiques".   

Her employees definitely help to make the store, and the book, a success.  Clay is most often the first employee you would meet if you entered the shop.  He is delightfully animated and fun, especially when he encounters a spider.   In spite of his fear of spiders, he genuinely cares for his co-worker, Charlotte, his favorite "little spider".   Charlotte has an artistic eye for up-cycling, which makes her an invaluable employee.  She can simply look at a piece and her mind is flooded with ideas for creating a unique work of art in furnishings and home decor.  Her work is extremely popular with customers.  There seems to be a touch of romance in the air between Charlotte and CC, a temporary employee who appears to be making a permanent place for himself at the shop.

Valerie is Roni's best friend and divorce attorney.  Together they head the committee responsible for the planning and development of the new Beaver Falls skate park.  The two friends were appointed by the city benefactor, Willie Smythe, who was murdered in the first book, Death Takes A Spin

Kitchi is also a very important character in the book.  He is Roni's dear friend and "adopted" grandfather who has taught her the ways of his American Indian ancestors. This will prove to be a valuable resource for Roni in the Illegal Harvest plot. 

Last, but by no means least, you will also get to know Mitch, a deputy sheriff who recently returned to Beaver Falls.  Mitch has long been in love with Roni, but is patiently waiting for her and the right time.


The Illegal Harvest: An Up-cycling Mystery Plot


 Illegal Harvest: An Up-cycling Mystery
(Roni Rainer Mysteries)
Check Price
Still recovering from the last murder in their small town, Beaver Falls is once again shocked when the body of Mateo Hernandez is discovered.  No one can fathom why this young man would be killed.  He has certainly never been the cause of any trouble.  When a nearly starved and terrified woman shows up in town, she is able to shed light on why Mateo is dead and why she fears for her own life. 

Roni finds herself in grave danger when she crosses the path of the murderers.  She knows just enough to be suspicious, perhaps even frightened, but not enough to know anything for certain.  However, the murderers know she is watching and they warn her to back off.  Between her deceptive husband, the warnings from the killers, and her deepest concern for her two daughters, Roni finds little peace.  Her normally safe environment has definitely been disrupted.  


My Recommendation


The Roni Rainer series is an easy enough read that I won't hesitate to recommend that you read both books in order.  The first book in the series does a thorough introduction and develops each character to such a degree that you feel you know them personally.  I believe knowing them beforehand will help tremendously when reading the second book, Illegal Harvest.  

Both books are spellbinding mysteries that you will definitely want to read! Both books are available in paperback and for Kindles.



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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Photographing Birds in Flight


Review of Tips on Photographing Birds in Flight

  1. Patience-  This is #1
  2. Long lens- I used 70-300mm for most of my photos
  3. Find the right location--birds seem to congregate near water to find food so that is a good place to start
  4. Understand bird behavior-Observation is key here.  The more you observe the better your chances of catching birds in flight.
  5. Using right settings on your camera.  A shutter speed of 1/500 or higher is ideal
  6. GET CREATIVE and Have Fun!

Florida Wilderness Reserve

The area where we stayed this past March was a wonderful place to observe and photograph birds.  I spent some time each day walking along the reserve area of wetlands and observed the birds in the area.  After a few days, I got quite familiar with their behaviors and was able to find the right times to photograph them.  I found late afternoon and early evening to be a great time to catch the birds in flight.  I particularly enjoyed photographing the Herons, Egrets, and Ibis in flight.

First Tries

I found that my first attempts did not quite give me the results that I wanted.  I would have loved for the photo below of the Sandhill Crane and the Spoonbill Roseate to be in better focus.



In my attempts to quickly photograph birds in flight, I ended up with a lot of backsides of birds.

With Lots of Patience

I eventually got a few shots of birds in flight that I feel were good.  Here is a blue heron.
 And I also like this  pair of egrets.

Slower Birds are Easier

I found photographing the Whistling Ducks in flight to be easier, but then they are a bit slower.


My Photos on Zazzle Products





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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review

A Glimpse into What Ruth Graham Learned as a Child of God


For a long time I thought of Ruth Bell Graham simply as Billy Graham's wife. I knew she was the daughter of medical missionaries and had spent her childhood in China. Other than that I didn't know much about her until I started to read her books. I'd like to share one of them with you here: Legacy of a Pack Rat.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Image Courtesy of Pixabay, edited in PicMonkey


Those of you who know me probably know why I had to open and read this book. I'm a pack rat. This was one of the books that I've had around the house I'd been waiting to read. I'm trying to read through these piles of books now so that I can pass them on. I won't be passing this one on just yet. It's a keeper.

If you've ever kept a journal or made a scrapbook, you know that only what is significant to you goes into it. Much of this book is treasured memories. Some of it is Ruth's original poetry. You will also find quotes from others which she wanted to preserve and keep handy to read over and over. As I read the results of Ruth's collation, I got a great deal of insight into who she was.

One portion I especially appreciated was Chapter 42: "Bible Study for Tough Times." These are suggested passages to read followed by some of Ruth's thoughts on persecution, affliction, and God's sovereignty and sufficiency.

Some anecdotes in the book are humorous. Some thoughts she shares are inspired by her Bible reading. Many stories are about her interactions with her husband, children, and parents. All of the stories, meditations and poems leave me with something to ponder after I read them.  One example from Chapter 43 shows how a barracuda gave Billy Graham more energy than he knew he had.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Image of Barracuda Courtesy of Pixabay. TExt added with PicMonkey


The Perfect Book for Small Bits of Time


This book offers inspiration in short doses at times when you may need it most. Only a few minutes for a morning quiet time when you're still too tired for real Bible study? Reading a bit of this book will speak to your spirit and keep you going until you have more time and energy.

Are you sick in bed or in the hospital and can't read anything heavy for encouragement? This book is just right. It's also good to have beside your hospital bed for family who are keeping vigil when you are sleeping after surgery. It's perfect for reading while you are in the ICU waiting room awaiting your next visit with a family member who is in critical condition. You can also take it to a friend who is in the hospital for surgery or to recover from an illness.

Keep it by your own bedside and read a short chapter before you close your eyes. That can help focus your mind away from problems or pain that may be keeping you from falling asleep immediately.

I carry it with me now when I know I may spend time waiting anywhere. It doesn't require long periods to finish a section, since chapters can be less than a page to five pages in length. Most chapters are a page or two. I used to keep my Kindle in my purse for these waiting times, but then I often find I don't want to put my book down and tackle my to-do list when I get home. Instead I want to finish my book. Legacy of a Pack Rat is easy to pick up, read, and put down when you need to do something else.

Who Will Get Most Out of This Book?


I would say that Christians or those who believe in God will benefit most by reading this book. Ruth Graham knew what it's like to be a young mother with several young children and a husband who is gone frequently for long periods of time. So she understands the pressures of other young mothers. She also understands what missionaries face as they work in other countries and cultures. She understands what it means to be very busy and very tired. She understands being under pressure. Her book speaks to those at any stage of life from teen to old age.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Photo  ©Barbara Radisavljevic, Poem  © Ruth Bell Graham


This book offers food for thought in the form of humor, poetry, inspirational quotations, stories from the mission field, stories of returning prodigals, and more. She deals with hard topics like death, persecution, church problems, suffering, and forgiveness, interspersed with humorous anecdotes, reflections on prayer, original poems, and inspiring family stories.

Many of these stories may also be interesting to those who are not yet believers. Some may help a seeker move closer to faith. But I recommend the book most to those who already desire to walk closely with the Lord and lead lives that are very busy and/or who struggle with physical or emotional pain. 

The other two books you see below offer more insight into the life of Ruth Graham. Two of her children, including Franklin, were prodigals at one time. In Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, she reveals her heart as she waited for them to come home spiritually and explains how the experience helped her learn to rest in God's sovereignty. In Footsteps of a Pilgrim, Ruth reflects on her life both as a child in China and as a wife, mother and grandmother in the United States.

You can buy Legacy of a Packrat and the other books by Ruth Bell Graham at Amazon by clicking a link below or you may find them on eBay for less. 





You may also want to read my review of Billy Graham's book, Facing Death and the Life After.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hazel Martin Series Reviewed

Historical English Setting 

Twenties Style image from pixabay.com
The Hazel Martin series of mysteries really fits my favorite genres with a capital B for books! First of all, they are mysteries which I love to read. Secondly, they take place in 1920s England which I also love. And thirdly, the plots are interesting and different.

I love the premise that Hazel Martin is a mystery writer who gets called in to investigations of a real murder from time to time. She is quite a lovable character who I think most women can identify with. She has recently been widowed so she is learning to do things on her own. Her station in life isn't exactly aristocratic but she does live in a Manor House and has a staff of servants. Unlike many of the  wealthier folks of her time, she treats her staff more like family than servants and I love that about her. 

Hazel also has a wonderful Siamese cat whose name is Dickens. He is quite the clever cat who often helps her sort out clues in the process of figuring out who did the dirty deed and why. 

All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed this short little series of mystery books by Leighann Dobbs. 

The books are easy to read without too much unnecessary babble that has nothing to do with the plot. There are a few little twists that keep the reader guessing and most of all they are well written little pieces of mysteries with an historical theme.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hazel facing the changes of her circumstances and deciding that perhaps she should try to be a little more modern with her fashion sense and ways of looking at life in general. She is independent, smart and interesting to follow.

If you love a nice little mystery with not much in the way of gory styles of murder, a cozy little mystery; then I think you will enjoy the Hazel Martin Series. There is a bit of the intriguing life of the upstairs gentry with the downstairs servants that I love to read about and watch in movies. The 1920s were a time of change around the world and I think the author touches nicely on those changes. I don't think you will be disappointed if you choose to begin reading this wonderful little series of books. 


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Monday, April 23, 2018

Furemover the Pet Hair Removal Solution

FURemver: removes dog hair from the Jeep seats
Are you tired of fighting the never-ending battle with pet hair in your house and car? With two dogs and a cat, I had given up trying to keep pet hair at bay. Then my son showed me a miraculous product - The Furemover broom. Had I not not watched him sweep up a pile of dog-hair-dust-bunny in a matter of moments, I would have NEVER believed it. As soon as I returned home I ordered my own Furemover broom and brushes. 


Low Pile Rugs and Floofy Dogs


Recently, while visiting my son and family, my son pulled out a broom-like device and quickly swept the carpet with it. I had seen that their puppy (an adorable Lab, Great Pyr, Akita, Chow mix) had left a couple of small furry fluffs of hair in the spot where he lays.  But to me, the rest of the rug looked perfectly clean.

After a very quick brushing of the carpet a sizable pile of dog hair was gathered and thrown away. I was amazed! I wanted to fall to the floor and start taking close-up photos of that pile of hair but it was my first visit in their home as a family and I thought that might look too weird, even for me.

After I returned home, I was so sure that I wanted to review this product that I asked my son to take a photo of a pile of hair for use on in my review. He happily obliged. 
My grandpup and the Furemover broom at work

The Furemover broom clearly works extremely well on low pile rugs and to remove floofy dog hair.

Unfortunately, the Furemover broom did not work as well on my el-cheapo, high pile, apartment carpet (shag) to remove Daisy's prickly, short, white hairs.

BUT .... even though the Furemover broom can't seem to gather the plague of short, prickly dog hairs from my shag carpet the Furemover cleaned my welcome mat with just a minute or two of sweeping.  



Also, I bought the Furemover duo brush. I highly, highly recommend the duo brush. This 2-sided brush has at least two fans in my home. Daisy loves me to brush her with it (and she's never really allowed me to brush her previously) and it is perfect for getting her pokey little hairs out of the Jeep seats!


Furemover Duo Brush for Car Seats


I had completely given up on cleaning the Jeep interior. With some work, Willy's softer hair can be vacuumed out. Daisy's hair just burrows into the seat fabric and is nearly impossible to remove. Just before my visit with my son, I paid several dollars for the public vacuum and worked up a sweat trying to remove the white prickley pestilence from the seats - only to resort to hand picking each little hair from the areas of the seat where he'd be sitting.

This Furemover Duo brushes nearly all of the embedded hairs from the seat as though they are laying on top of the surface.




When the broom arrived it required assembly - which was screwing the handle into the broom. The broom head is a very soft rubber so cross-threading would have occurred easily. But with a little attention to making sure I didn't cross-thread it the broom screwed on to the handle easily.

I'm very happy to own these brooms and brushes. These inexpensive items are excellent solutions for fluffy pet hair on low-pile rugs and all sorts of pet hair (including the short, prickley hairs like Daisy sheds) on your car seats. 


Additional note: That beautiful grandpup of mine is a rescue. Please consider adopting a dog or cat that needs a home.


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Sunday, April 22, 2018

3 Easy Ways to Cover Wall Imperfections Without Painting

Real or Faux - Brick and Wood Looks
Imperfect walls can be frustrating. We see them, where others may not, and they drive us crazy!

When painting isn't an option, or something you feel like doing, there are several other techniques you can employ to solve your flawed wall issues.

Wall Murals & Decals

Today's wall murals come in many materials; most commonly you'll find vinyl and paper.

You can get full wall coverage with a vinyl wall decal, however, it can be a bit expensive to cover a large wall. In fact, most of the large wall decals approach the five hundred dollar mark. But remember the advantage of a vinyl decal is being able to easily remove it.

If you're renting, vinyl decals are much easier to take down when the rental period is up. Depending upon the quality of vinyl you choose, you may or may not have to repair the paint underneath after removing it. However, higher quality decals tend to be removable without the worry of wall or paint damage.

If you have an overly flawed wall, another tip is to choose a geometric design in either paper or vinyl. The three dimensional look helps to hide any obvious boo-boos that might otherwise peek through a plain or solid design.

Faux Brick Wall Treatments
If a wall has quite a few flaws, wallpaper (not vinyl) may be the wiser choice.

In fact, if the walls have obvious marks or flaws to cover, then a durable wallpaper, like Grass Cloth should be considered.

You can essentially get any pattern, scenery, or design in vinyl or paper, making it possible to create virtually any artistic look you want.

Faux Wall Treatments - Faux Brick, Faux Wood

You don't have to spend a fortune to cover an unattractive wall. Faux vinyl materials exist in various styles including faux brick and wood. Or if you're willing, you can put up actual wood panels. Today's decorating choices essentially give you any design, look or color in faux or real wood.

Creating a feature wall can change the look of a room. A flawed wall gives you the chance to put your inner artist to the test. The wall that was once painful to look at, can be become your home's Picasso.

Getting started is the hardest part. Look around your room and decide what design would look best on your wall; geometric, bricks, or wood ... and then find the look you want in easy to install faux art.

3D Green Fields and Peaceful River Curtains3D Green Fields and Peaceful River Curtains
Use Three Dimensional Drapes to Cover a Flawed Wall

When you're not into painting, and you're not into vinyl decals, and you're absolutely not into wallpaper, but you need to do something to fix that eye-sore, then three dimensional drapes are the way to go. 

You don't need a window to put up drapes!

Put up the drapery rod and add the artistic scenery drapes to cover your wall, floor to ceiling and wall to wall, and you've solved your problem! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

Oh, and the best part, get two or three designs in three dimensional draperies, and switch them up when you get tired of them! Go seasonal in your designs; spring, summer, fall and winter. 

There you have it, three easy ways to fix up your walls without painting; have fun!



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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Reviewing uses for tea tree oil
Click here to buy some Tea Tree Oil
I was first introduced to Tea Tree oil over 20 years ago and absolutely love it.  At the time that I was introduced to it I was managing a health food store in New Zealand and the brand I used was Thursday Plantation.  Thursday Plantation was the first company to make tea tree oil commercially, but over the years many other companies have followed suit.

I was really excited when Arbonne released their new products for the year and tea tree oil was one of them.  As a company I love the ethics of Arbonne, the fact that all of their products are of high quality, PETA approved, vegan and so much more means that I will be using their tea tree oil.

How Do I Use Tea Tree OIl

Treating Things with Tea Tree Oil


Over the years I have used tea tree oil in many ways, from household uses to medicinal uses and there are lots of other uses that I haven't tried.

Tea Tree oil has antiseptic properties and is both a germicide and a fungicide, in fact according to Valerie Ann Worwood (The Fragrant Pharmacy) it's antiseptic properties are thought to be 100 x more powerful than carbolic acid.

I have used it in a diffuser or burner when I've been sick (although to be honest I prefer lemon oil as it doesn't make the house smell like a hospital!).

My husband used to get a recurring fungal infection on his toe nail and was constantly using a cream from the doctor which would help it, but it would never go away completely.  I decided that we should use tea tree oil (much to the dismay of my sceptical husband!)  I put one drop of tea tree oil onto a dampened cotton bud and wiped it over the nail twice a day.  Much to my husband's disbelief it actually worked and the fungal nail infection went away completely.

The owner of the health food store I managed used to get dandruff and he found that once he used a tea tree shampoo and conditioner it cleared up.  Well to be honest I didn't think my husband would like the smell of the shampoo and conditioner and I already had the oil so I told him to put the shampoo onto his hand and then add one drop of tea tree oil, mixed it together and then use it on his head.  Lo and behold his dandruff disappeared.

It's amazing how over the years my husband has been much less of a sceptic!

Beauty Uses for Tea Tree Oil


When I worked at the health food shop there were a few products for acne that were based on tea tree oil that were very successful for our customers, but I heard of a couple of cool ideas on a training I recently attended.

Tea Tree Skin Tonic

2 drops of tea tree oil
40 drops of witch hazel

Use this on your skin in place of a toner.  I think this is awesome as I know a couple of years ago I worked with a young lady and she used straight witch hazel to clear up her problem skin, coupled with my previous customer's experience with tea tree I think this is a winning combination.

If you have blemishes anywhere on your body you could add a couple of drops to coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to your skin.

You can add 1-2 drops to your existing masks, scrubs or face creams.  The only thing you can NOT do is add it straight onto your skin.  This is a pure essential oil which means it's highly concentrated and should always be diluted before using.

Steam Bath for Acne

Of course you can always add hot water to a bowl with 2-3 drops of Tea Tree oil and then pop a towel over your head and the bowl and let the combination of steam and tea tree work it's magic.  As a disclaimer although I remember my friends steaming their face as an 'acne cure' as a teen I didn't suffer from acne so I'm not sure if it worked.  My daughter tried it a couple of times, but didn't like the smell as it reminded her that I used tea tree on her when she had nits!  (I can't remember the ratio I used for that).  As she wouldn't give it a chance it didn't work.

Arbonne Essential Oils
Purchase Arbonne Essential Oils here

Household Uses for Tea Tree Oil

My favorite way to use tea tree oil around the house was in the toilet!  I would lift the cistern up and pop a dozen drops of tea tree oil to the water in there.  Every time you flush you get a very faint odour of the tea tree oil, when I couldn't smell it anymore (or a week had passed) I would add more drops.

Now I wasn't doing it for that fragrance by the way, I did it because it really helped to keep the toilet bowl cleaner.  I haven't done this in a while because with our last toilet I couldn't easily access the cistern, but with our newer toilet and Arbonne releasing their tea tree oil I will start this again!

I have also used tea tree oil for removing scuff marks off of lino floors (add a drop to a damp cloth and wipe).  Talking of floors you can also add 1 tsp of tea tree oil to 1 1/5 gallons of water and use that to wash your floors.  My husband's response was that it smelt like a hospital, so the next time I also added a couple of drops of lavender to try and mask the smell.  I no longer do this because my husband really didn't like the smell and sometimes you just accept defeat in some areas!

If you like the smell of tea tree oil you can also add it to your vacuum bag when vacuuming - I tended to only use lavender essential oil (see above re husband's complaint!), but I now have a bagless vacuum so I don't get the lovely smell as I'm cleaning the house!

Dogs & Tea Tree Oil

Now dog's have very sensitive skin so do NOT put tea tree oil directly onto a dog's skin, but it can help if they have sores or are itchy, it just must be diluted.  If your dog is itching a bit then simply pop 1 drop into the shampoo before washing him/her. 

My late dog got a nasty sore on his tummy so I diluted a drop of tea tree oil in a natural base cream (I can't remember the name of it) and rubbed that on it.  It worked really well.  For my current dog I've always used pawpaw ointment (no need to mix anything).

Have You Used Tea Tree Oil?


There are lots of uses for tea tree oil which I haven't even touched on, I'd love to know if you've used it and what your experiences of it have been.





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