Category: Fireplaces

Oak Trees & Caterpillars

Caterpillars on oak trees are rarely a significant problem. Oaks are acorn-bearing trees that grow in most habitats. Occasionally they endure infestations of caterpillars during summer and spring, but usually they recover and develop new leaves with no help from gardeners. Caterpillars are the young types moths, butterflies and other insects.

California Oakworms

Despite their name, California oakworms (Phryganidia californica) are actually caterpillars. When recently hatched, they are yellowish-green with dark-brown stripes along their sides and dark-brown heads. They climb up to 1 inch long and mature to dark-colored caterpillars with olive or yellow lengthwise stripes. Coast live oak trees (Quercus agrifolia) are their principal source of food. Heavy infestations of these caterpillars on trees typically are followed by mild infestations, giving trees period to recover.

Fruittree Leafrollers

Fruittree leafroller caterpillars (Archips argyrospila) are green, about 3/4 to 1 inch long and have a dark or brown mind. They feed on oak buds and developing leaves, drawing them together with silken threads to form a protective casing. When disturbed, a fruittree leafroller frequently wriggles and falls, suspending itself by a thread. Mature fruittree leafroller caterpillars eat whole leaves, leaving just leaf skeletons. A heavy infestation of these caterpillars can eat the leaves of an whole tree.

Western Tussock Moths

The young of tussock moths are hairy caterpillars, and it is best never to touch them since their hair is quite irritating. The Western tussock moth (Orgyia vetusta) caterpillars have four white tufts that stick and red spots on their sides. They consume the young growth of oak trees for about six to eight weeks before spinning cocoons that also contain irritating hairs. All these caterpillars develop from 1/2 to 1 inch long.


Oak caterpillars have a lot of predators, including parasitic wasps and flies, birds, spiders and yellow coats. Viruses and fungi also attack them. Healthy oaks typically survive caterpillar infestations readily, but trees afflicted by drought or overfertilizing are vulnerable. Broad-spectrum sprays aren’t acceptable to control the caterpillars since they frequently kill beneficial insects. A microbial insecticidal spray such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is used to control oakworms, according to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program. Bt causes the caterpillars to stop feeding and die.

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Repelling Moles from the Yard With Vibrations

Together with their furry faces, nearsighted eyes and oversized front nails, moles appear anything but threatening, and they eat grubs and worms, not just the vegetables you cultivated all night. Nevertheless, their tunnels do as much damage to a lawn or garden that most men and women believe them little more than cute pests. If you don’t have the belly for skewering or crushing scars with traps, then you may regard repelling them with devices that are vibrating as a humane alternative. You aren’t likely to have much success, however, unless you’ve got several such devices and supplement them with other mole control tactics.

Walk across the yard or lawn and find as many active tunnel gaps as possible. You can tell if an opening is active by stepping on it and closing it away. The mole will return and dig it out — generally from the next day — when it’s an active opening.

Place a vibrating or ultrasonic unit from the bottom near every opening except one and turn them on. If the vibrations scare the moles, they’ll make their way to the tunnel opening that isn’t protected by means of a device to escape.

Increase your probability of success by baiting the unguarded opening using poison grubs, available at many garden centres. As the moles make their escape, they may be tempted to eat.

Close off the devices after 24 hours, then leave them away for several days and turn them on again for 24 hours. Continue turning them off and on at irregular intervals to prevent the moles from growing accustomed to the vibrations and ignoring them.

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How to Hang a Bead Doorway Curtain

Beaded curtains can provide a playful or sophisticated look in your home, depending on the design. The curtains come in a variety of styles such as the conventional colorful plastic beads, glitzy metallic beads, faux crystal chandelier-style beading or natural timber and bamboo beads. The simple rods typically feature two little mounts that slip over the hanging hardware, although longer or thicker drapes may have three mounts. Beaded curtains only take a couple of minutes to install with basic tools and hardware.

Hold the beaded curtain rod above the doorway in the place you would like to mount it. Mount the rod directly on a wooden door frame or approximately 1 inch above the door frame. Most door frames have been surrounded by steel flashing underneath the paint so that you may just put mounting hardware over the flashing, or even 1 inch over the frame.

Put a small piece of masking tape on the frame or wall at the place of the hanging hooks on the rod. Mark the screw holes for the rod on the tape, using a pencil. Set the curtain rod aside.

Drill a starter hole during the marking on the tape, using a drill bit one size smaller than the cup hook. The tape prevents the plaster and paint from cracking.

Remove the tape. Expand a cup hook to every single starter hole, using your hand. Twist the hook until it’s securely in the wall and the opening of this hook is facing upward.

Slide the hanging hooks on the curtain rod above the cup hooks.

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A Tutorial on How to Miter Your Own Drapes in the Bottom Hem

The mitered corner is the hallmark of high-end draperies, considered a finishing touch which identifies your drapes as custom-made. In addition, it reduces the bulk from the drape corner and on the side hems and creates a wide edge facing — desirable components in drapes. A savvy homeowner can produce mitered corners with confidence that the result will be equivalent to custom-made drapery corners.

Assemble the drapery panel with a single-layer bottom hem and a single-layer side hem of equivalent widths.

Turn the hem up throughout the base of the drape and press on the bend, creating a sharp bottom hemline.

Turn the side hem in, from the top to the base of the drape and press the bend, creating an extremely sharp pressed edge. Open the hems.

Lay the panel on the table with the bottom edge toward you and the right side of the cloth observable.

Mark the ideal side edge 18 inches up from the bottom right-hand corner of the drape on the ideal side of the cloth. Mark the bottom hem 18 inches to the left of the identical corner, on the ideal side of the cloth.

Place a pin through the drape, from the wrong side to the ideal side, in the point at which the outside edge and underside creased hem lines intersect.

Align the bottom hem edge with the hands outside border by aligning the two marks. Make certain that the drape is laying flat along the diagonal fold created via this aligning.

Place the outside edge of the long arm of a carpenters square along the diagonal bend of the drape, the corner of the square on the pin. Draw a line from the pin into the outside edge of the drape, along the base of the brief arm of the square, creating a line onto a 90-degree angle in the folded edge.

Sew on this line and trim the cloth back to a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Press the seam open.

Turn the hem into the incorrect side of the cloth. The sewn seam creates a miter in the bottom corner edge.

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Slugs & Squash Vines Withered

Slugs are unwelcome guests in many gardens, feasting on your own squash plant. Since the slugs chew on vines and leaf, the vine can begin to wither. The damage caused by slugs can resemble the broken caused by various leaf-eating insects such as caterpillars. To confirm that the culprits are slugs, start looking for silvery mucous trails on and around the squash plant. As soon as you identify slugs as the cause of withered squash vines, implement proper management to rid your garden of this slimy mollusks and maintain them at bay.


Slug baits can be found to control the annoying pests feeding on your own squash vines. Baits with the active ingredient metaldehyde work best when the weather is warm. Once absorbed, the slugs dehydrate and die, generally in just a day. Unfortunately, these lures are poisonous for cats, dogs and wildlife which may consume the pellet-form lure, and shouldn’t come in contact with plants or vegetables. Baits containing iron phosphate will control slugs in your garden without posing a danger to pets, kids, fish or birds. These baits can be scattered across the squash vines in addition to across the yard or lawn. Unfortunately, since iron phosphate baits prevent the slugs from feeding, it can take several days for them to die.


Strips or bands of copper placed around the squash plants will function as a barrier preventing the slugs from gaining access to them. The slime which slugs — and snails — naturally produce reacts with the copper, causing them to obtain a unpleasant electric shock if they attempt to move upon the copper. Copper obstacles need regular maintenance to remove any debris that is lost — such as sticks or leaves — which can land on the copper strips. If not removed, the slugs can use the debris for a bridge to cross the copper and earn access into the squash vine.

Cultural Control

Whichever method of slug management you decide on, combining it with proper ethnic control will greatly decrease the amount of pests attacking the squash vines. Slugs hide underneath boards, stones, debris and in weeds during the day. By removing their hiding places, you take away the shelter they want to live. In addition, slugs favor moist, humid conditions, which can arise because of improper irrigation. Selecting drip irrigation rather than sprinkler irrigation reduces the humidity near the plants and creates a drier environment which slugs and snails do not prefer.

Other Control Approaches

Staphylinid beetle is a natural predator of slugs. Sadly, this beetle also has a propensity to feed on decaying and ripening vegetables and may cause more damage than good. Amphibians, birds and snakes also feed on slugs and help to naturally control their numbers. However, these predators generally won’t offer effective control in large slug infestations. Another option to controlling slugs without harsh chemicals is to bury a beer-filled pie pan in bottom level to trap the slugs, as stated by the Purdue University Extension. The beer acts as bait, drawing the slugs to the pan to drown.

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Orange Spots on Maple Branches

Maples (Acer spp.) , ornamentals or prized as shade trees because of their attractive foliage and shape, are occasionally bothered by any of a number of ailments. The visual appeal of orange stains or similar discoloration on pine branches will be likely cause of alarm, since it could indicate infection by a possibly fatal disease.

About Cankers

Numerous species of fungi can cause cankers regions of cells, on pine branches. Getting discolored and surrounded with a thick form of tissue and exuding resin, or it can remain hidden under bark. The leaves on portions of the walnut will become brown or yellow and wilt. The fruiting bodies of the fungi may appear on or near the canker or on the branch surface as tiny colorful bumps.

Canker Prevention and Remedy

Canker fungi rather prefer trees and do not generally attack maple trees that are healthy. Choosing a maple supplying care to it and avoiding mechanical harm to the trunk or branches, in addition to disinfecting pruning tools between cuts or uses can help prevent canker problems. Prune out dead or infected branches as soon as you notice them, making cuts into healthy wood nicely below visible cankers, to prevent the spread of this disease. It is possible to do nothing but possibly extend the standing life of this maple with cultural care once the trunk of the maple is infected. Where cankers have bothered cultivars or other trees in the past, plant only disease-resistant pine species or maples.

About Wetwood

Wetwood, commonly known as bacterial wetwood or slime flux, results when bacteria enters the maple by means of a wound and multiplies, occasionally for several decades, until pressure builds and the germs is forced from the tree via a weak place, often near a wound or crotch. This germs emerges in the shape of a slimy ooze which has a stench. The ooze can destroy plants it warms on and leaves a yellow to brown stain where it dries.

Wetwood Prevention and Remedy

Infection by germs that were wetwood is prevented by avoiding injury to wood and the bark. It can be possible by opening the wound to avoid air and liquid accumulation to take care of a infection. Drill a hole several inches deep until liquid begins to ooze out, then add a length of aluminum tubing. Once there is a maple tree extensively infected, it’s best treated by providing superior attention to the tree, such as decent watering during periods of drought. An healthy although infected tree can survive for decades.

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How Do I Use Curtains or Quilts as a Headboard?

Quilts and curtains don’t need to go on beds or cover windows, at a pinch, you can use either to earn a textile headboard. Insert a curtain rod that spans the width of the bed into the wall just beneath the ceiling if you want your curtain or curtain headboard to cover the wall. For a different effect, hang curtain rods from the ceiling at exactly the same dimension as the bed. With this procedure, you do not just receive a curtain behind the bed, but you can add sheer curtains all of the way around to model a four-poster canopy bed with no posts for a full-on intimate and feminine touch.

Cornice Box Curtain Headboard

Build a straightforward three-sided cornice box about 6 inches more than the bed is broad out of pine, plywood or medium density fiberboard and attach it to the wall with L-brackets secured with masonry anchor screws just under the ceiling. If you use a stud finder, it is possible to attach the L-brackets straight to studs using wood screws. Router the exposed edge or add crown molding to it to give it a regal appearance. Put in a curtain rod against the wall under the box, then again securing the rod to studs or with drywall anchors, to hang the curtain. Paint the cornice box at a accent or trim shade from the room.

Headboard and Window Treatments

To make a coordinated look, install a curtain rod over the bed exactly the exact same height as the one above the room’s window. On the window, add a coordinating pull-down fabric shade, including a green and white geometric pattern supporting draped sage green curtains attached on both sides to the window. Mount the exact same fabric from the shade behind the bed, ceiling to floor behind the curtain rod that holds matching green sage drapes, also tied back. Throw cushions in forest green on the bed tie the look together.

Quilted Headboard

Quilts have timeless appeal, particularly when they’re handmade. To prevent damaging the quilt, among the easiest methods to install it is to hang it over a wooden rod that spans the bed’s breadth, about 36 inches up from the bed’s surface. Sand and paint the wooden rod to match the wall colour, or stain and complete it in a shade that matches the wood furnishings in the room. Drape the quilt in half over the rod to allow it to hang equally. Don’t push the bed straight against the quilt, but leave enough room to allow the quilt freely hang.

Hook-and-Loop Self-Adhesive Tabs

When you don’t wish to add a curtain rod, wooden rod or a specialty quilt hanger into the wall behind the bed, a package of hook-and-loop self-adhesive tabs provides you a nail-free option for hanging a hammer supporting the bed for a headboard. Space the self-adhesive tabs between 2 and 3 inches apart to reduce sag on the back of the quilt, with the corresponding side adhered to the wall. Match the 2 tabs up to hang the quilt from your wall. You will need a measuring tape and a pencil to mark the places for adding the tabs into the wall and the back of the quilt.

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The way to Arrange a Room With 2 Doorways

With a little imagination and imagination, arrange any room, regardless of its shape and number of entrances, into a space that is warm and inviting. Begin by drawing up the floor plan to scale on graph paper. Cut out to-scale representations of the furniture you’ve got, and play with the design until you find an appealing arrangement. That way, you can avoid having to move the furniture around the room several times and conserve your back.

The Focal Point

A room having a focal point emits a welcoming feel. Every room needs a focal point to set the tone and mood of the room. At the bedroom, by way of instance, the bed becomes the focal point for picking the room’s colors. In a living room, a fireplace, an old mirror, a picture window, art or the entertainment centre performs the identical function. Place the focal point on a wall opposite or perpendicular to the doors into the room to steer clear of the space’s traffic from impeding the perspective, and use lighting to highlight it.

Away From Walls

Don’t shove all of the furniture against the walls when you establish a room. Rather, develop conversational areas with two chairs and a sofa opposite each other, or set the sofa close to the middle of the room facing the room’s focal point. Set up a corner of the room, in light of the flat-screen television about the same angles and lines, which means it is possible to catch up on your bead-work, knitting or crocheting, or whenever you only want to curl up with a great book when the television isn’t on.

On the Bias

You won’t find a decorating rule that states that you must maintain your furniture aligned in the square or rectangle created by the room’s walls. By putting furniture diagonally in a huge room, you don’t impede the traffic flow through it, and it may jazz up an otherwise dreary space. The very first step to making a diagonal arrangement begins with decreasing the amount of furniture within it. Don’t stuff the room full of furniture. A diagonal arrangement functions best in a room using a solid focal point and the sofa at a 45-degree angle to it. Arrange area rugs on the floor or carpet to help specify the hexagonal design.

Winging It

Two wing-back chairs angled slightly toward each other using a small table and lamp between them contrary a sofa creates a welcoming and cozy conversational location. When a living room also doubles as a dining room, utilize the sofa to produce the demarcation line to your dining room area. A sofa-high credenza during its rear doubles as a buffet place when covered with a decorative table runner. You may also use the back of the sofa to funnel traffic behind it from the instructions you would like it to go.

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When Pets Rule the Roost

Among the great things about the community is that many members seem to be pet lovers. In reality, in many photographs, it looks as though the pets reign supreme from the household. Only call them HRH, for His or Her Royal Highness.

Growing upward, pets in my household were always royal; we discovered them stealing our favourite spots on the couch, curling up beneath the covers and essentially ruling the roost. We simply never could get the heart to say no to those adorable faces.

Let us examine the typical day of a furry Royal Highness round the house.

With a wave, HRH lets you know who is boss the the sun climbs. There’s no starting your day without a tummy rub and a nice, long, purr-inducing scratch. You might find a lively paw at the eye.

This royal puppy certainly doesn’t want to have in your way as you scramble to prepare for work, and will simply take a seat onto your luxurious sheepskin duvet. HRH will make sure it stays warm for your eventual return; heaven forbid your bed becomes chilly while you are out for the day.

Amoroso Design

You’re gone! Time to test out the chaise longue and texture like 19th-century royalty.

RLH Studio

Just another day in the life of Their Royal Highnesses, moving from 1 lounge spot to another as the hours tick by. Another nap from the built in dog bed now? Sure, why not? Thus far, they have had just two.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Royal pets not rule the roost, but silhouettes of the comrades get worked into the decoration. By early afternoon, the lighting is just right to respect the chosen wallpaper.

Robert Granoff

Hooray, you are home for a lunch break! Yes, HRH knows you have been hard at work all morning, but the sofa is a nice spot while you pay bills on the kitchen stool.

Phil Kean Designs

Time for a quick stroll around the neighborhood. Royal Highnesses do not shower by hose; they refresh by outside pet shower basking in afternoon sunlight, naturally.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

You need to go back already? Oh, man. HRH will merely have to sit down a velvet throne and ponder your absence.

Time for a gathering of Kitties Who Lunch. Eating on the floor is beneath them; they prefer your classic chair reupholstered in celestial cloth. Worry not: Royal Highnesses are meticulous about cleanliness.

Carla Aston | Interior Designer

Do not forget, HRH needs solitude! Thus, hide the litter box within a wall nook.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

A run around the neighborhood may have worn this Royal Highness straight out. Better provide some love.

Caveman Home Theaters

You’re home early in the work! Time to capture a fast movie. All these HRHs assume that since they are smaller, they get the front row.

Oh, you are throwing a dinner party tonight? HRH needs a host or hostess chair even without partaking in preparation, believing cuteness alone is sufficient to win the honor.

Sorry, but no guests are leaving this toilet with washed hands until HRH gets a rest. Do not even think about turning this faucet.

HRH heard you’d prefer some music for your own dinner party and will look at your orders.

Occasionally, HRH may require the very best seat before the fire, no matter a room filled with guests.

Lauren Liess Interiors

Whew, the dinner celebration wore this Highness straight out. Off to bed. Your bed.

First Vision Limited

The day after the celebration, HRH may experience a small hangover and will recover in the typical manner: a day of lounging.

Discuss a photo of your royal pet beneath!

50 Design-Loving Dogs
50 Cats Cozy Up at Home

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Night and Day Differences in Exteriors

Buildings might be mute, made up of inert materials in stable compositions, but perceptions of them can fluctuate greatly between when the sun is up and after it’s gone down. To accentuate that difference, this ideabook hastens homes with the same view photographed at dusk or nighttime and during the day.

During the day exterior materials make their presence known, walls are canvases for shadows, and glass reflects the environment. But at night materials fade into the background and walls frame the illuminated windows where the inside spills out. Obviously this ideabook begs considering lighting when undertaking a project, however, it’s also good to think of the home at all times of the day, as an item within the round passage of time.

At night the composition and makeup of the various windows on the home stand out: a small square window at the top left, full-height glass below, the massive opening which juts over the roof and includes integral horizontal louvers.

During the day the quantity that projects above the roof is quite a bit more notable. The stucco walls are also a great backdrop for slopes from trees in the backyard.

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The deep spaces of the house are apparent when viewed at dusk, even though it’s still bright enough to read the various exterior materials, particularly the wood slats and siding.

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That fishbowl effect disappears during the day when the trees and other environment are reflected in the massive glass windows. It is good here to point out that a number of the photos serve to underline the depth of the houses at night, such that window shades are nonexistent. Many homeowners residing with such expanses of glazing frequently install something to modulate light and views.

KUBE architecture

At dusk the inside spaces of the house literally shine, their yellowish paint standing out against the gray and white exterior walls.

KUBE architecture

In what looks to be a shooter taken not long before the previous photo, the difference is nevertheless apparent. Exterior surfaces are stronger, and the interiors are less discernible throughout the glass. Note how the reading of this yellow is aided by elements of the exterior (entrances) painted to match the interiors.

Sam Crawford Architects

Connection between outside and inside is important in this project, where a wall opens to connect a living area and wood patio. This connection is reinforced from the downlights in the roof overhang out, illuminating the patio.

Sam Crawford Architects

Together with the glass wall mounted, the view within the home occurs during the day as well, assisted by the clerestory window on the left.

David Hertz & Studio of Environmental Architecture

At night the massive roof overhang is a canvas for light spilling in the inside the glass box. A couple of downlights function a second-floor terrace over the dining room.

David Hertz & Studio of Environmental Architecture

During the day the roof shades the glass walls. Additionally, it gives a feeling of enclosure to the otherwise transparent glass box.

John Maniscalco Architecture

This is another instance where a deep roof overhang is a canvas to get mild. The glow in the inside enriches the wood surface which covers the bottom of the roofing.

John Maniscalco Architecture

That wood still has a prominence during the day, together with the cladding on the first floor, but the dark glass cuts views into the home.

Beard + Riser Architects

The glow of the house might be somewhat confusing at first. Translucent surfaces — corrugated panels, displays — give it a more distinctive appearance, a more gauzy appearance, than at the last pictures.

Beard + Riser Architects

Those same surfaces still exhibit what is going on behind them — especially framing — however they seem more opaque, as surfaces instead of veils.

Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

This thorougly modern home is wrapped in terraces fireplaces and upstairs at grade. Both these outdoor spaces are thoughtfully illuminated through downlights.

Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

During the day the warm glow of this downlights gives way to a predominantly gray and white palette. The green peripheral and grass hedges are the most powerful bit of color during the day.

David Matero Architecture

The various windows square, rectangular, L-shaped — glow in the night, bringing heat to the home surrounded by snow.

David Matero Architecture

During the day the subtle colors of the fiber cement panels are apparent as the interiors fade away from the glass.

Architecture at Night: Lanterns at the Landscape
Translucent Surfaces: A Canvas for Light and Shadow

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