If you have a lovely patio or deck or a gorgeous garden, then you need to have excellent patio furniture in order to delight in it. There is no finer end to a busy day than sitting outside on the patio with a drink and a newspaper or a book. I like to sit in the garden after the sun has waned a small, but before the mosquitoes come out, for a few hours reading a book.
There are many different styles of patio furniture to choose from that range from classic to modern. There is also a full range of choice in that there are chairs, loungers, swinging sofas, tables, outdoor fridges, barbecue sets and patio heaters amongst other things. A full set need not cost more than $1,000, but you can start with a table and two chairs and build up your patio furniture set step by step.
The many choices you have when looking for patio furniture are the style and the material it is made from. Most patio furniture stays outside all day and all night in any weather, so it vital to get furniture that is well-made and weather-proof. All weather furniture is usually made from plastic-coated steel, wicker, massive wood or moulded plastic.
Whatever you choose, make sure that the guarantee makes your choice worth the money. For example, I mean, if the furniture costs $200, but has a 12 month guarantee, then you should be prepared to pay $4 a week for your investment and everything else is a bonus.
Another tip is to buy your patio furniture from a respectable manufacturer or a trustworthy retailer, unless it is massive timber furniture in which case you will want a reliable local craftsman. It depends where you live of course, but any patio furniture is going to have a hard time of it and it will stay outside sometimes no matter what your intentions are now.
Standard plastic patio furniture is pretty excellent and will stand up to all but the coldest of weather, which can make it become brittle. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can have the same effect on cheap plastic chairs. White is the usual colour, but there are others. Make sure that you buy something that will take your weight, especially if you are a bit on the heavy side. I have had legs of plastic chairs go on me, but luckily I was on grass both times. On concrete or near the edge of raised decking could be very serious.
Once you have selected your patio table, chairs and possibly loungers, there are one or two other things that I reckon are essential to allowing the full enjoyment of your patio deck. For example, if you want to use your outdoor furniture in the evening you may find it cold or you may be troubled by insects.
This need not be a problem. You can get a patio heater for quite a reasonable price. A gas patio heater will keep up to eight people lovely and warm. To complete your patio furniture set, you may want a mosquito trap of some kind.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with commercial patio heaters. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.
Fishing is a thinking person’s pursuit. No matter whether you fish for a leisure activity, as a sport or for a living, you have to be able to outfox the fish you are searching for. Not just that, but unlike most hunters, you cannot see your quarry. You have to work out where it is likely to be and what it is likely to do.
Anglers normally fish alone, so it is not surprising that every angler has a couple of of his or own personal methods and preferences. This goes for any type of fishing, but it is particularly a fact of some fish. This usually means the huge and the clever (well, for fish) species. One of these clever varieties is the bass.
Bass fishing techniques vary due to several circumstances including temperature, season and type of water and coast line – whether you are fishing fresh or salt water.
If you are fishing for bass off a boat, then you are probably fishing in deeper water, because bass swim in deeper water while it is cold, so make certain that you have all the safety gear and that you know how to use it. Furthermore, you should become aware of your country’s or state’s legal requirements.
For example, if you take people out with you, you might have legal responsibilities or there may be seasons when you may and may not fish. These very from area to region and have to do with spawning and maintaining the levels of stock.
Bass experts have their own techniques, as was mentioned above, but a lot of bass fishermen recommend fishing at night. This is not a terrible notion as there is less likelihood of getting your line snagged up with others, particularly if you are fishing off a rock or the shore.
Fishing for bass at night is not a terrible system for other reasons too. Although there are different kinds of bass, most of them are shy and careful, so if they reckon that the water is over clear, they may choose to bottom feed. This is one of the areas where local knowledge and expertise plays a huge part.
Bass are cautious predators and also a small bone idle They prefer to hide themselves somewhere and wait for their victim to pass close by. Therefore, a rocky shoreline is perfect bass fishing territory in the summer months when the bass swim and hunt closer to the surface. In the winter, you will need to fish the bottom water where it is somewhat warmer.
Whilst bottom fishing, bass will be searching for small fish and sand worms, whereas in the summer they are feeding on the top and will not expect to find any worms. Then they will be looking for small fish and insects that have dropped into the water, like flies. Bass are meat eaters, so berries, seeds and bread should not be of much use, but hey, not all fish behave like the text books say that they ought to!
The thing to keep in mind is that local conditions matter and although fishing with a rod and line is necessarily a solitary and silent sport, especially in fresh water, fishermen like to socialize afterwards and pass on their expertise. So, if you are having distress with catching the fish you are looking for, join a local anglers’ club and mix with the experts.
Fishing equipment is called fishing tackle by specialists and hobbyists and it usually refers to rods, lines, hooks, sinkers, spears, lures, bait, reels, nets, and so on. The fishing gear that is attached at the end of a line is called terminal tackle
The word tackle referring to fishing equipment comes from ‘takel’ which first meant the rigging of a ship, that is, the gear consisting of ropes supporting a ship’s masts and sails. Later, the same word was recorded as having a different meaning, that of apparatus for fishing and that meaning has been preserved ever since.
The most rudimentary fishing equipment is made up of of a rod, a line, a hook, a lure, a bait and a weight or sinker. The line is a basic cord specially made for fishing that is both long, strong and yet thin, so that fish do not notice it. There are various questions that an angler questions when buying a fishing line, like its resistance, stretch, strength et cetera. The line will be selected based on what species of fish the angler hopes to catch.
The sinker or weight, also called a plummet, is really only a weight that helps in casting the hook and the bait as far as possible from the shoreline or from the boat that the fisherman is using. They are usually made of lead as their purpose is also to sink and to get the bait closer to the fish in the water as quick as possible. But, lead sinkers have been banned in some parts of the world, especially the really small ones, which are often called ‘shot’. If eaten by birds or other fish, the lead, which is known for its high toxicity level, will cause the death of the animal.
Another basic piece of fishing equipment is the hook. This device meant for holding the bait on the line and for hooking into the fish’s mouth. It is fastened to the line and the fisherman can choose from a very variety of shapes and sizes.
And last but far from least, is the bait or lure, without which the fishing equipment cannot be effective. A lure is a device attached at the end of the line that looks and moves something resembling the prey of the fish you are after. Its purpose is to catch the attention of the fish with its colour and movement. Artificial flies, tiddlers and sand eels come into into this category. When the fish bites the lure, it becomes hooked.
Whilst, bait, on the other hand, is the stuff really attached to the hook. Bait is often of two types: animal or foodstuff: ‘animal’ refers to small fish or other water creatures, insects or crawlers and ‘foodstuff’ refers to things like grains, such as wheat, bread or whatever the angler thinks might attract the fish.
Is your kitchen a dreary and uninteresting area to work in? It does not have to be like that, you can modify it honestly easily either yourself or by getting in contractors to do it for you. The trick is to know what you desire before you take a sledge hammer to your existing kitchen.
So, before you go about taking down what you already have, go about collecting thoughts for replacement. You can get fantastic thoughts from the home restoration TV programmes, from home design magazines, by looking at friends’ kitchens and by reading my tips below.
Maybe the best place to start is to reckon about how to reflect your own personal style. This could be a broad trend like farmhouse, Tuscan, Mexican, modern, or it could be a small bit of many styles to make up your own. But, do not forget that there is plenty of scope to express your own individuality even if you choose a broad style.
One snare to avoid is trying to get all the latest gadgets from a broad style. For example, if you pursue the modern broad style to its logical conclusion, your kitchen will look like a cold, clinical hotel or hospital kitchen full of stainless steel. If you like all that sort of stuff , then okay, but it is hard for a family to feel at home in.
If money is small, you could just repaint the cabinets a different colour and replace the handles. That will make a huge difference. Changing the background lighting is another pretty cheap way of varying the accent of your kitchen. Install subtle lighting under the wall cabinets and if you already have those, try adding some spot lights to the ceiling and if you already have those, try using some wall sconces for candles.
If you have attractive pots and pans or want to get a set, why not show them off by fixing a rack to the wall from which to hang your pots and pans? it adds a very fascinating effect to any kitchen.
You can also make a huge difference to the kitchen (or any room for that matter) by changing the flooring. Solid timber is stunning, but if you cannot afford that, you could try veneered flooring or stone, if the floor will take the weight. It is a excellent thought to endeavor to use the kitchen flooring to reinforce the broad image of your kitchen’s new style.
If you do not already have one, reckon about making an outdoor kitchen for use whilst the weather permits. An outdoor kitchen really frees up a lot of room and ‘usage’. People flow to the outdoor kitchen when the weather is fine and your indoor living space suddenly seems less chaotic.
Last, but not least, the kitchen table. Just changing the style or shape of your kitchen table will have a huge influence on the general look of your kitchen. Go from timber to glass or from square to round.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on a range of subjects, but is now involved with contemporary dining room tables. If you want to know more, please visit our website at Solid Oak Dining Tables.
Every professional chef and every household cook recognizes the importance of fresh herbs to their culinary creations. No diner would quarrel over this either. But, whether you buy your herbs fresh or dried, there are problems. When you buy fresh, you usually have to buy more than you require and they are comparatively expensive, whereas, if you buy them dried, they could be ancient and dried herbs lose their strength over time.
Why then is it that most home cooks use fresh or dried herbs from the supermarket? Ease, probably. We lead busy lives and it is simpler to get a few boxes of dried herbs at the supermarket along with your groceries than it is to grow your own.
Not that it is hard to raise your own herbs and even spices, but you have to buy the seeds, plant them and remember to water them. You can minimize the problem of trying to remember to water them quite easily, by growing your herbs in a window box or in trays on your patio or deck, so that you notice them every time you take a break on your patio. You will also remember to bring them in if frost threatens.
If you have children, growing herbs and spices in window boxes or trays can be a excellent induction to gardening for them. Herbs take very small looking after really, just needing watering every day. They are pretty tough and compost is not necessary as most herbs have a honestly small life. Maybe only a month or two in some cases. Others last a lot longer.
First choose how many varieties you want to grow. How much room do you have for instance? The best way to start is look in your cupboard and see which herbs you use most frequently. Are any of them seeds? You could have a go at sowing these. Look them up in a book or on the Internet.
Sometimes it is better to soak the seeds first before planting them, others do not need this treatment. Second, which herbs have you read about that you want to use but never seem to have in the house? Try planting those too.
If all that does not sound like fun, then you can buy small herb plants in the garden nurseries. Most of them stock the most common herbs in Spring. Whichever way you go, read up on how to cultivate the herbs you have selected. I promise you, it will not be a long read, as they really do take care of themselves except for the watering. if you buy seeds rather than seedlings, all the details you need will be on the seed packet and such packets are very cheap to buy.
The advantages of having your own herb garden are manifold, but you will be teaching gardening to your kids or grandkids, you will have fresh herbs for cooking and you will have gorgeous aromas wafting around your patio or deck.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with outdoor heat lamp. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.
There are several types of gas lantern. They are chiefly used to produce light when you do not have a battery light or access to an electrical socket. In fact, they are most frequently used for emergency situations, when the power goes out at home, when you are camping or sitting in the garden later in the evening. They offer much more light than most flashlights and they are handy because you can stand them on a table, carry them, or hang them up.
There are quite a few models of gas lantern. But, they vary not only in design, but also in the type of fuel they burn. Some people like the ancient fashioned style kerosene or paraffin lanterns. They like the design, the historical aspect and possibly even the smell.
Their advantages are that the fuel is low-priced and simple to come across. But, their disadvantages are that they smell and are very perilous if tipped over. The storage of surplus paraffin or kerosene is also a serious risk, should a fire break out.
If you want one of these ancient style kerosene lanterns, they are widely available at camping, army surplus and hardware suppliers. If you are going to use them for emergency lighting, it is best to have four or five on hand, clean and ready to fill.
The wicks should be trimmed and the glass clean. Keep them in plastic bags to stop dust building up on them. Keep one already filled with kerosene so that you can fill the others by its light. It is safer and less wasteful this way.
But, the modern equivalent of the kerosene lantern is the propane gas lantern. Propane gas lanterns burn with a very clean flame, which is also quite hot, so it does warm up its immediate surroundings, maybe to a distance of a foot or two. Therefore, it can keep faces warm on a cool evening in the garden.
Propane gas lanterns are fueled by gas canisters. They come in various sizes from quite small to large, but the gas does burn for a long time. The small canisters are best for emergency use and the larger ones for use on camping trips or in the garden. They are relatively cheap, are clean to burn, provide some heat, are light weight and are very safe.
On the safety side of things, it is obviously very vital that you follow the manufacturer’s directions when using any kind of gas lantern, because they are all a potential fire hazard, especially when camping in a wood.
Become acquainted with the operation of the lantern you make your mind up to use before you have to use it. The gas lantern may get hot so be careful with it and get used to lighting it in the daylight so that you know what you are doing, when you must use the gas lantern for real. One last tip, if you are taking a propane gas lantern on a camping holiday, take enough canisters with you. The merchant should be able to let know you how many hours they will last for the use you are going to place them to.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with the propane outdoor heater. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.
A lot of people over the age of twenty have a sort of like-despise relationship with birthdays. They like to have a party and be the centre of attention and a lot of fun, but they despise getting older. But I believe that people should celebrate their birthdays. After all, you delight in going to someone else’s birthday party and so you are morally obliged to place one on for others too.
And birthday parties ought to be a lot of fun. It does not have to be a children’s type party, of course, but you could still dress up and play games.
You could have a barbecue for all your friends and family and do it cowboy style. Have a barn dance that would make ‘JR’ proud. The food for this is straightforward enough. Start by providing plenty of Texas sized spare ribs, half-pounder hamburgers, T-bone steaks, and jumbo size hot dogs with loads of bread and salad.
For music, it has to be country and everybody has to place on cowboy clothing, although it would probably be better to leave the shootin’ irons at home. Annie Oakley style costume for the ladies and Buffalo Bill style for the gents. If it is going to be a huge party, question everyone to bring their own favourite dish, in right Southern style. That would be a fantastic way to commemorate an adult’s birthday for the family.
If you do not go much on the macho cowboy thought, you could try a Caribbean style barbecue. Dress in flash small sleeved shirts and vivid colours or swimming costumes. The music could be reggae and calypso and the food would be grilled fish and chicken with salad and plenty of fresh fruit. Provide hot and not so hot chilli dips and barbecue sauces. You could have a go at limbo dancing too, that is always excellent for a laugh.
Or perhaps you would rather a humorous barbecue party and all dress up like the hillbilly family ‘The Clamperts’! That would be fun. The men could wear ancient velvet hats and ancient clothes tied up with string like Jed and Jethro and the women could come as Ellie May or Granny. I reckon that the authentic food like possum and bullfrog might be hard to get hold of in some areas, but you could just supply what you want for this one. Steaks, hamburgers and fried fish; bread and salad with cake to end.
Another favourite form of barbecue for a birthday do is the Luau. An Hawaiian barbecue is really something else. You will need bright colours and plenty of tropical Hawaiian decorations. You could provide half coconut shells for drinking out of and lots of coconut and pineapple based drinks. You should question your guests to wear loud Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts, provide plenty of leis and hula music and a ‘loudest Hawaiian shirt’ contest is compulsory.
If none of those tickles your fancy, how about a ‘Vicars and Tarts’ barbecue? You can use your own imagination on that one though. Any more tea and crumpet, vicar?
If your barbecue party is to continue into the evening and it might get nippy, you could hire or borrow some patio heaters, just so as to give you a few extra hours in the garden.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with the electric outdoor heater. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.
If you like being in your garden and want a set of garden furniture in order to take advantage of the lovely summer weather, it can be rather depressing when you go out to look at the prices of garden furniture, particularly if you are on a budget. And who is not on a budget these days? But, there is a way to buy cheap garden furniture and still end up with something that you can be proud of.
I would like you to be very wary of lies. I have just finished reading an advert offering an ‘authentic teak (garden furniture) set’ that normally sells for about $4,500 for $29.97! Anyone that believes this sort of rubbish is a sad case indeed. Later on in the advert, they admit that the wood is not teak, but is ‘constructed of hardwoods comparable to teak’.
In fact, I do not believe that either. The writer has already told one lie and so is obviously unscrupulous. If ever you find a hole in someone’s advertising you should look elsewhere, particularly on the Internet and particularly if the shop is not in your town so that you cannot go and visit it.
Regrettably, there are lots of liars on the Internet and they are giving the honest merchants a terrible reputation. Many of them live in poor countries that have small or no Internet or business regulation. Places like Eastern Europe, China, Africa, South America and South-Eastern Asia.
If the standard of English in the advertisement is poor, go elsewhere. It is a shame for the honest person who does not speak English well, but safer for you. Another check would be to send the owner an email.
If they do not respond, give them a wide birth. If they do respond, check their Internet Provider’s (IP) address. The IP address is a group of four numbers and the first group gives the country of origin of the email.
Be very careful of offers that seem to be too excellent to be right. Rich people buy teak patio furniture at $4,500. Why do they pay that much? Because the best teak furniture costs that much. How can rich people afford that much? Because they have excellent jobs. How do they get decent jobs? Because they are not stupid. If you could buy genuine teak furniture for $29.97, they would have it as well.
So, if you can only afford to buy cheap garden furniture, buy the best quality plastic furniture that you can find and do not get sucked in by these conmen that are trying to trick you that you can have a top of the market hardwood garden furniture set for $30. You cannot; and never will be able to; and probably never have been able to either.
A swimming pool is an endeavor to make a safe, handy environment in which to swim. But, they are quite expensive to install and to maintain. If you live in one of the temperate zones, it is probable that you can find a river, lake or stretch of sea to swim in during the summer months. If you live in the tropics then you can swim all year round but the waters are likely to be more perilous.
So, a swimming pool is an ideal alternative. Public swimming pools are all right, but you have to pick your times carefully or the water is full of ill-mannered kids frolicking about or ancient individuals simply standing in the way of dedicated swimmers.
This can be very annoying and frustrating, which are two of the emotions you went to the pool to divest yourself of after a hard day. You can really come out feeling more frustrated and annoyed than you went in.
The solutions are: join a private swimming club or spa; build your own pool; or marry someone who is rich. If you have the money, the best option of all is to own your own pool.
Although a swimming pool is costly, it is not money wasted. Not just will a swimming pool encourage you to adopt a (more vigorous) fitness regime, a well-manufactured swimming pool it will also add greatly to the value of your property.
People like to go into a home with a pool, because then they do not have to place up with builders and mounds of soil and jack-hammers and dumpers and noise for weeks and weeks on end.
Even better is if the pool has been properly cultivated with trees and bushes in the right places to provide shade if required and sweetly scented flowers and bushes to supply wonderful smells wafting over on a breeze. All this ought to be set in a well-manicured lawn.
It is to be expected that you will have to have some form of pool fence, depending on where you live, so check on that, but set the fence as far back from the pool as you can or are permitted. You do not want to feel hemmed into your swimming pool.
There are two options with pools; above and below ground. But there is no real choice if you have the space and money – it has to be below ground every time.
One of the cheapest options of underground swimming pools is to use fibreglass. It is a far cheaper way than a lot of people know. In fact, it passes most people by because they do not know about it. But, imagine all the labour it saves on butyl liners, waterproofing, tiling, grouting, etc.
The fibreglass pool is dropped into a hole and then you paint it – blue or green or turquoise, if you cannot make up your mind; tile the border and you are done. Then it is on with your favourite swimming costume and in you go.
Farmhouse garden furniture is otherwise known as rustic garden furniture and goes back to the ancient days of farms and country living. It is a style all of its own and is quite distinctive. Generally, farmhouse garden furniture is coarse, bulky and heavy. Occasionally it is roughly cut, but that is not always the case although it is seldom carved in fantastic detail. Farmhouse garden furniture is made to last.
Farmhouse garden furniture includes the complete range of garden furniture such as tables, chairs, benches, gazebos and arbours. Farmhouse garden furniture is usually made of local wood, but can also be made of iron.
To compliment the garden furniture, there is also indoor furniture in the farmhouse style although this might be a bit better-quality, a bit less heavy so that it can be went around for cleaning purposes.
Farmhouse garden furniture is usually made from local hardwood such as oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, teak or beech, but in fact anything that is to hand. Softwood, such as pine, is cheaper, but it does not usually last as long as hardwood even if it is maintained regularly and properly.
Hardwood furniture may be stained, oiled or varnished, although it is normally best to just rub linseed oil into the natural wood. A small staining may help bring out the gorgeous natural graining in the wood.
Softwood garden furniture is normally full of knots which many people find hideous. If this is how you reckon, then you can give the furniture three coats of paint in order to safeguard it.
If but, the knots do not worry you, you can stain and varnish it instead. In either case, all farmhouse garden furniture should be treated every year in the autumn; that is whilst the sun is no longer at its hottest and before the rain and cold weather set in. The problem with anything made of any timber is rot.
Hardwood contains more natural oils than softwood so it is better able to safeguard itself, but all timber stops producing these oils when you kill it by cutting it down. The oil on the surface is dried out by the sun and these dry patches then draw some oil up from deeper inside itself, but the further inside it needs to suck the oil from the less it can draw, which means that eventually the outside becomes dry and then it will take in water.
When that occurs, rot has set in. Hardwood can last a couple of years before it gets to this sorry state, but softwood will perhaps last less than a year. This is why you have to seal the oil in and the water out with paint or varnish in the instance of softwood or replenish the oil by rubbing in linseed oil in the instance of hardwood.
You could paint hardwood too if you want to, but most people buy hardwood farmhouse garden furniture because it has a lovely grain and paint would only cover up that grain. Decent farmhouse garden furniture is not cheap, but it is attractive, hard to steal and will last a lifetime if well looked after by a few hours maintenance once a year.