Pressing Cut Flowers to Preserve the Blooms

download (13)Winter is coming,” as the widely-watched Television show popularized, summer’s end tail has just left. I was sitting in my favorite chair listening to the strong pour of the rain hitting our roof and windows. Nothing can be more serene than sipping a cup of hot cocoa topped with marshmallow while reading my latest book conquest. This is until I saw the flowers me and my mom collected from the summer. It looks scared of the gloomy weather.

I thought of ways on how to preserve the beautiful blooms and I remembered my art project in high school– pressing flowers.

If you feel sad for the eminent death of these blossoms, we can all stop mourning and ‘immortalize’ them with this easy do-it-yourself pressed flower project.

What we need:

Fresh flowers of your choice

Flower scissors or ordinary scissors strong enough to cut the blooms

Presser (You may use a real presser or a book)

Parchment papers

What to do:

1 If you are using cut flowers, choose the freshest ones.

2 You can use any blooms you want. But, remember that flowers that are naturally flat are easier to press. Do not let this hinder you though from using other chunky blossoms. If you prefer these, cut it in half (lengthwise) using the scissors.

3 Completely dry the flowers with a smooth tissue or the parchment paper to avoid wilting.

4 Once the flowers are dried out, you are now ready to press them.

When using a book as a presser, fold the parchment paper in equal parts. Place the cut and dried blossoms facing down on the paper. Only use one-half of the paper to avoid overlapping the flowers.

Some crafters want to group similar blooms together. For first timers, you can also arrange them in one paper.

5 Book as a presser

  • Place the folded parchment paper (from step 4) inside the middle of the book.
  • You can place several folded papers in one book. But, do not place the papers on the same page. You should separate them with 5 to 10 pages.
  • You should carefully close the book and place more weight on it. You can stack more books on top of the one you are using as a presser.
  • Leave the flowers pressed for 5 to 10 days or longer for thick blooms.
  • Make sure the flowers have the papery texture before you can take it out.

New House Building Project Turns Into Family Tree

download (12)Whether it’s used as a fort, clubhouse, or just a place to dream, is there anyone who wouldn’t love to have a tree house in their backyard? Your whole family will enjoy creating a spot for your children to play and relax as they use their imaginations to discover exciting backyard adventures.

Of course, any new house building project does require some planning. So, let’s get started.

Location, Location, Location Still Applies

You need to choose the location for your project. It is important to choose a healthy, living tree that has a large enough trunk and sturdy lower branches capable of supporting your tree house. Younger trees may not have the strength needed to hold the structure, and those nearing the end of their life may be too brittle or even rotten inside the trunk. Be sure to check with a professional arborist before you begin your build in order to ensure that your selection is alive and thriving, as well as robust enough to hold your tree house for many years to come.

Deep and well-established roots are essential to the lifespan of the “Family Tree House.” Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and apple can make good foundations for the family project. There shouldn’t be any sign of parasites or disease, as these will weaken the basis for support.

Strong roots might also develop between parents and children as they work side by side to accomplish a common goal.

Give the Whole Family a Say

Any new house building project is an excellent opportunity to spend outdoor family time with your kids and nurture open communication and listening skills. Learning to compromise, negotiate, and accept other ideas is all part of a healthy upbringing, and will serve children well for years to come. Ask them to help make decisions about style, materials, and techniques to decorate the inside. After all, this is their place to have fun, so they should be included in the planning stages. The project can be a learning opportunity for both you and them.

Older children can do some research on new house building strategies and techniques using the internet or library resources. Once they have gathered some information, they can present and discuss it with the whole family before everyone comes to a decision. Younger children will be excited to pick colors and do some of the painting. Knowing that the time and talent of each and every family member is valued and appreciated will make the final outcome that much more special.



5 Tips to Help You Use LED Lights for Christmas

download (11)For Christmas decorations, you can opt for LED lights. While they cost a bit more, they stand the test of time and utilize less power. if you know how to hang and fix LED lights, you can decorate your home a lot better than other people. Follow the 5 tips given below before using them as Christmas decorations.

Tip 1: Decide on Brightness Level

What brightness level do you like? For brighter displays, you can choose a light string with lights fixed not far away from each other. if you are unable to find this type of string, you can buy 2 light string sets and then put them together to get the same results.

Tip 2: Choose a Color

White LED lights emit light that is a little bit blue. In the same way, the light emitted by incandescent lights is a little bit orange. Hanging different colored lights side by side will be a bad decision if you are after a beautiful uniform color. You can choose any color based on your personal taste.

Tip 3: Know Power Levels

The beauty of LED lights is that they consume a lot less power than the older incandescent lights, which means you can use more lights without raising your utility bills. Make sure you know the power that your LED lights will consume in watts. Most lower power LED lights consume no more than 1 watt.

Tip 4: Know How to Hang LED Lights

Do you know how to install them? If you are doing it for the first time, make sure you know how to fix the lights outdoors and indoors. You can change these lights on walls, trees, and pillars. Usually, people use them for decorating trees without spending a good deal of money.

Tip 5: Understand How to Repair them

The strings comprise a pair of wires acting as a parallel circuit. And each circuit gives power to half of the bulbs on each string. If one light on the circuit burns, it breaks the circuit turning off all of the remaining lights on the string. Therefore, you should learn how to fix LED lights on your own.

For this, you can use a good quality voltage meter. Using the meter, you can detect voltage on each end of the wire. If you find a point with no power, you have to replace the light in that area. You won’t need to spend several hours in order to detect a non-functional light on the string as long as you own a voltage meter. You can get help from a friend who knows more about this stuff. If you don’t own a voltage meter, you can buy or borrow one.