27
Mar

DIY Dried Flowers: 3 Techniques for a Timeless Decor

download (17)The artistry of a flower does not end when it starts to wither. You can actually save your bouquet’s grandeur through drying them up for a lasting home decoration. Even past their heyday, dried blooms still make an ideal gift as they bring joy all year round.

Dried blossoms are a pleasant and inexpensive substitute to crisp bouquets. Some flowers like roses and lavender exude a natural odor and can last for a long time. Primarily, you should harvest blooms at their best. They will not be good for drying if they are already past their prime. You can gather posies from your garden early at dawn or during a cold evening when they aren’t exposed to the sun. If you don’t have one in your backyard, you may visit a local flower shop or simply order flowers online.

The simplest drying method which involves plainly arranging the stalks in a vase with water and leaving the liquid to evaporate does not produce a good result to all variety of flowers. You can apply these drying techniques to your favorite bunch of flowers.

Air Drying

This is an easy method appropriate for floral arrangements. This method goes best with grasses, herbs, larkspur, lavender, roses, strawflowers, tansy and yarrow.

    1. Using a rubber band, group and bind bunches or cut flowers together and remove their bottom foliage. You will notice that once those blossoms start dry, the rubber band will set to constrict.

 

    1. You can utilize wire coat hangers, clothes lines, ropes to hang the flowers, as long as they are draped inverted in a well-ventilated area. Leave them far from sunlight and make sure there is a space between bunches for proper air circulation.

 

    1. Depending on the humidity of your location, you’ll have to wait for several days for your blossoms to dry.

 

    1. Once the blossoms are wholly dried up, store them evenly and wrapped in a tissue paper.

 

  1. Store them in boxes or any ventilated containers and place them in a cool location. The blooms are expected to diminish by about a half or more. They also tend to have darker colors.

Silica Gel

Silica Gel is a sandy substance used as a medium of preservation that produces a more accurate version of dried flowers. You can purchase this in any handicrafts store that sells floral products. Take note that this method works well with sturdier posies like roses, zinnias, dahlias, daisies and peonies. Blooms considered to be feeble and have thin petals may not be able to endure this procedure.

    1. Get a big container ready and place enough Silica granules inside that will completely sink your flowers.

 

    1. Soak your blooms in the container for several days or up to a week, depending on how they dry up.

 

    1. Carefully remove the flower and remove any sandy residue to uncover your beautiful dried posy. Similar to the air drying procedure, the color of your bloom will look different, it may even have a slightly darker shade.

 

  1. Keep your Silica Gel as it can still be recycled for another “dried flowers” project.

Pressed Method

    1. Gather flowers free from spots or blemishes

 

    1. Get an encyclopedia or any other heavy book.

 

    1. Mark a page with a parchment or wax paper then place the flowers face down without overlapping them.

 

    1. Close the book for seven (7) to ten (10) days, weigh it down and leave it untouched.

 

  1. Check if the flower has a papery feeling to make sure that all the moisture is gone. You can also use your pressed flowers as a lovely bookmark or stationery.

Apply these 3 techniques in order to lengthen the beauty of your posies. Remember to keep them away from high humidity and direct sunlight to prevent them from breaking down.

22
Mar

DIY Interior Colours Made Easy

download (14)Interior walls have a unique purpose in either brightening the environment or it can give you a warm feeling of comfort. In choosing the right colours it is important to know the different variation of colour tones such as your analogous from monochromatic shades, complementing undertones that go well in your living rooms, bedrooms and other areas. A few great ideas for those who can’t quite afford to hire a professional, why not seek out interior designing schools and request for their students? They will be eager to assist with some fresh new ideas and usually come with a fraction of the cost or even offer to help for free on their uni project.

As you start to research the many themes and look that will sit well with your personal style, have an idea of what you are inspiring to achieve and work your way through each individual rooms and decide if you are going to blend the elements or have each room play out a different story. Colours are all about bringing life to an environment so choose from the thousands of colour options available when shopping for paint and always seek the expert advice of your friendly colour consultants and sales people.

When setting up your space what do you consider as the easiest option when cleaning up and tidying up after a project? Do you use a bucket of soap and water or do you chuck everything in the bin? By the use of the right cleaning agent, you will prolong your brush life span so that it is not an additional cost on your next DIY and how can you save money when buying your resources? Colour mixing is a great way to cut cost as combining two shades can give you a completely different feel for your next room. If you have three areas you want to work with then it will be much more cost effective to get creative and combine the two remaining paint!

Once you start learning about colours and how to identify their variations, how to avoid common problems and equip yourself with correct gear and tools, it will be easier to do it every year when redecorating and you only need to learn these steps in the beginning and as you become more in tune with your colour preference you will be able to show off your skills at dinner talks. A few themes that are popular today are your sleek and minimalist look, bohemian styles and many others depending on your personal touch. So enjoy painting and I hope your walls will reflect the best in you by the end of your new project.

14
Mar

Air Conditioning Repair Tips – Do It Yourself

images (57)It might seem like a coincidence that your air conditioning unit fails to work only when you need it the most- during the scorching summer season. With a few fine motor skills, some technical knowledge, a bit of logical thinking and some common sense you might be able to correct some of these issues.

#Issue 1: My air conditioner does not cool well.

#Solution:

This is the most common issue that every AC owner faces. Here is the list of things you can do about it.

Make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature.

Check for the circuit breaker. The issue could be as small as a tripped fuse.

Check if the outlet’s voltage meets your AC’s requirement.

Switch off the AC, remove the filter and get in cleaned. A clean filter allows easy air flow.

Clean the compressor and condenser unit with a damp cloth. Do not use a water faucet.

Make sure that the compressor is working. If it is working you will be able to hear the outdoor compressor and the fan will be turning. If not then it is the time to call your technician.

#Issue 2: Water drips and pools around the base of my AC

#Solution:

Water formed due to condensation and it usually exits the air handler through plastic pipe or a drain tube. Dripping may be caused by a leaky pipe that needs to be replaced o a blocked pipe that needs to be cleaned.

Sometimes condensation can occur when the pump that transfers the hot air into the condenser becomes non-functional. In this case, In this case, you would need the help of a AC technician.

#Issue 3: Huge chunks of ice forms in my AC

#Solution:

This can be caused due to a number of reasons.

Ice formation occurs if the indoor unit’s evaporator coil is frozen and cold liquid refrigerant starts flowing to the outside unit through the refrigerant line freezing up the whole unit. This can be resolved by turning the AC off and the fan on to melt the ice.

Pieces of ice can appear if the filter is not clean which in turn reduces airflow over the evaporator coil, causing it to freeze. Regular cleaning of the filter solves this issue.

Blocked or closed supply and return vents reduce the airflow to the evaporator coil thus causing ice formation. Make sure that these vents are not blocked by cloth or any piece of furniture.

Issues like refrigerant leaks, malfunctioning indoor blower and clogged evaporator coils should be repaired only by trained AC technicians or professionals.

#Issue 4: Weird noises come out of my AC

#Solution:

Certain types of noises can signal that something is wrong with your AC.

Rattling sounds are produced by fans that are loosely fixed. Tighten the screws, clean the blades and check for bent blades that may be striking the interior of the unit.

Screeching noises may be caused due to friction. Prevent the occurrence of this squeaky noise by oiling the air conditioner motor at the beginning of each summer.

Vibrating noise can be caused by simple reasons like a few loose screws in the unit. The solution is simple- tighten them with a screwdriver.

Issues like clicking noises caused due to defective relays and compressor and buzzing noise caused by malfunctioning compressors should be resolved by a trained technician only.

 

12
Mar

Should I Install Solar Panels Myself?

download (16)Solar installations in the United States have increased year after year and the extension of tax credits for solar panel owners has made it likely that solar installations will continue to grow over the next few years. Buying a solar system and having it installed can be very expensive. Is it ever a good idea to buy a solar system and have it installed independently? The answer is…

It Depends…

What are your goals with solar? Where do you live and what are the conditions of your home? The options available for a homeowner to go solar, varies by location and utility company. Other factors such as available roof space and shading conditions will also impact decisions to go solar.

PPA or Leasing Options

PPA & Solar Leasing Options are great for Homeowners that desire to save money on their power bill without having to spend any cash or invest anything on upfront costs. These options allow free solar installation taken care of by the solar provider. It makes no sense for the homeowner to install the panels themselves and the solar provider will not allow an independent installer for these types of solar options.

Cash Purchase or Loan Options

Most homeowners have the option of buying a solar panel system or securing a loan for a system. There are several solar providers that have different types of panels and different types of agreements and warranties. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of installing your own solar panels.

Pros:

  • Can save money and installation costs
  • Can sustain savings long-term without costly warranties
  • More flexibility in the type of panels desired
  • Can receive wholesale discounts on equipment

A homeowner has the option of buying only the solar panels from a solar company without having to purchase any attached services and fees. Once the panels have been purchased the homeowner can attempt to wire and install the system personally or have a third-party electrician or professional install the system. If a homeowner knows how to install and wire the system correctly money can definitely be saved through this course.

If the homeowner lacks the knowledge or skills, the homeowner can still buy the panels wholesale and have an electrician or third-party install the system and save money. If the system is installed correctly a warranty may be available to secure the investment and allow the homeowner to enjoy owning their own system without paying additional costs for system monitoring and maintenance.

Even under the warranty time and labor costs may arise cancelling out any savings that were achievable with this option. As long as the system is installed correctly the homeowner will be able to buy the panels at a lower cost than they would pay from a solar provider that bundle installation and monitoring services. They will also have more freedom in choosing the type of panels desired and the design they want on their roof. If the customer desires to monitor the system after personally installing it they will still have to pay a portion of these costs.

If a homeowner has the knowledge to install or knows a good electrician this option should be considered by homeowners that have determined they want to buy a system outright. The research and time required to do the work will be an opportunity cost.

Cons:

  • The time used in researching and performing the install
  • Void warranties that would protect the system long-term
  • Void the ability to have solar company monitor the system
  • Void repair and system maintenance services
  • Complex issues may arise if system issues occur
  • Installation problems may arise
  • Potential costs from a bad installation
  • Complicated Paperwork and Permitting

A homeowner that buys panels directly from the manufacture and has the system installed personally or through a third-party is taking on risk. They are responsible to make sure the system is installed correctly and must decide on the type of warranties and service they want to invest in. They can opt to have a warranty included with their panels and monitoring services, but they will be responsible for labor and maintenance costs to keep the system intact.

They will also have to get their permitting done through the city and secure an agreement with their utility company to have the system connected to the grid. The paperwork and requirements needed to get a system operating can be quite complicated and costly. A lot of labor and paperwork is required to get a system operational and the homeowner is opening up the potential for expenditures down the road if the system should require labor and maintenance costs due to mechanical issues or unforeseen occurrences.

A homeowner that is serious about buying solar should secure quotes from multiple solar companies and compare the cost of having a solar provider install the system with personally installing the system. It’s important to research all of the steps required to get a system operating in the homeowner’s city with the utility company they do business with. The homeowner should also do a risk assessment and determine the warranties and services that are available to find the best solution that meets their needs.