Homemade Tip on How to Clean Your Aluminum Awnings

Aluminum awnings give you the much needed protection from the fiery sun and not only that, it gives you the chance to save your money compared to centralizing your entitlement home with air conditioning. These awnings can be left outside your home regardless of the weather. The only problem is when they get a little dirty.

The top of the mind is to hire a professional cleaner who would clean them for you. Your second idea should be to get a power washer to get rid of the dirt that has accumulated on them. But did you know you could damage the aluminum awnings because of that?

The power washer can create a lot of damage especially if your aluminum awnings are covered with paint. A quick fix would be painting it all over again, but this kind of idea would cost you a lot too. The best and least expensive way to clean the awnings is to do it yourself. This task is more or less easy and which your whole family could also do.

The materials that would be needed are not at all expensive since all you need is one large bucket, a soft brush that is attached to a pole that you could be able to reach high places without climbing a ladder, rags, solvent intended for cleaning and running water from a hose.

Mix the solvent with water to dip your brush and thoroughly scrub all the visible awnings that you have. Just make sure you hose down the area first with water and make sure it does not dry up before you hose it down with water. When you are finished hosing and still could see some places that were not reached by the water, get a ladder and rinse it. Leaving the solvent there would take you back to where you started once more.

Paving The Way For California's Asphalt Consumers

The California asphalt paving industry is ever-changing and in order to provide the best services, asphalt paving companies are turning to new technologies to stay ahead of the competition.

Asphalt technology in California has been changing since the creation of Hot Mix Asphalt and will continue to change as time permits. Asphalt rubber paving was introduced in 1991, which shocked many industry experts. Asphalt rubber pavement seemed promising to those in the industry who were ready for a change. On the other end of the spectrum were industry experts who thought that the world was not ready for such technologies to be implemented.

In Tom Kuennens article titled, "Asphalt Rubber Makes a Quiet Comeback" shown in Better Roads Magazine, he describes rubber asphalt as, "a chemically reacted mix of liquid asphalt binder with 15 to 22% crumb rubber. , and added to liquid asphalt. "It's reacted at elevated temperatures prior to being mixed with aggregate."

There are two types of asphalt rubber (wet process) are used in California. Type A- contains rubber only from ground tires, and Type B contains rubber from both ground tires and natural rubber. Caltrans seems to favor Type B binders because they have better resistance to reflection cracking and provide better stability. Rubber pavement disappeared for a few years due an increase in asphalt paving technologies and a decrease in existing pavement costs associated with this form of material. Until recently, a number of important developments have helped propel asphalt rubber pavement to its current level of acceptance, including new tire-shredding technologies and the establishment of tire recycling facilities in every part of the United States.

In late 1994 the city of Los Angeles had the chance to repaved Olympic Boulevard with hot-mix asphalt which included 15% asphalt rubber millings from that same street.

How often will California use this material to law a quitter foundation for its streets?

Nobody knows. By decreasing noise on the highways, this asphalt technology gains ground with the transportation department of California. At the same time it also loses
popularity because of the negative byproducts it elicits, ie, bad smell, smoke, and sticky material base.

Tom Kuennens also stated that, "The California's Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Technology Center promotes the use of crumb rubber from scrap tires in roadway rehab projects by providing education, and consulting services to local agencies within California."

To visit their website go to [http://www.rubberizedasphalt.org]

To learn more about the changes in the asphalt paving industry of California, please visit the Manhatten Paving Company home page: Asphalt Paving in Los Angeles @ http://www.manhattenpaving.com .

Work at Home Crafts Assembly

There are undeniably so many examples that one can think of to home crafts and selling it for a good cause. Most of these crafts that are done at home are based on one's interest and available resources. Now for those who are interested to start their own business at home and work at home crafts, here are some of the common, easy to make, and profitable crafts that you can start working and enjoying.

o Jewelry – beads, pearls, woods accents, and all small, attractive details that you can make into jewelry. Making jewelry is so easy if you have the all materials needed. It may take a little patience of you to be putting all the tiny details in a string. And of course, creativity is a big plus for any jewelry makers.

o Decorations – house decors, event decors, and holiday decors are the common decorations that are in demand in the market. So what better way than to sell these kinds of crafts at a cheaper rate compared to those that are sold in the halls. You can start by buying your own raw products in a cheap bookstore or department stores. Buying it in bulks will less the price so saves you more on your expenses. You can also make use of craft-making books. If needles and thread is your thing, sew, sew, and sew. You can make beautiful and unique place mats, curtains, and pillow cases. You can also make simple bags for summer, pouches, or just any typical rectangle bags.

o Lamps – lamps are also a good example to work at home crafts. You can have lamps with wood covers, cloth, or those that are made out of cardboards. But if you want it to look more sophisticated, go for lamps that are made of porcelain. Always ask for assistance from anyone who is expert to avoid accidents.

In this crisis world and high unemployment rate, it is good that you can think of an alternative on how to improve your wealth by starting to work at home crafts. There are really so many ways that you can indulge in crafts and work just in the comfort of your home. Although you can start by what you have in my mind, buying a book or reading articles about it can be a great help.

Guide To Mounting A TV On The Wall

The new class of TV's are thinner and lighter than the original flat panels that where introduced a few years ago, and this make mounting them easier for the do-it-yourself homeowner. The steps involved are still the same, in this article we will try to walk you through these steps.

The first step is to decide where you are going to mount your TV. Obviously, your TV needs to be easily and comfortably viewable from your viewing point. But, there are two things you need to take into consideration, height and screen glare. The height should afford you a comfortable viewing point without being to high that it causes neck strain. The best way to determine height is to get in a comfortable viewing position and eye where you plan to mount the TV and this is usually where you want to mount the TV. Screen glare is usually determined by the amount of light flowing into the room,
so try to avoid mount in a location that receives direct sunlight.

The next step is deciding how you are going to run your cables, there are a number of ways to conceal your power and A / V cables; from quick and simple cover-ups to more labor-intensive in-wall options. It's a good idea to figure out how you'd like to manage your wires before deciding where to mount your TV, since some spots may be more conducive to your preferred method than others. Just remember that the location has to be accessible to a power source and A / V outlet, its a good idea to measure your cables and the distance to the outlets to make sure they will reach.

OK, now its time to mount the TV part of the mount, wall mounts are generally composed of two pieces one that you'll attach to the TV, and another that you'll mount to the wall. The portion on the TV then attaches to the piece on the wall, thats it, you've got a wall-mounted TV. Your first step will be to attach the TV portion of the mount to the back of your TV, some models have the holes covered with plastic, just use a screwdriver to pry those off. Remember try not to lay the TV down during this process. Now align the holes in the mount to the hole in the back of your TV and screw them in, the screws for these holes are usually included in the mounting kit.

The next step is install the wall portion, so that you can mount your TV to the wall, you will need to drill the bracket into wooden studs. After you've chosen your ideal TV mount location, use a high-quality stud finder to locate nearby studs. Verify that the mounting holes in the bracket line up with the center of the studies, this is done by finding the center of the stud by using a nail to find the ends of the stud and measuring in between the holes. Always use a level to verify that the bracket is level before securing it to the wall. Have your helper keep it stable while you screw it into the wall to make sure it stays level. Make sure you follow the mounting directions in the owner's manual.

The last step is to run the cables before you hang the TV, to there desired location lift the TV and connect the cables to it, and finally connect the wall mount to the TV portion of the mount. In this step it is strongly advised that you have a helper to assist you to lift and mount the TV. Most mounts available today are just gravity held, so there is no need to screw anything in once you have the TV on the mount, unless your mount also offers security features, and this usually only requires tightening the security screws.

Now, you have successfully mounted your first flat panel television. Because the majority of TV's sold today are flat panel, the mounts manufactured are designed for the do-it-yourself homeowner. But, if you need advice along the way, a great site is Installs Plus Tips at http://installsplus.net/ . This site provides tips and advice for TV mounting and projection system installation.

Hammer Drills

Hammer Drills can also be called a roto hammer or a rotary hammer drill; these devices are drills with a rotating hammering action. They work by providing a hammering action, a short rapid hammer thrust, which pulverizes hard brittle material, thus producing more efficient and faster drilling with much less effort. These drills are usually lower powered units, while higher powered devices are generally known as rotary hammers and are used to deliver much higher impact forces.

Most of today's drills allow use of both the hammer action and the rotatory action separately or even a combination of both, depending on the material to be drilled. They were invented in 1975 by James D Smith, who was a stonemason. These types of drill are very efficient for drilling holes in brick, concrete, sandstone and some types of rock. The hammering action chips away / breaks up the masonry and the drill flutes transport the debris away.

There are many different makes and models, prices can range from just a few pounds for a simple model which may be ideal for the home DIY enthusiast, up to many hundred of pounds for more serious use and applications ie; building industry and automotive industry.

Hammer drills can be either cordless or mains powered. Mains powered drills require some type of external power supply, either mains power or power generated by some type of electrical generator which are usually mobile.

Cordless power hammer drills carry their own power supply in the form of a battery which is usually fitted onto the end of the drills handle. With today's technology and the advancement in battery design and performance, cordless power tools have become a very attractive alternative to the more conventional mains powered power tool and can provide many hours of use. This has made them extremely popular in the public and commercial markets.

Hammer drills can have several different features incorporated into them. These features may include:

  • Switchable hammer action (the drill may be set from normal action to hammer action)
  • Clutch (this enables a slipping action should serve the drill bit encounter any difficulties; for example, get stuck or jam up).
  • Adjustable clutch; this enables the correct torque when using the drill for driving screws.
  • Reversible switch

Another type of hammer drill uses a rotary action, and these types of drill are known as rotary hammer drills. The rotary type uses a piston mechanism instead of a special clutch which allows them to deliver a much more powerful hammer blow.

Hammer drills use a specially designed clutch which allows it to punch (hammer) and spin at the same time.

Making Mosaics Out of Simple Images

When it comes time to make a mosaic it can be difficult to find patterns. There are many web sites about mosaic art but not many offer patterns for you to replicate. The possibilities are truly endless. From geometric designs to replications of animals and nature scenes.

Of course it depends on the size of mosaic you want to make. But what you should keep in mind when making a mosaic and finding patterns is you must keep it simple. Too much detail becomes very hard to reproduce with pieces of tiles, except of course you are a veteran artist!

I for one am not, and need inspiration when it comes time to reproduce images in a mosaic. One method I would like to share with you is very simple. I discovered that it is very easy to find the perfect image in children's coloring books. Most of these pictures are detailed enough to see its representation yet simple enough to easily reproduce in a mosaic.

Now how do you transfer these images to tiles?

Just follow this method to transform your images to patterns.

  1. Once you have found that perfect image, outline the image lines with a large felt pen, these lines will represent your grout lines. If you want larger grout lines use a larger marker.
  2. When you finished outlining the image, number each section and photocopy the image, you will need this photocopy later.
  3. Then cut out all the pieces making sure to leave out the font line. One piece of cut out paper presents one piece of tile. So here make as many or as few as you want, it is up to you.
  4. Transfer the cut out piece onto a piece of ceramic or whatever material you are using.
  5. Now gently cut each piece using your tile nippers.
  6. Smooth out the edges with a rough sanding paper or a table top grinder.
  7. Now using a fiberglass mesh with your photocopied image underneath, glue each piece of tile onto the mesh. Use a parchment style paper here between your photocopied image and your fiberglass mesh, otherwise your pieces will stick to the paper.
  8. Once all your pieces are glued onto the mesh, your mosaic is ready to install!

This method has always given me excellent results, given your image is not too big. If you want your mosaic to be larger than 12 by 12 inches you can use this method but separate it into quadrants, it is easier this way when it comes time to transfer your mosaic to it permanent location.

The method using a fiberglass mesh is called the double direct method; however you can also use the indirect method for this. These methods and more are a topic by itself and will be covered in another article.

Now all that is left for you to do is install your mailbox, sit back and wait for your mail.

The English Landscape Painter of 'Romantic' Taste – John Constable

Well known English painter and drafter, John Constable, was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk on June 11, 1776, to Ann and Golding Constable, wealthy corn merchants. The pioneer of 'Romanticism,' he is renamed for his picturesque landscape paintings. Painters, like Delacroix and Gericault, often hailed Constable's art as 'magnificent', which also influenced the French painters of the Barbizon and the 'Impressionists' alike.

While pursuing his early education at Dedham Grammar School, John Constable showed his artistic bent of mind. After finishing his school, the artist worked with his father for a year. During this spell, he realized his real passion lied in arts and therefore, went to study at the Royal Academy in London, in 1793. Here, the works of famous artists, Jacob van Ruisdael, Claude Lorrain, and Thomas Girtin, influenced Constable. Although, beginning with imitating the styles of their works, he gradually developed his own banner style, and started depicting his inspirations, drawn directly from nature.

According to John, art should capture the nature's phenomenon and its vagaries in entity, such as the changing colors of the sky and the magic of the sun's golden beams dancing upon the fluora & fauna. John mostly painted locations he was familiar with, especially his native, Suffolk and others, like Salisbury, Brighton, and Hampstead. He was equally accomplished in the use of oils, as well as watercolors. John's art was characterized by broken brush strokes to capture the effect of brightly tingling light. (1809), "Dedham Vale: Morning (1811)," "Landscape: Boys Fishing (1809)," "The Church Porch (East Bergholt) 1818), "Boatbuilding (1814)," "Wivenhoe Park (1816)," "Weymouth Bay (1816)," and "Flatford Mill (1817)." In 1816, John lost his mother. The same year he married Maria Bricknell, and was blessed with seven children.

John attained greater acclaim in France, than in his native land. In 1824, his painting, "The Hay Wain (1821)," was exhibited in Paris Salon, for which he even received a gold medal from the then French King. In 1829, Constable was appointed the member of the Royal Academy. Some of the most noted works of John from this time include, "Hampstead Heath (1820)," Salisbury Cathedral, from the Bishop's Grounds (1823), "A Mill at Gillingham in Dorset (Parham's Mill) (1826) "Dedham Vale (1828)," "Hadleigh Castle (1829)," "Old Sarum (1829), and Salisbury Cathedral, from the Meadows (1831)." Despite his criticism's appreciation and rewards, John struggled for commercial success. Through his life, he had to face the lack of means and resources, and had a tough time trying to make his ends meet. In 1828, John Constable lost his wife to tuberculosis. Unable to cope with this personal loss, he died unexpectedly on the night of March 31, 1837.

Chandelier – Different Choices That You Can Pick

Are you having an improvement project? Do you have an idea which lighting fixture is the best one to install? Do you want to have a different mood for your room?

Well now improving the look of your bedroom or home is no longer a problem because of the variety of choices you have that are just out in the market.

Before, people are having a hard time in deciding on which lighting fixture will fit your home. With all the choices that we have out in the market, many individuals are still having hard time in picking the right fixture for their home. The common problem they encounter when picking the right lighting fixture is that they do not know which one will really fit their home or something that can create a different kind of ambiance for their home. There are some people who base their purchase on the design alone; some are with the price of the fixture. But if you really want to know which one to pick, it is important to learn first the basic types of the different lighting fixture like those crystal chandelier.

When you decide to have crystal chandelier as your lighting fixture, you have to pick something that will represent well your home. Because of the sparkle and dazzling appearance of this fixture, nobody will resist availing one for your home use. It exudes the right style and elegance for your home and for this everyone expresses their appreciation. And because of this, there are lots of people who are wishing to have this fixture for their home.

Another good choice that is readily available out in the market is those beaded and shell chandeliers. These fixtures come in various size and style. And because of its beaded design and style it can be a good expression of femininity. This has become so popular to almost households.

If you want to have a durable fixture, then the best option for you is the metal chandelier. It is also one of the best fixtures that you can hang to your ceiling because it comes in a variety of colors. But people who want to classic look, they prefer to have a black color fixture.

These are the top choices for your lighting fixture. Having this fixture will surely make your home elegant and appealing to everyone's eyes. But you have to keep in mind that these fixtures are expensive, so if you do not have sufficient budget better stop searching for the right one. For those people who are in tight budget it is better to check out those affordable chandeliers. For sure there are lots of fixtures that will fit your home's general look.

When Can a Kitten Be Spayed?

The number of people getting their feline spayed is increasing everyday. It prevails pet overpopulation and also prevails unwanted animals from getting killed by euthanasia. Every year thousands of animals get killed because of the insufficient amount of homes. Responsible and caring owners of pets must spay their female pets.

The benefits of getting a kitten spayed are many; the kitten can lead a healthier and longer life, chance of the pet straying on the street to find a mate and getting injured in the process can be avoided. There is improvement in their behavior and they also become more responsive to human family members. Chances of mammary cancer, uterine infections common among unaltered cats also diminish.

In simple terms, spaying removes the ability of an animal to reproduce. Spaying is considered safe and painless. This surgery is performed under anesthesia. Normally, the animal is home within a couple of days.

A kitten should be spayed when it reaches the age of six months, before its first heat. This surgery involves removing the uterus and ovaries through an incision; the incision is later closed either by sutures or non-absorbable or sub-cuticle stitches. Another procedure performed on kittens is tubal ligation; This surgical procedure makes the kitten sterile and prevats heats and that coming in contact with males. Tubal ligation is not extremely popular.

Spaying in kittens should be done before it reaches puberty. Six months is ideal for female kittens to get spayed. They recover quickly at this age and very few negative concerns have come to light.

There are some who feel that it is safest to allow the kitten to grow stronger and larger before performing the surgery. This allows the urinary tract to develop. If you have doubts, it is best to consult a veterinarian to determine the correct age for spaying. Without the cat has some health problems, spaying is considered to be safe for a kitten of any age.

History of the Shovelhead Engine

There is no bike on the road that looks like a Harley-Davidson. Over the manufacturer's century-long history, the look of the Harley has changed and the true enthusiast can tell the year of a bike at a glance. One of the most obvious clues is the distinctive Harley engine.

For twenty years, Harleys got their look from the Shovelhead engine, the engine that many people even today automatically associate with the bike.

The End of the Panhead

In the mid 1960s, Harley Davidson motorcycles used the Panhead engine, so called because of the shape of the rocker covers. As the bikes got heavier they required engines with more power than the Panhead could deliver. In 1966, Harley introduced the next evolution of this engine design.

This new engine, like its predecessor, got its name from the shape of the rocker covers. The covers were shaped like coal shovels and these shovelhead parts inspired the Shovelhead engine's name.

The Shovelhead had more powerful cylinders and pistons and was meant to provide stronger acceleration to meet the demands of bikers of the day.

The engine had its drawbacks. It was more powerful but also heavier so did not give as much power as had been hoped. That weight also affected the bike's steering and could cause it to weave at top speeds.

Some of these shortcomings were because it had not originally been designed as a motorcycle engine. It was supposed to be used in an outboard motor but engineers discovered that it did not work well in humid environments, which is rather a significant drawback for a marine engine.

The Shovelhead Era

Although the Shovelhead was not perfect, it still provided a lot of power for the new generation of bikes.

Harley continued to improve the engine through its life. In the 1970s there were a number of changes made to the design of Shovelhead parts that resolved many consumer complaints about its performance.

However, the engine never became what bikers wanted it to be. Some of the reasons for this were the laws regulations that came out of the energy crisis of the 1970s. Harley was limited as to how much power they could give the engine.

One real improvement in Shovelhead parts was the FLH Electra-Glide Package, also known as the Police Option. Although this option made the bike harder for the amateur to maneuver, a skilled rider could get more power and speed.

The End of the Shovelhead

Despite Harley's efforts, this engine struggled to keep pace with the innovations that were sweeping the industry. Shovelhead parts such as oil management systems were considered archaic when compared to other engines and the machine fell out of favor.

Harley stopped producing the engine in 1984, although manufacturers still make custom engines in the same style. The Shovelhead was replaced by the Evolution engine that Harleys still use today.

Why Do Blue Veins Appear Around The Mouth?

Have you recently noticed blue veins around your mouth area? What could possibly provoke the veins from appearing on your skin? Why are they visible now?

It is common knowledge that our body is made up of hundreds or thousands of veins. These are used to transport blood. They are properly concealed by our skin. But at one time or another, some of these veins become more obvious. The following are some of the possible causes for this condition:

1. Thinning of skin
As you get older, your skin loses its ability to produce collagen. This is what makes skin strong and thick. Without a reliable production of collagen, you can experience skin thinning. This makes tiny blood vessels and veins under the skin more visible.

2. Poor circulation
If there is a general poor circulation process in your body, this can be a prevalent problem. Poor circulation basically cuts off blood flow. This will make some of the veins thicker and plumper. They are straining to transport blood cells.

This can be aggravated if you sleep on your stomach. Your face is pressed on the pillow. This prevents good flow of blood around the mouth area.

3. Smoking
Cigarettes thin out the skin and impair circulatory functions. The smoke contains nicotine that can damage blood vessels and skin tissues. Cigarette smokers often experience thinning of skin especially around the mouth area.

4. Genetics
Some people are predisposed to this condition because they have inherited it from their parents.

Concealing blue veins around the mouth is easy through the use of cosmetic products. Find the right shade of concealer. Concealers come in different shades. This depends on the color of the blemish you want to hide. For example, red acne marks can be concealed better using green concealers.

Also use an anti aging moisturizer to improve the structure of skin around the mouth area. Look for products that contain CynergyTK, Phytessence Wakame and Nano Lipobelle HEQ10.

CynergyTK is an ingredient extracted from the wool of sheep. This ingredient is comprised of a functional protein called Keratin. Keratin is the same protein used by the body for the regeneration of collagen, hair and nails. This can improve the strength of skin tissues and prevent skin thinning.

Phytessence Wakame is a type of Japanese sea kelp. This sea kelp can protect hyaluronic acid. This is the acid that supplies moisture to collagen proteins. Nano Lipobelle HEQ10 is an antioxidant that can help get rid of harmful free radicals. This antioxidant is comprised of smaller molecular structure so it can protect skin cells deeper.

Stair Lifts & Residential Elevators

Stair lifts are very good for people who are not able to climb up and down the stairs on their own and they become less dependent on the others to take them up and down the stairs. There are different kinds of stair lifts available, which are suitable separately for different kinds of people's needs and also for the different kinds of staircases.

There are also different kinds of residential elevators, which are also known as home elevators, which are used for the people mostly on wheelchairs to move between the different floors of the house. These elevators are available with different capacities and types as well as finishes.

Home elevators offer a smooth ride between different floors of the house and you can move smoothly without any discomfort. The home elevators are offered in the market in different capacities, so that the clients can get what suits them better. In buying a home elevator, an important matter is that of the chair that has to go into the elevator and the home elevator has to be bought according to the weight and the suitable capacity has to be bought.

There are also some manufacturers who make home elevators that are green and are environmentally friendly. These are suitable for the people who are conscious about the environment and are concerned with the emissions and elements that pollute the environment.

In case of the stair lifts, there are mostly two kinds of stair lifts that are the most commonly used. There is one which has a seat and the other is the one on which the person has to keep standing while moving up and down the stairs. The two categories of the stair lifts are straight and curved.

These two categories of stair lifts vary from each other in the respect of the staircase on which they have to be installed. If you have a straight staircase that does not curve anywhere, then you should get a straight stair lift. Otherwise, if you have a stair lift that has a slight or larger curve, you would have to get a curved stair lift. In case of the curved stair lifts, the exact specifications of the staircase have to be noted down and the stair lift has to be designed accordingly.

Some of the important things that you would have to keep in mind when you're thinking of getting a home elevator are, first of all the need for you to enter and exit the elevator. Your needs for the elevator are going to be different and depend on how many times you need to enter and exit the elevator and also on how many floors you house has.

When you are getting a home elevator, you also have to keep the point of the capacity of the elevator in view. There are many manufacturers of both stair lifts and home elevators and you can compare the prices and features of each and then decide on the one that is the most suitable for you.

Plate Collecting is Fun

The collecting of every day plates with interesting designs goes back to when plates were first used. However designs on plates became a selling point for the tea / dinner plate manufacturers eg blue and white, of which there are many patterns, when competition became fiercely and they wanted a slice of this market. Many of the famous potteries also produced very ornate designs for their tableware, Mason's is a good example.

Some early collectable plates are now very valuable and "Delft" ware, going back to the 18th century, is a good example of this. Most potteries, like Royal Worcester and Spode, produced interesting designs, often hand painted by renn artists (not intended for everyday use, but purely decorative). Essentially the "Decorative" plate, originally hand painted, became more available with the advent of transfer printing and mass production techniques in the 19th century.

Naturally the earlier plates, especially hand painted are very valuable, and usually out of reach of the ordinary collector. However there are many plates which are affordable from the 19th to the 21st century and readily available. The real problem is to decide what to collect, whether it is a modern day plate from Danbury Mint or a commemorative plate from Victorian times. The range is massive and it is, as always with collecting, a personal choice.

Most of the potteries worldwide produced decorative plates and one must decide what to collect, Art Deco, Blue and White, Belleek, Chinese, Clarice Cliff, Derby, Dresden, Meissen or Worcester to name only a few, or to collect by theme, Cats , Dogs, Horses, Flowers, Fish, Places, Commemorative, Birds and so on.

Decorative plates can play the same function as a painting or a print and may be used as part of an overall decorative theme in one's home or office. In fact there is no reason why one can not mix the two to produce an interesting effect. Experiment with a layout on the floor to start with, before committing to actually fixing them to the wall, it will save a lot of extra work filling in holes!

Since WWII the plate manufacturers like Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Knowles, Danbury Mint, WSGeorge and many more have produced plates for this market and their plates are purely decorative and not functional, in fact they state that the paints used my be toxic. It goes without saying these plates are not dish washer safe. There are exceptions but they do not concern us here.

I believe the best approach is to study the various web sites and on line auction houses to see what interests you and then to concentrate on a particular area. We sort all our plates by theme which makes it easy to find a plate to complete a set or to replace a broken or lost one. Most potteries produce sets of plates, usually on a theme and are issued on a regular basis so you can acquire a complete set if you wish. This of course only applies to new editions. To find previous issues you need to hunt for them on web sites like ours. Many companies operate a finder service, as we do, but it may take a time to find that illusive plate.

Overall the collecting of decorative plates can be informative, pleasing to the eye or just plain fun. Good luck!

2 Burner Camp Stoves For the Beginning Family Campers

Camping is a wonderful family activity. Neverheless, if you do not have any experience in camping this could be a difficult task to select a camping stove. Let us discuss some techniques that will help the beginning family find a camp stove to meet their needs to make last memories.

What kind of camping are you doing? More than likely the family camping will be at a campground. Make it as simple as possible when just starting out. Check out your state parks nearby. Now days' camping has become quite popular and reservations are a must to secure a spot.

Moreover, recommendation is to find a stove to meet the needs of your family and the kind of camping most likely you will engage in. There are lots of name brands out there for 2 burner camp stoves. Trying to make a selection might be difficult at best. Here are some things to think about when deciding on a stove:

1. Make sure it is sturdy construction with windscreens to save on fuel.

2. It will be easy to use with piezo ignition to eliminates matches.

3. Removable grate systems are easy for cleaning.

4. Both burners should be adjustable to simmer cooking food.

5. Folds down compact and has an integrated carrying handle.

6. Either uses a flexible hose attachment or a pressure regulator to a standard propane cylinder.

7. There are burner and grill combinations again a personal preference.

8. BTU's range from 8,000-25,000 with a boiling time from 3-5 minutes (Suggested 12,000 BTU's per burner).

9. The cost range is about $ 50- $ 100 dollars per stove.

10. Here are some name brands of 2 burner camp stoves: Primus, Brunton, and Stansport.

In short, these are just some features to look at when buying a 2 burner camp stove. After further review of the above-mentioned features you will have personal preferences with the kind of cooking done. To learn more check out Fun Camp Stoves.

Homemade Canning – Best Kinds of Soup for Home Canning

Canned soup is delicious and easy for lunches, dinners, and even snacks. Store-bought soup often contains large amounts of sodium and even hidden ingredients such as monosodium glutamate, yeast, and unknown spices and added artificial flavorings.

Soup done by homemade canning is not only healthier, it is less expensive than the store-bought versions and you can control what goes into it. Which soups are best for canning at home?

Canned Cream Soup

Tomato, mushroom, celery, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and other vegetables and blends make delicious creamed soup. Creamed foods are often cooked vegetables run through a blender and then made into a delicious and creamy soup with fresh milk or cream and a variety of spices. These may take a few extra steps to prepare, but are well worth the effort.

To make them a condensed soup, simply leave off the addition of cream and extra water in the recipe you follow and note on the label how much to add for that particular recipe. When opening a jar of creamed soup, simply add the amount of milk or water just like the condensed soup you would purchase at the store, but at a fraction of the cost.

Canned Vegetable Soup

Depending on the recipe, you may or may not need to pre-cook the vegetables. One delicious method of making homemade canned vegetable soup is to save the vegetable refuse from processing other vegetables in a bin in the freezer. These can range from clean potato skin and apple skins and cores to onion peels and lettuce cores. When you have enough to boil for stock, boil them up until soft and then cool the stock. Blend them in a blender and run through a food sieve or mesh strainer to remove the larger particles.

Take the resulting stock and use it as a base for any vegetable or meat soup base. Simply chop up the desired vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, onions, par-cooked potatoes or root vegetables, zucchini, peas, cooked beans, green beans, or raw dark leafy greens and place them in a bowl. Then add your favorite dried or fresh herbs or spice blends and mix it thoroughly.

Finally, add this mixture to the jar, leaving half to one-third head space. Add the broth, stir, and pressure can the blend for about 20 minutes, or as directed in the vegetable soup recipe you are using.

Canned Noodle Soup

  • Noodle soups are not that hard to can. The easiest part is that the noodles go in dry. You will need:
  • A vegetable or chicken stock that has just been boiled and is still hot.
  • Chopped cooked meat such as chicken or beef.
  • A favorite spice blend or fresh herbs; Italian seasoning works best.
  • Fresh, raw or par-cooked vegetables.
  • Dried noodles such as egg noodles, stars, alphabets, ditalini, macaroni, gemelli, or mostaccioli.

Measure one-fourth of the jar for each ingredient plus the spices. Again, leave roughly a half-inch head space air pocket for a good seal. Then, layer the ingredients as you add them: noodles, half the hot broth, spices, meat, vegetables, and half the hot broth again. Make sure that the rim and lid are clean and dry when you add the lid. Pressure can for the time specified in the pressure canning directions.

Canned Bean, Chili, or Split Pea Soup

Unlike the other soups, bean soup must be cooked and completely ready to eat before canning to ensure that the finished product is actually edible. When you are done cooking the bean soup, simply jar it up while still hot, leaving roughly a half-inch to an inch of head space and then pressure can it according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Detecting Spoilage in Home-canned foods

Unlike high-acid canned foods such as tomato sauces and fruits, low-acid foods like soup are more prone to spoilage due to improper canning or not achieving a good seal. Before serving up your delicious creation, inspect the jar lid for leaks, a swollen lid, rust, strange coloring, or a foamy or murky appearance.

If all looks well, open the jar and smell the food-it should smell pleasant and delicious. If you detect any of the above, discard the food immediately. Before eating, bring the food to a boil for at least 10 minutes just in case any dangerous microbes are in the food. If the food still smells pleasant, it’s probably safe to eat.

Home-canned soups are not only tailored to your dietary needs, they contain less sodium, fat, and artificial ingredients. Healthy, hearty, and cheap, soup made by homemade canning cost a fraction off store-bought varieties and definitely have better flavor.