Book Binding by Hand

Simple bindings for your hand-crafted books are easy to do. They provide a more elegant and longer-lasting solution than staples or binder clips.

You can use a variety of materials for the cover. The cover can be made from card stock, file folders, heavy-weight papers, fabric, vinyl, or leather. Match the binding materials to the content of your book to reinforce the theme and protect it. Be careful about using wood since it contains chemicals which will degrade the interior pages. Use it only for a short-term decorative item. You can make a soft cover by using your choice of material without applying stiff cardboard backing. Make a hard cover by applying the material over cardboard cut to size. Cut two matching pieces of cardboard to form the front and back cover. Make them 1/16 of an inch larger in both height and width than the text pages. There is no overhang in this binding.

Any type of cord or string can be used for the stitching including yarns, raffia, leather thongs, jute string, twine, gimp, soft wire, thin ribbons, and fine braids. These are some of the more unusual choices for thread. On a traditional project you might use linen, embroidery, or carpet thread, strong nylon thread, or waxed dental floss.

In your initial book layout, be sure to allow space on each page for the spine. Spine depths will vary with the number of pages and the thickness of the paper. As a general rule allow ½” to ¾” of blank space on the side of the page which will be attached to the spine in addition to the margin around the writing.

Equipment. You will need an awl or a small nail and hammer, cardboard for a hard cover, material for the cover, cording or thread (eight times as long as the book’s height), binder clips, a needle, pencil, ruler, phone book or scrap wood to protect your work surface.

How to do it. These instructions follow Japanese book binding techniques to create a binding that will last.

Step 1. Measure ½” from the spine of the front cover and use your ruler to draw a line from the top to the bottom. On the line you have just drawn, make a mark ½” down from the top and ½” up from the bottom. Divide the distance between those two marks into thirds and mark two middle points. You should have four marks.

Step 2. Even up the pages of the book and place them between the front and back covers. Clamp with binder clips. Place on your protected work surface. If needed, weight down the pages to keep them from moving. Punch holes through the marks using the awl or a small nail and hammer. Do this in batches of 20 pages or less; otherwise pages and holes slip out of alignment. Once all pages are punched, stack them with holes aligned on the left hand side.

Step 3. Thread the needle with the thread. Tie the ends together in a knot. You now have a continuous loop of thread, the needle at one end, the knot at the other. Anchor the thread by opening the book about 20 pages and pushing the needle through the lower middle hole. Pull the thread until the knot is snugly fitted against the pages. Wrap the thread around the spine and push the needle through the lower middle hole again. Pull taut.

Step 4. Take the thread across the top cover to the upper middle hole. Push the needle down through that hole, around the spine and back down through the same hole. Pull the thread tight after each hole.

Step 5. Take the thread across the bottom cover and come up through the top hole. Go around the spine and up through the top hole again.

Step 6. Take the thread across the top of the cover so it crosses the top edge of the book (as opposed to the spine). Wrap the thread around this top edge and bring the thread up through the top hole.

Step 7. Take the thread across the top cover and down through the upper middle hole.

Step 8. Take the thread across the back cover and up through the lower middle hole.

Step 9. Take the thread across the top cover and down through the bottom hole. Wrap the thread around the spine. Take the thread down through the bottom hole again.

Step 10. Take the thread across the bottom cover so it crosses the bottom edge of the book. Wrap the thread around this bottom edge and bring the thread down through the bottom hole.

Step 11. Take the thread across the back cover to the starting hole. Bring the needle up through the starting hole. Tie off the thread tightly by slipping the needle under the two top threads coming out of the starting hole and back through the loop.

Step 12. Run the needle down through the starting hole and cut off the thread flush with the back of the book.

You can vary this basic binding by using different spacing of the holes and patterns of sewing. As a decorative feature, you can sew a stick, ribbon, or beads into the binding. Add the decoration along the spine if it is thick enough or on the front cover. Do remember to consider function first though. If the decoration will interfere with reading the book, do not use it.

Camaro Tail Lights – Shining Led Retrofit

The development of the vehicle has pushed the whole world forward in the past. It is absolutely impossible for people to live without this great transportation means. The irreplaceable convenience to people’s life created by the vehicle keeps spurring the development of the entire automotive industry. More and more auto parts are manufactured with high performance to guarantee a safe driving for the driver.

What we are going to talk here is the lighting system of the vehicle. Lighting system is an indispensable part of a vehicle, which plays an important role in helping the vehicle get rid of unnecessary bumps in low-visibility condition, such as precipitating and darkness. It works by its illumination function. Headlights, tail lamps, front fog lamps, side markers, rear stop lamps and brake lamps are all the components of a vehicle’s lighting system. Every single part of them performs a particular task different from any other one. Headlights function in bringing strong illumination for the driver to know the road condition ahead clearly. Fog lamps are used for bring bright visibility for the driver on foggy days. Side markers are indicators which show the vehicle’s moving direction.

Tail lamps work to display the vehicle’s information such as its presence, speed, and driving direction, so that other road users can keep away from it. No car collisions would be likely to take place in this case. Today, more importance is attached to the tail lamps. So the auto parts manufactures make these lamps with higher performance and nice appearance.

Art Deco Lighting

Art Deco  Lighting  Ideas

 Lighting  during the Art Deco movement was dramatic, elegant and futuristic looking. It was a very important feature of interior design and also a key element of exterior architecture.

Traditionally, lamps, chandeliers and wall sconces were made from steel, chrome or polished bronze. This created that sexy, sleek look that is most associated with this period of history. Porcelain and glass were used to fashion lamp shades. This also contributed to the streamlined, sleek Deco aesthetic.

Beautiful glass Lalique lamps and other  lighting  pieces were very popular and continue to be in hot demand today.

Another traditional feature of Deco  lighting  is geometric pattern. Symmetrical and repeating angular designs like zig-zags, chevrons and Egyptian symbols were frequently engraved in metal lamp posts and glass shades.

Also, the glass would often be been painted in bold colours like brilliant red or sapphire blue. Bright colours were a very popular trend during the days of Deco.

Art Deco  Lighting  Characteristics

To complement the sleek architecture and modern interior design elements of the Deco period,  lighting  pieces also exhibited the classic characteristics of the style:

Geometric, angular designs – i.e. chevrons, zigzags

Streamlined and modern

Long, vertical silhouettes

Extensive use of steel, chrome, bronze and other ‘shiny’ metals

Neon lights (primarily for external use)

Often large/over-scaled to create drama

‘Futuristic’ look – reminiscent of machinery

Bold, bright colours

Glass or porcelain lamp shades

Lalique crystal or glass lamps

To see some spectacular examples of Art Deco lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers and other light fixtures, please visit Art Deco  Lighting .

Know the Basics of Radiant Barrier

Radiant barriers are also known as reflective barriers. They inhibit transfer of heat by thermal radiation. Heat can also be transferred through convection and conduction. But the radiant barriers do not protect against such methods of heat transfer.

As a result of their temperature, every material emits energy by thermal radiation. The extent of energy radiation is dependent on the surface temperature and emissivity. Emissivity is directly proportional to the amount of heat radiated at a particular wavelength. Reflectivity is a measure of how much energy is reflected by the material at a particular length.

Emissivity of this should be low (like 0.1 or less) at those wavelengths at which they are supposed to function. Usually for buildings, the range of wavelength in the mid and the long-infrared spectrum lies between 3-15 micrometers. The value of reflectivity is not fixed. This is because both emissivity and reflectivity don’t add up to one for different wavelengths. Thus, low thermal emissivity can be used to create surfaces that are visibly dark in color. For proper performance, It should face towards open surfaces like air or vacuum so that there is no radiation.

Application of radiant barrier

NASA came up with a material that was light, reflective and made up of a plastic substrate that had a vapor deposited coating of aluminum. This is popularly known by the name space blanket. It is used for protection of equipments, astronauts and spacecraft from radiation and also for the retention of heat as temperature fluctuations are a common thing in space. This is more effective in space than on earth because heat transfer in space only takes by radiation. The heat transfer on earth can take place by conduction and convection even if it is deployed.

It can also be deployed for reducing indoor heat loss.

There are basically two methods by which it can be installed-

1. Radiant Barrier Decking

2. Radiant Barrier Attic Foil.

On sunny days, the roof absorbs the solar energy. The roof sheathing gets heated up and radiates the heat downward to the attic floor. When placed on the attic floor reflects the heat received towards the roof. This makes the top surface cooler. It also effectively removes the heat from entering into the rooms. Thus, it is quite an effective device.

The conventional attic insulation and radiant barrier differ from each other. Their functions are similar but their methods of achieving the same differ. It decreases the amount of heat radiated in areas near to it. The conventional attic insulation technique reduces thermal radiation by means of convection. Air is trapped within insulation in this technique. The rating of such a technique is done by R-value. There are no R-values for radiant barriers since they depend upon many factors.

Radiant barriers come in different ranges. The cost primarily depends upon the one who is installing it. Other factors include the extra features which some people like to incorporate in it. The price is different for a new house and an existing one.

Needless to say, this is highly effective and desirous. They are of vital importance and preferred these days.

Investing in a Fireproof Safe

If you have valuables in your home or at your business, investing in a  fireproof  safe is highly recommended. This way, you can protect your own things, and you can avoid having to pay for a safe deposit box at your bank or other institution.

Not only will this safe protect any money you want to stow away, you can also use it to house jewelry, heirlooms, or any other priceless items you want to safeguard. There are a variety of safes available on the market, and they vary in size, shape, and purpose. You can get a small, light weight one, or you can purchase one that weighs as much as 100 pounds.

Obviously, whatever you are planning on storing in the safe will dictate what size will work best for you. Other aspects to keep in mind when choosing a safe are its capabilities in both fire and water. Simply being resistant to these elements is not enough, and you must ensure it is  fireproof  and waterproof. Also, you must make sure you get a safe that you are capable of opening; but, make sure it is one that is difficult enough to deter anyone who might steal it.

The most important aspect of your safe is that it protects what you put in it and that those items are accessible only to you and your trusted loved ones. A small safe will be adequate if you just want to keep some of your smaller valuables safe and dry; however, if you have more important papers, documents, or money that you really want to keep to yourself, you might consider getting a bigger one that has an anchoring hole.

These are best used in closets or basements where they can be bolted to the wall or floor. Ultimately, if there is any kind of lock on the safe, it is important that you keep a key somewhere. It is always possible that you will forget the combination!

Wallpaper Removal – The True Cost

Living through the never ending hustle and bustle of New York demands a good deal of energy. In no time, if you are not able to effectively deal with the hectic lifestyle, stress can become a grave problem. A fresh change can do a lot of good for people who are currently under stress, and home improvement is one perfect solution for such. With a lot of possible things that you can consider, starting with  wallpaper  removal is the most ideal as it is said that the interior wall sets the ambiance of any room.

Though you can always opt to do things yourself by buying some DIY kits, browsing through the internet for some free step-by-step-guide, or buy a book on wall removal; can you handle the risk if anything goes wrong? To start with, if you are not very keen and a natural at doing these home improvement stuffs, you might cause damage to the wall. So you see, if you weigh things up, the risk comes from an economic standpoint.

There are a lot of considerations before going on with the actual  wallpaper  removal. The main concern is that if you were not the one who has applied the existing  wallpaper  finishes, you really have no idea how the product was originally applied. Among the things to consider include the kind of adhesive used, if the surfaces were sized or primed, and so on. Not knowing all of these makes it very hard to evaluate how difficult or easy it is to strip the  wallpaper  off as well as the level of damage the job will do to the substrate, especially with gypsum boards.

When the  wallpaper  removal process is not done accordingly, the substrate, sheetrock or the texture of the wall may be damaged. Depending on the grain, there is also a corresponding way on how to strip them off to avoid damage. It can be done from right to left, from top to bottom or others.

When the  wallpaper  removal is done, it will be left to dry for several days. Then you would have to decide whether you would be applying  wallpaper  again; other types of wall covering like textiles, fabric, and vinyl; or even have the walls painted. So you see, this home improvement undertaking is not a piece of cake and getting the help of a qualified, New York contractor would surely prove beneficial in both the short and long run.

When you decide to do  wallpaper  removal yourself, what you are thinking is that you are saving yourself a good amount of money. But in fact, even the smallest glitch could cost you more than what you are supposedly saving. With this, you are also sacrificing your precious time, effort and many days living with all the mess until you finish off the job. And all these would surely amount to more stress with all the things you are trying to juggle: your personal life, job, and this.

By taking advantage of the expertise of a  wallpaper  contractor, you would have the job finished in no time letting you enjoy the refreshed walls of your New York home.

Candles And Fire Safety

Decorative and fragranced candles may be an attractive addition to your home décor, but if used improperly, they can be a serious fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association Journal article, “Candle Fires on the Rise”, residential fires caused by candles have more than doubled over the past decade.

In addition to being a fire hazard, improperly used candles can generate a significant amount of soot. This soot can damage the walls, floors and ceilings of your home as well as your personal belongings.

According to a pilot study of candle fires by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), by far, most candle fires were caused by combustibles being too close to the candle. The next most common cause of candle fires was due to the candle falling over or being knocked over by wind, doors, children or pets.

Here are some safety tips:

Keep candles a minimum of 1 foot, in all directions, from flammable and combustible items such as curtains or bedding. Make sure curtains cannot be blown over the candle by wind. Place candles on secure furniture and out of the reach of children and pets. Only burn candles while under constant adult supervision. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Trim wicks prior to each use to within ¼-inch from the top of the candle. Extinguish the flame if it burns too close to the container side. Place burning candles away from drafts and vents. Do not allow candles to burn down to the bottom of their container. Stick candles should not be allowed to burn down below 2 inches from their holder. Extinguish all candles before leaving the house or when going to bed. Avoid burning candles for more than four hours at a time. Avoid walking while holding a burning candle. Do not move a glass container when the wax is liquid. Use a flashlight rather than a candle during power outages. Do not use a candle for light when fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern as the flame may ignite the fuel vapors. Secure candles in holders made of glass, ceramic, metal or other noncombustible material. Avoid using candles that have combustible materials embedded in them.

Follow this tips and safely enjoy your candle burning!

Modern Day Herbalism

The use of plants as medicines predates written human history and archaeological evidence indicates we were using medicinal plants during the Paleolithic era (approximately 60,000 years ago). In Mesopotamia the Sumerians created clay tablets with lists of hundreds of medicinal plants (such as myrrh and opium) and the Ancient Egyptians wrote the Ebers Papyrus around 1500 BC, which contains information on over 850 plant medicines, including garlic, juniper, cannabis, castor bean, aloe, and mandrake.

In India the use of herbs to treat ailments forms a large part of Ayurvedic medicine and of course everyone is familiar with how plants and herbs are used extensively in traditional Chinese Medicine. The Greeks took herbalism into the modern age and removed much of the mysticism and magic which were present in earlier texts. Hippocrates mentions 250 useful herbs in his great works, and a Greek Physician named Dioscorides published a book called De Materia Medica which contained over 600 medicinal plants. Another Greek Galen produced detailed compendiums on medicine which included more than 600 plants and these were translated and consulted by physicians around the world for hundreds of years.

Throughout the Medieval period physical and spiritual health continued to be supported mainly with plants and herbs. This treatment was usually carried out by monks and nuns who provided nursing services, with the Benedictine monasteries known for their in depth knowledge of herbals. They tended gardens which grew the herbs which were considered to be useful for the treatment of the various human ills. The monks also spent much of their time translating classical works on herbalism into Latin and producing “Herbals” to be used by physicians.

The 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries were the great age of herbals, many of them available for the first time in English and other languages rather than Latin or Greek.

Alongside the traditional practices of Herbalism there were many learned men of science and medicine who believed illness was caused by “bad humours” in the body which had to be driven out and released. The famous American doctor Benjamin Rush, Treasurer of the Mint, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, authored many medical textbooks, in which he recommended dousing patients with cold water in the winter, twirling patients from ropes suspended from the ceiling for hours on end, as well as beating, starving and verbally abusing patients. He also poured acid on their backs and cut them with knives allowing the wounds to be kept open for months or years, to facilitate “permanent discharge of bad humours from the brain”.

When King Charles II woke up feeling ill his Royal Barber took a pint of blood, and his doctors drained a further eight ounces. He was made to swallow antimony, a toxic metal, and given a series of enemas. When his illness continued Charles’s head was shaved and blistering agents were applied to his scalp, to drive the bad humours downward. Pigeon droppings were applied to the soles of Charles’ feet, and more blood was drawn. He was given white sugar candy, to buoy his spirits, and prodded with a red hot poker. He was then given 40 drops of ooze from “the skull of a man that was never buried” who, it was promised, had died a most violent death. Finally, crushed stones from the insides of a goat from East India were forced down his throat. Charles II died on February 6, 1685.

In the 18th-century however physicians sought to become more scientific and there were many self-trained barber-surgeons, apothecaries, midwives, drug peddlers, and charlatans practicing medicine at this time. However, the village Wise Women could still be relied on to supply traditional herbs or brews to treat minor ailments and this practice continued to be popular with the working classes who could not afford to pay physician’s fees. Samuel Thomson was a self-educated farm boy who learned herbalism from a local wise woman and wrote a book detailing these methods, this book was so popular that almost every home had a copy (together with a bible) and it was even taken on wagon-trains and carried across the USA.

The American Medical Association came into power towards the end of the 19th Century and the scientific revolution diminished the popularity of herbalism and introduced a period of dangerous medical practices introduced by the newly formed pharmaceutical industry. During this period Paracelsus introduced the use of active chemical drugs (like arsenic, copper sulfate, iron, mercury, and sulfur).

If you were a stressed 19th-century mother you could now purchase for your children a series of “soothing syrups,” lozenges and powders which in fact contained dangerous narcotics such as morphine sulphate, chloroform, morphine hydrochloride, codeine, heroin, powdered opium, and cannabis indica,” and sometimes several of them in combination. Heroin was also commonly used to treat coughs!

Mercury was used frequently to treat many common ailments. Mercury, as we now know, is toxic to the body and symptoms of mercury poisoning include chest pains, heart and lung problems, coughing, tremors, violent muscle spasms, psychotic reactions, delirium, hallucinations, and even suicidal tendencies! Many autopsies revealed “Silver Liver Syndrome” to be the cause of death during this period.

Modern medicine then “progressed” even more to include radical treatments like blood letting, leeches, and experimental procedures like lobotomies and electric shock treatments. Trepanation, drilling holes in the head, was another popular treatment and was most commonly used for seizures and migraines!

“Diet pills” were introduced in the 1920s and ’30s which were in fact capsules filled with dehydrated tapeworms or tapeworm eggs. In the 1950’s and 1960’s new pills were being sold that promised to melt away those pounds and inches but these could cause fevers, heart troubles, blindness, death and birth defects. Those diet pills were hugely addictive and in fact contained pure amphetamines.

Since those early days of modern medicine the pharmaceutical industry has thankfully progressed and controls are in place to ensure pharmaceutical drugs and medicines are safe for us to use. Undoubtedly prescription drugs can save and transform lives. I wholly support and endorse that you continue to use any prescription medicine which you may be currently taking and should not stop taking any prescribed drugs without consulting your doctor first.

However, it is undeniable that alongside the benefits which prescription drugs can offer they can also come with unwelcome side effects. Record numbers of patients are suffering or dying as a result of prescription drug side effects.

Some commonly listed and proven side effects from prescription drugs range from headaches, drowsiness, skin reactions, constipation, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal issues, stomach aches, water weigh gain, joint and muscle pain and decreased control over bodily functions, loss of taste, amnesia, sight loss, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting causing dehydration, internal bleeding and oesophageal rupture, through to allergic reactions that can produce an anaphylactic response in patients, severe pain, total or partial paralysis, strokes, muscle pain and loss of muscle co-ordination, blood clots, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, lifelong heart damage and cardiomyopathy and shockingly even cancer. Prescription drugs have also been linked to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Well that’s quite a long list of known side effects from taking prescription drugs, and this is by no means a complete list! You will find a similar list of dangerous known side effects from the chemicals found in our everyday household products – the average American home contains over 63 hazardous products including antiperspirants and deodorants, perfumes, toilet bowl cleaners, over-the-counter medications, pills, creams, gels etc., skin care products, and “air fresheners”. These products contain hundreds of chemical compounds which are potentially very dangerous.

Many everyday products like soaps and shampoos, washing up liquid or bubble bath, even toothpaste – in fact anything which foams, frequently contains an ingredient known as Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate which can cause severe skin and eye irritation, diarrhoea, nervous system depression, laboured breathing and in rare cases death. Parabens are another common ingredient we can find in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup, and toothpaste and are also a common food additive. Parabens have been shown to cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis and rosacea in individuals with paraben allergies and more worryingly they can mimic the female hormone oestrogen and have been found in breast cancer tumours and linked with the early onset of puberty in girls. Another toxic ingredient found in many household cleaners is Butoxyethanol which if absorbed through the skin can poison your blood, liver & kidneys and another chemical which is known to cause kidney damage is Perchloroethylene which is commonly found in carpet cleaners.

An ingredient found in window cleaning solutions is Diethylene Glycol is known to depress the nervous system and most toilet cleaners contain a host of harmful chemicals and acids which could cause blindness in seconds, and are toxic to the respiratory and circulatory systems. Perhaps one of the most shocking pollutants in our home is the commonly used air fresheners which contain substances called phthalates (pronounced Thalates), which are extremely hazardous and known to cause hormonal abnormalities, reproductive problems and even birth defects. Worryingly the labels on all these common everyday household products are often very misleading and confusing with packaging suggesting products are “all natural”, etc when in fact they contain numerous toxins.

Unsurprisingly, there is now a growing trend to use more natural products in our homes and on our bodies. Many people are systematically detoxing their homes and lifestyles by returning to traditional methods and once again making our own cleaning products, beauty products, and personal care products like toothpaste, shampoo, face cream as well as using pure natural products like plants and herbs once again to combat minor ailments and promote good health.

Now, in these modern times it would be difficult for us to turn the clock back as we might wish and regain the knowledge once passed from generation to generation about how to use Mother Nature’s plants and herbs to maintain our good health and avoid the need for potentially toxic chemicals in our everyday household & beauty products and prescription drugs. Much of that knowledge has been lost and many of those ingredients and methods would not be practical for us to use any more.

So what choices do we have if we want to raise our families in a more natural way?

Many people have discovered mankind’s most efficient method of practicing herbalism – they use 100% pure essential oils, which contain the “lifeblood of the plants”. Essential oils are the highly concentrated, aromatic essences of trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, resins and flowers. Therapeutic grade oils can be used aromatically either directly inhaled or diffused, topically (applied to the skin), or in some cases taken internally (ingested).

The oils all have their own unique active properties and on average, each essential oil contains over 100 constituents with more being discovered every day. 1 drop of pure essential oil contains 40 million trillion molecules that affect the body at the cellular level. More and more people are switching every day to a cleaner lifestyle with fewer toxins in their home and like our ancestors we are learning once again how to use the therapeutic properties of herbs and plants. We make our own cleaning products using inexpensive simple ingredients in combination with essential oils, we make our own self care products such as soaps, bath salts, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, baby wipes, moisturisers, and in fact every product you now use can be reproduced in a safe, natural form using essential oils in conjunction with products like Epsom salts, olive oil, coconut oil, brown sugar, sea salt, vinegar, distilled water, etc. At this time there is an oily revolution taking place, every day more and more homes decide to return to more traditional tried and tested methods of homemaking and health management.

With the massive growth that essential oils are experiencing as we return to using simpler and more natural products in our home, there has been a rise in cheap “off the shelf” imitation essential oils which are not Therapeutic Grade oils, and are only suitable to be used for their perfume. An essential oil can legally be labelled “pure” even if it contains as little as 5% of the actual oil (that’s only 5% of the active ingredients of the oil). The remainder of the bottle is often filled with cheap synthetic filler chemicals which have been produced for their “perfume” qualities only. These oils often contain harmful chemicals and potential toxins. Avoid products labelled “fragrance” or “Parfum” as these are inferior perfume grade essential oils and may contain potentially harmful sulfates or phthalates.

Essential Oils have some amazing properties which promote good health and support the body’s natural defences, they support the immune system, are mood elevating, aromatic, relaxing, revitalising, oxygenating, cleansing, they aid cellular regeneration, are high in antioxidants, boost stamina and energy, improve mental clarity, help manage anxiety and frustration, and promote overall wellbeing, vitality, and longevity!

So to sum up mankind has been utilising the power of Mother Nature’s plants and herbs to promote good health and wellbeing for over 60,000 years. In the last few hundred years this knowledge has become somewhat lost to many people as we have gone through a period of scientific discoveries, and medical breakthroughs and these traditional herbal recipes and methods have become somewhat obsolete. However, there is a renaissance taking place and every day more and more people are seeking out an alternative choice. The popularity of traditional herbal recipes and wholesome home-made remedies is growing every day.

Essential oils are the most efficient, effective and low cost way that allows us to choose a more natural and traditional lifestyle for our families. There is an oily revolution taking place right now as we each seek to get back in harmony with Mother Nature.

Suzanne Green,

Holistic Therapist

All Rights Reserved – Copyright 2014

Kahrs Natural Hardwood Flooring

High-gloss hard wood floors aren’t for everyone. Some homeowners just want to “keep it real,” with a simple, natural-looking hard wood floor for their home. They favor simplicity rather than sheen. They want a floor with a natural, timeless beauty that needs no enhancement. Does that sound like you?

Meet Kahrs Flooring, one of the oldest hardwood flooring companies in the world. Launched in Europe in 1857, they invented engineered hardwood flooring! Kahrs’ extensive collection of over 100 domestic and exotic hardwoods gives potential customers and homeowners limitless options when it comes to choosing a hardwood floor.

If you are looking into exotics, be sure to check out Kahrs World Natural collection. Brazilian Cherry Quito is simply stunning with its golden tones. If you want a darker cherry, you have two more options with Brazilian Cherry Caracas and Brazilian Cherry La Paz.

Those who love soft, light-colored woods will love Red Oak Denver in the American Naturals collection. Also in the American Naturals collection, the even lighter, almost white Maple Winnipeg.

The great thing about both World Naturals and American Naturals’ collections, aside from the beautiful woods selected, is the choices available for both size and patterns. You can opt for the standard 5″ wide planks or go for the ultra wide 7-7 7/8″ planks. You can purchase a one-strip pattern or three strip, square edges or beveling – all adding a unique twist to a classically beautiful hardwood floor.

Be sure to check out Kahrs’ molding options for their hard wood floors. The transition between a hardwood floor and carpet should be as smooth as the hardwood floor’s finish. With professional hardwood floor installation, you can be sure that the transition will be seamless, and precise, just like Kahrs.

Evenflo Breast Pumps Review

Evenflo is regarded as a global leader in high quality baby care and juvenile products, and has maintained that position for over 85 years. Initially, they manufactured exclusively baby care products, but over time, they combined with other companies to form an enterprise dedicated to providing a huge variety of products for children from their early years of infancy all the way up through preschool. They take parental feedback very seriously, and place a tremendous amount of value on their customers. They provide many ways to contact the company with input and criticism, and they also provide much in the way of parent education.

The Evenflo Comfort Select Manual Breast  Pump  features an Adjustable Vacuum control dial, so mom can emulate her baby’s suckling pattern closely, making for maximum comfort and performance. It is one of the most effective manual  pumps  on the market, with its soft horn insert and ergonomic, comfort-grip handle, which both make the  pumping  experience easier, more effective, and more personalized. All of its parts are dishwasher safe, so clean up is a breeze, and it is compatible with reusable 4- or 8-ounce bottles. The main set includes accessories like a 4-oz bottle, nipple, sealing disc, four disposable nursing pads, and a carrying case.

Evenflo also has a brand new, more powerful model in the Comfort Select Performance Dual Auto-Cycling Breast  Pump . Its dual motors allow for faster  pumping  in a shorter time, with a quicker flow of milk. Also included are 2 additional overflow valves for additional convenience. The automatic cycling simulates the suckling patterns of a baby effortlessly, and the same adjustable vacuum control dial maximizes efficiency and gives mom just as much control as she has with the manual  pump . The design is also very safe for mothers and babies alike. The  pump  horn contains a cushion insert that is made of full silicone, without BPA, which allows for customized sizing. The milk collection is also completely transparent, so mom can be sure that it is totally clean before  pumping . For power, it has two options. You can use the included A/C adapter to plug into any outlet, or use batteries.

Also available is a deluxe storage bag for on-the-go  pumping . It has a chill tote and ice pack to keep the milk fresh for long periods of time between  pumping  sessions. Sold separately are polypropylene milk storage bottles (BPA free as well).

Evenflo Breast  Pumps  has solidified itself as a household name, and with good reason. It is a brand known for high quality. Every product, including its breast  pumps , is made with a perfect blending of comfort, durability, user-friendliness, and technology, all of which eliminate the normal hassles and problems associated with  pumping .

The Journey to Hospital Operational Excellence

Root Cause

Back in 2006, the Presbyterian ED recognized the obstacles before them-too many patients and too little patience among a stagnant staff, many of whom were discouraged and negative to change. With the volume steadily increasing and no additional rooms in sight, patient throughput issues had become more apparent. Earlier hospital-wide attempts to make quality improvements were generally unsuccessful.

Following the arrival of a new department director, John Schooley, in May 2006, managers began attending regular off-site retreats to identify the issues and barriers that existed to providing excellent patient care and a great place to work. The retreat’s action plans spawned several random quality control and process improvement efforts, but they had little success because the staff was not engaged and the data needed to make process improvements was not readily available.

Looking to Lean Six Sigma for Process Improvement

To help the ED leaders facilitate the process improvement work, variation reduction and the needed culture change, the hospital imbedded me as the operational improvement and Lean Six Sigma advisor within the department in late 2006. My time was dedicated to helping make the ED a better place to work and to receive care through Six Sigma and also to use Six Sigma to generate virtual capacity in order to handle the growing volumes.

My initial efforts were spent obtaining the necessary data to guide process improvement efforts before engaging the staff. Together with ED leadership, we reviewed data from the previous months and years looking for trends and patterns. Baseline data was established for benchmarking, as well as value stream maps, to determine where to focus efforts to improve patient flow and reduce length of stay-two things that would help the overcrowded ED and the frustrated staff.

The Data Collection Process

The ED leadership and I used statistical processes to produce a series of correlation studies in early 2007 to determine what was driving the high rate of patients who left without being seen (this was at the time about 7 percent), aside from simply a high volume of patients in the ED.

After considering many correlations-including things that seemed to make sense and things that did not-we finally realized that the number of patients sitting in the waiting room at 3 p.m. every day actually was the greatest correlation to the left-without-being-seen rate. As intuitive as it might sound, that correlation was important because it allowed the team to focus the first improvement efforts on being more productive during the first shift so the flow of the next shifts would be improved as patient volume increased during the day. Arrival-to-room time was tracked as a key performance indicator.

I slowly began to engage staff members in process improvement by asking them what they felt caused their delays each day. I collected all that data and created Pareto charts, allowing daily challenges to be analyzed and prioritized. The results included answers such as the inability to handle the incoming volumes, radiology department turnaround times and insufficient staffing. The interview process also allowed for the development of a trusted relationship between ED staff and myself, perhaps the most important piece of this successful process improvement effort.

Knowledge Sharing for Lean Six Sigma

Rather than being resistant to change, the staff was beginning to come to the table, helping to propose ideas and solutions and then implementing the changes. By design, process improvement teams included staff members who wanted to embrace change and also those who were resistant but were among the social leaders within the organization. Soon staff members began to urge each other to embrace the efforts to make changes.

The ED staff started looking at the patient flow process in segments-from door to room, room to doctor, doctor to disposition, disposition to discharge. Process improvement teams systematically went down a list of projects, taking on one at a time that would make the biggest impact, then watching for sustainable results. The teams utilized the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA), a four-step process for problem solving generally used in quality control, to analyze their efforts. If there were no sustainable results, they readdressed the project until they found the right solution.

There were 10 major projects, along with other smaller continuous improvement efforts, that were undertaken during 2007. Incremental changes began occurring over several months along with a couple major breakthroughs. More projects continue in 2008, along with the introduction of 5S throughout the department to support Lean improvement efforts.

Achieving Continuous Improvement

The staff’s new willingness to accept process improvement changes was essential to the department’s evolving continuous improvement culture. Staff members also began to understand the value of data to help guide change. They watched it, monitored it and got excited when it moved in the right direction. Color-coded charts showing how many patients left each day without being seen; data in the form of control charts, Pareto diagrams and mind maps were posted in break rooms and hallways in the emergency services area, along with patient satisfaction scores and other charts and graphs. The ED is now a visual department.

As the workplace culture in Emergency Services has changed through continuous improvement, so has the level of care that patients receive. The average patient walkout rate was cut by almost half, from 7 percent to 3.9 percent during the last six months of 2007. Accordingly, patient satisfaction scores also jumped. Employee turnover was cut by more than 50 percent, from 43 percent in 2006 to 18 percent in 2008.

The number of patients who seek emergency care at Presbyterian Hospital is expected to continue increasing. Construction is underway on a 31-bed addition to the hospital’s ED, and the existing 43 beds are being renovated. The multi-year building projects will create even more opportunities for change. But with a strong foundation in process improvement, leaders and staff members in Emergency Services are better prepared to deal with these and other future challenges.

Male Sexual Health – Vitality and Performance Tips

Face the facts. People are sexual animals just like any other breed of animal that walks this planet. Learning to get the most out of the time you spend having sex can and will make the rest of your life better, so study up on it and you will be rewarded accordingly.

Performance Anxiety – It’s All in Your Head

Performance anxiety is one very common problem that afflicts men. How well are they performing and is their partner getting enough enjoyment out of it? This may sound selfish but the best thing that you can do is to simply forget about her end of it and go at it like a sex crazed ape.

Cut Loose for Wild Monkey Sex

Believe me she’ll appreciate it. What woman doesn’t fantasize from time to time about being ravaged by a sex crazed maniac anyway? Also, don’t be afraid to get a little rough now and again. Many women are afraid to admit that they like it rough but most all of them simply crave it.

Herbal Sexual Enhancement Supplements

Another thing that you might think of checking out, is some of the natural herbal sexual enhancement supplements that are available online. After years of research and clinical testing some of these products have in fact been found to actually work.

With a Name Like That it’s Gotta Work

Take “Horny Goat Weed” for instance. It has had this same since long before there was even modern advertising and marketing, so how do you suppose it got it? In fact, farmers used to give it to their animals to help in livestock production.

4.5 Million Horny Chinese Can’t All Be Wrong

Then there is Chinese Red Ginseng. Do you think that the Chinese managed to increase their population to 4.5 billion people on their own? Hell no! They have been using this and other herbal sexual enhancement products to keep their sexual motors running at full tilt, even on into their 70s and 80s

Sunshades for the Beach

The beach is a great place where you can enjoy the warm sunshine and work on your tan. You can let loose, wear your favourite swimwear and just bask under the bursting sunshine. Yet, when the scorching heat of the sun is too much for you to handle, what do you do then? Would you let it ruin your trip to the beach?

The answer is, no. What you need to do is to make sure that you are prepared before you even go to the beach. Make sure that you bring sunshades with you. That way, you can stay by the beach, enjoying the glistening water and golden sun, even if the sun is high above.

If you are lounging by the beach on your own, outdoor umbrellas can be good sunshades. In a matter of seconds, you can already have it set up. You can either opt for the one which comes with a base and sand weight so it would not be easily blown off by the wind. To make things easier, you can simply poke the handle through the sand and stay under it to protect yourself from the harsh sun.

Outdoor umbrellas are great for the beach because it is easy to bring along and it does not require complex process just to have it set up. With the different designs and shapes that are available in the market, you can also opt for the one which look really attractive.

If you will be spending time at the beach with the entire family or a bunch of friends, you also have to bring sunshades that can cover a bigger area. There are also pop up cabanas which can fit in several people. These usually comes with a lightweight fabric and easy to assemble poles. Make sure that there are pegs included which will prevent it from being blown off by the wind. To make things even more convenient, there are also carrying cases which will enable you to bring the cabana along without any difficulty.

There are various designs and structure for cabanas. Some have doors and windows which can be zippered. These can be opened to allow air to pass through or closed if privacy is needed. Typically, cabanas do not come with flooring but some has cloth which serves as floor too.

Make your trip to the beach even more enjoyable. With the right sunshades, you would not have to tolerate the scorching heat of the sun. There will be a cool and shaded place where you can have a meal or just relax.

How to Get Rid of Bats

What Attracts Bats to Your Property?

Bats, like most animals, follow the path of least resistance. They flourish in areas abundant in food, shelter, and the absence of predators. If you live in an area that is uniquely habitable for any particular species of bat, don’t be surprised if they try and move in.

Bats usually roost in dark, quiet, enclosed spaces where they are least likely to be disturbed by predators or inclement weather. Their natural habitats are caves and other such secluded areas and this is why your barn, shed or attic can be so attractive to a bat in search of safety. Some species are less picky and will roost in trees and dense foliage.

Bats roost for three reasons:

1. To digest the night’s meal: After a long night of feeding, it’s not uncommon to spot a lone bat hanging from an awning or off a tree as it digests the night’s catch. Technically this is resting, not ‘roosting’.

2. Hibernation: During the colder months, depending on your geographic location, bats will seek out secluded spaces with stable conditions to hibernate and wait out the cold season. They often roost in groups and make use of each other’s body heat to keep one another warm.

3. Breeding: Bats will choose protected environments for the creation of nursery colonies. Nursery colonies are where female bats nurse their babies to self-sufficiency. It’s common for several hundred mother bats to share the same roost with each other creating a ‘colony’ of babies and mothers. Maternity season for bats in the United States and Canada is usually from late April to late August.

Bats can fit into openings as small as 1/23 making almost every man-made structure a virtual smorgasbord of potential hiding places. Some of the places that bats have been found in man-made structures include but are not limited to:

* Attics

* Storage sheds

* Barns

* Unused and open structures (Dog houses, stables, etc)

* Chimneys

* Louvers

* Soffits

* Siding

* Eaves

* Roof tiles and shingles

* Behind shutters

3. What to do if You Encounter a Bat

Bats are relatively timid creatures that normally go out of their way to avoid contact with humans. This is why you should be extremely careful if you encounter one up close and personal. Less than 1/2 of a percent of bats carry rabies, but those that do are more likely to become sick or disoriented increasing their likelihood of coming into contact with someone. Of the few rabies cases reported each year in the U.S., over half of them are caused by bat bites, so be very cautious when in close proximity and do not handle the bat with bare hands.

Bat Bites

Bat bites aren’t always noticeable, they usually aren’t very painful so it’s possible for somebody to get bitten while they are sleeping or otherwise distracted. If you or anyone in your household has been exposed to a bat and you aren’t 100% sure that they weren’t bitten, it should be captured and brought with you to your doctor to be tested for rabies. This is especially important in the case of a child who is found with a bat as they may not admit to getting bitten or understand the potential risk. Don’t panic – rabies is still extremely rare, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Getting a Bat Out of Your House

If a bat wanders into your home through an open door or window, the best way to usher it out is to seal it off from the rest of the house by closing the doors to adjacent rooms and opening all of the windows in the room in which it resides. Just give it a few hours and it will usually leave all by itself. If it decides to stick around or you simply don’t have the patience to wait for it to leave, you can capture the bat and release it outside.

How to Capture a Bat

If you find yourself in a situation where you must capture a bat to either bring it to your doctor or release it outside of your home, the most important thing to remember is not to handle it with your bare hands. If you’re not particularly squeamish around bats then you can dawn a pair of heavy work gloves and use them to grab it and transport it out doors. A more agreeable method to those who would rather not get so close would be to take a small container such as a coffee can or shoebox, place it over the bat, and then slide a rigid piece of cardboard underneath to trap it in the container. You can then open the container outside to free the bat, or tape it shut (don’t forget air-holes) and bring it with you to your doctor if somebody may have been bitten.

4. Getting Rid of Bats in Structures

Before we begin the process of removing them from your property, you should check your local ordinances as it is illegal to disturb roosts, trap and/or kill bats in many areas. This guide will not tell you how to kill bats, but it will tell you how to get rid of them.

5. Where Are They Roosting?

If you’ve got bats living on your property and you want them out, the first thing you need to do is determine where they are roosting. Grab a chair and sit outside a few evenings with an eye to the sky. Are they in the trees? Around your house? Your neighbors houses? Make a list of every place they may be roosting based on your observation.

The next step is to go out during the day and examine closely all of the structures you’ve identified as possible roosting areas. Make a list of every opening larger than 1/23 in diameter and keep an eye out for telltale signs of bat habitation. You may notice dark, pellet-like droppings on walls and around areas where they roost as well as dark smudges and stains in places which they come into direct contact.

Dog Boots – The Benefits For Your Pet

In today’s world, it is no longer an issue or a weird occurrence when pets (especially dogs) walk around with classy and trendy footwear-or shall we say paw-wear.

Dog boots and dog shoes (sometimes referred to as dog booties or winter dog boots for the cold season) have long been considered necessities in the pet world since dogs are being “walked” around a lot. Pets need the utmost protection from the cold of the snow and ice, the salt on the streets that many cities use to help break down that ice, the heat from the concrete pavement in the summer, the slippery hardwood floors at home, or perhaps they might develop allergies on their paws due to exposure to certain irritants that come in contact with their skin.

As a pet owner, the welfare of the pet should come first. One has to take into consideration the benefits that a pet would get from wearing dog boots or dog shoes. Having our pets wear dog booties, which are usually made of rubber or plastic, protects them primarily from injuries caused by losing balance on slippery surfaces.

Dog boots and dog shoes not only protect the paws of our pets, it also gives their feet comfort. For example, with dog booties, the bottom of the boot might be padded so that each time your dog’s paws lands on the floor, it will feel the softness of the shoes instead of the rigidity of the concrete floor.

Dog booties can also serve to protect a paw injury the dog may have had. Many dogs will lick their injury until their skin is raw – this can cause a problem in the healing process.

Finally, fleece lined winter dog boots give added protection to your pets during the cold season. During this time of year, our pets need to be kept warm by using these winter dog boots that come in different styles. Some even match the Christmas theme you might be having at home. It is, as with other pet footwear, very important to take note of the material used.

Aside from all these benefits, it is also of much pride to the pet owner that his or her pets look fashionable and trendy, which means that they are more than well taken care of. Camouflage dog boots, Mary Jane dog shoes and Hi Top sneakers are all examples of stylish footwear for your pet.