How to Design a Tinkerbell Room

Even though Tinkerbell may be a Disney classic, this is still one of the most popular themes for a children’s room! If you’re interested in designing a Tinkerbell room, there are a number of popular choices in Tinkerbell bed room sets that you can use for your daughter to make her room even more customized and suitable to her personality.

The important thing to keep in mind is that designing a child’s room does not have to be as expensive as it may seem. We all know that little girls love to have their own sense of style and personality, so the Tinkerbell room decor will be perfect for your daughter to give her exactly what she is looking for. To begin your project, it is key to start shopping for the right wallpaper.

This will give you the chance to quickly decorate the walls of the room with the Tinkerbell room theme so that your daughter can get started in enjoying her own personal space. If you are not experienced with applying wallpaper, make sure that you research it online or at your local hardware store so that you understand how to remove the old wallpaper, prime the wall, and apply the new wallpaper for your daughter’s room.

From there, it is time to start shopping for Tinkerbell room decor accessories! The key point to keep in mind for any child’s room decor is that the accessories you choose should be based on the interests and age of your child. If you are designing a room for a toddler, you may want to get a few plush toys and even a mobile if your toddler is still sleeping in a crib. These are some of the same accessories that you can use for a baby themed room to give it a subtle touch for your new bundle of joy!

If your daughter is somewhat older, you may want to purchase a small table or desk for her to use. To complement these furniture choices, you can also use more modern accessories, like a lamp to place on the desk, an alarm clock, and especially a Tinkerbell room in a box, which may include matching bed and pillow sets. Depending upon the age of your child, the approach you take toward these room themes will be much different.

As a last note, it is always important to stay simple. No matter how many glittery and adorable accessories your daughter may want to add to her room, it will look much more put together if you maintain a minimalist approach in your overall decoration style.

Of course, this Disney inspired theme is always a classic favorite, so it is important to shop for the most affordable choices in room decor. You may be surprised to find that ordering online is your best option in choosing Tinkerbell room decoration supplies, like wallpaper, bedding, and even lamps and clocks. With the right approach to this project, your daughter will have a room that she loves to spend time in and show off to her friends, making it an ultimate success in your room decoration project!

Facts About Wood – What Types Make the Best Campfire Wood?

Lighting a campfire at night is always a part of American tradition. The warmth and coziness that an open fire can provide is simply unparalleled. Which is why many American households have fireplaces and fire pits in their homes so that they can enjoy the benefits of an open fire during the cold season. And we can’t talk about a campfire without touching the subject of firewood. A firewood is essential in making sure that the campfire keeps on burning because it serves as the fuel. You can have a fireplace, campfire or fire pit, but without campfire wood they are pretty much useless. So needless to say it is important that you know what type of firewood is best depending on your needs.

First you need to know about seasoned firewood. When you say seasoned firewood, it is a wood that has been left out to dry for a long time. Woods that are freshly cut from a tree are most likely difficult to burn because of the water in them. The seasoning process can take a long time depending on the type of wood to be used. As much as possible, utilize a seasoned firewood rather than a wet one. Some could even take years. Here are some of the most common types of campfire wood:

  • Oak. Arguably one of the best type of campfire wood that one can use. But before that it requires quite a good deal of seasoning like 2 years at most. Oak is a slow burning wood that produces a lot of heat even with a small flame.
  • Pine. This wood is resinous and considered to be a softwood. It burns quite nicely granted that is has been seasoned but because it is a softwood it tends to crackle and pop. Can leave a strong piney smell so it is recommended for outdoor use. Not very good when it comes to cooking.
  • Maple. This is a good cooking firewood. It is smokey but leaves a sweet aroma and flavor which makes it perfect for cooking pork and poultry.
  • Apple. This firewood type is perhaps the best when it comes to cooking. The only downside is that it is rarely used as firewood because it is attractive enough to be utilized as material for making furniture and other decorations. It has a great sweet smell that makes it perfect for smoking and cooking.
  • Almond. This firewood type both makes a good fireplace and cooking wood. It is valued because of its toughness and the heat that it can provide is long-lasting. Produces a sweet smoke that goes well with many types of meat.
  • Hickory. This is bar none, the best wood type when it comes to smoking. Hickory is a tough wood that produces a lot of heat and it lasts longer. It produces a sweet and bacony flavor which is ideal for smoking ham, pork or beef. Considered to be one of the best campfire wood that you can find.

Transporting Your Pinball Machine

One of the responsibilities involved in buying a new pinball machine is knowing how you will be transporting it without damaging it. If you’re going to be shelling out a decent wad of cash to get a pinball machine, it’s a good idea to learn how to move it from point A to point B and still keep it in the same condition it was when it started its journey.

Firstly, and possibly most obviously, you’re going to need a vehicle that’s large enough to hold it. It may be a van, truck, or trailer but it’s going to have to have space to hold a unit that, when folded down will measure 76cm wide, 76cm tall and 140cm deep.

Never try to transport a pinball machine in its fully assembled configuration – that way lies heartbreak all round.

Before attempting to put the pinball machine in your vehicle, you first have to fold down the headboard. Most of the more recently manufactured pinball machines and by that I’m talking about the ones that were made from around 1980 onwards, are made with hinges to allow the headboard to be folded. Otherwise, your pinball machine will have a headboard that is bolted into place.

To get to the bolts on an older pinball machine you will have to remove the backing panel. When you undo the bolts you will also have to unplug the connectors that run down into the box. If you’re worried about remembering where these connectors go, it might be a good idea to label them.

Once the headboard has been folded on top of the machine, you will have to remove the pinball machine legs. While removing the legs, make sure you take note of the front legs and back legs to avoid confusion when reattaching them when you have reached your destination. With some makes of pinball machine, the legs will be the same length front and back making it difficult to tell them apart. Others, such as Sega pinball machines, the legs are longer at the back than the front – easier to tell which goes where.

Make sure you have removed the balls from the machine, you don’t want them bouncing around everywhere in transit. Also, make sure the coin return door has been secured if you had opened it while undoing the legs.

Loading the pinball machine into a vehicle is a two-person job. Simply load one end (front first usually works best) onto the tray and then slide it in. Because you’ve folded the headboard down it will most likely be lying up on the front end of the table. Loading the pinball machine front first will put the heavy end closest to the vehicle’s cabin and will prevent the majority of potential movement. Make sure the machine is securely tied down with straps and you’re on your way.

When you’ve arrived at your destination, it is usually a good idea to slide the machine halfway out of your vehicle, attaching the legs to one end before sliding it out the rest of the way and attaching the other legs. Once the pinball machine is in position, reassemble the headboard and you’re ready to enjoy your new pinball machine.

Wooden Shed Doors – Problems and Fixes

Other than Mother Nature, a bad driver on a lawn tractor, or a 4 wheeler out of control, wooden shed doors pose the most frustrating problem for shed owners.

Improperly caulked doors, the shed sinking in it’s foot-print moving out of level and swollen wood from moisture cause most of the trouble and are fairly easy to fix.

If the doors aren’t caulked properly, moisture gets trapped behind the trim and in time will rot the trim and the door sheeting. 2 remedies are available to solve the problem of trapped moisture from improperly caulked doors.

The first thing one can do is add a painted 2″x 2″ with a 45 degree angle cut into it that slant from the shed face to the doors above the doors. You’ll have to remove the door style (trim above door) to add this. This will drain all the water coming from the face of the shed out past the doors preventing it from running down the face of the doors.

The second remedy is to caulk only the tops of all trim pieces on the shed doors. By leaving the bottoms un-caulked, any water that does get behind the trim will be able to drain out through the bottom of the trim. If the bottom is caulked, the water will get trapped and cause problems.

If the shed becomes un-level, it has sunk into its own footprint throwing it off level. When this happens, the door frame gets out of plumb causing hard to open and close doors. Because of this, more force is used which weakens all the joints in the door as well as all the fasteners used to hold the door together.

To fix this problem, use a scissors type car jack (you can use a fulcrum too) to re-level your shed. Place something underneath the jack so it doesn’t sink into the ground. For shims, use thin pieces of pressure treated wood or 6″ x 6″ pieces of shingle. Place a level on the floor of the shed, jack up the shed to level, then shim it.

Do this across the front and rear in three places. Once your shed is level, the doors should swing easily and opening and closing them should be no problem. If the nails, screws and/or staples that hold the door together have loosened, take some time to tighten them and if needed, add some more, especially screws, to strengthen the door.

If your doors are becoming hard to open or close and the shed floor is level, the wood pieces on the doors may be swelling due to moisture. It’s imperative to paint your doors inside and out especially making sure all edges are painted. Wait until the doors shrink and start to open and close normally before painting. The bottom edges are really important because rain water hits the ground and bounces up. If the bottom edges of the doors are not painted, they will wick the water and not only start to swell but will rot too.

Most shed doors consist of wood sheeting, trim, back of the door-door frame and hardware. The hardware is easy to replace if needed so if you follow these suggestions and take care of the wood, your doors will last a very long time..

Changing Paint Finish – Painting Flat Over Gloss

Changing paint finish from gloss to flat can be as simple as adding a primer, then choosing your new paint color. Often, this requires just a few hours for the primer, time to dry, then a few more hours to add the next color. Once the drying time for the color of choice is complete, you are ready to add accessories, furniture, and other accents that make your room feel like a home.

There are a few basic tips and tricks for painting flat over gloss. If you do not follow the few simple rules, you may wind up with an unattractive paint finish and patches of gloss showing through the flat layer. This can give the room an unfinished or unprofessional feel, giving guests the wrong first impression about how you feel about your own home.

Consider Sanding

A very glossy coat of paint can be a real problem when you change the paint finish from gloss to flat. When this is the case, consider sanding the wall lightly in order to get rid of some of the glossiness. Use a rag to wipe away the majority of the dust before you take the next step, or it may cause some issues when you begin to primer or paint the next layer. If you are not sure whether the wall needs to be sanded, it is always best to err on the side of caution in this case, so go ahead and sand the wall.

When sanding just is not an option for some reason, consider a deglossing agent such as those found at many home improvement warehouses and similar stores. You can also find great ideas online, and some online stores offer these substances for purchase and shipping directly to your home. They are relatively inexpensive, and pretty easy to use as well.

Start With Primer

The most important step is to start with a coat of primer to cover the gloss, or it will bleed through to your new paint color. This primer coat should be the starting point for any transition from oil-based to water-based paint, too, but is especially important for transitioning from gloss to flat paint. Primer covers the first coat, and is the best way to ensure a more professional look in the long run. Latex primers are often very easy to paint, and offer a great barrier between gloss and flat paints.

Many home improvement stores sell brand names of primer, from Kilz to store brands, most with equal effectiveness. The biggest determining factor in this case is often budget, because most brand names have the biggest variation in the price tag. If budget is less of an issue, choose a brand name that is better known to ensure the best results.

As a final note, keep in mind that you have to allow time for the primer to dry completely before painting the next layer. Primer that is not completely dry will crack if you paint over it, causing unsightly cracks in your overall paint job. Allow at least twenty-four hours for drying before you move on.

Removing Mold From Drywall

Black Mold, known as Stachybotrys Chartarum, is a greenish-black fungus. This type of mold grows very well in materials that have a high cellulose content. In homes these materials include drywall, carpet, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, flooring and more. Water damage from flooding, pipe leaks or other sources combined with a dark and moist environment create optimal conditions that allow this mold and fungus to grow and flourish.

Not only is black fungus ugly, but it can also be dangerous. Exposure to mold spores can cause a variety of health problems, including lung and blood infections. If you suspect mold infestation anywhere in your home, you should try to have it completely removed as soon as possible. Once you have a mold problem. it’s common for fungus to spread to nearby areas, such as surrounding walls, carpets and ceilings.

Drywall, which is also known as plasterboard or gypsum board, are panels made of gypsum plaster that are pressed between two thick sheets of paper. Drywall is used in construction to make interior walls and ceilings. Sheets of drywall can be made from fiberglass rather than paper to prevent the growth of mold. Plasterboard that is exposed to water due to floods or plumbing leaks tend to become moldy and soft.

It’s a serious matter if mold gets in or behind any drywall. Black mold may appear where there is moisture or water damage. That’s easy to see. But it’s the mold growing in areas that are hidden that can cause an even bigger problem. It’s difficult to tell the level of contamination behind plasterboard without opening up and area for examination.

Removing mold from drywall can cause an entirely different set of problems. Any black fungus that exists below the surface of the drywall cannot be removed without actually cutting out part of the drywall.

Unfortunately, when walls are opened up, mold spores that may be hidden behind the drywall or on the studs beneath may be released into the air. Inhaling these spores can lead to health problems, including respiratory issues. Releasing the spores also puts them in motion and sets the stage for further contamination elsewhere in the home. Not only that, if the entire contaminated area is not quickly and completely cleaned, there’s a high risk that the mold will return in the future.

If there is more than just surface contamination on the drywall, that usually means an entire area of the wall must be removed and cleaned.

If an area larger than 10 square feet is contaminated by visible mold, it’s generally recommended that the mold be removed by a certified mold professional. Better to have the job done right than to risk greater contamination or future damage to your home and health.

Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum and GRG Elements – Composition and Fabrication

The substances used to make Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum provide this building material with its fire-retardant properties, as well as its strength and light weight. This article will discuss the major components of fiber reinforced gypsum and the methods that are used to make this versatile building material.

GFRG: What’s It Made Of?

Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum is an advanced composite that contains the following ingredients:

  • Gypsum: This hard, naturally-occurring mineral is an essential component of GFRG. The gypsum used to fabricate fiber reinforced gypsum is typically quite dense and alpha-based. It should also have a low alkalinity or be neutral to ensure it will be compatible with the other major GRG components.
  • Glass fibers: As the name of the material suggests, glass fibers are an essential component of all types of FRG. These fibers provide both tensile strength and flexural strength to GFRG elements.
  • Polymers: Different types of polymers may be added to GFRG to make the final product more robust.

GRG: How It’s Made

There are two methods that are commonly used to manufacture high-quality Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum:

  • The hand lay-up method: In this GFRG fabrication method, alternating layers of glass fiber and gypsum are placed by hand into pre-constructed molds.
  • The chopped-stand-spray method: This approach to fabricating FRG involves spraying the gypsum plaster mix into a pre-formed mold and adding strands of glass fiber to provide reinforcement at the same time.

Crafting GFRG Elements

Knowing how to craft high-quality FRG is just one step in producing a strong and attractive GFRG element. A suitable mold in which to cast the element is also essential. Companies that manufacture fiber reinforced gypsum products will often have a line of pre-fabricated molds that are used to manufacture stock products. Many architectural companies also develop custom products, which involves the development of molds for a specific job. These GFRG molds must be made according to approved shop drawings to produce the exact GRG element desired by the customer.

Once proper molds are made and the GFRG components have been added, the material must be allowed to set. After the GRG element has hardened in the mold, it is carefully removed. The Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum element must then be allowed to cure before shipment, with attention being paid to how it is stored to avoid damage, warping, and bowing.

Building Plastering – Mixing and Surface Preparation

To mix cement plaster, the cement, with or without 10% of lime, should be mixed thoroughly with sand until the colour is uniform. The water is then added gradually while mixing continues and until the required consistency is obtained or until it is just plastic enough to be spread and to hold to the building wall. It must be used within 45 minutes of mixing and no plaster that has begun to set should be remixed with water and used.

To mix cement-lime plaster, the cement, lime and sand may be mixed dry in the required proportions, then mixed wet with sufficient water to give the required consistency. With this method, the plaster must be used within 45 minutes of mixing and no re-tempering of partly set plaster should be attempted. More often, the lime and sand are mixed together first, to form what is known as the ‘coarse stuff’, this allows for further hydration of the lime before using and makes it easier to apply, more plastic and quicker setting. With this method mix 1 part of lime with 6 or 41/2 parts of sand (depending upon whether the mix is to be 1:1:6 or 1:2:9), first dry and then with sufficient water to give a stiff mix, adding the water gradually. The mortar should then be formed into a heap, covered with wet sacks and left for a week to 10 days. Then, immediately before use, the coarse stuff should be mixed with cement, using 1 part cement to 6 or 9 parts of coarse stuff, adding water if necessary to bring to a workable consistency, just right for plastering a building. After the cement is added the mortar must be used up within 45 minutes and no re-tempering of partly set mortar should be attempted.

To mix lime plaster, mix 1 part of lime with 3 or 4 parts sand, first dry and then with sufficient water to make a stiff mix. Heap, cover over and keep damp and allow it to mature for 7 to 10 days. Then work up again, adding water if necessary and it is ready to use. Lime mortar, if kept damp may stand for 3 or 4 weeks before using. Sometimes, up to 10% of cement is added to the coarse stuff to quicken the setting, in which case the mortar must be used up within 45 minutes of mixing.

Another method applicable to either cement plaster or cement-lime plaster is to mix the lime with water to a thick cream and allow to stand for 24 hours to seven days before mixing with the sand.

The building surface to be plastered must be cleaned free from paint, oil, dust, dirt, etc. As it is difficult to make plaster adhere to a very smooth surface, it is advisable on brick and block building walls to rake out the joints about ½ in. to provide a mechanical key, or to strike off the joints roughly with the face of the building wall relying on the roughness to form a key. Joints should be raked while the mortar is still soft.

Dense concrete blocks should have a rough surface, which is best obtained by wire brushing while they are still ‘green’ and the moulds should be treated with whitewash instead of oil. Dense in-situ concrete should also be wire brushed while still ‘green’, since, if allowed to harden, the surface will probably be so smooth that it will have to be hacked to provide a satisfactory bond for the building plaster.

If a key is not formed by roughening or hacking the surface of dense concrete, either cast-in-situ or in blocks, a ‘spatter-dash’ coat of mortar should be applied. This consists of a mix 1 part cement to 1 ½ parts of coarse sand first mixed dry and then with sufficient water to give a fairly wet mix. This is dashed onto the building wall in an uneven manner, usually with a coarse brush, using a strong whipping motion at right angles to the face of the building wall. This coat should be kept damp for at least two days and then allowed to dry out.

New brick and concrete walls should be allowed a reasonable time to dry out before plastering. When the wall has been prepared by cleaning, raking joints, roughening or given a ‘splatter-dash’ coat, it is ready for plastering.

If the building wall is irregular and out of plumb and it is desired to have the finish plaster surface a true plane, it is necessary to ‘make up’ or ‘dub out’ the low spots by successive making-up coats, each about 3/8 in. thick. These should not be carried to a ‘feather-edge’ but should stop back forming a ledge about 1/8 in. thick. When the making-up coats have brought the building wall to a reasonable plane surface the actual plaster coats can be applied.

4 Types of Industrial Welding

Welding has been in use ever since the discovery of iron. The processes of welding have undergone a sea change. Today, there are various types of soldering machines available in the market for both industrial and home use. Of these, the most popular ones are gas based.

I hereby explain four main types of welding used in industries and homes:

MIG Welding

MIG welding is a subtype of gas metal arc welding. In this type of fusing, electric arc forms between the source electrode and the workpiece metal, which generates heat. This melts down the metal causing them to fuse together. An inert gas flowing through the welding gun shield it from contaminants. The semi-inert gas used mostly is carbon dioxide. This process involves use of both direct current and alternative current.

MIG welders can fuse aluminum and steel. It is one of the most common types of industrial soldering and is suitable for home use.

TIG Welding

TIG welding is a subtype of gas tungsten arc brazing. This type of soldering uses tungsten as the conducting electrode in the soldering gun to produce the weld. An arc gets created by the highly ionized inert gas and metal vapors across which energy gets conducted. The inert gas used also shields the weld from being contaminated by air-borne pollutants.

This is a slow, but more focused form of soldering. It yields a stronger and higher quality weld. Processes that requires a superior finish without much cleaning up, such as sanding and grinding uses TIG welders. TIG welders can weld the most number of metals such as steel, aluminum, copper alloys, and magnesium.

Arc Welding

This is the most basic type of bonding. It uses constant source of direct or alternative current to produce high energy to weld the metal at its joining point. Arc or stick welding applies to heavy metals, such as 4mm thickness and above. It is widely used in manufacturing and construction industries, and is suitable for repair works. Fabricating steel structures make use of stick welding.

Gas Welding

Gas welding uses a mixture of fuel gases and oxygen, generally for cutting metals. This bonding type produces a high-temperature flame that can melt steel. Gas welding or Oxy-Acetylene welding is more popular for maintenance work, metal-cutting and brazing soft metals as bronze and copper.

These are different types of welding used in both industries and homes. Their preference depends on their application, versatility and output.

How To Install A Polaris 280

Installing a Polaris 280 is fairly straight forward, with a little patience, you will have a clean swimming pool. Before you even purchase this cleaner, you need to make sure that your swimming pool is set up to accept it. There are a few things that you will need. The most important is a dedicated pressure line which must already be installed. The other parts required will be a timer, electrical, and a booster pump.

Inside the box you will find the cleaner, hose and fittings, bag, instructions and warranty card. There is a fitting at the end of the hose, this attaches to the side of your swimming pool. It is 2 pieces, one is threaded and the other has a quick disconnect with pressure relief valve. Separate the 2 and thread the cuff into the wall until snug, don’t tighten too much or you will crack the fitting inside the pool wall which is a big problem, now push in and turn the quick disconnect valve into the wall cuff.

Now you will need to adjust the length of the hose to properly fit your pool. If it is too short, the cleaner cannot reach the entire pool, if the hose is too long it can tangle up much easier. To determine the length needed, put the Polaris 280 pool cleaner in the pool at the furthest point away from the wall fitting. If you have enough extra length, you can simply remove a hose section and swivel joint and keep for spare parts. If you need to cut some length off, split it up evenly between the hose sections, don’t just remove from one section unless it is just a small amount, also be sure not to cut off too much. If you need extra length you will have to purchase another section and swivel joint. Once you have determined the correct hose length you need to attach it to the pool cleaner. Place the hose nut onto the stem with the threads facing the hose, then push hose onto stem and screw nut on, the nuts are left hand thread.

Now that the pool cleaner is ready, turn both pumps on and let it run for a few minutes. You want the wheel speed to be approximately 30 RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) for optimum performance. The speed is adjusted by the pressure valve at the pool wall. To slow the speed down, unscrew the pressure cap until desired speed is achieved. To increase the pressure, screw in the cap, if this is still not enough, remove the restrictor plate from the wall cuff to increase water flow.

After you have set the proper wheel speed, it is time to adjust the settings. The normal operation of the Polaris 280 is forward motion for a few minutes then it reverses for around thirty seconds, it does this so that the pool cleaner does not get stuck. Adjust the hose floats evenly so that the hose stays at the top of the pool surface and one next to the backup valve. There is a thrust jet at the rear which can be adjusted to change the cleaning pattern; this is something you have to go by trial and error. Set the timer so that it starts at least 15 minutes after main pump and the duration for however long it takes to completely cover the bottom pool surface. Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy you swimming pool.

Nut Horns Holiday Cookie Recipe

In a recent discussion about favorite cookie recipes I shared that my favorite holiday cookies were nut horns. A few members of the group had not heard of them before, so I wanted to share the recipe.

Being from Pittsburgh where the language tends to be all it’s own and having a Slovak grandmother I figured that might not be what they’re called in the rest of the world, so I also poked around a Google search and found that they are also sometimes called Polish Foldovers or Kolaczki, and I’ve also heard them called rolled-doughs.

Holiday Nut Horns Recipe

Dough Ingredients:

2 cups butter, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 egg yolks
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Nut Filling Ingredients:

4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups sugar (you can also use 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar, depending on your taste preference)
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and cream cheese first. Add the egg yolks and blend. Combine flour and baking powder and then gradually add that the creamed mixture. Cover this and chill it overnight.

The next day when you’re ready to make cookies combine the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl before you start. Split the dough up into 3 or 4 chunks so that it’s easier to work with. You don’t want to over handle the dough, so work in chunks according to how much space you have to work on.

Throw down some sugar and roll dough out into rectangles and cut the dough into 2 inch squares (a square cookie or biscuit cutter helps this go faster! and if you use a square cutter with a rippled edge your cookies come out very pretty too) Spoon some filling into the middle and fold two opposite corners over, sort of as if you were making an envelope, overlap those to seal.

Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks and then enjoy!

Traditionally these are made with the nut filling or an apricot preserve filling, but I’ve also seen them with raspberry preserve filling and pineapple preserve filling fairly often. You could use just about any kind of preserve that you enjoy and I imagine they’ll be pretty yummy. The nut and apricot fillings are my personal favorites, which is funny because I don’t really like apricot otherwise.

I remember baking these every year with my grandmother and my mom, it was usually my job to chop up all those walnuts and I’d sit there with the nut chopper and chop away while they cut out the dough squares.

I’ve tried on a few occasions to make these myself during the holidays and I usually end up asking my mom to make them, because they are tricky little devils. You have to get the dough just right, not too thick and not too thin, and then there’s the fickleness of the oven to consider as well.

They’re not the easiest cookie to make, but they are so yummy and worth the extra time you put into them. A box from the grocery store bakery counter usually just doesn’t compare in flavor at all.

Looking at the Best Electric Gate Openers

Safety is one of the things that is one most people’s minds, this is why you will find so many people looking for electric gate openers today. It is hard to trust people these days, so going out to open up a gate for someone you do not know is very risky. This is why you need electric gate openers so that you can stay inside and decide if you are going to open the gate or not.

Before you open up the gate, you need to remember that you have to know who is out there. This means that you will have to get a voice intercom system so that you can talk to the person at the gate from inside your home, or video intercom system so that you can visually see who is at your gate in order to avoid any problems.

You will find that this type of gate opener is not just great for walkthrough gates, they work great for driveway entry gates like the chain link gates and steel farm gates sold at Apollo. Before you decide on the type of opener you are going to get, you need to do a little more research into the many different types out there, like automatic farm gate openers,automatic optical sensors, and load sensors.

You will also need to figure out if you are going to keep the current gate you have installed. If it is a wobbly, wooden gate that is rotten and falling apart, you may not want to install state of the art electric gate openers to it, because the strength of the opener alone will break the gate further. You may want to look for design ideas or even patterns for fences and gates online.

If you are battling with the idea of installing gate openers you will need to think about the many times you were late and you had to get out of the car to open the gate, drive through, stop the car only to get out again to close the gate behind you. This is not the ideal situation when you are in a hurry to get to a meeting, and it is just not funny if it is raining outside either.

If you do decide to go for an opener like this, you will need to think of what type you want. The choice you make here depends hugely on the type of gate you have installed or are going to install, the weight of the gate, and the size of the gate. It is also dependent on how you want to control the gate.

Most people are sick of gate remotes, and some do not want sensors cluttering up their garden, in this case you will have to go for the load sensor type as these are hidden below the surface of your driveway. These types of electric gate openers you should not install yourself, as there is a lot of technical work involved in the setting of the device.

Mastershield Gutter Guard Review – Does it Work?

There are various gutter guards to choose from on the market. Mastershield is among the most widely available products at present. It is worth learning more about its features and performance and about their efficiency in order to decide whether it is right for you. Most Mastershield gutter guard reviews do not give the whole picture, so it is worth reading on to find out what you can expect from it exactly.

The system consists of panels. They have waterfall step designs. Each high step is followed by a recessed step. The low-level steps have relatively large slots with tube shapes. The waterfall step panels are angles. They are made from 0.19 gauge aluminum. The installation requires the slipping of the upper runners under the first line of roof shingles. The lower end is attached to the lower gutter with the use of a clip mechanism.

The design of the Mastershield gutter guard allows for the leaves and twigs to remain on top of the screen. Since the panels are slanting, it is easy for the debris to slide down to the ground naturally without the need of removal by hand. This is perhaps the main advantage of this product. The angled waterfall design allows the water drops to slide down more easily as well. Unlike the leaves, they fall into the slots so that the drainage is effective.

The slots of the panels are relatively large and densely positioned. This allows for high water flow rate. Still, their size makes it easier for smaller debris to enter the gutter, even though they should be kept out of it by the higher step above the line of slots.

The Mastershield protective system is made from aluminum. This metal is renowned for its weather resistant properties. This makes the panels of the system water resistant. Still, the 0.19 gauge sheets are not among the thickest ones. In fact, they are relatively thin. This may have a negative impact on the durability of the panels. The 0.19 gauge aluminum structure may bend under the pressure of snow or get damaged by ice.

The installation of the gutter guard is relatively easy and simple. This is an advantage for homeowners, especially the ones who are on a budget. Still, the structure is not secured by screws or brackets and this might affect its stability, particularly during windy weather.

Overall, the Mastershield gutter guard works. Still, it fails to score many points for durability and stability.

How to Remove Excess Moisture From Your Home

Many people have the problem of having too much moisture in their homes. This can be a problem especially if you have young children, elderly, or sick people in your home. Excess moisture in the home can cause mold problems which can make people sick and people who have asthma will have an even harder time with a mold problem. There are precautions you can take to avoid an excess of moisture and mold in your home.

You want to keep your home as dry as possible. The best way to do this is starting in the rooms that you need to keep the most dry. These rooms would be the kitchen and bathrooms. Your kitchen makes a lot of moisture especially if you are cooking in there a lot. Moisture from the steam of cooking can start to enter into the walls, creating a moist feeling. The bathroom too can be a hotbed of moisture. The bathroom becomes moist when you take a shower or bath. The best way to deal with moisture in these areas is to have a fan running while you are in the kitchen cooking, or in the bathroom, and even after you are done, it is good to let the fan run.

It is good to air out your house in general, for home improvement purposes. In colder, moist climates, it is good to open up your windows. You can even keep them opened up when you are out of the house. It is important to get good circulation in your home to prevent moisture. You want to be especially careful of dark rooms that don’t get exposure to sunlight, as that is a perfect breeding ground for mold and moisture.

So what do you do if you already have excess moisture or a mold problem in your home and need some home improvement? There are air machines you can buy, for not too much money, that suck out the moisture in your home. You simply put the machine in one room and it begins to filter in new air, and suck out the old moist air from your home. You can also start by getting at the mold yourself. It is very important to have air circulating when you are trying to remove the mold yourself, and also to be wearing a mask on your face, as to prevent yourself from breathing in those toxic fumes.

You can just by a scrub brush from your local drug store, a bottle of bleach or mold remover, and a pair of sturdy plastic gloves to attempt to remove the mold on your own. Vinegar sometimes will also do the trick. If you are scrubbing away and the mold just doesn’t seem to be going away, then you have to turn to your next option.

Your last resort would probably be calling up a company that will come to your home to remove mold. This can be costly so that is why it is best to leave this option until last, or unless you are extremely sensitive to mold or chemicals, and in that case, you would have probably called the mold remover company much earlier on in this whole process! You don’t necessarily have to do a whole new home remodeling, as home remodeling can be quite costly.

Secure Your Windows to Prevent Home Burglaries

By some estimates, more than thirty percent of burglars gain entry to a home through a window that has been left open or is improperly secured. To prevent burglaries, it is vital that families conduct an inspection of their windows to ensure that they are secured against potential home security breaches.

Window Conditions

Carefully inspect your windows and try to put yourselves in the shoes of a potential burglar. Check that the casements are secure, and make sure that the catches are strong and not flimsy. If your home is constructed of wood, check that the wood around the window has not started to rot. If you use metal hinges, check if there is any rust on the hinges.

Window Locks

One of the biggest home security mistakes is not properly securing your windows with good locks. Check to make sure that window locks are large and easily visible from outside. This can prove to be a major deterrent for potential burglars, who would have to resort to smashing the window to gain entry. Not only would this attract attention to their illegal actions, but it might also result in cuts and injuries.

You can purchase window locks from home security shops, hardware stores and mega-stores like Home Depot. There are several kinds of locks that are suited to different kinds of windows and home security needs. Casement locks require a key and are well-suited to all kinds of windows. There are also fanlight locks, which use a metal bolt and arm to control the opening and closing of the window, and special locks that can secure two windows together.

If you choose to use key-operated window locks, be sure to store the keys in a safe, secret place known only to the residents of the home. It’s also important to remember that depending on the size of the window you would like to secure, you may need to use more than one lock. Even openings like skylights and fanlights should be secured and may need special locks.

Window Grilles

Consider installing iron home security grilles on ground floor windows that could be particularly susceptible to theft. Such grilles are often seen in large cities but are cropping up more and more in suburban and rural settings. Some find them unsightly, but there are a range of decorative iron grilles that are more aesthetically pleasing. Plus, aesthetics are a small price to pay for security and peace of mind.

Check Surroundings

Finally, survey the area around your house to see if there is anything that could help a potential burglar gain access to your home through an improperly secured window. Are there ladders lying around your backyard or a sturdy tree whose branches that could help a burglar enter a second-floor window? Is there shrubbery that could obscure a burglar trying to maneuver his way into a ground-floor window? If you live in an apartment building, is the fire escape easily accessible from the ground? Being aware of these security hazards is the first step to preventing home security breaches.