Value, Function and Aesthetics By Way Of Pavers

It has been 2 years since my family and I moved to our current house. The house has a big yard and it is airy which is good for the kids to play. I also like the wide surroundings perfect  for barbecues and for entertaining friends. I’ve made a brick barbecue and oven in the backyard which added to the appeal of the house. I really love cooking using the oven for the barbecue. It somehow gives a rustic appeal to the house. Modular walls were already installed when we moved in so there is less noise going in the house which is a good thing when we want to relax.

I always wanted to have concrete or brick pavers to compliment the landscaping. Our old address has concrete driveway pavers installed and I find it functional as well as beautiful. It added value to our old address and when we sold it, we were able to command a good price for the property. My wife and I decided to have pavers installed in our present address. We wanted to have the same effect: aesthetics and added value to our present property. We decided to install these interlocking blocks for our driveway and patios of the house.  Presently, poured concrete is used in the driveway and it is showing cracks, so we thought it will be better to replace it with something better and more durable. We decided to have concrete pavers for the patio and  clay brick pavers for the driveway. I personally installed the pavers on our old home so doing the same job will be easier this time. First, we talked to our masonry supplies contractor to make a quote for us. A brochure was sent to us where we checked the products if there are new designs available and then, we decided to what color and pattern we would like to have on our project. The blocks were delivered 2 days after talking to the contractor.

I worked on installing the blocks every weekend. I laid out the groundwork and the design. It took me about 5 weeks to finish the project and set the pavers nicely to the ground. I think I did a good job because there were no loose pieces. The color we have chosen complimented the surroundings nicely. My in-laws visited us last weekend and they gave us a thumbs up about the brick and concrete pavers. The blocks are made from molds so it allows easy installation and precision shaping. The concrete pavers mimic the look and feel  of natural stone and are much cheaper than natural  stone pavers. It’s very  easy to maintain with regular sweeping and occasional rinsing. I’ve also applied sealants to protect the surface. An individual block is pretty easy to replace in case it breaks. Unlike poured concrete, these pavers move with the earth. It allows the paving system for expansion and contraction without producing surface cracks. It will stay strong and durable for years if it is laid down correctly. It has a non skid surface which makes our home safer for everyone especially the kids.

Thank you for reading my post. I wrote this article using the Robot Don text checker service.

Palm Tree & Tropical Art

Palm Tree Wall Art  – it’s more than just hanging pictures, it’s fun and exciting emotions.

It is hard to go wrong with wall art. Original art pieces are not the only option if you want your walls to look great and you don’t have to have a large budget. Palm tree and Tropical wall art comes in a huge diversity of prints and posters.

These are available in a variety of sizes suitable for just about any wall.

The nice thing about wall art is that you are not confined to conventional prints and posters. If you have photographs from your tropical vacations why not use them? They can be enlarged if necessary and can provide a very personal touch to your home. They are great for “breaking the ice” with guests as they immediately provide a point of interest as well as a topic of conversation. Besides, they are a nice reminder of your tropical break and something to keep you going until your next holiday.

Palm Tree wall decor is also available in the form of metal sculptures, decorative framed mirrors, tapestries, wall plaques, mosaic tile murals, the list goes on and on. In fact one of the problems can be that there is too much choice.

In addition to the above, there is also an enormous choice of other tropical motif art pieces. There are beautiful art pieces which incorporate flowers like the hibiscus or Bird of Paradise. For fun and different metal wall art why not consider a brightly coloured gecko.

If you want  to decorate a whole wall, wall paper with the Palm Tree and Palm leaf motif is also available and believe it or not you can even buy removable wall decals.

The huge benefit of wall art is that  you are not confined to using it in just one particular room.  Wall art makes an immediate statement and  is one of the simplest ways to give a room or rooms that tropical feel.

Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Bathroom decorating can be an expensive or inexpensive venture, depending on your budget, personal taste, reason for the redo, etc. If you are thinking of selling your home, it would be wise to stick with neutral colors for fixtures, walls and floors. Your goal should be to create an attractive and functional bath that any buyer would love. For example, classic white fixtures never go out of style and they’re less expensive than colored ones.

Your bathroom remodel can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint and replacing the shower curtain, or as involved as replacing the floor and fixtures.

Some things to keep in mind for a successful bath remodel include:

Good lighting, especially near the sink/mirror area.

Privacy treatments for windows.

Storage space for necessities.

Towel bars, a paper holder, tumbler and soap dish are some items that can easily be replaced to give your bathroom a whole new look. Also, changing pulls and knobs on cabinets can make a big difference. Try to keep all metal finishes the same for a coordinated look.

If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, check out all the new innovations available. Customize it to reflect your personal taste.

Here are some tips that may help you get started:

Flooring since bathroom floors must be able to stand up to humidity, hard surfaces such as stone, ceramic tile or vinyl are good choices. Natural stone is the most expensive but will last forever. Ceramic tile varies in price, with larger tiles costing less than smaller ones. The new vinyl tiles look very much like stone or ceramic tile and are less expensive especially if you are a do-it-yourselfer. Add color and interest with washable throw rugs make sure they have non-slip backing. If you prefer carpeting, wall-to-wall bathroom carpeting is available for a quick bathroom remodel. Walls as with flooring, keep in mind that easy to clean, moisture-resistant materials are the smartest choices. Many people choose ceramic or stone tile for the walls, floors and ceiling, using other décor to reflect their personal taste. Whether you choose to tile, paint or wallpaper, there are many options available.

Fixtures possibly the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel, so if you replace these items, plan carefully. Do you like the vintage look of a claw foot tub and a pedestal sink or do you prefer the more contemporary look of a bathtub with air jets and a vessel sink?

An online search of the many home improvement websites available will give you lots of art ideas. When you are planning your bathroom remodel, keep in mind the amount of time you spend there. It’s usually the first room you enter upon arising, and the last one you visit before retiring so give it the consideration it deserves!

Shatter me 2 Book Review

Enter all five feet, eleven inches of  Adam, a boy who has watched Juliette from afar since childhood, and is now thrust closer to her (literally and figuratively) than anybody else in her life. He’s protecting Juliette before she even understands the extent of his feelings for her, and the want that she feels is reciprocated and then some. The scene where she discovers that Adam is immune to her touch includes this thought: “…he’s holding me the way no one has ever held me before. Like he wants me.” So much of this story revolves around “want” in my mind. As human beings we’re wired to be wanted; we crave attention and feelings that bring us a sense of validity. Juliette has been missing this for so long, so when Adam re-enters her world, it bowls her over. Also, can we talk about how airugfaqwersdarjk the shower scenes were?! The quote I used above is hands down one of my favourites of Tahereh’s specifically and also a top one overall.

I guess in the most straightforward sense, I’m “Team Adam.” I think their history links them in a deep way whose meaning we don’t fully understand yet (I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD IN HER DREAMS AND ON HIS CHEST THAT LINKS THEM LIKE I NEED AIR), and his love for her is unmarred in a way that Warner’s is. Adam sees Juliette as “the only good thing left in this world,” whereas Warner views her as a tool that he can use to his own advantage. But, that being said, if my thoughts on Warner were to have a status, it would be: IT’S COMPLICATED.

Warner is, for all intents and purposes, the evil guy. Having just read the first book, I couldn’t see how people could plausibly be “Team Warner.” He is depicted as being so inherently BAD that there don’t seem to be any redeeming qualities. My feelings about him changed quite a bit after reading Destroy Me and Unravel Me (but not because of Chapter 62 o); we’ll talk about those developments later this week!

What makes Warner fascinating, to me, is that he truly believes he’s doing the right thing. Rather than blindly following his father’s orders, he thinks the cause he’s supporting is accomplishing something that will make the destroyed earth a better place. And while Juliette is on one hand a pawn in the greater game he is playing, he feels a connection to her that makes their relationship far from straightforward. Even Juliette comprehends where he’s coming from from time to time, but what continues to separate her from him is her desire to be better. As Juliette spends time with Warner, her emotions move from hate to a much more muddled state: feeling sorry for him. He’s possessive, but is also looking for acceptance, recognition and love, just like she is. I think when she realises this, it forms a bond that is not initially expected, and one that carries on into Unravel Me.

I like how Tahereh develops characters who, just like people, are multifaceted, showing that it’s not always as simple as being good or bad. I think she’s done something unique in making both the protagonist and antagonist desirable (again, for me this happened more after reading beyond the first novel). We don’t really know who to root for all the time; I’ve never been more unsure of where a story will take me in its concluding installment, and that’s an intriguing thing to experience.

SHARING THE JOURNEY DAY FIVE

The Dallas Divide – near Telluride, Day Five – “A most wonderful feeling!” My goose bumps almost made me faint. Here I am in this most beautiful place, a painter, and even after 30 years – It feels so good to feel like this, to paint, to create.

As I was finishing this painting, a mountain bluebird landed atop a fence post. He was almost cerulean in color not cobalt as I had seen before. He waited for me to paint him in! Incredible, thank you!  The moment this happened, the light for the rest of the day failed… bright sunlight and colorful shadow – faded to grey. It was at this moment that I realized… “I am a painter, I am a painter… say it three times – I am a painter!”

My painting trip has been a great adventure to this point…Driving over the Dallas Divide was so inspiring! Painting the Dallas Divide – early spring in the high mountain air. Then the grey sky and wind were back on the scene. Wind is not a plein air painter’s friend. My large canvas becomes a sail catching the wind. As the conditions were not good for painting, I found myself wandering in the grey cold.

Then it happened! Out in the middle of a lost aspen forest I found a couple friends. These old trucks had been at rest in this forest for many years. They were both covered with thick dust and leaf mold. I dusted them off and painted them. Both Chevy trucks with wonderful chrome grill work, one orange and one green.

This was a crowning achievement to my painting trip! As I painted in the wind and sleet, the aspen trees groaned and cried, even screamed as the wind made them rub together. For a quiet, still lost place – there was much noise and a great ruckus of sound and fury. Behind the background of aspens lay the great snowy mountains – hidden but found. Now time to head home.

SHARING THE JOURNEY DAY ONE

As soon as I arrived in Crested Butte, I stopped to paint the first thing that interested me – (instead of wasting time roaming around, thinking a better view was around the corner) – a wonderful, old leaning barn in the backyard of Shaun and Dawn Horne, owners of Oh Be Joyful Gallery.  What caught my eye was the dark barn in contrast against the lighter, pile of dirty white melting snow – many contrasts of color and temperature.

Immediately after finishing the barn painting, I wandered around to the front of the house; across the street was a white house with the green and red trim.  The old house was surrounded by snow which had slid off the roof, gathering over the winter. The day was very cold with little sunshine. This charming “white” house was very colorful, very cool and wonderful to paint.

The skies darkened and it began to snow.  With a few more hours still left in the day, I set up to paint, just off the main street (Elk Street), the community church with Mount Crested Butte in the background. As the snow fell, I painted – oil paint and snow (oil and water) don’t mix. Wanting to paint in the snow was why I had come to the area.
End of the first day – a good day, this was going to be a great painting trip. I just felt it!  Three plain air paintings completed! Tired, I was looking forward to what the next day would bring.

SHARING THE JOURNEY – DAY FOUR

On my last day in Crested Butte, I painted on Elk Avenue again, this time in the sunshine – but still cold! I choose the old white gas station with green trim, an odd shaped building, now a museum. A passerby took my photo as I painted and sent it to me. I also was painting with a new painter friend, Nicholas Reti, who lives and shows at Oh Be Joyful Gallery in Crested Butte, here he is talking with a friend painting on the corner.
I was working outdoors on a 30 x 40 canvas, the wind was beginning to pick up; and I needed to be on my way to Telluride. As I was trying to finish a group of school kids with their teacher came by and halted in line, gathering gathering to regroup.  I quickly took a picture of the colorful group as I was packing up. The painting still needed something? That night in my Telluride studio, I worked from the photo on my computer and added the kids… here are pics of the painting before and after this addition.

SHARING THE JOURNEY DAY TWO

Crested Butte – Day Two, it snowed all night; and I awoke to much white stuff all around! I set up to paint main street (AKA: Elk Avenue).  I worked fast trying to capture the street before it became mushy and brown with muddy dirt – and I had to hurry as parked cars would soon obstruct the view.

The snow continued; and I changed locations to the edge of town where a group of old barns are. The sky was darkened and grey with the snowfall. I painted a simple scene with a very strong composition of the structure of the barn against the snowy grey sky.

As I painted the black crows would caw at me and fly about. At the end of the painting they posed for me and I put them in the grey sky. Just in time as my feet and hands were getting cold and worn from the elements. A good day of snow painting – plein air at its best. A wonderful time, alone lost in the snowfall.

SHARING THE JOURNEY DAY THREE

Crested Butte – Day Three  Morning painting – plein air – after the snow storm,  Barns and Mount Crested Butte in background. Chilly, cold, crisp – blinding sunshine and blue shadows. A 30 x 36 to start the day of painting! My adrenalin rushed and heart pounded as I painted like a madman. I painted quick and furious – to capture this simple pristine moment. Success! I still get goose bumps when I look at this painting!

Afternoon sunshine appears – winds approach. Plein air in the snow, heavy snow the day and night before. Wonderful simple composition, the old Crested Butte barn atop a hill, dark against the white meadow of snow. A hay catapult and warm willows dress the scene. My easel setup, my plein air studio and painting freshly done.