Over the years, I’ve owned several work stations or drafting tables. I’ve used them for fabric crafts, drawing and also as stand up writing work space.
Here’s my checklist of points to consider when you are shopping for your own drafting table.
Consider your décor. Does the table you select need to fit into a room with other elements, or can you go strictly functional?
Assess your needs. Will you draw, paint, scrapbook, or lay out fabric on this table? Do you need a hard or clear surface, like tempered glass, or would wood or metal be a better choice?
Measure your space. The legs make a footprint on the floor, but the table top is larger. I know from my own experience that you will want room to move around the tabletop, and not have it tightly pushed into other furniture. That way you can get a different angle on your project as needed.
Go big enough. You might normally paint or draw on paper of a certain size, but what else do you want to have close at hand? Think about everything that you will want to have nearby on the table, and allow for some extra things you might not have thought of when you evaluated the best table for your needs.
Remember the details. How high will the table go? How is it supported at height, and how top heavy will it be? Is it easy or difficult to raise and lower the table, which can be a two-edged sword. You want it to be easy enough that you can adjust it, but not so loose that it comes out of adjustment unexpectedly.
Tilt as needed. What’s the maximum tilt angle? It won’t matter if you’ll always work with the table flat, but if you need angles, can it tilt as you need it, and is the range of adjustment infinite or only fixed intervals.
Check out accessories. On a drafting station or table, that means pencil trays, attached drawer units and stands for your brush pot or even coffee cup. Many of these are attached to the legs, under the top, and may or may not extend beyond the width of the table top. Which ones do you need, based on the main use of your table.
And, do you want your table on wheels, or flat footed? If you have casters, I recommend that some have locks, so you can keep it from moving without your permission.
To complete your work area, consider any room lighting, task lighting, and additional storage like rolling carts and shelf units you might need.
I love my rolling cart for pencils, clips, paper and lots of other small things. It can go wherever I need it.
And I love using my current drafting table because it gives me extra work space, and lets me continue working without so much sitting.
In the photo: Studio Designs Glass Top Vision Rolling Drafting Table
Every Saturday and Sunday in March is a day for maple syrup somewhere. Producers, public parks, even restaurants, organize special events to celebrate this North American treat during the season.
In states known for maple production, you’ll even find entire weeks devoted to it.
Eating pancakes with maple syrup is the immediate draw to these events. And if you’ve never had the real thing, I encourage you to try it. It’s so good, and you may never go back to anything else once you’ve had the best.
Any day you want, or a weekend, can be Maple Syrup Day at your house. You’ll need to get some syrup, of course, and the fixings to make pancakes. Along with a good skillet or griddle (stove top or electric) and you’re in business.
Then invite some hungry pancake eaters. Making pancakes is a quantity project. Hard to make only one or two.
I recommend practicing on smaller size pancakes, about 3 or 4 inches in diameter, using a recipe or mix for some good buttermilk pancakes, unless you have experience with other flavors.
And I really like a griddle because it’s open. It’s easier to flip on a large open space with no sides.
A well seasoned skillet certainly works. It just takes practice.
The most popular electric griddle on Amazon is a smaller model, which works well when making pancakes for a few people, at home or in your RV. I see it as a good way to develop and test your flap jack making skills as well.
The Presto Cool Touch is about 10 by 16 inches in size and it has a non-stick finish. It’s immersible and dishwasher safe after you remove the electrical control. Priced under $25, you can learn on this one, and if you graduate to making pancakes for a crowd, upgrade to a larger model.
Visit Maple Syrup Festivals
Another way to celebrate March as Maple Syrup Month is to organize an outing to the woods, or sugar bush, if you live in an area where syrup is produced.
That means New England, the Great Lakes and Eastern Canada.
It’s interesting and educational to see how maple tree sap is boiled down to become maple syrup. A search online will help you find programs in your area.
Some areas even have events where you can participate in tapping the trees and making the syrup.
If you decide to do this, be sure to check ahead. The sap won’t run if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Many of us are looking for spring, come March, when we’re often tired of winter. Maple syrup is one of those things that lets us know that it won’t be long.
Pancakes with maple syrup on a cold Saturday or Sunday morning…I can think of worse ways to spend the longer days when spring is not too far away.
Spring is coming and it’s time to reset the clocks. Self-setting satellite or atomic clocks take care of the time change themselves.
This month we spring forward for Daylight Saving Time in North America. I find that losing the hour is a tougher adjustment than adding the hour in the fall. But one bright spot is my atomic clock. I enjoy gadgets that save me time.
Because these clocks update themselves automatically, they get my vote for one of the best home electronic devices.
Top benefits of satellite clocks
- Save time by resetting themselves when the time changes
- Battery operated, no resetting if the power goes out
- Styles and sizes for any room decor
- Extra features, like weather, can make them more useful
I’ve been so happy with the clocks I have that I wrote a product showcase for atomic and satellite clocks (link will take you to my Squidoo lens). Check out the Oregon Scientific model, comparable to my Sharper Image clock.
Self-setting clocks are available in all kinds of styles and sizes, small and large. Alarm clocks and wall clocks. There are models with built-in radios, weather stations and even displays that show the phases of the moon. Many are digital, but there are also analog versions.
Use search terms like satellite, atomic, self-setting or radio controlled in the description of the item, to locate even more models.
Satellite clocks are very accurate. They reference the time via a radio connection to the US Atomic Clock in Colorado. The reference clocks use the vibration of cesium atoms to keep ultra-accurate time, so exact that the error rate is only one second in 100 million years.
These clocks use batteries, and are handy when there’s a power outage too.
The model I have includes a time projection feature, which is fun and practical. No fumbling around if you want to see the time on the ceiling all the time. Just plug in the clock and let the battery act as a back up feature. For occasional time projection, batteries alone work fine. The room does need to be dark. You won’t see the time if there is any ambient light.
When it’s time to change my other clocks, I use my little atomic clock as the reference, and carry it around as I reset the other clocks. When I add or replace a clock, I’m getting another self-setting model.
I use the Fourth of July as my battery changing date, for these clocks, smoke detectors and similar items. I love having clocks that keep time on their own, truly a practical, set-it-and-forget-it item for the home.
When you host a bat house, you provide a replacement for disappearing bat habitat. A bat house is an eco-friendly gift for the gardener or homeowner, including yourself.
A colony of bats will eat hundreds or thousands of mosquitoes or other insect pests every day during the season. They shy away from humans, and migrate in the winter.
Installing a bat house in the fall will give it time to weather a little, making it more likely to attract some beneficial bats into your environment.
Our guest blogger and fellow Ezinearticles author, Bob Urbanek, is just one provider of pre-built bat houses.
The Benefits of Installing a Bat House
By Bob Urbanek
Mosquitoes and other flying pests can ruin a relaxing summer evening on the patio. The first reaction for most people is to grab the repellent, but there is an effective pesticide-free alternative.
Contrary to popular belief bats are not the hideous creatures portrayed in the horror movies. Bats do not attack humans or intentionally fly into your hair. The truth is that bats play a vital role in the control of insects.
A single bat can consume from 600 to 1200 insects in just one hour, more if nursing young. Just imagine how out of control the insect populations would be if there were no bats to keep them in check.
Sadly, bat populations are declining at an alarming rate. Currently close to 40 percent of American bat species are listed as endangered, threatened, or in rapid decline. The result of this decline in bat populations is an increasing insect population, and a marked increase in the use of toxic pesticides.
By installing a properly designed bat house you can help to increase the declining bat population, thus helping to preserve this valuable ecological resource.
Bats prefer to live in colonies, so at least a mid-sized bat house is recommended. These mid-sized houses can support a colony of 100 to 300 bats. A bat colony numbering 300 can consume 360,000 mosquitoes and insects per hour.
Your bat house should be mounted on a pole or building for best results. Houses mounted on trees tend to have a lower occupancy rate. Your bat house should be mounted under the eves and receive some sun exposure. A mounting height of 15 to 20 feet above ground is optimal, as well as a location that is not exposed to bright lights at night.
By installing a bat house you not only reduce insect populations around your home, you are also helping to protect a very valuable ecological resource.
View the most popular bat house. We make it easy for you to add that special touch to your lawn and garden! URB Distributing
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com
In Michigan in the fall, we’re thinking about planting spring flowering bulbs and getting gardens ready for the winter.
In the same season, my friend and guest blogger, Wanda Fitzgerald, is planting tomatoes and cool weather crops…and working on her landscaping.
Wanda an accomplished gardener, among many other talents. She loves using native plants in her Florida home garden.
Plants that are too tender to grow outdoors all year in my garden, due to our Michigan winters, are just right in Florida. And since gardeners think on a year-round level, it can inspire your garden planning, no matter what climate or gardening zone you have in your garden.
Why should gardeners use native plants in a landscape?
By Wanda Fitzgerald
One reason, especially in Florida, is that people visit the state to enjoy the unique natural habitats, so why not use some of the 2,800 native species of plants and trees that grow so well here in our home landscapes? After all, 1 out of every 12 Florida native plants are found in Florida and nowhere else. Planting them in a garden gives a unique esthetic appeal that no other place in the world has.
Florida has a number of different ecosystems. There are swamps and mangrove swamps, sand hills and scrub lands, bottom-land and up-land hardwoods, flat woods, and tropical hammocks. The variety and number of native species in Florida is vast, and the interest in using them in home gardens is growing.
There are other reasons for landscaping with native plants:
- First, if chosen correctly they will require less irrigation and therefore will reduce the amount of water needed in communities. In most areas of Florida there are water restrictions for home lawns and landscapes so it’s vital to keep the consumption to a minimum.
- Additionally because these plants have evolved over centuries to thrive in their natural habitats they will require less fertilizer and pesticides. Using fewer chemicals in the landscape will reduce the amount of runoff water and the lakes will be less contaminated.
- Also native plants provide the habitat for many types of birds, butterflies, and pollinating insects.
- And finally the natural look of native plants can help to change the monotony of the typical suburban garden. Many of them are fragrant and brightly colored, adding seasonal changes to the surroundings.
When choosing landscape plants:
- Consult a local garden center that has specific knowledge about natives.
- Use their expertise and support their business. They will sell plants that have been grown in pots and will not be stressed when moved to a home garden.
- Never dig plants from the wild to bring home and use in a garden. There are many natives that are illegal to dig in Florida because they are scarce or endangered. And removing them will harm the delicate ecosystems and wildlife they support. In most cases they don’t do well when transplanted. Try taking cuttings or collecting seeds instead.
The notion that a natural landscape is not as attractive as the typical plantings installed in communities is not always accepted anymore. As native plant landscaping becomes more main stream in Florida more homeowners and gardeners will gain awareness of natural habitats and wildlife. And as more native plants are being grown specifically for home landscape use, their popularity will increase and both people and the wildlife and vegetation in Florida will benefit.
If you love to garden in Florida read more about it at Florida Native Gardening, and Florida Blueberry Gardening. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com.
Roses are pretty easy to grow if you learn about them and follow some simple guidelines.
Watering, fertilizing and pruning are essential rose care tasks.
Roses should be watered deeply, especially in this hot summer weather. They should get at least an inch of water every week.
As long as you have planted your roses in humus-rich, balanced soil, you shouldn’t need to give them more than one inch of water per week.
Always water your roses in the morning so their leaves will have time to dry before dark. Otherwise your roses can get Blackspot, Powdery Mildew or other diseases. Watering systems that only water the soil and not the leaves, such as drip irrigation hoses, are even better.
Roses need to be pruned regularly. You should use a good, sharp pair of pruning shears to nip faded flowers, and trim away dead or damaged branches, as well as any brown leaves.
Do not compost any diseased trimmings, because the pile may not get hot enough to destroy the disease organisms.
Roses are voracious eaters. They consume large amounts of soil nutrients, so you must feed them lightly but often each time. Stop feeding about two months before the first expected fall frost. In Michigan, that means finish feeding around the end of July.
The American Rose Society alfalfa tea recipe for roses has been around for quite a few years. Be aware: it smells! It is generally applied in fall. It stimulates the roses to release a special growth hormone that will help them build a strong root system.
To make this tea, take a 32-gallon plastic trash can and add 10 cups of alfalfa pellets, then enough water to cover them. Alfalfa pellets come from a feed store where you buy bags of food for horses or other grazing animals. Get the pellets that are just plain alfalfa, with no molasses or other additives.
Then you steep this tea for about five days, stirring it daily. After about three days, the smell will be apparent, so keep the lid on.
You can add nutrients by adding 2 cups of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Some growers add trace elements or their other “secret” ingredients to this brew.
This recipe makes a concentrated fertilizer tea. Dilute the mixture by adding water to fill the trash can at least half way before you water your plants.
Large rose bushes should receive about a gallon of this tea, and mini roses should get about 1/3 of a gallon. After you use all of the water, you can add more water to the pellets in the bottom to make a second batch. After the second batch, discard the pellets.
Some growers prefer just to sprinkle the pellets around their roses, and water them in. This treatment, repeated three times during the summer, will also benefit your roses if you don’t wish to make the tea.
With proper food and water, you can look forward to lovely and fragrant roses. The healthier your rose bushes, the more resistant to disease they will be and the more flowers they will produce.
With some basic care, your roses can be healthy and beautiful all season long, and for many seasons to come. You can continually enjoy and even show off your rose-growing talents!