All posts by lastfour

Engineered Hardwood A Better Hardwood Flooring Choice

When engineered wood first came out on the market, there were speculations that this material was not made of real wood. Experts stress that this is simply not true. Engineered wood floors should not be confused with laminate, vinyl and veneer floors, which imitate or replicate the image or the texture of wood using plastic or a composite of other materials.

Engineered wood is made of three or more layers of hard plywood or high density fiberboard (HDF) and a bonded quarter-inch top layer of hardwood or lamella. This HDF core and lamella composition makes engineered wood eco-friendly, as the core can be made up of recycled wood and the lamella does not require as much timber as a solid hardwood plank does.

And, since they both have exposed surfaces made of hardwood, engineered wood floors can look as attractive as solid hardwood floors. Engineered wood floors can also come in as many hardwood species and colors as solid wood floors.

For the experts in is home to, engineered wood offers a lot of advantages over solid hardwood. Engineered wood even holds up better in extreme weather conditions, which Los Angeles is no stranger to. The engineered wood’s core resists heat and moisture better than solid hardwood can. And HDF layers can actually counter compression brought about by foot traffic and other external factors. This allows for more durability and stability.

Moreover, the installation of an engineered flooring companies are proud of is quick and easy. Engineered floors can easily be installed on any kind of original floor surface, without the need to fasten planks to the floor or to each other. And since engineered floors come in a wider range of sizes, they are sure to cover floors perfectly, without the usual gaps of solid hardwood flooring.

Engineered wood floors are becoming the favorite because of all these benefits and the fact that the wood itself and the installation costs significantly cheaper. The planks are eco-friendly and very affordable, at almost half the average price of solid hardwood planks. Engineered wood flooring installation is significantly easier and quicker than solid hardwood flooring installation could ever be.

FENG SHUI – DOES THE COLOR OF SOIL MATTERS

Besides the types of mountain and hills, what can you look for when selecting a property in a locality with prosperity and posterity in mind?

You should make close observation on the quality of soil that make up the land in the vicinity of the neighborhood.

In Feng Shui, the natural environment we lived in provides us with life giving energy known as qi. It is the life force that sustains all living things on earth. From the highest peak of the mountain, qi flows along the natural contours of the land and makes it way down the valleys where water is located. It is carried by the wind and gathers at the boundary of water.

When you are looking for a suitable property to make your home, you should observe whether there is any mountain or hill around the area. If there is and it is lush with vegetation, you can tap into the qi that is strong and vitalizing.

But if you would like to know what types of qi is available in the area, you can start by looking at what is below the ground. Qi flows on top and below the ground. Earth is a natural conductor of qi and naturally you can determine the types of qi it carries from observing the soil. The secret is in the color of the soil. To do this, you need to dig about 2 feet into the ground. First, pay attention to the texture of the soil. If it is soft and loamy (with a mixture of clay, sand and some decayed vegetable matter), it indicates positive qi and therefore good quality. Whereas if the soil tends to be rocky and pebbly (with mostly stones), it is not conducive for positive qi to take root. Secondly, by examining the soil’s natural color, we can determine the types of qi it contains. Based on Feng Shui concept, there are five elemental phases of qi namely, wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element takes on a color.

The following is a general guide as to what each color means in relation to the soil:-

Green colored soil denotes wood qi and is associated with nobility, benevolence and growth

Red or purple colored soil denotes fire qi and is associated with passion and spirituality

Yellowish colored soil denotes earth qi and is associated with wealth and stability

Pale white colored soil denotes metal qi and is associated with power and authority

Black colored soil denotes water qi and is associated with intelligence and traveling.

For more of such articles, you can visit proactive-qi.com and bazidestiny.yolasite.com which offers free reading of your birth chart based on Chinese Four Pillars of Destiny (Ba Zi).

Gardens through the Ages

As a pursuit built as much on our own foresight as it is on our creativity, it is important to reflect on the schools of thought that drove previous horticulturalists, because, as influential as the great painters and film makers are on our artistic heritage, so of course must be the gardeners that came before you and me. So well use this article to pay some gratitude to, and hopefully learn the motivations behind, the green spaces of the past and how these reflect on those of the future.

The genesis of artistic horticulture began with one of the oldest recorded civilizations, in the Persian Empire – at its height over 3000 years ago. Gardens emerged as an organic rebuttal to the harshness of the Iranian landscape and also as a testament to the ingenuity of contemporary engineering. It was the introduction of structures now referred to qanats which made the impossible ideal of Persian design a reality. These subterranean aqueducts were originally developed as a means to combat the hostility of the surrounding desert and make plausible the mass integration of agriculture, and also of water supply. The Persian garden is famous for its contrast with the landscapes it survived in – while the renaissance horticulturalists sought to form uniformity among that which nature already provided, the eastern garden is characterized by its ambition in the face of adversity, perhaps personified by the persistence of the legends of the garden of Babylon. So emotive was this school of design, that its thematic sensibility travelled as far west as the Iberian peninsula (modern day Spain and Portugal), where the gardens of the Alhambra are a good example, and as far east as the flat lands of India, where the gardens of the Taj Mahal were laid out in the Persian style. The horticulturalists of both these countries can, like the Persians, be considered geographical victim to, and conqueror of, the arid landscape.

Despite the predating Egyptian, Roman and Hellenic empires, none had before employed gardens with such frivolity and with so great a gulf between the priorities of art and state.

The next chronological milestone in horticulture comes from what is now the longest surviving empire of the ancient world, the Chinese principality, beginning with the Qin dynasty approximately 200 BC. These projects were usually state sponsored and were often established as a form of a homage to the current imperial patriarch, the Qin dynasty, however, they took a back seat in the progression of Chinese scholarly gardening to the Yin Yang philosophy that dominated the countries academia in later centuries. This impetus stemmed from a focus on the importance of harmony and balance within, and in relation to natural setting, hence the design ideal that spread to medieval Japan, which I have mentioned in a previous editorial. Thus began the idea of microcosmic recreations of the natural landscapes of both countries, the obsession with symbolism to evoke greater scope than would be possible in the dimensions of a conventional garden, and also the inclusion of panoramic perspective to give the illusion of size. These included the use of gravel pits to signify oceans or deserts, which themselves were identified by the deliberate inclusion of rock formations to represent land masses or landmarks within these miniature environments.

Following the fragmentation of the Roman Empire, two major powers emerged in Eurasia from the remains of the old imperial senate – the Western Roman Empire fell to ruin against the hordes of Attila, while the eastern remnant would later evolve into the Byzantine Empire. The vast majority of their horticultural heritage, however, was lost with the sack of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire and, while contemporary novels provide romanticized accounts of the techniques employed, the only solid evidence we can rely on is the context around which they were constructed, which dictated all those that came before. Due to the relative youth of orthodox Christianity, the integration of animal sculpture to the Byzantine garden was not an unreasonable concept – having not fully established the accepted religion, pagan idolatry was still rife and thus nature, as opposed to divinity, was held in much higher regard – unlike the monastic gardens that were to follow.It is reasonable to accept that these motivations continued until the demise of the empire in 1453, which leads conveniently into the subject of renaissance gardening.

Despite the stimulus of its predecessors, and the relative contrast between countries and the respective art movements in other mediums, renaissance gardeners had one common ideal: uniformity. The beginning of the renaissance and the introduction of formalized aristocracy, following the bloody medieval period, led to a new focus on regality and aesthetic symmetry, and brought with it a boom in the popularity of topiary. Hedging had become a geometric means of maintaining the lines and shape of beds and gardens and also in promoting the favoured colour of the era, which was green. Many royal and state gardens were designed with a birds eye perspective, in that the formation and shaping of hedges and beds were intended to be seen from above, which meant that, while the garden was aesthetically pleasing, it was not an interactive experience, but one whose primary function was to be observed – and observed from a distance. Excellent examples of such gardens can still be seen at Versailles and Villandry in France.

With the introduction of the Romantic Movement in the 18th century, came a particularly English focus on the revival of the pastoral imagery that over the past few centuries had become so populist in continental art. The realization of an idyllic landscape, including lakes, trees and temples, became as much a part of the fabric of horticulture, as it had of contemporary literature and painting – hence the favoured integration of livestock such as sheep and horses to the garden grew exponentially! Lancelot Capability Brown was not the first designer to employ this style, but he was perhaps the most famous, designing 170 gardens including Petworth in West Sussex, Chatsworth in Derbyshire and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

By the end of the romantic era, however, the class division in the country had grown to dizzying heights due to the effect of the industrial revolution, which was only further exacerbated by the First World War breaking out. Due to the pressures that global conflict produced, gardens were forced to evolve once more to be used for more practical purposes and, by the time World War Two hit, the working class was fully indoctrinated with the grow your own mentality. It became not only a personal responsibility, but a national duty, to dig for victory to ensure that, should the worst occur, one would be ready to contribute to the cause of king and country, and thus vegetable gardens became the new standard.

Once the wars were over, however, and the economy benefitted from the rule of a new and industrious government, sustainable consumption was no longer a priority for the common man, and so English culture underwent a second renaissance and what emerged were the many and varied children of a hundred older gardening cultures that we see today – but no less beautiful for it.

Finally, we must address the garden design of tomorrow, which in the wake of the 19th century industrial boom can be summarized in one word: Ecology. As well be covering in another topic this week, it has become the primary focus of both government and leading designers to ensure that our domestic gardens, as well public green spaces, are as sustainable as possible so that they, at least, may shine brightly in the shadow of our uncertain future.

Expanding your Horizons – Tricks to Make your Garden Look Bigger!

While an experienced gardener will have a knack for best taking advantage of the space theyve got, for example with the correct balance of small to large plants or how their borders are positioned, there is one magic trick none of us can perform and that is expanding the space itself. Of course, if Harry Houdini were here hed tell you the key to a good illusion is the mirrors, not the elephant. So as youve probably guessed, todays article concerns means of giving the appearance of a larger garden than youre actually possessed of.

Starting at ground level, we have the lines and shapes of a garden – specifically sectioned areas like lawns or paving. Due to the rectangular shape of many suburban gardens and box like connotations that geometric shapes invoke, it is often best to use fluid shapes such as circles or ovals when shaping your lawn. They not only disguise the boundaries but can also make a garden appear much wider. This can also apply to the paving that surrounds said lawns, as too many straight lines make the spaces seem constricted and unnatural. On that note, if youve a small garden, try to avoid large paving slabs as these tend to overpower the more delicate elements of a garden and, by using smaller pieces, youll be able to implement a random paved technique that no doubt will be more pleasing to the eye.

Apart from your open spaces, careful planning concerning your planting scheme is also essential to enlarging the garden as a whole. Remember the basic principle of all interior designers: lighter equals larger, while darkness means confinement. As such, your deeper toned flowers should be centralized to your borders and surrounded by lighter flowers that will relieve their oppressive connotations. Whilst surrounding the back door with crimson blooms, for example, can present an image of warmth that will be associated with the building itself, it can confine the observer, with the brighter colours fighting for your attention. Aim for lighter colours in your beds to match the greatest space you can manipulate, the sky above them. Aside from colour you should also consider the textures of your plants, finely textured plants like Rosemary will reflect light differently than the heavy foliage of a Laurel, which means that careful layering can add depth to your garden, while heavy handedness can make it look flat. Finally, you have the size of your plants which will vary depending on the type of garden youre aiming for. Simply put, bigger is better, thousands of tiny shrubs and flower heads make a garden look cluttered, whereas a bold structural scheme can attest to the size of their environment. Then theres the vertical approach – as vertical stripes make a dress seem longer, so do tall trees add a height to your garden that, even if you cant touch it, you can imagine it.

While on the subject of vertical gardening, it is important to note the value of structures like archways and pergolas. Similarly to the telescopic effect of putting your eye to a pin hole, a long corridor like this can give the illusion of length particularly if entwined with vibrant hanging flowers. There are also various perspective arches on the market which have the same effect. A garden can also be made to look longer by constructing paths that narrow in width as they progress down the plot.

Finally we have the oldest trick in the book, and one that brings us back to Mr. Houdini – mirrors. Reflective glass has been used by designers since time immemorial to double or triple the size of a room and theres no reason not to apply this beyond the home, and into the garden. Most effective when placed facing an open space such as a lawn or a pretty planting scheme, but not so as to immediately reflect the viewer as they approach, they can give the illusion of another inviting garden beyond. Their illusion can be strengthened by the addition of a view of moving water that will lend the image fluidity.

Essential Kitchen Gadget

Essential Kitchen Gadgets The kitchen is probably the one room in the house that can become a gadget graveyard. It is a familiar site in homes across the country to find stuffed at the back of cupboards numerous once -essential’ gadgets gathering dust. This is a wasteful and also really expensive habit that so many of us fall in to. Advertising is the main cause and you can so easily be drawn into buying something that you never knew you needed. This is a list of the gadgets for a kitchen that are actually useful and you should find that you use them fairly frequently.

Food Processor This is the number one gadget and you need to be wary of buying a cheap one. Quality does in this case cost, so buy the best you can afford. It should last you for years and is so versatile that it will easily pay you back in the amount of time it saves you. There are countless brands available and when looking try and go the for models that are able to handle things like ice cubes. This means that they have a stronger motor and should be able to handle anything you throw at it.

Steamer A lot of the kitchens gadgets on the market are aimed at helping you to become healthier. Some are more successful and long term than others. A streamer is definitely going to produce healthier food and in many cases tastier food. Steamers work great with chicken and fish so should see plenty of use. In addition you will be able to cook any vegetable in it and in most cases preserve more of the goodness too.

Stove Top Coffee Machine. Most of us can’t afford the type of coffee machine that will deliver the type of coffee our local coffee house can deliver. For hat you need a high-pressure machine that is able to provide you with a gorgeously creamy espresso. Don’t even consider buying a cheap looking alternative as it simply will not deliver and is normally a real pain to keep clean. Keep it simple and keep a good quality stove top machine. This will enable you to make a fantastic espresso based drinks for a fraction of the cost.

Bread Machine The smell of fresh bread has to be one of the finest aromas. Combine it with the smell of freshly made coffee and you know your day is going to get off to a good start. Making bread is great fun and can be a little daunting. This is why I would suggest a bread machine as it allows you to create wonderful breads with the minimum of effort. You can on some models even time it so that they are ready for you first thing in the morning. Wonderful!

Written on behalf on Mulberry Kitchen Studios – Luxury

Indoor Netball A Fun Sport

Finally, guys don’t have to sit on the sidelines while the women in their lives have a blast playing netball. Indoor netball is open to both sexes, making it a unique opportunity for groups to have a lot of fun. Find out why netball’s become so popular by reading the information below.

The Basics –

Outdoor netball courts are pretty large, which is why many people have a hard time imagining an indoor version of the game. Indoor netball courts are smaller than their outdoor counterparts, though; there is no out-of-bounds, which makes up for the limited amount of space. Although there is less space involved with the typical indoor netball Brisbane court, the frenetic and exciting pace of a typical game makes it more than worth it. You won’t soon forget a rousing game of indoor netball!

Netting surrounds the typical indoor netball court, adding an interesting new element to the game. In fact, the fast-paced nature of the indoor version of the game is largely what has drawn more and more men to it. Guys who used to sit on the sidelines, cheering their wives, girlfriends and sisters on, are now getting out on the court themselves. Netball teams consist of seven players; up to three guys can be on each team. If you’re a man and want to play netball, you should be able to find a team to join quite easily!

Other Rules –

As with all sports – including indoor sports – netball comes with many specific rules. The game is split up into four 10-minute quarters. Although you can’t change your position or zone during a period, you are allowed to in-between periods. This gives teams the ability to change their strategies throughout the game, allowing them to come up with the most efficient and effective way to play. If you’re unhappy in one position, just wait – you’ll have the opportunity to switch in no time flat.

Since netball is a non-contact sport, it is imperative to avoid touching other players on the court. In fact, you need to keep a distance of at least three feet from the ball carrier. It’s interesting to watch a game in progress, since it moves along so quickly and everyone manages to avoid hitting one another. Your adrenalin is sure to begin pumping when you find yourself out on the netball court, playing against men and women alike. If you and your mates are looking for a fun new indoor activity to enjoy, you definitely need to put indoor netball at the top of your list!

Wedding decoration games for girls,dreaming about you own wedding ceremony

Hey,girls,what’s your dreaming wedding ceremony,and now you have the chance to design and decorate your own wedding scene,how to decorate,and what will be the best look of it,you can have a try and do your best to make it full of colorful things or just to be the most simple and romantic ones,and you can also change the background,that you can have your wedding ceremony one the grass or just at the seaside or under the moonlight,which will also be very romantic then.what do you think about this kind of decoration games for girls.

Okay,let us have a look of all the decoration there,which offers to you,you can just make it to be your best choice and also be the best decoration in the games for girls.and you can play this decoration games for girls,just looks this as your own wedding ceremony ,and you can do whatever you want,of course,as well as what you want to make it to be in your dreaming world too.

Firstly,you can choose the furnishing that you want to own,wow,they are all so beautiful,and will be the best choice for your wedding ceremony,you will have so many kinds of funishing for you to choose then,can’t help watiting for a minute,just come one,and choose for yourself in the girls games.for more furnishing,you can click the arrow,and you can have the chance to see the wonderful design!

You know,if you want to have a wonderful wedding ceremony,you have so many things that you should do then,for example,the food,the arch and also all kinds of decoration that you need in the wedding ceremony decoration games for girls.

Enjoy it,and enjoy your life,just to be happy in your own life,you will find that all the things that you are dreaming can come true,so just have fun from the funny girls games here.

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Garden Design Software – The Pros And Cons Of Using One

Buying software programs to design your garden for you can be a costly mistake if you choose the wrong thing for your needs. To begin with, let’s take a look at your needs and expectations of any garden design software you may need to purchase.

The first mistake a lot of people make is to think that garden design software will do the design for them. This is simply not the case. Whilst a lot of design software will have some ready-made designs that you can adjust, unless you know the principles of designing your garden, it is very difficult to achieve good results.

It’s a bit like someone giving you the components to a super fast car engine. If you don’t know anything about mechanics, the chances of you producing an engine that really works and delivers what you want it to are very slim. The same is true to designing a garden. Unless you know how it works, all the templates in the world cannot help you achieve the results you want.

Learning the seven most important garden design principles first will enable you to use garden designing software as the tool that it was designed to be.

Pros of Garden Design Software

No drawing required. You can produce a color plan, 3-D views and the best part is it is very easy to make changes.

Cons

It can be time-consuming to learn how to use the software before you even start the design. You are limited to using the materials in the template chooser. The program doesn’t design a garden for you!

Best Option for Planning Your Garden

The best of both worlds would be to do a rough draft of your ideas on paper and then once you think you have a design you like, use a garden design software to draw up a proper plan and give you a 3D view of it.

One thing that is critical to success, though, is the initial survey. Guessing the size and shape of your garden is the worst mistake you can make. You may produce a superb design, but unless it fits, it will be a complete waste of your time.

In a good design, everything links together and functions as one whole entity. So if one part has to change, it has a knock-on effect to everything else in the garden. It’s a bit like having jigsaw pieces that don’t quite fit – it will never work!

Before you buy any software to help you design your garden I would strongly recommend that you do two things. Firstly, learn the principles of garden design; without them you’re wasting your time. Secondly, practice on free software like Google sketch up, to see if you like using a computer to help you design.

Architecture Animation

In today’s world of instant gratification, Architecture Animation is providing a virtual tour of the property in a future-completed state can be a very intense and emotional experience although it is in the concept stage in reality. Animation usually begins with the panoramic representation of the external features that include landscaping, hedges, fences, roads and exterior surroundings in general. The exterior view of the building shows the faade where architecture, materials and design can be understood. Architectural Animation is a small architectural movie created on a computer. An architectural animation is a series of hundreds or even thousands of still images. When these images are assembled and played back they produce a movie effect much like a real movie. The Architectural Animation project consisted of exterior and interior Visuals to help with design approval. The Architectural Development was accurately shown within the Architectural Visualizations and the Architectural Animation. It is possible to add a computer-created environment around the building to enhance reality and to better convey its relationship to the surrounding area; this can all be done before the project is built giving designers and stakeholders a realistic view of the completed project. Architectural Animation is now a key part in Architectural Project Development. In recent years the accelerating importance of animation in communicating architecture, it can take shape in a variety of ways – slick animated renderings bringing a prospective project to life, a finished project layered with music and a narrative bringing the emotive dimensions of a building to the surface, and even the purely conceptual expression of architecture as an artistic exploration. They represent an animation object of architecture by taking into consideration various geometrical entities and rules. Architecture Animation are made with focusing heavily on different factors like width, height, breadth, lines, surface with curves of building components. Considering in the avenue of film or in current events how time and cost consuming it could be to recreate an event. The architecture animation allows artists to create these events using models, than rendering the models, which provides life into the structure to create a sequence of events. Imagine that you want to make your building better than others in an effective manner. Then you will need something to make you very clear about how to build your proposed building structure. If you have some kind animation of your building well before it gets constructed, then it becomes a lot easier for you to achieve your goal. Animated buildings and animated interiors design for buildings are the best suitable option for you to do this.

Tips when Using Indoor Group and Cycling Bikes

Doing your cardiovascular workout with your indoor group and cycling bikes is really a great way to enjoy keeping yourself fit. Having some people around you while you exercise would make the routine exciting and more enjoyable. While you are pedaling, you can, for instance, engage in conversation to keep boredom at bay. Indoor cycling with your friends will make you look forward to your daily fitness activity.

However, like all other forms of activities, cycling, if not done right, would put your body at risk of being injured. So before you start working for a fit body, read and keep in mind the tips below.

Wear appropriate attire

Putting on the proper exercise gear is as important as doing the fitness activity itself. So before you start off, be sure that you are dressed aptly. You should wear cycling shorts with padding on the inner thigh to make you more comfortable. Aside from this, you also have to wear the right footwear. Biking shoes are among your best options.

Keep a bottle of drinking water with you

This is a no-brainer, yet there are lots of people who always forget to bring water when they workout. Keeping water with you is very important because your body needs to replenish the liquids it releases after you engage in physical activities.

Know how to use the equipment properly

If it is your first time to join an indoor cycling group, make sure that you read the instruction on the console or in the manual of the bike. It is important that you check if the fitness machine is properly set. You also have to adjust the seat properly to prevent getting injured; you have to ensure that the your knee angle is 85% straight when you do a down stroke.

Attune your pacing with your body

Although you are going to do your indoor exercise with some people, you have to keep in mind that the fitness activity that you do is still about your own body. If you get caught up in the enthusiasm of other participants, make sure that you still do your exercise according to what your body can do.

If you want to engage in indoor group cycling, you can go to a nearby gym and join an indoor cycling class or you can buy your own equipment and invite some of your friends to do their cycling exercise with you. If you opt for the latter, it is best that you buy a DVD containing cycling videos.