Fairy Decorations Add Enchantment to Homes and Gardens

In times of austerity and economic downturn, we all need a little extra happiness and joy in our lives, and these can come from the simplest of things, such as home-made cookies, hand made gifts and expressing our creativity through our homes and gardens. Fairy decorations appeal to adults just as much as to children, evoking, as they do, buried memories of childhood innocence, stories, fun, and unquestioning faith that fairies, sprites, pixies and elves do exist to enchant our world. Their very elusiveness makes them more magical, more enticing, more fun.

Fairy baby

This is  a delightful choice of nursery theme for a boy or a girl because fairy decorations lend themselves so well to a whole range of pastel color schemes and soft lighting effects. Take your inspiration from traditional illustrated fairy stories and the work of artists such as Kate Greenaway, Cecily Mary Barker and Arthur Rackham or follow the style of icing sugar castles and bright colours used in modern cartoon fairytales.
 
Outdoor Fairy Garden

Creating an outdoor fairy garden together is a perfect way to introduce young children to the thrill and contentment of working with nature. Grow a variety of miniature plants and wild flowers, adding complementary fairy decorations such as miniature solar lights, lanterns, ornamental butterflies, birds and bees, magical runes, fairy ornaments and statues. Look for small, low growing plants and make sure there are plenty of places for your fairy visitors to shelter from prying human eyes.
 
Indoor Fairy Garden

Think about an indoor fairy garden too. Indoor garden fairy decorations could include a water feature (real or illusory using mirrors), a fairy house ornament (you’ll find that many of the famous china manufacturers produce miniature cottages and even trinket boxes in the shape of toadstools and other fairy decorations that would provide a perfect home for your indoor garden fairy). You can make or buy paper or fabric flowers, use doll’s house seats and tables and provide a bonsai tree for shade. Let your imagination run wild and have fun with your fairy decorations, wherever you choose to use them.
 
Fairy Wall

Another popular idea to bring some fairy whimsy to your home, a fairy wall  makes the perfect fantasy fairy decoration for your little princess. Adapt the theme to better suit the tastes of a little boy by featuring pixies, elves, wizards and woodland animals. Silver, pewter and even plastic photo frames can be found with intaglio, embossed or painted fairy decorations and you can complete the wall with shelves for all those much loved books of fairy tales. Add some twinkling fairy lights, glow in the dark stars and sweet dreams are assured!

Nontoxic Pest Control for Your Home and Garden

Pesticides are toxic and, while often effective against pests, can be dangerous for your family and pets. Outdoors, sprayed pesticides might drift on a breeze and dust your vegetable garden or your neighbor’s yard. Indoors, pesticides can linger in the air, exposing the family to harmful chemicals. For these reasons, many people are turning to nontoxic pest control methods.

Prevention is the best way to control pests, but there are times when even the most thorough preventative measures will not save you from intruders, so this article discusses both preventative pest control methods and nontoxic pest control products.

Preventative Pest Control Methods

Sanitation:

As they say, cleanliness is next to godliness. And it keeps pests out, too. Keeping your home clean is the most effective pest control method. If you don’t leave food or dirty dishes lying around the house, animals and insects won’t be attracted to the smell. Sweep and vacuum regularly. Remember, just because you can’t see crumbs doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Clean inside pantries and cabinets cabinets, under and around the stove and refrigerator at least once a year.

Screens:

This may seem obvious, but screens on doors and windows are a simple and relatively cheap way to keep insects out of the house. Also, screens on crawlspaces keep rodents from obtaining easy access routes into the house.

Caulking:

By caulking cracks in your house, you can minimize places for insects to hide and nest. Target bathrooms and the kitchen, especially doors and windows.

Nontoxic Pest Control Products

Traps:

There are many kinds of traps available that target many kinds of pests. Some examples are sticky traps for cockroaches, glueboards for mice, flypaper, bug zappers, and traps specifically for rats, gophers, or moles. You can usually pick up traps at your local Home and Garden store.

Pheromones:

Pheromones, essentially insect scent hormones, can be used in traps as bait. By emitting the scent of the female insect, pheromones can be used to lure males into a trap, where they are caught in a sticky glue. Insects are only attracted by pheromones emitted by their own kind, so you need to know exactly what kind of insects you’re trying to eliminate and plan accordingly.

Biological Control:

Biological control is more often used in agriculture but can sometimes be used in home and garden situations as well. Basically it means using desirable organisms to eliminate undesirable organisms. For instance, planting certain plants in your garden can deter certain pests. For example, spearmint repels ants. Garlic repels Japanese Beetles. Indoors, spiders eat fruit flies and houseflies, so it may be worth leaving some of those webs around.

Repellents:

There are nontoxic repellents available for pest control. Mosquito repellents are the most popular, but if you look around, you can find repellents that target other pests. Some herbs, like eucalyptus and wormwood, are known for repelling animals and insects.

A Pet Owner’s Guide to Home and Garden Ideas

Plenty of homeowners are often at a loss as to how to decorate their homes and gardens when they have pets around. There are just so many things that can go wrong when you have animals in the area and these are things that you have to factor in when thinking of your home and garden design. To keep a pet safe to roam inside your home and your garden, you need to think about them when conceptualizing your home and garden design. It will be good also to do some research on ways to keep your place pet friendly, and maintain a balance between what is safe and what is beautiful.

Most pet owners try to come up with various home and garden ideas to keep their places safe for the pets. While you can find so many from different sources, you still need to be careful especially with those that are yet to be tested. There are people who think that animals can tell what plants are harmful and will therefore not eat them but this is a myth. You will be better off making sure that all plants you place in the vicinity of your pets are safe for them. Some pets would chew on the plants because they are not aware of the potential danger that doing this will lead to.

Fish ponds are also included in home and garden ideas for pet owners. The common pets that we have are cats and dogs but there are some of us who also have fish and animals who live in ponds that we may have in the garden. You have to incorporate the safety of our watery friends when thinking of home and garden ideas. This also includes thinking what types of plants are best to place inside a fish pond.

Take Japanese gardens, for example, where normally there would be a Koi pond. Koi can be very expensive and sometimes there are animals and plants that do not agree with them. Your home and garden ideas should consider this. Think about what plants and animals are compatible with each other.

Using Fences and Safety in Water

Pet-friendly home and garden ideas often incorporate the construction of fences. These are usually created to keep them away from the water areas. It is a precaution to keep them from drowning or any accidents occurring. The fences are also great for keeping your little children out of dangerous water areas.

There are plenty of home and garden ideas which you can find to care for your pets. Remember that safety always comes before aesthetics and this should be your main concern when creating home and garden ideas.

Ergonomic Tools for Home and Garden

The need for ergonomic tools is important to identify when using hand tools in the home and garden. Especially if the tools are used for extended periods of time. Finding the right tool for the task at hand will save unwanted discomfort in the future.

Examples of causes of carpal tunnel and hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) are chain saws, power tools, hand weeding, painting, pruning, improperly fitting gloves, screw divers, pressing tool into palm and using spray guns, etc.

To avoid painful carpal tunnel, the use of ergonomic tools allows hands to be in a more neutral position reducing the stress on wrists, arms and fingers. Many ergonomic hand tools have a bent handle which prevents excess bending and pressure.

Cushioned handles will add comfort, reducing strain and in general protect your hands.

Also, available are gloves designed to improve fit and hand function. This helps to eliminate pressure on the hand while wearing gloves.

Operating hand held power tools at the lowest speed necessary for performing the task and wearing anti-vibration gloves will help prevent HAVS. Power tools you may use in the home and garden are drills, saws, staplers and sanders.

Have you painted your home and garden spaces with a hand held brush to discover you keep shifting the paintbrush around to keep a comfortable grip? Paint brushes are available which are designed to reduce stress and discomfort to forearm and wist. The brushes are able to be held with the right or left hand holding positions with ease. The ergonomic brush handles are slightly curved to fit your grip with finger grooves at the base of the brush for comfort.

Ergonomic positioning is equally important as well holding the tool as recommended by the manufacturer. Adjusting straps on equipment will reduce strain on your body for any hand held equipment.

Wheelbarrows have been designed to reduce up to 45% of the impact on your body by keeping loads level as compared to conventional wheelbarrow. The weight is distributed on the front wheel reducing the load on the handles and strain on the operator especially when dealing with sloping areas.

It is necessary to find the tools that will reduce strain, add comfort, protect your hands and well as maximizing leverage.

There are a variety of companies that produce the tools, gloves and wheelbarrows designed to fit the user to the function with safety and comfort incorporated into the design.