A House Full of Photographs

4 Ways to Bring Nature Indoors for Those Who Aren’t Green-Thumbs

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways to Bring Nature Indoors for Those Who Aren’t Green-Thumbs

While you might appreciate nature, you know better than anyone not to bring innocent plants into your home. Far from thriving under your care, the inevitably die slow deaths. If you’re tired of waking up to cascades of brown leaves and withered stems, you’ll need to look elsewhere to bring the freshness of nature into your home. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you stop the cycle of dying ferns and flowers.  1. Fix it with Photography One of the easiest ways to bring nature into your home is to live vicariously through that talents of other who capture nature in all its beauty. The key to having realistic photos substitute for actual plants in your home is to invest in high-quality, fine art photography that can be blown up to large sizes and printed in beautiful detail on canvas or another rich medium. You could even hire a designer to print a landscape of a forest or rolling green field as a mural for one of your entire walls. For best viewing, be sure to place these photos in rooms with bright light, and choose pictures with rich natural colors and stunning vistas. 2. Leave the Living Instead, embrace the “dead” elements of nature. The best two for indoor use are rocks and water. Consider installing a small, indoor fountain that runs over natural stone. Even though water is not “alive” or growing, the moment brings the fresh beauty that people associate with nature, and it can have a calming effect on a space. If you’re very ambitious, you could also bring sand into your house to serve as the floor of a sunroom or to squish your toes into while you work at your desk.  3. Fish Are Friends Take the movement of water even further by choosing to care for fish instead of houseplants. Fish can be as high or low maintenance as you desire, and you can even bring plants into the aquarium that are living, but thankfully require no soil, sun-to-shade ratios, or daily watering. The aquarium brings natural, flowing movement into a room. For the greatest effect, consider installing a built-in wall aquarium that can be seen from two rooms at once. For lowest maintenance, choose fresh-water fish that eat the same types of food. Saltwater tanks require greater maintenance. 4. Go with Grass If you simply cannot give up the romantic idea of keeping plants in your home, you’ll need to choose varieties that are nearly impossible to kill. The best types of plants for this task are grass plants. Many grasses are hardy and drought resistant, making them perfect for those who routinely forget that plants need water. Consider the following. The cast iron plant. The cast iron plant has certainly earned its name, as it actually will start to die if you give it too much attention,. It doesn’t need light from the window and can survive without being watered regularly. The spider plant. Another grassy plant that you would be hard pressed to kill is this air-cleaning grass plant. It loves indirect sunlight, making it a great choice for almost any room in the house. As a bonus, it also removes formaldehyde from the air. Bamboo. Bamboo is plant in the grass family. It doesn’t need soil to...

read more

How To Protect Your Highly Valued Antique Jewelry

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Protect Your Highly Valued Antique Jewelry

If you own estate or antique jewelry, you’ll want to protect those heirloom pieces from damage, deterioration or theft. Preserving and safeguarding your antique jewelry means storing them properly and cleaning them periodically. Follow a few golden rules to keep those treasured pieces in the best possible condition and out of harm’s way. How to Properly Store Your Antique Jewelry Whether you store your jewelry at home or in a safe deposit box at the bank, there are a few guidelines to follow for the best protection. Precious stones and metals may become scratched if they rub against other objects. Rather than toss your estate or antique jewelry pieces haphazardly in a box, separate each piece. You can protect your fine jewelry by wrapping a soft microfiber or anti-tarnish cloth around each individual piece. After doing so, place each piece in a lined box designed for storing jewelry. Choose a box with multi-compartments for placement of earrings, rings and bracelets. Neck chains should be stored vertically to avoid snarls and tangles. If you wish to travel with your rings, earrings or bracelets, you might place each piece in a zip-lock storage bag. Use extreme caution when storing or traveling with pearls, as they are very delicate. It’s best to place the pearls in a softly lined pouch, then store the pouch in a hard protective box or case. A rule to remember when storing your antique jewelry is to protect them from moisture and extreme temperatures. High humidity, excessive heat or exposure to the sun may cause discoloration or deterioration. For optimal storage, keep your antique jewelry in a climate controlled environment. Protection From Fire and Theft You will also want to protect your antique jewelry from fire and theft. Keep in mind that a fire-resistant safe doesn’t necessarily mean it will protect against theft. For the best protection against both threats, choose a safe with a high fire rating and an electronic or dial lock. You may choose from a stationary safe, a wall safe or even a hidden safe. The best way to secure any safe from theft is to anchor it in some way. Choose a safe made with pre-drilled holes for anchoring to a wood or concrete floor. The safe may include an anchoring kit with instructions. Cleaning Your Antique Jewelry It’s a good idea to clean your antique jewelry after each use or after handling it. This will help remove the natural oils from your skin. Try the following methods: Commercial jewelry cleaning products: If you choose a store-bought product, be sure it is intended for your specific type of antique jewelry. Never use abrasive ingredients such as ammonia or alcohol and be sure the cleaner is acid free. Homemade Cleaning Solution: You might try soaking your jewelry in a mild dish detergent mixed with warm water. A few minutes should be adequate. Next, take a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub away any dirt. Finally, rinse the jewelry thoroughly. Jewelry Polishing Cloths: To clean your fine pearls, simply wipe them with a soft polishing cloth. To maintain the natural luster, dab a drop of olive oil on the cleaning cloth before wiping the pearls. A polishing cloth may also be used to clean your other fine jewelry. Be careful not to dislodge any gemstones....

read more