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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Inspiring Ideas - Iron Arch Entryways

Iron arch entryways are often used as a decorating tool for outdoor landscapes. There are many things you can do to improve the look of your home with these arbors. You can grow climbing roses, make a grand entrance or decorate the patio with iron arch entryways. Combine several arbors to grow climbing vines that give your yard a home garden appeal. Iron arbors are best when planting heavy vines that require a lot of support for their weight.

Decorating Ideas

If you are planning a wedding, then you can place beautiful flowers to create a special place in the backyard to exchange wedding vows. You can also paint the entryways to coordinate with the wedding flowers and other colors. Create backyard arbors as a place where you and your family members can relax and enjoy the outdoors. A string of lights added to your arbor make it more romantic. You can also use arbors to hang pots that hold plants that do best in containers. Browse through backyard decorating photos found online to get new decorating ideas.

Wedding Garden Arbors

The first step to planning an outdoor wedding is to decide on the colors. Choose one or two colors and coordinate the wedding them around them being careful to keep the color scheme simple. If you choose colors that are hard to locate, then it will take even more time to plan the wedding. Decorate wedding garden arbors with coordinating flowers instead of white. Secondary colors will bring your arbor to life such as purple or pink. Browse through wedding magazines for decorating inspiration to help you with the planning phase.

Outdoor weddings are a popular choice during the spring and summer months. Keep in mind that June is the busiest time of year for weddings. You may have difficulty finding wedding accessories during the month of June. If you are on a tight budget, then make your guest list shorter. You do not have to serve an entire meal at your reception. Instead, you can serve light snacks and soft drinks to save money on your outdoor wedding.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Steel Artist in Focus : Bob Dylan Welded Gates

In the world of American music, few artists are as unique and inimitable as Bob Dylan. He has inspired countless artists and has been covered by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Byrds, and more recently, Adele. His poetic, stream-of-consciousness lyrical style is instantly recognizable, as is his earnest, no-frills singing. However, few people know that his boundless creativity extends beyond the realm of music. Bob Dylan pours just as much passion into welding and sculpting complex metal gates.

You could say that iron is in Bob Dylan's blood. Dylan grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, a mining town built on the Mesabi Iron Range, the largest iron ore deposit in the United States. Hibbing was founded in 1893 on a spot where prospector Frank Hibbing proclaimed, “I believe there is iron ore under me; my bones feel rusty and chilly.” Looking for opportunities in the mining boom town, Dylan's maternal grandfather, Ben Stone, arrived nine years later. Between 1919 and 1921, after it was discovered that the best deposits of ore were located directly under the town site, the town was physically moved farther south by placing the buildings on rollers. At peak production, Hibbing was the source of at least a quarter of all iron ore extracted in the US, a fact which Dylan has mentioned in interviews and live show banter. “North Country Blues,” a song from Dylan's seminal 1964 album The Times They Are a-Changin', tells the story of an ailing mining town, clearly modeled on Dylan's childhood hometown. Bob Dylan's fixation on iron shows that his upbringing left an indelible mark on him.

This fascination has taken on physical form. Working out of a studio in Los Angeles, Bob Dylan has welded gates from scrap metal into intricate, beautiful visual art unlike any traditional iron gate you may have in your own yard. His favored form is gate work because he appreciates the negative space it allows him to work with. By welding these works of art from scrap iron and steel, Dylan resurrects the debris of an industry that was vitally important to the people he grew up with and the America he grew up in.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Time Savers In Patio Care And Maintenance

The backyard patio is a great place to gather with family and friends. During the spring and fall, most homeowners must clean the patio to remove dirt and grime from the last season. If you have patio stones, then there will be weeds that grow in between the pavers. Patio care and maintenance tasks will depend on the type of pavers you have in your backyard. Wood, stone and concrete patios need regular cleaning to look their best.

Stone Patio Care

The first step in reducing the amount of time it takes to kill weeds in between the pavers is to spread polymeric sand between the stones. This will also keep bugs from building their nest in the same spot and kill weeds. You will need to clean the stones with a pressure washer before applying the sand. Sweep the sand between the pavers with a broom. A rubber mallet should be used to distribute the sand evenly over the pavers. A leaf blower can be used when you finish spreading the sand. Use a garden sprayer to apply a fine mist over the sand. Do not add too much water or you will lose some of the sand.

Concrete Patio Care

Stamped and colored concrete needs regular care to keep it looking its best. Use a pressure washer twice a year to get rid of debris and dirt. Liquid dish soap makes a great cleaning agent with a scrub brush or broom. Rinse the patio off with a garden hose or pressure washer when finished cleaning. Let the area dry for at least 24 hours before applying a sealer. Brush the sealer on using a paint roller and let dry for 24 hours before applying a second coat.

Stone and concrete patios last a long time with regular maintenance. A good sealer will prevent stains and dirt and reduce the amount of time you spend on cleaning. Choose patio furniture that is made out of durable materials that can stand up to harsh weather conditions. Stone pavers should be replaced when they are cracked to keep your patio looking its best.