Home & Family
How to iron a shirtLearn the proper way to iron a shirt:
Ironing is less of an art than it used to be. Today, fashion rules accommodate wrinkles, recognizing that pure linen and pure cotton will get wrinkled one way or the other. Other fabrics need no ironing to look crisp and ready to wear. Dry cleaners provide laundry and ironing for washable items at reasonable rates.
For the purpose of this lesson, we will assume that the shirt is a 100-percent cotton, standard dress shirt - not button-down, not tux, not that favorite rayon number with the never-seen-in-nature palm trees. (One learning-experience at a time is enough.)
1. A clean, dry shirt needs to be dampened before ironing, even if you own a steam-iron. Use a spray bottle or flick water with your fingers, roll the shirt in a clean dish towel and set aside for 10 to 30 minutes. The dish towel will feel slightly damp. Bath towels work, too, though they tend to stay dry on the outside.
2. Fill the iron with distilled water for steam (you will use the steam setting on only as needed). Set iron at, or just below, the cotton setting.
3. Unroll the shirt, and turn it inside-out. This is the step that separates the women from the girls. Ironing all the double-fabric surfaces (the collar, yoke, cuff and seams) on the back side first will give the front-side surfaces the smooth finish you expect from a professional.
4. Beginning with the button placket (the front piece of the shirt with the buttons), iron all double-fabric surfaces on the back side. Move from the button-placket side to the button-hole side. Along the way, remember the backs of the cuffs, the sleeve seams and side seams. As you move the shirt along the board, check for a pocket, which also needs back-side pressing. If you encounter any dry spots, activate the steam setting long enough to press them. When you've finished your back-side work, the shirt should still feel slightly damp or steamy.
5. Turn the shirt right-side out. Starting again with the front button-placket, work your way across the body of the shirt, saving the sleeves, cuffs, yoke and collar for last. Remember that when ironing the sleeves, the iron used for most shirt parts in a commercial laundry looks like a large waffle iron. To copy their technique, fold shirt sleeves flat at the inner seam. Iron them like that; do not let the crease you form extend past the shoulder-seam. Iron the shoulder yoke round on the small end of the ironing board without creases.
6. Almost done and down to the pretty parts. Open the cuffs and iron them flat. Give an extra press to the buttonhole side of the front. Save your last love for the collar. Iron flat, immediately moving the shirt to a hanger. Button the top button to hold the collar shape.
When you're finished, your shirt will be crisp, dry and smooth. You've saved the day or the dinner or the romance. Enjoy that wonderful just-ironed smell floating through the room, and the fact that now you know how to iron a shirt.
How To Get Stains Out Of Your ClothesNo matter how careful we are, what could have been avoided sometimes just happens. We get food spilled on our clothes while cooking or eating, our men soak their shirts with sweat when they go to the gym, our kids get too rowdy and play in the dirt even if they are told to stay clean, and guests can leave marks on the pristine upholstery of the living room furniture. Yes, stains happen even when we least expect it.
Taking stains out of clothes and household fabrics can be tricky and time-consuming, not to mention test our patience. But nonetheless, there are ways of doing it effectively, without damaging our fabrics. Here are ways how:
1. Remove stains while they are still fresh. It becomes tougher to clean stains when they have already dried or set into the fabric. Wash them immediately, and if the clothes require dry cleaning, take them to the cleaners as soon as possible.
2. There are clothes and fabrics that come with special instructions as to how they are to be washed and how the stains should be removed from them. If your stained clothes have special instructions like these, it would be best to follow these instructions to the letter.
3. Before applying your stain remover to the stain itself, test how it works in an inner seam or on a part of your garment that is not easily visible. In this way, you would be able to see how your clothes would react to the chemicals of the stain remover, whether or not it would change the color of the fabric.
4. Treat the stain from the back of the cloth. If it is treated from the outer side, where the stain actually is, rather than from the inner side, the stain might pass through the other side of the garment.
5. If you are using dry-cleaning solvents on your fabric, take care to rinse the solvents off completely before throwing the fabric into the washing machine. Or better yet, wash that fabric manually and air-dry it. Dry-cleaning solvents contain chemicals that may prove to be fire hazards when put in a washing machine.
6. Be careful in using bleach. Using bleach on just the stained spot may result in an uneven appearance in the color of the stained garment.
7. Different stain removal products have different components in them. So, just stick to one product in cleaning the stains off a particular garment, or else it will only end up ruining the fabric. And whatever product you have used, remember to wash it off thoroughly, so the product's residue will not be a stain itself.
The most important thing to remember in cleaning out stains is that you should be patient when doing it. It can get frustrating, especially if the stain is too hard to take off, but that is just that. Sometimes, a stain can only be removed after repeating the process several times. There will also be a time when a stain will not come off no matter how hard you try. In that case, just accept the fact that your favorite dress or shirt is now ruined. Worry not; at least you tried.
French Country Home Decorating on a BudgetIf you've flipped through a decorating magazine or watched a home decor show lately, you've noted that French Country is the latest decorating craze.
What is French Country Decor?
French Country emulates the style you might find in a cottage in rural France. Popular elements include rooster motifs, wrought iron furnishings sporting elegant, whimsical curves, and plastered-surface walls washed in butter-yellow paint. The sleekness of a primitive farm table, for instance, could be softened up with a curvy iron chandelier. Rough, exposed ceiling beams and aged terra cotta or brick tiles on the floor complete the look.
A home filled with genuine French furnishings and accessories would be beautiful, but incompatible with modest household budgets. Instead, here a few ways to bring a little more Provence into your home without spending a fortune.
Electric Fireplace Benefits: An Electric Fireplace Equals ConvenienceIn a world where most people expect instant gratification, demand fast movement and yearn for the preservation of precious time, an electric fireplace could not have made a prominent name for itself at a better time. While the electric fireplace currently occupies a relatively small part of the fireplace industry, it is quickly becoming the hottest product on the market.
Featuring a new twist on a centuries old product to fit today's standards, the electric fireplace offers consumers a heating solution that requires less maintenance, less time-consumption and more convenience. Though electricity is obviously more expensive than the free wood provided by Mother Nature, it is cheaper than fueling a gas or propane unit, and provides instant heat. Simply put, an electric fireplace merely requires the flip of a switch to be lit and to begin producing the desired amount of heat. Though typically counted on for supplemental heat, most units are powerful enough to heat up an entire room or a larger space. Installation of an electric fireplace requires a few simple accessories: an electric fireplace kit, a clean fur-free rug, a glass cleaner and a drill.. of course, you cannot discount the importance of an electrical outlet either!
Today's electric fireplaces feature the look of traditional masonry with a modern flair of contemporary design, in addition to a large viewing area in a reasonably sized overall package. Some of the most important benefits and facets of an electric fireplace include:
Gel Fuel Fireplace Benefits: Gel Fuel Fireplaces for Indoor & Outdoor UseIn a time where we, as a united force, are working toward improving the overall quality of our environment, a gel fuel fireplace has never been more ideal. An easy, inexpensive way to infuse charm, beauty and warmth into any room in your home or to accent your outdoor decor, a gel fuel fireplace allows you to experience cozy comfort without the inefficiencies of a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Sometimes referred to as 'ventless', gel fuel fireplaces are the least of our ever-growing list of environmental hazards, and provide the preferred combination of safety and enjoyment.
Providing a healthy and safe alternative to a traditional gas log fireplace, a gel fuel fireplace is easy to install as well as to maintain. Because they do not emit any smoke, odor or toxic fumes and - as mentioned above - can be totally ventless, gel fuel fireplaces are regarded as extremely heat and energy efficient as they are compliant with the highest of today's safety standards. Additionally, they are free of the dangers of potential, harmful combustion of toxic products. To ignite your fire, simple place a can of gel fuel behind the log set and flame. Gelled alcohol fuel will burn clear and smoke-free. Most cans can burn for 2.5 - 3 hours long and can be reused until they're empty. The air quality of the product in the desired room when the fuel is in the process of burning of the O.S.H.A as well as the E.P.A.
Today's gel fuel fireplaces typically produce a heat output of 3,000 B.T.U. per hour, which is comparable to many electric fireplaces. Some of the most important benefits and facets of a gel fuel fireplace include:
Fireplace Settings: Where to Feature Your FireplaceA fireplace can easily infuse class and charm into any room. Today, renters and homeowners alike can enjoy the undeniable elegance and intimacy a fireplace creates for a fraction of the cost and lower maintenance. Those with a conventional fireplace can transform its design and use by adding stylish and practical fireplace logs or fireplace inserts.
How large can your fireplace be? A good way to measure for space is to measure out a potential place and then spend the day walking through your home to see if the intended space deters from the natural flow of activity. We offer a number of electric fireplaces, stoves and fireplace inserts for your browsing pleasure:
Getting Your Greenhouse Started: Greenhouses for BeginnersWhy should I Own a Greenhouse?
Gardening experts as well as novices will benefit from having a greenhouse. First, many people are deciding to grow their own produce to ensure that their food is grown organically. This also reduces pollution by eliminating any traveling your food would normally have to do to get to you. Because greenhouses are available in a range of prices, it is feasible to find a starter greenhouse at a reasonable price. Greenhouses are also great for vocational education. Whatever your reason or practice, greenhouses have proven to be a rewarding experience all year round.
What Will I Need to Start?
First, do some basic reading on greenhouses. Educate yourself on the plants and produce you are interested in cultivating. This way you can be sure to have plenty of space for your interests. There are several books available on our site in the greenhouse accessories category. Once you have chosen your greenhouse, there are some fundamental requirements that your facility, and what you are growing inside of it, will undoubtedly need. A base, foundation or anchor will be needed to secure your greenhouse to the ground. Depending on what season you begin, you will need to consider various cooling and heating methods. Portable fans, heaters, and strategic vent positioning are all inexpensive and simple solutions for heating and cooling your greenhouse. Also, make sure that there is enough shelving or work bench space to place your greenery.
How Do I Prepare my Greenhouse Site?
Not much preparation is needed before securing your greenhouse. First and foremost, you will need to have a level ground. If your greenhouse requires a base or foundation, then you may need to have a bare lawn without any sod or gravel. If you would like to build a permanent foundation for your greenhouse, you may find it beneficial to contact a local contractor for further information and/or assistance. Most permanent foundations are made of wood and/or concrete.