Home Help: Make your collectibles into a home accent

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Decorating Tip: Secrets of successful collectors

Fiesta Dinnerware collectors share their secrets to building a great collection that will liven up your home:

- Pick your passion. People start collections for as many reasons as there are items to collect -- nostalgia, as a means of investment and carrying on a tradition. For Harvey Linn of North Carolina, it's personal. He ate off of a Fiesta plate (always Cobalt blue) at his grandmother's house in the mid-1960s. With her passing in 1986, he found that same, now vintage plate and became a collector of his grandmother's beloved dinnerware.

- Do your homework. If you don't know much about the category you're collecting, you might be duped when purchasing a coveted item. Know the value of certain items, how rare they are compared with others and what conditions are acceptable for resale.

- Make friends. What better way to find the latest and greatest information about your collectables than from your peers? Join a club dedicated to your desires.

- Display the prize. Don't make the mistake of storing items in a cardboard box in the garage. Maintain them by keeping them out where you and others can enjoy them. And what better way to keep inventory of what you have and need? However, be sure to keep fragile and extremely rare items behind glass or in cases to keep them from being broken or soiled. (ARA)

Did You Know …

An organic, cheap way to make an over cleaner is to mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 cup of hot water. Make a paste, smear it in the oven, heat it up a tad, let it cool and then wipe it up.

How to clean your grates

Homeowners should clean their vents and registers at least once a year. If it’s been awhile since they’ve been cleaned, or if they’re exceptionally dirty, soak them in a degreaser solution for about 15 minutes, then scrub away.

Garden Guide: Make your own stepping stones

Stepping stones add immediate appeal to your garden, and they’re not difficult to make. Simply buy a frame or make your own using wood pieces, then purchase mortar, follow the mixing instructions and pour it into the frame. Let it dry, then place it wherever you want in your garden.

Home Improvements: Green remodeling

- Consider bamboo flooring. It’s contemporary, durable and comes in a variety of finishes. Cork and eucalyptus flooring have similar ecofriendly qualities. Resources abound for other green flooring options, including reclaimed wood from rivers and lakes.

- If you prefer traditional wood, you can still go green by purchasing products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (www.fscus.org). Flooring, structural lumber, cabinets and a wide range of furnishings are available from FSC suppliers nationwide.

- Cabinets, tile, plasters and countertops are available with green advantages as well. Cabinetry without toxic glues and formaldehyde is widely available and can be finished with low-VOC paints and lacquers. Lead-free tiles are also available, with significant recycled content. And for countertops, the options cross all boundaries -- from recycled glass, concrete or plastic to finely made FSC-certified white oak butcher block. (ARA)

Backyard Buddies

Some tips from Birdsforever.com on attracting grosbeaks to your yard:

Grosbeaks feed predominately on tree nuts, seeds, berries, fruit and insects. A hopper-style feeder filled with their favorite black oil sunflower seed is the best way to keep grosbeaks around.

The conical shape of this bird's beak marks it as a seed-eater, but they devour large amounts of harmful insects like grasshoppers, caterpillars, cutworms and weevils. A seed feeder WITH suet cages and good perching space is a welcome sight to grosbeaks, who will help themselves to this high-protein food.

Grosbeaks enjoy fruits and berries as well. Plant blueberries, blackberries, elderberries and bittersweet in your garden. Offer summer berries in a concentrated stash at a platform feeder.

GateHouse News Service