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Falls shop specializes in redesigned furniture

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 31, 2013
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I discovered a cool new shop today -- well, new to me, anyhow.

J. Paris Designs is a little storefront in Cuyahoga Falls where owner Jessica Paris redesigns and repurposes old furniture and accessories. 

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Calphalon blender a safety risk, Consumer Reports says

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 30, 2013

Consumer Reports is cautioning consumers not to buy or use the Calphalon  XL 9-speed 1832449 blender, because small fragments of its blade assembly can break off and be ingested. 

Here's the news release it issued today:

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Ace is the place for free paint

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 29, 2013

Get ready for a grub onslaught

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 29, 2013

This year is shaping up to be a big one for grubs.

Grubs are the larvae of insects -- in our area, mainly Japanese beetles. They live in the soil and feed on the roots of grass, often causing significant damage to lawns. Compounding the problem, raccoons and skunks can tear up grass in search of grubs to make a meal.

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Extreme DIY house for sale

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 26, 2013
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You'd think building one house by yourself would be an accomplishment to last a lifetime. 

Not for Jim May.

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Chihuly on the cheap

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 25, 2013
Nancy Shaw's bottle garden

After Brimfield resident Nancy Shaw read my recent story on bottle trees, she sent along a photo of what she calls her "bottle garden."

Shaw created her garden art to use up the pretty wine bottles she'd amassed and add a little interest to a tall, shady area under her deck. She just slips the bottles over the ends of green, plastic-coated garden stakes or rebar cut to random lengths, using a dab of clear silicone on top of the stakes to hold the bottles straight. Other bottles are just stuck upside-down in the ground -- "sprouts," she calls them.

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Graf's offers high tunnel tours

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 24, 2013

If you've stopped at Graf Growers lately, you may be curious about the greenhouse-like structure that has cropped up in one of its fields.

Saturday, you can tour the structure, called a high tunnel, for free.

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When pushing a button is just too much work ...

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 23, 2013

A coffee machine that responds to your yawn by dispensing a cup of Joe? I need one for my desk. 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57594574-1/yawn-activated-coffee-machine-caffeinates-sleepy-travelers/

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Energy-efficient homes in a kit

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 22, 2013
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Call it the Sears house of sustainability.

Vermont manufacturer Vantem Panels is marketing SmartHomze, a line of kits for building net-zero-energy homes for about $150 a square foot, Fine Homebuilding contributor Scott Gibson reports. 

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Rain brings bumper crop of mushrooms

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 12, 2013
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With all the rain we've had lately, it just may be that the best crop growing in your yard right now is mushrooms.

Not to worry.

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Cleveland home is Ohio's first passive house

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 10, 2013
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An energy-stingy home in Cleveland has been certified as the first passive house in Ohio.

The house was originally built as an exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It was certified last month by the nonprofit Passive House Institute US.

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Secrest plantsman Ken Cochran honored

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 7, 2013
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One of Ohio's most valuable and beloved horticultural experts was honored recently with the naming of a garden area at Secrest Arboretum near Wooster.

The garden section was named in honor of Ken Cochran, the arboretum's program director and a tireless educator on all things plant-related.

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Check out this guitar-shaped deck

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 2, 2013
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You have to give Rick Street and Stephanie Brown props for putting personality in their landscape. The Illinois couple's guitar-shape deck has gone viral on Facebook.

The idea grew from the couple's plan to build a pond in 2009 and put in a dock for fishing and relaxing. Brown got the notion of modeling the dock on her six-string Fender guitar and designed the 55-foot-long deck as an enlarged version of the instrument, all in scale.

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