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Build a back-lighted desk

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 25, 2014
desk

Feeling crafty?

Elmer’s ProBond Advanced adhesive offers instructions on its website for making this back-lighted executive desk. The piece, designed by Peter Debelak of Soulcraft Woodshop and Gallery, has a modern feel and is made from wood, plexiglass and leather.

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A word of gratitude

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 24, 2014
Chritton2

As the Beatles once sang, I get by with a little help from my friends. And sometimes I get by with a lot of help from my friends.

That was the case earlier this week, when I was scrambling to figure out how to illustrate a story on giving your front door a makeover for spring.

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Easy energy savers

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 22, 2014
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Living more lightly on the Earth doesn't have to involve big sacrifices.

In observance of Earth Day, Noah Horowitz, an energy efficiency expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council, offers these low-effort suggestions for saving energy every day.

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Cheap, easy-to-make stink bug traps

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 21, 2014

Plagued by stink bugs?

A couple of do-it-yourself stink bug traps have come to my attention lately.

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Stop the mulch madness!

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 18, 2014

A friend of mine last night was bemoaning the eagerness of the groundskeepers at her condominium complex.

It seems they'd already started applying fresh mulch to the landscaping beds, burying her daffodils that had drooped and flattened in the recent cold snap.

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Colorful container combines flowers, herbs

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 17, 2014

Container gardens don't have to be strictly ornamental or strictly edible. Combining flowers with herbs is a great way to add color and function, especially to small outdoor spaces.

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How to defuzz a paint roller

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 16, 2014

I’m a big fan of Chuck Miller’s There’s a Better Way videos on the website of Fine Homebuilding magazine. In this one, he shows a quick way to defuzz a new paint roller – an important step to prevent lint from fouling your perfect paint job.

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How to dye Easter eggs naturally

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 15, 2014
Easter_eggs_CH05_Anthony_Deffina

Why buy egg dye when you can create beautiful dyes from botanicals?

Chris McLaughlin, author of the upcoming book A Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants From the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics and Fibers (St. Lynn's Press), offers these instructions for naturally dyed Easter eggs.

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Build a simple fire ring

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 11, 2014
fire ring

Who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows over a bonfire on a summer night?

The Family Handyman magazine offers instructions on its website for making a simple fire ring out of retaining-wall blocks, surrounded by a seating area paved in flagstones.

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Weekly report offers garden cleanup tips, other useful info

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 4, 2014

I did a little happy dance yesterday when the year’s first issue of Buckeye Yard & Garden Line landed in my email inbox.

BYGL, or “Beagle,” as the participants call it, is a weekly news report from experts with the Ohio State University Extension. They offer tips on lawn and garden maintenance and provide updates on issues such as pests, diseases and weather damage – often with a healthy dose of humor.

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Blah house? Contest will award $5,000 to give a home a more colorful exterior

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 3, 2014

Does your home’s exterior need a color facelift?

The winner of the “Shake It Up” Exterior Color Contest will receive $5,000 to add color to the outside of his or her home. The contest is sponsored by DaVinci Roofscapes, Therma-Tru and Fypon.

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Consumer Reports releases lawn mower ratings

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 2, 2014

Consumer Reports’ latest lawn mower ratings are out.

Honda and Toro mowers earned the highest scores among self-propelled, gas-powered mowers, the most popular type. The Honda HRR2169VKA, which sells for about $400, and the Toro 20381, priced around $520, were both named Best Buys.

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