Decorating Tip: Use your pet for inspiration
Your pet can be a source of inspiration when choosing colors for your room. Paint a concrete floor the same shade of gray as your cat. Cover your sofa in a honey microfiber that matches your golden retriever. But it's important to give your dog something to chew on, or he might go after a chair leg. No messy pig's ears or greasy rawhide bones, however.
-- HGTV/ Scripps Howard News Service
Home-Selling Tip: When to hire a pro
Before you put your house on the market, you may decide to invest in a few updates, like a new backsplash or new floors. If you are a savvy do-it-yourselfer, you can save a lot of money going at it alone. However, if you are not confident in your DIY, it is best to hire a professional –– nobody wants to buy amateur workmanship.
Going Green: Old cooking oil makes new plastic?
Scientists at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference say that used cooking oil –– the same kind your use to fry your chicken –– is a viable option for producing medical-grade plastics. In addition, they say it is also cheaper than producing the plastics from scratch.
Did You Know …
At the end July, there was a 6.4-month supply of homes on the market at the current sales pace, which is 31.2 percent below a year ago. -- Realtor.org
New Products: iPod Touch, iPod Nano get updates
The iPhone 5 might be the news of the moment, but Apple also announced changes to other products, too. The fifth-generation iPod Touch, for example, will look like the iPhone 5, says the Consumer Reports Electronics Blog, with the same 4-inch Retina display and iOS 6. The iPod Nano, says the blog, will have a 2.5-inch "Mulit-Touch display with a whopping claimed battery life of 30 hours."
Garden Guide: Fall décor from the backyard
Many of the plants in the autumn garden can be used to make decorations, said Martha Smith, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Making them can be fun for the whole family.
"Flowers can be collected and dried or preserved. Seed pods can be saved. There are also certain decorations we associate with fall – straw or grapevine wreaths, garlands, dried flower arrangements, and cornucopias," she said.
For example, roses can be collected in the bud stage as well as full flower. Hang them upside down from the rafters in a shed or garage. Spraying them with a clear shellac will help prevent them from shattering.