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Halloween Party Games For Kids Ages 10 and Under: Spider Web Indoor Maze

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

This game is time consuming to set up, but it is always a huge hit with the kids. It also keeps them busy for awhile, which is of course, a big hit with the parents. But don’t stray too far away while they’re having their fun. Watching this game go from serious to silly is super funny!

Spider Web Indoor Maze

  1. You are going to create an indoor spider web that fills an entire room. Decide which room you are going to use so that you can estimate how much yarn to buy. This will not be a perfect science.
  2. Purchase a package of yarn for each participant. Select a different color for each child and opt for colors appropriate to the holiday.
  3. Begin building the web at any random point in the room. You are going to create a pattern for each child by stringing one color of yarn back and forth across the room. Move up and down in a zigzag pattern around the room. At each touch point, lightly wrap the string to change direction. 
  4. When all of the colors have been strung, you should now be seeing a massive spider web.
  5. Show each child the end of his or her part of the web. Instruct the child on how to find the other end of their yarn by navigating the entire web.
  6. Emphasize that they can’t just pull hard on the yarn or they’ll pull the whole web down. They have to go to each touch point and unwrap the string and then proceed.
  7. Whoever finds the end of their yarn first wins a prize. Or, you can have first, second and third place prizes if it’s a large group.

Enjoy watching the shenanigans unfold. Watching the children try to untangle the yarn while running into each other is priceless! 

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How Do I Get Hot Chocolate Out of My Carpet?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holidays

Hot chocolate is a staple on cold winter nights and holiday parties. Unfortunately, this dark liquid can stain your carpet quickly in the event of a spill. While it looks like it’ll be there forever, chocolate can be removed from carpeting. Just be sure to clean up the spill as soon as you see it to keep it from setting.
Begin by blotting up as much of the spill as you can with an absorbent cloth. Don’t rub the stain; you don’t want to work it further into the carpet, just absorb some of the liquid to help lighten the spill. Keep blotting until the cloth comes away dry.
After blotting the liquid from the spill, use one of the following mixtures. As a note, pretest any solution used on an inconspicuous location first. If a small amount of solution results in color transferring to a white cloth, use a different spot solution.
• Mix one fourth (¼) teaspoon dish detergent with one (1) cup of lukewarm water (don’t use any mixture stronger than this!)
• A non-flammable spot removal solution, such as a dry-cleaning type solvent.
• A mixture of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts warm water.
• Warm water
Dip a soft cloth into one of the above solutions. Use this to carefully blot the area of the spill. Begin on the outer edges of the spill and work towards the center. This will keep it from spreading.
Keep blotting the stain until you get the majority of it up. Rinse the cloth with water and pat the area again to help get any remaining soap out of the fibers.
If none of these solutions work, remember that professional cleaners are a great way to attack stains. Professionals have the equipment and skills to attack spots more aggressively.
Spills happen, particularly during parties. If you happen to notice some hot chocolate on your carpet, don’t panic. Take steps to clean it up as quickly as you can, and you shouldn’t notice any lingering stains to remind you of what once was spilled there. Learn more on removing chocolate stains here!

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What Type of Flooring Should I Use in a Modern Kitchen?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath

Modern kitchens are some of the most unique looking places around. Homeowners creating a modern kitchen often choose extremely avant garde materials to create some of the most interesting styles available. This use of innovative materials extends right to the flooring, which must match the rest of the style of the kitchen to help complete the design.

Tile Floors

Tile is one of the best materials for use in a kitchen simply because it’s so durable and easy to care for. You can drop a jar of spaghetti sauce on it and it’s unlikely to get hurt. That said, not every type of tile is going to be right for a modern kitchen. In fact most types of tile would look completely out of place, so what to use instead? Here are a couple different tiles to consider in order to complement your space.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is made of compressed clay dust that has been fired to extremely high temperatures making it extremely durable.  It is highly resistant to stains, scratches and chips. It also comes in a wide range of styles, many of which are perfect for modern kitchens.

Look for large format porcelain tile of at least 18-inches in size to make the most of the space with relatively few grout lines. Porcelain that is designed to look like metal, concrete and glass are all great choices for the modern kitchen because their clean lines and unique surface textures complement the space around them.

Quartzite

You’ve probably seen quartz and recycled glass countertops, but did you know you can get this same material in a tile? Many of these tiles have bold colors and complex textures that are perfect for use in a modern kitchen

Modern kitchens demand floors that can keep up with their low-maintenance, high-style needs. Consider these options for your modern kitchen to bring out the best in the space.

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Designing a Jack and Jill Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Jack and Jill bathrooms sit between two bedrooms and are meant to be shared by two occupants. This means that these shared bathrooms often have more design considerations than other spaces. They need to reflect the style of the two bedrooms on either side, and they need to be functional enough for two users. When designing the space, keep those points in mind to ensure a blended, usable space.

Bathroom Layout

Whenever possible in a Jack and Jill bathroom, it helps to ensure that both users have their own space. This helps cut down on clutter as well as arguments, and helps speed up time spent in the bathroom in the mornings. To that end, fitting in two sinks whenever possible is a good idea.

When laying out the bathroom, consider doing away with swinging doors and install pocket doors instead. The pocket doors will free up valuable floor space so you can fit in an extra sink or longer vanity cabinet.

If you have the room, you may also want to consider moving the toilet into a separate closet or room of its own to help facilitate use of the space.

Bathroom Materials

Jack and Jill bathrooms are primarily used by kids, so make sure that the materials you use are easily cleaned and cared for. Look for porcelain, ceramic, and glass floor and wall tiles that resist staining. Mosaics make a nice floor choice because the grout lines help the floors remain slip free, while the many patterns and colors available can help make the bathroom more fun for the kids.

Bathroom Colors

Whenever possible try to pick up colors from both bedrooms and tie them to the bathroom. If the colors work well together, use them both as accents by running a strip of color around the whole room at wainscot height. If they don’t work well together, try to find a third, coordinating color and make it the main color of the bathroom.

A Blended Room

The ultimate goal for a Jack and Jill bathroom is to blend the two styles and personalities of the users into one functional space. Take the time to consider the users in every decision to ensure a workable bathroom for all.

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Classic Mosaic Floor Tile Patterns

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile

If you’re designing a classic bathroom to mirror any era from Victorian to Art Deco, chances are you’ll end up considering a mosaic tile floor. Mosaics were used primarily as flooring in these older bathrooms simply because the floors weren’t even enough to support a larger tile without producing cracks. There are many different classic mosaic tile patterns available, each in a wide range of colors. Learn more about them to make a better decision for your bathroom flooring.

Basketweave Pattern

The basketweave pattern is one of the more decorative patterns, particularly when used with a very bright or colorful dot. The pattern is made up of rectangular tiles, often 1- by 2-inches in size with a very small 3/8-inch “dot” lined up with each of the four corners of the rectangles. The result makes it look as though the rectangles are weaving themselves in and out of the floor. The colors of this pattern can vary, but primarily the rectangle is white; the dot can be black, cobalt, white, or cream and still fit in with the classic design.

Oct-and-Dot

The oct-and-dot or octagon-and-dot pattern is made up of two sizes and colors of tile like the basketweave. A larger, often 2-inch octagon tile in white with a ½-inch or 5/8-inch dot in a contrasting color like black or cobalt. This pattern works the best when the white tile is matte in finish to make the polished dot stand out further.

Hexagon

Hexagon tile patterns come in many different forms. You have one size and shape of tile throughout the floor, but with the potential for many different color patterns. The floors can be a solid color such as white or black, they may be a checkerboard of white and black or they may have a flower pattern with a mixture of white or light background tile with a color tile forming circles on the floor. The hexagons can come in several sizes from ½-inch up to 3-inches in size.

Penny Tiles

The most fun option among the classic mosaics is the penny tile. Measuring about ½-inch in size, these perfectly round tiles come in a wide variety of colors and sometimes color blends. It isn’t uncommon to find these tiles in a bold cobalt or seafoam green to brighten up a bathroom floor.

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All about Travertine Floor Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Natural Stone

One more rustic-looking natural stone that gets a lot of use these days is travertine. There is also a lot of confusion amongst homeowners about travertine is and how to use it well. Like with any flooring material, the more you learn about it, the better suited you are to deciding if it’s right for your home.

Formed in Natural Springs

Chemically speaking, travertine is actually a limestone. This means that it is a sedimentary stone made up primarily of calcite. But while most limestone formed on shell reefs, travertine formed inside cooling hot springs.

When the mud of the hot springs began to cool, the remaining water vapor pushed its way up and out of the forming stone. This left behind hundreds of tiny channels behind in the rock. When travertine is cut into tile, the channels present themselves as holes in the surface of the material.

Filling Up the Holes

The many holes in travertine help to give it its naturally rustic appearance, but they also make the stone weaker than other types of limestone. Therefore, the holes need to be filled either with epoxy or grout to help strengthen the stone. This can be done at the factory for honed and polished stones, or at the time of installation for more rustic styles. Leaving a few holes uncovered will not damage the stone, but it could cause it to attract dirt and stains.

Chemically Limestone

Remember that travertine is limestone, so while it looks like a harder rock, it’s actually one of the softer stone tile options around. Rustic, tumbled travertine often hides scratches and stains fairly well because of its texture. Honed and polished varieties are very easily scratched and stained, however, so care should always be taken when using travertine in high traffic or wet areas.

Maintenance

To help protect the travertine from staining, it should be sealed with an impregnating, silicone-based sealer on a regular basis. This will help fill up any unseen holes and prevent the stone from absorbing moisture.

If you want a naturally rustic stone that will eventually patina and soften to a beautiful finish, consider travertine for your next installation.

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All about Onyx

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Product Education

As more exotic natural stones begin to gain in popularity for floors, walls, and countertop installations, many homeowners are beginning to give onyx a second look. This wild and translucent stone has some very unique characteristics that make it desirable in a number of situations.

Onyx Marble

Chemically speaking onyx is actually a type of marble, a metamorphic stone made up primarily of calcite. Therefore you may find some crossover in how the onyx is labeled, either as onyx or onyx marble, and in the case of some stones such as Alba Chiara, the onyx may be labeled simply as marble.

Translucent Nature

One of the things that make onyx so unique is the fact that it is completely translucent. If you hold a piece to the light, you can see shadows and shapes right through it. Therefore, onyx is often installed as counters and columns that can be backlit for a modern and dramatic presentation.

Even when it is being installed in non-lit area, the translucency of onyx needs to be considered. Because the stone is so fragile, it is often reinforced with a fiberglass backing that may be seen through the stone. Additionally, any color other than white mortar may show through the onyx, dulling its color. Ridges dragged through the mortar may also be seen through the onyx if they are not smoothed out as part of the installation process.

Wild Variation

The other thing that makes onyx so unique and desirable is its incredibly wild color variation. Onyx can differ tremendously from piece to piece and even within one piece. Some onyx, such as Honey Onyx, merely displays its variation as different shades of the same color possibly mixed with white. Rainbow Onyx, or Red Multicolor Onyx, however may show several unusual colors within one piece. This can be challenging to blend during installation and a dry layout is recommended. Homeowners purchasing the stone should ask to see pictures of several pieces within one lot to get a good idea of the kind of variation they can expect so as not to be taken by surprise with the final installation. 

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How to decorate with books

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

If you’re a book lover you know how challenging it is sometimes to find a place in your home for the many books that you’ve collected over the years. Sure, standard book shelves work quite well. However, they only hold so much, and a bookshelf isn’t the most innovative way to showcase your book collection.  Even if you only own a few books, there are many interesting ways to not only display you books, but also use them for practical purposes. Here are several ideas!

If you are using a book shelf:

  • Rather than lining them all up in a perfect row, stack them both horizontally and vertically. Horizontal stacks create visual interest and break up the monotony of endless rows.
  • Display those that have fantastic covers. Face them outward. You can do this in the middle or at the end of rows. You can place them on a small stack of horizontal books. Or, you can reserve one whole shelf for them and display a tier of covers.
  • Buy fabulous book-ends and fill only 2/3 of the shelf with books so that the book-ends can clearly be seen and appreciated.
  • Purchase a display stand intended for collectible plates and showcase just a few books on the shelves

If you are not using a book shelf:

  • Stack larger books in a pile high enough to use as an end/side table. It works well to lay a small, flat piece on top – such as heavy wood or glass.
  • Buy decorative plate hangers and use them to mount the books to the wall
  • Buy a rack intended to hold recipe magazines in the kitchen, and instead display one of your books open to a favorite page.
  • Attach large gauge wire to the wall by securing it at each end, then hang the books spine up, with the wire set in the center

If you are okay with deconstructing some books:

  • Cut out your favorite pages and images and frame them
  • Cut out your favorite pages and images and create a collage and frame it.
  • Cut our your favorite pages and glue them to the back panel, inside your bookshelf, to create a wallpaper affect as a backdrop to the intact books sitting on the shelves.

See, displaying and storing books beautifully is a cinch!