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RE: New and I have made a terrible mistake. (Follow-Up #48)

posted by: sissyz on 01.10.2011 at 03:02 pm in Home Decorating Forum

What an awesome experience this has been for me!!!
I have finished painting my bath: Benjamin Moore Chocolate Mousse!! So incredible!! Warm, clean, and FABULOUS!!
Some things I learned:
I am really good @ wall finishing! I got carried away, because now I see so many flaws in the walls. I could've done new compound on all those walls!!
My trim is in bad shape. It is wood, stained, and this stuff needs better upkeep in the bathroom!! I have been sanding it, and am trying "wipe on poly". (I can't even believe I'm saying that!!)
The frog tape is way better than the blue tape. I taped the baseboards and taped the ceiling. (I'm not good at the lines, but I am not sweating it.)
I need new towels!!
Now, my pictures are lying on the ground where they are supposed to go. I don't want to put any holes in my new walls!!!
Pictures are to follow, I'm uploading now!!


clipped on: 01.10.2011 at 09:10 pm    last updated on: 01.10.2011 at 09:11 pm

RE: Agave equivalent? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: grainlady on 01.08.2011 at 02:10 pm in Cooking Forum

ovenbird -

It's not agave nectar or sweetener related, but you may like this recipe for a low-carb, gluten-free, pizza crust.

I have a friend who is diabetic and very carb sensitive and I have been trying to find recipes for her, and we actually love this little recipe. I found it on-line. You'll never know it's not made with flour. -Grainlady

Low-Carb Pork Rind Pizza Crust

Yield: One 8-inch crust.

1/4 c. ground pork rinds
1/4 c. canned (dry) Parmesan Cheese (I've also used Parmesan/Romano blend)
1 egg
Italian or Pizza Seasonings (to taste)
2 T. high-maize resistant starch (optional)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Mix dry ingredients; add egg and mix well. Place dough on a prepared pan (greased or sprayed with vegetable spray). You can use an 8-inch pizza pan or a pie pan. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and press the dough into place, building up at the outside edge of the pan. S-L-O-W-L-Y peel the plastic wrap off the dough. Bake for 10-minute, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and add toppings of choice; bake until cheese is melted and any other toppings are heated through.

You can also pat the dough into a loaf pan and bake until golden brown. Cut into "bread" sticks.

Grainlady note: I add hi-maize resistant starch for added fiber. I purchase it in 5-pounds bags from Honeyville Grain, but it's also available in 12-oz. amounts from King Arthur Flour (see link below). I use it a lot in baked goods as a substitute for some of the flour. You could also add flaxmeal in this recipe, for additional fiber.

For more information about resistant starch:

Hubby makes a Hot & Spicy recipe using Hot & Spicy Pork Rinds for his "FAMOUS" BBQ Meat Pizza. He puts a little bbq sauce on the top of the pizza instead of tomato-based sauce. Tops it with shredded meat (pork, chicken, beef) mixed with a little bbq sauce, any veggies you'd like, cheese-of-choice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hi-Maize Resistant Starch


clipped on: 01.10.2011 at 08:55 pm    last updated on: 01.10.2011 at 08:55 pm

RE: Your favorite Focaccia recipe (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: ann_t on 01.10.2011 at 05:17 pm in Cooking Forum

Steve, this is the recipe I use for Italian Bread/Focaccia.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Italian Bread
This recipe is also perfect for both Focaccia and Pizza.

Sometimes I make a Biga the night before using 1 1/2 cups of the flour used in this recipe with one cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon yeast. If you don't have time to make the biga then this the recipe works just fine as follows. This is a very wet dough and needs to be mixed in a machine for a long time before you can finish kneading by hand. I use a Magic Mill Machine. If you are using something like a kitchenaide you have to watch it carefully as it climbs up the beater or hook.

8 cups Bread flour
1 tablespoon Yeast
1-1/2 tablespoons Salt
About 4 cups of water
2 tablespoons olive oil. (optional)
. Mix flour yeast water and oil( Optional) (not salt) together for a minute and leave for 20 minutes for the water to be partially absorbed.
Add salt and mix for about 30 minutes until the dough comes together enough to be worked by hand. Continue kneading until smooth. Place in an large oiled bowl and rub olive oil on top, cover and let rise until more than doubled. Pour out on to surface and divide into the number of
loafs you require. Do not punch out the air. Shape into loafs, sprinkle tops with flour and leave to rise on a flour/cornmeal dusted surface.
Heat tile/stones in oven to 500 degrees while bread is rising. Slide loafs on to hot stone and spray with cold water, three times, three minutes apart. Lower heat to 450� and bake for about 30 minutes. (I can do two loafs at a time in the oven on a large stone).


To make Focaccia use some of the dough and place in a oil rubbed pan
(I use a rectangle shaped cake pan) Cover with plastic wrap and let rise. Using you fingers indent the focaccia and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with whatever toppings you prefer. Salt, Rosemary, Sauted or thinly sliced onions, black olives, etc....

Focaccia can be baked directly on heated pizza stone as well.

Works for Pizza too.


clipped on: 01.10.2011 at 08:52 pm    last updated on: 01.10.2011 at 08:53 pm

RE: Your favorite Focaccia recipe (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: lyndaluu2 on 01.10.2011 at 02:28 pm in Cooking Forum

Here's the recipe I use, not sure whom I obtained it from.

Foccacia Mix
Makes one 9x13 pan of Foccacia
1 package active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t. dried rosemary (fresh is better)
1 1/2 cups bread flour (I have used AP flour)
1/2 t. salt
Combine all in a bowl and blend with a wire whisk.
To make up a recipe:
Foccacia Mix
1/2 cup warm water
4 TB olive oil
Put the mix into a large ceramic or glass mixing bowl. Add the warm water and 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Blend the dough with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. If too dry, add water by the Tbsp full; if the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and rotate the dough to coat the surface with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, approximately one hour.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Punch the dough down on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 9x13" rectangle and place in the oiled 9x13" pan. Brush the surface of the dough with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle salt evenly over the dough surface. Bake 5 minutes. Pierce any air bubbles with a fork and bake about 8 minutes more. Remove from pan and cut into 3" squares. Serve warm with pesto.
You can put any topping on it you would like while baking. Herbs, cheeses, olives etc.



clipped on: 01.10.2011 at 08:50 pm    last updated on: 01.10.2011 at 08:51 pm

Emergency Preparedness

posted by: claire_de_luna on 07.24.2006 at 12:38 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

It's a long time after Katrina and all the lessons it had to give us, but I'm finally getting it together to make some Emergency plans. I found some (bright orange) rolling backpacks and am filling them now. Besides the usual stuff like clothes, flashlights, batteries,first aid, etc., I've included a hand-crank radio, and a deck of cards. There's a first tier list of what to grab like medications, food, pet supplies, water and cash; plus a second tier list of comforts/heirlooms to grab if there's time.

We copied all the important papers yesterday, one for each pack in case we'd lose one. The decision was not to include any social security numbers, but we copied our drivers licenses, since it seems like losing those could be problematic. Besides insurance policies, birth certificates, house and car stuff, I'm putting a contact sheet of all phone numbers (family, insurance, financial) on top of the packet and am going to vacuum seal the whole shebang so water won't be an issue. My calendar has a notation for twice a year, so I can go through these and update them (meds, clothes, etc.) on a regular basis. As much as I've thought about this and considering how much time I've invested, I'd hate to have to pull it together at the last minute!

I know we talked about this right after Katrina, but I've slept since then. What am I forgetting?

Do you have a plan in place?


clipped on: 09.23.2008 at 09:59 pm    last updated on: 09.23.2008 at 09:59 pm

RE: sticky chicken recipe? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Mary (Guest) on 06.06.2001 at 09:51 pm in Once-a-Week Cooking Forum


I'm new here too, this is my first night on, and wasn't sure exactly what you were looking for, but I have a recipe for sticky chicken wings. These are great for snacking and when company comes.

5 pounds of chicken wings
4 cups of sugar
2 cups of soy sauce
5 tablespoons garlic powder

Combine the sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add the chicken wings and toss until covered. Put in the fridge and let them marinate overnight (24 hours if you can). Toss them occasionaly while they are marinating.

Bake in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Now, I use a disposable baking sheet because the marinade carmalizes. These are really yummy. Hope you enjoy them.



clipped on: 04.28.2008 at 10:50 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2008 at 10:50 pm

RE: Favorite family recipe? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: Anne (Guest) on 04.07.2001 at 11:26 pm in Once-a-Week Cooking Forum

This is a recipe that my family literally will fight over. It makes a delicious gravy (what they fight over) and absolutely nothing to making it.I double the recipe and there is still none left at the end of the meal.

No Peek Casserole

2 lbs stew meat ( i use 3 lbs)
1 can Campbell's Chicken Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Gingerale
1 pkg Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 4 oz jar mushrooms, drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 300. Comebine ALL ingredients (DO NOT brown meat and DO NOT dilute soup with water) together. Mix well. It will be lumpy before it's cooked. Pour into a casserole dish and cover. Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours. DON't PEEK!! Serve over pasta, rice or mashed potatoe's. The smell as it's cooking is WONDERFUL


clipped on: 04.28.2008 at 10:49 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2008 at 10:49 pm

RE: Favorite family recipe? (Follow-Up #108)

posted by: aaressler on 05.23.2007 at 11:19 am in Once-a-Week Cooking Forum

This has become a favorite of everyone in my family. It is so good. If you have never tried this recipe, you need to. It is easy to prepare, and even though it has to bake for a long time, it is well worth it. It is so flavorful, tender and juicy. Absolutely DELICIOUS!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Mimi's Sticky Chicken

Recipe By :Mimi's Hiller, Mimi's Cyber-Kitchen
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Chicken

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large roasting chicken
1 cup onion -- chopped

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices. Remove giblets from chicken; clean the cavity well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly
distributed and down deep into the skin. Place in a resealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight. When ready to roast the chicken, stuff the cavity with onion, and place in a shallow baking pan. Roast, uncovered, at 250 for 5 hours (yes, 250 for 5 hours). After the first hour, baste chicken occasionally (every half hour
or so) with pan juices. The pan juices will start to carmelize on the bottom of pan and the chicken will turn golden brown. If the chicken contains a pop-up thermometer, ignore it. Let chicken rest about 10
minutes before carving.


clipped on: 04.28.2008 at 10:48 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2008 at 10:48 pm

RE: Today is the day I've been dreading for years! (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: reno_fan on 10.24.2007 at 05:34 pm in Home Decorating Forum

We're giving this to our son when he STARTS driver's ed in a few months. We want him to be very familiar with it by the time he reaches driving age! We'll likely customize to fit our needs, but it'll follow this basic outline.

Driving Agreement

General Principles

The new driver must initial each point to show it is read and understood it:

____ Permission to drive is not a legal right. Getting a license from the State is not the same as having permission to drive, which is granted to me by my parents, who are under no obligation to do so, and who may withdraw the privilege at any time. I understand that I will only be allowed to drive when I abide by the rules and regulations established by my parents.

I know that driving a car is an extremely serious matter.

____ Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death of people 16-20 years old.
____ I am more likely to die in an auto accident than from any other cause.
____ Recklessness or errors that I make while driving could kill or hurt me, kill or hurt people in the car I drive, and people in other cars. I can make mistakes that will kill or hurt pedestrians and people on bicycles. Among those that could be victims of my driving mistakes are: Babies, children, my friends, my family members, and many others.
____ I will abide by laws regulating driving. I will observe and abide by posted speed limits. I will abide by rules established by my parents. I recognize these are for my protection and the protection of others.
____ I understand that the car I drive is property of my parents. Even a car that is a "gift" to me is still, legally, the property of my parents. Even if I pay for it, or part of it, it belongs, legally, to my parents. I drive the car only with permission.
____ I understand that the terms of this driving agreement may be changed based on how I handle the freedom and responsibility of driving. The rules will get stricter if my parents feel that I am not doing well. It will get somewhat less strict if my parents agree that I am doing well.
____I must study and be aware of the terms of this contract. "Forgetting" any part of the contract is not an excuse.


_____If my parents deny me permission to drive, for whatever reason, I will abide by this and give them my keys immediately with no argument. I may ask to meet with my parent(s) no earlier than 24 hours later to talk about it. Refusal to immediately surrender keys will result in the car being immobilized. This will be done with a steering wheel lock or some other method. NO EXCEPTIONS. If my parents immobilize the car I drive because I did not obey the above rule, two to four weeks will pass, at my parents choice, before any discussion will occur about driving again. Another incident of failure to surrender keys on demand will lead to indefinite suspension of driving privileges.
_____If I drive in defiance of my parents order not to drive, this contract is cancelled and no driving will be permitted for at least one year.
_____If I drive in defiance of my parents order not to drive, my parents may call the police.

RULES-Category A

These rules, if violated, will lead to indefinite suspension of driving privileges. This is the most serious set of rules. I understand that I may lose my driving privileges indefinitely if any one of these is violated even once.

1. Alcohol/drug use not allowed. Even though some teenagers drink, as a minor, it is illegal for me to drink alcohol. I understand that my parents do not permit me to drink. However, if I do drink, I will not drive for 24 hours after my last use of alcohol in ANY amount.
No drug use/abuse. I will not drive for 72 hours after my last use of any "substance." In this agreement, "substance" means any drug or chemical (including but not limited to marijuana, pills, inhalants, and other drugs) which would be expected by my parents to alter my ability to drive. There is no acceptable amount of any substance of this kind. If I use any drugs, I will not drive for 72 hours. This rule may include medications prescribed to me or over-the-counter medications. In the cases of legal medications, I will inform my parents of any such medications I have taken so that they can judge whether taking these medications will interfere with my driving ability. Furthermore:

a. No riding with others who have used alcohol or drugs. I will not ride as a passenger with any driver who has used alcohol or any substance as defined above. I will not ride with any one who it would be reasonable to think may have used alcohol or drugs.

b. Alternatives to riding with others who have used alcohol or drugs. If I find myself in a situation as described above, I will contact my parents or another designated adult to arrange for transportation. I understand that my parents will appreciate that behavior and will make every effort to avoid asking me a lot of questions about it.

c. No alcohol or drugs in car. I will not allow alcohol or illegal drugs in the car. This includes over the counter medications (cough medicines, etc.) when I have reason to believe someone has them in their possession for purposes of abuse. My parents will hold me responsible for any alcohol or drugs in the car, even if they dont belong to me or it is the fault of someone riding in my car.

2. No thrill-seeking/stunts. I will not engage in any thrill-seeking behavior while driving. I will not drive for recreation. Driving too fast, racing of all kinds, and any kind of "stunt" involving a car is NOT ALLOWED. Driving is for transportation ONLY.

3. Informing parents about accidents & police encounters. I will inform my parents about any and all tickets, accidents, and encounters with police (including warnings.)

4. No firearms or other weapons. I will not drive with any guns or other deadly weapons in the vehicle. I will not ride in a car that contains firearms or other weapons. I will not ride with any person carrying guns or other weapons.

RULES-Category B

Violations will lead to suspension of driving privileges for up to three months.

1. Permission to Drive. I must ask permission to drive each time I drive. Exceptions to this rule will be given for regularly scheduled transportation to school, work, regular meetings, etc. I will ask permission to drive to specific locations and will discuss the route planned. I will be certain that my parents know where I am. I will not make unscheduled stops or side trips.

2. Curfew. I may not drive after 10:00 p.m. This curfew will be reviewed and possibly revised when I meet with my parents on___________________(scheduled date to revise contract).

3. Limit on passengers. During the first month of driving, I will not be allowed to have any passengers. I may ask permission for specific exceptions. This will be adjusted, if things go well, when we revise the contract. I will, however, continue to have limits on passengers.

4. Off-Limit Areas. I will not drive on streets, highways, or in areas that are designated as off-limits. I understand that greater flexibility will come as I gain experience and show that I am honoring the agreement. For the time being, the following roads and areas are to be avoided:

5. No one else drives vehicle. I will not permit any other person to drive the car without my parents specific permission for each specific case.


Violations may lead to suspension of driving privileges for up to six weeks.

1. Weather/road conditions. I will respect weather and road conditions, slowing down as needed for safety. I will contact my parents to discuss weather or poor road conditions when I am out driving.

2. Emotional upset. Knowing that judgment and driving skills are altered by emotions, I will not drive when I am upset or angry. If upset, I will contact my parents for transportation and I reserve the right to maintain my privacy regarding personal matters. My parents agree not to ask a lot of unnecessary questions.

3. Taking care of vehicle. It is my responsibility to protect the car I drive. I will keep it reasonably clean and maintained. I have some specific responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the car as noted below:

4. Passenger behavior. I will not allow my passengers to behave in such a way as to damage the car or distract me while driving.

5. Seatbelts. I will wear my seatbelt at all times and require all passengers to wear them.

6. Friends ride only with their parents permission. When transporting my friends, I will be reasonably sure that they have their parents' permission to ride with me.

7. Thank You For Not Smoking. I will not allow smoking in the car. I will not smoke in the car.

8. No eating & driving. I will not eat while driving.

9. Car audio system. For the first month I drive, I will not have the car stereo on. After the first two months, after clearing this with my parents, I will be allowed to have the stereo on but will make no adjustments to it other than changing the volume while driving. Under no circumstances will I change a CD while driving. I will change these only when stopped or pulled over.

10. Other electronics. I will not use cell phones, MP3 players, or any other electronic device while driving. I will pull over for operation of cell phones and electronic equipment.

11. No rushing. Accidents are more likely to happen when I rush. I am more likely to rush when I leave late. Therefore, my parents reserve the right to not allow me to drive unless I leave by a time they specify. For example, if my parents tell me that I must allow 20 minutes to get to something that starts at 7:00, I may not leave later than that. In such cases, my parents will attempt to provide alternative transportation, to whatever extent possible.

12. Attention to Driving. I will not do things while driving that distracts me from the road. No applying makeup, getting things in and out of a purse or back-pack, etc.


1. Tickets and moving violations will result in suspension of my driving privileges for a period to be determined by my parents. My parents have no obligation to pay my fines for driving-related tickets.

2. Financial. I will make certain financial contributions to the purchase of the car, maintenance of the car, and/or insurance. My contributions are currently as follows.

3. Family obligations. I agree to provide transportation to family members at the directive of my parents. Fulfilling these obligations is a condition of my use of a car. Sometimes these responsibilities will override my own desires and interests in using the car.

4. General life responsibilities. I agree that I must be responsible to drive safely and that my parents must believe I am relatively responsible in order to allow me to drive. They may, therefore, take into account how I handle my general responsibilities, including schoolwork, employment, household duties. I will also maintain a respectful attitude. I will not ask my parents to allow me to drive when I am rude and disrespectful to them or to others.

5. Right to clear expectations. My parents have a right to expect me to be responsible. I have a right to be told what this means. For this reason, I may ask my parents for clarification of their requirement that I "be responsible."

6. Changes in this agreement. I understand that this contract will be made more strict at any time my parents believe that is the best thing to do. I understand that if I consistently abide by these rules that my parents will work with me to make the contract less strict as I gain experience. However, I understand that--bottom line--it is my parents' choice and responsibility to change or not change the contract. We will review this agreement and perhaps make changes to it on ______________(date) or earlier if my parents or I wish to do so.

Summary: I agree to abide by the rules in this contract and I accept the consequences and penalties if I do not. I recognize my parents' authority in deciding if I may drive. That authority is final until I am an adult living independent of my parents.


DRIVER_________________________________ _________________ (date)
PARENT(s)/Guardian(s) ___________________ _________________ (date)

Here is a link that might be useful: Driving contract


clipped on: 04.26.2008 at 10:12 pm    last updated on: 04.26.2008 at 10:12 pm

RE: Cyanuric Acid fiasco? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: tresw on 04.25.2008 at 04:38 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

Definitely go with a drop based test, the strips are unreliable for sure (except for the salt strips). I use the TF 100 kit as recommended on the TroubleFreePool forums (link below).

There's a lot of great info on testing in this thread:

Apparently with an SWG you should be keeping your CYA in the 60-80 range, higher than a non-SWG pool. So you're not too far out of range.

There is a chart in this thread that shows an estimate of what FC levels you should shoot for with a given CYA level:

If you're still unsure about what you should do, you might post over there. There's a guy there that goes by "chemgeek" that really knows this stuff inside-out!

Here is a link that might be useful:


clipped on: 04.26.2008 at 11:11 am    last updated on: 04.26.2008 at 11:12 am

After-market soft close for doors

posted by: inkycrab on 04.21.2008 at 11:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

Has anyone installed any after-market soft closes for doors? I found a few diff. kinds. See the link for one that caught my eye and requires no real installation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soft close for doors


clipped on: 04.21.2008 at 11:23 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2008 at 11:23 pm

RE: Spring pics - river rock fountain - OT (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: hoyamom on 04.20.2008 at 01:44 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Fairy- The name of the flowers are creeping phlox and they are perennials. We bought them 2 years ago and they are sure growing!! I have to keep cutting them back. After they bloom (until mid-May) they are green and stay green (green/brown in the winter). It's a nice border plant.

We had the river rock fountain in the front yard but it was too small so we moved it to the back and bought a taller one of the same type for the front. With the new one, DH buried the black "tub" and put a grate on top and black river rock so it looks like the water is going into the ground - really cool. I will take a picture of the one in the front but it is raining (hard) today. We bought both fountains from a place in Fairfax called Merrifield Gardens. They have a bunch of different sizes.

Here are some pictures of the transition. We like to sit out on the patio and we wanted a fountain so we bought this little one with the ball on top. Well, you can see what happened - it was overtaken by the plants. The first pic is of the purple sage that over took it and then the daisies were next - they come later in the summer. We'll see how it goes this summer now that the bigger fountain is in there and I have pulled up a lot of those daisies.




clipped on: 04.20.2008 at 08:16 pm    last updated on: 04.20.2008 at 08:16 pm

RE: Try_Hard's granite layout experience (lots of PICS) (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: try_hard on 02.27.2008 at 10:12 pm in Kitchens Forum


The island cabinet is 36-1/4" by 106". The countertop that sits on top of it will be approx. 48-1/4" by 108". That gives us about a 12" overhang on the breakfast bar.

I don't have many pictures yet because the island was stained early last week and covered in plastic while the rest of the house was painted.

Here are the bookcase doors, open. The bookcase is at the nook end of the island:


This is a first draft sketch from the cabinetmaker with incorrect measurements but you can see what the front of the island looks like:


This is a hidden electrical outlet that will be on the front of the island. The electric hasn't been installed yet but you can see that you tilt out the cover to access it. This is so that I can use electric at the left end of the island if I need to. Since it won't be used often, I went with the hidden tilt out. There is also electric at the right end of the island.



The door under it is a false door - it doesn't open.

I don't really have much else that I can tell you about the island at this time. I hope to see it in person this weekend and take more pictures.



clipped on: 04.16.2008 at 09:45 am    last updated on: 04.16.2008 at 09:45 am

Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

posted by: boxers on 01.31.2006 at 01:33 pm in Flooring Forum

I've contributed to this forum for well over one year. I used to be a district manager for Armstrong Wood Products. We made and distributed Bruce, Hartco and Robbins. I see the same questions over and over again. What brand is best? is my favorite. You all need to realize that no one makes 100% of their own products these days. Mohawk doesn't own a sawmill, they buy wood from many sources. Bruce imports some and so do most other brands. Engineered wood comes as single plank or strips or as a 'plank' with 3 or 4 rows of 'wood' shown. In other words there are multiple varietys of 'engineered'. Wear layer is not that important. It would take a lot of 'walking' to walk thru the finish down to the wood. Prefinished wood can be recoated and won't need to be resanded. Solid isn't neccessarily better than engineered just because its thicker. Many of you seem to worry excessively about scratching, dogs etc. No one warrants against scratching etc. Your happiness will be based on finding a product that has some graining and character to help mask a problem. Laminate floors can not be refinished in any way. Laminate have a picture of wood and are not the same as engineered floors. If buying hardwood or carpet were as easy as saying buying x is the best we wouldn't be discussing all this. Education is hard but its possible to educate yourself. Best thing is to see a product installed and go with something you like. Aluminum oxide finishes are far more durable than site finished floors. This fact is from testing those products in a lab not from marketing BS. I wish I had some simple site for you to go and get your questions answered. Its a slow process I understand, but because someone posts a warning about some brand being good or bad means very little as each brand has multiple variations of the same product so it means little unless you have excactly the same. Everything has tradeoffs. What you are willing to accept may be different from the next person. I hope this helps somewhat.


clipped on: 04.11.2008 at 11:37 am    last updated on: 04.11.2008 at 11:37 am

Cabinets and granite or quartz?

posted by: rocky08 on 04.09.2008 at 06:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are making the final decision on our kitchen. I think we are going with Kraftmaid Maple w/Butter Rum glaze. I was all set for quartz countertops and leaning towards Brownhill from Cambria or Victoria. My husband saw the granite and really likes New Venetian Gold or Giallo Vitorio. I have never considered granite for fear of scratching and maintenance. Also, it has a glossier finish than the quartz. What do you guys think? Also, does anyone have pics of the Maple w/Butter Rum glaze cabinets? Thanks!


clipped on: 04.09.2008 at 10:18 pm    last updated on: 04.09.2008 at 10:18 pm

Finished - Before/After pictures (finally!)

posted by: mysterymachine on 03.01.2008 at 04:45 pm in Kitchens Forum


This one gives you a better idea of how tight it was in the actual kitchen - if the fridge was open and the oven was open at same time there wasn't enough room for a person between

The wall that was removed:

Sorry I couldn't find any pictures of the dining room "before" it was just a plain carpeted rectangular room.

Now for the good stuff.. the after!

I have to mention that many of the after pictures were taken by the GC's photographer and are copyrighted so cannot be used without permission (he said I had to say that before I posted the pics).

The dining table and chairs we had before. All the design was done by me with lots of help from gardenweb - especially on the layout (at first my DW didn't trust me to do it and wanted to hire a designer but I think I did really well) the exceptions are the acrylic in the dining room was designed by my GC and the cabinets in the dining I gave general layout to the cabinet folks but they did the finished design (kitchen cabs I did all the design/layout). I used google sketchup for all the design.

The structural changes were removing the dining wall and bumping back just the chunk of the wall behind the wall ovens a couple feet. I also added a pocket door into the opening from the TV room to the kitchen as well (the last of the "before" pictures is taken from where the pocket door was put in).

There are so many details I could spend an hour typing them and still leave something out - so instead if you have any questions ask and I will respond :) One thing not noticeable in the pics is the cupboard on the right in the dining cabs is actually a beverage fridge. There is pullout trash+recycle in both the kitchen and dining.

And people always ask about the diswasher, yes its an 18" dishwasher, and they always ask why I went for a small one - becuase its the only way I could get the layout I wanted with the dishwasher to the left of the sink and where I could unload the whole dishwasher without moving my feet. The efficiency in loading/unloading more than makes up for the extra loads I have to run. Its a Miele with the silverware tray and I would estimate I only lose about 20% capacity compared to my old dishwasher.

The backsplash was done by my brother, its completely custom cut (as in he had a pile of leftover slab of rock from some other jobs of his and he cut all the peices to the exact size so it would be 2 tiles high on point). I bought the fossils on ebay over a 3 month period or so.

What's sad is the granite is the highlight of the kitchen and none of these pictures show it well. If you look close on the 3rd picture there you can see that it has black streaks and the picture with the sink you can see dark streaks there as well (in that area the streaks are dark grey)

Any questions? :)


clipped on: 04.07.2008 at 10:01 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2008 at 10:01 pm

Discount High-End Appliances

posted by: jebber on 12.12.2007 at 08:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here is a report on
Everything was received (one small trim piece bent). We saved lots on >$22,000 in kitchen appliances (Viking, Subzero, Dacor, Scotsman, etc.). By the way, company is in Brooklyn - items where shipped to Texas.


clipped on: 12.12.2007 at 11:43 pm    last updated on: 12.12.2007 at 11:43 pm

RE: Peeled Wallpaper, now have messy walls (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: brushworks on 10.24.2007 at 08:51 pm in Home Repair Forum

GARDZ. Let me repeat that. GARDZ is the sealer to use prior to skim coating and also after skim coat is sanded smooth. GARDZ locks down the paper, seals it against bubbling, etc.


Here is a link that might be useful: GARDZ


clipped on: 10.26.2007 at 11:53 pm    last updated on: 10.26.2007 at 11:53 pm