by Judith Berzof
These mirrors have a wrought-iron border that matches the base of tall accent lamps.
Interior designer Lauren Thieneman, of L-T Designs, teamed the mirror with a glass-topped table that has a silver metal finish for a transitional decor style.
This grouping was in the Rock Springs home of builder Clifford Thieneman.
Jay ends up tailless after encounter with cats
By Joan Morris
We have three cats that now run our household. My side yard and backyard are enclosed with wrought-iron fences that I have strung with rabbit wire. We have been pretty successful in confining the cats to the house and backyard. On the few occasions when one has managed to get out I have always found him or her trying to get back in the yard.
I have a bird feeder that hangs by a shepherd’s hook so that any seed that drops to the ground falls outside the fenced in area. However the wind does blow some into the area.
About two months ago I was sitting in the living room with the large cat in my lap when he suddenly jumped down and ran toward the dining area. I followed and found the two siblings on the window sill with a large young adult jay between them. I managed to extricate the bird, which appeared uninjured except that it had no tail feathers.
I carried it to the back fence and when I released it, it exploded out of my hands like a shot and flew off into a neighboring tree, scolding all the way. As I walked back to the house I found a neat pile of 12 jay tail feathers, each is 6 inches long, lying on lawn.
I didn’t see any jays in the yard for a couple of days and then they returned, including the tailless bird. I saw the jay for a couple of weeks several times a day and then he disappeared and I haven’t seen him since.
The center of a ger
By Cooper Baltis
Life in a Mongolian ger revolves around a wrought iron stove. It’s the original central heating that doubles as a device in which everything is cooked, boiled, steamed, fried, simmered and cleaned. It is invariably rusty, stained from daily usage and inlayed with endless knot regalia. It is crucial and strikingly useful. It is the center of the ger and the single most used item in the countryside.
Mongolian women spend most of their day around the stove. They begin their mornings by boiling water. Once the water is boiled, milk and tea is added to the boiling pot. A large ladle hanging from a chord near the stove is used to mix the milk and water together. A pinch of salt is mixed into the pot and an old saucepan is used to strain the milk tea into a pot. The nozzle of the tea pot is used to transfer the milk tea into a large thermos. The thermos is generally a bright color, the front of which is decorated by a floral pattern.
The thermos of milk tea is brought to a small table close to the back of the ger. It is set on the table next to a plastic bowl filled with bootsog, a fried pastry cut into small squares. The man of the ger enters and sits down on a stool next to the table. He greets his wife and daughters with a nod. His hands are muddy and slightly bloody from pulling a large thorn out of the hooves of one of his sheep. He reaches for the milk tea and pours it into a bowl. He finishes the tea quickly. Ochre finger prints remain on the white bowl. He takes one bootsog, puts it in the front pocket of his shirt, and leaves the ger.
The oldest daughter takes the pot used to boil the milk tea outside the ger. She uses an old rag to clean the milky residue off the side of the pot. She finishes and scoops water out of a plastic container into the pot. The pot is brought back into the ger and set on the stove. The middle daughter adds small chunks of wood into the stove. She blows air inside the stove using a hollow rod and listens for the crackling sound of the embers. While all this happens, the mother sits on her bed, combing the hair of the youngest daughter.
The water begins to boil on the stove. The oldest daughter pours most of the hot water into a metal wash bin. With the help of her sister, she carries the wash bin outside. The middle sister returns to the ger and grabs a sack of clothing out of a plastic bucket.
The mother sets her youngest daughter on the bed and picks up two small orange stools. She turns one of the stools upside down near the stove. She takes the pot full of water off the stove and balances it between the legs of the overturned stool. The mother sits on the other stool and starts using the hot water to wash dishes. The youngest daughter wanders outside to find her sisters.
She finds her sisters sitting around the wash bin on their heels. Soap suds splash out of the bin. The oldest sister scrubs a pair of jeans with her bare knuckles. The middle sister reaches for the youngest and tickles her. The youngest protests and runs back into the ger.
to be continued
Misfired metaphor of the week:
The writer cannot have meant that. Incidentally, how did cast iron become a byword for infrangibility when it is actually quite brittle?
Cast-iron piano frames can be smashed with sledgehammers. I suppose people assume that a material that is hard must be tough as well.
In fact, wrought iron is tougher.
Eco-friendly wallpapers for your home
by IPSHITA MITRA
Conservation of environment reads like a fashion statement these days or so it seems. We celebrate the Earth Hour one Saturday every year to let ourselves believe we have done our duty toward saving the planet. We definitely need to be a little more involved in the environment saving project.
Charity begins at home they say, so why not decorate our homes in a way that does not threaten but protect the ecological system from collapsing? By simply choosing the right fabric, non-toxic paints and other decor articles that are eco-friendly and encourage use of recycled materials, we can make a difference by going organic in home decor.
Interior designer Meenakshi Agrawal tells us how to design our homes while keeping our eco-consciousness intact. She gives out useful tips on selecting wooden furnishing, wallpapers, flooring and centrepieces for an overall classy home decor while promoting the mantra of going green as well. She talks to us about a unique eco-friendly wall decor concept, ‘DecorCoat’ that she with her partner has introduced in the market as a viable alternative to paints and wallpapers for home renovation.
There are diverse options when it comes to choosing wallpapers. Designs like classic retro prints, metallic geometrics, botanical prints and those that mimic the look of natural landscapes are among the popular trends this season, informs our expert. When asked how DecorCoat is different from and advantageous than ordinary wall decor methods, Meenakshi explains, “Normal wallpapers have VOC i.e. Volatile Organic Compounds. These are chemicals that we smell when wallpapers are applied; it adds to the indoor air pollution and directly affects our health. Organic wall decor on the other hand is low on VOC. These are made up of grass cloth and cotton fiber that do not have a negative impact on the environment. DecorCoat is a substitute of wallpapers made up of cotton cellulose, paper products, cotton thread and other recycled materials. This is later processed by techniques of Canadian technology.
In the choice of wood, Meenakshi recommends bamboo-based furniture. She explains, “Bamboo is not only an organic product, it is strong, firm and stays durable for years. Termite-free and suited to all kinds of climate/weather conditions; it is also easy on the pocket vis-a-vis other expensive options in wooden decor.” Wrought iron is another pick that adds elegance to an ordinary home setup. You do not need to hassle about chipping; fading or scratching with wrought iron furniture. It is competent in withstanding harsh weather changes.
Affordability issues are further solved when you decide to incorporate creative Paper Mache, cane-baskets and terracotta cushion covers stitched in heavy embroidery and thread work to your living space. Speaking about the sustainability of eco-friendly decor items, Meenakshi convinces, “The maintenance cost with eco-friendly options is far less than the initial cost put in by the client. The durability extends sometimes beyond four-five years.”
Synthetic products not only demand huge sum of money, the toxicity in them pollute the home’s atmosphere. Add green plants within the premise of your balcony, set up a small garden if you take to planting and you’ll see what blessing that is to the environment.
Eco-friendly wallpapers are extremely easy to maintain and safe for children too. Toxic fumes that arise from paints can have harmful affects. DecorCoat for instance is a three-dimensional textured decorative material for interior walls and form a protective layer as a base that is completely odourless. It is an integration of technology, aesthetics and natural properties product. These wallpapers are anti-mold and anti-fungal and therefore can easily stand the unpredictable monsoon months. With a touch of varnish, these wallpapers retain the polished finish and glaze for years.