Posts by Quentin Cook

Mason Jars: How to Implement This Cheap Storage Solution in Your Home

A very cheap storage solution that is easily overlooked are mason jars. As long as you can organize them properly, you can use mason jars as storage in every room of your house, for almost any item that fits them.

Kitchen storage

The cheapest kitchen storage you can find is mason jars. You can put anything in them, from pasta to sauces, from rice to beans, from spices to dried herbs and teas ready to be used.

You can put them on shelves or in cupboards, or you can make them be proper jars by painting the lids and gluing glass knobs to the lid. If you put the jars on shelves, make sure to put a lip at the edge of the shelf so they don’t fall off.

A metal clothing drawer will serve as both storage for your jars, and for your pots if you want to hang them up with S-hooks. Just make sure to paint it to match your kitchen so it doesn’t look out of place.

Living room & study

If you’re out of storage space in your study, you can use painted mason jars. Paint the jar with two coats of a metallic or mirror paint on the inside, so the paint doesn’t get chipped once you start using it. Then add a knob as explained before, and paint it as well. This will give you some precious-looking storage for bits and bobs from your living room and study, such as guests’ cookies, pens and other office supplies, or maybe craft items if you’re into that.

You can add these on your walls with a spare piece of wood and some pipe clamps. Screw the board to the wall, then as many pipe clams as mason jars you need on the board. Put the jars under the pipe clamp so it holds them from the middle. Then, tighten it until it’s very tight and the jars feel secure.

You can glue them bottom to the wall in a pyramid pattern to have a modern circular storage space to store pens, pencils, art supplies, or even makeup!


You can use the same methods as you did in the kitchen or living room. A mason jar painted with matte paint to match the tiles or a metallic paint to match the fixtures will look very chic. You can use it to store makeup or toothbrushes. You can either affix them with the plank method above (but not on the tiles, because you may shatter them; just on the wall), or you can put them on the shelves you already have for more organization.

Mason jars can be used in a thousand ways as cheap storage containers with a little patience and a lot of creativity.


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Garden Pot Craft For Your Terrific Toddler

Before the summer ends and it gets too cold to spend time outside, make the most of some craft time outdoors with your toddler. Here is an easy craft using garden pots that you can do with your little one. You do not need to buy expensive garden pots because once they are decorated, they will look as good as anything that you can buy in a store. They will also be perfect for using when spring planting rolls around.

Geranium Pots

Geranium pots let your child enjoy the sensory fun of painting with sponges. To do this craft you need:

  • Terracotta garden pots
  • Two sponges – a soft natural sponge works well
  • Acrylic paint colours of your choice. Be sure to include green paint for the shrubbery
  • Spray on sealer

The garden pots can be purchased at your local garden centre (or a store like Wentworth Falls Pots), while the paints and sponges can be purchased at any craft shop.

When you are ready to begin, head outside onto the deck and spread out some newspaper or a vinyl tablecloth so that you can protect the deck from painting mishaps. Next:

  1. Put a dab of each of the paint colours onto a paper plate so that your toddler is not having to squeeze the paint bottles.
  2. Choose the main colour that you want the geranium flower to be and dip the sponge into this colour. Helpful hint: if your toddler puts too much paint onto the sponge, dab it a couple of times onto a paper towel before you place it against the pot. Overly wet blobs of paint may run, and will also dry badly.
  3. Dab the sponge onto different parts of the garden pot. Make sure that no two blobs are too close together. This main colour represents the geranium flower.
  4. Next, use a new sponge to dab green blotches on each side of the main colour. This represents the leaves of the geranium.
  5. Allow the pots to dry for 24 hours before you spray them with a clear coat of sealant. This will protect the pots from the weather if you plan to use them outside.

Whether you choose to keep these for yourself, or give them away to other family members as a gift, geranium pots are pretty and easy to make. To make the complete gift package, plant a geranium inside the pot before you give it away. Not only will you have some fun in the sun with your little one, but you can enhance the garden one pot at a time.

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Benefits Of Installing Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding doors are commonly installed in homes to provide access to the patio or the backyard. The design is quickly gaining popularity over the conventional hinged doors because of the benefits attached to installation. If you are considering making some changes in your home, here are some reasons why you should choose sliding glass doors.

Easy Access

The sliding mechanism on the track or rail offers quick and simple access through the doors. This is an ideal feature when entertaining because the guests can move without restrictions. Unlike hinged doors, there is no extra space required for the sliding alternative to open all the way. This ensures that space in the home is utilised optimally and that there is no risk of accidents such as people getting hit by swinging doors. Whether the glass door opens into a pocket or it is a bi-fold sliding alternative, the typical size of the opening is wide. This is expedient when large items are being moved in or out of the house, especially when they cannot be disassembled.


Sliding doors are available in a variety of colours and designs. The general style is simple, elegant and classic but there are different models which can suit individual preference and taste. In addition, these glass doors are installed to bring the outdoor experience into the living space. This is a trendy style that aims to enhance the interior décor at no extra cost. The choice is not only restricted to homeowners that have gardens or with a view of the ocean. The city lights or a charming neighbourhood can also enhance the visual impact that you will experience. If you so desire, you can also leave the door open when the weather is fair so that you will immerse your home fully in outdoor living.

Energy Efficiency

Sliding glass doors are typically very energy efficient due to the glazing procedures carried out during the production process. While glass is typically a poor insulator, the impact of glazing is significant and contributes towards a greener home and making savings. The high thermal performance reduces the demands made on the cooling and heating systems. You can choose the best degree of glazing for your home depending on your budget and the surrounding environment. The most popular doors are double-glazed because they offer optimal performance.

Consider purchasing quality sliding glass doors to enjoy the functionality, appeal, energy efficiency and durability of the products. For more information, contact a company like Harvest Timber Product.

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Basic Hydroponic Systems for Beginners

It is important to understand the basic hydroponic systems so that you can identify the right supplies for your project. Over the years, improvements have been made to the practice to enhance efficiency as well as the quality and quantity of the produce. There are many types of systems and the choice will depend on the budget, preference and the skill level of the user. Consider these basic types of systems if you are interested in this plant production scheme.

Nutrient Film Technique

In theory, this is the most popular form of hydroponics. The system mainly consists of the grow tray with the plants and a reservoir that contains the water and nutrients required for healthy growth. In the reservoir, there is a pump that directs the nutrient solution into the grow tray continuously, which allows the plant roots to constantly be in contact with the material. There is a fitting that allows the solution to return to the reservoir making the system cyclic. There is also an air pump in the reservoir to keep the solution and the plants aerated. The greatest weakness in the NFT is the susceptibility to power outage as well as pump failure. The plants will be dry almost immediately without the nutrient solution supply.

Wick System

This is the simplest type of hydroponic schemes. It is a passive system where the plants in the growing tray are supplied with the nutrient solution via wicks. The uncomplicated nature of the system makes it necessary for the plants to have a growing medium such as pro-mix, coconut fiber and vermiculate. The main drawback of this plan is that the wick will be unable to supply sufficient nutrient solution if the plants have a large demand.

Flood and Drain

This system is often referred to as the ebb and flow. The reservoir containing the nutrient solution has a pump which is connected to the growth tray via a pipe. This feature acts as both the fill and drain fitting. The scheme works by a pumping action which floods the tray with the nutrient solution. After the plant roots have been sufficiently bathed in the solution, the solution is drained out to avoid suffocation and subsequent rotting. There is a timer used to control the action of the pump and an overflow fitting is used to prevent flooding beyond a certain level. Growing medium such as grow rocks, gravel or vermiculate are used and the main drawback is the vulnerability to power outage especially with fast-draining substrate.

Visit a hydroponics supply store (such as Epping Hydroponics) to get started on any of these systems today.

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Need Some Shades? Compare & Contrast Venetian & Roller Blinds

When it comes to window coverings, you have a lot of choices on the market, including blinds, shutters and curtains. If your heart is set on blinds, and you’re down to venetian blinds or roller blinds, here are some important things to know about these blinds so that you can decide which one best matches your needs.


Venetian blinds are a popular type of blinds that are shaped in horizontal slats. They are usually controlled by a pull cord that opens and closes the blinds, depending on the level of light and privacy you want in your home or flat. Venetian blinds are typically made from material such as PVC, wood or aluminium, and each type has its benefits.

For example, aluminium is very lightweight and doesn’t crack, peel, warp or react to moisture, so it has multiple room applications. Wood is a classic choice with an appearance that elevates the look of any room, and it makes for a heavy and durable venetian blinds. But wood is expensive, and it’s also difficult to maintain and is also not resistant to moisture, so putting wooden venetian blinds in the bathroom may be an issue.

Wood is also susceptible to termites, fading and yellowing. PVC venetian blinds are probably the strongest and most durable you can buy. They also require very little maintenance, and you can buy PVC blinds that mimic the appearance of wood, without having to pay the price of buying real wood.

Venetian blinds can be cut to fit almost any kind of window configuration, and they offer you control over privacy and the amount of light that enters a room.


Unlike venetian blinds, roller blinds are made from fabric, and they are manually controlled by a winding device such as a chain, instead of a cord. They don’t have any slats, so they’re a solid style of blinds, which means that to control the amount of light and privacy, you can only lower or raise the blinds, unlike with a venetian blind, which can remain all the way down, but can still allow light by opening the slats.

Roller blinds are easy to install and easy to maintain, needing only to be hand-vacuumed or brushed. Many styles of roller blinds can also be washed. Remember also that because they’re made of fabric, light will come through roller blinds with much more intensity than with venetian blinds.

Choosing between these two styles of blinds is a personal choice. Venetian blinds offer more control over light and privacy, but roller blinds are less expensive, easier to install and require little maintenance. The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either choice. Learn more about your options by visiting local suppliers such as Roslay Blinds & Curtains.

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