House To Home

Swarm chasers return wayward honeybees to hives

When half or more of your honeybees have deserted the hive and are lingering nearby, who ya gonna call? Swarm chasers can provide quick help to fellow beekeepers, keeping them from getting stung literally and financially. “A swarm is the division of the honeybee colony into two parts,” ...

Giving the gift of memory

For elderly people struggling with memory loss, one of the toughest things can be forgetting the details of their own lives. What must it be like when you struggle to recall something you were sure you'd never forget — the name of an old friend, perhaps, or a favorite city where you once ...

No strife, no food allowed in the woman cave, but decaf tea’s OK

NEW YORK — When people find out that I'm an empty nester with a “woman cave” in my New York City apartment, they seem to have a lot of questions. So I recently created this FAQ about it for Facebook friends, which led to a whole other round of comments and questions. If you're curious ...

Ask a designer:

Holiday decorating is all about adding a bit of cheer and sparkle, a task made easier by the recent popularity of all things metallic. With winter’s shortage of daylight, the sheen of metallic furnishings, fabric and decorative pieces can add a dose of the brightness and warmth so many of us ...

Nurseries worthy of a Bohemian lullaby

Traditional nursery decor tends to be a gently stirred mix of cute animals, soft hues and nicely matched furnishings. And there’s much to be said for all that sweet serenity; these are rooms both peaceful and soothing. But many parents and designers are looking to inject nurseries with a ...

Not an actual cactus, candelabra cactus is easy to grow

On my living room floor once sat a clerodendron plant, a gift that became an indoor oasis of lush greenery and clusters of red-tipped white flowers. Problem was, I had to tiptoe among its sprawling stems every time I wanted to approach the window. What’s sometimes needed in a houseplant is ...

Iowa students build robot for garden project

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Davenport West High School students are building a robot to be used next spring in gardens at Buffalo Elementary School. The “FarmBot” project is the brainchild of Buffalo Principal Heidi Gilliland as project-based learning that involves the technology students at ...

Another thing to argue about: throw pillows

It’s a well-known decorating fact that throw pillows are an easy and inexpensive way to change the look of a room. They can add color, texture, interest or a dash of holiday cheer. But that doesn’t mean everybody appreciates them. The internet is full of women (and their interior ...

US pending home sales surged 3.5 percent in October

WASHINGTON — More people signed contracts in October to buy homes, ending three straight months of declines. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its index of pending home sales jumped 3.5 percent to 109.3 in October. Despite the increase, the index remains slightly ...

Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

The first of the 2018 seed catalogs will be arriving soon in the mail, signaling the start of another growing season. Savvy vegetable gardeners pore over the pages while choosing plants and drafting budgets. Planning ahead provides healthier returns for what can become a costly ...

From Sweden, an unsentimental take on de-cluttering your life

For anyone who somehow missed out on Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," or who found her de-cluttering style too quick, too cute or too oriented toward a younger set, a Swedish author "between the age of 80 and 100" has come out with her own take on the subject. In "The ...

Some uncommon trees and shrubs have lots to offer in fall

Say “fall color” and many minds turn to sugar maple. Aspen, hickory and tupelo are among other well-known trees that fuel autumn's figurative flames. Ask about attractive bark, and many gardeners will think of white birch. But a number of lesser-known trees and shrubs can also ...

US home construction reaches strongest pace in a year

WASHINGTON — Construction of new homes climbed 13.7 percent in October, the biggest jump in a year as builders broke ground on more apartments and single-family houses. The Commerce Department said Friday that the monthly gain put U.S. housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of ...

US home sales rose in October as hurricane impact wanes

WASHINGTON — Americans bought more homes last month, as sales snapped back in hurricane-hit Texas and Florida. Yet the market is still suffering from a dwindling supply of available homes. Sales rose 2 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million, the National ...

Craftivism: Melding of crafting, activism is having a moment

Colleen Haraden-Gorski uses her embroidery skills these days to embellish quilts made by students at school and community-center workshops on themes of social justice and working together to make a difference. Recently, she embroidered images of barbed wire and the serial numbers of ...

Some sweet gifts for the home baker

3If you've got home bakers on your holiday gift list, there are plenty of attractive and functional items on the market to help them whip up delectable goodies. Canadian artisan Brenda Watts of Hermitage, Prince Edward Island, makes French rolling pins out of flame birch in her Cattails ...

Practice makes perfect

Before theater professionals perform a play for an audience, they run a dress rehearsal to look for kinks that need fixing before the show opens. Traditional Thanksgiving dinner is a big production that can benefit from rehearsal, too, say some veteran hosts. Cortney McLellan grew up ...

Bubble wrap bonanza

DENVER — Anyone who has lived through a major home remodeling project can sympathize with Laura Elliff Cruz, collections manager for the Denver Art Museum who is in charge of relocating or trying to protect tens of thousands of treasures during a building upgrade expected to take a ...