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‘Ultra Violet’

When the Pantone Color Institute recently announced its color of the year for 2018, the vibrant “Ultra Violet,” it might have seemed a natural fit for fashion and cosmetics. “Ultra Violet is a color that's almost like a neutral in fashion now,” says New York-based interior designer ...

Program helps homeowners facing foreclosure get relief

LANSING — Nearly 2,200 Michigan homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure because they fell behind on their mortgage, property tax or condominium fee payments will be able to stay in their homes this year after receiving more than $15.2 million in financial assistance from the ...

Do you know your soil by name?

“Soil don't get no respect,” Rodney Dangerfield might have said (but didn't). Perhaps you know your state bird or flower, but do you know your state soil? Well, in recent years soil has begun to get more respect. Since the celebration of the Soil Survey Centennial back in 1999, each state ...

Growing citrus indoors takes patience, pays off handsomely

When Heather Rhoades bought her first indoor orange tree nearly 20 years ago, she had to order it from a specialty online retailer. Now, it's not uncommon to find citrus trees at local gardening centers or big box stores, said Rhoades, owner of Gardening Know How , an online resource based in ...

Pilot program replaces mobile homes in southern Minnesota

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — The Simmons family's last home had holes in the floor and their pipes often would freeze and sometimes burst because it got so cold inside in the winter. Kelsey and Donald Simmons covered the holes with two-by-fours and made other improvisations they could afford on a ...

From Zen to zany

Japan, China and Korea have a long history of creating beautiful table goods, from rustic stoneware to delicate ceramics, sleek lacquered items to whimsical serveware and utensils. This tableware is appearing more and more in decor stores on this side of the world as part of several trends: ...

US home prices up 6.2 percent

WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices climbed a robust 6.2 percent from a year ago, amid strong demand from would-be buyers and a shrinking supply of properties for sale. Standard & Poor's said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index stood in October a solid 6 ...

Pocket-size seed packets speak volumes

A seed packet may be small, but it speaks volumes. While seed catalogs promote thousands of types of plants, seed packets tell gardeners how to grow one. All the information is printed on the back of a paper pouch slightly larger than the size of your wallet, and at prices that won't empty ...

Beginners take heart: Indigo dyeing makes everyone look good

When the outcome of a craft project is a surprise, it's often not a good surprise. My recent experience trying indigo dyeing in Tokyo was an exception to that rule. Dye from the indigo plant has been used for centuries all over the world. It's the familiar blue of blue jeans, and in a class ...

US housing starts rose 3.3 percent in November

WASHINGTON — Construction of new homes increased 3.3 percent in November — with the gain largely coming from single-family houses being built at the strongest pace in more than a decade. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on homes last month at a seasonally ...

Olive, a worthy holiday tree

How about an olive tree for a holiday tree? I'm not suggesting olive to replace spruces, firs and other conifers that are our traditional holiday trees. But an olive tree, which symbolizes peace and is a tree you actually would find growing in Jerusalem, is an appropriate accompaniment to the ...

Home decor’s steamy new palette

While it seems like white, gray and other cool neutrals have taken over many shelter magazines and blogs in the past few seasons, there's starting to be little rise in temperature. Here and there, dollops of hothouse pink, sultry red and sunset orange are showing up in decorative accessories, ...

No snow?

CONCORD, N.H. — Living in a state where it can snow anytime between October and April, I don't often wish snow would stick around even longer. But I can't deny that it can be pretty, so I decided to test a few ways of making long-lasting faux snowballs to decorate my home for the holidays and ...

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 ...