June 21st, 2007
Looking for some fun decorations for your yard? Wind chimes can be nice, since they add an audible element as well as a bit of eye candy. Don’t feel you have to settle for your typical chimes made from wood and metal though. If you do a little searching, you can find some that suit your tastes perfectly.
These fused glass wind chimes are perfect for the frog lover (more people love frogs than you’d think).
The hand-crafted piece is available through Etsy for $45:
“I made this windchime by handcutting stained glass in greens,yellows, red, black, and white and then fusing them together in my kiln to create an cute little frog! There are 7 separate fused glass strips that form the chimes. They were drilled by me, wire was attached and strung from a wooden dowell to hang the piece. ”
June 12th, 2007
Are you tired of checking the pool chemicals constantly to make sure the chlorine and pH are at the right levels? Sure, you enjoy lying out by the swimming pool and entertaining in the backyard, but isn’t there some way to make the maintenance less tedious? Well, maybe so.
This wireless pool chemical monitoring system watches the levels in your swimming pool 24 hours a day and only alerts you when you need to add more chemicals. There’s no need for you to go out and check the levels yourself any more.
Here’s what the product description adds: ”It uses a remote floating pod that contains sensors for water temperature, pH, and chlorine level, which transmits its data wirelessly to the display. The sensor pod floats freely in your pool and takes measurements at the same 18″ depth recommended by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. Your pools pH level is measured based upon the total pool volume that you enter on the display, so the system tells you when to add chemicals to bring your pH near a balanced 7.2 reading (a chlorine generator is r required for total alkalinity test). The sensor pod and display can communicate up to 150′ away from each other, so you don’t have to step outside each time you want to check on your pool.”
Sounds like a good way to cut down on the maintenance aspects of bring a pool owner to me. The device is $400, but it should last for many pool-using seasons to come:
The Wireless Pool Chemical Monitoring System
June 5th, 2007
If your current method of hose storage (probably a hook dealie on the side of the house) is a little too mundane, check out the hose roll.
Peter D’Alessandro’s funky hose storage gadget offers an alternative to your standard reel. As the creator writes, “The Hoseroll offers a practical storage solution for the garden hose, as well as being an ever-changing garden sculpture.” I bet the dogs will have fun punting it around the yard too.
It looks like it’s just a design concept on his site now, though, so you probably won’t be able to pick it up at Kmart this summer.
May 18th, 2007
Yes, it’s starting to get hot out there. If the natural breezes aren’t kicking up and cooling things off enough on your back patio, a fan may be in order. If you have a ceiling in your outdoor living space, you can install a ceiling fan, much like the ones you might find indoors. These models are designed to withstand the elements, however, and they will keep working even after they’ve weather snow, wind, rain, etc.
The Westinghouse Pacific One-Light Paradise shown here is a 5-blade 52-inch ceiling fan available at Amazon for about $200. The blades are made of handsome dark bamboo, and the fan comes with a light fixture, so you can add a cool breeze and night lighting at the same time.
Westinghouse Pacific One-Light Paradise 52-Inch Five-Blade Ceiling Fan
April 27th, 2007
Looking for ways to stay cool this summer while still enjoying your backyard? This patio umbrella has a twist that lets it offer more than simple shade. It features three built-in nozzles (located on the umbrella’s support ribs) that spray a gentle mist down to cool off anyone underneath.
A flexible conduit runs from each nozzle down the rust-resistant nine-foot aluminum pole to a hose connector, where you can plug in any standard garden hose. In addition, the 11-foot canopy provides 95 square feet of shade, so you can hide from the sun on those hot days. The canopy is made from weather-resistant polyester that should give you years of use.
The price is $199 from Hammacher Schlemmer:
Cool Mist Patio Umbrella
April 18th, 2007
Looking for some outdoor seating that’s a little more interesting than plain and straight benches? These benches and settees from Weatherend Estate’s Fox Island Grouping can be configured and arranged in different ways to create lots of different seating options.
The curves of the benches gives them a unique style, and the set looks fairly comfortable to sit on, for wooden furniture anyway. It wouldn’t take too many pieces to create a seating area that could accommodate lots of guests during your backyard barbeque parties.
April 15th, 2007
What is it with all those silly garden gnomes invading the yards of homes across America, anyway? If you’re with me and can’t imagine why anyone would decorate with such a thing, then you might get a kick out of this little statue. It features two “gnome-be-gone” creatures carting off one of your typical garden gnomes.
“Watch with amusement as the one and only Gnome-Be-Gone frees your garden of a kitsch little Euro invader. Who does he think he is, wearing tiny red dunce caps and pushing inefficient wooden wheelbarrows? Tuck a few made-in-the-USA Gnome-Be-Gones into your flowerbeds and watch the demented yard goblins get toted away.”
The price for the little statue is $125 from Uncommon Goods.