Archive for the ‘Java Teak’ Category
I’m sure many of you have placed your holiday decorations already. Even if you have, though, here’s a great idea for a holiday get-together for family and friends: a wreath- or ornament-making party. The first step is to gather the natural materials you’ll need: evergreen clippings, holly or pyracanthus berries, pine cones, eucalyptus leaves, mistletoe, poinsettia flowers and leaves, and sprigs of bay laurel. You might find these materials in your or an invited friend’s yard, or you or a friend could stop at a home store and purchase them. Or consider asking various guests to contribute the natural materials for the wreaths; ornament designs and materials; and tools like clippers, green wire or wire frames for the wreath frames, and glue or glue gun. This party is great to hold outdoors or in your basement. Remember to lay down some newspapers or a drop cloth around the work table, so glue and other dropped materials don’t mess up your floors or deck.
Creating the wreaths and ornaments isn’t very difficult and doesn’t require special techniques. You can find plenty of design inspiration online, or grab some green wire and start adding the natural embellishments. Set up a few bowls with diluted green, red, gold or silver paint so you can dip the pine cones or plain vine branches in the paint, allowing them to dry on waxed paper, to lend a variety of color to the wreaths. A different look can be achieved by soaking the cones in bleach for a day or two.
A party isn’t a party without refreshments. Provide a table laden with hot cocoa in different flavors in thermoses or jugs, and various add-ins, like marshmallows, whipped cream and candy sprinkles. Plates of cookies, brownies and fudge are great, too. A bar providing stronger beverages … seasonal ales, bourbon punch (see my last post) and wine … rounds out the offerings for an afternoon or evening of family fun. Happy Holidays!
Previous: Oktoberfest Beer Tasting (10/9/2014) I mentioned the vertical format (one brand, several varieties). Other formats include blind: one style, several brands with guests tasting and naming which brand is which. Another is microbrews from lightest in color and alcohol to darkest in color and highest in alcohol. Or several brands of one style appropriate to the season (Oktoberfest, summer ales, etc.)
Set up a large table anywhere as the stage for your tasting. Since guests will be swallowing and not spitting out their beer when tasting, provide water to rinse tasting glasses and a “swill” bucket to empty them between each beer. Guests should have a clear tasting glass, glass of water, and pen and paper to take notes. If available, provide beer guides or style books for your guests’ convenience. Also handy is a beer menu: each beer tasted (in order), brewer, style and other relevant information.
Cheeses, fruits, and breads and crackers, maybe some deli meats and patés pair well with beer. Or pair your food to the style of beer. Oktoberfest beers pair with German food but also with baked ham, barbecued beef or pork, pizza, grilled veggies and chicken, and steak.
Is your deck décor looking drab and tired? You can rehab it with a few new pieces of furniture and some planters and rugs. Here are some ideas to get you started … just in time for Labor Day festivities!
Wicker furniture paired with cushions (use bright colors and designs) manufactured for the outdoors (moisture-, mildew-, soil- and ultraviolet-light-resistant) create a lovely, comfortable, living-room-style seating arrangement for reading, relaxing and entertaining. If you have enough space, arrange separate areas for dining and relaxing. Use umbrellas in both areas to provide shade. Scatter some outdoor rugs in colorful designs to provide a change in pattern for the neutral deck. Scatter container gardens in a variety of planters (cedar, ceramic, plastic, even metal) to add pops of color throughout the deck.
Finally, (again, if you have the room) arrange a bar area between two arbors or behind one arbor, which should be able to accommodate at least one and maybe two bar stools.
The July 4th holiday is a few days away. Now is the time to decide what to offer your guests on the barbecue/cookout menu. Burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips, ribs, maybe some French fries and watermelon can become predictable and boring after a while, don’t you think?
It isn’t too late to do a bit of shopping for your holiday eats, so I’m passing along links to Fourth of July recipes that can also be found on The Washington Post‘s Lifestyle/Home-Garden Page on its Web site. Most of the recipes are variations on traditional items, such as cole slaw and burgers. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/recipes-for-a-scrumptious-fourth-of-july/2011/06/30/AGPsrbtH_gallery.html#photo=1. Also, try the scrumptious-looking dessert recipes provided by Better Homes & Gardens at http://www.bhg.com/holidays/july-4th/recipes/july-4th-desserts/?sssdmh=dm17.744337&esrc=nwwr062314. (If the links don’t work, copy and paste them into your browser.)
If you’re looking for something new and different this July 4th, try one or two of these. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. And to provide plenty of room for your spread, check out one of my table sets, such as the Teak Oval Extension Table Set … with umbrella, of course! Your purchase might be late for July 4th; but there’s always Labor Day! Happy Independence Day!
Labor Day approaches, so a few tips on successful outdoor entertaining are appropriate. Get organized (making a list will help)! Ensure adequate equipment and supplies you need for the type of party you’re having. For example, if you plan a cookout, test your fancy gas grill to be sure it’s working properly. If you use a charcoal grill, stock plenty of charcoal and charcoal lighter; clean the grill and grilling tools (this applies to the gas grill also).
Check bar supplies to ensure enough liquor, mixers and garnishes for the cocktails you plan to provide. If your guests enjoy beer and wine, provide buckets or coolers to keep those libations chilled. Check your pantry to ensure an adequate supply of condiments and accompaniments for the food you’ll be serving.
Survey seating arrangements and display space for side dishes, desserts, condiments and other food items. Do you have enough tables and chairs? (Still time to order additional Western red cedar or teak chairs!) Plenty of napkins (cloth or paper, depending on the food)? What about dishes, glassware (plasticware?) and tableware (nice for a nice dinner, rugged for ribs and other barbecue)? (Continued)
Wow! It’s been awhile since I posted a blog! I’ve been busy implementing marketing ideas that the company’s members approved at the annual meeting in May. Some of these ideas take time to design and implement, so please bear with me.
One of the measures already implemented is the repricing of all the items available at GardenFurniturePatio.com. In fact, approximately 75 percent of my items are now priced lower than before … up to $80 lower in some cases! So, if you had your eye on something before, check it out again. You could be pleasantly surprised! Remember, shipping to sites in North America is always free!
Another marketing measure that was approved is adding more items, mainly teak table sets. Look for them in my Teak category. Also coming soon: coupons and/or discounts. And I hope to be accepting credit cards soon, in addition to PayPal, which I already accept.
Do you feel you’re stuck in a rut with your annual July 4th barbecue/cookout menu? Burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips, ribs, maybe some French fries and watermelon. It can become predictable and boring after a while, don’t you think?
Well, if it isn’t too late for you to do a bit of shopping for your holiday eats, I’m passing along a link to a collection of Fourth of July recipes that can also be found on The Washington Post‘s Lifestyle/Home-Garden Page on its Web site. Most of the recipes are variations on traditional items, such as cole slaw and burgers. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/recipes-for-a-scrumptious-fourth-of-july/2011/06/30/AGPsrbtH_gallery.html#photo=1
If you’re looking for something new and different this July 4th, try one or two of these. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. And to enjoy your spread, why not buy one of my table sets, such as the Teak Oval Extension Table Set…with umbrella, of course! Your purchase might be late for July 4th; but there’s always Labor Day!
Not everyone lives in a house with a large backyard and patio. Many people live in small townhouse-style homes or high-rise buildings with small balconies. But even those of us who have small outdoor areas can provide a cozy, comfortable area in which to entertain. Just remember: Less is more.
Your first chore is to measure the space. You don’t want to purchase a 6-foot-long bench and a couple of sprawling lounge chairs if your space measures 6 feet by 4 feet by 6 feet. You’ll be packed in like sardines, but maybe not as comfortable! One idea is a bistro set comprising a small table (about 30 inches in diameter) and two chairs. Or consider a 4 foot bench with a small table (or two); if you have sufficient room to spare, add a folding or adjustable chair with an ottoman (which can double as another seat).
GardenFurniturePatio.com stocks several items for small spaces: cedar footstool (as a chair/table), folding Adirondack table, oak bistro chair, teak bistro set and Athena tete-a-tete (see photo). To maximize your area, angle some of the furniture. If there’s room, add a planter box for some bamboo or other shade plants.
I’m sorry that my blog posts have slackened off lately. It’s that tedious tax time; and, no matter how well organized I think I am, it still takes time to get all the receipts, statements and forms together. Whew!
Well, it’s getting close to spring, a time for cleaning up the garden, planning and designing new flower beds and shrubbery plantings, and selecting fine-quality furniture and gardening benches and storage hutches to help you realize your garden plans and relax in your oasis. As I have mentioned before in this blog, lower prices abound among the items I sell. And this year I am offering several different styles of umbrellas, which I will introduce in a few weeks. In addition, the TU90 Teak Umbrella now ships as a two-piece pole, which reduces the freight charges for this item.
The next few blogs will feature these new umbrellas, so I hope you’ll return often … and, of course, visit my Web site to purchase items for your garden, patio and poolside. Pictured is my new Shanghai Umbrella, featuring a 9-foot umbrella and 8-foot aluminum pole.
Following is a basic method for oiling (check the oil manufacturer’s instructions first; if different, follow the manufacturer). After cleaning the furniture (see 2/16/2013 post), ensure it’s dry before starting to oil. Examine the teak furniture, and sand areas requiring it before oiling. You need teak oil, a clean 1″ or 2″ paint brush, some clean cotton rags, good light and plenty of space. Wear overalls or old clothes, and household gloves to keep the oil off your hands.
Apply with a clean brush, working downward from the top. Leave the surface wet by the brush but don’t leave too much surplus oil behind as you work. After a few minutes (maybe five to 15 depending on the temperature), the oil will start to become “tacky.” At this point wipe the surface of the furniture with a clean cotton rag, carefully removing all surplus oil. One coat is usually sufficient, but you can apply a second coat if necessary after a minimum of one hour for the first coat to dry.
When the surface is touch dry, use a second clean rag to buff it. Dispose of used rags and cleaning cloths carefully in accordance with the oil manufacturer’s instructions.