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Wonderful Decorating Ideas on How to Beautify your Home during the Holidays

Our Thanksgiving holiday has passed and we now turn to counting our blessings in celebrating our Christmas, Hanukkah and other religious holidays in December. Beautiful snow has arrived in many locations in the northern hemisphere. With our shortened daylight hours, we turn toward our fireplaces, enjoy warm drinks and comforting foods. It’s a wonderful time to gather around the fire and cozy dining tables to enjoy time with friends and family, or cuddle up with a good book or great entertainment in our homes.

We prepare our comfort foods, decorate our homes with ideas following family traditions and spruce up our homes for our holiday celebrations and get togethers. Some of you will be completing decorating projects and last minute touch ups in your homes. Windows are focal points in our living spaces, so it is important to have them looking their best. Blinds like the Hunter Douglas Silhouette® shadings may need a touch up cleaning. Or you may have high areas in your home that need a quick wipe to remove debris. Our CamilyWand™ is just the ticket for those chores. It is a tool made up of an extension pole with a perpetually sticky tip (when clean) that grabs bugs and debris from the interior tubes of Silhouette® window shadings. You’re also able to pick up and remove light weight items from inaccessible places.

We have a demonstration video on our about page on our website www.camilywand.com and several videos on You Tube at CamilyWand8. Take a look to see what you’re able to do with our great tool. It will come in very handy as you’re working through your holiday preparations for sprucing up your home.

With your cleaning chores complete, you’ll have time to enjoy the next month and all the joys it brings to our lives. I especially enjoy the lights around town and the opportunity to watch other areas of the country in their celebrations with my facebook friends. There are so many creative people out there in the global arena, it is fun to enjoy the holiday festivities. Getting ahead of the game so you have time to enjoy the season is just the best thing to do.

Adding small unique touches to your home holiday is a fulfilling way to enjoy this unique time of year. Our special, traditional and sentimental decorations bring wonder to our lives and celebrations. As we move through these enjoyable times, we realize how lucky we are to live where we do and have the opportunity to count our blessings and share our love and caring for others. Enjoy your holiday celebrations!

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New white powder, skiers gold, storms bringing feet of snow to the Rocky Mountains

Ski season is starting in Colorado! Bring on the snow for the skiers who flock to Colorado and for the water to fill the aquifers that supply water to us coloradans. We got a nice fall snow storm in the Colorado Rocky Mountains this past November weekend, to help signal the start of ski season. People will travel from all over the world to enjoy our snow and winter time.

If you are traveling to Telluride in the San Juan mountains, or Aspen, Beaver Creek and Vail in the central Colorado Rockies, and the many other ski resorts, you’ll find many things to do besides skiing. There are other snow sports and activities, such as ice skating and snowboarding,  educational opportunities and shopping. Each town is different and has developed its own style, so it is fun to check out other areas when you’re in Colorado. Some resorts have opportunities to take chair lifts to the top of the mountains even if you’re not a skier. The views up there are spectacular and make you feel like you’re at the top of the world. That’s always the greatest feeling whichever mountain you’re visiting.

There are beautiful hotels, condominiums, bed and breakfast inns and many other places to stay after a hard day of skiing. Some are actually on the slopes of the resorts. Ski in or ski out right at your door is a favorite thing to do. Apres ski parties and dinners are always special.

Hotels and condominiums are often beautifully decorated. They use top of the line furnishings and window shadings to take advantage of views. You’ll see Silhouette® window shadings, shutters and wood blinds on many of the windows. Some rooms will have Pirouettes®, Luminettes®, Nantuckets™, Vignettes® or Shangri-La shadings to cover their windows. To protect the window shading investments, we have invented our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to remove bugs and debris from the tubular spaces between the vanes. These upscale window shadings deserve to be maintained to keep them from becoming stained from bug spots and other unactractive insects. The shadings filter the light, give you a view and insulation at the same time and soften the light in your rooms. They attract bugs during certain times of the year and the bugs aren’t able to get out of the shadings. Our CamilyWand™ will remove them easily and safely to protect your shadings, keeping your shading  investment looking like new.

You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy decorating and design in a different way at the ski resorts. Regardless of which town you visit, you’ll find interesting architecture and retail offerings that often differ by the specific town. Vail is the most european of them all, with a Swiss/Austrian mountain look throughout the downtown. Many of the shops have adopted that feel and offer european items for sale. Breckenridge is more rustic, somewhat of an old mining atmosphere in my opinion. They have a fantastic ice sculpture show in the middle of winter, where ice carving artists from all over the world hone their craft in amazing art works. Beaver Creek is a newer area, upscale as well. Aspen draws musicians in the summer to the Aspen Music Festival and is famous for the celebrities who visit and live there. Each town is unique, offers special and fun events for everyone, along with the skiing emphasis. They are all fun to visit and worth a trip to Colorado.

If you’ve never been here, the majesty of the mountains is breathtaking. When you move west from the eastern plains and the front range of Colorado, majesty awaits wherever you look. Besides the ski slopes, we have the huge Lake Dillon and Grand Lake, many rivers and streams which attract fishermen and boaters. Those lakes are nestled in the mountains. The Keystone resort is close to Lake Dillon, so you can take advantage of the water views one day and skiing the next. Steamboat Springs is nearer the Grand Lake area; both are interesting and fun to visit.

We look forward to a great snow season, bringing white powder snow to the mountains and water for the rest of the state. Winter will bring magical beauty, frosting our green mountain forests with snow and gorgeous views. We hope you’ll be able to see it and enjoy it as much as those of us who love living here.

 

 

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Celebrate evenings, natures bounty, bringing cheerful solutions into your homes interiors

Spreading the sun into our homes as it sets earlier outside is a very restorative solution to the doldrums that often plague people when there is less daylight. There are many ways to celebrate the shorter daylight hours for the 6-7 week period in the fall when we lose daylight savings time. This year, we are in our first week of different daylight time. The mornings are gorgeous and begin earlier, a very refreshing feeling. Rising earlier allows us to take advantage of more daylight at the beginning of our days, to offset the earlier darkness in the late afternoon.

We will have less sunlight until December 21st, when the winter solstice arrives. Our holidays are upon us and we are occupied with celebrations, either small intimate gatherings and pastimes, or larger festivities, including relatives and friends. Our focus shifts more to the inside of our homes, having cozy and rejuvenating times.

Many of us struggle with the extreme changes, as it seems to happen very quickly. We’re outside, getting fit, enjoying our outdoor hobbies, having fun in the early evening hours all summer and all of a sudden when fall arrives on Sept 21st, we slowly notice the changes less daylight brings. There are many things we’re able to do to alleviate the missing daylight hours and have cheerful evenings inside our homes.

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to improve the comfort and ambience in our interior spaces. Concentrating on lighting only the spaces you occupy in the evening saves electricity use.  Having the correct type of “light bulb” will help us psychologically. Warm and cool “light bulbs” in a variety of spectrums are available, especially at specialty lighting stores. We have incandescent, halogen, energy saver and many choices to take care of any personal preference, task lighting and general room needs. Simply, floor and table lighting provides a warmer atmosphere and more cozy feeling than overhead lighting either in our ceilings or lighting fixtures that hang from the ceiling. Fires in our fireplaces invite warmth and closeness as another way to bring light into our rooms.

There are specific lighting fixtures available for people who become depressed during the wintertime, due to lack of sunlight hours. Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition where they have trouble functioning when they don’t get enough “sunlight.” Spending time under lighting designed to mimic the sun more closely than regular interior lighting is helpful to many people. Medical sites like the Mayo Clinic have helpful ideas and possible solutions to help those who struggle psychologically during the these times.

Window shadings like the Silhouette® blinds by Hunter Douglas and similar shadings by other companies will help your feeling of comfort as you enjoy your evening hours in your home. They are fabric shadings, which promote a softer, more sensuous feeling than mini blinds or hard vertical blinds. When the room feels soft and inviting, we feel better. The Silhouette® product offers softness, insulation, privacy and filtered views, all at the same time. They have square, tubular, horizontal openings which provide wonderful light refraction and insulation at the same time. Often bugs find their way into those openings and are difficult to remove. We have invented the CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to solve the pesky bug problem. It’s sticky tip grabs unwanted critters, effortlessly removing them from the blind. If left in the shading, bugs can do serious damage to the shadings, ruining a beautiful product and investment. It is available at our shop here at CamilyWand™.

Bringing nature inside during our months of shortened daylight hours is a wonderful, psychologically uplifting feeling. Some people “winter” come of their tender outdoor vegetation by bringing it inside their homes when the temperatures dip. Some build interior window boxes where they have cheerful greenery and flowers inside all late fall and winter. They are extending the growing season from spring and summer to year around.

Music therapy is another solution to use in these circumstances. There are many music therapy professionals who teach how music affects our psyches, therefore changing our happiness levels. Molly Lord, of Tuned-In Productions, is an excellent speaker on this subject. She had advanced training in behavior disorders, which helps her in her music therapy offerings. There are many sources available for support in this area.

As we move into the holiday season, remember these ideas to soften the blow of less sunlight and daylight in our lives. They will help you feel better and allow you to embrace the time differences, turning less daylight hours into positive action and feelings.

 

 

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Wonderful Daylight: How do you use your valuable time in the evenings?

Mezmerizing fall foliage, dipping temperatures and our upcoming Daylight Savings Time change all have an effect on our sunlight. We enjoy and thrive on the energy and light from the sun. On November 4th we will turn our clocks back one hour, resulting in darkness and sunlight each coming 1 hour earlier. Many people appreciate the earlier daylight to help them wake up easier. Our children will catch school buses in the daylight. Our evenings darken sooner, so there seem to be more hours to work on inside home chores or projects. We have longer evening time to enjoy those inside activities.

We will continue to lose daylight for the next 7-8 weeks as the sun moves south. On December 21st, the winter solstice, the sun will reach the Tropic of Capricorn, its southern boundary, and begin moving north. So this is a great time to plan those inside activities and parties. Use your home lighting to bring cheer and comfort when the sun goes down. Halloween will be here before the time changes, children will be trick-or-treating right around sundown. The ghosts and goblins will have the safety of some light, depending on when they visit their neighbors.

When those little tricksters arrive, homeowners are able to use their tilt and turn type of blinds to their advantage when they want to see what is happening outside. If we have wood or metal blinds, we’re able to leave them open to see the trick-or-treaters. If we have Silhouette® shadings we can hide from the trick-or-treaters by having our vanes in the open position when the blinds are covering the glass. (There is a previous blog post titled Cooler Temperatures Ahead:… explaining shading advantages.) If our lights are out in our homes, those little ghosts and goblins won’t see us watching them when they come to the door.

Spiders, bugs and debris often collect in our Silhouette® shadings. This would be the perfect time to leave spiders in the vanes until after Halloween has passed and before Daylight Savings Time has ended for this year. The first part of November would be a good opportunity to remove the bugs, spiders  and debris with our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™. It is a safer method than other methods in collecting the unwanted pests on it’s sticky tip and bringing them out of the tube type openings of the shades like Silhouettes®, Pirouettes®, Vignettes®, Luminettes®, Shangri-Las® and Illusions. It can grab webs, light weight items, dirt, paper and other things from high or inaccessible places, as well.

When daylight savings time ends, it will be better to do chores that need daylight as early as possible in the day. Though there is evidence that people trying to monitor and take advantage of sun times started with the Romans and was discussed by Ben Franklin, modern daylight savings time use is credited to New Zealands George Vernon Hudson in 1895. We began using it in World War I. It is typically used in the northern hemisphere, largely North America and Europe. There are a few places in South America, Africa, Australia and all of New Zealand that also use it.

There are many ideas and theories that people use to justify changing our clocks back and forth during the year, some practical,  and some economic. The farmers’ advantages are great, and one of the most logical explanations for shifting our clocks. I enjoy the combination of the earlier daylight and the longer days as the sun shines in the northern hemisphere longer during those times. At the same time, I do certain chores and hobbies (inside projects) in the lower light times, thinking of it as a nesting, resting and rejuvenating time. Give these ideas some thought as we move toward our cool weather holidays and winter time.

 

 

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Tool to Safely Remove Aphids from Roses, Bugs from Blinds, or Debris from Ceilings

A lucky owner of CamilyWand™ was working in her garden this spring and noticed aphids on her roses. Her creative mind thought she would try to remove the aphids with her CamilyWand™, hoping the totally sticky tip would easily get rid of the bugs without harming her roses, thus making her tedious task simpler and easier.

She wrote a note to me saying, “Had this idea last night – to remove aphids from the roses with my trusty CamilyWand™. It worked pretty darn well!”

The original use for CamilyWand™ was to remove bugs, gnats, insects, moths, pests and other small debris from the prestigious Silhouette®  window shadings by Hunter Douglas. These blinds are designed to disperse light into rooms with 2 sheer fabrics on the front and back of the shadings and a “S” curved vane between the 2 sheers. The light refraction is so spectacular when the shades are in the “open” position, that bugs are attracted to that light, flying or crawling into the columnar opening, staying there and dying when they cannot find their way out.

If left in the opening when the shading is closed and raised into the headrail, the culprits often damage the shade with their body oils. That’s why it is imperative to remove them before rolling the shading into the headrail. Speedy removal of the bugs and debris will preserve your financial investment and spectacular views.

Our Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ will not harm the window shadings. Hunter Douglas is the leading manufacturer of blinds and shadings, consistently innovating new products.  Many of their products attract bugs and debris. Our tool is designed to remove the pesky insects from not only the Silhouettes®. It also picks up debris on Nantuckets™,  Luminettes®, Vignettes®, Pirouettes®, and larger celled Duettes® (1″ or more) by Hunter Douglas.  Comfortex manufacturers Shangri-La® shadings which also attract insects that can be removed with our CamilyWand™. Our tool will work on similar shadings manufactured by other companies.

Other CamilyWand™ owners use their tool in the full extension position to reach inaccessible places. They attach the sticky CamilyTip™ to spider webs on ceilings, crown mouldings, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, tops of furniture, door jambs, pot and pan racks, drapery soft treatments, bannisters on stairways and many other difficult to reach places.

People pick up papers and other light weight items that have fallen between or behind appliances. It’s tough to reach important papers when they drop behind heavy furniture or office equipment. With the 2 extendible lengths, our CamilyWand™ will reach to 4 feet with the CW24 and to 6 feet with the CW36, allowing accessibility for almost any “pick-up” chore.

Engines in vehicles, boats and yachts have compartments where retrieving lightweight parts is difficult. The small spaces combined with the sticky tackiness of our CamilyTip, allow mechanics to easily reach the part. Our tool will also reach under and around tight areas when objects are lodged in inaccessible places.

Sewing, production and manufacturing facilities often have needs for our tool to safely retrieve smaller, lightweight objects.

Delicate areas where a light touch is required is perfect for retrieval with our CamilyWand™. It is so very tacky, it will attach to almost anything that is lightweight and removable. Lifting the bug or debris away or out or tight places is an easy, safe removal system and will serve owners well.

We invite you to give our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ a try for your “cleaning” and removal needs. We think you’ll realize that it is indeed a “magic” tool.

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CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool

To Preserve your beautiful view through your window shadings, which are spoiled by bugs, insects, and debris, we have invented and patented our new CamilyWand™ Sticky Bug Removal  Tool™.

Its sticky tip attaches to pesky critters that get trapped inside the chambers between the vanes of Silhouette® window shadings manufactured by Hunter Douglas. The Silhouettes® are in the upper echelon of window shadings and it’s a shame to ruin them by letting bugs die in the sunny vanes, then damage the vanes because they are not removed. Large investments in the shadings are lost if the bugs stain the fabrics.

Our owner of Camily, LLC, Lynn Severson, sold many of these types of shadings during her 40 year career. Clients waited for her to manufacture our Sticky Bug Removal Tool™, and were thrilled when she delivered her first tools to them.

The critter problem is easily fixed with our ingenious solution. A Sticky CamilyTip is attached to an extension pole to reach bugs in even the widest blinds. Clients see unobstructed beautiful views after the bugs are removed, while maintaining excellent insulation with these blinds. Taking a few minutes for bug removal will spare clients the pain and destruction that happens if the culprits remain in the shadings over time.

Our demonstration video gives you all of the details you need to know to keep your view clear of pesky critters and protect your valuable investment in your window shadings.