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Beautiful Views: Are you Protecting your Valuable Silhouette Investment from Bugs?

Beautiful Views and Silhouette® Window Shading investments go hand in hand when it comes to choosing “hard” treatments for your home. (In the window covering industry, we tend to notate the products that cover the glass on your windows as hard treatments, and consider draw draperies, side panels, cornices and valences soft treatments.) The advantage of putting hard treatments on your windows is to get some immediate protection from the sun, get privacy and get insulation. Often when people have recently purchased a home, they prefer to purchase the hard treatments first and buy the draperies and soft treatments after the glass has been covered.

Seeing fantastic views with Silhouettes® make such a wonderful solution to your window coverings that many people use them in their homes. Because so many people have exceptional views, the Silhouette® Window Shadings by Hunter Douglas are their favorite choice to preserve their views,  and get privacy and insulation simultaneously. They have become another solution to the treatments which had traditionally used traversing sheers and over draperies, that people drew closed in the evening. The sheers gave people some privacy during the day. When it got dark outside, people would draw the draperies closed for privacy and more insulation.

The Silhouettes® actually serve a similar purpose like the sheers on a rod.  They allow you to see a filtered view, looking toward the light. People always see to the place of more light. In other words, during the daytime, if your Silhouettes® are in the down open position, you will see outside because there is more light out there. You don’t typically see into homes during the day unless you are very close (outside) to the glass. The situation reverses in the evening. Since it is dark outside at night, people will see into your windows if you have your Silhouettes® in the down open position, when your interior is lit. To close, rotate the vanes 1/4 turn, then people won’t see into your living space.

What the inventors of the Silhouette® have done is make large air pockets between the front and back, top and bottom of the tubular spaces, where air and light are trapped when the shading is drawn down and the vanes are in the horizontal (open) position. It is a great insulator with the vanes either open or closed, as I discussed in the post: Golden Sunshine…. https://camilywand.com/?p=776.  The light is so captivating that all sorts of bugs, flies and spiders are attracted to the light, get inside the long space and cannot find their way out before they dry up. There has not been a professional tool out there to safely and easily remove the pests until we invented and brought our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to the market. It is an extension pole with a very tacky or sticky tip on the end which will attach to bugs and debris, to protect your blind from damage. This is the answer to those who want to know How to Get Bugs out of Silhouettes.

Silhouettes® are truly an investment in beauty and energy savings. When I stand in front of my Silhouettes® in my home, I’m able to actually feel the temperature change when it is very hot or cold outside, as I raise or lower my shadings. To be able to feel that is amazing and important to energy savings. That savings offsets heating with our furnaces and cooling with our air conditioners. The beautiful Silhouettes® also add resale values to your home, as most other shadings do not do. When you consider the savings in energy and increased resale value, you realize that your original investment in them is worthwhile.

Aesthetically, the Silhouettes® come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They will cover a window up to 144″ or 12′ wide. Motorization is available.  The color range is continually increased to serve any application you may have. Many of the vanes have textures and patterns in them, which provides another level of interest. So if you enjoy the idea of owning Silhouettes® in your home to have your view, insulation and privacy in the same treatment, give them a try. We’ve provided the answer to the sticky, bug removal problem; you’ll be able to keep them as good as new if you protect them from insects. We have an offer of FREE SHIPPING  this month on our newsletter coupon at http://tinyurl.com/8dvh5kn.

Each month we give you new and different ideas in our newsletter. You may learn design, decorating and practical cleaning tips by signing up for our newsletter in the adjacent box where it says: Join our Mailing List. I not only discuss CamilyWand, I give you the benefit of my 40+ year design career and my prior design degree from the University of Wisconsin. You’ll hear about interesting ideas, people and experiences. Come enjoy the ride with me!

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Golden Sunshine – Warmth, Beauty, Light & Heat to Enjoy in our Homes

We have a wonderful, beautiful and light force in the energy of the sun, which many of us take for granted.  We wake up in the morning, and it’s beautifully sunny; or cloudy, with potentially life saving moisture.  We plan our days around our outside weather patterns. Inside of our homes, we often do not consider how those temperatures and sun energy affect our heat and the force of the sun as it streams through our windows.

Realizing I’m not an expert in weather or energy, I write from a long time interior designers point of view. I’m sharing the effects of the suns energy on our lives, more specifically on the interior of our homes and offices. Moods, furnishings, color, space planning and many other areas in our lives are affected by the sun and its rays into our living spaces. The sun and its energy enter our inside living environments through our windows and doors. We buy window coverings to control the light and darkness, as well as to offer decorative beauty in our homes. We also use them for privacy and insulation.

There are a myriad of products on the market that cover windows. We’re going to review the shadings or blinds that cover the glass on our windows and doors. We to use draperies that traverse across the glass on a rod or headrail as well. In the shading and blind industry, the available products fall into three categories. The 1st is the “tilt and turn” category which has little insulation when open to see the view or let in light. Metal mini blinds, wood blinds (including vinyl and faux or fake wood blinds), vertical blinds, and shutters are included in this grouping. When these products are closed, you get some kind of insulation, however air seeps in through the slats. So insulation is limited. When the slats or vanes are open, there is no insulation opportunity. Metal products are a temperature conductor, especially in the cold weather.

The 2nd category is what I label the “up and down” grouping of shades. These are the old type of shades that roll up onto a headrail, often used as a spring loaded headrail, many custom made fabric shadings in different styles, such as roman shades like Vignette®, and Duette® or honeycomb shades. When these shades are pulled up to the top of the opening, you have a great view, light and NO INSULATION. When they are down or closed, you have privacy and insulation but no view. Draperies that traverse on decorative rods fall into this category, too.

The most versatile products fall into the 3rd category. I humorously call this one the “Have your Cake and Eat it too” group of shadings. In the Hunter Douglas product line they are named Silhouette®, Nantucket™, Luminette®, and Pirouette®. Other companies have similar shadings like Shangri-La® and Illusions with similar operation. These shadings are made with sheer fabrics to support vanes between the fabrics. The sheers are tightly woven and allow 3 types of viewing opportunities. They are all able to be pulled up to a headrail, into a headrail or drawn to the side, allowing a totally clear view through the glass. Great view, but no privacy or insulation is available in this position. When you draw them over the glass, the vanes can be in either the open or closed position. With open vanes, you see a filtered view, and have all the benefits of about 60% of insulation from the cold in the winter and heat in the summer.  So you have  views and insulation at the same time. Privacy is available when you totally close the vanes. These products offer 3 different viewing opportunities, including  insulation savings and responsible energy usage.

The bonus of the 3rd “Have your Cake and Eat it too” category is UV protection. The Hunter Douglas products in that category offer an 88% UV protection for your inside furnishings when the shadings are rotated to the “down, open” position, where the vanes are open so you have a filtered view.  When the vanes are closed in the down position, your UV protection jumps to 99%.  The UltraViolet Rays cause damage to our furnishings, flooring, and accessories by bleaching the color and causing fading on furnishings. The higher your altitude where you live, the more quickly floors and furnishings are changed or ruined. In the case of fabrics, they may get “sun rot” where the fibers actually break apart. Having the UV protection with the view at the same time is a great way to enjoy the outside while protecting your furnishings.

Because these insulative shadings have tubular spaces, especially the Silhouette® and Nantucket™ products, they tend to collect insects and debris inside the columns with sheer sides and the horizontal vanes. People asked “How To Get Bugs out of Silhouettes®”? CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ was invented to handle this chore easily, safely and inexpensively. Using the CamilyWand™ will keep your shadings bug free, while protecting your shading investment.

We are happy to give you other ideas and thoughts about blind and shading decisions and how to properly care for them. The window covering industry has come a long way from the old venetian blinds and spring loaded roller shades. Enjoy the journey of selecting beautiful window covering products that will enhance your home and living experience.

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Cooler Temperatures Ahead: Are your Blinds Ready to Save You Energy

We’re all enjoying our fall foliage views and preparing for the upcoming lower temperatures. Here in Colorado Springs, we’re in the 70’s and 80’s as I write this and are expecting a possible 35 degree drop in temperatures this week, maybe bringing snow. Keeping that in mind as we move toward the holiday season, we should prepare for our changing energy needs. Many of us want to perk up our homes for the Holidays. It might mean purchasing new window treatments or cleaning our existing  shadings and blinds to prepare for those holiday gatherings at our homes.

Not only will our temperatures be dropping, the light will be changing. As the sun moves toward the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere, our daylight hours become shorter and dark descends earlier in the afternoon. This affects our energy, as we are able to use solar energy during the day when the sun is out, then need to preserve that energy when the sun goes down at night.

Many of you have Silhouette® window shadings in your home which allow the best of all worlds for energy savings and views at the same time. They will keep out about 60% of the cold air when covering the glass, either with the vanes open to see your views or the vanes closed for privacy. ( The reverse happens in the summer with the heat.) The view with the energy savings is filtered with the sheers on both the back and the front, however the energy saving is worth having some filtering in the view. If you want a clear view, you are able to roll the Silhouette® into the headrail, only looking through the glass. The sister product of the Silhouette® shading, which is designed in a horizontal orientation, is the Luminette® shading, which traverses in a vertical orientation. Both products offer tilt and turn options with minimal sheer covering, so they can be in the open or closed position as well as being drawn to the side in the Luminette® shade or the headrail in the case of Silhouttes®.

The other categories of window shadings will be discussed in a future blog post. All offer different attributes for clients to consider when making window shading decisions for their home. The reason the Silhouette® is so popular is that the 3 attributes only available in that type and family of shading have: views, insulation and privacy at the same time!

The beauty of Silhouettes® also attracts bugs and debris when they are in the down, open position because the bugs love the light, crawl in and cannot find their way out. Many clients have asked How to get Bugs out of Silhouettes®? We at Camily, LLC have invented a tool: CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to address this question and remove the pesky insects from your beautiful shadings. The quicker they are removed, the better chance of keeping your shading free of stains. We have a post on this blog addressing the bug removal concern. It is a minor problem if addressed quickly and we do not consider it a detriment when compared to the wonderful attributes the Silhouettes® offer.

Clients will often purchase the shadings for their windows and add decorative window dressings, such as draperies, valences, side panels and cornices. These products soften a room and provide the opportunity for clients to express their preferences, style and color in their rooms. Often that is the way clients are able to relax and become rejuvenated when they spend time in those areas. This makes your window treatments and living areas become phychological sanctuaries for your lives.

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Fall Equinox – How it Affects Light, Your Living

The fall or autumnal equinox marks the half way mark of the sun moving from the summer to winter solstices. In Pikes Peak country it arrives at 8:49 am on September 22, 2012. The sun is crossing the equator, moving into the southern hemisphere. Our daylight will continue to get shorter and the sun will be what we call “lower in the sky”. The angle as it enters our homes becomes lower and comes farther into our rooms, as opposed to the high summer sun.

The beauty of the changing sun angle is showcased amazingly for those who have Silhouette® shadings on their windows. The structure of Silhouettes® allows a play of light as it hits the vanes from the outside then moves into the room at different angles, allowing different angles of light in your rooms. By rotating the vanes, all of those sun angles change, making the light in the room change.

When the vanes are in the basically horizontal position, there is still light play. As it makes a horizontal tube type structure, bugs and debris are drawn into the side opening. People wondered how to get bugs out of Silhouettes® after they had them in their homes for awhile, so we invented our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to pick up the pests with its sticky tip. The light will heat the bugs, so it is best to remove them as soon as you see them. We don’t want them to stay in the blinds until the Winter Solstice!

As you enjoy the longer evenings it is said that autumnal equinox increases the chances of Northern Lights sightings. The next 5 weeks will offer a better chance of seeing the glow of aurora, should you be lucky enough to see it where you live

Another interesting play of light happens during the equinoxes at the El Castillo pyramid in Chichen Itza on the Mayan peninsula of Mexico. A shadow from light shining on the side of a  staircase on the pyramid joins with the stone head to give the illusion of a large glowing “serpent,” according to National Geographic.

This phenomenon happens in the rooms of our homes and offices is a less dramatic way. A client recently bought more window shadings to cover her upper layer of windows so she could cook in her kitchen at dinnertime.  The timing of the sun glare is the same every year and is also  evident in the reverse time with the spring equinox. By using the summer solstice on June 21st and the winter solstice on December 21 as pivotal times, we’re able to determine light patterns in our living areas. Those patterns reverse at the solstices, so determining your light patterns for ½ of the year will be the opposite on the other half, like a mirror image.

With Silhouette® shadings we are able to control those light and heat changes to suit our daily living chores, thus the beauty of the product. We get light control, insulation and views at the same time in the same product. Other types of products do not offer all three attributes, so Silhouette® and similar products are very popular and effective. We need to protect them and our investment in them, so we have our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to do that.

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General

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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Evolution of a Blind Cleaning Tool

Evolution of our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ began over 40 years ago when Lynn Severson, our owner, began her interior design career. Armed with a bachelors degree in interior design, her first job was at an upscale home furnishings store, where one of her duties was to increase sales in the window covering department.

At that time, the 1970’s, the main window treatments were “soft coverings”, as in draperies, top treatments, and other fabric related window coverings. Our available “hard treatments” were generally mini blinds, vertical blinds, woven woods, roller window shades, pleated shades and interior shutters.

The shading industry was in for a big shake up in the late 1970’s. The first honeycomb product was developed later in the decade, and acquired by Hunter Douglas. They brought that product to market as Duette® in the mid 1980’s. Their research and development department has invented many different fabric products named Silhouette®, Nantucket™, Luminette®, Vignette® and Pirouette® window shadings, bringing them to market throughout the  years. These window shadings (and Vignette® Modern Roman Shades) offered many different insulation options as well as being beautiful additions to window dressings.

All of a sudden, consumers had other options to cover their windows. The drapery industry had different design options for residential and commercial interiors. The shadings were generally invented and first manufactured by Hunter Douglas, and other companies have followed their lead.

Hunter Douglas opened up infinite opportunities for interior designers to use in their projects. The shadings have different energy effeciency options, some with excellent R values, for heating and cooling benefits. Talented designers combined the beauty of  soft fabric treatments with the new shading and blind opportunites in the market to create brilliant and beautiful window settings for their home or office interiors.

The window glass was covered, allowing privacy, insulation and views, depending on the position of the blind or shading in a window. In the age of energy effeciency, shadings to cover the glass added to drapery treatments is becoming the norm. Light is of paramount importance. The new shadings coming to the market address many issues in beauty, energy effeciency, child safety and many other concerns that allow us to cover our windows in new, innovative ways, adding beauty, functionality, and elegance to room decor.

Lynn’s favorite product to come from the new inventions is the Silhouette® sheer shading. That family of shadings offers more oppportunity for light control, energy effeciency, privacy and beauty than any other previously invented product in the industry. When the shading is lowered to cover the window glass, it may be in the open position, where the slats are horizontal, allowing a filtered view. Or the vanes may be closed for privacy. If it is rolled into the headrail, it allows a clear, clean view.

Lynn began selling the Silhouette® window shadings soon after their introduction in 1991 and it became a staple of her design business. When consumers wanted that type of shading, they fell in love with it and its attributes. Her clients loved them, however they were disturbed that the bugs liked them too. They were attracted by the light, got into the horizontal chamber, and couldn’t get out.  After several years of suggesting home remedies or other dangerous and often inneffective methods to remove the dead critters, Lynn came up with the idea of a sticky tip on the end of an extension pole to safely capture the bugs and easily remove them from the chambers between the vanes of the Silhouettes®. This method preserves views and investments.

In the early part of the new century, Lynn began the process of getting a patent for her tool.  She achieved that goal and brought her new tool, named CamilyWand™, to market in 2008. Silhouette® window shading owners rave about the ingenuity of her tool. Our demonstration video below and on the “about us” page explains the Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ in detail. The WCMA (Window Covering Manufacturers Association) recognized Lynn’s ingenuity with the Best Techincal Innovation Award in 2010. Lou Manfredini, the Ace Helpful Hardware Man and Today Show contributor, featured our CamilyWand Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ on his WGN Radio show in Chicago, suggesting it was better than using a leaf blower to “clean” the Silhouettes® window shadings. In addition, it retrieves spider webs, light weight objects, and debris from high & hard to reach places, making it a good all- around tool for the home or office.

Our tool is by far the safest, easiest solution for the pesky bug, moth and debris removal from many blinds, including Silhouettes®, Nantuckets™, Pirouettes®, Vignettes®  and Shangri-La® shadings.  It is a very inexpensive solution to preserving views and protecting investments in homes and offices.

How many of you have had some unusual bugs or insects in your shadings? One of Lynn’s clients found a small gecko in her Silhouettes® sheer shadings. It left the blind by itself, but could have been removed with our Sticky Bug Removal Tool™. Let us know your story of pesky critters in your blinds, and we’ll feature them in a future blog. We have heard many humorous tales and are sure you have some of them too. Right now, Colorado is being bombarded by moths. There is sure to be a need for our CamilyWand™ here this spring and throughout the year.

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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.