Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reimagining the Weathervane: A Millennial Guide to Upcycling

It is time to reimagine the weathervane. With the typical notion that weathervanes are for country homes or an older generation, it is no surprise that people have a difficult time trying to place the necessity of weathervanes in today’s society. With the massive amounts of weather apps on the market, their need in your life may seem nonexistent—but weathervanes can serve an all-new, creative, and trendy purpose.  Think of them as an indoor decoration for a warehouse style apartment or loft. Weathervanes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. They can be constructed and deconstructed to fit your needs. They are the missing piece on your accent wall, or the spot to fill the empty space on your end table.  The timeless look of weathervanes will never age your apartment or home; they will enhance its uniqueness and show your cleverness for design and detail. In the above pictures, you can see two very different, yet incredible upcycles of typical weathervanes—the picture on the right showing a more modern decorating choice, and the left an accented wall to really show style. The upcycle decorating trend will never go out of style…so, why not start here? 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Avoiding Sadness from Cleveland Weather

Weather in Cleveland:

How to Avoid Sadness

Yes, this is actually Cleveland. You may not have recognized it without snow and/or rain. 

If you live in Northeast Ohio, you know that lately, the weather has been more sporadic than a rabid bull during a rodeo. Lately, the weather has been turning at the drop of a dime—you can leave your house for the beach one morning and upon your arrival, it is evacuated due to a random and seemingly misplaced thunderstorm. Your problem, albeit annoying, can be fixed in five simple steps:

1. Remind yourself that you live in Northeast Ohio

As painful as this may be, it is completely necessary. Whether you’re a West-sider, East-sider, or “no-sider,” you have to admit to yourself that your location makes the likelihood of unstable weather much higher than other places—and that’s okay, because WE, unlike Florida, have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2. Download an app

There is always, ALWAYS an app for that.

3. Stop watching 19 Action News

Trust me (and everyone else that grew up watching Dick Goddard), 19 Action News does NOT have the most accurate weatherman in Cleveland.

4. Buy tissues

Seriously. A lot of people prefer Kleenex, but does it really matter what brand it is if it’s just for wiping away 365 days’ worth of tears?

5. Buy a weathervane

Sure, weathervanes don’t talk to you, and you can’t download them on your phone—but at least when it warns you the weather is going to get a little crazy, it will do so under your favorite animal.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weathervanes – Differentiating an Original Version from a Forged Version

Weathervanes are one of the collectible items that are always there in the radar of antique enthusiasts. The value of an antique weathervane is influenced by its age, condition, craftsmanship and history. One common problem with high-value, antique weathervanes, is that they are difficult to authenticate and are easy to replicate. All that a forger needs to do is to track down the original cast iron mold used to create the original weathervane.

One of the main features that can reveal the difference between an old and a forged weathervane is the patina. A simple trick is to look in the interior of a hollow form. If the interior is bright and shiny, then you know that you are holding a fake piece.

To ensure that the piece of art that you’re investing your money in comes with reliable documentation such as: date of manufacture, original site, type of material and degree of restoration (if applicable); always buy your antique piece from a well-known store, having a good overall reputation.

Did you know that under the Trade Descriptions Act, a seller can place a replica among antiques, and no offence will have been committed; but when asked if the piece is genuine, and the seller replies in the affirmative, then he/she has committed an offence! Hence, the “golden rule” is: always ask the seller, and buy only if they answer affirmatively that the piece is genuine. If you hear: “I’m not sure”, “most possibly”, or “I don’t know”, please do not assume the piece is genuine, and please do not buy!

Finally, always ask the seller any question you have in mind, without hesitation. A legitimate seller will answer all your questions to your satisfaction.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DIY: How to Make a Weathervane

A weathervane is an instrument that lets you know the shifts in wind direction. A weathervane is cleverly crafted such that it has its center of gravity resting on a pivotal axis, and the pointer can move freely on its axis. The side with the larger surface area is blown away from the wind direction, and the smaller side with the pointer faces the wind direction. Most weathervanes also have directional markers beneath the arrow that are aligned with the geographical directions. In this way, wind blowing from the north-east will have the pointer pointing in that direction.

The weathervane is a very simple instrument. Building a weathervane can be a very engaging experience for your child. This will also be a first-hand experience in building a functional instrument that has a theoretical basis. All that is needed are items that you can easily find in your home (or your nearest grocery store).

Items required

1. A rectangular piece of cardboard or a business card

2. A pencil (that has an eraser on one end)

3. A stickpin

4. Scissors

5. Ruler

6. A straw

7. 1-litre plastic bottle

8. Sand

9. Compass

10. Permanent marker

How to make it

Start by first showing your child what a real weathervane looks like, and how it works. You can find a house in your neighbourhood that has a weathervane, or you can take your child to a store that sells weathervanes.

1. Help your child gather all the material required.

2. Ask your child to take the lead, and assist him/her only for tasks that he/she is unable to pull off.

3. Cut a triangle out of the cardboard/business card. Cut the straw so that it is about 6 inch long. Make small slits on both sides of the straw, and slide the cut cardboard pieces onto each end. The end with the triangular card becomes the pointer.

4. Cut the 1 litre plastic bottle at the bottom, and fill it with sand. Firmly stick the pencil into the centre of the sand pit.

5. Using a ruler, locate the centre of the straw, and position the straw over the pencil and secure the two together using a stickpin.

6. Your weathervane is ready! Place it in a windy spot, and show your child how it moves with the wind. You can use a permanent marker to mark the directions on the plastic bottle.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Feng Shui for your garden

Bring Feng Shui to your garden
The garden is as much a part of the house as the living room or the bedroom. We perform feng shui for the bedroom and the living room to attract positive energy, and to keep negative forces at bay. So, why not try feng shui for the garden as well. Good feng shui for the garden will add to the positive vibes of the house and bring good energy (Qi) into your home. Feng shui products are also very attractive and exotic, and add an extra beauty to the garden.

All feng shui products for the garden are made to attract the five feng shui elements. Depending on which element is the most required for you, you can choose the right feng shui product. It is essential that you choose the product based on your feng shui need, and not just the look of the product.

1. Outdoor fountains

Add the element of water to your home. Decide what fountain design, material and shape appeals the most to you (and also to your feng shui Birth Element), and install it in your garden at a spot that can be chosen per feng shui.

2. Wind chimes/Weathervanes

These are loved by one and all. The pleasant sound the chimes create is soothing, and helps bring positive vibes. You can combine the elements of wind and water by placing the wind chime near your fountain. A weathervane could also be a good symbol for the element of wind.

3. Garden lights

In early days, fire lamps were used to bring in the fire element. But in the modern world, modern lanterns can symbolically replace fire lamps. Choose a lamp with the appropriate design for that area. Garden lights can come in variety of designs from flowers to turtles. Ensure balance when lighting your garden.

4. Statues and accents

Good feng shui is a harmony of sounds, colors, images and movements. Install a sculpture such as an angel, bird, horse, etc. and witness your garden come alive. A weathervane bearing the motif of an angel, bird, fish, or a horse can also be a good alternative – a moving sculpture.

5. Stepping stones

These are a good addition to the garden landscape, and serve a higher purpose of reminding the “one day, one step at a time” healing philosophy of paying conscious attention to each step in life.

6. Stone bench

This can be an excellent place to rest oneself, and give the time to absorb all the positive, nourishing energy moving about in the garden.

Choose from these feng shui products and decorate your garden wisely and feel your garden brim with positive energy.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Unique Weathervanes

Do you have a taste for the unconventional, experimental, eccentric, avant-garde? Below is a carefully picked list of some unique weathervanes that can accentuate and underline your distinctive style and taste. Select your favorite and show your style to the world by installing one of these spectacular pieces of art on your rooftop or in your garden!

golf weathervane

The Golfer Weathervane

Satisfy the golfer in you by bringing home this unique weathervane. With the classic pose of a mid-swing drive, and with attention paid to the minutest of details, this weathervane is the perfect choice for your garden or roof. Let the golfers know where the wind is going.
Fire Wagon Weathervane

The Fire Wagon Weathervane

Wait! The Fire Wagon? Yeah! Show your gratitude towards the real-life heroes – the firemen who protect us from fire mishaps. These truly unique and inspiring weathervanes are crafted from copper, brass and aluminium and detailed to perfection.

Plane Weathervane

Airplane Weathervane

It’s time to celebrate the genius and courageous invention of the airplane. Today we might take an airplane for granted, but think of the ingenuity of the inventors who came up with a way to enable us reach 30 thousand feet above ground without making the slightest of effort (except buying the air ticket, of course). The weathervane features a classic airplane of the early 1900s. The style and beauty of this weathervane is truly amazing!

The “Trout in Water” Weathervane

Fish Weathervane

If you are the one who loves “water” out of the four elements, then you would definitely find this weathervane fascinating. This elegant piece of art features a fish that is diving out of water – yes, water is also featured in this carefully crafted weathervane. The degree of detailing is unmatched and this weathervane is just as good close as from far away.

Motorcycle Weathervane

Are you a biker at heart? Display your love and passion for bikes by going for this motorcycle weathervane. The motif is brilliantly crafted and is sure to make any enthusiast happy. We’re confident that you will have this new motorcycle up on your roof in no time!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Choosing the Right Size of Weathervane for your Roof

Weathervanes come in various sizes (and prices). There are some ground rules for choosing a weathervane for your roof. Here is a guide to choosing the right size of weathervane for your rooftop.

Weathervanes generally come in three sizes – small, standard, and large. The basic rule for selecting the right size is that a weathervane, just like anything else, looks smaller as you go farther away. Thus the smaller the weathervane, the closer it should be to the ground.

The next thing to consider is whether you would like to go with a cupola or not. A cupola is a small structure built on top of the house that “crowns” the roof. The weathervane can be either mounted on the cupola, or can be directly mounted on the roof. The pictures below depict weathervanes mounted on a cupola and directly on the roof.

Weathervane mounted
on a Cupola
With a cupola: If you choose to mount your weathervane on a cupola, then you need to first choose the right size of the cupola for your roof. The rule of thumb is: For every foot of roof line, you should have 1"-1.25" of cupola width. So, measure the roof line of your building and multiplies it by 1"-1.25". Once you are done with selecting the cupola, go for a weathervane that is roughly the same size of the cupola, or within ±6 inches. Thus, if you settle on a 22” cupola, then go for a weathervane size between 16” and 28” long.

Weathervane directly mounted
on the roof
Without a cupola: if you want your weathervane to be mounted directly on the roof, then use the rule of thumb rule as mentioned above for the cupola - "Every foot of the roof line should account for one inch of the weathervane". Most people find that adding a little extra to this looks even better. Thus, for a roof line that is 32 feet in length, a 36” weathervane would create the right effect. If your building has more than 3 stories, go for the “next size up”.

In general, a small sized weathervane fits perfectly with a small building structure such as a car garage, a utility shed, or a gazebo. The standard size goes well with one-storied, medium sized houses, and small barns. The larger ones are best suited for large houses, two or more story structures, or modern-day residential or commercial buildings.

For very long rooflines, more than one weathervane may be more suitable, placed comfortably apart from each other. For example, a 60 foot long roofline can accommodate two 30”-36” cupolas, with each different weathervanes on top.

Stick to these rules of thumb, and select the best size of weathervane for your house. Give your house a distinct look with weathervanes, and enjoy the appreciation from friends and strangers alike!