Silver echinops (also known as globe thistle) and spiky, steel-blue eryngium (or sea holly) mingle with feathery white flowering astilbe. All can be found in farmers' markets and are easy to grow. Cut stems at an angle, and anchor them in a vase using a flower frog. Finish with astilbe foliage and sparklerlike Queen Anne's lace (if planting your own, skip Daucus carota, an invasive weed; instead, try its better-behaved cousin Ammi majus) to set off those big, booming blossoms.
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Eliminate stray notes and pieces of paper by writing important to-do tasks on an erasable board near the door. Adding a painted wooden picture frame upgrades the standard message board; below it, a "hot box" -- a mesh bin set off by a colorful painted square -- helps you remember cameras, cell phones, and any other small equipment you may need to take with you.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January 2003
Use bungee cords to keep items from tumbling off freestanding shelves. The cords are especially helpful in high-traffic areas, such as the garage, where shelves might get jostled. Hook a cord across the front of a shelf, or use an extra-long one to wrap around the sides as well. If the cord isn't taut, wrap slack around the leg, then hook the cord to itself.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2006
Rectangular baking sheets make perfect receptacles for wet shoes and boots. The pans move easily in and out of cubbyholes, taking their contents out of the way. Once the shoes are dry, the pans can be washed and replaced.
SourceOrganizing Good Things 2005
Wake up a tired piece of furniture by giving the legs a glossy enamel finish. We updated a classic wing chair with sunny yellow oil paint.
Sand the legs lightly with medium-grit sandpaper. Apply 1 coat of oil-based primer, followed by 2 coats of oil-based paint. Allow plenty of drying time between applications.
If you're not planning to reupholster the piece, protect the fabric well with plastic sheeting; attach it with painters' tape, smoothing the tape into the creases where fabric meets wood.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, September 2009
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