Posts by Faith Collins

The History Of The Rocking Horse

The rocking horse is one of the most universally-loved children’s toys in the world. In fact, it was inducted into the U.S. National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004. This sturdy toy spans cultural and regional differences. Many families hand down hobby horses from generation to generation. Today, hobby horses are made of all sorts of materials, from metal to wood to plastic. However, do you know the history of this popular toy?

How the rocking horse came to be

There’s nothing new about rocking horses. The first recorded mention of this toy dates back to the Persian Empire of around 400 B.C.E. Horses were a big part of Persian culture, so it’s easy to see why the smallest members of the family would want to have their own “mounts” even when they were too young to ride a real horse. Hobby horses were also mentioned in the Middle Ages, as children mimicked jousters and knights on horseback. Some of these early hobby horses were on wheels. Others were simply a wooden horse head mounted on broom sticks. The oldest known hobby horse to still be in existence dates back to the early 17th century and was owned by England’s King Charles I. It is displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The rocking part of the hobby horse is believed to have evolved from combining a wooden horse with a baby’s cradle. However, it was during the Victorian era in England that the bow to the rocker that we associate with a rocking horse was added, probably to prevent the horse from tipping over. A rocking horse was a standard of English middle and upper-class households of that era, and families looked at rocking horses as the first step to teaching their children to ride real horses. The safety stand was added in the late 19th century.

Twentieth century technology brought the advent of plastic rocking horses, but more recent computer technology has made it possible to create intricate wooden horses that would have taken too much time and labor previous. Because of this, the wooden rocking horse is experiencing a renaissance.

The rocking horse may not be a new toy, but it continues to be a beloved one. If you have a young son or daughter (or grandson or granddaughter), a wooden rocking horse is an addition to the household that they can not only enjoy, but one they can hand down to their children and grandchildren.

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The Dos And Don’ts Of Touching Up Interior Wall Paint

There are many reasons as to why you may need to touch up some of your home’s interior wall paint. For example, you may be looking to touch up a small spot where you needed to patch over a hole in the existing drywall. Regardless of your reasoning for needing to touch up interior wall paint, there are some important dos and don’ts you’ll need to keep in mind as you go to ensure the best results.

DO Get an Accurate Paint Match

Even a small touch-up is going to be glaringly obvious if you don’t have an exact paint match. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can ensure an accurate match. For starters, if you have the original paint can, you can bring that into your local paint store and they’ll be able to match it for you. If you don’t have an old paint can, you can also use a putty knife to scrape away a small paint chip, put it in a plastic bag, and take it to your paint store to be matched.

DO Wash Walls Before Painting

Before you attempt your touch-up job, you’ll also want to make sure that the area you’re going to be painting is properly prepared. This means taking the time to wash the area with soapy water in addition to drying with a clean towel before painting. If you skip this step, your new paint’s appearance could be affected by grime or dirt on the walls. Just be sure that the area is completely dry before you apply the new coat of paint.

DON’T Forget to Protect Furniture

Finally, just because you’re only doing a “touch up” on your paint, this doesn’t mean spills and mistakes can’t happen. Be sure that any nearby wall outlets, furniture, and flooring are well protected before you bust out the paint cans, brushes, and rollers. After all, paint can be very difficult to remove from upholstery and carpeting, so it’s better to be safe than sorry, even when doing what seems like a simple touch up job on a small area of the wall.

Touching up paint around your house seems like a small task, but it does require some careful thought and planning. By keeping the above tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to a successful touch-up job in your home in no time. And, more than likely, you won’t even be able to tell that it was a touch up!

Have more questions? Need more help? Contact a company like Koontz Hardware with any concerns you have.

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Want To Be The Next Guitar Hero? 3 Reasons Why You Really Do Need Lessons

If you want to learn how to play guitar, there are plenty of books, videos and online lessons to help you get started. Why should you bother signing up for classes with a music instructor when you have all of these other resources available to teach you?

There are 3 reasons why formal guitar lessons at a studio like Pimentel & Sons Guitars are necessary if you want to become a real player:

1) A guitar instructor helps minimize your pain.

While books and videos can show you techniques and finger positions, they can’t prepare you for the initial soreness you’ll encounter on the tips of your fingers. Until you develop callouses on them, your fingertips are going to be tender from pressing down on the strings. Many new guitar players quit because of this.

A good guitar teacher will show you how to hold your hands and how to finger the fretboard in ways that lessen the newbie pains. Your teacher will help you work past the hurt, and give you exercises and other tips that strengthen your playing hands.

2) You have a reason to practice.

Despite your musical dreams and your best intentions, it’s easy to stop practicing any instrument when there’s no one holding you accountable.

But, when you know you have a lesson this week, you will be far more likely to practice your assigned pieces. You don’t want to look like a jerk in front of your teacher, so you’re motivated to improve your playing.

Being inspired enough to continue practicing is the number one factor in becoming an expert guitar player. You don’t have to practice for 14 hours a day, as some famous guitarists have done, but an hour a day minimum should be enough to master most beginning practice pieces within a week.

3) You have an automatic “band.

Whether you’re learning lead guitar so you can one day play awesome solos, or you’re studying rhythm guitar so you can strum along to songs around a campfire, having another guitarist with whom to practice is like having your own little band.

Your guitar instructor can play a nice blues shuffle while you practice scales, or they can add some nice frills to your simple 3 chord song. Either way, they help you learn to play in time with other musicians and their accompaniment helps you to develop your musical ear.

When you make music with another person, it’s a thrilling experience, and it encourages you to keep working on your guitar skills.

It’s fine to use all of the resources out there, from videos to online lessons, in order to advance with your guitar. But a competent, professional guitar teacher will help you start out the correct way, laying the most secure foundation for a lifetime of guitar heroics.

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Repairing A Leather Jacket

Leather is known for its luxurious look and feel. It is a material that many consider to be high-quality, and when it is incorporated into a jacket, it is a piece of clothing that you will want to wear time and time again because of the pleasing way it looks when you wear it. If you happen to have something happen to your jacket where it is in dire need of repair, you will most likely be very upset and scared to bring it somewhere. You can try to fix your leather jacket yourself using the following tips.

Preparing To Restore

Before you attempt to make any repairs to the leather, you will want to make sure that it is clean and free from grime, oil residue, dirt and dust. Having a clean surface will allow the materials used in leather repair kit to work properly. If it isn’t clean, the materials may not stick, making your jacket look worse.

Use a mild detergent mixed with water to clean the exterior of your leather jacket. You will want to use a soft brush to get the soap into all the grooves of the leather. It will lightly remove any film that may be on the jacket from smoke or other contaminants. Rinse the soap thoroughly after scrubbing and allow the jacket to air-dry.

Using A Repair Kit

There are many repair kits on the market that will aid you in fixing your jacket. You will want to find one that matches the color of your leather, so make sure to have the jacket with you when you buy the kit so you can match up the color as closely as possible.

Fixing The Damage

Look at the damaged area and decide if you will need to affix a patch to the area before using the leather repair cream. If the area is large, or has a hole, you will need a patch. Snip off any frayed areas of the leather so you can affix a patch without extra pieces of material puckering the patch from the underside.You can use a leather glue to keep the patch in place. 

If your jacket has a small area that needs repairing, you will be able to do this with the cream that is included in a leather repair kit. Use a cotton swab to dab it onto your jacket and blend it so that the edges of the cream that was applied are not visible. You may need to spread it on thinner on the edges, dragging the cotton swab away from the damaged area as you blend.

Should you need help along the way, consider calling for a leather jacket repair professional like Sew What.

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July 2017
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