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Buying An Outdoor Water Fountain Or Statue – First Know How Long It’ll Last

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Your new resin fountain was exciting and rewarding. It looked beautiful nestled in your garden. As the summer wore on, the color faded. The spring hail chipped it and now it’s peeling. Your delight diminished as the once-cherished resin fountain deteriorates.

Polyresin, also referred to as alabastrite or resin, is a member of the epoxy-plastics family. “Hong Tze” and “Liberty Bronze” are also resin products. Resin products are commonly sold for outdoor use such as water fountains, statues, birdbaths, furniture, and stepping stones.

Some resin products marketed for outdoor lawn and garden use were weather tested by Gardecor®, LLC. They found that the resin products under testing cracked, peeled, and faded within a year. Some resin products even deformed in the hot summer sun! A reliable resin product such as fountains or statues suitable for long-term outdoor use has yet to be found. Resin technology has not advanced to the point of providing a good polyresin product suitable for long-term outdoor use, unless the item is for use on a covered porch.

When seeking an outdoor water fountain, statuary, birdfeeder, or other outdoor item exposed to the elements, it’s wise to know what to expect it to look like in the future. Here are some common materials suitable for long-term outdoor use.

  • The Bronzes, including Brass.
  • Aluminum.
  • Cast Stone Concrete.
  • Fiberglass.
  • Iron: Cast Iron and COR-TEN® Steel.
  • Marble.
  • Lead Metal.

Bronze and Brass can last long enough to hand down through generations as heirloom treasures. Bronze art dated B.C. has been uncovered from underwater archaeological sites. Now that’s a long time!

Left to weather, the bronze family continually develops a stunning aged patina (surface finish). Just look around your local park at the bronze statuaries. Depending on the metal composition, bronze and brass can age to beautiful blues and greens (from the copper and nickel), yellows (iron) and other colors.

Aging doesn’t happen right away, but takes decades. Bronze and brass statues age in the same manner, but not exactly the same. Each piece will have an unique patina. Bronze and brass can have the same overall appearance because copper is the predominant metal in both.

Bronze contains tin whereas brass contains zinc. Other metals are present in small amounts and can contribute to the color. Tin makes bronze harder than brass; however, the homeowner won’t be able to tell the difference. Brass is strong enough for hardware and fittings. Pure bronze can be 3-4 times more expensive than brass. That’s why some outdoor fountains and statues are brass with a bronze patina.

If you want color, look for bronze with a colored patina. Gold foil can give brilliant oranges to the artwork whereas other techniques can impart deep blues, reds and brilliant yellows to your piece.

One more note about casting bronze statues. Look for those manufactured with the lost-wax method. Although more arduous, the lost-wax method produces pieces without seams seen on other methods of casting.

Aluminum. Aluminum being lighter than the bronzes is preferred because transport is cheaper. Exposed to the weather, aluminum doesn’t weather as nicely as either bronze or brass. That’s probably why you don’t see aluminum fountains or statues in parks or in front of corporate buildings. You can maintain your aluminum piece by coating with a clear acrylic floor wax.

Cast stone is popular for outdoor water fountains, statuaries and birdbaths because of it’s strength, bold appearance, and barring a hurricane, it won’t blow over. Classical statues of cast stone are reminiscent of the Grecian ancient times. Some manufacturers have developed colored surface finishes that last.

Cast stone concrete is great in the southern states, however, in the northern states, it’s susceptible to water freezing and thawing in tiny crevices. You might have to dry the fountain bowl and cover it during the freezing months. Statues tend to withstand the winters because they don’t have bowls that hold a large volume of water. Formulated properly, cast stone can withstand more than 10 winters.

Fiberglass is less often used for backyard statues and fountains. Not many consumers are familiar with fiberglass for a decorative statue. Fiberglass won’t crack or break as easily as resin. The surface finish is tricky to apply for long-term use, but some manufacturers have had success with it. Fine detailing is also hard to accomplish with the fiberglass structure. Detailing is usually done with the surface coating. You’ll see enormous fiberglass statues in amusements parks and other places because it’s not only strong, but also lightweight and easy to move without a crane.

Iron and Steel Products. Rust can provide a protective surface to outdoor decor. Iron products should be considered if you want an aged or antiqued outdoor decor. Iron is more brittle than the bronzes and less frequently used for statues and water fountains. Iron and steel can be powder coated to prevent rusting and add long-lasting color.

Marble statues and water fountains are valued for the artistic sculpting and uniqueness each marble piece imparts. Some marble is harder than others. Outdoors, marble tends to age differently than the bronzes. Moss and small plants can make a home on the marble making it a truly living piece of artwork. Depending on the amount of acid rain, the surface texture can change with time. As with concrete, it can crack in the winter’s freeze-thaw. The same care must be taken with marble as with cast stone. Marble should be used indoors to preserve the original finish.

Lead Metal. Many designers and architects prefer wall fountains and decorative plaques because of it’s traditional antique quality. Lead can turn darker as it ages and isn’t prone to weathering like aluminum is. It’s a very soft metal and fountain bowls may need periodic reshaping with careful pounds of a soft mallet. Care must be taken when handling lead products. Maintaining the surface with a clear wax or acrylic coating can help you prevent lead from leaching into the environment.

Whatever you decide, to re-design your outdoors every year with resin or to show off heirloom pieces of artwork, be certain to know the characteristics of the materials used before you buy.

Next time, we’ll discuss what you should know about materials used in outdoor lawn, garden and patio furniture and discuss the difference between authentic wrought iron and ornamental ironwork.

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Elite League of Legends Teleport Tricks to Destroy Your Friends

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Every day, thousands of gamers log onto League of Legends to play Riot Games’ free DOTA-style video game, unfortunately most of them get crushed by the elite few that know all the tricks of the trade. The most popular tricks often involve one of the lesser used summoner spells in public games; the incredibly useful but oft-ignored teleport spell, and while these tricks can take weeks to master, it only takes a few moments to read on and learn them.

1. Fiddlesticks’ Surprise — If there is one sound that strikes fear into the heart of every experienced League of Legends player, it’s the horrifying “Caw! Caw! Caw!” of Fiddlestick’s monstrous ultimate, which is nothing less than an area of effect spell of doom for everyone caught in its wake. The problem with this spell, of course, is its two-second channel time that requires you to be smart about when you’re ready to attack. Surprisingly, few players realize the power of this ultimate when combined with the utility of the teleport summoner spell.

An awesome way to get the drop on your opponents with Fiddlesticks, is to lay a ward down in the farthest bushes on the top or bottom lane of the map. When done correctly, you can teleport in behind your opponent and out of sight, waiting for the right time to launch from the bushes and strike. This is particularly effective if for some reason you are playing Fiddlesticks in the lane, as you can recall base before quickly teleport behind them to create mass confusion.

2. Nunu’s Trap — Nunu is well-known in League of Legends to have one of the strongest ultimates in the game, capable of swallowing entire teams in its large radius and exploding them into a million bits. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the most difficult ultimate to land in the game as it has a long stationary channel that is easily interrupted and even more easily stepped out of…. that is, of course, unless you have the teleport summoner spell.

With the teleport spell at your disposal, Nunu can quickly become a frightful player for the opposing team. Try sneaking a ward right into the middle of the middle lane to teleport to later, and wait until your opponent’s solo mid steps by it. When he does, teleport in and quickly ice-blast him for the slow effect, pop your ultimate and watch as he explodes with the help of a teammate already in that lane. This is an awesome technique because you will actually give yourself an additional second or so for your ultimate to go unnoticed, as your opponent will be extremely confused as to how you appeared next to him out of the middle of nowhere.

This is also an effective technique at grouping hot-spots, like Baron, Dragon, or a short distance in front of your middle tower. Placing a ward a bit in front of your middle tower is particularly rewarding, as once you teleport in and cast your ultimate while your opponents are attacking your tower, they will be pinched in and be forced to move into the tower where all your teammates await, or back toward you for an icy surprise of ultimate death.

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How to Play Spoons Card Game

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How would you like to play a game that could be enjoyed by the entire family regardless of age? Sounds pretty fun, right? Well, we’re going to teach you about just that game. It’s called spoons, and it’s one of the more popular card games. It’s really simple to play, and it’s really enjoyable! So just follow these simple steps.

What you’re going to need:

  1. Spoons ( You need one less spoon than there are players. So let’s say that there are 5 players, you need six spoons )
  2. Deck ( Full Deck of Cards )

Game Set Up

To set up the game, you’re going to need to count the number of players. Let’s say that there are six players in your group. You’re going to need six suits of cards. You don’t need to use the whole deck.

Now, at this point, you’re going to need to put the spoons in the center of the table and pass out an equal number of cards to each player. Then you’re ready to go!

Game Play

Once each player has a hand of cards, it’s time to get started. The object of the game is to get a suit of hands in your card, so what you’re going to do is select one card from your hand and pass it to the player on the left. At this point, the player on the left, the one receiving the card, has the option to take that card into his hand, or he can pick a card from his hand and pass it to the player on his left. This continues until one player has an entire suit of cards in his hand.

Once that happens, his goal is to sneakily grab a spoon from the center of the table. If other people find out he has an entire suit, they could inadvertently make him the loser, so don’t let that happen. Once you’ve grabbed the spoon you reveal your hand to the other players.

They then have to hastily grab their own spoons. The player who is left without a spoon is then declared the loser and removed from the game. The game play continues until there are only two players in the group. At which time, they are both declared the winner.

Get Your Game On!

As you can tell, spoons is a real simple game, and it is perfect for those family game nights. So we recommend you give it a try! We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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Dog Training Academy – How to Create Obedience in Your Dog

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Training a dog can be a frustrating act but not anymore with the Dog Training Academy e-course. Dogs tend to be unruly at times with excess of barking and whining along with aggressive actions towards visitors. It is high time to start training your dog using well established and proven methods when you find him reacting in a non responsive manner to your commands.

Lack of training can lead to behavioural problems in your dog and this can turn them into a disobedient pet. An unruly pet can end up tearing furniture or behaving in an uncontrollable manner. It is hence necessary that you take the right measures to control behavioural problems and to train your dog. This is where Dog Training Academy can help you get the perfect pet by bringing in obedience in your dog. The training course is a 7 day series that consolidates tips and tricks on training your dog on obedience matters.

Training a dog is not an easy task, but the job now becomes simple for you now with this free training e-course. The methods of training and the skills of the owner and pet normally determines the time taken to train a dog, but this training e-course can resolve all your problems in just about 7 days. They provide you with many widely practiced professional methods of obedience training to bring in fast and effective behavioural changes.

Basic bonding and effective communication is required between you and your dog before you can start training on obedience. This kind of essentials that needs to be obtained before the dog can respond to your basic commands and orders are detailed in the Dog Training Academy course.

There are many ways of training your dog other than the e-course methodology. One such way of obedience training your dog is by taking him to a training school. Such schools provide professional help offered by expert trainers who can handle any kind of dogs. But is it necessary to check whether such schools are recognized ones before your enrol your dog. Such kind of schools also charge a hefty amount for a complete training spanning around 3-4 weeks time as compared to the free course.

A proven training plan and a step-by-step guide of the plan can make you feel the difference in your dog’s behavior in just a week time. The training plan can bring in more obedience and security in your dog at the end of the course. Enrol for the Dog Training Academy course and you no longer need to worry about torn furniture or garbage in your living room.

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