Easter decor

Who can forget the Cadbury commercials of the 1980s, with that adorable bunny hopping off a nest to reveal foil-wrapped creme eggs? Here's what you might get if a sheep instead of a rabbit were doing the clucking: fuzzy, felted eggs that can be used as Easter decorations or cut open to insert tiny treats.

Making them is easy, if a bit messy. But unlike dyeing real eggs, there's no chance of staining your hands or clothing purple or green. Small bits of colorful wool roving are wrapped around inexpensive plastic eggs, dunked in water and agitated until the fibers shrink around the shape, producing a soft covering of felt. A washing machine can be used to make a dozen at once, or tactile types can make them one-by-one by hand.

Hanging plants

Ever hear of a vertical garden? Los Angeles artist Michel Horvat turned a door on its side and made it the focal point for Joella Thomas' outdoor room, a living wall with hundreds of succulents and California native plants.

He started by treating the walnut frame with Penofin wood finish to make it more durable. Antique wood is perfect for such a project, Horvat said, because it's hard and "has a natural protection to it." The edges then were lined with copper flashing to further protect the wood. An irrigation line installed at the top of the door drizzles water down to the plants below. LEDs placed behind the frame give it a three-dimensional look.

Skylight tips

One of the secrets of keeping a home comfortable in the various seasons is to use window controls to block the sun when you don't want it but to let it in when you do. You can do the same with skylights by using products from the skylight manufacturer or other vendors to allow you to control the light coming into your home.

If your home has one or more skylights in it, you can put a flat or domed glazing across the bottom of the light well. This will help diffuse the light and cut down on its strength coming into the room.

You can also buy an operable shade to go under the dome so that you can have the light when you want it but block it partially or even completely when you don't want it.

If you're planning to have new skylights put into your home, you've got some choices for ones to give you control. You might buy skylights that have a diffusing dome, giving them a milky-white appearance. This type of skylight will diffuse the direct beam of the sun and send the light into the room below it in many different directions.

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