There can be few things more disappointing than the excitement of moving into a new home for a short period of time, before discovering that the hard water the area suffers from, about which you knew nothing, is now less stains on the various sinks, basins and toilets in your home. It’s also worth remembering that although you can see the stains, often in the form of a sort of dirty red line, you can rest assured that similar stains will be occurring where you can’t see such as inside pipes, faucets, and showerheads. If you don’t deal with this problem fairly promptly you may end up having significant problems with your plumbing, and the need to replace certain home appliances which use water in large quantities such as the dishwasher and the washing machine.
Another distressing symptom of hard water is that it often leaves a fairly unpleasant smell in your home, which can be both embarrassing and oppressive after a time.
So what to do about the problem of hard water. Well in order to establish what you need to do first the best thing to do is to get a water quality report from your local water company. This will give you a good idea about the sort of problems that you might be facing. However we suggest that you don’t rely entirely on this report, that you go to a local pet store, one in particular that has an aquarium section, and find their water test kits. You want a water test kit that measures pH, KH which represents the carbonate hardness of the water and the GH which represents the general hardness of the water. Although not fantastically accurate these simple test strips provided for aquarium owners to test the water before they put new fishing to will certainly give you a good idea about the level of water hardness that you are getting from the tap.
Stains that you might be experiencing, the red lines, almost certainly red or pink algae growth and are an actual fact nothing to do with mineral deposits. The reality is that red algae particularly enjoys hardwood conditions. So the stains on the various utilities are actually not directly related to hard water but are a corollary to it. This solution is usually solved by simple process of bleaching the toilets and sinks regularly to prevent the algae from causing the problems.
Finally, you’re going to have to consider seriously the prospect of installing a water softener system. If you do have particular problems with hard water, then the best type of water softener system is unquestionably the salt based water softener system. There are a number of alternative water softening systems on the market, but the reality is that the only one actually softens the water is the salt-based system. All the other deal with the symptoms but do not actually deal with the central problem. Unfortunately all water softener systems can be expensive, especially when installation is required, but it may well be the best course of action in order to overcome the issues that you’re facing and allow you once again to enjoy your home.
All you need is an idea
You don’t need a computerized embroidery machine (although they are wonderful). Even the most basic sewing machines have some built-in decorative stitches—so check your manual. Whatever you do, start simple! You might want to stitch a motif in metallic thread on the back pocket of your favorite jeans. Or have some fun with glow-in-the-dark stitching on pajamas or color-changing thread on a terrycloth bib. It’s so easy to express yourself in stitches!
Choosing a machine
Your machine is your most important tool, so you want to be sure to choose the one that best suits your interest and needs. There are three basic types of sewing machine. Which is right for you? Read on to learn more.
Regular sewing machines sew straight and zigzag stitches, with some built-in decorative stitches. They don’t allow you to work hooped embroidery, but they do sew beautiful linear stitches.
These top-of-the-line machines have an embroidery module for sewing multicolor, hooped embroidery. They also have an internal computer that programs (he stitching and allows you to edit designs. When the embroidery module is not attached, the machine works as a sewing-only model—with all the bells and whistles.
These specialized machines stitch multicolor, motif- style hooped embroidery quickly and professionally. Keep in mind that they do not sew straight rows of stitches—they’re designed only for embellishing. If you already own a sewing machine but want to do more embroidery, this machine is an excellent tool for expanding your repertoire.
Many sewing machines are computerized, which means they have a large library of stitches, and also allow you to edit, or modify, the stitches. If you’re passionate about decorative stitching, invest in a computerized machine.
A presser foot holds the fabric flat as the feed dogs or embroidery unit moves it along. There are lots of specialized feet that are perfect for fancy stitching. If you buy a special presser foot, make sure it fits on your machine-or buy a shank adaptor kit to make it fit correctly.
- General purpose/zigzag foot: works well for most sewing purposes, with straight or zigzag stitch; underside of the foot is flat.
- Satin stitch/appliqué/open-toe foot: features a wide groove on the bottom surface that glides over dense decorative stitches: good for appliqué, satin-stitching, cutwork, and couching.
- Pin tuck foot: forms tuck by pulling fabric through the center groove: has three, five, or seven grooves on the bottom that act as channels for the sewn tucks and spacers for subsequent tucks.
- Cording foot: hole or guide feeds decorative trim or thread under the needle thread if there is a groove on the bottom, it can teed more-dimensional trim, such as cording and stranded pearls.
- Piping foot: deep groove on the bottom surface lets the machine zigzag stitch over a string of pearls or beads.
- Sequin and ribbon foot: feeds trim through a small tube so the machine can zigzag-stitch over the trim to hold it in place.
- Overedge/overcast foot: forms stitches over the raw edge to prevent fraying and curling and for decorative purposes.
- Embroidery/darning foot: designed for machine darning, and free-motion embroidery; may have an attached spring to facilitate the high-speed, up-and-down movement of the needle.
- Braiding foot: holds narrow braids or cord in place through an opening in the front as the machine zigzag stitches over them.