Post-Katrina housing: Project unveiled in La.

Post-Katrina housing:Project unveiled in La.
The first major housing investment in the New Orleans region since Hurricane Katrina will come from a California home builder planning a community with as many as 20,000 homes.
The venture, called KB Home/Shaw Louisiana LLC, would build new homes "with the goal of providing permanent housing and increased economic development" in Louisiana, the companies said in a statement last week.
"We want to rebuild New Orleans," said Bruce Karatz, chairman and chief executive of KB Home, which has partnered with The Shaw Group of Baton Rouge to buy a 3,000-acre tract near Avondale, La., in Jefferson Parish.
The project will be built on a tract being sold by landowner Joseph Marcello. The area has been considered one of the last big tracts in the region suitable for development because of its elevation.
"These are major players putting their money where their mouths are," parish president Aaron Broussard told The Times-Picayune. "They are anticipating a great influx of people coming to Jefferson."
Use craft suppliesfor homemade gifts
The holiday season can be frantic with parties to attend, cards to address and gifts to buy. Save yourself a little money and a lot of hassle by making some of your presents. The good news is that you can do it with many of the craft supplies you already have on hand.
Remember the days when a hand-addressed envelope in the mail meant a handwritten note from a friend or family member? With e-mail, cell phones and answering machines, the art of letter writing seems to be disappearing. Help rekindle interest in hand-written correspondence with a personal gift of handmade stationery or note cards. And if the recipient happens to be a scrapbooker, their personalized note cards can do double duty as a photo mat or journaling entry on a scrapbook page.
Buy envelopes or cut your own, steaming open the seams of a used envelope to use as a pattern. Trim card stock to fit inside the envelope in a coordinating color. With a craft knife, cut two 1-inch slits about a 1/4-inch apart at the top of each card. For variety, cut some of the slits horizontally and some vertically. When you're making several cards, it's easiest to make a cardboard template to mark the location of the slits on each card. The slits provide the opening to attach paper strips and shapes to decorate each card.
Cut coordinating papers into small strips (none wider than an inch) to fit through the slits. Add punched shapes like hearts, stars and tags that are also narrow enough to slide through the slits. Place the strips and shapes into a small bag that will accompany the cards and envelopes.
Cooking with copper
In the kitchen, copper pots are ideal for cooking because copper is a good conductor of heat. But copper tarnishes, and it's not easy to clean unless you know the secret.
First, sprinkle a thin layer of salt onto the copper, then apply a small amount of white vinegar with a spray bottle. The copper will brighten before your eyes. Don't use too much vinegar or it won't work.
For rust stains on porcelain sinks and tubs, dip a pumice stick in turpentine (not paint thinner) and gently rub the rusty stain.
More home kitchensare going industrial
Luxury home buyers today are looking for a kitchen in their new house that looks like a kitchen from a restaurant, with commercial-grade stainless cooktops and separate double or triple ovens.
This industrial gas cooktop is incorporated into the cherry cabinetry with a granite countertop to bring it back to a residential look. Decorative detail is added with fluted columns with an ornate bracket supporting the arched cherry hood surround which hides the industrial-strength hood vent. Tasteful tile design adorns the backsplash wall under the upper cabinetry with glass display doors above and handy slide-out spice drawers flanking the cooktop.
Williamsburg analysis
Researchers at Colonial Williamsburg assiduously apply the latest scientific techniques to analyze the paint, wallpaper and architecture of 18th-century America. Their evolving knowledge of the vibrant paint colors favored in the era still shock some visitors to the living history museum.
"What used to be one layer of paint before, may be two or three now because we are able to separate them," says Jim Bradley, public relations manager for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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