5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Great GiftHas this ever happened to you? A special occasion is coming up, and you need to get a gift. As time passes and the event draws near, your confusion and anxiety about what to give increases. Finding a gift someone will like and use can be a challenge.

Fortunately, gift giving is a skill; and, like any other ability it can be learned. Of course, giving meaningful gifts takes time; however, it can be fun and make you feel wonderful. After studying the qualities of a great gift, you’ll be ready to give anyone the perfect present.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Great Gift

1. Personalization

If you are giving a gift to someone who is important in your life, spend some time thinking about the recipient’s personality and lifestyle. Consider their gender, age, profession, hobbies and interests, likes and dislikes. For example, if you know someone enjoys gardening, then get them something from a garden center.

2. Useful

A gift that fills a particular need is always appreciated. Each time the person uses the item, they will think of your thoughtfulness. Here’s a tip: If you spend time with the person, listen for phrases such as, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have…” or “I’m so tired of this old…” These are helpful clues to know what the person needs. 

3. Quality 

If a person is going to use your gift, it needs to be able to withstand some wear and tear. After all, you want the present to last a considerable amount of time. Something to think about: Low price indicates the producer may have compromised quality. Experience proves the old saying is often true: You get what you pay for.

4. Unique

Now is your chance to get creative. You will be happy knowing you have created something distinctive for your special someone. And of course the recipient will be touched by your thoughtfulness and extra effort.

5. Engaging

You want your gift to leave a lasting positive impression. Pleasing presents are captivating conversation starters, and will enhance the recipient’s life. The best gifts make the person smile long after the event is over.

It’s Time to Get Gifting!

Each year we are faced with a number of gift giving occasions. For instance, Mother’s Day is coming up in a few weeks. This is an excellent opportunity to practice giving meaningful gifts that people will love and cherish.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Great GiftDid You Know Decorative Concrete Is…

  • Practical – Our planters and furniture can be left outside year-round.
  • Durable – Concrete resists the harsh elements of nature.
  • Customizable – Designed according to your needs and taste.
  • Timeless – Natural looking quality of concrete makes it a classic.
  • Sentimental – Can be handed down to generations.

About Us

SunWorks, etc. is a small local business. We produce authentically custom, handcrafted, unique designs. At the heart of it all, customer satisfaction remains primary and we strive to make each end customer happy. Made in the U.S.A. proud.

We encourage you to contact us for an appointment to visit our studio located in Annville, Pennsylvania.

We want to be social with you!

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunWorksEtc

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SunWorksetc

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Outdoor Kitchen Design: Why Proportion is Important

This article focuses on achieving pleasing proportion in outdoor kitchen design.

Proportion is about balance and how things fit together harmoniously.

Example from Everyday Life 

Baking cookies requires conscious measures. Put in too much flour and the cookies will be solid as rocks. Do not add enough sugar and they will not be sweet enough. Using the correct amount of ingredients ensures the finished product is palatable. Our senses quickly observe something is wrong when ingredients are imbalanced.

Achieving Harmony with Proper Proportion

Outdoor Kitchen Design: Why Proportion is ImportantHarmony is an orderly and agreeable combination of elements in a whole.

Individual parts compliment each other enhancing the overall composition.

When features are out of proportion, they often appear awkward and unbalanced.

Conversely, balanced elements have a more complete and visually pleasing appearance.

Achieving Proportion in Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor Kitchen Design: Visually Pleasing ProportionsOutdoor kitchens are the hottest trend in backyard entertaining.

Proportion is relevant here in terms of the size of the materials used to construct the outdoor kitchen –specifically, the size of the base compared to the countertop.

Because an outdoor kitchen is an investment, proper planning will ensure it is functional, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

Outdoor kitchen countertops must be durable to withstand exposure to the elements. A 1 1/4 inch granite slab for an outdoor kitchen is most common; however, for proportional design consideration, granite is not ideal.

Outdoor Kitchen Design: Visually Pleasing Proportions

5″ rounded drop

We suggest the homeowner, contractor or landscaper construct the base to accommodate a proportionally larger countertop. This will achieve an overall balanced outdoor kitchen design. Specifically, we recommend a minimum two inch thick countertop; however, three+ inches looks even better!

Concrete is the number one material for taking cooking and entertaining outdoors. Foremost, decorative concrete countertops are highly functional and versatile.  No other medium competes with the nearly limitless design options that concrete affords.

  • all-weather, naturally heat resistant building medium
  • alter and customize shape, color and pattern to compliment any décor
  • easy to maintain and clean – simply spray off with hose when needed

Granite and concrete are comparable in cost. The extra cost for a thicker custom-made concrete countertop is well worth it for the enhanced harmonious design value.

About Us

SunWorks, etc. is a local decorative concrete fabricator serving the central PA region and beyond.

Envision the outdoor kitchen of your dreams and SunWorks, etc. can bring your ideas to reality.

We encourage you to contact us for an appointment to visit our studio located in Annville, Pennsylvania.

We want to be social with you!

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunWorksEtc

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SunWorksetc

Notes
proportion. (n.d.) Vocabulary.com. Retrieved March 18, 2015, from http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/proportion
harmony. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved March 18, 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/harmony
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Join Us at the 2015 PA Garden Show of York

Catch a healthy dose of spring fever at the 2015 PA Garden Show of York!

My own backyard is a delightful place to be on a warm sunny day. Are you looking forward to tending your garden or cooking out with friends and family? Let’s shake our winter blues and get inspired for spring at the PA Garden Show of York.

Escape for the day, or the whole weekend if you would like, and explore new and exciting outdoor ideas. Be sure to bring your whole family and invite a few friends to share the memorable experience with.

The region’s best landscape companies skillfully set the scene with lush green grass, fragrant blooming flowers, meandering pathways, water features, and cookout family rooms. Discover a special romantic nightscape garden display under the stars! You will quickly forget that you are indoors in early March!

Do you enjoy shopping? There is a fantastic garden market just for you! Vendors with flowers, unusual plants, outdoor living ideas, jewelry, and art; unique wares you will not find anywhere else.

The Pa Garden Show of York has a full schedule of free seminars, workshops, afternoon tea time, cooking demonstrations with free samples, croquet lessons, and much more! Be sure to visit the Garden Show’s website often for information and updates!

There is so much to see and do at the 2015 Garden Show of York, March 6, 7, 8 at the York Expo Center – Memorial Hall. For more details visit the Garden Show’s website: http://pagsy.com/

Join Us at the 2015 PA Garden Show of YorkWhile you are at the Garden Show, we would love for you to stop by and see us at booths 102 – 108. We will have experts available to discuss your decorative concrete project and provide ideas and helpful advice. We look forward to seeing you there!

2015 PA Garden Show of York Hours

Friday, March 6: 10am – 8pm
Saturday, March 7: 10am – 8pm
Sunday, March 8: 10am – 5pm

Tickets Available at the Door:
Adult: $10
Seniors (62+): $9
Multi-day Pass: $15
Children 12 & Under: FREE
Check PA Garden Show’s Tickets page for special pricing information.

 

 

 

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Concrete’s versatility permits features like metal trivets to be added to your countertop design.

What are concrete countertop trivets?

Concrete Countertop Trivets: Function and FlairCONCRETE COUNTERTOP TRIVETS are raised metal rods embedded into a concrete countertop surface.

What is the purpose of concrete countertop trivets? 

Concrete countertop trivets are both a practical and aesthetic design element.

(1) Functional

The primary purpose of concrete countertop trivets is to protect the countertop surface. Trivets are made of material that can withstand heat and friction making them the ideal place to set hot items. This keeps direct heat off of the countertop surface; helping prevent damage to the sealer. Embedded trivets also provide abrasion resistance to areas where pots and pans are routinely going to be slid across the surface.

(2) Stylish

An additional benefit of concrete countertop trivets is the design appeal. Rods add character to the surface. The typical choice for inlayed trivets is simple rods; however, even simple straight rods enhance color and visual texture. Custom sized and shaped trivets can also be placed in a decorative pattern. Personalization is a major benefit when choosing a custom-made material such as concrete.

Where can concrete countertop trivets be embedded?

Concrete countertops are handmade to suit your unique needs and preferences. Artisans can inlay metal trivets into your concrete countertop anywhere you would like. May we suggest: by your cooktop to place that heavy cast iron skillet, near the microwave to catch a hot dish, and remember your outdoor eating spots such as near the grill or burner for those hot pots and griddles.

Add function and flair to your home with concrete countertop trivets. With concrete, the choices are endless and always yours!

About Us

SunWorks, etc. is a small local business. We produce authentically custom, handcrafted, unique designs. At the heart of it all, customer satisfaction remains primary and we strive to make each end customer happy. Made in the U.S.A. proud.

We encourage you to contact us for an appointment to visit our studio located in Annville, Pennsylvania.

We want to be social with you!

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunWorksEtc

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SunWorksetc

Stainless Steel Trivet Round Bars Image by Expressions LTD, used with permission.

Reference: Express Yourself with Trivets

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Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design Feature

A customized backsplash protects your walls while adding a style statement to your home.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhat is a Backsplash?

A backsplash is a washable material extending behind and above a sink, stove or countertop, which protects the wall from damage.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhat is the Purpose of a Backsplash?

The function of a backsplash is twofold: practical and decorative.

Foremost, a backsplash prevents damage to the wall from water, grease and heat. It also makes the surface easier to clean.

Second, it enhances the decor. A custom designed back splash adds personality and visual interest to your home.

What is the Appropriate Backsplash Size?

Backsplash size depends on the dimensions of the wall, location, and the homeowner’s preference and budget.

Backsplashes are often a continuation of the countertop;either an integral vertical extension up the wall or an additional piece separately adhered.

The standard height of a typical backsplash is four inches; however, custom-designed pieces, such as those from our studio, can be made to suit your particular needs and desires.

Larger backsplashes, such as those behind a cook top, ensure maximum wall protection from grease splatters and heat. Ample space also provides an opportunity for a dramatic decor focal point.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhy is Concrete the Perfect Backsplash Material?

Backsplashes can be constructed from a wide variety of materials.

Concrete is heat resistant and waterproof and can easily be cleaned with soap and water.

Concrete is a versatile building material that can be customized to reflect your interests or design style of your home.

Backsplash: Practical and Decorative Design FeatureWhy Should You Install a Backsplash?

A backsplash is beneficial for two reasons:

(1) sensible for wall preservation and efficient cleanup

(2) adds an important visual statement to a home

We look forward to discussing your home improvement project!

About Us

SunWorks, etc. is a small local business. We produce authentically custom, handcrafted, unique designs. At the heart of it all, customer satisfaction remains primary and we strive to make each end customer happy. Made in the U.S.A. proud.

We encourage you to contact us for an appointment to visit our studio located in Annville, Pennsylvania.

We want to be social with you!

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunWorksEtc

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SunWorksetc

 

 

 

 

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Reasons to Support Small Business and Shop Local

Why Shop Small? 5 Great Reasons to Support Small Business and Shop Local

Are you busy making Black Friday plans? The holiday shopping season is just getting started. Good news: Small Business Saturday is November 29!

In 2010 American Express launched Small Business Saturday too help businesses with their most pressing need — attracting more customers. The day encourages people across the country to shop at small, local businesses, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

When you shop local, it can lead to big things in your community!

5 Reasons to Support Small Business and Shop Local

1. Boosts the Local Economy

Each dollar spent at locally owned businesses returns an average of three times more money to your community than spending at national chains.

2. Customer Service is Better

Local business owners have specific product expertise. They often make their cell phone numbers available. Now that is personal customer service!

3. Maintains Local Character and Prosperity

Small businesses add unique character to a community. Distinctive regional features attract outside investors, enhance your personal satisfaction, and increase property values.

4. Greater Support for Non-Profits

Small local businesses donate more resources to local charities and teams compared to big business. Additionally, large firms contribute primarily to the areas where the corporation is headquartered, not necessarily where they do business.

5. Offer Unique, Personalized Products

Small shops often sell locally made, unique items that are not available at major chains.

About Us
SunWorks, etc. is a small local business. We produce authentically custom, handcrafted, unique designs. At the heart of it all, customer satisfaction remains primary and we strive to make each end customer happy. Made in the U.S.A. proud.

We encourage you to contact us for an appointment to visit our studio located in Annville, Pennsylvania.

Please remember our local neighborhood on Small Business Saturday. Shop your local stores and help support your community!

We want to be social with you!

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunWorksEtc

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SunWorksetc

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draingroovesAn overview of what integral sinks are, and why a decorative concrete sink and countertop might be right for you.

What are integral sinks?

INTEGRAL SINKS are made from the same material as the countertop they are set into. The effect is a smooth transition from sink to counter surface.

What are the advantages of integral sinks?

Integral Sinks: Elegant & Practical Design FeatureEASY CLEANUP Integral sinks lack a seam between the sink and countertop. Thus, there are no places for food particles to collect in.

MODERN DESIGN Integral sinks have a simplistic design allowing the focus to stay on features such as an elegant faucet or artistic backsplash.

Why is concrete the ideal material for integral sinks?

Concrete is an extremely versatile building material that can easily handle both the water resistant sink and functional countertop. Concrete also offers unique style and color options not possible with other materials.

Something for you to consider —

10404109_869834426364317_8112654237905781670_nIntegral sinks and countertop combinations are considered to be one piece. Therefore, if you have to replace one, the other piece must also be replaced.

Concrete sinks and countertops for kitchens and baths are the most unique, personal design options because they are handcrafted for each client and can be made in almost any color, shape or texture. The design options are endless!

An integral sink might be perfect for you! Take the hassle out of cleaning your kitchen and bathroom; and, have a uniquely crafted product at your home or business.

Please contact us for an appointment to visit our studio.

Remember… Decorative concrete is handcrafted, durable and unique. We create distinctive decorative concrete; and, we strive to make each customer happy.

We want to be social with you!

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunWorksEtc

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SunWorksetc

 

 

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Decorating Trend (1)A concrete fireplace can dramatically enhance any space.

As outdoor temperatures drop, the warmth and glow of flickering flames provides a welcoming gathering place. Even when not in use, a fireplace is a room’s focal point.

Concrete’s natural properties make it an ideal material for fireplace surrounds, hearths, and mantels.


surround – an architectural element that surrounds a fireplace, providing aesthetic and safety benefits

hearth – the floor of a fireplace, often extending outwards into the room

mantel – the protruding shelf over a fireplace


The concrete fireplace is growing in popularity due to concrete’s endless design possibilities. Concrete offers unique style and color options not possible with other materials.

Ideal Material. Concrete’s properties make it ideally suited for fireplace surrounds, hearths, and mantels; it is strong, vermin proof, fire resistant, and retains heat.

Customized To Any Style. A concrete fireplace is a natural fit in any decor style. Concrete can be customized to fit all personalities and surroundings.

Popular looks in the concrete fireplace trend go from modern, with clean lines and natural finishes, to rustic and aged, incorporating other materials as only concrete can.

13797_1348879328_209_13797We had the opportunity to work with an artistic couple to create a one-of-a-kind concrete fireplace surround, hearth, and mantle. For greater dramatic effect, the homeowners asked for a raised hearth that seems to float above the floor, and for the fireplace surround to extend from floor to ceiling with built-in display shelves.

About Us. We have passion for decorative concrete. Each of our creations is unique to our client’s personality, vision, and needs. A concrete fireplace is just one example of how concrete can add beauty and warmth to any setting.

We are excited to work with you in bringing your design ideas to reality. We offer one-on-one services to ensure that every project is a personalized piece of art.

Contact us to start collaborating!

Additional Information:

Photo Gallery Concrete Fireplace Surrounds

 

 

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Concrete Network: Features SunWorks, etc.'s CountertopsSunWorks, etc.’s artistic countertop project recently featured on The Concrete Network

SunWorks, etc. LLC is getting some national recognition thanks to an article on The Concrete Network.

SunWorks, etc. is honored to be featured on the online resource and directory for the decorative concrete industry.

ConcreteNetwork.com educates homeowners, contractors, builders, and designers on popular concrete techniques and applications.

Concrete Network is visually appealing, easy to navigate and informative for its visitors.

The site has put a lot of work into making it a great resource for both the business owner and consumers looking to purchase concrete products and services.

To view the full article and more of SunWorks etc.’s projects, visit: Concrete Countertops Become An Artist’s Canvas

Read about another SunWorks, etc. project featured on Concrete Network: Floating Concrete Hearth and Mantle Become Works of Artist

A special thank you goes out to Concrete Network for our business feature article. We appreciate the opportunity to introduce SunWorks, etc. and what we can offer to The Concrete Networks’ readers.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts once you have checked out the Concrete Network website!

About SunWorks, etc. — Barbara Sunderlin and David Leas, partners

2612 Brandt Road
Annville, PA 17003

Phone: (717) 473-3743
barbara@sunworksetc.com

www.sunworksetc.com

 

 

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NKBA CEU July 2014: Teaching Creative Knowledge

It is the supreme art of a teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. –Albert Einstein

On Wednesday, the 30th of July 2014, our company, SunWorks, etc. LLC, presented the NKBA CEU course entitled:

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Countertops: How They Are Made, Now Start Designing

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has been the premier association for kitchen and bath professionals, with nearly 60,000 members, for over 50 years.

THE NKBA CEU PROGRAM

NKBA CEU July 2014: Teaching Creative KnowledgeThe Continuing Education Unit (CEU) program ensures that all certified members receive an adequate level of knowledge and understanding, thus increasing consumer confidence and trust in the kitchen and bath industry.

The NKBA requires all certified members earn 1.0 CEU (or 10 hours of education) every two years.

Our company had the opportunity to educate our fellow NKBA certified members on July 30th with an approved NKBA CEU program about our area of expertise: Decorative Concrete — particularly Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Countertops.

SUMMARY OF OUR NKBA CEU EVENT

The warm summer evening’s events began with the arrival of guests at our Annville, PA studio around 5:00 P.M. The group enjoyed friendly conversation and hors d’oeuvres awaiting the commencement of our program.

NKBA CEU July 2014: Teaching Creative KnowledgeNKBA Susquehanna Valley Chapter President, Elizabeth Marcocci, greeted the group, thanked us for hosting the event, and covered some NKBA Chapter business.

Next, our David Leas, partner in SunWorks, etc., introduced the main event — the educational course on Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Countertops presented by our company’s owner, Barbara “Barbie” Sunderlin.

NKBA CEU July 2014: Teaching Creative Knowledge

Utilizing a power point presentation, Barbie, educated the approximately 28 CEU participants about the difference and characteristics of the two predominant techniques for precast concrete countertops: wet cast and GFRC.

The presentation discussed the process of various decorative concrete projects: tables, kitchen countertops, patterned concrete backsplashes, bathroom sinks, plain and embellished outdoor kitchen surfaces, custom sinks, and fireplace mantels. Our desire was to instruct our kitchen and bath colleagues about the unique qualities and versatility of decorative concrete.

NKBA CEU July 2014: Teaching Creative KnowledgeWe shared one of the most acclaimed projects we have been involved with — our collaboration with artist Robert Stadnycki. Together, we crafted three countertops in the artist’s distinctive style for a kitchen in Ellicott, Md. The project was featured in the Feb/Mar 2014 issue of Concrete Decor.

NKBA CEU July 2014: Teaching Creative KnowledgeA question and answer format followed the training session.The evening ended with a tour of our shop for our attentive guests.

Our goal was to provide participants with the knowledge they need to be able to confidently design kitchen and bath areas using precast concrete materials.

We are grateful to all who attended. We value the opportunity to share our knowledge and skill about our favorite design medium — decorative concrete. Where a creative spirit exists, the possibilities are truly endless.

 

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