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Real Life Decor: 100 Easy DIY Projects to Brighten Your Home on a Budget

Overview

The economy may have stalled but life goes on. Chair legs break, pillows lose their puff, painted walls get scuffed and sheets get torn or go out of style. Real Life Decor brims with ideas for repurposing, reusing or replacing your accents and furniture to keep your home fresh and functional as well as wallet-friendly.

Comprised of a collection of 100 easy, appealing projects illustrated with lively photos and simple how-tos, the book is divided into 7 sections that offer ...

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Real Life Decor: 100 Easy DIY Projects to Brighten Your Home on a Budget

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Overview

The economy may have stalled but life goes on. Chair legs break, pillows lose their puff, painted walls get scuffed and sheets get torn or go out of style. Real Life Decor brims with ideas for repurposing, reusing or replacing your accents and furniture to keep your home fresh and functional as well as wallet-friendly.

Comprised of a collection of 100 easy, appealing projects illustrated with lively photos and simple how-tos, the book is divided into 7 sections that offer multiple approaches to dressing up walls, sewing simple soft furnishings, recycling old furniture, brightening lamps and accents, making multipurpose furnishings and storage, and sprucing up floors and ceilings. The photos include inspiring ideas that the reader can interpret and emulate as well as pretty projects they craft to the T. Sidebars with simple solutions on topics such as Displaying Your Collections, Easy Vintage Fabric Ideas, and Small Space Ideas enrich each chapter with additional tips.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933231709
  • Publisher: Filipacchi Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/7/2010
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Editor in Chief of Woman's Day Special Interest Publications and a Home Director for Pointclickhome.com, Jean Nayar has produced stories on residential design and home décor for a wide range of consumer and trade publications and has authored six books on design and decorating, including most recently Curtains, Cushions, Covers & Blinds (Mitchell Beazley, 2008), Green Living By Design and Staged To Sell (or Keep) (both Filipacchi Publishing, 2009). As an author, editor and stylist, she regularly dispenses practical household wisdom on everything from easy DIY decorating to eco-friendly design to full-on remodeling projects in print, online and on air-and recently appeared on The Fine Living Network. She lives with her husband in New York City.
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First Chapter

Real-Life Decor

100 Easy DIY Projects to Brighten Your Home on a Budget
By Nayar, Jean

Filipacchi

Copyright © 2010 Nayar, Jean
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781933231709

furniture fix-ups

Just because an old table or chair is worn around the edges and showing its age doesn’t mean it has to be shown the door. Sometimes all it takes to breathe new life into a tired piece of furniture is a simple update. Unless a leg is broken or a spring has sprung, a thrift-shop nightstand or tag-sale sofa can often be transformed from a forgotten castoff into a vibrant centerpiece with little more than a fresh coat of paint or a new slipcover.

scandinavian-style seat

skill level: beginner

MATERIALS

old wooden chair with padded seat

screwdriver

sandpaper

tack cloth

paintbrush

wood primer

white acrylic spray paint

yardstick

heavy cotton batting

scissors

upholstery fabric

1-inch-thick foam, cut to size of chair seat

heavy-duty stapler

4 small L brackets (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Remove padded seat from chair by unscrewing it from underneath. Remove old fabric and batting, but reserve wood seat.

2. Sand all wood surfaces to remove old finish; remove dust with tack cloth.

3. Coat chair with primer; let dry. Apply several coats of white paint to chair, keeping spray can moving as you work to prevent drips and letting paint dry after each coat.

4. Measure seat pad length and width. Add 7 inches to each measurement. Cut two layers of batting to these measurements. Also cut a piece of fabric 2 inches larger than batting all around.

5. Place one layer of batting facedown on work surface; center foam, then wood seat, facedown on batting. Staple opposite sides of batting to wood, pulling it taut and even. Staple remaining sides of batting to wood in same manner. At each corner, fold in batting fullness, then staple in place. Staple additional batting layer in place in the same manner.

6. Place fabric facedown on work surface; center padded seat foam-side down on batting. Staple fabric to wood in same manner, forming neat folds or inverted pleats at corners. Trim away excess fabric.

7. Screw seat back in place on chair, using L brackets if needed.

stenciled barstool

skill level: beginner

MATERIALS

wooden chair

sandpaper

tack cloth

paintbrushes

Plaid FolkArt acrylic paints in White, Gold

hummingbird stencil, about 3 inches high

stencil adhesive

stencil brush

polyurethane sealer

DIRECTIONS

1. Remove any finish from chair; sand all surfaces. Wipe off dust with tack cloth.

2. Apply two or more coats of white paint to entire chair, letting dry after each coat.

3. Spray back of stencil with adhesive; position on backrest and smooth from center out.

4. Pounce stencil brush in gold paint, then over stencil, working from edges to center. Remove stencil; let dry.

5. Apply two or more coats of sealer to entire chair, letting dry after each coat.

upholstered footstool

skill level: beginner

MATERIALS

old wooden stool with padded top

screwdriver

sandpaper

tack cloth

paintbrush

wood primer

white acrylic spray paint

yardstick

heavy cotton batting

scissors

upholstery fabric

2-inch-thick foam, cut to size of stool top

heavy-duty stapler

4 small L brackets (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Remove padded top from stool by unscrewing it from underneath. Remove old fabric and batting, but reserve wood top.

2. Sand all wood surfaces to remove old finish; remove dust with tack cloth.

3. Coat stool with primer; let dry. Apply several coats of white paint to stool, keeping spray can moving as you work to prevent drips and letting paint dry after each coat.

4. Measure seat pad length and width. Add 9 inches to each measurement. Cut two layers of batting to these measurements. Also cut a piece of fabric 2 inches larger than batting all around.

5. Place one layer of batting facedown on work surface; center foam, then wood top, facedown on batting. Staple opposite sides of batting to wood, pulling it taut and even. Staple remaining sides of batting to wood in same manner. At each corner, fold in batting fullness, then staple in place. Staple additional batting layer in place in same manner.

6. Place fabric facedown on work surface; center padded top foam-side down on batting. Staple fabric to wood in same manner, forming neat folded inverted pleats at corners. Trim away excess fabric.

7. Screw top back in place on stool, using L brackets if needed.

upholstered side chair

skill level: beginner

MATERIALS

wooden chair with cushioned seat

screwdriver

fine-grit sandpaper

tack cloth

paintbrush

wood primer

acrylic paint in desired color

thick quilt batting (we used rolled polyester batting from Fairfield Processing)

air-soluble fabric marker

scissors

tape measure

heavyweight upholstery fabric

T-pins

staple gun

clear plastic ruler

hand drill with very narrow bit

½-inch-wide trim

clear glue

decorative upholstery nails

plastic-tipped hammer (we used Osborne No. 36 Fancy Nail Hammer)

DIRECTIONS

NOTE: If wood portion of chair is in good condition, skip sanding and painting in Step 1, below.


1. Remove cushion from chair. Lightly sand chair; wipe off dust with tack cloth. Apply two coats of primer to chair; let dry and lightly sand after each coat. Apply two coats of paint to chair; let dry and lightly sand after first coat.

2. Place cushion facedown on double layer of batting; trace around cushion. Cut out both layers of batting at the same time, adding 3 inches all around.

3. Place cushion on chair, but do not reattach. Center batting on cushion. Mark corners where cushion meets chair back; cut away squares of batting at back corners so batting lies flat on cushion.

4. Place fabric over cushion, centering pattern. Using T-pins, attach fabric in several spots.

5. Remove fabric and cushion; place facedown. Trace cushion outline onto fabric; remove pins. Cut out fabric, adding 3 inches all around.

6. Reattach cushion to chair. Center batting on cushion. Pull batting taut from side to side and staple to chair frame, just below cushion. Pull taut from front to back and staple to frame. Continue pulling and stapling batting to chair about 2 inches apart, stopping about 3 inches from front corners.

7. At front corners, smooth batting flat; staple to chair. Trim batting just past staples all around.

8. Center fabric, right side up, over batting. Pull and staple fabric to chair in same manner, placing staples just below batting staples.

9. At front corners, refer to photo (left), to form pleats in fabric. Staple to chair. At back corners, slash fabric diagonally about 3 inches. Fold under fabric at slashed corners to fit around back and staple to chair. Trim fabric just past staples.

10. Set chair on its back, with front edge of seat facing upward. Mark decorative nail placement, placing one mark at center front, one about 1 inch from each corner and spacing two or three additional marks evenly between these marks. Use ruler to keep marks aligned.

11. Place chair on one side, then the other and then on its front, to mark nail placement on sides and back same as for front. Using bit slightly smaller than nail’s point, drill pilot holes about ¼ inch deep at marks.

12. At base of chair seat, measure from one back chair leg around front of chair to other back chair leg. Add 2 inches and cut trim to this measurement, dabbing glue to ends to prevent raveling. Starting at center front of chair, place center of trim over fabric staples. Lift trim to push nails through trim into holes, working from center to back corners on each side. Use hammer to lightly tap nails flush with chair surface. If nails are not tight in holes, remove and dab glue on point before reinserting. At back legs, turn under trim ends 1 inch; nail ends in place.

13. Starting at center back of chair, place and nail trim along back edge in same manner, turning under trim ends and nailing in place near legs.

handy stepstool

skill level: intermediate

MATERIALS

one 8-foot-long 1×12 pine board

yardstick

pencil

adjustable table saw (preferably with router attachments)

C-clamps

compass

drill with -inch and ½-inch bits

jigsaw

palm sander and drum sander or medium- and fine-grit sandpaper

tack cloth

#6, 2½-inch-long flathead screws

putty knife

wood filler

2-inch paintbrushes

primer

paint

satin polyurethane

NOTE: For all of our wood projects we used the Skil Xshop convertible work bench, 4390 jigsaw and/or 7490 palm sander, all from Skil Tools.

DIRECTIONS

1. Measure and mark three 24-inch-long pieces of 1×12 board. Using the table saw, cut the pieces as marked. If you’re using a circular saw, jigsaw or hand saw, clamp the board to your work surface before cutting.

2. Choose the piece with the fewest knots and nicks for the top of your stool. Measure and mark the center of the board. Measure and mark two 3½-inch-long parallel lines lengthwise along the top ¾ inches from either side of the center mark. Place the compass at the end of one line and trace a half circle to join it to the end of the other line. Repeat on the other side to mark a handle hole large enough for your fingers to slip through.

3. Drill a starter hole with a ½-inch drill bit inside the marked hand hole. Use a jigsaw to cut out the handle hole. Use a palm sander or sandpaper to sand top and use a drum sander or sandpaper around sides of handle hole to smooth. If you have a router, router all sides of top with a round-over bit. Otherwise sand all sides with sandpaper. Wipe off dust with tack cloth.

4. Rip one 24-inch-long 1×12 to 11 inches wide, then cross-cut this piece into two 11×12-inch pieces, which will serve as the stool’s side pieces. Bevel the table saw blade to 10 degrees, set the fence to cut to 11¼ inches and bevel both top and bottom of one side piece so beveled edges slant in same direction. Repeat for other side piece.

5. Using a compass, draw a 5-inch-diameter semicircle at the center of the bottom edge of both side pieces and cut out with a jigsaw. Use a drum sander or sandpaper to smooth.

6. To attach top to side pieces, measure and mark a line crosswise along the top and underside of the top piece 4" from each short edge. Measure and mark two points along each line about 2 inches from each long edge. Center the top edge of one side piece along one line, then pre-drill two holes at these marks with a -inch drill bit through the top at an angle into the beveled side piece, making sure side piece is flush with top. Use a drill driver with appropriate bit to countersink the heads of two flathead screws through the top and into the side piece. Repeat for the other side. Hold pieces firmly while attaching screws.

7. Rip one 24-inch-long piece of 1×12 into two 3½-inch-wide pieces called stretchers. Place them in front of the side pieces about 4 inches below and parallel to the top. Mark the cut length, angling side edges in alignment with inside edges of both sides. Set the miter gauge on table saw to 10 degrees and angle cut ends of both pieces to fit within side legs. (Alternatively, you can place stretchers flat against the side pieces just beneath top. If so, measure and mark cut length of stretchers from the inside so they align with the outside angled edges of the side pieces and cut accordingly. The top edge of each stretcher should fit flush beneath the top.)

8. To attach stretchers to finished stool, pre-drill, then countersink screw heads to just past flush with wood.

9. Using a putty knife, fill screw holes with wood filler and scrape smooth. Let dry. Sand all surfaces and edges. Wipe off dust.

10. Apply two coats of primer to entire stepstool, letting dry between coats. Apply two or more coats of paint to entire stool, letting dry between coats. Apply one coat of polyurethane. Let dry.

chic pouf

skill level: intermediate

MATERIALS

1-inch-thick foam (we used Poly-fil NU-Foam from Fairfield processing)

cylindrical wooden basket (such as wastebasket) with wood rims

air-soluble fabric marker

scissors

tape measure

heavyweight upholstery fabric

spray adhesive

decorative upholstery nails in assorted sizes

plastic-tipped hammer (we used Osborne no. 36 Fancy nail Hammer)

staple gun or glue

cardboard (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Unroll foam to single layer. Trace bottom of basket onto foam; subtract thickness of wood rim from circle all around and cut foam for top of stool. (NOTE: Bottom of basket is top of stool.)

2. Measure basket height; subtract height of both wood rims. Measure basket circumference. Cut foam to these dimensions for side.

3. Measure, mark and cut fabric circle 3 inches larger all around than top foam for top cover. Mark and cut fabric 2 inches larger all around than side foam for side cover.

4. Spray one side of foam top with adhesive; smooth onto bottom of basket, leaving wood rim exposed.

5. Spray side piece of foam with adhesive; smooth around center of basket, leaving wood rims exposed.

6. Work with basket bottom-side up. Spray wrong side of top cover with adhesive; smooth onto top of stool so fabric extends evenly on all sides. Pull opposite sides taut and press to rims. Rotate basket a quarter turn; pull opposite sides taut and press to rims. Pull and press remaining edges, always pulling opposite sides as you work to keep fabric taut. Smooth any wrinkles along edges, folding excess fabric into pleats.

7. Spray adhesive along wrong side of one long edge of side cover and turn under 2 inches to form hem. Align this edge of fabric, right side out, along upper edge of stool, covering edges of top cover. Hammer upholstery nail through fabric into upper rim about 2 inches from raw short side edge of fabric.

8. Smooth short side edge of fabric straight down to bottom of stool; hammer upholstery nail through fabric into lower rim about 2 inches from raw short side edge of fabric. Fabric will extend past bottom of stool.

9. At upper edge of stool, pull side fabric taut and even with upper edge of stool; hammer upholstery nail through fabric to upper rim about 1 inch away from first nail. Smooth fabric down; hammer nail through fabric to lower rim about 1 inch from first nail.

10. Continue pulling and nailing fabric around side of stool in same manner, stopping about 2 inches from end.

11. Just before coming full circle, turn under remaining raw short edge of fabric; wrap it over starting edge to test overlap. Adjust as needed to cleanly overlap raw short edge. Trim edge so folded hem is 1 inch deep and overlaps raw edge by at least 1 inch; unfold folded end, spray edge of wrong side of fabric edge with adhesive; press to form hem. Nail folded end to upper and lower edges.

12. Hammer another row of nails just below upper row of nails, and along upper rim edge.

13. Turn stool over. Pull fabric to inside edge; staple or glue about ½ inch from rim on inside. Trim excess fabric. Trace bottom of stool on cardboard, cut out and staple or glue to bottom of stool to finish.

painted demilune table

skill level: beginner

MATERIALS

old wooden table

sandpaper

tack cloth

paintbrushes

wood primer

white acrylic spray paint

blue acrylic paint

paint roller

clear faux-finish glaze

paint dragging brush for faux finishes

satin-finish polyurethane sealer

DIRECTIONS

1. Sand all wood surfaces to remove old finish; remove dust with tack cloth.

2. Coat table with primer; let dry. Apply several coats of white paint to table, keeping spray can moving as you work to prevent drips and letting paint dry after each coat.

3. Paint tabletop blue; let dry.

4. Using roller, apply glaze to tabletop. While glaze is still wet, drag brush in even strokes along surface from front to back of tabletop. Let dry.

5. Apply an additional coat of glaze; drag brush along surface in same manner, but this time work from one side edge to the other. Let dry.

6. Apply two or more coats of polyurethane to tabletop, letting dry after each coat.

elegant end table

skill level: beginner

MATERIALS

resin or cast-iron urn, about 28 to 32 inches high

18- to 25-inch round piece of plywood or round table with screw-in legs (legs not used for this project)

sandpaper

damp cloth

light yellow spray paint

pencil

hot-glue gun

metallic bronze glaze

foam paintbrush

DIRECTIONS

1. Lightly sand urn and tabletop; remove dust with damp cloth.

2. Apply two coats of yellow spray paint to all surfaces of urn and tabletop, letting paint dry after each coat.

3. Place tabletop on urn, centering it. Mark outline of urn on underside of table. Apply glue to edge of urn; place tabletop on urn, using outline as a guide. press down to make sure top is level; let dry.

4. Using foam brush, apply a light coat of glaze to urn handles and any urn details, and along table edges as desired. Let dry.

tray table

skill level: intermediate

MATERIALS

shallow wicker basket

tape measure

four flea-market stair balusters

C-clamps

hand drill with -inch bit

¼-inch dowel, same length as basket

level

handsaw

sandpaper

tack cloth

2-inch-wide strapping ribbon

scissors

heavy-duty staple gun

DIRECTIONS

1. Measure width and length dimensions of basket and make note of them.

2. Using two balusters, form X near a central flat section; clamp together so tops of balusters are spaced almost as wide as basket. Clamp remaining balusters together in same manner, matching shape of X.

3. Drill hole through crossed section on each pair of balusters.

4. Leaving clamps in place, slip one end of dowel through each set of holes, so each X forms a pair of legs at ends of dowel, making stand.

5. Place stand upright. Using level and tape measure, mark a level horizontal line across upper end of each leg (marks will be diagonal to legs); cut each leg at mark, forming flat upper surface. Mark and cut lower ends of legs in same manner so stand is even. Sand cut surfaces to smooth and wipe off dust.

6. Cut two pieces of ribbon, each 1 inch longer than basket width. Turn under ½ inch on each end of each ribbon. Staple ribbon ends to tops of each pair of legs (like a travel luggage rack).

7. Place basket on top of stand.

resurfaced side table

skill level: beginner

painted chest

skill level: intermediate

MATERIALS

wooden chest

sandpaper

tack cloth

paintbrushes

acrylic paints: brown, red

pencil

ruler

1-inch-wide painter’s tape

craft knife

polyurethane sealer

DIRECTIONS

1. Remove drawers from chest; remove drawer pulls. Sand entire chest. Wipe off dust with tack cloth. Apply two coats of brown paint to chest and drawers, letting dry after each coat.

2. Replace drawers. Lightly draw a series of overlapping squares and rectangles on chest, centering motifs from top to bottom and side to side.

3. Apply tape to chest, centered over each line and along all edges. Using craft knife, cut through tape at edge of each drawer. Remove drawers.

4. Apply two or more coats of red paint to chest and drawers, letting dry after each coat and removing tape before last coat of paint dries. Also paint drawer pulls red; let dry. Reattach drawer pulls.

5. Apply two or more coats of sealer to chest and drawers, letting dry after each coat.

chic folding screen

skill level: intermediate

MATERIALS

three 15×66-inch hollow-core doors

clear plastic ruler

air-soluble fabric marker

1-inch-thick foam (we used Poly-fil NU-Foam from Fairfield Processing)

craft knife

spray adhesive

fusible fabric adhesive (we used Therm O Web Heat’n Bond Ultrahold Iron-on Adhesive)

iron

medium-weight cotton fabric

double-sided craft tape (we used Therm O Web Double-Sided Super Tape)

2-inch-wide ribbon

clear fabric glue

pencil

decorative upholstery nails

plastic-tipped hammer (we used Osborne No. 36 Fancy Nail Hammer)

four door hinges with screws

hand drill with assorted bits

DIRECTIONS

1. Measure, mark and cut three 11×62-inch pieces of foam.

2. Spray adhesive on one side of each foam piece; center foam on door, smoothing from center out.

3. Cut 2-inch-wide strips of fusible adhesive. Place strips, sticky side down, along wood edges around foam; fuse, then peel off backing.

4. Measure, mark and cut three 35×68-inch pieces of fabric. To make each panel, place a door, foam side up, on fabric, placing one long door edge 1 inch from one long fabric edge, letting fabric extend evenly at top and bottom.

5. Wrap the excess fabric over front of door, covering foam. Press fabric flat along one long edge of front and fuse with iron to fusible adhesive, keeping fabric taut. Repeat along other long edge, then fuse short edges pinching excess fabric at corners into diagonal folds. Using double-sided tape, attach long raw edge of bottom side of fabric to side edge of door. Turn under about ½ inch on remaining long edge of fabric; apply tape along folded edge, then press to door edge to cover raw fabric edge.

6. Tape fabric at top and bottom edges of door in same manner, folding in at corners as if wrapping a gift. Press all taped edges with iron to smooth.

7. Cut 2-inch-wide strips of fabric adhesive. Place strips, sticky side down, along panels’ edges; fuse, peel off backing.

8. Cut a 14-foot length of ribbon. Starting at one corner, place ribbon on strip; fuse, stopping about 1 inch from corner. Fold ribbon at 45-degree angle to form mitered corner; continue fusing along each edge in same manner. At end, turn under ribbon at 45-degree angle and trim any excess before fusing.

9. Apply dab of fabric glue under each mitered edge to secure.

10. Measure and mark decorative nail placement, placing one mark at each corner and spacing additional marks evenly about 8 inches apart. Use ruler to keep marks aligned in center of ribbon.

11. Use hammer to lightly tap nails flush with panel surface. Repeat steps 1 through 11 to make other panels.

12. Place panels padded side up, with upper edges aligned. Mark hinge placement on both side edges of center panel, placing tops of hinges about 10 to 12 inches from upper and lower edges and marking positions of screw holes with a pencil. Mark corresponding hinge positions on inner side edges of side panels. To make screen fold accordion-style, mark placement so left hinges face upward and right hinges face downward.

13. Drill pilot holes through fabric at each mark. Screw on hinges.

storage bench

skill level: beginner

MATERIALS

sandpaper

2 small matching wooden stepladders

two 1×4-foot wood boards, about inch thick

tack cloth

acrylic paint

paintbrush

hammer and nails

nail set

wood filler

DIRECTIONS

1. Sand edges of stepladders and boards. Wipe off dust with tack cloth.

2. Apply two or more coats of paint to ladders and boards; let dry after each coat.

3. Place open ladders side by side as shown in photo (sand leg ends if needed so ladders are level). Place boards on top of ladders so ends extend evenly.

4. Nail boards to ladders. Using nail set, countersink nailheads. Fill holes with wood filler; let dry.

5. Sand wood filler and touch up paint over filler.

hip headboard

skill level: beginner

NOTE: If you don’t have a headboard, it’s easy to make a basic one! Measure from the desired height to the floor, and measure the desired width. Cut a piece of ¾-inch or 1-inch wood board to these measurements.

MATERIALS

wooden headboard (see note)

sandpaper

tack cloth

adhesive packaging dots, about 3 inches across

pencil

yardstick

scissors

foam paintbrush

rust-colored latex paint

polyurethane sealer

DIRECTIONS

1. Sand headboard. Wipe off dust with tack cloth.

2. Arrange dots on front of board in desired pattern; we arranged ours in straight rows, evenly spaced. Use a pencil and yardstick to ensure rows and columns are straight, then lightly outline each dot.

3. Cut a small X in center of each dot. Peel backing off one dot at a time; cut backing into 2-inch circle and place on adhesive side of dot, then place dot on board where marked. (Placing this small circle of backing on each dot will allow you to remove it more easily later.)

4. Adhere remaining dots to board where marked.

5. Apply several coats of paint to the headboard, letting dry after all but last coat. Remove dots before last coat of paint dries.

6. Apply several coats of polyurethane to all surfaces, letting dry after each coat.



Continues...

Excerpted from Real-Life Decor by Nayar, Jean Copyright © 2010 by Nayar, Jean. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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