Q. I’d love to learn how to make a beautiful card. Do you have any tips?
A. You will need some basic materials to get started. Many projects require card-weight paper in a variety of shades, double-sided tape, craft glue, colored pencils or pens, sharp scissors, and a craft knife.
Before deciding on a design, think about how many cards you would like to make. For a very special card (say, one for your valentine), you might try an intricate method, such as quilling, embroidering, or folding for a 3-D effect. All three of these techniques will get a single card to stand out.
If you plan to produce several cards at once, block-printed, clip-art and printable-photo cards are easy projects to do in bulk. You can find instructions for the cards mentioned here — and the tools and materials needed for each one — at marthastewart.com.
Q. How can I train my pet to stay off the furniture?
A. To train a dog, attach a lightweight leash to its collar (you can cut off the loop so it doesn’t get caught on anything). When your dog is about to jump up, clap and say no. Praise and reward it for obeying the command; otherwise immediately use the leash to gently pull it off the couch. Expect to repeat this for days or even weeks; the pup will eventually realize that the up-and-down isn’t worth the effort.
Nimble cats are harder to control, but tinfoil or an upside-down carpet runner on your furniture should deter them. You can also purchase motion-activated devices that deliver a harmless puff of air or spray of citronella to deter pets. Most cats won’t stand for a leash, so pick your kitty up off the furniture when it’s breaking the rule.