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    Arts and crafts revival

     

    Copyright 2006 Melissa Galt The terms Arts and Crafts and Mission Style are often used synonymously today. They refer to a style of home design and furnishings emphasizing natural materials, especially wood, and showcasing a pronounced geometry in the design. Their tremendous revival in popularity stems largely from their association with hand-crafted elements (though many knock-offs are manufactured by machine), a rarity in this technologically advanced age. The pieces offer an heirloom quality and a patina that deepens with age. Arts and Crafts furnishings and interiors are also typically very durable and classic with a timeless appeal. They suit today’s desire to simplify and get back to basics. Arts and Crafts interiors are an ideal marriage of function and aesthetic; spaces are designed to work for those living there. To create your own Arts and Crafts interior, there are several elements to consider, both in materials and design. The materials of an Arts and Crafts interior, while not limited to nature, emphasize wood, stone, glass (made from sand), ceramic tiles (made from minerals/earth), and textiles (using wool, cotton, or linen fibers, and, of course, leather). Much of the visual pattern comes from the grain of the wood selected. Traditionally oak was used, but currently natural cherry is frequently enjoyed. The oak tends to have a golden brown gleam, while the cherry is redder. Both darken naturally with age, which is to be expected. Flooring, all architectural trim/molding, doors, stair rails and stiles, and exposed structural supports are all typically wood, oak being most prevalent. Waxed or oil finishes prevail. Joints are pegged, or hand-crafted metal hardware is used. Door knobs, cabinet pulls and the like are again hand-crafted wrought iron or bronze in black, umber, or verdigris. Many are square or rectangular shaped and are hand hammered. For a lighter look, some homeowners today are opting for a soft brushed pewter or nickel finish instead. Once you have the guidelines, you can bend them to suit. If an alternative to a wood floor is desired, tile or slate would be appropriate substitutes. The tile should be large and laid in a linear pattern, not on the diagonal. To balance and complement the visual depth of the wood, walls are often treated with a textured paint or plastered. (The old bungalows have original plaster.) A good bet is the river rock finish that Ralph Lauren paint provides. Paint schemes bear an influence from nature with goldenrod yellows, burnt sienna browns, cimmaron and Indian reds, sage and moss greens, and a neutral palette of earthy tans, toasts, and beiges. The overall feeling has a harmony, continuity, with all elements working together, none upstaging the other. It is about creating an organic home, one that works within its environment and makes the most of its surroundings both outside and inside. Fireplaces have wood or stone mantels, with stone, ceramic or occasionally brick surrounds. The wood is again oak with a golden stain, usually waxed or rubbed, not polyurethaned. Satin or matte finishes rule. Stone is field stone-- stacked dry or with mortar, it presents a terrific textural visual. River rock may be used instead and the round smooth stones provide a counterpoint to the rectilinear geometry otherwise present. Ceramic tiles will typically have a motif from nature, perhaps a leaf or acorn, or be an iridescent finish. Today glass tiles are also used to great advantage. Brick, when employed, is smooth faced and laid in clean horizontal bands. Again, one of the clear features of an Arts and Crafts interior is the linear quality. The feeling that the house is part of a bigger view, part of the horizon, is all an effort to be from and of the earth. Historically, many of the Arts and Crafts and Mission homes sported art glass windows, or at least many panes. This enabled windows to be left uncovered and still appear decorative. Today, art glass windows can be cost prohibitive except in select areas, so if treatment is desired for either privacy, light, or heat control, simpler is better. This translates to either plain Roman shades, silhouettes, wood blinds, or panels on either tabs or rings on a decorative rod (wood or wrought iron) with finials. If tiebacks are desired consider sisal tassels, simple and bold, or a band of the same fabric as the drapery. No trim or other decorative element is required. Fabric patterns may herald nature, such as a leaf print, or be based in geometry. There is a wide range on the market today including historical prints by William Morris and designs by Frank Lloyd Wright. The same may also be found in wall covering, though use it sparingly as it is often busy and distracting. Arts and Crafts and Mission Style today both represent a desire for a wholesome, hearty lifestyle, a return to yesterday’s values. Furnishings in the Arts and Crafts home are again wood, occasionally with a wrought iron or ceramic tile accent. Glass is rarely used. Tables, being functional as well as good looking, often have at least a drawer and a shelf for storage. Shapes are squares, rectangles and octagons. Today more rounds are available. Again, the geometry created by edges is most apparent. Sofas and chairs are often wood backed with exposed wood arms and cushions that can be readily cleaned or changed out depending on the season. Flexibility and adaptability are prime features. Mission style goes a step further and often offers sofas or chairs with a deep wood shelf surrounding them acting as the arm and a table (Frank Lloyd Wright design), which gives the illusion of a built-in piece. Leather is frequently used or fabrics in natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or wool. Rich colors and geometric or patterns drawn from nature abound. The most significant interest comes from the combination of elements, again, no one piece dominating. Busy patterns are used sparingly, increasing longevity and flexibility of the furnishings. Resources for furnishings include Stickley, American Impressions by Ethan Allen, and Cotswald Furnishings, a superior resource for hand-crafted furnishings and more in Atlanta. Lighting in an Arts and Crafts or Mission home is critical, especially with all the dark woods and depth of color schemes popular. While ceiling lights, including recessed, can give a good general light, it is far more effective and pleasing to adopt a wealth of luminaries. Torchieres (floor lamps that give uplight, and are best placed in corners) can provide valuable general lighting, while table lamps and floor lamps provide invitation and welcome. Accent lighting can be done with mantel lamps, sconces, and dresser lamps. The two most common types of lamps are the mica and metal designs (the body of the lamp being hammered bronze or copper, the shade a sheet of mica) and the art glass lamps with wood or art glass bases and shades of glass in geometric patterns and a squared coolie shape. Other lighting options include a wealth of reproduction lighting through several lighting sources such as Arroyo Craftsmen and Yamagiwa. (They are available through designers and have an outstanding line of Frank Lloyd Wright designs.) Accents, accessories, and artwork should be kept to a minimum to allow for a fuller appreciation of the architecture of the home and materials of nature showcased. This is a good chance to provide balance to the predominance of wood with elements in glass, ceramics, and metal. Both bowls and vessels are readily available in all materials mentioned here. Iridescent ware in both ceramics and glass provides an airy complement to the weight and depth of the wood.

         
    Attracting supporting and enjoying wild backyard birds

     

    You know that it's spring when you awake to the beautiful sound of birds chirping in your backyard. It's fun to watch them busily flitting about, building nests, going through their mating rituals, and even chasing away other species. If you're fascinated by your seasonal neighbors, you're certainly not alone. Backyard birding (and birding in general) is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the U. S. In fact, it doesn't take much effort to make your backyard a friendlier place for your feathered friends - and beautify your home at the same time. Here are some ways to get started: Bird Feeders There are dozens of different types of bird feeders available, and the birds they attract depends both upon the type of bird feeder and the type of food you put in your bird feeders. For example, a tube feeder will attract songbirds like goldfinches, chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches. If you add a tray to the feeder, you can also attract cardinals, jays, purple finches, and crossbills. Similarly, birds like doves, blackbirds, sparrows, and towhees will utilize a tray or platform feeder with millet, while placing corn in the feeder will attract starlings, quail, and pheasants. Hanging suet bird feeders appeal to wrens, cardinals, and woodpeckers, among others, while peanut butter suet feeders will also draw jays, bluebirds, and thrushes. Humming bird feeders will, of course, attract those fascinating hummers. When selecting your bird feeders, it's helpful to know the species of birds that nest in or migrate through your region. Then, choose feeders that are durable, that will adequately feed the number of backyard birds that you have, and that are easy to clean. Bird Houses While bird feeders often have a utilitarian design, decorative bird houses go all out, adding beauty to your yard while being fully functional for the birds you want to attract. You can find bird houses that look like Nantucket cottages, Victorian houses, and even gingerbread cottages. Not all species of birds come home to roost in a given bird house, though, so it's important to know the housing requirements of the backyard birds you want to attract. Bird Baths Bird baths can add a beauty and elegance to your yard while providing your feathered neighbors with a much-needed place to drink and bathe. Birds generally like a textured surface and a rim upon which they can perch, but beyond that, you can choose the design that works best with your landscaping. If you live in a cold climate, consider buying a heated bird bath so that your backyard guests can find respite even in the winter. Once you get pecked - er, bitten - by the backyard birding bug, it's fun to turn your yard into a safe haven. In addition to bird feeders, decorative bird houses, and bird baths, you can incorporate landscaping elements that are bird-friendly and take other steps to ensure the health and safety of backyard birds. Making your backyard bird-friendly is more than a feel-good exercise. Bird feeders, bird houses, and bird baths enable more hatchlings to survive, and having birds around keeps the insect population in check. Having fewer insects means that you won't need to use pesticides, which in turn helps keep the water clean and everyone - people, pets, and wildlife - healthier and happier.

         
    Badge lanyards an overview

     

    Badge lanyards are typically a length of rope, wire, or cloth designed to secure or display an identification card or an access badge. The most typical way to wear a badge lanyard is around the neck. This efficient way to display or secure a badge allows it to be frequently utilized while keeping the hands free. Badge lanyards can often be seen being worn by business employees, referees, lifeguards, medical staff, students, or trade show attendees. Badge lanyards can be custom printed with a company’s logo or slogan for advertising purposes. Due to the fact that most badge lanyards are worn around the neck, they are often designed with an important safety device referred to as a “plastic safety breakaway.” The breakaway will release if the lanyard becomes snagged or entangled with an object. This forces the lanyard to then breakaway, or fall, from the wearer’s neck. The safety breakaway is perfect for specific environmental conditions or factory workers. There are a variety of hardware attachment options designed specifically to secure a badge to a lanyard. Attachment options include plastic badge straps, bulldog clips, alligator clips, split rings, swivel hooks, and spring hooks. The popular swivel hook is designed to fit through the hole of a plastic badge holder. The plastic badge holder protects the identification card or access badge from the elements and from general wear and tear. Most companies that supply lanyards also supply badge holders and appropriate attachment hardware. The retractable badge reel is a popular accessory to badge lanyards. The retractable badge reel allows the badge or access card to be displayed, checked, or scanned without the wearer having to remove the lanyard. The retractable badge reel contains a durable cord (or wire) that attaches to the badge or badge holder. The cord length stretches for the card’s use and then quickly retracts into the plastic reel for storage.

         
    Balinese arts and crafts

     

    Perhaps, there is no place in the earth with such high density of artisans and craftsmen as in Bali. You name it and you can find it here – woodcarving, stone carving, silver and gold smiths, basket weavers, terracotta and ceramics, full range of handicrafts – the list goes on forever. Here is a short list of some of the best things or products available and you can go to find them. Woodcarving and wood handicrafts Traditional Balinese woodcarving has always been of religious subjects. In the 1930’s though a new type of carving developed in Mas near Ubud catering to the tourist market. Today, the best Balinese carving galleries are still there. Another important area for wood carving is on the road up to Sebatu. This is the region where most of the new antiques are made. The principal part is that you find something you like for a price you can afford. There are also numerous other Balinese standards like wooden banana trees, wooden flowers, Bali wooden masks and the type of things that might often be found at cheaper prices. Wood handicrafts for souvenir like wooden boxes, wooden nameplate, key chains, dreamcatcher, wind chimes, and many alternative types assorted of color and form can be found easily in most art shops in Bali. Stone Carving There are numerous types of stone carving such as traditional Balinese sculpture, hyper-realist animals, modern style, etc. The preferred material for stone carving is known as volcanic tuff that resembles the colour of cement when it is newly carved. Many visitors to Bali assume that they are cast, not handmade. To see the truth with your own eyes, have a look at the bend in the road in Batubulan which has long been touted as being the village of stone carvers. Silver and Gold smiths The village of Celuk is now lined with galleries all selling silver ware. They are typical Balinese work using granulation and a process of attaching gold to the surface of silver. Today the industry is very sophisticated and includes everything from traditional pieces to contemporary designs. Other arts and crafts These include paintings, basket weavers, wood puppets, shadow puppets, Bali dried flower, terracotta figurines, ceramics, wooden chess boards, Balinese musical instruments, textiles, costumes, furniture, large pots from Lombok, leather works from Java, primitive statues from the eastern islands, brass bowls, bronze statues and other decorative items. Shopping for art and craft is supposed to be fun and Bali is one the best places in the world to find something cute and beautiful for yourself or somebody that you love.

         
    Balloon animals for kids

     

    When I was a kid, I loved twisting Balloon Animals. When ever I had one made for me, I couldn’t wait to take it apart and put it back together. Of course they usually would pop on me in the process. But I think that this was the enticement. Trying to remake the balloon animal with out it popping was exciting for me as a seven year old child. It wasn’t long before I set out to learn how to really make balloon animals for myself. In 1988, though we didn’t have the internet as we have it now. Since I could search the internet for instructions or directions, I went to the local library. This is still a great place to learn about stuff, whatever that maybe. I liked this approach because it didn’t require me to actually purchase the “how to balloon book” that I probably would open after a couple of weeks anyways. Today, however, we do have the internet, to much the detriment of many libraries. So if you have a kid, or are a kid, and think that learning how to make balloon animals are a pretty neat idea, go ahead and search for instructions on how to make balloon animals. If I may suggest, start with the basic balloon dog. Don;t worry it'll be fun. Instructions can be found at art-of-balloon-animals. ask-the-monkey/instructions/dog. php The balloon dog is the basic animal shape. This is where it all begins. Think of it as the primordial ooze of balloon animal evolution. Plus, this is by far the most request balloon animal of all time. Why? It’s quick, easy, and people really like dogs. Just by altering the length of the segments you could turn a dog into a giraffe, horse, maybe even a monkey. Use your imagination and a sharpie marker. Draw a face on it and show everyone who isn’t afraid of balloons, and a few who are, what a wonderful piece of art you’ve made. Balloon animals seem to have a grip over children. Even at a very young age kids are mesmerized by the act of twisting a balloon animal. It can take the most hyper kid and calm them down. But beware, you will also be bombard with more questions then you’ve ever answered before. It can also take a shy quite kid, and make him extremely out going.

         
    Bar soap is just the beginning

     

    So, you’ve just made that first batch of wonderful homemade bar soap. You’re giddy with accomplishment, and have it prominently displayed in every bathroom. But why stop there? Each little scrap of soap you’ve made, from the imperfect bar that you’re not sure what to do with, to the crumbs and shavings left over, can be turned into valuable cleaning products for your home. How much do you think you could save each year if you no longer had to buy laundry soap? Beyond the financial savings you could reap, there are some serious health benefits as well. Virtually all laundry soap on the market today is a petroleum-based detergent, the vast majority containing dyes and perfumes that can aggravate allergy problems. After all, when you lay your head down to sleep at night, you have your nose pressed up against pillows, pillowcases, and sheets all washed in these chemicals. If you think this can’t cause problems, let me tell you about my son. For over a year my ten-year-old son suffered from severe allergy problems. He lived his life completely congested and was constantly on antibiotics for sinus infections. Finally his adenoids became infected and were removed. The problems still continued. After suffering through 87 injections for allergy testing, the medial community found that he reacted to nothing! Sent home, we were instructed to watch his diet for 2 months to see if he had a food allergy. I had a better idea. I stripped all of his bedding, the curtains in his room, and all of his clothing and washed everything in a batch of homemade olive oil laundry soap. Within a week, he started to show improvement. Within two, his sinuses cleared completely. And today, it’s as though his allergy problems never existed. Making your own laundry soap is easy. Because we have a septic system, I prefer liquid laundry soap. The following recipe can be made in a couple of hours, all from the scraps of your soap making ventures. Ingredients: 16 oz. of homemade soap grated or cut into small chunks (Any kind will do.), 48 oz. water, 16 oz. white vinegar Combine all ingredients into a large pot and simmer on a very low heat for 2 – 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Continue to heat until the soap chunks are completely dissolved. Your liquid soap will be quite thick, but it will thin a bit once it has completely cooled. Allow your soap to cool, and then funnel it into a jug or old laundry soap container that has been thoroughly rinsed. To Use: Add 1 cup of laundry soap to the water in your washing machine before putting in the clothes. I have always used Olive Oil Soap, as this is the only soap I tend to make, and I am consistently amazed at how well it cleans. I never have a problem with oily spots on clothes, and seldom have to bother with pre-treating a stain.

         
    Beaded lanyards quasi jewelry

     

    The typical lanyard is a length of basic rope, wire, or cloth that is designed to secure a small object. They are often purchased in large quantities and are fairly inexpensive. Many employees wear lanyards around their neck to secure identification badges while on the job. Beaded lanyards can be as basic as an inexpensive metallic, beaded chain. They can be ordered through most typical lanyard suppliers and feature a variety of hardware attachments to secure small objects. These lanyards are often in several different lengths and an array of colors. Other beaded lanyards are quite unique and are referred to by some as jewelry. They are designed by skilled artisans and can be extremely expensive depending upon the type of materials used. The cost of a beaded lanyard depends on the type of beads and wire used in its design. Beaded lanyard patterns may consist of colorful patterns of seed beads, glass beads, crystals, or even gemstones. The most popular beaded lanyards are used to secure eyeglasses or sunglasses around the neck. They attach to the temples of the glasses, allowing them to hang around the neck when not in use. These exquisite neck lanyards are often referred to as eyeglass necklaces or eyeglass holders. They are a fashionable way to keep track of an item that can be easily misplaced or damaged. Beaded lanyards allow the wearer the freedom to easily put on and remove glasses frequently throughout the day. Many bead artisans also offer jewelry pieces to coordinate with beaded lanyards. The beaded lanyard patterns are often duplicated in a bracelet, anklet, or pair of earrings. One drawback of the beaded lanyard is that they are often fragile. They may look elegant but also may not have the durability of a nylon or cotton lanyard when worn frequently.

         
    Bird twig wreath

     

    This is a very attractive wreath and a very popular one. You will want to gather a supply of twigs which are long, thin and pliable. You will also need craft wire, 22 to 24 gauge, wire cutters, a glue gun, glue sticks and a wreath base. You will also want some bird picks, the choice is yours, an artificial birds’ nest, wooden eggs, small ones, and a large ribbon. You will want to cut the twigs into about ten inch lengths. Take a handful of twigs, choosing an amount that seems right to you, bind them firmly together and cut the wire, securing it and then tucking it into the twig bunch which you have just created. Continue this until you have created what you feel are enough bunches to cover your wreath base. Take a wreath bunch and fasten it securely to the wreath bases with craft wire. Continue this until you have completely covered the wreath base. Cut the craft wire and secure it firmly into the wreath. Now you will want to take the birds’ nest and secure it firmly to the wreath. Take a ten inch piece of craft wire and fold it into a “U” shape. Poke this thru the back of the birds’ nest then stick the ends of the wires through the twig bunches at the bottom of the wreath and secure the wires firmly to the wreath base, tucking them in so that they are completely covered by the twig bunches. Now hot glue the nest to the wreath bunches to give it added security and stability. Next glue the artificial eggs into the birds’ nest. Depending upon the breed of the bird which you have chosen, you may or may not want to paint the eggs first. Now take your bird picks and place them where you would like them on the wreath. You may also want to use your glue gun and glue to make sure that they are securely attached. Take your ribbon and form a large bow and glue it securely to the top of your twig wreath. You now have a beautiful twig wreath, which can be used at any time of the year. I hope you will enjoy it and take pride in your work.

         
    Book binding basics

     

    Whether you’re looking for a new way to bind your collection of scrapbooks, or are creating your own journal or personal appointment books, you’ll want to know about book binding that you can do yourself. Here are a few tips and suggestions for making sure that your books look professional and presentable—even if you’re binding them at home. One of the best and most stylish ways to bind your books is to use mechanical binding. Mechanical binding provides a sleek, modern line for your books, and prevents bulking no matter how many pages you have. Mechanical binding can also accommodate books that have several sections or tabs. For smaller books, or books with thinner paper for pages, you may want to try plastic combs or spirals. This way, you can still create a new look for your scrapbooks, and make allowances for new pages with having to use paperclips or staplers. Plastic spirals will also add more security to the pages when the book is opened, so you won’t have to worry about chasing missing pages every time you look through your favorite scrapbook or journal. Basic stitching techniques for book binding include the Kettle Stitch, which is the basic link stitch you will use to connect your pages. You should also become familiar with how to stitch in between and within the cords of the book cover or pages, as well as sewing split leather or double cords together. Tools that you’ll need for book binding include a drill (depending on what material you’ll want to use for the front and back covers of your book), tapestry needles, a utility knife, a pencil, and a clean, flat surface to work on. Before you start the book binding process, it may be a good idea to learn the basics about book binding from a few professionals, so that you’ll know what to do at home. Printing companies and bookstores often have tips and pointers for those who want to bind their own books at home, and you’ll also be able to learn which materials and techniques work best for the style of book binding you want to use on your books. With a little practice, you can give your books an authentic feel, with Renaissance and Gothic styles, and you can even find instructions and visual aids online that will help. Once you get the hang of book binding, you’ll want to create a number of different books for your personal or home office use, and you can even make photo albums to store family memories. Book binding is a great way to make sure that your most prized materials are preserved in a way that you would be proud of. You may even want to have your books embossed, so that you can label them in an appealing way. Many of the supplies that you’ll need can be found at your local craft store, or even at certain thrift or consignment stores in your area.

         
    Bookends exclusive woodcrafts

     

    : You can easily make woodcraft for your bedroom to hold those books that you would always like to read before going to bed. Bookends really serve great when it comes to decoration and managing your favorite books. To make a bookend you require a polyester brush, ruler, pencil, scissors, cloth, scroll or band saw. Also one piece 4’*6’*1’ of wood , 9 1 Ѕ long finishing nails, 2 pieces of ј’ cork, wood glue, wood filler, clear urethane varnish, one sheet of coarse sandpaper, and fine sandpaper. Steps to make the bookend: 1. First you need to print off the base, back and the center piece patterns and cut it out. 2. Then trace the base pattern measuring 5’*5’ onto the wood twice and cut the pieces out with the scroll or band saw. 3. Trace the back pattern measuring 8 Ѕ ’* 5’ onto the wood twice and cut the pieces out with the scroll or band saw. 4. Next trace the center piece measuring 6’ *3’ once and again cut the piece with scroll or band saw. Cut this piece into half to make the center pieces each measuring 3’ * 3’. 5. Sand all the pieces until they become smooth first with the coarse sandpaper and then fine sandpaper. 6. Now wipe the wood with a cloth to remove the dust from sanding. 7. Glue the back to the base and then wipe off the entire excess flue with a damp cloth. 8. Allow this glue to dry. 9. Now glue the center to the back and the base and wipe off the excess glue with a damp cloth before it dries.

    10. Allow this glue to dry. 11. Next secure the back, base and center with the finishing nails for extra strength, 3 on the bottom under the cork where the center piece attaches to the bottom, 3 up the back to hold the center piece in place and 3 along the back where the bottom attaches to it. 12. Fill the nail holes with wood filler where they could be countersunk. Let it dry and then sand it lightly with sandpaper. 13. When the glue and nail filler is thoroughly dry, varnish with small polyester brush and consult the container of varnish for proper instructions. If necessary, sand it lightly before varnishing again.

    Varnish again in 24 hours. 14. Trace the base pattern twice onto the cork and glue the cork to the underside of the base of each bookend to prevent scratching furniture and prevent slipping. But while you make this bookend always keep in mind that these tools are dangerous so you should always look for the safety measures.

    For further information, visit craft-books. net

         
    Candles why people are making their own

     

    Candles are very cheap: you can get hundreds of small candles in a bag for the price of a Happy Meal, and the bigger ones aren’t much more expensive. When it’s so easy to just buy your candles in a shop, why on earth would you want to make candles yourself? Well, that’s like asking why you’d want to do a painting yourself when you could buy a print and put it in a frame. Candle making is an art, with often beautiful results, not to mention the fun time you can have while you’re making the candles. Candle making today belongs thoroughly in the arts and crafts category, which means that you can get all the equipment and waxes you’ll need from your local crafts shop. To make a candle, all you really need to do is get some wax and melt it in a pan (you can even use wax from mass-produced candles if you can’t find any plain wax). Once the wax is melted, you can add dye if the wax isn’t already coloured. Then just put the wick (the string that burns) into a mould, pour in the wax and leave it to set. Again, if you can’t get a real candle mould, you can improvise with disposable household objects, such as half a milk carton or some other kind of bottle. Of course, that basic method is just the beginning. Once you’ve got that down, you can start mixing different coloured waxes, and using more complicated moulds, and even adding things like glitter and other decoration. You can add small objects like shiny pebbles into the hot wax, or even cover larger objects in wax to make them into big candles. If you need more inspiration, the chances are that the craft shop (or the library) will have books about candle making, with more in-depth ‘recipes’ that you can either follow directly or incorporate in your own designs.

         
    Candles how to make them from home

     

    A candle, consisting of an internal wick and a column of solid fuel, illuminates the surrounding area. Due to the invention of modern equipments used for illuminating the surrounding, candle is not an essential product for this purpose. But the demand for candles has gone up as a work of art. Different varieties of candles have flooded the market. The candles are of different colors, aroma, and shapes. The making of a candle involves various equipments. Paraffin wax, melting system, candy thermometer, and scales to measure the amount of water and wax are required. Ladle and spoons are used for stirring and pouring wax. Chemically treated wick that burns for a longer period of time are used. Since wax is soft, stearic acid is used to make it solid. Color dyes are used to make the appearance brighter. It involves a very simple process to make the candle. Suspend a wick in the center of a mold. Dissolve stearic acid and color dye in a container and heat the wax to 190 degreesbine the stearic mixture with paraffin and stir it continuously to blend it. Pour the mixture in a mold, allow time for it to cool and then remove it from the mold. Acquiring a gel candle has now become a fashion. You can prepare it easily at home. All you need to get are a container, gels, pans, wicks and the basic necessary items. While selecting containers, it is best to use a heat resistant glass. Gel wax, paraffin, candle scent, dye, wick, wick clip, and wick base are the other requirements. Different colors can be mixed together to form a new color according to your taste. The oil based liquids; pellets and wax solids are the sources of scent. The scent has to be added before pouring the candle to avoid evaporation. Items like buttons, marbles, toys and jewels can be added in the candle. Avoid inflammatory items. Candles are used for various reasons. They are used in almost all the religions. The candles represent the light of God in Christianity. Candles are lit at the start and end of the weekly Sabbath celebration. For Kwanzaa and for other reasons of humanism, candles are lit. Thus, the candle not only serves illuminating and decoration purposes, but also serves religious causes.

         
    Candy bouquets how to make a fun table decoration for your wedding

     

    : When I first started making bouquets I was always trying to find different things to use in place of flowers. One thing I found that is fun and different to use is candy. Candy bouquets make wonderful gifts and they are a great talking point at weddings and receptions. They are really easy to make, and the end result is always popular. This is probably because, not only are they colorful and fun, but they're edible as well! You can make many different types of candy bouquets - In this article I will show you how to make a candy bouquet in a teracotta pot, which will look absolutely spectacular... To make your own candy bouquet flower-pot, you will need: - 1 Medium terracotta pot - 1 Packet of lollipops or wrapped chocolates - 1 Dried oasis brick - 1 Piece of floristry wire - 5 White roses purple centres - 7 Purple roses - Floristry wire and stem tape( if using chocolates) STEP 1: Cut The Oasis Using a piece of floristry wire to cut the oasis, so it will fit into the terracotta pot. Make sure it fits in the pot firmly as you will be pushing the lollipop sticks, flowers and leaves into it. STEP 2: Trim The Flowers The pot I am using is small so I will cut the flowers down. Cut just a little above half way down the stem. You do not need to wire or tape any of the flowers, just use the wire they are already on. Note: If you are using wrapped chocolates you will need to wire and tape them. STEP 3: Fan The Leaves Place your leaves around the edge of the teracotta pot. If you slightly overlap the leaves you will get a nice fan effect which will make the finished pot look much more realistic. Note: You may need to use one of the cut pieces of flower stem to put holes in the oasis for the leaves to go in. STEP 4: Insert The Roses Place one rose in the centre of the pot. Push the next rose in at an angle near the edge of the pot, and do the same with the next rose on the otherside of the pot. Keep doing this until all the flowers are in the pot. STEP 5: Insert Candy and Leaves Now all you need to do to finish the candy bouquet is to fill the bouquet in with the candy and leaves... Place a lollipop between each flower, and keep doing this until all the lollipops are used. If you have any more gaps fill them in with leaves and pearlies. Step 6: Add A Ribon As a nice finishing touch to the candy bouquet flower pot, you can place a ribbon bow around the pot. You could also paint the pot before putting the flowers in. Even add a figure of eight bow at the front edge of the pot if you wish. A candy bouquet flower-pot makes a lovely table decoration for any occasion. The good thing about this decoration is that you can just replace the lollipops once they get eaten.

         
    Choosing a lapel pin manufacturer

     

    There are hundreds of lapel pin companies to choose from. A simple search on the Internet yields multiple hits. It’s important to have an idea of what you want before you begin working with a lapel pin manufacturer. There are several types of pins, but the base of all lapel pins is metal. You can order very inexpensive pins made out of iron with plating, but lapel pins made out of copper are the most durable. A lapel pin manufacturer can plate a pin with gold, silver, bronze or even an antique finish. Once you decide on the basic metal of the pin, then you can move on to the fun part – the colorful design of the lapel pin! There are different types of pins to choose from, but the most popular type is the “hard enamel” lapel pin. This type of pin allows for an almost unlimited selection of colors. Some lapel pin manufacturers call this cloisonnй, but it is not true cloisonnй. If your design requires bright colors, consider the hard enamel pin. The true cloisonnй pin is limited to only about 100 colors, but these are often the most collectible type of lapel pins. You may also choose lapel pins that are embossed, die struck or etched – careful selection of the design will ultimately make your custom lapel pin unique. While the company you deal with may be located in the US, most lapel pin manufacturers deal with factories overseas. Be sure to check with the manufacturer to find out how long your order will take and what kind of shipping charges are involved. Always get a quote, and make sure to let the lapel pin manufacturers know what your budget is – they almost certainly have made something similar to what you need. For complex designs, find out if a prototype lapel pin can be created. If you don’t need a special design, and are looking for something a little simpler you can also order stock lapel pins. These are pins with recognized symbols like flags, smiley faces, states, animals and other designs. Stock lapel pins are usually immediately available and can be purchased in affordable bulk quantities. Stock lapel pins will not incur any set-up or art fees, as the custom lapel pins will. You may also be able to find stock lapel pins at low clearance prices. Another affordable option is to order wholesale lapel pins. To place a wholesale order, you must have a business license and usually you have to buy a certain amount of lapel pins to qualify for wholesale pricing. Schools and charitable organizations may also qualify, so be sure to ask! The upside of wholesale lapel pins is that you will often receive free artwork, free shipping and other incentives. If you are a business looking to purchase at least 50 units, buying wholesale lapel pins may be the best option for you.

         
    Choosing embroidery thread

     

    Selecting the right type of threads for any embroidery work is important because the color and texture of the design, and eventually the look of the final product depend on the material and type of thread used. There’s a wide variety of embroidery thread to choose from, so take your time to decide what type or combination should be best for the design you have in mind. More importantly, thread selections should be based on Sewability, Seam Performance and Appearance, Availability and Cost. Types: 1. Rayon: This type of thread has a great sheen, and so the best looking embroidery designs are stitched with it. Rayon threads can range from combinations of two or more colors twisted together thereby forming a single strand, to one solid color strand. They are widely available, mostly in standard 40 wt. and 30 wt. Even though Rayon is the most popular type, it’s not very sturdy because of its thinness. 2. Polyester: Polyester thread is more durable than Rayon but it is not as attractive. However, this type of embroidery thread hardly shrinks or fades, and if combined with Rayon, the effect they provide is nearly indistinguishable. It is also cheaper than Rayon thread. 3. Cotton: Cotton thread allows for a wide range of tension adjustments because of its texture. It has a nice sheen, is quite sturdy (though finer threads above 50 wt. are not), and typically used for machine embroidery. 4. Silk: Silk embroidery thread hardly breaks and has its own unique, and probably the best sheen. Threads come in various sizes but their availability is low so they are mostly used for luxury fabrics. 5. Metallic Thread: This type of thread has a core wrapped with a metal foil which may be coated with silver alloy, and color is added to this foil with a polyester film which may also be applied as an undercoating. Metallic thread is one of the most durable available on the market. 6. Mylar Thread: Plies of film are combined into a layer, cut into slices to create Mylar threads. They are durable but may break under high-speed sewing. One unique color feature is holographic hue, which picks up and reflects light or color from other surrounding objects. This really enhances the color and design of the embroidery. 7. Special-effect: Like the name suggests, this type of thread can be used to create different design effects, such as crewel-like effect. Some of the special effect threads change colors under sunlight, or may glow in the dark. Quality Evaluation: 1. Tensile Strength: The tensile strength of an embroidery thread can be tested by sawing a suspended strand with another strand back and forth until the first strand breaks. The faster it breaks, the lower the strength and quality of that particular thread type. 2. Elongation: A good thread must have the right amount of stretch. Take a piece of the thread and stretch it till it breaks. The strand should neither break too quickly nor stretch for too long. 3. Sheen: The luster and quality of the sheen can be tested by studying the color and design of a finished embroidery product.

         
     
         
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