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    Creating a wedding scrapbook

     

    A scrapbook of a wedding is different than a photo album of a wedding. I believe a photo album is to showcase the photos taken at the wedding. I believe a scrapbook of the wedding is to share the story of the days/years leading up to the wedding and then share photos of the event itself. The following suggestions are just that, suggestions. There is no right or wrong in creating a scrapbook. It is my goal to provide some thought starters to creating a wedding scrapbook. Consider starting with a few photos of both the bride and the groom as children. Add a few photos of them as teens and then some photos of the couple during the dating process. During the planning stages, often banquet rooms are looked at, dresses and tuxedos are looked at, and invitations are looked at. Taking a few photos of the various planning days are great additions to the scrapbook. If the bridal shop will allow it, it can be fun to take photos of the bride in each dress she tries on. When you decide on a banquet room, take a few photos of the room empty. Take a few photos of the building housing the banquet room. Once a menu is decided on, save a copy of the menu provided by the banquet room. One event I helped with, we actually made the menu ourselves. We wanted guests to know what was being served that night and so we included our self made menu in the scrapbook. You’ll also want to save one copy of all of the following: • An invitation • An R. S.V. P. card • A place card • A thank you note • A copy of the guest list If you order candy bar wrappers, or any other wedding favor, save one for your scrapbook. If you use a D. J. or a band, save one of their business cards, or one of their brochures, to include in your scrapbook. If you hire any other type of entertainer, again, save a business card or brochure. As you plan your wedding, it can be fun to journal the days. There will always be mishaps along the way and as you are celebrating your first anniversary, you will laugh over the mishaps and the other notes you took as you planned. When the R. S.V. P. cards come in, often times folks will write personal messages. Save those. Just like a high school yearbook, it’s fun to go back and read what others wrote, several years later. And now, the day of the wedding has arrived. It’s time to take those photos that you’ll want for both your wedding photo album and also your wedding scrapbook.

         
    Creating rubber stamps not all methods created equal part 2 of 3

     

    Welcome back! In part one of this three-part series, the advantages and disadvantages of laser-engraved rubber stamps were discussed. As discussed in the first article, although laser engraving has a high start-up cost, its quality and efficiency are second to none. In this segment, you will learn the benefit and fallbacks of a photoengraving stamp-making method. Making a rubber stamp through a chemical or photopolymer process will also require significant start-up costs. Depending on the equipment capabilities, quality, or size, a photopolymer stamp-making kit may cost anywhere from $400-$4000. This process requires a significant amount of labor and tends to have a higher turnaround time. The first step of the photopolymer process involves creating a negative of the image to be engraved. To begin, create or obtain a completely black graphic on a completely white background. If the graphic has colors, save or convert it to a monochrome or two-color format. A simple graphics editor, such as Paint (which automatically comes with a Windows OS) will allow the user to “Save As” and choose a “Save as type” as “Monochrome Bitmap.” This will convert the colored graphic into a black-and-white bitmap file. Once the image is completely black and white, using a graphics editor (again, Paint will work), invert the colors. This will create a white image on a black background. Turnaround time for a rubber stamp will vary greatly, as this variable is contingent on the creation of a metal plate. If you are creating stamps for fun, you will need to have enough graphics to fill both a metal plate and a matrix (mold) board. The metal plate and matrix board can be made on a partial board; however, this is not an efficient use of materials and may make for uneven molds and/or stamps. If maximum efficiency is desired, enough graphics will need to be obtained to create a full metal plate. Additionally, the photopolymer process does not allow small businesses to make custom rubber stamps efficiently, as these rubber stamps tend to be made for a one-time order and the mold is no longer needed. Depending on the materials at hand, the metal plate may need to be made by an engraving company. Once the metal place has been engraved, it is placed in a machine with the matrix board and, with a combination of heat and pressure known as vulcanization, the matrix board is made into a mold. The rubber is cut to the size of the mold, placed in the vulcanizer, and creates a rubber stamp through a similar process of heat and pressure. Be warned: as a mold is put under heat and pressure every time a rubber stamp is created, it may only last for 40-60 stamp vulcanizations. After the rubber has been pressed, it can be cut into individual stamps. As the rubber is quite thick, most stamp enthusiasts agree regular scissor are not sufficient. Kai Scissors are a considered an essential tool in the arts and crafts world. These scissors can be found at crafts stores or on the web, and Kai Scissors makes 15+ styles and sizes of scissors. Mounting foam is also needed to ensure the block the stamp is mounted on does not come in contact with the surface to be stamped. Once the rubber and mounting foam have been cut, the stamps are glued to a wooden mound and are ready to impress! We have discussed laser engraving, photoengraving, and one last stamp-making method is yet to come! Next, learn how to make rubber stamps, without any special or expensive equipment, from the privacy of your own home!

         
    Creating rubber stamps not all methods created equal part 3 of 3

     

    Welcome back to “Creating Rubber Stamps: Not All Methods Created Equal.” In parts one and two of this three-part series, the advantages and disadvantages of the laser-engraving and photopolymer rubber stamp-making processes were discussed. In this final installment, you will learn how to make custom rubber stamps and art stamps from the comfort of your very own home! When making stamps at home, a chemical or non-chemical process can be used. Whether chemical or non-chemical, for homemade rubber stamps and art stamps, a flat eraser will become the artist’s palette. To use a non-chemical process, take a pen and outline on the stamp the image to be etched. Using a sharp item, such as a box cutter, steak knife or linoleum cutter, etch away the non-inked eraser so that all that is left is the raised image that the rubber stamp will impress. If you are not confident in your drawing skills, you may want to use a piece of tracing paper and trace the image you would to place on the rubber stamp. Once the image has been traced, flip over the tracing paper and rub the outline onto the stamp. A pin, fork, or other hard surface can also be used to make indentations of the traced surface. This may not give the most precise image; however, it will provide some guidance for artistically-challenged individuals. If more precise guidance than tracing paper is preferred, a chemical process can also be used. First, a clear black-and-white photocopy of the image will be needed. Wet the image with acetone using a cotton swab or ball, and press the dark side of the image on the eraser. As acetone is highly flammable and may irritate skin, stay in a well-ventilated area and make as little contact with the chemical as possible. Remove the paper from the eraser; the ink will have transferred to the rubber eraser. Using the box or linoleum cutter, carve away the non-inked areas of the eraser; this will create a rubber stamp out of the raised surfaces. After the rubber stamp has been carved, you may want to mount it on a piece of wood or other hard surface. This will promote the longevity of the stamp and keep it from suffering too much “wear and tear” while stamping. Mounting the eraser will also help the user to stay away from the ink while stamping. Another advantage of using a mounted stamp is the guarantee of a hard surface and quality impression with every imprint. Although making a stamp by hand is an attractive option, it requires extensive hand-customization and allows little room for error. If the carver makes a mistake, they must adjust the image for the mistake or, in a worst-case scenario, start completely over. In addition to the extensive time required, there are also costs that must be incurred for each stamp created. For example, to create a 1” x 1” wooden-mounted stamp, the costs would be approximately: $0.75 1” x 1” wood block $0.50 rubber eraser $6.00 Small utility knife and/or linoleum cutter $2.00 acetone $9.25 TOTAL In comparison, the average cost for a 1” x 1” stamp online is $4.00-$6.00. While the carving tools and acetone may last for quite a while, the other costs, lack of precision and hassle-factors may prove incentive enough to purchase stamps from an online or retail store. Whether you’re laser-engraving, creating photopolymer molds, carving rubber stamps by hand or shopping for rubber stamps online, take the knowledge from this three-part series to make your decision! If you are looking for the precision of laser-engraving, the economy of photopolymer, or the homemade look of erasers, each stamp-making method has something to offer. Remember that, when it comes to art stamp and rubber stamp customization, the possibilities are endless!

         
    Crochet hook up for fun

     

    The Dutch called it Haken and the Spanish called it Labor de Ganchillo, but call it Crochet and it looks just as delicate and. Today the word, with its roots in medieval French Croc or croche meaning Hook, has come to signify one of the most popular fabric crafts for men and women across the globe. Yes, I did say men…because an increasing number of men are now turning to this highly structured and organized craft for finding creative satisfaction. Crochet is basically a series of interlocking loops of thread into a chain to create brightly colored patterns. These patterned patches can then be given various forms like table covers, tote bags, hats and baby dresses. A single chain of loops is created, with each new loop catching the thread and pulling it through the previous loop. Once the chain is completed, the thread is turned starting a second chain. Some popular stitches are: Chain, Single, Half Double, Double, Popcorn, and Cluster. Some of the most popular theories suggest the craft originated in France. Significant evidence points to its earliest usage in the 1700s Europe where it was developed as an affordable alternative to the more expensive forms of lace. It needed inexpensive equipment and raw material to create low-cost fabric and the art picked up enough to achieve the status of a flourishing cottage industry by mid 1800s. Branded as ‘the commoners’ lace’, this art got a fillip when it received a patron in Queen Victoria of England. Though this art has had its ups and downs over the centuries, its inherent simplicity and beauty has ensured its longevity and currency as a fashionable fabric in every century. Easy, affordable and fun, this art has many takers and a resounding Internet presence. Check out DIY guides and patterns on the web and get hooking for hours of fun.

         
    Cross stitch tips

     

    Here are some cross stitch tips that will help you a lot with your cross stitch projects. GETTING STARTED Always start stitching from the center of your fabric. To find the center on your fabric, fold the fabric in half twice. The center will be at the intersection of the two folds. Finding the center of your chart by following the two arrows. One arrow will be in the top center and the other one in the middle left side of your chart. Follow these two arrows. Where they meet is your center stitch. FABRIC Put tissue paper in your hoop with your fabric then tear away the center where you are stitching. This will keep oils from getting onto your fabric and help your hands from being moist. Use different qualities of fabric. Try cheaper fabric for quick designs, saving money so that you can splash out on the best fabric for heirloom projects. You will want to allow 3 to 4 inches of fabric on each side of the design. This will help you framing your project easily. THREADS When stitching with 2 threads use only one strand of floss, put the ends together and thread them through the needle leaving a loop on one end. When you put the needle through on your second stitch, catch it through the loop. This keeps the material from getting bumpy. When ending your thread by running under other stitches, try to match colors. Never run a dark color under light stitched, it might show through to the front. Back stitch should be added when all other stitching has been completed. NEEDLES Many of us we have the bad habit of leaving the needle into the fabric when we end a session. Be aware that this can leave a permanent stain or large hole in your fabric. Always store a needle properly. TIPS If you have pets or small children do not keep your cross stitch materials in a bag. Keeping your threads, needles and scissors in a box that shuts securely will prevent little fingers and paws from getting into things easily! If you are working on a larger needlework project, invest in a set of stretcher bars. They keep the fabric from getting warped and it makes it easier to actually do the sewing. They come in several sizes, and are fairly inexpensive. Using a highlighter in a light color - yellow works very well for marking off stitches or areas of stitching as you complete them. If your lighting make the yellow hard to see at night, you could use another color like green or blue or orange when stitching at night.

         
    Cross stitching creative and decorative

     

    : If you are a person who loves arts and have an artistic hand then craft book is very useful for you. A craft book is a book that provides some sort of information about any specific art. This may include painting, knitting, stitching, candle making, doll making or any other form of craft work. You can easily spend your leisure time creatively and make some useful thing for your home and family. Craft work not only gives you pleasure but also save lot of money if wisely done. Cross stitch book is a craft book that helps you in making beautiful decorative pieces along with fun all the way. There are some guidelines that you need to follow for cross stitching which is given in a cross stitch book. Things you require for cross stitching A graph that you wish to draw, even fabric for cross stitching, a tapestry needle of 24 or 26, embroidery thread or floss, embroidery hoop and scissors. Steps for cross stitching 1. You need to separate the cotton strands which are usually in six strands in correct number for stitching. There will be a color key that will show the cotton color you have to use for each symbol in the chart. You should start the cross stitch design from the middle in such a way that the stitching you made fits in the fabric without going off from one side. You can find it easily by folding the fabric in four and thus you will find the center but remember that this point coincides with the center of the chart that is normally marked with arrows from top, bottom and sides.

    2. Begin stitching by threading your needle and then bring it up to your fabric but leave a short end of cotton in the back and work over this with your first few stitches to secure it. After making enough stitches in place you can start a new color by running it through back of existing stitches. Finish the color by running the cotton under the stitches at the back so that it is secured. 3. You can make single cross stitch, row of cross stitches, half cross stitch, back stitch, part stitches which really looks great when you have finished. Visit our recommended website craft-books. net

         
    Custom embroidery tips

     

    There are important considerations you have to bear in mind before creating or ordering your own, custom embroidery designs. For D-I-Y (Do-it-yourself) people, it is easy to get yourself a hi-tech embroidery machine complete with digitized programs, but the quality of your work will depend on your own artistic instincts and knowledge of specific embroidery techniques. In order to create a high quality embroidery product, there are a few basic, but significant components that you have to watch out for when creating your own embroidery. These include: The Thread: The two main types of embroidery threads are Polyester and Rayon. Though the best looking designs are stitched with Rayon, Polyester is much sturdier than the former. This is because Rayon is very thin in comparison to other thread types, which also makes it hard to adjust tension. The color of the thread also has to complement the colors in the embroidery design, along with the color of the fabric. Remember that threads can also appear to be of different shades of color depending upon the angle from which they are viewed. So choose accordingly. For example, less contrast between the colors of the fabric and the design can hide small flaws. Stitches: Fill-stitches form different patterns and stitch directions, and cover large areas. Too many stitches will create small gaps and too few will show through the design. So decide what type of design will be most appropriate for your Fill Stitch. Keep in mind that fabric tends to absorb small stitches, so they should be avoided. Underlay stitches, though often overlooked, plays an important part in the final embroidery quality and design. This is because they stabilize the material held in the embroidery frame. The method in which underlay stitches are sewn into the material also paves the way for the top stitches. Backing Materials: The amount of stability and support provided by backing materials often determines the quality of the finished product. Backing materials like Cutaways and Tearaways should be chosen according to the type of garment or fabric used. For example, cutaway backings are ideal for knit fabrics. Tearaways can be great for those who want work quickly done because they are the easiest to use. The Topping: Toppings prevent fibers from getting caught in between stitches on some rough textured fabrics such as Fleece. This is made possible by stitching the embroidery through the topping, the fabric, and the backing material. Topping such as water-soluble films, when laid over stitches-observing fabric types prevent embroidery stitches from sinking into the fabric. Locations: The most noticeable area of the garment should be chosen as the central location of the embroidery design. However, this may be modified according to the type of garment on which the embroidery is to be applied. For example, the primary location for Short Sleeve Shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts is the Left Chest, but secondary location for Short Sleeves is more appropriate on the Left Arm; while for Long Sleeves, Center Back location looks better.

         
    Design your electrical lamp

     

    : We’ve got a little theme going: designs formed from their mechanical parts. The Electrical Lamp, by designer Tommy Dykes, is made from an old electrical cable which runs from outlet to electrical bulb, with the body molded around a used wine bottle. The eco-lamp comes with a super-efficient electrical bulb that provides up to 50,000 hours of light (which they calculate at 27 years at a rate of 5hrs/day). The coolest part about the Lead Lamp is that the website essentially offers DIY instructions for making your own lamp with a cord from an old household appliance, with diagrams and step-by-step details — plus lots of information about the recycling and reuse of PVC power cables. Appliance cords found in the home are made from the Thermoplastic, PVC [polyvinyl chloride.] The term thermoplastic means simply a plastic that when heated softens and hardens again when cooled. This allows it to be moulded into shapes. (Can’t help but wonder about the off-gassing from heating old electrical cables, which is part of the process of making these.) We love the crafy DIY element of these lamps, and the variety of options you have in selecting the color and thickness of the cord, and the style of used lampshade. You could go basic white like this one, or choose a crazy tassled thing and a bold colored body.

         
    Discount artificial flowers

     

    Discount artificial flowers come in many varieties. The artificial silk flower is made from the highest quality materials. Boylesilkfloralsupply, kinkadestudios and outbackboutique deal with the discount artificial flower. Interestingly the rates and prices are also very cheap in the market. Flowers convey the thoughts and feelings words cannot say. From a birthday, anniversary or wedding gift to a loved one‘s funeral tribute, local floral shops can help you say it with flowers. The silk flowers are use in many occasions, festive times and while observing special days. We can‘t imagine a celebration without flowers. The expense is very low for these silk flowers. The nature has created many things to keep mankind happy. Flowers play a major role. But the lifetime of flowers short. So to keep the happiness fresh man has found a solution with artificial flower. Let us, brighten our lovely Home, Office, Work Place, and Town, with Real Looking and close to Real Touch, Silk Flowers. Silk Flowers need very little care, and can be used over and over. Silk flowers and plants are great for use in home decor or commercial business decor and are available through our recommended retailers. They look natural and it feels similar to a real flower. These beautiful artificial flowers feature ultra-realistic silk flower heads, and are great for making silk flower arrangements! The wedding is the happiest occasion in anybody‘s life. Happiness without flowers is unimaginable. During weddings there are lots of work and programs to concentrate on. The time of celebration is also a long one. Then the people go for artificial silk flowers. The artificial silk flower vendor offers a large variety of authentic looking silk flowers with low rates for compensating the huge money to be spent in celebrations. The value of flowers is high and the price is low.

         
    Discover the joys and benefits of quilting. an inspirational and creative form of craft

     

    Copyright 2006 Rose Mary Quilting was a common social activity in the past. During earlier times, quilting fabric was an activity which farm wives like to get together to do. These are opportunities for them to retreat from their straining physical chores of farm life and do something light and useful together. At that time, quilts were an essential article in households, not only as bed coverings, but also as curtains, and petticoats and waistcoats to keep the body warm. In fact, patchwork quilting was created by homemakers during the time when there was a shortage of fabric. Worn out sewn items were often recycled into patches for quilts. Today, quilting is no longer practiced to satisfy economic or social needs, but for expression and enjoyment. Patchwork is not longer simply a form of frugality, but rather another form of art. Although quilts are still sometimes made from fabric scraps, the quilt maker is more likely to use the scraps to recreate the charming look of old quilts or to commemorate an event, rather than out of necessity. Quilting is now used as a creative and inspirational form of craft. Having a long history, quilting has shown itself to be admirably versatile and its ability to change and adapt is a hallmark of a successful craft. Many people, today, used quilting as a hobby because they find it fun, gratifying and enriching. Quilting offers them an opportunity to express their creativity and helps to enhance their lives. Most people enjoy the process of choosing or designing a project, the process of selecting the fabrics and the satisfaction of creating something unique and special. It gives them an opportunity to experiment with color, design and texture. The completed piece of quilt gives the maker a great sense of achievement and delight. Most people engage in quilting because they want a creative experience and an emotional expression. It is no wonder that some people find it healing. Stressed mothers of young children, exhausted caregivers of ill parents, wearied working women and men seeking a creative outlet often find the process of making something soft and warm, like quilt, is more restorative than the usage of any kind of available drugs. As quilts provide warm and comfort, they are used for clothing and bed coverings. There are those which are kept as attractive works of art. They have been showcases for the talents and skills of their creators. The range of quilted items, nowadays, has expanded to include placemats, wall hangings, cushion covers, table runners, bonnets, diaper totes, eyeglass cases, makeup bags and hanger covers. Making quilts today is easier than you may have ever imagined. The making of quilts does not require any special skills, just a general knowledge of sewing. If you can sew a button or mend a hem, you can certainly make a quilt. Quilting is simply using a technique to stitch together layers of fabric using a decorative pattern to create a variety of beautiful and practical objects. A completed quilt is actually a creatively stitched together sandwich of fabric and batting. The basic equipment for quilting include needles, pins, thread, scissors, thimble, beeswax and a frame or hoop to quilt on. Other necessities are a long ruler, masking tape, drawing paper and a marker for transferring quilt patterns onto fabric. Although machine techniques may have replaced the tedious hand sewing one, modern quilt makers still take inspiration from old quilts and try to adapt those designs and techniques to today’s lifestyles. It is important that while working on selected quilting patterns, a quilt maker should not just replicate the patterns and colors shown in the samples but also to adapt the patterns to his or her own color preferences and ideas. He or she should attempt to create his or her own unique designs and try out new techniques. In this way, he or she can make progress by gaining new technical skills as well as new insights into the design process.

         
    Discover why knitting is a great and timeless hobby that you can benefit from

     

    Copyright 2006 Rose Mary Knitting is a great hobby. Many people enjoy knitting because of its many benefits. Knitting is considered as a form of art. A completed piece of knitted item is in fact the creation of a piece of art. The knitter gets to feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment in completing such an item. Living in a fast paced society, many people need to do something to distress and relax. One of the great benefits of knitting is that it is a splendid stress reliever. It helps to free the mind and hence, it is regarded as a wonderful outlet for an overworked brain. It is no wonder that some people use the activity as a retreat in stressful situations. The craft can slow down a hectic life and enable a person to unwind after a hard day’s work. In a world filled with mobile phones, computers, televisions and videos, escaping for an hour to knit something soft and warm can be incredibly rejuvenating. There are people who even believe that knitting can actually fuel the creative process in other areas of their lives. They believe that the craft allows the creative part of the brain to work more effectively and find creative solutions to other areas of their lives. Another benefit of knitting is that it is very portable and can be carried along to any place. Unlike other hobbies like weaving or cooking, the craft can easily be thrown into a bag and pulled out anytime when it is required. As such, the knitter can bring the craft along and do it during bus or train journeys, air flights or even in traffic jams. In this way, hours of waiting and traveling are not wasted away as they are used to accomplish something useful. One benefit of knitting is that there are various choices of items to knit such as hats, socks, sweaters, jackets, shawls, scarves and pullovers. There are plenty of projects and designs to choose from to suit all levels of knitting expertise, time and budget. Besides, these pieces can be created to beautify homes or serve as special gifts for loved ones. Knitwear garments are beautiful and attractive, and many people like them. Presenting them as gifts is always well loved and appreciated. Crafts go through phases. Many crafts are built more for speed and fad than for longevity. One benefit of knitting is that it can create long lasting items. Home accessories that are hand-knit with love and care often become heirlooms and family treasures. They are always a source of pride and joy. Besides, these invaluable items are inexpensive to make. What is knitting? It is simply the process of forming a fabric by making interlocking loops from a continuous strand of yarn using two or more needles. Knitting is an easy craft to learn. Besides, it only requires simple materials, which are two knitting needles, some string or yarn, and a little instruction. For certain items, there are some accessories needed. For example, if you are knitting a sweater, then you will need some buttons. The choice of buttons has a great impact to a sweater. They can make the difference between an attractive garment and a stunning one. Knitting is a popular craft among the young and old. In fact, the pool of knitting enthusiasts keeps growing. Despite the machine age eliminating the need for hand-stitched items, the popularity of knitting still continues. It is evident that many people have experienced its benefits and recognized its worth to want to continue using this craft to enhance their lives. If you are interested to start knitting as a beginner, there are many resources available with step-by-step knitting instructions to enable you to learn doing simple projects. When you have learned the simple projects, you can proceed to do the more complicated ones. After some time, you can try to create more pieces using your own ideas. Instead of following closely to the selected knitting pattern, you can add something of your own to make the design unique. Happy knitting!

         
    Diy glow stick nunchakus

     

    For as long as I can recall, I have been a massive Bruce Lee fan. I cannot count the number of hours I have spent watching his movies, nor the number of hours spent trying to emulate his amazing martial arts maneuvers. There is one scene in particular that will be with me until the end of my days; the scene from Enter the Dragon where Bruce kicks some serious bad guy ass with his trusty Nunchakus. A generation of wanna-be Bruce Lee's was spawned by that very scene. How many of you went out and haphazardly manufactured your own 'chucks after seeing this flick? I was certainly inspired to do so, and so were most of my friends. Most of us used wooden handles, and after some experimentation decided to switch to something softer. Twenty years later, I still have a bump on my head. After introducing my son to the magic of Bruce Lee, I decided to manufacture a pair of Nunchakus for him to play with. Having learned from my rather painful mistakes, I constructed them from those disposable glow sticks that all the Raver kid's use. Here's how you can make some, too: • Acquire a supply of glow sticks and some nylon rope. • Cut a length of rope approximately 5 inches long. • Attach two glow sticks together with the nylon rope. • Start swinging. Admittedly, it is a simple design. My first set was constructed in record time, which must have seemed like a lifetime to my son as he waited patiently. I made a second set and we spent the afternoon playing fun ninja games. After that, we had a Power Rangers movie marathon. My son is particularly keen on the Red Ranger. I prefer the Blue one. Later on that evening, we decided to have one more ninja battle before bed. It's amazing how inspiring Bruce Lee can be. The wonderful thing about our new nunchakus is that they glow in the dark. I dimmed the lights and performed my best Bruce Lee impression. My son was completely awestruck, as he watched the twirling glowstick nunchakus. I only hit myself in the head once. Only this time, it didn't hurt.

         
    Don t you love highly scented candles

     

    The majority of highly scented candles use fragrance oils, which means the intention is to scent the air of a room. However, you can also have highly scented candles that use essential oils. This type of candle has many therapeutic uses as aromatherapy candles. If you research the various aromatherapy scents, you will find one that will have the healing properties you need, whether you just need to relax, cure an illness or help soothe your spirit. Highly scented candles are widely available, but if there is a specific scent that you want you can have your candles custom made. Although beeswax candles are supposed to be the best candles, soy candles come in a close second. In addition, beeswax candles are rarely scented whereas highly scented soy candles will hold the scent until the candle is completely burned out. Like beeswax candles, these highly scented candles are cleaner when burning and do not give off black soot as do paraffin candles. Soy candles are made of all natural ingredients and do not contain any petroleum by-products, such as oil. Highly scented candles give off the scent even when they are not lit. For this reason, many people have highly scented soy candles simply for the decorative effect they provide. Whether you choose pillar, taper or votive soy candles, you can choose from a wide variety of scents and combination of scents. If you are not sure whether the scented candles use fragrance oils or essential oils, a quick look at the name of the scent will give you the answer. Names such as hot fudge sundae or cinnamon pie are likely to be fragrance oils. Essential oils come from plants and bear the name of the plant, such as eucalyptus, marjoram, chamomile, or ginger, for example. If you want highly scented aromatherapy candles, you need to choose candles with the plant names for the scents. Knowing a little about the healing properties of such highly scented candles will also help you choose the right ones. The color has little to do with aromatherapy, but it is likely that the color of the candle will be closely linked to the scent. Lavender is one oil that is known for its soothing and relaxing properties and most highly scented soy candles of this nature are some shade of purple or lilac. Similarly, soy candles highly scented in pine are likely to be a shade of green. Highly scented candles can mask the odor of cooking or of pet odors. When you use soy candles to do this job for you, you also have a healthier home. By using highly scented soy candles, you have the sweet scents in the air without having to use any harsh spray chemicals. Highly scented candles have many more uses than just setting the scene for romance.

         
    Duvet covers for a quick bedroom makeover

     

    Duvets or comforter covers are very versatile on a bed. If you want something that is different for your bedroom makeover, you may find expense is an issue in fancy, unique, well made fabric. Designer labels are pricey, especially if you aren’t shopping during a white sale. The versatility of the duvet makes them worth having and a necessity for a comforter. Transform an inexpensive comforter into a stylish work of art with a unique duvet cover. Duvets are great for your kid’s rooms. As the child grows, change out a print or pattern. A teddy bear duvet might be good one day but you blink and he’s ready for a NASCAR print. Find fabulous duvets online and in your favorite bedding stores. If you can’t find exactly what you want, consider making it yourself. Even a novice can pull this off this sewing project. The magic of Velcro and fabric glue can also eliminate the sewing. Just think of a duvet as a giant pillow case with some sort of closure at the end. That doesn’t seem too hard does it? A pillow case keeps the pillow clean as you sleep on it, and the duvet does the same thing. All types of bedding should be soft and supple since it is next to your skin. You are going to be making this yourself, so don’t scrimp on fabric. Find good quality fabric in a soft cotton or blend. I love flannel on the bottom and it is available in lovely colors and prints. It will be repeatedly washed so look for one that is yarn dyed. You can even find two sheets on a clearance table that are a steal. This would be the easiest because no cutting is involved. Wash and dry either fabric or sheets before you begin, as this will curtail shrinking disappointments down the road. If you have not already purchased a comforter, think about how it will look on the bed. Do you want more of an overhang on the sides or is your partner prone to stealing the covers? If so, you might want to buy a size that is a little larger than your size of bed. The completed presentation might look more finished if you do so. • Measure your comforter and add one and a half inches to the width and three and three fourths inches to the length allowing for seams and hems. If you have sheets, just look at the dimensions on the package. • If you have chosen sheets, I would suggest not buying two of the exact same thing. Make things more interesting by buying complementary patterns and colors so it can be turned over for a new look. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little. • If you have chosen fabric, you must piece it together as you won’t find fabric with the width you need. Here is where creativity comes in. You can choose lots of matching patterns and colors and stitch them together to make the top of your duvet, just measure how big you want your “blocks” of fabric to be and go from there until you have enough for the top of the duvet. If this sounds like too much work, just use one or two fabrics and do the measuring. • Place the wrong sides together and stitch with a quarter inch seam along the top sides. If a sewing machine is a foreign thing to you, there are many types of glue on the market that will do the job as well. • You can create a fanciful closure by sewing large buttons at the top, folding it over and stitching ribbons to the other side of the top. Make sure it represents a nice fold and tie the ribbons to the buttons. Nothing could be simpler. For a more country look, take strips of torn fabric and stitch them where you placed the ribbons. They will fray, but that’s the point. Your duvet cover will take on a shabbier chic look. Let the creative side come out and makeover your bedroom in the style and color that you choose, and save money at the same time.

         
    East meets the west evolution of indian furniture

     

    Indian craftsmanship has always enjoyed a fame that has invited both respect and pillage from the earliest days. Whether it is stone work on temples or standalone articles, terracotta figurines, jewelry pieces, woodwork or graphic and plastic art, the craftsmen from this country have always been welcomed by connoisseurs of beauty. At times, however, this fixation with beauty sacrificed utility and comfort – this tendency resulted in ornate and complicated creations like a wooden throne, for example, that would have raised the goose-bumps, but would also have given a nasty backache. Local tradition and culture contributed to the furthest development of ornamental woodwork – for palaces, temples, public houses, works of arts, etc – but did not generate any utilitarian furniture of the kind we modern dwellers of the world are used to. One big reason for this was that eating was mainly done on floor, and sitting and resting on charpoys (simple string bed with wooden posts). The main thrust to furniture development was given by foreign influence. When the Portuguese, the first Europeans to come to India, arrived, they did not find any familiar furniture, it was them, and later, the Dutch, the French and the English, who inspired the composition of domestic furniture to cater to their settlements. The Indian carpenter turned out to be precocious in adapting foreign designs and inducing in them an indigenous flavor of craftsmanship. Thus, as Joseph Butler mentions in an article in Encyclopedia Britannica, “India's place in the history of furniture is that of an adapter or transformer of imported Western styles rather than a creator of independent styles of its own.” It was the play of these influences that gave birth to the Mughal style, the Goanese, the Indo-Dutch style, the use of ebony and ivory in the manner of Chippendale and Sheraton. English predominance since the 18th century resulted in English influence in furniture styling, and this became so popular that even Indian rulers became patrons (this latter tendency could simply be a reflection of the Anglicization of the rulers, of their desire to identify with the ruling class). In the 19th century, the ornamentation assumed primacy, divorcing itself once again from utility. A tropical country with about eighty varieties of hardwood available for woodwork, India has an old tradition of furniture making. Subsequent to the English influence who cultivated teak as a ‘royal tree’ for shipping industry (teak is tremendously resilient to water and weather), teak assumed tremendous popularity for quality woodwork. Almost all large articles were composed on wood. Royal houses and rich households have always been the traditional patrons of the furniture industry, and even today the royal palaces strewn across the four corners of India feature some of the most illustrious examples of indigenous woodwork. Frederick Litchfield’s Illustrated History of Furniture (1893) mentions many such marvels that still mesmerize. Like the two wooden teak doors sent as gift to the Indian Government and now kept in the National Museum (Kolkata). Or the shisham wood (rosewood) carved window at Amritsar with its overhanging cornice, ornamental arches with pillars and intricate work on the body. Royal gifts sent to the Queen and the King as well as the Princes also showed an obsession with details that is unique to India. Even today, much of British royal furniture is of Indian vintage. In the years since the British left the furniture industry in India has evolved. Utility and simplicity gained primacy over art. Price considerations have driven down ornamentation to the minimum, and cheaper wood varieties have come to be used to cater to the huge low cost demand. Yet, in niche areas the old forms of furniture still continue to be crafted. In many places, like Rajasthan, that still has a royal ethos in a Republican India, with its dozens of Palaces’, the old form of furniture making is still preserved. Here, one can take a time travel and find works of an earlier day being crafted with the same expertise. Exported around the world wherever antique and ornamental furniture is appreciated, the Jodhpur furniture forms the focal point of this industry. Nowadays foreign designs are adapted with local styles that are hugely popular with Western customers. Once again we are back to the Portuguese days when designs were an inventive amalgamation of European sensibilities and Indian craftsmanship.

         
     
         
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