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Make Your Own Spa and Create Your Own Bath Bombs

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You may take a spa like experience on your bathroom with the usage of bath bombs. In case you’ve ever been to a spa, then you likely recall how relaxing and in the peace you believed. It felt like all your stress and anxieties nearly disappeared into the thin atmosphere. For all those of you who’ve not experienced that sense, it is possible to click the banner on the right, and then turn another bathroom to a spa without leaving home.

Bath bombs could be explained as just one small ball of pleasure. They are usually round in form. You only drop them inside the bathtub and as you’re relaxing, then they fizz while delivering beautiful aromas through the atmosphere. A number of the bath bombs are deemed hypoallergenic, which permits those individuals with the most sensitive skin to love them, even people that are allergic to dyes or perfumes.

Some of the necessities oils which are often utilized are vanilla, lavender oil and olive oil. Lavender is well-known for creating a calming influence. This calmness can be useful to the brain, soul and body. When it is thicker epidermis you’re interested in, consider buying a toilet bomb which has coconut oil. Almond oil may also assist you in finding relaxation if you are afflicted with skin irritations. Among the advantages of coconut oil would be to help soften skin. Obviously, these vital oils can be blended with different oils to get more applications.

Bath bombs can really be employed by kids too. Children have the very sensitive skin in comparison to adults. A jar of routine bubble bath or even a bar of soap could be detrimental to these youthful skin. A mom of a 3 year old detected following her daughter’s bathroom, her skin kept breaking to this rash. She tried altering additives, but never really paid attention into the bubble tub. After several bars of soap afterwards, she understood it had been the bubble tub that has been causing the rash. Her daughter may delight in the bubble tub with no skin irritation.

Herbs are well-known for their aromatherapy in addition to medicinal usage.

Nowadays you’ll be able to buy bath bombs and balls which have an assortment of herbs. From time to time, they feature both the herbs and essential oils. There’s something about aromatherapy which only soothes the spirit. The herbs and essential oils are known for its medicinal functions. It’s possible to buy bath bombs which contain herbs which assist with muscular pains. If you click on the banner on the best, you can buy a toilet bomb which may soothe your spirit in addition to assist with any minor discomforts you might have.

Fixing yourself as a princess or queen for a day does not need to be costly. Toilet baits and bombs are a really cheap way to market your self. Moving to a spa regular can be quite difficult in the pocketbook or pocket. If you’re a individual that has zero opportunity to schedule a trip to the health spa, bath bombs would be an ideal thing for you. Imagine having the ability to rejuvenate yourself daily simply by dropping a bomb in your bath!

The scents that fill the atmosphere are gratifying to the brain. You’re able to find bath chunks in virtually every odor conceivable. There are a number of that smell just like honeysuckles, that are proven to immediately bring a grin to a face. If you’re feeling miserable, you may buy a toilet bomb which smells just like roses. This odor is said to immediately bring joy in your soul. When there’s a scent that attracts you pure pleasure, odds are you can realize the exact same odor in a toilet bomb. Their forms of scents are infinite, and it’s ensured that with the massive choice, there’s a fragrance for everybody.

It’s stated that memories tend to be triggered by scents. This will explain why bath bombs which exude a beautiful aroma may have such a calming effect. If you recall standing at your kitchen with your grandma, helping her bake this delicious pound cake, then get a bath bomb with this odor! Whenever the bomb starts to fizzle and operate its magic, you’ll end up standing on your grandma’s kitchen with a grin on your head. If memories are triggered by smells, it’s also advisable to prevent bath bombs which may attract unpleasant memories. The entire aim in buying a bathroom bombs and balls would be to facilitate your mind soul and body.

If you want to know more about bathroom chunks or bombs or need to find more information, follow on the hyperlink below for extra info.

Bath Bombs create a fantastic gift for almost anybody. For more recipes and information, visit   our website: https://ianschoice.com/bath_bomb_molds_guide/.

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Hiring a House Cleaning Service in Singapore Helps Us Keep Our Sanity

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There is no doubt that people are very busy nowadays. Years ago you had a lot of things you could do at home. Now you have to be gone for many hours to earn a living. Home, sometimes, is just a place to sleep, shower and eat. We are so wrapped up in a busy life that we had to hire a service that does house cleaning in Singapore. There is just not enough time to get everything done. We would actually prefer to be able to stay home and do the stuff we need to do ourselves, but our careers are so competitive that we have to spend a lot of time focusing on work.

I have been working weekends to put me in a better light to get a promotion I have had my eye on. There are plenty of younger coworkers who would jump through hoops to get the job. I have to be able to keep up with them. So, when I am home, I am usually still working on something. Continue reading

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We Wanted to Do a Ski Trip Because We Had Never Done One Before

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When I hit 45 years old, I realized that I have never been skiing before. I haven’t water skiied or snow skiied. Though, the thought of being out in the water doesn’t interest me much. Being out in the now very much does interest me. I talked it over with my husband, and he said that we should do something about it. He had heard about Niseko backcountry tours from some of his friends, so he told me to check it out online to see if it would be something we would enjoy. Excited about the thought of an upcoming vacation, I got to work with my research right away.

My son absolutely loves to get physical and be outdoors. So, I knew that he would love to hear about the vacation that I was looking into. I brought it up to him one night at dinner and his face lit up. Continue reading

Sewing Table For The Sewing Fanatic

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For many people sewing is not just a spare time activity, but devoted interest. It always is beneficial to think about to designated unique location within your house just like a general sewing place or craft room. Many individuals make use of their dining room for sewing or crafting, to make sure that they could take their sewing skills to another level, it may be most suitable to purchase a sewing table or sewing cabinet.

Sewing tables are often incredibly valuable especially very functional whenever you plan to embark in many unique works of art. Each one of these type of tables posses a reasonable quantity of favorable capabilities that's highly useful to any hobbyist or sewing expert. Almost all sewing cabinets will prove to add a careful work space to cut smaller assorted designs furthermore to having substantial storage compartments to maintain all your collection sewing instruments. They are also many sewing machine tables available now that you can end up storing them away and therefore when you're ready to make the most of these repeatedly, they will collapse out, allowing you to have much more working space. This may be easily important on much larger projects which you may possibly concentrate on.

Numerous contemporary sewing tables come fitted with wheels, to make sure that you can to maneuver your table in one room to another, that is unduly excluded terribly head-free if an individual is not able to use a specified sewing space, your sewing tasks may be mobile. In using this method, if you use a particular area in your home to sew and happens to have a lot disruptions, one can essentially relocate your sewing cabinet to have an alternate area or space in your home.

When you are trying to find a brand-new sewing table specifically consider the quantity of sewing you would like to carry out and just how major the task will probably be. For people just doing a bit of minor configurations or sewing, choose a far more compact model that might be saved effortlessly. Regarding fans and people of which sews for revenue, you could possibly need a design that might are more formulated for specialists. Choose a design that has many comparisons for storage and / or additional leaf that can provide additional work space if needed. Nonetheless, regardless of ones own sewing requirements, typically attempt to acquire a top notch table. The higher level of quality cabinet or table that you choose to buy, the higher the use.


Which Cricut Machine Should You Buy?

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There are three models of the Cricut machine, popular personal die cutters made by the Provo Craft company. With three good options, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy. Should you start small and buy the original Personal Electronic Cutter? Or is the Expression model worth the extra investment? How does the Create, the hybrid model currently being exclusively sold by Michael’s Craft Store, stand up against the other two machines?

In a number of ways, all three die cut machines are the same:

All three models are cartridge-based.

You can only produce cutouts based upon the cartridges you own. Each cartridge comes with a keyboard overlay, which is used in selecting specific cuts. The cartridges are not machine-specific – they can be used in any of the three models.

Basic operation of all three machines is the same.

If you own the Personal Electronic Cutter, you will have no problem operating the Cricut Expression or Create (and vice-versa). Why? Well, the basic operation of all three die cutters is the same.

Here’s a quick rundown of the process. After plugging in the selected cartridge and corresponding keyboard overlay and turning on the machine, you are ready to start making die cuts. Materials, such as paper or cardstock, are placed on a special cutting mat, which is then loaded into the machine with the press of a button. With another press of the button, the selected design is chosen. All that’s left is to select “Cut”. The machine does the rest of the work.

All three Cricut machine models use the same accessories.

It was already mentioned that the cartridges are not machine-specific, but this is also the case with most of the other accessories. It does not matter which model you own – the replacement blades, inks, different tools, such as the Cricut spatula, and Design Studio software, can be used with any model. The one exception is the cutting mats. The machines accept different sizes of the mats, and you must get one that is compatible with your specific machine.

Now that you know how the Cricut machines are similar, you are probably wondering how they are different. They vary in several ways:

The size of die cuts produced by each machine are different.

The Personal Electronic Cutter has the capability of making cutouts ranging from 1 inch to 5-1/2 inches in size, in half inch increments. The Create can produce die cuts ranging from 1/4 inch to 11-1/2 inches in size, in quarter inch increments. The Expression gives users the most versatility, producing cutouts from 1/4 inch to 23-1/2 inches in size, in quarter inch increments.

They weight and size of the machines vary.

The Personal Electronic Cutter and Create are both small, portable machines. These models are good for crafters who like to take their projects on the road, and create scrapbook layouts and other projects in group settings. They are also suited for those who do not have a specific area in their home set aside for crafting, because these die cutters are easy to pack up and put away in between uses. The Expression, on the other hand, is much heavier and larger. If you have a crafting room or corner, and do not have the concerns of moving it frequently, it’s a good choice.

The three Cricut machine models have different modes and functions.

There are several different modes and functions. For example, the fit to page mode will automatically adjust the size of the die cut based upon the size of the material loaded in the machine. The center point function allows you to align the cutting blade over the center of the material, so that the cut is made around it. The Expression machine has the most versatility as far as the availability of modes and functions. Next in line is the Create, and third place goes to the Personal Electronic Cutter. More information can be found regarding these modes and functions in the machine handbooks, which are available in PDF format on Cricut.com.

The price is different for each model.

The Personal Electronic Cutter is the most inexpensive Cricut cutter, with a suggested retail price of $299.99. The Create is $100.00 more, at $399.99, and the Expression is $499.99. Please note that all three machines can be purchased at significant savings. Many retailers run special sales or have a lower everyday price than the suggested retail price. It’s a good idea to shop around when buying your first Cricut machine.


Facts About Polymer Clay

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Polymer clay is a unifying and pliable polymer compound intended for crafters and artists. It is not considered real clay since clay is composed particles of silicate suspended in water. Polymer clay comes from particles of PVC or polyvinyl chloride suspended in a plasticizer. Although real clay and polymer clay are completely different things, polymer clay can be used like clay.

Originally, when these clays were first produced, they were soft prior to curing in low temperatures. Nowadays however, air dry polymer clays are now available. This makes it easier to mold these to one’s personal liking. Afterwards, it can be hardened at high temperatures to fixate the design.

There are basic curing and conditioning steps to follow, so that the finished product will not break even in the changing conditions of weather, and in accidental falls. Curing can be done as often as one wants. And afterwards, it can be sanded lightly to smoothen out rough finishes.

The versatility of polymer clays makes it special. It is available in different colors. You can blend paints with this clay in order to make your own unique colors. You can also work out two or three different color-schemes without blending them. This is effective if you greatly prefer effects like marbling and cane working rather than the plain one-colored clay.

The ductility and pliability of polymer clay lets you use certain techniques for textile, architecture, sculpture and glasswork. The best thing about polymer clays is the fact that it does not dry out so people who use it won’t have to worry for a time limit whenever they are doing some art forms such as sculptures.

Firing is the process which fuses the fine particles on polymer clay into a solid material. This process requires low heat. The heat must be low enough for you to use your home oven as a kiln. The sizing and colors are not changed during the process of firing. The clay gets hard and solid enough to make your art forms durable objects. There are several techniques to obtain the desired textures. Textures may range from stone-like to glasslike figures.

Polymer clays can be used in many ways. You can actually cover anything with it as long as it doesn’t burn or melt during the firing process. You can cover wooden boxes, mirrors, table wares as well as picture frames with this type of clay. A popular application of polymer clay is in jewelries. This clay is used to make pendants, beads, neck pieces as well as bracelets. Buttons and miniature sculptures are also good options.

A number of clay artists developed techniques to give this clay other appearances such as amber, coral, granite, jade, ivory and turquoise. It is very flexible that it can be shaped any way you want.

Keep in mind that this is not suitable for things that use direct contact with the food or with other edible things.

Polymer clay is widely available nowadays due to its surging popularity. Obviously, there is lots of polymer clay in the market. Look in art supply stores, local craft stores and bead shops.


What Is Washi Tape: Functional and Decorative Washi Tape Uses

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So what is washi tape? Many people have heard the term but are unsure of the many potential decorative washi tape uses, and how it can best be employed once it has been purchased. In fact it has dozens of uses, and many use it as gift wrap or as an everyday item in their home. We shall explain here what this type of craft tape can be used for, including its sealing tape and decorative properties. Fundamentally, it is a type of Japanese paper. In fact the name itself indicates that: Wa + shi = Japanese + paper.

How is WASHI Tape Made?

Washi tape is produced from the pulped fibers of a number of plant species. Among these are fibers from the rice plant, hemp, bamboo, the mitsamuta shrub and gampi bark. The source is largely irrelevant to its main properties, which are fundamentally those of a regular paper masking tape. It is easily torn, can printed and possesses adhesive properties light enough to be peeled off the substrate but strong enough to be of use for packaging.

Unlike normal paper made from wood pulp, washi tape possesses a semi-translucent quality, so that you see light shining through it. Two of the main reasons why it is so special are that it can be printed in an unlimited range of colors and patterns, and it offers a beautiful option for those seeking a strong craft tape that can also be used for packaging. The tape can even be peeled from tissue paper if done carefully.

Washi Tape Uses

There are many washi tape uses. It can be printed with single solid colors, or with any beautiful design for use as a decorative tape for craft or functional applications. Because of its unusual strength for a form of paper, this unique tape is used to decorate and secure a number of household items where a strong bond is not essential.

Some use it to fix notes to their freezer or wallboards, and it is also useful for sealing small gifts. However, because washi tape can be peeled off, there is a compromise between its sealing power and removability. It is not recommended for sealing bulky or heavy packages, but is a lovely way to seal light packets intended for special people.

When using it to seal light packaging always make sure the substrate is dry and non-greasy, and that your hands are clean when you apply it. It is not a good security tape, but its decorative properties are excellent!

Washi tape is a popular decorating medium for items such as flower pots, vases, lampshades and tablet and laptop covers. It is also useful for decorating cups, saucers, tumblers, glasses and other forms of tableware because it offers a degree of water resistance. However, there are many different types of this tape, and not all will resist being washed with water unless done very gently.

Many Japanese use washi tape to decorate their chopsticks. You can use the tape to identify your own cutlery and crockery in a student flat, or to turn an ordinary table or desk into a beautiful work of art. The uses to which this decorative sealing and craft tape can be put are limited only by your imagination.

Craft Tape or Cosmetic Tape?

Washi tape has a number of cosmetic uses. You can brighten up your personal appearance by using adhesive washi tape on your toenails and fingernails. Brighten up your bicycle frame and decorate your car or van with this extremely versatile tape. You can use it on any smooth surface, even glass. If used on your windows, its semi-translucent properties will literally make the design glow.

It is because it is available in a wide variety of beautiful designs and vibrant colors that it has become so popular worldwide. Yes, it can be used a packaging tape for small parcels (though check its strength on these first), and it has several more functional uses that you can likely think of, but it is for their beauty that such tapes are popular.

You can’t go wrong by using washi tape for any decorative or craft purpose. It has not been so popular all round the world for no reason – washi tape speaks for itself and you will be astounded by its beauty when you first use it.

Washi Tape Summary

So, what is washi tape? It is a Japanese craft tape that can be used a sealing tape or for decorative purposes. It can easily be removed and reused for another purpose. It can be cleaned with a damp cloth, but only if you treat it gently and do not rub it hard. Its translucent properties offer a number of opportunities for its use to decorate lampshades and even fluorescent light tubes. Quite frankly, the potential uses of this beautiful tape are limited only by your imagination… and it seals packages!


Why I Have Gel Manicures Now

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I used to get acrylics whenever I would go to the nail salon. That changed not long ago when my manicurist asked me if I wanted to have a gel manicure in Singapore instead. She said they were running a special on it to promote it. I used to get acrylics because they are cheaper, but also because if I broke one I could just fix it at home on my own. The only things I knew about gel nails was that they were more expensive and harder to fix at home if one would break.

I am not in the habit of breaking my nails, and in fact had only broken two in the last few years. Continue reading

Natural Soap Colorants

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There are many options when it comes to coloring your homemade soap. Artificial colorants are often more vibrant than natural colorants, but many people like the idea of using all-natural ingredients in their soap.

There are also safety concerns with some artificial colorants, and they can have some unanticipated effects on the final soap product. If you decide to use natural colorants for your soap, there are endless possibilities to choose from, and you can give your soap almost any hue you desire.

Many of the natural materials you can use to color soap can be found in your kitchen, or local supermarket, and many are already used to color food and drug products.

These dyes can easily be extracted from fruits, vegetables, spices and even your morning coffee.

For example, beets will yield a dye that is bright purple, and depending on how much you use, will turn your soap pale pink to a deep red. To make the dye, cut the beets into half-inch slices, and boil three cups of beet slices in two cups of water.

Red onions will produce a red dye that will turn your soap reddish-brown; to make the dye you’ll use only the skin, so the onions can be used for cooking later.

Remove the outermost dry layers of skin, and the first moist layer; boil two cups of skins in three cups of water.

Red cabbage, oddly enough, produces an inky blue dye, which can be used to color soap pastel to deep blue.

Shred one head of cabbage, and boil it in two cups of water until the cabbage itself is a pale blue.

If the dye you get using these methods isn’t concentrated enough for your tastes, simply boil the mixture longer to evaporate more water.

Be sure to strain the liquid through cheesecloth before use, to ensure that any vegetable matter is removed.

Typically, you will add your homemade dye at trace, or when hand-milling a batch of cold-process soap.

You can use spices to dye soap as well, but the dye needs to be oil-based, instead of water-based.

Making an oil-based dye from spices involves three simple steps. First, mix two teaspoons of the spice with two tablespoons of oil. Let the spice soak in the oil for a while.

Next, heat the oil and spice mixture in the microwave for one to two minutes. Finally, strain the mixture through cheesecloth, or a coffee filter, to remove the spice particles, and you’ll be left with an oil-based dye that retained the color of the spice you used. Here is a list of some common food-based, homemade dyes, and the colors they will yield in your soap. (Always test dyes before use, to avoid unwanted results in final soap product.)

oAlfalfa – medium green

oAlkanet – deep purple to muted blue

oBeet root – muted pink to red

oGround calendula petals – yellow

oCarrots – yellow to orange

oGround chamomile – yellow-beige

oChlorophyll – medium green

oCinnamon – tan to brown (can be an irritant)

oCloves – brown

oCochineal powder – deep red

oCocoa powder – brown

oCoffee – brown to black

oComfrey root – light milky brown

oCucumber – bright green

oCurry powder – yellow

oElderberries – light brown (steep in lye solution)

oHenna, ground – olive green, drab green, greenish-brown

oIndigo root – deep blues (can stain)

oJojoba beads – come in many colors, and are exfoliating

oKaolin Clay – white

oKelp/seaweed – green

oMadder root – rosy red to purple

oMilk (goat’s or cow’s) – tan to brown, depending upon sugar & fat content

oMoroccan Red Clay – brick red

oPaprika – light peach to salmon (can be an irritant)

oPoppy Seeds – blue-grey to black specks

oPumice, ground – grey (also exfoliating)

oPumpkin, pureed – deep orange

oRattanjot – lavender to purple

oRose Pink Clay – brick red

oRosehips, ground – tan to deep brown

oSafflower Petals – yellow to deep orange

oSaffron – yellow

oSage – green

oSpinach – light green

oSpirulina – blue-green

oTitanium Dioxide – bright white

oTurmeric – gold to amber


How To Care For Your Mudcloth

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The African mud cloth is an intriguing piece of artwork that has been made for centuries. Originally from the nation of Mali, the cotton-based fabric is a cultural treasure, and the unique designs that adorn it are handmade by African artisans.

Once the cotton strips are sewn together on a loom, they are then stitched together by a professional tailor, so that the cloth becomes large enough to suit various functions, such as for curtains, furniture covers, or clothing.

The delicate process of making and painting a mudcloth involves many coats of using fermented mud which was gathered from local African rivers. The artists use this mud to create the darker portions of their designs, and then use a caustic solution to bleach the areas that are not covered with mud.

Thus, whenever you find yourself with a mudcloth, whether you bought it, are borrowing it, or are just caring for it, you need to keep in mind that it is fundamentally made of cotton– which is a perishable material– and mud, which can be washed off significantly if the cleaning process is too harsh. This is a fabric that needs extra special attention and care to last long. And, if you’re an interior designer, you might be interested in a long-lasting African mud cloth from Acaciawood.

So, the first step in caring for the mud cloth is pre-washing it. This is a simple step used to prepare the cloth for the various crafts or sewing that you might use it for. This pre-washing will remove any excess dirt or dye that still might be in the material. After this stage, the fabric will become softer and smoother to the touch.

Before doing the pre-wash, or any kind of washing of the mudcloth, it is best to test a small piece of any part of the fabric to make sure the cleaning agent and/or detergent works properly. If you have never cleaned a mudcloth before with a certain kind of detergent, it is best to test it. But, once you know that a detergent works well, you can use it on future mudcloths.

Most detergents will work well, but it is best to take the extra precaution. Avoid using the harsher kinds of detergents and soaps as you can never be quite sure of the chemical reaction that might take place with the dyes of the fabric and the cleaning agent.

The precise method of cleaning can be by machine washing, or by hand washing. If you decide that you will clean your mudcloth in a washing machine, the best thing for you to do is place the fabric in a lingerie bag and wash it in cold water. You also want to use a gentle cycle with not too much agitation, and a mild detergent without extra chemicals (as mentioned above). Avoid the warm water and harsher cycles on your machine as this may cause extra wear on the fabric and cause the colors to fade.

Also note that in the washing the water may turn a dark color initially due to the presence of the mud dyes. This is normal, but your washing machine may require an extra rinse before you wash other clothes. To dry, hang it up in the sun, or lay it out flat to dry. The mudcloth can be ironed with a steam-iron if you so desire, although keep in mind that too much steam will wear out the fabric in the long-term. Use the “cotton” setting on the iron or a cooler setting.


4 Things You Can Make With Metal Beads Besides Jewelry

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Beads are one of the most diverse craft item you can find and use to make all sorts of projects. Metal beads in particular add an interesting accent to any piece. Jewelry is not the only thing you can make with these fantastic supplies however. There are tons of projects you can do as a family, for profit, or just as an interesting pastimes. Here are four things you can make with these beads that are not jewelry.

#1 – Adornments

Adornments, for shirts, hats, purses, and sneakers, are a great thing to use these beads for. Make your shoes really stand out by lacing the beads into your shoelaces and the sides of the shoe. Go steampunk retro by stitching a few copper beads into your white lace shirt. Print out your favorite sports team logo on a ball cap with some beads, and you are sure to stand out at the next ball game. All of these crafts require, is a simple grasp of sewing and a good imagination.

#2 – Ornaments

You can also make whole ornaments and structures out of these attractive beads. Transform a drab and regular Christmas ornament with some lace and decorative beads. Create your own miniature wind chime set by setting larger beads against a metal plate with good resonance. Tassels and ornamental statues can also be spruced up with a well-made metal bead wrapping or seat. These beads also make interesting barrier screens, for those still into beaded gateways.

#3 – Three Dimensional Crafts

Other beads are used for toys and bookmarks, why not metal beads? A beaded elephant toy is fun, and would look even better with a steely beaded body. Mark your place with a beaded bookmark. Industrial flower arrangements with beads look great as well with the right colors. Woven works with unique beads are also a huge hit, you can even make the skeletons of buildings with the right tools. As with other projects, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

#4 – Clothing

Beaded clothing has gone out of style during the last few years, but that is not stopping you from trying on a metal beaded shirt. These fun projects will be the center of your “goofy day” wardrobe. You can make this shirt with all colors and styles of different beads to create a cool color pattern or design. This is a great, fun thing to wear at the club, or goofy casual office days. Be careful if you are allergic to certain metals, as many metal beads are composed of several different metal composites.


The most important thing to remember when crafting with beads, is to have fun and be creative. You can make almost anything with the right tools and an imaginative mind. Next time you are looking for a fun and expressive craft item to try, consider using metal beads in your next piece.


Saponification – How to Make Soap

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What is saponification? It is a scientific term, often, used when making homemade soap. Saponification is a chemical reaction that occurs between oil and lye. What is it important? Each soap making oil has certain saponification values and properties which contribute to more than making soap. These oils help to form many homemade skin care products such as: soaps, lotions, creams, foot scrubs, shampoos, face cream, lip balms, and more! Understanding saponification, its values and how ingredients work together will help you choose the right ingredients for your homemade skin care products. What should you consider?

Soap making oils contain different acidic ingredients: lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, linoleic, oleic and ricinoleic. Each of these ingredients are contained in soap making oils at different percentages. When you consider the percentage values, of each ingredient, it will help you make the right soap making choice for your homemade skin care products. For example, lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic acids help to provide a hard bar of soap. Most people would rather have a hard bar of soap instead of something soft and mushy. If you want soap that provides a nice fluffy lather then you may consider using a soap making oil containing lauric, myristic, or ricinoleic acids. If you would rather have soap that did not lather, fully, but had a stable, subdued, lather then palmitic, stearic or ricinoleic acids would be a good choice. If you are making soap, lotions or other homemade skin care products with added conditioning properties then linoleic and oleic acids would be beneficial.

Saponification values are given for homemade bar soap with the abbreviations NoAH. They are, also, given for homemade liquid soap with the abbreviations KOH. The science definitions for NoAH is sodium hydroxide and for KOH, it is potassium hydroxide. NoAH and KOH saponification values occur for many different soap making oils. It is important to consider each value before making homemade soap or any homemade skin care product!

Saponification is the key to understanding the scientific formation of soap. Handmade soaps are formulated using a combination of emollient oils and butters, such as: olive, avocado, cocoa or shea butter. The lathering oils may be added such as: coconut or palm kernel oils. All of these oils are mixed together with liquid saturated lye. How will you know when the saponification process is complete? You will know because there will be no more lye left in the mixture. In reality, each type of soap making oil requires a different amount of lye to produce the complete reaction. Today’s savonnier has tools to calculate exact ratios of specific oils to lye.

When making homemade soap or any homemade skin care products you should heed all warnings! Potent chemicals such as essential oils and lye should always be respected. Make sure you take the proper safety precautions before using these chemicals. Large amounts of essential oils should never be used externally or internally. They should never be used straight, but should be diluted in a carrier oil, soap, lotion or other buffering agent. Never use essential oils without knowing what their bioactive compounds are known to do. When handling lye make sure you are wearing proper safety coverings. Lye can cause extremely painful burns if it contacts skin. If you happen to spill lye, clean the entire area with white vinegar to neutralize its effects.

It is important to know, you should not substitute oils in soap making recipes. Why? Each soap making oil has a specific saponification value, which specifies the number of lye molecules needed to turn a molecule of oil into soap. If there is extra lye left in the soap, it will be too harsh and will damage your skin. This is why understanding the meaning of saponification and how it works is so very important when making homemade soap or any homemade skin care products!

If you are a beginner or veteran soap maker you can learn how to make soap, at home, with a master soap maker! You can waste a lot of time, money and energy trying to figure out the soap making process on your own. A master soap maker can help you get started or refresh your memory! Making homemade skin care products is a serious matter, so learn how to make soap from someone with years of experience and plenty of patience! A master soap maker can help save you time, money and lots of heartaches. You can achieve soap making success with the proper guidance!


Adhesives – Seven Ways to Make Paper Craft Projects Without Using Glue and Tape

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It is very easy to reach for my double sided tape or any of my various glues when paper crafting. One of the things I love about paper is that there are often many ways to achieve the result you want. Adhering things with glues and tapes are just one way of making your elements stay where you want them. Come with me to look at a few other ideas for making things stick!

You can make your project without any adhesives at all. Taking a challenge to do so is a fun way to inspire yourself. Here are seven ways you could make your project without adhesives.

1. Brads

If you have been a paper crafter for awhile, you are probably familiar with brads. They are made of metal and come with a split pin backing that can be pushed through layers of paper to hold embellishments together. You often see them used in the middle of flower layers. There is no reason why you cannot use them in other ways such as to hold mats in place, to place tags where you want them, to bind together a small album or booklet, to make a swing tag to cover hidden journaling, to provide an anchor for ribbon or braid or cord, or as an embellishment in their own right. Use an odd number of brads in a row to draw the eye to a place on your page or card, make a curved line of them, or use them as corner points.

2. Stitching

Hand sewing or machine sewing can add a great deal to your pages and cards as well as being a convenient way of holding your elements together. Stitch together layers of cardstock or designer paper using straight lines or decorative stitching. Stitch around a photo using straight stitch or zig zag or blanket stitch to hold it to its mat (use a paper piercer and grid template first to make way for your needle and thread when hand stitching). Sew buttons onto your layout to hold things in place. Sew pages of an album together to bind them, with threads or yarn or string. Make a folded paper book with a stitched spine. Sew on felt or other materials to make flowers or any other shape you wish and then stitch them in place. Sew ribbon to your page.

Hint: If you use your sewing machine for paper crafting, be sure to keep a needle just for sewing paper. Stitching through paper will blunt your needle a little and may cause snags on fabric items afterward.

3. Clips and Other Hardware from the Stationers

Fossicking through stationery stores can reveal wonderful items for you to use in your paper crafting. Paper clips, little bulldog clips, pins, coloured staples and the like can all be used in place of brads or glues or tapes. Manufacturers are constantly coming out with new little trinkets for the Office. Why not incorporate them into your paper crafting projects?

4. Paper Folding, Cutting and Paper Crimping

Clever ways of folding or crimping paper can help you get by without adhesives too. Make slits in your paper to hold photos or mats at each corner. Make a row of slits and thread through ribbon, paper or a feather. Fold layers of paper together a few times and then punch through to add a brad or stitching. Use origami techniques on your project, folding flaps of paper over and tucking them under other layers of paper. Crimp papers together with a paper crimping tool. Investigate the stationers shop again to find paper binding tools that do not use staples, cleverly cutting and crimping the papers together without metals.

5. Magnets

Using magnets on a metal board or to hold elements in place can make for an interactive display. Using a magnet to hold a small book of journaling on your layout means people can pick it off the page, read it and place it back where it belongs. (Use another magnet on the reverse side of the page). Make paper pins that can be worn for special occasions and use magnets to allow people to wear them on their clothes (check to make sure no one has a pace maker before allowing them to wear a magnetic pin or it could interfere with the mechanism).

6. Velcro

Use Velcro to close your tag albums, make childrens fun books with elements that can be pulled off and placed back on the page at will. Sew Velcro to your page or element to keep it in place. Use Velcro to close a small paper box. Use it to make paper pins that can be worn on clothing, instead of using magnets.

7. Sealing Wax

Back before they manufactured glues and tapes i such abundance, people sealed paper envelopes and scrolls together with wax. There were special stamps and signet rings for pushing into hot wax to make decorative or informative pattern before the wax cooled. Try your hand at using sealing wax to make a special paper project. Use the wax to seal wedding invitations, for example. You can also use it on your cards or scrapbook pages to hold small elements in place.

And there you have it – seven ways to adhere paper together without the use of glues or tapes! There are other ways of making cards, layouts and off-the-page projects without the use of tape and glues. I encourage you to challenge yourself to find new ways of paper crafting and to share your ideas with me if you know if another way or two to make things without adhesives.


Bamboo Craft – Plane Bamboo Weaving Technique

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The natural, durable and attractive bamboo not only makes mats, baskets and other handicraft but is also used for high-grade packaging, decorative panels, curtains and window blinds. The bamboo window blinds, in fact, not only give a classic touch to the interior decor of a room but keep it cool as well. Bamboo craft is based on its specific weaving techniques. These weaving techniques can be classified as plane weaving, dimensional weaving and mixed weaving. To begin with, a bamboo crafter must know the plane weaving technique for bamboo craft.

Plane bamboo weaving creates two dimensional or plane products like woven mats or carpets. It is different from method of making three dimensional products such as baskets, lampshades, figurines etc. Before weaving, the bamboo culms are processed as follows to make them apt for weaving.

Processing of Bamboo for Weaving

Green skin of the bamboo culm is removed by scraping off its green surface with the help of a blade. Force is applied evenly along the culm surface to ensure uniformly colored bamboo.

The upper edge of the culm section is flattened to facilitate stripping. A sharp knife is used to cut evenly around the edge. The culm section is divided into slivers of an equal width. The number of slivers depend upon the diameter of the culm. Cutting is done carefully from the edge downwards along the length of the culm. The slivers are then completely separated to form individual pieces.

Slivers are striped into fine layers. The knife is held with the blade horizontally against the upper 1/3 of the cross section sliver. First cut is made by nipping the blade into the sliver. Then the blade is placed 0.5 to 1 mm away from the first layer. After repeating the process for a required number of times, the layers are peeled off. The thickness of the layers depend upon the need of the intended woven product.

Layers are separated into fine strips by using both the hands. The strips may be lighter or darker in color from one another. They are arranged accordingly.

The bamboo strips are then dyed and bleached with the help of various materials such as dyes, sulfur, hydrogen peroxide or other chemicals. Soaking, boiling, washing, air drying etc. methods are used for the purpose.

Plane Weaving of Bamboo

Before moving on to the process of plane weaving of bamboo, there are two basic terminology that need to be understood by the novice bamboo weaver. These two terms are – Warp and Weft. Warp is the set of parallel bamboo stripes providing the foundation on which plane weaving is done. They are positioned lengthwise on the work bench or work area. Wefts are the bamboo stripes that are inserted widthwise under and over the warp in order to make a design.

The basic technique for plane bamboo weaving is that of weaving dots into pattern. It involves combining two colors of bamboo- one light and other dark- along the warp and weft of the bamboo strips. Color intensity and contrast in the patterns are created by changing the density of the dots woven under and over the warp.

There are many other traditional methods of bamboo weaving that are also interesting to know.


How to Make Christmas Birch Branch Reindeer

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Christmas celebrations are unique in the terms of thematic decorations that give a festive face lift to any commercial or living space. This involves placing and redecorating several of the season’s special elements, apart from the Christmas tree. One such interesting addition is a handmade reindeer that can be placed at any strategic spot. Birch tree is the best option for such craft due to their cultural significance, availability, and easy designing. You will need to cut some small logs using saw and fixing some framework. Therefore, this craft is more suitable for the adults in the family, though children may be involved later at the decoration stage. Here are some easy tips to erect your own birch branch reindeer for the coming holidays.

Materials needed:

• Chainsaw or handsaw

• Drill

• Nails and hammer (optional)

• Birch tree branches, slightly thicker

• Thin branches or twigs from the same tree or any other suitable one

• Straight cylindrical rods made of wood or metal (dowel)

• Cotton balls, wool, or small pompoms

• Paint

• Glue

• Googly eyes (optional)

• Large red bead

• Small Christmas bell

• Evergreen branches of a flexible variety or suitable climbers

• Ribbons and laces

• Poinsettia (fresh or dried)

• Glitters

• Colorful berries (natural or artificial), tiny pine cones, ornaments or any suitable stuff used in small wreaths

Steps to make Christmas birch branch reindeer:

• Structure formation:

• Dissecting the branches: Cut the branches into two logs, one-half the size of the other.

• Smoothing: Use garden trimmer or knife to remove excess side branches, leaves, etc. and smooth the logs.

• Making hole: Drill a hole in both the logs, a few inches from one end. These holes should be proportionate to the diameter of the dowel.

• Forming body: Fix a dowel in both the holes in such a way that the larger forms the abdomen and the smaller, the head portion.

• Legs: Drill four holes for the legs and insert dowels. You may also use branches of the trees in place of the dowels.

• Antlers: Make holes for the antlers on the head and place twigs.

• Nose: Fix the red bead as nose.

• Eyes: Paint the entire structure, including eyes, in the natural shade of reindeer.

• Decoration: The main decoration is done to cover the dowel in the neck area and part of the legs. It is created in the form of a loosely shaped wreath.

• Branches: Take evergreen branches of appropriate size and form. Tie the ends.

• Ribbons: Tie ribbons in places around the closed loop.

• Accessorizing neck: Interlace other decorations, like golden painted pine-cones, berries, ornaments etc. Hand the entire adornment around the neck of the reindeer.

• Body cover: Cut a rectangular piece of red velvet cloth and lace it from all sides. Place the cloth on the back of the reindeer to give it the true holiday look!


Five Kids Craft Ideas – Eggshell Igloos, Puzzles, Construction Set, Paper Hat and Mexican Balero

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Looking for some craft ideas that you can easily make with items around your house? Here are five kids craft ideas!

Eggshell Igloos: Eggshells can be used to make some very real-looking Eskimo houses. Use a pencil to draw doorways on the eggshells and to indicate the blocks of ice from which real igloos are made. Paste the eggshell edges to a piece of cotton so it will look as though the igloos are surrounded with snow.

Jigsaw Puzzles: A series of jigsaw puzzles will make a good present to take with you when you go to play at someone else’s house. Brightly colored greeting cards make good puzzles, especially those printed on heavy paper. Cut each greeting card into ten or twelve irregular shapes, then put the pieces in a clean, white envelope. A good way to keep the puzzles identified is to write on the front of each envelope a short description of the puzzle picture.

Match-Box Construction Set: A collection of match boxes (the kind that are used for safety matches) makes a splendid toy-construction set. The boxes may be used as separate blocks or may be joined together by pushing half of the inside of one box into the covering of a second box. Various building projects can be made with a match-box construction set.

Tissue-Paper Hat: Holiday season is a good time to make play hats because it is then usually possible to find some large pieces of fancy wrapping paper. Try to find a piece of paper that is around twenty inches long and ten inches wide. First fold the paper crosswise and pasted down on one end. Then fold a triangle at the top, and after that fold the peak down. Stickers can be used to hold the hat in place.

Mexican Balero: A home-made version of this toy is easy to make. Use a large spool, a pencil and a flat-bottomed paper cup. Punch a hole in the bottom of the cup and pull a string through the hole, then tie a knot in the end of the string so that the cup will not slip off. Tie the other end of the string to the pencil. The object of playing with this toy balero is to hold it by the pencil and toss up the cup so as to catch it on the spool.


Five Steps to Making the Most of Enamel Paint

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Enamel paint is the Tasmanian devil of the arts and crafts world. It’s tricky to use, unpredictable when drying, and might even present problems once it’s dried. More than one eager young painter has set out on a craft or modeling project meaning to use enamel paint and wound up bitterly disappointed.

Make no mistake: enamel paint has its advantages. It’s tough as nails, will last a lifetime, and offers a sleek translucent finish that ordinary acrylic paints largely cannot. If you’re willing to work with it, enamel provides incredible advantages, especially when working with metal and ceramics, for example some kinds of models and decorative lawn accessories and handmade enamel jewelry.

The five steps below aren’t presented in order, but following all of them will make the painting more fun and help you protect your project in the years to come.

Prime time is forever.

If your subject is made of metal, wood, or plastic, you should apply at least one coat of primer before even the first drop of enamel goes on. Priming helps prevent mildew, mold, rust and warping while making sure your enamel paint is lustrous and smooth atop the surface of the subject matter. It’ll also prevent stickiness once the enamel paint dries.

Primer is available in both spray-can and liquid formats at both hardware and arts and crafts stores.

Don’t brush off.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that all brushes are all the same. Because enamel paints are oil based, they’ll adhere to the brush you used to apply them just as much as they will the subject matter.

Enamel paints require brushes that can handle their thickness and density. Make sure you have several before beginning your project, and remember to get two of three of each kind of brush just in case.

Thinner is better.

Depending on the color, enamel paint can have the consistency of water or the thickness of molasses. You may need to apply a certain amount of paint thinner to the paint in order to make sure it evenly and smoothly spreads across the subject matter. Paint thinner, by the way, is also used to clean the brushes and to remove unwanted spots and stains on hands, clothing, and other surfaces. However, remember it’s extremely unhealthy if swallowed or put into contact with the eyes.

Good air quality helps.

Enamel dries best in conditions with little humidity and slight but not immense air circulation. You should also remember to practice good ventilation when working with enamel, as the fumes can cause dizziness.

Finish with a sealant.

Sealants help protect the enamel from chipping but also from help repel dust that the oil-based paint will otherwise surely attract and hold like flypaper. Sealants typically come in spray-can format, and can be applied in seconds.

Sealants are available in high-gloss and matte finishes, which can help amplify your finished project’s shine or just give it a realistic texture. Because enamel paint is naturally lustrous, a matte finish should be used when working on subject matter (jewelry, statuary, models) that shouldn’t have a “shine” appearance.


I Finally Found Something That I Have Fallen in Love with

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I grew up with a family who liked to collect things, and they were interested in a lot of different things that I didn’t care about. I always wondered why I wasn’t the same. My dad really love old trucks, my grandpa love to collect coins, my brother was really big into stamps, and even my mom and sister liked to collect and had interests, too. It wasn’t until I saw a 2015 Ferrari F12Berlinetta in person that I found myself obsessed with something. It was a beautiful sight to behold in person. I saw it at a car show. My buddy, Greg, dragged me there, but after that, nobody had to ever drag me again. I was interested in going on my own from then on out.

My mom collected cats. She took in a lot of the neighborhood that the other people in the neighborhood ignored. She didn’t have all that many, but I love that she took care.of around 7 of them. That was her thing. She was the one that told me that one day I would find something interesting enough to be obsessed with, too. My sister was into high fashion, and dolls. Continue reading

Corporate Trophy is Worth a Hefty Sum

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We were going to use a goblet as an award this year. It was to have a value of $10,000 at a minimum. It is a corporate prize that is awarded with cash for the competitors that are part of the management team. I was asked by the CEO to come up with a nice design for the goblet using smoky quartz gemstones. I found a source online for smoky quartz, and they had a certified gemstone that was almost 2,000 carats in size. It was perfect for use as the central stone in the goblet design that was going to be made of silver with hammered gold bands around it along with more gemstones.

The final cost for the goblet design topped out at a bit over the minimum. I know when they give me a minimum to exceed it but not by too far. I could have done a design using all gold and diamonds, but the budget would have had to be 10 times as much for the trophy. I got to hand it to them that they do not hand out cheap mass-produced trophy items. Continue reading

I Just Got to Jakarta

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I have just gotten here to Indonesia, and of course the company is not really happy to have me there. This is not like any other assignment, since the country has a very strong Islamist movement and large numbers of active militants. So they have me in a rather secure area, I moved in this morning. A place called Logistik in Jakarta moved all of my stuff in for me. I brought along a big container that we had airlifted in from Melbourne. The house is inside a gated community with security, because obviously if you are a Westerner in this country then you have to think about your security. I do not think that the fear of kidnapping is nearly so great as it is in Mexico, which is entirely different. There they kidnap random people and hold them hostage for a couple hundred bucks. It is really difficult for you to not be afraid there, since the level of lawlessness is quite incredible. Continue reading

Tips to Price Custom Jewelry Orders

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Rule of thumb; never give a quote up front. Tell the client that once the custom handmade jewelry design has been approved you will get back to them within a week with the actual cost of fabricating the piece and the work contract. This is n important will give you an opportunity to price the work correctly. The client may want a rough estimate, stay firm and tell them you will give them the correct quote within a week. Make sure to send a written quote along with the contract within the specified time.

Remember to add you time to the final quote. Many times we think that if we charge too much they won’t hire us to complete the piece. Specify that you design time is also included in the final cost. Keep track of the cost of any gemstone and materials that you will be using to complete the order. Don’t forget to include the cost of shipping, particularly when you may be ordering specific part to complete the order. Always calculate the extra time that may take to complete a piece that requires some extra work because of the complexity of the design. Don’t be shy to charge for you work, people know that a custom handmade jewelry piece tends to be more expensive and they are prepared to pay for it.

Preparing a Custom Jewelry Work Agreement

Never work without a contract – A well written contract agreement will save you many headaches and problems when selling your jewelry. This contract has to be well defined and drafted clearly. The contract needs to be detailed enough to save you going into court and dispute and issue.

The contract needs to include the following information:

• You name, company name and information

• Client’s name and date when the order was placed

• Detail information of the jewelry piece you will be completing

• I also attach a copy of the final sketch and a photograph of the stone that will be used

• The contract should also include the amount of materials and their cost

• Include your hourly rate and an estimated amount of time it will take you complete the work. Include your design time and the time spent with the client.

• Always include a return policy in the contract; Custom work that is created as a special order is not returnable. My guarantee is that the piece will match the final design you approved including the dimensions, type of stone(s) and metals (gold or silver). Note that all handmade jewelry will differ slightly due to the nature of the craft and may include minor variations in the overall size of the piece(s) and/or minor

• The specific delivery date:

o Be realistic when setting the completion date. Take into consideration how long it will take for you supplies to arrive, as well as the actual shipping time to send the piece. As you know the unexpected can always happen. If there is an unforeseeable delay, let you client know. Keeping you costumer informed is not only good practice; it is also ethical and will help you keep your professional integrity.

• Terms of payment:

o I highly recommend getting a 50% non-refundable deposit up-front. Make it clear that no work will begin on the piece before the deposit clears. This will protect you in case there is a cancellation. Always wait to purchase any jewelry making supplies until you have received the down payment.

o I recommend including a statement that once the final sketch is approved you do not re-design or modify the piece. Include any measurements in the contract to add clarity to the final specifications. Altering a piece after you complete it is complicated and can be costly.

• Delivery arrangements:

o When a piece has to be shipped out of town, suggest that the client pay for insurance covering the value of the jewelry.

o Always send the item requesting a signature stating that the client received the jewelry. This will protect you in case the client claims that the work never got to them.

o Take a photo of the work before shipping and include the photo along with the packing slip.

o Call your client know that their jewelry is on their way. Follow up with an e-mail giving them the shipping track number. This is always good policy and gives you the paper trail. At the bottom of the contract, include an area for both you and the costumer sign and When this custom jewelry work agreement is ready, present it to your customer. Have two copies ready to be signed and give one to the client. Let your customers know that this agreement protects them as well as you, especially since they will pay you for at least part of the job up front.

Getting more clients to order custom work happens mostly from word of mouth, it is crucial that you build your reputation and make the client happy. Package you jewelry attractively, this enhances your work and the client will remember you. I always follow up with a personal note thanking them for ordering one of my custom handmade jewelry pieces.

In the note I ask if they would mind sending me a picture of them wearing the custom handmade jewelry piece. If they agree to give you a picture, ask if they mind you publishing the photo in your website. This is always helpful to promote and market your custom handmade jewelry and other design work.