Tag Archives: hobby

Making Your Own Bead Jewelry


Creating your own bead jewelry is a creative hobby that allows you to produce unique pieces for yourself, family and friends. Here is how you can get started.

If you ever asked yourself “couldn’t I do that myself?” as you looked through rows of bead bracelets, necklaces or earrings at a trendy boutique, the answer is “yes”. Beading is a creative and entertaining hobby that not only will have you produce unique, handmade items of jewelry, but will also be a great source of gift ideas for family and friends.

The first step would be to find a good local bead shop. While there are wonderful mail order catalogs and websites that will sell you all the supplies, nothing substitutes for the support and advice of experienced sales personnel. Ideally, this store would also offer a number of beginners’ classes that would help you learn basic techniques (if there is no bead shop in your town, some introductory books such as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beading will have to do).

Start with a simple project, such as a bracelet or basic necklace, and do not go overboard with expensive beads and findings (clasps, hooks, etc.). You might be wanting to use Swarovski crystal, sterling silver and semi-precious beads right now, but you can work up to that later. Some stores will even offer packaged starter kits that include a beading board (which helps you with project layout and measurements), some basic tools, beads, wire, findings and a how-to-book.

You should then set up your “beading space” – preferably an uncluttered, well-lit area. You might have to invest in a good lamp, maybe one combined with a magnifying lens. Remember, you will be stringing some rather tiny objects! Make sure you have plenty of containers to keep different types and colors of beads separate – nothing will spoil your joy of beading like having to hunt for a single bead in a jumbled pile. Beading stores will sell you various storage systems (including beading bags for the beader-on-the-go), but you can also experiment with inexpensive plastic containers meant to hold small hardware or fishing tackle.

Well, there you are ready for your first bead jewelry project! Don’t forget to protect your beading space from curious cats and toddlers. Happy beading, and have fun waring your hand-crafted jewelry!

A Brief History of Quilting


The art of quilting is not something new to this world, it has been around for centuries, but still there is no confirmation about the exact origin. According to the historians is that the history of quilting, piecing and applique was widely used for clothing and decorating stuff at home in ancient times. There is a common belief that quilting originated in China and Egypt at the same time. The oldest quilted garment found till now dates back to somewhere around 3400 BC.

Back in the 11th century, the crusaders picked up a type of quilting from the Middle East and brought it back to Europe. During that time, quilted piece of cloth was used by the Knights to give them extra cushion under their armor.

The Romans were the pioneers in introducing quilted bedding, which was used as mattress. Europeans got hold with this idea and they stuffed sack between two combined mattress. It was in the 15th century when the Europeans found quilting as a necessity when they were troubled by cold winds in the winter season.

The very first quilts were made of few layers of cloth that was attached together with running stitches. Quilt Frames came into existence as it was difficult to stitch many layers of cloth together. Europeans, blessed with these frames started to create quilts that were more decorative, more finely stitched.

19th century marked a great period of quilting in Europe and America. People in villages would come together and make one or more quilts in an afternoon. Women were very pleased with this as they could come out of the boundaries of their home and could contribute in doing something useful.


5 Ways To Keep Your Scrapbook Safe


One of the most devastating things that can happen to a scrapbook-er is for their creation to be ruined. So many hours, time, energy and money have been exhausted in putting together a work of art that brings back those memorable moments in time. There are plenty of ways that your book can get destroyed. With just a few simple precautions, you can make sure that your book will be around for years to come for your grand childrens and family members to enjoy.

1.  Liquids obviously will destroy memorabilia, photographs and negatives. To avoid disasters, store your scrapbooks supplies, albums, photographs and negatives in a dry, cool place where water from broken pipes or overflowing toilets cannot reach them. Also, keep food and drinks out of your work area. Over time, sunlight can diminish photos, negatives, layouts, and album quality. Keep all supplies out of direct sunlight.

2.  Extreme temperatures damage photos, negatives, layouts, page protectors and albums. Always store all items in a regular-temperature area and in an area where there is low humidity.

3.  Although it may not be an immediately apparent problem but fingerprints on photos, negatives and layouts become visible over time. Oil from skin is the cause of this problem. To prevent this deterioration, handle all photos carefully, touching only the outer edges. Wash hands frequently or use acid neutralizing wipes but make sure your hands are dry before handling any materials. Use lightweight cotton gloves if available to ensure those pictures stay perfect.

4.  Handle and store your photos, negatives, and layouts carefully. Improper storage increases the risk of scratches, tears, and bends. Store and seal your photos and negatives in a sturdy container, in plastic sleeves that fit into a 3-ring binder, or in acid-free envelopes. Keep in mind that not all plastics are alike. In fact, some sheet protectors, binders, photo enclosures, and photo corners will eventually damage your memorabilia more than if you had not used plastic protection or enhancement at all. To avoid this, do not buy materials containing PVC or PVA, buy your materials from reputable scrapbook stores. Yes, it may cost you a bit more but your scrapbook will last so much longer. Look for acrylic or polyester materials as an alternative.

5.  Finally, paper and cardstock you find in your local hobby store are not necessarily acid-free unless stated on the packaging. Also realize that just because a manufacturer’s lighter colored paper is acid-free does not guarantee the darker colors will also be. Your best bet is to test any paper that is not specifically marked ‘acid-free.’

Now that wasn’t hard at all, was it? And you’ve earned a wealth of knowledge, just from taking some time to learn from another scrapper enthusiast.

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