Category Other Stuff

Homemade Presents Make Truly Unique Baby Gifts

If you’ve been to as many baby showers as I have, you’ve probably seen just about every baby gift imaginable. There’s the very practical items such as bottles, bassinets, baby pajamas and booties. As well as the fun presents like toys, gadgets, dress up clothes, and other more decorative items. After a while, it all starts to look pretty much the same. Even the wrapping, bows, and gift cards start to look the same after a while. Probably because they are. Homemade presents make truly unique baby gifts.

While I’m sure the expectant mom says nothing, wouldn’t it be nice, if you knew the gifts you purchase for the newest member of her family were both unique and memorable...

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Where to Find Beautiful Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts

What are ‘arts & crafts’? Generally, the term ‘arts & crafts’ refers to handmade products that have been designed individually with the intent of creating a piece of artwork or a decoration. People engage in arts & crafts as artisans and crafters – that is, those who make their living by producing and selling handmade objects – as well as countless hobbyists who do it just for their own enjoyment. Of course, there can also be a hidden benefit if you can make your own gifts rather than having to purchase them. Arts & crafts are deeply rooted in regional and ethnic cultures, so the specifics of what kinds of objects constitute arts & crafts varies greatly across the world. Thia talks about where to find beautiful arts & crafts.

How long have arts and crafts been around?

The ori...

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Counted Cross Stitch Patterns

Anyone who loves to cross stitch knows they need the counted cross stitch patterns if they hope to enjoy their favorite past time. There are a variety of patterns available online, as well as countless companies that produce cross stitch kits. Depending upon what type of themes you like to complete, counted cross stitch patterns abound.

Perhaps you’re just starting down the road to cross stitching bliss. It is helpful to know there are two basic types of cross stitch patterns – counted cross stitch and pre-printed or stamped cross stitch. Both types of patterns have benefits.

Personally I only tackled one stamped cross stitch project before I wanted something more challenging. My tablecloth had blue crosses printed on the fabric and a guide that showed me which color to use for each cross...

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Find Free Counted Cross Stitch Patterns And Graphs Galore

If you are just getting started with a new needlework craft, before running out to your local store and spending a lot of money you should search the Internet to find the many free counted cross stitch patterns and graphs online. This can help you avoid being too overwhelmed.

The biggest advantage to searching online before going to your local craft store is the variety that you’ll find available. This will save you time of wandering around the store, and it will save you money by not filling up your cart with projects you’re ultimately not interested in completing.

If you are looking for something more than the typical or basic patterns that you can find easily in stores, online charts and patterns will likely become your preferred way to shop...

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Cross Stitch Wedding Gifts

Cross Stitch Wedding Gifts

Finding a meaningful wedding gift for friends or relatives can be a difficult task. However, if you have an interest in cross-stitching, consider creating a special keepsake for the bride and groom using basic, intermediate, or advanced cross stitch skills. Cross stitch wedding gifts are a wonderful way to give something handmade and beautiful that the couple will cherish for years to come.

If you choose a cross stitch wedding gift, the following are some ideas to consider:

For a Christian couple, a sampler pattern using the couple’s name, the date of the wedding and a Christian cross is an appropriate way to celebrate their ceremony and their faith...

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Create Your Own Peyote Stitch Patterns

Create your own peyote stitch patterns seems like an interesting article.

Our fascination with creating a fabric by stitching or weaving tiny beads together is not new. The Egyptians created burial garments using peyote stitch patterns over 4000 years ago! The technique got its name from the Native American’s who created beaded items for ceremonial events. Over the years the techniques have changed although the name has stayed the same.

Because of the beading, peyote stitch patterns are most often used to create jewelry and items like small handbags, gloves, scarves and sweaters. Another item created by the peyote stitch are wonder beads or super beads, which are larger beads used in jewelry created out of several smaller peyote stitch patterns.

Peyote stitch patterns are the most popular ...

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History of Native American Jewelry

History of Native American Jewelry

A history of Native American jewelry is an article that, I thought,  might prove to be quite an interesting change.

We all know that beautifying oneself and the use of jewelry has been around since the prehistoric times. Bead making and bead necklaces called heishe, which have been derived from the Santo Domingo word for shell, have been used for ages. Shells like the spiny oyster shell, mother of pearl, abalone, conch and clam have been used in bead making and have been considered important trade items of the southwest for more than thousand years.

The use of silver in Native American jewelry is not an old concept. It has been used since the early 1850s, when the Mexican silversmiths had to trade their silver trinkets for the cattle from the Navajo...

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Cross Stitch Influences Bookmark Designs

Cross Stitch Influences  Bookmark Designs

Cross stitch influences bookmark designs is explained in the following article. In the early days of the fifteenth century, respect for all books was second only to respect for the Bible alone. Books were few in number and considered valuable due to the fact not many were printed at any one time.

Queen Elizabeth I was the first to receive a book marker as a gift at the end of the 16th century, during a time when books were so valuable that harming the pages of a book, was considered a very bad thing to do. It was during the 1850s that detachable book markers began to appear, eventually being called the bookmarker (or bookmark) in modern times.

These first bookmakers were made from silk, cross stitch, or made with embroidered fabrics, while eventua...

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Card Alternatives

Card Alternatives

Great card alternatives are cross stitched bookmarks. As cross stitchers, we love to create personalised cards for our nearest and dearest on birthdays, at Christmas or other special times. The chances are that these cards are much appreciated by the recipients, displayed prominently for a few days, and then perhaps placed in a drawer or a cupboard, where they will stay for many more months, rarely seen. Here’s an idea…

Why not start creating bookmarks instead for your friends? The advantages are that they will be used as often as the recipient reads a book, and will be associated with good leisure time. Also, your message of friendship will be reaffirmed every time your friend or relative opens the book. It will be useful as well as being ornamental.

There are a few prin...

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Cross Stitching on Plastic Canvas

Cross Stitching on Plastic Canvas

If you haven’t tried cross stitching on plastic canvas, you should. With plastic canvas, you can create unique cross stitch projects that you can’t create with fabric. For instance, because the plastic is firm, you can even create stunning three-dimensional projects.

Plastic canvas is great for projects such as:
* Bookmarks
* Bracelets
* Tissue box covers
* Christmas ornaments
* Children’s projects
* Coasters
* Baskets.

Plastic canvas is tough, so it will last and, therefore, is perfect for seasonal decorations. It’s also terrific to use when you’re creating a project you want to display or use in your everyday life, such as a tissue box cover or a bookmark.

Plastic canvas traditionally comes in 7, 10, and 14-count...

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Cleaning Cross Stitch

Cleaning cross stitch projects and pictures after finished is a great idea.

After you spend many hours creating a beautiful cross stitch picture, the last thing you want to do is damage it during cleaning. Many experts suggest you always clean your projects when you finish to remove the oils left behind when you touched the cloth. These oils can attract a surprisingly large amount of dirt over time.

The two methods of cleaning involve either washing your project or having it dry cleaned. You cannot dry clean a project if you’ve added beads, so consider this before adding embellishments.

To decide if your cross stitch picture can be washed, consider both the fabric and the floss. Many cross stitch fabrics can be washed by hand, and they say this on their labels...

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Colors Calming Therapy?

Colors Calming Therapy

Colors calming therapy? What is therapy? I think it is relaxing with physical activity which is calming to the body and soul. One method for stress and mental conditions is the use of color therapy, used with the colored yarns and threads for activities such as cross-stitching and embroidery, and combined with the direction of art therapy in its creativity.

This helps our mind relax, moving it to another sense of direction, and healing with color and creativity.

Color therapy has been around a long time; it is not a new kid on the block, only in the United States. It was not an alternative medicine, but used with light for health treatments clear back in recorded time.

It is speculated that color therapy in all areas originated in the roots of Ayurveda, an ancient In...

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My Worst Cross Stitch Nightmare: My Cautionary Tale!

This is my worst cross stitch nightmare: my cautionary taleI can read. I can count. I can thread a needle… so why did everything suddenly go wrong with a counted cross stitch project I started last year?

I began enthusiastically enough. I had planned to stitch a picture of a greyhound, as a birthday gift for a friend. Even before I unpacked the kit, I was already imagining her cry of surprise and delight as she opened the gift wrapping to see the picture I had stitched for her.

It shouldn’t take long, I told myself optimistically. The greyhound in the design had a sort of brindled appearance — lots of different colours all merging to make an attractively patterned coat. As long as I made a good start, this should be easy, I convinced myself.

I began in the middle of the picture, as instruc...

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Sun, Sea, Sand, and … Stitching!

 Sun, Sea, Sand, and … Stitching!

Sun, sea, sand, and …stitching. Going away on holiday can be a great opportunity to indulge yourself in your favourite pastime… cross stitching, of course! There’s the prospect of lots of time to spend on what you want to do, without those guilty feelings that arise when you’re stitching at home — when you know that the garden needs weeding, or that the kitchen cupboards could do with a clean. No! On holiday your time is mostly your own.  sun, sea, sand, and …stitching

So which cross stitch projects should you consider taking? And how much stitching should you take?

Let’s think about what’s essential to take, first of all...

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Needle’s Eye – American History ~ Part III

Here is needle’s eye American history part 3.   In typical Old World needlework, each detail is a particle of the whole; no part of the design can stand alone, whole and complete in itself. The background is solid, the pattern is formal, and a border encloses all.

American women smashed that rigid order to bits. They discarded backgrounds, they discarded borders and frames. They made the details create the whole, and they set each detail in boundless space, alone, independent, complete.

Just as individual freedom suddenly released the terrific human energy that swept the Old World’s Great Powers from this hemisphere and wholly transformed North America in a third of the time that those Old World Powers had held it, so this reversal of meaning gives American needlework an almost explosive...

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American History – Needle’s Eye ~ Part V

American History – Needle’s Eye

Here is American history needle’s eye part V.   For more than a year British ships had blockaded Boston and British troops had occupied the hungry city. Americans had fought and died at Lexington, at Concord, on Breed’s Hill and at Charleston. The Green Mountain men had taken Ticonderoga.

British armies were coming down the Hudson and a British war fleet with troopships was nearing New York harbor when at last, losing all hope of freedom with peace, the gentlemen of the Continental Congress soberly risked their lives, dipping a quill pen in an inkhorn and signing their Declaration.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain un-alienable Rights, that among these are Life, Lib...

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Needle’s Eye – American History ~ Part IV

Needle’s Eye – American History

Here is needle’s eye American history part 4.  Only one form of American needlework is wholly American, without root or kin in the old world, is our pieced patchwork. Oh, patches are nothing new.

Ancient Egyptians sewed fabric to fabric, and in medieval Europe women applied cloth to cloth. Patches are as old as poverty. In rags and patches the first workers came to America. Patches belonged to workers, to the poor, low-class subjects of the ruling classes. Patchwork was always a task, not an art.

Poverty came across the ocean with the immigrants. Here on the farthest rim of the known world, it became direst need...

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Needle’s Eye View – American History ~ Part II

Following is the 2nd part of needle’s eye view.   Three hundred years ago the then colonies in America were inhabited largely by a European hierarchy who’d brought their lower classes with them to do the hard work. There was much mingling and intermarrying with each other and with the Indians – the farmers, the peddlers, the sailors, the little merchants, the
wilderness fighters — the first Americans…

The Dutch built the town on Manhattan Island, and the patroons’ large estates on Long Island and up the Hudson River valley. German peasants slowly defeated the Pennsylvania wilderness. Scotch-Irish struggled into the Carolina mountains. Swedes settled Delaware.

New France ran from Maine to Detroit to St...

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Needle Eye View – American History

 Needle Eye View

Needle eye view – American history is a five-part series of articles of needlework. Needlework is the art that tells the truth about the real life of people in their time and place. The great arts, music, sculpture, painting, literature, are the work of a few unique persons whom lesser men emulate, often for generations. Needlework is anonymous; the people create it. Each piece is the work of a woman who is thinking only of making for her child, her friend, her home or herself a bit of beauty that pleases her.

So her needlework expresses what she is, more clearly than her handwriting does. It expresses everything that makes her an individual unlike any other person – her character, her mind and her spirit, her experience in living...

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Framing Your Cross Stitch Project With 6 Steps

For many stitchers, the most exciting step of creating a cross stitch project is the final one – that of framing. Now! At last, you can finally think about showing off the results of your time and creative effort. For the very best results, framing your project involves several steps and decisions. Here’s my set of 6 top tips for framing your cross stitch project.

1. Choose a frame.

Stitchers habitually like to take their completed project with them when selecting a frame. Having your project with you can make it easier for you to choose the style and the size. When choosing, take your time to select a style that compliments your design and a size that isn’t overwhelming.

Then, after deciding on the best style and size, consider the material of the frame...

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