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Nice To Have For Decoupage But Not Always Necessary

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Some tools are essential for decoupage, such as scissors, glue, varnish, cotton swabs, damp rag and various images of all kind of sources. Its also a good idea to have tweezers, craft knife, cutting mat, paint brushes, craft roller, piece of sponge, metal ruler, colored pencils, water soluble pen and decoupage medium. However, there are a number of other items which are nice to have for decoupage but not always necessary:


Water-based paints are the best to use, including acrylics. If the paint says it says it can be diluted or cleaned in water, then it's water based. Acrylic paints come in various sizes and a large range of colors. Most good craft shops have small bottles, which are ideal if you have a smaller object to paint. It's best to use foam applicators to apply paints as it lays a smoother layer than a brush, which leaves small grooves. For a larger project, you'll need a paintbrush or foam roller.

Felt and Cork

These are useful for finishing off a project and giving it a professional look. Glue either cork or felt to the base. This also prevents scratches on the surface where you display your item. You can use self-adhesive cork or you can simply use craft glue to glue the felt or cork down. When dry cut carefully along the edges. With cork, use a very fine sandpaper to smooth the edges.


Sandpaper comes in various grades but usually a 300-grit and 400-grit sandpaper should be fine. You night need a coarser grade if you are preparing old painted or varnished wood.

Sponge Applicators

These come in various sizes and are ideal since they don't leave stroke marks. The best ones to use are firm, high-density foam since they last longer. Never use them with paint or varnish that needs to be cleaned with turpentine as this ruins them. Using a foam roller when painting a larger surface gives a slightly textured finish.

Porcelain Medium

Porcelain or ceramic medium can be used as a sealant, glue, and finishing coat. It's a thermo-setting, water-based product cured in the oven. This is the ideal for decorating glazed ceramics, pottery, glass, tiles, tin, or enamel. It forms a hard scratch and heat resistant film. It's expensive, but a little goes a long way. Surfaces need to be dust and grease free. Brushes can be cleaned in soap and water.

Fabric or Textile Medium

Fabric or textile Medium is used as a sealant, glue, and finishing coat. It's water-based and can be used on cotton and cotton mix fabrics. The fabric needs to be washed first to remove sizing. Once applied, it must be dried for a few hours and then heat-sealed by ironing.

Candle Medium

Candle medium is used as a sealant, glue, and finishing coat and is a water-based product. It can be mixed with equal parts of paint to paint the candle before decorating. It tends to be sticky and may need a layer of water-based varnish over it.

Outdoor Medium

Outdoor medium is used as a sealant, glue, and finishing coat. It's used for metal, plastic, terracotta tiles, stone, wood, soap, pottery, glass, hardboard, wall, galvanized metal, and candles. It is slightly waterproof and waxy properties and unsuitable for fabrics.


Gesso is used to create a perfectly smooth and blemish-free surface. There are also colored gessoes available. You can apply gesso to wood, bisque, and eggs. A smooth surface may need four to six coats. Lightly dry sand each coat and wipe off dust with a damp sponge. After the last coat, wet sand with superfine sandpaper. The gesso will be gooey but when it dries, the surface is smooth. You can mix paint with the gesso to make your own colored gesso. Gesso makes a difference on wooden boxes with rough routed edges and means that they require fewer coats of varnish. Usually, you need only wipe the gesso on with a piece of cloth and wipe off. This leaves a thin layer.

You can make your own gesso by mixing equal parts of PVA glue and whiting. Whiting can be found at paint stores and sporting supply stores. It's used for marking lines on athletic fields.


There are two different types of crackle medium - one is applied between coats of paint and one on top of the finished work. The size and shape of the crackles depends on the sponge you use. The larger the holes in the sponge, the larger the crackles. Sponge on your topcoat thickly and quickly, rotating the sponge as you go. Don't go back over areas you have covered. Crackling will begin immediately, so you can't go back without destroying out the crackles.

When planning your crackling, decide which color is to be the top color and which is to be the crackle. Using contrasting colors gives a more pleasing result. For example, for a red box with white crackles, paint the white first, then crackle medium, then red paint. Leave it to dry for forty-five minutes after applying.

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Top 5 Reasons Why Men Don T Get Scrapbooking

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As a woman who has been scrapbooking for over 7 years now, I have quite a nice collection of memories all preserved in various albums with nice stories to go along with photos. I LOVE these albums...they are a tangible piece of my past. But my husband...well, let's just say that if he had a chance, we'd warm our home with some of them this winter!

My husband once asked me how much I have spent on all this stuff. You know, I really have no idea, but it's probably in the $1000's of dollars. It's kind of embarrassing to think I have that much invested, but if my grandchildren can look through an album I made and learn a little about me, it is SO worth it!

Now, as to the question of why men don't "get" scrapbooking...I'll give you 5 reasons.

1.You know the feeling you get when you open the door of your local scrapbook or craft store? It's a small, but unforgettable "rush" to know you are about to embark on a shopping adventure! Now, while your husband is in the car, listening to talk radio, waiting for you to emerge, all he is thinking is, "I wonder how much she's spending THIS time!" They see lots of pieces of paper and stickers that are WAY over priced. We see the latest patterned papers and sticker embellishments. Plus, how many men do you know that actually love to shop? Need I say more?

2.That leads me to my next reason: scrapbook lingo. I told my husband about how I like to use certain embellishments on my pages. The look he gave me was probably similar to the look he gets when he talks about hunting or anything automotive! Scrapbooking has its own language that men just don't understand.

3.Crops are a big part of scrapbooking that is outside the comprehension of most men. Why would anyone want to get together with a bunch of other women, cut up their photos, write what happened in the photos onto paper and stick them into books that, if you mess them up, you will be subjected to tortures yet unknown to mankind? Men have never really understood the need women have to be with other women, regardless of the excuse. Scrapbooking is just another one of those excuses!

4.Now, scrapbook retreats take the crop-confusion to a whole new level. Why women would want to leave the comfort of their own bed to go sleep on a hard mattress to cut MORE papers and MORE photos? And spend more of the family's hard earned money? Men just don't understand why we can't get as much scrapbooking done at home with our 3 year olds constantly running off with our scissors, our 5 year olds using the tape runner on the cat and our teens raiding our sticker stash to spell "I love Parker" on their notebooks!

5.A party for scrapbook stuff? Are you kidding? Yes, even the direct sales parties are a mystery. I guess the name really throws most men off. After all, what kind of party, in the traditional sense, do you leave with less money in your wallet? A party is for free food, not spending money in their minds. They miss the point of chatting with friends, learning a new technique or playing with a new tool. It's all just frivolity to them.

You know, now that I think about it, why do we spend $0.60 on one sheet of paper, $12 on a contraption that is basically a glorified glue stick and $30 on a photo album? You know the answer! WE LOVE IT! Scrapbooking is an addictive hobby and, men, you are allowed to join us, but you better learn the lingo and no sharing my tape runner!

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Digital Video Camera Rental Putting You In The Picture

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Digital video cameras continue to be as popular as ever. As they become more technologically sophisticated they're offering better quality and more functions in ever smaller packages. Top-of-the-range, high definition videocams can cost in excess of $3000 to buy. This figure would be even higher if existing mechanisms, which allow HD videos to be recorded on a conventional DV tape, couldn not be used.

It's hardly surprising, then, that digital video camera rental is fast becoming the preferred option for digital videocam users who only need to use the equipment for special occasions. With improvements in the technology moving fast, so fast that chances are a new model will already have been superseded by something better within six months, the trend to rent and not to buy seems set to continue.

As an irregular user, looking to take pictures at weddings or on holiday, constantly upgrading your digital videocam is neither a practical, nor cost-effective solution. Why not, then, get the best of both worlds - the latest models and the lowest prices - by choosing the rental option? Your biggest worry will be to pre-book well in advance at busy times of the year, like Christmas and New Year or Thanksgiving, to avoid disappointment. Look in the Yellow Pages or login to the internet, and you'll find there are some great deals to be had out there.

Great offers are available if you shop around. At Christmas and New Year, especially, extended and weekend rental bargains are to be had provided, as we've said, you book early. Throughout the year, even, many digital video camera rental outlets will offer an extra free rental day, and, at short notice, many shops will pull together a video camera package at very competitive prices.

The basic rental package, usually comprises spare batteries, charger, camcorder case, manufacturer's manual and a "quick-start" guide. Ease of use varies with the model, but the "Get Started" guide you should receive as part of the package will outline use of the main controls of On/Off, record and zoom buttons. A manual should also be supplied should you feel like exploring more options in detail.

Alternatively, as an infrequent user of digital camcorders, you will find that many rental outlets offer a photo printing or video transfer service, copying your film on to CD or DVD. Again, shop around for the best deals if you're interested in a complete service. Even with this service charge added to the hire cost, on any cost-benefit analysis you'll be getting a great deal.

Besides the basic package, optional extras are available. Accessories, such as tripods, external microphones and camcorder lights, though, are not seen as optional extras for many users who want to shoot that perfect picture for the perfect occasion. You will pay an extra hire charge for these items, as you will for video tapes and mini-DVD-Rs. The software to download your photos on to your PC will usually be included in the hire package, though. This software is very popular now and has largely replaced still photos on memory cards. Rent and you'll get the best for less.

Having decided that digital video camera rental is for you, the most important question to ask yourself before you proceed any further is: what do I want from a digital camcorder? Do I want a cheaper, standard format videocam, or would I prefer a high definition video?

Standard models use compact, 60-minute tapes, and can be plugged into the camcorder/playstation inputs on the front of many TVs and video recorders. The playback quality is very good. As a rule of thumb with standard models, the smaller the camera the fewer features it has. You want a larger optical zoom? Then you'll need to hire one of the slightly larger cameras. Even so, none is that big and all are easy to use for the novice.

But are you more technically-minded? If so, then an HD videocam, offering superb playback quality with four times the number of pixels as standard definition, would allow you to shoot a video of a wedding and edit the video on HDV. Be aware, though, that a very powerful PC is required to use video editing packages. The HDV footage can then be recorded on to a high definition DVD player with marvellous results.

Europe lags behind the U.S. where we have been able to enjoy high definition TV, and watch content from most of the major networks, for a number of years. Familiarity with the superb picture quality afforded by HD breeds contempt among aficionados for standard models. Renting a videocam allows the technically-minded to practise more demanding techniques and to produce top-class pictures without the substantial outlay involved in buying a top-notch videocam. And remember: as a perfectionist, you'll need accessories, too, which makes renting an even more attractive option.

So, novice or enthusiast, renting the equipment makes the best sense. The videocam's obsolescence, driven by continual improvements in technology, requires constant and expensive upgrading. The very high cost of buying top-of-the-range videocams, together with the easy availability of great-deal packages, including accessories, all make compelling reasons for renting and not buying.

"A picture is worth a thousand words", so they say. Well, not quite, but it will have been worth reading a few hundred if you're now sold on the benefits of digital video camera rental.

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How The Hobby Of Collecting Coins Began

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A Brief History of Coins and Coin Collecting

Very few things tell more about a country in fewer words than the coins it produces. Coins hold a wealth of information on their small faces, from the year of their birth to the language spoken at the time, from the metals a country holds valuable to the cultural influences and historical figures that its people hold valuable. Coins can also be strikingly beautiful in their own right, with the top designers of a nation striving to have their motif chosen for immortality on the face of a coin. With so much information and beauty contained in so small a package, it is no surprise that coin collecting has been a hobby nearly as long as the concept of coins themselves. An understanding of the long history of coin collecting, once known as "the hobby of kings," will make this pastime even more enjoyable.

The Origin of Coins and Coin Collecting

The hobby of coin collecting began nearly as soon as the first coins were minted in Asia Minor, around 650 B.C. Before that time, gold and silver ingots were the most common form of legal tender. Because there was no standard, however, each trade necessitated a careful weighing and examination of the precious metals being offered, and it was easy for unscrupulous merchants to pass off a lesser quality of gold in trade. Coins, which were printed on standardized weights of precious metals and stamped with a government guarantee of value, was the answer to this unwieldy, easily sabotaged trading process. Within one hundred years, the concept of coins had been adopted by all of the major trading cities in the civilized world.

At the beginning, coin collecting had a very practical reason - there were no banks in which to store money. People hoarded coins as a way of safeguarding their wealth. Those coins that were especially beautiful were hoarded the longest, often being passed down within families.

Coin Collection in Renaissance Times

Modern coin collecting, where the coins are viewed as a work of art as well as a collection of valuable legal tender, is widely thought to have begun with Francesco Petrarca, or Petrarch, who is often called the father of the Renaissance. Although there is reason to believe that Roman emperors and citizens paid prices higher than face value for coins that were no longer in circulation, Petrarch was known to be an avid collector, and often spoke of his collection in his writing. During the Renaissance, popes and nobility began collecting coins for their artistic and historical value, and the name "the hobby of kings" was born. So popular was the pursuit and trade of ancient Greek and Roman coins in this time period, that a brisk business in high-quality counterfeits sprang into being. Today, these counterfeits even have a high value, due to their age, quality, and historical significance.

Coin Collecting in Modern Times

Coin collecting has been a favorite pastime of many people with a reverence for history, including U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The development of two large coin organizations in the mid-to-late 1800s, the American Numismatic Society (ANS) and the American Numismatic Association (ANA), helped spark American interest in building and maintaining a coin collection. Today, there has been an explosion in American interest in coin collecting, in large part due to the ease and availability of obtaining interesting coins. The U.S. Mint has successfully increased interest in starting a coin collection through the minting of specialty coins, such as the bicentennial half dollars released in 1976 and the current release of quarters commemorating each of the fifty states.

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New Toys For 2006

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At the most recent Toy Fair in New York City, toy manufacturers got the chance to display and show off their newest goodies to retailers. Below are some of the toys that were debuted.

-Nerf Showtime Hoops: This Hasbro creation features an electronic basketball hoop system with a ball that bounces off of the backboard, but is just soft enough to prevent breaking a window. This toy was developed with And1, a popular basketball brand. The hoop goes up to 6 feet and 7 inches, and features the interactive voice of And1's emcee "Duke Tango." The hoop also comes with built-in speakers, jacks for portable music players, cup holders, drink dispenser, scoreboard, and a spotlight that shows the child where to stand. [$250]

-My Furreal Friends Pony: Hasbro also created an animated pony with sensors that will respond to touch, sound, and light. Children can climb on the pony's back to go for a ride, while the toy makes galloping sounds. If its mane is brushed, the pony will neigh. If the pony's name is called out, the toy will turn its head towards the sound of the voice. [$300]

-Play-Doh: In light of Play-Doh's 50th birthday, Hasbro has introduced a birthday cake-shaped pack of 50 Play-Doh colors, featuring six new colors. [$13]

-Moon Sand: Spin Master introduces a new rival to Play-Doh with its Moon Sand, a sand-like substance that can be molded into shapes just like regular dough. But the key difference here is that Moon Sand will never dry when it is left out and can be molded again after it is left alone for a period of time. [$5-20]

-Digital Spy Camera: Wild Planet has come out with a pair of shades for kids who aspire to become spies. These sunglasses can take up to 20 photos with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels with its retractable camera. [$35]

-Air Hogs Hydro Freak: This is a remote-controlled vehicle that can drive on the ground, coast above water, or fly into the air, created by Spin Master. [$100]

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Have A Successful Yard Sale

(category: Hobbies, Word count: 383)
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Every weekend, offers a new opportunity for people throughout the country to de-clutter, and make a little extra money while doing so. Each weekend, thousands of Yard Sales, Garage Sales and Estate Sales are held throughout the country. For the people holding these sales, the trick is getting the word out and getting as many people to come to your event as possible.

Getting a good turnout to your Yard Sale means advertising. In the past, this meant simply buying some cardboard and a black magic marker, writing "Garage Sale" with an arrow pointing at your house and sitting back to wait for the crowd. This is still an effective way to advertise your sales. However, people are becoming a bit more creative with their signs. If you can "jazz up" your sign, and draw attention to it, your turnout will likely be better than if you simply scribe "Yard Sale" onto a piece of cardboard. If you are not artistically incline, there is a service on the internet that will do the "jazzing up" for you. The web site specializes in creating bright, colorful signs that are sure to draw attention.

Another method that is used to advertise Garage Sales is newspaper ads. This is a less often used method because it can be expensive. The cost of a simple newspaper advertisement can be as much as $50.00, though they are usually closer to $30-$40. Since at many sales, the seller is happy if they make $100.00, a $40.00 newspaper ad cuts a bit heavily into the bottom line of most sales.

A third method of advertising your Yard Sale is to use online resources. There are numerous websites dedicated to advertising Yard Sales, Garage sales, etc... One of the better sites is For a mere $6.00, sellers can advertise their Yard Sale, Garage Sale, Estate sale and even Online Sales; which are free.

Finally, there is the tried and true "Word of Mouth" option. Sellers can simply tell their neighbors, family and friends and hope that the news circulates to as many people as possible. This is the fastest, easiest and cheapest option available.

Whichever advertising options the seller chooses, nothing beats the satisfaction of counting your money after a successful sale.

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Sudoku Addictiveness And Old Memories

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The Sudoku enigma has hit wests media and newsprints with such a enormous impact, that it has to be the brainteaser game introduction of the century. But what is it that bring about writing numbers into tiny squares so exceedingly addictive?

One part of the mix has definitely to be outright simplicity of the riddle. The rules of Sudoku are so easy to understand that anybody can start solving almost almost instantly.Yet mastering the game demand enormous extent of playing and patience. A Sudoku puzzle can also be made so complex that even a sudoku master would have a hard time finishing it.

Contrary to what many will suppose when they first see a Sudoku mystery, this brain-teasing exercise doesn't require outstandingly high understanding of math. It is more a matter of judgment and the numeral characters could, in fact, be changed with any other symbol.

The dart throwing link

Since Sudoku is a game of reasoning and dart throwing is a game of precision and hand-eye coordination, you'd maybe think they have absolutely nothing in common. However, I have a story that could argue differently.

I recall when I was a kid and we spent the summer at our cottage in the country. One day my sibling and I found an old darts game - not like the posh ones they use in indoors dart competitions, but more of a robust "outdoors" (or whatever the term is) type of dartboard with digits from one on the outside to ten in the bulls eye, and somewhat weighty and rugged darts.

Neither of us where very good at tossing darts, so it was a good plan we hung the dart target on the outside wall of an old shed. After a while though, I happened to get quite a good score - 42 with five darts.

Luck had much to do with it of course, but now something very interesting happened. My sister would probably not quit before she had gotten at least the same score as me!

I think she chopped away at that dart board for a pair of hours without stopping, and had she been a person in a comic she could without doubt have been portrayed with a dark cloud over her head, so to say. It was beginning to get dark before she finally had crushed my record and could allow herself to quit.

It is actually mind-blowing to witness such determination.

Although having very little to do with Sudoku puzzles per se, I think the same kind of driving influence is also one factor "at fault" for the addictiveness of the Sudoku enigma.

Most people love a competitive encounter, on condition that that there is in reality a fairly genuine opportunity to crop up "winning" in the end. When tackling a appropriately tricky Sudoku riddle a participant can sometimes pass into almost a meditative like state where he or she frankly can't put down the pen before they have beaten the Sudoku demanding task. Much in the same way as it occurred in that dart game many years ago.

So as you see, the simple goal of breaking a record or solving a puzzle - although very basic things - can have a profound effect on a persons reactions.

This is all good, as Sudoku is a very cheap hobby that definitely grants a good work out for the brain.However, would something catch fire in the vincinity or if a person is drowning - by all means put that Sudoku brainteaser aside for just a few seconds.

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The Lincoln Cent Part Iv Upcoming Changes

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To review our last segment, the Lincoln Cent has undergone many changes. From the VDB initials controversy, composition changes and reverse changes nearly 50 years ago (from Wheat to Memorial). The versatile cent has seen its share of changes.

So what does the future hold for the Lincoln cent? Legislation was recently passed authorized a plethora of coin changes. One of those changes included the cent. The Lincoln cent Title III to the Presidential Dollar Coin Act calls for the elimination of the Lincoln Memorial reverse to be replaced with four different designs depicting the life of Lincoln. In the text of the law the new reverses are referred to as "(A) his birth and early childhood in Kentucky; (B) his formative years in Indiana; (C) his professional life in Illinois; and (D) is presidency, in Washington D.C." These changes would appear in 2009.

In addition to these circulating designs, the legislation also says, "The Secretary of the Treasury shall issue 1-cent coins in 2009 with the exact metallic content as the 1-cent coin contained in 1909 in such number as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for numismatic purposes." Will this be a fifth design or a wheat cent? Who knows? It will be a coin struck as proof or uncirculated as non-circulating legal tender.

For 2010 and beyond, the legislation states, "The design on the reverse of the 1-cent coins issued after December 31st, 2009 shall bear an image emblematic of President Lincoln's preservation of the Untied States of America as a single and united country." This could be an unspecified design or could revert back to the Lincoln Memorial. Since this is several years away, no decision on this appears to be immanent. One question that does appear to be answered is that the cent will continue to be produced despite some calls for its discontinuance. Many believe the penny is no longer useful and should fade away much like the

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The History Of The Buffalo Nickel Part I

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The buffalo nickel (also known as the Indian head nickel) was produced from 1913 through 1938 and was designed by James Earle Fraser. It is actually a bison, not a buffalo, on the reverse but more on that later.

Early in 1911, Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh's son wrote to him suggesting that there be a new design on the five-cent piece. The son had read the law which stipulated a coin design could not be changed more often than every 25 years. The 25 year "waiting" period for the Liberty nickel has passed back in February of 1908. MacVeagh had assumed office under President William Howard Taft in March 1909, and missed all the excitement when President Theodore Roosevelt managed to get several top artists to redesign the cent and gold coins.

Fraser's artistic ability earned the undying respect of a dying Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who recommended Fraser to President Theodore Roosevelt to sculpture the official presidential bust. Roosevelt and Fraser quickly became friends. Despite the fact that William Howard Taft was president in 1912, Roosevelt recommended that Fraser be chosen to design the copper-nickel 5-cent coin.

It is interesting to note that the Philadelphia mint was kept in the dark for quite some time during the initial design change discussions. Though not proven, it is widely speculated that this was done because of previous issues with Charles E. Barber over the double eagle design by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1908. Barber was still the chief engraver and believed that he should have all authority of engraving and coin design and since he designed the nickel that was still in production, he was probably not in any big hurry to change it.

The obverse design for the Indian Head 5-cent coin, commonly called a "Buffalo nickel," depicts a large, powerful portrait of an Indian, facing right. The appearance is rough looking, unlike the smooth cheeks and other facial features that typify the many versions of Lady Liberty that have been on U.S Coins. The portrait is believed to be a composite of three Indian chiefs, although the identities of the models have been disputed. A few Native Americans laid claim to be the model for the coin. The artist himself identified two of the models as Chief Iron Tail, a Sioux and Chief Two Moons, a Cheyenne. Unfortunately, Fraser had trouble remembering the names of his models. He had been asked the question so many times, that it was evident he was growing tired of the whole issue rather than set the record straight. In an undated letter to Mint Director George E. Roberts believed to be from 1913, suggests that Fraser considered the Indian design represented a type, rather than a direct portrait. He said he could recall Two Moons and Iron Tail as having served as his inspiration and possibly "one or two others". In alter years he dropped the number of possible "other" models to one.

The one Indian originally believed to be the third model was Chief Two Guns White Calf, a Blackfoot. His claim lost a great deal of validity when in 1931, Fraser denied having used him as a model. In a letter dated June 10, 1931, from Fraser to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs of the U.S. Department of Interior, and later released to the press on July 12, 1931, Fraser is quoted as saying:

"The Indian head on the Buffalo nickel is not a direct portrait of any particular Indian, but was made from several portrait busts which I did not Indians. As a matter of fact, I used three different Indian heads; I remember two of the men. One was Irontail, the best Indian head I can remember; the other one was Two Moons, and the third I cannot recall. I have never seen Two Guns Whitecalf nor used him in any way, although he has a magnificent head. I can easily understand how he was mistaken in thinking that he posed for me. A great many artists have modeled and drawn him, and it was only natural for him to believe that one of them was the designer of the nickel. I am particularly interested in Indian affairs, having as a boy lived in South Dakota before the Indians were so carefully guarded in their agencies. Later, the Crow Creek agency was formed at Chamberlain, but I always feel that I have seen the Indian in this natural habitat, with the finest costumes being worn. I hope their affairs are progressing favorably."

Through the years the search for the third model continued although many still believe it was Two Guns. Another Indian, Chief John Big Tree claimed he was the third model. There are many inconsistencies in his story/claim as well. Chief John Big Tree was also an actor.

While we may never know for sure the identity of the third person, we do know a little about the model on the reverse The American bison serves as the reverse of the coin. Yes, it is a bison on the nickel, not a buffalo. Technically, buffaloes are found mostly in India and Africa, not in the United States. When the first settlers came to America and happened upon the Bison - they did not know what they were. The only animals they could relate them to were the Asian Water Buffalo. They started calling them buffalo for lack of a correct name, and the name stuck for many, many years. So, the American Buffalo is not a true buffalo. Its closest relative is the European Bison or Wisent and the Canadian Woods Bison, not the buffalo of Asia or Africa, such as the Cape Buffalo or Water Buffalo. Scientifically, the American Buffalo is named Bison and belongs to Bovidae family of mammals, as do domestic cattle. Because our history has so ingrained in us the name "Buffalo", we still use it, although "Bison" and "Buffalo" are used interchangeably. As just stated, our American Bison and the Water Buffalos are not even related. (There are actually two types of Bison as well. The Plains Bison and the Woods Bison - one being smaller and darker than the other and having populated different regions of the US in the early years) However, since so many people are familiar with their own learned definition of a "buffalo" you'll find we still sometimes use that term when referring to a bison. As such, the term buffalo will be used when referring to the reverse of the coin. Anyway....

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