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A Brief History Of Quilting

(category: Crafts, Word count: 287)
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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.

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Creating Rubber Stamps Not All Methods Created Equal Part 2 Of 3

(category: Crafts, Word count: 616)
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Welcome back! In part one of this three-part series, the advantages and disadvantages of laser-engraved rubber stamps were discussed. As discussed in the first article, although laser engraving has a high start-up cost, its quality and efficiency are second to none. In this segment, you will learn the benefit and fallbacks of a photoengraving stamp-making method.

Making a rubber stamp through a chemical or photopolymer process will also require significant start-up costs. Depending on the equipment capabilities, quality, or size, a photopolymer stamp-making kit may cost anywhere from $400-$4000. This process requires a significant amount of labor and tends to have a higher turnaround time.

The first step of the photopolymer process involves creating a negative of the image to be engraved. To begin, create or obtain a completely black graphic on a completely white background. If the graphic has colors, save or convert it to a monochrome or two-color format. A simple graphics editor, such as Paint (which automatically comes with a Windows OS) will allow the user to "Save As" and choose a "Save as type" as "Monochrome Bitmap." This will convert the colored graphic into a black-and-white bitmap file. Once the image is completely black and white, using a graphics editor (again, Paint will work), invert the colors. This will create a white image on a black background.

Turnaround time for a rubber stamp will vary greatly, as this variable is contingent on the creation of a metal plate. If you are creating stamps for fun, you will need to have enough graphics to fill both a metal plate and a matrix (mold) board. The metal plate and matrix board can be made on a partial board; however, this is not an efficient use of materials and may make for uneven molds and/or stamps. If maximum efficiency is desired, enough graphics will need to be obtained to create a full metal plate. Additionally, the photopolymer process does not allow small businesses to make custom rubber stamps efficiently, as these rubber stamps tend to be made for a one-time order and the mold is no longer needed.

Depending on the materials at hand, the metal plate may need to be made by an engraving company. Once the metal place has been engraved, it is placed in a machine with the matrix board and, with a combination of heat and pressure known as vulcanization, the matrix board is made into a mold. The rubber is cut to the size of the mold, placed in the vulcanizer, and creates a rubber stamp through a similar process of heat and pressure. Be warned: as a mold is put under heat and pressure every time a rubber stamp is created, it may only last for 40-60 stamp vulcanizations.

After the rubber has been pressed, it can be cut into individual stamps. As the rubber is quite thick, most stamp enthusiasts agree regular scissor are not sufficient. Kai Scissors are a considered an essential tool in the arts and crafts world. These scissors can be found at crafts stores or on the web, and Kai Scissors makes 15+ styles and sizes of scissors. Mounting foam is also needed to ensure the block the stamp is mounted on does not come in contact with the surface to be stamped. Once the rubber and mounting foam have been cut, the stamps are glued to a wooden mound and are ready to impress!

We have discussed laser engraving, photoengraving, and one last stamp-making method is yet to come! Next, learn how to make rubber stamps, without any special or expensive equipment, from the privacy of your own home!

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Step Up To Memories A Craft Project For Parents And Kids

(category: Crafts, Word count: 319)
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If you've been looking for a creative art project to do with the kids, look no further! I recently did a fun project with my daughter and thought I'd share the how-to for other parents who are looking for ways to keep their kids busy and creative all while making something useful for around the home!

What You'll Need

A wooden step ladder

Spray paint (your choice of color)

Sponges (either cut into shapes of your choice or pre-purchased in shapes)

Letter Stencils (of your child's name)

Craft Paint (your choice of colors)

Newspaper (the older the better)

Smock or old clothing for you and your child

Now you're ready to start creating. A little preparation is needed before bringing your child into the project. Take the step ladder outside and put it on the newspaper and spray paint it, covering the entire step ladder thoroughly. Let it dry overnight and you'll be ready to bring your child into the project the next day!

Bring the painted ladder to your work area (outside is recommended). Work with your child to sponge paint the shapes onto the ladder in the colors of your choice. Let it dry thoroughly.

Next, help your child stencil their name(s) onto the ladder. I'd recommend doing it on the side, and not the top, as the top will take a bit of wear if you plan to let your child use it. If it is to be a decoration for the porch of your child's room, putting the name on top will be ok if you choose to do so. Let it dry.

Your child now has a ladder, personally designed by them, to use. Put it in the corner of their room and through their favorite stuffed animal or trophies or photographs on top. You can also use the ladder as d

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10 Tips For Peaceful Crafting With The Kids

(category: Crafts, Word count: 302)
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Are you looking for ways to keep craft time with your children simple and fun? If so, I hope you will put some of the following suggestions to use.

1. Find the craft the kids want to make and then make a list of all the supplies you will need to make the craft.

2. If you do not have everything on hand add the supplies you need to your shopping list so you will not forget them.

3. Put a plastic table cloth down where you will be crafting.

4. Have all supplies laid out before you announce craft time to your kids.

5. Use non-toxic paints, glues, etc.

6. Have wet wipes and paper towels handy for spills.

7. Always try to have extra supplies in case something is lost or torn, etc.

8. Let them wear old clothes so you will not be stressed out over ruining what they are wearing.

9.Show the kids how to do the craft but let them do it in their own way. If you insist on it being perfect then you might as well do the craft yourself and forget about having craft time with the kids. It also makes the children thnk that everything has to be perfect and that their best is not good enough. Sometimes little hands need help but you know you have gone too far when you are the only one left at the craft table.

10.Have fun! Don't worry about a little paint on their hands & faces, take pictures instead.

I hope you will try these suggestions for a stress free craft time with your children. Show them how to have fun, they will learn how to be stressed out way too soon anyway.

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3 Little Known Tips For Shopping For Craft Supplies Online

(category: Crafts, Word count: 395)
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Let me ask you a question. Did you ever think that the internet would become so powerful and pervasive, that even craft supplies would turn into big business online? Neither did I. But it's true. You can actually find just about any type of craft supplies that you are looking for if you look hard enough through the different search engines (or your local retail store). However, there are a few big sites that you might want to peruse the next time you are considering buying craft supplies.

1) Amazon. Amazon has recently (during the last few years) expanded their reach into the far corners of the internet. By this, I, of course, am referring to the fact that a lot of online merchants sell through Amazon.com's website. If you are searching for 'leather craft supplies,' Amazon might not have what you are looking for in stock. However, Amazon might have a partner retailer who sells their leather craft supplies and lists their goods on Amazon. Consider Amazon like a giant retail search engine that lists items from all sorts of different companies besides themselves.

2) Ebay. Ebay is a great place to find close out merchadise. By this, I mean that companies go bankrupt and have fire sales. A lot of these sales have moved online and therefore you might be able to get a really good deal on some merchandise that is being auctioned off on the world's biggest auction site.

3) Retailers' own websites. Many of the well known craft sites like Michael's have their own websites. These sites often have great bargains on merchandise that's also found in their retail stores. However, even these retailers need to occasionally close out some big lots of merchandise. The web is a perfect place to do exactly that. With no real overhead costs (besides the website's operation), many of these big retailers will use the web to move a large amount of product really quick. Of course, the retailer needs a mail order, or store pickup, set up to do this, but most do. Check your local retailer's website, you might be surprise.

There is a lot more to craft supplies' shopping than first meets the eye. Learn all about how to shop for crafts, there is an entire world waiting for you online.

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Quilting Bees Are Back And Now Meet Online

(category: Crafts, Word count: 428)
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Quilting bees, those time-honored gatherings where quilters practice and share their craft, have never quite gone away. Thanks to thriving online communities, quilters are continuing to find ways to connect with each other in today's busy world.

For centuries, neighborhood women in the United States used the bees not only to make quilts, but also to socialize and catch up on the news of the day. Unfortunately, the popularity of these quaint gatherings peaked in the 19th century and interest in the craft slowly faded.

In the past 20 years, however, quilting bees - and the craft in general - have seen a huge resurgence in popularity. It is estimated that one in seven U.S. households now boasts a quilter. Many attribute quilting's revival to the nation's bicentennial, when interest in American folk arts and crafts surged.

As with nearly every other segment of society, today's quilting bees have embraced technology. According to a recent "Quilting in America" survey, 84 percent of serious quilters own a computer and half have broadband access to the Web. The Internet is now populated with hundreds of online discussion groups where people help each other with quilting challenges, post pictures of their latest projects and share life's ups and downs. These conversations take place 24 hours a day and span the globe.

In addition, sewing and quilting machines are being designed to take full advantage of technology, making the home computer as indispensable to the craft as the quilting frame. In 1999, the Janome Sewing Machine Co. introduced the first sewing machine that could be updated via software through a built-in USB port.

Today, its Memory Craft 10001 quilting machine, a favorite among advanced quilters, has three ways to connect to a computer and comes with flash memory cards.

While busy schedules have made it more difficult for quilters to regularly work in groups on a single quilt, the new machines have made solo quilting much easier. The MC10001 includes special quilting features like a "walking foot" that allows even stitching across multiple layers of fabric, a "Start/Stop" button that lets quilters stitch for hours without getting tired feet, and a knee lift that allows them to raise the presser foot without taking their hands off of their work.

Because embroidery and quilt designs can be sent as computer files, quilters are able to collaborate on their creations electronically. Connected to a computer running Janome design software, the MC10001 can create in stitches virtually anything you can imagine or download from the Internet.

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How To Learn About Needlepoint On The Web In 2 Easy Steps

(category: Crafts, Word count: 382)
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This may come as a surprise to you, but there are people other than your grandmother who enjoy needlepoint as a hobby. Needlepoint has been around since the beginning of time but that doesn't mean that you can't become an expert at it. In fact, we're pretty sure that if you focus enough of your energy at a certain hobby you can become an expert in just about anything. You can find just about anything you want on the internet. In fact, if you think it might be an exciting hobby, chances are someone has thought that before you did. Let's take a look at needlepoint and how to get acquainted with the hobby.

1) Use the major search engines to search for these phrases: "needlepoint beginner," o "needlepoint tutorial," or "how to learn needlepoint." Be sure and use quotes for the last phrase- it makes all the difference in finding that exact phrase. There are people starting new hobbies all the time and you aren't going to be the only one interested in needlepoint. In fact, a quick search for just the term "needlepoint" returns more than 2.6 Million results in Google. If term needlepoint has been written at least 2.6million times on the web, you can be sure that there are others that have written a basic tutorial in getting started on the hobby.

2) Use DMOZ. Here is a trick that not everyone is going to tell you because they just don't know about it (and that I've taken from another hobby). Visit Dmoz.org. Dmoz is an Open Directory edited by humans. If a site has been included in Dmoz, that means that a human has reviewed the site and decided that it is good enough to be included in the Dmoz directory. Usually, only real quality sites are added to the Dmoz directory as all the editors work for free and pride themselves on only including the best sites on the web.

We've notice that when we are looking for something (in this case, needlepoint), nothing beat dmoz.org as a great place to start. Start your quest at dmoz, then visit our site to learn all about needlepoint in easy step by step tutorials.

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Try Crafting For Your Next Hobby

(category: Crafts, Word count: 570)
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Why should I or anyone for that matter get involved in crafting? Well...first things first, have you noticed how prices just keep getting higher and higher? Who can afford to give a decent gift to anyone nowadays? But...if you make the gift yourself it can be done for a fraction of the cost, not to mention the fact that everyone admires and wishes they could do the crafting themselves.

Well you can! All you have to do is try. Crafting is one area that creativity itself is often inspired by necessity. And amazingly enough new crafters usually find that they fall in love with crafting. Many people start out crafting because they have no choice, they needed something to give to someone or they could not afford to buy ready made things for their own home. In the process of learning how to save money they discover this amazing person inside of themselves, this creative and talented person that they never would have believed they could be.

You too can become more creative. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and each and every one of us has our own concepts of what is beautiful. Each of us has hidden talents just waiting to be accessed. Once you get started you will be amazed at how quickly your mind will become flooded with ideas for things you can make. Anything you see was crafted by someone. Why not you?

Where do I start?

Well, what do you need? Once you know why you need a gift then you can look for something to fit the person you want to make the gift for.

I needed a gift for my friend who had just bought her first home and I wanted it to be something special as a housewarming gift. She has always used tons of candles in her home so I found a log that had an interesting shape and cut it so that it was about six inches high by ten or twelve inches around. I cleaned the wood and sanded it top and bottom then carved out an area in the middle to pour the wax, that I had colored in green to match her new living room. The wax was a green apple scent and I poured it into the area I had carved out of the center of the log. A little polish on the top and I had a gift that I was proud of and she really enjoyed it also.

Crafting is anything you make yourself! And there are all kinds of crafts that you can choose to do. There's needle work such as embroidery both hand embroidery and machine embroidery, crochet, cross stitching, smocking and knitting just to name a few.

There's jewelry making such as beading, wire twisting and silver smiting (silver smiting is not as hard as some people think).

There's wreath making for all kinds of holidays.

Candle making can be even more creative than you think.

Painting both with oils and water colors.

Then there's the junk art that has become so popular and is made from things you find in and around your own home.

There are many more forms of crafting that have not been mentioned here and I'm sure even more are being created as we speak, so have a great day and happy crafting!

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Shopping For Gifts Online Makes Life Easier

(category: Crafts, Word count: 781)
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In the past, our lives didn't feel or seem as chaotic as they are today. In this day and age, many people find it hard to even allocate time to look after some of their most basic necessities. Fortunately for us, the advent of the internet has cured most of our time and location dilemmas. The phenomena known as the Internet has provided a crutch for us and helps most people solve their daily problems and support their daily needs. From communicating with a boss to seeing if your kids' school is closed, negotiating deals and catching up with a lost friend, from sending a gift basket to a loved one just to say hi or showing your deepest sympathies, the internet has provided us a means for almost everything we need with only a few clicks of a mouse. The advancements of computing technologies in this day and age are making some areas of life much easier, as this write up about shopping for gifts online will elucidate.

The question that we must first answer; why do people feel the need to purchase gifts for their loved ones, friends and colleagues? The simplest answer can be that a gift is a way of expressing our feelings or thoughts to somebody else that may be hard to express through other means. A gift is quite possibly the best way to express oneself to somebody else, because of the many emotions involved with receiving a gift. When the receiver opens up the package and reads the card, they are first overwhelmed by the fact that somebody spent their much valued time, effort and money on sending them a gift. The second emotion usually involves the message being expressed through the gift, which may be congratulations, recognition, sympathy, or just thinking of you. This emotion usually sends the receiver into a euphoric state overcome by the thought of getting such a wonderful surprise and through the way the sender expressed his or her feelings or thoughts. These emotions and feelings tied to gift giving and receiving is what keeps customers shopping the internet day in and day out for gifts and gift baskets.

We now know the advantages of receiving gifts but the idea of purchasing and sending a gift to a loved one, friend or colleague can make most people nauseous. That was before the internet came into our lives, when one would have to plan out which store to shop, drive there, walk around looking for the best way to express to their selves, find the right gift, go home wrap it and ship it. Phew, that was exhausting just writing down! Now there are no worries because of the many gift shops online.

One of the main advantages of shopping for gifts online is, like any other commodity, the variety of mediums one can choose from. Whether you want a gift or gift basket sent to USA, Middle East, Europe or South East Asia it is all possible and quite easy while shopping on the internet. While much gift shopping occurs in Asia, India, China and other eastern countries, the majority of the marketplace lies in the western world. There are scores of websites in N. America and Europe that offer high quality and inexpensive gifts and gift baskets to the masses.

Now we know how to give and receive gifts and gift baskets, so let's get into the science behind it. While shopping online for gifts, most stores will have your general gift ideas such as baby gifts, corporate gifts, wine & fruit baskets, holiday gifts, hand delivered gifts, and many other items for you loved ones, friends and colleagues. While shopping for the perfect gift, do not be overwhelmed by the vast selections offered but hone in on what you want to express and keep in mind the mood of the occasion without losing the personality of you and the receiver. Baby gifts will always subtle pink & blues with necessities for newborn and their parents. A corporate gift will express your professionalism with a splash of your personality.

A majority of the gifts and gift baskets you will run into online will be comprised of cookies, wines, fruits and chocolates along with some decorations to highlight moods and styles. Thank you, congratulations, breakfast, sympathy, coffee and tea, spa, wedding and birthday baskets are some universal gifts that one may come across at most of these online shopping stores. With this brief overview of the advantages of giving and receiving gifts through the internet, one could see why shopping for gifts online makes life easier in many ways.

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