Monday, 21 April 2008

Traditional Recipes From Wales

Click on the images to make them bigger so that you are able to read the recipe

5 Interesting and Simple DIY Craft Activities at Home with Your Toddler

By Jas Ng

Recently my friends keep asking me on how to find simple activities for children at home, and not every weekend just do window shopping. Here I share my seven interesting and simple D.I.Y craft activities at home with your toddler. Hope you will enjoy to do this activities with your child at home!

Craft #1 Egg Painting.

Material you need is egg shell. Keep egg shells during your cooking, this can be done by removing all the egg white and egg yoke without breaking the whole egg, but just a small hole on top of the egg. Keep as many egg shell as you can to allow your children enjoy with different egg painting experience. You can use any coloring medium such as acrylic, watercolor, poster color, color pencil, crayon, as long as your children comfortable with it!

Craft #2 Origami.

Origami is another fun craft that you should do with your children at home. Do a search in internet, simply type origami diagram in the search engine, you can find thousand of web site of free diagram with clear instruction to follow. Origami is the best craft for your children to learn about basic mathematic such as shapes, angel, numbers and sequence.

Craft #3 Paper Mosaic Art.

Mosaic art is another interesting craft activity that I always do with my children. What you need is two to three pieces of colorful construction paper, drawing block, PVA glue, color pencil or watercolor.

Craft #4 Self Portrait.

Every children love self portraits. What you need is drawing block in A4 size, pencil for your child to scribble their self portraits and some stickers as embellishment. Once it is done, ask your child to sign on it!

Craft #5 Family scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking is another interesting craft that you should do with your child. The most easy theme is family trip scrapbooking. This is done by collecting all the photos during the trip, glue them in proper order followed the itinerary on the A4 colorful construction paper, then just add a few words to describe the happening in the trip. Lastly, paste some interesting embellishment to make the scrapbooking design look great!

Hope your children enjoy all the above activities!

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How to Make a Denim Pouch Pocket for Those Webkinz

By Diane Palmer

Do you have a bunch of those webkinz that you would like to display?.. Rather than have them all piled up on a shelf or on the bed, or stuffed away in boxes, for the day they become more valuable, why not display them on your wall?

All you need, are an old pair of adult size denim jeans. (ones with fairly big back pockets), a good pair of scissors, and some imagination for decorating.

Make sure the jeans are clean and then cut out around the back pockets, cutting through all layers of the seat of the jeans.

You should have formed a pocket where you can place your webkinz or special stuffie. Now, go back to your jeans, and cut out the inner seam of the jeans, to whatever length you would like, as this is for your hanger. I cut 18 inches, but you can do shorter or longer, if you have enough jean seam.

Sew the edges of the seam to each side of your pocket and then decorate your pocket with a painting, beads, appliqués, quilting, a denim fringe, use your imagination. This is a great craft for teens or older children. Then hang them on the wall with a colorful pushpin or hook, and then place your webkinz in the pocket. click here to see my pouch pocket. Also check out the latest in webkinz at and get creating homes for them on your wall. Article and website by Diane Palmer

Thursday, 13 March 2008

A Lovely Easter Cake

I ound this adorable Easter cake in a Magazine. The little chicks on the top are fashioned from marzipan - arn't they cute? Click on the image to make it big enough to read.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Kids’ Craft Ideas - Growing Your Own Balloon Garden

by Magrietha Du Plessis

Crafts will always be a very important teaching tool for anyone teaching little kids. Kids learn best by "doing." Homeschoolers and especially unschoolers can use this balloon craft as part of a biology lesson. This is a wonderful kids' craft idea, that is fun and easy to do and also a great first lesson about plants. This craft use balloons so watch the little ones, while you are doing this craft, to prevent suffocation!

All you need for this kids' craft idea is a medium or large sized, clear balloon, a little earth and water, some seeds, a small funnel and a piece of string. Radish seeds work well, but you could use almost any seeds that are easy to grow.

Kid's Craft Ideas Step by Step – How to make your first balloon garden

1. Don't blow your balloon up yet! Put the mouth of the balloon over the funnel and hold it firmly in place (this is where an extra pair of adult hands comes in useful!) Tip in around a ½ cup of earth – enough to almost fill the deflated balloon.

2. Now gradually add water, via the funnel again, until the earth is wet through. Don't put too much water in or it will all just turn to mud and start overflowing!

3. Dry your funnel, then add your final ingredients, the seeds, into the balloon, still holding it firmly in its upside down position.

4. Still holding the balloon upside down, so that you don't get a mouthful of dirt, carefully blow it up.

5. Tightly make a knot in the top of the balloon, then tie your string around it and use the string to hook the balloon garden up near a window or other well-lit place.

Making balloon gardens is a fun thing to do at birthday parties, and will keep the kids occupied and happy for ages – as long as you don't mind the mess! On a summer's day, it's best done in the backyard.

Balloon gardens also make lovely gifts, the children can make them for an adult friend or relative and the recipient will be delighted – especially when they hang the balloon garden up and it grows green and lush.

Grandmothers and grandfathers especially love this kid's craft idea – either to do with the kids (especially a granddad who is a gardening enthusiast) or just to receive a balloon garden craft as a gift. They will love that the kids will want to keep coming back to visit them and seeing how their balloon garden is growing.

When the balloon garden slowly dies off, it is a good opportunity to explain to your kids about the cycle of life, and to help them make a new balloon garden! Use this opportunity to teach them a variety of facts about nature, not only the cycle of life. Plants need water, fresh air, good soil etc. to grow. You can also work a lesson about seasons into this craft.

Enjoy your "Balloon Craft."

How to Draw a Chicken and a Lamb for Easter

Chickens and Lambs have long been associated with Easter because it is a time of new beginnings and new life. It also helps that baby chicks and lambs are so adorable. Here are some plans to show you step by step how to draw a realistic looking chicken and lamb. Great for card making. Get the kids learning how to draw them, it will give you a quiet half an hour and they will feel a great sense of achievement when they draw something that looks so real.

Click on the images to enlarge them so that they are readable - you can also print them off to make them easier to draw.


Homemade card ideas

Homemade card ideas! Create you own unique fun simple cards at home.

This card idea uses Whispers Templates and inks for a layered effect.

It looks really great and could also be used for invertations or dinner placement cards.

Click on the image to make it large enough to read.

A great card making tip just in time for Easter!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Bird Feeding Pine Cones

Birds that stay in places all through the winter need food. One winter craft that students can do is to make a pine cone bird feeder. Students simply need to cover a pine cone in peanut butter and dip it in bird seed. After tying a bit of string to one of these pine cones, it can be hung up on a tree outside. These pine cone bird feeders do not just feed the birds, they act as beautiful ornaments for an outdoor tree.

How To Make an Easter Egg Candy Bowl

Easter is the one time of the year we can have chocolate and not feel guilty.

So why not make nice and colorful decoration for your Easter table this year?

Using fresh flowers, medium and small Easter eggs you could create a beautiful centre piece.

The bonus with a centre piece like this is not only does it look good but bits of it are edible.

You will need...

9 medium sized Easter eggs
1 bag of solid Easter eggs (or candy eggs)
1 packet of wooden skewers
1 medium posy bowl/posy bowl guard
1 wet oasis
1 bunch of flowers (flowers can be all the same or mixed or even out of your own garden)
stem tape
0.18g wire

Step 1

Trim the oasis to fit the posy bowl.

Then push the oasis into the bowl, place the guard on top of the oasis and lock it into position.

Wet the oasis.

Step 2

Take your bunch of fresh flowers and break it up into flowers and greenery. Take two of the same flower and set them a side. Do not trim the stems on these two flowers.

Trim the stems of the remaining flowers and greenery so that when you push them into the oasis they won't snap.

Step 3

Some flowers will need to be strengthend so they can stand up in the oasis. You can do this by wiring the flower. The gerbera is a good example of a flower that would need to be strengthened as it has a heavy head with a soft flexible stem.

To do this just push the wire through the top of the stem near the head of the flower. Use a 0.18g wire for this as the wire needs to be quite thin.

Pull the wire through so that you have wire either side of the stem. Now stem tape so the wire can't be seen.

Step 4

You must be sure to strip any lower leaves off the stems of the flowers and foliage. The reason we do this is so that there is no leaf matter near the moisture, which would cause the stems to rot.

Cut all stems at a 45 degree angle to improve water take-up.

Step 5

Take your skewers and push your Easter eggs onto them. You can stem-tape the skewers if you wish.

You will need to keep three of the medium Easter eggs on long skewers. Trim the rest to about half (if they need more trimming this can be done later)

With the soild Easter eggs you may have to heat the tip of the skewer with boiling water to help soften the chocolate.

Step 6

Push one of the medium Easter eggs into the approximate middle of the oasis, take a flower and place it in front of the egg.

The flower should sit about halfway down the skewer. Now take one of the flowers you didn't trim and push it into the front of the oasis, near the edge of the posy bowl. Do the same at the back of the posy bowl.

Make sure they are both angled up slightly.

Step 7

Angle the other two easter eggs out from the middle egg, one on the left and one on the right. Start to push some of the flowers into the oasis at this point. You don't want any of the oasis to show. Once all the flowers are in add the rest of the Easter eggs to help break up color. Do not group too many eggs together in the same spot.

Step 8

Now all the eggs and flowers are in place just finish off with the greenery. Place any leaves around the outer edge of the bowl. Overlapping the greenery will help to finish off the look of the table decoration giving the posy bowl a fanned look.

Place a leaf under the flowers at the front and back of the bowl. If you have any smaller leaves left then push them into the gaps in the top of the oasis.

Peta Fletcher has been making bouquets for over 14 years. Her website has lots of free information on bouquets, including wedding bouquets, and candy bouquets

Article Source:

Easter Crafts

Click the images to enlarge the magerzine clippings big enough to read.

Make some cute Easter chicks, Easter bunnies and hen egg cosies for Easter. Great little makes to keep the kids busy!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Knitted Birds

Click the image to make it large enough to read, or to print off and keep.

This is a great little knitting pattern. I knitted a blue tit last night whilst watching TV. Very quick and easy to knit, and very adorable.
For knitted bird tea cosies visit

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Popcorn Versus Potpourri

By Anne Clarke

I remember when taking a long string and making popcorn garland was one of my family's favorite holiday crafts. In addition to it being a very inexpensive way to add ambiance in our tree-decorating adventures, it was something the family enjoyed doing together. However, there are downsides to a popcorn garland - it is fragile, a little greasy, and the dogs go after it. So we decided to upgrade by making our own ornaments with scented potpourri. It was a hit right away, and best of all, our living room had the soothing, lingering smell of pine needles instead of popcorn.

Now it is our new tradition to make these lovely scented balls of colorful potpourri to decorate our Christmas tree every year. Here is how it works:

You will need:

Clear glass or plastic ornaments
Edging lace
Ribbons for bows and for hanging
A hot glue gun and plenty of hot glue
Small dried flowers or artificial flowers
Pine essential oil, vanilla oil, or your choice of scent
Colorful potpourri

With these simple instructions and ingredients, you can make a statement with a new twist on holiday decorations that are perfect for the occasion. It does not have to be expensive, and it can even become a craft the whole family will love. Potpourri tree ornaments are not even an expensive undertaking. And they are certain to brighten the room and to make the air fresh and fragrant.

Prepare your potpourri however you like, whether this means just picking out a colorful potpourri, or even adding a safe, colored paint to the pieces of potpourri. Perhaps you will want to add to or strengthen the fragrance with scented oils. However you go about making it ready, after preparing your potpourri, fill each ornament about one-third of the way full with the potpourri mix. Then sprinkle a bit of glitter into the ornament. If you prefer, you may want to mix in the glitter when you prepare the potpourri, to make it simpler. This will also assure that you do not spill or overfill the ornaments. Remember, glitter is messy, and you don't need much, so be careful. If you have plastic ornaments that open wide enough, it is beautiful to have a whole flower in your ornament, resting on the potpourri.

Use the glue gun to set your ornaments tightly, as well as to decorate your ornaments with ribbon, bows, lace, and flowers, as well as to set the hooks (if your ornaments have hooks), or make loops of ribbon from which your ornaments can hang. You will love the wonderful aroma, the bright décor, and the new ambiance of your Christmas at home with simple, inexpensive decorating changes. Experience Christmas in a different way by experimenting with all kinds of different new and creative ways to decorate your home both indoors and outdoors. Brighten your own holiday for you and for your guests this year with crafty decorations like potpourri ornaments.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching, gardening, and fashion. For more of her useful articles about home decor, please visit, supplier of fine Dining & Kitchen supplies, Garden & Patio decor and more.

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Garden Art Ideas - How to Make Your Planters Into Beautiful Garden Art

By Anne Clarke

Garden stores have so many different types of garden art for your to choose from – there are beautiful water features like ponds and fountains, as well as statues, wind chimes, birdhouses, and so much more. But why not go ahead and make your own garden art? Why not make sure that your garden fully reflects your own personality, and nobody else’s?

When it comes to making your own garden art, there are so many different possibilities as to what you can do that it can almost be overwhelming. That is why I am going to focus on just one type of garden art in this article: planters. Check out these fun and unique ideas for your garden pots and planters:

The Spilt Planter

Add a little humor to your garden with a “spilt planter.” Find an ordinary pot or barrel and tip it on its side in your garden. Fill the planter part way with soil, and then spread the rest out in front of it as though it has spilled out. Choose a few of your favorite flowers and plant them in the spilled-out soil. Warning: this fun and whimsical idea is one that may have do-gooders coming up and trying to fix the spill… until they see that the plants are actually planted in the ground.

Bathtub Planter

Find a bathtub (a clawfoot tub, preferably) at a thrift store, garage store, or even from your remodeled bathroom. Fill her up with good soil and then plant a small garden! It can also be fun to use a bathtub as a pond. It is even possible to find a way to hook your garden hose up so that you can have water coming out of the bathtub waterspout.

Thrift Stores Gems

There are many other things that plants can be planted into (besides planters and pots… and bathtubs). Why not go to an antique shop or a thrift store and see what you can find! You can plant a pair of cacti in a pair of cowboy boots. Why not plat a snapdragon in a tea cup? You can use vases, pots and pans, tires, helmets, and so many other things as planters. You may not know what item can double as a perfect garden planter until you go out and find it.

Pottery By Your Own Hand

Why not sign up for a pottery class and make your very own planter! Granted, you may make a pot that is only large enough for one petunia, but it is so much fun to create your own shapes and to glaze your pot in whatever color you want. Homemade pots with a flower in each make excellent gifts, as well.

Pot makeovers

If you already have a pot that you like, why not just dress it up a bit? Go ahead and glue a ribbon around the rim or even add sequins, buttons, scrabble letters, or other items! You can also completely makeover a pot – you just need some Mod Podge (a wonderful, glue-like substance) and some magazines. Cut or rip out some favorite pictures from magazines (or use photographs, newspaper, brown paper bags, tissue paper, etc.) and Mod Podge them all over your pot. Use a weather-proofing finishing spray to top it off. (If you are using a terra cotta pot or another pot that breathes and is not glazed, be sure that you heavily coat the pot with Mod Podge before you add your pictures, and consider placing another planter inside the pot to keep the magazine pictures from puckering when you water your plant.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on gardening and garden art, please visit Garden Art.

Vampire Bat Cake

By: S Roberts

2 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp boiling water
225g/8oz soft margarine
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 eggs
225g/8oz self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder

For the Filling and Topping:
Strawberry jam
50g/2oz soft margarine
175g/6oz icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp milk
A bar of Cooking Chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and base line 20cm/2x8in sandwich tins with greased greaseproof paper.

2. Blend the cocoa and water in a mixing bowl then leave to cool slightly. Measure all the remaining ingredients into the bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and level out.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for a few moments then turn out, peel off the paper and finish cooling on a wire rack.

4. To make the butter cream, blend together the margarine, icing sugar and milk until smooth. Keep one of the pieces of sponge cake whole to form the base. Spread a thin even layer of jam on the cake base, and add half the icing and spread this out over the top of the jam.

5. Take the second piece of sponge and with a large round pastry cutter, cut a circle in the middle of the sponge. Now cut two more circles, one above and one below the centre hole. The two big cake halves left form the bats wings, stick them on top of the base of the cake with the scalloped shaped edges sticking outwards. (see picture)

6. Take two of the three circles that were cut away when making the wings. Stick the two circles together with jam and icing and stick them in one of the triangle shapes between the wings to form the bats head. The final circle should be cut in half and stuck with icing above the bats head to form the ears. Bats have large ears you know.

7. Melt the cooking chocolate in the microwave for a couple of minutes - stiring half way through. Melt the cooking chocolate in the microwave for a couple of minutes - stirring half way through. Spread the chocolate evenly over the bat's wings, head and ears. Give the Bat a face with some icing and red jelly sweets for spooky eyes.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Tea Cosy Knitting Pattern – Skull

S. Roberts

Not even the teapot can escape the Halloween festivities if you make this Halloween Skull tea cosy. The Skull tea cosy is made from double thickness yarn for extra insulation.

This tea cosy was designed by

To make the (White) Skull tea cosy you will need...
5.5 mm, UK size 5 or US size 9 knitting needles,
50g White Double knitting wool,
25g Black Double knitting wool,
And the Skulls face pattern which can be printed off at the link below

Divide the Black and White balls of wool into two balls so that the yarn can be used as double thickness but knitted up as a single strand.

The Back
Using size 5.5mm knitting needles and double thickness white yarn cast on 28 stitches and work 4 rows in straight garter stitch (Knit each row)

Then work 22 rows of Stocking Stitch (one row knit, one row purl)

Leave the stitches on a spare needle until later.

The Front
Using size 5.5mm knitting needles and double thickness white yarn cast on 28 stitches and work 4 rows in straight garter stitch

Then work 20 rows from the pattern to create the skulls face.

Row 21: K
Row 22: P

Shaping the top...
Using Red wool as a double yarn proceed to knit across the tea cosy front and then tea cosy back as Follows...

Shaping the top Row 1: *K5, K2 tog* repeat to end
Next and every alternate row Purl.
Row 3: *K4, K2 tog* repeat to end.
Row 5: *K3, K2 tog* repeat to end.
Row 7: *K2, K2 tog* repeat to end.
Row 9: *K1, K2 tog* repeat to end.
Row 11: *K2 tog* repeat to end.

Thread the end of the yarn through the remaining stitches and through the loop of the yarn itself and draw up the knitting tightly and Finnish off.

With the front and back right sides together, sew about 9.5cm from the finishing off point down the side seam towards the cast on edge.

At the bottom of each side seam, sew about 3cm upwards. The holes are left for the teapot handle and spout.

Finish off all the ends inside the tea cosy left over from knitting the face.

For the free print out of the skull face please click here
The Skull tea cosy was designed by – Tea cosies with character.

Homemade Chocolate Truffles Recipe

By Melanie Mendelson


16 oz dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp liquor (optional) (if using, coffee liquor goes really well here)


Break up the chocolate into small pieces.

Heat the cream just to the point of simmering. Watch it the whole time, since boiling cream can overflow the pot! Remove from heat right away once it starts to simmer.

Stir in the chocolate and liquor, and keep stirring until the chocolate has melted completely. Let cool, then put in the refrigerator.

Check the consistency of the truffle mixture after 5 hours in the refrigerator. You should be able to scoop it with a spoon and roll balls from it. If it's too soft (impossible to roll into balls), put it back in the refrigerator and check again after 1 hour.

Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the truffle mixture is the right consistency, use a spoon to put some of it on your hands, roll into balls and put the balls on the parchment paper.

Note: at this point, you can also roll the truffles in chocolate crumbs (to make chocolate crumbs, just grind an additional small chocolate bar in a food processor). This step is optional, I only do it when presentation is important, since the truffles in chocolate crumbs look more professionally done then plain truffles :)

Put the baking sheet with truffles in the freezer for at least 1 hour. After you remove them from the freezer, take the truffles off the parchment paper and put on a plate. Store the truffles in the refrigerator.


Melanie Mendelson has been making a living on the Internet since 2002. Get her step-by-step Internet Business Blueprint FREE at

Learn To Make Crochet Flower - Beginner Crochet Tutorial On Flower Crocheting

By Jennifer Walter

What come to your mind when you hear the word flowers, yes splendid colors mixed in one and refreshing to say the least. Be it real flowers that grow in your garden on the the neighborhood park or even artificial ones that are available in multiple colors and also prints.

With all the different colors and aura they come with can help lighten the mood of the most distressed too. Flowers lighten my mood too. And the fact that I know crocheting it allows me to make stupendous craft things with flower theme like fashion accessories for my beautiful daughter, which she can wear outdoors, and hat pins as well. Such designer flowers are rather easy to craft provided you have knowledge of Crochet.

If you can find time to surf the net you will be able to find website that provide online tutorial for easy crochet flower. There are many websites or blogs out there on the internet which should provide you great content and tips on this subject alone.

Here I shall teach you how you can make a simple yet attractive crochet flower.

You can start with a plain crochet hook and 2-3 colors of yarn. Why yarn? This thing can be made with threads too but I simply prefer yarn. Ensure that the dimension of the yarn is fitting well with hook size. Take your first color and use chain six.

Revert to chain number one and do a dc and next go to chain two. Do this time and again and put all these into chain number one. You have eight spokes in hand. Attach the circle with sl st in chain number 3 at your left (this is chain 3 from first spoke) Now build (sc, ch 1, 2 dc, ch 1, sc) and then attach all arches you have made. In this way you learnt to make a petal.

Do this in all eight arches and this will give you your 1st flower. Attach a sl st with 1st sc on the 1st petal. Rotate the flower. Pick another color of your choice, and then create a slipknot and place a crochet hook beneath the color spoke and then draw the 2nd color yarn through.

You are left with two stitches on the hook, draw the hook besides to create one. Chain number six & work a dc through subsequent spoke, chains number three. Redo this dc, chain number three on every spoke. Now create a sl st through 3rd chain of the 1st row that you have already done.

Now turn it to its flip side on right hand side. Place the 1st color petals a little ahead and then do (sc, chain 1, 3 dc, chain 1, sc) above every arch. Put together sl st through 1st sc. Cast off.

With this your flower is prepared. Applying similar steps you can create 2,3,4 or even 5 with have different or similar colors. With every new whirls the flower size will grow bigger. So make one the way that you really want to do.

Find great deal of free information on how to create crochet pattern and tutorials on how to crochet a simple afghan at, the most popular crocheting portal by expert author and crafter, Jennifer Walter.

Article Source:

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

How to Make a Real Cup of English Tea

Since the rise of the humble teabag which was introduced to the UK by Tetley Tea in 1953, the art of making a real cup of English tea has been on the decline, with many ‘tea drinkers’ choosing to mash their tea in a mug. Of course back in the Victorian times, taking tea was more of an event; with the ‘tea maker’ even mixing a blend of tea leaves them selves. Interestingly, the first tea bag recorded was in around 1908. Introduced by a gentleman called Thomas Sullivan, from the USA. The Victorian connoisseurs of tea must have rejected the idea. After all, the Victorians enjoyed the whole event of tea drinking and chattering – why would they want to speed up the process?

To make a real cup of tea you will need…
A quality blend of tea leaves. Loose tea is best, however a good brand of tea bags will suffice. (Remember if the tealeaves were cheap – the tea will taste accordingly) If you choose to use leaves you will also need a tea strainer.

You will also need a kettle full of boiling water, a teapot, a teaspoon, a china mug or cup and saucer, milk and sugar to taste.

First pour around a quarter of a pint of the boiling water into the teapot. Put the lid on the teapot and swill the hot water around inside the teapot before pouring the water out of the spout and down the sink. This is called ‘Warming the Pot’.

Warming the teapot ensures that when the teapot is filled with water for making tea, that the water will remain hot and wont loose any heat tot he teapot. Keeping the tea water hot not only keeps the finished tea at an optimum temperature for drinking, but also helps with the tea brewing itself. Piping hot water aids the tealeaves to effuse.

One the teapot is hot, you should add the tealeaves. The general rule is to add a teaspoon of loose tea or a teabag for every person who will be taking tea, plus ‘One for the Pot’. Therefore, if five people are taking tea, you should add six teaspoons of tealeaves or six teabags to the teapot.

Now pour on the boiling water. You should add enough water to fill everyone’s teacup. Put the lid on the teapot to retain the heat. Leave the teapot to stand for two minutes.

Then remove the teapot lid and stir the tea with a spoon. Replace the lid and again leave it to stand two more minutes. The tea is now ready for pouring.

China cups are best for drinking tea from, which is why the Victorians chose to drink from beautiful china tea sets. It just makes the tea taste better.

Controversy has arisen as to when the milk should be added to tea. Some people saying that the milk should be poured in first and others saying that the tea is poured first. Obviously as a nation we have got used to brewing tea in a mug. This way the tea is always added first. However, to make a real cup of English tea the milk is always added to the cup first, followed by the tea.

Sugar is than added last to taste. A sugar bowl is necessary because it largely depends on the size of the cup as to how much sugar you will take in your tea. The larger the cup or mug the more sugar you may need. Of course with just a small china cup you need far less sugar.

When the tea has been poured, the teapot should be again filled with boiling water in readiness for a second serving. Stir the tea and replace the lid and cover the teapot with a tea cosy to keep the tea piping hot. By the time you have drunk your first cup of tea, the second batch of tea will be ready for pouring.

We should bring back the art of tea making. It’s a relaxing social event that everyone young and old can enjoy. Funny isn’t it how we buy little girls pretty little tea sets to make imaginary tea for their dollies, and yet as adults we have removed the fun and we just sling a teabag in a mug. Join the campaign and dig out your teapot and treat yourself and your friends and family to a real English cup of tea and a chat, today.

Visit for quality, hand knitted, woollen, character tea cosies. Tea Cosy Folk tea cosy designs are exclusive to and not only look charming but also keep the tea piping hot ready for the second cup of tea.

How to make a Pinata - Step by step instructions

Weather you decide to buy one or if your are looking for step by step instructions of how to make a pinata your self, pinata's are a great addition to any party.Here are simple step by step instruction on how to make a pinata - This is what you need -







Crepe paper for decorating

And a Pen or a Crayon

How to make a Pinata

1. Make your papermache Cut the newspaper into long strips . Mix the flour and water to make a smooth paste.Inflate a balloon.(which ever shape you wish to use)
Dip each paperstrip in the flour water mixture and stick it over the balloon form.Cover the entire balloon with paper strips and let it dry. Cover the balloon with atleast 2 layers of paper and let it dry completely atleast for 12-24 hours.Thats your paper mache ready.

2. Getting the Pinata ready for decorating Cut an opening on the top of the pinata form to insert candy in it. Make 2 spots at the top on the opposite sides and pass a thread through it so you can hang your pinata.

3. Now for decorating the pinata...If you are looking at making a pinata of simple form, you can use 2 or different color crepe paper and cut strips right across the length of the paper and use it to decorate the pinata. Spread glue and stick the strips horizontally making layers of different colors appear.And you have a pinata ready for your party.....

Yogi Shinde is a busy Mum and a web master of a kids games website featuring fun games kids can play
You can find more articles on step by step method of how to make a pinata of different shape at Play kid games
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No More Ties! Homemade Father's Day Gift Ideas

By Adriana Copaceanu

If you are like me, you never know what to get dad for Father's Day. Well, today, you'll get a few ideas that will get you out of a bind any time.

Wallet Memories - Cut a business card size rectangle out of poster board. Decorate both sides with stickers, photographs, small messages, or drawings (for kids). Laminate it, and give it to dad. He can keep the card in his wallet - a reminder of your kind gesture.

Daddy Cake - Your child will love creating this Father's Day cake. Bake a cake and then get busy decorating. You can create a golf scene for the golfing dad, a briefcase for the businessman, or simply, just a smiley face. Oh, what fun!

Short story - Write a short story where the hero is your dad. Don't forget to mention some of the things you've always taken for granted, and never thanked him for. This will be a great keepsake for him. An alternative to this would be to write a poem for your dad and frame it for him.

Father of The Year Banner - design a father of the year banner and post it in the front yard before dad gets home on Father's Day.

Breakfast in Bed - we always do this for mom, but this time, make dad's favorite breakfast and serve him in bed. Better yet, make breakfast for 2 and leave him and mom alone to enjoy it.

Scented Pillow - sew a small pillow and fill it with cotton and a few drops of either clary sage, marjoram or ylang-ylang, or a combination of them, for an anti-stress effect. If you like, you can also hand-embroider some sweet saying like "World's Best Dad".

Adriana Copaceanu provides people with creative gift ideas that don't blow the bank. If you are looking for Father's Day Gift Ideas, look no further. Want regular reminders on gift-giving? Sign up for her free monthly newsletter, Gift News
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Fathers Day Crafts

Father's Day crafts are a perfect way for kids to show their love to their fathers without spending a huge amount of money. Father's Day crafts are articles made out of material available around the house and fashioned into cute gifts by kids. Father's Day crafts are especially popular with girls.

The greatest advantage of Father's Day crafts is that they can be prepared by children as young as three or four years old, thereby giving them a chance to know the true meaning of the celebration.

There are various examples of items and articles that can be created by children out of materials like glue, cardboard, crayons and other simple materials found commonly in households. Hand-made cards are good examples of simple father's day crafts.

The various materials used for making Father's Day crafts include cardboard, felt, paper, glue, Popsicle sticks, crayons, markers, scissors, papier-mâché, construction paper, shoe boxes, cereal boxes and juice containers.

Some examples of crafts are given below:

Business Card Holders, using Popsicle sticks, craft paint, glue and various decorations.

Pad Holder, using Post-It Pads, cardboard, markers and crayons, glue, scissors and a magnet if the pad holder has to be magnetic.

Billiards Clock, using felt paper of various colors, black marker, glue, scissors, corrugated cardboard and a set of clockworks.

A Party Pot, which is basically any material of pot painted and then glued with decorative paper.

Cute bookends with personal messages of photos can be created out of cardboard cartons, newspapers, papier-mâché, paste, and painting material.

Door knobs and wall hangings can be made from cardboard, decorations and crayons.

Fathers Day provides detailed information on Father's Day, Father's Day Cards, Father's Day Crafts, Father's Day Gift Baskets and more. Fathers Day is affiliated with Mother's Day.
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Thursday, 7 February 2008

Hooting Halloween Owl Cakes

280g butter, softened
280g golden caster sugar
200g self-raising flour, minus 1 rounded tbsp
1 rounded tbsp cocoa powder
6 medium eggs

For Icing and Decoration
200g butter, softened
280g icing sugar, sifted
1 tube orange ready-to-use icing
1 small bag Maltesers
1 tube choco M&Ms minis (use just the brown sweets) or Cadbury's mini buttons
1 tub jelly diamonds (just the orange ones)

1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with brown muffin cases. Beat the first 5 ingredients to a smooth batter and spoon between the cases, almost filling them to the top. You may have a little left over. Bake for 20-25 mins until risen and spongy. Cool on a rack.

2. Beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Slice off the very tops of the cakes and cut each piece in half. Spread a generous layer of icing over each cake.

3. Working on one cake at a time, squirt a pea-sized blob of orange icing onto two Maltesers and use to fix a brown M&M on each. Sit the eyes, two pieces of cake top (curved edge up) and a jelly diamond on the icing to make an owl.

Click Here for a Vampire Bat Halloween Cake
Spookiness from

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Sources of Free Invitation Templates - How to Choose the Best One

There are tons of online sites that offer free invitation templates for birthday celebrations. If you're not that creative when it comes to words, you can always go to the Internet and look for ideas from party-planning sites, paper printing resources and even art-related sources. Whatever the occasion might be, the Internet can provide you with a lot of ideas and suggestions on how to go about composing those invitation words.

For the busy organizer, printing free invitation templates might be the best option. These free templates can be found in party sites and there are probably hundreds of them. Some of these are PartyCat, Gatsby and Paper Alchemy; just to name a few. You can either print the free materials or copy them and incorporate them into your personally-made designs. Sources are unlimited, but choosing the best one is another matter.

Since sites that offer such services are numerous, you might get a bit lost when it comes to choosing the appropriate template or words for your invitations. To help you choose the best one, here are some pointers.

1. What kind of party will you be holding? Is it formal? A child party? A party for a friend? Always consider the type of party for which the invitations are being made. Is it a black tie dinner? An outdoor event? A kiddie party? Whatever the case may be, your search will be much easier if you knew what kind of celebration you will be holding.

2. The age and personality of the celebrant. Of course, you cannot choose poetic and emotionally-laden invitation words if you are inviting kids, they just would not understand them yet. Select templates that best describe the celebrant's personality. If he or she is a fun-loving person, choose funny messages that highlight the celebrant's sense of humor. However, make sure that you don't go beyond being funny to being insolent. If you are not sure what is funny and what is tactless, forget about funny messages and stick with standard invitation words.

3. Make sure that the templates suit the invitation design. Poetic and serious messages do not suit a disco party-themed invitation, just like funny messages will not be appropriate for invitations for a formal dinner party. The best thing to do is to decide what design you will have for your invitation. This, of course, should reflect the theme of the party. Once you've selected your design, choosing the words will be much easier.

4. Use more than one template if the guests are diverse in terms of age and their relationship with the celebrant. A particular message might appeal to the celebrant's closest friends, but might not be appreciated by those whose connection with the birthday person is more formal and more professional. You can avoid the risk of offending anyone by using one set of message for one set of guests and a different one for another group of invitees. Just make sure that you can identify who's who in relation to the celebrant.

Free invitation templates make the job of creating invitation messages much easier. For the busy organizer, the answer to your dilemma is just one mouse click away.
Find loads of birthday invitation information and advice, articles and free invitation templates at your #1 Birthday invitation resource:

How To Make Paper Tissue Flowers

Learning how to make tissue paper flowers is an easy and creative way to spend your time. I was unfortunately involved in a horrific accident a while ago and bed ridden for months as a result of this accident. With all this time on my hands, I decided to read up on different ways to express myself through the art of making them. This hobby is so relaxing that I recommend it to anyone, no matter what their age or creative ability.

There are only a handful of items that are needed to create a paper tissue flower and most of them can be found right around your house. You need some tissue paper and a pipe cleaner, a pencil, a pair of scissors and a ruler. Then you will have everything needed to start and complete your project.

You can begin by folding each sheet the width of a pencil (accordion or fan style). Then lay all the sheets on top of each other making sure all the creases meet. Then fold the whole thing again, and put the pipe cleaner in the middle of the accordion. Now wrap the pipe cleaner two times around the accordion and fold down the top of the pipe cleaner and twist. Then, you will carefully cut off each of the ends of the accordion, making the corners round. Then carefully fan out all the sheets so none are stuck together until a fluffy flower appears.

Whole flower bouquets can be made in a broad range of sizes and colors. The petals can be folded or cut at any size imaginable. You can make larger or smaller flowers depending on your taste.You can use many different types of colored tissue paper when designing these flowers. This will create multi-colored blossoms that will be one of the main topics of conversation at your next house party. Tie-dye or colored splashed tissue paper flowers can be used to bring some color to a dull, dreary room or to cheer up a sickly person.

A couple of months ago, I was visiting a dear, old friend in the hospital when I realized that tissue paper flowers would lighten, and cheer up her room drastically. Because she was deafly allergic to real flowers my tissue flowers were the key. The next day I returned to the hospital and brought a vase full of my multi-colored flowers and gave it to her. She was so happy that she began to cry. Thirty plus years I have known this lady and I never saw her so happy, and it gave me this feeling of warmth all over my body that is unforgettable.

There is nothing better than the feeling you get when you look at the finished product. I cannot begin to explain the satisfaction you will get from this inexpensive old pass time. Our great grandmothers, and their grandmothers made these flowers and now we can enjoy this sensational hobby also.

As I said before, its an inexpensive hobby with numerous amounts of paper tissue flowers that can be created. It very therapeutic process that is used in most nursing homes today. It helps to loosen up the fingers of patients with joint pain problems while keeping their minds working and learning. There are no limits on what the imagination can visualize and the rewarding challenge of making these flowers is one of the ways.

I hope you will consider mastering a skill that is just simply amazing to have. You will be thankful you did.

Erich Simko is an avid and enthusiastic Paper Flower creator, Origamist and Arts and Crafts buff. Learning How To Make Paper Tissue Flowers in particular has helped him through difficult times in his life and he believes it will bring much joy to your life as well.

Visit the new Halloween site packed full of fun

Thursday, 31 January 2008

How To Build A Lamp Out Of Rocks

A lamp out of rocks?...Am I crazy? Actually, I have been doing this for a few years now and when done correctly, the final product is beautiful and extremely unique. If you decide to take this venture on, be prepared for your family and friends to be in awe of your new wonderful creation. A stone lamp fits wonderfully in that cabin of yours in the woods or can be placed in that special rustic corner in your traditional home.

Let's get started with the tools and parts you will need. These tools are essential for getting this project done correctly and may require a little bit of a financial investment to get started.

A drill press. The press does not have to be a large, floor can be a bench top type for now. It does have to have a setting on it that will enable the drill to go fairly slowly through the rock. A setting of around 200-300 rounds per minute is best.

A 3/8" mortise bit. The mortise bit for this purpose only has to be around 5" long. DO NOT buy a carbide-coated bit, as these seem to not work as well. Home Depot or Lowe's both carry a standard 3/8" mortise bit for around $5.00.

A lamp kit with a harp included. These lamp kits are easy to use and will come with everything you need to put your lamp together. You will want to make sure the kit comes with a harp also if you are planning on using a shade that requires a harp. These sell for around $8.00 at most hardware stores.

A 3/8" thread rod around 10 inches long. This rod can be bought along with your lamp kit in the hardware's lighting section. Usually, the lengths come in 24" to 36" and cost around $4.00. After you put the lamp together, you will want to cut the rod to length and I will explain how to do that.

A hack saw for cutting the 3/8" rod to length.

A good strong epoxy glue that sets within 30 minutes.

An angle grinder with a wheel suitable to grind rock.

Your Rock

The best place to get your rock for your lamp is to find a dried up riverbed. Rocks from dried riverbeds tend to be easier to drill and lend themselves more easily to making a lamp. Please note: We don't want to disturb riverbeds that are in use by our natural rivers and streams but picking up rock from dried up sources poses no harm to the environment. You will need a base to start with. Look around for a fairly flat base that when set down on a table, it won't rock back and forth but will sit stable. For this project, your base should be about 8 inches square and about 1 inch to 2 inches thick or thereabouts (any variation is ok as long it is fairly flat). After you have found your base, look for smaller rocks of different shapes and sizes and choose ones that are fairly flat on both sides too. This will make it easier to drill and fit together on your lamp. These should be around ½ " thick or so. You will need about 6 of these smaller rocks.

Drilling The Rock

Now that you have gathered your choice rock for your lamp, it is time to drill. Place the base of the rock on your drill press and roughly find the center of the rock. (You do not have to be exactly perfect in finding the center as this is a rustic lamp and if you are a little off, it only makes it more rustic and interesting). You should make sure that where you are going to drill is relatively flat so the drill bit does not dance around on you. (Before you drill, make sure you have a little water on hand to either spray the drill bit or splash some on to it as the drill bit can get very hot and could break if not kept cool). Begin drilling slowly, around 200 to 300 rounds per minute, and continue until you are completely through. did it! Now, repeat these steps with your remaining smaller rock until all are drilled and ready to put together.


Take your length of 3/8" rod and cut it down to about 10" or so. Place the rod into the larger base and start stacking the smaller rock on top. Since none of these rocks are exactly flat, you may have to move them around a little to make sure they fit together snuggly so that the inner rod does not show. After you have completed this process you will most likely have extra rod on top that needs to be cut off. Taking your lamp parts into consideration, you will have to leave enough rod to hold your coupler, your piece that holds your harp, and your actual lamp fixture base. Usually, this means leaving about 1 inch or so above the last stacked rock. You can test this by getting all your lamp parts out, putting them one by one on the top of the extra rod, and then making a mark just under the first piece (coupler) to see how extra rod you need to leave protruding out. Mark your rod where you need to cut it, pull off the rock one by one keeping them in order and cut your rod to length.

Final Assembly

Put your pre-cut rod back into the base and put some of your epoxy glue around the hole where the rod fits into and around a small area where your first small rock is going to sit. Take your first small rock and slide it down over the rod and put it on top of the glued area on your base. (It is important to keep your glue area small so it is not seen after the rocks are placed together). Continue this process until all the rocks are places tightly together on the rod. Make sure the inside of your rod is clear all the way through the center without any obstructions so you can slide your lamp cord through it in the next step. You have now completed the most difficult part of making this lamp. Let your lamp sit for a couple of hours or so to let the glue set up.

Using the directions on your lamp kit box, assemble the rest of the lamp parts as shown. You will have to push your cord all the way through from the bottom of the base. (Sometimes, depending on the rock base, your cord will not sit correctly under the base and may cause the base to rock a little. This is where you will need your angle grinder with a wheel suitable to grind rock. Turn your lamp upside down and take your angle grinder and dig a small indentation from the middle of the rock where the rod is towards the back of the lamp. Just make sure the groove is deep enough to hold the lamp cord).

Finally, spray the lamp with a satin or semi-gloss clear lacquer to seal the rock and to bring out the natural colors of the stone. Apply two or three coats of the lacquer. After the lacquer is dry, you may want to put a piece of felt on the bottom of your lamp so it will not scratch the table it sits on.

Congratulations, you have now made a beautiful rustic stone lamp!

Mike Powers is an internet marketer and craftsman. Mike's website, Clearwater Cabin Living, offers a variety of tools to equip you along the way in creating the cabin and outdoor lifestyle you desire. We offer articles on building and decorating your dream cabin, great trails to hike, camping tips, the best ways to hook a rainbow trout, outdoor cooking and much, much more.

Bingo Card Creator Software

At some point in their lives, most people have played the game of bingo, but even those who haven't probably do know how to play the game. Even if you don't know however, it's very easy to learn!

1. One person acts as the bingo caller and referee.

2. The other participants are all players.

3. Each of the players is given a bingo card containing a grid of squares, each square containing a number.

4. The bingo caller calls out numbers in a random order, and the players mark off any square on their cards which matches the number.

5. When a player gets a complete line across his card (vertical, horizontal or diagonal), he calls out "Bingo!". The first player to call bingo is the winner.

6. If you prefer a longer game, instead of a single winning line you can require two or more complete lines, or even players to mark off every single item on their bingo card.

So far so good - you're probably already familiar with all the above. Today however, variations on the standard game, most frequently using bingo cards containing customized items based around a particular theme (instead of numbers), are growing in popularity.

Some examples include:

- Bingo has become very popular with teachers. This is because it can be adapted to almost any lesson or subject, and thus become a fun as well as educational classroom activity.

- Holiday bingo is played using cards relating to a particular holiday. For example a Christmas-themed game would be played using cards containing words like "angel", Bethlehem or "shepherds". Of course there are many other holidays around the year which can be used to inspire specially themed bingo games, including New Year, Valentine's Day, July 4th, and Halloween.

- Wedding and baby shower bingo are also growing in popularity. As you might expect, these variants are played using words relating to weddings or babies.

If you fancy playing any of these versions of bingo, you will of course need bingo cards relating to your chosen theme. While it may be possible to obtain preprinted cards for certain (not all!) themes from a specialist publisher, the cheapest and most flexible option is almost certainly to print them yourself using your computer. If you use some bingo card creator software, you can simply put in a list of the possible items, and the software will generate as many different cards as you want.

By S. Tanna. For free bingo card printables, please go to create your own custom bingo cards, please go to

More kids games at

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Soups - a Recipe for An Immune System Boost

A strong immune system is your first line of defense against allergies, colds, flu and other illnesses. There are many disease causing viruses and bacteria that invade our systems each day. Having a strong immune system can reduce your chances of becoming ill. There are many ways that you can reduce your risk of catching diseases, including washing your hands well and often, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. There are also many herbal infusions and foods that can also help to boost your immune system.

Your mother's chicken soup cure was right on the money. Make your own by boiling the chicken and seasoning it well to make your own stock. Add fresh vegetables and fresh herbs, such as basil or tarragon, for a soothing, mild flavor. Tip: Basil can be really easy to grow in a garden pot on your back porch!

To make your own soup to strengthen your immune system, follow these guidelines.

For each person you are serving add this per person:

Chop at least one half an onion.
Chop or slice at least two cloves of garlic.

Sauté these well in olive oil until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add chopped fresh vegetables, whatever is in season is fine, or try these

Yellow Squash
Bell Pepper (red, green, yellow or orange)
Green beans

You can try any one or all of them together.

Also add a lot of seaweed, mushrooms and tonic roots. Add sea salt for flavor.

Use seasonings such as:


Make your own vegetable stock by cooking the vegetables and seasonings in a pot of water. Alternatively, you can purchase vegetable stock or vegetable broth; just make sure that you get the low sodium kind.

Add your onions to your vegetables and seasonings, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour. You can also add a little cooking sherry or white wine for a mild flavor. After your soup simmers, remove it from the heat and let it sit overnight in a cool place. This is called "mellowing." The next day you can serve the soup with hard, crusty bread.

Seaweed is very beneficial for removing radiation and heavy metals from the body's tissues. Mushrooms are great for strengthening the immune system. They also work to prevent cancer. Shitake mushrooms are most widely recognized for their medicinal properties and helping to prevent disease and cancer, but other mushrooms, including the button kind, work great too. Try different kinds of mushrooms, including Portobello's, porcinni or others.

Glyconutrients Powder

Yes! You can actually add several scoops of glyconutrients powder directly to the pot or mixed into each bowl without noticing any change in the flavor. Just make sure that the glyconutrients supplement is not a cheap knock-off product and has been formulated correctly so that the vital nutrients will not be denatured in the hot soup. This is a great way to maintain a strong immune system since glyconutrients are essential to immune system function!

To learn more about ingredients in foods that boost the immune system, or for a scientifically validated supplement to boost the immune system, you should look into glyconutrients.
Copyright Spencer Hunt - You may use this article as free content, as long as the links and author bio remain untouched.
Spencer Hunt is an organic gardener who enjoys gardening, composting, and eating to stay healthy for life!
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How To Make A Hemp Necklace The Hippie Way With Insider Tips And Tricks

Materials to make a hemp necklace.


Optional materials.

Shower ring

Step 1. Cut your hemp cord.

a) Cut two cords that are 5 feet 8 inches in length. This is going to be your knotting cord.

Tip - I don't whip out a tape measure every time I need to measure my hemp. I measure it against myself. I pull it out to the width of both my arms spread to their max and cut it their. It's much quicker than measuring it with a tape measure.

b) Cut one thread or thin cord that is 2 feet 10 inches in length. This is going to be your center string. If you are using beads the will go on this string so make sure they fit. I measure it from my finger tips to my neck.

Tip - I like to use more hemp than I need. It's always easier to cut a little bit off than to fix the necklace if their isn't enough.

Step 2. Starting out.

a) Take the two knotting cords they are the thicker and longer cords and tie them together using an over hand knot. To do an over hand knot make a loop go threw the loop and pull tight.

b) Take the shorter thinner center string and both knotting cords and tie them together using an over hand knot two inches from where you made your first over hand knot.

c) Braid all three cords together for about 2 inches. Then tie them off with an over hand knot.

Step 3. Add beads.

a) Add the beads you want to use.

Tip - If it's hard to push the center string threw the beads because they have small holes. Place a drop of general purpose glue on your index finger then position the center string on the glue 4 inches from the end and pinch in place with your thumb. Then pull the string threw your thumb and index finger distributing glue along the final four inches of length. If some areas are still dry repeat. Hang the glued end in the air to dry for thirty minutes to an hour or until hard.

Step 4. Macrame.

Tip - The knots are much quicker and easier to tie if the center string is tight. So I take the loop that I created in step two and put it on a shower ring then I attach the shower ring to a hook or wall. I then take the center string and tie it to one of the belt loops on my pants.

a) Take your two knotting cords. Pull them to opposite sides of the center string.

The basic knot is called a square knot. It can be started from the left or from the right.

Their are two designs that can be created spiral and flat.

The flat design is created when you alternate your knots. Left, right, left, right or right, left, right, left.

The spiral design is created when you tie the same knot. Left, left, left, left or right, right, right, right.

It doesn't matter which knot you start with it matters which knot you follow up with.

Tying a left knot.

a) To tie a square knot starting on the left you take the cord on the left and lay it over the center string creating a loop on the left.

b) Next take the cord on the right and go over the left cord then under the center string and up threw the loop on the left of the center string.

c) Pull tight.

Tying a square knot starting on the right involves the same process started on the right side of the necklace.

When you are ready for a bead move the bead up behind the last knot you tied then tie your next knot on the other side of the bead.

Continue tying knots and adding beads until you get to your desired length.

I usually stop a necklace when the macrame and bead portion is long enough to stretch around my neck and touch ends.

Finish the macrame portion of the necklace by tying all three cords together in an over hand knot.

Step 5 finishing the hemp necklace.

a) Braid all three cords together for about 2 inches. Then tie them off with an over hand knot.

b) Cut off the remaining length of the center string.

c) Take the two knotting cords and tie them together using an over hand knot.

d) Cut off any remaining length and you are done.

Tip - The braided portion and loop on the end is for tying it off. You give them 4 inches of braid and four inches of loop so that they can tie it off to the length they desire and dispose of the rest.

Hi I'm David Depape.
You can visit my hemp necklace website at.
hemp necklace
You can view this article on my website at.
How to make a hemp necklace
I also make hemp bracelets.
hemp bracelets
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How To Make Paper Mache Bowls

I love to make decorative paper mache bowls from newspaper and use tissue paper as the top layers. I know that a lot of people turn this paper mache process into a big and involved project by making paper mache pulp in their blenders. My motto is keep it simple and my results have been very satisfying.

First, I choose a bowl with the form I love. I have a big pottery salad bowl that I'm especially fond of. O.K., the bowl is picked for the form.

Turn it upside down and 'grease' it with petroleum jelly or anything (even Crisco) to keep the paper from sticking to the bowl. It's a good idea to place it on a board or tray to catch drips and also to make it portable as the paper mache bowl needs to dry thoroughly. Tear newspaper into small pieces. You are going to need lots of paper pieces to complete this paper mache bowl. I have used wallpaper paste to adhere the paper to the form. The dry wallpaper paste is easy and cheap because a tablespoon of paste makes alot of glue after it is mixed with water.

ModgePodge thinned out with water works very well I have also used Elmers glue thinned with water. All we are doing here is bonding the wet paper together and smoothing it with the paint brush. Cover the greased form with the newspaper bits one at a time adhering them with the 'glue'. Use a small paint brush to apply the glue or paste.

After the first layer is complete, go on to the second layer and then the third, etc. After a few layers, let the paper mache bowl dry before adding more layers of paper to the paper mache bowl. The more layers you add, the more substantial the bowl will be. Let the bowl dry completely. I let it dry for several days. Take it off the form.

When the paper mache bowl is completed, you have a couple of options:

Paint it inside and out, to complement your decor or add a few layers of tissue paper. Acrylic paint is available in small bottles and works very well on paper. Let your imagination guide you to a masterpiece! I like to use three colors and white tissue, also torn into small pieces, and layered until the newspaper does not show through. The different colors randomly layered, form new colors and shades. Pay attention to the rim of the bowl so it is neat...fold the pieces of tissue over the rim to make a smooth edge.

Hint: save all that tissue paper you receive in gift bags. Use tissue scraps to cover boxes or anything else that catches your fancy.

As a final step, spray the paper mache bowl with a sealer. There are many spray sealers available in craft stores and even Walm art. Making paper mache bowls is a great way to recycle some of the some of the paper that accumulates in our homes. You can use paper mache bowls as the basket for a gift basket, a fruit bowl or to hold potpourri....

I found this gallery of paper mache projects you might enjoy..

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How To Make a Viewfinder

Let me start by telling what a viewfinder is. A viewfinder is a see through frame which will assist you to find the most beautiful area to paint. Now in order to construct a viewfinder read on.

The tools you need to make a viewfinder are cardboard (acid free if available), a good knife, two big paper clips and a ruler. Use the ruler and the knife to cut two equally shaped L pieces of the acid free cardboard. Now the size is up to you but the recommendation is 20 cm (8 inches) for the arms but bigger is fine you can shorten them later. Make the L shape about 5 cm (2 inches) otherwise they will bend when using them. Also to keep in mind the wider the frame of the viewfinder the more unwanted distracting objects are blocked from view.

Use the two big clips to join the two L-shapes together so they form your frame.

You can adjust the frame by sliding the L-shapes horizontally or vertically as you like and as you need. Through the constructed opening you can find the best area to paint by moving it from area to area.

In other words place your viewfinder on your photo (or hold it up in front of the scenery and look through it). Keep adjusting both L-shapes until you have found the composition you like.

This is all there is to it on how to make a viewfinder, it is very simple but very helpful. It is also a good idea to make more then one view finder, make a small one to use on photos and larger ones are perfect for spotting the best composition when you are painting "en plein air."

Now with this watercolor painting tips I will leave it up to you and make the greatest watercolor paintings you can do.

Marco is a fanatic watercolor enthusiast and you do not want to miss out on his over 360 free watercolor tips visit his website

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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Strawberry Tea Cosy

by Katya Frankel

Would you like a nice cup of tea and a sit down? One of the most individual designs of tea cosy, this strawberry themed pot cover is sure to be a talking point at any tea party. The design suggests both a feeling of warmth and intimacy as well as light humour.

Difficulty level

S (M, L): to fit 2 (4, 6) cup teapot

Small amounts of worsted or DK weight yarn in red, yellow, and green. Some possibilities: Rowan Handknit DK Cotton or Soft Baby Wool Mix, Knit Picks Swish Superwash or Wool of the Andes.

US 6 [4 mm] double pointed needles

Stitch markers

20 sts and 27 rows = 4" [10 cm] in stockinette

Side (make 2)
With 2 double pointed needles and red, CO 32 (40, 48) sts. K 3 rows. Work 5 rows stockinette, beg with a WS row.
Next row (RS): (K7 red, k1 yellow) 4 (5, 6) times.
Work 4 (6, 8) rows stockinette with red.
Next row (WS): P3 red, p1 yellow, (p7 red, p1 yellow) 3 (4, 5) times, p4 red.
Work 4 (6, 8) rows stockinette with red.
Next row (RS): (K7 red, k1 yellow) 4 (5, 6) times.
Work 4 (6, 8) rows stockinette with red.
Next row (WS): P3 red, p1 yellow, (p7 red, p1 yellow) 3 (4, 5) times, p4 red.
Set piece aside and make second side.

Distribute sts of both sides evenly on 3 or 4 double pointed needles and join for working in the round. Place a marker at the beg of the rnd.

Rnds 1-4: K.
Rnd 5: (K7 red, k1 green) around.
Rnd 6: (K4 red, k2tog green, k2 green) around--56 (70, 84) sts.
Rnd 7: (K4 red, k3 green) 8 (10, 12) times.
Rnd 8: (K2 red, k2tog green, k3 green) around--48 (60, 72) sts.
Rnd 9: (K1 red, k5 green) around.
Break red and work with green only from this point on.
Rnd 10: (K2tog, k4) around--40 (50, 60) sts.
Rnd 11: K.
Rnd 12: (K2tog, k3) around--32 (40, 48) sts.
Rnd 13: K.
Rnd 14: (K2tog, k2) around--24 (30, 36) sts.
Rnd 15: K.
Rnd 16: (K2tog, k1) around--16 (20, 24) sts.
Rnd 17: K2tog around--8 (10, 12) sts.
Rnd 18: K2tog around--4 (5, 6) sts.

Work i-cord on rem sts for about 1" [2.5 cm]. Fasten off.

Seam sides together, leaving spaces for spout and handle open. Weave in ends.

About the designer
I am a freelance knitwear designer and have been enjoying my work with a passion for about 20 years. In particular I like the opportunity to be creative and work with novel ideas/themes, translating them into patterns. Email.


Chocolate Fudge for Christmas

Home-made Fudge is a luscious addition to any Christmas, either as a gift for a sweet toothed friend or family member or just for the family to eat at Christmas time. Everyone will think you are really good cook to make your own fudge, it will be your secret of how easy it is to make this scrummy chocolate fudge.
Younger Children will need help to melt the chocolate.

To make chocolate fudge you will need...
?300g of good Dark Chocolate with a high coco percentage (70% or 80% coco content) The fudge will not work with other chocolate.
400g tin of Condensed milk.

Remember to wash your hands and clean the work surfaces before you begin.

Break up the chocolate into a microwavable dish. Microwave the Chocolate for 1 minute and stir, repeat again. If the chocolate has still not melted microwave for an extra 20 seconds and stir. Repeat the 20 seconds until the chocolate has melted being careful not to over cook the chocolate.

Then add the tin of condensed milk to the chocolate, stir in well. You will feel the mixture thicken.

Pour into a tin foil lined tin, spread evenly and smooth the top. Allow to cool for a couple of hours.

Take the fudge out of the tin and peel off the tin foil. Cut in to small mouth sized chunks.

Your chocolate fudge is now ready to eat or put into a little box if you are giving it as a gift.

One batch is enough to make two gifts.

Christmas Crafts for everyone to make...

Art Clay Silver Tech Heart Pendant

Roll out a thick sheet of metal clay (approximately 3/8" thick).

Press a computer circuit board onto the clay to make a texture. Use ACS Pure Balm to prevent the clay from sticking to the board.

Use a small circle cutter to cut out a circle for the middle of the heart. Use a heart shaped cutter to cut the outside shape with the cut circle centered in the middle.

Slide a head pin vertically up through the bottom of the heart and out through the top. Twist the head pin to widen the hole a bit. Remove the head pin.

Let the heart dry.

Lightly sand the edges with a Glass file, Sanding Blocks or Sanding Pads

Fire the heart at 800°C for 5 minutes in kiln, 5 minutes on a Gas Hob or 2 minutes with a Gas Torch.

After firing, burnish the piece with a brass brush. Follow with a burnishing tool to polish the edges and the high spots for a brighter shine.

Thread the head pin up through the heart. Use a needle to widen the hole if necessary. This will compress and burnish the hole. Place a bead in the center of the heart and thread the head pin through the bead and up through the top of the heart. Use pliers to make a loop for hanging. Twist the wire a few times and clip off the excess wire.

Hang the heart from a chain.

All that you need to create this unique Pendant is available Here..

For more information on using, drying and firing Art Clay please take a look the Resources Page