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

Four Frugal Craft Ideas For The Summer

By: Andy Spinks

Beach Memories
Who can resist picking up shells, rocks, and all those shiny colorful goodies that have washed up during a walk along a beach? Once home, though, the treasured memories usually dry out, lose their original luster, or may not make it home at all. With this project, your beachcombing efforts can be kept sparkling and create a long lasting summer memento.
Fill a canning jar with a layer of sand and wedge larger shells or driftwood in this layer of sand, and then add the smaller shells. Fill the jar with seawater, screw the lid on tightly, and wrap in a towel to prevent breakage.
Place the jar in a water filled cooking pot. Heat until the water in the pot boils, then simmer for 15 minutes (this will kill any algae). Carefully remove the jar from the cooking pot (parents only) and cool. Label the jar and enjoy for many years.

Chalk Art
One of summer's perks is that young artists now have the time and the weather to allow them to take advantage of those big canvases for their drawings. Here are some ways these young artists can decorate sidewalks, driveways, and walkways.
Draw a map of the neighborhood area around your home, with roads, houses and parks. Then populate the chalk neighborhood with toy cars and figures.
Trace around a friend's body, and then draw in hair, eyes and clothing.
Outline a large “color by number” dinosaur, favorite zoo animal or cartoon character, and let you friends color in different sections.
Copy a favorite comic strip in the sidewalk squares (a panel in each square), or invent an original strip of your own.

Box Of Treasures
This treasure box, organized around the idea that anything goes, should have ample room for plastic bags of beach findings, photos, coins, drawings, movie ticket stubs or even a small diary.
Find a sturdy cardboard box (one with a lid), which can labeled with the treasure hunters name and the date. As treasures are discovered, place them inside or, glue them onto the outside of the box. To give the box a durable finish, brush on a coat of white glue thinned with water or cover with contact paper.

Catching The Breeze
This project, with its long blow-in-the-breeze tail, will make any craft maker feel like they’ve sprouted wings.

2 large plastic cups
Clear, flat trash bag
Dowel or stick
2 rubber bands
Masking tape
Hole punch

1. Cut the bottoms from both cups. Lay the trash bag flat and roll its sealed, bottom end around the outside of one cup, 1 inch below the cup's rim. Tape in place.
2. Feed the trash bag through the bottom of the second cup, then pull the cup firmly over the first so the rims are aligned.
3. Using the scissors, cut fringes on the tail of the trash bag. Punch two holes through both of the cups (on opposite sides of the cup), just below the rims.
4. Push the dowel or stick through the two holes, wrapping a rubber band around it on each side of the cup to hold it in place.
5. Catch as much breeze as you can!

Andy Spinks is co-owner of The Clay Store - The Clay Store offers a large selection of
Polymer Clay Supplies and
Polymer Clay Tutorials.
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Learn How to Knit with Easy Beginner Instructions

By: Chris Robertson

As a beginner in knitting, you're probably curious about the basics in knitting before you take lessons. Knitting provides a hobby that's fun, requires self-discipline and steadfastness, and allows you to feel a sense of achievement when your knitting project is complete.

Knitting Defined

Knitting is a craft in which two needles along with thread or yarn are used to create fabric pieces or garments by creating loops in the yarn. Knitting can be used to create many types of fabric, from framed knitting artwork to sweaters, afghan quilts, throws, blankets, mittens, or even bedroom slippers.

The very basic type of knitting is called the knit stitch. With the knit stitch, you'll slip the needle through the loop from front to back. Then, loop the yarn around the needle and put the stitch through onto the second needle. Another common type of knitting is the purl stitch, which is handled in an opposite manner than the knit stitch. When learning how to knit through paid or free knitting lessons for beginners, you'll learn these basics first.

A completed fabric that has been knitted is characterized by rows of stitches that resemble loops and flat rows alternated.

Why Learn How to Knit?

Knitting has been around for thousands of years, and probably always will be. So, why knit by hand when you can easily buy finished fabrics in the marketplace? There are many reasons to learn how to knit and to also teach your daughter to knit.

One, knitting gives you a sense of accomplishment. When you complete a beautiful knitted piece that can be framed as a home decor piece, you'll be proud to hang it on your wall. When you complete a lovely, warm sweater made with your own hands, you can proudly wear it and explain that you knitted it yourself.

Two, learning how to knit requires self-discipline and steadfastness. You must work on it consistently to complete a project. Your child can also learn to set goals, stick with something until the end, and accomplish something special through knitting.

Three, knitted items make excellent gifts. When your friend or loved one becomes an expectant mother, you can immediately begin knitting a blanket for the baby. Or, knit slippers for your family members as Christmas gifts. Giving something you knitted with your own hands makes a very special gift from the heart.

Where to Learn

Learning how to knit is easy today with so many online resources. There are online paid or free knitting lessons for beginners as well as advanced knitting instructions. You can opt to learn from an individual locally, but this can cost quite a bit of time and money. Learning how to knit online enables you to learn from your own home during your spare time. It's also very affordable.

Some things you'll learn through online knitting lessons include what tools and supplies are needed, how to cast on, how to know knits from purls, how to create patterns and designs, how to block and sew your work together, how to care for knitted garments, and other valuable knitting skills.

With free knitting lessons for beginners or advanced knitting instructions, you might also benefit and save money with the free knitting patterns provided at some knitting websites. Learning how to knit will give you a skill that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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Dyeing Pasta for Craft Projects

Kids love to play with pasta! Who knew something so simple and inexpensive could be so interesting to young children.

Dried pasta comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you don't already have some in your kitchen cupboard, you can find a variety of different pastas to choose from in the bulk section of your grocery store. Let your child go with you to pick it out.

Pasta can be used for a variety of craft projects, and it is very easy to dye. It takes only a few minutes to dye the pasta, and a couple of hours for it to dry.

To dye the pasta all you need is:

- Pasta in different shapes and sizes
- Food coloring
- Rubbing alcohol
- Several small bowls

Pour approximately 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol into each bowl. Add 10 or so drops of food coloring into each bowl, one bowl for each color. Drop the pasta into the bowl and stir gently with a spoon for a few seconds. Remove the pasta from the bowl and allow to dry for several hours on a paper plate. The colors will brighten as the pasta dries.

Your kids will enjoy playing with their colorful pasta. They can use it to create macaroni necklaces or they can glue pieces of pasta onto a sheet of paper for a creative work of art.

Children as young as two years old will enjoy counting and sorting the pasta into different piles. Have them separate the pasta by color or shape. They will have fun moving the pieces of pasta from bowl to bowl.

Photo of dyed pasta shapes:

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For
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