• Art And Craft

    Crafting with a Sewing Machine

    Whenever I am talking about crafting to somebody new, there are a lot of people that tell me it is something that they have no talent for. I always reply by telling them that it doesn’t matter if the finished product is perfect, as long as they have fun when they are making it.

    With this in mind I have listed a number of simple projects that can be completed with a sewing machine. If you find you enjoy making these, then you may feel more prepared to take on something bigger.

    Velcro Pencil Case

    Whether you have children that go to school or not, there is a chance that you know someone who would benefit from having somewhere to keep their pens and pencils organized.

    The Velcro closing on a fabric pencil case helps to ensure that none of the contents fall out and get lost. Sewing the Velcro strip onto the case can be a little tricky, especially if you are new to using a sewing machine, but it is a useful skill to learn. Pencil cases such as these can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and so you can create something that is ideal for your needs.

    Tote Bag

    This is one of the easiest projects that you can make on a sewing machine. You will need two fabrics that look good together. These fabrics will be the outer and inner of the bag. Remember to put aside some extra fabric to make the straps. There are many places online where you can find patterns for these bags.

    One of the best things about making a tote bag is that you have a lot of freedom in terms of the design because you can use any fabric. It is really easy to design something that reflects your personality and you will know that there is nobody else out there with a bag the same as yours.

    Change Purse

    If you have had a go at making the tote bag, then you also may want to try making a change purse to go with it. This is a little more difficult because you will need to attach the clasp, but again there are plenty of easy to follow patterns online.

    You can match the fabric used for the bag to also make the purse, or you can choose a different fabric that complements the design of the bag. For me, one of the best things about making your own products is that they can all be a design that you really love.

    Sunglasses Case

    If you keep your sunglasses in your bag, then there is a good chance they will become scratched by other items such as your keys. One way to prevent this from happening is to make yourself a sunglasses case.

    My personal preference for this would be a fabric with a really summery design, but the choice is completely up to you. These cases are really easy to make because you only need two pieces of fabric and a small length of elastic. For more ideas and info you can check out shelikestosew.com

  • Art And Craft

    Improvising vs Planning

    Crafting is seriously the one thing I would say has been changing my life for the better since always. I like to think that I somehow knew how important it would be to me, so that’s why I got interested in it so young, and I don’t regret a single thing!

    It was hard to find like-minded people at the beginning, after my peers started finding other hobbies and considered they were “too old” for arts and crafts, but it was okay because I knew that it wasn’t for everyone, and people were eventually bound to move on if it wasn’t their thing. But, those who stayed have made the biggest difference in my life. They were my best friends. Some of them still are, and I see them often at the Arts&Crafts fairs.

    I used to be a big planner, and crafts were my way to let my creativity roam free and revel in that satisfactory feeling of having created something lasting. But, you know, I used to plan my crafting projects as well! I used to plan out almost every little detail, have this big concept in my mind, sort out all the supplies I’d need and put aside the rest so as to not become overwhelmed or tempted to change my mind and ruin it, and even though I enjoyed the process, I have to say, most of the things I felt were lacking soul.

    When I realized this, I felt defeated. My most favorite hobby had become a source of disappointment for a while. This was new to me. I felt like I just wanted to throw them all away or get a badass mean electric knife and destroy them somehow. How aggressive. But they were too precious to me to do such a thing. So after talking to my friend Adrienne, I decided to do the scary thing – improvise.

    Oh my, was that scary the first time! I had to learn how to think intuitively and use my creativity and my hands at the same time, not the one after the other like before. It was a very big step outside of my comfort zone. The most difficult thing was not giving up, it made me question everything about arts and crafts.

    But, I was persistent. The first few pieces were okay, not perfect, but I continued improving, and soon after I felt like myself again! Phew! This was a major thing, and now I’m enjoying it even more!

  • Art And Craft

    Crafting in Motion

    Crafts are my life and I do them on a daily basis by necessity. I draw and paint, make gifts for others, decorate my apartment, and just try to create a more interesting environment in my life. If you have a bit of talent and a lot of ingenuity, you can do the same. If I see an unadorned item, my brain starts swirling with ideas: I see shapes and form, lines and colors. They soon materialize into reality in new form. I redo old objects I am tired of and find new used items at the antique store to become subjects of artistic transformation. It is more than fun. It is rewarding and fulfilling. What else would I do in my free time?

    People who visit my abode make comments all the time and more than once they have left with a coveted object. Fine with me. Art is for everyone. I don’t just do it to pass the time. If someone wants to live with my handiwork, so much the better. Lately, I have been seeking a new project on a grander scale. Maybe I will decorate my front door and the adjacent window shutters. You can turn a dull façade into an exciting residential focal point in minutes. Crafts apply to everything. The difference between fine art and crafts is that the latter can be of a utilitarian nature. That being said, a supreme example of this is a city bike like these I have upscaled and transformed by painting it and recovering the old torn saddle. I see crafting in motion every time I ride it. I also get many requests for similar bikes from moms who want to gift them to their teenage girls. I literally get stopped in the street. They have custom themes and colors in mind. It is great fun. There is no end to what you can adorn a bicycle with. Let your imagination carry you afar.

    This has happened often enough that I am seriously considering refurbishing bikes as a little side business. If I can get the city bikes cheap enough at the used dealer, I can make a handsome profit. Paint doesn’t cost that much, but then there is the leather for jazzing up the seat. It takes about a day or two to complete a restoration or beautification as I call it. I can go arty and girly, frilly and ornate, or do something modern and geometric. Everyone has different taste and I am learning more about what people like so I can have the right samples. I can ride them about town which will get automatic interest or I can display them in my front yard, or ask the local cycling store if they wouldn’t mind adding them to their inventory. Right now, this is my project of choice, so get one while they are hot and before I tire of the concept. But then I will have something new to offer you.

  • Art And Craft

    One Less Thing to Think About

    I’m pretty busy so if I have one less thing to think about, that’s fine with me. I am always doing arts and crafts projects for myself, my kids, and my friends, so I can’t be rushing to the store for this and that, such as replacement batteries for my watch. I have to take short cuts where I can, and one way is to buy an automatic watch. Nothing too pricey mind you, just a nice gold-toned designer look automatic watch under $500. My old watch seemed to eat through batteries in no time flat. They didn’t last. I would rather spend my money on art supplies than short life batteries. This is one chore I won’t miss.

    Why an automatic watch? I just explained the savings on time and money getting batteries. You also don’t have to wind this type of timepiece. It functions at the move of your wrist. Wear it all day and it will keep perfect time. A salesperson at a local jewelry store showed me how it works. It was so easy that I was sold. This is going to be money well spent.

    You don’t have to have a lot of fancy bells and whistles for an everyday watch. Maybe if you are a diver or race car driver, you need something incredible. For everyday use, the automatic works just fine. I got so into my new watch that I decide to use it as a theme for a new painting. The watch floated in the center of the painting against a brightly-colored background. The color palette was blue and orange. It was a lot of fun. I showed it to the watch dealer and he immediately wanted to buy it to hand in the store. Wow! I bought a watch and made some money. It was almost break even.

    Now my husband wants an automatic watch and also my neighbor. They are discovering, with me as an example, the many benefits. Maybe the watch dealer will offer a group discount. These watches are not terribly expensive, but any savings helps. If I got together a group of buyers, he said he would do the deal. I was now thinking very practically. Buying in bulk always makes economic good sense. Now that the hullabaloo about an automatic watch is over, I can get back to my crafts projects. I have a lot in store with the holidays coming. This is the most creative time of the year. I have a lot of gifts on my list and I make each and every one. I made some drawings of watches in cartoon style for the kids and some watercolors for the neighbors. I am always flattered when people want to hang my art. I guess I make a modest living while having a good time.

    The time has come to close this blog and leave you with a reminder. If you want to stay on schedule and have to rely on your automatic watch, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Art And Craft

    Bring Paradise to You

    One of the nice things about have artistic talent, is that you can make crafts as gifts for other people or to spruce up your environment, work or home. I know. I have been making things for what seems like centuries and I learn new techniques all the time. Of course you have to have an eye for pattern, shape, proportion, and color and how to find appropriate materials like paper and fabric, ribbon and yarn. The more unique your materials, the more individual will be the outcome. People love my gifts and I try to suit them to the receiver. It’s easy if they like afghans, monogrammed towels, or painted vases. I can give them something new and different every year. What is it about homemade things that make people tear up? It reminds them of grandma or a former era when machine manufacturing was not the norm. I say yes—abandon the factories. Let’s make our own decorations.

    This was my mindset when I took a look at my backyard. The focal point is the above ground pool but there is not much else. It is pretty simple and plain, but that’s exactly what all of the best above ground pools look like. I start pondering what I can do and the ideas flow. I will turn the area into a tropical paradise using my best craft skills. First I have to have a plan. The patio needs fabric chairs with cushions and accent pillows for pizzazz. I have a covered area and it needs a vine. I also add potted plants around the perimeter. I paint the pots in different colors that bring out the palette of the chairs. I add a small glass top table with two wrought iron chairs so someone can have a meal without putting a plate in their lap. The chairs I paint, of course; what else would you expect. Their cushions are homemade and of a contrasting fabric. So what you see is a lot of variety of hues and textures. All the fabrics are weatherproof and should last many seasons. This is the basis of my tropical paradise. The flowers on the vine help establish the theme. The luxurious green of the potted plants adds immeasurable to the effect. I put up some fisherman’s netting on one wall of the patio and place a variety of seashells within it. It is just as an element of surprise.

    Now for the above ground pool. I float a raft on the water’s surface and cover it with tropical flowers. I will have to replace them every now and then, but the effect is magical. More plants in beds adjacent to the pool amplify the entire concept. There is a nice green space consisting of a real lawn that makes the pool even more inviting than it already is. I place some tropical theme towels on a bench by the pool in a stack. In the summer, they get plenty of use. My tropical paradise comes alive for friends and neighbors. I have done my work on a major project. Now on to the next.

  • Art And Craft

    Not a Dank, Dark Dungeon anymore!

    It’s great to have a basement–of any size. They become multi-purpose spaces. Many homes in parts of the country like California do not have them, which is such a shame. A basement adds square footage to an abode that is useful for entertaining, crafting, or just housing guests. Some of these areas are as big as the entire upstairs living premises. You often have to fix them up a bit to make them habitable, however, as they can be loaded with moisture and mold.

    So if you have one, use it, but there are often problems involved. No one wants to breathe dank air, even for a few hours. Your lungs feel weird and your mouth and throat coated. You have to fix up most basements if you are not lucky enough to find one redone. If the remodeling doesn’t completely do the job (sealing windows and doors to the outside), however, there is always a handy dehumidifier. With this trusty appliance, large enough to service the entire area, it won’t be a dark dungeon anymore.

    I went so far as to get a really large humidifier designed for basements so I could move my craft room out of the main house. My pastime was taking offer the house and things were getting misplaced and forever gone. I have a lot of scrapbooking supplies and photos, for example, which can attract moisture damage in a flash. Damp air is just plain unpleasant for humans and inanimate objects alike. Once damp, a piece of paper’s usefulness is lost.

    A dehumidifier is a marvelous machine that can be programmed to run as long as you need it to (meaning round the clock) in order to extract unwanted moisture and mold from the air. I have one that claims to remove 70 pints of dampness in a 24-hour time frame. Wow! Sounds good. It was selected for my particular humidity level (moderately damp). It covers 2,000 square feet with optimal removal and has electronic controls with a precision humidistat. It is quite at home in the basement. Dank air has met its match. A dehumidifier won’t break the bank either and many are found at discount online.

    It is much more pleasant being down below now doing my arts and crafts. I have been known to sit for hours at a crack, and now it is without a breathing struggle (good health is always an additional imperative). Plus, the various goods that I use, predominantly delicate and unusual papers, survive best without moisture. I know people who store crafts in their basements without a dehumidifier, and the paper gets spotty and moldy sometimes, especially during the dog days of summer. You must carefully wrap and protect everything. With dry air provided, I don’t have to spend time going to these extremes.

    So I am touting ownership of something you probably never considered and now should be on your “must buy” list. It will service multiple purposes in your home and earn its keep well. A basement need not be wasted and neglected due to dankness and moisture.

  • Art And Craft

    Airbrushing Crafts

    One thing I have been super excited about trying out is a paint sprayer. It just seemed…fun. And a bit of a hardcore tool, yes, but mostly fun. I wanted something that would work with a few different kinds of paint and for different types of projects. I want to be able to paint furniture, pottery, and maybe a wall or two. At the very least, some wooden trim.

    I looked at a bunch of paint sprayers but everything seems too strong for what I wanted. It took a lot of investigating and some trial-and-error (thank goodness for returns) before I found one that I liked. I ended up needing a hvlp paint sprayer. It had the paint output I was looking for, with various nozzles and a dial that I could adjust to get it perfect for each project. It also operates at a low pressure—it has its own turbine so I don’t need an air compressor to run it—which means it is not very noisy and is only one machine that I have to take care of as far as cleaning and maintenance go.

    The first thing I used the paint sprayer for was to paint some glaze on a set of dishes I wanted to paint but had been putting off because I didn’t want brush strokes to mar the surface. I did a few practice runs with the gun before I actually moved on to the dishes, and everything went really well. The dishes looked very nice—I painted the whole surface a deep green and then basically pulsed the gun in the center with blue so that they are two-toned. I would not have been able to achieve this look without the paint sprayer, and I was very pleased with the results.

    The next thing I painted was a small dresser I want to use as an entryway table. I stripped it first, then sprayed it with a whitish-gold color. After that dried, I painted over it all with a light blue color, then gently sanded down the blue to distress it a little. I did this with a very light hand and made sure that I used the technique sparingly, only in places that would naturally have been worn down over time. I personally find that some people get a bit over-enthusiastic with the “shabby chic” look and get a little more enthusiastic with it than the piece deserves. Using the paint sprayer created a very smooth finish without any visible lines, unlike painting with a brush. I also got it done in about half the time that I would have before I got the gun; I think it is partially because I had to thin the paint so it dried faster, and by atomizing the paint with the gun, I was able to lay the paint down much faster.

    All in all, I am pleased with the results. I don’t think I will do this for every project because although I got a paint sprayer with good reviews that said it was easy clean up, it still isn’t as easy as rinsing a brush under some running water. That said, I like having the option. I am looking forward to experimenting some more and seeing what else I can get my new paint sprayer to do!

  • Art And Craft

    Adding Some “Edge” to Your Crafts

    I love arts and crafts because they are so open ended. Anything goes. You can make things that no one has ever seen before with the simplest of materials and tools. If you love sewing, there are loads of projects in this vein. If you prefer scrapbooking, you can be a winner at organizing photos in novel ways. If you prefer handmade cards, people will love your personal flair. Paint, sculpt, throw a pot, etch, draw –get into a medium that produces a vision of beauty or at least a thing of interest and wonder.

    Arts and crafts, as compared to fine art, are a bit more practical. You make things to use, to send to others, to display as decoration, or to admire for a time in a given place. They aren’t meant to last forever unless you fashion pots in clay. They include jewelry making, fashion design, book illustration, and knitting. Nothing that is creative escapes the designation. You should try your hand at multiple items to find your own final style. You could end up taking on a new hobby or pastime for life.

    Every once in a while someone comes up with an entirely new way of doing things that used to be traditional, and sometimes routine. You want to think outside the box whenever you can and stop doing the same old same old. I am thinking about a website I recently viewed called Staple Slinger that reviews staple guns. They are light weight, made of plastic, and very suitable for arts and crafts. They come in electric and manual models. Sometimes the simpler version is best. A hand-held staple gun requires a little pressure compared to the electric one, but it can be safer and less likely to go awry.

    I started thinking how easy and fun it would be to add some “edge” to my crafts with this device. I could certainly spruce up my scrapbooking with colorful borders that look like custom stitching. I could make numerous wall decorations that would actually stay in place during a birthday party onslaught of kids. Staplers can do double duty then as adornment and as a way to affix things securely. They can go way beyond collating and binding term papers and essays. In a pinch, they can repair a costume right before your little tyke goes on stage.

    Arts and crafts are about using existing tools and materials in new ways. I am sure you can think up lots of ideas on your own. It is an entire industry that is devoted to handiwork. Some people love to refashion their environments and populate them with personal handmade artistry. Others like gift giving and the joy it brings. Still more teach their children to sit quietly, get off the computer, and work with their hands to develop dexterity and control. They become so proud when they show their work to others! Everyone is a candidate for some type of creative process. You can get your hands dirty by digging into clay or keep them clean with turpentine. You can pick at choose your medium according to your mood. In short, arts and crafts keep us busy, sane, creative, and productive. They are the best of many worlds.

  • Art And Craft

    Close Your Eyes

    I like to make things myself, relying on a variety of arts and crafts skills. It could consist of sewing, cutting and pasting, drawing and painting, and more. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a project come to fruition. When I deem it successful, I am on cloud nine.

    Sometimes the things you undertake are out of the ordinary. One such example was the day I fabricated my own sleep mask. I live in a house with a big window in the bedroom that lets in a lot of light—too much sometimes making it difficult to stay asleep in the morning to complete my eight-hour requirement.

    I thought of buying one on line and surveyed the scene. These are not expensive items, but they do come in all shapes and sizes. Still wanting to do my own, because I didn’t get the chance when I bought a pregnancy pillow to comfort me while I sleep, I looked for ideas. They are all designed to shut out light and to create a blackness that is conducive to falling and staying asleep. Not a ray will penetrate most. Then it is a matter of a comfort fit. The material has to be soft and not irritate the delicate skin around the eyes. The strap, usually elastic, has to fit snugly, but not too tight. You don’t want to notice that you have the sleep mask on.

    Printing out some examples from the Internet, I started to see a consistency that I wanted to emulate. I was going to make a pattern and hand sew some selected materials. I didn’t want something too thick or so thin that it didn’t even matter. It is like the baby bear’s porridge. It had to be just right.

    A variety of materials seemed to suit the project from sateen, terry cloth, velour and cotton to memory foam of the Tempur-Pedic kind. That brand offers a more expensive mask at around $30. Others are far less. Making my own wasn’t about saving money, but customizing the fit, texture, and size.

    When wearing a mask, you don’t want to feel any pressure that will disturb your sleep. Thus it must conform to the contours of the face. It has to feel snug and cozy, at least somewhat pleasant and relaxing. The first task is to take your cranial measurements including the circumference of your head. Next you measure from temple to temple. Finally you measure eye to eye. Make the pattern large enough; you can always cut it down. Decide how you are going to attach a strap. It can be as easy as a bit of elastic (a bit low budget) or a nice adjustable piece of half inch fabric.

    You want a washable surface unless you plan on making new masks all of the time. Eye makeup, sweat, and dirt can mar your item, sometimes imparting an undesirable smell. An absorbent material is best. After cutting to your specific requirements, try on the mask before final sewing. Be sure the mask is somewhat padded or lined before closing up the seams. Reinforcing the edges will ensure longer wear.

  • Art And Craft

    Making Homemade Cards

    Making Homemade Cards

    Giving homemade birthday cards can seem like something of an extravagance today in the age of digital birthday cards, which is part of the reason why they make particularly good gifts or supplemental gifts today. Many people are not expecting to receive adorable and solid birthday cards nowadays, even though as recently as a decade age they were completely standard for anyone who was trying to give someone else a complete gift package. Today, the person who gives a birthday card really is going above and beyond in a way. A person who gives a birthday card that is homemade is going an additional step beyond in an effort to be a loving and affectionate person to a friend or family member, which is all the more reason to learn how to make homemade birthday cards and homemade cards in general.

    I know that I’ve always gotten a very positive response from each and every homemade card I’ve given anyone on any occasion, but especially these days. Most people will just purchase cards from the store if they actually plan on giving you physical cards. I’m not necessarily knocking physical cards that are store-bought, which can certainly still be loving. I do generally agree with the sentiment that it’s the thought that counts, and the important thing is that the person in question actually remembered the special day in question, which also seems to be difficult in an age where everyone has a hundred computer passwords to memorize. However, I can tell you that being able to create homemade cards is the kind of skill that will be rewarded over and over again, and even some of your toughest friends and family members will prove that they’re not made of stone when you present them with homemade cards.

    If you’re a person who can draw or paint, you’re definitely in luck when it comes to homemade birthday cards. You can use your fabulous painting or drawing skills to create a lovely and delicate cover for the card. I really like drawing and painting, and I love decorating the fronts of cards with floral designs, which tend to work for a wide range of different occasions. Of course, homemade birthday cards can still be really funny, and if you can draw or paint, you can more or less make all of your cards into funny cartoons if you like. It really all depends upon the preferences of the recipients when it comes to their homemade cards, so it’s best to plan ahead and decide what to create on a case-by-case basis.

    You might be worried that making homemade birthday cards is just going to be too difficult or too time-consuming. A lot of people have the talent to create some really pretty ones, but they don’t because they’re worried about spending too much time on the task. I can tell you that, on average, it takes me around thirty to forty-five minutes to make a homemade card, and that I’ve made them in less than ten minutes before. I’ll admit that I’ve forgotten about occasions before until the last minute, and I did almost end up going the store-bought route after all.

    One of the great things about homemade cards is that people always assume that you planned ahead and you didn’t do anything at the last minute. I guess they also figure that homemade cards will always take you a long time to complete, especially if you physically drew them for yourself. So even if you really did create the card on the ride to that person’s house for the party, or even in the bathroom at the party, you can still end up convincing people that you managed to remember weeks in advance.

  • Art And Craft

    Making Wedding Invitations

    Making Wedding Invitations

    At my wedding, I can tell you that I made each and every one of the wedding invitations. I have a calligraphy set and I actually made all of them by hand. I spent the afternoon on it, but the problem was over by morning. I’m actually not sure if anyone noticed that they were homemade. I know that I got some positive feedback on the invitations, so I can at least say that people actually did like my wedding invitations. I can also tell you that I saved around five hundred dollars, given the cost of wedding invitations in general. I did need some new calligraphy ink afterward, but that was a pretty small price to pay literally and figuratively.

    If you want to make your own wedding invitations by hand, it does help if you know calligraphy or some other type of fancy handwriting. However, it’s definitely not anything resembling a requirement, especially in the digital age. There’s nothing about homemade wedding invitations or homemade anything else that says that they have to be made by hand in order to count. The important thing is that you made them yourself and that you didn’t have to add another five hundred dollars to a bash that was already really expensive.

    The idea that people should spend five hundred dollars on wedding invitations is usually nothing but conspicuous consumption anyway. You’re spending this lofty amount of money because you can spend this lofty amount of money, and not because you really love all of those expensive wedding invitations. If you really did want those wedding invitations, then you should definitely get them. This is your special day, after all. However, if you don’t really want them, you shouldn’t feel compelled to get them just because your friends and relatives all had expensive wedding invitations at their weddings.

    You’re really only assuming that they did anyway, even if they told you all about it. For all you know, they made theirs too, and they’re just trying to pass them off as professional wedding invitations. I can tell you that if you have enough skill in the design department, it can be really hard to tell the difference.

    The worst part about the idea that people have to spend a lot on their weddings is the simple idea that how much you spend is somehow a measure of your love for your significant other. Spend a lot of money on the wedding if you want, down to the very last detail, but it doesn’t mean that you love your spouse any more or any less than if you had simply spent one thousand dollars or less. I do think that submitting homemade wedding invitations, in a way, helps drive that message home. You’re making it clear that the materialistic aspect of weddings isn’t the most important thing for you. That doesn’t mean that people who go in the other direction are necessarily materialistic, but it does help set you apart from the people that genuinely are.


  • Art And Craft

    Gathering Craft Supplies

    Some people are worried that they’re not actually going to save much money on homemade cards or other homemade gift items, since they’re just going to have to pay for all of the components anyway. However, as anyone who has ever prepared anything from scratch can tell you, you’re paying for the labor as well as the ingredients when you purchase something that was already made for you. In many cases, you’re also paying for the advertising. However, you don’t have to go nuts at the Hobby Lobby or other craft store in order to get all of your crafting supplies. You just have to be really good at saving things.

    I’ll get a present from someone, and I’ll immediately save the wrapping paper, the ribbon, and anything else that goes with it. I’ll do the same thing for the box, especially if it’s a little gift box. Whenever I purchase almost anything, I’ll immediately wonder if there’s any way that I can actually use any of its components in a card or a scrapbook some day, regardless of how small it is or how unlikely it is as a part of a scrapbook.

    If you’re worried that doing this is going to make you look like someone who hoards things, you shouldn’t be. I basically just keep an old shoe box full of a bunch of this stuff. Since I make cards and scrapbooks pretty frequently, the shoe box is periodically emptied and refilled, so there’s no worry about it overflowing and me ending up with a bunch of stuff that I didn’t even want or need. I highly recommend that all crafts-oriented people become good at saving things, which will ultimately help them save money.


  • Art And Craft

    Using Homemade Wedding Invitations

    It’s no secret that weddings today are really expensive. I hear about what my friends have spent on their weddings, and I have a hard time containing my shock. I know a shocking number of people who have actually spent fifty thousand dollars or more on their weddings. Parents will talk about saving up for their kids’ college funds, and they’ll also talk about the importance of saving up for their kids’ eventual weddings. I’m of the school of thought that weddings shouldn’t have to cost as much as a year of college, or even more than that, but it seems to me that a lot of people have outvoted me on that one.

    Obviously, couples should be able to spend whatever they want on their weddings, but I do wonder if some of this is couples simply feeling compelled to spend a lot of money on their weddings in order to keep up with their friends or family members. The wedding industry is a very wealthy industry that makes a huge amount of money every year trying to convince people that their weddings aren’t good enough unless they spend a huge amount of money on each and every detail, regardless of whether they really needed to under the circumstances.

    I think some parts of the modern wedding industry are a good idea, like wedding gift registries. I used to never know what to buy people at their weddings, and I used to always be confused about what the occasion called for, but that’s a thing of the past today. I can just purchase the items that the couple wanted anyway, which is going to make things so much easier for everyone involved. However, I can’t say I’m a big fan of the idea that wedding invitations should have to cost almost as much as the catered food. I’m a big fan of encouraging people to switch to homemade wedding invitations. At the very least, I think more people should manage to consider the option, which isn’t even usually on the table for most wedding celebrations.

  • Art And Craft

    Scrap-booking Versus Photo Albums

    Some people tend to confuse scrap-booking and photo albums. In a way, they do actually look superficially similar. They’re both going to feature mementos of someone else’s life and the lives of their friends or family members. They will also usually unite among a theme. However, you can usually tell the difference between a scrapbook and a photo album, and many people who are into scrap-booking as a hobby will be sure to spell out the exact difference between the two items in intense detail. I know that I can talk about that subject at length, and I think that every single scrap-booking enthusiast is in the exact same situation today.

    I can tell you that with scrapbooks, the focus isn’t entirely on the pictures. Photo albums are basically catalogs of people’s memories and people’s pictures. The focus is entirely on the pictures themselves and not on anything else. People will sometimes add some decorations to their photo albums, but it won’t happen to the extent that it actually will distract anyone from the photographic content of the photo albums themselves. Photo albums aren’t usually organized around a theme, either. They typically simply feature photographs arranged in sequential order.

    As people download their photos and print them out or get them developed if they’re old-fashioned, they will arrange those photos in their photo albums. I think this setup is fine and that it helps photo albums serve their purpose well. Photo albums are journals and records, and they are not necessarily required to be works of art in their own right. However, I do tend to think that scrapbooks do fall into that category. At the very least, I try to make my own scrapbooks as artistic as possible.

    I try to organize my scrapbooks around I theme. For instance, if I wanted to make a scrapbook of someone’s graduation ceremony, I would specifically choose some key pictures from the graduation. I would also find mementos that nicely symbolized collegiate life, and I would arrange those at the appropriate places around the scrapbook. I would arrange the pictures in something of a sequential order, so it looked like everything was building towards something else. As such, it would generally indicate that there was some development involved, and that it wasn’t just a lot of stuff thrown together.

    Scrapbooks need to have some direction to them, at least ideally. They also have to have some sort of unifying theme to bring some order to the chaos. Apart from that, I would say that people have a lot of freedom to create many different types of scrapbooks, allowing them to remember all sorts of unique events from their lives in an original way that will really last for them.

    There are some styling choices that people should keep in mind when they are trying to do scrap-booking for the first time. For one thing, it is a good idea to avoid making the scrapbooks look too busy. Adding too many decorations to each and every page is going to distract from the photographs or the clippings, or whatever the subject of each and every page is going to be. Each page really ought to have its own subject, which helps unite the pages more successfully and which helps create structure and order for the scrapbook.

    However, at this point, I’m probably making the whole thing sound really regimented and detailed, when scrapbooks are supposed to be about letting loose and letting your imagination run wild, at least to a certain extent. You’re supposed to want to create memories of an important event or of something that you really care about, but a scrapbook is not a paint-by-numbers kit. You don’t follow a set of instructions and, from there, create your scrapbook. Cutting loose and trying to create something out of nothing is what scrap-booking is all about. It isn’t something that requires a high degree of technical skill, and it isn’t something that you should ever feel self-conscious about in any way, shape, or form. Many of the best scrapbooks have been created by the people who have tons of loopy energy. Loop energy in general is something that I can only encourage for everyone involved.