• { Happy Sewing } Origami Oasis Bento Bags While Origami Oasis certainly was designed with children in mind, I wanted to share a project with you today, The Bento Bag, that really plays on the Origami theme, and that I created with a bit more of a grownup user in mind, though kids can certainly use them as well. These Japanese-inspired bags are a handy, pretty, environmentally-friendly alternative for packing a snack, a lunch, a small on-the-go sewing or knitting project or, well, just about anything. They are great for organizing smaller items within a larger bag (think of bringing a few along on market runs to use instead of plastic bags) or suitcase (swimsuits or undies), or as an unexpected, reusable gift bag. They can be made in a variety of sizes to suit the right need. The single knot doesn’t look that secure, but trust me, it nestles in the hand in such a way that it holds a bundle of apples just perfectly without slipping and there is plenty of room in the ties to create a double knot if one wishes. I love the simplicity of their shape. While I recall seeing lovely linen ones in the past, I thought they would be pretty in two contrasting or complimentary fabrics, with a softer drape to them. But have no fear, these are made with double layers of fabric so that they are firstly, strong and secondly, they are well finished with no wrong sides of fabric showing on the inside or the tie tops. Should you wish to have something with a slightly stiffer body, a bit of interfacing on the wrong sides prior to stitching will do the job perfectly. Whichever way you look at them, they make a pretty package. With a minor alteration, they can also be made with a flat, boxed-corner bottom that would sit better on the counter as a bowl. So you could go shopping… open your bundle… and leave it sitting prettily in your kitchen. You’d like to whip up a few yourself? No problem! Here’s a tutorial. What I used: – a yard each of two pieces of fabric (you will have leftovers). This will make bags the size you see above that will hold about 8 apples or lemons, but you can make them any size you wish. – sewing thread, acrylic ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter. What I did: Refer to this Cutting & Folding Guide for the following instructions. – From the first piece of fabric, cut a perfect square 32″ x 32″. With right sides together, fold the fabric in half. (If your fabric is directional, have your motifs running the direction of the 32″ arrow in the guide) – Find the exact centre along the edge opposite the fold. Cut a 45 degree angle down from the centre point to the bottom corners at the fold line. – With a ¼” seam allowance, stitch along the two edges you just cut. Leave a 4″ opening along one side, about 1″ from the centre point. Clip all the corners to allow for sharp points when turned. Turn the triangle right side out through that 4″ opening, using a pin to gently help pull the corners to sharp points (there is no need to close the 4″ opening here). Press. Repeat with other piece of fabric. – Lay the 2 triangles on top of each other as in the guide, making sure the centre corners are parallel, as well as the top 2 points and the bottom points. Lightly draw a line (with an erasable fabric marker or chalk) across the centre, as well as just inside the edge of the hidden triangle edges so that you can topstitch as shown in the guide. Topstitch across the centre and an eighth inch from the edges as indicated. * Choose one of the following: – Regular corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. For both bottom corners, measure in 4″ vertically and horizontally from the corners. Connect these points and mark this line lightly. Backstitching at both ends, stitch along the line of the angled corners and then up both sides (sewing a scant eighth inch from the edge for the straight sides). Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra fabric from the angled corners. – Boxed corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. Backstitching at both ends, sew straight up both sides a scant eighth inch from the edge. Press these seams flat. Open the bottom of the bag and fold it flat with one of the side seams in the centre. Draw a line perpendicular to the seam about 3″ from the bottom corner. Sew on this line.Repeat with other corner. Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra fabric from the corners. – Turn the bag wrong side out, and press the angled corners sharply. Now you will create a french seam to hide the raw edges. Along the angled corners, sew a line of stitching just beyond where you can feel the raw edges of fabric on the inside, so that when you turn the bag right side out, the edges will be enclosed in the seam. Nice & clean! All done! MeasureMeasure Related Notes THE WEEKENDER Posted by Don un... THE WEEKENDER Posted by Don under accessory design, do-it-yourself| Tags: accessory, fashion, sewing| [82] Comments Featured: Lex Trip Bag So this weekend will have you jetting off to the coast for ... THE WEEKENDER | Weekend designer Weekend designer January 17, 2009 Featured: Lex Trip Bag So this weekend will have you jetting off to the coast for sun & surf?For a weekend excursion you need a quick trip bag.Forget the luggage (too... fleetingthing: baby gifts The Mila Baby shoe pattern and tutorial There are so many great tutorials out there for baby shoes and baby slippers that I did not bother making a tutorial for these at first. Since posting pictures,...
    craft Wednesday, May 27, 2015
  • What’s the Best Polymer Clay Brand? When we start working with polymer clay, the choices can be overwhelming. What is the best polymer clay brand to use? There are many brands of polymer clay and they’re all a bit different. Some are stronger than others, some are more flexible, some are more brittle, some are easier to work with, others are too mushy. There is no one best polymer clay brand to use. It’s best to choose the right clay for the kind of results you want to get. Sculpey is a Brand Name, not a Type of Clay When you say that you use Sculpey, it could mean any of several different clays produced by the Polyform Company. They have polymer clay brands that range from a very weak and mushy children’s clay to a high quality clay suitable for jewelry. Here are some characteristics of the various Sculpey brands of clay. Oh, please note, there is no “t” in the word. It is not Sculpty. That is a very common slip of the tongue. Sculpey Original Original Sculpey is a very soft and easily worked polymer clay that comes in a large boxes (from 1 to 24 pounds) and is only available in white and terra cotta. This should give a clue about its intended use. It’s quite mushy and soft, can be difficult to sculpt, and is quite weak when cured. This should never be used in thin pieces as they will certainly break. This clay is best used as a pottery substitute for clunky things like pinch pots, bowls, and plaques. It’s perfect for letting children explore with the advantage (over pottery clays or plastalina) of being able to cure and preserve their creations in a home or school setting. It is not the best polymer clay brand for making detailed sculpts, figurines, or jewelry. In fact, it’s utterly unsuitable for those purposes. Super Sculpey Super Sculpey is designed for sculpting and comes in large boxes (from 1 to 24 pounds) and is only available in a light flesh tone. It’s best used for sculpting figures that will not be handled. It’s fairly translucent and makes a nice doll skin tone, but it often darkens during baking and people will often paint it. This is still a quite soft clay and there’s a gray colored version called Super Sculpey Firm for those who need a stiffer sculpting medium. If your sculpture needs to be strong after baking, or will be handled, you’re better off choosing one of the stronger clays below, many of which have a range of skin tone colors specifically designed for sculpting. Sculpey III One of the first American colored polymer clays on the market, Sculpey III comes in 2 oz bars in a range of colors that include metallics, pearls, and translucent. Some colors are also available in 8 oz and 1 pound bricks. This is a much stronger clay than Original Sculpey, but it has serious limitations in its usability. It’s very soft to work with, people say it resembles toothpaste or cookie dough in texture, and it is notoriously brittle after baking. This brand of clay is often the first choice of beginners who try to attempt complex projects and are disappointed to find that it breaks easily. Don’t use this clay for anything that will be thinner than 1/4″. It’s a great, soft clay for children to use to make dioramas and figures that will not be handled extensively, but it is not suitable for fine detailed work, for jewelry, or for detailed sculptures like dragons and fairies. Bake Shop Available in 2 ounce blocks in several colors, Bake Shop polymer clay is the softest and weakest of all brands of polymer clay. Typically found for a mere dollar a block, it’s an attractive temptation for those trying to save money. But most people complain that this clay is far too mushy and soft to hold details. Baked pieces break easily. Please save yourself some frustration and leave this clay for the toddlers to play with. Souffle Only on the market a year, Souffle polymer clay seems to cause people to either love or hate it. It’s one of the most flexible AND strong polymer clays on the market and is soft and easy to handle. But the colors are quite subdued limited and the matte finish means that a high gloss cannot be obtained. It’s probably the best polymer clay brand for those with weak hands or arthritis. It’s also tremendous for mokume gane because it slices beautifully with little distortion. I reviewed this clay in detail if you’d like to read more about it. It’s available in 2 oz blocks. Premo Premo is probably my pick for being the most versatile for all-purpose polymer clay work that’s readily available for most people around the world. I can’t say it’s the best polymer clay brand, but it is certainly one of my top picks. It holds its shape and details well while you’re working with it, it’s easy to condition, and it’s strong and flexible after baking. The colors are clear and bright and come in a full range of hues. The metallic, pearl, and translucent varieties of Premo are called Premo Accents. They function the same. There have been some reports of inconsistent shelf life of some colors of Premo in recent years, so do make sure to buy fresh clay from a reputable supplier and use it promptly for best results. Old clay can be quite crumbly and hard to work. There are other brands of polymer clay in the Polyform line, and while I’ve used most of them at one time or another, space limits me writing about them in detail. Ultralight is very lightweight, Bake and Bend is flexible, Eraser Clay makes erasers, Glow in the Dark does just that, and Mold Maker is sort of good at making molds. These are typically not all-purpose clays and you’d use them for a specific purpose or type of project. They’re specialty clays. FIMO, the First Polymer Clay Fimo was the first polymer clay brand created (in 1954), and for many years the only one. Made by Staedtler, Fimo polymer clay is made in Germany and comes several variations, including a kids clay, a general purpose clay, and a professional clay. The Fimo line is the most common brand of polymer clay in Europe and clayers there often refer to all polymer clay as “fimo”. Fimo can be more difficult to find in the US, but it’s a high quality brand that’s worth seeking out. Fimo Professional About a year ago, Staedtler rebranded the long-loved Fimo Classic under the name Fimo Professional. They changed to 3 ounce blocks (it’s now been changed back to 2 ounce blocks, btw) and added a line of “True Colors”, along with an extensive mixing system that enables you to easily create a range of repeatable colors. It also comes in 12 ounce bricks. I’ve been lucky enough to work with this clay quite a bit and I have to say that I do love it and I think it comes close to being the best polymer clay brand. While it does stiffen up with time on the shelf, it doesn’t seem to be as brick-hard as Fimo Classic was notorious for being. I find that Fimo Pro can be crumbly at first, but soon softens to a lovely workable mass with excellent body. It holds its shape well, holds detail well, and is just the right mix of stiff and soft. I do find that it does get sticky (but not like toothpaste) as it warms up. It leaves a residue on your hands and you do need to wipe your hands with baby wipes between colors. After curing it is phenomenally strong and durable. People say that it’s wonderful for caning. Fimo Professional also has a full range of doll colors, too. It’s called Fimo Professional Doll Art. Fimo Soft Far more readily available in the US than Fimo Professional, Fimo Soft is another very nice all-purpose clay. Available in 2 ounce blocks in wide range of colors, this polymer clay is easily worked, holds its shape well, and is strong after baking. Some people have recently reported that some colors don’t have a very long shelf life and can be very stiff and crumbly. As with Premo, do make sure you buy this clay very fresh from a reputable supplier and not from craft store shelves where it can be years old. The metallic, pearl, and translucent colors of Fimo are called Fimo Effect and from what I can tell they resemble Fimo Soft in behavior far more than Fimo Professional. Fimo Kids Not to be left out, children have their own brand of polymer clay in the Fimo line as well. Fimo Kids comes in a basic color palette of fairly small 1.5 ounce blocks. The colors are more chalky and less intense than the colors in the other Fimo brands. The clay is soft and workable and I think it’s the best polymer clay brand for children. Kato Polyclay Kato Polyclay is a brand of polymer clay developed and marketed by polymer clay artist Donna Kato. It comes in 2 ounce blocks and large 12.5 ounce bricks and comes in a range of bright colors, neutrals, and metallics. The colors or Kato Polyclay are designed to be close to artist’s primaries, so you can readily mix any color that you would need. Kato has a reputation for being difficult to condition and stiff to work with, so you will find a lot of people who dislike this clay intensely. But that’s because they’re expecting this clay to be something it’s not. It’s not a clay for children or people with weak hands, but it’s arguably the best polymer clay brand for caning. The colors remain crisp and well defined, the clay is not at all sticky and is easy to re-position during caning, too. The unbaked clay has a waxy and plastic feeling to it, and the baked clay has a slight sheen. To me, it feels the most like plastic of any clay brands. Because Kato is fairly stiff to work with, it’s the best polymer clay brand to use if you have hot hands and tend to find other brands too soft. A lot of people find that Kato Polyclay has a very strong smell. Well, it does. There’s no doubt about that. It’s not a terrible smell. It’s very vinyl-like, just like a new shower curtain or a new baby doll. But some people find it to be overwhelming. Others quite like it. I find that the smell is barely noticeable if I keep my clay covered with a lid during baking. Kato Polyclay is also one of the strongest polymer clays on the market. If you need something to be strong after baking, this clay is the one to choose. It’s also wonderful for very finely detailed sculpting, as you can see in the work of Forest Rogers. Pardo by Viva Decor Also a German brand of polymer clay, Pardo comes in a jewellery clay and a professional clay. It’s also known for having a phenomenally clear translucent polymer clay. Pardo Jewellery Clay Originally supplied in odd little balls in a jar, Pardo Jewellery clay is a hobby clay that has colors named for and is designed to resemble various gemstones and jewelry materials. I rarely see this clay and don’t have any reason to work with it as I find other clays more suitable for my needs. But it’s a perfectly good brand of polymer clay. In short, I know little about it. Pardo Professional Art Clay I will admit that I don’t use Pardo Professional for anything but the translucents, but it does come in a full range of lovely colors. Translucent Pardo Professional Art Clay is the clearest translucent polymer clay on the market and is by FAR the best polymer clay brand to use if you want to create faux glass or other extremely translucent effects. Pardo recently came out with a line of colored translucent polymer clay that I reviewed recently. I highly recommend them! Pardo Professional is a very good polymer clay for creating canes as it gives clear definition and doesn’t get too mushy. It can, however, be a bit tricky to work with. It does tend to crumble when it’s not conditioned, and some people find this to be a problem when slicing older canes. Pardo responds beautifully to heat, though, and gently warming a cane before slicing can make it easier to slice. Here’s more info for you if you have trouble conditioning Pardo translucent. It does have some tricks to it! Cernit Polymer Clay For some reason, Cernit is a polymer clay that’s far more popular in Europe than it is in the US. It has a reputation of being the best polymer clay brand for making dolls and it does come in a range of flesh colors that more evenly reflects the variations of the human population than other brands. It comes in 77 colors in both small and large blocks. Some people say that Cernit has a ceramic or porcelain appearance once baked. I’m not so sure about that, but it does have a nice, smooth feel. I find Cernit to be a bit crumbly when you first break it off the block, but it quickly smooths out to form a very soft-bodied clay that can be a bit too floppy and sticky to work with. I find that it’s best if you let it rest every few minutes and don’t overwork it. This is just my experience. Others seem to like it quite a bit for sculpting. Translucent Cernit is one of the clearest of all the brands, however, and you will love how it doesn’t seem to form large plaques. At least it doesn’t for me. PVClay is from Brazil South America has a rapidly growing polymer clay community. More and more people are learning about the joys of creating with polymer and they’re looking for good brands of clay to use. Importing clay can be expensive. But there is a wonderful brand of polymer clay made in Brazil called PVClay. I have used this clay and I wrote a review of PVClay here. It’s strong, flexible, fairly easy to work with, and comes in a range of colors, metallics, pearls, and even a translucent. I do recommend this clay and find it to be a very nice all purpose brand. Generic Brands Polymer clay is easy for chemists to make, so it’s not unusual for there to be “no name” or generic brands of polymer clay available on the market. Some stores have their own brand of generic clay. Michaels has CraftSmart brand and Hobbycraft has MakeIt! Brand. You can also find unnamed brands for sale quite cheaply on auction sites such as Ebay. In general, these clays can be too soft, too hard, too brittle, or just plain inconsistent from one purchase to the next. There are better choices. So, What is the Best Polymer Clay Brand? As I hope you can see here, there is no one best polymer clay brand. It just depends on what you’re wanting to do with it and what type of project you want to make. In short, here are my recommendations: If you’re teach toddlers about tactile work, I’d choose Sculpey Original or Bake Shop. For working with small children, I’d choose Souffle or Fimo Kids. To make jewelry I’d choose Premo, Kato, Fimo Professional, or Fimo Soft. For caning, I’d pick Kato Polyclay or Fimo Professional. For detailed, strong sculptures, Kato Polyclay seems to be best. For everyday sculpting of things that will stay on a shelf, Super Sculpey does well. If you’re sculpting cartoon figurines, choose Premo, Kato, Fimo Professional, or Fimo Soft. If you have hot hands and need a stiff clay, Kato Polyclay is wonderful. For arthritic hands or disabilities, choose Souffle. For super clear translucent work, go for Pardo Professional Art Clay in Translucent. If you’re in South America, PVClay is an excellent choice for most purposes. When a super stiff and strong result is needed, Kato is a natural choice. When very flexible and strong results are needed, Souffle is good. If you just want to pick one brand and be done with choices, Premo or Fimo Professional are excellent all-purpose brands. If you prefer to mix your own colors and want true primaries, Kato and Fimo Professional have true colors. Premo makes true primaries, but they’re only available by special order. To make polymer clay paintings where clay is spread on a surface, Souffle works nicely and Sculpey III might work if you can keep the base rigid. Where to Buy Polymer Clay In short, I think the best place to buy polymer clay is from reputable suppliers who keep up a high turnover, always have fresh clay, and are invested in finding other products that will help you with your claying adventures. Craft stores, while convenient, often have old stock and that can mean you’ll get hard and crumbly clay that will cause swearing and frustration. For more strategies on buying polymer clay and for a list of good suppliers that I trust, head over to my article How to Buy Polymer Clay. Like what you’ve read here? Sign up for email updates to stay updated and get the latest polymer clay information. Which List to Follow?: Post Announcements (1-2 times weekly) Newsletter (monthly) New Tutorial Announcements MeasureMeasure Related Notes 10 Simple Polymer Clay Tips (that you surely knew - but maybe not?) 10 Simple Polymer Clay Tips (that you surely knew – but maybe not?) You’ve most likely heard most of these simple polymer clay tips and tricks before. But then again, maybe not. It’s never good to be ... » Morezmore Miniature OOAK Polymer Clay Baby – Part 1*** Home World Wide Web Wealth of OOAK Wisdom – OOAK Tutorials Morezmore Gallery Talk to me on Facebook! Search Morezmore Blog Visit Morezmore A One of a Kind OOAK Supplies Store Join the Mailing List Ent... HomeWorld Wide Web Wealth of O... Home World Wide Web Wealth of OOAK Wisdom – OOAK Tutorials Morezmore Gallery Talk to me on Facebook! 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    craft Monday, May 18, 2015
  • Baked Beet and Sweet Potato Chips with Guac 10th Apr 2015 Food These warming veggie chips are about as simple as it gets! When I was younger, I wasn't the biggest fan of beetroot or sweet potato, but i'm sure if someone had given them to me in the form of delicious and healthy baked veggie chips, it could have been a different story. Of course nowadays I love both of these vibrant specimens, but if you're looking to use them a little more creatively, then you guys are going to love these chips! Plus, they are way healthier than regular potato chips. If you own a mandolin slicer it will be easier to make consistently thin chips, but you can also do this by using a sharp knife (and some professional knife skills would help but don't stress too much!). When the raw slices are baked, they will shrink considerably, so try to use large beets. All these ingredients should be in season at your local farmers market (Autumn), so if you're going to the markets this weekend keep this simple and tasty recipe in mind. Who doesn't love a good Guacamole right? but replacing the traditional tortilla chips with these veggie chips refreshes this well-loved snack. Personally I think this is the best-ever Guac, but I'll let you all decide for yourselves. You could match these chips with any kind of dip, so if you have a favourite that you make a kick-ass version of at home, then you could easily replace the Guac with it. Or try our Rocket, Cashew and Parmesan pesto. Ingredients: Chips 2 sweet potatoes, finely sliced 2 large beets, rinsed, scrubbed and finely sliced 2-3 tbsp olive oil Sea salt Freshly ground black Pepper Guacamole 3 ripe medium avocados 1/4 cup fresh coriander, coarsely chopped 2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup juice) 1 small tomato, diced finely 1 small red onion, diced finely 1 chilli, red or green, deseeded and finely chopped Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Directions: Chips Preheat oven to 180°C. Thinly slice beets and sweet potatoes with a mandolin (or a sharp knife), getting them as consistently thin as possible. Don't worry if they curl a little at the edges when cut, this will make them crispier. In a large bowl, toss beets and sweet potato slices with olive oil to coat evenly. On prepared baking sheets, in a single layer, arrange as many slices as will fit without crowding. Bake until crisp and slightly brown, 15-20 minutes. Be sure to watch closely past the 15 minute mark to make sure they don't burn. Cool chips and blot with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Repeat this process, until all veggie slices are baked. Toss chips with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Guacamole Halve and stone the avocados, and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl. Tip all the other ingredients into the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Use a whisk or the back of a fork to roughly mash everything together. Serve with chips. Subscribe to our newsletter To get a notification when new blog articles come out Subscribe MeasureMeasure Related Notes Homemade Potato Chips Recipe | Savory Sweet Life - Easy Recipes from an Everyday Home Cook Ingredients Salt and Pepper Servings recipe, potato 50 Things to Grill in Foil : Recipes and Cooking : Food Network 50 Things to Grill in Foil . Categories: Outdoor Party, American, Summer, Grilling, For a Crowd . article photos(11) . Try a new cookout dish: Food Network Magazinecreated dozens of fun and easy foil ... 50 Things to Grill in Foil Cat... 50 Things to Grill in Foil Categories: Outdoor Party, American, Summer, Grilling, For a Crowd article photos(11) Try a new cookout dish: Food Network Magazinecreated dozens of fun and easy foil pack...
    recipe Sunday, May 17, 2015
  • The Many Uses Of Witch Hazel WELCOME to “Save My Sanity Saturday” at One Good Thing By Jillee….where I attempt to avoid having a nervous breakdown by actually giving myself a day off from blogging once a week! Please pull up a chair, sit back, and enjoy an “oldie but goodie” from the One Good Thing By Jillee archives. —-Originally posted on November 19, 2012—- I have a challenge for you today! At the risk of, yet again, oversharing…I just HAVE to share ONE MORE THING that relates to the medical procedure I had done last Friday. I’m well aware that this isn’t necessarily the stuff of “polite conversations”…but I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t share the “real life” stuff with all of you, as well as the “good stuff”. Actually, if you think about it, getting a colonoscopy IS good stuff if you’re doing it because colon cancer runs in your family and as a result of the procedure you were given a clean bill of health! :-)  That’s a VERY good thing in my book. Anyway…I’m getting a little off track. Perhaps I’m stalling because the thing I want to talk about is ummm….errrrr…..rather delicate. So let’s just dive right in shall we? :-) Prepping for a colonoscopy is AWFUL! I am not going to lie about that! You can’t eat anything for 24 hours prior to your appointment and you can only drink clear liquids. Now that’s hard enough. I mean I had a pretty rough time with just that! But even WORSE is that “devil’s potion” they make you drink! Magnesium Citrate. ugh. THE. WORST. STUFF. EVER. Then….as if all that weren’t bad enough…you get spend the day and night pretty much attached at the hip with your bathroom. I mean it makes sense, it would be pretty hard for the doctor to do what he has to do and see what he has to see unless you were completely “cleaned out”. As a matter of fact, when I was feeling weak, like I just couldn’t do it, I would tell myself…what if they send you home and you have to do this all over again!??? lol.  That was a definite impetus to stay the course! So….this “cleansing” that must take place is hard on one’s system…not to mention one’s posterior. I’m sorry it that’s offensive to some, but it’s just the way it is. It’s brutal what you’re putting your body through…there’s bound to be some fallout, including a very sore bum. The instructions I got from the doctor’s office for the colonoscopy prep actually suggested purchasing some Tucks hemorrhoid pads for relief of any discomfort you might have…down there. But I figured why buy a whole jar of something I’m only going to use once (knock on wood). Then I thought about the bottle of witch hazel I have in my medicine cabinet and seemed to remember something about it being a remedy for hemorrhoid pain (kinda, sorta the same thing I was going through.) I did a little research and sure enough… Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that can help relieve pain, itching and swelling associated with hemorrhoids. So I made up some of my own “Tucks” to use during this uncomfortable time and I am happy to report they were a little slice of heaven on earth. Here is what I did: I added a couple of drops of Lavender Essential Oil to about an ounce of witch hazel and then dipped round cotton pads in the solution. I then decided to put them in the freezer for good measure. Ahhhh…the relief was sublime and instantly made me a life-long believer in the power of this strangely-named medicinal marvel. I figured my little remedy was just the tip of the iceberg where witch hazel was concerned so I looked into it some more. Turns out witch hazel is produced from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub (Hamamelis Virginiana), and was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians. When distilled and combined with alcohol, the aromatic oil extracted from the bark of the witch hazel shrub makes a soothing and mildly astringent lotion. Here are some of the other wonderful things that unassuming bottle of witch hazel hanging out in your medicine cabinet can do: Facial Cleansing Witch hazel has the unique ability to clean skin pores and dry up excessive oil without leaving skin too dry. For healthy, normal skin, witch hazel can often replace a daily cleanser. For oily or acne prone skin, swabbing witch hazel throughout the day is a great way to quickly wipe off excessive oil without the hassle of a full face wash. Acne Treatment The tannin content in witch hazel has strong astringent as well as antioxidant properties. These astringent properties are cleansing to the skin, while minimizing the size of skin pores. Unlike many harsh commercial acne formulations, it is gentle and non-drying when used to tone and cleanse acne-infected or acne-prone skin. Plain witch hazel may be applied to the skin straight from the bottle using cotton balls. It should be applied to the acne-infected skin twice a day. It should never be applied more than three times a day. Scars & Stretch Marks Witch hazel is often used by pregnant women to prevent stretch marks, but it can be used to help loose or excessive skin around scars or stretch marks to tighten, helping to minimize the scar. Soothe Diaper Rash If your baby’s rash isn’t healing quick enough, apply witch hazel solution (Dickinson’s is good) with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement to your baby’s bottom. Bags Under The Eyes Some people say that the application of hemorrhoid cream to those little baggies under your eyes can take them away. It’s not an old wives’ tale. One of the magic ingredients in a product like Preparation H is witch hazel, which helps tighten up the skin and reduce the bagginess. Varicose Veins Soak wash cloths in witch hazel and lay on legs, which are propped straight out, to reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. The witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily. Soothe Chicken Pox Blisters Witch Hazel can also help the itching caused from chicken pox. To make a Witch Hazel mixture, take one cup of witch hazel and one cup of water. Mix the two and apply to the skin. Don’t be afraid to lavish this mixture on the skin. The witch hazel can be applied as often as needed. Once you apply the witch hazel and water, let dry. Heal Bruises Faster I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before! I am the worst bruiser! The hubster likes to say I “bruise like a summer peach.”  :-) Now I know how to get rid of those bruises FASTER…apply witch hazel three times daily. Heal Cuts and Scrapes Many chemists and pharmacists refer to witch hazel as nature’s answer to Neosporin. Witch hazel can be a substitute for hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol when it comes to cleaning out a cut. Pour a liberal amount of witch hazel over the cut or sore and allow it to dry. Add a bandage and you’re set. You can also use witch hazel on bruises or skin that is blistered or cracked. Soothe Razor Burn The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Splash on after shaving legs or face. Treat Sunburn Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel’s specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too (despite swelling not being obvious). Treating sunburn with witch hazel will lessen healing time and prevent the infamous skin peeling and flaking. Apply with a washcloth soaked in witch hazel, allowing it to soak into your skin for several minutes before removing. Treat Dry Skin This is so timely for me right now. Lately legs have just been itching like crazy because they are so dry! Apply witch hazel immediately after showering to lock in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin. You can bet I will be trying this! Soothe Tired, Puffy Eyes If your eyes are puffy from crying or lack of sleep (or both), then soak two small cotton pads with witch hazel and put them over your eyes. After 10 minutes, your eyes should be refreshed, and any redness should be gone. Witch hazel is famous for shrinking blood vessels (which is why it’s one of the main ingredients in Preparation H cream). Natural Deodorant Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to its natural skin-healing and skin-care properties. Here is a recipe for a natural deodorant I posted back in October. Sore Gums, Sore Throat, Laryngitis The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent activity of Witch Hazel may help shrink and heal inflamed and sore throats, gums and larynx. Witch hazel tea infused with myrrh and cloves can make your sore throat feel better after gargling. Cold Sores Witch Hazel applied on a cold sore when you feel it coming on will prevent it from becoming a blister. If you already have one, use it right away and often and the blister will heal quicker. Scalp Deep Cleanse Use a witch hazel hair-cleansing routine if you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff. Massage the scalp with the witch hazel, followed with shampoo and conditioner. It is also an efficient “between-shampoos” method of washing your hair and scalp. Bug Bites With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is ideal for treating bug bites. Apply the witch hazel with a cotton ball, square or swab directly on the bite. It also works to soothe bites from fleas, flies and insect stings. Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Just like acne and blemishes, the witch hazel reduces itching and relieves swelling. Something definitely worth packing on your next camping trip. Cleaning Dogs Ears Give your dog’s ears a cleaning by moistening a cotton ball or cloth with witch hazel, and gently wiping the inside of the ears. Don’t use a cotton swab. Tick Extraction Ticks may relish the taste of your family pet, but they hate the taste of witch hazel. Before attempting to remove a tick, douse the tick with a few drops of witch hazel to make it loosen its jaws. Grasp the tick firmly and pull; disinfect the bite area by dabbing the skin with witch hazel once the tick has been successfully removed. Household Cleaner Witch hazel can also be combined with lemon juice and baking soda to create an eco-friendly cleaning agent for your bathrooms. Or use it undiluted on chrome, glass and mirrors. You don’t need to rinse as the alcohol-based cleaner readily evaporates, leaving the chrome sparkling clean and germ-free. You can also use 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 cup of water and about 15 drops of essential oil such as lavender, grapefruit, eucalyptus or cedar, combined in a spray bottle as an air freshener. Witch hazel on a cotton ball works well to remove hair dye stains on skin, too. Vinyl, linoleum, and tile floors can be kept clean by mopping once a week with a solution made from 1/2 cup of witch hazel and 1 gallon of warm water. The solvents in the witch hazel strip away old wax while the water dissolves dirt and debris. To clean heavily soiled floors, stir 1 tablespoon of borax into the solution prior to mopping. Jewelry Cleaner Dab some witch hazel on a cotton ball to gently clean your jewelry. Witch hazel is one of those simple, natural products that most of us probably already have on hand, but that we don’t use very often. Guilty! Well, now that you know how many really practical uses there are for it (not to mention how inexpensive it is!) it’s time to bring that bottle out of the cupboard and put it to good use! What are some of your favorite uses for witch hazel? MeasureMeasure
    nesting remedies Saturday, May 2, 2015
  • 21 Health Tricks To Teach Your Body 26th May 2014 By April McCarthy Guest Writer for Wake Up World Whether it’s curing a throat tickle, resolving your headache in minutes or experiencing supersonic hearing, these 21 tricks are proven methods of fooling your body to achieve a desired result, whether that’s relieving pain or just having fun. 1. Cure a Tickling Throat When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, especially if it serves as a health remedy. Take that tickle in your throat: It’s not worth gagging over. Here’s a better way to scratch your itch: Scratch your ear. “When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm,” says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. “This spasm relieves the tickle.” 2. Experience Supersonic Hearing If you’re stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It’s better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones. 3. Calm Yourself With Cold Water Nerves getting the best of you. Take a deep breath and spash cold water on your face. This triggers the mammalian diving reflex that is genetically in all animals including humans. The lower temperature of the water and you holding your breath also causes your body to think it’s diving into cold water. This reflex allows you to use oxygen more efficiently. 4. Overcome Your Most Primal Urge To Pee Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about what ever turns you on. Thinking about sex and arousing fantasies preoccupies your brain, so you won’t feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. 5. Feel No Pain While Giving Blood Love donating blood but hate the needle prick? German researchers have discovered that coughing during a needle stick can lessen the pain. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord. 6. Swallow Your Horse-Sized Supplements Those huge health supplements are sometimes a pain to swallow. Want to swallow more than one at a time without gagging? Try this trick to get them down: take a drink of water, and tilt your head forward instead of backward. The capsule should float, and will be at the back of your throat, ready to swallow. 7. Clear Your Stuffed Nose Forget Sudafed. Here’s an easier, quicker, and cheaper remedy to relieve sinus pressure: Alternate thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you’ll feel your sinuses start to drain. 8. Fight Acid Reflux By Sleeping Position Worried that chilli will repeat on you tonight? Try this preventive remedy: “Sleep on your left side,” says Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you’re on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity’s in your favor. 9. Cure Your Toothache Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50 percent compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands. 10. Make Burns Disappear When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natual method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister. 11. Stop the World from Spinning Feeling dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance–the cupula– floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. “As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises,” says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom. 12. Unstitch Your Side If you’re like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground. 13. Stop A Nose Bleed Put some cotton on your upper gums–just behind that small dent below your nose–and press against it, hard. “Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose,” says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. “Pressing here helps stop them.” 14. Make Your Heart Stand Still Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It’ll get your heart rate back to normal. 15. Thaw Your Brain Freeze Press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. “Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too,” says Abo. “In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache.” The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside. 16. Prevent Near-Sightedness Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. “It’s usually caused by near-point stress.” In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles–like the eyes–into relaxing as well. 17. Wake Up a Limb That Feel Asleep If your hand falls asleep while you’re driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It’ll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so stand up and walk around if they fail you. 18. Impress Your Friends Next time you’re at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He’ll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that’s a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will cave in. By misaligning his hips, you’ve offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body’s ability to resist. 19. Breathe Underwater If you’re dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first–essentially, hyperventilate. When you’re underwater, it’s not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it’s the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that somethin’ ain’t right. “When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity,” says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. “This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen.” It’ll buy you up to 10 seconds. 20. Encode Long-Term Memory Your own! “If you’re giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep,” says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory. 21. Relieve a Migraine Instantly The next time you are about to reach for some pills to get rid of your headache, use your thumb and forefinger and pinch down on the muscle on the web of your hand (thumb on the back of your hand and forefinger underneath) and press for 2 minutes. Repeat. Most headaches and migraines will ease after just 4 minutes. This shiatsu point addresses headaches by dispersing stagnant Ki (i.e. blocked energy) and moving blood in the head, neck, and other parts of the body. Article Sources: menshealth.com lifehacker.com wikihow.com Previous articles by April: Do You Have a Sleep Disorder? Discover The Best Foods to Promote Sleep Health and Nutrition Secrets From Around The World Scientists Find That The Human Body Kills Spontaneous Cancers Daily Forget Fluoride! Make Your Own Toothpaste with These 3 Easy Recipes Mobile Phone Use in Children and Teens Translates to 5 Times Increase in Brain Cancer Rates 14 Things People Probably Do Not Want To Know About Their Favorite Foods About the author:  April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives. This article was reposted with the express permission of the good folks at preventdisease.com
    Saturday, February 28, 2015
  • The Big Bang Bangle: How to Make Colorful Coiled Wire Bangles with Kerry Bogert 1 Oct 2014 by TammyJones Whenever I think of wire coiling, I think of Kerry Bogert. Whenever I think of colored wire, I think of Kerry Bogert. Whenever I think of wire coiling and colored wire and lampwork glass beads, you get this! Thanks, Kerry!   All photos courtesy of Kerry Bogert. The Big Bang Bangle by Kerry Bogert Have you ever seen a piece of jewelry that works its way into your creative thoughts and you know you want to make something inspired by it--but then when you make it, it completely takes on a life of its own? Yeah? You too? This bangle design is the result of one such incident. I was scrolling Pinterest one fine fall day when I came across a bangle design that got my creative wheels a turning. I had to play with the concept and find my own interpretation. You'll find that's a recurring theme with me. See, ponder, create. You know, come to think of it, I might be on to something here. . . . see + ponder + create = inspired! Or is it . . . see + ponder + be inspired = create! I'll have to have my mathematically inclined hubby take a look at those equations for me to see which one is most logical. Anyway, back to the bangle. You'll find my design wraps up pretty quickly and is a great base design for embellishing. I decided to add one of my unique faux stone hollow lampwork beads as a dangle. The shape reminded me of an asteroid caught in Saturn's rings and inspired the name, The Big Bang Bangle. What beads do you imagine for this spacey design? Materials wire flush cutters coiling tool bracelet mandrel (or other round object) file rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot and cleaning solution * 16g round dead soft silver wire 18g round dead soft silver wire 20g round colored copper wire (3 colors) 20g round dead soft silver wire optional: beads to embellish, patina/LOS * I use liquid dish soap. Steps   1.    Create 3 lengths of coil. Make two any length between 2" and 3" (5 to 7.5cm) and make one that is about 1-1/2" (3.8cm). For these, I used a coiling tool. 2.    Wrap a 36" (91.5cm) piece of 16g silver wire around a bracelet mandrel (or other round object) three times. This is your core wire. I photographed this around the largest area of the mandrel but ended up stepping down a level to the second-largest area instead. Slip the wrapped wire off the mandrel and hold it so that it doesn't spring out of its loops. 3.    Slip your two longer wire coils onto the core wire. You'll have to maneuver them past your fingers while still keeping the loops from springing. Slide them along the core wire so that they are on separate rings of it. 4.    Wrap one tail end of the 16g core wire tightly around the loops of wire near the ends of the coils. Flip the bangle over and repeat it with the other tail of core wire near the opposite ends of the coils. 5.    Slide your shorter coil onto one of these tail wires and wrap the core area of the bangle again.     6. Trim the excess wire and file any sharp ends smooth.   After you complete the steps above, you'll have an area of just two core wires that are bare and unwrapped. You could leave the bangle as is, but really, why not add a dangle? Flat spiral headpins are one of my favorite ways to add dangles to designs. They are super easy to make, too. Here's the tutorial for making the spiral headpins and the dangles for your bangle.   1.    Start with an 8" (20.5cm) piece of 18g silver wire. Grasp the wire about 2" (5cm) from one end of the wire and bend it 90 degrees. 2.    Swirl the wire back on itself so that it spirals. You might want to let go of the wire and use the pliers to lightly pinch the spiral if it isn't laying flat for you. 3.    Trim the short little tail of wire and your headpin is ready! 4.    Slide on your lampwork bead. Grasp the wire close to the lampwork bead with your chain nose pliers. 5.    Bend the wire to about 45 degrees just above your pliers. 6.    Switch to your round nose pliers and make a loop. 7.    Before closing the loop, pop the wire bangle into the loop you are creating. 8.    Grasp the loop with chain nose pliers and then wrap closed like you would a wrapped loop. 9.    You have a long tail of wire; keep wrapping it to form a large flat spiral against the back of the bead. 10. Trim the excess wire. Now your bangle is ready for the tumbler! Tumble with stainless steel shot and cleaning liquid for 30 to 45 minutes. It will then be ready to wear. If you find it difficult to slip on your wrist, use your hands to change the bangle from a circular shape to a more oval one. I think you'll find it is an easier fit that way, plus you can keep the bead on top of your wrist. These bangles were all polished and tumbled. As you can see, the bangles and beads survived the tumbler unscathed. Pretty sweet, huh?   If you like an earthier look to your jewelry, this design can be oxidized. I'm often asked if it is okay to oxidize colored copper wire; the answer is YES! It is! I wanted to show you what a bangle looks like made with copper and colored copper wire that was oxidized. This image shows exactly what the bangle looked like right when it came out of the liver of sulfur (LOS) bath. The colored wire is completely fine! I used blue and peridot wire. The peridot is twisted two-tone style with sterling silver.   For this variation, you could just as easily substitute a button in place of a dangle. Feed your wire through the holes of the button and wrap the wire around the core wire. Can't you picture this done in aged brass with a beautiful antique button? Oh yes, someone whip one of those up, won't you? --Kerry Aren't Kerry's colorful coiled wire bangles beautiful? She shared her wire jewelry expertise to help us create the perfect wire coiling collection, including her Wire Coiling Secrets DVD, Totally Twisted book, "Green With Envy" coiled wire earrings project video download, and a six-pack of colored copper-core wire in a color palette chosen just for you by Kerry. It's all for a special price and, like most good things, these wire coiling collections are limited, so don't miss out, get yours in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop! Resources sterling silver wire: Rio Grande colored copper wire: Parawire lampwork beads: Kabsconcepts.com   About the Artist Kerry Bogert is the artist behind Kabsconcepts.com and author of Totally Twisted and Rustic Wrappings. You'll find her work featured in several additional publications including Wire Style, Wire Style 2, Chain Style, and The Missing Link. She's also the Acquisitions Editor for Books at Interweave. When she's not reading new book proposals or playing with wire, you'll find her either knitting, sewing, or cheering for her kids at a sporting event.
    Monday, January 19, 2015
  • Forget Resolutions, What’s Your "Beautiful Question" For 2015? BIG QUESTIONS CAN LEAD TO BIG BREAKTHROUGHS, WRITES WARREN BERGER, AUTHOR OF A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION. HERE'S HOW TO FIND YOURS. WRITTEN BY Warren Berger 3 NOTES 8 PIN 23 PLUS 95 SHARE 135 TWEET 401 LIKE With New Year’s comfortably behind us, we’ve all had enough talk of resolutions. But for those still looking for a way to spark change in their lives, I’d like to suggest a different approach. Try formulating your own "beautiful question"—one that is bold and engaging enough to keep you working on it throughout 2015. A beautiful question (at least according to my own, admittedly subjective definition) can be thought of as an ambitious, yet actionable, question that can begin to shift the way we think about something—and can serve as a catalyst to bring about change. In researching the power of questioning, I found that many change-makers—designers, entrepreneurs, groundbreaking artists, inventors—tend to spend a lot of their time pursuing questions that fit the definition above. And often, those big questions lead to big breakthroughs; in fact, I found that everything from the inspiration for the Red Cross, to the birth of the Internet, to the invention of the cell phone, could be traced back to a question. The same can be said of many startup companies: Polaroid, Pixar, Netflix, Warby Parker, Airbnb, and many others began when company founders set out to answer game-changing questions about why something was lacking in the marketplace and how that gap might be filled. But there’s no reason why asking beautiful questions should be the exclusive domain of inventors and entrepreneurs. All of us can benefit by grappling with ambitious questions that encourage us to step back and consider possible ways to reimagine our lives or reinvent our careers. By asking, for example, How might I reposition myself in response to changes happening in my industry?, or, How might I use my own strengths to tackle a specific problem impacting my community?, you set in motion a process that can lead to profound change. That may surprise some because we don’t usually equate "asking a question" with "taking action." But just by putting an ambitious question out there in front of you, you begin to engage with it. A few years back, a fascinating University of Illinois study found that when people are trying to motivate themselves to do something, questions actually work better than statements or commands. In other words, asking "Will I do X?" or "How might I do X?" is more motivating than declaring "I will do X!" The researchers found that articulating a challenge as a question had the effect of getting people to immediately start thinking about that challenge: why it might be worth doing, how it might be accomplished. EVERYTHING FROM THE INSPIRATION FOR THE RED CROSS, TO THE BIRTH OF THE INTERNET, TO THE INVENTION OF THE CELL PHONE, COULD BE TRACED BACK TO A QUESTION. Questions also fire the imagination. A question is a puzzle: once it has been raised, the mind almost can’t help trying to solve or answer it. In this way, questions enable us to begin to act in the face of uncertainty; they help us to "organize our thinking around what we don’t know," explains Steve Quatrano of the nonprofit Right Question Institute, which studies and teaches questioning methodologies. But not all questions are equal: some are more motivating and inspiring than others. Should we have glass or plaster walls in our new conference room? is not a particularly beautiful question, whereas, How might we create a more collaborative environment? could be. With beautiful questions you’re looking for something more open-ended, more ambitious. On the other hand, if they’re too ambitious (How might we end all wars, starting today?), beautiful questions tend to be less actionable, and they don’t stick. The sweet spot of questioning was described to me by the renowned physicist Edward Witten, who said that in his work he is always searching for "a question that is hard (and interesting) enough that it is worth answering—and easy enough that one can actually answer it." Where and how might you find your own beautiful question? Start building your own beautiful question by looking to where your interests and passions lie—ask yourself some questions about what moves you, what you care deeply about, what you feel you were meant to do. Look for a tough problem that needs solving, in your business, your community or your personal life. In my book A More Beautiful Question I interviewed social entrepreneurs such as Gary White of water.org and Jacqueline Novogratz of The Acumen Fund and found that their careers started with identifying a social problem and then framing a powerful question to attack that challenge. A beautiful question may involve an issue that is right in front of you—though you may need to "step back" to see it fresh. (Often identifying something you’re shying away from or afraid of is a great starting point.) Once you’ve found a challenge worth pursuing, get your arms around it by putting it into the form of a "How might we" (or, in the singular, "How might I") question. Innovators at Google and Ideo have been using this form of questioning for years because it’s a great way to phrase a question that is open and expansive, yet still action-oriented. As Ideo’s chief executive Tim Brown explains, when beautiful questions are worded this way it frees up creative thinking. "The ‘how’ part assumes there are solutions out there—it provides creative confidence," Brown says. "The word ‘might’ says we can put ideas out there that might work or might not—either way, it’s okay." IT’S NOT THAT I’M SO SMART. BUT I STAY WITH THE QUESTIONS MUCH LONGER. My own beautiful question these days, perhaps predictably, is: How might I find ways to encourage others to question more? Having become steeped in the subject, the question is right in my wheelhouse, and is therefore actionable—but it’s also grand and ambitious enough that it could keep me chasing the question for a long, long time. That’s as it should be with a beautiful question. When you find yours, be prepared to live with it (or a version of it; they often morph). We have become all too accustomed to getting quick answers to our daily questions on Google, but a beautiful question calls for a very different kind of "search"—which may lead you to unfamiliar places, new ways of thinking, and (with a little luck) a breakthrough somewhere along the way. As Einstein once said, "It’s not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer." [Illustrations: Zubarevid via Shutterstock]
    Wednesday, January 14, 2015
  • Flavored Water Recipes
    recipe Friday, January 2, 2015
  • Learning to See in Black and White « Topaz Labs Blog
    photography Friday, December 19, 2014
  • 27 Things That Changed The Way We Think About Health In 2014
    Wednesday, December 10, 2014
  • Homemade Amazing Deodorant: Adapted from Passionate Homemaking The original recipe calls for either corn starch or arrowroot powder, but since I had both, I used both. Some folks complained about irritation in the comments due to the amount of baking soda- and found that using less helped. I have had no problem with the amount of baking soda so I will continue with these proportions. Also the coconut oil can go from solid to liquid depending on the storage temperature. Mine stays at a perfect semi-solid in my bathroom, and melts to an oil when I rub between my fingers. 5-6 tablespoons coconut oil 1/8 cup arrowroot powder 1/8 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup baking soda Several drops of bergamot oil [optional] Mix the powders together in a jar and slowly add the coconut oil until you have a "pomade" consistency and powders are mostly dissolved. Add a few drops of oil until it has a lovely hint of scent. To use, scoop out a pea sized amount and rub between your fingers to melt and create a smooth texture. Apply under your arms and rub any left into your hands as a moisturizer.
    Thursday, November 20, 2014
  • Here you get to learn to make an effective and affordable drain cleaner, while feeling like a scientist. This homemade drain cleaner recipe will clear your drain out very well for only a portion of the cost of going out to buy a brand-name drain cleaner. 1. All you’re going to need is about a half a box of baking soda and some vinegar. Follow these steps and watch your drain clear out: · First, pour half a box of baking soda down your drain. · Next, pour  vinegar in your drain to create the foaming action, allowing the mix to break down and eat through the grime of your drain. · Let the foam settle down and repeat the previous step, pouring vinegar to create the foaming action until there’s no baking soda left. · Let your drain sit untouched for about 30  minutes, so that the process may be more effective. · Finally, flush the drain with hot water to clear any remaining debris. This method is perfect for clearing out your drain if you notice that it is draining slowly; however, what can you do if time isn’t on your side, and the homemade drain cleaner didn’t work as well as you hoped? Here are a few more solutions on unclogging a drain if the homemade drain cleaner isn’t strong enough for the severity of your case, and you don’t have the time to utilize professional help from a plumbing company: 2. Clean the Pipe Put an empty bucket underneath the U-shaped pipe,  referred to in world of plumbing as “the trap,” directly beneath your sink. Take out a plumber’s wrench to loosen the slip nuts at both sides of the pipe, but remember to finish the job by taking the slip nuts off by hand. Remove the trap by hand, and the contents of the trap will pour into your bucket. Get an old toothbrush and take out any gunk in the open pipes. When you’re done, rinse the trap, and connect it back to the sink. Sodium Hydroxide Sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, is something you can find at any hardware store. The first thing you need to do is put on a pair of rubber gloves and some eye protection, because this can cause chemical burns if handled improperly. Fill a mop bucket with ¾ gallon of cold  water, and add 3 cups of the sodium hydroxide. Mix it together with a wooden  spoon until it begins to fizz and heat up. Pour this mixture into the drain, and  leave it there for 30 minutes. After this time has passed, flush the drain with  boiling water.
    home diy Saturday, November 15, 2014
  • The Best Ways To Tie A Scarf The weather is getting colder which means that we should put on some warmer clothes and accessories.  One of the must-have accessories for the fall and winter days is the scarf. Scarves come in various styles and sizes which means that there are many ways to wear scarves. Below, we have a photo collection of step-by-step tutorials of how to wear your scarf during the cold days. These tutorials will teach you how to tie different type of bows, loose ends, knots, twists etc. Check them out and learn some of the best ways to tie a scarf. Choose how you will wear your scarf today and make sure you try a new way tomorrow. No matter of your choice your scarf will add a stylish touch to your outfits. Enjoy! Braided Photo via: hellonatural.co The Maddox Style For Square Scarf Photo via: scarves.com Double Loop Photo via: hellonatural.co How To Tie An Oversized Knot Photo via: tulleandtrinkets.com The Relaxed Tie Photo via: kalstyle3.blogspot.com How To Tie A Fake Knot Photo via: productreviewsbyruth.wordpress.com How To Tie A Long Scarf Photo via: stylewile.com French Twist Photo via: hellonatural.co A Figure Eight Knot Photo via: rik-seephotography.com The Madeline Photo via: scarves.com Classic Pull Through Photo via: hellonatural.co Looper Photo via: kalstyle3.blogspot.com The Tiebreaker Photo via: scarves.com Necklace Photo via: hellonatural.co The Autumn
    scarves Saturday, November 1, 2014
  • zenhabits : breathe The Empty Container By Leo Babauta Our lives get so complicated not overnight but gradually. The complications creep up on us, one insignificant step at a time. Today I order something online, tomorrow someone gives me a gift, then I get a free giveaway, then I decide I need some new tools. One item at a time, the clutter accumulates, because I’m not constantly purging the old. Today I say yes to an email request, tomorrow I say yes to a party invitation, then I get asked to a quick cup of coffee, then I decide to be a part of a project. One yes at a time, and soon my life is full and I don’t know how I got so busy. I look at a news site, then a social media site, then my email, then read an interesting article, then watch an online video someone sent me … and soon my day is gone, and I didn’t get much done, and my life gets eaten away in minuscule bites. How do we protect against this feature creep, this complication creep? We have to take a step back, regularly. Instead of thinking, “How can I get rid of this complicated mess?” … let’s ask, “What if I started with a blank slate?” What would you do if your life was a blank slate? If it were an empty container, with limited space, what would you put in it? For me, I might put in some play time and reading time with my kids; coffee time and exercise time with my wife; some long walks and talks with good friends and close relatives; work that matters to me and that helps others; continual learning; and time alone to meditate and spend with my thoughts and a good book. Those are the things that I’d put into my empty container, because they feel right to me. What would you choose? Once we’ve figured that out, we know what belongs in the container … now we just need to constantly look at things and activities and requests and tasks, and ask: “Is this one of my container items?”
    mind body Tuesday, October 28, 2014
  • Failure configuring Windows updates. Reverting changes If your Windows 8 system gives you a message Failure configuring Windows updates, Reverting changes, Do not  turn off your computer message, then this post may help you troubleshoot the issue. Failure configuring updates. Reverting changes. Do not  turn off your computer If you are facing this issue, your computer will normally take 20-30 minutes to revert the changes. Here are a few steps you may want to try and see if it helps resolve your problem. 1] First, you should try and restart your Windows computer and then try to install Windows Updates again. See if this helps. 2] If it does not, then run the Windows Update Troubleshooter. Although Windows 8 includes a built-in troubleshooter, download one from there as it includes more fixes. 3] Perform a System Restore operation and then try again. 4] Run msconfig.exe, select the Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft services and Disable all and Exit. Now restart your computer and run Windows Update. 5] Start your computer in Clean Boot State and see if you can now install the Windows Updates. Installing Windows updates in a clean boot state prevents them being blocked by some Windows Services and software – includings security software. 6] Navigate to C\Windows\WinSxS\ folder, search for a pending.xml file and rename it. You may even delete it. This will allow Windows Update to delete pending tasks and build a fresh new update check. See if this helps. 7] Run System File Checker. 8] Run DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth  first and then DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth to repair your Windows Image. Once the scan is completed, restart and try again. 9] Navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder and delete its contents. Restart you computer and try now. 10] Repair your Windows installation. Windows 8 users may want to consider a Refresh or Reset operation. OEM users may want to consider a factory reset. Stuck in a reboot loop If your computer gets into an endless reboot loop, try to get into Safe Mode or access Advanced Boot Options. Here you can open a command prompt windows or system restore or perform an Automatic Repair. Windows 7 users may want to consider repairing Windows 7. Let us know if anything helped you or if you have other suggestions. Some generic links which can help you troubleshoot Windows Update errors and problems: Troubleshoot problems with installing Windows Updates in Windows 8 | 7 – FAQ Complete Master List of Windows Update Error Codes Troubleshoot: Windows 7 Updates Fail To Install Microsofts CheckSUR Tool to repair Windows Updates Windows Update Page Is Blank In Windows 7 Fix WU Utility will re-register all required WU dll files in a click Troubleshoot Windows Update, Microsoft Update, and Windows Server Update Services Unable to install Windows Updates in Windows 7, Windows Server 2008. Posted by AnandK@TWC on October 22, 2014 , in Category Windows with Tags Troubleshoot, Windows Updates Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
    pc windows troubleshoot Wednesday, October 22, 2014
  • How to Use a Hand Held Light Meter Filed in Tips by David Peterson • 1 Comment Advanced If you have a high-tech DSLR camera, you are probably thinking it’s already got a perfectly good on-board light meter. Why would you want to invest in a hand held light meter? All the new cameras boast sophisticated multi-segment metering systems, advanced light measurement capabilities, and the varying degrees in which they can adapt to different light sources. Doesn’t that make the use of a handheld light meter obsolete? While you may be tempted to go on a photo shoot without one, a handheld light meter is still essential to obtain optimal results in your photography. Note: this article is fairly high-tech and geared toward more advanced photographers, but all are certainly welcome to follow along. Using a Hand-held Meter First, let’s go through the basic steps for using a handheld meter: Set your camera to manual mode, and select your preferred ISO and Aperture. Turn the knob around the white dome of your light meter to make it protrude. Set the ISO on the meter to the same value you set on the camera. Set the aperture to the value you set on the camera. Hold the meter in front of your subject with the white dome facing the camera. Press the measure button. The meter will instantly read out the correct shutter speed for the shot you want. Ensure that your camera is set to manual mode or shutter priority mode and then set the shutter speed to the reading given. You won’t have to get a new reading until the light changes, so you can keep shooting from there without worrying about your exposure. Instead, you can concentrate on composition and your subject itself. So, what do you think? Worth trying one out? Incident vs. Reflected: Incident Light Readings are More Accurate Now that you know how to use a handheld light meter, I’d like to explain why they are still useful. Early light meters were designed to measure the light falling on a subject being photographed. This is why they became known as “incident light meters.” These meters provide an accurate measure of light by each light source surrounding a subject (if the sources are measured separately), or they give an average reading of all the sources if measured together. The difference between incident and reflected meters are that the built-in meter in your camera is a reflective meter. Incident readings are taken with a hand-held meter and are much more accurate. If you take a proper incident reading, your exposure will be perfect. On the other hand, reflective readings, require interpretation on your camera’s part. You might know that your camera has different metering modes. If you use matrix metering, then the meter reading is only going to be as perfect as an incident reading if the information hitting the sensor happens to average out to approximately 18% gray. If you use the spot metering mode, the reading is only accurate if your spot meter is perfectly hitting an 18% gray area. Do you see the trend? Light and/or dark subjects will trick your camera’s meter. Yet, an incident reading steps right in and measures the light that’s actually hitting your subject, thereby giving you a most correct exposure reading. Polar bear in the snow As an example, the proverbial “black cat in a coal mine” and “polar bear in the snow” are typically given as examples of reflected light meters that are convenient in use, but fail to give accurate exposure information. When the scene has large areas of very light or very dark values, such as in these cases, the meter is thrown off. In the black cat in a coal mine example, a reflected light meter would overexpose the image, and in the polar bear example, it would underexpose it. Why? Because the scene does not average out to the mid tone of gray (about 18% gray) that the meter is calibrated to expose for. So while in-camera metering is very accurate in DSLRs, they still assume that the scene before you is 18% gray, and expose will as such. Hand held light meters can measure incident light, and in almost every case will result in a better exposure. If you are adept at referring to a histogram, you would know that in situations like these, the histogram is actually of little use in these situations. Although it’s possible to change your camera’s exposure, there’s no real indication of where it should be in the histogram. This is when only a handheld incident light meter would give you an accurate exposure. Of course you could also go old school and us an 18% gray card. Low-Light Capability Some of the better handheld meters, such as those made by Gossen and Sekonic, provide an extraordinary range of light-reading capabilities. Because of this, they can take measurements that couldn’t otherwise be taken with built-in meters. One model in particular, the Gossen Starlite, measures ambient and flash light while including two spot metering measurement angles, 1Þ and 5Þ. Its measurement range for ambient light is -2.5 EV to +18 EV and for spot measurement of reflected light is +2 EV to +18 EV at 1Þ and +1 EV to +18 EV at 5Þ. Another meter, the Sekonic L-758DR DigitalMaster, also measures both ambient and flash light. It also has a built-in 1Þ spot meter. The measurement range for ambient light is -2 EV to +22.2 EV and for spot measurement of reflected light is +1 EV to +24.2 EV with the ability to measure the cumulative exposure from an unlimited number of flashes. If that’s not enough for your needs, it also has a built-in PocketWizard radio transmitter for remote flash triggering… perfect for studios or outdoor fill flashes. Flash Readings Speaking of flashes, several makers of handheld meters, such as Gossen and Sekonic, offer another capability not provided by built-in camera meters, which is the ability to meter studio flash exposure. These handheld flash meters allow for incident and reflected light readings from any brand of flash equipment, which means that most modern handheld meters make for quite accurate flash exposure control. You can also use them to read from the main and fill lights, and calculate lighting ratios for you. Dynamic Range Perfect for all of you DSLR owners who may be hesitant to buy a handheld meter, the Sekonic L-758DR can be programmed to match the sensitivity of your DSLR’s sensors. I don’t mean for this to sound like an ad, but stick with me for a moment. The dynamic range of a camera sensor can be stored and displayed on the meter’s LCD screen of your camera (see your owner’s manual). This presents the dynamic range limits of your camera’s sensor before you capture the shot. Additionally, this meter has blinking pre-exposure warning lights that will alert you when a measured highlight or shadow has met or exceeded the stored dynamic range. If you’re advanced enough to be working with dynamic range, this might just be a solution for you. Light meters aren’t big scary things only to be used by the professionals. They are still very handy for situations in controlled lighting where you need to get the exposure spot on.
    photography Saturday, October 11, 2014
  • Unpoppable Giant Bubble Recipe 1 cup regular dishwashing liquid 1/2 cup light corn syrup Mix together the ingredients to make the solution. You can double the recipe for more solution. Another option is to mix corn syrup into your regular bubble solution. This thickens the liquid so it sticks better to a bubble wand and forms thicker bubbles that are easier to blow into large shapes. It's easier to pick up smaller bubbles than larger ones, so choose regular-sized bubbles to pick up and handle. Another trick is to wet your finger or the back of a plastic spoon in the solution so you won't be as likely to burst the bubble when you catch it.
    Saturday, October 4, 2014
  • humo Friday, October 3, 2014
  • 10 huge pop songs rewritten as sonnets. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is actually really moving… SEP 29, 2014 • BY ABRAHAM • 0 Usually, song lyrics don’t stand alone as poems to be simply read aloud without music, let alone read silently from a page. But what if some of our favorite lyrics (or at least some incredibly famous lyrics) were re-imagined as renaissance-era sonnets? It sounds silly… It is silly. But the genius behind Pop Sonnets has discovered that ridiculous as the idea is, it’s still pretty awesome. While some of the results are funny, others actually work surprisingly well… Idina Menzel, “Let It Go” Will Smith, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way” Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer” Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” Magic!, “Rude” Village People, “YMCA” Daft Punk, “Get Lucky” Lorde, “Royals” Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Read lots more at Pop Sonnets.)
    Tuesday, September 30, 2014
  • 6 Lessons Learned From Over 200 Hours of Therapy by Sebastian Aiden on September 24, 2014 in Happiness, Health, Lifehacks “You can stay in therapy your whole life, but you’ve got to live life and not talk about life.” –Tracey Gold I’ve been to over 200 hours of therapy. These are the some of the things I’ve learned from all that time and money spent. Dun. Dun. Dun. I wanted to replicate the beginning of Law and Order, but I probably failed. That’s okay and that failure leads me to the first thing I learned. It Is Okay To Be Who You Are I tell some really dorky jokes. Jokes that are unfunny to most people. I use to not do this because I was ashamed of being me. I was afraid of others judging me so I hid parts of my personality that I thought were unworthy. This in turn made me miserable and reinforced my low self-esteem. I became more confident with myself through therapy. I started to tell jokes more freely and just be the huge dork that I am. My closest friends embrace me for it rather than abandoning me. I now happily make fun of myself now, which is something I was not capable of doing before. My baseline happiness level rose significantly when I learned to be comfortable in my skin. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. It Is Okay To Cut People Out Of Your Life I found that part of the reason I kept being ashamed of myself was because of negative people in my life. These people had a constant negative attitude and judged others mercilessly, which made me feel uncomfortable about being myself. They also put me down to my face in a cruel way. One of the things I started to do after starting therapy was limiting my time with these people. I didn’t completely cut them out of my life, but I made sure I only saw them every few months and when I did, I made sure to keep strong boundaries. I did this without guilt and shame because I found that my self-esteem rose after doing it. The positive energy and negative of others affects you in ways that you don’t even know. Your Personal Growth Touches Others “You need to take care of yourself first. If you don’t care for yourself, you can’t take care of someone else.” –Kathleen O’Brien I found that my relationships with others blossomed after I started working on myself. It also helped them open up and be more comfortable around me. My father and I never use to say, “I love you to each other.” This changed after starting therapy. We are now at a place where we say I love you to each other on a semi-frequent basis. My relationships with my friends have never been stronger. My relationship with my mom is rock solid. None of this would have happened without going to therapy and working on myself. I use to be so scared of being open and vulnerable with others. I still am in some ways, but it is a continual progress. When you work on developing yourself in a positive way, you also help others grow in a positive way. Every interaction you have with someone else changes them in some way, so make sure it is in a positive way. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou Personal Growth Takes Time Movies like to make you think that you will have an epiphany and things suddenly change. You are now cured of all your issues. This might be true for some, but is has never been true for me. All of my growth has been a struggle. The old cliché of two steps forward, one back, three forward, etc., is true. You won’t magically change your old habits in a day. Your negative habits have often been there for years. They are engrained in you. It takes time to change your negative habits into positive ones. It sometimes takes a lot of time. Don’t give up when things get tough and you feel like you are a lost cause because you aren’t. As the other old cliché goes, it is the darkest before dawn. Your Emotions Won’t Kill You I use to be terrified of my emotions. I would do anything not to feel any of the negative ones. This inability to cope with one’s emotions is the reason for most addictions. I eventually learned to sit with my emotions. It dawned on me that all of them pass. I am now usually able to cope with them in more effective ways. When you face something scary, it tends to go away a lot quicker. Your emotions won’t kill you even if it may feel like it at times. Learn this lesson because emotional intelligence is crucial for having successful relationships. It Is A Continual Process I usually learn something new everyday. I have learned that a person’s personal development is not a one time thing, but a lifelong journey to make yourself and the world a better place one small step at a time.
    mind Friday, September 26, 2014
  • Blade Sharpening Angles
    diy knives Tuesday, September 23, 2014
  • The Wooden Egg Choose a block of wood that has the grain running through the length of the block. The Wooden Egg is a perfect whittling project for someone new to wood whittling. Lay the block on a table with the long side down. On the side that is facing up, divide the block into thirds running across the grain.  Mark each third with a small pencil dot. Draw a dark line (with a pencil) across the block on the bottom one-third mark and the top one-third mark. Repeat that for all four sides. Now you should have a line that goes all the way around the block one-third of the way up the blocks surface on each end. Choose one end to be the “fat” end of your egg.  The line on that end is your starting line and will always be the thickest part of your egg. On the fat end, slice off the corners of your egg by starting your cuts on your pencil line and finishing at the end of the block.  Keep turning the block as you go until the bottom end is rounded and the corners are gone. Flip the block, and do the same on the other end, but this time you will need to cut more off of each corner since this the narrow end or the top of your egg. Continue working and rounding by slicing then rotating your egg until all four corners are gone and the egg begins to take shape. After you have the basic ends shaped, you can work on connecting them through the middle of the egg.  Remember to slice WITH the grain. As your egg nears completion, go back to the ends and make finer cuts to smooth the surface.
    craft wood Wednesday, September 3, 2014
  • Tutorial: How to Paint Aida Cloth
    craft Tuesday, September 2, 2014
  • Better Sterno Alternative
    Thursday, August 28, 2014
  • The 10 Commandments of Colour Theory
    Monday, August 11, 2014

{ Happy Sewing } Origami Oasis Bento Bags While Origami Oasis certainly was designed with children in mind, I wanted to share a project with you today, The Bento Bag, that really plays on the Origami theme, and that I created with a bit more of a grownup user in mind, though kids can certainly use them as well. These Japanese-inspired bags are a handy, pretty, environmentally-friendly alternative for packing a snack, a lunch, a small on-the-go sewing or knitting project or, well, just about anything. They are great for organizing smaller items within a larger bag (think of bringing a few along on market runs to use instead of plastic bags) or suitcase (swimsuits or undies), or as an unexpected, reusable gift bag. They can be made in a variety of sizes to suit the right need. The single knot doesn’t look that secure, but trust me, it nestles in the hand in such a way that it holds a bundle of apples just perfectly without slipping and there is plenty of room in the ties to create a double knot if one wishes. I love the simplicity of their shape. While I recall seeing lovely linen ones in the past, I thought they would be pretty in two contrasting or complimentary fabrics, with a softer drape to them. But have no fear, these are made with double layers of fabric so that they are firstly, strong and secondly, they are well finished with no wrong sides of fabric showing on the inside or the tie tops. Should you wish to have something with a slightly stiffer body, a bit of interfacing on the wrong sides prior to stitching will do the job perfectly. Whichever way you look at them, they make a pretty package. With a minor alteration, they can also be made with a flat, boxed-corner bottom that would sit better on the counter as a bowl. So you could go shopping… open your bundle… and leave it sitting prettily in your kitchen. You’d like to whip up a few yourself? No problem! Here’s a tutorial. What I used: – a yard each of two pieces of fabric (you will have leftovers). This will make bags the size you see above that will hold about 8 apples or lemons, but you can make them any size you wish. – sewing thread, acrylic ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter. What I did: Refer to this Cutting & Folding Guide for the following instructions. – From the first piece of fabric, cut a perfect square 32″ x 32″. With right sides together, fold the fabric in half. (If your fabric is directional, have your motifs running the direction of the 32″ arrow in the guide) – Find the exact centre along the edge opposite the fold. Cut a 45 degree angle down from the centre point to the bottom corners at the fold line. – With a ¼” seam allowance, stitch along the two edges you just cut. Leave a 4″ opening along one side, about 1″ from the centre point. Clip all the corners to allow for sharp points when turned. Turn the triangle right side out through that 4″ opening, using a pin to gently help pull the corners to sharp points (there is no need to close the 4″ opening here). Press. Repeat with other piece of fabric. – Lay the 2 triangles on top of each other as in the guide, making sure the centre corners are parallel, as well as the top 2 points and the bottom points. Lightly draw a line (with an erasable fabric marker or chalk) across the centre, as well as just inside the edge of the hidden triangle edges so that you can topstitch as shown in the guide. Topstitch across the centre and an eighth inch from the edges as indicated. * Choose one of the following: – Regular corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. For both bottom corners, measure in 4″ vertically and horizontally from the corners. Connect these points and mark this line lightly. Backstitching at both ends, stitch along the line of the angled corners and then up both sides (sewing a scant eighth inch from the edge for the straight sides). Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra fabric from the angled corners. – Boxed corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. Backstitching at both ends, sew straight up both sides a scant eighth inch from the edge. Press these seams flat. Open the bottom of the bag and fold it flat with one of the side seams in the centre. Draw a line perpendicular to the seam about 3″ from the bottom corner. Sew on this line.Repeat with other corner. Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra fabric from the corners. – Turn the bag wrong side out, and press the angled corners sharply. Now you will create a french seam to hide the raw edges. Along the angled corners, sew a line of stitching just beyond where you can feel the raw edges of fabric on the inside, so that when you turn the bag right side out, the edges will be enclosed in the seam. Nice & clean! All done! MeasureMeasure Related Notes THE WEEKENDER Posted by Don un... THE WEEKENDER Posted by Don under accessory design, do-it-yourself| Tags: accessory, fashion, sewing| [82] Comments Featured: Lex Trip Bag So this weekend will have you jetting off to the coast for ... THE WEEKENDER | Weekend designer Weekend designer January 17, 2009 Featured: Lex Trip Bag So this weekend will have you jetting off to the coast for sun & surf?For a weekend excursion you need a quick trip bag.Forget the luggage (too... fleetingthing: baby gifts The Mila Baby shoe pattern and tutorial There are so many great tutorials out there for baby shoes and baby slippers that I did not bother making a tutorial for these at first. Since posting pictures,...

{ Happy Sewing } Origami Oasis Bento Bags While Origami Oasis certainly was designed with children in mind, I wanted to share a project with you today, The Bento Bag, that really plays on the Origami theme, and that I created with a bit more of a grownup user in mind, though kids can certainly use them as well. These Japanese-inspired bags are a handy, pretty, environmentally-friendly alternative for packing a snack, a lunch, a small on-the-go sewing or knitting project or, well, just about anything. They are great for organizing smaller items within a larger bag (think of bringing a few along on market runs to use instead of plastic bags) or suitcase (swimsuits or undies), or as an unexpected, reusable gift bag. They can be made in a variety of sizes to suit the right need. The single knot doesn’t look that secure, but trust me, it nestles in the hand in such a way that it holds a bundle of apples just perfectly without slipping and there is plenty of room in the ties to create a double knot if one wishes. I love the simplicity of their shape. While I recall seeing lovely linen ones in the past, I thought they would be pretty in two contrasting or complimentary fabrics, with a softer drape to them. But have no fear, these are made with double layers of fabric so that they are firstly, strong and secondly, they are well finished with no wrong sides of fabric showing on the inside or the tie tops. Should you wish to have something with a slightly stiffer body, a bit of interfacing on the wrong sides prior to stitching will do the job perfectly. Whichever way you look at them, they make a pretty package. With a minor alteration, they can also be made with a flat, boxed-corner bottom that would sit better on the counter as a bowl. So you could go shopping… open your bundle… and leave it sitting prettily in your kitchen. You’d like to whip up a few yourself? No problem! Here’s a tutorial. What I used: – a yard each of two pieces of fabric (you will have leftovers). This will make bags the size you see above that will hold about 8 apples or lemons, but you can make them any size you wish. – sewing thread, acrylic ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter. What I did: Refer to this Cutting & Folding Guide for the following instructions. – From the first piece of fabric, cut a perfect square 32″ x 32″. With right sides together, fold the fabric in half. (If your fabric is directional, have your motifs running the direction of the 32″ arrow in the guide) – Find the exact centre along the edge opposite the fold. Cut a 45 degree angle down from the centre point to the bottom corners at the fold line. – With a ¼” seam allowance, stitch along the two edges you just cut. Leave a 4″ opening along one side, about 1″ from the centre point. Clip all the corners to allow for sharp points when turned. Turn the triangle right side out through that 4″ opening, using a pin to gently help pull the corners to sharp points (there is no need to close the 4″ opening here). Press. Repeat with other piece of fabric. – Lay the 2 triangles on top of each other as in the guide, making sure the centre corners are parallel, as well as the top 2 points and the bottom points. Lightly draw a line (with an erasable fabric marker or chalk) across the centre, as well as just inside the edge of the hidden triangle edges so that you can topstitch as shown in the guide. Topstitch across the centre and an eighth inch from the edges as indicated. * Choose one of the following: – Regular corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. For both bottom corners, measure in 4″ vertically and horizontally from the corners. Connect these points and mark this line lightly. Backstitching at both ends, stitch along the line of the angled corners and then up both sides (sewing a scant eighth inch from the edge for the straight sides). Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra fabric from the angled corners. – Boxed corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. Backstitching at both ends, sew straight up both sides a scant eighth inch from the edge. Press these seams flat. Open the bottom of the bag and fold it flat with one of the side seams in the centre. Draw a line perpendicular to the seam about 3″ from the bottom corner. Sew on this line.Repeat with other corner. Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra fabric from the corners. – Turn the bag wrong side out, and press the angled corners sharply. Now you will create a french seam to hide the raw edges. Along the angled corners, sew a line of stitching just beyond where you can feel the raw edges of fabric on the inside, so that when you turn the bag right side out, the edges will be enclosed in the seam. Nice & clean! All done! MeasureMeasure Related Notes THE WEEKENDER Posted by Don un... THE WEEKENDER Posted by Don under accessory design, do-it-yourself| Tags: accessory, fashion, sewing| [82] Comments Featured: Lex Trip Bag So this weekend will have you jetting off to the coast for ... THE WEEKENDER | Weekend designer Weekend designer January 17, 2009 Featured: Lex Trip Bag So this weekend will have you jetting off to the coast for sun & surf?For a weekend excursion you need a quick trip bag.Forget the luggage (too... fleetingthing: baby gifts The Mila Baby shoe pattern and tutorial There are so many great tutorials out there for baby shoes and baby slippers that I did not bother making a tutorial for these at first. Since posting pictures,...

craft May 27, 2015
Extracted Page: http://www.kayajoydesigns.com/happy-sewing-origami-oasis-bento-bags/

Additional text has been truncated due to copyright reasons. Things without URLs and private things don't get truncated.