April 2009

eHow Crafts

Are you one of those people who simply can not find enough craft projects to keep you busy? Do you spend hours scouring the Internet in search of your next big project to use up the growing mass of materials that you have collected? If so you know there are literally tons of websites out there devoted to crafts.

Imitation Rust for Vintage Looking Crafts

Are you one of those people who like the look of country chic decor? Perhaps you are a vintage junkie like me and rather than having an infatuation with all that glitters, you have one with all that is old and seemingly unimportant yet speaks of an untold history. If so, you may just love the idea of creating imitation rust for all of your vintage crafts. This project is so simple you may wonder why you never thought of it yourself. Ok, so I know that there are ready made products out there that can simplify the process of antiquing and rusting a metal object,  but sometimes it is nice to really get your hands dirty.  And this project can really get your creative streak shining, as it calls for some experimenting to create your own special 'rust recipe'. There are a few really great things about being able to do this.

The Benefits of Natural Home Made Perfume

For centuries some of the world's finest perfumes have been traditionally blended from pure essential oils; this is especially true of the use of flower extracts. They have some distinct benefits over the chemically engineered department store colognes and perfumes, not to mention having a more pleasing scent than the synthetic aromas, found particularly the cheaper perfumes. Essential oils have been used for ages in a practice called aromatherapy which uses the beneficial properties of the oils to treat ailments, and promote overall health and emotional well being. Each individual oil has a relaxing, stimulating or uplifting property. Certain oils, such as Lavender and Bergamot, may have more than one of these properties, helping to balance body systems and emotional states. A big part of the charm of essential oils is their ability to improve everything from acne to water retention.

Out of the Ordinary Recycled Craft Projects

I have found yet another craft website that is full of interesting projects. Craft Bits keeps me intrigued and laughing at the same time. This is not your basic hum-drum crafting website. While they have some projects that are fairly common they have a great range of ideas that are anything but! As you expect from most crafting websites these days many of the patterns use items you have around the house. What you might not expect is the recyclable items actually used.  Did you ever imagine re-working that too-small bra? One of my favorite project ideas is the Dammit Doll, a cute modern day equivalent of a voodoo doll. This project eased my stress the minute I saw it. I was laughing so hard at the name...then I looked at the poems they have that go with the finished product. It was too comical! If you are a devoted crafter you should probably have all the necessary materials to make a few Dammit Dolls of your very own.

Earth Friendly Yarn

Knitting and crocheting are great crafts. Portable and practical, not only can you create beautiful and useful items, but you have an escape and a way to relax at the end of a grueling day. Perhaps why the trend has been so hot with celebrities over the past few years. We have lots of choices when it comes time to skein-up now too. No longer are we limited to using synthetic yarns or yarns that have been produced in socially and environmentally damaging ways.  The current trend to go green has filtered through to the world of knitting too. Here are some of my top places to find great 'green' yarns.  Of course they come in plenty of other colors too.  ;)
Earth Friendly Yarns is a great source of vegan, organic, recycled and fair-trade yarns, along with other types of yarns that are Eco-friendly.

Earth Day Crafts for Kids

Fellow environmentalists, it is almost that time again! April 22nd is right around the corner and celebrating Earth Day can be tons of fun, as well as highly educational for the children in your life. Special Earth Day activities and crafts will be much more interesting and exciting sources of information than say, documentaries and lectures.

Stop Throwing Those Baby Food Jars Away!

There are a myriad of household uses for empty baby food jars: * They make great storage containers for office and craft supplies. * They are the perfect size for toddlers to drink from. * They are ideal to mix paint in for children's art projects, as well as for your own. * They make wonderful storage containers for your "secret" spice concoctions in the pantry. And of course, there are some really creative and attractive Eco-conscious craft projects you can use them for. In fact, after visiting this site with a huge list of ideas using old baby food jars, including candle holders, fake fish-in-a-jar (great to fend off kids who won't stop bugging you to get them a pet), homemade air fresheners and mini sno-globes.

Revive that Old Suitcase

Remember those old, clunky, oddly colored suitcases of tortoise shell strength that disappeared as canvas and plastic luggage took their place?  If you have one lurking in your house somewhere,  it is time to bring it out into the light of day and breath new life into it. For a while now, interior designers (mostly catering to the kitsch and country living folks) enlisted them as a part of vintage style decor. Women's magazines have quickly followed suit, touting them as a great was to create discreet storage spaces and unique decorative accents.

Craft a Greener World

These days many people are choosing to live green, or at least a bit closer to green. There are so many changes we can make in our daily lives that will have a positive impact on Mother Earth. We can reduce our consumption of resources, recycle items on a regular basis and we can reuse items we already have, for starters.  For all of us crafters, this new trend is a green light to horde even more 'junk' and find new ways to re-use, re-work and re-purpose more and more unusual items in our projects.
You can find patterns and instructions for all kinds of green crafting at the library, in bookstores and of course, on the Internet. Crafting a Green World is a great online resource.