Latest Publications

Cold Soap Recipes for Beautiful, Professional Soap

At times, all of us wish that our lives were not so hectic. We check our phone messages… digital, landline and work. We answer a constant stream of e-mails from work, from home, from Facebook. We check our Black berry and by the time we are finished it appears, that rather than assisting us, technology has increased the continually growing number of tasks we perform just to get through the day. It is understandable to fondly think of a time before these advances began to rule our lives.

Before getting too wistful it is good to remember that life was not quite as simple as it may have seemed. One area where that is certainly true is soap making. The cold process of soap making is popular today just as it was in Grandma’ time. However the beautiful soaps you produce today don’t appear at all like the soaps made with considerable effort and time so many years ago.

The type of soap Grandma made is called “Cold Process” soap (commonly referred to as “CP” soap). Cold process soap making is a science as well as an artistic endeavor. Cold process soap is created by combining lye (sodium hydroxide) with fatty acids. Grandmother did not have the luxury of using the wide variety of fatty acids available to soap makers today which can be nearly any type of oil. She may have used hemp oil or beef tallow.

Basically the fatty acids and lye combine and cause a reaction that is called “saponification”. At times, this can be a very time consuming process because it can take up to five weeks to really “set” the cold process soap. Also, because the cold process method includes the use of lye, it is important to use gloves and protective eye gear to prevent an accident.

Despite the time involved and the potential for injury, cold process soap is famous for producing a hard and extremely long lasting soap. A great lathering soap can be produced by using coconut oil and a complexion loving mild soap by including olive oil. The addition of cocoa butter or, the old stand by, hemp oil can be very soothing and moisturizing.

Here is a wonderful cold soap recipe that is excellent for beginning soap makers: A few helpful guidelines before you begin:

* Always wear long sleeves, rubber gloves and protective eye wear.

* When adding the lye to water stir thoroughly and avoid inhaling the fumes. When the lye has been added set the mixture outside or in a well ventilated area and let it cool to 110F.

* In a separate container, add all the oils and heat to 110F.

* Combine the lye with the melted oils and stir until “trace “is attained. “Trace” is the word soap makers use to refer to the stage in the soap making process where the mixture becomes the consistency of a thin white sauce. This step can take a half an hour or more if you do not use a hand blender.

* Pour the “traced soap mixture into molds. After 5 days remove the soap from the molds and for best results allow the soap to cure for 4 weeks to completely finish saponification.(the continuous melding of oils and acids)

Just Like Grandma’s Soap for Beginners

* 6.9oz Lye

* 15.8oz Water

* 16oz Palm Oil

16oz Coconut

It is a very basic recipe but is it ever wonderful. Have fun!

About the Author

Sidney Lynn is a soap making enthusiast and provides a Free Soap Making Secrets Mini-Course that reveals the best information on how to make soap, recipes, and information on how you can even make money with your handmade soaps at For the best Cold Soap Recipes available, sign up for the Free Soap Making Secrets Mini-Course today.

How Can We Apply Decoupage To An Item In Some Simple To Follow Stages?

Decoupage currently seems to be trendy! It is used to coat plant pots, cases, boxes, vases, bottles in addition to even candlesticks, to good effect. We frequently happen across it in souvenir shops while we are looking for presents amid the canvas art, candles, curios etc.

This actually is not an expensive sideline, except you do require a degree of patience for this! Once you have grasped the idea there are unlimited items that you could indeed cover. So, with the many delightful papers that you can use for this, it is possible to make use of pictures like you notice on art posters, representing times from a different age.

Luckily enough, within handicraft shops, they do have available some lovely sheets particularly for this. Or else you can cut up Christmas or else birthday cards, glossy magazine pictures, or else, I imagine, even snaps of your pets or relatives!

If it is terracotta or wood wipe your item in the first place and make sure that it is dry before you continue. Initially you will need to assemble your cut outs and then change them all-around to structure your work. Right now pick a suitable colour for the background of your article and give it a coat of acrylic paint.

Should you be using an open kind of article, such as a bowl, this will need painting both inside and out. Now be patient and place it somewhere to dry out where it will not gather dust. In the meantime mix up a dish of some everyday household wallpaper paste. We have right now arrived at the detailed bit!

You can right now use a narrow household paintbrush, say approximately an inch wide, to deftly paste your cut out pieces on the flipside of them and then securely affix them to your item. When you place on every piece religiously use an old rag to press it down and give it a wipe over.

Depending on how large your cut outs are, I would most likely paste bigger cut outs on primarily. Allocate plenty of time for these to dry totally. Therefore, in this example, I would in any case give it a day. As soon as you have reached this point you must now spread over a glaze of polyurethane to your handiwork.

Should your piece is a garden tub with an inside to it which is wide open, paint the interior side first. Then put it to dry again over night. The next day you can continue and polyurethane the outside. Now you can clean your paint brush using some mineral spirit.

Your next step is to use a slightly darker shade of paint to cover your item, both inside and out. However, before this actually dries, use a sheet of kitchen roll to take the paint off, enabling your cut outs to shine through. Leave overnight!

The following day you can use your polyurethane again to apply yet a further coat on top of the whole of your chosen article.

The author of this “How To” guide, Anna Meenaghan, also operates an online interactive art community where you can find more helpful guides on art & crafts as well as all things related to art ranging from canvas art through to art posters. The site also serves as a meeting point for artists & art enthusiasts alike.

About the Author

Originally I hail from the midlands shoe factory town of Northampton.
One way or another my life has always revolved around art in different forms. Whilst living in London I enrolled at St. Martins college of art and studied fashion drawing and dress design…

Ho To Learn How To Sing

How To Learn How to Sing

It’s one of those questions beginning singers struggle with: How to learn how to sing, or are some people just born with this craft

If you ask me, I think anyone can learn to sing:. It’s not hard to increase, your range,and improve your pitch and become a better singer through lots of hard practice . Your body will adapt with your singing and so will your mind – as long as you keep working at it.

Can Anyone Learn to Sing

Can anyone learn to sing, this depends on a number of factors. Why, Some people just give up on themselves after a few sessions without putting in the required amount of hard work. It’s the same as in any other art or craft it has to be mastered: you can almost certainly learn the new craft yourself, but whether or not you do is down to you and your level of commitment. What you put into your singing is what you’ll get out of it. With some hard Work your voice will improve. Working hard over a long period of time will Improve your singing.

But if you stop trying after a few weeks because you haven’t seen good results for your hard work, guess what, You’re probably not going to become a good singer.

Here are some other reasons you can learn to sing:

● Musical talent can be developed. You see: no one is born to play a piano or guitar . Even guitar pros have to be taught how to play there instrument.
● This means that there’s a lot of opportunity for you to develop the craft or hobby you’re interested in – your voice is definitely unique in that it’s an instrument of music that you always carry with you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t increase your range and lung capacity to improve the control you have over your vocal chords. In fact, you’d be amazed to hear how much better your voice will sound if you simply work hard at it on a regular basis.

● Many talented vocalists have to work – hard – at it, too. Some people might have raw natural talent to be great singers,maybe there parents were good singers and they have been brought up listening to singing, but without the practice to develop it, they don’t get very far. Google some of the great singers of all time and I’m confident you’ll find stories like yours of extreme perseverance and dedication to their craft.

So what does all this mean for you. Well, no excuses, If you really want to learn to sing, guess what, Then its up to you to make it happen. Without your dedication and hard practice, no coach on this planet will be able to solve your singing problems. There is no one special technique or exercise that can transform you into a great vocalist; instead, you’ll have to go through lots of practice if you want to be one of the best singers.

The good news, of course, is that yes, it is possible. Hopefully this is encouraging news for you if you want to become a good singer and encourage you to work hard on a regular basis. Just don’t push your voice too hard – you don’t want to pass out!
Just enjoy it.

About the Author

To get access to my new free mini-course visit my website
On my site you will find lots of use full topics on
vocal warm up,increasing your vocal range and much more

Sewing Machines Reviews – Here’s How You Can Benefit From Them!

It is a good habit to real product reviews before you buy any product online. Online buying has certain limitations of not being able to view the product you wish to purchase physically.

This is where real customer reviews come into picture. If you have to buy a new sewing machine then reading real customer reviews is one of the best ways to educate yourself about the kind of features and price tags you are looking for.

Sewing machines reviews can be very helpful in many ways that can save your time and money. Here is a small list of things you can learn for reading real reviews.

1) Customer rating for various makes of sewing machines.
2) Features of machines and their ease of use.
3) Does the machine actually have all the features as advertised?
4) Customer support from the manufacturer regarding various queries?
5) After sales service from the manufacturer.
6) Promptness in shipping schedule from the manufacturer?
7) Care in handling of the sewing machine during transport.
8) Respect for the guarantees or any other claims by the manufacturer.
9) How was the performance of the machine even after using for several years
10) Which sewing machine brand is the most reliable one and which one should be always avoided? (very important)
11) Many more such queries answered

As you can see from the above list that this information is extremely vital for your satisfaction as a potential customer because you deserve to be educated in a special manner.

Once you have this information handy with you, it becomes almost easier to go for the best and the most reliable sewing machine brand easily. Truly speaking it’s a great idea to use the machine yourself before you buy it, but as mentioned previously it is not always possible to use a demonstration piece physically. That is why reading real sewing machines reviews is one of the best ways grab your hands on the finest sewing machine of your choice.

Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya

About the Author

I have listed real sewing machines reviews written by real people who have purchased and used several brands of machines on my website I encourage you to read them before you make any buying decision.

How To Pick A Great Cheap Costume

Halloween has become a seasonal event wherein we would always want to participate. It is a time of displaying lavishing costumes and going out for a trick or treat. Now, this is where the problems of most people come – the costume. It is a problem because instead of having fun, we are troubled on the amount of money spent for every costume, thus, defeating the purpose of why we are joining Halloween parties. But do not despair. Enjoying the spirit of Halloween without being very costly is possible. Below are some guidelines that you could use in order to find amazing costumes without emptying your pocket.

1. Shipping Times

For searching Halloween costume via online, you must consider the time of shipment. It may happen that you have bought this specific costume at a reasonable price but it would not arrive in time for the party. Thus, check the shipping time of the costumes in order to make sure that you would wear in time for Halloween. The delay of the arrival would really matter. It would be absurd if your costume would reach the destination on Christmas instead of Halloween.

2. Shipping Fees

Another important feature is the shipping charge. There are those retailers that sell the costumes at a lower price but would impose higher fees for the shipment. Sometimes, they do get the most of their profits from the shipping fees. Therefore, you should be mindful of this factor. There are available stores online that also gives discounts on shipping fees. Do not compromise. Low cost costumes but with high charges on shipment is not saving. Therefore, shipping fees is an important consideration in buying costumes.

3. Vendor Reliability and Stability

The reliability and stability of the vendor must also be regarded. The reliability does not only cater as to the delivery of your costume but also on the confidentiality of the information that you conveyed. In purchasing these costumes online, you also share your financial assets and other information. Therefore, only buy from stores with good reputation and have long been in the business.

4. Good Selection

It is imperative for you to buy from those online boutiques that provide you with a variety of selection to choose from. Your money is an important matter. Therefore, do not just spend it on some last choice costumes. It should be a costume that you really want and something you have chosen because by your preference. You can acquire this online. There are many stores that offer discounts for their costumers.

5. Shop Early

Be an early bird in shopping for your costumes. These are bestsellers especially online. Thus, to be able to have a good deal, do your shopping earlier. You will more available choices and you would not cram. Excellent deals may be gone by the end of September. If you would start late, you may be stuck with second handpicked costumes. That is not good for you. Else, you may be constrained by the alternatives being given to you. Shop as early as you can and you will get the best deals.

About the Author

Harland spikes is a freelance writer and owner of air hockey tables for sale where you can find great air hockey table reviews

Elna 8600 Xplore Sewing Machine – A Review

When it comes to an excellent portable machine, the Elna 8600 Xplore sewing machines have a solid reputation. They provide a wealth of functions, many designed especially to aid in embroidery and working with light fabrics. You would be correct to think a machine of this type could cost thousands, but temper that with the knowledge that this machine is more than a personal sewing machine, it is also suited very well for moderate industrial applications.

An Elna 8600 uses a built-in computer to step you through a process, and you are able to record your own special stitch patterns, and save them to removable memory cards. Using a computerized sewing machine makes even novice users turn out projects that could have been done by pros. Press a few buttons, and the Elna Xplore will record stitches exactly as you move through them, allowing you to form your own stitch template.

An Elna Xplore makes embroidery simple. There are several different letter fonts built in, or you can even create your own. You’ll even find programmed patterns for customizable monogram designs. Tasks that once seemed terribly tedious now take a fraction of the time, and the intuitive design of the Elna 8600 Xplore makes it simple to get started. Turn it on, and the menu will take you through the process of what you want to do.

There are many notable features built into the Elna 8600, among them the set of personalized machine function settings. These include the maximum embroidery speed, default language, screen contrast, and even whether to display measurements in inches or millimetres. PC users will appreciate that the removable memory cards can be used to get new designs from the internet, and you can even use your computer to sort and edit designs.

The adjustable speed control allows you to tailor the Elna 8600 to your specific needs or those of the fabrics you are working with. Free arm embroidery gives the machine more flexibility than you would find in other similar models. If you have never used a computerized sewing machine before, the experience is sure to make a believer out of you right away. What you can accomplish is limited only by your own imagination.

To be fair though, the speed of an Elna 8600 sewing machine could be a little faster. At a maximum of 1000 stitches per minute, professionals will notice the difference. Few complain though, as the other features of the 8600 Elna far outweigh any possible drawbacks. Unless you absolutely must have blinding speed, this machine will give you all of the performance you had ever hoped to have in a sewing machine of this size.

About the Author

Follow the links for the Elna sewing machine. You can also read sewing machine reviews on all the leading brands such as Husqvarna, Brother and the Bernina sewing machine.

Discover Simplicity Sewing Patterns

Simplicity Sewing Patterns have been manufactured since 1927 and the step-by-step instructions for cutting, stitching and assembling the clothes are just as popular today as they were back then. During the Great Depression these patterns allowed women at home to create fashionable clothing.

A Simplicity sewing pattern greatly emulates designer clothing and the company currently produces close to 2000 patterns. These patterns consist of tissue paper with numbers and instructions written on it. You will then pin the paper on the fabric and stitch and cut along the printed lines.

Anyone who loves to sew, or who wants to learn to sew, will find using Simplicity sewing patterns a great way to be creative and create beautiful clothing. The company is headquartered in New York City and many consumers look to Simplicity for the most current fashions to sew and to customize and put their own unique twist on it.

You can make just about any article of clothing you can think of with a Simplicity sewing pattern. Dresses, skirts, pants, jackets, menswear, sleepwear, children and baby clothing – if you want to create something, there is a pattern for it.

There are also Simplicity sewing patterns for home d茅cor. You can make window treatments, bed coverings, appliance coverings, pillows, tablecloths and placemats, to name just a few.

If you are going to a special occasion like a wedding or a prom, there are stunning patterns you can choose from that have a great designer look to them. Simplicity sewing patterns even come in special collections. If you are interested in “going green” the company offers patterns that include information on the best fabrics to use for your tops, pants, dresses, purses and even for a sweater for your dog.

The company’s Learn to Sew patterns offer a collection of simple, easy to follow instructions for beginners and their Project Runway patterns are inspired by the television show of the same name.

Many of the Simplicity sewing patterns from years ago are considered vintage and are sought after by collectors. As you become more adept at sewing (if you are a beginner), you will be thrilled to make your or your child’s own Halloween costume or outfit for that special occasion.

Each year, there are Simplicity Sewing Patterns for the new season whether that is spring, summer, fall or winter; you will know what designs are going to be the current style by looking at the patterns – you will be ahead of the game by already having several clothing items made before the styles are even in the stores.

Simplicity also offers a full line of sewing machines and specialty products, like embroidery and quilting accessories.

If there is an item that you are interested in creating, there is a Simplicity sewing pattern that will help to guide you. You really cannot go wrong when you purchase these patterns as their attention to detail in creating fashion forward and classic looks will leave you feeling well satisfied with your end result!

About the Author

Jack Tate is a full time computer expert with a passion for life and extreme sports.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful. You can visit for some more information about the Simplicity Sewing Patterns and they usually have a nice product selection to choose from.

Screwing up in the driveway

I decided the driveway was a perfect spot to lay out the pieces for the simple collapsible miter saw table I was building. This was such an easy project … my 10-year-old could have done it! All I needed was 2x4s, hinges and two different lengths of screws-l-in. screws to attach the hinges to the single 2×4 and 2-1/2-in. screws to attach two 2x4s. The assembly zipped right along, and after finishing the main section of the table, I stood back to admire my work. It looked perfect. But when I bent down to lift it off the driveway, it wouldn’t budge. No matter how hard I pulled, it was stuck fast! Turns out I’d used the longer screws for the bingos, and they had bored straight down through the 2×4 and into the asphalt. I guess I should have let my 10-year-old build the rack after all.

Man-eating beanbag
After remodeling my third-floor home office, I splurged on a new beanbag memory-foam chair that came packaged in a highly compressed cube. No one was around to help, so I decided to carry it to the third floor myself-up two flights of stairs and a narrow spiral staircase. The box wasn’t big, but it was heavy-maybe 75 lbs.-and it was hard to get a good grip. Temperature control in your shop make Honeywell Thermostat Manual. After the first flight of stairs, I ditched the box so I could hold on to tho shrink-wrapped bundle. Bad idea. After a couple of steps, I snagged the plastic on a piece of rough railing, and I knew I was in trouble when the foam started to expand. By the time I hit the spiral staircase, the beanbag had expanded so much that it sagged into a large, squishy dome around my head and shoulders and I couldn’t see where I was going! By the time 1 found the door to my office, I was completely stuck inside the chair and it took mo 15 minutes to push it through the door and extract myself.

About the Author

The best model of the product for temperature control honeywell rth230b.

Goodwill or New Outfit

If you have too many clothes, like most people, a good thing to ask yourself, is “have I worn this in the last 5 years?” If the answer is no, you probably have two good options. Make some room in your closet by giving it to Goodwill, or the more fun option which is making it your new favorite piece of clothing again. There was a reason in the first place that you bought it for yourself. The first thing that you need to do, is remember why you haven’t worn it. Whether it hasn’t fit since you’ve started your new diet *wink* *wink*, or possibly it is a color that you don’t think brings out your eyes. Whatever the case may be, figure it out and do something about it.

If you think there is any chance of salvaging the outfit, here are a couple of good ideas to do with those old clothes. Decorate your old clothes and add some flare. Hey, nothing says individuality like making an old piece of clothing glow. Try placing EL Wire around the shoulder pads or pockets and take it out on your next clubbing venture. It may be your go to party outfit. Beads, LED Lights and glow paint are all good ideas as well to get your old clothing noticed again. If you do this a few times a year, no extra planning for Burning Man is required either.

EL Wire can be used in many aspects of clothing; make old shoes a new hip color, giving a pair of pants some dancing flare, or making an old vest the hit of the party. In any rate, EL Wire is a fantastic idea for anything that you don’t foresee yourself wearing again. And hey, if it doesn’t work out, at least the Goodwill will have some new glowing clothing…

About the Author

Frank writes about new lighting technologies that light up the globe, including, EL Wire inverters, lasers, LED Lights and more.

How to Make Unique Valentine’s Lollipops

Do you feel stressed when it comes to Valentine’s Day? Do you feel a lot of pressure to buy that perfect gift each year? Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be about expensive gifts and tons of stress. Why not try a thoughtful, creative idea such as making your own unique lollipops.

All you need are a few items to get you started. You’ll need: mini candy canes (think clearance aisle after Christmas!), white chocolate, lollipop sticks, sprinkles, parchment paper, vegetable oil and clear acrylic stamps.

First off, preheat your oven to 235 degrees. While the oven is heating up, place some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Unwrap your candy and place 2 together in the form of a heart. Heat the canes for 10 minutes.

Working quickly once you remove them from the oven you’ll want to widen the candy cane hooks and secure a lollipop stick between the 2 once softened. Then melt your white chocolate and fill in the newly created hearts (this will secure the heart formation as well as the lollipop stick).

Take a paper towel and fold into quarters. Place a small amount of oil on the paper towel and let absorb. Taking a clear acrylic stamp (new or never used with ink pads) and ‘ink’ up in your oil ‘stamp pad’ (this helps release the stamp once the chocolate hardens) and stamp image (without using a block) into soft chocolate. Allow image to remain in chocolate until it has hardened.

If desired you can add sprinkles after you’ve stamped your chocolate and the chocolate remains soft. This will leave your stamped area free of any sprinkles once you remove the stamp image.

When the chocolate has hardened. remove the stamp image and wash it in soap and water and let air dry. Wrap the Candy Cane Heart Lollipop in a cellophane bag and tie closed with ribbon. No matter who the recipient is, they are sure to love these lollipops!

To see step-by-step pictures of this process and to learn more about stamping, visit my blog.

About the Author

Kristina Baldwin is an expert stamper and scrapbooker. She owns her own business where she not only teaches technique and project-based classes, but sells the stamping and scrapbooking products she herself loves using. You can find more inspiration and information about her classes as well as starting your own business at her blog