Archive for November, 2012

Making craft items is a great opportunity to make the ideal present for friends and family and a pleasant way to relax and slow down. This is because crafting is a very therapeutic pastime which can also yield something decorative and useful.

Everyone is creative to some extent and through the use of templates and handicraft kits, even newbies will produce something imaginative without becoming stressed and frustrated.

Having your own sewing machine is very useful because then you can find out how to create a pot holder for your home or as a present for a friend, especially if that someone has an interest in their home and garden.

Pot holders are easy to make for a learner because you only need some unwanted fabric or disused items of clothing and some double fold binding tape. Up to now, this task will have cost you very little, although if you wish to make your pot holder a little nicer then you could use ribbon instead of tape!

If you’d like to craft yourself a pot holder then simply follow the instructions below:

Create a Pot Holder

First cut two 8 inch (21 cm) squares of fabric for both sides of the pot holder. Pick coordinating materials which complement the colour scheme in the kitchen for these 2 squares. If you would like a larger pot holder simply increase the dimensions.

No matter what you are making, ideally you should create a template first, if required. Measure and cut out a piece of cardboard eight inches square to use when cutting the fabric.

The pot holder will have to be filled so use the template to cut out a stack of fabric pieces for this purpose. Cut out as many squares as you need so that the filling will safeguard your hands from burning but thin and compliant enough so that you can sew them together with little effort.

Place all the layers so that the outer layers are facing to the outside and the filler layers are inside. If you want, pin them together to keep the layers neat and tidy while you’re sewing. Sew straight across the middle of the pile. Sew across the centre once more, perpendicular to the initial stitching. You should have divided the stack into four sections. Sew over the stack again from corner to corner, and yet again from the opposite corner. Your stack should now be sturdy and all joined together.

In order to bind the ragged edges of your pot holder, trim all the edges using scissors to make the layers even. Open out one folded edge of the bias binding tape. You could use a wider binding tape for this task, though the narrow tape makes the finish that much neater.

Beginning with a corner, line up the edges of the tape with the edges of the pot holder and start sewing through all layers along the first fold line, which is about 1/4 inch from the edge. Stitch neatly and at a slow pace, attaching the opened tape all around the edge until you get back to the corner where you started. Cut the tape off, leaving 3 inches (7 cm) or more if you’d prefer, to make into a loop so that the pot holder can be hung up when not in use.

Fold the tape over the raw edge so that the centre fold lines up with the outside of the pot holder and the other fold is hiding the raw edge of the tape. For best results, sew the binding down by hand, then making a loop in the remaining tape at the end. For more ideas of things to make get some books on family crafts and hobbies.

When it is finished, you will have made a very useful product to suit anyone’s house and home and made by recycling unwanted materials and clothing.


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Asia is an extremely large continent and is a popular continent to travel to. Asia has an intriguing culture and extraordinary history and is also home to some of the great wonders of the world.

One of which is the Great Wall of China and which is 1,500 miles long and 25ft high. The wall has the added distinction in that it can be seen from outer space. It was constructed out of stone and earth during the Qin dynasty to defend the city from the nomadic people.

China is also the country to visit to see the Terracotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum, considered to be one of the greatest archaeological finds ever.

The next step on your travels could be Beijing, home to the enclosed Forbidden City, now known as the Palace Museum. As its name suggests the enclosure holds the palaces of past Chinese emperors and next to the city is Tiananmen Square that everyone will think of as the place where student demonstrations took place in the 1980s and what is now a memorial for those that died. If visiting Dunhang, travellers may enjoy seeing the caves where ancient Buddhists carved frescoes into the stone.

Of course, seeing these places is a chance of a lifetime, but your pleasure at seeing them would be maximised to the full if you were to read up on China in books on history prior to your visit.

Cambodia is home to the Angkor, a major archaeological site located in the north west of the country. The ruins of this historical location contains two Hindi temples known as the Angkor Wat and the Angkor Thom. This site is well worth a visit.

Everyone has heard of the Taj Mahal and should your holiday destination be Agra in India then this ancient site has to be top of your places to visit list. This mausoleum was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife who died in childbirth after bearing him 14 children.

Next country on the list to visit and one of the most popular is Bangkok in Thailand where travellers will be able to see the legendary Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. For travellers who haven’t been to Thailand before there are many travel books and maps obtainable online to purchase so that you can plan your vacation before you go.

Another intriguing temple you won’t want to miss is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaeo, which is an outstanding example of 19th century architecture. Other places worth seeing are the Sanam Luang, a Buddhist temple where they hold royal ceremonies; the Dusit Park, Zoo and the residence of the royal family, the Chitladda Palace.

There are numerous art houses in Bangkok, specifically the National Museum, National Theatre, National Gallery, National Library, National Archives and the Rajadamnoen Stadium, a fine venue which hosts the sport of Thai kick boxing. Perhaps you ought to find out about kick boxing in books for sports before leaving for Bangkok.

There are many Thai restaurants in Britain where you will be able to try out their food and drink range ahead of travelling or for that matter you can also buy Thai recipe books and indulge in a homemade Thai food festival of your own.

Lastly, there is The Philippines which has sandy beaches and resorts to rival those anywhere else in the world. For example, Boracay is renowned for its clear waters and white sandy beaches and you dare not miss out on visits to the world famous Tarsier and Chocolate Hills in Palawan and Bohol.

Another place to visit that may be of interest is the Ifugao Rice Terraces, yet another wonder of the world which is situated in Baguio.

I think you will agree that Asia has much to offer today’s holiday makers as it not only allows you to see some of the wonders of the world but the ability to experience their food and history, more than enough to take in much of the Asian culture.

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