Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cross Stitch Patterns for House Warming Gifts

The origins of cross stitch embroidery are shrouded in the mists of time. It is thought to have originated in China and spread to the Middle East, where the earliest examples were found in tombs in Upper Egypt. It is likely that returning Crusaders brought it to Europe in the Middle ages, from where it was taken to North America by settlers some three centuries later. Cross stitch embroidery continues to be popular today, make welcome gifts for all occasions, especially for home warming. These can vary in size and complexity, depending on the time available and the age and experience of the embroiderer.


Photo taken by funadium on Flickr

Cross stitch embroidery lends itself to a range of materials, but those with clearly defined threads like aida canvas and linen are the most popular. These have an even number of threads per inch, with the numbers constituting the "count". They range from coarse fabrics with a low count to extremely fine ones with as many as 40 threads per inch. Designs can be worked on any fabric, including felt. The choice of threads depends on a number of factors. Hard wearing wool is best for items like cushions, whereas intricate decorative items are best worked in mercerised thread or silk.

Cross stitch pictures and wall hangings

Photo taken by mabith on Flickr

There are any number of patterns to choose from. The more creative and experienced embroiderer can easily produce a house design using graph paper. This can be a traditional type copied from older samplers, or a representation of the house newly acquired by the recipient. There are also innumerable ready made kits which contain all the materials required and a design, which can be printed on the fabric or separately on a sheet. These range in size and complexity, so there is something for every taste and ability level.

Picture samplers can also be very simple, with just the word "Welcome", or more elaborate ones with short poems, quotes and Bible verses, nursery rhymes, proverbs or humorous lines. Alphabet patters are available in differing styles, as well as patterns for decorations. These can be anything from animals and birds to flowers, or just borders, which can be simple or complex. The more experienced needle worker can give wider expression to imaginative ideas, but even the most basic design will create a charming home warming gift.

Wall hangings can be anything from simple hearts with a ribbon loop for hanging, to replicas of the Sistine Chapel or the Bayeux Tapestry - the possibilities are endless! These can be easier to produce than pictures, which require careful mounting and framing. Hangings can be backed onto fabric with loops or rings attached at the top, or Velco fastening, which can be attached to a wooden batten fixed to a wall.


Photo taken by craftapalooza on Flickr

These are always useful and easy to make. Again, ready made kits and patterns are available in all manner of designs, with flowers, sea shells, all kinds of animals, birds, reproductions of famous paintings, as well as geometric patterns, many based on Islamic tile designs. Cushions are usually worked in wool, which is hard wearing and can be dry cleaned. More elaborate cushions, intended for decoration rather than daily use, can be embroidered with mercerised cotton or silk threads.

Household items

Photo taken by Karen Roe on Flickr

Practical items, like teapot warmers, egg cosies, tissue box covers, clothes peg bags, key holders and fobs, address books and pen and pencil holders with cross stitch covers, provide a homely touch and would make a very charming home warming gift. The simpler items can be made by children learning to stitch. Egg cosies with embroidery on felt can be produced by learner embroiderers. Their efforts will be all the more pleasing and endearing. Table and sideboard covers are also sure to delight.

In an age of soulless, mass produced items of inferior quality, an original, hand-made home warming gifts are sure to be welcomed. They will provide years of pleasure and may become a valued, much loved heirloom. Whether it is small and simple or elaborate design, it will be made with love. The time and trouble taken will show how esteemed and valued the recipient is, that alone speaks volumes.

Claire is a keen craft blogger who often makes crafty creations using cross stitch patterns from the web

Personalized Key Chains & Playing Cards on Sale

Now is the perfect time to think of your Christmas gifts. Personalized stuff are great gifts for you can put the name, logo or photos of the recipient. Start early to avoid rush and delay in the shipping of items especially if you are ordering custom made items.

Buy personalized key chains and playing cards at low prices with FREE international shipping at

Coupon Code: KEYNCARDS
Expiry Date: 10 /10 / 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bloggers Blogging about Brands

There's no doubt that there are millions of bloggers right now at the blogosphere. Each blogger has its own reason why they create a blog and publish posts. Some blog for the purpose of sharing their slice of life, express their creativity, ramblings and thoughts. Others blog to express  their grievances on certain social issues, some blog just for the fun of it while others blog to bully someone which is totally wrong anyway.

These days, there are a lot of bloggers who write about a certain review on a product or services and I'm no exception to that. Many bloggers receive products from companies for free and in return the will express their 100% opinion about a certain product and they will blog about it.

As what BlogSkinny states in the infographic below there are about 71% of bloggers who write about brands that they deemed reputable and they trust. I think that bloggers should always write what they feel about the product and just post honest opinion.

A lot of companies today seek the help of bloggers for their honest opinion about their product so they can reach out to a larger market. Meanwhile other consumers who are researching for product reviews online will have a good idea if they found product reviews.

Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Paint Chevron, Argyle, and Plaid Pumpkins

I'm pretty sure some of you are already waiting for the arrival of fall because of its cool crisp air and colors. What a better way to welcome it with some beautiful pumpkins on your porch. Don't just put a bare looking pumpkin because you can decorate your pumpkins with lots of different shapes, patterns and colors. Chevron is very popular design these days, so why not have it on your pumpkin.

I  found this How to paint chevron, argyle, and plaid pumpkins on Pinterest and I wanted to share it with you. Just click the image below and you'll be directed to the blog where the tutorial is posted by the original make. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Photo of the Day: Her Eyes

My Photo of the Day: Her Eyes
used: Canon 50 mm 1.8 lens

This photo of my niece was taken few years ago and I'm so glad that she posed for me that time. She came from her school in the afternoon and I remember she was tired that time but I asked her to pose for me. As you can see her smile in the 1st photo was not that sweet but I love how her eyes showed up in the 2nd photo.

The frangipani or the kalachuchi flower added some daintiness and softness on the photo. Love how this photo turned out.

There's a Time for Everything

Our life can be so busy and hectic most of the times. We all have different works and duties in life that we need to do from day-to-day. Our work can include working in an office with an 8-5 working hours while others work on a night or graveyard shift that most of us would normally not want to have. Others work at home, work-at-home moms/dads and other individuals usually work at the comfort of their home. While many housewives stay at home to take care of the family which is actually a more difficult job in the world since there’s no day-off for being a housewife or a mom for many.

With all the stress and problems that we may be facing at home or at work, nothing beats a time for a relaxation during weekends with your family or friends. Everyone also needs a time alone, a “me” time like they say for all work and no rest, you’ll be one boring and dull person. Shopping, taking a hobby (like digi-scrapping or photography) or simply doing whatever you like are just some forms of relaxation or ways to give ourselves some time off away from busy office or house works for many of us

Aside from all of those activities, we should not forget the spiritual side of our life. Everyone needs to communicate to our creator above no matter what you call Him and no matter what is your religion. Whatever your beliefs are, we should have time to pray, thanking Him for all the blessings that you are receiving no matter how small it may be and pray for what you are wishing or desiring in life.

Every religion or sect have a church or chapel that will serve as their place of worships. Catholics, Mormons, Born again Christians, and more have their own churches. The kingston church  is a sacred place of worship, bible study, and other religious activities for their members. Nothing beats being a member of a community where you share the same religious beliefs and purpose in life.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Visual Learning Style

Visual Learning is a style of learning that uses images, maps, pictures, colors and posters that can aid the speed of communication and thinking of an individual. I for one is a visual learner since I love reading magazines, books and even blogs/websites with pictures and videos in them. I am always drawn to images as it can help me visualize the scene or the things that I am reading.

I also learned that visual learners loves to draw, paint, doodle, take down notes and are often artistic. The info below says that there are about 65% of the population are visual learners and it only means that more people are drawn to images, graphics, photos and anything that can stimulate their imagination when they see an object while they read or browse online.

I always believe that teaching using photos, flash cards and other visual aids can really help children learn fast. A few of my aunts and other relatives who are teachers always say that when they use visual teaching technique to their students more students learn the topic fast and more interaction are also noticeable.

39 Paged Photo Books at $12.99 with FREE Shipping

Christmas is coming very soon and one of the best gifts that you can give to your loved ones are photobooks. Compile all you photos and make a photbook now!

Artscow is offering 39 Paged Photo Books at $12.99with FREE shipping and I think this is a great deal!
Coupon Code: SEPTBOOK8X8
Expiry Date: 10 / 6 / 2013

SIGN UP at ARTSCOW if you still don't have an account at them.

Just in case you have no more time making layouts by yourself you can choose to use MY FREE to use  Templates and just drag and drop your photos. It's just easy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

History of Blogging and More

I didn't know about blogging until a friend introduced me to it in 2005. I had my 1st personal website in 2004 and it is where I met a female friend who also has a website where she share photos and other stuff. Later on, she made a blog in where she posted her daily mumblings, family photos and digital graphic creations. I was in awe at that time and told her I want to make my own blog and she graciously thought me how. So in 2005, I posted my very first blog entry.

It's also good to know that blogging already started in the late 90's and many people are using it on various purposes. Some bloggers wanted to share their life, expertise on a certain field, advertise their products, show off their creativity, express their anger, thoughts while many blog blog to earn money and so on.

Here are some information about The History of Blogging that you need to know.

Reference Site

Just in case you are reading this, you might want to try blogging as this can be a good therapy for some because they can express and put into words what they have in mind. You can even read some Blogging Tips for Beginners from the experts and for sure this will help you out.

No matter what is your purpose for blogging, just enjoy and write something you love for it can become a hobby and even a sideline for you.

My 34th 8x8 Photobook from Artscow

My niece Kukay celebrated her 20th birthday on Sept. 18, 2011 and this year she'll be 22 already. I compiled all our photos during her 20th mini birthday celebration at the house and decided to make a photobook, which as you can see I created on June 21, 2012 and that is almost a year after her birthday.

I decided to just make a simple photobook with more emphasis on the photos. Not much designs on every page too. Her color theme for her birthday is black and white so I just used black and white colors on her photobbok as well.

Made the layout at my photoshop and it took me several days. Have it printed at Artscow since I also have free photobook coupon. I only paid for the shipping of $8.99 and I got this photobook for FREE. Great deal!

This photobook is 8x8 with 20 pages. It took over 3 weeks for processing and delivery since it came all the way from Hongkong so the waiting time is just ok. Love the outcome as usual.

SIGN UP at ARTSCOW if you still don't have an account at them.

Check out my other photobooks.

Building Walls Are Microphones For Graffiti Artists and Their Opinions

Graffiti artists are able to use the walls of cities to make political and social comments so they can express their opinions. Many will argue it is an illegal form of expression because the canvas is the side of buildings. However, for many of those who use graffiti as a means of expression its the only way that their opinions can be heard because they are not treated as equal participants in society. 

Graffiti Bringing Attention To Those of the Homeless

The artist Michael Aaron Williams drew on a wall and provided a picture of a homeless person lying on the street. The ironic part of the picture is that its on the side of the Cartier Building, a luxury watch and jewelry retailer in Paris, France. The artist in this particular picture is trying to illustrate the complexity that exists with a society that can sell expensive timepieces but cannot provide employment and affordable housing for its citizens.

Racial Equality: Graffiti Art of US President Barack Obama 

The artist of this particular painting is Koolhats and it is a picture of the US President but his face is several different colors to express that the President is a not of one race but many. Then there is a quotation from the US President which states “ I’m asking you not to believe in my ability to bring about real change in Washington. I’m asking you to believe in yours.” He wants the people of the United States to believe in their ability to create change and this is what Koolhats is trying to convey to the people in the Santa Fe Art District. 

Social Message Graffiti: By Banksy (British Graffiti Artist)

Graffiti Art Image on Side of Wall: Picture of Young Boy in Gas Mask and Basketball Shoes With Quotation: “If at First You Don’t Succeed - Call an Airstrike.”
This wall painting is a message to everyone about the motivations of British and US government. The great thing about art is that it creates conversation and some will argue that its refers to when conversation between two sides fails how one side will use military might to gain control of another country and how kids have now come to accept this as the way things occur in the world.

Banksy is renowned for his graffiti art that so aggressively points out what he considers social problems. One of his most powerful graffiti works is that of several cameras on a light post overlooking the railway tracks in the middle of a park intimating that the government is now watching everything we do in the manner of “Big Brother.”

Advocating Change: Uploaded by Paul Sanchez

This graffiti art is a picture of a homeless person sitting on the street with a cardboard which says “Keep Your Coins, I Want Change.” The power of this on the wall of building is that it causes people to think about what is being done to change not just the situation of homelessness in the United States but also the problems of unemployment. People don’t want others to give them money, they want a change in the system so that they can earn their own money.
This artist used this drawing as part of a university assignment and thus it makes one wonder how much impact it has had on others because it does not seem like he is the creator of this particular graffiti art but came across it during his travels and decided to show it on the Internet. If it impacted a university student to such an extent that he felt the need to use it for a school assignment imagine how it resonates with the people who walk by it on the street on a daily basis.
Diego Sanchez is part of, Toronto Muralists providing custom painting services. He also likes to blog about what's happening around the world and turn them into meaning arts.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Oil on Canvas Paintings by my Bro

My 2 bothers are both visual artists and have been using oil paint, pencil, even coffee to paint their art on canvas or paper. They are only self-taught and I guess it runs in our blood since my dad can also paint in his younger years but have not pursued it farther unlike my 2 older brothers.

My other bother is also a wood sculpturist and has won 2 national awards already while the other one won several painting and photography competitions as well.  We're all proud of them and we always support them whenever there are competitions.

I can be their worst critic for I really tell them if the colors or the image is not quite right and I guess they hid my criticisms and suggestions for they know I will not just say it's good.

My oldest brother love vintage items and it always reflects on his works. He loves painting still artworks and nature but can do some people as well.

"Libangan ni Manang" (Oil on Canvas) 3 feet x 4.5 feet

"Never Surrender" (Oil on Canvas) 3 feet x 4.5 feet

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My 33rd 8x8 Photobook from Artscow

My niece Reign celebrated her 7th birthday in 2010 and as usual I was late making her a photobook but at least I made her one.

I only made a simple photobook using MY FREE to use BIRTHDAY template, wherein you just drag and drop your photos on the picture frame. You can also add your own text and even re-arrange the frames and designs if you want. It's highly customizable. However, if you are pressed for time and wanted to make a photobook easily, I suggest that you just use my PB template.

After finishing the photobook that can come in various sizes *8x8, 9x7 etc and pages from 20- 60 pages, regular and deluxe you can have it printed at  Artscow.

SIGN UP at ARTSCOW if you have no account yet because they always give promo codes.

Most Common Dreams and what They Mean

Starting with the Babylonian people, successive generations of astrologists turned astrology into a real science, based on observation and research. The experience gathered in time has made astrology become even more precise, combining interpretation with knowledge from other sciences, such as mathematics and physics.

Today, there are people who won’t even leave the house without first checking their daily horoscope, thinking that from the moment they were born, they were assigned a destiny which is written in the stars. Others believe that the zodiac influences the personality of people so much, that you can actually know a person just by leaning about their date of birth. TenMania tells us that there are people who buy gifts for their loved ones according to the zodiac sign in this list of top gift ideas for women. According to the article, others won’t even allow themselves to deal with people that are not compatible with their zodiac sign.

Another area related to astrology is the interpretation of dreams. We always why we dreamt certain things, but with today’s dream dictionaries we can learn the hidden significances. Here are some of the most common dreams and what they mean.

Falling into an abyss

This is a very common dream. Many of us dream that we’re falling into an abyss and before reaching the ground we wake up and see that we are actually safe in bed. The hidden symbolism of this dream shows that in real life we fear not to lose control over emotions or not to be abandoned by a loved one.

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” Has a Worth Prequel

The relationship between the 17-year old adolescent Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga) is explored in series “Bates Motel”, a ten-episode prequel to the 1960’s Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock). The series presents the factors that lead to the shaping of the personality of Norman. Recently, a second season began filming, programmed to be released in 2014, due to positive chronicles received from American viewers. You can watch the first season with charter cable offer.
The story takes place in a fictional city, White Pine Bay, Oregon, different from the action of the movie Psycho which was placed Fairvale, California. The series begins after the death of Norman’s husband. The woman and her young child, Norman, leave to start a new life in the White Pine Bay, where Norma bought a motel with the insurance money she received after her husband’s death. But they are confronted with many problems in the new small town.

The show is not a roller coaster of suspense, but a series of events of lesser or greater severity to which the teenager is exposed prints into his subconscious and affects him in a way that the viewer could never anticipate in Psycho. His apparent mental balance gives no clue to his evolution, so the end of the first season will very much surprise the audience.

The filmmakers create a diversion, drawing attention to Norma, a possessive mother, yet not bordering pathology, with an aura of mystery that remains until the end. Vera Farmiga doesn’t overplaying, meaning that she acts as if she were firmly convinced that her character is of sound mind and she is entitled to control her son's life. No tics or mannerisms, she is the portrait of the contemporary woman who needs to raise her son alone. Even an extremely violent reaction is placed in the accurate context, so the spectator overlooks it (even if we remain suspicious about Norma Bates).

Psycho Norman needed a revival in the eyes of the audience, and this prequel in ten episodes offers just that. Actor Freddie Highmore is the show’s big surprise. The face of a young introverted character, clumsy, shy, but charismatic.

What bothers is that writers have exaggerated with words that are not supposed to be said by characters, but understood by the audience. Writers abuse replicas as “What's wrong with me?” (Norman asks), “You're special!” (says Emma Decody), “ I should not have gotten involved with someone like you” (says Nicola, the one that Norman is having an affair with).

Spectators who like the mystery genre will see murder, corrupt cops, detective, cases of human trafficking and a subplot about drugs. If Alfred Hitchcock created suspense without showing stab wounds (we see bleeding, but we do not see the knife entering the flesh), “Bates Motel” does not spare the viewer. The motel and the Colonial house behind it, where Norma and Norman Bates live are actual replicas from Psycho.
The series was developed by Carlton Cuse (executive producer of “Lost”), Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights”) and Anthony Cipriano, the characters being inspired by the novel Psycho (1959) written by Robert Bloch.

My 32nd 8x8 Photobook from Artscow

Sorry been sharing my finished photobooks so slow here. Actually, I have already over 40 photobooks that I have printed from Artscow and I will share them form time to time.

Anyway, this is the 4th book of my A Year in Review photobook series for the year 2011 and soon I will share my 2012 A Year in Review that I made. As usual I have printed it over at for I got another free photbook coupon, I only paid for the shipping which is only minimal, if I can guess it right it was only $10.99. It's already a great deal because where else can you get an 8x8 20 pages photobook for free!

Just in case you are not a member of artscow yet, SIGN UP at ARTSCOW to get good deals on personalized items such as photobooks, umbrellas, cushions and more.

What The World Expects From Science: Teleportation and Endless Batteries

When it comes to technological advancement, there’s no obstacle to scientists ambition of offering us the newest and the best performing gadgets and devices. Everybody is talking about teleportation, and in 2007, Forbes Magazine listed it the first thing science should invent as soon as possible. Now we don’t actually have the means to teleport on a regular basis from our bedrooms directly to our offices, but impressive progress has been made in this regard. When the fuel problem became itchy for almost every government on the planet, alternative fuel research and conceptual cars were soon developed. We may not ride flying vehicles yet, but we do have the HXO car, which is so eco friendly and so intelligent, it still looks like a concept fished from a sci – fi movie.

And what about the 3 D printer, this golden champion of the present, which can reconstruct mummies in tombs, print a real fully functional gun and in a few years will print transplantable viable internal organs? We live and out passed Star Trek and Star Wars, while we still need science to give us some more… simpler inventions, not for the sake of humankind, not in the purpose of space exploration or the repair of the ozone layer, but for our personal, small comfort and pleasure. There are some things that are missing but think about it this way: if someone listed them somewhere, chances are we’ll have them on the markets in the future.

  1. For saving time, money and water – auto-cleanable clothes
The advancements in washing machines are impressive, but what if we would just save the money for buying the latest, eco – friendliest, most efficient washing machine and save the world tons of water with self-cleaning clothes? Too farfetched?Not at all! Thanks to nanotechnology and Chinese inventors, there appears to be some progress on manufacturing clothes that get cleaned by themselves when exposed to sunlight. Now that would change the face of the world! Self – ironing clothes when exposed to… air? Who knows, maybe we’ll live enough to see this coming true. At least people at Invention Help would pay good money for.

2.    For our infinite pleasure – long lasting flavors

We love flavors. We add flavors to practically anything that is good to eat, drink, chew or inhale. We put chili on chocolate, strawberries in coffee, pina colada flavors in our blu cig refills, melon on our chewing gum. We are a species that experiments with tastes, combinations and extracts and we made a real art out of this. So is it too much to ask that our flavors don’t disappear in the blink of a chew? It would be bad for the chewing gum industry to create everlasting gum flavor, as this would ruin the market, but at least can we have long – lasting flavored chewing gum? Let’s say it would last for a day, not only for five minutes. This is a serious issue, apparently, at least for the people over at Invention Help, who list long lasting flavored chewing gum among their top ten wishes, while if you check the electronic cigarette users’ forums, you’ll see they have created their own e-liquids combining flavors and tastes that would shame even the most experienced chefs in the world.

3.    For the sake of our lives – everlasting batteries
We have solar charging phones now. Even solar charging laptop bags that charge the laptop battery. We have the supercapacitor for a boost of electricity to last us a long time. But what we really want, or people say they do, is an everlasting battery. One that doesn’t need to be replaced or recharged. One that maybe recharges itself from thin air or something. A battery that won’t need another set of accessories to make it work. A battery that once put in function, doesn’t need maintenance, financial investment or alternative back up plans in case it wears off. A type of battery to fuel our phones, tablets and laptops.Something that would save the environment, the effort and the money of us all. Some type of battery that Patrick Naumann from Abb Conversations would offer himself a Nobel Prize for.