If you need a gift for a special person, or just need some time to unwind, make a creative handicraft. Crafting is therapeutic when you are feeling stressed, and it also can yield a useful or decorative item. Everyone has some measure of creativity, and with modern kits and patterns, a creative handicraft does not have to end in frustration.
If you have a sewing machine, you can learn to make a creative handicraft that will be a useful and welcome gift. Potholders are a great beginning sewing project that can be made from scrap material or unwanted clothing and a bit of double-fold bias tape. Here are the simple instructions for this creative handicraft.
First cut two 8-inch (21 cm.) squares of fabric to be the front and back of the potholder. Choose coordinating fabrics that match your kitchen for these pieces. To make it easier, you can make an 8-inch square pattern from a piece of cardboard to use as a pattern. Cut more 8-inch squares of any old fabric to stack for the filling. You want the stack of fabric squares to be thick enough to protect you from a hot pot, but thin enough to be flexible and able to be sewn through.
Stack all layers so that the outer layers are facing to the outside and the filler layers are inside. You can put a couple of large straight pins through all layers to keep them together. Now sew right across the middle of the stack. Sew across the middle again, perpendicular to the first stitching. You will have divided the square into 4 squares. Sew across the stack again from corner to corner, and again from the other corner to corner. The layers should be joined and sturdy now.
To bind off the raw edges of your creative handicraft, trim with scissors so that all the layers are again even at the edges. Open out one folded edge of the bias tape. The wider bias tape might seem to be easier to use, but the narrow type makes a neater finished product. Starting at one corner, line up the edges of the tape with the edges of the potholder, and start stitching through all layers along the first fold line, which will be about 1/4 inch from the edge. Stitch neatly and slowly, attaching the opened tape all around the edge until you reach the beginning corner. Cut the bias tape off, leaving 3 inches, (7 cm.) to make into a hanging loop.
Fold the bias tape over the raw edge so that the middle fold lines up with the outside of the potholder and the other fold is hiding the raw edge of the bias tape. Now, for best results, hand sew the binding down, forming a loop on your creative handicraft when you get to the end.
This potholder is just one example of a creative handicraft you can create if you have a sewing machine. When it is finished, you will have a useful item made from all recycled materials. Feel free to give this creative handicraft away or keep it for yourself.
Cruise Holiday Tips for Smooth Sailing
Is anything more luxurious than taking a cruise holiday? Traveling to exotic locations on a luxury ship, catching sunrays, and breathing the salty breezes can renew and replenish anyone, no matter how shopworn from the cares of work. However, a cruise holiday requires planning in order to be the best it can be. Check out these tips to have a cruise experience you will remember.
So where do you start when planning a cruise holiday? First, what is your budget like? Do you need to hold down expenses? Then here are a few tips for economizing on your cruise holiday.
When scheduling your cruise holiday, you should be aware that there are off season and on season dates, and that you want to schedule your trip in the off season to get the best deal. What you may not know, however, is that cruise lines actually change prices a number of times throughout the year. Ask and find out when their absolute lowest season prices are. In addition, keep your plans somewhat flexible so that you can change ships at the last minute. Sometimes a ship is not filled to capacity, so the cruise line will sell the last few tickets at a real bargain. It is always to their advantage to sail filled to capacity because people on holiday spend money on souvenirs, drinks, etc. Use this knowledge to get a really great deal.
Where you cruise to on your holiday can make a big difference in your cost as well. If you pick a popular spot, you can travel cheaper than if you choose a less popular spot. Another consideration is whether you really care about those ports of call. If you just want to stay on the ocean liner and enjoy the luxuries, book a cruise that doesn’t stop anywhere. These “cruises to nowhere” are just as luxurious as the others but cost less.
To be safe on a cruise holiday, don’t take a lot of expensive equipment or jewelry with you. Make sure your passport, health insurance, and other papers are up to date. Be sure to ask about laws you may inadvertently be breaking when you get off the shore you are accustomed to. Laws in ports and even in the water can vary, and you sure don’t want a big hassle with a foreign law enforcement agency.
To travel lighter, find out about equipment that will be available on the ship. For instance, if the cruise line provides irons or hair dryers, you won’t need to pack yours. Also pack your own sample size shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries because these items will cost more in the gift shop. You should have access to laundry facilities on your cruise holiday, so you don’t have to take a huge amount of clothing. Pick a wrinkle proof lightweight outfit for every two or three days and pick separates in colors that coordinate so you can get different looks. Be sure to pack a formal and or semi-formal outfit if you will be taking part in these sort of activities on your cruise holiday.