At-Home Arts and Crafts

Making arts and crafts at home can be a very rewarding experience. The creations may be used as gifts, for decorating the home or even as practical solutions. The creative person can often take yarn, a piece of wood or plastic bags and turn them into something functional.Making crafts is more than just making things. It is also about challenging oneself to master a new skill, spending time wisely or even earning a few extra dollars from the craft. Many people start with making things “just for fun” and eventually either supplement or replace their income from their hobby.Some of the arts and crafts that are popular are cardmaking, scrapbooking, knitting, crochet, painting, sewing, weaving and woodworking. This list is just a fraction of all the arts and crafts that are available to be made; one is only limited by their imagination.

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Following the guidelines below will ensure a positive and safe experience.For the person who is learning a new craft or starting a new project it is important to have all of the materials required before starting. It can be very frustrating to get partway through a project only to find a trip to the store needs to be made before the craft can be finished. Remember, this applies to any new project; not just to the new craft person.
When making something that requires more expensive materials (such as woodworking), follow the adage of “measure twice, cut once”. This can mean the difference between a finished project or a very expensive mistake. It doesn’t benefit anyone to be in a hurry.
Expect to make mistakes. When learning a new craft it will not turn out perfectly the first time. Occasionally even the most talented of people will have to redo a project or portion thereof due to an error. Those who knit or crochet will attest to that fact. It is also important to not be discouraged by mistakes, as many things can be learned from them.
If possible have a designated spot to work on the craft. This could be a corner of the living room, the basement or the garage. For those who have to work around family activities it can be daunting. On the other hand, this could be the perfect opportunity to share a skill with others. If finances and space permit, having a studio where the door can be closed and nothing gets disturbed is a bonus.
Keep safety in mind. This is especially important when the craft involves sharp objects, power tools, toxic materials etc. It is also a good idea to have a First Aid kit handy in any event an accident does happen. Most mishaps can be prevented by the craftsperson simply slowing down, taking their time and being aware of their surroundings. Keep dangerous materials and tools out of the reach of children and supervise them carefully if they are in the work area.

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At-home arts and crafts can be very rewarding, both for the artisan and the family. Keeping these few points in mind will allow for a more positive experience and a safer environment. Plus, the opportunity to share a skill with a family member or display a masterpiece is always there. Happy crafting!

Wood Burning Crafts – Art and Hobby

Perhaps you, like many other people, have recently become interested in woodcrafts. Woodworkers have many activities which they can pursue – furniture and toy making being two examples. Although enjoyable, most woodshops require a lot of room, plus a fairly large investment in tools. One woodcraft hobby which requires little space, and only a modest investment in tools is wood burning. Although it would be helpful to have a designated area to work and store tools, this space need not be large. Indeed a small sturdy table would be sufficient for most projects.Wood burning as an art is easy to learn! Start up needs are minimal – a wood burning pen with interchangeable points, patterns, graphite paper, sandpaper, and wood sealer. Most of the other materials you need are common household items. Walnut Hollow Farm’s wood burning pens are the best choice. Two basic pens are available – twenty one watt and twenty six watt. The twenty six watt is for all types of wood, especially the harder ones. The twenty one watt is the ideal beginner’s pen. It’s best used on softer woods.

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Burning techniques differ depending on the point used. The key is to start with a simple pattern and learn how to use the many different points before progressing on to intermediate and advanced designs. A very good series of books for the beginning wood burner is from Walnut Hollow Farm. Creative Woodburning Book One contains all the easy to learn basics, plus many patterns to get you started. The rest of the series contains more patterns and techniques in many different styles.The best wood to start on is basswood because it burns easily. Many types of basswood are available, including ovals, rounds, planks, and barrel staves. Neat wooden boxes in many different styles can also make good projects. The wood surface to be burned must be very smooth for best results. Sand the wood to as fine a finish as possible with a very fine grade of sandpaper.The pattern is transferred to the wood surface using either graphite or white transfer paper. Use graphite paper on light wood and white transfer paper on dark wood. The pattern and transfer paper are taped to the wood with masking tape and a fine point ball-point pen is used to trace the design on to the wood.

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As mentioned earlier, there are many different techniques of burning and several woodburning tips to use with the pen to get different effects. In addition, the burnings can be colored with oil colored pencils, and oil paint wash. The combination of wood grain, woodburning technique, and oil paints creates some stunningly beautiful art.The list of wood burning craft projects which can be burned is limitless. Burn designs on jewelry boxes, ring boxes, cutlery boxes, clocks, and furniture. Burn woodcarvings to lend a unique touch to your woodcraft projects. Wall hangings and picture frames are also good candidates for wood burning. Take your wood art to any level you desire! It is a very enjoyable hobby.

Craft Show Listings – Getting Started As an Arts and Craft Vendor

Arts and craft is a wonderful hobby that could be turned into a moneymaking business! If you are passionate about it and have been doing it for fun – collection, gifts and the like, then why not consider selling them? Arts and craft is a common enthusiasm for most people. It cannot be denied that we desire a touch of artistry and craftsmanship. That is, we want things to be personalized and customized to reflect our personality.Spot the Stuff That Will Attract BuyersFor sure you have several products in mind to produce. First step is you have to identify your market basing on age bracket, gender, profession, etc. Then, narrow down your goods focusing on the stuffs that you are most confident about. As time and your experience progresses, increase your product lines from there.

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Look for the Cheapest Source of Raw MaterialsIt is very important that you identify wholesalers, authorized dealers and distributors, and manufacturers of the materials that you utilize who offer low prices and additional discounts, and to whom you could establish payment terms. You should also take into consideration material quality and the seller’s after sales support (e.g. return and/or exchange of defective items, technical assistance and the like). Though cost is a major deciding factor but it should not be the only factor because who knows the cheapest source may cause you a lot of quality problems. Produce Reasonable Quantity to SellMass production could save you a lot on overhead, materials and manpower but keep in mind that you are still starting. You are still testing the waters. Inventories if not converted to sales means forecasting was poor. Thus, from your pioneering product lines, decide carefully on how many per design you’re going to make. You could do a quantitative and/or qualitative survey from your friends who belong to your identified market. If you have the luxury of time you could dig deeper into the public.

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Secure Business Permits and LicensesIt is highlighted to make everything legal in order not to face serious problems with the land’s law. Hence, you can visit your city hall or your city’s website to check on the necessary documents required when starting a business.Find a Venue to Market Your GoodsIt is important to find a hub of various arts and crafts activities, where you are up-to-date of when and where to stage your creations and your network of acquaintances will expand eventually. Getting expert advice on show selection, booth display, pricing, licensing and taxes. Membership to these hubs will guarantee you to get the cream of the crop services.

Utilizing Your Artistic Talent to Create A Career in Fine Arts and Visual Communications

Imagine building your own videogame. Alternatively, imagine creating animated websites. Perhaps your interest lies in designing award-winning graphics for advertising. Flash, Websites, graphic design – they are all part of one of the hottest industries around.Can you catch someone’s eye or possibly capture his or her imagination with your particular artistic talent? Understanding how to draw an individuals eye to a certain part of a page, how to effectively use white space, and what fonts are most pleasing to the eye are all aspects that could actually help launch a career and keep it moving.In today’s’ graphic industry, quite often traditional tools, such as pencils and markers for example, are still used to generate and explore ideas, while complex computer programs are used for the final product. Designers can sketch thoughts out on paper, use storyboards to illustrate the flow, and then use computers to render the final revamped and edited proof for the customer’s approval.

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All across the United States the demand for true artistic talent, be it traditional art or computer generated, is steadily growing. Professional agencies will almost always find permanent work for a talented, graphic art oriented individual through major companies within Corporate America, long-term assignments through placement agencies, or using them on a freelance basis. Salaries for graphic designers generally start at about $40,000 – $45,000 per year for a professional with a bachelor’s degree. However, it is well documented that a professional without a college education makes far less money than someone with an acquired degree.A search of job postings shows us that a bachelor’s degree is always preferred, and a portfolio of work is an absolute necessity. A Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Visual Communications is an effective source to help you get started in this fast-moving and still growing trade. You can learn everything you need to know about this industry, from principles of design to color theory, learn computer graphics, animation, and illustration. You can build a portfolio while you earn your degree, learning and using the same programs that industry professional’s use such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, PageMaker, and Flash.

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You can truly make a lasting mark on the world with Flash programming. More often than not, award winning designs for web and print have catapulted passive hobbies into highly successful careers by making that one final decision. Be THAT GUY or THAT WOMAN, the one who won the Flash In The Can Best Designer or Best Developer award, or Most Promising Student award. All this and so much more is within your reach. All it takes is making that ultimate decision, to actually take that first step and get started working on a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Visual Communications. Make your ultimate dream your ultimate reality.

Super Hobbies – Make Money From Your Hobby

“Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”Hobbies and pastimes are most often done purely for enjoyment and pleasure. Pursuing a hobby can not only be rewarding for its own sake but also lead to acquiring new technical skills and specialist knowledge. Personal fulfillment is usually the aim of most hobbies rather than financial reward.An important determinant of what is considered a hobby, as distinct from a profession (beyond the lack of remuneration), is probably how easy it is to make a living at the activity. It is very hard make a living at coin or stamp collecting, but many people find it is enjoyable nonetheless; so it is commonly regarded as a hobby. It is generally accepted that a person who does something for pleasure rather than remuneration, is called an amateur or hobbyist.

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But that should not preclude a person with a passion for a particular hobby from making money from his or her hobby. What if I told you that you could make a substantial income doing something you love? Traditionally people made money from their hobbies by selling a finished product (such as pots of jam!) or by providing a service such as furniture restoration in their spare time. Many people find that making money with a hobby is more like fun than a job.Money for Jam!Nearly everyone has a hobby of some sort. There are so many different types of hobbies such as arts and crafts, bird watching, collecting coins / stamps, cookery, DIY, furniture restoration, model making, rock-climbing, painting, photography or remote controlled cars. Not only are these hobbies are highly rewarding but they also offer an opportunity for the person to share their specialist knowledge to others and make a profit in the process.Here is how it works. Lets say that you are interested in cookery as a hobby. You spend many hours in your spare time creating wonderful dishes and even sell the odd cake or pot of jam down the local market or at a community fete. But what if you could pull together some of your favorite recipes and put them into a downloadable e-book that people would be willing to pay for and could be sold even while you were asleep! Rather than making a bit of pocket money on the side you could have people from around the world paying a premium for information on a subject that you know and love.

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This is something that anyone can do regardless of whether you are a teenager interested in games or a grandparent interested in furniture restoration. There are many smart people (who do not necessarily have any technical skills) turning their passion and hobbies into a lucrative business. You could be doing the same.