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Crafting = Quality Family Time

Crafting = Quality Family Tiime

Some parents are skilled crafters. Others are doing well to cut paper

in a reasonably straight line. No matter which group you fall into,

crafting with your kids can be beneficial for all involved.

Few things bring families together like crafting. Here are some of

the good things that come out of crafting with your kids.

* Crafting builds creativity.

Developing minds need a creative outlet,

and crafting provides the opportunity for kids to use their

imaginations. It helps them learn to solve problems, and it could lay

the groundwork for a lifetime of interest in art. For parents, getting creative can help reduce stress

and promote using the brain in ways that we don't have a reason to use it every day.


* Crafting teaches kids to follow directions. This seems like a very basic skill, but we all know

adults who can't seem to follow directions. When kids craft, they learn the consequences of not

following directions when their projects do not turn out as expected. This instills in them the

importance of doing things the right way the first time.


* For young children, crafting is fabulous for learning basic skills. Almost any type of craft

promotes hand-eye coordination. Kids can also learn to use scissors, measure and do lots of other

things they will eventually do in everyday life.


* Parents and children have a chance to talk. In our busy lives, it seems that we know less about

our kids than previous generations of parents did. Passive activities such as watching TV do little

to encourage conversation. But when you're crafting together, talking comes naturally. You can

seize the opportunity to discuss such things as your child's interests, his concerns, and how he's doing in school.

* Crafting is a great way to wind down. It's wonderful for kids to be active, but there are times when

they need to calm down. If you find your child getting agitated or exhibiting an overabundance of

energy near bedtime, try bringing out the craft supplies. Crafting engages kids' minds, giving them

something to focus on and a good reason to sit still for a while.

* Creating things is a confidence booster. Parents who craft regularly know the feeling of

accomplishment when a project is complete. Multiply this feeling by ten, and you have a pretty

good idea of how your child feels when he makes something. For kids, crafting can help build

positive self-esteem.

* Working on a project together is a great way to teach your kids teamwork. This will help them

develop skills needed to resolve disputes peacefully and effectively. It will also help them discover

their strengths and teach them that doing their best will make the entire project turn out better.

* Crafting creates treasured family memories. The finished product will serve as a reminder of the fun you had making it together.

Crafting as a family provides opportunities for us to interact with our children. It is also a valuable

learning experience for them. Don't worry if you aren't the world's greatest crafter. Simply being

willing to try anyway, is a lesson to your kids in itself.


Scrapbooking for Beginners

Scrapbooking has been around for ages, but it has recently experienced a surge in popularity.

People from all walks of life have discovered the joys of creating albums to showcase their

treasured photos and keepsakes. But with all the elaborate scrapbooking techniques and myriad embellishments available, getting started is intimidating.


The truth is, anyone that can use scissors and glue can scrapbook. And you don't have to spend

ridiculous amounts of money to create attractive pages. With some basic supplies and a little

imagination, you can create lovely scrapbooks that will become a source of enjoyment for years to come.


What You Need

You can get started scrapbooking on a small budget. Here are the things you'll need.

* An album - Scrapbooking albums come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular are 8 1/2" x 11"

and 12" x 12". They are found at most craft supply stores if you don't have a scrapbooking supply

store nearby.

* Paper - Scrapbooking paper is found in a variety of solid colors and patterns. This will be the

basis for each page. You may also use scrapbooking paper for journaling and to create your own

photo mats and embellishments.


* Cutting tools - You can easily get by with just a good pair of scissors. But an Exacto knife might

make photo cropping easier. And if you're no good at cutting straight lines, you might want to

invest in a paper-cutter.

* Adhesives - There are all sorts of adhesives to be used for scrapbooking.  Glue sticks and double-

sided tape are quite popular. Most scrapbookers also use rubber cement or glue dots for certain

applications. But when you're getting started, just use what you're most comfortable with.

* Photos - Beginning scrapbookers often start out with old photos that they've accumulated over

the years. This makes for a nice, nostalgic album.  Of course, you can also take new pictures for

your scrapbook. A digital camera and photo printer are two modern conveniences that make

scrapbooking easier, but they are not necessities. Photos shot by a film camera work just as well.

When purchasing scrapbooking supplies, it's important to make sure they are acid-free. This will

keep them from harming your priceless photos.

Basic Techniques

You don't have to know a lot about scrapbooking techniques to create an attractive album. Just a

few simple techniques will suffice.

One of the first things many scrapbookers learn is how to mat photos. This can be accomplished

by simply cutting a square or rectangle that is about a half inch longer and wider than the photo

you want to mat. Then glue the photo to the center. To make a photo really stand out, double mat it by cutting out a shape a half inch longer and wider than the first mat, and center the matted photo on it.

Journaling gives scrapbook pages a nice personal touch. Simply write a note about the photos on

a page, telling what was happening or sharing your thoughts on the subject. Use paper that

coordinates with the background, and be sure to write with an acid-free pen.

There's no need to throw in the towel if you don't have the time, money or know-how to create

elaborate scrapbooks. Just start simple, and learn new techniques as you go.

Make Your Own Cards – Fun and Easy!

Instead of giving out a store-bought card for the next special occasion, try your hand at making

your own cards. Making your own cards don't require a lot of hard work, but rather a bit of creativity and the right materials.

To start creating your cards visit your local arts and crafts store to search for materials. Most arts

and crafts stores have big scrapbooking sections. This is where you will be able to find the

materials to make your own cards. Let your inspiration guide you as the possibilities are endless.

You can create various themed cards such as Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day cards and much more.

Rubber stamps are widely available and you can buy virtually any color ink to go with the stamps.

There are several stamping methods that you can use when making cards including embossing.

Embossing is the process of creating a raised image on the card and it can give the card an elegant appearance.

There are several die cuts and die cut machines available as well. Die cuts allow you to punch a

shape out with ease. They come in all different shapes and sizes and are very useful in achieving a

layered look. Die cuts that are punched out of different color papers to display a colorful card.

Scrapbook papers come in all different colors, textures, and themes.  The patterned paper is

available in many styles, as well as glitter paper and pre-scored card kits. Card kits come with the

note cards already made and ready to decorate. The kits come in different sizes and often different

colors to meet a variety of needs. During seasonal periods, such as Christmas, card kits come out

with note cards, envelopes and die cut shapes.

Stickers are available, both regular and 3D types which are available in various themes.  Disney

stickers are available, as well as licensed characters and many 3D designs. Adding stickers to your

cards can help to foster even more creativity when matching colors and themes. You can further

enhance your handmade cards by adding ribbon or brads. Ribbon comes in a plethora of colors,

shapes and textures. Brads are used to hold items such as die cuts on the card without the use of

an adhesive.

Simply put, making cards is a creative process that only you can foster. Cards are created with a

variety of items found in your local arts and crafts store. You can play around using different

methods to decorate the cards and have fun at the same time!