Archive for Arts And Crafts

Discover How To Draw Seven Drawing Techniques To Learn Drawing Faster

By Ruediger Schmidt

In late parts you learned how to understand your subjects clearer, to master your fear of failure and how to practice your draftsmanship determinedly.

Within this article I’ll show you 7 important tips that will help you with the next steps of your draftsmanship career:

1. Find a sketch pad at the next art supply store. It cannot be emphasized enough. Select one of those nice sketch blocks and take it with you everywhere you go! It allows you to use every free minute for practicing your drawing skills and depict eye capturing sceneries you come across.

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2. Keep your draftings secure. As important as getting a sketch block (and preserving them after you’ve filled them) is to preserve everything you draw. Buy a folder to stack away them safely and protected from harm. Ne’er toss any of your drawings. This way you’ll collect a nice portfolio and can consult your recent studies for study and to follow your advancements.

3. Criticise your pictures later. Remember, we read in the episode about combating your fear of failure – don’t be overly judgmental about your drawings. If the little critic in you wants to spring into action, outsmart him. Stash away your drawing (in your folder) and tell him “later”. In a couple of days or weeks you’ll see your pictures in a much more friendly light than today.

4. Depicting from life is superior. You will find out: drawing real world objects seems to be more difficult than simply replicating photographs or other drawings. But it’s much more rewarding and your drawings will be much more lively and truthful. How does it work? I don’t know for sure, but I would speculate our subconscious in some way absorbs the scene with all senses giving you more inspiration to depict on the paper.

5. Do not depict elaborated objects. Stand back from objects that are too complicated. Rather commence with simple subjects you are able to understand and draw as proficient as you desire it to be. And then increment the difficultness in petty steps so your drawing skills can grow with each small step you’re facing.

6. Do not move into detail excessively. While sketching, less is more. Nearly all of us lean towards adding details excessively, too many small lines, too many insignificant objects. Do not try to depict all the details you can see. Instead seek to capture the scene as a whole, assimilate how it feels and try to put this to into your sketchbook employing only few lines.

7. practise, practise, practise. Did I mention? Practice! You can’t draw overly often. All of the time bear in mind: every line you draw, every drafting or outlining you finish improves your drawing skills and brings you one stair up. Practise by drafting sceneries you encounter in everydays life into your sketch pad. Practise by doing the exercises I have demonstrated. Just try to practice every day. Find the few minutes you need for this each day. You don’t have to stop watching TV, but you can have your drawing equipment at hand and use the commercial breaks.

About the Author: This is the 5th article of the six part series on drawing and how to

learn drawing online

. Visit and

stop the fear of drawing failures

. Here you can also get more free drawing instructions.


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Jewellery Making Project Ideas Using Sterling Silver Findings

By Adam Hunter

In jewellery making, one of the most essential and most often overlooked items that links your piece together is the humble sterling silver finding. Silver findings are the seemingly insignificant but vitally important components of every piece of jewellery. Without silver links, for example, you cannot secure a clasp to a necklace or interweave multiple strands of beads into a complete piece. Without crimp beads it is impossible to get a professional finish to a necklace. And without earring wires, there are no earrings.

So their importance in the craft is undisputed. Learning how to use sterling silver findings and perhaps even how to make them the feature of a piece is an important part of the skill of jewellery making and one worth learning properly.

If you are planning to sell your jewellery commercially and want to work only in sterling silver then to adhere to the Trade Descriptions Act your findings also have to be made of sterling silver. If, however, you are not planning to advertise your work as ‘Sterling silver’ then ordinary silver findings can be used.

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Sterling silver is quite a soft metal so you do need to take a little care when working with delicate links and findings. Make sure you have the correct equipment to hold your findings gently but firmly, particularly when soldering or bending jump rings. The surface of sterling silver does tend to scratch very easily so make sure that pliers and cutters have no rough edges that could damage the surface of the work and are specifically designed for jewellery making. A cheap pair of electrician’s wire cutters may seem like a cost saving exercise but they do not have the precision blades or specially finished surface of jeweller’s cutters and may damage your work.

Although sterling silver findings are the hidden heart of any piece of jewellery, you can use them in more imaginative ways. A popular modern design in necklaces is the ‘net’ effect, where dozens, sometime hundreds of links are combined to produce a design that looks like a fishing net or chain mail. It is fiddly and will take you some time but it’s an interesting way to use something as simple as silver jump rings to produce a dazzling and unique effect. Incorporating tiny ‘seed’ beads of semi-precious gemstones such as garnets or peridot can result in a stunning and unique piece of jewellery.

Sterling silver findings don’t necessarily have to be tiny. A broach back is a finding and can be as large or as small as you want it to be. Similarly, sterling silver ring findings come in a huge range of different designs and styles, giving you the opportunity to use the finding itself as part of the overall design. Good jewellery suppliers carry a vast stock of different findings for all applications so it’s a good idea to collect a few catalogues or bookmark some online sites that will give you the best selection of available findings. The beauty of the Internet is that you are no longer limited to your local jewellery supplier but can select unique and interesting silver findings from all over the world.

There is no reason why sterling silver findings shouldn’t play an important part in the overall design of your jewellery, rather than just ‘serving a purpose’. With a little imagination, silver findings can add a new dimension to your jewellery making.

About the Author: Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of

jewellery making

supplies from over 10,000 products including gold and

silver findings

, jewellery tools, precious metal clay, gemstones and gold and silver sheet. Contacts Adam Hunter E-commerce Marketing Manager Tel(DDI): +44 (0) 121 212 6491 E-mail:


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Essential Oils For Cold Care And A Strong Immune System

Submitted by: Misty Rae Cech, ND

The true medical aromatherapists around the globe tell us time and time again: the most effective use of essential oils for health is the combating of infectious illness. Aromatherapy in the US is still mostly relegated to support of the psyche – which it does quite well – but study after study continues to confirm the antibacterial and antiviral effects of essential oils, along with their great compatibility with human physiology. Many protocols (detailed instructions) have been translated and published from the European medical aromatherapy literature – information which you can personally incorporate into your own natural health and wellness program.

For the uninitiated, essential oils are the volatile aromatic compounds distilled from plants. They are the chemicals that give plants their smell; the luscious aroma of a rose or the sharp scent of peppermint. Plants use these chemicals for, among other things, defense from invaders such as bacteria, fungus and viruses. Each plant’s oils have a unique makeup as a result of the plant’s own physiology, natural environment, and its potential microbial invaders. Because of their chemical structure, essential oils are easily absorbed into the human body, passing through cell membranes, then further on into the bloodstream due to their ‘lipophillic’ nature (a structure in alignment with the lipid components of our cell walls). Essential oils can protect us from microbes in many different ways, from keeping the space around us naturally microbe-free, to readying our immune system for defense, to actually destroying the microbes once they’ve entered our bodies.

For starters, lets look at keeping the air and our environment pure and healthy. A cold-air nebulizing diffuser works best for this, as it creates a fine mist of essential oils which disperse throughout your living or work space. Diffusing essential oils into your environment provides three primary benefits: First, the oils are directly eliminating microbes in the air, thus reducing the concentration of live pathogens you may be inhaling or touching at any time and reducing the load on your immune system. Second, most essential oils, and particularly the strong anti-microbial ones, have an uplifting effect on the psyche and a sharpening effect on the mind. Your space will smell nicer, and generally will be more pleasant to be in. This can be very pronounced in certain workspaces where the air can be heavy. Lastly, in many cases, essential oils will actually fortify your own immune system to prevent you from catching an illness in the first place – some studies have shown mammalian cells having increased resistance to microbial invaders after exposure to essential oils. Many single oils can be used for this – Eucalyptus Radiata or Eucalyptus Globulus are excellent all-around choices, as is Ravensara, and the oil of Rosemary of the Cineol chemotype. A popular oil blend can be made using 3 parts clove bud oil, 5 parts lemon oil, 1 and a half parts Eucalyptus Radiata, 1 and a half parts Rosemary Cineol and 2 parts Cinnamon Bark oil. Diffuse these oils to your heart’s content – it’s a wonderful combination!

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Next, it’s important to fortify your own immune system. Medical aromatherapists don’t claim essential oils as wonder drugs in this regard – it is important to keep yourself healthy for your immune system to work effectively. Many natural medicine physicians believe it important to keep your own internal ‘friendly bacteria’ in balance for best protection. This can be done by eating a ‘clean’ diet with an abundance of natural and organic foods, and consuming intestinal bacterial support in capsule form (available at almost all health food stores). On the aromatherapy front, the essential oil of Niaouli has been considered by some to be the single most powerful supporter of the human immune system. Niaouli essential oil is distilled from the leaves of the Niaouli tree, native to Madagascar, but now being cultivated in Spain for aromatherapy use. According to Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, one of America’s leading medical aromatherapists, “Niaouli oil is as complex in its composition as it is in it’s uses…One of the fastest-acting and most effective applications of Niaouli is to apply anywhere between 5 and 20 drops to the whole body during the morning shower. This procedure will become entirely holistic if a loofah glove is used and the oil is worked into the skin along the energy meridians. This application…is especially recommended in the flu season, as it stimulates the defense mechanisms of the body.” Niaouli would also be appropriate for diffuser use similar to the Eucalyptus varieties.

Once a bacteria or viral infection has set it, treating it with essential oils can be a little more complex. The difficulty lies in finding the proper oil for one’s particular illness, as some oils are excellent against certain microbial strains, though these same oils may not be the right choice in other instances. Prevention with immune stimulant oils as above is best; however, at the very first signs, application of 10-20 drops to the skin of both Eucalyptus Radiata and Bay Laurel essential oils to the skin in the steam of a shower (so that the skin is more porous) is called for. Eucalyptus can be applied to the chest and back, whereas Bay Laurel should be applied directly to the lymph nodes to support the immune response. The vast majority of individuals will have no sensitivity response to such application – if, however, any skin irritation is noted, apply diluted to 5% in a carrier oil such as olive oil hazelnut oils. Green Myrtle can be used in cases of bronchial infection where Eucalyptus may be found to strong an aroma. Ravensara used in the same manner is called for in cases of colds and flu – it can be a stronger antiviral than the above mentioned oils, and has a pleasing aroma.

In general, Eucalyptus Radiata and Globulus, Green Myrtle and Ravensara can be applied to the skin (dilute if any sensitivity is suspected) or used with a diffuser or inhaler to loosen mucus and support the body’s cleansing process. Rosemary Verbenone is indicated for sinusitis and bronchitis – The medical aromatherapy literature indicates this may be inhaled, applied topically in small amounts, or even ingested (with great caution) one drop two or three times daily. Also, one drop of Bay Laurel can be taken internally at the onset of a sore throat, as it directly supports the lymph system in the area.

When choosing your own self-healing methods as part of your overal natural health and wellness program, it is important to choose the proper modality for each situation. Conventional medicine has it’s place, and should absolutely be employed when it will provide the best results. When it comes to common colds, the results have not been so dramatic. Alternative therapies have offered a reasonable solution, and can be effective if used wisely and with discretion. There are many helpful texts available for the use of essential oils as medicines – Advanced Aromatherapy and Medical Aromatherapy, both by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, are excellent sources for the intermediate to advanced practitioner. Be aware of your own body’s sensitivity to any essential oil and adjust usage accordingly, and seek professional advice whenever necessary.

About the Author: Misty Rae Cech ND is the Director of Wellness at the Ananda Apothecary, a resource for

essential oil

supplies and information.


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