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Crafts & Decorating

Here are 10 Great Holiday Ideas – On A Budget for your next holiday season.

Discover how easy it is to Update Your Decor, Without Emptying Your Wallet.

See out how easy it is to Make A Fall Wreath next time you want to decorate.

Find out what Tablescaping Chic On The Cheap actually means and how to do it.

Mastering Art, Spend Less

You may want to paint impressive pictures that people will buy and collect, but what if it seems like you cannot produce the kind of art that you wanted? You cannot just blame yourself for not having the talent, or not getting the guidance and support. It’s possible that the problem is the way you were taught on how to do it in art class or the level of exposure you have on art matters.

With the rising prices of commodities and services in this day and age, a struggling painter cannot help but be penny-wise in terms of how he can learn new techniques or improve his craft. Books on painting are not enough, while attending oil painting lessons conducted by the pros can be somewhat pricey. Now, what is left for you to choose if you really prefer acquiring the theories and performing the application in the right manner yet, not spending too much of your money? Or if you do spend a little too much, you get the training you think you deserve?

The most economical method of painting that happens to be environment-friendly is oil painting. Its techniques have been in existence for centuries and are widely popular among a huge number of artists past and present. Instead of buying ready-to-use oil paints that are commercially available in tubes, you can make your own using natural products like paint pigments and linseed oil. There are many online resources that describe in detail various procedures on do-it-yourself oil paint making. Oil paints produce colors that are more vivid and are easier to use. They dry slowly, making the painting easier to edit should there be a change of mind or errors in its appearance. In lieu of or before proceeding with the actual canvas, start honing your skills on white boards found inside a new shirt’s packaging, a cardboard or a thick brown paper bag. You can also create an oil painting brush out of animal hair or your own hair trimmings and a lightweight wooden dowel.

Learning oil painting is made easier and more convenient with oil painting lessons courtesy of instructional videos on DVD format. You can have professional oil painting lessons at home, hence you can save on transportation costs not like when you attend classes in a real art institute. Oil painting DVDs are even cheaper than hiring a one-on-one instructor and the learning pace will be up to you, so there’s no rush in knowing the drill. You can begin with choosing colors and subjects for your first artwork. There will be exercises shown on these DVDs for students to practice the oil painting techniques that they have acquired lesson after lesson. Other essentials to be discovered in the DVD lessons are the additives composition of oil painting, the right types of brushes, samples by the masters, caring for oil painting products and mixing of colors. This way, you can paint like a pro without investing too much of your savings.

Learn How to Paint by using Painting DVD lessons , read articles, get tips and reviews at Best Oil Painting DVDS

Discovering Bonus Storage Space — Right In Your Own Home

by Lois Breneman

All of us have probably said how we need more storage space in our homes. First of all, getting rid of all those things we really don’t need will cut way down on the needed storage space. Then how about investigating every available space in your home and putting it to good use if you are still in need of more storage space? In many cases it is available and just waiting to be found! Here are some clues as to where you can discover extra bonus space right in your own home!

Hang a clear vinyl pocket organizer inside the linen closet to hold bandaids, small tubes of medications, a thermometer, ball syringes, etc. Everything will be easy to see and locate quickly when needed.

Hang another clear vinyl pocket organizer inside the coat closet for sunglasses, gloves, scarves, fold up umbrellas, etc.

Hang more clear vinyl pocket organizers inside your children’s closet doors, unless the doors are louvered. I’m sure you will agree that small things stored in these pockets are so much better than scattered all around their rooms! And everything will all be visible through the clear vinyl!

If you are in the process of building or remodeling your home, you may want to consider adding one built-in locker for each family member – near the door, all in a row. I have seen this plan carried out in the home of a friend and the mother raved how they all loved the convenience of keeping each person’s coat, boots, gloves, school books, backpack, etc. right by the door. The mother also loved how each person was responsible for his or her own personal locker! A great idea!

If you have a deep closet or pantry where things seem to get lost, store items on trays that can be pulled out, so you have full access to everything and are able to find what you need.

Small round wooden tables that can be purchased for as little as $5 (on sale) can provide lovely hidden storage! With a round tablecloth draped down to the floor, no one will ever know what you have hidden there and it provides a nice decorative touch to a bedroom, living room, family room, great room, dining room or sunroom. A round piece of glass can be purchased to set on top of the tablecloth for protection from spills. A large round lacy doily or a smaller square piece of contrasting fabric placed over the tablecloth can change the whole appearance.

Use empty decorative ceramic containers for storage, as well as decoration. Examples: Pretty ginger jars, covered ceramic dishes, vases or teapots. Painted milk cans can hold umbrellas.

In the bathroom install shelves to set on or above the tank of the commode for additional space. Every bathroom can use more storage and this is an excellent space to use.

Use a hanging shelf that slips over the shower head to hold shampoo, conditioner and razors.

A shallow overhead shelf or two up high at the end of the bathtub is another possibility.

Slide under-the-bed boxes — where else but under the beds! I’m sure you can think of something to store in those (gifts, out-of-season shoes or clothing, etc.).

Have you thought of storing things under sofas and chairs with skirts? Yes, even there!

A shallow cabinet (about one or two inches deep) would be sufficient to hold necklaces and bracelets with cup hooks or even push pins to hold them. Hang it behind a bedroom door where it would be protected by a rubber door stop. A beautiful painting could even be attached to the front. Or use the space in the back of your bedroom closet to hang necklaces and bracelets. Many closets have wooden strips around the wall for the shelves. Insert push pins into the wood to hang necklaces and bracelets. This works great and keeps them out of sight.

Hang bookshelves along the wall above a desk or computer to make good use of
that unused space.

In many homes it would work to enclose the area under the stairs for storage, with a door. It’s amazing how much can be stored there.

Inside a closet door, attach lightweight plastic-covered wire shelves designed to slip over the back of a door or fastened onto the inside of the door. This will hold so much and keep all the contents right at your fingertips.

If a closet has too much empty space between the shelves, add another shelf or two for more organized storage and better use of the space.

Look carefully at each closet and find a way to use all the available space. By using baskets, square plastic tubs or plastic shoe boxes (with lids) on closet shelves, they can be stacked to maximize the available space. Be sure to label all containers to make it easy to locate various items.

Under-the-shelf storage can be purchased in plastic-coated wire to be slipped on a shelf to make use of that unused space under the shelf.

Building shelves directly above your washer and dryer is a great idea, because that is normally wasted space. Use either open shelves or enclosed cabinets for laundry supplies and many other items.

Stacking makes use of extra space. At least three six drawer organizers (without the wheels attached, of course) can be stacked to provide organized storage for papers, audio tapes, office supplies, scrapbooking supplies, rubber stamping supplies, sewing supplies, crafts, etc.

Add an extra shelf to the floor of a closet, simply raising the shelf up with two bricks on each end. This will provide extra storage space for shoes. Use a board that you stained, painted to match the room or covered with matching contact paper.

In a child’s room, stuffed animals could be stored and displayed in mesh, hanging from the ceiling in a corner of the room. You can find fish netting in stores for this purpose.

Shelves built around one or more walls about 12 to 18 inches below the ceiling of a child or teen’s room provide not only storage, but decoration as well. The personality and interests of your child can be displayed for your enjoyment and theirs.

Continue looking for unused space in your home. Hopefully these ideas of finding bonus storage space in your home will help us all to be more organized.

The purpose of the Heart to Heart Newsletter is to bring practical encouragement to women through creative ideas for the Christian familyˆ regarding homemaking, marriage, children and so much more. Receive this bimonthly newsletter by e-mailing he********************@as*******.com. You will then be asked to send your name, city, state, and the name of the person who referred you.

Used by Permission – © 2004 – Revised 2005 – From The Heart to Heart Newsletter