Friday, February 27, 2009

How To Make Small Designs Larger

Free patterns are great, but sometimes they can be a little small. There are two ways that you can make the design bigger, without changing it.

The first way is to select an aida cloth with a smaller count. For example, if you switch from a 14 count aida cloth to an 11 count, your design will be instantly larger! A 5 x 7 design on 14 count now becomes 6 x 9 inches on 11 count.

The second way will make your design even larger. Keep the 14 count aida cloth, but instead of placing your stitch on one square, place it over 4 squares. Be sure not to stitch the middle hole, so that you don't change the look of the design. This method is similar to stitching on linen cloth. Now, your 5 x 7 design now becomes 10 x 14 inches. With no extra work on your part, your finished piece is now twice the size!

Happy stitching!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why You Should Do Crafts During A Recession

Many people's first instinct when talking about the recession is to stop spending money. However, as long as you have money coming in, your discussion should really be about how to spend your money. You still need to have a life and enjoy it, but there are many different ways to do that – without spending more money than you make.

Crafts are an excellent way to help you stretch your money and enjoy life. Here are some ideas on how to do just that:
  1. Make it a party! Invite some friends over to do crafts together. Now, instead of going out and spending a lot of money, you're still getting together with friends and doing things together. It's also a great way to reduce stress because you're being social, laughing and not worrying about everyday problems.
  2. Make family memories. Start by getting everyone involved in a project they can all enjoy. Remember, spending time together is not about how much money you spend – it's about doing stuff together. Celebrate that time by putting together a scrapbook of all your projects. Take pictures of everyone while they're working and then take a group photo when you're finished the project. Print the pictures out and put them in a scrapbook where everyone can write down a few words. Now you'll be able to talk about the time you spent creating crafts together for years to come.
  3. Give meaningful gifts. When you make a gift yourself, it has more meaning than if you went out and bought it. Plus, it's cheaper than buying a similar item at a store. Anyone can buy something, but if you make something, it shows the other person how important they are to you. It doesn't matter how long it took to make or what it is; it only matters that you made it.
Leave your comments below because I'd love to hear from you about how crafts have helped you enjoy life or any favourite memories that you have of crafting together with your friends or family.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Introducing Me!

Hi. My name is Joanne. I'm the owner of Beautiful Creations – a place where you can find all the craft supplies you need, plus original cross stitch patterns designed by me!

Growing up there was always someone I knew that was working on some type of craft project. My mother sewed quilts, knitted sweaters and even did a little bit of cross stitch. My grandmother knitted - I love the slippers she knits for me ... nothing else will do! So, it was just natural that I would ask my mom to show me how to knit and that I would go on to try many other types of crafts. As you can see, crafts have always been a part of my life.

Now crafts are an even bigger part of my life. I'm always working on some type of craft project. You can find some of these projects on my website, along with the instructions on how to do them yourself. I love sharing my crafty creations with everyone. That's part of the reason why I'm starting this blog. Here you can read about and see pictures of the latest craft project I'm working on, along with tips, the occasional product review and my thoughts about the latest business news in the crafting industry.

I also want to hear more from you. So, how have crafts been a part of your life?