Clay Pot Crafts: Make a Bell for the Porch

Clay pot crafts are a cute way to make home decorations. In clay pot crafts, clay flower pots can be crafted into a variety of decorative things that appeal to gardeners. Usually, the crafter begins with new pots. The pots are often decorated with paint as well as being tied together with rope or cord to create things.

Pots for clay pot crafts can be purchased in many different sizes, from tiny ones not more than 2 inches in diameter, to huge ones over a foot across. For a beginning project, start with smaller pots. The beginner should also choose clay pot crafts that don’t use too many pots in too elaborate a design.

An example of a good craft for someone new at clay pot crafts is to make a bell from two clay pots. Buy one pot that is about five or six inches in diameter, and another that is very small. You will use the small one as the clapper for the bell. You will also need some decorative cord, two large wooden beads, and paint in desired colors. You may also wish to purchase some glue-on jewels to decorate the bell. The bell makes a nice decoration for a front porch.

Cut the cord two feet (60 cm.) long. Fold the end over 3 inches (8 cm.) and tie in an overhand knot, making a loop. This loop is for hanging the bell from a hook or a nail. Now turn the larger clay pot upside-down. Pass the loose end of the cord down through the hole in the pot. Lay the pot on its side and slide one of the large wooden beads up the cord until it is about 10 inches (25 cm.) from the loose end. Now tie the cord around the bead so that the bead cannot slip from its position on the cord. If you have done this correctly, you can lift the pot by the loop. In clay pot crafts, the beads must be large enough to stop the cord from going through the hole in the bottom of the pot.

On the loose end of the cord, you are going to attach the small pot in the same way. Slide the small pot up the cord to make it easier to tie the other large wooden bead on the end of the cord. Now when you lift the entire arrangement by the loop, the smaller pot should hang freely inside the larger pot, making a pleasant sound when it claps against the larger pot.

Decorate the outside of the larger pot with paint as desired. You may like to paint it in black and white patches for a Holstein cow theme. You may also like to decorate the top of the bell with silk or dried flowers and greenery and a ribbon bow.

For a variation on this craft, make three of the bells and hang them from a horizontal piece of driftwood or other interesting piece of natural wood. When making hanging clay pot crafts, always make sure the beads are large enough and are tied tightly in place, because the clay pots will break if they fall to the ground.

Other clay pot crafts include making a large doll or scarecrow of nested pots strung together and painted. The doll can sit on a chair or a step of the front porch. Paint his face to look like a scarecrow, a jack-o-lantern, a gnome, or a child. Clay pot crafts are especially suited to being displayed outside.

Civil War Bullet Collecting: A Hobby that Honors the Past

Did you know that during the Civil War, more than 1000 different types of bullets were used? This is one reason Civil War bullet collecting has become a popular hobby. Another reason is that the time of the Civil War saw changes taking place in the development of firearms and ammunition. The old round musketballs of the Revolution were being replaced with bullets in the shape we are accustomed to. While musketballs are found on Civil War battlefields, the most common type of bullet used was the .58-caliber bullet with three rings around the base. Many bullets found are splattered out of shape. If you’ve always been fascinated by the Civil War and firearms, Civil War bullet collecting is a hobby you will enjoy.

With the advent of Internet buying and selling, Civil War bullets have become more collectible, and the prices have gone up quickly. Not only this, sometimes sellers are not informed and ask more than the bullet is worth. For these reasons, if you are just starting out in Civil War bullet collecting, you will want to buy a good price guide. You can even find a price guide online if that works better for you.

Many Civil War bullet collectors also collect bullet molds and other relics from the Civil War era. A real enthusiast might even investigate the possiblility of becoming a Civil War reenactor, acting out battles with others in towns and fields across the Southeast.

Civil War bullets can be collected by buying from other collectors, or you can begin by going directly to the battlefields to dig and search. A metal detector will make Civil War bullet collecting easier. You may also find buttons from uniforms, bullet molds, belt buckles, and other metal items from the battle. Some of the bullets may be buried quite deep. You will need to wear a headset and pay close attention to the changes in tone in your metal detector. Hunting Civil War relics is prohibited on protected battlefields, but there are still old homesites where battles were fought. Be sure to get permission from the owner and fill any holes you dig.

Some people have the idea that hunting for bullets with a metal detector indicates a lack of respect for the soldiers who died there. They get this idea because sometimes bullet hunters find bones along with the bullet. The fact is, however, that many of the bullet hunters who have found bullets this way have chronicled and mapped out there finds, resulting in many of the facts that we now know about the Civil War.

The Civil War fascinates Americans because of everything it stands for. While everyone agrees that slavery is a terrible blot on the history of the U.S., there are some people who still discuss the issue of states’ rights versus a strong central government. Civil War bullet collecting is an iteresting hobby, though somewhat sobering at times when considering the great number of casualties. The memory of brother fighting against brother out in the cornfields and pastures will never go away. Civil War bullet collecting is one way to commemorate this monumental historical event.

Christmas Craft: Bead and Pipe Cleaner Ornaments

Christmas ornaments made from ordinary pipe cleaners and inexpensive acrylic beads are very pretty and easy to make. They look quite impressive yet are easy enough for small children to make. This is one Christmas craft idea to use again and again. Older people will enjoy making this Christmas craft, too, which can be varied to make a number of different sparkling ornaments for your Christmas tree.

To make the bead and pipe cleaner ornaments, you need common pipe cleaners in desired colors and acrylic beads. Two types of beads are particularly effective when strung on pipe cleaners. One type are called sunburst beads, but are also known as paddlewheel beads, snowflake beads, or starburst beads. These beads have six faceted paddles spaced equally around a center that contains the hole for stringing. When several of these sunburst beads are strung consecutively, they fit against each other in an interlocking pattern.

The other type of bead that is also effective for this Christmas craft is called the tri bead or propeller bead. It has three rounded bumps arranged around the stringing hole. Like the sunburst beads, the tri beads interlock when strung consecutively. For the most sparkly and attractive Christmas ornaments, get tri beads and/or sunburst beads in translucent colors of red, green, and clear. The tri beads can also be found in metallic gold and silver which can be used in this Christmas craft as well.

Pipe cleaners can be found in silver and gold tinsel as well as chenille of all colors. For the Christmas craft, the best colors to use are the metallics and Christmas colors. The beads cover the pipe cleaners, but the ends will need to be twisted together and made into hangers, so they show.

Anyone, even small children, can string these beads on pipe cleaners. Bend up the end of the pipe cleaner so the beads don’t fall off. The pipe cleaner works like a needle, making a needle unnecessary. For best results, show the children how to alternate colors when stringing, or start a pattern of three colors. When the beads are strung on the pipe cleaners, they can be bent into different Christmas shapes. For instance, string red and clear beads alternately, then bend down one end of the pipe cleaner for a candy cane shape. Or alternate red and green beads and form a circle for a wreath. Use red pipe cleaner to form a small bow to decorate the wreath. Form a hanger for the Christmas craft or simply slip the circle over a branch of the tree.

If you experiment with clear beads and silver pipe cleaners, you can make some beautiful snowflake or star ornaments. Snowflake designs can be twisted of silver pipe cleaner only, without the beads for a simple but pretty decoration.

Bead and pipe cleaner ornaments are a Christmas craft you will find yourself using every year. Children and their parents will both appreciate this simple yet pretty Christmas craft.

BUILD YOUR SELF ESTEEM, A STARTER GUIDE TO SELF IMPROVEMENT

So how do you stay calm, composed and maintain self esteem in a tough environment? Here are some tips you may to consider as a starter guide to self improvement.

Imagine yourself as a Dart Board. Everything and everyone else around you may become Dart Pins, at one point or another. These dart pins will destroy your self esteem and pull you down in ways you won’t even remember. Don’t let them destroy you, or get the best of you. So which dart pins should you avoid?

Dart Pin #1 : Negative Work Environment
Beware of “dog eat dog” theory where everyone else is fighting just to get ahead. This is where non-appreciative people usually thrive. No one will appreciate your contributions even if you miss lunch and dinner, and stay up late. Most of the time you get to work too much without getting help from people concerned. Stay out of this, it will ruin your self esteem. Competition is at stake anywhere. Be healthy enough to compete, but in a healthy competition that is.

Dart Pin #2: Other People’s Behavior
Bulldozers, brown nosers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, people walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, exploders, patronizers, sluffers… all these kinds of people will pose bad vibes for your self esteem, as well as to your self improvement scheme.

Dart Pin #3: Changing Environment
You can’t be a green bug on a brown field. Changes challenge our paradigms. It tests our flexibility, adaptability and alters the way we think. Changes will make life difficult for awhile, it may cause stress but it will help us find ways to improve our selves. Change will be there forever, we must be susceptible to it.

Dart Pin #4: Past Experience
It’s okay to cry and say “ouch!” when we experience pain. But don’t let pain transform itself into fear. It might grab you by the tail and swing you around. Treat each failure and mistake as a lesson.

Dart Pin #5: Negative World View
Look at what you’re looking at. Don’t wrap yourself up with all the negativities of the world. In building self esteem, we must learn how to make the best out of worst situations.

Dart Pin #6: Determination Theory
The way you are and your behavioral traits is said to be a mixed end product of your inherited traits (genetics), your upbringing (psychic), and your environmental surroundings such as your spouse, the company, the economy or your circle of friends. You have your own identity. If your father is a failure, it doesn’t mean you have to be a failure too. Learn from other people’s experience, so you’ll never have to encounter the same mistakes.

Sometimes, you may want to wonder if some people are born leaders or positive thinkers. NO. Being positive, and staying positive is a choice. Building self esteem and drawing lines for self improvement is a choice, not a rule or a talent. God wouldn’t come down from heaven and tell you – “George, you may now have the permission to build self esteem and improve your self.”

In life, its hard to stay tough specially when things and people around you keep pulling you down. When we get to the battle field, we should choose the right luggage to bring and armors to use, and pick those that are bullet proof. Life’s options give us arrays of more options. Along the battle, we will get hit and bruised. And wearing a bullet proof armor ideally means ‘self change’. The kind of change which comes from within. Voluntarily. Armor or Self Change changes 3 things: our attitude, our behavior and our way of thinking.

Building self esteem will eventually lead to self improvement if we start to become responsible for who we are, what we have and what we do. Its like a flame that should gradually spread like a brush fire from inside and out. When we develop self esteem, we take control of our mission, values and discipline. Self esteem brings about self improvement, true assessment, and determination. So how do you start putting up the building blocks of self esteem? Be positive. Be contented and happy. Be appreciative. Never miss an opportunity to compliment. A positive way of living will help you build self esteem, your starter guide to self improvement.