Thursday, February 14, 2008

Types of arts and crafts

There are almost as many variations on the theme of "arts and crafts" as there are crafters with time on their hands, but they can be broken down into a number of categories:

Crafts involving textiles
-Canvas work
-Curve stitching
-Ribbon embroidery
-Rug making
-Spinning (textiles)
-Spirelli (also see Scrap booking)
-String art
-T-shirt art

Crafts involving wood, metal or clay
-Cabinet making
-Chip carving
-Wood burning
-Wood turning
-Polymer clay

Crafts involving paper or canvas
-Card making
-Card Modeling
-Iris Folding
-Paper craft
-Parchment craft
-Quilling or Paper Filigree
-Scrap booking

Crafts involving plants
-Basket weaving
-Corn dolly making
-Pressed flower craft
-Straw Marquetry

Other crafts
-Balloon animal
-Doll making
-Dollhouse construction and furnishing
-Egg decorating
-Stained glass
-Toy making


Arts and crafts comprise a whole host of activities and hobbies that are related to making things with one's own hands and skill. These can be sub-divided into handicrafts or "traditional crafts" (doing things the old way) and "the rest". Some crafts have been practiced for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularizations of crafts which were originally practiced in a very small geographic area.
Most crafts require a combination of skill, speed, and patience, but they can also be learnt on a more basic level by virtually anyone. Many community centers and schools run evening or day classes and workshops offering to teach basic craft skills in a short period of time. Many of these crafts become extremely popular for brief periods of time (a few months, or a few years), spreading rapidly among the crafting population as everyone emulates the first examples, then their popularity wanes until a later resurgence.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Information about RhineStone

Rhinestone or paste is a diamond simulant made from rock crystal, glass or acrylic.

Originally, rhinestones were rock crystals gathered from the river Rhine. The availability was greatly increased when around 1775 the Alsatian jeweler Georg Friedrich Starss (de:Georg Friedrich Strass) had the idea to imitate diamonds by coating the lower side of glass with metal powder. Hence, rhinestones are called Strass in many European languages.

Rhinestones may be used as imitations of diamonds, and some manufacturers even capture the glistening effect that real diamonds have in the sun.

In 1955, the "Aurora Borealis" or "Aqua aura", a thin, vacuum-sputtered metallic coating applied to crystal stones to produce an iridescent effect, was introduced. Aurora Borealis tends to reflect whatever color is worn near it, and it is named after the Aurora Borealis atmospheric phenomenon, also known as the Northern Lights.

Typically, crystal rhinestones have been primarily used on costumes, apparel and jewelry. Crystal rhinestones are produced mainly in Austria by Swarovski and in Czech Republic by Preciosa.

The rhinestone-studded Nudie suit was invented by Nudie Cohn in the 1940s, an Americanization of the matador's "suit of lights". Liberal use of rhinestones used to be associated with country music singers, as well as with Elvis Presley and Liberace. Glen Campbell had a top 1975 hit with the song "Rhinestone Cowboy", and became known as the Rhinestone Cowboy. Today, custom Swarovski items are in high demand with both celebrities and fashion forward women. The rhinestones and other crystal items by Czech company Preciosa are being used in luxury costume jewellery from leading fashion brands. One may also find customized crystal rhinestone-inlaid items on Internet auction websites like eBay, such as cell phones, iPods and other mp3 players, earbuds, and flip flops.