Monthly Archive for "January 2010"

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 31 Jan 2010

Coin Collecting at the Drop of a Dime

The beauty of dime collecting is it’s not only a hobby, but could also be a very profitable business venture. Dime collecting fascinates both youngsters and the elderly. The first step in this hobby starts from home. You will have to check your piggy banks, saving pots, dime jars, loose change etc. to see if you have a hidden gem. You might be in hold of a treasure in the form of a cheap monetary denomination.

Like wine and works of art, dimes also gain significant value as they get old. The older the dime is, the more is its historical and monetary values. Some of the dimes were minted in few hundred numbers. The odds of someone having that dime which had a limited mintage and circulation today is very less. So this lesser available dime has a great number of takers in the auction market. There has been auctions where rare and age old dimes were sold for millions of American dollars. A dime minted in 1894 was auctioned for 1.3 million USD in Baltimore. This is just one scenario and there are hundreds others out there.

Apart from being a profitable asset and a business venture, dime collecting is a great hobby to pursue. Dime collectors are respected as knowledgeable and sensible individuals by our society. For instance, a large number of dimes minted have the image of Lady Liberty engraved in the front face of the dime. This is a clear indication how much Americans value Liberty and Freedom. Respect for feminism and womanhood is also portrayed subtly.

Acquiring a dime for your collection is a challenging process. But that is not the end of the game. Dimes need to be properly taken care of. Metals have a tendency of getting corroded and tarnished. The first thing a dime collector should do is to get proper storage systems which are being sold at various collectible stores. On the other hand, you could build your own home grown solution to save money and add your own personal touch. The most important step is to keep the dimes separate.

The dimes should never be stored or cleaned together, as doing so may damage the surface of the dime irrevocably. Dimes should never be cleaned with acid or soaps with harsh chemicals. Mild soap and towel will do the trick. To protect the dimes from dirt and oil from the fingers, they should be handled along the edges. If you have extra money to spare, a temperature control system would be perfect and would complete the storage circle. If there are valuable dimes in your collection, you could use alarm systems at or a bank locker at home. Happy Dime Collecting!

?2008 – All Rights Reserved. The author, Brian Schwartz is the webmaster and fellow dime collector at DimeSeek – The Dime Collector’s Source.

Parenting Vivian | 31 Jan 2010

Techniques to Get Kids to Work at Home

It is not always easy to combine fun and work, but it is possible. The goal of family relationships should be one of mutual respect and cooperation. The sooner the chores are done, the sooner you can go have fun. Or, if you use the techniques and ideas listed below, you can do both at the same time.

These fun ideas have been tested by families just like yours and mine and they work! So use your teaching and problem solving skills to think of new ways to get your kids to help at home.

Hidden Treasure-When you have an area that needs a thorough cleaning job, announce that you have hidden a treasure box that contains enough money for pizza and a movie, for the entire family. The lucky finder a special treat. The entire family cleans and searches together.

Hide smaller sums of money around an area that needs cleaned. You’d be surprised how clean bookshelves can get when quarters are hidden under the books. (Tip: Remember how much you hid-we’re still finding coins in the washroom)

Cinderella-Either one special person or the entire family works like scullery maids until a specified hour. Then work ceases, cloths changed, and off you go to the ball (ie movie, dinner, play, etc.).

Ten Minute Break-Take a ten-minute break from deep cleaning. Have a snack, play a quick game of tag, or other activity to break the monotony.

Divide and Conquer-Divide a task into manageable parts, and then give the child a white marble for every part he finishes. When he has twelve marbles, both of you take a break and play Chinese Checkers.

Better on the Bottom-Encourage your child to put his laundry away promptly by putting a note under it, redeemable for a surprise. Be sure to include an expiration date and don’t mention it-see how long it takes to be redeemed.

Yard Party-Have a green thumb party where everyone works in the yard. Give everyone one of those obnoxious green thumb suckers with bubble gum in the middle to suck on while they work. Serve green popsicles and green punch when the work is done.

Birthday Bonus-No one works on his birthday. Everybody else pitches in and gives a “service gift” by doing his chores on his birthday.

Be-Bop-A-Do-A song on the radio usually lasts about three minutes. Challenge the kids to have the living room picked up before the next song ends. This is more fun, and it eliminates dawdling.

Nudging Notes-If your child has been puttering around in his room forever getting ready to clean, rather than yell, write a note and slip it under the door. Have it say something like, “If your room is clean and you are dressed by 2 p.m., meet me in the car and we’ll go get a milkshake.” (Tip: Be sure to knock as you slip the note under the door-when I used this idea with my daughter, I didn’t knock, and she didn’t find the note till 10 a.m. next day).

Job Chart-Post a job schedule for the week on the refrigerator door. You’ll get much more cooperation and support when there is a visible reminder that doing housework is a family project.

(c) Judy H. Wright,

You have permission to reprint this article in your blog, ezine or offline magazine, but please keep the contact information and content intact. Thank you.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author.

You are also invited to visit our blog at for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you.

Thanks for joining our community of caring parents, family members,coaches, mentors who want to help raise a generation of responsible adults.

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 30 Jan 2010

Update Your Wardrobe By Sewing Some Basics With Fashion Trends

Nothing is really new! It is just recycled!
Everything old is new again!

Add just one thing when you sew your 6 basic, classic garments and you will be in style this Spring 2006.

What is this big fashion trend? It’s bows!

Bows are back in the fashion world of 2006. They are on everything, everywhere. There are flat bows and fluffy bows, wide bows and narrow bows and everything in between bows.

At the fashion shows, bows and sashes adorned every conceivable place on a garment – top, bottom, front and back.

Just when we thought we would finally get rid of our bow blouses, they are back in style.

Along with bows you will see pleats and tucks, the 60′s look, empire waists, A-line shifts and lots of ruffles and florals.

Look for ladies short sleeve shirts with small matching neckties. Remember those? And how about “safari” looks as well?

Although not very many females can wear them well, wide belts are back on the scene. Remember the ones with the big medallion in the middle? They are back!

It looks like a more romantic, feminine look is in for 2006. Ugh! That means a more defined waistline to show off hour glass figures. Whatever happened to hour glass figures? Better get going with a new diet and exercise plan fast!

Silky and chiffon fabrics are trendy especially in those ruffly and bow blouses.

They look smart with the more fitted tailored jackets and coats including the classic trench coat.

And for skirts, it is the pencil skirt. Everyone needs a good straight skirt. Get that fit right once and for all!

Black is still big, but in more textured fabrics.

Bright red and cream are a popular color combination as well as muted blues and grays like gray and dark denim.

Dig out your platform shoes and cowboy boots. Add some lace and ball fringe to a few things and you have some of the latest trends for the new year.

As for pants, it looks like slightly flared knee length cuffed shorts will be big. They are longer than Bermudas, but shorter than Capris. Be careful if this is not your best length or look.

Make your pants the length that is most flattering for your figure.

Stitch up a pair of khaki pants and a red top for yourself. And, don’t forget the bows! How about a flat bow at the neckline? That will do it!

Get your fit in the 6 basic pieces every woman needs:

1. Jacket

2. Skirt

3. Pants

4. White Blouse/Shirt

5. Basic Black Dress

6. Basic Shell

Focus on these basic, classic, sewing patterns until you are happy with the results. Sew them over and over in different fabrics and colors that look good on you.

Accessorize to suit your style and you are all set no matter what the fashion trends are.

It just makes sense!


?005 Marian Lewis – All Rights Reserved

1st Step To Sewing Success

Marian Lewis is a sewing instructor and the creator of an amazing new fitting method for hard-to-fit sewing folks.

In her ebook, “Common Sense Fitting Method For Hard-To-Fit Sewing Folks Who Want Great Fitting Skirts And Pants”, find out step-by-step WHAT you really need, WHERE you really need it and HOW to apply that to a commercial sewing pattern.

For more information, go to:


Marian is also the author of other eBooks related to sewing including, “Sew A Tee Pee And Accessories For Your Tribe Of Kids” where she teaches basic sewing techniques while you have fun doing it!

To learn more, go to:


To discover sewing and fitting secrets to achieve sewing success, follow the link:


Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 30 Jan 2010

Beginner Crochet – How To Get Started

There are plenty of reasons to take up crochet, but for someone just starting out, figuring out how to get going can be a challenge. Possibly you’ve noticed some of the great fashions that are available in crochet – everything from cool hats, to dresses and even bikinis. I have a habit of seeing something I love, but deciding I would prefer it in purple, instead of white. Or the dress I see that would look better a few inches longer. (As for the bikini – I’ll try that out as soon as I learn to crochet myself a new body).

For all the good reasons to give crochet a go, there are challenges to starting out. Crochet’s best learned from a patient grandmother, preferably with a plate of shortbread cookies nearby. If you’re trying to teach yourself, it can get frustrating.

The Internet offers a few great places for the beginner crochet aficionado to start. I find I learn crafty things more easily if I can see it done. To learn some of the basics of crochet, I went to Youtube to see if there were any videos that could help me out. A quick search on “How to Crochet” at Youtube produced 507 search results. And the best part of this is…most of these are great, short videos designed for those who are starting out. There are videos on how to crochet a flower, how to crochet a scarf, how to crochet a hat. If you’re really just starting out, you can find videos on how to hold your yarn, and how to crochet basic stitches, such as a chain stitch or a slip knot.

Once you’ve gotten your feet under you, and you’re comfortable with some basic stitches and patterns, you can move on to more advanced patterns. The most important thing is not to let yourself get too frustrated. Start off slow, and you’ll find that crocheting becomes a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. And if you do tackle the crochet bikini, hey – more power to you.

Author Laynee Jenkins: I’ve assembled a collection of vintage crochet patterns – 317 different patterns that are over 100 years old. If you’re interested in vintage crochet, you can find the collection here:

Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 30 Jan 2010

The Three Things You Need To Settle A Cornhole Argument

I’ve noticed that a lot of you are in search of the actual rules to the great game of cornhole. Most of us have learned the game from friends who might get a little tipsy and set up the boards wherever they like. Some of us even have that friend who’s an “expert” and “eyeballs” the distance between the boards. Well, we’re gonna cover the most argued-about issues when setting up a rousing game of cornhole.


The cornhole boards should be spaced 27 feet apart, no ifs ands or buts. I know the issue of space to accommodate the boards can arise, but if you have the room you should play it right, right? Right.


Another concern seems to be deciding when the game is complete. The first team to score 21 or over wins, simple as that.


Lastly, you are allowed to throw from the “foul line”, which is actually at the front of the board you’re throwing from. Honestly, I never even knew that. I’ve always thrown from somewhere around the hole, so I know my game is going to get even better with that little piece of info.

For those of you who haven’t been completely sure of these rules or have been looking for facts to settle an argument, there you go. Since the warm days are growing exponentially, we might as well start this year’s season off on the right foot and avoid as much arguing as possible. This game’s meant to be fun, right?

This article is brought to you by the good folks at & The Cornhole Blog

Holidays Vivian | 29 Jan 2010

Christmas Symbols – 3 Amazing Insights About 3 Popular Christmas Symbols!

We all love Christmas symbols used as decorations however most people have no idea where they originally came from. It certainly adds to a deeper enjoyment of Christmas when meaning is added. Imagine the delightful Christmas conversations sharing your new insights. So read on and enjoy a deeper understanding of three popular symbols and their meaning!

Christmas Bells – Bells were traditionally rung to celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas morning. In olden times bells were assumed to chase away evil spirits. They believed that noise of any kind would repel evil. Bells represent the death of the devil (ignorance) and the birth of goodness (enlightenment). In modern times Father Christmas uses jingling bells accompanying his sleigh progress to announce the birth of goodness and new beginnings and ultimately to remind us to seek enlightenment that is, to develop the good within us all!

Candy Cane - A 17th century craftsman created white sticks of candy in the shape of shepherd’s crooks at the suggestion of a Choirmaster in Germany. The treats were passed out to children to keep them quiet during ceremonies at the nativity scene. It didn’t take long for the word to spread and a new custom to be created. In the 1950′s a USA Catholic Priest, Gregory Keller, invented a machine to make the candy and thus growing its popularity even more throughout the world. They were made white with red stripes. Red symbolizing new life and white for Christ’s purity. Later green was added as a symbol of everlasting life and the three strips represented the Holy Trinity (the three Gods ie. the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit).

Christmas Stockings - This is the most famous stocking legend. It rekindles the virtues of giving without expectation for which St Nicholas was legendary! The story says a kindly nobleman’s wife had died, and overcome by grief the nobleman became self destructive, so much so that he foolishly squandered his entire fortune leaving his 3 young daughters doweryless and facing a life of hardship and spinsterhood. The generous St Nicholas heard of the plight of the young girls and decided to help them yet remain anonymous. In the dark of the night he rode his white horse by the house and threw three small pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they were fortuitously captured by the stockings the young women had hung by the fireplace to dry. Word spread fast and the hanging of stockings on Christmas night became hugely popular in the hope of a surprise!

As you can see symbols have a beautiful history and fun legends attached to them. Introduce the meanings into your conversations with family and friends this festive season and explore the delights of the meanings of symbols.

Visit & sign up for our FREE Newsletter full of tips, tools & resources for reviving the fun, joy, magic and real meanings of Christmas PLUS receive our bonus f*r*e*e 10 day e-course with audio – Amazing Ways to Enrich Your Christmas Experience from The HoHoHo Expert, Bernadette Dimitrov, author of the world’s best Christmas ebooks and audio books. The HoHoHo Factor!?everything youll love to know & share about Christmas & the new fun adventure series Bluey, Santa’s New Recruit!? Your resources for creating fun and cherished memories today!

Babies-Toddler Vivian | 29 Jan 2010

Developing a Lifelong Love of Reading

Every child should be exposed to books at an early age. Being read to at an early age will foster a love of books and reading, one that has many benefits for children as they grow into adulthood. Reading is a great way to learn and reading with your child or grandchild will help them to learn many things and develop many important skills.

Most children’s first encounters with reading are through board books. These small books are durable and able to withstand the rough handling of infants and small children. They are usually simple, containing bright and easy to understand pictures with a few simple words. Board books are the perfect introduction to reading with their thick durable pages that are perfect for young children to explore. Small children enjoy looking at board books with their parents, grandparents, and caregivers as well as exploring them alone.

Some of the most popular books for young children are picture books. These types of books are designed for very young children and have illustrations or pictures accompanied by the word they represent. These types of books are great for teaching all sorts of concepts from shapes and colors to letters and numbers. They give children a great basis for future learning and a good foundation for formal education. Picture books help children to understand the world around them and introduce many concepts that they will learn later in childhood.

By the time a child reaches three years of age, they are usually ready to start experiencing other types of books. Books for young children are often made of durable materials like board books with more complex stories and pictures. They are great for children with longer attention spans but will still stand up to the touch of a young child as they help to turn pages and look at books on their own. Books for young children often have playful language and many contain rhymes, some of the most notable children’s books are from Dr. Seuss who wrote many imaginative rhyming stories.

For older children that have outgrown picture books and board books but are not ready for long novels, there are many transitional books and short chapter books that they can enjoy reading themselves. After a child learns how to read they can practice their skills on short chapter books that are fun and encourage children to read by themselves. Chapter books for children are designed to hold their interest, written on a level that they can easily understand, and help to develop a child’s love of reading.

Older children who have been exposed to books all their lives and enjoy reading will often do well in school and have an easy time learning new things and understanding new concepts. Older children can enjoy longer novels, especially imaginative ones and young adult fiction. There are many great titles both old and new that will help your child or grandchildren develop a lifelong love of reading. Reading can begin at any time with board books and continue throughout childhood.

[] is the best site that specializes in low cost, high quality, unique gifts for grandparents to buy for their grandchildren and families. We carry award winning children’s books, air plane ride on toys and much more. Visit us today!

Parenting Vivian | 29 Jan 2010

Five Keys for Dealing with the Evil of Negative Self-talk

Have you ever heard a child say words like-

Im dumb?/p>

Im stupid?/p>

Im just not good enough?/p>

I hate myself?/p>

I wish I wasnt born?

These are all examples of negative self-talk, one of the most destructive habits that a child (or an adult for that matter) can have. Unfortunately this is all too common amongst children today. In just about every classroom teachers will be able to identify children who put themselves down, and typically the comments they make will be totally out of all proportion to the reality of any situation they may be facing.

Negative self-talk is much worse than many other bad habits (like biting fingernails) that people develop, because it attacks their own identity, and invariably leads to problems such as:

* low self-esteem;

* unhappiness;

* inability to make friends, and

* poor performance in school.

If your child has been engaged in negative self-talk, you need to act NOW. If it has just started you need to nip the problem in the bud, NOW. If it has been going on for some time, you need to act NOW to prevent it from becoming an entrenched habit.

Here are some steps that you can take to help your child:

1. Let your child know regularly that he or she is loved. Show this love in words and in actions.

2. Look for opportunities to praise your child for achievements or positive behaviors. Be real in your comments, but not flattering ?children are experts at detecting insincerity!

3. Look for opportunities to praise your child when talking to others. This is especially effective if you are talking to a friend and your child is in an adjacent room and in earshot but is not a part of the conversation.

4. Find a time when your child is in a good mood, and give some instruction on how and why you would like them to stop the negative selftalk. Discuss together some appropriate responses to the incidents that have tended to lead to this problem. Get an agreement on the right way to respond!

5. If the negative talk starts, kindly but firmly put a stop to it straight away. Remind your child of the agreement you made together.

The aim is for children to have a positive and healthy self-image but without an inflated ego. If you suspect the problems your child has are deep seated and not responding to your efforts, it is recommended that you seek professional advice from a qualified psychologist or family counselor.

Wayne and Jenny Gillie are parents and school teachers, and have established as a resource for parents and teachers who want to improve the self confidence of their children or students.

Gardening Vivian | 28 Jan 2010

Gardening Grows on You

Gardening is good for you, good for your neighbors, good for your kids and good for your dog. Especially if you do it the right way. Gardening has been around for ages, and it’s almost so ingrained into our genes, it’s like an instinct. In the sense that gardening feels good to do, to dig, and plant a seed and watch it grow. It’s kind of an analogy for what it means to being human. It just plain feels good to see something you’ve planted, mature and come to fruition as a living thing. Something mystical almost about gardening. Not to mention, there are the additional benefits of the after effect of all your gardening accomplishments. Astetically, there really is nothing more pleasing, warming and comforting to look upon then a bountiful garden. Whether it is rose garden, a vegetable garden,or just a garden of plants, bushes and flowers of all varieties. It touches a human feeling at pretty much an unconscious level. I feels just right. Even a little planting or gardening in an otherwise artifical environment makes the whole environment feel more natural.

Organic Nirvana

While there is plenty of artificial stimulants, preservatives, and preventatives to aid in the gardening process, there is something to be said for the whole organic gardening process. Not only is it a healthier choice for us, but it’s one less thing to fret about with all the misinformation these days about what things you need to avoid. That in itself is a mental health reason to choose organic gardening. Not to mention, for those of use who like a challenge and are constantly trying to stay off the tried and true approach, organic gardening provides many possibilities. Finding new and and inventive natural ways to keep the pests away, and help the garden grow can be fascinating. Again another mind satisfying result.

Neighborly Abundance

As anyone who knows a gardener can attest to, gardeners are the worst estimators around. They always seem to plant far more than they can eat, cook, or can. So as a result all their friends, families, and neighbors end up with baskets and baskets of tomatoes, peppers and whatever cornucopia the harvest has brought. And of course, this whole giving aspect of gardening is bound to make both the gardener and gardeners friends a much happier lot. The whole idea of giving is better than receiving really sprouts up here. And since receiving is not so bad either, all the rest of us enjoy the benefits of our backyard farmers exploits. Of course if organic gardening was employed, then it’s better for everyone involved. Helps keep us all away from those nasty store bought vegetables, with enough growth hormones to visit the giants castle at the end of the bean stalks. So, get gardening all you green thumbs, I’ve got an empty cupboard.

For more on rock gardening or flower gardening visit these websites.

Babies-Toddler Vivian | 28 Jan 2010

Cool Baby Clothes For Cute Babies – Start Them Young

If you are a trendy savvy parent, you would not want your kids to wear the basic jeans and normal cut shirts. Trendy baby clothes are available in the market with several types that have playful designs, which are hip but comfortable. Nowadays, newborn’s cloth shopping experience surpasses and surprises parents wildest baby clothes combination. Below are some of the amazing examples of funny and trendy clothes.

If you want to make your baby look trendy, you can let your child wear something awesome instead of ordinary washed out blues. Your baby can wear comfortable clothes and still look amazingly funky and cool. Removable suspenders and jeans will transform your baby ultra hip while still imparting his image to be fun to look at.

You do not have to let your child wear the conventional and boring dresses such as t-shirts for boys and red or pink dresses for girls. You can let her or him wear something unique and trendy such as swapping her purple pony glittered t-shirt for mud brown puff sleeve’s shirts that make your child cute and flirtatious to look.

During special occasions such as the Halloween or other costume party, you can choose from many trendy baby clothes, which will make your child stand out from the crowd. There are eco friendly clothes that will make your child look great and trendy. To complete your child’s costume you can choose shoes that will fit your child’s outfit.

Trendy fabrics and costumes for kids are available in many local shops and stores. However, if you want to go try a bigger picture then you must be referring to online shopping and have the best offered at lower prices.

==>> Click here to Get Latest Price and Deals on Funky Baby Clothes and Pink Cowboy Hat

It can be a great collection for your baby or it can be a great gift ideas for your close friends baby.