Saturday, 4 December 2010

Mens Winter Jackets Are Stylish and Make Great Gifts

Best Winter Jackets for Men
Buying a winter jacket can be a daunting task. Especially for men. Men are less inclined to comparison shop when buying clothing and will often choose what’s easiest; whether it is the first article they try or because the sales assistant has been particularly helpful. More often than not they will walk out of the store with something that is entirely unsuitable for their needs.

Fortunately, now more than ever, there is a wide variety of choice in men’s outer wear and finding the right jacket for the purpose is easier than ever. Although for some, being presented with endless options simply causes more frustration. So what should a man look for when buying a winter jacket?

Where will the jacket be worn? When choosing a men’s winter jacket, it is important to consider all the situations in which the jacket will be worn. Will it be an all-purpose item? If it is intended to be worn in both a casual situation as well as to a work-site it will most likely need to be both rugged and presentable. For extreme winter sports other factors will need to be taken into consideration such as freedom of movement as well as airflow.

Some winter jackets now can be adapted to suit the conditions. There are jackets with removable thermal or quilted linings, which allows a light jacket to be converted into a really snug and warm coat. Some jackets have detachable hoods or sleeves or both which means they can provide every level of comfort from complete protection against the cold through to just a light covering for the chest and back.

This may seem obvious but for some it is not always that easy. The right winter jacket for the sub-artic conditions of some parts of Canada and Alaska would be totally unsuitable for the much milder winters of the southern states of the United States and Mediterranean countries of Europe for instance.

Buying a winter jacket is an investment so spending a little more on an item, which will last several, if not many seasons, simply makes good sense. For this reason it is also worth considering bypassing the latest fashion trends and opting instead for a style which is less likely to go out of fashion quickly.
If you are still unsure, take some time to look through some magazines or go online and look at some different styles before you venture into a store. Having a basic understanding of what suits you, your lifestyle and your personality will go a long way to ensuring that your purchase will be worthwhile.

See a great selection of the Best Winter Jackets for Men

Search Apparel for mens winter jackets

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

It's Quilt Show Time

It’s an even year. This means it’s a Quilt Show year!

My youngest kids are in their last year at our little local public school. This school has a thriving and active P&C or Parents and Citizens Group. They do a great job raising much needed extra funding for the school which goes towards purchasing extra equipment, providing additional events such as whole school participation dance and drama activities and artist in residence programs which would not be possible without the extra injection of funding raised by a small group of dedicated volunteers. I put my hand up right now and admit I’m not one of them. I tend be a sideline sitter, helping out occasionally. The magnificent people to whom I take off my virtual hat spend long hours and many early mornings manning markets and barbecues so our kids can have the extra facilities their hard work provides.

But one thing I can get involved in is the raffle quilt. Each alternate year our school holds a quilt show and invites entries from the talented local community. I am always amazed and awed by the quality, imagination and skill displayed by the dozens of entries our show receives.

It has become part of our quilt show tradition to create a quilt to be the raffle prize at the show. Preparations commence six months out with a get together to agree on fabrics and block patterns. Since most of us are inexperienced quilters this is more of a social coffee gathering and most of the crucial decisions are made by the skilled few among our number. We have had some fabric donated to us in a mixture of stripes and checks in six colours. During our first meeting we decide that this year we will go for more of a freestyle design. The only stipulation is that we are to create strips 2.4 metres in length. The width can vary and what goes into the strip is entirely up to the individual. Our first task is to sort out the fabric and make up identical bundles to give to each sewer. We will meet again in a few works and bring along any finished pieces.

I have decided to use mainly triangles. The fabric we have been given is made up of rectangular pieces 15cm wide so I flip a corner diagonally over and cut along the edge it creates cutting a 15cm square then while it is still folded I cut the square in half diagonally along the fold. As you can see I am using a pretty imprecise technique. Once I have all my triangles I place them not altogether randomly, I try not to have the same check pattern next to each other for example but I am not following a precise order. Then it is time to sew. Because the fabric is a fairly loose weave I firstly stitch a 3/8” seam rather than 1/4” seam and then stitch a second time within the seam allowance to help avoid fraying. I then press the seams as I go.

I have completed my strips. I have managed to produce three plus a skinny one of just joined squares from the leftover scraps. Time to go and hand in all our handiwork and see what everyone else has produced.

Are you interested in quilting? Have a look at some of the great gadgets that help make quilting easier here. Quilting Frame Reviews And Recommendations

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

It's Time To Get A New Sewing Machine

Time for a New Sewing Machine - Vintage Sewing Machine Poster
Vintage Old-Fashioned Sewing Machine Print
It’s decision time. In the past I have been variously an occasional home seamstress, a cottage industry hopeful, a home decorator maven, a repair and mend reluctant stitcher. Many years ago, my mother gave me a Janome sewing machine for my birthday and I immediately enrolled in night-classes for Pattern-Making and Garment Assembly. I had visions of starting my own business, doing exactly what I don’t know but it involved my sewing machine.

But life’s events took over and those ideas were sidelined. I’m not sure I would have been very successful in that particular field but the time I spent studying the craft formally gave me enough to give me confidence to tackle projects I may have otherwise considered too challenging.

In more recent times, the sewing machine really only gets dragged out to do a bit of mending or for a more unusual project such as curtains or cushions or fancy dress costumes.

Now my 30 year old trusty friend needs attention and after learning how much it will cost to look at the machine and give it a service (parts extra) I am thinking I may as well get a new one. The problem is, is it justified? Will it get used?

I do have a couple of immediate projects I could take on if I am so inclined. In any case it got me started researching what I can get for my as yet un-allocated budget.

I am being drawn towards the Brother range for a couple of reasons although I will need some final persuading. I have always considered the brand to be a bit on the cheap side. This is based wholly and solely on my past experience as a Sales Consultant for fax machine products where I would often compete against them. But to assume that a brand is inferior based on one product is a generalisation and I am also aware that while some brands have a reputation for excellence in one particular field, other projects they take on are often less than perfect.

So being an open-minded consumer (with a small budget) I took a closer look at what Brother had to offer in their sewing machine range. And was pleasantly surprised! Not only are the feature sets outstanding but they represent excellent value for money and the customer reviews I have come across are very encouraging as well.

I haven’t made my decision yet but the Brother machines are looking very appealing.

For more information see my Brother Sewing Machines Comparison.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Handy Manny Tool Toys For Boys

Handy Manny Tooling Around DVD - Handy Manny Tool Toys
Handy Manny Tooling Around DVD
If there is one toy that is evergreen for boys it is the tool-set. It may have changed and evolved through the generations but ultimately the idea is the same. The current offering for little boys is the toy series based on the popular television show: Handy Manny. And because it is a character little boys (and girls) can identify with you already know they'll love the range of toys supporting it. Handy Manny Tool Toys are fun and brightly colored to appeal to young children.

The show (and characters) is very similar to the popular UK children's show, "Bob The Builder" with one major difference: Manny is bilingual, and so he also finds appeal among the large hispanic community within the US.

The appeal of the characters and the toys which are based on them is in the concept of building, making and fixing; something which is easy for a child to relate to. The range of toys includes everyday items which Manny (and the child) will build and be proud of.

Here are lots more great Handy Manny Tool Toys

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Winter Magic Selection

The Winter Magic Festival is held every year in Katoomba, NSW, Australia on the nearest weekend to the June (Winter) solstice. This popular festival encourages all who come to strip off their averageness and celebrate the unusual. There is always a strong Wiccan theme and witches and wizards, faeries and goblins are abundant. Street stalls line the main thoroughfare which is closed for the duration. The highlight of the event is the street parade and it closes with fireworks from the roof of the Carrington Hotel.

Every year in June the town of Katoomba, located in the beautiful Blue Mountains just west of Sydney Australia, hosts the Winter Magic Festival as a celebration of the Winter solstice. This is a time to ditch the grey, throw off the beige and abandon averageness as there is no such thing as too weird or bizarre on this occasion. The general theme of the event overwhelmingly is all things pagan or wicca and witches and faeries are a common sight.

Katoomba street is closed to traffic and taken over for the day by a sea of people enjoying the market stalls that line the street. Music venues are scattered throughout the precinct and an abundance of food stalls adds delicious aromas to the atmosphere.

The highlight of the morning is the street parade which commences at the bottom of the hill and makes its way to the top of Katoomba Street to the delight and applause of onlookers. Featured in the parade there are representatives of local dance groups, theatre groups unique and special interest groups all displaying a riot of colour and trying to outdo each other contributing to the cacophony of sound.

Buskers are commonplace and due to the nature of the region it is possible to encounter a performer who has contributed in some way to main-stream Australian television or movie-making.

The event closes with a final musical performance followed by a wonderful display of fireworks from the roof of the gorgeous Carrington Hotel.

If you find yourself in The Blue Mountains in winter make sure to be in Katoomba for this delightfully eclectic festival which is top of the calendar for every Blue Mountains local.

For a great selection of Wicca jewelry visit here.

One Month In Italy