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