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Buying an Affordable Sewing Machine for Crafting

I've been exploring other crafts lately, mostly sewing and decorating T-shirts. Hand sewing a crocheted item on a T-shirt can be time-consuming. As a result I've been looking at sewing machines. I have no prior experience with them.

I'm naturally (or unnaturally) analytical when it comes to spending money. With larger expenses, I rely on decision-helping spreadsheets. Down one column goes a list of sewing machines I'm considering. Across the top are the features I'm looking for. This includes everything from price to the weight of the sewing machine (will you be hauling it to classes?) And from automatic threader to whether it can handle thicker fabrics. One article I read said there are about 248 models from about nine recognized manufacturers. No wonder my head is spinning.

I started with Sewing Machine and focused on machines rated above the score of 90. I also listed how many people rated the machine. That exercise showed me that most crafters do not like to invest a lot of money in sewing machines, so those brands with the most reviews are the cheapest models, ie Brother and Singer. The better quality and more expensive machines, ie Janome and Juki, had at the most 30 reviews / comments. The latter two brands are considered medium in terms of overall quality and are often available only through dealers. The purchase price through a dealer often includes classes and a place to go to trade up or to get other equipment or gadgets for the machines.

For those of you who are strong supporters of items made in America, well good luck with that. Although everyone agreements that Viking, Elna and Bernina are superior machines, they also agree that they are pricey and limiting in their versatility. To do more, means to invest in pricier "feet" or gadgets that come as standard items in the less expensive, popular machines. You may purchase better quality needles and threads to help the performance of lower-rated brands.

Another helpful site requests: Is one brand of sewing machine better than another? Erin of makes a valid point when she states that there is a trade-off between precision in stitching and offering lots of features at an affordable price. Another valid point I found in my research is that if you are a crafter involved in many different crafts, can you justify the expense of a high-end machine based on its time of use? In other words, your sewing machine may be collecting dust, while you are crocheting instead of sewing. These are just a few things to keep in mind.

Source by Linda Murdock

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Vehemence for Tales

In 2015, I decided I needed to pursue my passion amidst work. I decided I had to read. I took up the challenge of finishing to read one book every month. I did it because I had to nourish my soul and feed my dreams. I had to travel through text. So I took up the 12 months, 12 books challenge. Most of the books I read were randomly picked, some were my loyalty to that particular author and some were reads. I was always sure I would document my reviews for all my book reader friends. So, here I present my review of the books.

January: The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga

I started with reading a bestseller. This book is a revelation on the lives of car drivers in India. Their perception of the rich and poor. It takes you through the life of the protagonist who wants to lead a dignified life like the village bus ticket collector. However, he is corrupted as the story progresses. He manages to lead a richer life but how? This one definitely describes to be read.

February: Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

A very cleverly written book that shuttles between two eras. Chanakya's wisdom carves personalities merely to save India. A political background makes the book interesting. Chanakya's strategies prove to be useful in both business and politics even today. Do not skip this one, it's worth the accumulating tension.

March: Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul At Work by multiple authors

A light, motivational read, for when you feel unhappy with work. It's many stories will help you keep going at work.

April: Obama

May: Princess Secrets To Share by Jean Sasson

Jean Sasson, is an acclaimed author who is well known to convey the plit of women and their victories in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait and more. This is a heart warming book that revolves around the life of Princess Sultana who is the central character in all of the books and her struggle to save lives of women and even men, this time from Yemen, the ISIS and Pakistan. Read it if you can handle bitter truths of our society.

June: Get to The Top by Suhel Seth

This book is a helpful guide on how to get people to like you, accept you in their social circles and become a social success. The language is simple and the rules are easy to remember. A fun book that is worth a read.

July: India Vs Pakistan: Why can not we just be friends? by Husain Haqqani

One of my perpetual favorite topics of discussion. This book provides a surprising insight into the minds of Indian and Pakistani persons of authority. It also takes us to a time before India was divided, cricket and more. The author ends on a positive, hopeful note by providing solutions on strengthening the ties between the two lost brothers.

August: Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna

I actually thought this book would be silly and it turned out to be a fun read. I finished it in a day. The book is a page turner. It gives you a peek into the celebrity life of Mrs. Funnybones ie. Twinkle Khanna, but it is not what you imagined it to be. You will like it if you like reading Moni Mohsin. Good job done by Twinkle Khanna.

September: Family Wisdom by Robin Sharma

My mom received this as a gift on tour. DIY manuals are my least favorites, however, at this point I had no book to read and the cash was limited. Here, I chose to read this one. Although, this book is meant for parents, I'm glad I read it at this stage in my life. It is a book that talks about creating great family values ​​and goals and how to bond with your kids.

October: One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat

You may hate his work, but I read his books because of the love stories, Indianness and simple language. Yes, I am a fan of most of his books. However, you can give this one a miss. It is way too filmy. What I liked is that it is written from a girl's point of view and CB has got that right.

November: Collected Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I got this as a gift from my best friend. If you get scared too easily or get bogged down by depressing sad stories, completely avoid this book. Almost all stories are about death and ghosts. What makes it bad is, it is very descriptive of the dark rotting details. Not for those who instantly sense negativity and disdain it. I returned the gift back to my friend but only with a look of disgust.

December: Manto

Short stories from the once celebrated author Sadat Ali Manto. His work is written during, pre and post Independence. He captures human emotions and their situations in a very raw way. Within the pages of this book, you will feel Indian culture and a Hindustan from a few decades ago.

To sum up my experience, I was almost short of breath from the continuous reading of books. Only because I knew I had but, a month for every book. I'm glad to have made time for my hobby, once again. And as expected I am soul nourished, time traveled and with newer dreams! I hope you are able to reconnect with your hobbies just as I did.

Source by Kiran Goud

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My Dog's Jumping Up is Driving Me Crazy!

Dogs jumping up on people is one of the biggest complaints pet owners have. Does this sound familiar? You get up in the morning and your dog immediately starting jumping on you trying to give you some wet, slobbery good morning kisses. Every time the two of you reunite after you've been out of the house for even two minutes, your dog jumps on you. It's enough to drive you crazy!

Let's not even get into your dog's jumping on every visitor that comes through your front door, including small children, which is really a problem because they can get knocked down or end up with a traumatic life-long fear of dogs.

My dog ​​always thought people were coming to see her. She would wiggle herself through to a spot in front of me just as I was reaching for the doorknob – and this could not be easy considering she is a 70 pound lab! In coming the guest and up jumps my dog. It got so bad I would shut her into the bathroom if I was expecting guests. I would also make her stay in the backyard if I had nice clothes on because I did not want her ruining them with her big paws.

Well, I finally got some much-needed information and advice about jumping dogs. They learn to jump when they are young. Puppies jump over their litter mates and all over their mom. In fact, licking mom's muzzle is an inherited way of greeting her. I found out that letting her jump on me when she was a cute little thing just reinforced the behavior I would someday regret. And picking her up and letting her lick my "muzzle" was a mistake.

With a few things in my favor, such as persistence, stubbornness, and patience, I was able to break my adult dog of the jumping habit far easier than I thought possible. The main thing is to be the alpha dog; the one in charge, and let the dog know what pleases and disposes you about certain behaviors. Believe me, if I can stop my dog ​​from jumping, so can you.

Source by Lisa Gold

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Pet Health Insurance

There are many factors to be taken into consideration when deciding about health care insurance for our pets – after all they are part of the family! Although having pet insurance is a very important part of cat health or dog health, it is essential that we choose the right insurance policy enabling us to keep our pets safe and healthy and leading happy and active lives. We can do this by checking out the small print before making a decision, paying particular attention to the points listed below.

Does the insurance company use a provider list or network?

As with any kind of insurance, you need to know if the company uses a provider list or network. Maybe your pet is normally seen by a vet who is not part of such a provider list so you would opt to use another company in order to stay with the vet your animal is familiar with. The fact that you are allowed to nominate the vet of your choice is a major benefit to most pet insurance.

What are the exclusions and deductibles?

There are several varied exclusives in connection with pet insurance, clearly the most prevalent being pre-existing illnesses and conditions. so when your pet has a condition which was diagnosed prior to the commencement of the insurance, it will most definitely not be covered by your policy. Other treatments such as heart worming medication, spaying, vaccinations, flea control and dental care are not included in your pet insurance. As with most other insurance policies, pet insurance has a deductible. This is usually around fifty dollars, but the amount generally increases with the age of your pet, and if it is necessary for procedures need to be carried out, each one will have its own co-pay. Coverage may also be restricted during the first year of your pet's life if neutering has not taken place.

Is it a "one size fits all" policy?

Companies providing pet insurance usually have a limit of how much they will be held responsible for. Procedures are covered up to a certain figure and if the vets treatment incurs a medical bill over and above that amount, then the pet owner will have to pay the excess. Some pet insurance companies set a lifetime cap to benefits so if you have an older pet, and he or she gets ill, you are responsible for the medical payments if the insurance limit is reached .. Most companies have a range of plans geared around the age of your pet upon taking out the insurance, offering different types of cover for different health care issues, such as, accident / illness and dental insurance to name but a few. It's sad but true – an alarming number of pets are put to sleep each year because the owners simply can not afford the cost of the medical treatments required.

Are there any other benefits to be had and savings to be made?

Many people treat their pets as family members and appreciate that as such, the animals need to have medical treatment available just like the rest of the family. Realistic benefits, for example, third party liability, raising fees in the temporary event of the owner not being able to take care of the pets, and the cost of placing an advertisement for missing pets in the local newspaper have been introduced as an available add -on option by the insurance company.

Source by David P. Lee

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The Importance Of Cell Phones In Modern Society

Cell phones have become a necessity for many people through the world. The ability to keep in touch with family, business associates, and access to email are only a few of the reasons for the increasing importance of cell phones. Today's technically advanced cell phones are capable of not only receiving and placing phone calls, but storing data, taking pictures, and can even be used as walkie talkies, to name just a few of the available options.

When cell phones were first introduced to the public, they were bulky, expensive, and some even required a base unit that had to be transported along with the phone. Good reception was a major problem and in general, early cell phones could only be used in certain locations were the signal was particularly strong. As cell phone technology advanced, the difficult in using them became less of a problem. Today, cell phone reception has improved greatly due to the use of satellites and wireless services. As cell phones improved and became simple to use, the importance of cell phones increased accordingly.

Cell phones are the perfect way to stay connected with others and provide the user with a sense of security. In the event of emergency, having a cell phone can allow help to reach you quickly and could possibly save lives. However, the importance of cell phones goes way beyond personal safety. Modern cell phones are capable of internet access, sending and receiving photos and files, and some cell phones are equipped with GPS technology, allowing for use in most locations around the world and allowing the cell phone to be found or the user located in the event of loss or emergency.

Cell phone reception has become reliable and of high quality due to advances in wireless technology. Wireless service providers offer excellent packages and promotions for cell phone users. Finding a dependent service provider is no longer an issue for cell phone users. The expansion of the wireless service provider industry gives cell phone users a choice and the increased competition has caused a drop in prices of wireless cell phone service. The importance of cell phones goes way beyond the ability to make or receive phone calls. Cell phone users can instantly send data to the home or office, check for important email, use their cell phone as a PDA or calendar, and store photos which can easily be transferred to a PC or laptop computer.

Cell phone manufacturers have produced a wide range of cell phones, which sell for prices that range from very inexpensive to over one thousand dollars. The available options give users the choice of purchasing a basic cell phone to use simply for making calls, or choosing a complex, technologically advanced cell phone that can perform as many or even more tasks that a home computer. Over the past decade, the increasing importance of cell phones has made them almost a necessity for most people. Even remote and underdeveloped countries have some access to cell phone technology and wireless services.

The importance of cell phones has increased the competition in the wireless service provider industry, making cell phones very affordable and very easy to use. Cell phones have become almost a status symbol in addition to the convenience and security that comes from owning them.

Source by Keith Kingston

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Cyber ​​Crimes And Solutions

We are currently living in Cyber ​​age, where Internet and computers have major impacts on our way of living, social life and the way we conduct businesses.
The usage of information technology has posed great security challenges and ethical questions in front of us. Just as every thing has positives and negatives, usage of information technology is beneficial as well as insecure.

With the growth of the internet, network security has become a major concern. Cyber ​​crimes have emerged rapidly in the last few years and have major consequences. Cyber ​​criminals are doing every thing from stealing money, hacking into others computer, stealing intellectual property, spreading viruses and worms to damage computers connected on the internet and committing frauds.
Stoppage of cyber crimes is a major concern today.
Cyber ​​criminal make use of the vulnerabilities in computer soft wares and networks to their advantage.


Hacking or Cracking is a major cyber crime committed today. Hacker makes use of the weaknesses and loop holes in operating systems to destroy data and steal important information from victim's computer. Cracking is normally done through the use of a backdoor program installed on your machine. A lot of crackers also try to gain access to resources through the use of password cracking softwares. Hackers can also monitor what u do on your computer and can also import files on your computer. A hacker could install several programs on to your system without your knowledge. Such programs could also be used to steal personal information such as passwords and credit card information. Important data of a company can also be hacked to get the secret information of the future plans of the company.


Cyber-Theft is the use of computers and communication systems to steal information in electronic format. Hackers crack into the systems of banks and transfer money into their own bank accounts. This is a major concern, as larger amounts of money can be stolen and illegally transferred.

Many newsletters on the internet provide the investors with free advice recommending stocks where they should invest. Sometimes these recommendations are totally bogus and cause loss to the investors. Credit card fraud is also very common.

Most of the companies and banks do not disclose that they have been the victims of cyber -theft because of the fear of losing customers and share holders. Cyber-theft is the most common and the most reported of all cyber-crimes. Cyber-theft is a popular cyber-crime because it can quickly bring an experienced cyber-criminal large cash resulting from very little effort. Furthermore, there is little chance a professional cyber-criminal will be apprehended by law enforcement.

Viruses and worms:

Viruses and worms is a very major threat to normal users and companies. Viruses are computer programs that are designed to damage computers. It is named virus because it spreads from one computer to another like a biological virus. A virus must be attached to some other program or documents through which it enters the computer. A worm usually exploits loop holes in soft wares or the operating system. Trojan horse is dicey. It appears to do one thing but does something else. The system may accept it as one thing. Upon execution, it may release a virus, worm or logic bomb. A logic bomb is an attack triggered by an event, like computer clock reaching a certain date. Chernobyl and Melissa viruses are the recent examples.

Experts estimate that the Mydoom worm infected approximately a quarter-million computers in a single day in January 2004. Back in March 1999, the Melissa virus was so powerful that it forced Microsoft and a number of other very large companies to completely turn off their e -mail systems until the virus could be contained.


An important question arises that how can these crimes be prevented. A number of techniques and solutions have been presented but the problems still exist and are increasing day by day.

Antivirus And Anti spyware Software:

Аntivirus software consists of computer programs that attempt to identify, thwart and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software. Anti spy wares are used to restrict backdoor program, trojans and other spy wares to be installed on the computer.


A firewall protects a computer network from unauthorized access. Network firewalls may be hardware devices, software programs, or a combination of the two. A network firewall typically guards an internal computer network against malicious access from outside the network.


Cryptography is the science of encrypting and decrypting information. Encryption is like sending a postal mail to another party with a lock code on the envelope which is known only to the sender and the recipient. A number of cryptographic methods have been developed and some of them are still not cracked.

Cyber ​​Ethics and Laws:

Cyber ​​ethics and cyber laws are also being formulated to stop cyber crimes. It is a responsibility of every individual to follow cyber ethics and cyber laws so that the increasing cyber crimes shall reduce. Security softwares like anti viruses and anti spy wares should be installed on all computers, in order to remain secure from cyber crimes. Internet Service Providers should also provide high level of security at their servers in order to keep their clients secure from all types of viruses and mallicious programs.

Written by:

Shaikh Mohsin Ayaz

Department of Computer Science, University of Karachi

Source by Mohsin Ayaz

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European Soccer Sportswear Makes US Play

International sports is a huge business, and the futball teams of Europe make more money off the endorsements of products from their players than they do from the ticket sales of those who come to their sporting events. And that is saying a lot considering the hundreds of thousands of people that go to Futball games each week during the season.

Interestingly enough European Futball sportswear is making a huge play here in the United States. They watch our sports such as football and basketball, and we are starting to watch their sports such as soccer, and we are now participate at a much higher level in the World Cup than ever before. US soccer teams, may not be as good as their European counterparts, however they are certainly competitive within their ranks.

Soccer is a sport that is played worldwide and many of the soccer players here in the US that play at the youth level take the game to heart, they live and love to play soccer. They also admire the European Futball-players and often wear their sportswear to school or work. This is why many retailers that sell sportswear do include European soccer outfits and sportswear in their stores.

They are indeed big sellers, which is surprising to many Americans who do not understand what soccer is all about. This is sportswear is selling over $ 10 million a year in the US, according to retail statistics as of 2008. Next time you see someone wearing European type sportswear, you'll know exactly where it all came from, and why people are so intrigued by it, and why is becoming so popular. Please think of this.

Source by Lance Winslow

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Be A Positive Role Model

Has it ever occurred to you that you may be the only positive influence on someone else's life? Have you ever stopped to think that you may be the only example of excellence and integrity to a classmate, neighbor or friend? As strange as it may seem, people are always watching you, even if you are not aware of it. And the more you do what's right, the more your peers will look to you as a positive role model. They may never tell you. They may never admit it to themselves. They may even make fun of you for being the type of person who tries to do what is right, but that does not mean that they do not respect you or look up to you.

When you have a vision of something greater for your life and work towards that vision you will become a positive role model for others wherever you want to or not. When you value, believe in and respect yourself, people will notice that there's something different about you. And chances are you will not fit in with everyone else. That's a good thing, because it means that you are unique and you were given the special task of being a beacon of light for others.

Being a role model is not always easy. There will be times when you will find yourself at odds with your friends. You'll even worry about fitting in. But do not worry. You're not expected to fit in, because being a role model means that you stand out for others to see.

As a teen you'll often hear about the importance of having role models and there's no questions that this is important. But what's also important is, being a positive role model. Who says that you can not be the positive role model?

There is something special about knowing that you are trying to set a good example and that you care enough to be the very best. Whether or not you are popular has nothing to do with being a role model. A role model is someone who chooses to put forth their best effort everyday and when they make a mistake they pick themselves up and try again. If this sounds like you, then I say that you are a positive role model. Keep up the good work.

This article is exclaimed from Cassandra Mack's book, "Young, Gifted and Does It: 52 Power Moves for Teens."

Source by Cassandra Mack

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Why Toy Manufacturers Prefer Custom Silicone Keypads

Silicone Keypads Are Safe for Kids

Safety is the top priority when designing items for kids and custom silicone keypads offer advantages over other control technologies and materials. Silicone can be formed into soft curves, leaving none of the sharp edges or hard corners other materials might produce. These shapes are not just gentler on young hands but pleasing to young eyes.

Silicone does not contain dangerous chemicals like BPA or phthalates, which are found in many plastics used in toys. This inert material does not give off harmful fumes or react with chemicals. It is hypoallergenic and does not contain open pores where bacteria can accumulate. Silicone surfaces are easy to wipe clean and keep germ free. It is a safe and hygienic material and offers a number of advantages for kid-friendly products.

Toys Resist Environmental Damage

Kids are not as careful with electronic products as adults are and environmental resistance is an important characteristic of custom silicone keypads. Parents do not want to replace a toy the first time their child knocks over a can of soda. Molded keypads are made of a single piece of silicone rubber, giving spilled liquids no access to internal components. A toppled drink could spell disaster to electronics, but not if it spills on a silicone keypad.

The sealed design of these keypads protects it from other elements as well. Dust and dirt can not work their way in to damage the delicate parts inside. If the toy is left outside, exposure to sun and light rain will not ruin a parent's investment. Your customers will appreciate how reliable your toys are even when exposed to rough environments.

Electronics as Tough as the Kids Who Use Them

Electronic toys have to be designed to be shock and wear resistant, and custom silicone keypads fill that need. The single-mold design and sturdy, flexible silicone means keys will not break off even if the device is handled roughly or dropped on the sidewalk. They stand up to hundreds of hours of hard use rather than breaking the first day out of the box.

Additional treatments are available for custom silicone keypads to make them even more durable. Extra tough coatings increase resistance to abrasion and excessive wear. Other coatings improve their resistance to environmental damage. With these protections, there is no damage a kid can dish out that your product can not take.

Best of all, custom silicone keypads are inexpensive. Manufacturers looking to balance cost effective manufacture with rugged and reliable components will be pleased by how effective and durable silicone keypads are for their electronic toys and games.

Source by Jeremy P Stanfords

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Making Doll Clothes As A Hobby

Have you been making doll clothes for your children as well as for others? If you enjoy making these tiny garments then you have discovered a delightful and rewarding hobby. On the other hand, if you have been looking for a hobby to challenge your creativity and sewing skills look no further.

Sewing doll clothing can be done with a sewing machine, hand stitching, or a combination of both. Patterns range from making original designs to purchasing the more difficult and complex.

Accessories are other items needed to compliment or expand a wardrobe. Scarves, belts, purses, bags, sandals, and jewelry are easily made with decorator trims and appliques, ribbons, buttons, or fabric remnants.

Required talents:

  • Basic sewing skills
  • Fabric knowledge
  • Clothing construction
  • Making or reading patterns
  • Crochet
  • Knitting
  • Embroidery
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Patience

The easy patterns are constructed with non-fraying stretch fabrics, cotton, felt, or a variety of the synthetic fabrics. No sewing skills will be required. Non-sewers like to use glue or bonding materials.

The challenging patterns will include historical, action figures, and apparel for collectible dolls. The knowledge of the different types of historical fabrics are critical to add to the authenticity.

You may wish to design your own fashions. Free patterns are available online or patterns may be purchased. The niche which you choose to be creative will determine the availability of patterns. This hobby will grow as you mature through the different stages or change your interests.

Types of Dolls:

  • Plastic – soft, hard, and vinyl
  • Fabric
  • Wood
  • Straw
  • Paper Mache
  • Leather
  • Wax
  • Bisque
  • Porcelain
  • Composition

This hobby is interesting and never-ending as there are a variety of dolls which wear clothing in the United States and in other countries. Dolls are like people; they are everywhere.

Children who play with dolls love dressing and undressing their dolls. Assembly of the fashions can be made simple or more complex depending on the age of the child. Children will role-play or act out stories. The dolls are the actors and this is one of many reasons for an extended wardrobe.

Are you looking for a hobby which can be shared with your child? This sewing activity that can be fun as well as educational. This hobby may be considered as both an art and a craft.

In summary, making doll clothing can be restricted to your current family, gifts for other family and friends, replacing or designing appropriate fashions for collectible dolls, or contributing to a charitable organization of your choice nationally or internationally.

Source by Tricia Deed