Balinese Arts and Crafts


Perhaps, there is no place in the earth with such high density of artisans and craftsmen as in Bali. You name it and you can find it here – woodcarving, stone carving, silver and gold smiths, basket weavers, terracotta and ceramics, full range of handicrafts – the list goes on forever. Here is a short list of some of the best things or products available and you can go to find them.

Woodcarving and wood handicrafts
Traditional Balinese woodcarving has always been of religious subjects. In the 1930’s though a new type of carving developed in Mas near Ubud catering to the tourist market. Today, the best Balinese carving galleries are still there. Another important area for wood carving is on the road up to Sebatu. This is the region where most of the new antiques are made.

The principal part is that you find something you like for a price you can afford. There are also numerous other Balinese standards like wooden banana trees, wooden flowers, Bali wooden masks and the type of things that might often be found at cheaper prices. Wood handicrafts for souvenir like wooden boxes, wooden nameplate, key chains, dreamcatcher, wind chimes, and many alternative types assorted of color and form can be found easily in most art shops in Bali.

Stone Carving
There are numerous types of stone carving such as traditional Balinese sculpture, hyper-realist animals, modern style, etc. The preferred material for stone carving is known as volcanic tuff that resembles the colour of cement when it is newly carved. Many visitors to Bali assume that they are cast, not handmade. To see the truth with your own eyes, have a look at the bend in the road in Batubulan which has long been touted as being the village of stone carvers.

Silver and Gold smiths
The village of Celuk is now lined with galleries all selling silver ware. They are typical Balinese work using granulation and a process of attaching gold to the surface of silver. Today the industry is very sophisticated and includes everything from traditional pieces to contemporary designs.

Other arts and crafts
These include paintings, basket weavers, wood puppets, shadow puppets, Bali dried flower, terracotta figurines, ceramics, wooden chess boards, Balinese musical instruments, textiles, costumes, furniture, large pots from Lombok, leather works from Java, primitive statues from the eastern islands, brass bowls, bronze statues and other decorative items.

Shopping for art and craft is supposed to be fun and Bali is one the best places in the world to find something cute and beautiful for yourself or somebody that you love.

Getting Crafty – Book Binding Basics


Whether you’re looking for a new way to bind your collection of scrapbooks, or are creating your own journal or personal appointment books, you’ll want to know about book binding that you can do yourself. Here are a few tips and suggestions for making sure that your books look professional and presentable—even if you’re binding them at home.

One of the best and most stylish ways to bind your books is to use mechanical binding. Mechanical binding provides a sleek, modern line for your books, and prevents bulking no matter how many pages you have. Mechanical binding can also accommodate books that have several sections or tabs.

For smaller books, or books with thinner paper for pages, you may want to try plastic combs or spirals. This way, you can still create a new look for your scrapbooks, and make allowances for new pages with having to use paperclips or staplers. Plastic spirals will also add more security to the pages when the book is opened, so you won’t have to worry about chasing missing pages every time you look through your favorite scrapbook or journal.

Basic stitching techniques for book binding include the Kettle Stitch, which is the basic link stitch you will use to connect your pages. You should also become familiar with how to stitch in between and within the cords of the book cover or pages, as well as sewing split leather or double cords together. Tools that you’ll need for book binding include a drill (depending on what material you’ll want to use for the front and back covers of your book), tapestry needles, a utility knife, a pencil, and a clean, flat surface to work on.
Before you start the book binding process, it may be a good idea to learn the basics about book binding from a few professionals, so that you’ll know what to do at home. Printing companies and bookstores often have tips and pointers for those who want to bind their own books at home, and you’ll also be able to learn which materials and techniques work best for the style of book binding you want to use on your books. With a little practice, you can give your books an authentic feel, with Renaissance and Gothic styles, and you can even find instructions and visual aids online that will help.

Once you get the hang of book binding, you’ll want to create a number of different books for your personal or home office use, and you can even make photo albums to store family memories. Book binding is a great way to make sure that your most prized materials are preserved in a way that you would be proud of. You may even want to have your books embossed, so that you can label them in an appealing way. Many of the supplies that you’ll need can be found at your local craft store, or even at certain thrift or consignment stores in your area.

Choosing Batting Quilt Fibers for Craft


Quilts include the crib sizes, twin, and full, double fit, queen, and king. The standard crib fit is around 45-inches time’s 60. Twin fits are 72 x 90, full and the double are 81 x 96, queen fits are 90 x 108, and the king fits are around 120 x 120.

To choose your materials you must consider batting quilt fibers. Once you choose your batting make sure that, you unfold the cotton material and let it set a couple of days before you start crafting. The batting will relax and inflate. You want to space your batting closely to avoid bunching also when crafting your quilt. Some materials require pre-washes before you can use the fabric. Read your labels.

You have options in battings, including the traditional, which is often made of cotton and the polyesters. The blends of polyester and cotton will shrink sometimes. To stitch the cotton you will need to create intervals of larger stitches, yet if you combine polyester with your cotton, you can minimize the stitches.

The line of battings, include polyester, silk, wool, etc as well. If you choose the polyester, you can create a non-shrinking quilt with intervals of larger stitches. In addition, you can create intervals of wider expansions, which you can craft your quick at a speedier pace. Polyester is the choice of battings, since crafters can design a quick, machine washable, and non-shrinking quilt. As well, the crafter can design a thinner quilt verses the thicker, since polyester is a batting made of “high loft.”

My favorite is silk, yet if you are creating a traditional style quilt, the silk may not be suitable. You can still make a quilt of silk, yet you will pay top-dollar and spend a length of undesired time to finish your project. In fact, most crafters do not recommend silk for creating quilts.

Wool has migrating fibers, yet you can sew through the material with ease. You will need to space closely when needling. The wool over time will loose its fibers however. Wool will also fuzz. You can use lightweight materials, or cloths to prevent fuzziness, as well as to prevent fiber loss. Wool is not suitable for machine wash; rather you should take your quilt to a professional cleaner, or wash it by hand and allow it to air dry.

Now choose your style:
If you want the antique or traditional quilt, you will need to use the “low loft” material. The quilts include the Fairfield, which is 100% bleached cotton, the poly-filled cottons, which is 80 % cotton; the “Mountain Mist/Blue Ribbon Stearns” are 100% cotton as well. You can also choose the 100% polyester, Morning Glory, or the Glory BEE I, which is also 100% polyester. Many other styles and varieties are available.

Once you decide which fibers, or fabrics you want to craft your quilt you can then consider your backing. You can purchase yards of backing. The backing today makes it easy to fill in the length and width of your quilt. Ultimately, if you choose backings that come up short or longer you can stitch a couple of pieces together to even your quilt. Still, you want to make sure that the backings work in harmony with your fabrics, or fibers.

Ultimately, if you want to spend time making a quilt you can choose blocks and patches. The pieces of material were frequently used by grandmas, or women of traditional days. The quilts are often sturdier than the modern quilts, yet you can still craft a strong quilt today.