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Who Keeps It Warmer: Ceramic or Glass?

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Family Nights Come Together With Apple Cider

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From LizMarieBlog

Each year I like to create an Apple Cider Bar for our family and guests to enjoy throughout the fall season. Through everyday moments, you can catch me with some sort of liquid in my hand. So the idea of creating a cozy space for our family and guests to serve themselves with a seasonal liquid is something I find really special. Today I am sharing a classic fall Apple Cider Bar!
We had the Detroit News at the Farm this week in preparation for the release of my new book Cozy White Cottage Seasons. I wanted to offer some apple cider, donuts, as well as coffee. It’s a super simple bar to put together. You may have noticed that we added this antique dresser to this space in our kitchen. I am thinking that I want to have this cozy corner in our kitchen serve as a permanent coffee and beverage bar for us. We have big plans for this cozy kitchen of ours and I think adding this antique piece is a step in the right direction.

If you are wanting to create your own apple cider bar, check out this step-by-step guide I created last year on the blog here [HERE].

Continue reading Family Nights Come Together With Apple Cider

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Be Nice To Your Friends With Cancer


Every day is an opportunity to spread love give hope. In fact, any thoughtfulness will be welcomed, but there are some gifts that are particularly helpful at this time. Mugs and Scarves can make the warmth of your gift as heartfelt as the friendship. Don’t be afraid to make it personal. In trying times, any person would truly appreciate a nice gesture of loving kindness like these.

Source: Patient Empowerment Network

These Gift Ideas For Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patients Will Show How Much You Care – Patient Empowerment Network

Do you have a friend or family member who is newly diagnosed with cancer? Chances are you’d like to get them a gift to show you’re thinking of them. While any thoughtful gift will be welcomed, there are some gifts that are particularly helpful at this time.

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Home Improvements In The Kitchen

In many homes, the kitchen is the hub of the property and is therefore subject to lots of wear and tear over the years.
#decorideas #kitchendesigns #homeimprovement #decoratingtips

Source: Top Tips For Updating Your Kitchen

Looking for something new to buy as a gift – for you or for someone else? Get this special select item from AIS Designs:

Brightly Colored Flowers 11 ounce Ceramic Mug, In a Glass By Itself. Good For Morning Coffee, Afternoon Tea, or Anytime Mug Cake.

Shop The AIS Designs Gallery (also at

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Kitchen Table Update With This Simple Fabric Craft

white tissue paper on silver round plate

Sometimes your meal is better served with something other than the plain white paper towels or the typical grocery store party napkins. Custom print fabrics can add a touch of upscale elegance to your plate. Use this beginners easy sewing craft step-by-step by to make your own.

Easily make a table napkin/serviette with the square corner method of sewing. A step by step tutorial suitable for beginner sewers. This is an easier way to make homemade cloth napkins than with the mitred corner method.

#comfortsofhome #fabric #textiles #easycrafts #customprint #designedforyou #homedecor #decorideas #gifts #homemade #sewing #aisdesigns

Shop Custom Printed Fabrics at AIS Designs (also on

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Home Renovations That Make Sense

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The pandemic has driven a boom in home improvement spending, according to Harvard researchers.
In 2020, US spending on home improvements and repairs grew more than 3% to nearly $420 billion, according to a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, as people rethought how to comfortably live and work during the pandemic. Americans’ nesting habits are primed to continue even as prices for appliances and materials, like wood, rise. Consumer data company Statista predicted that spending on remodeling will increase to $370 billion in the first quarter of 2022, up from $353 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
Homeowners who are shelling out for such upgrades look for the most return on their investments. From large-scale rehabilitations to small tweaks, renovations can increase property value, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Typically, the average payback in a home’s resale value is 56% of the cost of its renovation, CNBC reported
Some improvements, like adding in a kitchen island and expanding your homes multipurpose spaces, are more reliable value generators than others.
“The cost and effort involved in a home renovation or upgrade has a direct correlation to the impact it will have on value,” Michael Vargas, president and CEO of New York-based Vanderbilt Appraisal Company, told Insider. “Most surveys that have been completed tend to show that renovations to kitchen and baths are the ones that recoup owners’ investment and cause the most significant impact on home value.”
Homeowners should be picky when it comes to the renovations they make if they want to generate the most profit when it comes time to sell. Insider asked Vargas and HGTV experts to identify the top ways homeowners can add value to their properties.
A renovation project that can substantially increase the value of a property is an extension or major addition that expands the total square footage of the home, Vargas said. 
“For example, if you expand the house footprint to create a sun room, family room, a home office, or a guest suite above garage,” he said. “These types of home renovations that enhance the functionality of the home can have the most significant impact and substantially increase home value.”
Islands can be appealing to buyers because they offer more storage and more counter space in the most important room of the house.
“Kitchens sell homes,” real-estate broker and renovation expert Egypt Sherrod, host of HGTV’s “Married to Real Estate,” told Insider. “They always have and always will because they tend to be the heart of the home. If you are looking to invest money anywhere in your home, look there first. Functionality and good design go hand in hand here.” 
“Buyers will want to see themselves in the house and imagine their own style working in the space,” said Roth, the author of the soon-to-be-released book “House Story: Insider Secrets to the Perfect Home Renovation.” “A simple subway tile, peel-and-stick backsplash tiles, or penny round tiles are all classic and versatile options.” 
Sherrod recommended finishing a basement or adding a walk-up attic. “When you increase your finished square footage, you instantly increase your comparables and value,” she said.
“In the warm states, outdoor living areas are a must,” she said. “Hardscapes, beautiful vegetation, decks, and screened porches will also help you increase your home’s stance in the marketplace.”
Hardscapes — non-living landscaping elements like paths, fountains, benches, or gazebos — can elevate a property’s livability and add value to a home.
If you can afford it, stainless-steel appliances are a huge plus, according to Roth. “This is almost always a big selling point for buyers,” she said.
Paint walls in neutral shades, particularly in the kitchen, Roth said.
Bold, bright colors aren’t as versatile, and usually won’t appeal to the majority of prospective buyers looking for a new home.
In the kitchen, homeowners should never choose or keep fluorescent lighting, according to Roth. Instead, she said, pick light fixtures that look new, but are not too trendy or style-specific. 
Fixtures like glass orb pendants and lighting with matte black metal finishes will do the trick, she said. While a material like brass is on trend right now, it could turn buyers with differing tastes away.
These days, adults and children are working, playing, learning, and resting at home — and they need spaces that can serve all those needs.
“In today’s market, renovations and upgrades that add multi-functionality will strongly appeal to buyers,” HGTV “Love It or List It” star David Visentin told Insider. “This could range from fully finishing a basement or upgrading a kitchen to ruthlessly decluttering and carving out places to work and study.”
“I see a noticeable ‘wish list’ shift away from fully open concept spaces,” said Visentin, who helps buyers decide whether to create their dream homes by renovating or buying new properties altogether. “Buyers now seek dedicated areas in the home that offer separation for family members and allow them to ‘clock off’ and relax at the end of the work day.”
Continue reading Home Renovations That Make Sense

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Five Simple – But Important -Things To Remember About Choosing Fabric

close up photo of fabric color pallet A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Fabric

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Fabric
By Jan H Roos

It’s one of the most important things a sewer must learn to do. What, you ask? Choosing the right fabrics for your sewing projects.

For many beginning sewers, choosing fabric doesn’t seem like a big deal. In fact, ask any experienced sewer about it, and you’ll hear the same story. For one of their early sewing projects, they chose an awesome pattern to work with, carefully read the fabric recommendations on the back of the pattern… and then completely ignored those fabric recommendations because they found a beautiful fabric they just couldn’t pass up, even though it wasn’t the type recommended. After all, what difference would it really make?

The result? Well, usually those projects ended up total disasters. When all was said and done, the pattern went to waste, the fabric went to waste, and the hours spent on something that couldn’t be worn or used also went to waste.

To avoid all of that waste, it’s important to learn which fabrics you should avoid, especially when just starting out. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Fabrics That Are Hard to Work With

Sometimes, when you see a fabric in just the right color, with a pattern that you’ve instantly fallen in love with, it can be hard not to buy it and try to figure out what to do with it later. But the truth is that some fabrics are so hard to work with, only the most experienced sewers stand a chance of turning out something worthwhile with them. And here are three of the fabrics beginning sewers should stay away from.

Satin Fabrics. Satin fabric is beautiful. It’s so silky, shiny, and rich-looking. Who can resist it, right? Well, you probably should. As beautiful as it is, satin is extremely difficult to work with because it’s so slick. Satin likes to slip through your fingers and slide across flat surfaces. Getting it to “sit still” long enough to cut it properly can be a real challenge. And getting two pieces of satin to stay together long enough for you to sew them can be just as tough.

Knit Fabrics. The best thing about knit fabric is that it’s stretchy. That makes it an excellent fabric choice for many sewing project. But that same stretchiness is what makes knit fabric so hard to work with. You need to stretch knit fabric a little as you sew it to keep it from puckering up. But stretching it too much can cause gathers, which is also bad. And you shouldn’t stretch it at all when laying out your pattern. Knit will also snag and run, which can turn a gorgeous, and possibly costly, piece of fabric into a mess.

Denim. The world loves denim, so of course you’ll be inspired to make something with denim fabric. The problem with denim is its thickness. Just cutting it can be hard, especially if your cutting tools aren’t as sharp enough. You can’t sew denim with any old needle, unless you like broken needles and sewing machine jams. No, you have to use a needle especially made for denim. You also have to outfit your sewing machine with special accessories, which means extra expense. But, even when using the right needles and accessories, you’ll probably run into trouble when sewing with denim.

It’s not that you should never work with difficult fabrics. But learning to work with them properly can be frustrating, and will take a bit of time. For a beginner, it’s much easier to start with fabrics that are easier to work with. Experience with “easy” fabrics can give you skills that will make working with more difficult fabrics much easier.

The Best Fabric for Beginners

The absolute best fabric for beginners is 100% cotton fabric that is closely woven. This type of fabric is extremely easy to work with, it’s one of the easiest fabrics to cut, and you won’t run into many problems while sewing with it.

Cotton is also extremely versatile. You can use it to make just about anything. And projects made with cotton are comfortable, durable, and easy to maintain.

Still, cotton isn’t perfect. The biggest drawback of using cotton fabric is that it shrinks, especially when it’s washed for the first time. So, when buying cotton fabric, you have to buy more than you think you’ll need. You also have to pre-shrink it, running it through the washing machine before using it in your sewing project. If you don’t pre-shrink cotton before using it, the project you make it will shrink the first time you wash it. So that dress you spent hours making will end up being too small for you to actually wear.

Despite a few drawbacks, which are minor compared to other fabrics, cotton fabric is the way to go for the beginning sewer.

Learning how much trouble choosing the wrong fabric can cause can be an expensive lesson. But, by keeping these guidelines in mind, it’s a lesson you can learn without wasting a lot of time, energy, or effort.

If you’d like more free sewing projects, tips and sewing machine reviews just visit

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An Origin Story of Provencal Fabrics

Bonjour! Fabrics are a new part of the AIS Designs Etsy shop (Link: Finding unique and beautiful patterns make textile creative projects so much more fun to do. Here is an interesting read on the history of Provencal fabrics….And the pictures are great to look at too.

#fabric #textiles #sewing #quilting #crafting #yardage #sublimation #upholstery #cottons #polyesters #knits #provencal #history

Click to Read Here: French Fancies: Souleiado — View from the Back
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Classic Thanksgiving Table Decorations

flatlay photography of vegetables

Thanksgiving Decorations: Show Your Fall Spirit

Thanksgiving decors are fun for not only you and your household, but also for your pals and next-door neighbors who visit your home. A particularly good gift is a vintage Thanksgiving design that acts not just as a seasonal gift but is likewise a valued collectible. Checkout these tablerunners and other gifts on Etsy.

Themes for thanksgiving consist of turkeys, of course, however can include pilgrims, fall foliage, pumpkins, and harvest products. In general, the colors are the natural fall foliage colors of oranges, browns, yellows, and black. You can have designs for the table, the walls of your house, the doors of your home, the windows of your home, or a centerpiece for the table throughout the Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving is often busy with traveling, meal preparation, and getting things done at work so you can require time off. So prepare well ahead when you buy Thanksgiving decorations online. The holidays are an emotional time for lots of people, so providing yourself that additional time is a way to make the entire event less demanding and more enjoyable. If you are unable or unwilling to participate in a Thanksgiving meal that you have been invited to, sending out a present of a thanksgiving decor might be a gesture that shows gratitude for the invite.

Things to Keep in Mind when Buying Thanksgiving Decorations

Thanksgiving designs are a must if you care at all about instilling your home or your Thanksgiving event with the spirit of the holiday. Not only for the interior of your home, Thanksgiving designs can also be utilized on your lawn or other exterior elements of your home. Windows or doors are particularly good locations to show Thanksgiving decorations since they provide a warm and welcoming environment to your home that can be rather fitting for the season. Because Thanksgiving decorations can sometimes be hard to find, one thing that’s practical to keep in mind is the season’s color scheme of oranges, yellows, tans, and so on. This way, if you find items that aren’t Thanksgiving-themed per se, they can still contribute to the general design scheme.

Thanksgiving Decoration Ideas

Thanksgiving started in 1621 in America with the colonists who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts. They shared a meal with the Wampanoag Native Americans. Embellishing your home both inside and exterior is a terrific method to spread out the sensations of warm hospitality and appreciation that the holiday has generally welcomed.

Fall foliage and fall harvest items are one popular way to embellish. Gourds are typically available for purchase beginning around November, and fall leaves are colorful, abundant, and free in numerous parts of the United States. Pumpkins, of course, are popular, as are dried corn-on-the-cobs.

Thanksgiving crafts are rather popular in preschools and grade schools throughout the nation. Using your kids’s creations are another fun idea not only to decorate, but to include them in the holiday festivities.

The Thanksgiving table is the essential arena to show your Thanksgiving designs. It is typically the focus of the whole event and the part that is most anticipated and talked about. One great concept is to decorate with Thanksgiving-themed candle lights. They could be formed in pumpkin, leaf, or pilgrim shapes, for example. You can also simply integrate Thanksgiving colors in the table cloth or candle holders. These are excellent decorations. In addition to setting your table aglow with the special light that just candles shed, they can act as keepsakes for your guests to take home with them, allowing them to carry the Thanksgiving spirit back to their own houses.

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55 Halloween Party Ideas: Fun DIY Halloween Party Decor & Food —

pumpkins on stairs in front of a door

When autumn comes, the world is divided into two main groups: those that await the harvest, and those that believe in Halloween. This American-born holiday is a time when both children and adults can have a lot of fun, dress up as fictional characters, engage in eating inhuman amounts of candy, go trick-or-treating, and more.…

#halloween #autumn #diy #comfortsofhome #homemaker #decorideas #aisdesigns

55 Halloween Party Ideas: Fun DIY Halloween Party Decor & Food —

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