Basic Sewing Machine Maintenance Tips

The first Saturday of every month we send out a facebook reminder to our fans that it’s time to clean and oil your sewing machine. Last month Maria J. asked if I had a tutorial for that… well I do now! Thanks for asking, Maria!

Your sewing machine works so hard for you that I know you want to keep her purring. Just a few hours of sewing will cause fuzz and lint to build up under the needle plate. Sometimes pieces of thread can get lost under there too. Cleaning your sewing machine regularly can prevent broken needles and mechanical problems. Your sewing machine might also need a drop or two of oil from time to time – be sure to check your manual about that.

In fact, if you still have your sewing machine’s manual, I highly recommend that you refer to it before you get started. Every sewing machine is different. Some of the new models don’t recommend oiling at all. There may be a trick to getting the needle plate off or the hook race out (if you have one), and your manual will tell you.
In this post I will show you the basic steps that I follow every month (or more often) to keep my machine clean and running smoothly. If you have any tips or comments that may also help our readers, please feel free to leave them below. 🙂

You will need at least one brush for cleaning. I like to use a soft makeup brush with a long handle and the stiff brush my machine came with. My sewing machine also takes oil.

Are you ready to see how much gunk is under my needle plate??? And FYI, it has been less than a month since I last did this.

Start by turning off your sewing machine, removing the extension table (if necessary), and taking out your bobbin. I have a front-loading bobbin, but you would still do these things for a top loading bobbin too.

You will have to remove your needle plate to clean the fuzz and lint that collects under it. Mine snaps off like this, but my old one needle plate required removing a screw. That’s why some sewing machines come with a stubby little screw driver.

Let’s take a look inside! Not much to see down in the bobbin area but lots of stuff right under the needle plate. I must be sewing a lot lately!

Start removing the lint and fuzz. I like the stiff brush for cleaning around the feed dogs…

And the soft brush for picking up stray pieces. It acts kind of like a fuzz magnet.

Check your manual to see how to remove your hook race so you can clean behind that too.


I bought this oil with a long spout for using on my serger, but it seems to do well on my sewing machine too. According to my manual, I only need to apply one drop right behind the hook race. Keep a soft scrap of fabric handy to clean up any accidental drops.

Read More: Best sewing machines for begginers

Put the hook race back in and the needle plate back on…

And sew a bit on a scrap of fabric to make sure everything is working smoothly and there is no excess oil.

Don’t forget to dust and wipe down the top and front of your machine too. And if you haven’t changed your needle since last month (gasp!) don’t tell me that, just do it. I go through several needles a week.

You might also be interested in {this blog post} with troubleshooting tips for some common sewing machine issues.

So how did that work? Is she running like new? Come follow us on facebook if you want a reminder each month to clean and oil your sewing machine.

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Selecting a Child Convertible Car Seat

Child Convertible Car Seat

Instead of purchasing a few different child safety seats, many people are electing to use a child convertible car seat instead. The Graco My ride 65 is a good example of one such seat. These types of safety car seats can be used as an infant seat, and a five-point harnessed front facing seat. There are also some seats that can be used for the front facing five-point harness, and as a belt-positioning booster. Either way, you go, you want to make sure you are picking the best convertible car seat for you. What works for one family might not be what works for you.

The main purpose for a child car seat is to keep the child safe during an accident. Many people wonder what the safest car seat is. Well, to put it simply, the safest car seat is the one that is properly installed. As many as 90% of car seats are not installed correctly. If you need assistance getting the seat properly installed, contact the fire or police departments in your area. Car seats are not issued a safety rating; it is a pass-fail kind of deal. Some manufacturers choose to exceed the minimum guidelines.

If your child will be in the seat a lot, you might be concerned about their comfort. Some seats have little padding over the hard plastic car seat shell, while others provide nice plush covers and extra padding. The design of the seat also helps with comfort. Children, infants especially fall asleep on car rides, if their head flops too much to the side, they will be very uncomfortable.

Convenience and ease of use features have lately been incorporated into some models of convertible car seats. Things like no rethreading five-point harnesses make it very simple to adjust the harness as your child grows. Cup holders for their favorite drink cup are sure to please the kiddo as well. The cover does need cleaning for whatever reason, so one thing to keep in mind is how hard it is going to be to remove the cover of the car seat to wash it.

One thing many people forget about is to check the fit in the car. Convertible car seats are not a standard size, and you might be limited on what seat to buy by the size of your car. If you have multiple car seats, things can get even a little more tricky as trying to figure out which car seats will puzzle together nicely in the back seat.

I hope these few tips can help when you are searching for the best convertible car seat to transport your new baby or child in. There are many different styles and colors of seats to choose from, and it can be overwhelming. Stick to the basic tips, and find the car seat that will work the best for you.…

Seven Tips For Improving As A Cartoonist



One of the most common professions that aspiring artists find themselves wanting to learn more about and become involved with is cartooning. As with most artistic activities, this is also something that takes quite a bit of practice in order to become sufficiently skilled at it. However, if you do your best to keep at it and follow any and all advice that you receive, your cartooning skills will improve in virtually no time.



There are many different tips that you can utilize to help improve your overall cartooning skills; however, you will definitely want to make note of the following six tips.

*Draw as much as possible. Most drawing and cartooning experts recommend that you fill up at least one sketchbook per month. Long story short, the longer you practice at doing something that you want to become good at, the more chance you stand of becoming an expert at it and improving your skills. By following the idea of filling up one sketchbook every month, you will be able to see just how much your drawing and cartooning skills have progressed.

*As you draw, take your time and go as slow as you need to. Cartooning doesn’t require you to draw things at such a quick pace. Think of your pen, pencil, marker, etc. as a musical instrument and take things as slowly as possible, which will reduce the chances of you making a great deal of mistakes.

Related: Dragon Drawings How To Draw A Dragon

*Take the time to speak to any cartooning experts, art teachers, etc. that you either know personally or want to meet. Consider showing them examples of your work and ask them if they have any advice for how you can improve your skills. This is where it may be best to take some detailed notes that you can refer to later on down the road.

*Study, study, study! Invest in some books and/or DVDs focusing on cartooning and all of the various techniques that are involved with the profession. In addition, you can also browse the internet for some of the same information, which can be found in different videos on websites such as YouTube.

*Before you begin any kind of cartooning work, always make sure that you are in the right kind of mindset. This means, essentially, that you should be able to fully concentrate on the work that you will be doing. If you aren’t able to devote your full attention to the task at hand, then you should put off the project until this becomes possible.

*Devote a certain number of hours per week to doing nothing but cartooning. By concentrating solely on this, you are sure to improve your skills. Generally, experts recommend no more than 40 hours per week, which is the standard amount of time recommended for any beginning art students.


By following the aforementioned tips, you will most definitely be able to improve your overall cartooning skills in the long run. The more you improve your skills, the better your chances of producing works of art that will be enjoyed by many people for years to come.…

Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery-My Honest Opinion

Like I said at the beginning ,welcome to the site which offers everything you need to achieve or improve your Pencil Drawing Techniques.

Trough this unique opportunity you will no longer feel that you cannot accomplish human portrait in its full potential.

How many times have you been in situation that you have drawn a
human portrait, but that the critical details of human face such as nose or mouth weren’t just right?! Annoying isn’t it?

Well now, even if you don’t know how to draw, this site with its Realistic Drawing Tips and with the product that I promote entitled: Christopher Sia’s “Realistic Pencil Portraits mastery” home book course is allowing you step by step, to draw somebody like a real pro!

I will be giving you an unrestricted unbiased and honest review of Christopher Sia’s “Realistic Pencil Portraits mastery” home book course and details about the course and bonuses.

Although I consider myself also an artist and use different types of drawing techniques, in my opinion there is always room for development and improvement. And in that development, great help were this realistic pencil drawing tips.

Now you don’t have to pay expensive courses that cost 500 or even 1000 dollars, you don’t have to leave the house in order to draw a really good drawing. It is enough that you feel like an artist (like I do 😉 ) and trough this site you have the opportunity to become one…

Related: 5 Very Useful Tips & Lessons of Realistic Pencil Portrait Drawing

Trough this site you will realize that drawing like a pro is easier than you ever imagine!

This product has changed my view completely on drawing details and I decided to share that with you trough Realistic Pencil Drawing Tips.

It is meant for everybody so don’t hesitate to visit my site and buy this product. It will be a life changing experience for you if you consider yourself an artist.

Good luck!

So what exactly is Christopher Sia’s “Realistic Pencil Portraits
mastery” home video and book course?

It is a course which explains how to draw like a master step by step,Divided in 5 lessons of realistic facial features drawing (ears, mouth,nose, hair and eyes) it includes over 200 pages and 600 illustrations.

  • It also contains 3 bonuses entitled
  • 5 Lesson Process Maps
  • 100 High Resolution Reference Pictures
  • 12-Weeks Pencil Portrait Mastery Exercises
  • With all of this you will get the results in a very short period of time, in 2 to 3 months.

GOOD and BAD things about Christopher Sia’s Home Book Course.

What are the BAD things about Christopher Sia’s “Realistic Pencil
Portraits mastery” home book course?

  • Well for starters the price changes and you don’t have much
    time to think about this, because the longer you hesitate, the
    bigger the price, but you don’t need to worry about that because
    Christopher offers 100% Risk Free Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee.
  • The second bad thing is that you will maybe feel that the the
    charters and diagrams are kind of clinical and not so artistic, but
    that is only so it would be easier for you in the beginning, so you can get the pictures and techniques clearly.

And how about the GOOD things about Realistic Pencil Portraits Mastery?

Besides the money back guarantee you will get all three bonuses for free! And they are worth almost 200 dollars so it is a pretty cheap bargain, you will agree.

It is meant for everybody and it teaches you step by step how to become a master artist. And that’s not all, when you are done with theory, it offers you practice with one of the bonuses which contains 12 weeks exercises, so after that you can practice after that on your own.

In the end, it may all seem to you to good to be true….but In my opinion bad sides of this course will manifest only if you let them. Christopher and I can not teach you the discipline that you need for mastering home course but we can give you guidance for better pencil drawing. Nobody will grade you, but yourself. But after you learn how to draw with this drawing tips and this handbook, it won’t be long before you will be buried with requests people near you to draw them a portrait because they are impressed with your drawing skills. I know I am 😀…

Dragon Drawings How To Draw A Dragon

Dragon Drawings – Dragons are the fire-breathing icons of the fantasy world. They are majestic and powerful beasts that have captured the minds of writers and artists all over the world. Below are tips on the conceptual stages, through sketching and inspirations, and can help you push through mental blocks and give advice on dragon anatomy.

  • A Good Concept:

First and foremost, make sure you have a good concept. Come up with one or a few features your dragon drawings will have, such as a massive horn, wings or intricate colour patterns. Maybe you like adding an animal in with the dragon’s concept, such as mixing in the features of a lion. This will give you a very unique look and give you something strong to build on as you go.

  • Surroundings:

Surroundings are very important in dragon drawings. The setting really defines the beast. Many draftsman making the dragon part of the environment, like most creatures tend to be. A bright red dragon is going to be quite obvious to any animal in a lush green forest, therefore will be a starving dragon. Sometimes a landscape will inspire dragon drawings. Try coming up with a dragon based in an extreme environment: you may come up with something very interesting. The setting can also complement a dragon’s personality and mood and make it more dynamic.

Dragon Drawings: How To Sketch A Dragon:

  • Animal References:

When drawing a dragon it’s good to have animal references around you, they will aid you greatly. Some creatures that you can look at oftentimes while painting are lions, elephants, birds, bats, komodo dragons, snakes, and lizards.

  • Proportions:

Since dragons are mystical beast, the proportions can vary greatly. There are some basic measurements to keep in mind, however. Lengthwise, about 10 heads length is an acceptable measurement with the tail being around six or so of those heads. The tail should end up being about 1.5 times the body. Width wise the body should be around 1.5 heads wide although this is very generalised. The wingspan should be just under twice the length of the body including the tail. Bigger bodied dragons may have larger wingspans while the little will most likely need less of a spread to keep flight.

  • Scale:

In comparison to a human, You generally can give the dragon a height, while in idle stance, of about two to three human lengths. When it comes to mass the dragon’s body, excluding the head, neck and tail, it will be about the size of an elephant (generally speaking).

  • The Skeletal Structure:

It’s essential to understand where the bones are in the dragon drawings. This is because, when you’ve got the basic bone structure, it’s much easier to wrap flesh around the bones. You don’t have to know the exact bones but you should know the key points where they are more prominent and noticeable. These bones will include the collarbone, scapula, pelvic bones, a several of the more protruding vertebrae, joints, rib cage, and so on. Understanding your anatomy absolutely help give the basic details to transform a mystical creature into right structured and detailed dragon drawings.

  • The Skull:

The dragon’s skull is the most crucial part of its head, so you need to know the main bones such as the zygotic (cheek) bone, nasal cavity, orbital oculars, and mandible. Once you have the bones drawn in, everything else is a simple. When you’re trying to visualize out how to draw a skull you’ll look up various examples, including crocodile, bird, dinosaur, and human skulls, to get dragon drawings properly concept of what’s going on beneath the skin.

  • Muscle:

Every beast has brawn tone and you should to know how brawn incase and work their way around the bone structure. With this knowledge you can compose arms, legs, stomachs and so on properly. No matter how exaggerated or distorted the appendage you create may be, if you correctly work the muscles in you will have believable dragon drawings.

  • Teeth:

The teeth help define the dragon’s whole face: if you draw big canine teeth, it will have a much different overall look than if you have smaller lizard-style teeth. A good reference for teeth would be crocodiles due their teeth jut out and look dangerous.

  • Limbs:

The best thing I can say about arms and legs is to study references such as lizards, crocodiles, and even lions. It’s important to get the limbs right so that the dragon drawings looks grounded.

  • The Arms:

In some cases the arms need to be large enough to support the dragon when it’s walking on all fours. In other cases the dragon may not use its arm for support at all, so you will have to decide what you want for your dragon drawings. When the arms are positioned against the body they should stretch down to around about where the tail begins.

Related: Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery-My Honest Opinion

  • The Legs:

The legs are made up of three main bones. Most four-legged animals have similar leg structures. For the feet I tend to lean towards birds’ feet more than lizards’ because they have more structure to them. You can use ostrich feet for references: they are very muscular and defined.

  • Age:

Age helps to give character in dragon drawings: worn down skin and battle scars. You can also give the beast hazy eyes. It makes them very mysterious, which dragons tend to be. It can also make the dragon looking wise. Adding these features gives a story element to the beast, which you can build upon, and will lead to further development.

  • Wings:

The first step to wings is deciding their purpose. If the dragon spends most of its time in the air then you should probably give it the muscle support needed to maintain flight. If the wings are for show the muscle structure may not be as prominent. Bat wings make good reference.

  • Making Sense:

When drawing out your creation, try to ensure things make sense. You don’t want to finish a piece and realise the wings would never get the beast off the ground. If the dragon breathes fire maybe you should make room for fire glands under the lower jaw.

  • Colours:

There are many things you can do with colours on a dragon’s body. You can using cooler blues and pinks for the dragon’s underside because it adds a softer element to the beasts. You also can using concept behind sharks’ colour design, where the shark is invisible to those looking up because of the light belly and invisible to those above because of the dark top. Try using colours to emphasise certain parts of the body.

  • Eyes:

The typical dragon eye is the yellow snake eye, but if you look at reptiles you’ll see that there are many eye types. Smaller eyes will give a more mysterious and evil look while larger eyes will create dragon drawings more harmless and curious creature. You can use an eye colour that stands out from the skin colour, too.

  • Preparing The Surface for Scales:

When composing the skin, you can use a dark brush, logically dashing colours around to cover the area. You can use colour to assure it has a fine glow and use dark colour to give it weight. I then go in with darks and lights, still being messy to give character to the skin. Obviously I’m splashing the darker colours where their should be shadows and the lighter colours where I would want the highlights on dragon drawings. Then I throw an overlayed texture on top to busy up the skin and to hide any obvious brush strokes.

  • Colouring the Background:

When I’m creating a background for dragon drawings, I usually use it as a tool to strengthen the creature’s atmosphere and mood. Sometimes you can colour the background simply to make it stand out better. With dragons many people feel they are a large part of nature and should fit in with their setting.

  • The Bottom Line:

If you get stuck, you can create a story for your developing beast. Why is it here? Is it good or evil? If so, is there a reason why it’s that way? Maybe it was tormented and is nervous. Solving questions like these can help further develop concept of your dragon drawings. If you have trouble coming up with your own story, there are huge amounts of dragon legends and myths to pull from. If you’re looking to draw dragons it’d be good to know a bit about their origins.…

5 Very Useful Tips & Lessons of Realistic Pencil Portrait Drawing

I’ve decided to explain to you more detail about the real master level of realistic pencil portrait drawing in five video lessons.

With the “Realistic Pencil Portrait Drawing Mastery Home-Study Course”, you will see exactly and precisely how Christopher draw every facial feature with a truly step-by-step guide, and useful descriptions on achieving a particular outcome.

I’m very sure this will help you to achieve your realistic portrait mastery in a very short period of time.

Let’s see…

How To Draw A Realistic Eye

To draw a realistic eye, it is most important to observe it very,very closely. Consequently it’s imperative that they are drawn correctly and in such a way to convey the feeling of your subject.Learn how you can avoid the biggest mistake for people in drawing eyeball and discover secrets method for overcoming the complicated problem of observing the eyebrows that most people failed to know.

How To Draw A Realistic Nose

The nose is one of the most noticeable features in pencil portrait drawing. Its central location makes it impossible to hide your mistakes, because of that Christopher has compiled some very important methods for you to learn in this lesson.Discover one of the most important ways to draw a realistic nose. By knowing this, you can avoid the mistake made by most artists.

How To Draw A Realistic Mouth And Teeth

When you know how to draw a realistic mouth, you add so much expressive impact to your subjects. The mouth isn’t just an afterthought, but rather an expressive part of the face.Learn how to avoid the 3 common mistakes beginners make when it comes to drawing mouth and teeth. You can literally spoil the realism of your mouth drawing even if you make just any one of these mistakes.

How To Draw A Realistic Ear

Ears can be drawn with varying degrees of complexity. Although there are many types of ears, most have the same common shape.Discover the most important ear parts that you must keep in mind when you’re drawing a realistic ear and learn how to draw the outline so that shading and detail for the rest of your realistic ear drawing will be easier.

Related: Seven Tips For Improving As A Cartoonist

How To Draw Realistic Hair

Discover the faster and easier way of drawing realistic hair that will save a lot of your time and not only that, your hair drawing will look even better than that of other artists who spent hours on it.

You can be learned by this home course at the comfort of your home and be very well on your way to go for the next real master level and begin to create fantastic pencil portraits from now.

To continue smearing at the very least, I utilized a piece of paper underneath my hand as I drew. I additionally appended a sheet of following paper to go over the illustration, kind of as an “overlay.” It was there to help anticipate spreading as the illustration was being moved and transported around. The following paper likewise shielded the illustration from fingerprints and earth.

All preparatory portraying was drawn softly, so stray pencil strokes could be eradicated later. When I believed I had attracted the face accurately, I began delicately including more detail and shading. I twofold checked the attracting the mirror (a great approach to see mistakes) consistently, to ensure nothing had gotten sidetracked.

All through the advance of the illustration, I utilized the Kneaded Rubber Eraser to help up territories, and delete botches. I would utilize the eraser to “pat” a zone that had become excessively dim. This would help the zone without spreading the graphite, or losing the nature of the pencil strokes. The eraser was additionally great at totally eradicating a range, without harming the surface of the paper.

There are total of 208 pages, 605 of illustrations, and images– to guide you step-by-step with descriptions through the entire home-study course.

As you can see, I’m giving away everything that you need to know in order to create realistic pencil portraits.…