Althea Crome: Miniature Knitter of Coraline Fame

June 25, 2010, 23:57 pm  Posted by needlearts
Knitted miniature sweater by Althea Crome from the movie, Coraline

Knitted miniature sweater by Althea Crome from the 2009 stop motion movie, Coraline

Micro-knitted 1:144 scale cardigans by Althea Crome

Micro-knitted 1:144 scale cardigans by Althea Crome

Contemporary needleartist, Althea Crome, is an extreme knitter of miniscule proportions. Since the year 2000, she’s been knitting on a “bug-knit” scale that’s clearly not for the fumble-fingered. Click on through to watch an interview with Althea on her miniature work from the makers of the 2009 stop-motion film, Coraline. She knitted a sweater and gloves for the tiny heroine.

Continue reading...

Free Project Friday: Just in Case

June 25, 2010, 12:15 pm  Posted by Lark

Summer is my favorite time of year, but, as a eyeglass wearer, I’m always a bit perplexed by the sunglasses situation. The solution most often involves toting at least two pairs of glasses with me everywhere I go… and what better way to do that than with a handmade speck case.

Designed by Maria Goretti Yen and published in Pretty Little Cozies, this Spectacular Case features cool felt applique and will fit snug as a bug in your beach bag, right next to that cheesy romance novel… don’t worry, you’re in good company here!


Mixing it up with Sami Havia

June 25, 2010, 11:17 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

This week’s mixed tape wanders from the usual listing of tunes the Craft Your Life team is listening to this week. While lurking the blogosphere, I found some very interesting work from a Finnish artist living in Helsinki. His choice of media ranges from drawing to painting and printmaking. These paintings on discarded cassette tapes caught my eye both for the visual appeal of the painting and the clever repurposing of old tapes (with  convenient holes for hanging.) Check out these and other works at: www.samihavia.com


The Winner of our Sweepstakes: Week #2!

June 24, 2010, 17:09 pm  Posted by Lark

Congratulations to Lynn of Asheville, NC! Lynn commented on our site, and her name was selected at random to win last week’s sweepstakes prize: 15 of Lark’s latest craft titles. Thanks for participating, Lynn!

sweepstakes prize titles!

We wanted to learn a bit more about Lynn, and she enthusiastically provided us with a quick bio and some great responses to our interview questions. Here’s a bit more about Lynn, her shop, Frivoli-tea, and her creative endeavors:

Lynn is an artist and crafter. She and her husband arrived in Asheville in 1999. Two children quickly followed. In between raising their children and assisting with several art-related programs, Lynn began to explore art and craft for herself in numerous different media. She has experimented with everything from jewelry-making to paper collage, and in doing so has developed a wide range of skills. Inspired by her love of all things artsy, Lynn recently opened a small art and craft supply shop called Frivoli-tea. You can learn more about Lynn and her shop at www.frivoli-tea.com or www.frivoli-tea.blogspot.com.

Lark Crafts:  How do you like to spend your creative time?

Lynn:  I enjoy experimenting with different media, as I have not yet settled on one that I claim as my own. And as the years pass, I find that each skill that I have learned while experimenting with various media comes in handy. For example, I use the wire-working skills that I picked up from jewelry-making to attach elements to my mixed media work. I use paint and rubber stamping in my collages. I guess if I ever need to really define what I do artistically, I will call myself a mixed-media artist/crafter.

Continue reading...

From Asheville, North Carolina, it’s This Dog’s Life. I’m Ira G. Each week, of course, I pick a theme and present a story in four panels.

Have you ever been mistaken for somebody else? Somebody famous? Some celeb who looks nothing like you? Happens to me all the time. Which leads me to our story for this week: Get it Right (Or, Say My Name). What follows are some of the doggelgangers in my life–or so people say. But look closely: There’s only one Ira G, and that’s me! Stay tuned.


This Dog’s Life 4

This Dog’s Life 3

This Dog’s Life 2

This Dog’s Life 1


Take Me Away: Needlearts Retreats

June 24, 2010, 05:00 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team
Grandview Farm

Vermont Grand View Farm

I loved Linda’s post a couple of days ago about the fun and adventure of a family road trip. But it made me realize that Linda is a much better person than I am. Vacation season has me craving a personal, perhaps even private, retreat. Which started me wondering about getaways that might satisfy both a longing for some recharge time and that summer-camp impulse to do something creative.

Continue reading...

Close Encounters of the Jewelry Kind

June 23, 2010, 17:17 pm  Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading

I get a big kick out of classic science fiction movies and television shows that project what the future will look like. Some advances, especially in technology, have already developed way past what the filmmakers could imagine. Others…I’m looking at you jet pack and live-in robot…have not come to pass. This weekend’s Doctor Who featured a species with a highly evolved sense of accessorizing. Enchanted by the neck and arm bands of the Silurians (homo reptilica, far left), I set about to find out what the makers of early, iconic sci-fi films thought jewelry would look like in a galaxy or in a time far, far away, and see if any of these future styles had come to pass.

Continue reading...

Cathie Filian: Crafty Enthusiasm

June 23, 2010, 11:00 am  Posted by Lark

Cathie FilianAnyone who has ever encountered the force of nature known as Cathie Filian knows that she’s a bubbly firecracker with a penchant for seamlessly melding creativity, sincerity and business savvy. Her particular gift for crafty enthusiasm is absolutely contagious.

Cathie created, produced and co-hosted more than 100 episodes of the HGTV & DIY lifestyle show Creative Juice. She also created and hosted the Emmy Nominated mini-series Witch Crafts. Cathie has also appeared on numerous network shows, specials and promos for NBC, ABC, Discovery Channel, HGTV, DIY and Food Network. She is the author of several books, including the recent release 101 Snappy Fashions. She also writes Home Hobbies, a monthly syndicated newspaper column for United Features and she contributes to national shelter publications such as Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, Redbook, Womens World, Life Magazine and many others. Along with 7 other women, Cathie selected to be one of the faces for Dove Beauty: Real Women Real Beauty.

It sure makes you wonder what fuels the creativity of this very busy lady. I recently set about the task of answering that with some old-fashioned Q&A.

HOW DO YOU CRAFT YOUR LIFE (How do you bring the craft / DIY spirit into your everyday life)?
I don’t know how to not craft my life……it is all I know. If I have a spell with no making – I go stir crazy. I try to think creatively as I approach life.  I like to look for creative solutions to everyday problems and I enjoy the challenge of DIY.

Continue reading...

Barrel brined pickles, cold and crisp

A series of seasonal market recipes

Do you love pickles? I do. I love to eat them and I love to make them. Our summer weeks are framed by the pickle projects Skip and I have going. In one corner of the basement, 14-day pickles will be brining away for… that’s right, 14 days. In the pantry multiple batches of French Pickles are soaking in muliti-day-long brine baths. And in the “center ring” we’re quick-pickling whatever’s fresh—baby carrots and squash right now, soon to add green beans, okra, and peppers.

But the most Celebrated Cucumber Cruncher in all of pickledom, the QUEEN OF PICKLES, are the ones we make in a crock in our basement. Barrel Pickles. Not preserved in vinegar like most pickles, these are fermented, more precisely, lacto-fermented pickles. Sauerkraut is their lacto-fermented sister.

Now that it’s full blown summer with fresh, young cucumbers rolling into your local tailgate and farmer’s markets, it’s time to make some pickles, FOLKS! So let’s get cracking on the simplest of all pickle possibilities.

Continue reading...

Authors at Bead & Button

June 22, 2010, 14:37 pm  Posted by Lark
Diane and Sherry

Diane Fitzgerald and Sherry Serafini

I had a great time attending the 2010 Bead and Button Show last week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Many of our Lark jewelry book authors were there. Here is a gallery of some of the familiar faces we saw. Learn more about them on their websites:

Cindy Pankopf
Mary Hettmansperger
Diane Fitzgerald
Sherry Serafini
Candie Cooper
Rachel Nelson-Smith
Marcia DeCoster
Gordon Uyehara
Jeri Warhaftig
Jamie Cloud Eakin
Barbara Becker Simon
Brenda Schweder

Cindy Pankopf and Mary Hettmansperger

Cindy Pankopf and Mary Hettmansperger

Continue reading...