Fresh Flickr Finds: Remixed Chairs

August 31, 2010, 18:36 pm  Posted by Lark

Long story short: I’ve had a touch of the remix bug ever since I laid eyes on Sandy Stone’s stunning projects in Fabric Remix. I’ve spent a large portion of my summer searching our local thrift stores for fun (and easy) furniture makeover projects. Since I’m no upholstery master, chairs make a great starting place (especially since upholstery fabric is such a great other kind of fabric to love!). Check out these fresh remixes from talented flickr folks…. some seriously scrumptious finds!

(Please click on the links below to see more works from these artists.)

1. Spruce Upholstery, 2. Patchwork Chair Project, 3. reupholstered chairs, 4. Modern fabric: Blue floral velvet + green leaves + slipper chair, 5. fun upholstery (5.5.10), 6. Gretchen From The Side, 7. Found arm chair, 8. chair, finished, 9. amy’s reupholstery

Read more about Sandy and her work here, here, and here.



August 30, 2010, 07:34 am  Posted by needlearts

I love thrift shopping and upcyling…I must admit I hadn’t heard of this word until recently, but I believe I’ve been doing it most of my life. Basically, you find a cool old thing and figure out some way to transform it into something usable (and lovable).  So of course, I really love the new Lark book, Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone (on shelves now!). She’s got a fantastic eye and amazing ideas.

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[From Lark Jewelry & Beading: a new, semi-regular feature profiling popular jewelry and beading bloggers with five quick questions.]

Name: Carol Dean Sharpe

Place: Anthony, New Mexico, USA

Blog: Sand Fibers

Carol, what do you blog about?

Everything and nothing. No. Seriously.

I blog about my new creations and collaborations with other artists. I share some of my personal life, my animals, my mini pecan farm adventures.

I take my readers on window shopping tours around Etsy, and I introduce them to the curators of Etsy treasuries my work is featured in.

What else? Oh, yes, every now and then I have a giveaway, usually to celebrate some sort of milestone for Sand Fibers, but sometimes just because.

Stacks of 24 Karat Gold Peyote Cuff Bracelet by Carol Dean Sharpe

I have three scheduled posts every week:  Thursday’s Treasur(i)es, BAO (Bead Art Originals) Item of the Week, and Saturday Window Shopping with Sand Fibers.

You never know what I might throw in on other days.

Who are you?

I am a beadweaver and, when I find the time and the energy, I’m a wife, “mother” to three large dogs, and friend to some wonderful folks offline and online.

I look for and find joy in the small things in life. (Hmmm … delica beads ARE small, are they not?)

I’m getting older, not much wiser, but hopefully better at my craft.

Why do you blog?

I started blogging the day before my 45th birthday, stating that I was doing so as “a way to explore what I’m doing creatively, perhaps even a way to ensure that I do explore creatively. We’ll see what happens.”

This was before I had any online stores, a Twitter account, or a Facebook page. I’m not sure who I thought my audience was.

Four and half years later, I hope the “explore creatively” part is still true. But I now have to add several other reasons for blogging: showcasing my work and that of other artists I admire, thanking treasury curators, counting my blessings, supporting the Bead Art Originals team, and sharing bits and pieces of me with people who might be interested.


You Are My Sunshine Necklace by Carol Dean Sharpe

Who and what inspire you?

Inspiration is an amazing gift from the Universe: It’s everywhere.

While the inspiration for most of my peyote cuffs comes from striking color combinations, fabric patterns, symbols (especially spirals), and simple geometry, a gorgeous art bead can lure me away from my cuffs and into the world of pendants and ropes.

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We Share the Same Sky

August 27, 2010, 09:05 am  Posted by Lark

Lark CraftsLooking to spend money for a good cause, rather than make something for charity yourself? Lark author Jeri Warhaftig turned me on to the Same Sky bracelets crocheted by female artisans in Rwanda. All of these women survived the 1994 genocide in that country, and all are HIV positive.

Same Sky is a trade-not-aid initiative that gives employment opportunities to women to pull them and their families out of poverty. As the website says, “Instead of a hand-out, we give these women a hand up and the chance to rebuild their lives.”

Worn by such celebrities as Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Barbara Walters and Halle Berry, the bracelets are made of hand-blown glass beads crocheted on a colored, non-stretch cord; each comes signed by the artisan who created that individual piece. (You can get periodic updates on the women’s lives on the website.) All proceeds from sales go to expanding the business to other regions of the world and employing more women artisans.

Solina, Speciose, an unidentified woman, Sada, Jacquiline and Clemantine--the artisans of Same Sky


This Dog’s Life with Ira G

August 27, 2010, 08:30 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

From Asheville, North Carolina, it’s This Dog’s Life. I’m Ira G. Each FRIDAY, of course, I pick a theme and present a story around that theme.

Life is getting pretty exciting–for the first time ever in my life, I’ll have my own yard. New Digs: Can you believe it? We’re moving! Goodbye apartment building, hello little house with a great big yard. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sniff around in the grass and try and catch Pearl’s eye. But feel free to leave me comments of congratulations, or stories of your own moves (past, present, or wishful futures).


This Dog’s Life 13

This Dog’s Life 12

This Dog’s Life 11

This Dog’s Life 10

This Dog’s Life 9

This Dog’s Life 8

This Dog’s Life 7

This Dog’s Life 6

This Dog’s Life 5

This Dog’s Life 4

This Dog’s Life 3

This Dog’s Life 2

This Dog’s Life 1


Free Project Friday: Fabric Remix Redux

August 27, 2010, 08:00 am  Posted by needlearts

Coffee Bag LIner

We’re all abuzz about designer Sandy Stone this week—just wait ’til you see all the fabulous, funky, and fun projects in Fabric Remix, which hits bookstores on September 7.  (In fact, we’re having such a celebration that we’ve decided to extend it into next week, too, when we give away some free copies. Stay tuned.) Today Sandy made a special bonus project for our Friday giveaway, and you’ll never guess what she upcycled to create this unique accessory. Here’s a hint: Most of us couldn’t even get out of bed without its contents.

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VIDEO: How-To Make Newspaper Yarn

August 26, 2010, 22:48 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team


Recently I’ve been getting e-mails asking if I’ll be teaching my AwareKnits Eco-Yarn class– where I walk students through making different yarns out of alternative materials, including newspaper– anytime soon again. Unfortunately, time doesn’t allow for me to teach live classes these days, but thanks to the magic of digital cameras I can provide a little how-to goodness to you virtually. So join me this week; hit the recycle bin, and click on the video (below) to learn how to spin old paper into new yarn.

Oh, and once you’ve spun 20 yards or so, give knitting it a try with my Extra! Eco frame pattern. Happy recycling!

Extra! Eco Newspaper Frame from AwareKnits


Twitter: @vickiehowell
FB: facebook.com/vickiehowell
Flickr: flickr.com/photos/craftrocklove


Month of Hope: Designer Spotlight, Week 4

August 25, 2010, 16:13 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Lark CraftsIt’s our final week paying tribute to all the wonderful people behind Craft Hope and all their many contributions to charities around the world. To make the projects by these talented designers, and for more information on crafting for a good cause, be sure to pick up a copy of Craft Hope, and visit crafthope.com.

Amanda's Simple-Knot Newborn Cap

Amanda Blake Soule lives in coastal Maine with her four young children and husband. She shares her family’s creative adventures on her daily blog, www.SouleMama.com. Amanda is the author of The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections, and Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures.

Blair's Stenciled T-Shirt

Blair Stocker has been making things since she was a child in North Carolina, where she spent afternoons with her grandmother learning to sew and knit. Although she lives with her husband and two kids, Blair carves out time to sew, knit, quilt, cook, and create things that make her Seattle, Washington, house feel like home. She contributes regularly to craft books and publications. Blair writes about what she makes—as well as what she hopes to make—on her blog, Wise Craft. Visit her online at www.blairpeter.typepad.com.

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Haute Under the Collar

August 25, 2010, 13:52 pm  Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading

“There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.” Louis Armstrong

I love the Sunday New York Times, especially when a hefty T Magazine is tucked inside. Super-duper-especially when it’s the fashion edition, and I can pour over the high-end designer ads and editorial spreads.

I’m probably not the typical reader. I don’t pay much attention to the clothes. My eyes make a bee line to the jewelry, hoping (always hoping) for some innovative designs. And just when I expected to be disappointed once again…well, hello Lanvin!

Lanvin’s collection for Autumn/Winter 2010 (above, images 1, 2 & 3) ) is a mash-up of primitive and post-apocalyptic style. Mad Max’s Clan of Cave Bears or The Road Warrior’s Quest for Fire. This “ancient to the future” aesthetic definitely hits one of my sweet spots.

Was this particular collection an anomaly for the prestigious house of Lanvin, or do they regularly produce such artful jewelry? Who was the designer behind these bold pieces? Are other couture designers embracing avant-garde jewelry?

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As part of Etsy’s latest call to action, a group of us met up at the Dry Goods Shop in West Asheville to sew some pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer. Thanks to everyone who came out and stitched for a cause. Look what we made!

(TOP L-R: The Dry Goods Shop, Jean of the Dry Goods Shop and Rockpile Bindery, Craft Your Life editor Kathleen, Neelearts editor Valerie; BOTTOM L-R: Kim, Marin & Daphne, event co-organizer Erynne, ConKerr Cancer liaison Lindy with a friend)

We were armed with a box of goodies from All People Quilt (including pre-cut fabric for ready-to-sew pillowcases!), a copy of Craft Hope (did you know that project 9 is sewing pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer too?), and were fueled by some delicious chips and salsa from Neo Burrito, courtesy of Daphne’s husband, Ed. (Thanks, Ed! We thoroughly enjoyed it!) As a special treat, Lindy, the local ConKerr Cancer liaison, drove an hour and a half to visit with us and shared some of her stories about delivering these special pillowcases to the kids at Mission Hospital.

Here’s a closeup of some of the pillowcases draped over the Dry Goods Shop couch. Would you believe they’ve got a community lounge, workspace, library, and swap shelves? They also offer classes and feature some of the best handmade items in all of Asheville. I love this place!

To see more photos of the event, visit our Flickr page.

Special thanks to Leigh Anne and Jean of the Dry Goods Shop for so kindly sharing their beautiful space with us. I can’t wait to come back and craft there again!