Free Beading Project PDF: Verdant Spirals Necklace

October 22, 2010, 19:22 pm  Posted by Lark

The project in these free instructions has such a cool rope! The design is called Verdant Spirals Necklace, and it’s by Sarah McConnell; it was published in her book One Big Beautiful Bead.

Click here to download a free PDF of instructions for the Verdant Spirals Necklace.


More from Rhinebeck

October 22, 2010, 12:30 pm  Posted by needlearts

One of Laura's favorite sheep

What’s better than one Lark author at Rhinebeck? Four, of course. In addition to Vickie Howell’s recap of her trip to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, authors Dora Ohrenstein, Iris Schreier, and Laura Zukaite were also there. Laura was kind enough to send along her own review and photos of the trip. Read more about Laura and her new book, Luxe Knits: The Accessories here and here, and download a free project here.

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Free Project Friday: Shoo Fly Quilt

October 22, 2010, 09:27 am  Posted by Lark

What, we ask, is not to love about this bright and cheery Shoo Fly Quilt from Malka Dubrawsky’s Color Your Cloth? The shoo fly pattern actually has some interesting history linked to it, both in its origins and later possible ties to the Underground Railroad. Malka’s hand-dyed fabrics are absolutely lovely (there’s more in the book on her particular techniques), but this quilt appears to have some serious stash-busting potential. Happy quilting!


Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival

October 21, 2010, 14:08 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

vickiehowell Hey, there! I’m back from beautiful, Rhinebeck, New York where I partook in the annual Sheep & Wool Festival. This was bucket list event for me, so I was thrilled to finally be able to attend. I can’t imagine a better yarn lovin’ backdrop, than New England in the fall. Seriously beautiful, and for an Austinite like me, the crisp weather and turning leaves were a treat!

I admittedly only stayed a few hours at the fairgrounds–not because it wasn’t a good time, but because this trip offered me the rarity of holing up for two days in a rental house to knit with friends, whom I rarely get to see. That was an opportunity too good to pass up!  I did however, stay long enough to walk the aisles of the many buildings, filled to the brim with fiber-related treats. I chatted with knitting enthusiasts, witnessed insanely long purchasing lines for the aptly named rock star of the show, Socks That Rock, bought copious amounts of buttons, saw cute animals, touched soft yarn, showed great restraint by not buying the place out, and took some pictures to share with you all. So, here’s a glimpse into the world renown festival!

Line into FestivalLegions of yarn-y types, waited in the cold in anticipation of the festival doors opening.

DSC01869Hundreds of vendors lined the festival halls.

holiday yarn
Halloween & American themed yarns.

With Shannon OkeyMe with Knitgrrl, Shannon Okey & Miriam Felton.

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Zombies invade downtown Asheville!

October 21, 2010, 11:29 am  Posted by Lark
Lark zombies

Lark zombies!

Halloween is almost here so bring out the scary! Halloween is my favorite holiday, and Asheville is home to some great events to celebrate, the best of which (in my humble opinion, anyway) is the Asheville Zombie Walk through the streets of downtown.

A group of friends and coworkers decided we just had to join the shamble. First up, visiting the local thrift stores for that perfect outfit to destroy and cover in fake blood. Some of our finds included a bridesmaid dress, a whole bin of golf clubs, and a great bathrobe covered in teddy bears. We then met up at Lark to zombify ourselves using makeup, fake blood, bandages, and my secret ingredient: gelatin. Gelatin is great for making homemade zombie inflicted wounds. Continue reading to find out how…

getting ready for the zombie walk

Getting ready for the zombie walk.

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The Spill Smiths is a two-part awareness project created in response to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Part one is an art, jewelry, and video installation project that will be held at Mr. Beast Gallery in Savannah, Georgia, November 4 – 9, 2010. The designs are complete, 1500 brooches have been cut, and now they are being assembled and constructed

Part two is an online interactive education platform, which includes the information about the spill, documentation of the Savannah project, and an online retail store where visitors can buy jewelry to support clean-up efforts. Funds raised are dedicated to charitable organizations operating in the Gulf to mitigate the damage inflicted by the spill.

The Spill Smiths are: Bongsang Cho, Gabriel Craig, Jillian Daleiden, Ryan Holandes, Seonyong Lee, and
Hsiang-Ting Yen with the volunteer assistance of the Metals and Jewelry Student Association at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Here is a peek inside this project as it is developing.

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The DeStash Diaries, Vol. 14 – Halloween 2

October 20, 2010, 16:53 pm  Posted by needlearts

No, not the slasher film, you silly ghouls. I had so much fun with my last post reminiscing about the good ol’ days at Lark—when all of us busy witches and goblins gaily conjured up projects day after day—that I decided to revisit our stash of books from yore and find a few more Halloween projects. So bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble, my friends—here are a few more wicked ideas from our classic book Halloween.

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This past weekend, we celebrated Craft-In with a book launch and craft-along party at our local Barnes and Noble. Were you there? It was so much fun! Suzie Millions, the designer behind Craft-In, and author of The Complete Book of Retro Crafts (Lark, 2008) hosted the event, and brought along 40 darling ghoul girl kits — a variation on her Paper Doll Party booklet from Craft-In.

Want to make your own ghouly gal? Suzie was kind enough to share her template so you can do just that!  And now, some pictures from the event…

Kathleen McCafferty, Craft-In editor, and Suzie Millions, Craft-In graphic designer & booklet author, shown with Short Street Cupcakes by Jodi Rhoden who also has a booklet in Craft-In! Sweet circle of Craft-In goodness!

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What is a Torsade Necklace?

October 19, 2010, 14:09 pm  Posted by Lark

black and white pearl necklace

I was working on a jewelry book recently and came across the word torsade in reference to a necklace. I had to stop and explore. I found out that basically a torsade necklace consists of multiple strands twisted together and held with a clasp. It is usually in reference to the pearl necklaces I’m sure you are familiar with. These are also called twisters. To the left is an example. Contemporary style finds jewelers twisting all sorts of things together including chains, ribbons, satin, and adding interesting embellishments, such as, rhinestones, charms, or crystals. I took a look at etsy to see what tosade necklaces the jewelers there were creating and include a sampling of some beautiful examples here.

gallaery of necklaces

Upper left-Beadist
Across the bottom-1.ImasDesigns 2.orsinimedici1951 3.floweravenue 4.binnie


Classic Interview: Carol Wilcox Wells

October 18, 2010, 16:18 pm  Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading

[It's Monday: My computer's fritzed, so I can't access my own desktop, and I've shuffled over to commandeer the art intern's station. I'm waiting for several emailed interviews to come back for posting. I can't do a giveaway, because right now the amazing Nathalie Mornu is giving away copies of her book Leather Jewelry on an earlier post. What's a blogger to do?

Steal classic content, of course! Well, steal it from myself right off the old Lark Books site.

So, here's a interview, complete with my geekily written introduction just slightly updated, of the fabulous and not-at-all geeky Carol Wilcox Wells. It's a particularly timely theft of content from just a couple of years back: Carol is now scheduled to be the beading master class teacher at Bead & Button in June 2011.

Now I guess I better make sure the links still work ... and I hope you enjoy!]

Working with renowned beadweaving artist and teacher Carol Wilcox Wells to put together Masters: Beadweaving was one of the most rewarding experiences of my years at Lark. And the work paid off handsomely: The book is simply gorgeous.

The Masters series is one of the favorite projects of the editors here at Lark, marrying fantastic images with commentary and quotes from the featured artists. I’ve been privileged to develop three books in the series thus far: Masters: Art Quilts, Masters: Beadweaving, and Masters: Gold. I’m also lucky to be working on upcoming titles by artists featured in Masters: Beadweaving, including Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork and Marcia DeCoster’s Right Angle Weave [and now also Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving and 2011 titles in the Beadweaving Master Class series coming from Sherry Serafini, Maggie Meister, and Rachel Nelson-Smith -- all of them artists featured in the book Carol curated]. [The following slideshow, somehow still working -- barely -- has images from the book:]

Carol Wilcox Wells is a delight, and she really knows her stuff. She’s the author of Creative Bead Weaving and The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving, both classics from Lark. Carol teaches beginning and advanced beadweaving techniques, and she has created numerous beadwork kits. Her work has been exhibited internationally and featured in Ornament, Lapidary Journal, Bead & Button, and Beadwork magazines. You can learn more about Carol’s work at SchoolofBeadwork.com.

Ray: How and when did you start beadweaving, Carol?

Carol: I can remember playing with beads at my grandmother’s house as a child, but they really began to become a part of my life, in the fullest sense, in 1985. In 1991 I took a class at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina, and I haven’t stopped beading since.

Ray: In your experience, do beadweavers have some “typical” personality characteristics?

Carol: They are hermits. They love playing with small, shiny things. They are meditative and steadfast.

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