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DeStash logofinished orange felt flowerI’ve been having great fun watching Sex and the City re-runs this winter on E! (one of my guilty pleasures). While some of the delicious raunchiness is gone (Samantha gets bleeped a lot, as you might expect), the spirit is still there. Today I’m inspired to use some remnants from the sweaters I’ve been fulling and make a Carrie-style felt flower, which is in turn inspired by Elizabeth Searle, who wrote a great little book I worked on several years ago called Fun-to-Wear Fabric Flowers.

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Project PDF from Tapestry Bead Crochet

January 21, 2011, 19:17 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Every Friday evening, I post a set of project instructions.

A little more than a month ago, I posted instructions for a project from Ann Benson‘s Tapestry Bead Crochet. That offering was so popular that I just have to put up another set of instructions from this book. How would you like to learn how to make this too sweet Treasure Box? And so, without further blah-blah:

Treasure Box, from Ann Benson's new book "Tapestry Bead Crochet"

Click here for free instructions for this week’s feature, the Treasure Box.

Click here to link to last month’s instructions for the Paisley Bag.

 
 
 
 
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Doodle Stitch Along: Motif #3!

January 21, 2011, 10:10 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

logoHi again, Aimee Ray here! Happy Friday…it’s time for another Doodle Stitch Along installment!

Have you been having fun so far? I hope so, I have! There are so many awesome photos of your embroidered motifs in our flickr group, be sure and go have a look. You guys are getting very creative, I love it!

I’ve seen some great fill textures, added details, appliqué, beads and color tinting. It’s great to see so many different variations on the same patterns. Keep it up!

I stitched my boy and girl from last week separately on two different fabrics. Don’t worry if you embroidered them together, or how big you’re making your motifs, our final quilt project will be very flexible. :)

Grab this week’s new patterns (one, two) and be sure to leave a comment to enter and win this week’s prize package. Happy Stitching!

To enter for a chance to win an embroidery kit and a copy of Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, leave a comment on this post by 11 p.m. EST on January 27, 2011. Any comment will do, but, taking a note from our friends over at Feeling Stitchy, we want to hear which you think is cuter: gnomes or toadstools? Freakedoutnsmall is the winner! We’ll randomly select a winner and announce the results on  January 28. Click here for the official rules: http://www.larkcrafts.com/uncategorized/sweepstakesrules/

 
 
 
 
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The verification sample of a book is the first copy off the presses. It’s overnighted to us for approval, and then we cheer (usually) or gasp (rarely but memorably) because the presses continue to roll. The book is sent in a hurry, so it’s not dehumidified in the normal way our books are, and it arrives a little stiffer than later books do.

Receiving the verification copy for Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery, one of Lark Jewelry & Beading’s lead Spring 2011 titles, was a thrill. The book printed beautifully, and Sherry’s wonderful teaching and projects will be cherished by beaders. I’m so excited about this book’s release. It’s an April book that will begin to ship to stores (brick-and-mortar and online) at the beginning of March, and it’s already available for pre-order on BN.com and Amazon.

We haven’t yet received our advances — the next shipment of about a dozen books we receive — so even Sherry hasn’t seen her finished book quite yet. But right now, without delay, you can get hold of it first: I’m giving away our verification copy of Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery!

How to enter for a chance to win the book? Leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 27.

Any post will do, but I encourage you to leave a comment about why you first started making jewelry or doing beadwork. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday, February 1. Click through for the official rules.

Rock Star Cuff from Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery

After you leave that comment, I have a special treat for you from the book: a free PDF download of the Rock Star Cuff project from Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery!

Sherry’s our rock star, so it seemed an appropriate place to begin. And, if you missed it, be sure to read my fascinating recent interview with Sherry Serafini, as well!

 
 
 
 
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Etsy Favs

January 20, 2011, 05:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

January always signals a fresh start for me and inevitably I go on an organizing binge. The catalyst this year was wrestling the holiday decorations up to the attic to store them away only to find that the space where I had taken them from only weeks earlier was now occupied by items of various origins and dubious usefulness. I’m determined that 2011 is the year that I’ll find a place for everything and put it there. Perusing Etsy, I’m heartened by the many items that will not only assist me in my goal, but make the resulting efforts visually attractive. Take a look at some of the organizing gems I found and see if they inspire you to tidy up.

Row 1 (left to right) Baffin Bags, bashful bunnie, Vindicated Vinyl, Zo-be Designs

Row 2 (left to right) ccommeca, decorative instincts, Freestyle Gifts , hello blossom

Row 3 (left to right) Knitter Bag, Less & More, Mozelle Metana, purpose design

 
 
 
 
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500 Rings Call For Entries

1000 Rings

Hip! Hip! Hooray! 20th Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series shipped to the printer today. This very special edition celebrates some incredible milestones: 10 years of publishing the 500 series and 10 jewelry titles in the 500 series.

Filled with guest commentary and wonderful photographs, and bound in an extraordinary, hardcover package, 20th Century Jewelry (available in August) is our exclamation point at the end of a very exciting decade.

It’s hard for me to believe that a decade has past since we announced the call for entries for 1000 Rings. And yet, in the past 10 years, the fields of studio jewelry and jewelry publishing have changed dramatically.

The time feels absolutely right to restart the series and reexamine the first iconic form we surveyed, the ring.

On behalf of the entire Lark Jewelry & Beading team, it is my honor to announce a new call for entries.

500 Rings Call For Entries

Bruce Metcalf, Lucia's Leaves, 2010

Bruce Metcalf, Lucia's Leaves

500 Rings, juried by Bruce Metcalf, will be published in the Spring of 2012. Bruce Metcalf’s artistic and academic accomplishments are staggering. Since 1971, Bruce has had 40 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 300 group exhibitions. His pieces are in major museum and private collections around the world, and he has received many distinguished grants, fellowships, and awards.

Bruce is a highly esteemed writer and lecturer on jewelry and craft. In 2009 the University of North Carolina Press published Makers: 20th Century American Studio Crafts, which Bruce co-authored with Janet Koplos. If that weren’t enough, Bruce has held teaching positions at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. We are elated that Bruce Metcalf is jurying 500 Rings and look forward to his selections.

500 Rings Call For EntriesYour enthusiastic reception and support of the 500 Series has made the first decade of 21st-century jewelry something amazing to be sure, but we’re convinced that the best is yet to come. There is an unbelievable amount of energy and growth and talent in our field right now, so let’s begin the new decade with a mind-blowing collection of stellar jewelry.

To be considered for 500 Rings, please submit your images by March 30, 2011.

All the details, guidelines, and entry forms can be downloaded here.

Please share this opportunity with all of your jewelry colleagues, students, and friends.

We look forward to your submission and can hardly wait to see your latest and greatest rings!

 
 
 
 
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Alisa Golden’s new book, Making Handmade Books is creating quite a stir. It was a big hit at the 2011 College Book Art Association in Bloomington, Indiana, where it received an enthusiastic response in their auction, and has received glowing five-star reviews on Amazon. The people have spoken! And it’s no wonder: with over 100 structures, bindings, and forms, all fully illustrated in this photo-rich 256 page tome, it’s the most comprehensive bookmaking resource guide out there.

Want to know what the fuss is about? Well, this is your chance to win a copy of Making Handmade Books and get started on your own bookmaking journey. As an added bonus, the winner will also receive three special “You are It!” tags made by Alisa. You can use them as gift tags for all the handmade books you’ll be making from the book. Don’t you want to be “it?”

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A Stitch in Time

January 19, 2011, 10:30 am  Posted by needlearts
 

logoAren’t we having fun Doodle-Stitching Along this month? In addition to writing two fabulous books (Doodle Stitching and Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection) for us, Aimee Ray has been designing projects for us for quite a few years too. Her too-cute aesthetic and expert craftsmanship helped our Pretty Little series become a phenomenon. Jump to see a fun retrospective of Aimee’s designs from some of those books; click on the images to enlarge and enjoy Aimee’s awesomeness.

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I asked our panel of Beadweaving Master Class authors, “What’s your best advice for a beginning beader?” Their responses, the final entries in this blog series, are below.

See the links at the bottom of this post for all the previous questions asked and, more importantly, the answers provided by Diane Fitzgerald, Marcia DeCoster, Laura McCabe, Sherry Serafini, Maggie Meister, and Rachel Nelson-Smith. I thank all our panelists for sharing their experience and perspectives by participating in this forum.

Diane Fitzgerald, author of Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork, of Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Work with all the colors of beads until you know how they look within beadwork. Beads look different in tubes or bags. I beaded nearly 200 samples to learn about how colors looked.

Practice visualizing, and take classes in design and color theory.

Marcia DeCoster, author of Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence, of Lemon Grove, California:

Carve out a space for yourself where your beads and at least a project or two can be left out.

Work on building your fundamental skills so you have a good grasp of the basic stitches, including how to increase and decrease with each of them, as well as working tubular and flat, odd and even. Building these skills will enable you to create your own designs.

Laura McCabe, author of Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving, of Old Mystic, Connecticut:

Bead on! Commitment to the craft and making lots of mistakes is the only way to learn.

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Easy-peasy New Year’s Resolution

January 15, 2011, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark
 
supplies for crafting

I recently put all my jewelry-making supplies in here (decorated the cover of course) to prepare to make jewelry with friends this year.

I’ve always tried to make New Year’s resolutions that are easy to attain. Last year’s was, “Pay some bills.” And fast-forward to today? Well, my electricity’s still on! (Winner, WINNER, chicken DINNER!!) …BUT I realized that I made a mistake in making that resolution. It wasn’t FUN. And I think that’s the problem with most resolutions. They’re hard AND they’re no fun. No way to begin a new year. ‘Cause I don’t know about YOU…but really, girls just want to have fun. (Side note- I saw Cyndi Lauper at the Orange Peel recently- AMAZING.)

beads for jewelry

My "MacGyver" jewelry kit- ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE!

So this year, my resolution is to have MORE girl-time. … Why? It’s FUN and I think good things happen when my friends get together. So how does this relate to jewelry? Well, my friend Beth had a great idea for some girls to get together on a regular basis to make jewelry together. So, tomorrow, at lunch, my coworker/friends and I are gathering our supplies, knowledge and ideas to make projects like shrink-plastic necklaces that we’ll be referencing from Craft-In, and using some ideas from Doodlestitching: The Motif Collection, to make some jewelry with stitched faces of our pets (I’m not sure I can do this one…) I’ll also bring up a book (Jewelry Design Challenge) with pie-in-the-sky projects that REAL jewelers have made with limited supplies (for inspiration), so I’ll post some pictures the next time I blog with what I created. … For now I’m excited that I got all my supplies together (I got an awesome organizer I decorated with a glittered-Mucha print on the front) and I have an idea of some things I could do with some lace appliques…

jewelry out of lace

I'm going to try to make something out of appliques...

Another side note, on facebook, there’s been a little status update (like a chain letter) that goes like this, “Craftin’ it forward 2011: I promise to send something I made myself to the first 5 people who comment on this update. They must in turn promise to repost this as their status.” I added, “FYI: I don’t know how to craft $1,000,000″ just in case. So I’m participating in this and have some projects to make FOR friends, too!

So please, if you have ANY ideas of easy, and fun jewelry-making projects, bring ‘em on! And let me know what kind of resolutions you’ve made for this year, if any. I’d be curious to know!