The Girl with a Batucada Tattoo

May 19, 2011, 13:29 pm  Posted by Lark

After reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” I noticed how the the paperback cover design has only made the series more iconic. The strong graphic treatment makes me think of the main character’s bold tattoo and how powerful graphic design can be.

And although I don’t have a tattoo of my own (if I did- it would be the Orin from the cover of the Neverending Story book cover), I love the graphic elements of them. So how can someone who loves tattoos rock the strong look (don’t say temporary tattoos…) without committing? Book cover

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Rainy Day Etsy Finds

May 19, 2011, 10:39 am  Posted by Lark

Depending on where you live, you may identify with the adage “April showers bring May flowers.” Here in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, we’ve been enjoying a slight twist on that phrase: April showers bring May…showers. All these rainy days have been making me miss my cute polka-dotted umbrella (which my dog elected to reassemble last year), and I’ve grown much more aware of other folks’ umbrellas, rain boots, coats, and general rainy day gear. As you may imagine, Etsy is home to a treasure trove of rainy-day-inspired creativity, so I’m sharing some of my favorite finds with you here. Thanks to the talented artists featured below!

12 photos of work on Etsy.com that features rain

1. “April Bear” art print, by corelladesign

2. “The Fanciful Ballerina Returns” photo, by photosbykaren

3. “Fishing in Oregon” print, by AlexWijnen

4. Rain Drop Hoody, by kachingdesign

5. “Still” art print, by michelemaule

6. “Happy Tears” print, by memoir

7. Brosche: Up in the Sky, by mywalkingdesaster

8. “Rainy Day” print, by majalin

9. Brushed Silver Rain Cloud Earrings, by paperfacestudio

10. “Ocean Rain” painting, by brianelston

11. Rain Sideways Tshirt, by sealmaiden

12. “Fantastic Flying Fox” print, by PeppermintDaydreams

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Marthe Le Van’s new book 30-Minute Rings is the latest title in Lark’s 30-Minute series, with books on earrings and necklaces preceding it and a book on bracelets still to come. 30-Minute Rings is filled with 60 quick, inspirational projects for jewelers from a host of leading designers: from Raissa Bump, Colleen Baran, Boris Bally, and Nina Dinoff to Aja Engel, Dilyana Evtimova, Shirlee Grund, Lora Hart, and Sim Luttin to Nicole Jacquard, Rebecca Mojica, George Swanke, Roberto Zanon … projects from 49 leading jewelers are packed into this special jewelry design book.

Will the book appeal to you? I’m posting PDFs of three of the projects so you can find out! Click on each project photo to download the PDF. Enjoy, and please let us know what you think about the projects and the book. Happy making!

Kenneth C. MacBain's project in 30-Minute Rings

Victoria Tillotson's project in 30-Minute Rings

2 Roses Studio's project in 30-Minute Rings


Patterns in Your Stash?

May 18, 2011, 13:12 pm  Posted by needlearts

Stash Happy: PatchworkIt’s all stash, all the time this May over here at Lark, and we’ve had helpful tips, a tutorial from Stash Happy: Patchwork’s Cynthia Shaffer, free projects, and even a scavenger hunt giveaway. Now we really want to hear more about the little caches of fabric you’ve been saving in every niche nook and closet cranny you can find. Vote in our poll and share the patterns in your stash with us!

For more stitchy good times, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr!

[poll id="19"]


The DeStash Diaries, Vol. 27—In Living Color

May 17, 2011, 12:18 pm  Posted by needlearts

We’re giddy about our stashes this month, in case you’ve forgotten, as we delight in the release of Stash Happy: Patchwork. We’ve had a free project (or two) and there’s a cool scavenger hunt underway now that results in a big fat prize package for the lucky winner. Today I wanted to share a couple of techniques to help you use the colors in your stash to best advantage.

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(I’ve been getting questions from all around the beading community asking what Jamie Cloud Eakin’s book Dimensional Bead Embroidery, due out in October, is all about and how it differentiates from her best-selling Beading with Cabochons. Figuring Jamie would explain it much better than I can, I invited her to write this post for the blog. You can ask your local bead store or bookstore to look for and carry Dimensional Bead Embroidery, a fantastic book that I expect to be among the hottest crafting titles of the fall season. It’s already available for pre-sale online, too.)

Jamie Cloud Eakin

I was inspired to write this new book by all of the fabulous creations I’ve seen over the years that people have created based on Beading with Cabochons. I love how the techniques and methods in that book have inspired people to bead their own fabulous creations.

There are three main areas I wanted to address with Dimensional Bead Embroidery. One was expanding on surface stitches. It seems that many people solely use backstitch, the most common bead embroidery stitch. While the backstitch is very versatile, it is exciting to expand the techniques you can use to cover a surface. Doing so allows you to create more texture and opens up so many more design possibilities. The book includes a chapter that explores and illustrates surface stitches to give a new dimension to bead embroidery.

I am constantly shopping in stores, on the Internet, and at the bead shows and lapidary shows I love. When I see something interesting, I want to use it somehow in bead embroidery. This was the second main area I wanted to address: how to incorporate many types of things instead of just using cabochons.

Woodlands Secrets Purse from Dimensional Bead Embroidery

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE using cabochons, but I find I get very inspired using all kinds of other components. So there’s a chapter in Dimensional Bead Embroidery devoted to how to use all those other kinds of things you find in bead stores—and how to use bead embroidery techniques to incorporate them into your designs. These techniques add a whole new dimension to beadwork.

Thirdly, I wanted to expand on the other areas that have made Beading with Cabochons so popular. So there are more bezel stitches, edge techniques, and attachment methods. These techniques expand the universe of design possibilities, and I hope will inspire more beaders.

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Stash scavenger hunt!

May 16, 2011, 15:07 pm  Posted by Lark

In case you’ve missed it, we’ve been all about the stash this month! We’ve had stash polls, stash organization tips, free projects from Stash Happy Patchwork, and techniques from author Cynthia Shaffer. And the fun continues today with an awesome giveaway!

We’ve put together a little stash scavenger hunt for you on our site… and the prize is a copy of the book and this fabulous collection of 25 fat quarters – in a rainbow of colors! – specially selected by our friends at Sew, Mama, Sew! Just imagine how much fun you’ll have with these lovelies! Here’s how things will work:

To enter for a chance to win, you’ll need to go on a little hunt! Find this cute icon around the site (be sure to scroll down – sometimes the birdy will be hidden!), click on it and follow the links, and then leave a comment on the final post.

Ready? Set? Click the linked image below – the hunt is on!! UPDATE: Comments are now closed for this giveaway. Thanks to everyone who took our scavenger hunt and entered… your stash-busting ideas are absolutely inspiring!


FOCUS Series Giveaway

May 16, 2011, 11:53 am  Posted by Lark

In recent years, the availability of affordable, high quality, take-with-you-everywhere digital cameras has turned nearly everyone into a budding photographer. And with versatile hosting and sharing sites such as Flickr literally at our fingertips, it is now easier than ever to tap into a massive community of other image enthusiasts.

As an avid amateur photographer myself, I was thrilled when Lark launched the FOCUS series just over a year ago. Each book in this series shines a spotlight on one popular photographic meme, highlighting the variety in which various people interpret that theme. Every unique photograph begins with a point of view, and these books so beautifully demonstrate that each of us look at the world with a different perspective. Jam-packed with hundreds of photos from photographers around the world, each of these books is a testament to the vast richness of our world and the endless ways it can be captured through the lens of a camera.

To celebrate the publication of the newest book in the series, FOCUS: Letters, and to inspire you to look at your world with new photo-hungry eyes, we are hosting a giveaway of the entire FOCUS series. That’s right, one lucky winner will receive the full collection of all four books: Love, Passages, Found Faces, and Letters. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m EDT on Monday, May 23. Any comment will do, but we’d love to hear what your favorite photography subject matter is. One winner will be selected at random and contacted on Tuesday, May 24. Click here for the official rules. This giveaway is closed. We will be announcing the winner here very soon!


X Marks the Beadmaille: Free Project PDF

May 13, 2011, 12:00 pm  Posted by Lark

Every Friday, I post a set of project instructions.

Mixing beads and chain mail techniques: brilliant! Cindy Pankopf shows you how in her very cool book, Beadmaille: Jewelry with Bead Weaving & Metal Rings. Try it out yourself: Click here to get the instructions for her X Factor Bracelet, shown below left.


Free Project Friday: Your Bento Box

May 13, 2011, 10:21 am  Posted by needlearts

We weren’t sure when we posted the poll how many sewers would vote for the bento box from Stash Happy: Patchwork over the sewing kit, but it looks like the answer is most of you! We were so impressed with the overwhelming vote for the bento that we decided to upload it today instead of next week. Stitch up your own version this weekend, and join us on a trip through the Internet to look at other bentos for inspiration on what to eat while you sew:

-Lunch in a Box is one of the most popular bento-focused blogs.

-The Just Bento Cookbook is a useful guide to making bento meals. What a wholesome bento on the cover!

-But what’s a bento meal without a large helping of fun?! Face Food is definitely a book where craft and food collide.

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