The Dog Days of Summer Giveaway

August 25, 2011, 16:59 pm  Posted by Lark

It has been a hot summer!  Often our faithful companions are right there with us—panting all the way. Perhaps that’s why the hottest months get named “The Dog Days of Summer”. Lark Crafts has done numerous books celebrating dogs: from canine costumes, to circus tricks, to bark out loud jokes.

To celebrate the approaching end of summer  we are giving away a set of six books focused on dogs: Bow Wow Wow: Fetching Costumes for Your Fabulous Dog by Cathie Fillian; You Lucky Dog: More Than 30 Craft Projects to Unleash Your Pup’s Personality; Circus Tricks for Your Dog: 25 Crowd-Pleasers That Will Make Your Dog a Star by Rick Martin; Green Dog, Good Dog: Reducing Your Best Friend’s Carbon Paw Print by Dominique DeVito; Calling All Dogs!: Grrreat Names for Your Perfect Pooch; and finally A Dog Walks into a Bar… Dog Jokes So Funny You’ll Beg for More.

Continue reading...

100 Pretty Little Projects Giveaway…3x the Fun!

August 25, 2011, 15:47 pm  Posted by needlearts

The response to the first giveaway we held for 100 Pretty Little Projects was so overwhelming–nearly 300 entries!–that we knew we had to do it again. After we thought about it, we decided that not only did we have to do it again, we had to do something even bigger than before.

So today, for the second and final giveaway of this book, we’re giving away three copies! For those of you playing along at home, that’s 300 pretty little projects : )

To enter for a chance to win a copy of 100 Pretty Little Projects, please leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Friday, September 2. Any comment is fine—though we’d love to hear what pretty little project you’ve been working on this summer! Three winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Monday, September 5.

Click here for the official rules.


Wire Nest Pendant

August 25, 2011, 14:30 pm  Posted by Lark
birds nest

The left image (from valleykatdesigns.blogspot) shows a bird's nest pendant using antiqued copper wire while the image on the right (from handmadeimpressions.blogspot) shows two different versions using silver wire.

A few friends have asked me if I’ve been “nesting” lately (since my first baby is due Jan. 6) and the answer is YES. Especially the last few weeks. I’ve been painting cute bunnies and teddy bears on canvas as well as cleaning/nesting…and in honor of that- I decided to make a nest pendant that I’ve seen occasionally in stores and on the internet. They’re super-cute and pretty easy to make.

Continue reading...

Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 Artist Gallery! (1 of 2)

August 24, 2011, 17:30 pm  Posted by needlearts

We’re celebrating the release of Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 this beautiful August, so we thought we’d give you a little taste of each of the amazing artists whose work you’ll find in this volume. You’ll see fantastic quilts from half the artists in the gallery below, with work from the rest to come next week!

If you haven’t seen our blog hop giveaways for this book around the net lately you can check out the list of links, dates, and participating blogs here. There are  plenty of opportunities to enter for chances to win your own copy of Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 signed by Martha Sielman!



Stocking up on Hope!

August 24, 2011, 16:40 pm  Posted by Lark

The deadly tornado outbreak of last April destroyed or heavily damaged more than 12,000 homes in Alabama alone. Our friend Jade Sims over at Craft Hope is bringing out the best in the crafting community once again with a new project collecting homemade stockings for families who lost everything and will still be in the process of starting over when Christmas comes this year.

A little holiday crafting might be just the thing to take your mind off the late summer heat and humidity, so hop on over, join in the fun, and make Christmas morning brighter for thousands of children. To help out, we’re giving away three fun, fresh stocking projects from recent and upcoming books.

Continue reading...

Back(pack) to School

August 24, 2011, 16:37 pm  Posted by Lark

 Ah, the Back to School Season is upon us. I still remember that early, giddy sense of anticipation as I’d organize my pencil box, stack new workbooks into neat piles, and plan my outfit for the first day of school. As the years progressed, of course, that giddiness was slowly replaced by a sense of dread—summer vacation never felt long enough. [Side note: my AP English teacher in high school posted this quote from Dante’s Inferno over his classroom door “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” It was completely appropriate.]


Despite those times of sweet sorrow when the summer ended and classes began, it was always a treat to have that “new thing” for going back to class, whether it was a new book, new crayons, a new haircut, or even just a lot of rest and relaxation from the break. One of my favorite new things was a new backpack—that trusty cornerstone of the student experience.


These Etsy artists sure have the backpack mastered: from cute and clever to streamlined and sophisticated, this array of creativity has me feeling that Back to School eagerness all over again. Thanks to the talented designers featured below for creating such amazing work!

Continue reading for artist details and larger photos after the jump….

Continue reading...

Quick Stitches: Bluebird Lunch Bag

August 23, 2011, 14:00 pm  Posted by Lark

Welcome back to Quick Stitches! It’s no secret that we love birds around here. I’ve been suffering a bad case of “put a bird on it” well before that saying was invented… so why stop now! This week’s project is also inspired by necessity. I recently traded in my huge carry-everything-under-the-sun “duffle” purse for a small handbag, meaning I needed a new way to cart my lunch to and from work. Hello, personalized lunch bag! Here’s how to make your own…using birds or any motif that inspires you.

Continue reading...

An Interview with Ceramicist, Susan Halls

August 22, 2011, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark


Referring to the ease of the techniques featured in her newly released book, Ceramics for Beginners: Animals & Figures, author Susan Halls states, “…the leather-hard slab projects are more akin to cutting and joining cardboard. If you’ve ever rolled a “snake” out of clay, then you’re halfway to mastering coiling. And children and adults alike can interpret the simple pinch pot method.” These methods, pinching, coiling, slab work, and making soft tubes, are used individually and collectively to create the 12 wonderful pieces featured in her book. Sculptures range from an endearing pig and a whimsical dog to a dapper wedding party.

In between teaching workshops, completing commission work, and tending her seemingly always-in-use kiln, Susan kindly found time to answer a few questions.

Continue reading...

Felted Cuff Project by Candie Cooper

August 19, 2011, 15:14 pm  Posted by Lark

Every Friday, I post a set of project instructions.

You would think, with a zillion craft books at my disposal, that it would be easy to pick which project instructions to give away as a freebie. Such is not the case. Maybe I’m just overwhelmed by so many choices… While pondering what to post today, I remembered that 500 Felt Objects releases next month, and that book has a lot of cool jewelry in it. Problem solved! Today’s free project instructions are from Candie Cooper‘s book Felted Jewelry: 20 Stylish Designs, followed by a sneak preview of just a few of the very cool jewelry pieces featured in 500 Felt Objects.

First, the project instructions for African Sunset Cuff. Click here to get your free PDF.

And now settle in to view other adornment by jewelers/designers who use felt:

Ophelia Necklace, by Anne M. Fiala

Under Pressure, by Marich Genovese

Home Bracelet, by Sarah Fox

Continue reading...

Free Project Friday: Scorchin’ Potholder

August 19, 2011, 10:17 am  Posted by needlearts

Wow, what a response to our giveaway for 100 Pretty Little Projects! If you missed out on it, don’t worry: We’re planning on starting a new one next Friday. But this week it’s back to the projects inside the book. And today we decided to post a pattern from another one of our favorite designers, Aimee Ray!

Scorchin’ is a potholder that’s easy to make, and the perfect little project to use whether you’re at the stove or the grill.

It may cool off over the next few weeks, but we’ll be on our porches and cooking outside until winter forces us back in. How about you?

Continue reading...