Summer Wishes

August 18, 2011, 11:36 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

I love the Fall, but oh, how I hate to feel the end of Summer. I wish it could go on forever, sometimes. And nothing says summer, and wishes, quite like dandelions do. For your enjoyment, I’ve pulled together some lovely dandelion-inspired arts and crafts from some very talented Etsy designers. These images might inspire you to make some wishes (or at least wish lists) of your very own!

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All is Full of Love, a fine art print by sixthandmain.

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Captured Dandelion Wishes Necklace by starsb117

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Dandelion Wall Decals by ParisDecals

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101 Tees: Book & Extras Giveaway

August 17, 2011, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark

There’s a new book hot off the press that if you’re a female between the ages of 10 and 75 you should take a look at.  It’s called 101 Tees: Restyle*Refashion*Revamp, authored by uber-talented crafter and co-host of Creative Juice, Cathie Filian.  Cathie uses simple techniques like painting, dyeing, stenciling, cutting, stitching, and embroidery to transform a plain tee (or camisole, tank, etc.) into totally cute fashion reflecting the latest pricey trends.

Take a look at some of the fun designs, and keep reading for details about the giveaway!

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Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 – blog hop and giveaway!

August 16, 2011, 16:15 pm  Posted by Lark

We’re so excited about the release of Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 by juror Martha Sielman. This inspiring collection features the work of masterful quilt artists and is chock full of inspiration! To celebrate, we’ll share insights from Martha, post some of our favorite images from the book, and go on a little blog hop! That’s right: follow along to the blogs listed below on the appropriate days for multiple chances to win a signed copy of the book. And scroll down for details about how you can enter to win right here, on LarkCrafts.com.

8/17: Terry Grant-www.andsewitgoes.blogspot.com
8/18: Linda Teddlie Minton-fiberreflections.blogspot.com
8/19: Cheryl Sleboda-blog.muppin.com
8/22: Terri Stegmiller-http://stegart.blogspot.com
8/23: Stephanie Forsyth-thefibernation.blogspot.com
8/24: Janice Paine Dawes-http://thedistoriatedquilter.com/
8/25 Karen Stiehl Osborn-http://stiehlosborn.blogspot.com
8/26: Kathleen Loomis-artwithaneedle.blogspot.com
8/29: Diane Lochala-http://dianedoodles.blogspot.com
8/30: Sue Bleiweiss-http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog
8/31: Gerrie Congdon-gericondesigns.com/weblog
9/1: Marilyn Wall-http://www.marilynhwall.blogspot.com
9/2: Laura Wasilowsk-http://artfabrik.blogspot.com
9/6: Sherryl Buchler-http://skb2000.blogspot.com
9/7: Cheryl Lynch-http://www.CherylLynchQuilts.blogspot.com
9/8 Deborah Boschert-http://DeborahsJournal.blogspot.com
9/9: Brenda Gael Smith-http://serendipitypatchwork.com.au/

So hop along with us, have fun, help us spread the word, and good luck to you! And don’t forget to check back with us this month for more art quilt inspiration.

Okay… on to the good stuff! An autographed copy of Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 can be yours! To enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2, please leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, August 31st. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Thursday, September 1st. Comments are now closed for this giveaway and the winner will be announced soon. Thanks to everyone who commented… and be sure to continue following the blog hop for more chances to win a signed copy of Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2!

Click here for the official rules.


Interview with Anneta Valious

August 13, 2011, 06:28 am  Posted by Lark

When I attended Bead&Button, I was absolutely bowled over by the pieces on display in the Bead Dreams showcases. One necklace that really wowed me was Helen of Troy, by French beader Anneta Valious. Not only is it luxe and gorgeous, but it uses a technique I’d never seen before.

Helen of Troy, by Anneta Valious

Back at home, I found Anneta’s website, clicked through it, and discovered she describes her designs as being soutache jewelry. That still didn’t tell me much. I resolved to find out more and emailed the artist, proposing to share this technique with all of you. She accepted. Here’s a translation of our Q & A. All photos in this blog are by permission of the artist, and any errors in explaining what she said are mine!

Anneta in Barcelona. Photo by James Brosseau

What is soutache?

Soutache is a type of trim or gimp, and more specifically a flat braid with a groove down the center. Soutache began to be embroidered onto garments beginning in fifteenth-century France, becoming quite popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. [Think of the military uniforms of that era, festooned in braid. --NM]  Soutache enjoyed a brief resurgence during the macramé craze of the 1970s. Today, it’s used mostly to embellish lampshades. It’s less well known for making jewelry.

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100 Pretty Little Projects Giveaway!

August 12, 2011, 11:59 am  Posted by needlearts

100 Pretty Little ProjectsFor the past few years, Lark editors curated and published eight books in the Pretty Little series, showcasing the work of some of the most talented craft designers in the world. So it was an “a-ha!” moment when an editor looked back and realized there were so many pretty little projects, it was time for a best-of compilation: 100 Pretty Little Projects was born.

We still hope that pincushion fans will seek out the pincushion book. Or if you’re looking for the perfect pillow project you’ll flip open Pretty Little Pillows. But for the dabblers, for those who want a wide variety of sewing projects at their disposal, we have a book, and a giveaway, for you!

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Bonus Project from Chains Chains Chains

August 12, 2011, 11:18 am  Posted by Lark

Every Friday, I post a set of free instructions.


Joanna Gollberg has done it again! She’s helped Lark Crafts produce another volume full of fun, creative jewelry projects. This one, co-authored with yours truly, is called Chains Chains Chains, and it’s just come out in stores.

In this book, you’ll get instructions for 25 unique but totally stylish chain projects made from silver, copper, gold, steel, even palladium—there are necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, too.

Because I’m always thinking of you, dear reader, I saved an extra-special project to give away as a bonus, so you’d have a sneak peek at what you’ll find inside the book.

What do you think we called this riveting, er, riveted bracelet of large copper rings, made by Vicki Cook? Why, Rosie, of course! Click here to get the free PDF containing the instructions for making it. Don’t forget, this is a project you won’t get inside the book.

You can wear a chain with anything because you don’t have to match it to your clothes. But the real reason you’ll want this book is because of all the cool designers who contributed projects. Talk about a stellar group. Raissa Bump! Babette von Dohnanyi! Kristin Mitsu Shiga! Sadie Wang! Nina Dinoff! Brenda Schweder! Marina Massone! And a dozen more! Feast your eyes on just a few of the projects:


Beat the Heat with Lemonade

August 12, 2011, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark

Now is the point in Summer when I can’t help but feel the transition into Fall looming. There’s a little bit more of a breeze in the air, kids are prepping to return to school, and the days are starting to feel just a little bit shorter. It’s that homestretch of steamy afternoons filled with sun and frivolity. Well, if you’re looking for the essential beverage to quench your thirst for a Summer that will never end, let me suggest some of these tantalizing lemonade offerings. Lemonade, with it’s refreshing dance between tart and sweet, is something I will forever equate with this time of the year. Check out these fabulous recipes from some great bloggers geared toward an adult’s flavor palette. Enjoy!

After the jump, check out all of these enticing lemonade recipes with direct links to the blogs!

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Quick Stitches: Personalize Your Cloth Napkins

August 09, 2011, 10:56 am  Posted by Lark

Welcome to a new column here on the blog, Quick Stitches. Every other Tuesday, I’ll share quick stitching projects, ideas, inspiration, and tips. Join me for fun ideas for easy customization, personalized store-bought items, quick stitched gifts, and green crafting ideas, all designed to help you put your own stitchy signature on your world!

My hubby and I just bought our first home, and we’re having fun figuring out our own unique style as we decorate. More than any other time of year, we tend to host the most get-togethers during the summer, and now that we’ve finally got space to entertain, we’re enjoying having folks over, in a pretty steady stream! After our first fancy sit-down dinner, we realized we were missing a few key items…which naturally became my next order of business on the olde crafting to-do list.

First up: cloth napkins! You get double points for this project: they’re sweet and they’re good for the environment. And how about these lovelies, customized store-bought napkins with a much-loved plus sign applique! Here’s how:

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Transform The Common T-Shirt with 101 Tees!

August 06, 2011, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark

Just browse the offerings in your favorite clothing catalog or trendy boutique, and you’ll see that embellished t-shirts are all the rage. But they sure can be  expensive, right? Well, why not embellish your own when an ordinary t-shirt and supplies can cost as little as a few bucks? 101 Tees is a fun, idea-packed book, authored by crafting dynamo Cathie Filian, that offers up clever ways to easily and inexpensively transformed the common tee into stylish apparel.

With 10 different technique-themed chapters, each with approximately 10 projects and their own mini basics section, there’s truly something for everyone. Experiment with creative cutting and stitching, embroidery, painting, dyeing, image transfer, and adding rhinestones, ribbons, and trim. The projects include a variety of t-shirt style bases, from the ordinary crew neck to long-sleeved, cap-sleeved, and sleeveless versions. And, yes, there’s even a full chapter of offerings for guys!

Such a great crafting resource for yourself or a crafty fashionista friend.

In the interest of giving you all a little behind-the-scenes details on the book, I asked Cathie a few questions about her experience working on the project. Be sure to come back here later in the month, as we’ll be hosting a truly fabulous 101 Tees giveaway in a couple weeks.

Q: Why do you think the common t-shirt serves as such a great creative canvas?

A: The material! Cotton….you can dye it, stretch it, paint it, heat it, pierce it, tear it, stitch it and you don’t have to hem it, if you don’t want to. I also love the form a tee takes on the body. The shoulders, hemlines, sleeves, yokes and centers are just begging to be embellished.


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Another BONUS from Maggie Meister

August 05, 2011, 12:41 pm  Posted by Lark

Every Friday, I post a set of project instructions.

Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance is officially out in stores!

Somehow or another, I lucked into owning the Zoe Earrings that Maggie features in these 128 gorgeous pages, so I’m wearing them to celebrate the book’s release this week.

Last week, I gave you a bonus project that you won’t find in the book, and I promised to post a second one today. Here it is—the Liternum Brooch. My Latin is limited to whatever I gleaned reading Asterix comics as a kid (it’s a French thing), so I couldn’t tell you what liternum means…who knows, maybe it’s just a name, the way “Nathalie” is just a name. At any rate, this pin looks like a flower-covered column, and as a design, it’s all Maggie.

Click here for instructions for the Liternum Brooch.

Maggie Meister is inspired by the jewelry of Pompeii, ancient Rome, Greece, and Byzantium;  Renaissance ear bobs; mosaic and textile patterns of the Middle East; frescoes in old Italian villas;churches with onion domes; the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, and so much more. Check out her book to see more!