Bonus Project from Doll Quilts…Hello Dolly!

November 15, 2011, 16:23 pm  Posted by Lark

What’s a doll quilt book without a few dolls? We had the same thought while working on Pretty in Patchwork Doll Quilts and came to this conclusion: you can’t! Cathy Gaubert swooped in to save the day with a trio of cute dolls and stuffies, perfect for snuggling under freshly made doll quilts.

Download the instructions for this sweet doll, made from scraps and with a bit of craft felt:
Hello, Dolly!


Giveaway :: ALL 8 Lark Studio Series books!

November 15, 2011, 12:48 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Your holiday gift shopping just got a lot easier! Read on to see how you can enter to win the entire Lark Studio Series, eight books in all, and give the gift of art to the special people in your life. The hard part will be deciding who on your list gets which book–and whether you can bare to part with them at all! Each Lark Studio Series book is like a portable art gallery, offering over a hundred images on a given theme, as culled from our best-selling 500 series, on the topic of  Handmade Dolls, Ceramic Sculptures, Tables, Earrings, Handmade Books, Chairs, Pendants, or Art Tiles.

Here are some sneak peeks from a few of the books to get you excited. You can click on the images to take a closer look.

Lark Studio Series: Ceramic Sculptures

Hoping by Beverly Mayeri; Photo by Lee Fatherree

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Giveaway: Quilt Books

November 11, 2011, 11:52 am  Posted by needlearts

Quilt Festival special exhibits, interviews, classes, recaps…our blog this month has been a flurry of quilt event coverage. We hope all those that didn’t make it to Texas this year enjoyed our view from the blog! If you’re just clicking over for the first time in a while, our needlearts tab has all the Quilt Festival posts you might have missed.

But before we wrap up our quilt crazy month, we do have one last goody to share: quilt books of course!

We’re giving away a bundle of three Lark quilting books: Twelve by Twelve; Pretty in Patchwork: Doll Quilts; and Masters: Art Quilts, Vol. 2.

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Thanksgiving Etsy Finds

November 11, 2011, 10:14 am  Posted by Lark

Thanksgiving: for some of us this means a long table laden with traditional fare, surrounded by family and friends, akin to the classic Norman Rockwell scene. For others of us, this means a small, intimate circle of those we love best, enjoying a potluck of flavors and conversation that collectively suit us to a T. Some of us abandon the kitchen and enjoy the warmth of restaurants, and some of us spend the better part of the holiday in our cars, traveling to and from our destinations.


We each have our own signature traditions, rituals, and visions for Thanksgiving, and we each enjoy it in our own way. You, of course, recognize that the foundational element of the holiday, however, is less about turkey, football, or mega sales. It’s about giving thanks—reveling in the thankfulness and gratitude we feel all year long.


As we trundle on toward winter and its accompanying coziness, I thought it might be nice to think about the tangible nature of giving thanks, to be inspired by those who combine gratitude with the art of handmade. Thank you to the Etsy artists featured below for creating such beautiful work.


And Happy (early) Thanksgiving, friends.


Hope Soars photo :: from Raceytay


Embroidery Hoop French Knot Color Progression :: from sometimesiswirl


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Quilt Festival Class recap

November 10, 2011, 15:11 pm  Posted by Lark

One of my favorite parts of Quilt Festival has got to be the classes. I have to admit: I’m a bit of a make-it-up-as-I-go,  do-it-myselfer. But the chance to take a class with someone who’s good at what they do and can explain it well is simply something I can’t pass up. And that was definitely the case this year…

I was lucky enough to get into a class with Jean Wells Keenan called Intuitive Color and Design (which is the title of her first book). I was familiar with her work, and I was excited to put some energy into thinking about color. The class started with everyone grabbing five strips of fabric from a table. We then went around the room and discussed the selections… talking about theory, how the colors worked together and played off one another… and we each got a chance to add a sixth strip of color based on what we had learned (enter the nice, bright coral orange). I learned so much! Though I did cheat a little: I snuck some solid dark teal in with me.;)

On to the piecing! Jean showed us some tips for easy pieced curves and then we moved on to a bit of free piecing (which may be headed for pincushion-dom).

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SOFA Chicago Photos Featuring Beads

November 08, 2011, 16:27 pm  Posted by Lark

Since my focus at Lark is on beading books, you know that while I cruised the SOFA expo floor, I had my eye peeled for any type of work made with beads. Before sharing photos with you, I want to mention names of artists whose work I saw and photographed on my first night there. Aaarg! Due to technical difficulties with the camera (give me a hammer—I’ll fix it once and for all!) I lost those images, but you can check out these links:

Iris Eichenberg–the head of Metalsmithing at Cranbrook has used beads in some of her work. To see these pieces, once you’re on her website, check out the series called Pink Years Later.

Iris Tsante–Beads? Not beads? Let the arguing begin! (Do weigh in by leaving a comment.)

Isabell Schaupp—a jeweler who uses beads in a yummy, caviar-like way.

John Garrett–a basket maker who uses beads with some frequency, as shown in this link.

Marcus Amerman–I just saw one beaded vest, but his website features other types of really interesting work.

Okay, now on to the photos.

In conjunction with SOFA Chicago, there were galleries showing outsider art. Hill Gallery was showing a collection of 33 whimsical beaded objects made by Native Americans---Ojibwa, Iriquois and others---for the tourist trade, circa 1900 to 1935.

Betsy Youngquist standing in front of her work. Check back soon for an interview with her!

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Focus: Reflections

November 08, 2011, 12:26 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Focus: Reflections is the final installment of the six part Focus series of photography books. This volume curates over 240 stunning images from photographers in 28 countries. Both professionals and amateurs share their images centered around the theme of reflections.

“Similar to a camera lens, reflections filter the world back to us, offering an altered view of our surroundings. Their transformative surfaces recast forms, colors, and textures. Elicit a mood or feeling. Suggest things are more than they seem. And so it comes as no surprise that reflections are captivating and enticing to photographers. Whether it’s an inverted image of trees in a crystal clear puddle, a window on nature shimmering in a cup of coffee, or an abstract study in color and line distorted by the sun against a building’s façade, the artful reflections in this book are an invitation to view the seemingly ordinary with a fresh perspective.”

In celebration of the release of this gorgeous book, I took a walk and shot some of my own reflective images. I hope you enjoy them.

Would you like a FREE set of the ENTIRE FOCUS SERIES? In celebration of the last volume, WE ARE GIVING AWAY ALL SIX BOOKS to a lucky winner. Check out Nicole’s post from earlier this week for the details.


SOFA Chicago photos, Part 2

November 07, 2011, 15:44 pm  Posted by Lark

You may have seen my previous posting of photos from SOFA Chicago. Well, I have oodles more to share with you. Posting these reminds me that ohmygosh, I saw so much incredible art work and heard some great lectures and met really amazing people! Thanks, Lark, for sending me to this fantastic expo!

Jewelry by Alex & Lee. I'll tell you more about this bee-yoo-tiful work in a blog post to come.

Whimsical bead-encrusted sculpture by Cherry Goldblatt

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One of my favorite things about Quilt Festival is the exhibit space. It’s not often that people recognize the artistry of quilts, but at this show, that’s on full – and quite glorious! – display. I love spending time wandering the exhibit space, studying the quilts in person, and gathering inspiration. There are just some things that photos can’t capture – and it was lovely to be able to meet some of the artists in person. This year at Festival, we had two special exhibits displaying work from recent art quilting books.

First was the Twelve by Twelve exhibit – how fabulous it to see the collections all together! The collection featured the work from the themes and from the second round of challenges focusing on color. Here’s a group shot of the chairs – one of my favorite themes from the book.

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SOFA Chicago photos

November 04, 2011, 20:34 pm  Posted by Lark

This is my first time attending SOFA, and I am LOVING it! It’s great getting to see all this amazing work in person, instead of in the pages of a book or magazine…and on top of that, so many of the artists are here, in the booths or giving lectures, so I get to meet them. What an honor. Here’s just a few of the people I saw today–artists, gallery owners and attendees–as well as some of the work:

Independent curator Gail Brown, wearing a brooch by Joyce Scott

Gallery owner Charon Kransen (on the left), the juror of 500 Bracelets

Artist Karina Guevin (on the right), wearing one of her lovely glass necklaces

furniture by Sam Maloof

Gallery owner Sienna Patti talking to jeweler Bruce Metcalf, right after his lecture. Bruce was the juror for Showcase 500 Rings.

Jeweler Biba Schutz (on the right) talking with a client