Free Project Friday: Mushroom Terrarium

January 20, 2012, 15:28 pm  Posted by Lark

Maybe the start of a new year is a good time to think about starting a new craft? We think so! Ever tried needle-felting? Complete with felted rocks, life-like leaves, and amazing little mushroom gills, this Mushroom Terrarium project by Lisa Jordan (from Stash Happy Felt) is the perfect place to start. But crafter beware: it’s hard to make just one!

Download the instructions here: Mushroom Terrarium

See more of Lisa’s amazing work on her blog!


Jewelry Bridal Bouquets

January 20, 2012, 10:42 am  Posted by Lark

vintage jewelry bouquetI was sitting in a brew pub when a wedding party came dashing in to take pictures around the beautiful copper brewing kettles there. The enthusiasm of the group made everyone look, but what I focused in on was the amazing jeweled bouquets that the bride and her bridesmaids carried (see photo left). What a great use of vintage and costume jewelry. It reminded me of those beautiful old pieces of jewelry my grandmother loved. The bride’s bouquet could even be made up of a collection of special pieces of jewelry from family and friends.


Take a look at this collection from various etsy artists. Click here to see the jewelry bouquet mosaic at its vivid full size.

gallery of jewelry bridal bouquets1. Croska 2. thebejeweledflorist 3. Vaughndesigns 4. LX Designs

5. Luv U Lila 6. Vaughndesigns 7. Surroundings 8. Modulation

9. annasinclair 10. Lionsgate Design 11. Noaki 12. The Heirloom Bouquet


It’s Time to Plan for Wedding Bells

January 19, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark

It’s winter and weddings are in the air. January and February are the biggest planning months for brides-to-be. With so many  decisions to be made—from THE dress to the place for the ceremony, all the way down to the small details like seating cards and wedding favors for the guest—it can be a bit overwhelming. So what’s a girl to do? One place to turn to for wedding inspiration is Etsy. There you can find everything from rings, invitations, and bouquets to yes, even THE dress. Most shops will happily customize items to the colors, font, and wording that will complement your wedding perfectly.


Wedding dress

Some old, something new, something borrowed, something fabulous like this custom dress from Holly Stalder.

More Etsy nuptial finds after the jump.

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As metal clay continues both to mature and to popularize as an artistic category, the need for books that go beyond the basics also grows. In response, Gordon Uyehara, one of the world’s most prominent and accomplished metal clay artists, is releasing the book Metal Clay Fusion in March 2012 at bookstores and craft stores near you, as well as from Amazon and BN.com.

The book includes 40 pages of instruction in metal clay fundamentals, techniques, and design and artistic philosophy. Then, Gordon presents more than 20 original projects, mostly of jewelry but also of several small home-décor objects, such as a chopstick rest, a bell, and an incense burner. See photos of some of the book’s beautiful projects below. The metal clays Gordon utilizes include silver, bronze, and copper. The book also shows gallery photos of excellent metal clay work from Wendy Wallin Malinow, Barbara Becker Simon, Hattie Sanderson, Linda Kaye-Moses, Hadar Jacobson, Liz Hall, Holly Gage, Louise Duhamel, Tina Carvalho, Gwen Bernecker, and Angela Badule-Crispin.

Visit Gordon’s website to learn more about the artist. Thank you for being a part of the Lark Jewelry & Beading community, and please connect with Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook.

Bronze, Silver & Pearl Pendant from Metal Clay Fusion


Bronze & Copper Flora Bracelet from Metal Clay Fusion


Bronze Asian Bell from Metal Clay Fusion



Bronze Clay Mask Pendant from Metal Clay Fusion



Tri-Metal Hollow Bead from Metal Clay Fusion


Tri-Metal Pendant from Metal Clay Fusion


Poison Pill Ring from Metal Clay Fusion


Honu King Incense Burner from Metal Clay Fusion


Congratulations to Peggy Goldblatt of Mercer Island, Washington, the randomly selected winner of an advance copy of the book from the original version of this blog post. Our thanks to everyone who participated.


Roundup: Best Snow Sculpture Videos

January 18, 2012, 13:46 pm  Posted by needlearts

Need a cure for post-holiday mid-January doldrums? Well, for master snow carvers, the chilliest months are ephemeral art playtime. Grab some winter wows from these seven stunning snow sculpture videos with some of the world’s best snow artists!


Projections in Snow on Mount Buller in Victoria, Austrlia1. Projections in Snow

Where: Mount Buller in Australia

Large scale snow sculpture illuminated with animation by 3D projection software from ENESS (September 2008)

Video from ENESS


Vermont State Snow Sculpting Competition 2011 in Burlington, Vermont2. VT State Snow Sculpting Competition 2011

Where: Burlington, Vermont

Video from Stuck in Vermont and Seven Days



Art in Ice Festival in Livigno, Italy in the Italian Alps3. 14th Annual Art in Ice Festival

Where: Livigno, Italy in the Italian Alps

Video from DW-TV



‪International Snow Sculpture Championships‬ 2011 in ‪Breckenridge, Colorado‬4. International Snow Sculpture Championships‬ 2011

Where: ‪Breckenridge, Colorado‬

Video from the Breckenridge Resort Chamber



Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Harbin, China5. Sun Island Int’l Snow Sculpture Art Expo

Where: Harbin, China

Video from ICPC 2010



‪International Snow Sculpture Championships‬ 2010 in ‪Breckenridge, Colorado‬6. International Snow Sculpture Championships‬ 2010

Where: ‪Breckenridge, Colorado‬

Video from Trip Television



Snow Carving Workshop with David Andrews, competetive snow sculptor7. Snow Carving Workshop: David Andrews

Do you have access to plenty of snow? Want to try your own hand at some serious snow sculpture? This video workshop is packed with good tips from a veteran competitive snow carver.

Video from Winterfest Madison


Free Project Friday: Piecing Scrappy Curves

January 13, 2012, 15:03 pm  Posted by Lark

Does the start of a new year have you inspired to try a new technique? The time has come, friends, for you to give pieced curves a try. I know, they can be a bit intimidating, but Jess Berrett‘s Arches Quilt – from Pretty in Patchwork: Doll Quilts – offers a neat technique (and a clear explanation) for creating pieced curves in your quilts. Even better, the technique is perfect for freeform, improv style piecing….and think about all the fun ways you can use this technique in other projects!

Download the project here: Arches Doll Quilt

And be sure to pay Jess’s blog a visit – her work is seriously inspiring!

Check back with us next: we’ll be sharing another fun technique and quilt from the book!


The Color of Winter: White

January 13, 2012, 12:05 pm  Posted by Lark

Winter can be both a time of darkness and a time of dazzling light. Those long, cold evenings can stretch into cozy hours indoors, while the bracing, fresh daylight reflecting on new fallen snow blankets everything in brightness. The bold colors of winter are often showcased in white, and the following Etsy artists feature this color–the presence of all colors–in their work.


Whether they put you in the mood for a crisp, white wintery day, or they echo the softly falling snow you already see out your window, here are some beautiful photos, creations, and visions celebrating the newness of the year and the color of the season.

Snowflake Paper Garland :: from ArtsDelight


12 White Ceramic Modern Bottle Vases by Sara Paloma :: from sarapaloma


Winter Woods :: from AYearInTheWoods


White Flower Print Pillow :: from ClassicByNature


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Soup + Bowls on Pinterest

January 12, 2012, 16:18 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Every month it seems like more and more craft- and food-focused people join up and post boards on Pinterest that lead us down all sorts of rabbit holes. If you haven’t visited the main Pinterest site, you should click on over. It’s still invite only, but you can browse without being a member. (And if you request an invite to join, it should arrive in a few days.)

If you do decide to join, there’s all sorts of ways to use the Pinterest boards. Some websites and blogs, like ours, now have “Pin It” buttons built right in (look to the left hand side of the page once you click on a post). You can also use Pinterest’s own linking software to grab images from posts you want to pin to your boards.

Lark will soon have a Pinterest account of its own, but until then I’m going to share a little bit of what I’m exploring now and then. This week, I started out looking for new soup recipes–but like the potter I am, I ended up just as captivated by the ceramic soup bowls. Now my board has about as many inspiring pots as inspiring recipes. See what it’s all about by clicking the preview of my board below, and let us know if (and what) you’re pinning!



Top 50 Winter Soups to Warm Your Soul: Vote!

January 11, 2012, 12:42 pm  Posted by needlearts
Sandy Coughlin's Carrot Orange Soup from Where Women Cook: Celebrate!

Sandy Coughlin's Carrot Orange Soup from Where Women Cook: Celebrate!

It’s mid-January, and for most of us who live in the northern hemisphere, that means cold! What better way to warm up and escape the chill than a steamy bowl of savory soup? For the coziest of soup experiences, we recommend sipping from the comfort of a toasty bed, couch, or reading chair.

Are you a frosty-weather fan of hot broths? Which bisques really restore your spirit when the air is shivery? We’ve put together a list of 50 top winter soups. Now you vote for your favorites!

[poll id="22"]


It’s beginning to look a lot like … January.

Which is good, because that means less time before a new book from Diane Fitzgerald releases this spring: Diane Fitzgerald’s Favorite Beading Projects: Designs from Stringing to Beadweaving is a March 2012 book eagerly anticipated by beaders everywhere. The book includes two dozen of Diane’s very favorite — and previously unpublished — designs. Her selections reflect the breadth of her career and so include many projects for both new and advanced beaders.

Midnight Snowflakes Necklace from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects

January also means beautiful nighttime snowfalls, right? But it’s been unseasonably warm in many places this winter. (And thank goodness for that, by the way.) But never fear: Diane Fitzgerald comes to the rescue, as always, sending a little snowy magic from her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the form of a special preview from Diane Fitzgerald’s Favorite Beading Projects. Click here for a PDF of Midnight Snowflakes, a beautiful necklace project design from the book.

And, while we’re at it, here is a sampling of a half-dozen photos of designs from the book, just to whet your appetite. Enjoy the project and pics while you stay warm by the fire.

Majesty Necklace from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects

Diamond Chain Bracelet from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects


Merry Cherries Necklace from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects


Pussy Willow Necklace from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects


Yao Necklace from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects


Hard Candy Bracelet from Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects