Giveaway: Creative Quilting with Beads

February 17, 2012, 16:24 pm  Posted by needlearts

You may have seen the post before Valentine’s Day on Quilting a Love Letter. But Deborah Boschert’s beaded X’s and O’s are just one of the beautiful projects inside Creative Quilting with Beads.

From the still-life style pomegranate on the cover to abstract shapes, using beads can add a dimensional quality to quilts that few other techniques can match.

Don’t believe us? Check it out yourself! This week we’re giving away a copy of Creative Quilting with Beads.

“To enter for a chance to win the book, please leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Friday, February 24. Any comment is fine—though we’d love to hear what motif you think would look great with beads. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Monday, February 27. Click here for the official rules.”



Just lovely…the Just Ducky home show at Lark!

February 17, 2012, 15:30 pm  Posted by Lark

On Wednesday, February 8th, the loveliness that is the Just Ducky spring 12 line descended on Lark’s front conference room. Row after row of outfit after too-cute outfit filled our front room to the gills with sweetness. Pretty little dresses in darling patterns and with ruffles galore, cute rompers for boys in plaids and stripes: a veritable danger zone of cuteness!

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SPICE: Photo by Keri Beth Livingston

SPICE: Photo by Keri Beth Livingston

For all you devoted home cooks out there, do you know how you can’t seem to keep enough of some spices on your shelf? Maybe you consider buying out the store’s stock of chili powder when grocery shopping. Perhaps you’re that chronic dinner party host who feels like it’s not really a meal unless there’s at least a smidge of cumin in there somewhere. The lesser used spices band together in the back of your cupboard like forgotten toys in the attic. You might notice a tiny twinge of shame when you catch a glimpse of that dusty, untouched jar of bay leaves sulking behind the peppercorns. Don’t worry, little bay leaves. Inspiration will strike soon, right?

TIP: If your jar of whole cloves has been sitting full and lonely on your fancy spice rack month after month, try tossing some in a little pot of water on your stove with a few cinnamon sticks. Let that simmer for a while, and your house will smell divine in no time. The kitchen is a lovely place for aroma therapy!

We’ve put together a list of popular herbs and spices for you. Now you vote for the ones you know you run out of fast!

[poll id="23"]


Online Image Use and Communication

February 15, 2012, 11:45 am  Posted by Lark

We recently experienced a communication hurdle with an artist regarding one of our blog posts, and since we’re a craft publisher with great admiration for and support of the creative community, we’d like to share the facts of that experience here.

We value the relationships we share with authors, artists, designers, and readers, and in an age when it’s so easy to tweet / post / pin / email / text, information and opinions are abundant.

Our website is designed to be a celebration of the creative community: we engage in conversations about innovative ideas, new techniques, traditional crafts, trend-spotting, food, authors, designers, the craft industry, and the art of all things handmade. We often shine a light on subjects that catch our attention, and we often write posts highlighting the creative work of others.

We make it our practice to credit the work of others, and like many of you who also manage blogs, we let people know when we’ve mentioned their work on Larkcrafts.com.

In the fall of 2010 we wrote a post highlighting the creative work of a collection of artists. We credited the artist of each photo in our post, linked to each artist’s website, contacted each artist about the inclusion of their work in the post, and indicated in our outreach that if any of the featured artists did not want an image of their work used in the post, they should simply let us know and we’d remove it immediately.

It has been 16 months since that post was published, and one of the artists included in the post recently let us know we’d cropped her watermark out of her image.

We in no way meant to infringe on the artist’s creative license: we publish books that celebrate creativity, and not only are we a publishing company, we’re also a group of individuals who create our own independent artwork. We understand the value of ensuring that photos of one’s work are directly associated with one’s identity.

We unfortunately first learned of the artist’s displeasure through a series of posts to Facebook and Twitter, not through a direct email from the artist.

We encourage anyone with questions about our books, our content, and our blog to contact us directly through any of the email addresses we post publicly on the Contact Us section of our blog. We do our very best to address questions and emails personally and quickly. We also work swiftly to fix any mistakes we’ve made. In this particular case, we removed the post at the artist’s request within 18 hours of learning of her complaint.

Maybe you have experienced something similar: perhaps you have found images of your work online without the credit you expect. Perhaps your reputation has been publicly assailed without due cause. In either case, as members of the creative community, we support direct communication at every turn in the road.




Introducing the Ceramic Studio Series

February 13, 2012, 09:08 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

If you’re a potter, you either have your own studio or are a member of a communal studio. (Or maybe both!) But no matter where you make things with clay, there are times when there’s no instructor or experienced potter around to help. Or when someone who really knows their stuff is around, but needs to show you how to attach a spout to a teapot without actually making a teapot on the spot.

For those types of situations, Lark created the Ceramics for Beginners series. When we revisited that series with the aim of making them more affordable, we decided to change the series name as well.

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What’s Your Fave Bead Store?

February 10, 2012, 15:43 pm  Posted by Lark

Yesterday, a colleague asked me where to buy some specific beads. I’m so used to going to the bead store 2 blocks away that I couldn’t really suggest the best place for her to look.

That made me wonder where you shop. What’s your favorite bead shop ever, the one you could spend hours in and blow your entire bank account on?

 Share your opinion by leaving a comment. The store can be online (give us the website address) or anyplace in the world (tell us the name, city and country; website if you wish). In a month, I’ll collate and count all the responses and post a list of everyone’s votes in order of preference. That’s bead democracy!



Free Project: Crocheted Roses

February 10, 2012, 10:37 am  Posted by Lark

We’ve shared all kinds of Valentines craft ideas – a quilted love letter, a stitched Xs and Os tic tac toe board, and even some super cute un-Valentines voodoo doll pincushions. Next up: a pretty little bouquet of crocheted roses from Suzann Thompson’s Crochet Garden, due out this May. Perfect for embellishing a bag, a hat, or a pair of gloves, these roses won’t wilt!

Download the instructions here: Van Wyk Rose

Happy stitching!


Few things say “I’m sweet on you” quite like chocolate. This season has droves of us seeking out delectable little morsels to serve as tokens of our affection and appreciation. Something about the endorphin-releasing, swoon-inducing, eye-rolling indulgence of chocolate meshes well with the similar passions associated with love. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with great flair this year by showing your confectionery powers. This incredibly simple (but absolutely divine!) Mixed-Nut Dark Chocolate recipe will surely have you bestowed with hugs and kisses this or any time of the year. Taken from the beautiful book Sweet Confections, it aims to please. Let the wooing begin.

Just click here for the FREE recipe:  Mixed Nut Mixed-Nut Dark Chocolate Truffles


Free Project: An Un-Valentine Pincushion

February 08, 2012, 11:33 am  Posted by Lark

Sometimes Valentine’s Day is less about love, hearts, sentimental cards, and out-of-season rose bouquets, and more about angst. Real, live, snarky angst. Love, true love, (as mentioned in The Princess Bride) isn’t always a “dweam within a dweam.” Sometimes it’s sort of a Fire Swamp kind of thing (to reference The Princess Bride again).

Or, as good ole Will Shakespeare put it in a classier tone:

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Sometimes Valentine’s Day makes a person want to stick pins in things, which is why today’s free pincushion project from 100 Pretty Little Projects is just the ticket to letting your snarky flag fly.

Help yourself to a downloadable PDF of these Feeling Needled pincushions, complete with templates and a green light to pin to your heart’s content.

Happy Un-Valentine’s Day!



Sweet Finds: Valentine Desserts

February 07, 2012, 11:02 am  Posted by Lark

A year ago I wrote a post called Valentine Sweets: Desserts to Love, and since then I’ve been happily writing about desserts and the talented people who make them in ‘Sweet Finds’ posts. It’s been a delicious process every step of the way: Popsicles? Yes please. S’mores? Sign me up. Harvest treats? Autumn can’t get here fast enough. Bird-themed tastiness? Why, hello there!

With a nod to the past year and a big high-five to the sweet season surrounding Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share another collection of gorgeous, mouth-watering Valentine desserts. Thanks to the gifted bloggers who share their work (and the recipes we love) with us—Happy Valentine’s Day, sweet friends!

 Pecan Linzer Heart Cookies with Black Cherry Filling :: from CosmoCookie


“Heart-y” Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts with Coconut Glaze :: from Peanut Butter & Julie


 Brownie Pizza :: from i am baker


 Valentine Cupcakes and Crafts :: from butterflyfood


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