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Heart Felt Holidays Giveaway

March 15, 2012, 10:21 am  Posted by needlearts
 

It’s the middle of March and you know what that means–it’s the holiday season! Well, maybe not THE holiday season. But it is certainly full of fun and festive occasions.

Amanda noticed it while putting together Heart Felt Holidays: There’s just so much excitement from March to May as things warm up. To help you celebrate, we’re giving away a copy of Heart Felt Holidays along with its sister book Fa La La La Felt and a bundle of felt!

Here’s a brief look at some of the things you could make. If you’re excited about St. Patrick’s Day, there’s the Leprechaun Finger Puppet you saw last week. Of course there’s also Easter, so you may want to make the Bunny Bunting, some Easter Egg Tree Ornaments, or even the Bunny Pal you see on the cover. And specific holidays aside, you may want to celebrate the joy of April showers and May flowers–perhaps something like the Mushroom Love Brooch, the April Showers wall hangings, or the May Flowers Garland is up your alley!

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When a book is printed, we receive just a few copies from the very beginning of the printer’s run to ensure everything is rendering correctly.

Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies: 30 Romantic Jewelry Projects is being printed in Hong Kong. So, those first few books jetted from Hong Kong to Asheville, North Carolina, where Lark HQ is located. Then, I took two of the books and sent them via UPS to Bonn, Germany, where Sabine Lippert lives and beads (perhaps these words are synonyms for you?), so Sabine could sign them. She generously did so and then mailed them via post back to me here in the mountains of western North Carolina.

So, I’m now giving away a signed copy of a very well-traveled book, which is appropriate, because in it Sabine Lippert takes you on an extraordinary beading and design journey. The book showcases 30 beautiful and wearable jewelry designs. Sabine combines seed beads, crystals, and glass pearls to create her signature gorgeous, innovative beading projects. Every piece uses the most popular stitches in beading: right angle weave and peyote. Most of the bracelets, necklaces, earrings, pendants, and chokers here are new, but Sabine has included a few of her favorite classics. An inspirational photo gallery of beadwork from leading designers, including Sabine, rounds out the book.

Sabine Lippert

How can you enter for a chance to win the signed book? Easy: Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 15. Any comment counts, but why not tell us your favorite bead color and what you like best about it. The book releases officially in May: ask your local bead store or bookstore to carry it for you, or order an advance copy online. If you win the signed copy, you’ll simply have an extra copy of a wonderful book to gift to a friend!

To get a taste, download a project PDF from the book of the Les Fleurs Necklace, and read my earlier interview with the charismatic Sabine.

One winner will be selected at random and announced on Monday, March 19. Click here for the official rules. Thank you for being a part of the Lark Jewelry & Beading community, and please connect with Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook.

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Congratulations to Susan Marie Huguenard of Orlando, Florida, winner of this giveaway. We hope you enjoy the book, Susan, and our thanks to everyone who participated — we also hope YOU enjoy this fantastic book from Sabine.

 
 
 
 
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Contemporary Cuckoo Clocks

March 11, 2012, 10:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

Daylight Savings: It’s that time of year again when we set our clocks forward an hour, and we awake to find our mornings filled with birdsong and our days just a little bit longer. All of this talk about time sent me off into a nostalgic whirlwind, remembering the quirky cuckoo clock my parents had when I was growing up. I remember my fantasies of this folk classic being constructed in some mountaintop workshop. Originating in the Black Forest region of Germany in the 17th century the original hand carved cuckoo clocks were truly works of art. Embellished most often with a little bird that was animated by various weights and pendulums, they were true marvels adding charm to the hours of our days. The tradition spread throughout the world and is still beloved by many.

Affection for the cuckoo clock is evidenced in the wonderful works I found on Etsy. From screenprints to actual working clocks, there are clever pieces that give a modern makeover to this classic time-keeping icon. Check out full size images of the work after the jump.

TOP ROW: (L) Dolan Geiman (R) SIBLING

BOTTOM ROW: (L) DECOYLAB (R) iluxo

TO VIEW EACH OF THESE PIECES AT A LARGER SIZE, KEEP READING.

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A Look at Paper Quilling

March 09, 2012, 16:14 pm  Posted by Lark
 

March - National Craft MonthMarch is an exciting month: it’s one step closer to spring, it brings longer days with Daylight Savings, and it begins an active season of new books reaching publication. One of these books we’re so very excited to see on shelves is Quilled Flowers: A Garden of 35 Paper Projects by Alli Bartkowski. In posts to come, I look forward to giving you a peek into the book, lovely insights into the life of the book’s author, Alli Bartkowski, and some fun paper quilling giveaways (woohoo!).

 

But wait, what is a quilled flower? What is paper quilling, for that matter? Paper quilling is the art of rolling, scrolling, and coiling thin strips of paper into shapes and designs. It has been around for hundreds of years, originating as filigree for religious artifacts and gradually becoming a mode of home decor. Individual quilled paper shapes can be joined together to form multifaceted, larger creations: single quilled teardrop shapes can be joined to create the petals of a blooming flower; small quilled circles molded together create drops of dew or a cluster of grapes.

 

I thought it might be nice to take a look a paper quilling and share some examples of beautiful, innovative quilled projects created by the artists featured below. A big thanks goes to these artists for taking paper quilling to lovely, diverse lengths!

 

Happy almost spring to you, friends.

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The House of Life - Natasha MolotkovaThe House of Life :: by Natasha Molotkova

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Paper Quilling Marriage Certificate - Ann MartinQuilled Marriage Certificate :: by Ann Martin of all things paper

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Quilled Purple Flowers - Christa CunninghamEaster Purple Flower Ornaments :: by Christa Cunningham

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Paper Quilling Red Earrings - YangMay ChoongRed Teardrop Paper quilled Earrings :: by YangMay Choong

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Paper Quilling Poppy - Inna DormanPaper Quilling Art: Poppy Flowers :: by Inna Dorman

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One + One Interview: Laurie Kimmelstiel

March 09, 2012, 09:38 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

We’re celebrating this month’s release of One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs, the first book of a new series that focuses on two-skein projects. Talking with us today is design contributor Laurie Kimmelstiel.

Ruffled Collar Capelet


Tell us about the Ruffled Collar Capelet.  

It is a romantic and very feminine piece. I envisioned it as the perfect cover-up for any dressy outfit to add a bit of whimsy and romance to a simple sleeveless dress. Perfect too, as an addition to a wedding outfit (it would be stunning knit in white to wear over a sleeveless wedding dress for the ceremony) or to add some charm to bridesmaid outfit. It has a Peter Pan beaded collar that ruffles slightly to mimic the similar, slightly wavy, ruffled body of the capelet.

How did you choose your yarn combination?

Actually, [author Iris Schreier] made the final decision on the yarn, but I knew it had to have some silk and sparkle.

How did you adapt your creative process to the two-skein limit?

This was not really a problem. The yardage for Artyarns’ Ensemble is quite generous and I had plenty for my design.

Did you enjoy working with a limit? 

I love working with a limit. I can more easily calculate what I’ll use – because I am limited but also because there is always “an end in sight!”

What is your approach to design? How would you define your design style?

I look for designs everywhere and often see garments worn on others or in magazines or newspapers that inspire me. I get some sort of idea in my head and then I often play with several yarns and stitches before deciding which ones work best. I like more “feminine” designs that have beautiful drape on the body and I also love designs that are somewhat dramatic, so that they make a statement and draw positive attention to the wearer. I keep my knitting journal handy so that I can write down what I am doing – much easier to erase than to try to remember the pattern design after I’ve completed most of the project.

Learn more about Laurie and her work at whiteridgecrafts.com, Laurie’s blog, and on facebook.

 
 
 
 
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Fantastic Creature Jewelry

March 08, 2012, 10:08 am  Posted by Lark
 

Here is a collection of jewelry centered around wonderful, whimsical creatures. Playful and imaginative, the artists have created characters based on both human and animal forms. Check out their etsy sites for more family members.

Click here to see this jewelry mosaic at its vivid full size.

mosaic of fatastic creature jewelry1. denisescicluna 2. Hannakin 3. DoubleFoxStudio

4. bunnywithatoolbelt  5. baubukas 6. woodland deep

7. mizlisasdesigns 8. FeltCreations 9. baubukas

10. murmurfremo 11. marmar 12.  MikeandMary

 
 
 
 
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Feeling Lucky Leprechaun Finger Puppet…and giveaway!

March 08, 2012, 10:01 am  Posted by Lark
 

By the time St. Patrick’s Day rolls around each year (especially after a rough winter), I am ready to bring on the green! Bring on the tulips, the first buds on the trees, the songbirds…. and this little leprechaun finger puppet, made by Cathy Gaubert and featured in Heart-Felt Holidays.

Download the project instructions here: Leprechaun Finger Puppet

Even better, enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Heart-Felt Holidays and a prize pack of felt – perfect for leprechaun crafting! – from our good friends at Felt on the Fly (thanks so much, Janet!).

To enter, please leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Monday, March 12. Any comment is fine, though we’d love to hear why you like working with felt or about a favorite felt creation you’ve made. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Tuesday, March 13. Click here for the official rules.

This giveaway is now closed! Thanks to everyone who left a comment…. the winner will be announced shortly!

 
 
 
 
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Talking One + One with Andrea Jurgrau

March 07, 2012, 12:57 pm  Posted by guestblogger
 

We’re celebrating this month’s release of One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs, the first book of a new series that focuses on two-skein projects. Talking with us today is design contributor Andrea Jurgrau.

Elegant Cashmere Triangle

 

What is your approach to design? How would you define your design style?

I would say I am usually a “concept” designer. I begin with a concept, which could be a place, a mood, a mythical figure, a story, something in nature, that has inspired me. It could be something as simple as the play of light through the trees. In fact, my Elegant Cashmere Triangle was inspired by light filtering through trees, deep in the woods where I was hiking. The colors reflect the moss, bark, shadows, with just the tiny glimpses of light reflecting from the beads. My process is very organic and grows as I work through a new piece, from the initial concept, to the swatch and yarn selection, to the finished sample, and I allow myself the freedom to let the project lead me rather than the other way.

How did you choose your yarn combination?

I was totally drawn to this lace weight cashmere. It is a single ply, which is very unusual for cashmere, and surprisingly strong and smooth. The yarn is so elegant I decided to keep the design clean and simple and let the yarn say it all. I selected earthy greens with only modest contrast and used the two colors together to get the appearance of more than two shades.

Tell us about your shawl, the Elegant Cashmere Triangle. 

This piece was designed for the yarn I selected. It is very understated, but has some lovely details. There are tiny metallic beads in the eyelets, which you might miss on first glance. The stitch gauge is quite fine and so the fabric has lovely drape. The colors shade from one to the other gently. It is not “in your face” and really waits for the knitter to take a closer look…

How did you adapt your creative process to the two-skein limit?

It was a little challenge, having rules placed on my design process. It is not how I usually work (which is much more about design first, selecting the right yarn second.) I had a good time trying to really showcase the yarn.

Did you enjoy working with a limit? 

Yes, and actually the yarn I selected has quite a lot of yardage, so I didn’t feel limited by that at all.

Learn more about Andrea at her blog, Ravelry page, and Ravelry pattern shop.

 
 
 
 
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A Salute to St. Paddy’s Day Crafts

March 06, 2012, 08:30 am  Posted by Lark
 

 Invite the luck of the Irish into your life with these fun Etsy finds.

1. Wordy Bird Studios  2. Gfetti  3. Fox Valley Dog Collars  4. Thoughts to Print   5. The Crown Shop   6. Happylicious

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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March is National Craft Month!

March 02, 2012, 18:21 pm  Posted by needlearts
 

March - National Craft MonthDid you know that March is National Craft Month? The Craft & Hobby Association began this great tradition in 1994 to promote the joys of crafting for new and experienced crafters alike.  What started with just a few retailers and manufacturers has expanded into a full celebration of the crafting lifestyle with millions of enthusiasts worldwide observing a month of crafty sharing and exploration.

Have you been curious about a new craft? Get involved this month by trying out a project you’ve had on your mind or passing on your knowledge to a curious newcomer. With spring right around the corner, inspiration is in the air. Setting some crafting goals might be just the thing for your creative rejuvenation. If you’re looking for a place to get started, Colour Lovers has put together an exciting collection of Spring Must Makes to kick off National Craft Month.

What type of craft projects always keep you coming back for more? Are you a specialist in one craft or a dabbler in many? How has your crafting enriched your life? Tell us in the comments!