Stash Happy Applique: apron giveaway!

April 27, 2012, 13:27 pm  Posted by Lark

Mother’s Day is just around the corner on May 13. My mom loves flamingos so I’m usually in the throws of making something flamingo-themed – that’s a lot of pink and lime green, my friends! And almost being a new mom myself really has me in the spirit this year.

Author Cynthia Shaffer thought this mom-and daughter-apron set from Stash Happy: Appliqué would be the perfect gift to celebrate, whether you want the set to give to your best friend, your sister, or whether you’re the mom yourself!

To enter for a chance to win the aprons, please leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Friday, May 4. Any comment is fine—though we’d love to hear what plans you have for Mother’s Day! One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Monday, May 7. This contest is now closed – the winner will be contacted shortly! Thanks to everyone who shared their Mother’s Day plans and apron memories!

Click here for the official rules.

Like what you see? Check out some of other posts (and free projects) on Stash Happy Appliqué:

Take a peek inside the book here!

Free appliqued lampshade project available here!

Super cute mason jar cozy project available here!

And of course check out the book!




Gwen Diehn’s Butter Box Journal Giveaway

April 24, 2012, 08:38 am  Posted by Lark


This month Gwen Diehn’s latest book, The Complete Decorated Journal: A Compendium of Journaling Techniques, is available online and in bookstores. The Complete Decorated Journal  is a 240-page compilation of Gwen’s two most popular books, The Decorated Journal and The Decorated Page. For those of you that already own one of those two books, this is an opportunity to get the other one plus new material, all in one comprehensive volume—priced at the cost of one book ($14.78 on Amazon!). The bonus material includes additional techniques such as working with casein, 13 artist profiles along with galleries of their work, and project instructions for creating a unique journal from a butter box (or a cereal box, a Little Debbie’s box, or any similar type box of your choosing).





We’re giving away this one one made by Gwen PLUS a copy of The Complete Decorated Journal (see entry details below*)!

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Our two brand new releases in the Beadweaving Master Class series are Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue and Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies. We’re posting two more projects from these books so you can get a good taste and feel for them; use the links below to download the PDFs:

Sonoko Wave necklace from Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue

From Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue, click here to download a PDF of the Sonoko Wave project

Purple Rope Necklace project from Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies

From Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies, click here to download a PDF of the Purple Rope Necklace

You also can click through to earlier blog posts to download even more content from these books. Click here to get the Les Fleurs Necklace project from Sabine’s book as a PDF. See this post to download the Crystal Rose Necklace project from Sonoko’s book and to see photos of other projects from the book.

Please join us on Pinterest at Pinterest.com/LarkJewelry and on Facebook at Facebook.com/LarkJewelryBeading.

And, while you’re here on the blog, let me share with you a great array of blog posts that included project PDFs for you to download and preview the books. (Remember, you can always find these and many other free Lark Jewelry & Beading projects, as well as other craft projects, at http://www.larkcrafts.com/bonus/. Bookmark it!)

From Heat, Color, Set & Fire by Mary Hettmansperger:
Etched Copper Neckpiece
Liquid Enamel Necklace

From Diane Fitzgerald’s Favorite Beading Projects:
Fortune Teller Beads Necklace
Midnight Snowflakes Necklace

From Making Wire & Bead Jewelry by Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley:
Cascading Spirals Bracelet
Wire Pod Pendant

From Rachel Nelson Smith’s Bead Riffs:
Rondo Neckpiece
Billie’s Bounce Necklace

From Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving:
Herringbone Cluster Earrings (plus an interview with Laura!)
A Well-Kept Secret Necklace
Star Flower Earrings

From Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance:
Artemisia Earrings
Laksmi Pendant
Fiore Earrings

From Tapestry Bead Crochet by Ann Benson:
Treasure Box
Golden Paisley Bag

From Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery:
Arizona Sunset Earrings
Rock Star Cuff

We hope you enjoy all these great projects!


Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley, the authors of Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

I’ve done a lot of interviews over the past two years on this blog, and I figure y’all are getting a little tired of my questions. (Okay, I’ve been in Asheville, North Carolina, for six years now, but “y’all” still doesn’t sound right from me even when I type it.)

So, when I was ready to interview Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley—owners of the business Wired Arts, fabulous teachers, renowned jewelry designers, and the authors of the new book Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques—I came up with what I think proved to be a better idea: Ask Janice and Tracy to interview one another instead.

They were remarkably good sports about what a skeptic might have perceived as my avoiding work on the weekend.

Enjoy the interview, and click here to go to an earlier blog post with two project PDFs from the book (one from Tracy and one from Janice, naturally) and a collection of preview photos of projects in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry.

I encourage you to buy the book at your local bookstore or bead store, and of course it’s also available via Amazon and BN.com.

Okay, first question: Tracy, what was your favorite part of writing Making Wire & Bead Jewelry?

My favorite part of writing the book was knowing that I could put out what I consider to be good, solid techniques in an easily followed format.

I also wanted to reach more students than I ever could in the past, and now those people who do take classes with me finally have a book to go home with that they can use as a reference in their wireworking ventures.

Question: What do you hope people will take away from this book, Janice?

Thanks for asking, Tracy! To me the most important thing is technique. Because the book has so many step-by-step images, the processes are easy to follow visually, making this the go-to guide for wire-bending techniques.

Wire-Wrapped Bangle, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

After technique, the rest is just plain wire-bending fun!

Rock and Roll by the Sea necklace, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

Which of your projects is your favorite, Tracy, and why?

My favorite project to make is the Rock and Roll by the Sea necklace. It has a little bit of everything in it, from my favorite—a double loop wrap—to coiled eye links. It’s hard to get bored making this one because there are so many fun components, and every necklace you make looks so different depending on how you combine the components, beads, and charms!

My favorite piece to wear is the Wire-Wrapped Bangle. I wear mine every day. The specific one I wear every day is made up of all metal beads. This bracelet is so comfortable and it goes well combined with other bracelets.

How about you, Janice: What is your favorite project you created for the book?

It’s hard for me to choose. My two favorite techniques are making spirals and basket weave. For that reason, I would choose my Beach Pebble Bracelet and Wire Pod.

Beach Pebble Bracelet, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

As far as everyday wear, I choose my Beach Pebble Bracelet. It has simple techniques that I would use every day, especially the spiral. The spiral, one of the common forms found in nature, is one of my favorite techniques.

While we were writing the book, I made a Beach Pebble Bracelet, and it has only left my wrist once since then. That was at the Denver airport. I took it off for the TSA and promptly forgot it!

Some jewelry is just meant to be yours, though. The Denver airport was on its game and got it back to me in no time, so it’s safe and sound on my wrist again.

Wire Pod pendant, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

And basket weave—I have always been a fan of pods. With the Wire Pod project, you learn the basket weave technique, which is a soothing and tranquil process. All the while you’re creating a pod form, and then you get to stuff it with your favorite beads. It doesn’t get any better than that! [Editor’s note: The Wire Pod pendant is one of the projects posted as a PDF to download in this earlier post.)

So, tell me a little bit about how you began wire bending?

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UPDATE: Congratulations to Traci Staves of Whitefish, Montana, the randomly selected winner of this giveaway. Our thanks to everyone who participated! ~ Ray


I just sat down to write this blog post, a giveaway of a big set of a dozen bead books to celebrate the release of Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies, and happened to notice Lark Jewelry & Beading’s two Beadweaving Master Class books released this spring, Sabine’s book and Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue, are the No. 1 and 2 books at this hour in the Jewelry category on Amazon. (See image below and, hey, look at what’s No. 3!) So, thank you for your support of the books — I hope you love them — and we’ve really got something to celebrate here!

Here’s how I like to celebrate: I’m giving away a complete set of the Beadweaving Master Class books, plus a few other bead books for good measure. Some of the books are signed by their authors, too.

Here’s the list. The Beadweaving Master Class books included are:
Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies
Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue
Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery
Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs (signed by Rachel)
Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance (signed by Maggie)
Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving (signed by Laura)
Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence (signed by Marcia)
Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork (signed by Diane)

PLUS we’re giving away a few more great beading titles:
Making Wire & Bead Jewelry by Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley
Diane Fitzgerald’s Favorite Beading Projects (signed by Diane)
Dimensional Bead Embroidery (signed by Jamie Cloud Eakin)
And not exactly the same kind of thing but too much fun to leave out:
Creating Glass Beads (signed by Jeri Warhaftig)

So, two things: First, yes, you might have bought some of the books already. No worries: Enter anyway for fabulous gift-giving opportunities or to donate those books to your local bead society or library.

Second, people tell me sometimes they get frustrated: they enter a giveaway, forget to check who the winner is so the giveaway never really “closes” for them, and then later realize they’d forgotten to buy a book they really wanted. Easy solution: Click through and wishlist the books you’re interested in right now. If you don’t happen to win, you’re giving yourself a reminder. And if you do win, you’re already set!

How can you enter for a chance to win the set of 12 books? Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 25. Any comment works, but if you’d tell us who your very favorite bead artists and designers are, that’ll be an awfully fun and interesting set of comments for everyone to read through.

One winner will be selected at random and announced on the Lark Jewelry & Beading Facebook page on Monday, April 30, so please click through and “Like” the page. Also, you can click here for the official rules.

Thank you for being a part of the Lark Jewelry & Beading community, and please be sure to check out and follow our new and fast-growing Pinterest boards at Pinterest.com/LarkJewelry.













Making Mini Books: Book & Project GIVEAWAY!

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

We are so delighted with the publication of our most recent bookbinding title Making Mini Books that we’re offering up a rather spectacular giveaway to celebrate.

Erica Ekrem of Odelae Graphic Design & Book Arts Studio generously provided her actual Butterfly Wings project from the book, and we’re offering it–and a copy of Making Mini Books–here to one very lucky winner. Talk about a miniature work of art! This artfully crafted miniature book measures just 2.25 x 3.5 inches, but it delivers large scale artistry. Stitches along the spine of the book complete a beautiful butterfly design when the book is opened up.

How can you enter for a chance to win a copy of Making Mini Books and this extraordinary project from the book? Just leave a comment to this post by 9:00 pm EST on Thursday, April 26. One winner will be selected at random and announced here on Monday, April 30. Click here for the official rules.

Erica’s handmade books are constructed the old world way using hand tools– an awl, needle & thread, ruler, bone folder and steel blade. Materials, as well as her tools and binding methods, are chosen with careful consideration for the environment. Her vintage journals are born from faded, timeworn materials, many of which are discovered at the bottom of old chests and bookstore salvage boxes–she reclaims what is remaining and revives it. More of Erica’s beautiful work can be found at Odelae.com and in her Etsy shop.


Making Mini Books: Free Project

April 17, 2012, 10:18 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Many of my friends and coworkers are excited about the warm weather settling in early this spring. It means they can get out in the garden and get a jump on planting their future harvests. I hear talk of tomatoes, pro-tips for peppers, and all sorts of other gardening chatter. But the fact remains: Some of us aren’t so lucky.

If you, like me, don’t have a gardening space, do not despair! You can still celebrate gardening season with today’s free project from Making Mini Books. With some empty seed packets and homemade wheat paste (recipe included), you can make a modern or vintage-inspired book for yourself or your favorite gardener.

It’s just one of 34 creative miniature book projects in Making Mini Books. The others are winners too: from matchbooks and pocket-sized leather journals to colorful accordion fold zines and block printed notepads. Many of them, like the project below, also utilize found objects (maps, airmail envelopes, vintage fabric, vinyl records). An invaluable illustrated Stitch Library provides the essential steps for key bindings used throughout the book, including pamphlet stitch, Japanese stab binding, long stitch, kettle stitch, and different forms of Coptic stitch.

So go ahead, download the project below and celebrate spring with a mini book!

Download the Perfect Seeds book PDF.


Freckles by Susan Brubaker Knapp, Photo by artist

We’re continuing our celebration of Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World with another sneak peek inside the book. And we’ve found a little inspiration outside our doorstep: spring is in full swing here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. And with it, zillions of brightly colored flowers! Also one of the brightest sections in the book, the flower gallery sections are full of lush color, vibrant tones, and all manner of expertly quilted details. And we’re sharing it with you – download a free section of the book below…and enjoy!

Download the flower galleries here: Flowers I and II


Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques is the brand new release from Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley, two wonderfully popular artists and workshop teachers. They’ve put together a fabulous teaching book that’s jam-packed with 500 how-to photos that step you through learning many wire techniques and making two dozen gorgeous wire-and-bead projects. The book includes a gallery of jewelry from the authors and guest artists such as Lisa Niven Kelly, Laura Gadzik, Cheryl Sweeney,  Renee Corry, Mary Ann D’Amico, Rosanne B. Cox, and Kimball Otterbein.

Get a taste of the book yourself right now. We’re posting TWO project PDFs from the book:

Click here to download a PDF of Tracy Stanley’s Cascading Spirals Bracelet.

Click here to download a PDF of Janice Berkebile’s Wire Pod Pendant.

And then scroll down further to see a handful of the many creative, inspiring bead-and-wire projects the book offers. If you like what you see, you can purchase the book at your local bead store or bookstore and also online. We hope you enjoy the projects: Please do let us know what you think about the projects and the book!

Cascading Spirals Bracelet project by Tracy Stanley from the book Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

Wire Pod Pendant project by Janice Berkebile in the book Making Wire & Bead Jewelry

Learn more about Janice and Tracy on their Wired Arts website.

Connect with Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook at facebook.com/LarkJewelryBeading and Pinterest at pinterest.com/larkjewelry. Check out other jewelry and beading projects on the Lark blog by clicking here. Thank you!





Coiled Drop Pendant, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry


Cascading Waterfall Gems Pendant, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry


Cage It, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry


Bloom, a project by Janice Berkebile in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry


Chain and Bead Earrings, a project by Tracy Stanley in Making Wire & Bead Jewelry


Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley, the authors of Making Wire & Bead Jewelry




Introducing Stash Happy: Appliqué

April 12, 2012, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark

There are some of us who just can’t seem to ever have enough fabric. It ends up filling our shelves, getting tucked into baskets and drawers, overflowing from closets, and then some. The Stash Happy series answers that inevitable question many crafters face: what will I do with all of these scraps? So far we’ve embraced our stash passion with Patchwork and Felt so far. Now we turn our stitching attention to the accessible and versatile technique of appliqué.

With just a little bit of fabric, a few stitches, and Stash Happy: Appliqué you can create beautiful handcrafted items. Try a wide variety of techniques, including frayed raw edge, turned edge, needle turn, satin stitch, open zigzag, trapunto, and reverse appliqué. A thorough basics section, complete with step-by-step photos and helpful illustrations,  provide plenty of hand holding and tips that even the most experienced stitchers out there would appreciate.

Then it’s time to jump into the projects. Embellish store-bought items in need of a makeover (like cute Mary Jane shoes, a lampshade, or café curtains). Or make 100% original creations (like a fashionable tote, adorable little gnome doll, or a fabric wall portrait of your own house).

The appliqué motifs themselves also cover a huge variety: From kid’s drawings and text to coffee cups and pretty paisley. There’s truly something for everyone. Yes, even you.

And don’t just stick to quilting cotton (although there’s plenty of ideas for that) in your appliqué explorations. Try your hand at working with felt, flannel, jersey, linen, muslin, even wool or silk suiting.

Projects include step-by-step photography and templates, making stash busting not only fun but easy.

Stash Happy: Appliqué is a colorful and creative exploration of the stash busting challenge that will have you looking at your fabric collection in an entirely new way. Come back here in future weeks for exciting Stash Happy series giveaways and free projects.