Teacher Gift Idea: Felt Apple Brooch

May 08, 2012, 13:31 pm  Posted by Lark

I’ve been a jojoba bean picker in the Sonoran desert, copy chief for a busy magazine in New York City, college writing instructor, and managing editor, editor, and author for Lark Crafts. But the hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever attempted was teaching third graders.

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Looking for a teacher gift idea you can stitch up easily in an evening? Grab some felt and make Lisa Jordan’s sweet Apple for Teacher Brooch from our follow-up to Fa la la la Felt, Heart-Felt Holidays (now available for under $10 on amazon and B&N.com).


My nine-year-old niece Oona sewed one for her teacher last night between dessert and bath time.









Look how great hers turned out!

Download a free PDF with instructions and printable templates: Apple for Teacher Brooch.


What is the perfect way to show mom that you care, especially on Mother’s Day? Well, we’ve got some opinions on the matter. We think the proper gift involves one part handmade, one part help-mom-relax, a pinch of make-her-every-day-brighter, and a touch of creativity. These Lavender Tea Bag Sachets by Laura Howard (from Heart-Felt Holidays) fit the bill perfectly. Oh, and did we mention they’re made with felt – our favorite.

Download the project here: Lavender Tea Bag Sachets

Happy weekend crafting….for mom!


Giveaway of ‘Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids’

May 04, 2012, 08:35 am  Posted by Lark

cover of Hand in Hand by Jenny DohWe are so very happy to share with you our new book,

Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids by Jenny Doh,

a celebration of the joyful art of crafting with kids.


Twenty top parenting bloggers share imaginative craft projects to make with kids of all ages: from a cardboard cityscape and papier-mâché masks to felted falling stars and DIY stilts, it’s all about sharing simple moments and making lasting memories.



photo from Hand in Hand by Jenny Doh

Chances are you’re a creative person. Maybe you are an inventor in the kitchen, maybe you recently made scarves for everyone in your extended family, maybe you designed and planted raised beds in your garden. Whatever your pursuit may be, you probably derive great happiness from making something.

photo from Hand in Hand by Jenny Doh

We’re all creative in such different ways, but I’m willing to bet that we each grew up with the idea of creativity modeled for us somehow, whether it was a family member, a teacher, or a mentor who helped us understand what creativity might mean. Some of us spent our childhood immersed in the idea of being creative, while others of us may not have identified as a maker-of-things until later in life.

However your creative history may have unfolded, it’s likely that you have a creative history.

Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids aims to spark and feed that joyful creativity for the kids in your life, encouraging you to journey with them as they carve a creative history for themselves.

photo from Hand in Hand by Jenny Doh


To celebrate the release of this wonderful book, we’re hosting a giveaway! One lucky reader will receive a copy of Hand in Hand by Jenny Doh. To enter for a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, May 11. Any comment is fine, though I’d love to hear about the person or people who helped you understand the meaning of creativity—whose words and actions have inspired you to create?

One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Monday, May 14. Click here for the official rules.


Learn a bit more about the designers and bloggers featured in Hand in Hand:

Jackie Boucher :: weelife

Samantha Cotterill :: Mummy Sam

Jenny Doh :: Crescendoh

Maya Donenfeld :: maya*made

Ali Edwards :: AE Blog

Rachel Faucett :: Handmade Charlotte

Pam Garrison :: Pam Garrison

Abby Glassenberg :: While She Naps

Cindy Hopper :: Skip to my Lou

Beki Lambert :: Artsy-Crafty Babe

Merrilee Liddiard :: mer mag

Jhoanna Monte :: One Red Robin

Jessica Okui :: Zakka Life

Ella Pedersen :: Little Red Caboose

Carly Schwerdt :: Nest Studio

Amanda Blake Soule :: soule mama

Nicole Spring :: Frontier Dreams

Jean Van’t Hul :: The Artful Parent

Dana Willard :: MADE

Kristin Zecchinelli :: Maine Momma


Want a glimpse into Hand in Hand?

Check out this PDF of the Tissue Paper Lantern project created by Kristin Zecchinelli.



If I were entering this giveaway, it would be difficult to point to just one person who has helped me understand creativity, since I’ve been so very fortunate to grow up with creative parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, and role models. But I will point to one person: I’d like to shine a spotlight on my dad.


Every day before school, my dad would draw a picture and my name on my lunch bag: I still remember the one where a man was fishing in a small boat and his fishing line had caught the B in Beth, while the e, t, and h were still swimming underwater. My dad is also an incredible baker, and when I was growing up he’d include me in the delicious, silly, and fun process of making Bubble Bread together. Standing next to him, breathing in the scent of yeast and cinnamon and rolling dough into little spheres was such a treat. His enthusiasm for making something by hand combined with his love of sharing that with me is a very big part of why I, too, love to bake and make things by hand, many years later. Thanks, Dad.




Hand in Hand: Tissue Paper Lanterns Project

May 02, 2012, 10:18 am  Posted by Lark

Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re so very pleased to share a project with you from Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids by Jenny Doh: Tissue Paper Lanterns made by Kristin Zecchinelli and her sweet kids.

image of project instructions for tissue paper lanterns from Hand in Hand

These pretty lanterns can be made with tissue paper or scraps of fabric, and you can decorate glass jars of any shape and size. Try a fabric pattern featuring sweet little flowers, or shine a spotlight on summery gingham for picnics with personality. Simply gather glass jars, glue, water, tissue paper or fabric, and some little votive candles, and you’ll be ready to create with the kiddos in your life.

This activity is a fun one for all ages*, and tissue paper lanterns are a lovely way to celebrate any occasion from birthdays to Mother’s Day to candlelit holidays. Click here for a downloadable PDF of the Tissue Paper Lanterns project.

Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids is a celebration of the imaginative, playful, and inspiring ways we create with the kids in our lives. Twenty top parenting bloggers share their clever and thoughtful insights into creative parenting along with their 20 how-to craft projects from an ABC Photo Book to Felted Falling Stars.


We hope you enjoy this project, and we wish you and all the mothers in your lives a very Happy Mother’s Day!


*editor’s note: Kristin’s project really caught my attention when I was working on the book with Jenny, and I loved the idea of transforming mason jars into shining little lights. In fact, I was so inspired that I skipped the crafting-with-kids part altogether and made tissue-paper lanterns to illuminate an outdoor party all on my own. With that in mind, I can confirm that grown-ups big kids like making these crafts, too!