Staff Picks: Inspired by the Masters

February 14, 2013, 15:45 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Before my days at Lark, I was still a fan of the 500s series–what potter isn’t? So I was excited when Lark broke the mold in 2008 and came out with a new gallery book for ceramic artists called Masters: Porcelain.

At the time, porcelain was a clay body I had never used–my studio only fired to cone 6 and white stoneware was white enough for me. However, after spending time with Masters: Porcelain it was undeniable that porcelain changes the tone of functional work. Leah Leitson’s ewers and Aysha Peltz’s vases showed that the clay affects the work beyond just the surface (but still, look at that surface!)

Above: “Three Faced Vases” by Aysha Peltz

Richard Burkett did a tremendous job curating the 40 artists and hundreds of images for the book. But the Masters books go beyond the images, offering insights from the artists on their work and the medium. It may seem like a small difference from the 500 series, but it adds a layer of interest beyond the standard gallery of images.

Masters: Earthenware came out two years later in 2010. Similar to porcelain, it covers 38 artists’ signature pieces with commentary. Curated by Matthias Ostermann, a celebrated ceramist in his own right, this stunning volume did anything but pale in the face of porcelain. From Linda Arbuckle’s majolica to the burnt reds of Woody Hughes, it is captivating page after page.

Both books are part of Lark’s spring Book Love sale. You can find them by clicking the links in the article above or right here:

-Masters: Porcelain

-Masters: Earthenware





Put a Ring on It: Resin Rings

February 14, 2013, 11:40 am  Posted by Lark

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends.

Wait, let me try that again: Happy Be-Kind-To-Each-Other-All-The-Time, everybody.


Yesterday was my first in a four-day exploration of the beauty of eye-catching, intriguing rings and their unique role as a symbol of love worldwide. During this Season of Love, our thoughts turn to how we give and receive love, and we have a heightened opportunity to focus on the people we love best in our lives. Pretty great, right?

Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to romantic love, and just like we are connected through love to many dear people, rings aren’t limited to just one style, material, or function. Yes, those sparkly traditional diamond rings are lovely, but there’s so much character and personality in the un-traditional, the unexpected, the “woah, that’s awesome.”

Today I explore the wide, stunning world of resin rings—bright pops of color, platforms for precious flowers, and vessels of gold—these beauties are meant to steal your affection and never give it back.

A very big thank you to the talented, innovative Etsy artists featured below—what creative vision you all have!

(Want to read my other ring posts? Visit “Put a Ring on It: Petite Rings, Day 1”  “Put a Ring on It: Turquoise Rings, Day 3”  “Put a Ring on It: Rock Rings, Day 4“)


Steel Polka-Dot Dome Resin Ring :: EvelynTiqueS


Blood Red Resin Ring :: GoldFingerBarcelona


Watermelon Pink Eco Resin Ring :: RosellaResin


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Put a Ring on It: Petite Rings

February 13, 2013, 16:33 pm  Posted by Lark

Greater poets and thinkers before me have said this more eloquently, I’m sure, but it’s my belief that love is the common thread that brings us together.

You work because maybe you love your career field, or maybe you’re supporting your family, or maybe you really really love trips to the Outer Banks and your job gets you there.

You create because you love the process, or you thrive on the challenge, or you simply can’t not bring artfulness and innovation into the world.

You connect with other people because it’s human nature, or you love the sense of being rooted in community, or maybe you feel it’s the main reason why any of us are here in the first place.


Whatever you do, wherever you go, however you prioritize the unique elements of your very own Big Picture in Life, chances are they’re tied to the concept of love, and we’re all connected by that commonality—love really is what brings us together.

It’s pretty great that we have a holiday that celebrates this concept, and I like to think that Valentine’s Day causes each of us to reflect on love at least a little bit, especially if it extends beyond romantic love into the realms of good friends, treasured family, favorite vet techs and librarians and next-door-neighbors and teachers and colleagues and mentors and musicians and purring cats and wiggly dogs and, well, everyone.

With all of this in mind—all this Love stuff—I’ve been thinking about how we symbolize it and communicate it. Hearts, cards, flowers, and chocolate are a big deal during this time of year, and so are rings. So I decided to do some (super delightful) meandering through Etsy where I collected images of eye-catching rings, rings that might not be your typical sparkly proposal diamond, but instead were beautiful in unexpected ways.

Today is the first of four days of my ring finds, and I thank the incredibly talented artists mentioned below for creating such thoughtful, intriguing, stunning, sweet, novel, and phenomenal work.

High five, Etsy, and Happy Season of Love, everyone.

…by the way, if you decide that you need to listen to a certain amazing pop star while reading this post, no one’s gonna stop you.

(Want to read about my other ring finds? Visit “Put a Ring on It: Resin Rings, Day 2”  “Put a Ring on It: Turquoise Rings, Day 3”  “Put a Ring on It: Rock Rings, Day 4“)


Double Arrow Chevron Ring :: virginiemillefiori


Tiny Flower Silver Ring :: RitaRodnerJewellery


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Wee Felt Worlds caption contest, part 2!

February 13, 2013, 16:25 pm  Posted by Lark

Create a caption for me!

Wee Felt WorldsIf a picture is worth a thousand words, our best guestimates indicate that a felted scene is worth 142,763 extremely clever, extremely cute words. This week, we’d like you to imagine what creative things this felty scene can say by creating the perfect caption for it. It’s clear this bear pair is having a beary good time…. so join the fun! Up for grabs to one random winner: a prize pack of felt roving and a copy of Wee Felt Worlds.

In case you missed it, these scenes are mix-and-match photos from Wee Felt Worlds. The critters were created for specific worlds…then we mixed the all up!

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post between now and 9 p.m. Sunday, February 17. We’d love to hear your best caption for this needle-felted scene, but any comment will do.One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced by Monday, February 18. Click here for the official rules, and good luck!

Check out the truly terrific entries from last week’s contest. You had us giggling!!


Lark’s Annual 50% Off Book Love Sale

February 13, 2013, 10:39 am  Posted by Lark

Lark Books 50% Off Sale


Our 50% Off Book Love Sale has ended:
We hope it spread a little book love into your creative endeavors!


It’s the season of Love! We’re celebrating this love-y time of year with a huge half-off sale on hundreds of Lark books, including many of our new Spring 2013 titles (yes, you can pre-order upcoming books at 50% off!).

Below are links to additional blog posts highlighting the titles and categories of our Book Love Sale, and here’s the direct link to the sale page on BN.com:

<<  50% Off Book Love Sale exclusively on BN.com  >>

The sale runs until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, February 17th.


*Does your sweetheart need a little nudge in the gift-giving department? Help them be a Valentine’s superstar by pointing to the sale page and your creative book wish list.

*Do you need a jumpstart for spring creativity? Want to learn something new?

*Are you planning to bust through your bead, fabric, paper, yarn, or collage stash this year?

*Did you just realize that we publish books about making cookies, cake, and candy?

Let our one-week Book Love Sale spark your love of creativity:

New Spring 2013 Needlearts titles

New Spring 2013 Craft Your Life titles

All Jewelry and Beading titles, plus new Spring 2013 books

Books for Crocheters & Knitters

Books for Sewists & Quilters

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Bookbinding & Journaling Books

Eco-Minded Books

Collage Books


Sneak Peek: Spring 2013 Craft Your Life Preview

February 13, 2013, 10:38 am  Posted by Lark

One of the things I love most about managing the Craft Your Life team is the sheer diversity of the topics we publish. From ceramics and glass crafts to food and general crafts, we’re constantly exploring a vast array of interesting subject matter. Every single season offers its own eye-catching sampler platter of creativity. We are thrilled to share with you a little preview into some of the titles we have in store for our upcoming spring list. We’ve put a lot of passion into the pages of these books, and we hope that you’ll enjoy them as much as we do. Stay tuned in the coming months to learn about additional titles we have in the works!

For a limited time, you can pre-order these books through BN.com at an irresistible 50% off! Just click through the links below to go directly to the books.


500 Prints on Clay: An Inspiring Collection of Image Transfer Work

Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists

Adventures in Pompom Land: 25 Cute Projects Made from Handmade Pompoms

Image Transfer on Clay: Screen, Relief, Decal & Monoprint Techniques (New in Paperback!)


Paper Blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers to Make for Weddings, Celebrations & More



Origami Love: Two Easy Homemade Gifts

February 13, 2013, 10:18 am  Posted by Lark


Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Maybe you forgot. Maybe you already bought a gift for your sweetie, but you want to add a personal touch to that effects pedal she really wanted for her electric ukulele. Or, maybe you went out on your lunch break today and got your wonderful love of your life some of those bacon and lavender truffles he loves so much, but they came in a flimsy cellophane bag. Or maybe you and your love agreed when you started dating back in June that you did not care about Valentine’s Day, that you would show each other how much you care EVERY day. But now that you’ve spent the last seven nights in a row catching up on the Walking Dead together and eating frozen dinners in front of the TV, you’re thinking it might be about time for a spike in the romance graph. Whatever your reason for needing a quick, easy, inexpensive, last-minute gift, here are a couple wonderful projects I found while leafing through Quick & Easy Paper Crafts looking for last-minute gift ideas!


Origami Box

This first project is surprisingly sturdy; and literally, all you need is paper and scissors. You can get creative with this too! You could write a love letter to your sweet, make it into a lid for the box, and then put those exquisite truffles inside. (Here is a homemade truffle recipe that will get you and your special someone all set for your romantic, zombie-free Valentine’s evening.) You could use magazine pages. You can use decorative paper. You could print out the itinerary for that surprise trip to Antarctica and make that into a box, and then place a tiny snow globe inside. You could even put…an engagement ring in the box! Anyway, you get the idea. Here is your origami box project.

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New needlearts releases: now 50% off at BN.com!!

February 13, 2013, 10:12 am  Posted by Lark

We couldn’t be prouder of our list of spring 2013 books: from stitched goodness from Aimee Ray to adorable needle-felted critters to art quilt portraits gathered by Martha Sielman…and much more. And what’s better than our fresh batch of bright and shiny new books? Getting them all at half off the list price! That’s right: from now until February 17th, some of our new releases are on sale for 50% off at BN.com! Just click the links below to find out more about these titles.

Wee Felt Worlds: Sweet Little Scenes to Needle Felt

Printing on Fabric: Techniques with Screens, Stencils, Inks, and Dyes

Art Quilt Portfolio: People & Portraits

Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond

Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: Animals

Plus, find out about our other titles in the Book Love Sale:

Books for Crocheters and Knitters

Books for Sewists and Quilters


FREE Recipe from Cake Ladies

February 11, 2013, 08:39 am  Posted by Lark

With a color that’s decidedly seductive and a shape that’s remarkably heartlike, the strawberry is a veritable symbol for l’amour. This Valentine’s Day, we urge you to toss the tired box of  chocolates and try the berry as a luscious alternative. Use a bunch to make the irresistible Strawberry Shortcake shown here for a fresh way to show your love on Valentine’s Day.

This easy-to-assemble (only 15 minutes!) stack of sweetness is featured in the delightful book Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition. The book itself is a valentine to the culture of cake making and the women who keep it alive in kitchens across the South. Aptly enough, Cake Ladies celebrates baking as a gesture of love. So get cooking! The most romantic day of the year will soon be here….





Etsy Finds: Chinese New Year – Year of the Snake

February 10, 2013, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. It begins on February 10 and runs to February 30. The Chinese year 4711 begins on Feb. 10, 2013. Chinese months are defined by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

2013 is the Year of the Snake. This particular year, the Year of the Water Snake or Black Snake, is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline are the key to achieve what you set out to create. A particularly good message for creative work, no?

In celebration of The Year of the Snake, I’ve collected some of the wonderful snake-inspired finds available on Etsy.

TOP ROW: Year of the Snake Zen Art Original Painting by ZenBrush + 2013 Year of the Snake Calendar by Moon in June Press

CENTER ROW: Baby Snake Ring by Michelle Chang Jewelry + Corn Snake Plush Sculpture by Weird Bug Lady

BOTTOM ROW: 2013 Year of the Snake Calendar by Empire Press + Vintage Book Plate of Snakes by Gallery Botanica