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Remember the giveaway I announced on May 15? Well, I’ve drawn names at random and these three happy contestants each won a copy of Soutache: Annabelle Besnard, Elena Mary Siff and Tamara Allison. And the super-lucky person who receives both a book AND the Zenith Bracelet  is…drumroll…Anna Beal. Congratulations! (And thanks to author Anneta Valious for so generously donating this project.)

If you’re feeling blue because you weren’t one of our winners, here’s a little something as consolation: a PDF of free instructions for making the Zenith Bracelet. Hope you have fun! And keep checking back—we’ll have more giveaways.

 
 
 
 
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Summer break: It’s the perfect time for kids to unleash their inner artists. Crafty endeavors are a great way to keep young ones entertained (and out of mischief!) during long, lazy afternoons. For creative ideas that will fill up the idle hours of summer, check out Jenny Doh’s Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids. The 20 projects in this delightful book are collaborative and fun—sure to engage the interest of the antsiest young vacationer.

Each one of Hand in Hand’s 20 contributors is a mother, blogger, and crafter. Each one shares invaluable advice about nurturing the artistic impulse in kids and turning craft time into family time. From fun ways to use recyclable materials to ingenious kitchen-craft ideas and creative pursuits for rainy afternoons, (like the free Family Banner project shown above), the activities in Hand in Hand will help kids and parents alike tap into their creativity—and survive the long hot summer ahead. Download the free project instructions here: Family Banner.

 

 
 
 
 
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Make Your Own Sock Monkey

May 23, 2013, 11:42 am  Posted by Lark
 

Summer break is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about fun and creative things to do with the kids! Making an adorable Sock Monkey is the perfect way to start off summer break. This is a project that your child will enjoy all summer long. Click here to download the PDF of the Sock Monkey project.

This project comes from the book Craft Hope, which celebrates crafting for a cause. If you and your kids are looking for ways to give back this summer, Craft Hope is filled with ideas about creating for a good cause.

 

 
 
 
 
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Stamping with Teenagers

May 23, 2013, 05:01 am  Posted by Lark
 

I was reminiscing about my two daughters the other day, floating on a gentle current of nostalgia. At the ages of 16 and 18, these two young ladies are depending on dear ol’ Dad less and less as time flows ever onward. This progression is, of course, natural and (mostly) desired as far as a parent is concerned. But I was remembering the way things used to be when they were younger, about the many activities we used to do together; you know, homework, yard work, soccer, countless viewings of Barney videos and The Lion King (aha, the circle of life), and and as you might expect, simple arts and crafts projects.

 

“Well,” I wondered, pulling my thoughts back to the present, “even though my children are becoming busy young adults, why can’t we still have fun working on a project or two?” So I gave Olivia and Genevieve a copy of Lark’s just-published book, Stamp It!, and asked each if they’d like to do a project from the pages within. It was a pleasure (and gratifying) to see them lay the digital world aside for a couple of hours and work “hands-on” with the object instructions in this cool book by Jenny Doh.

 

Genevieve (left) and Olivia (right). I agreed to publish their favorite “sisters” picture in return for permission to feature them in a public blog.

 

 

Gen is my younger girl. Fortune gifted her with more “art genes” than the rest of us in the family. It made sense that she chose a fine-arts kind of print called “The Four Seasons” found on page 103, because of its grace, balance, color scheme, and underlying meaning (circle of life??). Framed, it will enhance one of the walls in our living room.

 

Olivia, always practical, organized, and thinking ahead, surprised me by making the same choice. Except she wanted to use the artwork, along with a cute little addition, to decorate the front of a notebook that she plans to use as a calendar/reminder booklet so she doesn’t forget about important events or assignments at college.

 

 

 

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My role in this father-daughter festival was to take photos, offer unwanted advice, carve the leaves and snowflakes from the template, and, did I say, offer unwanted advice (as two pairs of teenage eyes roll once more toward the ceiling).

 

So, how did it all go? Swimmingly, I believe, as I you can see for yourself below:

 

Olivia, Genevieve, and Stamp It!

 

Olivia decided to add a bird walking on the ground below her tree. It is one of more than a hundred templates found at the back of the book.

 

Yes, that is me losing more hair each day and transferring leaves onto the stamp pad.

 

Gen works on carving a tree into the pad.

 

 

Olivia's handiwork.

 

Genevieve and a summer tree.

 

Here are the four seasons (in no particular order, obviously). Gen will rearrange, mount the cardstock, and frame the project as a nice reminder of a Sunday afternoon crafting with the family.

 

 
 
 
 
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Easy to Make Glassine Poppies

May 21, 2013, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

Enlist the kids’ help to make a bouquet of cheery poppies to grace the summer picnic table. This is an inexpensive project that besides a pair of scissors, requires only paper, glue, floral wire and tape, and correction liquid. This is a great project to do with children as the glassine blossoms require creasing, which can be accomplished through shaping by hand (crumpling in the fist). Older children can further assist by applying correction fluid to the fringe of the flower center.

This flower design is one of 25 varieties you’ll find in Paper Blooms, by accomplished paper artist, Jeffery Rudell. Click here for the instructions.

 
 
 
 
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Sewing with Kids Project Roundup!

May 20, 2013, 15:49 pm  Posted by Lark
 

School’s almost out for summer, folks! Are you ready? And are you looking to embark on creative adventures of the sewing variety with your little bundles? Since the day I found out miss Ruby was on her way, I’ve been excited to share my love of sewing with her. My mom taught me to sew, and I can’t wait to do the same. But 10 months is a bit too young to start teaching my little lady how to sew: she probably needs to master other important life skills – you know, fine motor skills, crawling, feeding herself, etc. – before we partake in creative togetherness. When the times comes, though, I’ll be ready with the help of these lovely sewing projects for kids.

Stitch a lovely rainbow, easy peezy on burlap: Sewing Rainbows (from Childhood 101)

Put on a show with a herd of bunny puppets: Bunny Finger Puppet (from Spoonful)

Make a drawstring bag for trinkets and treasures: Drawstring Bag (from Make and Takes)

Craft a flock of birdies: Bean Bag Birds (from Captain Crafty)

Stitch a zoo-full of critter cards: Sewing Cards (from Dandee Designs)

Sew some sweet heart bookmarks for Valentines and beyond: Valentine Bookmarks (from Holiday Crafts and Creations)

Fashion a headband perfect for summer: How to Sew a Headband (from Skip to my Lou)

Repurpose a tee-shirt into a bag: T-shirt Bag (from Make and Takes)

Take your sewing on the road: Alligator Sewing Kit (from Spoonful) 

 
 
 
 
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The Great, Big Bead&Button Book Giveaway!

May 20, 2013, 06:07 am  Posted by Lark
 

If you’ve been to Bead&Button, you know how amazing this event is: beading royalty around every corner, exciting classes, happy crowds, funky hair color, zillions of products to choose from. (Oh, and miles of corridors to walk…grin!)

So many Lark Jewelry & Beading authors are going to be at the show! In celebration, we’re giving away one great big set of 20 books—all of these were written by Lark authors attending B&B 2013. Here’s what one lucky winner will receive:

To enter for a chance to win these 20 books, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 27, 2013. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries on May 28, 2013. Click here for the official rules.

The 20 books are:

 
 
 
 
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Win an online quilting class at Craftsy!

May 16, 2013, 15:57 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Have you ever taken a craft class? Yes? Then you know there’s something magical about learning something new, hearing about someone else’s creative process, and putting energy into your own creative pursuits. And if not, here’s your chance!

Now through May 23rd, you can enter to win a free class with the fine folks at Craftsy! They have all kinds of online crafty classes – knitting, crochet, sewing, cake decorating – and they’re offering a fabulous new quilting class all about foundation piecing: Precision Piecing taught by award-winning quilter Norah McMeeking. In a series of 9 HD video lessons, you’ll learn the basic techniques, tips, troubleshooting, and more. You can take the class on your own time and revisit it again and again for tips and hints along the way. And best of all: you don’t have to lug your sewing machine and supplies anywhere! Set up in your own space and learn at your own pace.

Click here to follow the link and enter. You’ll need to create a Craftsy login to enter…and (bonus!) you’ll get access to a mini class when you do.  Thanks to everyone who entered. This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been contacted. 

 
 
 
 
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In Printing on Fabric, Jen Swearington covers everything fabric lovers need to know about printing fabric by hand. She starts by translating design ideas to into print ideas, moves on to simple transfers with various stenciling methods, and addresses all the options beyond ink when it comes to printing on fabric (including dye baths, bleach resists, and more).

Oh, and there are all sorts of projects to accompany the lessons, from trendy tote bags and baby rompers to classy cardigans and home decor.

But what about all those scraps you end up with after making a project? She’s got that covered as well, thanks to a couple scrap-friendly ideas. One is the quilt you can see on the cover, and the other is a fun, mailable mini mobile.

Here’s what Jen has to say about it: This anti e-mail surprise is a fun way to harvest bits of imagery from your scrap fabrics, drop cloths, and masking papers. I wanted to make sure it could be mailed, so I started with the envelope and designed the mobile to fit inside it. Be sure to write the words “Hand Cancel” on the envelope so it doesn’t get mangled in a mail-processing machine. Better yet, take it to the post office counter since it might take an extra stamp or two in postage.

Download the project, complete with templates, right here: Mail a Mini Mobile

 
 
 
 
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Anneta Valious

We’re celebrating the release of the new book Soutache, written by Anneta Valious, with a fabulous giveaway! Three lucky winners will each receive a copy of the book, still hot off the presses. And—drum roll, please—one extra-lucky person will win a copy of the book PLUS a piece of jewelry made by the author and featured in the book, the gorgeous Zenith Bracelet shown below!

 

To enter for a chance to win one of the four prizes described above, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries on May 24, 2013. Click here for the official rules.

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER. ANNABELLE BESNARD, ELENA MARY SIFF AND TAMARA ALLISON EACH WON A COPY OF THE BOOK. THE WINNER OF BOTH THE BOOK AND THE BRACELET WAS ANNA BEALL.