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aimee ray (3)Aimee Ray is no stranger to the Lark community. She’s become quite the prolific contributor over the years, and her designs are known for their fun, lively aesthetic. With her latest addition to the popular Doodle Stitching Series coming this Spring (Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack), I wanted to check-in with Aimee and learn more about her influences and creative approach. Check out our Q&A below, and make sure to look through the entire series for unique embroidery patterns and fun sewing projects!

 

How did you get started stitching?

Starting when I was about 5, my grandma used to bring samplers for me to learn on when she came to visit. I picked embroidery up again several years ago as an adult, just as a personal creative outlet. I did computer design work all day and hand stitching was (and still is) a great way to let out my own creativity, in a relaxing and primitive medium, completely different digital art.

 

What was the inspiration/idea behind the Doodle Stitching series?

It was really just born out of my own doodles that I turned into embroidery patterns. I had great encouragement from internet friends and my personal designs led to the creation of all of my books.

 

Doodle Stitching Transfer

Aimee Ray’s new book Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack hits stores this April.

 

What are some new projects you’re excited to share with readers in this book?

While it largely contains motifs from previous books, these are all on iron-on transfer paper, making them even easier and quicker to stitch up! That’s something I’ve wanted to produce all along. You’ll also find several brand new patterns in there that aren’t available anywhere else.

 

Do you have a favorite motif?

I don’t think I could pick just one, but my favorites to work on always seem to be fairy tale or Asian-inspired motifs.

 

What are the essentials for someone looking to start stitching?

All you really need is a needle, floss in your favorite colors, a hoop and some kind of fabric. Embroidery is super versatile and it’s easy to add embellishment to almost any craft project or existing fabric item.

 

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring items to complete one project, what would you bring?

I see myself bringing enough fabric, floss and needles to create some enormous embroidered art quilt or tapestry that would never really be finished, I could just keep adding to it as long as I’m there. ;)

 

 
 
 
 
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Chain Mail Jewelry book giveaway!

February 25, 2015, 10:23 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

The paperback edition of Chain Mail Jewelry is now available. In celebration of this edition’s release, we will be giving one copy away to two lucky winners!

 

Chain Mail Jewelry features 30 beautiful projects (the Gold and Amethyst Parure and the elegant Double Strand Japanese Cube Necklace [pictured below] are my particular favorites). With the help of Terry Taylor and Dylon Whyte’s easy-to-follow directions and how-to illustrations, jewelry crafters of all skill levels are able to achieve impressive results using just a few tools.

 

Gold and Amethyst Parure1

 

To enter to win a copy of the paperback edition of Chain Mail Jewelry, leave a comment on this blog post by 9PM EST on Sunday, March 1. The two winners will be selected on Monday, March 2. Click here to read the official rules.

 
 
 
 
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Lark Crafts DIY: Oscars Party Prep

February 20, 2015, 11:18 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

The Oscars are two days away! Two. Days. For everyone who is as obsessed with the Oscars as I am, you can appreciate the excitement I’m feeling right now. What is Emma Stone going to wear? Who is going to trip going up the stairs to accept their award? Who will Benedict Cumberbatch photo bomb (hopefully everyone)?

 

Every year I have some people over and host an Oscars party to celebrate all those weird and amazing moments. Although the decorations and food may change, one thing that is a staple at these gatherings is Oscar Bingo.  I did this for the first time a few years ago and everyone went bananas over it.  It’s such a simple, fun game to get everyone involved…and the prize doesn’t hurt either. There’s lots of free printables on the Internet that have pre-made bingo sheets for you, but it’s easy enough to make your own.

 

Oscars bingo

 

I pulled up a Word document, added a grid, and typed in my own fun squares.  Matthew McConaughey says “Alright, Alright, Alright”…my chips are on he does! I also printed my cards on a heavier card stock so they could hold up amongst all the cheers, boos, and party fouls. This year, I was also inspired by my copy of Washi Wonderful by Jenny Doh, and decided to fill in my free square using this versatile tape, as well as adding a few fun pops of color on the bingo card.

 

Oscars cat

 

The last thing I do to prepare for Sunday is to make sure my date is red-carpet ready. Phillip wears his penguin suit year-round, but that doesn’t take away from his dapperness. Add a tie, and this cat’s ready for his close-up.

 
 
 
 
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Hi guys! I’m Bridget from the blog, Bake at 350, and my latest book is called Decorating Cookies Party.

In the book, you’ll find several cut-out cookie recipes and a foolproof recipe for royal icing, perfect for decorating. We walk through cookie decorating techniques and step-by-step photo tutorials for over 50 cookies in ten themes.

Valentines_cookies1

 

Here’s where even more fun comes in…use the cookies in the book as a jumping off point for your own ideas.

 

Valentines_cook3

 

In the book, there is a set of cookies for a Book Club Party. One of the cookies is a wine bottle because, um, you can’t have book club without wine. It’s a scientific fact.

 

Valentines_cook4

 

So, I used that idea to decorate some wine bottle cookies for Valentine’s Day. Same tutorial, same recipes, same techniques…switch out the colors and a few details, and you have cookies for another occasion altogether.

 

These cookies are super simple to decorate. Don’t worry about piping the wine labels with icing…all of the writing is done with a food coloring pen. Add your own wine varietal and vintage year. (I used this year and our wedding year.)

 

Valentines_cook+pen

 

[Note: always be sure the icing is completely dry before using a food coloring pen, allowing at least 6-8 hours of drying time.]

 

I’d love to see where the cookies in Decorating Cookies Party take your imagination. No doubt, the results will be delicious!

 

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Bridget Edwards is a highly visible baking expert who blogs at bake350.blogspot.com—named one of the top five baking blogs by Better Homes and Gardens in 2014—and tweets at @bakeat350tweets. She was one of 15 food bloggers selected to participate in a bake-off fundraiser with TLC’s Cake Boss and Kelly Ripa, has participated in themed blog challenges, and develops recipes for brands such as Imperial Sugar and Land O’ Lakes. Bridget’s recipes have appeared on DailyBuzz Food and her cookies have been featured on marthastewart.com, the hugely popular Pioneer Woman blog, the Today show blog, bonappetitit.com, Cake Spy, and and in Woman’s World magazine. Bridget lives near Houston, TX with her husband, son, and two kitties.

 
 
 
 
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Stitch Love Valentine Blog Hop

February 11, 2015, 10:34 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

Hello, Lark Crafts Friends!

 

With Valentine’s Day in just a few days, what could be more perfect than to make something sweet for someone you care about? Or perhaps something special for yourself? No matter who you are stitching for, my book Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small is the perfect way to get started.

 

Along the idea of stitching love, we’re having a little Valentine blog hop! Be sure to visit all of the stops along the way this week. You’ll see fun and simple things to make AND you’ll pick up some free patterns featuring a few of my critter friends celebrating Valentine’s Day!

 

WombatBrooch (3)

 

Have you heard of a hairy-nosed wombat? Well, this is heart-nosed wombat! He’s just a baby, and I promise that he’ll love you forever.

 

I stitched up this little guy on linen (I printed the pattern at 75% for the brooch), then I used the instructions for the Undersea Buddies Brooch Trio from Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small. This is one of those projects that is quick to put together, and you can use any motif with it!

 

Wouldn’t you love to have a little wombat on your winter coat? The embroidery motif is free for you! Just download the PDF and get ready to stitch!

 

StitchLove_ValentineWombatPattern

StitchLove_ValentineWombatPattern

 

We’ve also got a little something extra. One lucky winner will receive this hand-stitched Heart-Nosed Wombat brooch, plus the set of Undersea Buddies brooches, AND a copy of Stitch Love, compliments of Lark Crafts.

 

To enter, leave a comment (maybe you’d like to share what animal you’d like to stitch the most!), and we’ll select a random winner. Giveaway ends Sunday, February 15 at 9pm EST .

 

And don’t miss all the other patterns on the Stitch Love Valentine Blog Hop!

 

Monday: Shiny Happy World & Wild Olive

 

Tuesday: Little Dear Tracks

 

Wednesday: Lark Crafts

 

Thursday: Hugs Are Fun

 

Friday: Feeling Stitchy

 

Saturday: Pretty By Hand & Wild Olive

 

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Mollie Johanson is the creator of the popular blog Wild Olive (wildolive.blogspot.com) and Etsy store (where she’s sold over 3000 embroidery motif downloads). Her designs have appeared in Heart-Felt Holidays and Felt-o-ween (both Lark), in magazines (including several features in Mollie Makes), and in craft books from other publishers. Mollie lives in St. Charles, IL.

 
 
 
 
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Chain Mail Jewelry out next week!

February 05, 2015, 13:18 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Exciting news! Terry Taylor and Dylon Whyte’s bestselling title, Chain Mail Jewelry (February 10, 2015), will be available soon in paperback.

It’s not surprising that this book has been immensely popular among jewelry crafters—the 30 projects included in the book are beautiful, and with Terry and Dylon’s comprehensive how-to instructions and illustrations, novices are carefully guided through the chain mail jewelry crafting process.

Check out a few of the projects from Chain Mail Jewelry below, and pre-order your copy of the new-in-paperback edition today!

Chain Mail Necklace

Double Strand Necklace

Spiraling Chain

 
 
 
 
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On a very cold January 29 with weather threatening, beaders still made their way to Burke Gems & Beads in Burke, VA for a “Girl’s Night Out.” On this night everyone grabbed their copy of Seed Bead Chic to make a Girls Night Out Necklace from the book. The group was working together to help each other complete the piece.

 

The owner, Olya Yampoisky, invited me to stop in to sign some books, meet the group, and see their progress. When I walked in the door, I was greeted with applause, which made me feel so good. One of the participants told me she likes the book so much that she is attempting all 25 projects!

 

The beaders were having an absolute blast! I came in towards the beginning of their session, but I was seeing good progress with the right angle weave portion of the project.

 

AmyKatz event photo

 

And what a great idea this was for all. Store patrons had the opportunity to participate in a free event, socialize and shop for beads. The store sold some product and everyone had the chance to appreciate the book’s project together. This not only sounds like a good cold winter night event, but an anytime occasion.

 

Burke Gems & Beads is planning to host another Seed Bead Chic event in the near future. What is so touching to me is that one of my local stores put in this great effort to honor my work. I am proud to be a staff teacher, customer, and friend of this wonderful shop. Thank you.

 

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Amy Katz has been beading for 20 years and teaches beading workshops and classes across the country. Her designs revolve around the “high-end” jewelry store look using quality seed beads, crystals, pearls, and more. She is the coauthor of Beading Across America (Kalmbach), and her website is BeadJourney.com. She lives in Fairfax Station, VA.