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Holiday Gift Tags by Cynthia Schaffer

December 24, 2015, 10:20 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

If you’re a last minute shopper like most people in my family, chances are you’re also in desperate need of a card or note to attach to that gift you just waited 45 minutes in line for. A quick, easy, and fun solution is a gift tag. With free-motion stitching goddess Cynthia Shaffer’s project below, you can easily make a pretty and festive gift tag to adorn all of those presents.

 

What you need:

  • Shipping tag, 2 3/8 x 4 ¾ inches (6 x 12 cm)
  • Scrap of red print fabric
  • Glue stick
  • Sewing machine with a free motion or quilting foot
  • Black thread
  • Acrylic paints in turquoise, orange and white
  • Small paintbrush
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • One page of old book text
  • Black watercolor pencil
  • 10 inches (25.4 cm) of ½-inch (1.3 cm) wide black rayon ribbon

 

What you do:

1. Cut out random small shapes from the fabric and arrange them onto the tag.
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2. Glue the fabric shapes into place.

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3. Free motion stitch around the fabric shapes and then onto the tag.

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4. Using the fine-tip marker doodle on the tag around the stitched shapes.
5. With turquoise paint fill in some of the stitched and doodled shapes.

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6. Cut out small shapes from the book text and glue them to the fabric.
7. Free motion stitch the book text into place.
8. Paint the tag with orange and turquoise paint and blend in a messy manner. Note: I wasn’t liking the way this tag was turning out so I simply covered up all my previous doodling with the paint!

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9. Using the watercolor pencil, doodle around the stitched scallops and blend a bit with water.

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10. Attached the black ribbon tie the tag onto a gift.

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Cynthia Shaffer is a mixed media artist, creative sewer, and photographer. For more of Cynthia’s gorgeous work, check out her most recent Lark title, Simply Stitched Gifts, as well as any of her previously published Lark titles; Stash Happy Patchwork (Lark, 2011), Stash Happy Appliqué (Lark, 2012), co-author of Serge It (Lark 2014) author of Coastal Crafts (Lark, 2015).

 
 
 
 
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Two Prizes for Two Winners!

December 23, 2015, 14:22 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Our last giveaway of the year is a double-header! These are two separate giveaways, but your comment below will enter you into both! Just tell us what your crafting goals are for 2016 to enter. The contest is open to all residents of the US and Canada. Winners will be selected randomly on January 4, 2016. Good luck, and Happy Holidays from the Lark team!

Prize Pack 1

Yarn-032Chunky Knits: 31 Projects for You & Your Home Knit with Bulky Yarn
by Ashley Little

Dive needles-first into the cozy, lush, reach-out-and-touch-me world of chunky knits! Created by Ashley Little and a talented pool of designers, these 31 projects use one, two, and three+ skeins of chic bulky and super-bulky yarn. Featuring sumptuous cowls, lacy scarves, a draped waffle-weave throw, a cable-knit pillowcase, classic cream-toned cable mittens and a matching hat, plus clutches, jewelry, and other scene-stealing pieces, this on-trend collection is perfect for new knitters, as well as those looking for fresh inspiration.

One winner will receive:
One copy of Chunky Knits
Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn in Tide Pool
Set of 4 Blue Moon Button Art Corozo Intrigue Buttons (20 mm)
ChiaoGoo RED Lace Circular Needles in US 9 (5.50mm) with a 16″ cable

BONUS: Free Pattern! Download the Chunky Knits – Button-Up Slouchy Hat pattern here!

 

Prize Pack 2

Yarn-034Crochet Boutique: Hats: 25 Fresh Takes on Classic Crochet Hat Designs
by Rachael Oglesby

With their contemporary, fashion-forward spin on classic patterns, these 25 hats are sure to hook crocheters everywhere! Featuring popular author Rachael Oglesby’s signature style, the designs include an ombre-dipped beanie, a raffia boater hat, slouchy patterned stunners, and more. Some even have unisex appeal. In addition to crochet basics, Oglesby provides fun for intermediates, with dip-dyeing, cable work, multiple yarn colors, and wrapping. 

One winner will recieve:
one copy of Crochet Boutique: Hats
Madelinetosh  A.S.A.P. yarn in Edison Bulb
Boye crochet hook size Q (15.75 mm)

BONUS: Free Pattern! Download the Crochet Boutique Hats – Neon Pom pattern here!

 
 
 
 
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FREE Pattern plus GIVEAWAY!

December 21, 2015, 11:27 am  Posted by Lark
 

One+oneToday we’re giving away our first of three prize packs!

One + one = just two skeins of yarn! That’s all it takes to create these gorgeously wearable accessories, created by bestselling knitwear author Iris Schreier and 15 featured designers. Ranging from the delectable Star Stitch Shoulder Wrap to a reversible Double Eyelet Lace Cowl in luxurious cashmere, to a lacy Vineyard Shawl with beaded pearls and sequins, this chic collection includes 29 projects in all.  Many of the garments can be worn in a variety of ways, and the patterns are perfect for beginner and intermediate knitters.

This giveaway includes one copy of One + One Wraps, Cowls, & Capelets by Iris Schreier plus two skeins of luxurious TSCArtyarns Zara Hand-Dyed Yarn in the same colors as featured in the Old and New Shawl pattern that everyone can download for free right here! To enter, please comment below and tell us about your most recent crafting project! This contest is only available to residents in the US & Canada. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments below and will be notified on January 4th, 2016.

Happy Monday!

 

 
 
 
 
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CONTEST Announcement – Countdown to Christmas!

December 16, 2015, 10:08 am  Posted by Lark
 

Hi Friends!

Keep your eye on this space because we’ll be running THREE contests with some awesome prizes. Check back soon for more details on how to win!

One+one Yarn-032 Yarn-034

 

 
 
 
 
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Christmas Cat Toy Project

December 15, 2015, 14:48 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

tis the season to be feltycat1
We’re deep into holiday crafting season, and while we make ornaments, garlands, and other whimsical gifts for friends and family, let’s not forget about our furry friends as well!

I was inspired by Kathy Sheldon’s ‘Tis the Season to be Felt-y and decided to convert one of the projects into a cute toy for my cat.

Please note that the author hasn’t endorsed the use of her projects in this way, and that the nature of felt makes these toys less sturdy than manufactured cat toys. Please supervise your cat while she’s playing with her handcrafted toy! Additionally, when you’re choosing a project to convert, avoid projects that require glue or beads/buttons. You don’t want your cat to end up eating anything that could be potentially harmful.

On to the project!

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The gnome from the stocking project was too cute to pass up even though it involved more pieces to sew than other options in the book. Here are some things to keep in mind when converting a regular felted toy into a cat toy:

1. Double up on your thread to add extra strength to your stitches

2. Keep your stitches close together to help prevent teeth and claws from snagging on them.

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3. Add an extra layer of felt behind the outer layer to help keep the top layer sturdy.

4. Don’t forget to buy catnip for the filling! I alternated layers of catnip with layers of fiber fill, but you can also make a separate pouch of catnip to insert into the body of the toy before sewing it up.

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Pause for a “cat scan.” She has to be sure you’re putting in enough catnip!

 

 

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5. Again, due to the nature of felt, this is not a project that’s meant to last forever. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure she’s not shredding through it too quickly!

6. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Whether for cats or kids, everyone loves a bit of whimsy with a handmade toy. Imperfect stitches just adds a flair of individuality!

 
 
 
 
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Christmas Cookies to Inspire Joy

December 09, 2015, 10:00 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Lark Crafts CookiesIt’s no surprise that cookie baking is such a popular activity during the holiday season: cookies are fun to make with friends and family, they make great gifts, and they’re a delicious dessert for holiday meals.

I went a little crazy with a tried and true sugar cookie recipe this past weekend (see the cookie explosion below). I cut letters from the cookie dough and decorated each one with frosting and Christmas-colored sprinkles. It was fun, relaxing, and, I have to admit, it really did put me in the holiday spirit.

If you’re looking for some wonderful cookie recipes and decorating ideas for the holiday season, check out Decorating Cookies, by cookie connoisseur Bridget Edwards. The book includes more than 60 recipes and designs for adorable—and delicious—cookies. From cute, smiling Santa Claus cookies and Menorah cookies, decorated in blue and gold frosting, to snowflake-laden gingerbread cookies, you’re bound to have fun baking and decorating the cookies in Decorating Cookies. Order your copy here.

 
 
 
 
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Make a Cute Felt Ornament for Your Tree

December 08, 2015, 10:00 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

by Ellen B. Wright

Why are felt ornaments so awesome? Here are five reasons!

  1. They’re quick! It’s easy to finish a few in an afternoon.
  2. They’re cheap! Buy craft-sized squares of felt in a variety of colors for under a dollar at your local craft store (or online).
  3. They’re cute! There are all sorts of adorable patterns out there, including Lark’s very own Fa la la la Felt and ‘Tis the Season to Be Felt-y. They’ll look great on your tree or make great gifts.
  4. They’re easy! Simpler designs are accessible for beginning sewers, but still turn out looking good.
  5. They’re customizable! Simpler designs aren’t the only designs; we ambitious crafters can tackle more intricate styles.

You’ll be able to handle the basics once you’ve finished reading this short post. If you know how to thread a needle and stitch a basic running stitch, you’re more than prepared to make some adorable felt ornaments. (Back stitch, mattress stitch, and satin stitch will give you more options, if you know them or want to learn them, and tutorials are included in the books listed above.)

 

Designs

Felt ornaments run the gamut from completely flat to three-dimensional — almost like a stuffed animal. The most common variety, though, are the ones with a two-dimensional design but just a bit of shape. The base for that look: a front and back and a tiny amount of stuffing.

This tutorial will show you how to make two ornaments on the simpler side. The first: two triangles in green and a rectangle in red or brown — a Christmas tree! Second: two circles of a bright, matching color plus a rectangle of white at the top, and you’ve got a flattened version of a round Christmas bauble, a classic tree ornament.

Felt ornament 1

This year, I made several more complex ornaments: the faces of a Santa, a snowman, and a penguin, all of which started out as plain circles with other shapes added in. You could also make a little scene out of smaller scraps for a felt pseudo-snowglobe. Once you get started, the possibilities are endless.

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Embellishment

More felt. More felt, in contrasting or complementary colors, is the easiest way to embellish your ornaments. I attached them using a running stitch; you could also use fabric glue.

Ribbons. Plain or patterned, metallic or matte — almost anything would work on the right design. As with the felt, sew or glue it on.

Buttons, etc. We’re going to snazz up our tree with some multicolored buttons. Other similar options: sequins or mini jingle bells!

  1. I used a little bit of embroidery on my circular ornaments to make the Santa’s, reindeer’s and snowman’s eyes. Elegant embroidery contrasts well with the homey feel of felt to make stunning ornaments.

Most of the time, it’s easiest to do the embellishment before you sew the body of the ornament together, though there are exceptions. For my Santa and snowman, for example, I added the hat in after the rest of the ornament is finished.

 

Putting It All Together

1) Cut out two tall isosceles (two sides are the same length and the third is different) triangles of green felt and a square of brown or red felt, for the tree; two circles of a bright color (I’ve used red) and a white square for the baubles.

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2) Sew or glue on your embellishments. My tree is decorated with buttons, and the bauble with stripes of felt in other bright colors.

3) Place any pieces that need to stick out — tree trunk, the top of the bauble, ears or antlers, etc. — between the two layers of felt that make up the body of your ornament. Pin them in place.


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4) Sew around the outside of the ornament with mattress stitch in a contrasting color (I used black), stitching in any pieces you’ve placed between the two layers as you go. (You could also sew it up with a running stitch or a backstitch if you prefer.) Pause when about an inch is left open.

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5) Stuff the ornament lightly through that one-inch hole, then finish sewing around. Give the ornament a good massage to get the stuffing spread evenly.

6) Once you’re happy with your ornament, thread a bit of cord through the top, and you’re ready to hang it on your tree!

felt covers

For more holiday-themed felt ornaments as well as lots of project ideas for stockings, garlands, and decorations, pick up a copy of Fa la la la Felt and ‘Tis the Season to be Felt-y at your local bookstore today!

About the Author:

Ellen B. Wright works as a book publicist in New York City. Her mother taught her to sew, her grandmother taught her to knit, and they both taught her to take Christmas decorating very seriously.