Spring Preview Saturday: Craft Camp

November 15, 2014, 13:00 pm  Posted by Lark

Craft CampWelcome to camp, crafters! The only one rule that must be followed: To have fun!


In Spring, readers will find over 45 projects that are perfect for crafters of all ages in Craft Camp (May 2015). Whether making a multicolored piñata for a festive gathering, a tiara for a dress-up party,or a notebook to hide prized possessions, these family-fun projects are perfect for a weekend dedicated to family bonding.


Check out some of our favorite projects from the book below. And be sure to pre-order your copy of Craft Camp today!










Summer Craft Ideas for Kids

May 08, 2012, 16:41 pm  Posted by Lark

It’s almost summertime! School’s about to be out! It’s time for summer vacation, days unbound by the school bus and homework, and a kid’s-eye-view of weeks and weeks of fun.


Whether you’re inside or outside, in the shade or in the sun, below is a list of summer craft ideas to capture the interest of big and little kids alike. In fact, when it comes to some of these ideas (see the Tree Fort Pinterest boards), you don’t need to be a kid at all to feel that summer vacation excitement.

 Happy summertime crafting!


You’ll WANT life to give you lemons so you can make these cool, refreshing treats. Hello, hot weather awesomeness.

Creamy Lemon Popsicles :: from gimme some oven


Sidewalk chalk: it makes hopscotch possible, it brings traced silhouettes to life, and it offers endless opportunities for driveway/walkway poems (try jumping rope around a sidewalk chalk poem—it’s a whole new meaning for beat poetry!). Use powdered tempera to make your own vibrant colors.

Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk :: from Instructables


Don’t have a sunny day to go backyard camping? Never fear! This Fabric Pup Tent will have your littles singing songs around the campfire in your living room. Git along, little doggies.

Fabric Pup Tent :: from ReadyMade


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Craftastic Pre-Christmas Party!

October 28, 2010, 14:30 pm  Posted by Lark

I know, I know. CHRISTMAS?!? Already? SERIOUSLY? … Yeah. I’m serious. As a heart attack. (Ok. Maybe not a heart attack. But heart burn. And that stuff is serious.)

This year is my year NOT to procrastinate on Christmas. I’ve already started making a list. So what inspired me before even Halloween? Going to the Southern Highland Craft Fair last week right before my whirlwind awesome Girl Camp weekend. That’s what.

I thought, “Shoot! I need to get on Amazon pronto figure this out!” But then I realized, “Hey! I’m artsy. I’m crafty. My friends are super-fantastic and deserve some thought-out gifts!” (Below is a shot of some of these friends at Girl Camp weekend):

A sampling of my friends who deserve awesome Christmas gifts and will hopefully be attending my Craftastic Pre-Christmas Crafting Party!

While we were hiking back from Rainbow Falls, my friend Michelle planted the seed in my head that we could all make Christmas gifts together. Cool! THEN another friend was kind enough to send me a link to this hilarious video that is, well, craftastic and inspiring:

Bingo. A reason to pull out my gold lame leggings. So what should we make? I’m making a list of ideas including:

1. Shrink Plastic Jewelry. PERFECT for friends you’d like to personalize necklaces, earrings, etc. for.

2. Polymer Clay Bead charms! We could make some skull beads (for those goth friends) or just some colorful polymer clay bead charms.

3. My friend Abby really wants to try to solder something. I have a soldering iron and figure I should whip out the Ultimate Jeweler’s Guide to learn how to handle tools for jewelry making…and probably read the section on ‘safety.’

4. Anything to do with RetroCrafts and also adding glitter to any and everything.

Do you have any ideas for making your own Christmas gifts? If so, please comment! I’d love some more ideas! :)


Sophisticated Pinch Pottery

February 18, 2014, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark

Don’t you love the texture on these pieces? The lidded  jar with its boldly carved ridges, is rugged yet organic and the teapot’s floral motif while prominate, is graceful and perfectly suited to the pot’s plumpness. The forms are both pleasing to the eye and functional. What I find especially remarkable is that both of these sophisticated works were created using only simple pinch pottery techniques.


Susan Halls is the author of newly released Pinch Pottery: Functional, Modern Handbuilding. Utilizing techniques readers may have learned long ago in summer camp, like making pinch pots, Susan shows how easy it is to create a wealth of ceramic forms that are refined and incredibly modern looking. She begins with  simple shapes anyone can make, like the classic pinch pot, and then moves on to pinching a sphere, a wide bowl, a trumpet shape, and finally a cylinder. From there Susan demonstrates how easy it is to cut, alter, and combine these shapes to make more complex forms.












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Crochet Gift Roundup with Free Bunting Project!

November 15, 2013, 09:28 am  Posted by Lark

There’s still time to stitch your holiday gifts! Or at least, let’s tell ourselves that and not freak out yet. Today, I’m sharing some quick-to-crochet gifts (with links below, if available) plus a free project download from Crochet Love: the Bunting with Hearts! Full disclosure: this is also my holiday to-do list! I’ve finished the bunting and the leg warmers…next up: gauntlets!

From left to right, top to bottom:

Scrapadelic Scarf by Elizabeth Trantham
Free pattern here: http://crochetincolor.blogspot.com/2011/12/scrapadelic-scarf.html
I want one for me…and all my friends!

Little Oma Slippers by Tara Murray (Mamachee)
Pattern here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/119283078/instant-download-crochet-pattern-little?ref=shop_home_active
A pair in every color for little Ruby….check!

Heart Purse by Jenny Doh
From Crochet Love
This is just the sweetest little purse. I can see Ruby carrying all kinds of things in it…well, mostly goldfish.

Buntings with Heart by Jenny Doh from Crochet Love
Free download here: Bunting with Hearts
A set in pink and lime green for my mom’s camper – done!

Blue Round Whale by Teresa Alvarez
Free pattern here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/blue-round-whale
Something I’d make for Ruby that I’d really want for myself.

Crochet Popcorn Hat by Vanessa Ewing (on Plymouth Yarn Blog)
Free pattern here: http://blog.plymouthyarn.com/2012/12/14/dreambaby-dk-crochet-popcorn-hat/
I know Ruby won’t wear them (or for very long anyway), but I don’t care!

Greta Gauntlets by Lion Brand Yarn
Free pattern here: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90651AD.html
Got a couple pairs in the works as teacher gifts.

Little Girl Legwarmers by A Crafty House
Free pattern here: http://www.acraftyhouse.com/2012/01/free-little-girl-crochet-legwarmer.html
I absolutely love this pattern! Already made in pink and gold sparkles!

Brooklyn Boot Cuffs Pattern by Crochet Dreamz
Free pattern here: http://crochetdreamz.blogspot.com/2013/09/brooklyn-boot-cuffs-free-crochet-pattern.html#.UoU0SSSAEjV
Boot cuffs are everywhere! And I love this simple pattern, especially in a bold color.

Roller Coasters by Kirsten from Sheep and Lemons
Free pattern here: http://haakmaarraak.nl/free-pattern-roller-coasters/
The perfect resting place for a holiday bev…

Mini Hat Trick (Baby Aviator) by Lion Brand Yarn
Free pattern here: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70501AD.html
Matching ones for me and Ruby, please!!


Win some wee felted sweets!

February 20, 2013, 10:15 am  Posted by Lark

dino logoDid you know that some dinosaurs had a sweet tooth? No? Well, these do! Mr. T-Rex loves him some donuts, and Mr. Stegosaurus simply must have his daily dose of ice cream. And if you need to feed your own sweet tooth, here’s your chance: create a caption for this dino sweets scene for a chance to win some felted sweets of your own! What are they thinking as they eat all the sweets? How did they get in the sweet shoppe? What is happening?!

dino sweets scene

RAWR! Caption me!

And for more awesome needle felted scenes (before and after we mixed them up) check out Wee Felt Worlds. You’ll find a mad scientist’s lair, a pirate beach, exploring aliens, camping bears, and more!

To enter to win a prize pack of felted sweets, leave a comment on this post between now and 9 p.m. Sunday, February 24. Any comment is fine, but we’d love for you to create a caption for this needle-felted scene. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced by Monday, February 25. Click here for the official rules, and good luck!

Congrats to Virginia! She is our randomly selected winner of some wee felted sweets.


Put a Ring on It: Rock Rings

February 18, 2013, 14:48 pm  Posted by Lark

Once while standing in line, I happened to overhear a woman talking about her diamond engagement ring to a friend. She turned to greet her acquaintance and, as she flung out her left hand for view, pronounced, “Check out my rock!”

It was an interesting moment for a couple reasons, though I was especially intrigued by her reference to the diamond as a “rock,” which I realize isn’t uncommon, but still caught my attention. Yes, diamonds are rocks and they come from the earth, but when I hear the term, my first thought isn’t of precious gems–it’s of smooth river stones and pink canyon walls and the little shifting pebbles lining the campus path of my alma mater. To me, those are rocks, and they do beautiful credit to the classification.

We’ve just celebrated a Season of Love (of course, arguably, that season is year-round), and I’ve been reflecting on the ring as a symbol of love. In this, my fourth and final day of this symbolic exploration, I’ve decided to meander through Etsy in search of compelling rings reminiscent of the unexpected and literal interpretation of “rock.”


Geodes, topaz, concrete, beach rocks, and pretty little river stones all contribute to this delightful exploration, and I thank the artists mentioned below for creating such beautiful pieces in celebration of the natural wonder we find in our midst.

(Want to read my other ring posts? Visit “Put a Ring on It: Turquoise Rings, Day 3”  “Put a Ring on It: Resin Rings, Day 2”  “Put a Ring on It: Petite Rings, Day 1“)


Geode Agate Slice Ring :: popins


River Rock Ring :: CinagroFarm


 Cosmic Blue and Purple Druzy Ring :: hannahnaomi


Dry River Stone Ring :: carriegarrott


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Win a Copy of Wee Felt Worlds

February 06, 2013, 07:00 am  Posted by Lark

Wee Felt WorldsA long time ago, in a felted world far, far away, there lived a cute little cub with his canine companion, an alien girl who loved to watch her favorite Martian on her retro tv, a circus menagerie ready to astound and amaze, and a pretty scientist who channeled her inner Sheldon Cooper to create a robot sidekick.

Miniature becomes magical when you make it with needle felt, and Wee Felt Worlds offers up all sorts of diminutive scenes, each conceived and created by a talented group of needle felt designers. Here you can craft a Land of the Dinosaurs where prehistoric creatures rule the planet, a Sweet Shoppe that will have you drooling for doughnuts, a Sewing Room complete with a miniature sewing machine, a Wooly Woodland where adorable squirrels munch on mini acorns, plus many more!

Needle felting is easy to learn—simply pick up a few basic materials, and before long, you’ll be lost in your own wee felt world. As Amanda mentioned last week, we’ve got all sorts of fun things planned this month for needle felting, so keep checking back for felt-a-longs, captions contests, and giveaways!

Campfire Scene

Create a caption for me!



UPDATE: Congratulations to Charlotte! She is our randomly selected winner of the Wee Felt Worlds giveaway. Thanks so much to everyone for participating!

Speaking of giveaways: Enter today to win a copy of Wee Felt Worlds! To enter to win, leave a comment on this post between now and 9 p.m. Sunday, February 10th. Any comment is fine, but we’d love for you to create a caption for this needle-felted scene. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced by Monday, February 11. Click here for the official rules, and good luck!


The Dragonfly Brooch and Pendant by Christina Orlikowsky, a project in Kristal Wick's book Foxy Epoxy

Saint Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and the dragonfly has lessons to teach us about love: Live in the moment. See clearly what’s important — what really matters most. Be able to change directions to serve the truest needs of both those you love and yourself in order to have happy, fulfilled, and complete lives.

The dragonfly is an unusual but powerful symbol of love, and Christina Orlikowsky‘s Dragonfly Brooch and Pendant — a project design from Kristal Wick‘s soon-to-be-released book Foxy Epoxy: 44 Great Epoxy Clay Projects with Serious Bling — is the perfect project to make for a loved one, whether a partner, friend, child, or parent.

To download the Dragonfly Brooch and Pendant project as a PDF from the book, click here.

Kristal herself designed many of the projects in Foxy Epoxy, and all rest were created by an all-star lineup of jewelry crafters who have incredible fun working with epoxy clay.

The designers include Christina Orlikowski, Katie Hacker, June Beach, Stephanie Dixon, Jean Campbell, Candie Cooper, Margot Potter, Andrew Thornton, Debbi Simon, Brenda Schweder, Katerina Ilieva, and Debra Saucier!

You can preorder the book on Amazon or BN.com. And please be sure to join Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook for pics of great jewelry, notifications about free projects and giveaways, and community news.

And, in case you’re having trouble reading that quote about the book on the thumbnail front cover, it’s from Marcia DeCoster: “Kristal has put together a definitive sourcebook for using epoxy clay with an extensive and diverse collection of projects and a talented group of designers.”

It receives similar praise on the back cover:

From Mark Montano: “This is a gem of a book! If you’re in need of inspiration and ideas for your epoxy clay creations, look no more. Foxy Epoxy features work by today’s top designers and is filled from cover to cover with ideas that will keep you creating until all hours. I promise!”

From Sherry Serafini: “I ADORE this book! I couldn’t put it down! Cover to cover I loved the projects, and the inspiration popped off the pages. I applaud Kristal and all the fabulous designers for taking this medium and making it classy, funky, and so much fun.”

We hope you’ll love Foxy Epoxy, too!








Exciting News from The Makery: Artful E-Commerce in NC

September 18, 2012, 16:22 pm  Posted by Lark

Do you remember last spring when we shared an interview with the fantastic sister trio of The Makery? (Of course you remember them—they’re creative, whip-smart, talented, and all about handmade entrepreneurialism.)

photo of the Sister Team of The Makery

Well: their Kickstarter Campaign for a sales website supporting art and crafts in North Carolina was a success! The new site, aptly named The Makery, is about to launch, and we’re excited for their great news.

Let’s hear from them about upcoming enthusiasm for The Makery, first sales on their e-commerce site, and their “smoffice” success.

(Interview questions answered by Krista Anne of the Sister Team)


The Makery Logo

Since the beginning of your business plan, has the mission, shape, or message of The Makery evolved in any way? Will you remind happy readers about the current ambitions of The Makery?

Certainly! The Makery is helping people buy local and handmade, by hosting online flash sales on artisan goods every week. We’re a new platform for artists and customers to connect, discover, and engage in community supported commerce. The items we feature are a curated selection of the best NC craft; we’re excited about the art, apparel, accessories and homeware people are making right here at home.

There have been some small tweaks and changes as we figure out how to do this right, but the biggest lesson we’ve learned since starting out is how hard craftspeople are working. We’d like to recognize them not only has talented artists, but incredible entrepreneurs that have to wear so many hats to run their businesses. Seeing this makes us even more excited to do what we can to help them connect with new customers.

It also makes us passionate about educating up and comers, and creating a community around the craft movement. It can be a lonely profession, sometimes!


How does the Makery site operate? Do you have to register or become a member? How does buying and selling art/crafts on the site work?

Each week, we will feature four or more cool, local, and handmade items on the site. There will be a limited run of each item, and they will only be available for 48 hours. An email will go out alerting members when the sale goes live. And another great thing about the email – every week it will contain a coupon code so you can get a discount on whatever you want to buy!

Right now, you have to request an invitation to become a member. Once you’re ‘in,’ you receive our emails and gain access to the site.


The first sale is scheduled for September 25th (hooray!)—can you tell us what that means? Can people explore the site or become involved with The Makery before the 25th?

We will be going live with our first artists, sales, and emails on that date. Right now, you can go to www.themakeryproject.com to request an invitation, share the site with friends, and make sure you don’t miss out on our launch! And of course, be our friend on social media so we can keep you updated on the goings-on of The Makery.


You have emphasized the concept of “local” in the past, as well as in our previous fun interview with you. I’m curious: what has your experience been like blending the concept of “local” with the concept of “e-commerce”?

There is so much power in emerging technological trends. Sometimes it feels like the internet tide is going to wash us all away! But I think we’re called to see the ways in which it can advance the good things we believe in. For me and my sisters, it’s connecting our state with handmade goodness. Being an online business allows us to connect and communicate with people outside our immediate circle of friends and acquaintances, and reach a broader community that shares the same passions that we do. It also allows anyone to discover the things they want, regardless of mobility, time, or handmade shopping savvy.


How do you think The Makery benefits artists? Where should NC folks go to learn more about becoming involved with The Makery?

Selling on The Makery has very little front end investment for artists. There are no application fees, and you don’t have to have a huge stock in advance. All you need are some great pictures of your item, a design that is replicable , and the ability to sell wholesale.

We also get to highlight the artist with photos and a biography, so people can get to know the story behind the work. We hope it takes some of the ‘selling’ out of making. We will keep improving the artist side of The Makery as we gain feedback on what they want and need from us.

We’re always on the lookout for artists, they can reach us at ArtistLOVE@themakeryproject.com


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