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Bring on the Luck of the Irish!

March 04, 2016, 12:00 pm  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

61Ou85QzfeLAs some of you might know from last year’s post, St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in my family. Over the years I’ve donned everything green, ate all the corned beef and humiliated my friends with ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ pins. This year, I wanted to do something different with my affinity for the holiday.

Well, I didn’t need to look very far for inspiration. Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching The Holiday Motif Collection was sitting right on my desk, daring me to get creative. For those of you who haven’t seen this book, I suggest you get your hands on it. It’s filled with over 300 embroidery motifs designed specifically for the holidays and seasons. It even comes with a CD with all of the motifs in simple black lines so you can enlarge, edit or combine them as you like!

The book has the perfect motifs for St. Patrick’s Day. You can add them to tea towels, clothes, tote bags, pillows, and your own personalized cards. Below are a few to wet your shamrocks. I plan on adding that leprechaun to the elbows of my green sweater this year!

You can also download the black lined PDFs of these motifs here: LeprechaunPot of Gold, and Shamrock. Grab a copy for you or a loved one now!

Buy here: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, IndieBound

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Guest Post – Cynthia Rutledge

February 23, 2016, 11:51 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

Timeless coverHello fellow bead lovers,

Thank you so much for your interest in my book, Timeless Beadwork Designs. In this book, 15 brand-new projects come together to give you, the reader and beader, a glimpse into my approach to designing and creating beadwork. Historical perspective is my muse.

Whether that muse takes me to Italy to view paintings by Sandro Botticelli or to San Francisco to visit my most favorite painting, “The Girl With the Pearl Earring,” by Johannes Vermeer, documented history and the artisans of their time have left behind amazing works of art and an insight into the lives of those from the past. Whether the painting is a still life and depicts everyday household items or a portrait of a young girl wearing beautiful jewelry, every where I look I find inspiration that could lead to designing a new piece of beadwork.

Each of the projects in my book walk you through the process of designing. First, take a look at each painting and read the historical perspective about each project. Once you have done that, you can easily see what inspired me to design each project. I hope that you enjoy my new book. Below is a glimpse of what you can create! I invite you to visit me on my website at www.cynthiarutledge.net.

Happy beading to all,

Cynthia

Order your copy of Timeless Beadwork Designs at the links below:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
IndieBound

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Congratulations to Lark’s beading all-star, Cynthia Rutledge! Timeless Beadwork Designs was selected as a Best of the Month Pick on Amazon in Crafts, Hobbies, and Home, as well as earning the #1 Bestseller spot in the Beadwork category.

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Be sure to get your copy, which includes all new, never-before-seen projects from one of beading’s finest teachers.

 
 
 
 
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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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Fall Preview Friday: Origami Furniture

May 29, 2015, 09:00 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

Origami master, and best-selling author, Duy Nguyen creates the ultimate doll’s house using nothing but paper! Origami Furniture fashions complete sets of fabulous miniature furniture for every room, plus accessories.

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There are 25 projects in all, each including detailed and illustrated step-by-step instructions. Spruce-up your bedroom with an origami vanity set, or complete your living room with the perfect paper couch!

 

Pre-order your copy HERE. In stores September 2015!

 
 
 
 
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Cover to Cover 20th Anniversary Edition

May 19, 2015, 09:00 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

Cover-to-Cover photo (3)Shereen LaPlantz’s Cover to Cover (1995) quickly became the definitive guide to art in the bookmaking community.  Twenty years later, the book is still holding its own as a go-to resource.

 

This special, beautifully revised 20th anniversary edition is now in full color, features updated photography and a fresh interior design.  A comprehensive basics section provides readers with all they need to know to get started.

 

Readers will learn, step-by-step, how to create, fold, assemble, and stitch a variety of books and journals. Some favorites include two-hold pamphlets, note books, and flutter books.

 

Be sure to order your copy of Cover to Cover 20th Anniversary Edition today!

 
 
 
 
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Fall Preview Friday: Two Stitches

May 15, 2015, 09:00 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

Two Stitches photoBeadweaving master Rachel Nelson-Smith is back with more colorful and exciting projects using right angle weave and peyote, Two Stitches!

 

These vibrant bracelets, necklaces and earrings utilize the two most-popular stitches in the beading community.  Her 23 projects feature detailed instructions that illuminate Nelson-Smith’s unique construction.

 

It’s perfect for the intermediate-to advanced-level beaders! Check out some of the amazing projects and don’t forget to pre-order you’re copy HERE. In stores October 2015!

 

Check out some of our favorite projects from the book below:

 

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Voldekol Necklace

 

Borobudus Bangles 

Twinkle-Drop-Earrings

 

 
 
 
 
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Coastal Crafts photoAhoy for Summer! Creative sewer and mixed-media goddess, Cynthia Shaffer takes us on a nautical crafting extravaganza with Coastal Crafts.

 

These beachy projects will bring the sea air to your home and make you want to stick your toes in the sand. Seashells, ropes, sea glass and a range of materials and motifs are all incorporated into the projects.

 

Readers will learn how to weather surfaces, make driftwood and cast sand, creating knotted jewelry, hanging jars and other pieces to celebrate summer all year long.

 

Check out some of our favorite projects below…

 

Stitched Fish Garland (2)

 This fish garland adds a seafaring touch to any space. Use it as a baby shower banner even!

 

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Knotted Coasters (2)

These knotted coasters are my favorite! The colors remind me of the ocean.  Give them as a gift or keep for yourself!

 

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Ocean pillowsLinen Seashell pillows are just the delicate accent you need to bring the sea to your home.

 
 
 
 
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“Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not”

–James Joyce.

 

James you are quite right. There’s one thing I’ve always been confident about in my life, and that is that my mother will always be there for me. We’ve fought, we’ve laughed, we’ve shared clothes (well mostly, I’ve raided her closet without returning…sorry Mom!).  My mom is hands-down my best friend.

 

Paper Blooms

 

With Mother’s Day this Sunday, I’ve been trying to think of something different to give my mom.  Something other than the usual candy or Dunkin Donuts gift card (she literally runs on Dunkin).  Flowers were the first thing that came to mind, but they’re a bit cliché and don’t last nearly as long as we’d like. But then I remembered the book Lark published in 2013, Paper Blooms by artist extraordinaire Jeffrey Rudell.  Paper flowers are such a perfect Mother’s Day gift! They’re colorful, easy to create, and last as long as you’d like.

 

In Jeffrey’s book, he gives readers 25 projects to dive into. So this Mother’s Day, I’m creating my own equally unique bouquet for my Mom. Below are just some of the beautiful pieces in Jeffrey’s book.

 

If you’ve been swamped with work or family, and looking for a great gift for Mom, look no further than in your desk drawer! And to all the mother’s out there, have a very Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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Lark Crafts DIY: St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2015, 12:05 pm  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

Beannachtam na Femle Padraig! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Whether you are Irish or an honorary Irish today, I hope everyone enjoys his or her green beer and shamrocks. Being half Irish, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day has been a long-standing tradition in my family. Every year, we eat a big meal of corned beef and cabbage and my grandma’s famous soda bread. We then go to our favorite pub to watch step dancers and hear traditional Celtic music.

 

shamrock kids

 

It’s truly a celebration. And who wouldn’t want to celebrate with these two cuties! That picture was taken last year, but you can guarantee they will be wearing as much green and cable knits this time around.

 

Shamrock (3)

 

Incorporating some green into my outfit is extremely important today. Although I have on my green pants, it’s always nice to add another pop of color in the form of a broach, hairpin or jewelry. A fun and easy DIY to make is a felted shamrock pin. This is a great way to add some flair…and luck, even if you’re not Irish.

 

What you’ll need:

Green wool felt

Needle and thread

Broach pin

Hot glue gun

 

Shamrock Steps (3)

 

To begin, cut 4 separate leaves like the ones shown above. These will be the shamrock’s petals. They don’t have to be perfect, just make two little “hills” as my nephew calls them.

 

Next sew the leaves together as shown, weaving in and out of the felt. Then, pull the threads together, joining the outermost leaves, and tie the threads tightly at the ends. This is your completed shamrock. You can play around with the leaves to bring the shape together as you like. Using the hot glue gun, glue the shamrock to the broach pin.  Wait to dry, and voila! You now have a lucky little charm help you cheers the day!