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This is the third and final installment of  Stitched Blooms author Carina Envoldsen-Harris’s Color Workshop. You can read the first two posts here and here.

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO projects from Stitched Blooms — the English Cottage Tablecloth or a copy of the bookSee the end of this post for details on how to enter. UPDATE: YOUR CHANCE TO WIN HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 7. SEE THE END OF THIS POST FOR MORE DETAILS! 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Mita and Stacy!

 

 

Selecting Colors for Your Projects

 

 

Choosing colors for your own projects is “easy” — you can just pick the colors you love and all is well, right?  Well, to a degree. If you love a certain combination, green and pink, for example (guilty!), by all means go for it. But I’m a big fan of trying new things in the colors you use. Pushing yourself out of that comfort zone which it is so easy to get a little stuck in.

I am always suggesting that people should try using the colors they least like a bit more. Because this will train you to make it work even if you don’t like it all that much. And I think that pushing your choices is also a great way to learn more about color and about what works for you, and why.

Purple or lilac are probably my least favorite color, but I will often try and add a bit of it when deciding on colors for a new pattern. Experience has taught me that sometimes colors I don’t like make the rest of the color scheme really ‘pop’ in ways it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t used it.

 

Selecting colors for gifts 

 When you are making a gift for someone else, getting the colors right can be a challenge. Especially if what you’re making is a surprise and you can’t ask them exactly what they like!

 

 

Maybe you’re making a skirt or a blouse for your friend but the colors she actually wears aren’t necessarily her favorite colors. For example, you would think that I wear a lot of bright colors, and I do occasionally wear a top in a bold color, but I actually mostly wear more plain dark or light colors.  So if you’re making clothing for someone, pay attention to what they actually wear or take a sneaky peek in their wardrobe (that’s mine up there) if you can.

When making a larger project for someone else, a quilt for example, getting the colors right is really important. You don’t want it to overpower a whole room. Even if you use all the colors you know your friend loves, it might not fit in the room/house. She may love bold colors — lime green, zingy orange etc — but does she actually use those colors in her home?

 

Again, I’ll use myself as an example. I use a lot of strong colors in the things I make, but the colors in our home are actually quite subdued. Our bedroom for example, has very neutral, calming colors going on there. Although I would love a quilt in my favorite colors, I think I would soon put it somewhere I didn’t have to look at it all the time. Color overload is not a good thing if you’re not into that.

So when selecting colors, think about the colors in the room where it is most likely to be used. If your friend already has an overall color scheme there, select the overall colors to go with it. But of course there’s nothing stopping you from using a cheeky pop of pink in a few places!

If you’re making a smaller thing, like a bag or maybe a piece of jewelry, it is a lot easier to make a statement with color. But again, pay attention to what someone uses/wears, not just what they like.

 

Working with colors selected by others

Since color is such a subjective thing, sometimes people will ask you to make something for them in a specific color or color combination. This can be a fun aspect of a project, but it can also be really challenging. If the chosen colors are far removed from your own taste it can be difficult to work with them, because if you usually avoid them, you may not be familiar with how to get them to play well with other colors. (That’s another reason to experiment with color in the things you make for yourself!)

Hopefully the person who has chosen the colors trusts you enough that you have some freedom to add a little bit of your own taste to the project. One way to make a color combination easier to work with is to add just a tiny amount of an accent color that you do like/love. Here’s an example:

Purple-ish colors combined with yellow is probably my least favorite combination. There is just something about this complementary pair that feels really unpleasant. I’m not sure why — I like other complementary pairs. To make it more comfortable for me to work with, I would probably add some pink or orange. Even if it’s just a little bit, either of these colors will help soften the harshness of the yellow + purple combination.

So if you can, work with the colors you have been given, but try and add some of *you* into the mix.

I hope you’ve found my Color Workshop to be fun and informative! Please do stop by my blog, Carina’s Craftblog, where you can find lovely embroidery patterns, learn about projects I’ve got in the works, and catch up on all sorts of embroidery-and craft-related things. Don’t forget that you can buy Stitched Blooms at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or wherever craft books are sold!

 

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO Stitched Blooms prizes — the English Cottage Tablecloth (46 inches [116.8 cm] square), or a copy of Stitched Blooms! Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 27. You can leave any comment you’d like, but it would be really fun to hear about any color combinations you’ve tried in your embroidery that turned out to be disastrous! Two winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, February 28. Click here for the official rules. Special note: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, but residents outside the U.S. can enter for a chance to win a copy of Stitched Blooms on Carina’s blog! Click here to go to Carina’s Craftblog

***WE’RE EXTENDING YOUR CHANCE TO WIN UNTIL THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 7! PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BY 9 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 7. TWO WINNERS WILL BE SELECTED AT RANDOM AND ANNOUNCED MONDAY, MARCH 10.***   This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Mita and Stacy! 

 

English Cottage Tablecloth, 46 inches (116.8 cm ) square

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Carina Envoldsen-Harris, author of Stitched Blooms, is leading a special Color Workshop in three parts here on the Lark blog. From reviewing basic color theory to showing us how to select colors for our projects, Carina will share her expertise of all things color. You can find Carina’s first Color Workshop post here.

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO projects from Stitched Blooms — the PJ Pocket Pillow or the Every Day Carry Case! See the end of this post for details on how to enter. UPDATE: Congratulations to our two winners: Kay and Cindy! 

 

Hello and welcome to the second part of the color workshop! Today we’re looking at different color schemes that you can create from the color wheel.

 

The basic idea is that according to their relationship on the color wheel, colors impact each other. We’ll look at two of them: complementary and harmonizing. But there are several others that are included in the color section in Stitched Blooms.

Harmonizing colors are right next to each other on the color wheel — for example, red, red-violet and violet. The colors have more or less one color in common (in the example above, the common color is red). A color palette like this is tranquil.

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange. Complementary colors have nothing in common. Blue is a primary color and orange is made up of red and yellow, the two other primary colors. You could also think of these as contrasting colors, because they are exactly that — in contrast to each other. If you want your color scheme to “pop,” go for a complementary one.

Until now, we’ve focused on the (basic) colors on the color wheel, and maybe you’re wondering about where pink (personal note: I looove pink!) or pastels or darker colors fit into this.

 

 

Pastels and shades, the colors on the color wheel mixed with either white or black, can be used in exactly the same way as the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The same rules apply to the different color schemes. Pair a pale orange with a pale blue and it will have more ‘zing’ than pale orange with a pale red (a.k.a. pink).

You can, of course, combine color across the different schemes. In this last example, I have used three harmonizing greens with a pink color, so this scheme is basically a complementary pair where one of the colors is a pale version.

I call the schemes ‘rules’ but they’re more like guidelines. They are a place to start if you’re unsure how to select colors for a project. With practice, you will get more confident, and that is when it’s time to throw caution to the wind and just have fun with color!

To train your color eye, have a look around your home: Do you spot any of these schemes in things you own or in the decor? Think about the clothes you wear – do you go for quieter, harmonizing colors, or do you pick contrasting colors? An orange t-shirt with blue jeans, for example? What about the colors you choose for projects? Maybe you’re always subconsciously picking harmonious colors or…maybe not?

To see examples of Motif 99 from Stitched Blooms in different color combinations, click here. You can download this free motif from last week’s post here

Tune in next week for the third and final installment of Carina’s Color Workshop and for a chance to win more free stuff! And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win one of two projects from Stitched Blooms: the PJ Pocket Pillow or the Every Day Carry Case! Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 20. You can leave any comment you’d like, but we’d be interested in knowing what you’ve got planned for future embroidery projects! Two winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, February 21. Click here for the official rules.     This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners! 

You can see more of Carina’s totally awesome (and colorful!) motifs and projects at Carina’s Craftblog.

PJ Pocket Pillow

 

Every Day Carry Case

 
 
 
 
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Carina Envoldsen-Harris, author of Stitched Blooms, will be leading a special Color Workshop here on the Lark blog once a week for the next three weeks. From reviewing basic color theory to showing us how to select colors for our projects, Carina will share her expertise of all things color.

You can stitch the same motif shown in this blog post (plus a bonus motif!) by downloading them here for FREE: Stitched Blooms Motifs. Also, be sure to find out how you can enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of Stitched Blooms at the end of this post.

Update: Congratulations to Beth T., who won a free copy of Stitched Blooms! 

 

Hi! Welcome to this workshop about color. We’re going to cover a few things in these posts, but obviously, it’s an introduction to all things color. You could spend a lifetime studying these things, and that would be fun, I’m sure. But you wouldn’t have much time to do any embroidery!

The workshop is split into three sections: introduction to the color wheel, introduction to color schemes, and working with/selecting colors. Today we start with an introduction to the color wheel.

You have probably come across the color wheel before? In school, perhaps? If you haven’t, here’s a quick explanation of what the color wheel can do: It is a pie chart of sorts that shows how, with three basic colors (the primaries), you can mix all the other colors. Along with primary colors, you will often hear people talk about secondary and tertiary colors.

The three primary colors are red, yellow and blue, and they can’t be made from other colors. By mixing the primary colors, you will get the three secondary colors. These are orange (red + yellow), green (yellow + blue), and violet (blue + red).

There are six tertiary colors, each of which is mixed from a primary and a secondary color: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

There are of course lots of colors besides these — millions in fact — but they all start with this basic principle of mixing, starting with the primary colors.

When it comes to embroidery, though, “mixing” perhaps isn’t the best term to use, because we can’t physically mix two colors of stranded floss. No matter how tightly you twist them together, red and yellow floss will not turn orange — they will always remain red or yellow. But they may look orange from some distance and that is very important to keep in mind.

 

Colors are very much influenced by their neighbors. Yellow and red next to each other will make each other look slightly orange. The same thing goes for any color — if there’s another color sitting next to it, each will impact the other, even if it’s just a little bit.

This can create unfortunate, unwanted effects, like a yellow that looks very nice on its own, but when placed next to a green takes on a green tinge. But we can also use it to our advantage, to make it look like we’ve used more colors than we actually have. Much like Impressionist painters who often would mix colors not on the palette but by putting small dots or strokes of paint next to each other on the canvas (called Pointillism), creating the illusion of a third color.

This is called partitive mixing or optical mixing. And this effect is exactly what we’re doing when we put thread colors together in a piece of embroidery. You could even recreate a Pointilist effect in embroidery by using French knots — when seen from a distance, the individual colors will start to disappear and the “in between” colors will appear.

And the number of colors that can be created using the colors on the color wheel can of course be multiplied even more by mixing them with white or black —to make a pink or peach or pale blue, for example.

The color wheel is a great reminder of the relationship between the colors. And the color wheel can do so much more for us! Next week we’ll look at how the color wheel can help us choose color schemes.

 

Enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of Stitched Blooms and try your own hand at color combinations with the 300+ motifs you can find in the book! Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 13. Any comment will do, but why don’t you tell us your favorite color combination? One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, February 14. Click here for the official rules. This giveaway is now closed.

Don’t forget to check back next week for part 2 of Carina’s Color Workshop and for a chance to win more free stuff! You can see more of Carina’s lovely, colorful motifs and projects on Carina’s Craftblog.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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A Crochet GIVEAWAY!

November 26, 2013, 05:00 am  Posted by Shannon Quinn-Tucker
 

 

 

Enter for a chance to win all four copies of the fabulous crochet books shown above! 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our randomly selected winner, A.H.K.!

Last year, I made a mid-year’s resolution to learn to crochet. This year, I kept it. Crocheting is so much fun, and I’ve already made the Skinny Scalloped Scarf from Crochet Love and the Chunky Ribbed Scarf from Crochet Boutique.

Because it’s the holidays, and because Lark loves you, and to celebrate the one resolution I’ve followed through with in the last 20 years, we’re giving away a sweet little bundle of four Lark crochet books to one lucky winner! Simply enter a comment below, and you could win a copy of Crochet Love, Crochet Boutique, AmiguruME, and Crochet Garden.

Whether you’re a newbie crocheter like me or are already accomplished with the hook, you’ll find a wide range of projects in these books: fresh, modern wearables and accessories; sweet, zakka-inspired, simple-to-stitch projects; amigurume people you can create in any shape or size; and lovely, floral-inspired motifs for any season. 

How can you enter for a chance to win this essential collection of crochet books? Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 5. Any comment will do, but why don’t you tell us about any holiday crochet projects you have in the works? One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, December 6. Click here for the official rules. 

 

 
 
 
 
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Everyone knows that the second week of November is the most boring week of the entire year. You’ve (supposedly) put all of your Halloween decorations away, the colorful fall foliage has come and gone, and it’s too soon to start baking for Thanksgiving.

But now, you can get your creative juices flowing and combat the Second Week of November blues by joining Carina Envoldsen-Harris’s Stitched Blooms Stitch Along!

Stitch one or more motifs from Stitched Blooms on something fun, then share your images on Instagram, on your blog, or on Twitter. You’ll have the chance to win a free book or a project from Stitched Blooms by participating! Just go to Carina’s website here for all the details and for a free PDF of eight motifs from the book.

Get creative, and share the Stitched Blooms love!

You can buy Stitched Blooms online or wherever totally awesome craft books are sold.

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitched Blooms now available

October 02, 2013, 15:00 pm  Posted by Shannon Quinn-Tucker
 

It’s here, folks! Stitched Blooms is officially for sale online and in bookstores everywhere! If you’re new to embroidery, you’ll find that you don’t need a lot of tools to get started—just grab a needle, some cloth, and some pretty floss, and you’re good to go. Novices and seasoned embroiderers alike will find tons of inspiration in Carina’s thorough section on color, and then you can dive right into a project or try one of the 300 gorgeous, flowery motifs featured in the book.

If you missed any stops on the Stitched Blooms blog tour, now’s your chance to check out what other crafters are saying about the book (hint: they love it). Take a look at a few of the projects some of the stitchers created, then purchase your copy of Stitched Blooms here or at your local bookstore, and stitch up your own embroidered masterpiece!

 

Dala Horse by Mollie at Wild Olive

 

Embroidered Blouse by Jo at Feeling Stitchy

 

Baby's Onesie by Rachel at Average Jane Crafter

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitched Blooms: Blog Tour Update

September 20, 2013, 15:00 pm  Posted by Shannon Quinn-Tucker
 

Stitched Blooms fever has officially zapped crafters everywhere! We kicked off the official Stitched Blooms blog tour this week, and stitchers are falling in love with Carina’s colorful motifs and projects!

On Monday, Lark’s Amanda Carestio showed us how she revamped her little girl’s skirt with leaf motif #165. See the results (and Ruby’s too-cute little legs!), plus download the leaf motif here. “There are so many things to love about Stitched Blooms,” says Amanda. “The sumptuous cover, Carina’s informative section about color, the 20 incredibly cute projects, the 300 motifs that you can do absolutely anything with, and the CD so you can resize the motifs to suit your needs.”

On Tuesday, Sara from Sew Sweetness stitched up her own version of the Spectacular Spectacles Case, which we think is just lovely! You can see it on her post here. She was also taken with the Pretty Organized Calendar project: “The border of the calendar is embroidered and sewn together, and there is a printable for the actual paper calendar, which you slip inside the border. If I had more time, I totally would have made this project for my review! It seems both beautiful and functional.”

And on Wednesday, Jessica at Running with Scissors and Diane at Craftypod joined in the fun! “I’m a fan of Carina’s color sense,” says Diane. “It’s bright and clear and happy, and she can mix a whole slew of colors without ever sliding into garishness. I was thrilled to see her give this subject some serious coverage in her book.” Find out what else Diane loved about the book here.

Jessica was thrilled to find all the motifs on CD. “(It was) one of my favorite aspects of the book. You get all the images so you can enlarge, combine, or shrink them to meet the needs of your project.” To read Jessica’s review, and for chance to win a free floss bundle, click here.

Keep checking in daily with the bloggers below as they explore all that Stitched Blooms has to offer! And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of the book, which will be available online and in bookstores everywhere in October! Happy Stitching!

 

Sept. 20th – Mollie Johanson, Wild Olive 

Sept. 21st – Aina Crescimbeni, Casa Andersen

Sept. 21st  - Beth Wilson, Sew Mama Sew

Sept. 22nd  - Amy Proff Lyons, APL Creations

Sept. 23rd  - Jo Stafferton & Floresita, Feeling Stitchy

Sept. 23rd – Rachel Hobson, Average Jane Crafter

Sept. 24th – John Adams, Quilt Dad

Sept. 24th – Aimee Ray, Little Dear Tracks

Sept. 25th – Jenny Doh, Crescendoh

Sept. 25th – Nicole Vos van Avezathe, Follow the White Bunny

Sept. 26th – Hanna Andersson, iHanna

Sept. 26th – Abby Glassenberg, While She Naps

Sept. 27th – Susie Stubbs, Flower Press

 
 
 
 
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Announcing the Stitched Blooms blog tour!

September 05, 2013, 14:20 pm  Posted by Shannon Quinn-Tucker
 

Stitched BloomsLast week, we gave you a little peek inside Carina Envoldsen-Harris’s book, Stitched Blooms, to be released in early October. Many of you told us you can’t wait to see more!

 

We think you’ll be thrilled to learn that beginning September 16, we’re kicking off a Stitched Blooms blog tour! Twenty talented, crafty bloggers will feature Stitched Blooms on their websites, offering more previews of the book, giveaways of project PDFs, and chances to win free prizes. You’ll even be treated to an interview with Carina!

 

 

 

Starting September 16, join in the fun and check out the blogs below! And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Stitched Blooms at BN.com today.

 

Sept. 16th – Amanda Carestio, Lark Crafts

Sept. 16th – Shannon Cook, Luv in the Mommyhood

Sept. 17th – Lynne, Lily’s Quilts

Sept. 17th – Sara Lawson, Sew Sweetness

Sept. 18th – Alicia Rosello, DMC blog

Blomma Bag

Blomma Bag

Sept. 19th – Jessica Crapo, Running with Scissors

Sept. 19th – Diane Gilleland, Crafty Pod

Sept. 20th – Mollie Johanson, Wild Olive 

Sept. 21st – Aina Crescimbeni, Casa Andersen

Sept. 21st  - Beth Wilson, Sew Mama Sew

Sept. 22nd  - Amy Proff Lyons, APL Creations

Sept. 23rd  - Jo Stafferton & Floresita, Feeling Stitchy

Sept. 23rd – Rachel Hobson, Average Jane Crafter

Sept. 24th – John Adams, Quilt Dad

Sept. 24th – Aimee Ray, Little Dear Tracks

Sept. 25th – Jenny Doh, Crescendoh

Sept. 25th – Nicole Vos van Avezathe, Follow the White Bunny

Sept. 26th – Hanna Andersson, iHanna

Sept. 26th – Abby Glassenberg, While She Naps

Sept. 27th – Susie Stubbs, Flower Press

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitched Blooms Sneak Peek!

August 27, 2013, 15:30 pm  Posted by Shannon Quinn-Tucker
 

Stitched BloomsRemember how, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you just couldn’t wait to unwrap your presents? And sometimes, your mom would let you open one gift ahead of time because you couldn’t stand to wait any longer?

That’s pretty close to how we’re feeling about Carina Envoldsen-Harris’s upcoming book, Stitched Blooms: 300 Floral, Leaf & Border Motifs to Embroider. Stitched Blooms will be available online and in bookstores everywhere in early October, but we’re so excited about it, we’re giving you a sneak peek today!

Dala Horse

Dala Horse

Stitched Blooms offers 20 beautiful projects (including the adorable Dala Horse at right), plus 300 gorgeous motifs that you can use for embellishment. Carina’s flair for color combination is evident in each stunning bloom, and all the motifs are included on a handy CD, so you can mix and match them to suit your own projects.

Be sure to check back with us over the next couple of months for more on Stitched Blooms, including giveaways of project patterns and motifs from the book. And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Stitched Blooms online at BN.com so you don’t have to wait any longer than necessary to get stitching!

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Embrace Eyelet!

June 24, 2013, 11:00 am  Posted by Shannon Quinn-Tucker
 

I’m having a summer romance with eyelet. A small hole usually lined with fabric, leather, or even metal, eyelet has been around forever — but this season it seems to be getting a modern update and can be seen in everything from hip jewelry to pretty home décor, trendy paper crafts to adorable baby toys.

My infatuation with eyelet stems from a combination of nostalgia (here’s looking at you, little yellow sundress circa 1978) and the fact that it’s perfect for this time of year (holes = built-in air conditioning!). And unlike my crushes of summers past (Sun-In, that boy who drove the Camaro, pink jelly shoes), eyelet doesn’t result in icky hair, tears, or unnecessary sweating.

Check out the fabulous Etsy eyelet finds gathered below, then have a cool, relaxed summer by saying yes to eyelet (and no to those Camaro-driving lotharios).

 

From left to right:

Yellow Plaid Dish Towel with Eyelet Trim by LeahsHeart

Eyelet Ring from missyindustry

Giraffe Skirt with Eyelet Ruffle Trim from Little Maisie

Sterling Silver Eyelet Post Earrings from ErinAustin

Eyelet Fabric Bundle from EmbellishedLife2

Sterling Silver Eyelet Lace Necklace from ErinAustin

Zorie Yellow Eyelet Blouse from nilsapuig

White Eyelet Pillow Cover from Sewninspirations

Limeade Stand Dress from Modcloth.com

Orange Eyelet Summer Sundress from kimeradesign

White Eyelet Lace Summer Dress from SevenBlooms 

Vintage Eyelet Half Apron from ButterCupMom