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Ever pick your way through shelves of expensive face and body creams, toners, lip balms, shampoos, or bath salts? Eventually you shake your head and walk away confused and frustrated. The high prices are intimidating and the fancy labels make all kinds of extravagant claims. But the truth is, these expensive commercial items are concocted with all the same old chemical stuff,  while maybe an herb or two has been thrown in for appearance.

 

Heatherly Houdeck’s The Herbal Bath and Body Book (Sept. 2014) offers eye-opening information about how to make many of these products at home with pure, natural ingredients. And it sounds like they’ll be more effective than the store-bought version.

 

Heatherly’s book opens with elegant photographs of the herbs and flowers that fill the recipes. She includes valuable information about how to buy and store the herbs and use them to their best advantage, as well as her top twenty list of favorite herbs.

 

Part two is a treasury of easy-to-follow recipes for making sunscreen, shampoos (for oily and dry hair, as well as to fight dandruff), a sore muscle soak, a sugar scrub, herbal face masques, skin toners, shaving balm and aftershave, perfume, body butters, deodorant, and more.

 

While I have occasionally thought about trying to make some of these products, after reading The Herbal Bath and Body Book, I feel totally confident that I have all the information I need to make what I especially want:  my own body butter and perfume. The Bay Rum aftershave and toner sound like great gifts for the men in my life.

 

And guess what? At the end of the book, there’s tons of information on where to find containers and how to package the products (including making gift baskets, and great labels). The author also provides conversion charts and advice on where to buy the ingredients. I’m psyched! Now, what to choose for my first project?

 
 
 
 
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Starting next week: Throwback Thursdays!

July 17, 2014, 15:19 pm  Posted by joshglickman
 

Announcing a new feature segment on our Lark Crafts blog: Throwback Thursday, or as you might already call it, #TBT! Starting next week we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite books from past seasons, every Thursday. With great crafting projects and ideas to share from our archives, this is a chance to revisit old favorites, and to discover something new you might’ve missed the first time.

 

To make Throwback Thursday even more fun, we’ll be offering book giveaways each week to our readers, so be sure not to miss out on the craft-stalgia! We can’t wait for next Thursday and hope you’ll join us for the #TBT fun.

 
 
 
 
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Fall Preview Friday: Felt-O-Ween

July 11, 2014, 13:54 pm  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

Welcome to Fall Preview Friday! Each Friday this summer, our Lark editors will be sharing previews of our upcoming titles for Fall 2014. Check back each week to get the latest scoop on what’s coming soon with these sneak peeks from Lark Crafts.

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Is Halloween one of your favorite holidays of the year? Are you looking for easy-to-make costume ideas? Does your home need a little splash of spooky to celebrate the holiday? Look no further than Felt-O-Ween: 40 Scary-Cute Projects to Celebrate Halloween by Kathy Sheldon and Amanda Carestio, the team behind the bestseller, Fa la la la Felt.

Coming this fall, Felt-O-Ween will be your guide to a fabulous and felt-o-licious Halloween. Newcomers to felt can start with the basics, understand the types of felt and how to work with it, and practice techniques for hand stitching. More experienced crafters can jump right into the projects. All the supplies you need are available at any local craft store, which makes every project in this book accessible, easy, and fun.

 

The Creepy Crawly Wreath is the perfect décor to greet trick-or-treaters at your door. Fall foliage has never looked so scary-cute with this yarn-wrapped wreath:

 

With these sweet Pumpkin’ Treat Pouches you’ll be every trick-or-treaters favorite house this Halloween. It’s the perfect size for a small bite-size candy bar or even a small healthy treat:

 

 

Monster Hands make the perfect quick costume for kids and adults alike and are sure to scare up candy at every door in your neighborhood. Wrist straps can be altered for a custom fit to accommodate any size:

 

Felt-O-Ween will add a dash of crafty ingenuity to your Halloween this year. Pre-order your copy today!

(Post written by Lark Editor, Connie Santisteban.)

 
 
 
 
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Cookbook Preview: From Scratch

April 17, 2014, 11:06 am  Posted by Lark
 

You don’t have to be an accomplished gourmet to appreciate the delicious ideas in From Scratch: An Introduction to French Breads, Cheeses, Preserves, Pickles, Charcuterie, Condiments, Yogurts, Sweets, and More by Laurence and Gilles Laurendon. Featuring 120 recipes, this beautifully photographed new book captures the classic tastes of the French countryside. In addition to recipes for delicious artisan foods, the book includes a wealth of menu ideas, culinary tips, and easy-to-follow techniques.

If you’re hoping to hone your yogurt-making skills in time for summer or want to try your hand at preserving veggies, then look no further than From Scratch. You’ll find all the DIY info you need for those culinary undertakings, along with simple instructions for making your own pastas, sausages, and tofu. Whether you’re a culinary connoisseur or merely curious, you’ll find inspiration in From Scratch. It’s a feast from start to finish.

From Scratch is available at Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.

 

 
 
 
 
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Introducing 1000 Beads

April 03, 2014, 10:55 am  Posted by Lark
 

A sparkling new collection that focuses on the timeless creative practice of beadmaking,1000 Beads features a diverse group of handmade beads in glass, clay, metal, paper, and fiber from an international roster of artists. As the companion volume to Lark’s 2004 title 1000 Glass Beads, this impressive new volume provides an illuminating look at contemporary practitioners of the form.   The pieces in the collection were selected by Kristina Logan, who is known internationally for her glass beads. The techniques used—image transfer, appliqué, and traditional flameworking, among many others—are as diverse as the materials.

Whether they’re depicted individually or as part of a necklace, bracelet, or brooch, the beads in this dazzling book are examples of consummate craftsmanship on an intimate scale. Enjoy the images below and pick up a copy of 1000 Beads. You can find it at Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.

 

Cubes, of Course! by Ann Klem

Thera by Holly Cooper



Spiral by Wiwat Kamolpornwijit 

 

 

Purple Fibers by Lee Schein

PB2 by Lily Liu

 
 
 
 
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Packaging How-To for Crafters!

April 02, 2014, 17:50 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Etsy sellers, wholesalers, gift-givers, Pinterest lovers, and home crafters, gather around! You’ve got your craft down, but what’s the best way to present it or ship it? Packaging Your Crafts is [beautifully] jam-packed with nearly 200 eye-candy photos of creative packaging ideas. You’ll also find overviews of packaging and packing materials including tips on keeping it green, 10 tutorials for specific techniques such as glass etching and image transfer, 13 designer spotlights illustrating specific products from real brands, plus downloadable box and label templates!
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You might never outgrow this book, because it offers so many resources for every level, from wrapping up a single brownie or stack of stationery to packing hundreds of t-shirts to be stacked and sold in retail stores. Check out a few of my favorite spreads below–you’ll see why I love this book so much!

 

 

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Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories

February 26, 2014, 20:14 pm  Posted by Lark
 

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Jewelry of all kinds, home decor, and lots of inspiration! That’s what you’ll find in this new paperback version of Lisa Bluhm’s playful how-to, Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories. Holiday ornaments featuring ribbons, pendants, and Victorian clip art; a turquoise jewelry set; a necklace made from a broken porcelain plate; and bedazzled antique bottles are just a few of the fun-expected projects you’ll find!

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Lisa takes readers through the basics, including what you’ll need and some simple techniques, and she shares lots of experience that can only come from having learned the hard way. After teaching all about soldering, she shares a few jewelry-making techniques too, which are followed by more than 40 projects. Think of this as your incredibly comprehensive Intro to Soldering course!

 
 
 
 
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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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While February may not be the most popular time to wed, many brides and their families and friends are using these winter months to kick wedding planning into high gear.

And with all the costs associated with the big day, it’s only natural to seek out cost-effective ways and ideas to customize a wedding. Stylish Weddings is packed with over 50 quick, simple, and inexpensive essential wedding projects to make, all photographed in lavish settings.

Explore six different signature themes, each contributed by a talented designer, that appeal to a wide audience: Farm Chicks Country Wedding (by Serena Thompson), French-Inspired Wedding (by Corey Amaro), Rustic & Elegant Wedding (by Tracy Schultz), Romantic & Pretty Wedding (by Heather Bullard), Natural & Organic Wedding (by Minna Mercke Schmidt), and Vintage Glam Wedding (by Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon). Each theme highlights the quintessential elements required to get that look with an “inspiration board” of images, plenty of tips, and suggestions for pulling everything together. Projects with a special touch include invitations, table settings, favors, decorations, and items for the bride and bridal party.

Don’t know anyone getting married right now? No worries. Many of these ideas would be great for any kind of entertaining with just the slightest creative adjustments.

 

 
 
 
 
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Marica DeCoster Presents—Now Available!

February 11, 2014, 15:08 pm  Posted by Lark
 

 

Marcia DeCoster interviews 30 leading beaders on inspiration and technique

Just published! Beadmaster Marcia DeCoster delivers page after page of inspiration by offering you the personal stories and latest creations from 30 leading jewelry designers in her latest, Marcia DeCoster Presents.

 

Through interviews conducted by Marcia, these artists open up about their beginnings, their successes, their muses and influences, their favorite materials, their membership in the worldwide beading community, and their future beading dreams.

 

In addition to the insight and innovation present in these discussions, this volume is filled with gorgeous color photos that showcase a number of the most beautiful pieces from each contributor.

 

The artists in this book represent an international roster of the best in the field:

Daeng Weaver, Miriam Shimon, Patrick Duggan, Kerrie Slade, Melissa Ingram, Beki Haley, Betty Stephan, Sian Nolan, Debi Keir-Nicholson, Nancy Dale, Martina Nagele, Helena Tan-Lim, Heather Kingsley-Heath, Elke Leonhardt-Rath, Riana Bootha Olckers, Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, Isabella Lam, Petra Tismer, Marsha Wiest-Hines, Christina Vandervlist, Linda L. Jones, Gabriella van Diepen, Idele Gilbert, Kinga Nichols, Susan Blessinger, Ann Braginsky, Heather Collin, Patrizia Tager, Zoya Gutina, Edgar Lopez

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And don’t forget the best-selling companion book in this Spotlight on Beading series, Suzanne Golden Presents