Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: AnimalsIt seemed like spring was never going to arrive this year (Snow in March? Totally unfair.), but I think warmer weather has finally settled in for good here in Asheville. And with the higher temperatures, a lot of us are feeling the urge to get stuff done: cleaning our front porches, packing away sweaters and scarves and pulling out sundresses, and planning our springtime craft projects—like these cross-stitch designs from Trice Boerens’s Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: Animals. The great thing about Two-Hour Cross Stitch is that every design can be made in a short amount of time—just right for stitching while you take a spring break road trip, soak up the sun in your yard, or indulge in an extra-long lunch (ahem) to enjoy the warmer temperatures.

Get started on your spring craft projects by entering to win a FREE copy of Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: Animals, plus two finished, framed pieces from the book: a little duck holding an umbrella and a squirrel with an acorn. You just can’t get any more spring than that!Squirrel and Duck

Plus, you can download a PDF pattern of these two designs for free: just click here and get stitching.

For even more cross-stitch fun, pick up a copy of Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: Animals at BN.com or at your local bookstore. You’ll find animal-themed projects to fit every occasion – birthdays, holidays, baby showers, and more!


UPDATE: The contest is over and we have chosen a winner! Thanks to everyone for participating!

To enter to win two framed cross-stitched pieces and a copy of Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: Animals, leave a comment on this post between now and 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 17. Any comment is fine, but we’d love to know what cross-stitch project you’re currently working on. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced by Thursday, April 18. Click here for the official rules, and good luck!


I Have a Dream GarlandThe life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was commemorated on Monday, but every day is a good day to remember his message. Some of my favorite quotes from Dr. King include:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.Heart-Felt Holidays

To celebrate Dr. King and the impact he made on our country, we’re giving away the “I Have a Dream Garland” from Heart-Felt Holidays! Designed by my colleague and friend Kathy Sheldon, this garland is simple to make and versatile enough to use every day—hang it in a child’s room, in a classroom, or at a children’s center. You might even want to donate the garland to a local school, community center, or place of worship.

Download the project instructions by clicking here: I Have a Dream Garland

Dr. King also said, “We must use time creatively.” Let’s all endeavor to use our talents and gifts to further the good of others.


I’ll admit it—I was asleep by 9:30 on New Year’s Eve. One of these years, I’m going to ring in the New Year with style, and when that happens I’ll be ready with Aimee Ray’s CheersCheers! Banner Banner from Heart-Felt Holidays. We thought you might want to get your own party started by making one of these banners for yourself, so we’re giving you the pattern! Download the pattern here—but don’t wait until 2014 to use it! The Cheers Banner can easily be displayed for all sorts of occasions, including birthdays, office parties, or, dang it, just because you had a bad day and need to come home to something bright and happy.

Pick up a copy of Heart-Felt Holidays today at BN.com or your local bookstore, and get tons of craft ideas for special occasions throughout the year!

Here’s to a cheery 2013!


Heart-Felt Holidays

Some people have all of their holiday shopping done by the end of October. I admire those people, but I can tell you with all certainty that I will never be able to join their organized ranks. Today, the day after Thanksgiving, is the day I make my holiday card list, start planning gifts to buy and goodies to bake, and deck my halls with my much-loved collection of Christmas decorations.

This year, I’m planning to add to that collection by making the Mistletoe Kissing Ball from Heart-Felt Holidays (see inside the book here!). Designed by Amanda Carestio (who just happens to sit 10 feet away from me here at Lark), this little felt project is easy to make while you’re sitting on the couch trying to recuperate from turkey (and macaroni and cheese and sweet potato casserole) overload. Download the pattern, grab some felt and a cute gingham ribbon, and in no time, you’ll have a beautiful, handmade holiday sphere to hang in your home! (And don’t forget to check out Fa-La-La-La Felt at BN.com, where you can find even more ideas for Christmas crafting.)

May your holiday season be merry and bright – and filled with handmade crafts!

Mistletoe Kissing Ball


Another Project Giveaway from Crochet Garden

November 14, 2012, 09:00 am  Posted by Shannon Quinn-Tucker

Suzann Thompson’s Crochet Garden is now 50% off at BN.com as part of the Giving Handmade Holiday Sale! We’re celebrating by giving away not one but—wait for it—TWO projects from the book. Download “Gambel Oak Leaves” and “Maple Leaf” and crochet some happy fall foliage that you can attach to gift bags, hang from a doorknob, or use to spiff up your workspace.

(And if you missed it, hop over to last week’s giveaway of “Mini, Midi, & Maxi-Mums” and keep on crocheting!)

Crochet Garden is just one of many Lark books at 50% off in the Giving Handmade Holiday Sale, so go to BN.com and get inspired to do some creative gift-giving!


Crochet GardenI’m bound and determined to hold on to the last vestiges of fall. Even though the trees around my house are almost bare and we’ve seen some early snow here in Asheville, I’m still surrounding myself with fall-themed creations. Hey, winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21, right?

This weekend, I’m planning to get started on my goal of learning to crochet, and my first project just might be these mums from Mini-MumsSuzann Thompson’s Crochet Garden. You can keep the spirit of fall alive, too, by downloading a PDF of “Mini, Midi, & Maxi-Mums” for absolutely free! Crochet a variety of sizes in any autumnal color you’d like, then spread some fall love by tying a string to each mum and hanging them in a sunny window, scattering the mums around your table at Thanksgiving, or attaching them to other projects. (Bonus: you can use them as Christmas tree ornaments, too!)

After you’re finished, get inspired to crochet other projects for the holidays—the Pineapple on page 42 is a great way to welcome holiday guests, and the Poinsettia (page 91) and Edelweiss (page 98) add indoor cheer when it’s chilly outside. Plus, Crochet Garden offers tons of other garden-inspired designs to keep you happily crocheting all year long. Click here for free “Mini, Midi, & Maxi-Mums” project instructions, and get started today!