The Great Viking Holiday Giveaway

December 12, 2011, 10:47 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Jared Andrew Schorr is a super cool illustrator and paper artist with an Esty shop fittingly called Super Cool Spy Club and a website designed from his charming paper cut art (check it: www.jaredandrewschorr.com, it’s like walking into an old school movie theater made of paper!). He’s also one of the thirty artists included in PUSH Paper with pieces that showcase his use of bright color and great sense of humor.

A few months back I fell in love with one of Jared’s small, one-of-a-kind papercuts on his Etsy shop and snapped it up. As an extra special gesture, Jared sent us one of his original papercuts and a few additional goodies, and I’ve been saving them for a special holiday giveaway for our readers.

Here’s what you’ll get if you win The Great Viking Holiday Giveaway (read on for a chance to enter):

* Jared’s original papercut Viking artwork, shown at the top of the post and below. (Oh, and check out the other artworks in this series, from Jared’s blog)

* A copy of PUSH Paper, featuring Jared and 29 other extraordinary paper artists

* An adorable pocket mirror with a print of one of Jared’s papercuts












To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment by 10 pm EST on Monday, December 19th. I’m curious to know what you’d like to see Jared cut from paper, or to hear your thoughts about PUSH Paper or even what paper arts you’re working on for the holidays. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday, December 20th. Click here for the official rules.

Good luck, and may your holidays be filled with warmth and cheer, to your viking!


Giveaway::: Where Women Cook: Celebrate!

October 13, 2011, 14:05 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

In celebration of the release of Where Women Cook: Celebrate: Extraordinary Women & Their Signature Recipes, we hosted a giveaway of a copy of the book to one lucky blog reader. Congratulations to Maïlys Cook A L’Ane for winning; your comment was chosen at random. Thanks so much to everyone for leaving comments and sharing what’s cooking in your kitchen. For even more on this exciting new book–featuring inspirational stories of 28 top food bloggers and chefs with over 60 mouthwatering recipes–see my last post here.

Wondering who the 28 contributors are? Allow me to introduce these incredible women–some are like old friends–you’ve no doubt read about them, tried their recipes, or even dined in their establishments. But there are lots of new friends to be had in this book too! You’ll meet women that are emerging on the food scene, or quietly crafting meaningful gatherings in their own communities. These women are artists, mothers, bloggers, homesteaders, and so much more. The common thread between all the contributors is their love for cooking, and for bringing friends and family together to celebrate. Here’s a sampling of the delightful “ingredients” of the book. (Click twice on the image for a larger view.)

Talk about a feast! Each contributor offers their own unique take on what cooking and entertaining means to them, and invites you to pull up a chair and enjoy some of their wonderful recipes — including “Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond’s Firecracker Shrimp, Morroccan Couscous by Helene Dujardin (aka “Tartelette”), “La Tartine Gourmande” Béatrice Peltre’s Red Kuri Squash Rissotto, Angie “Bakerella” Dudley’s Basic Cupcake Pops, and so much more. (Check out last week’s post for a free pdf download of Ashley English’s Molasses Crinkle Cookies.)

In the foreword to the book, author Jo Packham encourages you to read the stories of these remarkable women, to make their food and enjoy their parties, signing off with, “it will bring you such joy!” I’d like to echo that sentiment, and welcome you to acquaint yourself with each of these lovely contributors, by visiting their websites and blogs listed below.

Wendy Addison

Marcia Ceppos

Susan Branch

Orianne Cosentino

Sandy Coughlin

Cheryl Day

Marina Drasnin

Ree Drummond

Angie Dudley

Ashley English

Christine Hoffman

Patricia Mackey

Tricia Martin

Helene Dujardin

Andrea Meyers

Jaime Mormann-Richardson

Maryam Montague

Shea Fragoso

Debbie Murray

Jen O’Connor

Fifi O’Neill

Béatrice Peltre

Beth Price

Jael Rattigan

Celeste Shaw

Serena Thompson

Molly Wizenberg

Dana Wootton


PUSH Series

September 08, 2011, 08:30 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

From PUSH Paper: Wheelchair by Chris Gilmour. Life size. Photo by Marco De Palma.

In his Q&A discussion with PUSH Paper juror Jaime Zollars, Chris Gilmour tells a funny story in response to the question “What responses do you get to your work?” He says, “People always want to touch it. I think the best example of this was with a wheelchair that was in a show in Milan. One elderly gentleman was so taken with the work that he couldn’t resist trying it–of course the moment he sat on it, and it broke to pieces, the illusion was shattered. It was the end of that piece, but it’s nice to get people so enchanted with the work.”

In a way, this is exactly how we hope you feel about PUSH, our beautiful new gallery series that just came out this week with the release of PUSH Paper and PUSH Stitchery–that you’ll want to pick them up, touch them, and be completely enchanted with the amazing artwork you’ll discover inside. And the good news is, they are not an illusion! We’ve worked steadily on these books for the past year and a half and would love nothing more than to give you, our Lark Crafts readers, the chance to win a copy of the first two books in the series. Read on to find out how to enter!

Continue reading...

A Special Handmade Books Giveaway

February 02, 2011, 09:33 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Hello, Bookmaking Friends.

For this, the last of our three-week Making Handmade Books giveaway, we’ve got a very special treat in store for you. Author Alisa Golden has generously donated four one-of-a-kind handmade books that she made for four lucky Lark fans. You may even recognize one of them from the cover of Making Handmade Books. Can you tell which one?

These books are truly lovely and each one has its own unique features, including artful exposed bindings in each example, and in some cases, hand-painted boards, marbled endpapers, and hand-stitched covers. Look at how beautiful they are! Each book is signed by Alisa with blank pages that are ripe for your own creative entries and notes about your bookmaking adventures. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Handmade books by Alisa Golden

To enter for a chance to win a copy of Making Handmade Books plus one of Alisa’s original handmade books, please leave one comment on this post by 11 PM EST on February 8th. Official rules are here. Any comment will do, but, if you have a favorite quote you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it. Here’s a gem from Making Handmade Books by artist and teacher Bonnie Thompson Norman: When teaching bookmaking, I remind people that they can learn something or they can make it perfectly, but they cannot do both at the same time…It’s important to remember that what doesn’t work gives you as much information as what does work.

Wouldn’t that make an excellent first entry in a handmade book of your own? I think so. We’ll select four winners at random and announce the results on this post on February 9th, so be sure to check back in. Good luck, and have fun commenting! Congratulations to our winners: larmenti, amanda, gtteach and butler83. We hope Alisa’s new book and her special handmade books brings you much joy and inspiration. Thanks to all who commented!

Congratulations to last week’s Making Handmade Books giveaway winner, Melissa, who had this question for Alisa, which she graciously answered, below.

Do you create the art pages and then bind them, or do you create the book first, and then the contents? If you create the book first, how do you overcome the “fear” of ruining it when you put ink to the blank page?

I do both. If I’m making a journal or process book, I’ll bind the blank pages first. Then my mistakes, when they happen, are part of the learning process. If the product is more important than the process, or if I am making multiple copies, I do the pages first and assemble the book when I’m satisfied with the pages. I also make a quick model and sketch out the page content, then copy everything over carefully or set type and print it. Sometimes I plan a project where I allow myself to paint over anything (gesso is great for this) and absorb the mistakes into the piece itself, creating a new thing that is surprising to me. Making marks all over the page or painting paper with acrylic inks before I start works well to help overcome the fear of the taunting white page. So, if you can plan a book out carefully, make a model, then create the pages, you can just explore and learn, or you can do something in between.


Giveaway: Making Handmade Books

January 26, 2011, 11:44 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden

Thanks to everyone for leaving such thoughtful comments on our first Making Handmade Books giveaway, and congratulations to this week’s winner, Pam. Your copy of Making Handmade Books plus the You Are It tags by author Alisa Golden are in the mail.

For everyone else, don’t dismay: Enjoy the following Q&A with Alisa Golden, and leave a comment on this post by 11 pm EST on Tuesday, February 1st, for a chance to win this week’s Making Handmade Books giveaway. Any comment will do, but maybe you would like to ask Alisa a question of your own.

We’ll select a winner at random, and announce the results on February 2nd, along with Alisa’s answer to your question. Official rules are here.

Tell us a little bit about your education and background.** People used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I’d say, “a writer and an artist.” Then I would get a lecture about how you couldn’t make a living being a writer and an artist. I also wanted to be a teacher, but was told by my favorite high school teacher not to do that either. Meanwhile, I always had art lessons, I always wrote, and I worked with kids constantly.

Spotted One Day, 2009, by Alisa Golden

When I enrolled in Betsy Davids’ letterpress class and her creative writing class at California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) I found that finally I could merge both writing and art by making books. During my two-and-a-half years at CCA(C) I made about twelve books, some with linocuts, some with screenprints, some with handmade paper, but all with handset type printed via letterpress.

Continue reading...

Alisa Golden’s new book, Making Handmade Books is creating quite a stir. It was a big hit at the 2011 College Book Art Association in Bloomington, Indiana, where it received an enthusiastic response in their auction, and has received glowing five-star reviews on Amazon. The people have spoken! And it’s no wonder: with over 100 structures, bindings, and forms, all fully illustrated in this photo-rich 256 page tome, it’s the most comprehensive bookmaking resource guide out there.

Want to know what the fuss is about? Well, this is your chance to win a copy of Making Handmade Books and get started on your own bookmaking journey. As an added bonus, the winner will also receive three special “You are It!” tags made by Alisa. You can use them as gift tags for all the handmade books you’ll be making from the book. Don’t you want to be “it?”

Continue reading...

Birthday Giveaway WINNERS!

December 07, 2010, 09:38 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

vickiehowellWe’re thrilled to announce the winners of my 3rd annual, birthday giveaway! Without further ado, here they are:

1. Songbride–CRAFT CORPS

2. Tori MacLennan–AWAREKNITS


4. Memeo333–COWLGIRLS

5. Carrie Wilson–FA LA LA FELT




9. Tabbie–KNIT & WRAP

10.  Amkdingo–JOY OF SOX


To redeem your prize, e-mail: echristensen@sterlingpub.com, by MONDAY, DECEMBER 13th. Please include in your e-mail, the following:

The Prize You’ve Won

All prizes not claimed by 12/13, will be given away to new winners.

Thanks for participating–it truly makes me happy to be able to do this every year. Thanks also to Lark and Simplicity, for donating such fantastic prizes!



Free Project: Red Fleece Mittens

December 01, 2010, 14:31 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

The holiday season brings family and friends together, good cheer, and in many parts of the country, nippy temperatures. Warm the hands (and hearts) of those on your holiday list this year with these cozy fleece mittens featured in Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause. You’ll be amazed at how quickly a pair can be stitched up! In this season of giving, don’t forget about the many worthy charities that provide much needed services all year like the Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi (LOWO) Child and Family Services Agency located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The agency which focuses on children who come from abusive or neglectful situations, is always in need of warm winter apparel. Other charities like your local homeless shelter would also benefit from your stitching efforts.

download FREE project here: fleece_mittens


3rd Annual Birthday Book Giveaway!

November 23, 2010, 08:35 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

vickiehowellOver the past few years, giving away copies of some of my favorite craft books (generously donated by Sterling Publishing and Lark Crafts) on my birthday has become a tradition. I’m a gal who loves presents, especially giving them, so getting to do this every November 18th is a real treat! Well, today’s the day, and even though budget cuts have trimmed down how many prizes we can give, any of these titles (ahem, including my own ;-)) would make a fantastic edition to your crafty library! So, take a gander at the list, click on the links to read more about each book on Barnes&Noble.com (and if you should feel so inclined, hit “like” while you’re there), and post a comment (see, rules below) for your chance to win. Enjoy!

NEW BONUS ITEM! (as of 11/23)

Thanks to the folks over at Simplicty, I’m thrilled to be able to add a bonus prize to the giveaway mix: the Deluxe Sidewinder! Hey Sew-ists, this one’s for you. :)

Craft Corps: Celebrating the Creative Community, One Story at a Time
(While you’re at your computer, share your craftiness at CraftCorps.org!)

Continue reading...

Craft-In contributor Katy Yellen can do amazing things with a hook and yarn. Check her out! She’s a crochet whiz and adorable to boot. In her Craft-In booklet, she shows you, step-by-step, how to make your own crochet cactus. Here’s the accelerated version.

Impressive, no? I think Katy knocked that one out in under 12 minutes.

Want to start your own crochet cactus garden? Leave a comment on this post by midnight on Wednesday, November 17th, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Craft-In plus one of Katy’s original handmade cacti from Craft-In. Official rules are here. The winner will be notified on November 24th. Any comment will do, but I’d love to know: What would you challenge Katy to crochet next? Cacti are her specialty, but I bet she could crochet a pretty awesome jade plant. Check out her Etsy shop too for an assortment of crochet plushies and sweet little stitched cat treats. Katy’s handiwork is truly beautiful, and fun! Good luck!

UPDATE: The winning comments/commenters have been determined by a random number generator at random.org. Congrats to Robin, Kristen, and Naomi!

Special thanks to Asheville’s favorite band, Now You See Them, for generously granting us permission to use their song, Don’t Give Up On Me, in the video. Now You See Them is the best!

Katy Yellen's crocheted cacti