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!
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


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!












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!


Meet the Craft-a-Doodlers!

September 17, 2013, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark


Last month, our newest bundle of joy, Craft-a-Doodle debuted to immediate success and delighted response from happy readers. Doodling is a popular trend, and the book was a sincere pleasure to publish, but most importantly, each and every contributing artist is extraordinary. Their beautiful doodles run the gamut from silly to surreal. What fun it is just to leaf through, before even picking up a doodling utensil of your own! Without further fanfare, let us introduce the Craft-a-Doodle artists:


Hanna Andersson, also known as iHanna, is a Swedish artist, journalist, and self-proclaimed notebook junkie who enjoys blogging about her creative adventures. To learn more about Hanna, visit her website.

Hanna Andersson


Julie Armbruster




Julie Armbruster.is a New Jersey native currently residing in Asheville, North Carolina. Her mixed media paintings have been displayed in galleries throughout the East Coast and as far as Venice, Italy. Go to Julie’s website to see more of her work.




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Journal Your Way – Free Project

August 09, 2013, 14:32 pm  Posted by Lark


Earlier this week, Journal Your Way by the venerable Gwen Diehn published in paperback for the first time! In celebration, we would like to share a free project with you. This choose-your-own-adventure journaling book gives you the tools you need to pick the paper, binding, and cover that you like, and mix and match them to build a truly custom journal. I chose my favorite binding and cover techniques to share, which you’ll find below in separate pdfs.

First, here are the tools and materials, along with a guide for choosing paper.













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What are You Going to Cook for Mom?

May 01, 2013, 17:04 pm  Posted by Lark

You’re a good kid. Or maybe not, but you do love your mother. Why else would you have gotten that tattoo? Now make her something nice for Mother’s Day, and tell her we say hi. Here are some recipes we think your mom might like:


This is me with my mom, and I was careful not to put any recipes in this post that she would not like. I might be 500 miles away, but my step dad's not! (Ahem. Hint.)



Moms have come to expect breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day, and they should get it. Your mom has probably prepared at least 12,317 meals for you, approximately. If you are a grown-up and don’t live with your mom, and don’t want to break into her house early in the morning lest you get shot, then you might just have to plan the breakfast thing instead of surprising her with it. She’ll still appreciate it, I bet. Anyway, how about a momelette?! I am going to just give you some delicious ideas because I know you can figure out how to make an omelette.

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The Zero-Budget Urban Garden

March 21, 2013, 20:45 pm  Posted by Lark

Start slow and small!


Today I would like to share with you some inexpensive DIY garden projects, some of which I have done, and some others that I aspire to do! I will share our highly functional—if a bit ugly—wooden pallet garden beds, a home made screen door, a soda bottle “cold frame,” outdoor Mod Podge ideas, a little inspiration for beautifying a low-budget-small-space garden, and a few free projects from our book Eco Craft by Susan Wasinger!

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Recipes for Love: Two Nourishing Valentine’s Day Treats

January 29, 2013, 10:48 am  Posted by Lark



There are all sorts of aphrodisiac foods and herbs out there, ranging from delightful and delicious (e.g., chocolate) to exotic and weird (e.g., cobra blood). For those of us who love cooking, Valentine’s Day offers an opportunity to try new recipes, perhaps ones that are more decadent than what’s in the normal dinner rotation. Well, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a couple of my own out-of-the-box recipes for love, hopefully with enough time for folks to order ingredients online if that’s necessary. (I’ll include some links for that at the end.)

Both of these recipes are perfect for opening up the heart, whether you want to relax into a romantic evening with your sweetheart or just be cheerful and present for a social gathering.



Five Senses Tea

This first creation, a tea I call Five Senses, is a delightful blend of sense-awakening herbs. I love to give this tea in a decorated glass jar as a gift, especially for bridal showers and weddings, because it just looks, smells, and tastes so sexy!


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Wedding Book Sale – 50% Off at BN.com

January 24, 2013, 13:00 pm  Posted by Lark

"Untitled" by Karl Fritsch in '500 Wedding Rings'

January is a busy time of year for wedding planning: from the invites, menus, guests, and flowers to the dress, the vows, the music, and the photography, a lot goes into the creation of a wedding.

Just in time to help you arrange, budget, and envision your big day, BN.com is hosting a 50% Off Sale on a selection of wedding books now through January 29! Among the collection are some Lark titles: let Steve Sint guide you or your photographer to capture the perfect wedding photography; walk with Marnie Fogg through 100 years of wedding fashion and be inspired by decades of gorgeous gowns; feast your eyes on a stunning array of wedding rings; design your own flower arrangements; and give your wallet a lift with some budget-savvy wedding craft ideas.

Visit the BN.com 50% Off sale page and read more about the Lark wedding titles on sale below.

You just might find yourself saying “I Do” to a couple new books.



500 Wedding Rings: Celebrating a Classic Symbol of Commitment

"Zen Ring" by Jane Bowden in '500 Wedding Rings'

Wedding rings symbolize commitment and eternal love—but in the hands of the world’s most creative jewelers they become works of art to interpret in endlessly intriguing ways. This breathtaking book, which showcases a stunning collection of contemporary, handmade wedding bands and engagement rings for men and women, shows just how far their imaginations can go. Masterfully set diamonds stand alongside conceptual designs that reflect a cutting-edge approach, such as Etienne Perret’s ring made for two fingers. The large gems in James Kaya’s sleek platinum setting, by contrast, seem almost suspended in air; it’s the tension of the surrounding metal that holds them in place. For jewelers in search of new ideas, and those about to whisper “I do,” these designs provide beautiful inspiration.



"Psalm 96: 11-12" by Anjanette M. Lemak Sidaway in '500 Wedding Rings'

"Chica Dee" by Christine J. Brandt in '500 Wedding Rings'

"Wrap Ring, Pieces Ring, Wrap Ring" by Deborrah Daher in '500 Wedding Rings'

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How to make a PRETZEL log home!

December 16, 2010, 10:51 am  Posted by Lark
Cabin made out of pretzels

My pretzel cabin with a graham cracker roof and vanilla wafer windows

I LOVE the idea of gingerbread houses, but I don’t really like the reality of rolling out stiff dough, dealing with a flour-covered kitchen or cursing at crumbling soft gingerbread walls. So as I was sharing these thoughts with my best friend, Tera, she said, “You should make a pretzel log home! It looks really cool and you’d just stack the pretzels and use graham crackers as the roof!” Tera’s so smart. Everyone should have a go-to friend like her. (She made my red velvet wedding cake, too.) Anyway, she forwarded me a recipe online that I used, and I’ll share my experiences in case you want to try this recipe.

Side view of pretzel log home

The side of my cabin shows my marshmallow snowman, icecream cone tree and chocolate sugar wafer chimney.

First off, this is a PERFECT recipe to make with friends and/or family as a weekend project. The recipe says it’ll take you an hour and 40 minutes. Yeah. If you’re Martha Stewart or have some sort of crazy cake show on the Discovery Channel it might. So dedicate a weekend to this since time is spent waiting on parts of the pretzel house to dry.

1. INGREDIENT TIME: Basically, I bought a big tub of pretzel rods (for the walls), a package of vanilla and chocolate wafers (for the doors and windows) and a box of graham crackers (for the roof)  at Aldi (it’s cheaper for this stuff). Then at the regular grocery store I got 2 small packages of Meringue Mix (each has about 6 tablespoons) you can find near the spices. I already had the green food coloring and powdered sugar. This is important: Buy enough for TWO BATCHES of icing (12 cups of powered sugar)- the online recipe doesn’t make enough for gluing and decorating. (Then you can buy whatever candies you want to decorate with- pecans for shingles or peppermints, etc.)

2. GET MESSY: First, you’re going to make a mess making the icing. (Make one batch at a time- two total) But it makes the PERFECT glue. Mix it first with a spoon to wet the powdered sugar and meringue mix. When you’re done, keep a wet paper towel over the icing bowl when you’re not working with it. (it’ll dry out otherwise). The recipe is confusing about how to stack the pretzel rods: make the first square of the walls flush against the ground (aluminum-covered foil) with one of the ends of each pretzel rod jutting-out a 1/2-inch and the other end pushed against the other pretzel. Then ALTERNATE the rods so the ends LOOK like a Lincoln-log cabin. Use the pictures for reference.
-I used my fingers to apply the icing between the pretzels because applying it with an icing bag was actually TOO messy. Also, once you glue together your graham cracker pieces together and ice them, WAIT so they harden together before trying to move them to place them on top of the cabin. And when you do, use cans or corn starch boxes to prop up the roof before it dries.

Close-up of pretzel cabin

Adding the icicles was my favorite part of decorating the graham cracker roof.

3. DECORATE IT! This is the fun part. Get a small icing tip or cut the corner of a plastic bag and fill with icing to pipe icicles off the roof and to make trees, use sugar cones, turn them upside-down and pipe green icing onto them. (I bought the peppermint tree at Aldi.) For “snow”- I just sprinkled powdered sugar over the whole deal.

4. SHOW IT OFF! I was really lucky to have nothing break or fall during the construction, so I took many pictures of my cabin before it gets picked-at/eaten. (I even eventually added 2 figurines I coated in chocolate to the front porch of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.)

If you want to try this or have any questions, post a comment and I’ll try to help! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Zombies invade downtown Asheville!

October 21, 2010, 11:29 am  Posted by Lark
Lark zombies

Lark zombies!

Halloween is almost here so bring out the scary! Halloween is my favorite holiday, and Asheville is home to some great events to celebrate, the best of which (in my humble opinion, anyway) is the Asheville Zombie Walk through the streets of downtown.

A group of friends and coworkers decided we just had to join the shamble. First up, visiting the local thrift stores for that perfect outfit to destroy and cover in fake blood. Some of our finds included a bridesmaid dress, a whole bin of golf clubs, and a great bathrobe covered in teddy bears. We then met up at Lark to zombify ourselves using makeup, fake blood, bandages, and my secret ingredient: gelatin. Gelatin is great for making homemade zombie inflicted wounds. Continue reading to find out how…

getting ready for the zombie walk

Getting ready for the zombie walk.

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