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Doodle Stitch Along with us!

January 07, 2011, 10:00 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

Hey there crafty people! This is Aimee Ray, the author of Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection. I’ve got a fun project for you, a Stitch Along! We’ll be giving away a free embroidery pattern motif a week from my book for the next 4 weeks, and we’ll all stitch them up together into a super cute mini quilt. The motifs are from the Woodland Fairy Tale set (one of my personal faves), and you can get the first one today: first up is the Gnome and Mushroom (click the linked text to download a PDF of the motif, which includes two size options). Start embroidering them right away! Get creative and use whatever colors and stitches you like. (If you’ve never embroidered before, this is a great time to start! If you need some beginners tips, visit my blog for some free tutorials. :)

Read more after the jump!

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Doodle Landscapes

June 15, 2010, 09:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

I remember spending hours on the phone as a teenager filling up any piece of paper within reach with intricate patterns of swirls, loops, and curlicues. It was a distraction, sure, but it was also a way of tapping into something playful and free. And who amongst us hasn’t found themselves taking pen to paper during a long meeting, chronicling the meanderings of the imagination with silly, funny, whimsical illustrations? In my book, doodling is divine.

And it was doodling that came to mind while browsing through some of my favorite Etsy sellers. Now I’m not saying these talented Etsy sellers are doodlers; they are without a doubt accomplished artists. But I do see something in their work that captures that same spirit of freedom and informality of the doodling hand.

Lilac Moon Studio

Jinnie at Lilac Moon Studio in San Francisco crafts what she affectionately calls Poladoodles, drawings and collages directly on Polaroid photos. Her work has been featured on the likes of Poppy Talk, Design*Sponge, and Apartment Therapy.

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Bring on the Luck of the Irish!

March 04, 2016, 12:00 pm  Posted by admin
 

61Ou85QzfeLAs some of you might know from last year’s post, St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in my family. Over the years I’ve donned everything green, ate all the corned beef and humiliated my friends with ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ pins. This year, I wanted to do something different with my affinity for the holiday.

Well, I didn’t need to look very far for inspiration. Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching The Holiday Motif Collection was sitting right on my desk, daring me to get creative. For those of you who haven’t seen this book, I suggest you get your hands on it. It’s filled with over 300 embroidery motifs designed specifically for the holidays and seasons. It even comes with a CD with all of the motifs in simple black lines so you can enlarge, edit or combine them as you like!

The book has the perfect motifs for St. Patrick’s Day. You can add them to tea towels, clothes, tote bags, pillows, and your own personalized cards. Below are a few to wet your shamrocks. I plan on adding that leprechaun to the elbows of my green sweater this year!

You can also download the black lined PDFs of these motifs here: LeprechaunPot of Gold, and Shamrock. Grab a copy for you or a loved one now!

Buy here: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, IndieBound

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Spring Crafts Overview!

February 19, 2016, 17:09 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

Happy Friday!

Here at Lark we’re looking ahead at what’s coming up in the Spring. It’s time to start thinking about all of the wonderful warm weather projects and celebrate the end of cold weather!

 

Banners Buntings coverBanners, Buntings, Garlands, & Pennants
by Amanda Carestio & Kathy Sheldon

Festive and eye-catching, banners, buntings, garlands, and pennants add visual fun to almost any time of celebration or space!

 

 

 

crochet geometryCrochet Geometry
by Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby

Crocheters will find the sophisticated designs they crave in this chic, contemporary collection.

 

 

 

Creature Feetures coverCreature Feetures
Contributing editor: Kristi Simpson

These 30 cute crocheted creatures will keep baby feet cozy all year round!

 

 

 

9781454709312_ccvrCraft-a-Doodle Deux
by Jenny Doh

Even non-artists can express their creativity with this fun follow-up to Craft-aDoodle! Curated by Jenny Doh, it offers 73 beginner-friendly projects that combine doodling with a variety of popular crafts.

 

 

Creative Cut CardsCreative Cut Cards

A beautiful handmade card makes any note feel like a gift!

 

 

 

 

wedding papercraftsWedding Papercrafts

From pom bouquets made from the pages of a beloved book to a crepe crown inspired by heirloom rose gardens, nothing personalizes a wedding more than beautiful papercraft decorations.

 

 

 

knitted lace smMore Lovely Knitted Lace
by Brooke Nico

Brooke Nico, author of Lovely Knitted Lace and a nationally known lace teacher and designer, presents 16 new projects that offer a fresh and original take on lace knitting.

 

 

metal jewelry made easyMetal Jewelry Made Easy

by Jan Loney

Metalsmithing can be daunting, but this beautifully photographed and comprehensive guide provides crafters with a gentle, user-friendly approach to metal jewelry-making skills.

 

 

how to createHow to Create Your Own Jewelry Line
by Emilie Shapiro

To develop a successful jewelry line, even very creative designers must learn the fine points of running a business.

 

 

 

hemp macrameHemp Macrame

by Jenny Townley

Kick off summer fashionably with these 20 beachy hemp creations!

 

 

 

pom pomsPaper Pom Poms
by Paula Pascual

Transform your home, garden, or celebration with these 30 beautiful and beginner-friendly decorations.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Holiday Gift Tags by Cynthia Schaffer

December 24, 2015, 10:20 am  Posted by admin
 

If you’re a last minute shopper like most people in my family, chances are you’re also in desperate need of a card or note to attach to that gift you just waited 45 minutes in line for. A quick, easy, and fun solution is a gift tag. With free-motion stitching goddess Cynthia Shaffer’s project below, you can easily make a pretty and festive gift tag to adorn all of those presents.

 

What you need:

  • Shipping tag, 2 3/8 x 4 ¾ inches (6 x 12 cm)
  • Scrap of red print fabric
  • Glue stick
  • Sewing machine with a free motion or quilting foot
  • Black thread
  • Acrylic paints in turquoise, orange and white
  • Small paintbrush
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • One page of old book text
  • Black watercolor pencil
  • 10 inches (25.4 cm) of ½-inch (1.3 cm) wide black rayon ribbon

 

What you do:

1. Cut out random small shapes from the fabric and arrange them onto the tag.
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2. Glue the fabric shapes into place.

Tags-004

 

3. Free motion stitch around the fabric shapes and then onto the tag.

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4. Using the fine-tip marker doodle on the tag around the stitched shapes.
5. With turquoise paint fill in some of the stitched and doodled shapes.

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6. Cut out small shapes from the book text and glue them to the fabric.
7. Free motion stitch the book text into place.
8. Paint the tag with orange and turquoise paint and blend in a messy manner. Note: I wasn’t liking the way this tag was turning out so I simply covered up all my previous doodling with the paint!

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9. Using the watercolor pencil, doodle around the stitched scallops and blend a bit with water.

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10. Attached the black ribbon tie the tag onto a gift.

Tags-022

 

Cynthia Shaffer is a mixed media artist, creative sewer, and photographer. For more of Cynthia’s gorgeous work, check out her most recent Lark title, Simply Stitched Gifts, as well as any of her previously published Lark titles; Stash Happy Patchwork (Lark, 2011), Stash Happy Appliqué (Lark, 2012), co-author of Serge It (Lark 2014) author of Coastal Crafts (Lark, 2015).

 
 
 
 
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Adorable embroidery projects from the upcoming Stitch Love

December 09, 2014, 13:15 pm  Posted by admin
 

We are so excited for January and the release of Mollie Johanson’s Stitch Love, which features beginner-friendly projects for making your own irresistibly cute critters!

 

As an extra bonus to the adorable projects featured in Stitch Love, the book also includes over 100 fantastic embroidery motifs. Some are part of specific projects in the book, as in the case of the rooster and footprint motifs on the Doodle Doo Apron (see image below), but you can also add them to your own projects as well.

 

Stitch Love_Doodle Doo Apron

 

The book includes easy-to-follow instructions for using a variety of embroidery stitches, and the motifs are organized by theme—from dinos and woodland critters to fantasy creatures like a unicorn and bigfoot and an assortment of animals from the Arctic and Outback. The motifs which author Mollie Johanson has included in Stitch Love are too cute to resist. You’ll want to stitch them on absolutely everything!

 

Check out a few images of the stitched motifs included in Stitch Love, below, and pre-order your copy today.

 

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Crochet Boutique HatsWhen speaking about my books—Crochet Boutique and Crochet Boutique: Hats – I often get asked about the process behind designing a pattern. My answer changes from time to time, but the truth is that it’s never always the same.

Sometimes it starts with a lush new yarn purchased on impulse, sometimes there’s an idea born from a new stitch or technique recently learned, or sometimes it’s just a hole in my wardrobe that I’m yearning to fill with something handmade.

Other times I just start stitching and see where it takes me. However, I hope this will provide a bit of insight for those wishing to begin the design process on their own.

 

LEARN THE LANGUAGE

If you’re going to write a pattern for others then you will also need to know how to read a pattern. If you’re only writing for yourself then your own shorthand or crochet lingo will be just fine. I often write the first draft in my own “language” and then translate it into common crochet terminology. If you intend for others to use your patterns then you should become familiar with common crochet terms, abbreviations, and techniques. When working from patterns, begin to pay attention to the typical layout and format of the patterns.

 

MAKE A SKETCH

It often seems I get ideas at the most inopportune moments – during rush hour traffic, or when brushing my teeth while I’m already 10 minutes late to work. However, when a really great idea strikes I try to take the time and make a quick doodle so I can come back to it later. It could be later that day or five years from then. Sketching your designs can also help you figure out the mechanics and technical details of how your pattern needs to work. There have been plenty of times in the design process where I’ve had to stop the frustrating circle of frogging and restitching and just draw on paper how I want the piece to work. Most of the time it helps!

notebook

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MATERIALS

Think about the type of material that will work best for your project. Sometimes it helps to think in terms of fabric shopping. You wouldn’t choose a delicate lightweight fabric for an upholstery project, nor would you choose a heavy jacquard if you were creating a loose and flowing sundress. Your yarn and hook choice can follow the same line of thought. Want something thick and sturdy? Choose a chunky or super bulky yarn and go down a size or two from the recommended hook. You can also experiment here. An extra large hook and a fine yarn can be the perfect combination to give you a beautiful open lace by using even the most basic stitches. When you think of yarn weight, content, texture, and color combined with all of the hook options available, the possibilities seem endless.

materials

THE IMPORTANCE OF GAUGE

I admit it. When I first started writing patterns I was a “no gauge” offender. Since most of my patterns were written for my own use in those early days, thinking about gauge wasn’t at the top of my list. I was pretty familiar with my tension and the projects I made repeatedly never seemed to vary too much in that regard. However, we all stitch a little differently, and that’s why gauge is important to include when writing patterns intended for others. Though this may vary by the type of project, most measure gauge by creating a 4-inch square. Once you have your square, you can then measure the number of stitches and rows required to meet the desired gauge.

ruler

PUT IT ALL ON PAPER

Once you get started, don’t forget to write down every little detail along the way. Think you’ll remember how many chains you worked in that fourth round once you’ve finished? You may, but if it turns out you don’t then it can be a nuisance to count back and figure it out. Though it’s hard to resist the urge to keep working till the end once you find your groove, it’s best to go ahead and write down each step as you go. Made a mistake and had to frog a few rows to make a change? Don’t forget to note what you did and any improvements. This can get tedious, especially when working on something more intricate, but good detailed notes are what make a pattern.

many notebooks

TEST, TEST, AND TEST AGAIN

You’ve written your pattern and you love the finished project. Great! Now make it again. Take notes, correct a few typos, make a few tweaks here and there to make it even better. Now make it again. And again. You get the idea. The more you make your design and read over your pattern the better it will be. Once you’ve been over it plenty of times, give it to a crafty friend and see how their project turns out. Ask them for suggestions or to let you know if any step was unclear along the way. Don’t be scared of  critique – it’s the only way to improve! There are also some wonderful groups online on sites such as Ravelry who will test out your patterns for you and offer suggestions for improvement.

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Happy stitching and designing!

–from Rachael Oglesby

 

 
 
 
 
8 Comments

Spring Preview Saturday: Stitch Love

October 04, 2014, 10:00 am  Posted by admin
 

Welcome to Spring Preview Saturday! Each Saturday this fall, our Lark editors will be sharing previews of our upcoming titles for Spring 2015. 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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Stitch love coverLove stitching? Love animals? Well then you’ll definitely want to check out Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small by Mollie Johanson coming this January!

 

The book includes 25 irresistibly adorable projects (the Frozen Yeti Ice Pack is my favorite), plus over 100 beginner-friendly embroidery motifs. The patterns feature a variety of irresistibly cute critters—pets, farm animals, dinosaurs, even mythical favorites like Pegasus. 

 

Check out a few of the wonderful projects below and stay tuned for more on Stitch Love as the holiday season approaches. In the meantime, learn more about Mollie on her blog: wildolive.blogspot.com.

 

Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big and Small by Mollie Johanson will be available on January 27, 2015 and is available for pre-order now.

 

Dachsund

 

 

SL_Doodle Doo Apron

 

 

SL_Guinea Pig

 

 

SL_Yeti

 
 
 
 
175 Comments

GIVEAWAY: Craft Your Life & Needlearts Collection!

November 14, 2013, 06:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

I’m supposed to be doing a sewing book collection giveaway, but when I went to choose the titles I simply couldn’t limit it to just the one subject! There are knitting, crocheting, sewing, doodling, crafting with kids, paper folding, quilting, and jewelry making titles. Keep the entire collection for yourself, or gift the titles that are already on your bookshelf.

We’re offering up the entire 16 title collection pictured below to one lucky person. To enter for a chance to win simply leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 19. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday, November 20. Click here for the official rules. Good luck!  This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Rene!

One + One Hats

One + One Scarves

Doodle Stitching Embroidery & Beyond

Aimee Ray’s Sweet & Simple Jewelry

Crochet Garden

Pretty in Patchwork Holidays

Adventures in Pompom Land

Crochet Boutique

Stitched Blooms

AmiguruME

Flip Dolls & Other Toys That Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab & Go

Stuffed Animals

Crochet Love

Craft-a-Doodle

Hand in Hand

Paper Pups

 
 
 
 
57 Comments

GIVEAWAY – Bookbinding & Book Arts Bundle

September 25, 2013, 15:59 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Lark was a pioneer in the world of book arts, publishing the classic reference Cover to Cover back in 1995. In the more than fifteen years since its publication, bookbinding and journaling have become a mainstay in the craft world. Whether you’re simply looking for a special place all your own to record personal reflections and visual ideas or you are excited by the idea of incorporating these crafts into your existing repertoire, a handmade book or journal can be a really valuable tool for unlocking your creativity. We’re so excited about the newest addition to our list, Handmade Books Volume 2, that we have something special for you.

We’re offering up the entire collection pictured below to one lucky person. How can you enter for a chance to win? Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, October 2. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday, October 3. Click here for the official rules. Good luck! This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Tracey!

500 Handmade Books Volume 2

Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin

Journal Your Way: Designing & Using Handmade Books

The Complete Decorated Journal: A Compendium of Journaling Techniques

Book Play: Creative Adventures in Handmade Books

Making Mini Books: Big Ideas for 30+ Projects