2 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Millie Marotta Easter Eggs!

March 17, 2016, 10:00 am  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

The egg-decorating fun doesn’t have to end after the eggs are dyed. Last year, Martha Stewart Online asked Millie Marotta, illustrator of the book Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me , to produce some Easter-themed line drawings for a fun egg decorating project! We’re sharing it with you again so you can take advantage of this free project as you decorate for Easter and Spring this year.

Sources
Durable decoupage finish, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Matte, $10 for 8 oz.

how-to-illustrated-egg-654-d111784_vertMATERIALS
Detail scissors
Matte découpage finish and paintbrush
Dyed eggs
Fine-tipped markers
Coloring-book illustrations

STEPS
1. Download and print out Marotta’s coloring-book illustrations. Cut closely around shapes with detail scissors.

2. For each egg, brush back of drawing with a thin coat of découpage finish. Place illustration where desired on dyed egg; smooth down with your fingers.

3. Let dry 1 hour, then color in design with markers.

 
 
 
 
0 Comments

Take a Look Inside WEDDING PAPERCRAFTS

March 15, 2016, 11:00 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

We can’t wait for the release of our upcoming title Wedding Papercrafts! With spring finally on the horizon, wedding planning season is at its peak, and the beautiful and unique DIY papercrafts included in this book are sure to inspire. See below for a sneak peek of some of the projects included in the book, and preorder your copy here.

 

Paper Wisteria Branches

Designer: Kathryn Godwin

Inspired by beautiful, lush cascades of wisteria vines, this unique backdrop is a statement piece that will add simple elegance to any wedding venue.

Paper Wisteria Branches

 

Cascading Butterflies

Designer: Jessica Fediw

Adorn chairs with a cascade of paper butterflies to make an elegant statement at a wedding reception.

Cascading Butterflies

 

Vintage Wallpaper Envelope Seals

Designer: Valerie Lloyd

Add pretty accents to invitations and thank-you notes with these heart-shaped vintage wallpaper seals.

Vintage Wallpaper Envelope Seals

 

Recycled Book Page Flower

Designer: Kimberly Bart

Recycle old books and give them a new life by making flowers to attach to gift boxes, napkin rings, place settings, and more.

Recycled Book Page Flower

 

Make-Beautiful-Music-Together Centerpiece

Designer: Sandi Genovese

This three-dimensional centerpiece folds flat for convenient storage after the big event, but makes a spectacular display by simply pulling the front cover around to meet the back cover.

Make-Beautiful-Music-Together Centerpiece

 

Starburst Cake Topper

Designer: Brita Vallens

This elegant, shimmering, Art Deco–inspired cake topper adds an extra layer of personalized charm to wedding reception festivities.

Starburst Cake Topper

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
0 Comments

Bring on the Luck of the Irish!

March 04, 2016, 12:00 pm  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

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

Continue reading...

 
 
 
 
0 Comments

Christmas Cat Toy Project

December 15, 2015, 14:48 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

tis the season to be feltycat1
We’re deep into holiday crafting season, and while we make ornaments, garlands, and other whimsical gifts for friends and family, let’s not forget about our furry friends as well!

I was inspired by Kathy Sheldon’s ‘Tis the Season to be Felt-y and decided to convert one of the projects into a cute toy for my cat.

Please note that the author hasn’t endorsed the use of her projects in this way, and that the nature of felt makes these toys less sturdy than manufactured cat toys. Please supervise your cat while she’s playing with her handcrafted toy! Additionally, when you’re choosing a project to convert, avoid projects that require glue or beads/buttons. You don’t want your cat to end up eating anything that could be potentially harmful.

On to the project!

24

The gnome from the stocking project was too cute to pass up even though it involved more pieces to sew than other options in the book. Here are some things to keep in mind when converting a regular felted toy into a cat toy:

1. Double up on your thread to add extra strength to your stitches

2. Keep your stitches close together to help prevent teeth and claws from snagging on them.

6

7

3. Add an extra layer of felt behind the outer layer to help keep the top layer sturdy.

4. Don’t forget to buy catnip for the filling! I alternated layers of catnip with layers of fiber fill, but you can also make a separate pouch of catnip to insert into the body of the toy before sewing it up.

910

Pause for a “cat scan.” She has to be sure you’re putting in enough catnip!

 

 

11

12

5. Again, due to the nature of felt, this is not a project that’s meant to last forever. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure she’s not shredding through it too quickly!

6. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Whether for cats or kids, everyone loves a bit of whimsy with a handmade toy. Imperfect stitches just adds a flair of individuality!

 
 
 
 
0 Comments

Recipe: Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake

December 11, 2015, 11:17 am  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

cheescakeI have a confession to make. I’m one of the rare people in the United States that does not like pumpkin flavored things. Pumpkin pie is the bane of my holidays, and it’s always the pie of choice at Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings! But now, I am a changed woman. Marilyn Kretzer, editorial director of Lark Crafts, has made the most delicious cheesecake I have ever had. In fact, I am eating a piece of this delicious dessert right now, and it’s making it difficult to type.

If you want to really wow your guests this holiday season, I beg you to make this cheesecake. Even friends and family who profess to dislike all things pumpkin will be in love. I’ve persuaded Marilyn to share this with us, and I hope you enjoy it! Happy Holidays!

 

 

PUMPKIN BOURBON CHEESECAKE
by Marilyn Kretzer

Crust
one cup graham crackers crumbs
1/2 cup peacan pulverized into crumbs
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Filling
2 1/2 lbs cream cheese
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cloves
2 tablespoons bourbon
7 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups pumpkin puree (either fresh or canned)

Preheat oven to 425. Melt butter. In a small food processor, grind pecans to consistency of crumbs. Do the same with graham crackers. In small bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, and brown sugar. Add melted butter and bourbon and mix together. Press crumb mixture into 9″ spring-form pan and bake for 8 minutes.

To make the filling, set your mixer on low and add cream cheese one bar at a time. Add sugar once all of the cream cheese has been thoroughly beaten. Increase speed of mixer for 2-4 minutes until the cream cheese and sugar mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, bourbon, cinnamon and cloves and mix for another minute. With the beater on low, add eggs one at time until thoroughly blended.  Add the sour cream and continue mixing for another minute. Add pumpkin and mix for another minute. Be sure to scrape the side of the bowl throughout the process.

Wrap the bottom of spring-form pan in tin foil. Pour mixture into cooled off the crust. Place a roasting pan with one inch of water into the oven carefully, then place the cake into roasting pan.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425. Lower oven to 300 and continue baking for one hour and fifteen minutes. Turn the oven off and crack open the oven door and leave cake in over for one hour to prevent cracking. Wrap in tin foil and chill over night or for eight hours.

Either top the cake with a sprinkle of confectionery sugar, or serve with whipped cream.

 
 
 
 
12 Comments
 

Coastal Crafts photoAhoy for Summer! Creative sewer and mixed-media goddess, Cynthia Shaffer takes us on a nautical crafting extravaganza with Coastal Crafts.

 

These beachy projects will bring the sea air to your home and make you want to stick your toes in the sand. Seashells, ropes, sea glass and a range of materials and motifs are all incorporated into the projects.

 

Readers will learn how to weather surfaces, make driftwood and cast sand, creating knotted jewelry, hanging jars and other pieces to celebrate summer all year long.

 

Check out some of our favorite projects below…

 

Stitched Fish Garland (2)

 This fish garland adds a seafaring touch to any space. Use it as a baby shower banner even!

 

* * * * *

Knotted Coasters (2)

These knotted coasters are my favorite! The colors remind me of the ocean.  Give them as a gift or keep for yourself!

 

* * * * *

Ocean pillowsLinen Seashell pillows are just the delicate accent you need to bring the sea to your home.

 
 
 
 
90 Comments

Lark Crafts DIY: Latvian Easter eggs

April 03, 2015, 15:00 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

My favorite Easter activity is coloring eggs. My father’s side of the family is Latvian, and every year I make traditional Latvian Easter eggs with my sister, great aunt, and grandmother. This year, I had a special kitchen buddy—Ernie. My sister’s 9-month-old Australian Shepherd is, like most dogs, very interested in any and all food prep, but Ernie seemed particularly fascinated by the Latvian Easter egg preparations.


ERNIE 2

 

Latvian Easter eggs are colored using dyes derived from all-natural materials—we color ours usingonion skins. It’s a really popular Latvian Easter egg-coloring method. The onion skins give the eggs a really beautiful earthy, rusty-red color and dried spices, herbs, leaves and/or flowers, wrapped or pressed around the egg and covered and held in place by the onion skins before boiling,  can result in really interesting shapes and patterns. You can also scratch the eggs after dying to create intricate designs.

 

What you’ll need:

Onion Skins

Nylon Stocking, Cheesecloth or, in a pinch, paper towels

Vinegar

Rubber bands (if using cheesecloth or paper towels)

Scissors

 

Optional:

Sharp tool for etching

Leaves, flowers, or other natural materials to create extra patterns on the egg

Vegetable oil or butter

 

First, collect a good amount of yellow onion skins. We bought a whole bag from the local grocery store, but some stores actually sell bags of just the skins.

 

Onion Skins

 

If you’d like to experiment with creating patterns using leaves and flowers on the egg, wrap them around the eggs first. (My sister and I dripped a little hot wax onto the egg to help keep the flowers and leaves in place before wrapping with the onion skins.)

 

Flower on Egg

 

Next, wrap the entire egg in onion skins (you can wet them first to make it easier to wrap them around each egg), then wrap each egg tightly with cheese cloth or paper towel and wrap each with a few rubber bands to keep everything in place while boiling. You can also use nylon stockings to create little bags for each covered egg. Simply cut pieces of the stocking big enough to cover each egg, place the egg in the stocking, pull the fabric tight around the egg to keep the onion in place and tie the stocking off at both ends.

 

Wrap onion skins around the egg

 

Place the eggs in a pot, add cold water and a little vinegar, and bring to a boil. Cook the eggs for 10-15 minutes. You’ll notice that the water will turn a red/orange color as the dye from the onion skins is extracted.

 

When the eggs are done, let them steep in the water for a few more minutes, then remove them from the water and let them cool. Use scissors to remove the rubber bands and the cheesecloth/paper towel/stocking and onion skins to reveal the color and patterns created by any plants. Peeling back the fabric and onions to reveal the color and patterns is the best part of the process. Use a sharp tool to scratch patterns into the egg if you like, then rub the eggs with vegetable oil or butter to give them a nice shine.

 

Dyed Eggs

 

Our eggs ended up with a lighter color (we could have used more onion skinsto make them darker) and a few of the leaves and flowers we added made interesting designs. We started to add a few etchings to the eggs with the point of some small scissors as well.

 

Ernie approved. Happy Easter!

 

Ernie with Eggs

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
41 Comments

Lark Crafts DIY: Operation Easter Knitting

April 03, 2015, 10:07 am  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

Are you the resident crafter in your family? It’s definitely a badge of honor, but when you’re running late on that Easter basket it turns last-minute crafting into an art form!

 

DIY Easter 1

 

For my niece’s Easter basket I decided to go with a different approach—I wanted something cute and fun, but also useful.

 

Step one: the Bag-sket!

Instead of a traditional basket I decided to make her a reusable bag using Laura Spradlin’s “Grrlfriend Market Bag” free pattern on Ravelry. I used a solid color for the base and handles and a variegated color for the body to produce a bright, fun, machine washable, reusable bag/basket. A bag-sket!

 

DIY Easter 2

 

You’ll be starting at the bottom, center of the bag and working up. Here’s a helpful tutorial for Emily Ocker’s cast-on from New Stitch a Day. It was my first time using this technique, so a tutorial was essential for me.

 

DIY Easter 3

 

Step two: the Easter bunny!

No basket is complete without a furry bunny friend to deliver the holiday goodies. I opted for Susan B. Anderson’s “Rabbit” pattern, which is another free Ravelry download.

 

DIY Easter 4

 

My bunny tail turned out slightly huge, but I say go big or go home and this giant pom helps this guys stand up straight. Win-win!

 

DIY Easter 5

 

Susan also created an absolutely essential video tutorial on embroidering faces to a knitted toy, just the thing I needed to create a simple, but adorable face on this little fella.

 

Step three: the final touch—a carrot!

Easter bunnies get hungry too, y’know? I had a tiny bit of time left so I decided to make a little something for him to nibble on while waiting patiently for Easter Sunday.  I used Emily Ivey’s “Carrot: It’s Good for You” pattern, again another fun, free Ravelry download.

 

DIY Easter 6

 

Mine turned out a liiiiittle ridiculously huge, but what bunny doesn’t love a huge meal?

 

DIY Easter 7

 

(Optional) Step four: bunny scarf

If you’re worried that your bunny will get cold I recommend knitting up a tiny scarf with whatever sport weight yarn scraps you have lying around. Here’s what I did:

–Using any cast-on method, CO enough stitches until you reach 4” (10cm).

–Knit 8 rows

–BO

–Tie on a few strands to each end for fringe

 

DIY Easter 8

 

Quick, cute, and warm. :-)

Now throw in some sweet treats and your bag-sket is ready to go!

 

DIY Easter 9

 

Happy Easter from the Lark family to yours!

 
 
 
 
33 Comments

Lark Crafts DIY: Easter egg dying

April 02, 2015, 14:00 pm  Posted by Deborah Stack
 

Dying Easter eggs is a favorite tradition for many families, and one of my favorite techniques is one I was taught in college. My friends and I had a lot of fun experimenting in our kitchen with “tie-dyed” eggs.

 

Martha Stewart provides a great tutorial here teaching readers how to dye eggs using old silk ties. All you need to do is pick up some patterned ties (of 100% silk) from your local thrift shop, and soon enough you’ll have striped, spotted, and paisley eggs!

 

Take a look at some inspirational photos below:

 

egg1

These awesome eggs were made by the folks at Dabbled.org. Follow this link for their tutorial.

 

silk_egg2

This beautiful egg was posted on Econesting.com. Learn more here.

 

egg3

We love these gorgeous eggs dyed by Our Best Bites! Check out their tutorial here.

 

Here are the results of my silk-tie egg-dying experiment. Our eggs weren’t perfect, but we had a lot of fun making them!

 

463413_10150788488811800_1308367164_o (4)

 

 

474950_10150788488256800_1062052335_o (4)

 

 

459982_10150788491371800_1762132371_o (5)

 
 
 
 
193 Comments

Get outdoors this spring with Shed Decor!

April 02, 2015, 09:49 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

coverSpring may be here technically, but the current weather in NYC definitely leaves a lot to be desired. I can’t wait until I can partake in sunny alfresco lunches, picnics in the parks and warm walks around the city.

 

In the meantime, before the nice, warm weather arrives, I’ve been perusing Shed Decor to get some ideas and plans ready for the rehabilitation of a garden shed at my dad’s house upstate. It’s in need of some serious refurbishment, and Shed Decor offers tons of ideas, tips, and inspiration for transforming any shed into a comfortable, organized space.

 

My favorite sheds profiled in the book are those that have been transformed into amazing studios and work spaces. Check out pictures of a few of them below, and order your copy of Shed Decor here.

 

Shed Decor pic 1

 

 

Shed Decor pic 2

 

 

Shed Decor Pic 3