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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

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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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

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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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

 
 
 
 
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Stitch Love projects perfect for Valentine’s Day

January 07, 2015, 09:59 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Stitch love coverWe can’t wait for the upcoming release of Stitch Love by Mollie Johanson! The projects are undeniably adorable, and with Mollie’s clear step-by-step instructions, plus the comprehensive sewing and embroidery basics sections, they’re easy to make, too. To make crafting the projects even easier, a PDF of the templates at full-size will be available for download on the Lark Crafts website.

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it, and any of the cute projects in Stitch Love would make a great gift for a valentine. Who wouldn’t melt at the sight of the Frozen Yeti Ice Pack or the cuddly Gleeful Guinea Pig Plush? You could also embroider one of the many adorable motifs onto a simple plush heart or the pocket of a cozy sweater (the holiday mouse motif with angel wings and a heart would be perfect!).

 

Keep checking the Lark website for more on Mollie Johanson and Stitch Love, plus a giveaway or two in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out Mollie’s website: wildolive.blogspot.com and pre-order your copy of Stitch Love today.

 

Guinea Pig Plush_small

 

 

Yeti_small

 

 

DSC_0727

 
 
 
 
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Artful Christmas CoverThe elegant yet easy-to-make projects featured in Susan Wasinger’s Artful Christmas are all beautiful, but my favorite project from the book has to be the Pressed Clay Wreath (pictured below).

 

I was really surprised to see how such an ornate and elegant wreath could be made using widely available materials and in just 4 simple steps. Easy to make, yet sophisticated and beautiful, the projects included in Artful Christmas are perfect for those of us who are usually scrambling to pull everything together during the busy holiday season.

 

I’m currently in the midst of an apartment move, and with the usual hustle and bustle that inevitably accompanies the holidays, plus a new apartment full of unpacked boxes on my hands, I won’t be able to spend a lot of time and energy on decorations for the holidays. With this in mind, I definitely plan on scratching my creative itch and making a few of these projects to decorate my new place this Christmas.

 

Check out the Pressed Clay Wreath project from the book below and consider making your own to display as a table centerpiece or decorative wreath.

 

Pressed Clay Wreath - Artful Christmas (4)

 
 
 
 
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Deck the halls with Artful Christmas

November 21, 2014, 15:37 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Artful Christmas CoverDeck the halls with beautiful handmade Christmas decorations this holiday season!

 

Artful Christmas, by Susan Wasinger, offers 30 elegant DIY Christmas craft projects for the home. Handmade ornaments and decorations make beautiful keepsakes and gifts, and the projects included in Artful Christmas are sophisticated, festive and easy and affordable to make.

 

From a delicate lace Doily Snowflake Bowl, sparkly Marbled Ornaments and charming Lacy Stars for display in frosty windows, to sophisticated gift tags and colorful gift wrapping ideas, the projects included in Artful Christmas are sure to add extra sparkle and warmth to your home this holiday season.

 

Check out a few of the projects from Artful Christmas below and be sure to order your copy today!

 

Dolly Snowflake

 

 

Folded Star

 

 

 

Marbled Ornaments

 

 

Wrapping Ideas