Free Fast ‘N Easy Halloween Project

October 21, 2013, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark

I love Halloween, and I love Halloween decoration ideas—especially if they’re simple and clever. Susan Wasinger, author of Artful Halloween, hits both of those nails directly on the head. For example, her Black Doily Spider Web project is one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that?!” ideas. Armed with doilies, readily (and inexpensively) available at yard sales, and a can of black spray paint,  you’re all set to adorn your dining table—or with the addition of a bit of string, your curtains—with delicate doily webs.

If you have a get-together planned, these webs are sure to impress. Click here for the project instructions.

Oh, and look closely–see those cute little spiders? They’re also in Artful Halloween–so much scary cuteness in one book!






Stitching Doodle Style!

November 09, 2010, 17:41 pm  Posted by Lark

Love Aimee Ray? We thought so… and we do, too! Here are two free projects from her book, Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection.

First up, a super cute Circus Elephant sampler. And, when you’re ready for something springy and a little bit more challenging, try the Spring Sampler.

If you like these motifs, take a peek at the book for 398 more! (Seriously, there are over 400 total!) And for even more Aimee Ray goodness, check out her blog Little Dear Tracks and pay a visit to her Etsy shop for patterns, Blythe doll accessories, and all-around cuteness!


Oopsy Daisies project from Fa La La La Felt

October 25, 2010, 16:38 pm  Posted by Lark

Try a free Oopsy Daisies Stocking project from Fa La La La Felt for yourself this holiday crafting season!


Lark Jewelry Challenge Contest Rules

October 15, 2010, 11:06 am  Posted by Lark

Jewelry Design Challenge Contest



Jewelry Design Challenge Contest (the “Contest“) is jointly sponsored by Lark Crafts an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. (“Lark Crafts“), 387 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10016 and Rio Grande, 7500 Bluewater Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121 (“Rio Grande”).  (Lark Crafts and Rio Grande are sometimes referred to jointly herein as the “Sponsors” and all references to Sponsors shall, unless otherwise indicated, be deemed to include both Lark Crafts and Rio Grande.) Entrants must submit a Photo of a jewelry piece created by entrant (as defined below) in accordance with these official contest rules (“Official Rules”).

1. ELIGIBILITY: Open only to legal residents of one of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia and who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry under the terms of these Official Rules. Any entries not eligible for any reason will be disqualified from winning the prize. Employees of Sponsors, and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies involved in this Contest, and their immediate family members (parent, child, spouse, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and/or those living in the same household of each, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in or win the Contest. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply.

2. HOW TO ENTER: Beginning 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on Friday, October 15, 2010 through 9:00p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 (the “Entry Period”), log on to http://www.larkcrafts.com/jewelry-beading/jewelry-design-challenge-contest click on the Contest post and follow the on-screen entry instructions to complete and submit your entry. Information required for entry includes entrant’s name, e-mail address (“Entry Information”), and a photo of the jewelry piece created by Entrant (the “Jewelry”). Your Entry Information and Jewelry will together constitute one (1) entry (“Entry”) into the Contest.

Jewelry specifications: Jewelry must be one original piece using at least one of the following materials:

  • 18-gauge sterling sheet, 3 inches (7.6 cm) square
  • 18-gauge copper sheet, 6 inches (15.2 cm) square
  • 1.6 mm sterling tubing, 6 inches (15.2 cm) long
  • six 5 mm black and white pearls (1/2 drilled)
  • 15 copper washers, various sizes from 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.6 to 1.3 cm)
  • 20-gauge sterling wire, 36 inches (91.4 cm) long
  • medium fine silver mesh, 6 cm square
  • 1.8 mm round Greek leather cord, 36 inches (91.4 cm) long
  • 20-gauge copper wire, 36 inches (91.4 cm) long
  • Materials can be found on http://www.riogrande.com/MemberArea/projectItems.aspx

All Entries, including photos, become the property of the Sponsors. Your Entry will not be acknowledged or returned.  Entries must be received by 9:00 p.m. on November 30, 2010. By entering the Contest, each Entrant grants Sponsors a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable right to reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, adapt, modify, and otherwise use the Jewelry, without restriction and without compensation, notification, or additional consent from Entrant or any third party. Entrant warrants that it has the sole and exclusive right to grant such rights to Sponsors, and that the Sponsors’ reproduction, publishing, displaying, and/or other use of the Jewelry will not infringe on any rights of third parties, including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, privacy, or publicity rights, or create claims for breach of contract, anywhere in the world. Entrant agrees that Sponsors shall have no obligation to copy, publish, display, or otherwise exploit the Jewelry. The Jewelry must not include materials (language, phrases, quotations, etc.) belonging to or copyrighted by third parties. Any such Entry will be disqualified. The Jewelry must not have been previously published or otherwise exhibited. The Jewelry must not contain any material that infringes upon any personal, proprietary, or any other right of any third party. The Jewelry must not contain any obscene or otherwise objectionable material (as determined by Sponsors within their sole discretion). The Jewelry must not contain any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, or any other form of solicitation. The Jewelry must not contain any material that: (a) would give or threaten to give rise to criminal or civil liability; (b) encourages conduct that constitutes a criminal offense; (c) encourages or provides instructional information about illegal activities or (d) references any brand name products.

Entrant acknowledges that Entrant will not receive any compensation of any kind for its Entry.  Limit one (1) Entry per person, multiple Entries received from any person will be disqualified. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void, as are Entries that are illegible, garbled, incomplete or that contain errors. Normal time, toll, connection and usage rates, if any, charged by your Internet service provider will apply.

3. JUDGING CRITERIA: Each Entry will be judged by a panel of qualified judges (“Judges”) associated with jewelry, who will select the potential prize winners. Judges will evaluate each Entry according to the following equally weighted factors: (1) Originality, (2) Creativity, and (3) Craftsmanship (“Judging Criteria”). The three (3) Entries with the highest overall score will be declared the “Grand Prize, Second place and Third Place Winners”, respectively.  In the event any potential Winner is disqualified for any reason, the entrant with the next highest total score in the pool of entrants who have submitted valid Entries will be chosen as the Winner. In the event that no Entries are received, no prize will be awarded. Sponsors reserve the right to not select a Winner, or to extend the Entry Period if in their sole discretion Sponsors do not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries. The decision of Sponsors in this matter is final and binding.

4.     WINNER NOTIFICATION/ VALIDATION: The potential Winners will be notified by e-mail on or about December 6, 2010 and each Winner may be required to send Lark Crafts the actual jewelry piece submitted for photographing.  In addition each Winner may be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability/Publicity form (where legal) within seven (7) days of date of attempted notification.  Noncompliance within this time period, or with these Official Rules, or the return of any prize/prize notification may result in disqualification and, at Sponsors’ discretion, time period permitted, an alternate potential Winner may be selected.  Each Winner’s Jewelry, or photo of the jewelry taken by Lark Crafts may be posted on http://www.LarkCrafts.com on or before December 6, 2010 for a period of at least 15 days.  Each Winner’s jewelry will be returned and Prizes will be fulfilled approximately 4-6 weeks after winner validation.  Any Winner later determined to be ineligible may be required to return the prize.

5.     PRIZE: One (1) Grand Prize winner (“Grand Prize Winner”) will receive a $1500 Rio Grande gift card and a library of 10 Lark Jewelry titles: Jewelry Design Challenge, Bronze Metal Clay, Metal Clay Origami Jewelry, The Ultimate Jeweler’s Guide, 30-Minute Earrings, 30-Minute Necklaces, Pewter Studio, Mixed Metal Jewelry Workshop, Metal Clay Beads, 500 Gemstone Jewels (Approximate Retail Value “ARV” $1728.50). One (1) Second Place winner (“Second Place Winner”) will receive a $1000 Rio Grande gift card and a library of 5 Lark Jewelry titles: Jewelry Design Challenge, Bronze Metal Clay, Metal Clay Origami Jewelry, The Ultimate Jeweler’s Guide, 500 Gemstone Jewels (Approximate Retail Value “ARV” $1109.75).  One (1) Third Place winner (“Third Place Winner”) will receive a $500 Rio Grande gift card and a library of 5 Lark Jewelry titles: Jewelry Design Challenge, Bronze Metal Clay, Metal Clay Origami Jewelry, The Ultimate Jeweler’s Guide, 500 Gemstone Jewels. (Approximate Retail Value “ARV” $609.75).   No transfer, substitution or cash redemption will be awarded in lieu of stated prize except by Sponsors who reserve the right to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) of comparable or greater value, at its sole discretion. All prize details are at the sole discretion of the Sponsors. If the Winner cannot accept the prize as stated, prize will be forfeited and at Sponsors’ discretion, an alternate Winner may be selected. The Winner is solely responsible for any and all income, sales, use and any other federal, state, and local taxes or any other expenses in connection with the acceptance, receipt and/or use of any prize awarded. In the event that any prize or any prize component is not available for any reason, then remaining elements of prize shall constitute full satisfaction of Sponsors’ prize obligation to the prize Winner and no additional compensation will be awarded.

6. GENERAL RULES: Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for the Sponsors and their designees to use Winner’s name, city, state, likeness, voice, biographical information and statements for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity in any and all media, now or hereafter known, throughout the world in perpetuity without additional compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. By participating, Entrant (i) agrees to release and hold Sponsors, their parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and each of their respective directors, officers, employees and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”), harmless against any and all claims and liability arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, out of participation in the Contest or misuse, nonuse or use of any prize; (ii) waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages, attorneys’ fees or any damages other than actual out-of-pocket costs incurred to enter; and (iii) agrees to be bound by these Official Rules. Released Parties are not responsible for incomplete, lost, late, damaged, inaccurate, illegible, misdirected, garbled, delayed or undelivered Entries; or for technical hardware or software malfunctions or failures of any kind, lost, unavailable network connections, or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission, which may limit an individual’s ability to participate.  Sponsors reserve the right in its sole discretion, to cancel, suspend or modify the Contest, or to disqualify any implicated Entrant(s), (and their Entries) if any fraud, virus, actions by entrants, technical or other error or problem, or any other occurrence corrupts or affects the administration, integrity, security, or proper play of the Contest, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion.  In the event of cancellation, Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to award the prize in a random drawing from among all eligible, non-suspect Entries received up to the time of the event or action warranting such cancellation.  In the event this Contest is cancelled prior to the stated end date, a notice will be posted at http://www.larkcrafts.com/uncategorized/jewelry-challenge-contest-rules/ . CAUTION: Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, Sponsors reserve the right to seek damages from any such entrant to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution.  Released Parties are not responsible for any technical, mechanical, printing, typographical, human or other error relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors which may occur in the administration of the Contest, the processing of Entries, the announcement of the prize or in any Contest-related materials; or for any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participating in, or accessing or downloading information in connection with this Contest.

7. WINNERS’ NAME: For the name of the Winners, available after December 30, 2010, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:  Lark Crafts Jewelry Design Challenge Contest, 387 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10016, to be received by May 1, 2011.

8. NO WARRANTIES: Sponsors make no warranties regarding any of the prizes furnished as part of this Contest.

9. PRIVACY: Any information submitted to Sponsors, including all Entries will be governed by the terms of Lark Crafts’ User Agreement and Privacy Policy

10. GOVERNING LAW: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations of any Entrant, Sponsors, and/or any of the Released Parties shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York. All actions, proceedings, or litigation relating hereto will be instituted and prosecuted solely within the State of New York, County of New York. The parties consent to the jurisdiction of the state and federal courts of New York with respect to any action, dispute, or other matter pertaining to or arising out of this Contest.


vickiehowell It’s officially Fall which for us yarn-y types, which means the fun begins! Sure, we knit & crochet year ’round, but it’s when the first chill creeps through the relentless-wall-of-heat-that-is-the-summer, that we can really curl up and enjoy stitchin’! To wet your needle-wielding whistle, why not start with a staple accessory to keep your topper toasty and your outfits outstanding? Yes, you chicks with sticks and dudes with…ummm…dowels; I’m talking about the beanie. They’re fun to make, and everyone needs one. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Here are 8 hats for man, woman and child, that can be whipped up fast and worn immediately!

Urban Jungle!

The Urban Jungle slouchy beanie is crocheted out of Simply Soft, using the puff stitch. You can nab the pattern for free over at Caron.com. Oh, and if you need a little how-to help with the stitch pattern, check out my video tutorial here.

The Ice Core Cap is a great, 1st time hat pattern for you newbies or a “need it now” project for stitchers

Ice Core Cap

with experience. It’s knit in simple, 2×2 rib stitch and in chunky, organic camel yarn. Do you dig it? I knew that you would. This pattern along with 30 other classic, eco-aware projects are available our book, AwareKnits (Knit, Purl, Save the World-UK Edition). Find it here.

The Puffalump beanie is for the bi-stitchual amongst us. Using a double-strand of worsted-weight yarn, the main body is crocheted in a bobbled stripe pattern. The brim and crown are each knit, by picking up stitches around both sides of the crocheted pieces. Get the pattern on my website, here.


The Urban Planner is the knit version of the aforementioned, Urban Jungle. The yin to its yang, as it were. It’s another design I got to do as part of my partnership with Caron. The pattern’s available on their website, along with another of my video tutorials showing how to seam it up. This hat uses the Blackberry stitch and variegated yarn, which you can find here.

Urban Planner

Mary-Kate, is more of a beret than a beanie but hey, let’s not mince words in the name of crafting, ok? M-K is made with a large hook using yarn with just a little shimmer. This project, along with its companion wrist warmers, is nestled amongst more crochet goodness in, Pop Goes Crochet.

Shady, utilizes double-strands of yarn to blend colors taking then from black, to variegated, to green. Then, a simple rib pattern gets a twist at the crown for a little, unexpected texture. Get Shady, here.





Barrel brined pickles, cold and crisp

A series of seasonal market recipes

Do you love pickles? I do. I love to eat them and I love to make them. Our summer weeks are framed by the pickle projects Skip and I have going. In one corner of the basement, 14-day pickles will be brining away for… that’s right, 14 days. In the pantry multiple batches of French Pickles are soaking in muliti-day-long brine baths. And in the “center ring” we’re quick-pickling whatever’s fresh—baby carrots and squash right now, soon to add green beans, okra, and peppers.

But the most Celebrated Cucumber Cruncher in all of pickledom, the QUEEN OF PICKLES, are the ones we make in a crock in our basement. Barrel Pickles. Not preserved in vinegar like most pickles, these are fermented, more precisely, lacto-fermented pickles. Sauerkraut is their lacto-fermented sister.

Now that it’s full blown summer with fresh, young cucumbers rolling into your local tailgate and farmer’s markets, it’s time to make some pickles, FOLKS! So let’s get cracking on the simplest of all pickle possibilities.

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