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Leisure Arts Blog

  • Here's 10 Ways You Can Show Your Love For I Love Yarn Day!

    Hey Makers! It's the most wonderful time of the year, and no, it's not Christmas. It's I Love Yarn Day on the 13th! A National Holiday that feels like Christmas to us seasoned craftsman. We get to show our appreciation for the fuzzy and fluffy crafts that have kept us company over generations. We use yarn for all types of crafts, for quick fixes, for the occasional birthday party, and for finishing touches. It's an all encompassing medium. But, have we ever shown yarn how much we care about it?

    If you haven't, that's okay. Make up for lost time! We've put together a list of ways that you can show your love for your multicolored and miscellaneous yarn bin tucked away in your closet at home (don't lie, we all have one).

     

    Knit Or Crochet For A Cause

    There's nothing better than doing something nice for others. Charity is the best way to lend a helping hand to people in need, and what better way to lend a helping had than with crafts? We can help you think of some great patterns with A Charity Guide for Crochetand A Charity Guide for Knitters, based on what craft you prefer. Just look at some of these patterns! A blanket with pockets? Insanity. Show your Love by trying out some of these daring designs.

    I Love Yarn Day Charity Guide For Crocheters
    Charity Guide For Knitters Charity Guide For Knitters
    Blanket With Pockets Charity Guide Crochet Blanket With Pockets Charity Guide Crochet

     

     

    Update Your Space With A Stylish Wall Hanging

    Vamp up your Home Decor situation with a new wall hanging! Yarn can create the most versatile styles of wall hangings, ranging from pristine and proper one color wall tapestries, to grungy and eclectic color blocked frocks. Learn to Make Woven Wall Hangings and Wall Hangings are two books that show a grand variety of wall decor patterns that you can choose from.

     

    Spiral Stem Wall Hanging Spiral Stem Wall Hanging
    Triangle Woven Wall Hanging Triangle Woven Wall Hanging

     

    Give The Gift Of Cozy Feet!  

    Ah, Fall. The best time for leg warmers, scarves, and fuzzy socks. Check out these rockin' awesome sock books that will keep your feet warmer than a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

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    More Fun Socks - Knit 

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    Make Fun Socks - Crochet 

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    Slippers for the Family

     

    Amigurumi – What’s Not To Love!

    Amigurumi! The craft everyone loves to make, but hates to pronounce. Homemade Amigurumi stuffed animals knock your traditional stuffed animals out of the ballpark when it comes to quality, and cuteness factor. I mean, just look at these adorable designs from two of our Leisure Arts books, Cute Amigurumi Monsters and Huggable Amigurumi

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    Make someone an adorable Amigurumi doll for I Love Yarn Day!

    Make Your I Love Yarn Day A Little Brighter With A Pom-Pom Project

    Pom-Poms aren't just for cheerleading! They can also be for home decor. There are a lot of things that you can make with a simple pom-pom, big or small. All it takes is l little bundle of yarn. Show your love for yarn projects by trying out some of these pom-pom patterns in Crazy About Pom-Poms

    screen-shot-2018-10-11-at-11-43-02-am Pom-Pom Dream Catcher - Crazy About Pom-Poms

     

     

    Make an old love new again with Macramé

    Macramé is one of those vintage crafts that is making a hard and fast comeback to the maker community. We have been seeing new Macramé projects all over our social sites, and it's hard not to notice beautiful projects like these ones from A New Twist On Macramé and Get Started in MacraméIf you haven't tried Macramé, give it a go for I Love Yarn Day!

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    Give the Gift of Imagination with creative toys and playsets

    Do you have a special little one to shop for? If you do, show your love for yarn by making the best baby toy patterns around! Busy Baby Boxes and Baby Stacks have some great homemade toy patterns that give your baby that extra nudge to learn and process.

    screen-shot-2018-10-11-at-11-28-23-am screen-shot-2018-10-11-at-11-28-38-am

     

    Pass Your Love Of Yarn To Someone Special

    One thing that we need to keep alive is passing on our skills from generation to generation. Imagine what your children or grandchildren can come up with after learning great craft techniques from you and your maker friends! We've got you covered with Teach me to Crochetand Teach me to KnitThese books teach the foundations of two of our most popular crafts, and from there, that special someone you have in mind to teach can pick up on some of your styles!

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    If you have an itch to teach your skill or craft, don't forget about the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Instructor Program. The best way to show your love of yarn is to share your love of yarn, so sign up today!

    If you're interested in signing up to be a certified instructor, Click Here.

     

    Use up your scrap Yarn and make something new to love!

    If you have a scrap pile that needs to be taken care of in your maker space, then check out these patterns from Scrappy Afghans and Projects From Your Scrap Bag that use up those extra scraps that you can't seem to part with. Show your love of yarn by giving it a clean home!

    Scrappy Afghans Scrappy Afghans
    Scrappy Afghans More Projects From Your Scrap Bag

     

    Get Crafty With Yarn

    You don't have to knit or crochet to use up that favorite ball of yarn! Our book, Yarn Crafts is an exception to the typical yarn user, where you can get more creative with your projects and your yarns! Try making string art with just a few nails and wrapping methods, or give that frumpy vase some added flair to spice up your dining room table. The possibilities are endless!

    Rainbow Yarn Vases - Yarn Crafts Rainbow Yarn Vases - Yarn Crafts
    Ampersand String Art - Yarn Crafts Ampersand String Art - Yarn Crafts

    There are many other ways to celebrate I Love Yarn Day, but we're glad that we could give you just a few! If you have thought of something fun that we haven't thought of, comment below! We'd love to hear it. Be sure to share your projects that you have created for I Love Yarn Day on our Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram pages. We love to see what you guys are working on.

     

    As a present to you, we are giving you guys discounts galore! Check out our awesome sale that's going on through I Love Yarn Day. We're doing 45% off Paperbacks, 35% off Digital Downloads, and 15% off of Yarn and Supplies.

    YARN DAY_SALE

     

     

    Happy I Love Yarn Day!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • DIY Diamond Art Transformations - Blue Dahlia Welcome Home Sign

    Diamond Art! Our new product that's taking over craft stores across the nation. We're glad that you all have been loving and sharing our new designs with your friends and family. So far you guys have only seen our beautifully dotted canvases, in and out of frames. But, what if you went the extra mile, and thought outside of the frame? We did, and we have some great DIY Diamond Art Projects that you can create from your newly dazzled Diamond Art Canvas! You didn't think we were done dazzling, right? Just because our #DiamondArtParty is over, doesn't mean we stopped cranking out new designs and projects. Keep tuning into our social to see what's coming soon.

    DIY Diamond Art?

    DIY Diamond Art Blue Dahlia Welcome Home Sign
    DIY Diamond Art Blue Dahlia Diamond Art Kit

    Today we have a tutorial for this beautiful DIY Wall Art, using a popular beginner level kit, The Blue Dahlia Diamond Art Kit. If you're not familiar with it, here are some pictures.

    We have some close ups too, in case you weren't convinced enough to go out and buy a kit yet.

    As you can see, we found a way to go beyond the scope of the printed diamond art canvas, and we created this unique welcome home sign that can hang in your entryway or living room! All it took was a little bit of effort, adhesive and creativity.

    Close Up Diamond Art Close Up Diamond Art
    screen-shot-2018-09-17-at-8-44-52-am Close Up Diamond Art

    Supplies

    Here are the things you'll need for this DIY Diamond Art Project:

    • A Diamond Art Canvas  (We used the Blue Dahlia, but you can always switch it out for another flower canvas)
    • Embroidery Floss (Or any type of thread you prefer for a trim)
    • Two-Sided Adhesive Backing (Make sure that you get a backing that is bigger than your Dazzle Area)
    • A Wood Pallet / Custom Wood Frame
    • Acrylic Paint (you pick the colors, be creative!)
    • Wood Block Letters 

     

    I Got The Supplies! Now What?

    The first thing you'll want to do is dazzle your Diamond Art Canvas, of course. In our case, the Blue dahlia is a beginner level kit, so there isn't a big learning curve in terms of starting the craft. Diamond Art is meant to be a leisurely craft that lets you put the canvas away for later if you wanted to, or complete it in one day, the choice is up to you!

    After you've dazzled your way to success, carefully cut out your design, and stick it to one side of your adhesive backing. Next, carefully line your dazzle area (where there are gemstones) on your canvas with the Embroidery Floss, making sure that the floss sticks to the extra adhesive. This will give you a clear guide when cutting your canvas again.  You can get your frame from the Wood Crafts section of any craft store near you, pick your favorite! You can even go the extra creative mile and craft your own! All you would need are some wood planks and nails.

    Now that you've laid out your floss, you can cut the excess adhesive from around the whole artwork. Now you can start to lay your design onto the frame! Peel off the second layer of the backing, and after that you're unstoppable. Remember to leave enough room for the letters to be evenly spaced out, and assuming that you have already painted your letters to the colors you want, glue them onto your newly dazzled frame!

    It's as simple as that. This is a great and unique way to utilize your Diamond Art canvas to the fullest! Now that you're finished, you can sit back with a nice hot cup of tea, and marvel at your finished Diamond Art Masterpiece.

    If you make a DIY Diamond Art Project of your own, be sure to share it on our social so we can show it some love. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks to see more of our DIY projects, you never know what the next big thing will be!

    Happy Dazzling!

    -Leisure Arts Team

    DIY Diamond Art Lifestyle
  • Here's Why Everyone Loves Paint Pouring So Much.

    Paint Pouring! One of the most fascinating, yet confusing crafts out there, in my opinion. There are thousands of videos spanning the internet right now, showing endless methods of pouring giant cups of paint onto a canvas. It looks so easy, right? Just throw some colors together, and dump away!

    Not Exactly.

     

    The Art and Science of Paint Pouring

    Paint Pouring Leisurely Letters Paint Pouring
    Paint Pouring Tree Ring Pour Technique

    Paint Pouring should be treated like a birthday cake. If you don't measure correctly, and put a little too much of one ingredient in the batter, the final product can be butchered! But if done correctly and pre-planned out beforehand, you can create some really interesting canvasses that will make people ask "Wow, how did you do that?!"

    How Paint Pouring Works

    This is a common question that we get, and it's a little more complicated than one would think! The paint that you mix in the cups is altered slightly with other mediums like silicone oil, water and pouring medium. These usually thin out the paints in your cup and make the process of pouring more fluid, letting you create those wonderful lines and washes that you see in poured canvases. You also want to watch out for bubbles in your paint, because that can affect how your final result looks. Many stir the pouring medium and paint together beforehand to ensure that all of the air is out of your mix. The thing to note is that your mix should be the consistency of warm honey, before you being mixing different colors of paints together.

     

    Paint Pouring Flip and Drag Technique
    Paint Pouring Calypso Coasters

     

    Meditate and Create!

    It's hard to imagine these amazing canvases all were created with a cup full of paint, right? But they are! This craft is not only effortless, but relaxing too. There are countless compilations all over the net showing pouring videos, and there's a good reason for it. Like soap carving and cake glazing videos, the act of watching the many colors fall in line and mix and match is calming to our stressed out selves.

    The best part about pouring it is that you've done something productive at the end of this little meditation exercise. You've created a beautiful work of art! Compared to soap carving or cake frosting, and there's no contest. At the end of soap carving, you have a pile of shavings, and after you've frosted your cake, it'll be gone in a week. Paint Pouring is a long lasting and fruitful craft that produces beautiful and durable works of art for your home.

    Paint Pouring Sneak Peek
    Paint Pouring Sneak Peek

     

    A Paint Pouring Present, Just for You!

    We have some upcoming projects in Paint Pouring from Leisure Arts, and because you decided to visit our blogosphere, you get a SNEAK PEEK! Check out what's coming up next in the paint pouring universe from the Leisure Arts Team.

    Excited about these sneak peeks? Keep up with our social pages to find out more! In the meantime, you can create all of these fantastic projects you see in this post from Nicky James Burch's Paint Pouring : Easy Techniques, Awesome Ideas, & Inspiration for Absolute Beginners. 

    I mean, just look at this cover. It's beautiful. Pick it up today!

    Paint Pouring Paint Pouring by Nicky James Burch

    Happy Pouring, Makers!

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

     

  • Diamond Art is Better Than Jigsaw Puzzles, and We Can Prove it!

    So, we've launched Diamond Art! By now you all have seen our wonderful new products floating around online and in craft stores near you. We've got a wide range of designs that go from simple cherry blossom branches, to full scale succulent gardens, and we love the feedback you guys have been giving us on every single kit. Hopefully you haven't just seen it in stores, but you've gone out and bought one to try for yourself!

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    Diamond Art is an extremely relaxing craft, one that you can work on at your own pace, and on your own time. It's often compared to another relaxing craft that's been around a lot longer: jigsaw puzzles! But in our opinion, we're much better. Here's why!

    Diamond Art...Better Than Jigsaw Puzzles? I Don't Believe It.

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    Believe it! Diamond Art is a more creative and dazzling alternative to the 'same old, same old' of jigsaw puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles have always proven to be a problem in the long run. If you lose a piece, your project is ruined, the hunt to find the pieces takes forever and a half, and the finished product doesn't preserve well. Diamond painting is a stress relieving craft, with little work and effort for a beautiful result that will last you a lifetime.

     

    Convince Me. Why Is Diamond Art More Relaxing?

    Diamond Art Color Coding System Diamond Art

    Every space on your chart is color coded and charted out with a specific number code. The effort of finding your area to dazzle is so small, you won't even realize that you've finished half of your canvas already! Puzzles can be strenuous and time consuming. You spend hours trying to find the right piece that fits in the undesignated spot, and after that long adventure is finished, you have a really nice picture... broken up by lines from the cut pieces. With Diamond Art, you have an uninterrupted blissful picture that you don't have to break apart or Modge Podge.

    Diamond Painting Diamond Art Succulent Kit
    succulent-adv Dazzled Succulent Canvas

     

    The colors from the uncharted canvas are so The colors from the uncharted canvas are so close to the colors of the gems, that you don't really have to think about what you're dotting. just pick a gem pack and dot away! It can be easily stored for later too, so you can pick it up again on a rainy day. Our gems may be tiny, but if kept well, they are super easy to keep track of. The best part is that we provide you with 20 percent extra gems in your kits, just in case an accident happens!

     

    You Don't Have to Break It Apart? Tell Me More.

    Once you're done with your canvas, there are tons of options to show it off. Why stick with just a boring old picture frame, when you can have it on a pillow? Or, turn it into a wall hanging with extra crafts like yarn! You can even use the extra beads, and put them on your shoes. There are endless possibilities for displaying your new artwork, unlike a puzzle, which I promise you, would not look good glued to a pair of Reeboks.

    So, what are you doing piecing together that puzzle of a generic cottage in the woods, when you could be dazzling one of these great designs?

     

    White Cat Kit White Cat Kit
    Succulent Bowl Kit Succulent Bowl Kit
    Diamond Painting Lotus Kit
    Diamond Painting Hummingbird kit

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You can pick up our freshly released Diamond Art kits online, or at a craft store near you.

     

    Wanna get inspired? Check out our social!

     

    Diamond Art Diamond Painting Group

    Diamond Art By Leisure Arts Facebook

    @la_diamondart on Instagram

     

     

    Happy Dip, Dot, and Dazzling!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Wall Hangings That Will Bring Out The Interior Decorator In You

    We've all done it. We've seen the fancy fiber art wall hangings that are typically in niche home decor stores, or luxurious art galleries, and take it off the rack, ready to give it a new home. But then you feel the cold stab of betrayal as you flip the price tag and see that the wall art you loved so much, costs a lot more than you would like to spend. Et Tu, department store markups?

    That's why we had Sharon Silverman come in to save the day with her awesome guest blog, and show you that you can teach those department stores who's boss! You can learn to craft beautiful crochet wall hangings that won't break your bank, and will make you look like you vacation in Cabo every third Wednesday.

    Take it away, Sharon!

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    I love browsing in furniture stores, don’t you? It’s so much fun to see the vignettes they have set up for home, office, and outdoors. Being a fiber artist, I always pay particular attention to the accessories. What kinds of rugs and afghans are popular? How about the pillows? What type of art is on the walls?

    There are plenty of furniture stores to explore in and around the newly expanded King of Prussia Mall, just 35 minutes from my home in Pennsylvania: Arhaus, Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware, and more. Recently, I started to notice a common theme in their textiles: lots of fabric and yarn wall-hangings, including some that took me right back to the macramé days of my youth! Seeing those put a smile on my face, but the price tags didn’t. Hundreds of dollars for pieces that I knew I could make myself for a fraction of the cost—and so could you.

    That was the beginning of the idea for Wall Hangings.

    Wall Hangings Wall Hangings

    Once I got the go-ahead from Leisure Arts, I started coming up with designs. I wanted to incorporate flourishes like tassels, pom-poms, and fringe in some of the designs. Exuberant Embellishments uses a variety of yarn weights and textures from Lion Brand Yarn: LB Collection Wool, Romance, Color Clouds, Vanna’s Glamour, and Glitterspun. 

    My Wall Hangings

    Wall Hangings Exuberant Embellishments

    The neutral colors of the piece let the textures and finishes of the yarn stand out. Even though I am usually a fan of lightweight yarn, I really love the chunkiness of the fringe and some of the larger stitches.

    Winding Links also incorporates pom-poms and tassels, but this time in a consistent yarn weight. I used Red Heart Super Saver in brown (Coffee) and Aqua (Aruba Sea), but you could choose any two contrasting colors that complement your décor. 

    Wall Hangings Winding Links

    Winding Links is made in segments and then hung on a dowel. I-cords are used to hang the segments at various heights and to connect them to each other. If you haven’t mastered crocheted I-cord, this is a good chance to practice. After a few tries and misfires, I discovered that I love making it!

    The choice of stitch patterns creates the texture in Fur & Loops. Lion Brand Cotton Bamboo is worked in the loop stitch for the persimmon section, and the fur stitch for the hyacinth section. Looks challenging, right? Don’t tell anyone, but the fur stitch and loop stitch are easy variations on single crochet. They are actually the same stitch, but for fur stitch the loops are cut to make them shaggy.

    Wall Hangings Fur and Loops

     

    The natural world inspired several of my designs. Spiral Stems uses a sturdy twig as the hanger for the individually crocheted spirals in greens and greys from Patons Décor.

    Wall Hangings Spiral Stems

     Some of the spirals are long and skinny, some are shorter and thicker, just like the variations found in plants and trees.

    Wall Hangings Spiral Stems Close Up

    When I worked on a yarn installation at Hagley Museum and Library, the original site of the DuPont powder works in Wilmington, Delaware, I used a lot of crocheted roses to adorn the iron gates.

    Wall Hangings Rose Arbor Detail

    I was reminded of them when I worked on the Wall Hangings designs. They’re fun to make, cheerful to look at, and bring a great pop of color to a room! I used various shades of pink and yellow, as well as green leaves, for Rose Arbor. The flowers are Red Heart Super Saver, and the leaves are Lily Sugar ‘n Cream.

    Wall Hangings Rose Arbor
    Wall Hangings Rose Arbor Close Up

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The monochromatic panels in Windy Sails gives that project a classic look, updated with coiled I-cord decorations at the bottom. Panels use different stitch patterns to create interest. Dowels at the top and bottom keep things neat.

    Wall Hangings Windy Sails

    Leisure Arts holds onto the finished projects, but I liked Curves & Lines so much that I made one for my dining room and another one for my son’s apartment. (I did his in blues with some black and white thrown in, and made the fringe in an arc shape to mimic the trajectory of a rocket after launch. When you’re the mother of a rocket scientist, you get some unusual requests!) All of the projects use Patons Lace. I picked a straight dowel to go across and extend beyond a quilting hoop because that arrangement kind of reminds me of Saturn.

    Wall Hangings Curves and Lines
    Wall Hangings Curves and Lines Alternative

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I try never to miss an opportunity to add beads to my work, and this leaflet was no exception. Beaded Tapestry uses a variety of beads in earth tones on a background of blue Lily Sugar ‘n Cream to create a pattern that’s just abstract enough to make you wonder what it is. A bird? A fox? Just shapes? You decide.

    Wall Hangings Beaded Tapestry
    Wall Hangings Beaded Tapestry Close Up

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The fringe below is adorned with beads of various colors at different heights to finish off this long, graceful hanging in style.

    Wall Hangings Beaded Tapestry Detail

    It was a pleasure working with Leisure Arts on Wall Hangings. Along with doing the editing and photography, they staged the pieces in a variety of attractive settings.

    I encourage crocheters to make wall art using these patterns, rather than paying inflated prices for finished products. The projects are rated Easy, but even experienced crocheters will find them interesting to make—and may even learn some new techniques and stitch patterns along the way. Wall hangings make great gifts, too: one size fits all! 

    As for my professional background, I am the author of 16 crochet books and a private line of patterns. I’m a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a design member of The National NeedleArts Association. I was a featured guest on HGTV’s fiber arts program, “Uncommon Threads,” and have been interviewed on numerous radio podcasts. My crochet work includes large-scale museum installations, indoors and out. I am a crochet instructor for Annie’s Online Classes.

    I’m inspired by everything from the beauty of nature to the stunning creations of architects and furniture-makers. And, of course, by yarn! 

    Please join me on Facebook and Pinterest at Sharon Silverman Crochet; on Ravelry, YouTube, Etsy, and Instagram at CrochetSharon; and on my website, www.SharonSilverman.com.

    Happy crocheting!

    Sharon Silverman Sharon Silverman

     

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    Are you ready to make your own Wall Hanging? What are you waiting for! Go get Sharon's book, and show off your newly learned crochet skills.

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Diamond Painting: The Dazzling New Craft That Will Be Your New Hobby

    Studies show that only 10 percent of crafters do a single craft. That means that the other 90 percent are always looking to expand their horizons, and try something new! Which is why we're excited to bring you the craft that will become everyone's new hobby: diamond painting! Read on to learn about Leisure Art's new product, Diamond Art by Leisure Arts, Powered by Diamond Dotz.

    Diamond Painting Diamond Art Close Up

    Diamond Art by Leisure Arts? That's New!

    It is! This craft is the perfect stress reliever, with a long-term payoff that gives you a wonderful diamond painting to display afterwards. As a dazzling and more upscale paint by number technique, Diamond Art allows you to crystalize your favorite preprinted canvas with multi-faceted gems to make your artwork sparkle and shine anywhere you place it.

    Diamond Painting Diamond Art Chart

    Our gems specifically have 13 facets to ensure that your canvas will sparkle like the resolution on a 4K HDTV (which is really great quality, if you've never seen Dunkirk in 4K HD, you're missing out).  You use a handy dandy wax caddy and comfort grip stylus to place your gems on the adhesive canvas, letting you dip, dot and dazzle mindlessly. Let the stresses of life melt away as you create glittering masterpieces on your own, or with friends and family!

    Diamond Art Getting Ready To Dazzle A Canvas

    Is Diamond Painting A Difficult Craft?

    Not at all! We use a charting system that is color coded and easy to follow, as you can see above. This allows you to follow along and easily pick up where you left off, making this a craft with no time restrictions. You can finish it on your  time, no stressful deadlines guaranteed! The charting system also takes care of any learning curve, making this an easy craft to jump into. To make the craft even more inviting, we even have three skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

    We have a crazy amount of variety with our designs. It's easy to find a kit that fits your personality! You can opt for sophisticated minimalist styles, like our Tribe Diamond Art Kit (below), or you can go for a bold and beautiful kit like our Succulent Diamond Art Kit (below).

    Diamond Painting Diamond Art Tribe Kit Box
    Diamond Painting Tribe Kit, Pre-Printed

     

    So, How Does It Work?

    Good Question! It's really simple to learn. Each kit comes with a wax caddy, gems, and a stylus. You simply roll out the canvas, pick your first color set (by matching the color pack name to the chart on the canvas), dip your stylus in the wax for easy pick up, and place your gems in the designated areas. Dazzle your guests with the finished design, or make it a Diamond Art party! Invite friends and family over to help you dot one. This craft can be a great ice breaker, and a great Friday game night activity. If you're still having trouble with these steps, CLICK HERE to check out our Diamond Art How-To Video. 

     

     

    Imagine a late Saturday night, wrapped up in a blanket with chocolates and a glass of good wine, mindlessly painting with sparkling gems. Or, imagine early morning, after enjoying a warm family breakfast, watching old cartoons and dotting away as a family unit. Life can be stressful, and sometimes you just need a little escape. So, why not spend that time in relaxation, working toward crafting a glittering artwork for everyone to enjoy.

    screen-shot-2018-08-24-at-9-57-32-am Succulent Kit Box
    Diamond Painting Diamond Art Succulent Kit

    Great! Where Can I Find Them?

    Another good question! We've actually just launched our product lines, so you can get these very soon. You can purchase them online here or in a store near you!  From independent craft stores to mass craft retail stores, keep an eye out for Diamond Art on your next shopping trip.

     

     

     

     

    Just to get you excited about our new project, here are some of our favorite kit designs:

     

    Succulent Bowl Kit Succulent Bowl Kit
    White Cat Kit White Cat Kit
    English Roses Kit English Roses Kit
    Rainy Day kit Rainy Day kit
    screen-shot-2018-08-27-at-10-00-25-am Butterfly Kit
    Diamond Painting Lotus Kit
    Diamond Painting Hummingbird kit
    Diamond Painting Lighthouse Kit

     

    We're so excited to share this craft with you! Be sure to like our new social pages for Diamond Art, for updates on new products and projects, and be sure to like and share this post with people you think would love this product.

    Like our Diamond Art Facebook Page: Click for Diamond Art Facebook Page

    Click to follow Diamond Art on Instagram: (@DiamondArt_LA)

    Join our facebook group for inspiration: Click to join Diamond Art Diamond Painting

     

     

    Happy Crafting!

  • DIY Beauty Queen Stephanie Rose: Make and Give Home Apothecary!

    We are honored to have Stephanie Rose, author of Make and Give Home Apothecary, give us some insight on why she made the massively popular book on making DIY beauty products. Read what drove her to create these unique and natural health and beauty staples!

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    DIY Beauty Products Minty Sugar Scrub

    Why "Make and Give"?

    I think it’s just as much fun to give a gift as to receive one, especially when it’s one of the handcrafted creations from my new book, Make & Give Home Apothecary – Easy Ideas for Making & Packaging Bath Bombs, Salts, Scrubs & More. I had so much fun creating the projects for this book, and I know that you will to. They are easy to master, look beautiful, and smell fantastic. And after you craft them up, you will have a pretty great stash of gorgeous gifts to give away.

    DIY Beauty Products Botanical Salt Gifts

    Homemade gifts are not only a joy to make, but they are also a meaningful way to share a sentiment that comes from the heart. When someone has a new baby, moves into a neighborhood, or becomes suddenly ill, we share a piece of ourselves to mark the occasion. A casserole for the new parents. Freshly baked muffins for the new neighbors. Or a get well soon card for somebody who's fallen ill. It's these little gestures that bring us together as a community and allow us to feel connected in the highs and lows of our lives. 

    DIY Beauty Products Handcrafted Lip Balm

    Why DIY Beauty Products?

    It was one of those occasions where I learned about the power of herbs. Unfortunately, I was the one who became suddenly ill, and as a consequence, I made huge changes to my life. One of the biggest changes was looking at what products I used on my skin. Many of us go to great lengths to be sure that what we eat is natural and healthy, but often the products that we put on our skin go overlooked. 

    DIY Beaut Products DIY Perfume Rollers

    Once I learned a few basic recipes, I was hooked. From just a few ingredients—many of which I found in my kitchen or grew in my garden—I was able to make a wide variety of real products that soothed and pampered my body. I was astonished that those small changes made such a huge difference in how I feel. The balms made my skin feel like silk, the herbal baths eased away the aches and pains, and the fragrances helped to lift my mood and settle me down. This lead me to create a home apothecary, filled with natural ingredients that could be whipped into a variety of lotions and potions to for myself, my family, and my friends. 

    DIY Beauty Products Coffee Bean Bath Melt

    Since using plant-based skincare products have made such a positive difference in my life, I’ve swapped out the casseroles for wonderful concoctions I create from my home apothecary. Herbs, flowers, cocoa butter, plant oils, beeswax, and essential oils can make an abundance  of homemade gifts that look like they should be on the pages of a magazine. From decadent cocoa butter lip balm to botanical salt scrubs, luxurious bath bombs, stimulating massage bars, healing foot soaks and more, the recipes contained in the following pages all draw on the healing power of plants in the most beautiful way possible.

    Make and Give Home Apothecary Botanical Salt Mixture

    Can Anyone Make These Products?

    The projects that I’ve shared in Make & Give Home Apothecary show a variety of techniques that you can easily replicate or personalize to suit your own tastes. Plus they give you the opportunity to customize the products so that they suit the person you're giving them to. Once you’ve completed them, I’ve included a creative way to package each product for gift-giving that makes them extra special. You can scale the projects up for wedding or event favors, or give a single gift for a special occasion. Package a few of the projects together for a gift basket or sell them at a fundraiser or craft show. No matter how you choose to give your gifts, be sure to make some extras for yourself because you deserve a gift too. 

    DIY Beauty Products DIY Floral Bath Bombs

    Be sure to check out Stephanie's new book, Make and Give Home Apothecary! Create these beautiful and natural gifts for the ones you love, or make some for a rainy day of relaxation. Click the picture for the link!

    DIY Beauty Products Home Apothecary Cover

     

    Happy Crafting!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Teaching Knit and Crochet with the Certified Instructors Program!

    Teaching! We've all thought about it at some point in our lives. We all have imagined leading a group and teaching the best of the best to some awesome people. Now, us crafters have that resource! The Craft Yarn Council has this AMAZING program that lets you share your skills with aspiring Crochet and Knit enthusiasts. This opportunity keeps crafting alive for future generations, and gives you the opportunity to give back to you community though your trade. Check out all the details below!

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    Do you love to teach others, and have strong basic knit or crochet skills? The kids are going back to school, so why don’t you? Join the thousands of knitters and crocheters who’ve already gained the knowledge and confidence to teach others through the Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Instructors Program!

    Teaching Crafts

    The Certified Instructors Program equips people with the tools to share their passion for knit and crochet with others and to “stitch it forward”. The program offers many benefits to students, including increased confidence in their crochet or knitting skills and the ability to convey these skills to others. Students also gain exclusive access to the closed CIP Student and Graduate Facebook page, where they can collaborate with other CIP students and graduates.

    The program has been around since 1982. More than 15,000 students have completed the course and gone on to teach in retail stores, adult education programs, and to share their knowledge with friends, co-workers and family. Students work with a nationally recognized Master Teacher and complete teaching hours to prove their proficiency.

    Here are some fast facts about the program:

    ● It is offered via correspondence and occasionally as an on-site course

    ● The correspondence course is divided into Level I and Level II

    ● Students have six months to complete each level of the correspondence program

    ●There are 15 hours of class time held over a series of days at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and the curriculum covers both levels.

    Ready to start teaching? Click here to visit the Craft Yarn Council website for more information and to apply.

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    Sounds pretty amazing, right? Be sure to check out this program, and share it with others who would love to share their favorite past times onto the next generation of rocking crafters.

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Must-Haves for Fall: Cozy Shawls and Scarves With Christine Naugle!

    Fall is coming up soon! The season of color and pumpkin spice. We love fall here at Leisure Arts, and so does Christine Naugle, author of the freshly released book, Cozy Shawls and Scarves. She's joined our blogosphere today to give us some insight into her creative and versatile ideas for these Fall fashion staples. Take it away, Christine!

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    Hi, my name is Christine Naugle, I am the designer behind the Cozy Shawls and Scarves booklet with Leisure Arts. I am beyond excited to see these patterns in print, available for all of you. With 7 different designs, there is one you are sure to love!

    So, Tell Us About Your Cozy Designs!

    When I was asked to design multiple scarf patterns, I knew my designs would have to be a variety of styles and yarns to appeal to multiple crocheters. I love the look and style of so many scarves, shawls and wraps, and how they can change the look of an outfit to fit nearly any outing. A shawl, scarf or wrap is more of a wardrobe piece that can add to any outfit. I am a big fan of the great outdoors, and love spending time in the mountains especially on brisk mornings or cool evenings when there is a chill in the air. The 7 designs included in this booklet are all designed and named after my favorite mountain range in the Northwest, the great Sawtooth Mountains.

    Alpine Scarf

    The first design that I knew I had to include was the popular triangle shawl. I love the simplicity of these patterns, and how lovely they drape around the upper body, creating a beautiful wrap. Alpine Lake is set deep in the Sawtooths and is surrounded by lush pines, so I had to use a beautiful and vibrant green of Lion Brand Heartland yarn. The yarn is a perfect weight when worked in the carefully calculated stitches to create a lightweight, yet warm wrap.

    Cozy Fall Fashion Alpine Scarf

    The Toxaway Scarf

    While designing the Toxaway Shawl, I knew it had to be a full body shawl, but include a unique stitch pattern to draw interest to the design. I incorporated a fun extended cross stitch that is fun and quick to work (cream rows) and then used a ruler to help create the attached fringe look in the brown rows. Believe it or not, this shawl works up quick and is really fun to make!

    Cozy Shawl Toxaway Shawl

    The Twin Lakes Infinity Scarf

    Infinity Scarves are very popular right now. I wanted to design a simple infinity scarf, but add a unique touch to it. The Twin Lakes Infinity Scarf is just that! Pick your favorite colors to make this a personalized eye catching braided infinity scarf.

    Cozy Scarf Twin Lakes Infinity Scarf

    The Trinity Capelet

    One of my favorite lakes in the Sawtooths is Trinity Lake. Falling back on my religious background when I think of the Trinity, a triangle comes to mind, so I had to incorporate the triangle stitch. Making a capelet in the soft Lion Brand Landscape was a must, and I adore the mustard color. The soft grey touch adds a classy point of interest, and makes the Trinity Capelet a wardrobe must-have.

    Cozy Shawl Trinity Capelet

    The Trail Creek Neck Warmer

    Trail Creek Lakes are a series of 5 small glacier alpine lakes in the Sawtooths. The glacier water is very cold and makes me think of staying extra warm with a soft, warm and fuzzy neck warmer. The Trail Creek Neck Warmer is a smaller piece to make, but don't let that fool you. It is full of texture, with raised angled stitches that really set the style. But, it isn't only for style, add a warm and fuzzy inner lining to keep you nice and toasty!

    Cozy Scarf Trail Creek Neck Warmer

    The Alturas Shawl

    Shawl in a Ball yarn has always grabbed my attention when browsing the yarn isles. But, I could never find patterns featuring it that I loved. So, I jumped at this opportunity to design a lovely shawl/wrap using the delicate yarn with the amazing color changes that the yarn creates. The Alturas Shawl is an stitch that creates a luxurious look when worked with the Sawl in a Ball yarn. The top of the shawl is designed with a closed stitch pattern to keep you covered and warm,  while the bottom of the shawl features a beautiful triangle (pine tree) pattern to create an eye appeal that makes your shawl a fashion forward Fall piece.

    Cozy Shawls Alturas Shawl

    The Imogene Infinity Scarf

    I love a big bundle of warmth around my neck when it is chilly. The Imogene Infinity Scarf does just that! Made with the soft yarn of Lion Brand Scarfie, the Imogene pattern works up fast and can be wrapped once, twice or three times to keep you as warm as you need. It's just like getting a big warm hug on a chilly afternoon. What could be better than that?

    Cozy Cowls Imogene Infinity Cowl

    There you have it, all 7 designs that are included in my new book, Cozy Shawls and Scarves. I hope you found one, two or more that you cannot wait to add to your wardrobe this fall. Keep in mind all of the people on your gift list for the holidays. These shawls, scarves, wraps and capelets make amazing gifts for friends, family, neighbors, teachers, co-workers and so many more!

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    Don't you just love her designs? Go out now and purchase Cozy Shawls and Scarves to try your hand at them today! Paired with your choice of color and yarn, you can have a unique accessory with every look you pull off.

    Happy Crafting!

    Leisure Arts Team

  • Make A DIY Magic Fairy Garden - With Kristi Simpson!

     

    Is there anything more magical for adults and children than an enchanting DIY fairy garden? No. No, there isn’t. If you find yourself mesmerized by tiny worlds filled with itty bitty tire swings, fire pits, hammocks, bridges, mushrooms, and more, then congratulations! We adore you, and we’re unequivocally sure that this DIY Fairy Gardens book will inspire miniature greatness in you. 

    Fairy gardener and all-around crafter Kristi Simpson has designed five unique gardens for you – including the Beach Garden, Rose Hut Garden, and Moss Hut Garden – each guaranteed to make you smile and provide hours of fun and inspiration. So, gather a container (or five), lots of nature, and many things already lying around your home, and voila! Instant magic. Join our guest blogger, Kristi Simpson as we take a walk through the fairy gardens. 

     

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    Hi! I’m Kristi Simpson, designer of DIY Fairy Gardens from Leisure Arts. As much as I love to crochet and knit---I also love getting crafty! I thought of my kids and niece when I was developing this fairy garden book and it just pushed me to make things not only crafty for adults, but kid friendly too. 

    Let me ask you, do your kids run out to craft with you as soon as you grab your craft supplies? Mine do, it never fails. So, with that in mind, I wanted to make this book something to be enjoyed by all ages.… gathering items, rolling clay, painting signs, building, sand layering, and of course, playing with the garden. It's all hands-on fun!

    I could just imagine them playing with these indoor themed gardens and helping me make more features along the way. I can’t wait to walk you through the different gardens and their miniature awesomeness.… let’s get started!

    Moss Hut Garden

    First up, the Moss Hut Garden, the one that's on the beautiful cover!

    Garden Moss Garden Hut - Finished

    It has so many cute and fun features, like a tire swing, trellis, wooden steps, fun decor and of course, a cute hut!

    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Moss Garden Hut
    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Steps
    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Roof

    I really tried to use things you could find naturally, be it around the house, walking through the park or at the craft store, I wanted you to craft without too much hassle. 

    In the book, I step you through what you'll need for each garden, and how to make each and every item--and they're all easy!

    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Moss Hut Garden
    DIY Magic Garden Detail - Wood Steps

    You can use any type of container, just like I did. My options were a vintage white bowl, a painted bowl, wooden round crate, glass lantern and a cute rectangle box. I loved looking in thrift stores, yard sales, and going through my own crafty stock--and I even drafted family to help me find unique things that didn't look 'brand new’. I wanted a natural look, something I would normally have in my home. Since I chose to use artificial flowers, I used floral foam as the base and topped it with potting soil.… so, needless to say, the container doesn't have to be waterproof. 

    Garden Base - Roof
    Garden Greenery - Roof

    OH! Quick note for all of the non-green-thumb people out there. Don’t tell, but all of the beautiful succulents you see are not real.... shhhh! There are so many real-looking plants at your local craft store that you can use and not worry about watering. Your fairies will thank you for the year-round green garden!

    Beach Garden

    Next up, the Beach Garden.

    Fairy Beach Garden Fairy Beach Garden

    I used a glass candle lantern for this project. I wanted to be able to see the layering of the sand and all of the accessories through it instead of them being ‘on top’ of the bowl or container. I thought about using different color sand to make the garden even more inviting for fairies--but I’ll leave those extra special touches to you when you try it out! 

    Garden Beach Garden - Before
    Garden Beach Garden - Aerial View

    This project was special to me because my family loves the beach. We had most of the supplies on hand: shells, extra sand, drift wood and sticks. Plus, you can always look for things from your home to decorate your garden with, too. Make it personal, and fun!

    Rose Hut Garden

    One of my favorite gardens is the Rose Hut Garden.

    DIY Magic Gardens Beautiful Rose Hut Garden

    It has a sweet swing made with sticks and cotton rope, a painted sign and a clay hut. In the book I teach you how to make the hut--it’s super easy! You just roll and twist the clay, lay it out in the shape you want, bake it, and paint. I have photo guides included, so have fun!

    DIY Magic Garden Detail of Rose Hut Garden

    The rose is SO EASY when you follow the steps--it’s made in layers so don’t overthink it.… just get creative!

    Pinecone Hut Garden

    The next hut, the Pinecone Hut Garden, was so neat to make! It’s made with hot glue, pine cones, sticks and popsicle sticks. Seriously creative! The base is a toilet paper roll and birch bark! Fairy gardens are cute and homey, and these designs really bring the outdoors in. 

    Garden Pinecone Hut
    Garden Pinecone Hut Close Up
    Garden Pinecone Hut- Fence Detail

    Do you see the fence? Flower accents? I love adding color with florals! The house looked tall for the container, so I matched it with a tall fence and made it look great with extra tall flowers. You can’t go wrong when you’re making fairy gardens.

    Cord House Garden

    Last, but not least is the Cord House Garden.

    Garden Cord House Garden

    The fairies love this garden with the Cord House, bridge, mushrooms pebble creek and banner!

    Garden Detail - Cord House
    Garden Floor of Cord House Garden
    Garden Detail- Mushrooms in Garden

    So much can be added in small spaces when you think like a fairy. Use your imagination and add tiny details along the way to make it special.

    Thank you for joining me as we walked through the different gardens. I hope you and your kids, or your friends and family are inspired to grab your supplies, and buy this book to make your own fairy garden (or two, or three!). 

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    Isn't she awesome? Which garden is your favorite? We certainly can't wait to make our own favorite fairy gardens! Go out and buy DIY Fairy Gardens now, and bring your own little wonderland home for the family.

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

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