Sign Up to Receive Exclusive Email Offers:

Leisure Arts Blog

  • Huggable Amigurumi: Stuffed Animals, Only Better!

    Huggable Amigurumi offers a unique take on Amigurumi.  Instead of miniature crocheted creatures,, Kristi Simpson has created supersized Amigurimi amimals any child will love. We love the huggable crocheted designs so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Kristi Simpson, to talk about the inspiration for her fabulous designs in Huggable Amigurumi. Welcome Kristi!

    Amigurumi patterns flood the internet, but you will not find anything like these sweet Huggables! They are 19” from sitting position and will quickly become one of the family!

    Hi! I’m Kristi Simpson, designer of the patterns in the Leisure Arts’ book: Huggable Amigurumi. I have enjoyed designing and teaching for many years and this book is one of my new favorites! I can’t help it, even in designing, these little buddies made me so excited! I hope in reading about this collection, you will be just as excited and make one (or all 5!) for your next project.

    When thinking about this book I was inspired by the mountain of stuffed animals that my kids have. Seriously, they are going to take over the house….but I was drawn to the larger ones. They all have so much character! I wanted to design a collection that would be fun to have for babies to larger kids that they can use as comfort and play.

    I tried to create a collection that was similar in shape for the body and head but I added details that would set each apart. Some have large ears and hands and feet, others have a bow or collar with mitten hands…. Each are unique but as a collection, it all comes together.

    Now, I have to brag about the wonderful job Leisure Arts did on this book. The photography is phenomenal! It really brought the animals to life and showed the true size—and fun that they are!
    Seriously, isn’t the girl on the cover so sweet!?!?! The cover captured the entire theme, fun and huggable.

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-31-56-pm Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next, I have to say that the first photo for the inside cover is my favorite. Seriously! You can’t see their faces but you can see the bodies, head detail and tails. They look like they are buddies with their arms on each other’s shoulders! I just can’t get over how cute they are lined up like that!

     

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-50-48-pm Huggable Amigurumi Designs - Back View

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now, let’s talk yarn. I used Bernat Softee Chunky throughout. It helps the animals be naturally larger and hold shape. I love working with bulky/chunky yarns and Bernat Softee Chunky offers not only a great yarn but a lot of colors to choose from! So now…meet the Huggables!

    Meet Bunny.

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-32-32-pm Bunny from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

    She was designed with giant floppy ears and a sweet ruffle collar. The head was made from nose to middle back, unlike the others. It is easy and the pattern steps you right through from start to finish! I love the idea of a toddler pulling it along by it’s ears…like a sweet buddy!

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-32-47-pm Giant Stuffed Bunny in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Say hello to Elephant.

    Elephant in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson Elephant from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Being from Alabama, the elephant was an easy-pick. I wanted to make it ‘just right’. So, I worked for hours on the trunk so that it would be in perfect proportion. I didn’t want it to just stick straight out, or hang down---so, I worked and worked and made it easy for YOU! Now, the ears. I love them. Large and floppy! I used the variegated yarn on the ends of the hands, feet and the ears so that you can see the contrast and have the extra special touch. And you can see how BIG these animals are by this photo… look at him with the sweet boy!!!!

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-33-18-pm Giant Stuffed Elephant in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Squishy Level 10: Lion

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-33-35-pm Lion from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My kids vote this their favorite hands-down! They love the ears, nose and the mane. I made it from the top down and I step you through each part of it… don’t worry! The mane is actually from the neck, to the top and back down (not all over) so it’s just a fun feature, not all over. I love this one, and how it came together. I can just see it being squished and loved on for many years.

    Cuteness alert! Giraffe is here!
    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-34-02-pm

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Okay. This is MY favorite. I love it from the top of his horns to the ends of his hooves. Such cuteness! I love the spunk of his spikey hair fringe to the spots all over! I love it! I actually tried different ways to add his spots: circles, rectangles, odd shapes….but stitching them on was the perfect way to do it! I have been asked to re-make this one multiple times…. It has been a hit!

    Hello Handsome…Meet the Monkey

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-34-45-pm Monkey from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Dressed up in his bow tie, he’s ready to hit the town with his best buddy. His goofy grin always makes me smile and I just love his hands. Seriously, they are made like mitts to give him the most huggable effect! His perky-side ears give him the mischievous monkey look and he’s sure to impress with his big eyes too!

    From designing this book to seeing the final product, I have loved each and every step…..and I just know you’re going to love making (AND GIVING) these squishy Huggables! I hope you create your own Huggable that will be cherished for years to come. So, what are you waiting for? Get your hook and yarn and get busy!

    Kristi Simpson

    All Designs in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson All Designs in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson
  • Crochet Monster Playsets

    Do the Monster Mash all year round with these adorable crochet Monster Playsets for babies and kids in Monster Playsets by Michele Maks.  We love the cuddly cute designs so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Michele Maks, to talk about her fabulous designs in Monster Playsets. Welcome Michele!

    screen-shot-2017-10-18-at-2-38-43-pm Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks

    It’s Playtime! Creating playwear for your little monster can be quick and easy - I designed these pieces that way!  I’m Michele Maks, the mother of 5, grandmother of 3, who knows that with the patter of little feet that stitching time is often at a premium while monsters take over the house!

    screen-shot-2017-10-18-at-2-39-09-pm Little Monster Hat & Leggings from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks

    Back zipped hoodies a will make your baby or toddler seem scary cute!  The hoodie, like all the pieces in Monster Playsets, can be crocheted in the following sizes: 6 months, 1 years (12 months), 2 years (2T), 3 years (3T), and 4 years (4T).

    screen-shot-2017-10-18-at-2-41-52-pm Furry Hoodie from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks

    Babies and kids of all ages will squeal in delight at the Little Monster blanket.  Theses cozy blankets are stitched with two strands of yarn.

    screen-shot-2017-10-23-at-4-03-50-pm Little Monster Blanket in Blue & Red from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks
    Little Monster Blanket in Pink & Purple from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks Little Monster Blanket in Pink & Purple from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks

    Two different colorways, with matching hats and leggings, will give new meaning to the phrase BITE ME!

    Little Monster Hat in pink and purple from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks Little Monster Hat in pink and purple from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks

    It's amazing how a change of colors gives the crocheted Monster Playset a completely different look!

    Furry Hoodie, Little Monster Hat & Leggings in pink and purple from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks Furry Hoodie, Little Monster Hat & Leggings in pink and purple from Monster Playsets by Michelle Maks

    What could be more huggable, or fun to stitch, than these Monster Playsets?

  • Bountiful Pencils

    My favorite time of year is here -- sort of; fall is having a difficult time arriving with above-average temperatures and little rain! So to encourage all things autumnal to surround me, I pulled out my Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone coloring book (one of my favorites) to decide which page would be my next to color.

    Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts. Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts.

    Coloring is so much fun especially when the design is themed around something you love. So coloring a fall-themed design was easy for me. I've been using and loving the new pencils Leisure Arts has to offer. There are two choices; they are the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils. Both of these new sets of pencils give an extra "wow" factor to a picture!

    As with most pictures I color using colored pencils, it is the layering and blending of colors that bring an image to life.

    Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993). Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993).

    Think outside-the-box when it comes to your color palette; don't think you should only use the "traditional" or "natural" colors for the pumpkins and gourds.

    Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts). Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts).

    Another step to my creation of a 3-D look to a 2-D drawing is the use of a second medium. To aid in this dimensional effect, I introduced some watercolor pencils to my coloring.

    Adding the watercolor colored pencils over certain sections of the premium colored pencils already rendered on page. Adding the Watercolor Colored Pencils over certain sections of the Premium Color Colored Pencils already rendered on a page.

    The final incorporation of both the Premium Color Colored Pencils and Watercolor Color Colored Pencils comes after the water-dipped paint brush blends those layers together. After the pumpkins and gourds are colored, I move on to coloring the falling leaves. I will first use the watercolor pencils on a few of the leaves and highlights on some pumpkins and gourds.

    After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors. After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors.

    Working on my page for a little while every day was very convenient for me; morning coffee and coloring. I always enjoy seeing an image come to life with each added color!

    The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts). The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts).

    Here are some of the selected pencils that I used on this page. In the below image, the silver pencil shafts are the Premium Colored Pencils on the left, and the gold shafted pencils are the Watercolor Colored Pencils on the right.

    I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)! I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)!

    All I have to do is find a nice frame in which to place my completed page. I very much want to keep this page protected, yet share its bounty with my guests.

    Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts. Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts.

    Happy fall decorating using Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone!

    Martha

  • Pom-Pom Halloween

     

    The uses and appearances of pom-poms have expanded from winter gear and sports’ embellishments to include year-round home decor. See how simple pom-poms can become part of your Halloween-themed decorations.

    Pom-poms were frequently only seen on winter accessories, or worn by a team’s cheer squad. It's wonderful that the uses for and appearances of these puffy mounds of yarn have been greatly expanded! Beautiful household items are crafted with pom-poms such as wall hangings and wreaths!

    Halloween is coming in a few weeks and I wanted to get ready with some pom-pom décor. Getting a lot of ideas from Pinterest was easy. Look at this cute mantle garland and another version for one's vertical porch decor; both are awesome! Using these two Pins as my guidelines, I began making pom-poms with an end result in mind.

    Since I had many pom-poms to make in varying sizes, I took the advice of one of our designers and purchased Clover Pom-Pom Makers. To reinsure that you're using your pom-pom maker correctly, watch a video in less than five minutes.  I gathered several yarn weights with different textures. One of my favorites for this project was Red Heart's Reflective yarn. The reflective yarn has a thin gray strip that reflects the light; reflective does not mean glow-in-the-dark.

    Before: Parts to make Halloween characters. Small pom-poms (1.625") and pipe cleaners cut in half. Before: Parts to make Halloween characters. Small pom-poms (1.625") and pipe cleaners cut in half.

    Of course, my Halloween pom-poms were going to include a pumpkin, a spider, and a ghost. First would be the pumpkin. This would be fairly easy to accomplish: one pom-pom with a curled pipe cleaner as its stem.

    My second figure was the spider. Again the main part was the pom-pom as the spider body. Then, I added six pipe cleaner legs. I even challenged myself to make a red spot to indicate a Black Widow spider. I followed color pattern suggestions as found on the back of the Clover Extra Large Pom-Pom Maker's packaging.

    Added a little more drama to the spider character; here's a Black Widow! Added a little more drama to the spider character; here's a Black Widow!

    The last Halloween figure I needed to make was a ghost. This appeared more challenging than I thought. My final decision was to make a pom-pom for the ghost's head and attach it to the loose yarn strands to represent its body. I made three ghosts; each received an added yarn embellishment giving each one its own personality.

    After: Halloween characters include a spider, ghost and pumpkin. After: Halloween characters include a spider, ghost and pumpkin.

    I was ready to display my characters at home and office so I needed both a wall/door decoration, as well as, tabletop decor ideas. I wanted to incorporate extra color into my display and the perfect complement was Leisure Arts' Jute Twine (item 48526)I chose to use three of the six colors.

    Planning my display; love the colored jute! Planning my display; love the colored jute!

    My colleague found the perfect fallen branch from his hickory tree. Upon its arrival in the office, it quickly became a character itself and given the name, "Old Hickory". The branch had so much character with its craggy texture, knuckled sections and lichen patterns, I didn't want to cover all of it.

    Halloween pom-pom characters suspended from "Old Hickory" as door decor. Halloween pom-pom characters suspended from "Old Hickory" as door decor.

    Here are my extra pom-poms used for some added character for one of the most-anticipated days to celebrate around the office.

    Other Halloween decor using pom-poms in two sizes. Other Halloween decor using pom-poms in two sizes.

    I hope you enjoy making pom-poms and  decorating for Halloween; happy haunting!

    Martha

  • Crochet for Babies & Kids

    What do a crocheted ladybug blanket, a bumblebee cardigan and butterfly hat all have in common?  They're just part of the adorable collection of crochet for babies and kids in Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks.  We love the cuddly cute designs so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Michele Maks, to talk about her fabulous designs in Cute as a Bug. Welcome Michele!

    Oh, how I love to crochet for little ones!

    Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks

    Hi! I’m Michele Maks, the designer of all the cute crochetwear in Cute as a Bug. Don’t you just love to stitch projects that are as cute and fun as the small people you are stitching for? 

    screen-shot-2017-09-20-at-1-38-59-pm Crochet Star-Struck Hat in Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks

    While you'll find crocheted ladybug, butterfly and bumblebee items in Cute as a Bug, you'll also find this adorable Star-Struck set which I happen to think is also cute as a bug! What's not to love about these stars and stripes?

    Star-Struck Cardigan in Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks Crochet Star-Struck Cardigan in Cute as a Bug

    Whether you are stitching for a girl or boy, cute and quick and easy is the way to go!

    I think this colorful crochet butterfly is a great example!  In Cute as a Bug you'll also find a matching hat and blanket for this adorable sweater.

    Crochet Butterfly Cardigan from Cute as a Bug Crochet Butterfly Cardigan from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks

    And this crochet blanket coordinates with the ladybug and bumblebee sets, not only making it super cute, but practical too!

    In Cute as a Bug, you'll find: blankets,

    Crochet Ladybug Blanket from Cute as a Bug Crochet Ladybug Blanket from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks

    sweaters,

    Crochet Star-Struck Sweater from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks Crochet Star-Struck Sweater from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks

    and hats – oh, my!

    Crochet Ladybug Hat and Cardigan from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks Crochet Ladybug Hat and Cardigan from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks

    No Cute as a Bug crochet book for babies and kids would be complete without a bumblebee set to round it out.  This sweater and hat are perfect for both a boy and a girl! Like all the sets in the book, you'll find instructions for sizes ranging from 6 months to four years so babies and kids of many ages can join in on the Cute as a Bug fun!

    screen-shot-2017-09-20-at-1-46-54-pm Crochet Bumbleboee Hat and Cardigan from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks

    Cute as a bug in a rug; play school will be abuzz about these handmade wardrobe winners!

  • Express Yourself: Light Box, Letter Board, Planner & Journal

    It's a new (school) year and kids of all ages want to express themselves - their clothes, accessories, make-up, elective classes and extracurricular activities. Generally speaking, kids usually want to share with others what they're thinking -- and so do adults! Let Leisure Arts help everyone to express themselves with these fun and creative supplies!  

    Everything we do is a means to express ourselves. Every choice we make defines part of us. So let's make a statement! I remember an accessory people wore to help tell others how you were feeling. If someone couldn't guess by your actions, then they could see what mood was displayed if you wore a mood ring. A funny little piece of jewelry that told others how you were feeling -- generally speaking!

    Mood Ring - Original style from the 1970s found for sale online. Mood Ring - Original style from the 1970s found for sale online.

    A more modern approach is to light up a statement -- announce it for all to see. The Cinema Light Box is great to welcome new students to your classroom or visitors to a business.

    Illuminate your feelings with Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586). Illuminate your feelings with Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586).
    Great way to meet school kids, classmates or colleagues! Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586). Great way to meet school kids, classmates or colleagues! Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586).

    For a smaller, hands-on approach try the Cafe Letter Board for multi-line sentences -- even add some color and script with either the Gray and Aqua or Blue and Coral expansion sets.

    State your purpose with Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board (item 48583). State your purpose with Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board (item 48583).
    Announce what's going to be happening around the office in the near future! (Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board [item48583] with gray letters from item 48585 - Cafe Letter Board Accessory Set-Gray & Aqua). Announce what's going to be happening around the office in the near future! (Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board [item48583] with gray letters from item 48585 - Cafe Letter Board Accessory Set-Gray & Aqua).

    And don't forget that you can incorporate your love of coloring and organization with either The Art of Planning Kit or The Art of Journaling Kit. There is one accessory set to be used for either kit, too.

    Make a plan as with this page from Leisure Arts' The Art of Planning Kit (item 48579). Also see The Art of Journaling Kit (item 48578)[not pictured]. Make a plan as with this page from Leisure Arts' The Art of Planning Kit (item 48579). Also see The Art of Journaling Kit (item 48578)[not pictured].
    Plan more details for specific days (48579 - The Art of Planning Kit). Plan more details for specific days (48579 - The Art of Planning Kit).

    The pages in either of these kits are perfect for those of you who love to doodle and color but don't have the time to do a detailed page from a coloring or sketch book. You will find designs to color and/or embellish throughout each. I have had a lot of design fun with the new watercolor colored pencils Leisure Arts now carries! The 30-Pack set includes a paint brush, too; just add water!

    Add a little color to your Planner with Leisure Arts' 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (item 48582). Add a little color to your Planner with Leisure Arts' 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (item 48582).

    Have Fun • Be Creative • Tell Your Story!

    Martha

  • Retro Christmas Cross Stitch

    Retro Christmas Cross Stitch Christmas is a super fun look at retro Christmas designs that will inspire thoughts of Norman Rockwell paintings and episodes of Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy!  We love the throwback cross stitch designs so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Lee Fisher, to talk about the inspiration for her fabulous designs in Retro Christmas Cross Stitch. Welcome Lee!

    Who doesn’t love Christmas?! The colorful lights, the sound of old familiar carols being sung, the stockings hung on the mantle above a crackling fire, the fragrant aroma of turkey or ham filling the house as one by one friends & family arrive. Gathered in the living room with the Christmas tree all a twinkle & trimmed with decorations that span the years, inevitably the conversation will turn to Christmases past and the memories of childhood.

    These were the thoughts running through my mind as I created the designs for Retro Christmas Cross Stitch. I wanted to capture those images which seem so familiar to our own childhood and the Christmases of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

    Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher

    When I was growing up we had a big, fat, floor to ceiling artificial Christmas tree with tons of decorations but among my favorites were the frosted gingerbread houses. I remember staring at them & being amazed at how real they looked…I wanted to reach out & taste the frosting! With that in mind I designed “Home Sweet Home”, the sweetest little gingerbread house on the block with its peppermint flowers & frosted gumdrop bushes all topped with a bright red cherry. What a wonderful treat for you to enjoy…and guilt free with zero calories!

    screen-shot-2017-07-19-at-3-42-46-pm Home Sweet Home Gingerbread House Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher

    A personal favorite of mine is “Let Heaven and Nature Sing” because this design is also taken directly from my life. I am pleased to present…my children~ Brandon, Shannon & Natasha. When they were little we often went caroling for the neighbors with the three little ones bundled up in their little onesie snow suits, caps & mittens absolutely butchering all the traditional Christmas carols at the top of our lungs. But our neighbors were gracious…they always clapped when we were done.

    Let Heaven & Nature Sing Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher Let Heaven & Nature Sing Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher

    In the past, as it is now, traveling was always another important event during the holiday season. Going to Grandma & Grandpa's house, visiting friends or even heading out for Christmas Eve services, being all squashed together in the back seat with siblings and packages was just another part of the excitement of Christmas. On these trips I spent my time looking out the window, wide eyed, taking in all the sights & signs we’d pass. I particularly loved the very colorful & graphic advertising designs of the atomic era. These memories were the inspiration for “Happy New Year” and “Eat Drink & be Merry”.

    Happy New Year Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher Happy New Year Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher
    Eat, Drink & Be Merry Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher Eat, Drink & Be Merry Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher

    Christmas is always a time when we remember loved ones both near and far. Another tradition many of us like to observe is the sending of Christmas cards. In my home as a child, every card that came in the mail was treasured and put on display. Some setting on shelves, mantels and hanging on the wall strung on colorful ribbon. I remember some as having the cutest pictures of baby animals in the snow, like my design “Hello Old Friend” seeing his reflection in the Christmas ball. Others were decorated with glittering ornaments and candy cane like our “Merry Christmas” design. And some came with a single, simple sentiment like “Warm Christmas Wishes.”

    Hello Old Friend Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher Hello Old Friend Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher
    Merry Christmas Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher Merry Christmas Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher
    Warm Christmas Wishes Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher Warm Christmas Wishes Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher

    Of course one of the most enjoyable things about Christmas as a kid was…the gifts! Oh the colorful packages piled high and overflowing with spiraling ribbons & bows. And the excitement of checking all the tags to find your very own name. I remember some of these tags being just as ornate as the ornaments on the tree and always wanting to keep them. With that in mind I wanted to create a design that would be perfect for gift giving and “For my Deer Friend” was born. Finishing this one out as a gift bag or wine bottle bag is perfect and adds a delightful touch of whimsy to the occasion.

    For My Deer Friend Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher For My Deer Friend Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher

    One of the most magical memories of my childhood was a snowy Christmas eve when I was drowsily tucked up in bed dreaming of Christmas morning, when all of a sudden I heard bells…Jingle Bells!! I ran to the window and swiped away the frosty fog and down below in a swirly mist of snow were two big brown horses in jingle bell harness trotting down the middle of the street pulling a real sleigh and inside was Santa himself bellowing out “Merry Christmas, and to all a good night~ ho-ho-ho!” Over the years there has been a long running debate as to who it was. But to those of us who believe….there is no question about it and so I honor that memory with “And to All a Good Night”.

    And to All a Good Night Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher And to All a Good Night Design from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch by Lee Fisher

    I do hope you enjoy all of these designs as much as I do and that you too will cherish the memories of your childhood. I wish you and yours a wonderfully Retro Christmas!

    Lee Fisher ~ StitchyFish Designs

  • LED Candles for Every Season

    We've all seen color changing LED Candles by now.  But if you're like me, you might be wondering how to fit them into your home decor and if you'd want to use them outside of the holiday season.  I challenged myself to use the Leisure Arts LED Candle Set in my own home for every season of the year.

    LED 3-Pack Candle Set includes a remote that offers 12 different color settings, two timer settings and a flickering-light mode. LED 3-Pack Candle Set includes a remote that offers 12 different color settings, two timer settings and a flickering-light mode.

    Here are the results of my experiment incorporating the LED Candle Set into my home for a year.  I hope you'll find some inspiration!

    First up is Valentine's Day. I incorporated the LED Candle Set  into my tablescape with red tulips and a wooden sign.  Color-wise, I found red and white worked well for the candles.

    LED Candles at Valentine's Day LED Candles at Valentine's Day

    For Easter, I went in a more fun direction using hydrangeas and Peep Easter Eggs into a flower arrangement.  I used pink, green and yellow for the LED candles and brightly colored Easter eggs in jars to finish off the decor.

    blog2 Easter Decor with LED Candles

    For early summer I opted for a simple flower arrangement and green, blue and white candles.

    blog3 LED Candles in Summer Decor

    For the Fourth of July, I went with the classic red, white and blue candles and used a fun Patriotic planter to highlight the season.

    LED Candles for Independence Day LED Candles for Independence Day

    At the onset of fall, I incorporated a wooden carved owl and a real leaf themed candle into my decor and went with a classic white look for the candles.

    blog7 Fall Decor using LED Candles

    For Thanksgiving, I moved the candles into a cornucopia display and kept the classic white candles.

    blog8 Thanksgiving with LED Candles

    I used my candles a couple of different ways for the Christmas season.  One, on the dining room table in a classic white surrounded by oversized ornaments.

    blog9 Christmas and LED Candles

    I also used them in the living room surrounded by all the classic symbols of Christmas including  Angels, Santa, and more.

    blog10 Classic Christmas with LED Candles

    Finally, for New Year's Eve I went with a fun pink, blue and green color combination, and surrounded the candles with beads, hats, noisemakers and, of course, Chex Mix™!

    blog11 Ringing in the New Year with LED Candles!

    During the year, we also redecorated my 13 year old daughter's bedroom and got her a set of the candles.  The LED Candle Set is great for teenagers.  The candles present no fire hazard and teens can change the colors whenever they please!

    blog6 LED Candles Make a Great Accent for a Teenager's Bedroom

    I hope you've been inspired to play with decorating your own house with LED candles.  Show me what you've done in the comments, or tag Leisure Arts in your Instagram posts!

    Happy decorating!

    Veronica

  • Letter Magnet Boards: DIY from Oil Drip Pans

    I was so inspired by two pins on Pinterest creating magnet boards from an automotive oil drip pan or other sheet metal, and two craft leaflets using letters (or initials) to decorate as part of a craft project, that I combined my ideas into one blog post. I hope you enjoy my latest creative adventure!

    I had the new Leisure Arts book Initial It! (item #7077), a papier-mache letter, and my clothespin magnets that I recently made for younger kids and older kids/adults. Now I needed to incorporate them all together. I wanted to display my letter and clothespin magnets, but what would be new and exciting to do?

    7077 - Initial It! Leisure Arts presents simple techniques to embellish letters, symbols and accents. 7077 - Initial It! Leisure Arts presents simple techniques to embellish letters, symbols and accents.

    I had seen smaller versions of creating a magnet board from metal pizza pans but this pin from Smart School House nudged me towards trying it as my next DIY. Since I wasn't going to use my oil drip pan like Smart School House (as a teaching tool in conjunction with learning the alphabet for a toddler), I thought I'd like to decorate it similarly to the edged cookie sheet magnet board seen in a pin from Sadie Seasongoods. Okay; I had my idea(s) collected -- off to the stores for my supplies!

    I found an oil drip pan very easily in the automotive section of my general merchandise store. It seemed a bit narrower than the one shown in the pin mentioned-above, but I was thrilled to snag it.

    This large oil drip pan measures 47" x 25". This large oil drip pan measures 47" x 25".

    I inadvertently threw away the empty spray paint can of Blue Ocean Breeze, the Krylon color used for my FIRST magnet board. Here are some of the other supplies I used.

    Supplies used for the oil drip pan magnet boards. Two colors of spray paint were used: Vintage Blush [satin] and Blue Ocean Breeze by Krylon [not shown]. Supplies used for the oil drip pan magnet boards. Two colors of spray paint were used: Vintage Blush [satin] and Blue Ocean Breeze by Krylon [not shown].

    I cleaned the oil drip pan, then applied Rust-oleum's Clean Metal Primer under the spray paint. I applied two coats of spray paint to get an even layer. I wanted to decorate my magnet board with some fabric swatches, so I cut out different sized circles from a cute bicycle print.

    Working outside on a beautiful day, I'm trying to decide where to place the different sized fabric circles before using Mod Podge®. Working outside on a beautiful day, I'm trying to decide where to place the different sized fabric circles before using Mod Podge®.

    I adhered all my fabric swatches with Mod Podge® - the fabric acted like a sponge so make sure you have plenty on-hand! I discovered the difference in magnets and discussed in my two clothespin posts (linked above); see the photo below as a reminder.

    Close-up: the difference in magnet buttons clearly shows the difference in thickness. Close-up: the difference in magnet buttons clearly shows the difference in thickness.

    If you are making your own magnets, because there are several layers of Primer, paint, fabric, etc., I encourage you to use the magnets without the adhesive backing and just glue them on yourself.

    Bicycle Magnet Board is done and hanging up vertically in a narrow space in my office. Bicycle Magnet Board is done and hanging up vertically in a narrow space in my office.

    Here's a close-up showing more details of the final project...

    Here's a close-up of the Bicycle Magnet Board hanging up! Here's a close-up of the Bicycle Magnet Board hanging up!

    For my second magnet board, I focused on using my papier-mache initial, the letter M. I decided to try using wrapping paper over the spray paint color, Vintage Blush by Rust-oleum. While the Vintage Blush was drying, I also spray painted the letter a deep turquoise.

    Papier-mache letter sprayed painted a deep turquoise color. Papier-mache letter sprayed painted a deep turquoise color.

    I checked the oil drip pan and the second layer of spray paint was dry; I could start to adhere the wrapping paper. It was a little cumbersome to work with such a large piece of paper and Mod Podge®. You might want to try using smaller pieces to create a collage effect. I think I got lucky; the paper didn't rip while I was manipulating between paper and "glue". I used a brayer to assist removing most air pockets and wrinkles, but again, the task became more difficult because of the size of the project.

    Applying Mod Podge® to adhere the wrapping paper to the spray painted oil drip pan. Applying Mod Podge® to adhere the wrapping paper to the spray painted oil drip pan.

    I thought of the projects in Initial It! and decided how to decorate my papier-mache letter without weighing it down. I used some of the wrapping paper at the bottom of the letter, and mimicked the polka dot pattern by painting some dots from the base upward. Here's a close-up of the finished letter on the magnet board.

    Floral Polka Dot close-up of papier-mâché embellished letter and metal 'happy' sign on magnet board. Floral Polka Dot close-up of papier-mâché embellished letter and metal 'happy' sign on magnet board.

    I found the saying, 'happy' in a decorative metal script. It was a stroke of luck that I had purchased this weeks before I knew I was going to make magnet boards! Here's the final Floral Polka Dot magnet board; I am very pleased with the end-result!

    Floral Polka Dot - Wrapping paper adhered over spray paint. It's my second finished magnet board made from an oil drip pan. Floral Polka Dot - Wrapping paper adhered over spray paint. It's my second finished magnet board made from an oil drip pan.

    In the opposite corner from my initial, is a coffee filter flower (a project from an earlier post), and other clothespin magnets.

    Floral Polka Dot close-up of some clothespin magnets on the magnet board. Floral Polka Dot close-up of some clothespin magnets on the magnet board.

    Both magnets boards were hung in my office using Command™ strips; I used several not because of the weight of the oil drip pans, but because of their size. I wanted them to remain steady and secure to the wall on all sides.

    I look to be ready to remind myself of upcoming events, showcase special memories, or assign myself tasks both electronically and now in-person. I hope you can be inspired by this and share with us your projects!

    Have a great time exploring new ways to express yourself; enjoy!

    Martha

     

     

  • More-to-Explore Clothespin Magnets to Paint, Color & Glue

    Enjoying craft time is fun for older kids and adults when making clothespin magnets. Decorating can be easy to more complicated by using mixed media such as painting, coloring and gluing paper, fiber or other embellishments. This is one of those "more to explore" projects that can grow from simple to more advanced -- enjoy!

    I loved using large, wide wooden clothespins so much for the younger kids' project (see the egg carton flower clothespin magnet in the second image), as described in my blog post on May 18th, I wanted to expand my decorative uses for the clothespins while still making them into magnets.

    Remember, here is what the large clothespins look like before decorating them:

    Large, natural wood clothespins measure approximately 2.875" long x 0.625" wide; four per pack. Leisure Arts item #48165. Large, natural wood clothespins measure approximately 2.875" long x 0.625" wide; four per pack. Leisure Arts item #48165.

    And here are some of my finished, decorated clothespin magnets (I even included the younger kids' version of the egg carton flower clothespin magnet -- pictured in the upper left-hand corner of the image]).

    A variety of clothespin magnets painted and decorated with embellishments. A variety of clothespin magnets painted and decorated with embellishments.

    Now, grab your paint -- I used either spray paint or acrylic -- and start by placing at least two layers of paint on your clothespins. While you let the paint dry in between each layer, start gathering your embellishments: wrapping paper, coloring book pages, mini paint canvases, buttons, beads, artificial floral items and markers.

    These uses of other embellishments can be as simple as gluing an artificial flower to the end of your painted clothespin, to the more complicated use of mixed media with multiple steps as seen by adding a mini canvas to a clothespin.

    Paint and other embellishments are added to clothespins that older "kids" and adults can make; magnets can be added to the backs. Paint and other embellishments are added to clothespins that older "kids" and adults can make; magnets can be added to the backs.

    If you decide to use mini canvases to attach to your clothespin(s), determine the size clothespin you need. My mini canvases were so small, that I actually used a smaller 1.5" clothespin as its backing. I used a coloring book page from the Art of Coloring Vintage as part of my canvases' decor; read about it here from an earlier blog post.

    The daisy page was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet. The daisy page from the Art of Coloring Vintage was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet.

    I also learned that there are BIG differences in round magnets sometimes called 'button magnets'. I didn't remember that my first purchase of magnets had no felt backing. I quickly grabbed a package of adhesive-backed magnets that were in the same area as the acrylic paint; I thought this would save me the step of gluing.

    The difference in magnet buttons: thickness and adhesive backing! The difference in magnet buttons: thickness and adhesive backing!

    But I didn't like the weaker strength of these adhesive-backed magnets and ended up using two per clothespin. I much prefer the strength of the plain magnets that needed to be glued onto my clothespins. See the image below for a visual comparison.

    Close-up: the difference in magnet buttons clearly shows the difference in thickness. Close-up: the difference in magnet buttons clearly shows the difference in thickness.

    I thoroughly enjoyed using these larger wooden clothespins as part of another art project -- it was fun to do while I was making them, and upon completion the clothespin magnets are useful to me at home and office!

    Have fun exploring; let me know what embellishments you used when making your clothespin magnets!

    Martha

1-10 of 1520

Page
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 152

Please wait...

Copyright: © 2018 Leisure Arts. All Rights Reserved.