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  • Teach Knit and Crochet with the Craft Yarn Council’s New & Improved Certified Instructors Program

    Do you love to #ShareYourSkills and teach others? If you do, and have a strong grasp of basic knit and crochet skills, 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

    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, we makers 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 your community though your trade.

    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, coworkers and family. Students work with a nationally recognized Master Teacher and complete teaching hours to prove their proficiency.

    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. 

    Check out CYC’s interviews with two of the program’s Master Teachers - individuals with wide-ranging knowledge of their craft and extensive experience teaching others. Master Teachers evaluate students’ work and help them along the way to certification. You can catch Karen Klemp’s interview here and Edie Eckman’s interview here. 

    Here are some fast facts about the program:

    • It’s 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 and one year to complete 15 student teaching hours per level
    • For the on-site course, 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? Visit the Craft Yarn Council website for more information and to apply for the program. 

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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.

    Have you been participating in #ShareYourSkills? Be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #LeisureArts or #ShareYourSkills so we can see what's going on in your studios!

    Happy Teaching!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • DIY Craft Skills To Share This August! #ShareYourSkills

    Sharing is caring, makers. This month, we're celebrating #ShareYourSkills in the spirit of going back to school. Whether you're just starting high school, making the trek to college, or wandering through life looking for the next thing to learn, this month is all about sharing what you know, and learning about what you want to know.

    We Share: Skills You can Learn

    We'll kick off the blog with crafts that we want to share with you. Use this month as an opportunity to not just pass on a skill to someone you care about, but to learn a new skill for yourself!

    The Ultimate Knit Collection - Book 7577

    Knit Journal Cover - The Complete Knit Collection- Book 7577

    If you've always wanted to knit, and don't know where to start, try The Complete Knit Collection. This is a recent release from Marly Bird, filled with a wide range of projects to work on. From Simple Fingerless Gloves, to Knit Journal Covers (above), you can learn the basics and knit luxury accessories all from the patterns inside this book! The book is designed to start with beginner projects, and slowly progress into harder patterns as you read. So when you reach pro-crafter status, you have patterns to try and challenge you as you get more comfortable with knitting.

    The Ultimate Crochet Collection - Book 7512

    The Ultimate Crochet Collection - Book 7512

    If Knitting isn't your speed, and you'd prefer to learn a skill with just one hook and some patience, try crochet! The Ultimate Crochet Collection is another Marly Bird release that has a slew of projects that are cute and functional! Start with Small Scrubbies (above) as a starter project, or one of the many other beginner patterns, and work your way up as you get more comfortable with crochet! The book is structured the same way as The Complete Knit Collection, set up as the perfect intro into this addicting craft.

    You Share: Share Your Skills With Others

    One of the best ways to give back this month is to teach a skill to someone else! If you already know how to knit and crochet, why not pass those talents on? We found some patterns that are easy to teach, and would make perfect projects for the upcoming seasons.

    Cool Stuff Teach Me To Knit - Book 6648

    You can start teaching others how to knit like you with the simple and easy projects from Cool Stuff - Teach Me To Knit. This rippled and multicolored knit afghan is a perfect project to start on this month of beginners, because fall is just around the corner, and who doesn't need a little throw for the couch? You can even create a complimentary pillow like the one above!

    Cool Stuff Teach Me To Crochet - Book 6649

    The same rules apply for this crochet ripple afghan from Cool Stuff - Teach Me To Crochet. Mix and match colors to your liking, and even mess with the size of the afghan! You can help someone learn to customize and create cozy necessities with the help of cool pattern books like these.

    Speaking of #ShareYourSkills, the Craft Yarn Council is hosting their Certified Instructor's Program again, starting August 12th and running all the way through September. So if you are passionate about passing on your skills and teaching larger groups of people, check the program out! You'll be seeing a lot more posts from us on this subject, maybe even sooner than you think (wink, wink).

    We All Share: Share Your Skills With Gifts

    If you're not the teaching type, but still want to #ShareYourSkills, try gifting something homemade! Nothing says that you care about someone more than a homemade trinket or home décor item.

    Textured Pillows - Book 7450

    Textured Pillows is a good craft to learn if you want to work with yarn, but don't want to knit or crochet. Plus, how adorable would these pillows be as gifts? With hot glue and a little creative flair, you can create fun and fresh accents for that loveseat that needs a little extra TLC. There are even patterns with fabric that don't require stitching! You can start out minimalist, or go in with a splash of color, the choice is your! All patterns are super easy to learn and follow along to.

    Modern Woodburning - Book 7524

    If you're feeling something a little more rustic, try Modern Woodburning for a change! Woodburning is super versatile and has limitless customization options, so this is a great book to get you started. Start off with small projects like these Succulent Coasters, and then work your way up to the more advanced projects in the book. You'll find that it's just as simple as putting a drawing pen to paper. It's just 1,000 Degrees hotter and more inventive!

    Do you plan to #ShareYourSkills this month? We'd love to see! tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts to show us what's going on in your studios.

    Happy Sharing!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Celebrate #NationalColoringBook Day The Right Way

    Hello Again, Makers, and Happy National Coloring Book Day! Today, show off your best and brightest colors and whip out those coloring pages! We're here to give you some inspiration in many different hues. All weekend Long, we're going to have a special National Coloring Day Sale and give you guys 35% off books, and 20% off instruments. In the meantime, let's show some coloring love with loads of inspiration!

    My Creative Life Colored Page Gift Bag

    My Creative Life Colored Page Gift Bag

    Adult Coloring has been linked to multiple health benefits, because when you get into the craft, you become so relaxed, and fall into a beautiful meditative state. Anytime you need a break from the everyday struggles of life, pick up a coloring book and doodle away. We have a great blog post on The Wellness Benefits of Coloring, if you want more details. In fact, these projects above, like the Customized Gift Bag and Pencil holder are featured in that blog. Designer Cindy DeRosier, owner of My Creative Life, created these from simple coloring sheets. So creative!

    Jungle Wonders - Book 6766

    Art of Coloring - Patterns - Book 6808

    You can even take the beautiful colored pages you created and turn them into something beautiful, like this seasonal paper pumpkin made from the pages of Jungle Wonders (left)! You can get romantic with a woven paper heart basket made from the pages of Art of Coloring - Patterns (left). It's amazing what you can create with just a simple sheet of paper.

    Bountiful Wonders - Book 6993

    You can get creative with coloring using all sorts of blending and layering techniques. You can create anything with the right instrument! We have a wide array of Coloring Instruments that you can play with, from Dual Tip Markers to Gel Pens. We have a great blog post on the combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils on our Bountiful Wonders Coloring Book, if you wanna see more colorful hues like the picture above.

    Full Coloring Pages - #NationalColoringBookDay Inspiration

    This part of the blog is really just to give a spotlight to some awesome coloring. Check these beauties out!

    Thanksgiving Crafts

    Bountiful Wonders Coloring Sheet - Book 6993

    Kaleidoscope Wonders - Book 6707

    Art of Coloring Ocean Wonders - Book 6703

    Affectionate Wonders - Book 6873

    Happy Times - Book 7591

    Love More Worry Less - Book 7592

    Colors of Nature - Book 7518

    Have you dabbled in some coloring lately? Tag us @leisureartsinc, or use #LeisureArts so we can see what's going on in your studios! We'd love to see what color your artistic personality is.

    Happy Coloring!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Tips and Tricks for Getting Published - Live the Leisure Life

    Jane Monzures picked the brains of our Leisure Arts team recently, about the world of publishing in her Creative Living Podcast. Listen along as you learn the ins and outs of publishing from Editorial Director, Tona Jolly, and Marketing Manager, Veronica Palmer.

    We summed up this craft talk in a few concepts below. So listen along to Tona, Veronica, and Jane talk about how important it is to take your creative concepts and turn them into published ideas.

    Research & Development: Staying True To You

    The podcast starts off with the inevitable question: Where do I start? The answer lies in research and development on the designer's part, so they have everything they need to pitch their ideal concepts to a prospective publisher. Veronica stresses that when looking at potential publishers to pitch to, look not only into how collaborative a publisher is, but also at their distribution in retail. Do some research into where you want your book be placed, and where you want to market your book. She recommends going into your favorite craft store (for craft books specifically), and see who is publishing the books you like on the shelves.

    Choosing The Right Publisher

    Be true to what you are good at, and find the publisher that fits your style, and will help you stand up for what you believe in. You don't have be the best writer, you just have to have the idea, know who your market is, and know who you will be going up against. Tona recommends that you go to Amazon, and see the patterns of modern publishing, and styles of craft books that are out today for reference and research. After that, you work collaboratively with your publisher to make your book come to life.

    The Book Deal & Production Process

    There is a lot of talk and pressure these days about instant gratification, but when it comes to publishing, good things take time. Tona goes in depth about the publishing process - from creating page maps of book concepts, to planning out schedules to present these books to retailers at all times of the year. With all that planning and production, it can take from 12 to 18 months to see your book published, depending on if and when your book gets picked up and placed by a retailer. There are special circumstances that place a book on the fast track, if it's a particularly trendy idea that has the opportunity to hit big. Tona says that if you do think you have a big hit on your hands, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself (they don't bite)!

    Veronica also urges that as a creator, you need to show your publishers who you are, and who your audience is. Influencer voice is key to showing how big of a market you serve, and how much of a reach you have with your community to take your ideas to a broader level.

    After the Launch - Marketing Yourself

    Jane takes the podcast from publishing to Marketing as she goes in depth with Veronica about promotion, and the journey a book takes while going to market. Veronica shares that typically, the designers and publishers have marketing plans of their own, and they work collaboratively together to get as much reach out of a campaign as possible. In terms of Leisure Arts' processes, we vary our tactics. Every book is different for when and how it gets published. From digital and hardcopy rollouts, blog book tours, in depth craft talks, social media takeovers and more, people want to have a dialogue with us, and want to be able to collaborate on a consumer level. It's a two way collaborative process that allows both the publisher and the designer to get endless exposure.

    Extras

    Self Publishing... yes or no? Self publishing is touched on here, as Jane asks if self publishing is a viable option for someone to pursue. Veronica lists the pros in cons of the process, arguing that while you retain the rights to your book, you have fewer resources to create and promote your material. It's really about what your publishing goals are, what's important to you, and how much time you have.

    Can you get rich off of one book? Veronica shares that publishing is a meaningful part of your promotional portfolio, but one book won't get you rich quick. It is however, a door opener into being an influencer or content creator, which opens up other avenues for revenue. Tona says publishing definitely isn't dead, and that if done the right way, it goes hand in hand with your social platforms, and helps create an experience for the consumer, online and offline.

    How long do designer publisher relationship lasts? Tona shares that 70% of the work Leisure Arts creates comes from the relationships previously developed. If they work well together, your publisher will reach out to you for more work. Leisure Arts has had relationships with some designers since 1975!

    Rejection - Tona shares that when you get a no, don't get discouraged. keep trying! Just watch for trends, think about being cohesive, create an experience, and tell a story. Prep + Experience + Timing = Success.

    Hopefully you've been inspired to take that concept to the next level after listening to that podcast! Let us know what you think, or give us a shoutout, @leisureartsinc for any extra questions you guys might have for Tona or Veronica.

    Happy creating!

    -Leisure Arts Team.

  • Hand Lettering for the Absolute Beginner: Tips, Tricks, and More!

    Bienvenue, Makers! Today, we're going to revamp your writing style, and we don't mean verb tenses and dramatic voice. We mean Hand Lettering! With fancy scrolls and beautiful flourishes, we're trying to make the literary world a better place, one letter at time. Hand Lettering can be added to wedding decor, dress up a thank you card, or turn a grocery list into a work of art, begging to be framed. If you're a complete novice, and are looking for a gateway into the world of hand lettering and calligraphy, then this is the craft for you.

    Hand Lettering - Book 7326

    Hand lettering has been around for centuries, but it's never been this easy to learn until now! With Hand Lettering from Kathryn Erney (@quite.transfixed on insta), you learn the basics of hand lettering, from upstrokes and base lines, to adding your own flourishes to set a personal style. Calligraphy can seem like a daunting craft to get into, which is why this book is so perfect for the absolute beginner. This book doesn't teach the fancy line work of quill and ink calligraphy, but a style of "faux calligraphy" that passes for the real thing. It's less steps to cover, and more accessible for makers that don't have the fancy nibs of a cartridge pen to do the work for them.

    Hand Lettering - Book 7326

    Erney says that to start out in hand lettering, all you need is a good set of tools. We have a lot of great tools for our site, and you can read a little about each one below!

    11 pc Hand Lettering Set - Item 49629

    The ultimate kit for hand lettering shenanigans! This 11 pc Hand Lettering Set has everything you need to test out your hand lettering abilities. Start out with fine pencil lines that can be erased with our vinyl eraser, and use the different variants of felt tip pens to test out your upstrokes and line weights!

    Dual Tip Calligraphy Markers - Item 48752

    These Dual Tip Calligraphy Markers will help you get those edged lines that calligraphy is known for, but on a much simpler level! With dual tips, you can control the weight and pressure of the lines you make, with 18 different colors to choose from!

    Bullet Tip Double Ended Markers - Item 48065

    If you want a bulky look to your lettering, then these Bullet Tip Dual Markers are perfect. they don't have that hardened edge for calligraphy style, so these would be great for shading in your block areas of color. You have a choice between a 36 pack and a 60 pack.

    36 Pack Gel Pens - Item 50377

    For metallic accents and shimmery font, try using these Gel Pen Packs as a top layer after lettering! Tips and trick like these are what sets your font apart from just the typical beginner. You can choose between a 36 Pack, a 12 pack, and a 24 pack.

    Beginner's Calligraphy Set - 47682

    Once you've conquered hand lettering from this book, then you can jump into the world of calligraphy! This Beginner's Calligraphy Set gives you everything you need to get started (above). But you never know, you might end up enjoying your own style better, which is okay! It's all about becoming as creative as you can be on your own terms, fancy pens or not.

    If you've tried Hand Lettering, be sure to share your work with us! Tag us @leisureartsinc or use the hashtag #LeisureArts, we may give you a special shoutout in the future (wink, wink).

    Happy Flourishing!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Lion Brand Color Inspiration: Cobalt Blue!

    We're having a blue Christmas in July without you! Join our little band of misfits as we continue our campaign inspired by Lion Brand's Colors of the Year for 2019! Lion Brand Yarn chose 12 fresh and unique colors to live by for 2019. Every month, we're going to do a blog post, and recommend some awesome yarn based on our featured color, and fun projects that match the meaning of the hue! This month, we want you to fall in love with the next color inspiration, Cobalt, a beautiful and bold sapphire-like hue in Lion Brand's List. Here's more on the color!

    Cobalt - Lion Brand Colors of the Year 2019

    "This color is the perfect play on your royal blue. Cobalt evokes a sense of happiness, bringing us back to our childlike roots."

    Looks like we're in the market for fun and fresh patterns that bring us joy (Marie Kondo style). Not to mention, we have the best Lion Brand Yarns to boot. Hometown USA - Fort Worth Blue has such a rich dark blue hue, it's almost black. It makes for a perfect base color that can be embellished with lighter yarns and bright accessories. Our second choice, Glitterspun - Sapphire, is a upscale light reflecting yarn that would be perfect to accent a pattern, so you can shine from all angles like the star that you are!

    Hometown USA - Fort Worth Blue - Item 126105

    Glitterspun - Sapphire - Item 126460

    We wanted to show a wide array of projects that you can incorporate this versatile color into. So, find your favorite craft medium, and see if you've found the pattern that lifts your spirits!

    Crochet

    We have some wonderful new releases this month, and some of their patterns just so happen to have Cobalt Blue in them. This tote from The Big Book of Crochet Accessories (below) is so cute with its bright pink accents. You wouldn't think that pink and blue would mix well, but they do! Plus, you can always change out the color if you want to.

    Big Book of Crochet Accessories - Book 7578

    Cakery Crochet - Book 75719

    Cakery Crochet has some patterns on the lighter side of cobalt, so you can look simple and stylish in a lounging tank (above) made from simple stitches! This top would make a great minimalist addition to any wardrobe, and with easy to follow instructions, this is a project that works up quickly!

    Half Moon Rugs - Book 75664

    Sweet & Sporty Diaper Covers - Book 6719

    If you want small cobalt projects, then try this adorable rug from Half Moon Rugs! It makes an adorable little welcome mat for a summer home, or even a nice surprise for a friend in love with nautical decor. The thin accents of grey really bring the whole minimalist rug together. If you're searching for an all American project in cobalt blue, look no further! You can't not smile when you see how adorable this baseball diaper cover from Sweet & Sporty Diaper Covers is. The cover itself is relatively easy to construct too, especially with the easy to follow instructions that the book provides.

    Knit

    Light layers are always a good summer staple for your wardrobe. This easy eyelet shawl from Knit Cakery makes a great lacy addition to a simple top, and is perfect for when the summer breeze gets a little too chilly. You can wear it a few ways, but how's it loosely displayed (below) is one of our favorite ways. Cute, casual, and comfortable!

    Knit Cakery - Book 75718

    Modern Knits - Book 7330

    If you want more modern layering projects, this poncho from Modern Knits (above) is perfect! You can see the complimentary addition of cobalt to this cream colored knitted poncho, and the contrast is a lovely and sophisticated breath of fresh air for summer fashion. It may seem like a big project, but when you are smiling at yourself in this top, it will be 100% worth it.

    Craft

    Summer is the perfect time to try something new! Modern Woodburning is another new release of ours, and you can make cute and cozy home accessories like this mountain range wood slice art (below)! With that wash of cobalt sky, this is an adorable and fun intro project when learning pyrography (wood burning).

    Modern Woodburning - Book 7524

    Play Mats - Book 7218

    Kids are always looking for the next fun thing to do during summer, and if you're a busy mom, it can be exhausting helping them find it. This project from Play Mats is perfect for indoor down time, and will keep the kiddos occupied and happy while you go out and take on the world from your home office chair. Your children will have fun fishing for felt friends on this adorable mat (above) that can easily be rolled up and stored safely.

    Quilt/Sew

    when you make a cobalt project, it doesn't have to be covered in cobalt. you can use it as a geometric accent like in this color-blocked tote pattern from Modern Patchwork!

    Modern Patchwork - Book 7493

    Jelly Roll Rugs & More - Book 7569

    The same could be said for this bread basket from Jelly Roll Rugs & More (above). There is a really nice muted cobalt dye effect to this basket, and it turns this centerpiece into a modern rustic masterpiece.

    Diamond Art

    Sparkle Art Alien - Kit 50485

    You don't need to storm Area 51 to bring your own alien home, get your own sparkling alien with Sparkle Art! This sparkling stunner won't wipe your memory after you dazzle this canvas with 13 faceted cobalt gemstones.

    Remember, these are just our suggestions! We're here to bring you inspiration, you choose your own path afterwards. Tune in every month for our color inspiration posts, and see if you find your new favorite hue!

    If you make any projects in this deep blue shade, tag us @leisureartsinc with #LeisureArts or #LeisureLife. We love to see what's going on in your studios!

    Stay Creative!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Christmas in July Crafts That are 100% Santa Approved

    Ho ho ho, makers! We're decking the halls with Christmas (in July) cheer, and we're using the lazy days of summer to start on our holiday projects and décor. During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we barely have time to make the elaborate gifts we want to give, let alone add special handmade touches to our holiday décor. Which is why Christmas in July is the perfect time to start crafting! If you start on projects now, you can have more time during the actual holiday season to relax. So go grab a nice snack, scroll to your favorite craft category, and start making your list to check twice!

    Crochet

    Fair Isle Mittens - Book 7453

    The Fair Isle Technique is a perfect color mixing style that works great for Christmas projects. Which is why you can start making the beautiful projects in Fair Isle Mittens now, so you have wonderful gifts to give during the holidays! These mustard colored fingerless mitts are perfect for texting in the cold, and can be used for multiple seasons. With the beautiful houndstooth patterns and chunky cables, these are the perfect versatile accessory for your wardrobe, and the wardrobes of your daughters, nieces, or granddaughters.

    Retro Christmas Ornaments - Book 7195

    Everyone loves retro, but we want retro with a modern twist. Which is exactly what you get with the projects from Retro Christmas Ornaments! These clothespin angels are so easy to make, you'd think Santa's elves had a hand in helping you! You can create beautiful projects like these ornaments and more with the help of the book's easy to follow instructions. Retro has never been so easy!

    Knit

    The Stocking Were Knit - Book 6533

    You can't forget about the animals! You can create this cat stocking with adorable little doodles at the trim from The Stockings Were Knit. Give your cat some Christmas tidings with a specialized stocking just for them. This is a perfect Christmas in July project for all cat lovers! This book has stockings for every member of the family, animal or human (so don't worry dog lovers, there's one for you, too).

    Beaded Ornaments - Book 6536

    This is definitely a transformation of knitting. You can make these great ornament covers with beautiful beaded accents from our book, Beaded Ornaments. With basic stitches and interwoven glittering beads, you have creative and definitely unique ornaments that will be treasured for many years to come.

    Craft

    Open House Merriment - Book 6872

    General crafts Christmas projects are perfect for the makers who don't know too much about crochet or knit, but still want to be creative with yarn and other mixed media. This wreath made of paper leaves from Open House Merriment is perfect for a door in need of sprucing, or a wall in need of decorating. With easy to follow instructions and tons of inspiration, this book is perfect for the crafter who loves to plan and prep ahead of time.

    Yarn Whimsies - Book 6889

    If you want some non-traditional décor for your tree, then try these little yarn snowcaps from Yarn Whimsies. You don't need to know crochet or knit to be a snowcap pro, it's as simple as common household items like toilet paper rolls and lark's head knots! This is a great way to be creative with yarn, without all the technicalities of fancy stitches. You end up with colorful and creative modern tree ornaments!

    Plastic Canvas

    The Magic of Christmas - Book 7584

    Plastic Canvas is one of those crafts that seems complicated, but it makes for beautiful projects. The Magic of Christmas gives you great step-by-step instructions to follow as you learn how to count threads, create your shapes, and stitch adorable little gift toppers and stocking stuffers like these candy cane climbers. It's small projects like these that can turn a lazy summer day into a productive day!

    Cross Stitch

    Retro Christmas Cross Stitch - Book 6877

    Cross Stitch brings a classic twist to modern projects of all festive proportions, like this wine bottle jacket from Retro Christmas Cross Stitch. With quippy quotes and adorable artwork, you can't go wrong with a beautiful hostess gift like this one! Who doesn't want to dress up their favorite red or white?

    50 Cross Stitch Quickies - Christmas - Book 6883

    If you're thinking ahead of time on Christmas wrapping and accessories, then these little additions from 50 Cross Stitch Quickies - Christmas are perfect for your future presents. Vamp up the traditional name tag with a stitched on Christmas tree, or little Rudolph. These projects work up quickly with color-coded and easy to follow charts, and would make for great first projects for someone who is starting out in cross stitch.

    Mini Cross Stitch Ornaments - Book 7587

    If you come from a family that has a Christmas tree in every room, then our wealth of cross stitch books will give you more than enough inspiration. These adorable stockings from Mini Cross Stitch Ornaments are a great hybrid of classic and modern Christmas designs. Even though they're mini, look at the detail! It's hard to believe that you can fit so much Christmas spirit into something so little.

    Holiday Ornaments Galore - Book 7585

    Even MORE cross stitch inspiration (See what I mean? A wealth of ornaments books). These circular ornaments from Holiday Ornaments Galore are minimalist enough to work for any style of Christmas tree. With quirky designs like robins in beanies and skiing snowmen, you can have an adorable set of colorful designs.

    Coloring

    (from left to right) Color On The Go - Holiday - Books 7305, 7301, 7302, 7304.

    Coloring is a fun and funky distraction for when you just need some crafty and creative time to yourself. Especially during the holidays. You can color in these Color On The Go - Holiday books wherever you go, and use the perforated pages to transform your Christmas cards! Laminate them and make a collage, scan them in and make a digital card, create fun and fancy colorful leaflets that bring a personal touch to your Christmas gifts! With fun designs like ornaments and mittens, you can't go wrong choosing any of these four books. Or better yet, get all of them!

    Santa might be sun tanning and shopping right now, but we've sent a letter to his workshop, and he loves these projects! We received a package of candy canes and sugar plums as a seal of approval. These projects, varied from beginner to advanced, are perfect for you to start now, so you're not bombarded during the holidays with busywork and shopping. If you try your hand at these projects, be sure to share it and tag us @leisureartsinc so we can admire your work and give you a special shout out. So go trade that traditional cup of hot cocoa for a Frappuccino, and craft away!

    Happy making!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Malachite Blue Color Inspiration from Lion Brand's Colors of the Year

    It's Summer, Makers! The heat is rising and the bright and bold colors are coming out. We're continuing our campaign inspired by Lion Brand's Colors of the Year for 2019! Lion Brand Yarn chose 12 fresh and unique colors to live by for 2019. Every month, we're going to do a blog post, and recommend some awesome yarn based on our featured color, and fun projects that match the meaning of the hue! This month, we want you to fall in love with the next color inspiration, Malachite a beautiful cerulean hue in Lion Brand's List. Here's more on the color!

    Malachite - Lion Brand Colors of The Year 2019

    "Malachite is a color of legend often found in ancient mandalas. This color has traditionally been associated with summer and swim products and has evolved into every day dressing."

    This color is rooted in ancient designs and rich pigments, so we couldn't let you guys down on finding the richest Malachite inspired projects. Not to mention, we have the best Lion Brand Yarns to boot. Heartland - Cuyahoga Valley is the perfect summer refresher, showing everyone that you are ditching Spring pastels for rich and bold beach-y blues. Our second choice, Sock-Ease - Snow Cone, has a much darker tone to the yarn, and is great for when you need a balance of two beautiful analogous blues.

    Heartland - Cuyahoga Valley - #126184

    Sock-Ease - Snow Cone - #126222

    We wanted to show a wide array of projects that you can incorporate this versatile color into. So, find your favorite craft medium, and see if you've got the blues!

    Crochet

    We had to give out some mandala vibes since they're in the history of this color. This afghan from Mindful Mandala Afghans mixes the actual Malachite-esque yarn into the traditional mandala! You can have a modern and comfy afghan to wrap up in and watch TV on a lazy summer day.

    Mindful Mandala Afghans - Book 6890

    Hooked On Quilted Crochet - Book 7034

    This blue number from Hooked on Quilted Crochet is a little more electric than the traditional Malachite, but you can see the beautiful hints of Malachite that balance this pattern out so well for Summer. You can even learn the Quilted Crochet Technique, and expand your crochet knowledge this summer!

    Knit

    We had to pick out some patterns for our favorite Summer babies, and Marly Bird's books are always full of clever patterns for your little ray of sunshine. This ombre style Baby afghan from Marly's book Make Your 1st Baby Afghan mixes two great blues for a trendy and warm little wrap for your child. You can even adjust this pattern to make an adult sized blanket to match!

    Make Your 1st Baby Afghan - Book 7354

    Knit Accessories - Book 7337

    If you are looking for some cute Knit Accessories, try this light cowl or indoor mittens for light layers! The reflective yarn in this pattern makes the color really stand out, and these patterns would make for quick fun projects to create when you're looking for a craft fix.

    Craft

    It's all about the details when it comes to home decor, and you can create elegant and sophisticated additions to your home with simple materials like paper. Paper Flowers is a creative well of home decor inspiration with colorful pinks, purples, and malachite blues like the one in the photo below.

    Paper Flowers - Book 7241

    Get Started in Jewelry Making - Book 7365

    If you just want to accent your 2019 fashion with some Malachite, this necklace design from Get Started in Jewelry Making has beautiful translucent Malachite beads that look like beach crystals. With easy to follow stringing instructions, this necklace is a quick and fashion-forward boho statement that will bring together any outfit.

    Quilt/Sew

    Speaking of Accessories, WOW! Look at how detailed this bag from My Pet Crafts is. With all the sewing details like the feather-like buttons and tassels, this peacock inspired bag is so stylish that you'll be getting compliments left and right.

    My Pet Crafts - Book 6862

    This bag has a vintage feel with a modern twist that is just bohemian enough to make you feel trendy and unique, without feeling like the stereotypical hipster.

    Remember, these are just our suggestions! We're here to bring you inspiration, you choose your own path afterwards. Tune in every month for our color inspiration posts, and see if you find your new favorite hue!

    If you make any projects in this deep Pomegranate shade, tag us @leisureartsinc with #LeisureArts or #LeisureLife. We love to see what's going on in your studios!

    Stay Creative!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Here's A DIY Diamond Art Butterfly Pillow to Geek Out Over

    You may have already heard (because it's awesome and super relaxing), but Diamond Art by Leisure Arts is the next new meditative craft. Very similar to Adult Coloring, you dazzle a beautifully pre-printed canvas and watch as 13-faceted gems transform your space with glitter and glam. We think that Diamond Art goes beyond just a scroll on a wall too, and can be made into everyday items like handbags, phone cases or in this post, a sparkling pillow! Read on for a tutorial on how to use some DIY magic to make a one of a kind throw pillow with your dazzling canvases. This is a tutorial that works with almost every kit design we've created, but in this case, we decided to go simple and sophisticated using our Butterfly Diamond Art Intermediate Canvas. 

    Butterfly Pillow - DIY Diamond Art

    Supplies

    • A Diamond Art Canvas 
    • Strong Adhesive Backing (fabric glue, hot glue, etc.)
    • Your Favorite Sewing Thread & Needle (embroidery floss, thick sewing thread, etc.)
    • Basic Throw Pillow (varies by type and size, but MUST have a solid surface, no fur/velvet)
    • Scissors
    • OPTIONAL - Extra Accessories (pom-poms, tassels, etc.)

    Get Started On Your Throw Pillow! 

    Diamond Art Butterfly Canvas - Kit 49367

    1. Dazzle Your Diamond Art Canvas

    There isn't a big learning curve in terms of starting the craft, just dip, dot, and dazzle! Diamond Art is meant to be a leisurely craft that lets you put the canvas away for later if you wanted to. Complete it in one day, or complete it one day next week, the choice is up to you!

    2. Cut Out Your Dazzle Area

    After you've dazzled your way to success, carefully cut out your design, and get ready to sew!

    3. Create Your Trim 

    To keep the edges of the canvas from fraying -and for extra support- carefully line the edges of your cut out canvas with the embroidery floss or thread.

    4. Craft Your Throw Pillow

    Get to work on placing your design onto the center of your throw pillow using your adhesive of choice and a steady hand. Make sure to layout flat, and smooth the canvas out for air bubbles once placed. If you're worried about our beads falling off, don't be! Our adhesive keeps our beads intact with the force of a thousand dazzling suns. (Pro Tip: If you want extra support for your design, stitch a few notches into the pillow itself with extra thread you used for the trim!)

    6. Accessorize (Or Don't)! 

    Now that your Diamond Art is placed, all that’s left are finishing touches. Make your butterfly pillow one of a kind by adding extra accessories around the edges, or placing a bead here and there. For this project, we added tassels! Show the world how creative you can be with your Diamond Art. Be 'extra' to your heart’s content, and then voila! You have a decorative and dazzling throw pillow.

    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 and accept all kinds of compliments from people as they say, "your throw pillow is too pretty to lean against".

    If you try your hand at this, share it to our Diamond Art Facebook Page! or Tag us @LeisureArtsInc for a special shoutout. We'd love to see what's going on in your studio.

    Want more DIY Diamond Art projects? Your wish is our command! Check out our other projects here.

    DIY Diamond Art Phone Case

    DIY Diamond Art Welcome Sign

    DIY Diamond Art Cherry Blossom Pillow

    DIY Diamond Art Handbag

    Happy Dazzling!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Fourth of July Craft Inspiration: 2019 Vibes

    Makers, it's time to get those star spangled banners out! Fourth of July is coming up, and we want you to be prepared to host parties and events for all things red, white, and blue. We have some adorable and creative projects that you can make yourself and decorate your home or backyard with till your patriotic little heart is content. Scroll Down to find your favorite craft category, and find your next barbecue decor project!

    Crochet

    Spirit Animals - Book 6458

    Crochet some quick and fun little additions to your Home Decor for Fourth of July like this bald eagle amigurumi plush from Spirit Animals. With its adorable face and easy to stitch features, this decoration is a subtle nod to Fourth of July, and makes a cute plush to keep afterward.

    Honor Our Veterans - Book 6081

    Though Fourth of July is overshadowed by barbecues and cookouts most of the time, we have to remember that we have this holiday because of our honorable veterans who fought hard for the US. Which is why now is the perfect time to start these afghans from Honoring Our Veterans, to keep the memory of their dedication through intricate lacework and the bright and bold colors of the USA flag. These afghans would take a little bit of extra time compared to our other decor projects, but if you start now, you can have a show stopping afghan to display for the holiday.

    Treasury of Holiday Crochet - Book 5632

    How can you resist that tiny little Uncle Sam? Treasury of Holiday Crochet is a great resource for all crochet holiday decor, but for Fourth of July in particular. Add a sophisticated edge to your USA colors with a lacy table mat and napkin holder. Show your love for our stripes with striped cozies and coasters! This book is full of inspiration for your 2019 barbecue decor, and with easy to follow instructions, you can have all of these projects made in no time for a DIY Fourth of July!

    Cross Stitch & Embroidery

    Grand Ole Flag Cross Stitch Pattern - Item 800621

    What a subtle and beautiful addition to a Fourth of July party! Cross Stitch definitely makes you work for picturesque stitched scenes like this one, but all that hard work pays off when you have eclectic artwork to show off to your house guests. This Grand Ole Flag Pattern is the perfect tiny tribute to nostalgic Fourth of July memories.

    Antique Game Boards - Book 6492

    How about a checkered flag for a change? You can add an Antique Game Board to your Fourth of July decorations for some added entertainment with colorful cross stitch flair! You have a multi-functional décor piece that serves as a cool game board for friends and family, and then you can display it later as a nice artistic attribute to your party space.

    Blue Voyage Stitchery Kit - Book 49810

    Go on a voyage of stitch patterns and colors with this Blue Voyage Stitchery Kit and try your hand at embroidery. Whether you're a first time stitcher, or a seasoned embroidery pro, you'll have loads of fun stitching these designs onto a pre-printed canvas, so you never lose your place. With easy to follow instructions and everything you need inside one little package, you can have a perfect Fourth of July decoration without being too literal about it.

    Knit

    Knit Holiday Dishcloths - Book 5287

    If you prefer to celebrate in subtlety, try creating small little tokens that show your Fourth of July spirit. These Independence Day Dishcloths from Holiday Knit Dishcloths are the perfect way to say, "Happy Fourth of July!" without essentially dressing up as Uncle Sam.

    Knits For Summer - Book 7198

    Knit projects can be perfect for the summer, with the right theme in mind. This Anchor Pillow from Knits For Summer is a part of the best collection of summer knit vibes for 2019. This would look great on a couch or lawn chair, and would be cute and comfy for a house guest to chill on. Perfect for a Barbecue with the buds.

    Quilt/Sew

    Fidget To Focus - Book 7219

    Fidget To Focus is the perfect book for fidget projects that are way cooler than a silly old fidget spinner. Create functional home decor pieces that double as activities that are designed to help with disorders like Alzheimer's, and help keep the brain trained, focused, and stimulated. This Denim Fidget Mat is perfect to keep the kids busy while you're grilling, or for anyone to fuss with while you're sitting around the TV watching old movies. With easy to follow instructions, becoming focused has never been easier.

    All Aboard Quilt Pattern - Item 37555

    Quilting! A tried an true tradition for all holidays. Anytime there's a special event or occasion, there's a quilt pattern made to be put on display. This All Aboard Quilt Pattern Pack has all the instructions you need to make this red, white, and blue beauty, with a beautiful chevron design and multiple prints. With the rustic flannel border, you can't go wrong displaying this outside on the porch or inside next to all the hamburgers.

    Coloring

    Coloring Book Bundles - Color Art for Everyone

    No matter what time of year it is, coloring will keep you occupied and relaxed. But think about all of the free time you have in the summer! The coloring bundles are jam packed full of fun and fantastic line designs to color till the sun goes down. You can choose from 8 bundles offered on our website, and choose which one of the lovely four books in each bundle you want to start filling with color! Relax and unwind with intricate patterns and beautiful line work to mindlessly color in and create. The best part is that all coloring pages in these bundles are perforated, so you can take them out and use them however you want! Fun, and versatile.

    Plastic Canvas

    Seasonal Door Signs - Book 6483

    Another fancy detail for a festive fourth of July is to hang a Seasonal Door Sign up. This majestic bald eagle with a flowing flag in the background gives your home an extra special DIY look to it with the plastic canvas design. Plastic Canvas is an easy craft to follow, and this book gives you all the basics you need to get started, even if you've never tried the craft!

    Diamond Art

    Advanced Diamond Art Light House Kit - Item 49941

    Diamond Art is one of those crafts that spans across season and holidays. It's so relaxing to diamond paint all of our creative and quirky designs, that there isn't a time of year that I wouldn't dazzle a canvas. With our ever growing collection of fun and fresh designs, there is a lot of canvases that we could recommend to you, but this Advanced Lighthouse Kit takes the cake. This mysterious and nautical canvas is perfect for a subtle and artistic display of fourth of July pride, with the red and white of the lighthouse beaming against the blue night sky background. we love this canvas, and it's even more beautiful in person when our 13 faceted gems are applied.

    I think we've given you guys plenty of inspiration for this Fourth of July season, so why not give these a try for your next event? If you end up making some of these projects, be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc, or use the hashtag #LeisureArts or #LeisureLife for a special shoutout.

    Happy decorating!

    -Leisure Arts Team

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