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  • Join The #HumansThatYarn Movement From The Craft Yarn Council

    The Craft Yarn Council (CYC) represents the leading yarn companies, accessory manufacturers, magazine, book publishers, and consultants in the yarn industry. For more than 35 years the Council has sponsored a wide range of promotional and educational programs, including its highly acclaimed Certified Instructors Program, Discover Knit and Crochet classes, and its popular I Love YARN Day event (the second Saturday in October), which offers a virtual meeting place for the nation's knitters and crocheters. They're working on a great campaign right now for Fall that's meant to break you out of your crafty comfort zone, and encourage you to see how yarn can have multiple functional and fashionable uses.

    A New Way to Play With Yarn From The Craft Yarn Council

    Craft Yarn Council

    Yarn encompasses a wide array of crafts, including knitting, crochet, macrame, weaving, punch needle and much more. But more than that, yarn encompasses a wide array of people. Rather than focus on one specific type of yarn project, the Craft Yarn Council’s Fall 2018 campaign will focus on the people behind yarn crafts. Humans That Yarn is an inclusive campaign that aims to showcase all the different types of crafts that can be made with yarn and the different types of people who identify as a 'yarnist'.

    Craft Yarn Council
    The campaign has several goals aimed at making the fiber world more inclusive. One of those goals is to break down the barriers of entry for people who may see yarn crafting as too difficult or uncool. Another is to encourage people who already craft with yarn to take up a new yarn craft. Craft Yarn Council studies have shown that the most common reasons for not participating in yarn crafts are lack of knowledge on how to get started (32%) and the perception that knitting/crocheting (and other yarn crafts) are difficult to learn (28%). Recent research has also shown that 48% of non-knitters and crocheters use yarn in other ways, whether they are wrapping yarn around a dowel for a wall hanging or around cardboard to make pompoms.

    Craft Yarn Council

    How To Be The Very Best #Yarnist

    Through social media interviews, videos, photography and blog posts, the campaign will increase interest and conversation about yarn crafts. The term “yarnist” will be introduced alongside the campaign to demonstrate that no matter how you use yarn, you are a “yarnist” (yarn artist). For inspiration, ideas and tips for teaching others a new yarn craft, free patterns, yarn project ideas, giveaways and more, make sure to check out our social media pages, including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Tag your posts with #humansthatyarn and #yarnist. Here's some inspiration from us on how to be the very best!

    Dare to be Bold.

    Humans That Yarn Rainbow Yarn Vases - Yarn Crafts

    Yarn can be used for so many crafts, and can create so many new life hacks and trendy home decor projects. Just like these rainbow vases (above), you can use yarn to create endless possibilities for your common home decor items!

    It's not just for Crochet and Knit!

    Humans That Yarn A New Twist on Macrame - Wall Hanging

    Yarn is associated with popular crafts like knit and crochet, but those aren't limiting the medium at all! You can create hybrid craft projects all the time using yarn, just look at this stunning macrame project (above).

    The Best Yarnists Share!

    Humans That Yarn Yarn Crafts - Pom-Pom Wreath
    Humans That Yarn Yarn Crafts - Arrow Wall Hanging

    Yarn gifts make for the best soft and cuddly gifts around. Why not make as many as possible and share the love? People can never have too much wall decor, especially during the holiday seasons!

    As you can see, there are tons of unique ways to become a #yarnist and join the movement. So, what are you waiting for? Go out into the world of yarn and go buy some baubles. Discover a new side of creativity as you hashtag your way through the next few months, and become part of the #HumansThatYarn Movement.

    Have fun, Yarnists!

    -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.

     

     

    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!

    screen-shot-2018-09-14-at-11-12-33-am

    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.

    screen-shot-2018-09-14-at-11-12-08-am

    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!

  • 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!). 

    -----------------------

    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

  • 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

  • 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

     

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