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Embroidery

  • Merry Christmas in July! Fun Crafts for a Quirky Holiday

    It's the 25th of July, craft family. You know what that means? It's Christmas Day (in July)! We can all agree that this is an odd holiday overall, and while we complain about seeing all of this Christmas stuff way too early, we secretly can't deny how fun it is to see the festive decorations in store every year. Christmas time is supposed to be a joyous holiday filled with family, friends, and love. Why wouldn't you want that a second time in the year? Which is why we love to celebrate it here at Leisure Arts. We have a Giveaway going on until July Currently, where we are granting one lucky individual a chance to win 15 books, and an Oval Loom Kit.

    If you want to enter the Giveaway, Click Here. 

    You can give those books a once over if those interest you, but for this week's post, we're gonna  show you some other great crafts that you can make with the family unit for Christmas in July!

     

    Holiday Crafts For The Kids

    The people you buy the most gifts for are always the little lights of your life: your kids! Well, or nieces or nephews or grandchildren. Check out some of the best selling pattern books for kids that are currently on sale now.

    Kid's Snuggles - SKU # 75678

    Holiday Crafts Mermaid Snuggie
    Holiday Crafts Princess Snuggie

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A fun and popular book for the kids, this is a great pattern book full of gifts that spark imagination! Make nap time fun with character blankets and soft yarn.

     

    Baby Stacks -  SKU # 75668

    Holiday Crafts Bumble Bee Baby Stack
    Holiday Crafts Zoo Animal Baby Stack

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You'll have so much fun making these adorable designs for your little one at home! These baby stacks make for great activities that keep the baby's attention and coordination skills in good shape.

     

    Busy Baby Boxes - SKU # 75672

    Holiday Crafts Fairy Princess Baby Box
    Holiday Crafts Farm House Busy Baby Box

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A fun addition to playtime, these designs are great for keeping the little one's attention and are filled with up to six little crochet finger puppets as an added bonus!

     

    Fun With Crochet

    Crochet is one of our most popular categories, because there is so much versatility! We have a few of our new books in crochet available during our sale, like these two favorites!

    Artisan Jewelry - SKU # 75670

    Holiday Crafts Thread Crochet Fan Necklace
    Holiday Crafts Bead and Tassel Necklace
    Holiday Crafts Chain Link Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Thread Crochet is a delicate style of crochet, that can produce amazing results. Jewelry is a phenomenon that you wouldn't expect crochet to fit into, but it does! You can have all different types of unique jewelry from the styles above, from simple baubles to fancy chain links!

     

    Quick Crochet Flowers - SKU # 75684 

    Holiday Crafts Crochet Flower Dream Catcher
    Holiday Crafts Embroidery Hoop Flower Art

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is a great book full of fun home decor projects. The new designs take crochet to an elegant level that sophisticates your home with DIY Flowers and embroidery.

     

    Extras!

    I know that having all of these books to choose from is a lot to take in, so let us help! here are a few extra books that we love that you should pick up during our sale.

    Oversized Knits - SKU # 75680

    Holiday Crafts Oversized Blue Knit Cap and Scarf Set
    Holiday Crafts Oversized Messy Bun Hat
    Holiday Crafts Oversized Lime Green Shawl

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A book chock full of quirky designs, this is an interesting pattern book that will make you want to pick up jumbo knitting. The designs range from fun winter hats to flirty summer shawls!

     

    Make a Crochet Garden - SKU # 75669

    Holiday Crafts Crochet Cacti Pencil Cup Holder
    Holiday Crafts Hanging Crochet Garden
    Holiday Crafts Succulent Crochet Table Runner

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This pattern book has been one of our most popular this year, and for good reason! The book allows you to create a garden that will never wilt, and bring a unique edge to your usual home decor!

     

    After School Kid's Crafts - SKU # 7238

    Holiday Crafts Small and Soft Owl Satchels
    Holiday Crafts Felty Fun Unicorn Art
    Holiday Crafts Fun Felt and Stitch Tree Art

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A fun book to bring home to the kids! They'll make the coolest school accessories with the designs from this book.

     

    There are plenty more where these came from, Crafters! There are over 560 titles in the Christmas in July Sale section right now, so I would take advantage of it while it lasts!

     

    Shop our Sale, Now! 

    Use code JINGLEJULY at checkout to get the discount.

     

    Happy Crafting!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Crafting Across Cultures: Mexico

     

    Hey craft family!

    Today we’re switching it up with a hot new crafting series, affectionately known as “Crafting Across Cultures”. We get so wrapped up in our own projects, and tend to forget about what’s going on with the rest of the world (in crafting, that is). I want to focus in on a specific country for each post in the series, and shine the spotlight on some of the great crafts and Folk Art they have to share with the world. Let's expand everyone’s horizons in craft, and spread new ideas across cultures.

    This Week? We have Mexico! 

    Mexico

    Known for its beautiful textiles and interesting pottery designs, Mexico has had a stronghold in the arts for quite some time (since 1400 BCE, according to Wikipedia). Today, we’re going to focus on the traditions of making these crafts, and the cultural significance it has for Mexico. 

    textiles

    Textiles

    The textiles of Mexico have worn many hats. Clothing was originally made from plants and cottons, which later expanded to more luxurious fabrics like silks and wool after the conquest of the Aztec Empire. Most fabrics are made with naturally dyed fibers, which give nice earthy tones to the coloring and prints in the textiles. Most are embroidered and adorned with fresh patterns that incorporate the Mexican flag in some form or fashion.

    Here are some of Mexico’s most popular textile fashions!

    rebozo

    Rebozo

    This is a garment that is still widely used today in both mixed-race communities and indigenous cultures. This long shawl is used to carry heavy objects close to the body, or support a baby. It’s traditionally a long piece of cloth with fringe on the sides, and can be made as big or as small as the crafter wants.

    saltillo-blanket

    Serape / Saltillo Blanket

    Always featuring a diamond shape in the center, the Saltillo blanket is beautiful and functional. The blankets were historically worn by men during their travels. Made with natural woven fibers, they are always bright in color as a tribute to the gods. It is speculated that if you wear bright colors, you keep evil spirits away and are granted favors from the gods. That’s why these blankets will always have luxurious blues, pinks, greens and purples, all naturally dyed from fruits and insects.

    Otomi embroidery

    Otomi Embroidery

     This is a style of embroidery that is implemented on fabrics in Mexico. This style of hand painting on fabric is based off cliff painting and could take weeks or even years to complete. Otomi Women trace a design on a white cotton cloth, and then go back and stitch with a technique that only appears on one side of the cloth. The designs seem abstract, but relate to cave painting motifs that date back to hundreds of years ago.

    pigments

    The Making of Textiles in Mexico

    The textiles you just saw are traditionally made by spinning, weaving and sewing. Hand weaving fabrics on backstrap looms to create intricate patterns and color combinations are still common practices in Mexico. In fact, this article from Zinnia Folk Arts references that each Mesoamerican culture had a deity that watched over the women who wove and created fabrics. Textile making was known to be a gift to women from the gods. Fabrics were used as a form of payment earlier in time. Whoever had the best fabrics were known to be of a higher social class. Materials and adornments like beads, feathers, and rabbit fur were woven into the nice materials, and cotton was eventually introduced from the areas the Aztecs took over (but was only available to the wealthy). It’s amazing to think about how important materials like fabrics can be to a culture. From fibers to thread, then thread to tradition.

     

    Hope you had fun learning something new today! If there are other crafts to make from Mexico, please share them with us. We’re always curious!

     

    If you want to learn how to start crocheting or weaving so you can make these awesome designs (or designs similar), we have a few books to recommend!

    Learn to Weave

    Learn To Weave

    Learn To Embroider

    Learn to Embroider

    Poncho Rebound 

    Poncho Rebound

    Modern Southwest Afghans

    Modern Southwest Afghans

    Cool String Art

    Cool String Art

    Lastly, If you wanted to learn more about the Crafting Culture in Mexico, we have some pretty neat links for you to click on below!

    History of a trend: Otomi embroidery and patterns

    Textile Making in Mexico by Cristina Potters of "Mexico Cooks" 

    Textiles of Mexico

    Mexican Textiles 101: The Saltillo Blanket or Serape 

    Mexican Textiles 101: Cochineal, A Natural Way to Create Red Dye

    Mexican Textiles 101: What is a Mexican Rebozo? 

     

    Happy Crafting!

     

    -The Leisure Arts Team

     

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