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Leisure Arts Blog

  • 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!

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

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

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    DIY Beauty Products Minty Sugar Scrub

    Why "Make and Give"?

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

    DIY Beauty Products Botanical Salt Gifts

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

    DIY Beauty Products Handcrafted Lip Balm

    Why DIY Beauty Products?

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

    DIY Beaut Products DIY Perfume Rollers

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

    DIY Beauty Products Coffee Bean Bath Melt

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

    Make and Give Home Apothecary Botanical Salt Mixture

    Can Anyone Make These Products?

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

    DIY Beauty Products DIY Floral Bath Bombs

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

    DIY Beauty Products Home Apothecary Cover

     

    Happy Crafting!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Teaching Knit and Crochet with the Certified Instructors Program!

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

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

    Teaching Crafts

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

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

    Here are some fast facts about the program:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

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

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

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

    So, Tell Us About Your Cozy Designs!

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

    Alpine Scarf

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

    Cozy Fall Fashion Alpine Scarf

    The Toxaway Scarf

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

    Cozy Shawl Toxaway Shawl

    The Twin Lakes Infinity Scarf

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

    Cozy Scarf Twin Lakes Infinity Scarf

    The Trinity Capelet

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

    Cozy Shawl Trinity Capelet

    The Trail Creek Neck Warmer

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

    Cozy Scarf Trail Creek Neck Warmer

    The Alturas Shawl

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

    Cozy Shawls Alturas Shawl

    The Imogene Infinity Scarf

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

    Cozy Cowls Imogene Infinity Cowl

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

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

    Happy Crafting!

    Leisure Arts Team

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

    Moss Hut Garden

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

    Garden Moss Garden Hut - Finished

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Garden Base - Roof
    Garden Greenery - Roof

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

    Beach Garden

    Next up, the Beach Garden.

    Fairy Beach Garden Fairy Beach Garden

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

    Garden Beach Garden - Before
    Garden Beach Garden - Aerial View

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

    Rose Hut Garden

    One of my favorite gardens is the Rose Hut Garden.

    DIY Magic Gardens Beautiful Rose Hut Garden

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

    DIY Magic Garden Detail of Rose Hut Garden

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

    Pinecone Hut Garden

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

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

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

    Cord House Garden

    Last, but not least is the Cord House Garden.

    Garden Cord House Garden

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • 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

  • Homemade Accessories That Are Cooler Than A Diamond Bracelet.

    As Marilyn Monroe once sang, diamonds are a girls best friend! Except for today, because this post is about homemade accessories that are way cooler than wearing a boring and cold diamond bracelet on your wrist.

    Making your own accessories sets you apart from the crowd, and brings out the creative monster inside of you. Some people make a living out of selling their homemade jewelry, and others just don't want to look like everyone else. No matter how you look at it, there are multiple reasons to start making your own stylish accessories. Let us help you make the coolest ones! Here are some of the best accessories that you can make yourself, that'll go with any outfit.

     

    Quick and Simple Stringing - SKU # 7212

    A beaded jewelry technique made from stringing a variety of beads together, this technique can turn a simple thread into modern magic. Just look at some of the designs you can create from our patterns!

     

    Homemade Accessories Classic Pearl Strung Necklace
    Multi-Colored Stacked Necklaces Multi-Colored Stacked Necklaces
    Homemade Accessories Retro Sunburst Turquoise Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Just look at that pearl necklace! It looks like you could get that at any fashionable jewelry store. But if your style is more subtle, you can make something simple that makes a statement, like the stacked necklaces.

     

    Quick and Simple Linking - SKU # 7213

    Similar to any chain link technique, this method lets you link jewels with metals or beads, or really any shiny thing you think would look good. This method can give you the chance to make grand statements, and let's you keep adding to your piece if you wanted. here are some striking examples!

     

    Homemade Accessories Stacked and Linked Amber Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Simple Citrine Linked Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Subtle and Simple Stacking Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These designs are perfect for the one who doesn't want to wear diamonds, but still wants to feel luxurious. Plus, it's a definite bonus that these beautiful baubles won't break your bank.

     

    Quick and Simple Wirework - SKU #7214

    Wire wrapping! An extremely intricate looking jewelry style, that is a lot easier than you think. This is a style that can really make any kind of jewelry, because you are actually forming most of the metal products yourself. This is by far the most creative and eccentric method of the three, and for good reason! Check out some of our examples from the book.

    Homemade Accessories Wire Wrapped Crystal Gemstone Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Beaded Silver Wirework Bracelet
    Homemade Accessories Wire Wrapped Bracelet and Broach Set

     

    You can tell how much work is put into each of these designs - and how unique it make them. This Jewelry type is for the stand outs, the ones who know they are making a statement when they wear it, and love it.

     

    Bonus Accessories!

    The bonus this week is a book that's gotten a lot of attention lately, so how could I not include it (again). You may or may not remember this book from last week's post on homemade spa materials.

     

    Aromatherapy Jewelry with Lava Beads - SKU # 7353

    The designs in this book merit a mention in this week's post, because of how simple but striking the designs are. Not only that, but they are unique because of what you can do with them. The lava beads are porous enough to absorb your favorite scented oils and fragrances so you get a two for one deal! They deserve to be put into this sophisticated self-made jewelry category. Check out our examples!

    Homemade Accessories Simple Strung Lava Bead Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Lava Bead and Gold Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Stacked Beaded Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These may not be diamonds, but they look luxurious without them.

    So, the next time you think about going to an expensive big brand retailer for high end jewelry, think about the options you have for making your own. You don't need to spend a fortune!

     

    Have you made any of these before? If so, post them to our social pages! We love to see what's going on in your studios.

     

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

     

     

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