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  • A Craft A Day Keeps The Doctor Away! Craft Away Stress with Leisure Arts

    Everyone needs a little break every now and then. We get swamped at work, overwhelmed with chores, and dog-piled with to-do lists that keep on growing. So naturally, as makers we like to find escape in our hobbies. Crocheting a scarf, knitting socks, painting a landscape, you name it! We use these special skills to "Craft Away Stress" when we need an extra pep in our step. When we take these little moments in life, we do more for our bodies than we realize. By taking charge and creating when times get tough, we are actually focusing on our mental and physical health, which is something that gets put on the back burner more than it should.

    Photo courtesy of the Craft Yarn Council

    The Craft Yarn Council has started their Stitch Away Stress campaign, and it focuses all on the health benefits of yarn crafting. But, we think you can do more than just stitch! We know that there are all forms of crafts out there that can keep you occupied and busy, so why not throw it all under the same umbrella? We're celebrating Craft Away Stress all month, because we think it's important to take some time for yourself and heal with your favorite craft, yarn or otherwise. Here are some projects that we've curated that will help you relax and unwind, and give yourself a little "me" time.

    Find your favorite craft medium, and jump right in!

    ----------------------------CROCHET----------------------------

    Overlay Crochet - Book 7503

    Happy Crochet - Book 7411

    Bright colors and bold designs will brighten up anyone's mood, and nothing says bright and bold like these daring patterns! This Mandala from Overlay Crochet is eye catching and intricate. Even though this project might take a little longer to finish, it's worth it when you get to proudly display this little ray of sunshine in your space.

    If you're looking for a quick project to take your mind off of things, try a mug cozy. This simple and super easy to follow pattern from Happy Crochet will keep you occupied, and have your Cup O' Jo looking stylish in the morning. By the end of your project, you have a functional and fabulous accessory, and you've got your Monday Meditation in!

    ----------------------------KNIT----------------------------

    Casual Weekend Knits - Book 7373

    Modern Knits - Book 7330

    We love a good casual top, and when you have instructions as easy as these, making cute and comfy clothes has never been so relaxing! Casual Weekend Knits is one of our newer books from designer Andi Javori, and it features a lot of really versatile and easy projects that you can complete while binge watching your favorite series, like this color blocked Blue Poncho top! This top is perfect for a nice spring day, and can work as a poncho, or cinched blouse with tie down options at the waist!

    Another good small project to Craft Away Stress with is this slipper pattern from Modern Knits by Kristi Simpson. You can always stray from this color palette, but the subtle yellow designs laced within the gray make these slippers perfect for spring mornings.

    ----------------------------QUILT / SEW----------------------------

    Pincushions to Sew - Book 7133

    Pincushions to Sew - Book 7133

    For the friends that always need an extra pincushion (you know who you are), Pincushions To Sew is the perfect book for you. These are super simple and easy projects to make that will help you when you need it the most in your sewing studio! Get creative with colors and patterns, and make fun shapes like this Spring Flower pincushion. This is yet another fun and functional trinket you can make while listening to your favorite Spotify playlist.

    ----------------------------CRAFTS----------------------------

    Daily Inspiration Flip Book - Book 7350

    Paint Pouring Books Plus Kit - Item 50392

    If you want a project that is 10% effort, but looks 150% awesome, then this Daily Inspiration Flip Book is the right project for you. This easel-propped book gives you 40 inspirational one-liners on double-sided card stock, and gives you the option to display an already finished colorful quote, or to color your own! So you can be creative with a minimal amount of effort.

    Paint Pouring is known to be a relaxing a mesmerizing craft to watch and create! Our Paint Pouring Books Plus Kit gives you everything you need to create you own little mini masterpiece, so you don't have to worry about grabbing all of the supplies. You can just sit back, relax, and wash your stresses away with each unique mix of colors.

    Home Apothecary - Book 7386

    If you really want to focus in on your mental and physical health, and be creative at the same time, any of these all natural recipes and projects from Home Apothecary will leave you feeling accomplished and relaxed, like these bath melts. All that you need to do is find these herbs and plants, and follow her easy instructions to self-care bliss.

    ----------------------------DIAMOND ART----------------------------

    Diamond Art Advanced Balloons Kit - Item 50451

    Diamond Art is a big one in the relaxation department. This is a craft that doesn't have a learning curve, and yields a beautiful diamond encrusted canvas at the end of your craft experience. You get to paint with 13-faceted diamonds on luxury fabric, and follow along an easy color-coded chart. The sky is the limit for the artwork you can dazzle - create anything from beautiful landscapes like these Hot Air Balloons, to cute animal portraits! We just recently launched New Designs, and a kids line, Sparkle Art! We promise that once you start diamond painting, you won't be able to stop.

    Photo Courtesy of the Craft Yarn Council

    Most of the things you see in this blog post are from our April Giveaway on our website. Enter to win all of these great projects and goodies! We also did a #LeisureLife Live! Segment on our Craft Away Stress Campaign, give it a watch. Remember to take some time to yourself in your craft studios, and focus on being the healthiest version of you. If you end up making any of these wonderful stress relieving projects, share it with us! Just use #LeisureLife. We love to see what's going on in your craft universe.

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble! DIY Health and Beauty Products

     

    Hey craft family!

    It's Friday the 13th! So instead of walking under ladders, lets talk about bath time. I haven't met a person who doesn't like to come home and draw a nice, warm bubble bath to relax in. Taking time out of our day for some self-care is essential to our minds and bodies, and do you know what the most popular product for self care is?

    BATH BOMBS!

    (Well.. and other health and beauty products like perfumes and soaps and salt scrubs, but those aren't as fun to say.)

    Bath and Beauty products swept the nation in 2017, and still seem to be the lush new luxury of today. People love to have clean skin that's been exfoliated with natural herbs and minerals, and love to smell like a freshly picked bouquet of flowers.

    We've just recently had two new releases on making your own set of fresh and natural beauty products. Imagine making your own perfect bath bomb or face wash or even your own beauty products like perfume and lip balm! It would sure save you a trip to the store, where you would buy processed products full of chemicals and unnecessary dyes. Check out some of the amazing health and beauty items you can make from home!

    Sparkle Fizz Bath Bombs - Glittering and Gorgeous

    Sparkle Fizz Bath Bombs - SKU # 7397

    Beauty Products Glittering Green Geode From Sparkle Fizz Bath Bombs

    Bath bombs are made up of minerals and oils to help soothe and exfoliate your skin when taking a bath. Plus, watching it dissolve in water is half the fun! This book gives you some great recipes for bath bombs, and gorgeous bath bombs at that! You can create some of the coolest looking bath bombs around, with all natural ingredients like coconut oil and sweet almond oil, citrus, and vanilla. Some even look good enough to eat (but please don't, no one wants a repeat of the tide pod challenge). Here is a window into some of the bath bombs recipes that are in the book.

    screen-shot-2018-07-02-at-9-16-44-am Sparkle Fizz Bath Bombsscreen-shot-2018-07-12-at-10-30-55-amscreen-shot-2018-07-02-at-9-16-54-am

    Any of these interest you? I know that Latte one in particular seems extra soothing. With these easy to execute recipes, you'll never have to trouble yourself with store-bought bath bombs again!

     

    Home Apothecary - Natural Beauty From Home

    Make Home Apothecary - SKU # 7397

    This is for the nature buffs who love to make their own products. This book is jam-packed with loads of homemade natural scrubs and salts. From homemade bath bombs, to "Tub Tea", this is the go-to book for self sufficient and natural beauty. Here's a little window into what you can learn to craft from this book.

    Beauty Products Natural Beauty Collage From Give & Make Home Apothecary

    As you can see, there is a wide range of what you can create. From Bath Melts to perfume, you'll never get bored with what you see in this recipe compilation. The book is also a useful resource of health benefits to these projects, as well as proper procedures while creating these products.  You'll feel safe creating the materials it tells you to, knowing that there are safety regulations and tips to guide you along the way. With easy to follow Instructions (with pictures), there is no reason to not buy this book and try out a few projects.

    Plus, just look at some of these beautiful products you can make.

    Beauty Products screen-shot-2018-07-12-at-11-29-45-am screen-shot-2018-07-12-at-11-29-36-am screen-shot-2018-07-12-at-11-29-24-am screen-shot-2018-07-12-at-11-29-12-am screen-shot-2018-07-12-at-11-29-02-am

    My personal Favorites, though, are these two!

    Natural Beauty Products screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-8-30-43-am

    The idea of having an all natural perfume and smelling like your favorite flower seems so neat! Also, Tub Tea? How creative! It's also better than dropping all of the salts  in the bath and moving the petals out of your face when you're trying to soak. It's off to the side and convienient!

    Extras... Accessories!

    Aromatherapy Necklace From Aromatherapy Jewelry with Lava Beads Aromatherapy Necklace From Aromatherapy Jewelry with Lava Beads

    Aromatherapy Jewelry with Lava Beads - SKU # 7353

    You didn't think I would just leave the blog post at this, would you? We always have something special at the end!

    You can make home made aromatherapy accessories with one of our favorite craft books, Aromatherapy Jewelry with Lava Beads! Relax anywhere you go as yo can smell your favorite scent on your new favorite accessory. Here's what you can make with our designs:

    Beauty Accessories screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-9-08-13-am screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-9-08-38-am screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-9-08-59-am screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-9-09-07-am screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-9-09-17-am screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-9-07-29-am screen-shot-2018-07-13-at-9-07-11-am Aromatherapy

    The diffusers and porous beads will make sure that your oils will last a very long time, and these simple and classic designs will go with anything you wear!

     

    Now you have some solid ideas to start your own personal day spa! try out these projects and give them to someone who would love it (or keep it for yourself, we won't judge you if you're selfish with your spa products).

    If you do try out one of these projects, share it to our social pages! We love to see what's going on in your studio.

     

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

  • Mandala

    Stuck at home today due to snow storm. I think it will melt by tomorrow so I will not go stir crazy. To help the day move along faster I covered up under my favorite fleece blanket, pulled out my stack of Leisure Arts coloring books, and colors. I chose the new Mandala coloring books that Leisure Arts just released. I used my florescent color pencils, metallic color pencils, and glittery gel pens that I found at Barnes and Noble.

    IMG_8825

    The Mandala is very therapeutic. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (and this is abbreviated), the Mandala is a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol and it is often a symbolic pattern usually in the form of a circle. When coloring a Mandala, I like to pick 7 colors and repeat them in order. I find that when I color it relaxes me.

    The hardest part in coloring is picking colors and deciding what materials I want to use to color: color pencils, color pens, crayons, and color gel-pens. I will tell you this, I used a violet shade color pencil to color a part of this Mandala and I had difficulty keeping it sharpened. My lead kept breaking because I had dropped the pencil and it broke the lead into several pieces inside. So try not to drop your colored pencils. One more thing, when coloring a Mandala work inside out so nothing smears. So go bring out your inner child and color. Ask your friends over for a coloring party. Put on your favorite music and get your coloring on. Have fun playing with your box of crayons!

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