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  • How to Master a New Craft or Skill

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ―Mahatma Gandhi

    Have you always to start something new and weren't sure where to start? Whether you want to learn how to crochet, how to knit, how to paint, how to tackle a new stitch, the list below gives you the basics on how to become a pro at your new creative endeavor:

    1. Grab a how-to book with expert instruction to guide you step by step
    2. Gather all the materials you will need. Ex: yarn, needle, paint, pen, etc.
    3. Start small with swatches, samples, small projects, etc. before tackling the harder stuff
    4. Practice your new skill regularly—that will help to make it almost automatic
    5. Sit back and revel in your new creations!

    In the next few paragraphs, we'll explore several of our books that come with easy-to-follow instructions and progressive projects for you to learn how to conquer new stitches, new skills, and entirely new crafts.

    Great Balls of Yarn: Learn Crochet or Expand Your Skills

    If you’re new to crochet or if you want to learn a new crochet skill or two, we've got you hook, yarn and fun with these easy-to-follow books! Learn how to crochet with ease and enjoyment.

    The progressive projects of The Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners take you from easy to more difficult with easy-to-follow instructions and patterns. You'll love learning how to crochet with Marly Bird, and the resulting creations are cute AND functional!

    Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners #7512

    You'll be hooked on crochet with Learn to Crochet with Custom Hooks! We'll supply you with a hook designed especially for beginners, so it will be extra easy to learn how to crochet any of the adorable accessories for kids or adults.

    Learn to Crochet with Custom Hooks #6381

    This eye-catching stitch will croc your world! The Beginner's Guide to Crocodile Stitch is the perfect "how-to" to add an eye-catching layer of "scales" to your crochet projects. You'll be surprised how easy it is to learn with our step-by-step instructions, photographs, and videos. On a scale (see what we did there?) of 1-10, this book is definitely a 10!

    Beginner's Guide to Crocodile Stitch #6377

    If you adore crocheting and love the look of knits, you won't want to miss out on this hybrid! Award-winning teacher Kim Guzman walks you through the basics with clear photos and friendly instructions in the Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet.

    Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet #5599

    We wouldn't toy with you—your children, grandchildren, friends' children (we could go on and on), will love these toys! And with Learn to Crochet Toys, you'll be a crocheting wizard before you can say "Bodacious ballerina begs you to begin"!

    Learn to Crochet Toys #6188

    Life's a Stitch: Learning Knitting is Fun and Relaxing, with Beautiful Results

    Don't be at your knit's end learning a new skill. Let our pros guide you through a basketful of knitting projects with ease and joy.

    Designer Marly Bird walks you every step of the way through how to knit multiple projects in the Complete Knit Collection. You'll not only create awesome gifts—or keepers—you'll gain the skills to be a knitting pro. From trendy dishcloths to a beautiful shawl or afghan, this collection has got you covered. 

    Chunky Pillow, Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Market Bag, Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Learn beautiful mosaic knitting with The Beginner's Guide To Mosaic Knitting. Create complex-looking fabrics with only one color per row, with yarn guru Melissa Leapman guiding you through.

    The Beginner's Guide To Mosaic Knitting #7492

    Come in first lace learning how to create gorgeous purses, doilies, scarfs, and more, with the Beginner's Guide to Lace Knitting.

    Beginner's Guide to Lace Knitting #6351

    Not only will this book teach you everything you need to know to make several styles of hats, it includes a kit with everything you need to knit one complete hat. Get started right away without worrying about the materials. If you've been wanting to learn how to knit hats, Knit Hat Book Plus Kit is for you.

    Craftastic New Hobbies That Are Easy to Learn

    Fun for all levels, Modern Punch Needle takes a modern twist on the traditional needle craft. The step-by-step instructions and 14 progressively harder projects take you from beginner to pro. Once you learn the ins and outs, you'll want to check out this post featuring our newest punch needle kits.

    Modern Punch Needle #7513

    Channel your inner pyromaniac and learn how to leave your mark (on wood, of course) with Modern Woodburning - 9 Skill-Building Projects for Learning Pyography You'll really enjoy blazing this trail!

    Modern Woodburning #7524

    We wouldn't macra-stray you wrong—Get Started In Macramé has 11 gorgeous wall hangings and other projects for beginners to learn how to master this craft from yesteryear. We can also help you out with the supplies you'll need.

    Get Started In Macrame #7217

    Paint happy thoughts with Happy Abstracts - Fearless Painting for True Beginners. Stroke-by-stroke how-to photo guides take you through six colorful and abstract projects, sure to be a centerpiece of your home décor.

    Happy Abstracts - Fearless Painting for True Beginners #7412

    The World IS your oyster with Hand Lettering - Great for Weddings & Other Occasions. Your creations can be just as spectacular as you see in stores, or on Pinterest and Instagram. Artist Kathryn Erney will teach you several styles—each building on the last—and before you know it, you’ll have mastered those pen strokes and will be making beautiful pieces!

    Hand Lettering - Great for Weddings & Other Occasions #7326

    So whether you want to learn how to knit, how to crochet, or learn a new craft all together, our experts take you step-by-step through the process. Whether you're a beginner or want to enhance your repertoire, at least one of these books is perfect for you. When you're finished, post your photo/s on social media and be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts, so we can all enjoy your journey as well!  

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Fresh and New Designs to Keep You Creating

    We've got plenty of new fun, stitching, crocheting, and crafting for you. Read on and we'll share a few of our favorite kits, which include everything you'll need to create to your heart's content.

    We’ve got a lot of new stitching kits for you to try out! 

    You'll be stitching until the cows come home with these kits — they come in 4, 6, and 8 inch, and have everything you need including a hoop, needle, pre-printed fabric or felt, needle, floss and instructions.

    Rose to the occasion with our new English Roses Stitch Kit.

    Mini Maker English Roses Stitch Kit - 10 Pieces - Includes Hoop, pre-printed Fabric, Needle, Floss and Instructions #52622

    These Teal Leaves will bring you restfulness as well as mental, spiritual balance. You won’t want to leaf this project behind.

    4-inch Teal Leaves Stitch Kit - 7 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Stamped Felt, Needle, Floss and Instructions #50753

    In the past, yellow poppies represented wealth, fertility, strength, or even protection from evil spirits. We love them because they are full of cheer and color, which you can bring into your world with our Poppy Stitch Kit.

    6-inch Poppy Stitch Kit - 16 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Stamped Felt, Needle, Floss and Instructions #50924

    “A flower blooming in the desert proves to the world that adversity, no matter how great, can be overcome.” 
    ― Matshona Dhliwayo

    Bring this sentiment into your home with our Desert Flower Stitch Kit.

    6-inch Desert Flower Stitch Kit - 9 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Stamped Felt, Needle, Floss and Instructions #50857 

    Our Coffee Please Stitch Kit is grounds for another cup, and some time stitching.

    6-inch Coffee Please Stitch Kit - 11 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Stamped Felt, Needle, Floss and Instructions #51452 

    No need to overthink this — you must create this piece with our Hold On Stitch Kit.

    8-inch Hold On Stitch Kit - 14 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Stamped Felt, Needle, Floss and Instructions #50767

    A pocket full of posies is the perfect addition to your wall. That can quckly be arranged with our Posey Stitch Kit.

    8-inch Posey Bouquet Stitch Kit - 11 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Stamped Felt, Needle, Floss and Instructions #52621

    Macramake Something Beautiful

    Hitch a ride on the Macramé train with this Macramé Feather kit. It's easier than you think, with our expert step-by-step instructions. It will fill any room with a touch of class and comfort.

    Macramé Feather Wall Hanging - Includes Wood Dowel, 28 yds cord & instructions #50869

    Get Hooked on Amigurumi

    Animal lovers are bound to be hooked by our adorable Crochet Amigurumi Kits. We've got an Elephant, Giraffe, Monkey, and Lion. If you're not keen on animals, we've also got our quirky Gigi Girly, and our superhero Marvin Mega Boy.

    Giraffe Crochet Amigurumi Kit #50935; Lion Crochet Amigurumi Kit #50939; Monkey Crochet Amigurumi Kit #50937; Elephant Crochet Amigurumi Kit #50936; Marvin Mega Boy Crochet Amigurumi Kit #50943; Gigi Girly Crochet Amigurumi Kit #50930

    This Punch Line Is No Joke

    Our Punch Needle Kits take a modern twist on this traditional needle craft. It is fun for all levels, and the results will fit in beautifully with your décor.

    Make waves with our Big Waves kit, and bring their soothing, restful rhythm to your favorite room.

    Big Waves Punch Needle Kit - 9 Piece Decorative Punch Needle Project #52613

    Mountain Waves will take you to new heights, where the view is great.

    Mountain Waves Punch Needle Kit - 9 Piece Decorative Punch Needle Project #51095

    If you're more down to earth, our Flowers kit will suit your fancy!

    Flowers Punch Needle Kit - 9 Piece Decorative Punch Needle Project #51094

    The only problem with so many new items is which one you'll pick first! These will bring joy, calm, and appreciation whether you hang them on your wall or gift them to your favorite people. We'd love to know which you pick and how it turns out! Don't forget to post on your social media channels and tag @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts.

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Make Something New for May-ker Month

    It’s May-ker Month at Leisure Arts, and we have some great kits and books to inspire the maker in you. Creating things by hand not only allows you to express your creativity, it sets free even more creativity that’s hiding just beneath the surface. Read on to find just the right project — or eight — below. 

    These Roses Have No Thorns

    An English rose brings to mind delicate charm and natural beauty — this pattern is no exception. Our Mini Maker English Roses Stitch Kit has everything you need to create these beautiful flowers, including a hoop, pre-printed fabric, needle, floss, & instructions. Calming and modern, this piece will be a beautiful addition to your world. So stop, smell the flowers, & stitch the roses!

    Mini Maker English Roses Stitch Kit - 10 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Printed Fabric, Needle, Floss, and Instructions #52622

    Mini Maker English Roses Stitch Kit - 10 Pieces - Includes Hoop, Pre-Printed Fabric, Needle, Floss, and Instructions #52622  

    Don’t Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill, Make It Out of Yarn

    Punch needle embroidery can be traced way back to Ancient Greece, from decorating religious vestments to passing the time on long sea voyages making rugs. It remains popular today and fits in beautifully with our modern-day decors. Punch needle embroidery is fun for all levels, and results in a highly textured design, often described as an oil painting with yarn. Mountain Waves will be your next masterpiece, to gift or to hang on your favorite wall. 

    Mini Maker Mountain Waves Punch Needle Kit - 9 Piece Decorative Punch Needle Project #51095

    Mini Maker Mountain Waves Punch Needle Kit - 9 Piece Decorative Punch Needle Project #51095

    Iloominate Your Life

    Our Bracelet Loom makes easy work of creating fashionable and fun bracelets. The Mini Maker Bracelet Loom comes with a loom, needle, comb & instructions. Your creations will make cherished gifts for family or friends, or will also look great on your own wrist! Whatever you choose to do with your creations, you’ll be over the loom with this kit! 

    Bracelet Loom - #50974

    Everything you need to make your own face masks

    Who knew a mask could be so simple to make? Our Mask Kit has enough supplies to sew 2 washable handmade masks, with a pocket to hold removable filters. A formable wire nose piece & elastic ear loops helps the mask conform to the contours of your face. The ear tie can be knotted to fit faces of all sizes, and it's 100% cotton. Reminder: This is not an N-95 respirator and the capability for protection is unknown. Filters not included.

    Mask Kit - #52873

    Mask Kit - #52873

    Weave Your Worries Behind With Macramé

    This craft from the 70s seems to have quite comfortably weaved its way into 2020. If you’re a knitter or crocheter, macramé will appeal to you. If you’re new to crafting, learning curve macramé is small. Plus, it blends nicely in any decor. The Mini Maker Macramé Feather Wall Hanging has everything you need to complete this project, one weave at a time. 

    Mini Maker Macramé Feather Wall Hanging #50869

    Mini Maker Macramé Feather Wall Hanging #50869

    Knit Your Ordinary Knitting Projects

    Have you ever thought of knitting a journal cover? Or a handy yoga mat bag? Even if you have never knitted before and aren't sure where to start, or if you’re a seasoned knitter looking for quick yet innovative projects, the Complete Knit Collection is for you! Designer Marly Bird walks you step-by-step through each project, with progressive projects to take you from easy all the way to pro-crafter status!

    Journal Cover; Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Journal Cover; Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Yoga Mat Bag; Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Yoga Mat Bag; Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Cozy up to the Ultimate Crochet Collection

    If knitting isn’t your speed, but you like the idea of progressive projects and easy-to-follow instructions, Marly Bird does it again with the Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners. And talk about cute and functional! Face scrubbies are all the rage for their gentle texture, durability, and great looks. And, we can’t get enough of this cowl — perfect for staying cozy at home or for the office where you’re never quite sure what the temperature will be. Both projects, along with the entire book, are a great intro into this addicting craft, or choose from the large variety to test your skills from easy to more difficult. 

    Face Scrubbies; Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners #7512

    Face Scrubbies; Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners #7512

    Oversized Cowl: Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners #7512

    Oversized Cowl: Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners #7512

    We're Resin the Bar With This DIY 

    Express your creativity and make something beautifully unique. Our DIY Resin Pour Kit will allow you to create your own one-of-a-kind work of art. From trays to customized coasters, these projects will elevate your home decor and/or gift-giving! With the step-by step instructions, you’ll easily learn to mix and pour purple, gold, and white to create washes of rich glossy finishes. We'll share details on how to resin pour on a cheese board, tray, pedestal table, and coasters, and we'll give you resin-pouring basics, tips, and a resin estimator. We’re confident this kit will resin-ate with you! 

    Resin Kit #51202

    Resin Kit #51202

    These projects are sure to inspire the maker in you. The more you make, the more you (and those around you) are inspired to make more, and the circle of creativity just gets wider and wider. We'd love to see what your making, so don't forget to post on your social media channels and tag @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts.

    -Leisure Arts Team

    It’s May-ker Month at Leisure Arts, and we have several kits and books to inspire the maker in you.

  • COLOR MATCH: BACK TO NATURE! EXPLORING BEHR'S 2020 COLOR OF THE YEAR

    Greetings makers! We are back at it again exploring another exciting new color of the year - BEHR's Back to Nature (S340-4)! This is a calming and centering soft green that evokes revitalization and balance. It pairs well with our last colors of the year: Naval chosen by Sherwin Williams, Chartreuse from Etsy, and Classic Blue by Pantone. BEHR picked Back to Nature to bring a sense of the outdoors into your everyday life. It is an elemental color that engages the senses. We are here to inspire you to incorporate Back to Nature into your creative and crafty lives, so let's get to it!

    Behr - Color Trends 2020

    BEHR'S 2020 Color of the Year - Back to Nature (S340-4)

    Let's kick things off with why BEHR chose Back to Nature as their color of the year for 2020. BEHR knows that our everyday routines can become monotonous and disconnected from the natural world. They aim to bring the inspiration and rejuvenation of the outdoors back to us by infusing it into our daily lives through color. We love this idea and can't think of a better way to do this than with our current selection of crafting books for our Makers! Breathe new life into your week by incorporating Back to Nature into your environment. How about a calming handmade afghan on your couch or a centering knitted scarf around your neck? Bring the gift of nature to your friends and family by creating a quilt or crocheted earrings infused with this soothing color. The possibilities are endless and we have highlighted some of our favorites below!

    CROCHET

    Green Willow Afghan - Easy Afghans #6725

    Who doesn't love to snuggle up with a tranquil and cozy afghan, especially one that you made yourself? With Easy Afghans #6725 you can do just that and envelope yourself with the BEHR 2020 color of the year Back to Nature. Easy Afghans presents you with seven simple crochet projects featuring Chetwynd Miters, Arundel Castle, Hearthside Coziness, Seaview, Icefall, Autumn Ridge, and Green Willow patterns. Each composition provides a step-by-step guide to creating exciting stitches and techniques. Choose from any one of Sharon Silverman's gorgeous designs from mitered squares and popular motifs to ripples, shells, woven plaid, or filet crochet. Play around with your creativity by choosing a heavier yarn to bring your homemade afghan a weighted feel inspiring calm and balance. How about a lighter fiber for a loftier touch? After a long day at work, treat yourself with the essence of the outdoors by wrapping your shoulders with this relaxing color. Or spoil your friends and family with the gift of comfort and serenity with these projects rated at the easy and easy plus skill level!

    Star Flower Earrings - Jewelry - 15 Beautiful Crochet Projects using Cotton Thread #7250

    Encourage revitalization into your wardrobe with these 15 easy and easy plus rated crochet designs to freshen up your jewelry boudoir. With 15 Beautiful Crochet Projects using Cotton Thread #7250 you can permeate even your accessories with the soothing green of Back to Nature! Each design calls for lace-weight crochet cotton (aka bedspread weight, size 10) and a size 7 steel crochet hook with many adding a fun twist using beads. Bring an elemental and grounding feel to your bijoux with these fun designs by Kristen Stoltzfus Clay including Hibiscus Necklace, Olive Earrings, Flower Brooch, Cameo Bracelet, Star Flower Earrings and much more! You don't have to be a jewelry making pro to crank out these fun and inspiring treasures for you or your loved ones. All projects featured provide approachable jewelry finishing instructions.

    KNIT

    Easy Slouch Hat - All Your Favorite Hats - 10 Crochet and Knit Hat Projects #75722

    The balancing green of Back to Nature can easily be incorporated into your new favorite knit and crochet hats! With All Your Favorite Hats - 10 Crochet and Knit Hat Projects #75722 you can captivate your senses by evoking the outdoors with BEHR's 2020 color of the year all while warming your noggin. We love these simple designs because they can inspire any maker at any skill level (including one intermediate style). Each project has the potential for sharing the centering color of soft green, in either knit or crochet, with everyone! How about the Boys Ribbed Hat for your son, Easy Slouch Hat for your teenager, Cables Bun Hat for you, Wildwood Hat for mom, and Gisburn Forest Hat for your best friend? Not only do the color of these hats bring the outdoors to us but we can go out and embrace nature with them! A win-win and a must have for your crafty repertoire.

    Casual Weekend Knits - 25 Go Anywhere Knit Projects #7373

    Designer Andi Javori brings you 25 exceptional knitting projects to inspire your artful side in Casual Weekend Knits - 25 Go Anywhere Knit Projects #7373. These fun and versatile patterns are rated basic and easy so you can be rocking your new Asymmetrical Shawl or Boot Cuffs within hours! Try making the Lace Fingerless Gloves and Shoulder Shrug in Back to Nature green to help center yourself throughout your busy day. How about a new purse, poncho, or headband to revitalize your style? We love these simple and adaptable projects because the sky is the limit on the possibilities they bring.

    WEAVING

    Learn to Weave - Create Stylish Woven Wall Art #56062

    Have you ever wanted to learn how to weave but don't know where to start? We have your solution right here with Learn to Weave - Create Stylish Woven Wall Art #56062! This laminated step-by-step trifold comes with approachable instructions, techniques, and full color illustrations to ease your way into the world of weaving. Bring the tranquil and grounding green of Back to Nature to your bathroom or bedroom walls with ease. Fill that empty wall space in your basement or office with colors that remind you to take a deep breath and center. Better yet, give the gift of this go-to weaving trifold to inspire your friends to try their hand at the simple pleasures weaving can bring.

    QUILT AND SEW

    Animal Farm Cat - Home Accessories Best of Sew News #6346

    Style up every room in your house with hand-crafted accessories that compliment your style! Home Accessories Best of Sew News #6346 can get you there. Start off with this adorable farm cat that can be used as a paper/picnic weight, pin cushion, or fun accent. Give the guest bedroom an inviting feel with the tufted satin throw. Brighten up the living room with personalized window treatments, Roman shades, and covered lampshades. The soothing green of Back to Nature pairs well with any of the 20+ easy and inspiring creations featured. Shouldn't your home be a place of sanctuary and escape? Create your calming and restorative space with your own unique approach.

    Sassy Stripes Quilt - Best of Fons and Porter Easy Quilts #5560

    Our final craft inspiration comes from the wonderful world of quilts! With Best of Fons and Porter Easy Quilts #5560 any quilter can get their creative fix on. We love the easy-to-follow instructions for these 31 make-in-a-weekend quilts. Infuse BEHR's 2020 color of the year into your new favorite go-to blanket to escape the noise and distraction of your everyday life. Check out how beautiful the Sassy Stripes Quilt came out with the natural elements evoked through Back to Nature! Each pattern features time-saving tips with simplified patchwork, larger blocks, strip-sets, and other shortcuts making this a great find for both beginners and advanced quilters looking for quick and satisfying projects. Each design features a lifestyle photograph, assembly diagram, step-by-step instructions, and complete materials list. Within just a few weekends you could deck out all of your favorite people who will relish under your cozy and peaceful works of art.

    There you go makers! A full set of inspirational designs and projects to fill your free time with fun and accessible creations. Now go out and incorporate the calming, grounding, and restorative BEHR 2020 color of the year Back to Nature into your life through the crafts we highlighted in this color exploration. We know you will wow us with your creativity and artful eyes so be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts!

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • These Projects Will Convince You That Macramé Is Your Craft Soulmate.

    Macramé!  It's an older craft that is making its way into the modern craft space, one weave at a time. I'll elaborate for the readers who saw the title of this post and asked themselves "What in the world is that?". The yarn work appeals to both knit and crochet lovers, because it falls into the middle of both widely popular crafts. Macramé is the act of knotting cord into unique and beautiful designs. It became a widely popular craft in the 70's, and we're just now seeing it make a comeback in 2018. Read on to learn all about the wonderful world of weaving!

     

    Getting Started : Easy Peasy Projects

    Macrame Woven Wall Hanging - Get Started in Macramé

    Since this craft marches to the beat of its own drum, there really isn't a large learning curve to mastering the technique. These projects from Getting Started in Macramé should help you hit the ground running when you dive into the world of weaving. The rustic appearance of the woven yarn brings a perfect balance of simple and sophisticated to your room decor, based on how intricate you want your design to be.

    Take the two examples below (still from Getting Started in Macramé). You have the beautiful wine red table runner (left) which has star-like woven trim, and a nice zig zag pattern in the middle, bringing a nice casual setting to the dining table. On the flip side, you have this delicate woven chandelier for your entryway (right), which elevates the space to make it look upscale. With Macramé, you can draw the line between casual and fancy however you want, the choice is ultimately yours. It's a choice that isn't offered often in yarn crafts, but with this particular one, you have more flexibility.

    Macrame Intricate Red Table Runner - Get Started In Macramé
    Macrame Woven White Chandelier - Get Started In Macramé

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Macramé Full of Twists and Turns

    Macramé Arrow Macramé Wall Hanging - A New Twist On Macramé

    Once you've gotten into the basics, you can get a little more creative, and we have the perfect intermediate book for you! A New Twist On Macrame brings you new projects that will help you hone your Macramé skills, and expand the amount of vintage style icons for your decor. Combine seasoned weaving techniques with with modern decorum, like this silver arrow woven wall hanging (above). Perfect to hold a cute trinket for your guests to marvel at, this home decor project brings versatility and style to that empty space above your desk.

    The projects in this book deal with activating the space above your head with planters and other free-standing mobile forms! Take these two projects below. Both hanging devices have intricately woven details, but have totally different functional uses. We've got the rich and vibrant green planter holder (left), delicate enough to soften up the look of a room, yet strong enough to hold a glass planter confidently in the air. On the right, we have the woven hanging shelf with more textured details at the top and bottom of the project, in a neutral white to make it a versatile and flexible piece for any area of the house!  The range of all three projects in this book is a testament to how much you can learn and create in this reimagined craft space.

    Macramé Forest Green Planter - A New Twist In Macramé
    Macramé Hanging Shelf - A New Twist On Macramé

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Macramé Is For Everyone!

    Macramé might seem a bit daunting at first when you see the time and effort it takes to weave one of these creations, especially if you are new to the idea. But we promise, it's just like knit and crochet! If you still think you need some time before you try your hand at the craft, try these transition books. These titles are the perfect half-step up into the weaving universe, and they're meant for yarn crafters who are looking for something new! We recommend these titles to anyone looking to dip their toes in the water before diving in.

    Crochet Wall Hangings

    Macramé screen-shot-2018-11-15-at-3-22-26-pm

    Learn To Make Woven Wall Hangings

    Macramé Macramé

    Learn To Weave

    Macramé

    Have you tried Macramé? If you have, share it on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! We'd love to see it.

    screen-shot-2018-11-15-at-4-04-59-pm

    Happy Weaving!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Here's 10 Ways You Can Show Your Love For I Love Yarn Day!

    Hey Makers! It's the most wonderful time of the year, and no, it's not Christmas. It's I Love Yarn Day on the 13th! A National Holiday that feels like Christmas to us seasoned craftsman. We get to show our appreciation for the fuzzy and fluffy crafts that have kept us company over generations. We use yarn for all types of crafts, for quick fixes, for the occasional birthday party, and for finishing touches. It's an all encompassing medium. But, have we ever shown yarn how much we care about it?

    If you haven't, that's okay. Make up for lost time! We've put together a list of ways that you can show your love for your multicolored and miscellaneous yarn bin tucked away in your closet at home (don't lie, we all have one).

     

    Knit Or Crochet For A Cause

    There's nothing better than doing something nice for others. Charity is the best way to lend a helping hand to people in need, and what better way to lend a helping had than with crafts? We can help you think of some great patterns with A Charity Guide for Crochetand A Charity Guide for Knitters, based on what craft you prefer. Just look at some of these patterns! A blanket with pockets? Insanity. Show your Love by trying out some of these daring designs.

    I Love Yarn Day Charity Guide For Crocheters
    Charity Guide For Knitters Charity Guide For Knitters
    Blanket With Pockets Charity Guide Crochet Blanket With Pockets Charity Guide Crochet

     

     

    Update Your Space With A Stylish Wall Hanging

    Vamp up your Home Decor situation with a new wall hanging! Yarn can create the most versatile styles of wall hangings, ranging from pristine and proper one color wall tapestries, to grungy and eclectic color blocked frocks. Learn to Make Woven Wall Hangings and Wall Hangings are two books that show a grand variety of wall decor patterns that you can choose from.

     

    Spiral Stem Wall Hanging Spiral Stem Wall Hanging
    Triangle Woven Wall Hanging Triangle Woven Wall Hanging

     

    Give The Gift Of Cozy Feet!  

    Ah, Fall. The best time for leg warmers, scarves, and fuzzy socks. Check out these rockin' awesome sock books that will keep your feet warmer than a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

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    More Fun Socks - Knit 

    screen-shot-2018-10-11-at-11-11-13-am

    Make Fun Socks - Crochet 

    screen-shot-2018-10-11-at-11-11-26-am

    Slippers for the Family

     

    Amigurumi – What’s Not To Love!

    Amigurumi! The craft everyone loves to make, but hates to pronounce. Homemade Amigurumi stuffed animals knock your traditional stuffed animals out of the ballpark when it comes to quality, and cuteness factor. I mean, just look at these adorable designs from two of our Leisure Arts books, Cute Amigurumi Monsters and Huggable Amigurumi

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    Make someone an adorable Amigurumi doll for I Love Yarn Day!

    Make Your I Love Yarn Day A Little Brighter With A Pom-Pom Project

    Pom-Poms aren't just for cheerleading! They can also be for home decor. There are a lot of things that you can make with a simple pom-pom, big or small. All it takes is l little bundle of yarn. Show your love for yarn projects by trying out some of these pom-pom patterns in Crazy About Pom-Poms

    screen-shot-2018-10-11-at-11-43-02-am Pom-Pom Dream Catcher - Crazy About Pom-Poms

     

     

    Make an old love new again with Macramé

    Macramé is one of those vintage crafts that is making a hard and fast comeback to the maker community. We have been seeing new Macramé projects all over our social sites, and it's hard not to notice beautiful projects like these ones from A New Twist On Macramé and Get Started in MacraméIf you haven't tried Macramé, give it a go for I Love Yarn Day!

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    Give the Gift of Imagination with creative toys and playsets

    Do you have a special little one to shop for? If you do, show your love for yarn by making the best baby toy patterns around! Busy Baby Boxes and Baby Stacks have some great homemade toy patterns that give your baby that extra nudge to learn and process.

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    Pass Your Love Of Yarn To Someone Special

    One thing that we need to keep alive is passing on our skills from generation to generation. Imagine what your children or grandchildren can come up with after learning great craft techniques from you and your maker friends! We've got you covered with Teach me to Crochetand Teach me to KnitThese books teach the foundations of two of our most popular crafts, and from there, that special someone you have in mind to teach can pick up on some of your styles!

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    If you have an itch to teach your skill or craft, don't forget about the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Instructor Program. The best way to show your love of yarn is to share your love of yarn, so sign up today!

    If you're interested in signing up to be a certified instructor, Click Here.

     

    Use up your scrap Yarn and make something new to love!

    If you have a scrap pile that needs to be taken care of in your maker space, then check out these patterns from Scrappy Afghans and Projects From Your Scrap Bag that use up those extra scraps that you can't seem to part with. Show your love of yarn by giving it a clean home!

    Scrappy Afghans Scrappy Afghans
    Scrappy Afghans More Projects From Your Scrap Bag

     

    Get Crafty With Yarn

    You don't have to knit or crochet to use up that favorite ball of yarn! Our book, Yarn Crafts is an exception to the typical yarn user, where you can get more creative with your projects and your yarns! Try making string art with just a few nails and wrapping methods, or give that frumpy vase some added flair to spice up your dining room table. The possibilities are endless!

    Rainbow Yarn Vases - Yarn Crafts Rainbow Yarn Vases - Yarn Crafts
    Ampersand String Art - Yarn Crafts Ampersand String Art - Yarn Crafts

    There are many other ways to celebrate I Love Yarn Day, but we're glad that we could give you just a few! If you have thought of something fun that we haven't thought of, comment below! We'd love to hear it. Be sure to share your projects that you have created for I Love Yarn Day on our Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram pages. We love to see what you guys are working on.

    Happy I Love Yarn Day!

    -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

  • 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. 

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    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.

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    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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