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  • Color Me (& You!) Relaxed

    We've been saying it forever: coloring helps ease anxiety and brings on much-needed relaxation. Coloring is like meditation, putting everything in your mind aside to focus on one fun and simple task.

    Many studies have backed us up, including this one from Forbes—Feeling Anxious? Scientists Recommend Coloring. This study sought to find out how coloring affects the way people think. Conclusion...coloring reduced anxiety and improved mindfulness.

    So, we recommend coloring early and often. It's an easy way to escape from stress, and you can do it while at home, on the bus, at the office, just about anywhere. Coloring is a welcome and familiar relief to the ups and downs we encounter on the daily. And bonus! Coloring can result in actual products that you can use yourself or as gifts for others.

    Kaleidoscope Wonders COLOR ART for everyone #6707

    The Cleveland Clinic explains 3 Reasons Adult Coloring Can Actually Relax Your Brain:

    1. "Attention flows away from ourselves." A simple act like coloring takes your attention away from your worries.
    2. "It relaxes the brain." As your thoughts focus on just one thing, your brain tends to relax.
    3. "Low stakes makes it pleasurable." You have the freedom to be ass messy or neat as you want, and even if you mess up, there are no real consequences. A wonderful escape from the usual demands!

    Now that you know how beneficial coloring can be, let's take a look at some more beautifully colored pages:

    The Colors Of Nature a Coloring Book and Natural Journal #7518

    Happy Times Coloring Book - 32 Flora and Fauna Designs to Color #7591

    Floral Wonders COLOR ART For Everyone #6706

    AAAAaaaahhhh. We feel relaxed already.

    The free spirit in you will love the flexibility that comes with coloring. You get to choose all the colors, and your own types of instruments. Grab your favorite coloring book and instruments, get comfortable and get coloring. If you're in the market for new instruments to color with, we have a few options for you:

    48 Pack Colored Pencils #48064, 24 Pack Gel Pens #48066, 36 Pack Double Ended Markers #48065

    Show us what you're coloring! Be sure to post your pics on social media and tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts, so we can all see what you're creating!

    -Leisure Arts  

  • National Craft Month: Celebrate the Season With New DIY Projects

    Hello Makers! It's that time of year again, March is National Craft Month. Can you believe it's springtime already? With 2020 flying by at high speeds, we're taking a moment to focus on one of our favorite holidays. Crafting and DIY projects are not only a great way to be creative and expand your home décor and wardrobe, but also create opportunities to give to loved-ones or those in need, be more mindful and mentally healthy, and practice purposeful self-care. Take a look at some of our favorite books and projects to celebrate National Craft Month with!

    Crochet

    Amigurumi An Adorable Collection - Book 7573

    Heroes and animals and monsters, oh my! With Amigurumi An Adorable Collection, you'll be led through this Japanese crochet style with ease. Whether you want to add some whimsy to your wardrobe or give the gift of courage to a child in your life, there's an animal scarf, superhero doll, and other fun projects that will fulfill all your crochet desires. And since it's National Craft month and you have so many projects to get through, this book is also available as a file download.

    Knit

    Stitch a Garden - Book 75677

    Plants have been shown to boost one's mood, but why have real ones that die when you can create your own garden full of everlasting beauty? In Stitch a Garden, you can grow your knitting skills and discover 11 easy, new home décor projects, no green thumb required. And if you really want to go green, this book is available as a download. Step-by-step instructions, vibrant photos, and evergreen ideas will fill your home and crafting month with crafted beauty.

    Macramé

    Mini Maker Plant Hanger Macramé Kit - #49795

    If you're looking to add a little boho flair to your home while also creating something functional, then this Mini Maker kit is for you. Get groovy with this retro craft project. The Mini Maker Arrow Plant Hanger Macramé Kit comes with a 10.5" decorative arrow, lots of cording, and easy-to-follow instructions to get you pointed in the right direction the whole way through. Your new plant hanger will make the perfect wall accent for your home or a heartfelt gift for a plant lover in your life.

    Stitchery

    Free Spirit Stitching - Book 7228

    Take this month to manifest a free mind with Free Spirit Stitching. These eight boho designs will get you feeling creative and calm in no time. Novice stitchers will gain valuable knowledge and experience, while experienced stitchers can breathe easy as you breeze through these gorgeous designs. The foundational embroidery stitches are clearly explained and put into patterns that will have people begging to know where you got such a trendy, well made accessory. From wall hangings and pillows to tote bags and clutches, there's a design for everyone in this book. You can even download it for more ease.

    Mini Maker Green Fields Embroidery Stitch Kit - #49813

    Dip your toe into the soothing waters of embroidery. With the Mini Maker Green Fields Embroidery Stitch Kit, you'll get the perfect introduction to embroidery without having to commit yourself to buying all the materials separately. This kit comes with an 8" hoop, 21 gorgeous floss colors, stamped fabric, a needle, and easy-to-follow instructions. There's no easier way to explore a new craft while making a tranquil piece for hanging on the wall or giving to a friend.

    Paint

    Happy Abstracts - Book 7412

    Unleash your inner artist and discover how freeing and fun painting can be. Happy Abstracts is a how-to guide for true beginners and seasoned artists alike. You'll be guided through six different projects and encouraged to embrace fearlessness and keep an open mind. There's no need to feel like something has to be perfect if you're the one creating it, and this book helps take that pressure away. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with your art and show the world what you're made of. As an added reminder, there are 14 vibrant pull-out cards to lift you up when you need a boost. They also make great cards for friends and family who need to be reminded of the magic they bring to the world.

    Woodburning

    Modern Woodburning - Book 7524

    Wood just got even cooler. In Modern Woodburning, you can learn the basics of pyrography, the art of decorating wood and other natural materials by burning them. Nine skill-building projects will give you all the woodburning basics, as well as inspiring you to create your own designs. Since this book is downloadable, it's easy to learn all about this red-hot craft. Blaze a trail and get your friends and family involved!

    Diamond Painting

    5D DIY Diamond Art Advanced Wildflowers Kit - #52515

    If a little sparkle never hurt anybody, then a lot is probably good for you! Dazzle yourself and your loved ones with a diamond dotting creation like this one. 5D DIY Diamond Painting Advanced Wildflowers Kit will be a crafting experience unlike anything else. The individually placed gems come together to create a magnificent piece of wall art. You'll be the envy of all who see it, but they don't have to know how soothing and fun it was to make. The kit contains a printed fabric piece, a stylus, a tray, a wax caddy, a comfort grip, color-sorted gems, and easy-to-follow instructions. It may look like you have to be a master, but it'll actually be a walk in the park to complete.

    There's no better time than now to start a new hobby or craft, so pick up one of these projects and get making! We would love to know why you craft and what your big project is for this month! Be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts too, so we can see how you're celebrating National Craft Month.

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • 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!

     -----------------------

    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

  • Baby Crochet Inspired by Nature

    Crochet patterns for baby may be plentiful, but few baby crochet designs are as adorable as those in Nature's Gifts for Baby.  Today's Guest Blogger is Sara Leighton.  Sara designed the whimsical patterns you'll find inside of Nature's Gifts for Baby and she's here today to talk about her inspiration for them.  Welcome Sara!

    Hello, there!  I’m Sara Leighton, designer of the patterns in Leisure Arts' recent publication Nature's Gifts for Baby.  I’ve been a part of the wonderful crochet design community for several years now.  This is my first book and it gives me such joy to see it in print.  Many thanks go out to Leisure Arts for working with me and bringing this project to life.

    Nature's Gifts for Baby Front Cover Nature's Gifts for Baby Front Cover

    I’d love to tell you a little bit about the inspiration for each baby set.  There are seven sets in the book, each inspired by the incredible beauty of the natural world.  I love the thought of sweet little babies being all wrapped up in my designs!  What a compliment to have my designs invited into others’ lives as they celebrate their own little gifts of nature.  I’d also like to share some tips for customization for those crocheters who are particularly adventurous.

     

    Coniferous Set

    Coniferous Set Coniferous Set

    Forests are full of life and magic, just like babies!  I wanted to celebrate those precious moments with a hat and blanket influenced by the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest.  I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of my life and thus have been fortunate enough to have its gorgeous forests surround me and inspire me.

    Custom Tip: Make the blanket in any size by starting with any multiple of 6 stitches plus 3.  A larger blanket might mean a big forest of tree appliqués lining the bottom!  Remember that you’ll need more yarn if you’re making a larger blanket.

     

    Starry Set 

    Starry Set Starry Set

    The night sky has captured our imaginations and inspired many stories across different cultures.  The simple stitches and crisp details of this space-inspired set make it shine.  Truth be told, I was inspired to design this set because I am a space fanatic in my daily life.  It’s a good thing that I work as Campus Manager of a small private school, because working with young people helps me to get away with wearing my space dress, space leggings, space skirt, space scarf, and space earrings (though not all at once)!

    Custom Tip: Change one of the constellations to the baby’s star sign to make the set more personal. You could even write the little one’s name or initials in the stars!

     

    Fox Set 

    Fox Set Fox Set

    With a flash of bright orange, this sweet little fox set steals your heart.  I wanted to conjure thoughts of playful forest friends in soft snowfall with this whimsical project.  Foxes are fairly trendy these days — and for good reason!  They are totally adorable and irresistibly mischievous.

    Custom Tip: If springtime strikes your fancy, replace the off-white in the blanket with green.  You could also add a bow to the fox for a more feminine look.

     

    Seedling Set

    Seedling Set Seedling Set

    It’s so fulfilling watching the next generation be born, grow up, and reach their potential. This is a crisp, sweet baby set that seeks to recognize the joy babies bring to our lives as they blossom and change.  This set was inspired by a class activity that I enjoyed when I was in first grade.  We got to explore sunflowers at various stages of their development.  I never forgot the excitement I felt learning all about how living things grow and change.

    Custom Tip: Frame the panels instead of joining them to create unique nursery decor.  You could also make pillows out of them to add some fun to a favorite chair.

     

    Sunrise Set

    Sunrise Set Sunrise Set

    Mr. Golden Sun shines down on baby in the form of these bright, sunny hexagon motifs.  I like that you can work them up in your spare moments and soon you’ll have a beautiful set for your wee one.  When I was a very young one, under 5, I lived in sunny California.  This set is a tribute to that early and warm part of my life, my own sunrise.

    Custom Tip: The size of this blanket is easy to customize; simply craft more or fewer motifs.  You may even want to experiment with different hexagon arrangements.  If you’d like a larger blanket, be sure to factor in more yarn.

     

    Water Lilies

    Water Lilies Set Water Lilies Set

    This set was inspired by Monet’s paintings which reflect the simple beauty of a quiet pond.  I have a huge amount of respect for art, especially impressionism, and Monet’s paintings have always been among my favorites.  I finally saw a few in person a few years ago; I cried with happiness.

    Custom Tip: Monet created over 200 paintings in the Water Lilies series, with no two being completely alike. Place your lily pads and flowers however you desire to create your own unique version. Since variegated yarn is used for this set, no two sets will look quite the same.

     

    Raindrops Set

    Raindrops Set Raindrops Set

    Rain refreshes the earth, bringing water to thirsty plants and animals.  This cool set is a great way to play in puddles - without getting wet!  It rains a lot of the time where I live.  I love it!  The rain brings everything to life.

    Custom Tip: The cloud appliqués are very versatile. You can add as many or as few as you like to your set. Stitch letters onto them, stuff them to turn them into a matching mobile.  The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity. 

    Thanks Sara for your keen insights into the incredibly cute baby crochet designs in Nature's Gifts for Baby. You can find Sara everyday at her blog: Illuminate Crochet.  

    Have a great day!

    -Veronica

  • Quilting & Sewing Gifts For Men

    Top Gifts To Quilt & Sew Men

    Finding great quilting and sewing ideas for men can be hard, but we've got you covered. Whether the man you need a gift for is a lover of sports, fishing, hunting, or just spending cozy nights on the couch, he will love to get these gifts!

    1. A Quilt Fit For A Man Cave: This sports themed quilt is perfect for a hockey lover. Great as a wall hanging in the living room or laid over his favorite chair. Get started on great, masculine quilts with Man Cave Quilts.

    Sports Quilt For Men

     

    2. A Game To Play: Create this fun set - a quilt, pillows, and a wall hanging that acts as a game board too! He will love the idea of bringing the quilt out of the bedroom and into the den for game night, plus it will be a fun new holiday tradition to bond and play checkers together! Create this great gift for the guy on your list with Butterfly At The Crossroads ePattern.

    Quilt Checkerboard For Men

     

    3.  A Quilt For The Outdoorsman: Does he love hunting, or just love being outdoors? Then this blanket will be great for him. Choose realistic patterns to create a vibrant, special quilt he will love to show his friends! Get started on this great gift now with Best of Fons & Porter.

    Nature Quilt For Men

     

    4.  A Wall Hanging For The Fisherman: If he loves fishing, then he will love this thoughtful wall hanging. You'll love making them, too - these mini quilts are perfect quick projects to showcase your skills or just to celebrate the love of quilts. Create this gift he will love with Best of Fons & Porter: Quilt Lover's Gifts.

    Wall Hanging For Men

     

    5.  An Easygoing Flannel Quilt: Join the recycling revolution - Flannel shirts are so soft to wear, and they make an even cozier blanket! Get with the guy on your list to turn his old flannel shirts into something new, or stop by your local charity shops for materials. He will love the special, yet timeless design from Easy Timeless Quilts.Flannel Quilt For Men

    6.  Pillows Inspired By Nature: These pillows will be great for adding a nice touch to his favorite room in the house. Men who love nature and hunting will enjoy the fun designs with deer and trees, plus they'll be great pillows for naps! Create these easy-to-sew fleece pillows with Fleece at Home.

    Deer Pillow For Men

     

    Need More Great Gift Ideas?

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