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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

  • COLOR MATCH: NAVAL! DIVING INTO SHERWIN WILLIAMS' 2020 COLOR OF THE YEAR

    Hello makers! We're back with another color of the year, this time with Sherwin-Williams' 2020 Color of the Year Naval Blue. Our last color study, Etsy's 2020 Color of The Year, Chartreuse, was quite a contrast to Pantone's 2020 Color of the Year, Classic Blue, and now we're bouncing right back. This choice was inspired by three main factors: embracing the next decade, Art Deco vibes, and biophilia.

    Sherwin-Williams Naval inspiration

    The changing of the decade creates space for changes within yourself, too. "The next 10 years pave the way for wellness of the mind, body and soul – a clean palette for self-nurturance." Literally, new decade, new me. Despite this decade being a way to clean your palette and start fresh, it's also a time to think back and draw on the trends of long ago, the last 20's to be exact. Naval brings together the power of nature that we see today with the manufactured opulence of the 1920s and Art Deco era. "This deep shade evokes a prominent sense of confidence that fuses timeless color with a fresh mix of natural materials and textures that bring navy blue into a new era." The focus on nature this year can be explained in one word: biophilia. Biophilia is basically the natural human instinct and need to connect with nature. As seen in the photo above, the addition of natural materials, like greenery and marble, infuse nature into everyday life, helping create a sanctuary of groundedness and self-assurance. All of these reasons tie together to make Naval a natural choice for 2020 Color of the Year. Keep reading to see how you can seamlessly integrate this hue into your life!

    Crochet

    Northern Lights Crochet - 10 Projects Inspired by Iceland's Beauty Book #75707

    Northern Lights Crochet- 10 Projects Inspired by Iceland's Beauty is a perfect way to integrate Naval Blue into your wardrobe. The moss-covered hillsides and rocky beaches bring the best of nature together, while the combination of stylish patterns and cozy LION BRAND® yarns bring classic and trendy together in your closet. Each project draws upon the beauty and style of Iceland, further amplifying the calming influence of nature in your life. The 10 designs range from Alida cowl and Vasti shawl to Viveca top and Carina cardigan. There's something inside for beginners and veterans alike, so it's never been easier to go Naval!

    Cotton Throws & Beach Blankets - Book #7119

    One of the easiest ways to spruce up your home and inject new colors and styles is with blankets and throws. Cotton Throws & Beach Blankets is a fantastic collection of six styles that are easy to crochet using cotton yarn. Perfect for indoors and out, these styles keep you cozy all year round while staying breezy and beautiful. Designs include Sailing, Slanted Stripes, Striped, and more that can be customized with any color of your choosing, making this an easy way to add a little Naval to your home. This great title is also available as a digital download.

    Knit

    Northern Lights Knits - 8 Icelandic Inspired Projects
    Book #75707

    We're back at it again with the Icelandic influences in our knit patterns! The patterns in Northern Lights Knits- 8 Icelandic Inspired Projects allow you to literally wrap yourself in natural beauty. Take inspiration from the depths of the Blue Lagoon to the soaring colors of the Northern Lights with seven easy and one intermediate project. LION BRAND® yarn and your choice of colors allow you to flawlessly add trendiness and nature to your wardrobe or the closet of a loved one. Projects like the Gerda pullover, Huldra hat, Joost pants, and Petrine cardigan all appeal to different styles and aesthetics, and add a Northern chic look to any outfit.

    Knit Cakery - 10 Fun Projects Using Yarn Cakes
    Book #75718

    You can have your cake and wear it too. With Knit Cakery- 10 Fun Projects Using Yarn Cakes, you'll find 10 easy-to-knit projects that are as fun as they are stylish. Many of the designs already incorporate a Naval-hued blue, but the best part about yarn crafts is the customization. Make it ombre, create your own color palette, or go with the instructions for guaranteed beauty. The shawls, hats, scarves, throws, and cardigans combine fabulousness and functionality to blend your existing style with this Color of the Year.

    Craft

    Quick & Simple Jewelry Beading for Beginners
    Book #7215

    If you were a cake, jewelry would be your frosting. Frost yourself in Naval Blue necklaces, bracelets, and earrings! Quick & Simple Jewelry Beading for Beginners is an easy way to lay the foundation of knowledge you need for making your own jewelry, while offering a simple way to fuse your style with the latest trends. This book is available in paperback or as a digital download, so you can take all 14 projects with you wherever you go! Create the All in Blue necklace for your mom, Western Sparkle bracelet for your best friend, the Bollywood earrings for yourself, or one of the other designs for someone in your life who deserve a little frosting. Some projects even include tips and tricks for making additional pieces.

    Modern Woodburning - 9 Skill-Building Projects for Learning Pyrography
    Book #7524

    What better way to get in touch with nature than with using wood? Pyrography is an exciting and easy way to create beautiful pieces that bring the outdoors into your home. Modern Woodburning- 9 Skill-Building Projects for Learning Pyrography is an essential guide for anyone who wants to learn a new skill or add a rustic touch to their home decor. Nine projects give you ample opportunity to put the principles of the craft to work. Projects like pineapple cutting board, family name sign, succulent coasters, and mountains on a wood cut will seamlessly blend with your existing decor, while adding a grounding feeling to your home. The book also includes 2 alphabets for optimal personalization. Choose between paperback and digital format for the most convenient lesson in woodburning you'll ever get.

    Quilt

    All Aboard - Baby Quilt Pattern Pack
    Book #7363

    Bundle your bundle of joy in this sweet quilt. All Aboard - Baby Quilt Pattern Pack is all the guidance you need to wrap your tot in warm textures and trendy colors. Take Naval Blue back to the sea as you jump aboard this easy, fat-quarter friendly quilt project. Step-by-step instructions, complete materials list, and gorgeous photographs take all the guesswork out of quilting. You'll be comfortable and confident knowing they feel the warmth of your love surrounding them.

    Easy Timeless Quilts
    Book #6653

    Remember the past with a project to last through future generations. Easy Timeless Quilts uses beautiful fabrics and patterns to add warmth to your home in a timeless way. You need only select the color palette, and might we suggest something in Naval Blue? Designs like Triple Irish Chain quilt, Wild Goose Chase quilt, and Sawtooth quilt blend with your current home aesthetic without dating it. Even beginners will find the instructions and assembly diagrams easy to follow, so everyone can add a nostalgic touch to their home, or gift a loved one with a treasured heirloom that was made with love.

    Sew

    9 Beat the Chill Scarves
    Book #7570

    Bring back the Roaring Twenties to your style when you sew these 9 Beat the Chill Scarves! Create them infusing the Color of the Year Naval to inspire empowerment and grounding confidence. Break the winter cold with their warmth and coziness all while evoking the elegance and class of an iconic decade. Choose from the variety of easy to follow patterns including scarves, cowls, and neck warmers. From the Buttonhole Scarf to the Zippered Cowl to the Fringed Infinity Scarf - your creativity will know no bounds! You can never add enough scarves to your wardrobe and the style choices of these winter warmers are endless.

    13 Simple to Sew Aprons
    Book #7609

    Express your unique style while keeping your clothes clean with these 13 Simple to Sew Aprons by designer Billie Steward! Whether you garden, cook, bake, craft, or harvest there is always room for both stylish and functional aprons in your closet. Choose from patterns like Retro Bib Apron to give your look a nod from the past, Summer Picnic Apron to inspire warmth and light in your favorite activities, or Bandanna Apron to add a country flare to your crafting experience. There is an apron for every style which can turn these variety of patterns into thoughtful gifts as well!

    Naval was chosen by Sherwin-Williams as the 2020 Color of the Year because of its calming, quieting, and grounding qualities. Now go out there and create your own spin on these fun and playful projects that we have highlighted here! We always love to see how creative you all are, so be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts!

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Best Projects for Crochet Beginners

    Best Projects for Crochet BeginnersIf you're new to crochet, scrolling through pages and pages of patterns can be intimidating. I remember when I first started and it was a whole lot of not even knowing what I didn't know. I'd finally find a "perfect" pattern, something adorable yet easy looking, only to realize 3 rows in that I'd inadvertently purchased plans to build a rocket.

    Ok, maybe not a rocket. You get what I'm saying, though.

    We are here to help. If you have mastered your single and double crochet and are ready to move beyond your basic rectangular scarf, keep reading. I've picked out some great patterns to build your skill set and keep your frustration to a minimum.

    Continue reading

  • Shawl Progress

    My shawl is well under way!

    Photo Feb 19, 2 58 00 PMAnd by well under way I mean I frogged it approximately 14 times before I made it past the first inch. I have no idea what I was doing wrong but I am wronging no more and I kind of love this pattern now.

    I went with the pattern "zig zag stole" from Wraps for Every Wear.

    Screen shot 2015-02-19 at 3.08.42 PM

    Cute, right? The thing I love about wraps is you can use any yarn and any needles and it will still fit. I'm hoping my wrap is a little wider than it currently appears after I block it but I think I'll still love it regardless.

     

  • Works in Progress

    Progress. I'm using that term loosely.

    Let's see, I've got the stockinette scarf that I started because I couldn't focus on anything more complicated. But it's warm now and two feet later I'm bored with it. I've got a small stack of granny squares going, and I really need to get through row 6 of that cute little flower square but it's making my eyes cross. I'm doing a snarky little custom cross stitch for a friend, but I'll be finished with it in no time. My doggies still need sweaters but I'm waiting on the pattern book I ordered. Oh, and I'm contemplating making a baby blanket for my ex-husband and his girlfriend, but no. Just no.

    Continue reading

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