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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Night in Washington DC

We were a few days too early to see any real cherry blossom action but what a night we had in Washington DC last week. So many wonderful people came to the Korus House of the Korean Embassy to hear my talk, Bojagi to BOBO, A Green Tradition from Korea Reimagined. With the final count at over 150 people, even the overflow room was full to capacity and it was standing room only for the presentation.

It was one of those lucky nights where things just seemed to click. DC/MD/VA traffic can be murderous but it was smooth sailing all the way from the highways to the triangular mazes of the city. The audience was also amazing and just perfectly on my green colored wavelength. Heavenly!

Speaking to a room full of DC intellectuals including college professors and diplomats can be daunting, but the guests were very warm and engaged in the topic of the night.

There were so many great questions and comments by the audience. I wish we had more time to pass around the mike to everyone! Here are some snippets from our Q and A session:

Q: What is the Korean etiquette with using a bojagi (wrapping scarf)? Is it rude to take the wrap back when giving a gift?

A: There are many correct ways to use a bojagi. Many people choose to give the bojagi to someone as part of a gift. Others use the wrap as a personal accessory much like a bag and use it to transport a gift of wine or food. They unwrap the gift, hand it to the recipient and put their wrapping scarf away.

Q: What are the best fabrics to use as a wrapping scarf? I have a lot of cotton fabrics at home and would like to try the techniques.

A: The beauty of wrapping scarves is that you can use so many different fabrics and materials depending on what you may have available. My book, The Wrapping Scarf Revolution, goes into more detail as to what fabrics and sizes to use for specific projects but one easy test to see if your fabric will work is to hold a corner of the fabric and tie a knot. If you can't tie a knot easily, the material is probably too thick.

At the end of the evening, we gave 7 lucky raffle winners a signed and BOBO wrapped copy of my book, The Wrapping Scarf Revolution. Thanks DC for a fun and memorable evening. Till next time, happy wrapping! xo Patricia

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Heads Up!

The other day while lunching with friends we saw the sweetest little baby girl with a super cute (and very fashionable, I might add) floral headband on. She couldn’t have been more than 10-12 months old! Well, as I’m certain you can guess, the creative juices started flowing. It seems like all we’ve been able to think about these days are flowers.

So, what to do? Gotta make something for the little ones, of course. Here are links for 3 new FREE patterns that are the easiest and cutest headbands for both infants and toddlers.

This first one is a FELT BLOSSOM headband. It’s so simple to make just using a purchased elastic infant headband. Simply trace the supplied flower pattern, cut it out, stitch a little, and voilà… an adorable headband. So quick to do I’d call that instant crafting. Now all you need to do is find yourself a really sweet baby to use to show it off!

Our FELT CIRCLES headband uses the same concept with just a different look. Again, we start with a purchased thin elastic headband. Cut three irregular circles – each decreasing in size – and stitch them onto the band. Another quick and easy project!

I could go on and on creating a different headband for every outfit and every day of the week. Isn’t this fun?

Here’s the pièce de résistance… Check it out!! My friend’s granddaughter is modeling her favorite headpiece (FELT FLOWER headband), made a little bigger for the toddler. No stretchy band this time, just a piece of felt with a hook and loop closure. We provide the template for this too!

Go ahead (no pun intended) and get creative. You’re guaranteed to make some little ones happy as they sport their new headwear. Have your own ideas or variations on the theme? I’d love for you to share what you’re doing.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Enjoying the Green!

The color green, I mean. We’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the office today and who knows, after hours, maybe an Irish pub or coffeehouse will be in order to stretch out the good times. Another way to experience an Irish adventure any time of the year is Tour Ireland with Pat Sloan. Love this “Luck of the Irish Wall-hanging,”don’t you?

We’re all reminded of how great the color green is on anything. So many shades that surely everyone can find one or two that suits them. Debbie Mumm, sewing/quilt designer, brings us a wide variety of “green projects” to conjure up images of the beautiful Irish countryside.

Newly published with Leisure Arts, designer Laura Lee Burch, shows off these “Adorable Elf Slippers” in Sew Magical for Baby. It’s the cutest touch of green.

Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Easy, Breezy Spring

Like so many others right now, I am ready for a good dose of Spring. Give me lots of color - an extra dash of green, please, and warmth & comfort! I’ll be outside trimming & planting and inside, I’ll be bringing out fabulous fabrics and my colorful stash of crochet thread. A change of scenery inside is order.

Mother Nature, with a little help from me, will take care of the outdoors but it’s up to me when it comes to the inside. Time to get busy.

One of the quickest things you can do to create a fresh change for the season is to change out your throw pillows.
Some of my favorites are from BJ Berti in Total Crochet for the Home. I love the crochet edgings with the great mix of fabric prints. Aaah, these pillows say “Spring is here!”

There are 5 different crochet trims for pillows in the book and they work up fast. Ch
oose your favorite warm weather fabrics and try this little edging pattern to get you going. Click here to download instructions.

If this puts you in the mood to crochet and you just can’t stop, BJ has also included more pillows - total crochet pillows using simple pattern stitches that are “skill level: easy.” That’s for me. Quick. Easy. Spring!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Wearing of the Green

When St. Patrick's Day arrives this year, I'll be ready with a special touch of green to wear: I've made a shamrock pin using the Shamrock Coaster free project in the March issue of our Yarn Link enewsletter. The original pattern calls for working with two strands of worsted weight cotton yarn, but I thought it would be fun to see if it could be worked with two strands of size 10 cotton thread instead. I love miniature designs that can be worn as jewelry. So one night while watching TV with my husband, I whipped it up using a size C hook during an episode of NCIS. To turn it into a pin, I used an angel tack pin, but you also could just sew a safety pin onto the back.

Wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is something I've done since childhood, to protect myself from some playful (but still painful) pinching. Sources on the Internet list all kinds of stories for how the pinching came to be a tradition. Some blame it on mischievous, invisible leprechauns. Others say it symbolizes a mild form of the violence that used to take place between the Irish rebels (whose color was green) and the English, particularly when the two factions participated in St. Patrick's Day parades.

The shamrock itself has been linked to the Irish since Saint Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity. I love these Irish blessings that mention the shamrock:

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way--
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

One of my very favorite Irish blessings is one that we adapted for cross stitch many years ago and now offer as a free project. It's illustrated with a flowering shamrock design by Terrie Lee Steinmeyer that is so graceful. It says:

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels pro
tect you,
And Heaven accept you

To get the download for An Irish Blessing, see our March 2007 Leisure Arts Link enewsletter or go directly to the cross stitch free projects page at LeisureArts.com.

To leave you with a smile, here's another popular saying that shows the Irish sense of humor:

May those who love us, love us
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts
And if he can't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping!

Have a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bloomin' Good Time!

Here at Leisure Arts, the hint of spring is finally in the air! The sun is shining gloriously today and I actually saw some daffodils in bloom on the side of the road. This morning the meteorologist said we could be in for a beautiful weekend with highs actually in the 70s. I'm smiling here in Little Rock.

I'm struck by the thought that we crafters can bring so much to the table when the seasons change. A little something here & there and our homes begin to bloom just like the flowers outside. And at Leisure Arts, we're definitely bursting with lots of spring projects ready for you to get started on! On all of our sites you'll find that spring/Easter projects abound, just beckoning you to get busy.

is loaded with quick and easy projects for school and preschool aged children. In fact, if there are any room mothers our there that love to get crafty in the classroom here's an easy project for you! This and many more ideas await you by clicking and logging in.

On LeisureArts.com there are plent
y of great free projects to inspire you, but since this is all about the blossoming of the new year, we’d like to suggest our “Crochet a Rose” pattern. These fiber flowers are easy to make in a variety of sizes and can be used as fashion accents or decorations around your house. Go to the Knit and Crochet section of Free Patterns and download the free pattern to get started. They’ll take you no time at all and add a touch of brightness to your day.

utique.com offers up its own take on the crafted flower. Simple, quick, and oh so colorful, these sensational tissue paper pretties provide endless possibilities for decorating now, or at any time of year. Head on over and grab a copy of the instructions.

CrochetSoiree.com is also loaded with great ideas. Mary Taylor, of Out of the Box with Everything Mary, loves flowers of all kinds (especially crocheted ones, of course). Tune into to view her Coffee Koozie and Embellished Greeting Card videos to catch up on what she's doing with them.

Have a bloomin' good time!!

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