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Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Favorite Thing—Food

I found myself leafing through the newest Leisure Arts Cookbook last night—Family Living Our Best Cookbook Collection, Book 2, and I realized that it includes quite a few of my favorite foods! Check it out:

Artichoke Spread, Meatballs, & Brie Puffs, ahh the wonders of party food!

French Quarter Cake—all chocolaty and whipped-creamy with espresso flavoring...

This Fruit Wreath is just pretty. Pretty food is fun to eat.

Herb Bread. I love bread…

Holiday Pizza—As far as my family is concerned, pizza is one of the main food groups. Wouldn’t the star shapes make 4th of July food fun?

Mexican Food! My favorite food ever! I really want to try my hand at whipping up these homemade tamales!

Herbed Mozzarella…yum!

Puddings and Parfaits are definitely at the top of my dessert list.

Gotta love pie!

Shrimp is a good thing, especially when it comes with dip.

Warm Spinach Salad is probably my #1 on the salad chart.

What’s better than cheese? Wine paired with cheese!

Okay, now I’m hungry. Guess I’m going to be trying out some new recipes. And these are just a few of the 910 Leisure Arts test kitchen treats in Family Living Our Best Cookbook Collection, Book 2. I’m sure there are more I’ll have to try…I mean just look at that Black Forest Cheesecake on the front cover! I’m just going to have to force myself to indulge in my favorite thing—food!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Heads Up, Knookers!

I just heard a bit of exciting news. Leisure Arts.com has a treat planned for you Knook fans sometime this week. Keep an eye open ’cause we’re going to be posting some new digital download Knook projects. What fun!

Even better, we’ll be posting a new video all about using your Knook to combine knit and crochet in the same project plus we’ll be offering up a free downloadable scarf pattern that uses this cool new technique.

Check back often! You won’t want to miss out!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Congrats to the winners from Pet Week! Angie from TX and Cindy from NY each won a signed copy of Drew Emborsky’s Sweet Pet Comforts!

I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens

Looking for a new knitting challenge? Learn how to knit mittens! Mittens are the perfect small projects to carry along on all your summer travels, and they make excellent Christmas presents! (Hint: I really like the handwarmers and mitts!)

To get you off to a good start on your mitten knitting adventure, Leisure Arts has added a new how-to book to our ever-expanding I Can’t Believe series—I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens by Cynthia Guggemos, and it includes everything you need to know on the subject: step-by-step instructions, diagrams, great photography, and more. All you need is basic knitting skills plus yarn and needles, and you’re ready to go!

Check out the projects that you could be knitting up in no time with I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens:

Basic Mittens (each section is knit with a different color so you can easily distinguish between them)

Cabled Cuff Mittens

Autumn Woods Mittens

Quick & Easy Handwarmers

Cabled Mittens

Victorian Mitts

Partridge Eye Mittens

Northland Mittens

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sweet Nothings to Cross Stitch

Cross stitchers! Have you taken a look at the two new cross stitch books from designer Judy Whitman yet? Very pretty! Check out the projects:

Sweet Nothings for Baby features seven designs to stitch for both mom and baby to have as special mementos for years to come!

Welcome Baby

A Star is Born

The Bunny Hop

Special Blessings

Noah’s Ark

Learning to Count

Choo Choo Train

Sweet Nothings for Christmas includes 9 classic seasonal designs to stitch for the holidays. (Here’s a chance to get an early start on your Christmas gift stitching!)



Reindeer Parade

Deck the Halls

Christmas Wreaths

Christmas Welcome

Joyful Hearts

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June—What’s Blooming?

Happy Sunday Everybody! I’m sitting here at my dining table, drinking my coffee, enjoying the peace and quiet, looking out the window. Nobody else is up. It’s just me and the cat. He’s been fed and petted and is now patrolling the hallway on the off chance that somebody will make a move so he can come tattle. He really hates it when he can’t keep an eye on all of us all at the same time. He likes to supervise!)

Thought I’d take the opportunity (while the cat’s otherwise occupied) to report on what’s blooming in my yard right now. It’s, in fact, so hot that it’s a wonder that anything can survive outside of an air-conditioned environment, but my daylilies are thriving!

Check them out and have a lovely day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June Pincushion—The Tie One On Pincushion

Remember that necktie lamp post from right around Father’s Day? When you make that lamp shade, partial pieces of necktie are left behind. Well, I just couldn’t let them go to waste, and the result is our Tie One On Pincushion. We’re recycling, being green, and just think what a nice keepsake or gift this pincushion would make if you crafted it from the ties of a husband, father, or son! Plus, I love the idea of a crazy quilt pattern made from silky tie fabric embellished with embroidery stitches.

Here’s the How-To:

Tie One On Pincushion

• gently used neckties
• two 6" x 6" muslin squares for foundations
• embroidery floss and needle
• polyester fiberfill
• button
• embroidery floss

Use ¼" seam allowances throughout.

1. Open center back seam of each tie. Discard any lining fabric. Unfold ties and press.
2. From the ties, rough-cut 8-10 assorted-shaped pieces for the front and 2 large rectangles 6" x 3¼" for the back.
3. With right side facing up, pin 1 assorted-shaped piece (purple dot) to the center of 1 muslin foundation.
4. Matching right sides, angle piece 2 (red paisley) as desired over one edge of piece 1. Stitching through all layers, sew piece 2 to piece 1. Trim seam allowances to ¼". Press piece 2 open. Repeat to add piece 3.

5. Continue to add pieces, until entire foundation is covered; press. Trim edges of pieces even with edges of foundation.
6. Embroider as desired over each seam. Model was stitched using 6 strands of floss for Cross Stitches and Blanket Stitches and 3 strands for Stem Stitches.

7. Sew the 2 large rectangles to the remaining foundation in the same manner as the front.

8. Matching right sides and leaving an opening for turning, sew front and back together; clip corners. Turn, stuff, and sew opening closed.
9. Sewing through all layers and pulling firmly to tuft, use 6 strands of floss to sew button to the center of the pincushion.

A special thank you goes out to the folks that helped me realize my vision of this pincushion (’cause we all know I can’t sew)—Kelly (one of our pattern testers) for actually making it and Jean from our Quilt Dept. for writing the instructions. This is my favorite pincushion so far!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pet Week—Day 5

All the Leisure Arts critters showed up today to celebrate the 5th Day of our virtual Take Your Pet to Work Week!

Knit & Crochet Editor Cathy’s Cally

Too cute! Meet Customer Service National Account Manger Bill’s hedgehogs—



Frances, our Quilt/Craft Writer shares her trio of furry friends with us:

Colby, technically our grandkitty, is the oldest of our pets. He moved to the country to live with us several years ago. He is the sweetest cat I’ve ever known, and we can count on him to stand guard over us any time we work in the yard. This is his favorite sleeping spot every December.

We found a puppy hiding in our culvert, and she decided to adopt us. My husband takes her on a walk through the woods almost everyday, stopping at the pond when it’s hot to throw in a cork on the end of a fishing line so she can play catch. Her favorite toy is a broom. Trying to sweep off the porch is an ordeal—she thinks you’re playing with her.

We found Peony when she was a little kitten hiding under the hood of my husband’s old truck. We held her against her will at first, but now she’s willing to stay with us—provided there’s plenty of good stuff to eat.

Customer Service Maureen’s Cody and Mocha cats!

Meet V.P. Operations Jim’s dog.

This handsome feline is Carrie’s (Sales Manager) Simon!

Here’s Director of Finance/Administration Laticia with her horse.

This is Pilar all snuggled up in her Pet Pocket. Pilar is the tiny chihuahua best buddy of Janet in Telemarketing.

Do you like Pillar’s Pet Pocket? Check out this project and others to sew, cross stitch, paint, crochet, and more—available in download form in the Pet Category of LeisureArtsLibrary.com!

And my Pooh cat says thank you for sharing Take Your Pet to Work Week with us and hopes you have a wonderful weekend!

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