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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stitch A Beaded Garden

Have you got a big New Year’s Eve planned? Not me! We’ll just be sitting around, watching old movies, eating, and trying to stay awake till midnight...so anyway...

Right now, I’m looking out my back door, dreaming of warmer temperatures, wishing my flowers were blooming, and leafing through pattern books with floral designs in them. How does your garden grow? Probably not so great right now thanks to the cold weather, so why not bring some florals indoors with Sharon Maxwell Kendall Perry’s new pattern book—Stitch a Beaded Garden?

Featuring 18 designs charted for beading and cross stitch, Sharon’s designs offer up a delightfully different alternative to everyday cross stitch. Stitched over two threads on 28-count evenweave fabric, each project uses colorful seed beads to create floral samplers and mini motifs right from the garden! You’ll find such favorites as zinnias, carnations, clematis, bleeding hearts, sweet peas, pinks, mallow, peonies, waterlillies, and more...she even includes a simple backstitch alphabet for signing and dating your projects! Take a peek at a few of these pretty blooms! They’re sure to brighten up a cold winter’s d├ęcor!




Star Daisy

Bleeding Hearts



The Vineyard


Meet Sharon Maxwell Kendall Perry!
Sharon Maxwell Kendall Perry is a New Zealander with a fondness for flower gardens, historic samplers, and antique beadwork. “When traveling overseas with my husband,” she says, “I was drawn to some of the old beadwork in the museums. It gave stitching another dimension and made it come alive in a quite different way. Gradually it dawned on me: All of these things could be combined—embroidery, beadwork, samplers, and gardens. Since then, I have spent many happy hours designing and stitching.”

Hope each and every one of you has the happiest of New Years!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Lace Knitting Palette

The back cover blurb on designer Catherine M. Thomson’s new pattern book reads, “Knit a world of luxury with 22 lacy garments and accessories. Irresistible items for women and heirloom designs for babies. Helpful tips, special techniques, and optional trims.” The Lace Knitting Palette is exactly that and more!

For those about to begin the journey into lace knitting or those already underway, The Lace Knitting Palette opens up an entire world of new possibilities! You’ll discover new trims and edgings and knit up lacy face cloths while you practice what you’ve learned. You’ll create beginner and heirloom samplers, fashion accessories, baby wear, lacy warm ups, plus glorious wraps of all kinds…Take a look at a few of Catherine’s designs…

Boot Toppers


Toddler Hat

Celebration Baby Robe

Lace Ladder Scarf

Cable Hat

Leg Warmers

Lace Wrap

Butterfly Shawl

Meet Catherine M. Thomson!
Award-winning designer Catherine M. Thomson learned to knit at age 6 in Scotland. After many years of knitting as an adult, she turned to designing hand-knitted lace. Recognized for the artistic quality of her designs, Catherine relies on intuition in the design process and the techniques she has developed as new concepts evolved before her eyes. Today, she’s still on a pathway of discovery. Catherine’s work has been displayed in exhibitions in Canada and other parts of the world. Her works won awards in two sections in the 1999 American Knitting Guild lace section, Winner of the 2000 American Knitting Guild Millennium Design Contest, Lace Section and have been displayed in several exhibitions such as “Threads of Life - Culture of Cloth”, B.C. Fabric Artists’ Guild 30th Anniversary juried exhibition, Vancouver, Canada, January 2001, New South Wales at the Australian Cotton Fiber Expo 2001, “Taking Cotton into the New Millennium”. In 2002 Catherine’s lace design was awarded a Very Highly Commended at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Everyday Crochet For All

You’re really going to love the home, apparel, and toy designs in this new crochet pattern book—Everyday Crochet For All! It includes 17 projects featuring Deborah Norville’s Everyday Soft Worsted Yarn, and even more exciting, it showcases projects from some of our favorite Leisure Arts designers!

I really may need to make this Cowl So Cozy from Shibaguyz Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby!

Kim Kotary’s Casual Comfort afghan is crocheted with some of my favorite colors!

Loving the airy look of Lisa Gentry’s Spanish Lace afghan.

This Soft Stacking Rings toy for baby by Sharon Mann is just too cute!!! What a unique baby shower gift!

What guy wouldn’t want you to throw Vicki Blizzard’s Rugged Ribs afghan over him for an afternoon nap?

And most adorable of all, these stuffed Hippo, Rhino, and Flamingo toys from Michele Wilcox.

And that’s just some of the great designs from these fabulous designers! I’m definitely adding this book to my crochet library…maybe you should, too!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Sunset

Just wanted to share a pretty picture with you that I snapped somewhere between Shannon Hills and Sardis, Arkansas. I’ve been taking a little vacation from Leisure Arts during the holidays…taking the time to appreciate things like sunsets!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Socks to Knit For Those You Love

As we get ready to celebrate the New Year, cold weather is settling in with a vengeance! What could be better on your needles than hand knitted socks for everybody you love? So attention sock knitting fanatics! Designer Edie Eckman’s got a new pattern book—Socks to Knit For Those You Love, and it features 18 family-friendly designs in a variety of sizes!

My feet are cold, and as I leaf through Edie’s book, I’m wishing I had some these cozy foot warmers to wear right now! Take a look at some of Edie’s designs. Bet you’ll love them, too!

Bright Tweed Socks

Braided Cable Socks

Chevron Purls Socks

Heart Toes-Up Socks

Knotted Rib Socks

Seed Stripes Socks

Two-Ribbed Socks

Tiny Toes Socks

Baby Rib Socks

Butterfly Bows Socks

Toeless Yoga Socks

Meet Edie Eckman!
Former yarn shop owner Edie Eckman has her hands in many aspects of the fiber arts—teaching, writing, designing, and editing. Her designs are contemporary classics that have appeared in many publications. Raised in Georgia and residing in Waynesboro, Virginia, Edie travels extensively, teaching at conventions, shops, and guilds. She enjoys sharing in that “aha” moment when her students grasp a new technique.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Playing Paper Dolls with Mary Engelbreit

It’s quiet at my house on this day after Christmas, so I’m playing paper dolls. When I was a little kid, I remember begging my mother to play paper dolls with me, but we didn’t have anything like the paper dolls I’m playing with today…

Have you discovered artist Mary Engelbreit’s paper dolls yet? Very fun! Ann Estelle, Gracie, Mikayla, Michael, Audrey Ann, Tommy, Georgia, Sophie, Lilah, and their pets (originally featured as nostalgic paper dolls in Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion magazine) are back in three paper crafty books from Leisure Arts: Anne Estelle & Friends, Ann Estelle’s Celebrations in Paper Dolls, and Paper Crafts with Ann Estelle & Friends! They’re perfect for play, display, or sharing with others.

Take a peek at the projects!

Anne Estelle & Friends includes play, school, kitchen, backyard, art room, Ann Estelle’s house, and four more colorful backgrounds.

Shadow Box

Hinged Box

Pencil Box

Freestanding Display

Bell Jar Display

Ann Estelle’s Celebrations in Paper Dolls includes holiday-themed backgrounds—Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween dress-up, a spring day, a patriotic picnic, Christmas, and more!

Ribbon-hinged Triptych

Shadow Box

Bell Jar Display

Freestanding Display

Pencil Box

Paper Crafts with Ann Estelle & Friends is really cool ’cause it comes with stickers, too! (Stickers are another fascination of mine left over from childhood!) Look at some of the fun stuff you can make:

All-Occasion Greeting Cards

Heartfelt Tags

Card Organizer



Springtime Shadow Box


Holiday Cards

Storage Containers

And coolest of all, these books are on sale, so you can afford to play paper dolls with me! In fact, all of our Leisure Arts Mary Engelbreit books are on sale at LeisureArts.com!

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