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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flowers, Jewelry, & A Little Chocolate

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s coming up soon! (I’ve already started dropping hints to the Love-Of-My-Life...) All you need for the perfect traditional Valentine’s is a bouquet of flowers, some great jewelry, and a little bit of chocolate! Make them yourself with some of our favorite free downloadable patterns:

For your floral touch…

Tissue Paper Flowers

Button & Felt Flowers

To add some bling…

Button Up Necklace

Summer Beaded Anklet

Wild Heart Necklace

Braided Cube Bracelet

And for chocolate lover’s everywhere…

Chocolate Brownie Bump Ice Cream

Now, just give the kids their jewelry (I have girls...You’re on your own to figure out what to give your boys...), arrange your flowers, and share your chocolate with your favorite someone for a perfect Valentine’s celebration.

For more inspiration, check out the Free Projects section on our website! There’s something for everybody with projects to knook, craft, cross stitch, knit, crochet, paper craft, quilt, and more!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fav Mary Engelbreit Things…

Since all of our Leisure Arts Mary Engelbreit books are on sale, I’ve been going through them trying to decide if there’s anything I want to make, and, now, I can’t decide where to start first ’cause they’re filled with so many fun ideas. Here are a few of my favorite Mary Engelbreit things so far:

From The Art of Embroidery

I been looking for something wonderful to use to display my milk glass collection on, and I think I’ve found it in this pretty Table Runner embroidered on black cotton fabric with white stem stitches and French Knots. It’s just one of the 29 projects to embroider in The Art of Embroidery.

From Treasured Keepsakes

Love these simple Put Your Heart In It stones. They’re just spray painted and stamped. (This project will put to good use all of the rocks the kids have brought home with them over the years!). Plus Treasured Keepsakes offers up 11 additional ways to treasure your memories.

From Home Creations

This Seasons of Life shadowbox is right up my alley! I’ve got vintage crochet hooks, old wooden thread spools, and lots of bottles and buttons in my collections. I really like the little leafy cross stitch design, and there are 11 more designs to create in almost no time in Home Creations.

From Very “Mary" Stationery

A friend just had a baby, and I need to make her a card. I’m thinking about a New Baby Matchbook Card. This Very “Mary” Stationery book is pretty cool ’cause it comes with 19 inspirational projects for birthdays, housewarming, babies, parties, and more, along with a CD filled with an endless supply of Mary Engelbreit artwork.

What do you think? Which one should I start on first?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Embellished Clothing!

Hey All and Happy Sunday! I’ve been digging through stacks of books in my home office this morning, and I finally found the one I’ve been looking for! (Books need organizing!!!) Back during the holidays (while I was on vacation and away from my usual sources of info), a friend on Facebook asked about beading on clothing…At the time, I could picture the cover of the how-to book I wanted to recommend, I could visualize the fabulous projects inside, but I couldn’t come up with the name of that book to save my life…(Does that ever happen to you?)

It took awhile for my brain to kick in…but I finally remembered, and I just found a copy! It’s called Fashionology, and all 17 of the projects in it were dreamed up by the talented ladies in the Leisure Arts Design Department! It was published in 2006, but I think the fashions and techniques are just as timely today!

Are you ready to transform basic purchased clothing and accessories with easy embellishments (like beads, buttons, charms, embroidery, appliqué, and stamping) to create your own style? Well, here’s some inspiration from a few of the projects:

Peach Crop

Sidewalk Skimmers

Aviary Vest

Tea Room Tee

Velveteen Hobo

Tapioca Top

Soho Scarf

Salon Blouse

Arcade Jeans

Plume Skirt

Composite Jacket

What do you think? Are you inspired to dig in your bead box, open up that button jar, and/or thread an embroidery needle? If so, you may need your very own copy of Fashionology! I’m reaching for my rubber stamps…

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crochet For Valentine’s Day!

It’s Saturday, and The Cat and I are sitting here scheming about last minute Valentine’s Day presents. As usual, I’m thinking of resorting to pattern downloads to get me motivated to crochet something for my daughters. If you start right now, you, too, still have time to crochet up some special little gifts for Valentine’s Day, especially if you take advantage of the downloadable patterns available from Leisure Arts! Check out some of my favs:

Stars & Stripes & Heart Hot Pads (Crochet the Heart now & save the Stars & Stripes for the 4th of July!)

Sweetheart Panda Toy

Heart Edging

Heart-Winning Dress & Hat

Nursery Hearts

Homespun Hearts Bookmark

Sweetheart Swag

And if you’re really an overachiever, give this beautiful Heartwarming Doily a try!

Or get ready to cuddle under this pretty Sweetheart Wrap!

Happy Valentine’s Day crochet, y’all!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The 3 Good Things About Today!

But first, the bad news…I owe you an apology! I’ve been reporting that our Knook Expanded Beginner Set would be available for sale on the Leisure Arts website today, but I was mistaken. Our stock of the new Knook Sets is all sold out—thanks to yesterday’s big debut on the Home Shopping Network! I’m so sorry, but I’ll be sure to let you know just as soon as it is available! Probably mid February...

On the bright side, there are three really great things about today! First, of course, it’s Friday. Friday is always a good thing!!!

Next, it seems to have finally stopped raining…That’s very exciting, to me, anyway…

And the third great thing about today—It’s Chocolate Cake Day!!! No day can be totally bad if there’s chocolate and cake involved. The true highlight of my day is the cake I plan to eat when I get home tonight. It’s the Cream Cheese-Topped Chocolate Cake from a recipe out of the Leisure Arts Family Living Our Best Cookbook Collection cookbook. This cake takes Chocolate Cake Day up even another notch by adding cream cheese to the equation:

Friday + No Rain + Chocolate + Cake + Cream Cheese = Nirvana!

You might like it, too:


1 package (18.25 ounces) devil’s food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
3-1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 2 eggs, and butter; beat 2 minutes. Spread batter in a greased and floured 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs, confectioners sugar, and cream cheese until smooth. Spread over cake batter. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 12 servings

Thursday, January 26, 2012



You asked and we listened! The Knook Expanded Beginner Set, with all the extras you’ve been wanting, is available exclusively on Home Shopping Network today. Tune in from 8-9:00 AM or 12-1:00 PM Eastern Time (check the HSN Program Guide for other time zones) as Leisure Arts designer Patti Wallenfang introduces our new Knook Set to the HSN viewers!

Each kit contains:

• 5 bamboo Knooks in different sizes so you can work with light, medium, or bulky weight yarn (sizes E-3.5 mm, G-4.0 mm, H-5.0 mm, I-5.5 mm, and J-6.0 mm). Replacing traditional knitting needles, these unique tools look like regular crochet hooks on one end and have a hole on the other end for a cord to hold your stitches.

• 5 cords in graduated lengths to accommodate small, medium, or large projects (two 36" lengths, two 72", and one 120").

• 4 handy cord clips to completely prevent dropped stitches.

• 3 yarn needles for finishing your projects.

• a step-by-step learn to Knook instruction book—It’s easy to learn to knit with The Knook. (We’ve included both right- and left-handed instructions!)

The book also includes three beginner projects—a cowl, baby blanket, and lap robe.

There’s never been a better time to try your hand at Knooking, the new easy way to learn to knit using specialized crochet hooks! For more info, how-to videos, and some great free projects, check out The Knook at LeisureArts.com!

And check back with me tomorrow ’cause beginning on January 27th the new Knook Expanded Beginner Set will be available on our website and coming soon to some of your favorite retail stores!

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