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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Bubble Wrap Necklace - Step by Step Tutorial on: April 12, 2011 09:27:18 AM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Jewelry Upcycled!
Techniques and Projects for Reusing Metal, Plastic, Glass, Fiber, and Found Objects
Written by Sherri Haab and Michelle Haab



ABOUT THIS BOOK

Before you recycle that soda bottle, scrap that old T-shirt, or toss that broken china plate, ask yourself: Could I use this to make something fabulous? Impossible? Think again!
 
In Jewelry Upcycled!, jewelry expert and bestselling author Sherri Haab has teamed up with daughter Michelle Haab to show you how to transform metal, glass, plastic, fabric, and found objectsitems you might otherwise recycle or throw awayinto fun and exciting jewelry designs.
 
Explore the creative possibilities of these everyday materials in resourceful and innovative ways: Repurpose plastic bottles into pretty charms, turn broken cassette tapes into braided bracelets, and fashion one-of-a-kind pendants with found objects.






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2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Bouquet Socks - Step by Step Tutorial on: March 30, 2010 12:06:33 PM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Toe-Up Socks for Every Body
Adventurous Lace, Cables, and Colorwork from Wendy Knits
Written by Wendy D. Johnson



ABOUT THIS BOOK

Acclaimed knitter, author, designer, and teacher Wendy D. Johnson is back with the perfect sequel to her hit book Socks from the Toe Up. In Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, Wendy shows knitters, whether theyre knitting their first or hundred-and-first sock, how to use the toe-up technique to get the perfect fit. Not only that, she shows you that even seemingly complicated patterns are still knit just one row at a time. Go ahead! Turn your favorite knee socks into thigh-highs. Knit that special someone classic argyles. Put even the wiggliest of toes in their first pair of lacey anklets. With Wendys help, theres nothing you cant try from the toes on up.
 
These 21 patterns cover everything from basics like materials and tools, to delicate lace, intricate cables, and fancy colorwork. Use these techniques and patterns to create beautiful socks for yourself and everybody in your lifefriends and family, young and old. With the lovely photographs, helpful illustrations for cast-on, toe, heel, and bind-off options, and all-around expert advice in Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, youll be a well-heeled and warm-hearted toe-up knitter.






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3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Martha's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts - Heirloom-Tomato Pincushions on: March 22, 2010 08:11:15 AM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts
Written by Martha Stewart Living Magazine



ABOUT THIS BOOK

Whether you just bought your first sewing machine or have been sewing for years, Martha Stewarts Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts will open your eyes to an irresistible range of ideas. A comprehensive visual reference, the book covers everything a home sewer craves: the basics of sewing by hand or machine, along with five other time-honored crafts techniques, and step-by-step instructions for more than 150 projects that reflect not only Martha Stewarts depth of experience and crafting expertise, but also her singular sense of style.
 
Encyclopedic in scope, the book features two main parts to help you brush up on the basics and take your skills to a new level. First, the Techniques section guides readers through Sewing, Appliqu, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing. Following that, the Projects A to Z section features more than 150 clever ideas (including many no-sew projects), all illustrated and explained with the clear, detailed instructions that have become a signature of Martha Stewarts  magazines, books, and television shows.
 
An enclosed CD includes full-size clothing patterns as well as templates that can be easily produced on a home printer. Fabric, thread, and tool glossaries identify the properties, workability, and best uses of common sewing materials. And, perhaps best of all, when you need it most, Martha and her talented team of crafts editors offer you the reassurance that you really can make it yourself.
 
The projects are as delightful as they are imaginative, and include classic Roman shades, hand-drawn stuffed animals, an easy upholstered blanket chest, a quilted crib bumper, French knot-embellished pillowcases and sheets, and Japanese-embroidered table linens, among many others.With gorgeous color photographs as well as expert instruction, this handy guide will surely encourage beginners and keep sewers and crafters of all experience levels wonderfully busy for many years to come.




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4  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Felt Me a Smile - Pair of Bears on: March 10, 2010 04:27:16 AM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Felt Me a Smile - Heart-made Projects to Make and Give
Written by Toyoko Sugiwaka



ABOUT THIS BOOK

Cute, quirky, huggable, & lovable animal-inspired projects for crafters of every skill level!

These 16 simple, useful, and wonderfully whimsical animal-inspired projects are guaranteed to elicit smiles all around. They use felting, embroidery, crochet, and fabric-painting techniques  and are suitable for crafters of all levels and interests thanks to the step-by-step photographs, templates, and stitch-by-stitch instructions. Fans of today's popular Japanese crafts as well as animal-lovers everywhere, will find these ideas totally irresistiblefrom the twinkle-toed poodle baby booties to the adorable pair of hugging bears.






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5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crochet Adorned - Lace Bowl on: August 25, 2009 01:19:24 PM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Crochet Adorned
Reinvent Your Wardrobe with Crocheted Accents, Embellishments, and Trims
by Linda Permann



ABOUT THIS BOOK

Does last seasons skirt need a little more flash? Want to breathe new life into your favorite tee? If you love crochet and quick, gratifying projects, Linda Permann will show you how to turn your old duds into a new wardrobe with yarn, a hook, and inspired ideas! By adding trims, embellishments and laceor even changing the design of a garmentwith simple crochet stitches, you can give your clothes a whole new look. These fun-to-make projects are a great second chance for clothes from your closet or thrifty findsand theyll even look great with the gems already in your yarn stash. When someone asks, "Did you make that?" you will love to answer "Yes!"

Plus, Linda shares new ideas for accessories and home decorating with projects that include earrings, aprons, and pillows. Shell guide you through color theory (to keep your clothes and yarn in harmony), help you develop an eagle eye for embellishable clothes (so that you can reap all the benefits of thrifty finds), and share all the details you need to know to customize each project to your own size and style. With helpful how-to instructions and illustrations, 20 inspired projects, and a stitch dictionary of extra trims, motifs, and patterns, youll have all the tools you need to embellish anything and everythingjust the way you like it.

Lace Bowl - Skill Level Intermediate





Finished Size
Before shaping the crochet over a bowl form, the -bowls diameter is 11H" (29cm), unstretched.

Materials
- 1 skein of Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, 80% cotton, 20% merino wool, 222 yd (203m), 1I oz (50g), #100 Cotton Ball
- Size C-2 (2.75mm) crochet hook, or size to obtain gauge   
- Yarn needle
- 2 cups (480ml) sugar, 1 cup (240ml) water, 2 qt. (1.9l)saucepan and tongs or commercial fabric stiffener
- One large mixing bowl (for bowl form), approximately 10" (25.5cm) in diameter   
- Plastic wrap   
- Kraft paper or newspaper

Gauge
First 6 rounds of pattern worked measures 3G" (8.5cm) in diameter.

Special Stitches
DOUBLE CROCHET 2 TOGETHER DECREASE (dc2tog) (Yo, insert hook in next stitch, yo, draw yarn through stitch, yo, draw yarn through 2 lps on hook) twice, yo, draw yarn through 3 lps on hook.
DOUBLE CROCHET 3 TOGETHER DECREASE (dc3tog) (Yo, insert hook in next stitch, yo, draw yarn through stitch, yo, draw yarn through 2 lps on hook)
3 times, yo, draw yarn through 4 lps on hook.

BOWL

Make a magic ring.
ROUND 1 (RS) Ch 1, 12 sc in ring12 sc.
ROUND 2 Ch 1, sc in first sc, *ch 5, sk 1 sc, sc in next sc; repeat from * 4 times, ending with ch 2, dc in first sc of round (counts as ch-5 lp and puts yarn in the correct position to start next round)6 ch-5 lps.
ROUND 3 Ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), 4 dc in first lp, ch 5, *5 dc in next ch-5 lp, ch 5; repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join6 ch-5 lps.
ROUND 4 Ch 3, dc in next 4 dc, ch 3, sc in next ch-5 sp, ch 3, *dc in next 5 dc, ch 3, sc in next ch-5 lp, ch 3; repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join12 ch-3 lps.
ROUND 5 Ch 3, dc in next dc (counts as dc2tog), dc in next dc, dc2tog in next 2 dc, (ch 4, sc) in each of next 2 ch-3 lps, ch 4, *dc2tog in next 2 dc, dc in next dc, dc2tog in next 2 dc, (ch 4, sc) in each of next 2 ch-3 lps, ch 4; repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join18 ch-4 lps.
ROUND 6 Ch 3, dc2tog in next 2 dc (counts as dc3tog), (ch 5, sc) in each of next 3 ch-4 lps, ch 5, *dc3tog in next 3 dc, (ch 5, sc) in each of next 3 ch-4 lps, ch 5; repeat from * around, ending with ch 2, dc in top of beginning ch instead of last ch-5 lp24 ch-5 lps.
ROUND 7 Ch 1, sc in first lp, ch 6, (sc, ch 6) in each ch-5 lp around, sl st in first sc to join24 ch-5 lps.
ROUND 8 Sl st in next ch-5 lp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in first ch-5 lp (shell made), sc in next lp, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch-5 lp, sc in next lp; repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join12 shells; 12 sc.
ROUND 9 Ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, ch 1, dc in next 3 dc, ch 6, sk next (sc, dc), sc in next dc, ch 6, sk next (dc, ch 2, dc), sc in next dc, ch 6, sk next (dc, sc), *dc in next 3 dc, ch 1, dc in next 3 dc, ch 6, sk next (dc, ch 2, dc), sc in next dc, ch 6, sk next (dc, sc); repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join18 ch-6 lps.
ROUND 10 Ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, sk next ch-1 sp, dc in next 3 dc, (ch 4, sc) in each of next 3 ch-6 lps, ch 4, *dc in next 3 dc, sk next ch-1 sp, dc in next 3 dc, (ch 4, sc) in each of next 3 ch-6 lps, ch 4; repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join24 ch-6 lps.
ROUND 11 Ch 3, (dc2tog in next 2 dc) twice, dc in next dc, (ch 5, sc) in each of next 4 ch-4 lps, ch 5, *dc in next dc, (dc2tog in next 2 dc) twice, dc in next dc, (ch 5, sc) in each of next 4 ch-4 lps, ch 5; repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join30 ch-6 lps.
ROUND 12 Ch 3, dc2tog in next 2 dc, dc in next dc, (ch 5, sc) in each of next 5 ch-4 lps, ch 5, *dc in next dc, dc2tog in next 2 dc, dc in next dc, (ch 5, sc) in each of next 5 ch-4 lps , ch 5; repeat from * around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join36 ch-6 lps.
ROUND 13 Sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, (ch 5, sc) in each of next 6 ch-5 lps, *ch 5, sk next dc, sc in next st, (ch 5, sc) in each of next 6 ch-5 lps; repeat from * around, ending with ch 2, dc in first sc instead of last ch-5 lp42 ch-5 lps.
ROUNDS 1415 Ch 1, sc in first lp, (ch 5, sc) in each ch-5 lp around, ending with ch 2, dc in first sc instead of last ch-5 lp42 ch-5 lps.
ROUND 16 Ch 1, sc in first lp, (ch 4, sc) in each ch-5 lp around, ending with ch 4, sl st in first sc to join42 ch-4 lps.
ROUND 17 Sl st in first ch-4 lp, ch 3, 3 dc in first ch-4 lp, 4 dc in each ch-4 lp around, sl st in top of beginning ch to join 168 dc.
ROUND 18 Sk first 2 dc, (3 dc in next dc, ch 1, 3 dc in next dc) (shell made), sk next dc, sl st in next dc, *sl st in next dc, sk next dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 1, 3 dc in next dc, sk next dc, sl st in next dc; repeat from * around, sl st in first sl st to join28 shells.
ROUND 19 Ch 6 (counts as dc, ch 3), sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, dc between next 2 sl sts, *ch 3, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, dc between next 2 sl sts, repeat from * around, ending with ch 3, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch to join56 ch-3 lps.
ROUND 20 *Ch 3, sk next ch-3 sp, (dc, ch 3, dc) in next sc (V--st made), ch 3, sk next ch-3 sp, sl st in next 9 stitches; repeat from * around, omitting last 4 sl sts, ending with sl st in last sc28 V-stitches.
ROUND 21 Sk next ch-3 sp of round 19, *5 dc in each of next 3 ch-3 sps (fan made), sk next 4 sl sts, sc in next sl st (above sc from round 19); repeat from * around, sl st in first dc to join28 fans.
Fasten off. Weave in the ends.

FINISHING

Before you stiffen the piece, drape it over some of the bowls in your cupboard to get a feel for your ideal bowl shape. Using a tall, narrow bowl as a form will yield a bowl that ruffles at the top, while a wider bowl

creates a shallow dish-like shape.

To stiffen your bowl, you can use a commercial stiffener or a trusty homemade recipe of sugar and water(see Make the Starch). The solution takes quite a while to dry (count on at least three days), but youll be

surprised how well it works. If you want to use a commercial stiffener, try Aleenes Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid and follow the package instructions.

If youre using the homemade solution, cover your work surface with plastic wrap or a garbage bag, then cover this with several sheets of kraft paper or newspaperthe sugar mixture will be very sticky. Cover the bowl you are using in plastic wrap to make cleanup easier. Place the wrapped bowl upside down on top of the kraft paper, and follow the instructions in Make the Starch.

MAKE THE STARCH

Place two cups of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly and heat it on the stove just until the sugar dissolves. Be very careful, as the solution is hot! Remove the pan from the heat and soak the crocheted bowl in the solution, using tongs to make sure the bowl is saturated. Let the solution cool slightly. With the tongs, remove the crocheted bowl from the saucepan, squeezing it as much as possible to remove any excess solution. Drape it over the bowl form, stretching it into shape with the tongs as desired. You can further shape the crocheted bowl with your fingers in a few minutes when the piece has cooled somewhat. Let the bowl dry for three days or until it is hard. Once the yarn returns to its original color, the bowl is starched and ready for use.
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Paperie for Inspired Living - Menu on: July 14, 2009 06:59:12 PM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Paperie for Inspired Living: Stationery and Decorations for Weddings, Parties, and Other Special Occasions
by Karen Bartolomei



ABOUT THIS BOOK

With this book from paper guru Karen Bartolomei, even the most budget-conscious host can now create beautiful, customized, coordinated suites of paper products for any occasiona casual wine-tasting party, elegant dinner party, or backyard barbeque, among others.

To get started all you need is a computer, paper, and embellishments you can find in any craft store. Each suite contains several projects, from the all important invitation to smaller touches like labels, tags, and keepsakes. For instance, in the personal stationary suite youll learn to make a monogram, Thank-You cards, Mailing Labels, Business Cards, Letterhead, and Notecards, while in the New Year's Eve suite the projects include an Invitation, Menus, Resolution Sign-in/Postcards and Drink Signs.

In addition to providing inspiration for themed suites, Paperie for Inspired Living also includes indispnsable advice for invitation wording and etiquette, and provides tips for throwing unforgettable parties, like choosing a color scheme and ideas for breaking the ice.



Menu
(Makes 1 Menu)

Share your joie de vivre with dinner guests. Prepare a lavish French feast served on your finest china.
Present the dinner selections in rich damask-printed folios wrapped in ribbon-laced, silk corsets that
echo those worn by cancan dancers at the Moulin Rouge.


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Materials
Spray mount
1 sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" (21.5cm x 28cm) lavender card stock
8 1/2" x 11" (21.5cm x 28cm) piece lavender silk fabric
Six 1/8" (3mm) silver eyelets
1 sheet 8 1/2" x 11" (21.5cm x 28cm) chartreuse card stock
2 sheets 8 1/2" x 11" (21.5cm x 28cm) white card stock
18" (45.5cm) lavender 1/4"- (6mm-) wide wire-edged organza ribbon
Double-sided tape

Tools
Bone folder
Craft knife, self-healing
cutting mat, and ruler
1/8" (3mm) hole punch
Eyelet setter with self-healing mat and hammer

Artwork
Pattern clipart

Instructions

1 In a well-ventilated area, spray the adhesive on one side of the lavender card stock and attach it to the lavender silk. Smooth out any wrinkles using a bone folder.

2 Trim the sheet of silk and card stock to 3" x 8 1/2" (7.5cm x 21.5cm). This will remove any thread shags or uneven edges.

3 Punch 3 holes on each end of the strip. The holes should be spaced 1" (2.5cm) apart and 1/2" (13mm) from the top and bottom edges of the material. Using the eyelet setter with self-healing mat and hammer, set a silver eyelet inside each of the 6 holes.

4 Use a bone folder to score and fold the chartreuse card stock in half to 4 1/4" (11cm) wide x 11" (28cm) high.

5 Create a 2-page 8 1/2" x 11" (21.5cm x 28cm) document in your computer page layout or word-processing program. Place a graphic pattern (damask or floral to match the patterns used on your invitation cards) on page 1, letting the pattern bleed over the edges on all 4 sides of your page.

6 Print page 1 of the document on a sheet of white card stock. Trim the printed page to 8" (20.5cm) wide x 10 1/2" (26.5cm) high and use a bone folder to score and fold it in half to 4" (10cm) wide x 10 1/2" (26.5cm) high.

7 On page 2 of your document draw crop marks for a card measuring 4" (10cm) wide x 10 3/4" (27cm) high. Place a pattern inside the crop marks with artwork bleeding off the edges. Draw a second set of crop marks to the right of the first set for a card measuring 3 3/4" (9.5cm) wide x 10 1/2" (26.5cm) high. Typeset your menu text inside the crop marks.

8 Print page 2 of the document on the remaining sheet of white card stock. Trim the patterned and menu cards to the crop marks.

9 Using double-sided tape, attach the menu card to the center of the patterned card. Then attach the patterned card to the center of the inside right-hand panel of your folded chartreuse card (from step 4).

10 Fold the chartreuse card closed and wrap the folded patterned card (from step 7) around the outside, leaving an even 1/4" (6mm) border along the top, right, and bottom edges.

11 Fold the sheet of silk and card stock around the outside of both the chartreuse and patterned card, positioning the eyelet edges along the long edges of the card. Lace the ribbon through the eyelets and finish with a petite bow. Curl the ends of the ribbon for a less buttoned-up look.
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Simply Gemstones - Black Onyx and Gold Earrings on: July 14, 2009 06:55:52 PM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Simply Gemstones: Designs for Creating Beaded Gemstone Jewelry
by Nancy Alden



ABOUT THIS BOOK

Celebrities and fashion runways are glittering with gemstones more than ever these days, and chances are that if you're a lover of jewelry and accessories youve lusted after a gem at some point in your life be it turquoise, emerald, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, or, of course, a diamond.

Now Nancy Alden returns with her popular Beadworks series, this time introducing readers to what can seem like a daunting project, creating jewelry from gemstones. But in her typical fashion, she takes the anxiety out of the process, showing anyone how to create stunning gemstone earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Today, precious and semi-precious stones are available in many bead stores and online at a range of price points, making what had once been exclusive, expensive projects completely doable.

Youll also be introduced to stones such as the Peruvian Opal, Pink Sapphire, Rutilated Quartz and Peridot, among a slew of others that you may not be immediately familiar with, but with which it's easy to fall in love.From humble hematite chips to sparkling sapphires and uncut diamonds, in Simply Gemstones there's a gem and a corresponding project that is sure to complement your look or make a special gift.



Black Onyx and Gold Earrings


Like a simple black dress, round, matte black onyx beads are the most modest of fashions, but they can be the perfect companion for the richness of gold. These ornamented vermeil bead caps provide plenty of glitter, but they need the restraint of the sober black onyx to be elegant.



1. Start the earring by making the dangles. Add to each 1⁄2" headpin an onyx bead, a bead cap so that it fits over the onyx bead, and a round gold bead. Make a simple loop.

2. Open the jump rings. Add 1 dangle to a 3mm jump ring and attach it to the ring at one end of the chain. Close the jump ring. Use a 3.5mm jump ring to add 2 dangles to the next ring of the chain. Repeat this to add another 2 dangles to the next ring of the chain.

3. Attach the end of the chain to the earwire (either by opening the loop of the earwire or slipping it over the hook, depending on the style). Add two dangles to a jump ring and attach it to the loop of the earwire. Close the jump ring.

Tools
Round--Nosed Pliers, Flat--Nosed Pliers

Materials
14 4mm round matte black onyx beads
14 6mm vermeil bead caps
2 1 1/8" pieces of gold--filled long and short chain each with 3 long bars and 3 rings
14 2mm hollow gold--filled round beads
6 3.5mm gold--filled jump rings
2 3mm gold--filled jump rings
14 1/2" vermeil headpins with ball tip
1 pair gold--filled earwires



Check out some of the other gorgeous jewelry projects in this book below!



8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia - Glittered Birds on: April 06, 2009 01:11:36 PM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts
An A-to-Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration

by Martha Stewart Living Magazine



ABOUT THIS BOOK

According to the Craft & Hobby Association, nearly 60 percent of U.S. households participate in crafts and hobbies. With the introduction of Martha Stewarts Encyclopedia of Crafts, crafters now have the ideal how-to manual, featuring wonderful ideas for creating handmade, beautiful, and memorable projects, gifts, and decorations.

The groundbreaking, technique-based, how-to reference book comprises more than 200 innovative craft projects. Organized by topic from A to Z, the beautifully and intuitively designed volume offers thorough, step-by-step instructions, with more than 700 full-color instructional and inspirational photos, useful templates for a wide range of techniques, and a comprehensive list of tools and materials to have on hand for all crafting endeavors.

To help complete projects, crafters can use Martha Stewart Crafts, an assortment of crafting essentials such as specialized tools and punches, glitter, rubber stamps, pens and markers, adhesives, ribbon and embellishments, and paper. Martha Stewart Crafts products are available at retailers nationwide.







Tip: For custom shades of glitter, try mixing two or three colors.

Project: glittered birds

Turn simple plastic figurines, such as birds, into dazzling creatures with just a little glitter and tinsel. Different sizes of glitter on the breasts and tails make the birds look more textural and lifelike. To create a centerpiece, look for a branch that can sit freestanding on a table.

Project supplies:

Martha Stewart Crafts Glittering Trays, Martha Stewart Crafts Assorted Glitter Colors, Martha Stewart Crafts 4 oz. Glittering Glue w/Brush Applicator, plastic birds with wired feet, Branch

How-to:

Place the glittering trays out on your work surface. Pour a small amount of glittering glue into a bowl. Fill small bowls with fine glitters to coat the birds.  Use a small paintbrush to coat a bird's tail with glue; sprinkle spoonfuls of fine glitter on top. Shake excess glitter back into the tray for that color; let dry. Repeat, using the same or different colors of fine glitter on the wings, the body, and the head. Fasten the birds to a glittered branch with the wires on their feet.

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / The New Terrarium - Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature on: March 02, 2009 08:33:31 AM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

The New Terrarium - Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature
by Tovah Martin and Kindra Clineff

ABOUT THIS BOOK

If you live in the city but want to be close to nature . . .
If you call the countryside home but have no time to step outside . . .
If you are confined to an office fifty hours a week . . .
If your home needs the soothing touch of the natural world . . .

In The New Terrarium, Tovah Martin, one of America's favorite gardeners, introduces you to the whimsical yet practical world of gardens under glassa no-fuss way to bring snippets of nature indoors. Wherever you are, in whatever little time you have, terrariums are the perfect tool for nature lovers and gardeners everywhere.

With gorgeous photography, The New Terrarium reveals how this classic garden tool has been reimagined in a modern way. When encased in glass, plants thrive with almost no help from outside their little enclosed world, so you can host a plant almost anywherein your apartment where the air is dry or in your cubicle where there's little natural light. Tucked inside something crystal and contained, the bounty of the forest or treasures from the beach or the meadow can merge seamlessly into your home or office environment. It's amazing how some frothy fern fronds or colorful blossoms can transform a room by giving it a burst of vibrant green life.

With clear, simple step-by-step instructions and photographs to inspire and guide you along the way, Martin shares her years of experience growing and tending terrariums and shows how terrariums can enrich your life, including:

different venues for cultivating your terrarium
plants that flourish in these gardens under glass
ideas and designs for creating your first terrarium
how to care for and maintain the environment you've made

Martin has designed a unique range of imaginative terrarium projects, including ones that are suitable for children, enliven the seasons, incorporate plant propagation, and show off a nature collection. Whether you are a gardener or city-dwelling nature lover, The New Terrarium is the perfect way to spark your creativity, while helping you to bring your favorite plants into your home and giving them a place to thrive.

When nature is out of arm's reach and you crave a little greenery, The New Terrarium can show you how to bring all the benefits of the outdoors close to you.











Part 1

A transparent collaboration: terrariums and you

Your home is filled with beauty and meaning. It's bursting with objects that send your mind's eye floating back to places you've been, cities you've visited, museums you've explored. There's no lack of radiant, bright, splendid moments within the confines of your walls. But does your space include nature?

Look at your surroundings. Do they make you feel an affinity for the Earth, with its woods, wildernesses, thickets, beaches, and backcountry? If you value those aspects of your life, there's a simple way to make them part of your everyday world.

The answer is a conduit between nature and your home. Not only can plants in the traditional sense be yours, but other remnants of nature can also be brought inside to cohabitate. The moss under the tree, the husks of the nuts that the squirrel hasn't stashed, the brightly colored autumn leaves that floated across your path on the way to the post office, the glistening stone that caught your eyeall those treasures could become part of your daily life. And glass makes it possible.

Since early civilizations, people have been employing glass to trick the seasons and secure the fruits of the Earth before their normal time to bear. People have turned to glass when they wanted to frame the outdoors while remaining cozily inside by the fireplace. They've employed glass to bring nature inside and to quench their need to fiddle with flora despite the weather outside. And they've luxuriated in the results. With the help of glass enclosures, enjoying plants is a possibility in places that were previously impossible. When plants are encased in glass, growing goes on autopilot. Tucked inside something crystal and contained, the forest, the beach, and the meadow of your most relaxed leisure moments can merge into (but not mess up) your lifestyle. In glass, the meditation moss that keeps you grounded can sit by your side no matter what the season, despite the time of day or the other commitments in your life. Within a glass setting, it's amazing what some frothy green fern fronds can do.

Terrariums Defined

If you've got a dusty image of a terrarium, it's time to update that definition. What we're talking about here is not the stodgy terrariums of your childhood. In recent years, terrariums have taken on a new, sparkling persona that fits comfortably into modern life. These living, breathing bridges between the outdoors and indoors have a new profile that can blend with any lifestyle you happen to embrace. They're sleek, they're sophisticated, and they're current. They make it possible for anyonegardener and novice aliketo have a green thumb. Think of terrariums as a tool.

So, what is a terrarium and what can a terrarium do for you and your home decor? A terrarium is any transparent confine that allows you to nurture the elements of the green world. In a nutshell, terrariums permit the introduction of nature where nature doesn't naturally reside. The dictionary defines a terrarium as "a sealed transparent globe, etc., containing growing plants." But that's really just the beginning.

Terrariums run the gamut. Delve deep into your recollections of elementary-school science class, and the image you'll come up with when you think of a terrarium is probably an aquarium with a lid. This particular aquarium wasn't devoted to fishinstead, it was holding a menagerie of plants. Maybe it was nurturing subjects for science study, maybe it was just brightening up the biology room, but the teacher had tucked some sort of botanicals inside the glass enclosure. And you might remember that those plants were perking along admirably despite the fact that the janitor paid absolutely no attention to the needs of the botanical collection during Christmas break. That might've been your preliminary brush with terrariums, but even in your formative years and probably subliminally, you gleaned some inkling of what terrariums could do for your life.

Then again, it's possible that your initial mental image of an old-school terrarium is of a clear-plastic soda bottle sawed off and clutching the potatohead plant you just stuck in water, or the marigold seedling that you sowed. Those were the typical elementary-school introductions to the concept. But all this has changed. As the years have passed, you've undoubtedly encountered terrariums in many different guises, from glass cloches to miniature greenhouses that could easily sit on a side table or stand on their own pedestal. Terrariums are more beautiful than you might remember from the past. They've gained character and dimension; they are no longer only defined by what they nurture inside. They now have scope, significance, and a presence as design elements. Not only do they nurture plants, but they also add beauty to your home's decor. Terrariums have become incredibly diverse.

Terrariums are almost always made of glass, clear plastic, or acrylic, but that might be the only trait they share. Terrariums can be dome-shaped cloches with a knob for lifting; they can be shaped like a greenhouse, or something more elaborate. A terrarium can be a glass vase with a plant tucked inside it, or it might be a Mason jar holding a faux clutch of robin's eggs or the remains of the long-ago-deceased dragonfly you found on your dashboard. A terrarium might be the cold frame where you keep your tomato plants in the spring or the hotcaps that you clamp over the melons to make certain they don't freeze. Some terrariums have spent their former lives holding goldfish, others are wide-mouthed glass bowls meant to serve grapes or fruit compote. They can be candy jars or lidded cheese plates, beakers or test tubes given a second career. Everything is open to interpretation, and the glass you have at home might be begging to be recycled into a terrarium. For its first job, an antique glass battery case might have put in long hours doing useful service of a very mundane kind, but during its semiretirement, that battery case might serve the function of bringing nature into a drab interior world.

More important than their physical traits is the fact that terrariums all create a certain set of conditions that make bringing nature inside possible, even in the most unfriendly conditions. That's where terrariums have had a critical influence on our lives. What a dictionary can't define is the far reaches of a terrarium's impact. A terrarium opens the possibility for plant life to survive where it never managed to dwell before. In that capacity, terrariums have become invaluable tools.

A terrarium truly is a small world. Terrariums with plants serve as tiny biospheres. When they nurture plants, terrariums become mini-environments that provide an atmosphere of elevated humidity for all the botanical contents that they embrace. If a terrarium is a sealed case (and not all terrariums are necessarily sealed casessome have ventilation, some have unfixed panes, some are open at the mouth or side), it acts as a closed ecological system, with an ongoing cycle of moisture evaporating from the soil and the natural ingredients inside. That moisture wicks up through the soil to eventually produce condensation within, continually moistening the soil and atmosphere. The plants survive, photosynthesizing and creating oxygen just as they would function in the great outdoors. They chug along, going about their life processes, but their daily existence is spent in a small, contained space.

When you close a sealed glass case with a plant sequestered inside, within minutes condensation starts building up on the glass. That's the biosphere beginning to work its magic. That's the exchange of vital forces revving up. The opaque quality of a steamy case, with water droplets dribbling down and the plants inside partly obscured behind the sweating panes, is part of its romance. It's also a sign that a small world is progressing as it should.

Not all terrariums are sealed, and they don't all cloud up with moisture. But even a glass vase with an open mouth elevates humidity levels slightly and helps plants to survive in homes that might not be conducive for nurturing nature. Tuck a plant into anything glass or plastic and enclosed, and it will glean similar benefits. This goes far beyond that simple closed transparent globe that you might remember from childhood. The possibilities are vast.
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitting and Tea - 25 Classic Knits and the Teas That Inspired Them on: March 02, 2009 08:27:46 AM
Sponsored Content - Craft Book Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the new craft book...

Knitting and Tea - 25 Classic Knits and the Teas That Inspired Them
by Jane Gottelier and Patrick Gottelier

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Crisp lace table linens.
Tinkling silver spoons on saucers.
The billowing steam of freshly-brewed tea.
Skeins of fine yarn on delicate needles.

Knitting and Tea brings together these two hallowed traditions in all their beauty, charm, and poise. The author takes you on a journey from the lush tea plantations of Sri Lanka to the tearooms in the United Kingdom to explore the intertwining history of these two passions. The luxurious photographs of each location entice you to sit and sample the delectable teatime recipes included and to knit designs that evoke classic elegance. From a stately Cricket Sweater to lovely Tea Cozies, an embellished Cupcake Cardigan, and timeless Argyle Socks, the author shows you how knitting and tea can go hand-in-hand anywhere.









ARGYLE SOCKS

Skill level: Experienced.

The leg section with the Argyle pattern is worked in intarsia, and as part rows / rounds back and forth on the needles rather than
in complete rounds as is usual with socks. The foot is worked in rounds.

Size: 17" (43cm) from top of ribbing to top of heel. Foot circumference: 9" (23cm).

Materials:
5 balls Rowan 4--ply Soft, 100% Wool [13/4oz (50g) 189yd (175m)], 3 in Nippy, 1 each of Honk and Whisper.  fine
Approximately 300 gunmetal gray glass beads 1/8" (3mm) in diameter.
2 yards (2m) of 3/8" (8mm) ribbon.
Set of 5 size 1 (2.5mm) double pointed needles.

Gauge: 30 stitches and 40 rows to 4" (10cm) over stockinette stitch.

Cast on 108 stitches using Nippy and join into a round, taking care not to twist the stitches. Distribute evenly over 4 needles. Begin ribbing:
*k2, p1, repeat from * around for 13/4" (4.5cm).

Eyelet round: *k2, p1, yo, k2tog, p1, repeat from * around (you will have 18 eyelet holes).
Next round: Work even in k2, p1 rib as set until cuff measures 31/4" (8.5cm).
Break yarn and thread 72 beads onto Nippy yarn at this point, and 13 beads onto Honk yarn. The beginning of the original ribbing round will be at the center front, rather than at the center back as is more usual from now on.
Next part round / row: k2tog, k6, B1, k44, p1, k2, p1, k44, B1, k6. 107 stitches. Turn work.
Next part round / row: p 51, k1, p2, k1, p51, turn work.
Next part round / row: With Honk, k the last stitch as yet unworked from the previous row / part round. Twist Honk under Nippy yarn (the next stitch) to prevent a hole forming, turn work, purl this stitch again in Honk. Turn work, drop Honk yarn.
You have now completed 2 rounds / rows of the chart.
Next part round / row: Pick up Nippy yarn, k4, B1, pattern around to 6 stitches before the Honk stitch, B1, k4, slip last Nippy stitch from right hand needle to left hand needle with Honk stitch, turn work, twist yarn (to prevent hole forming).
Next part round / row: Pattern around (purl side of work facing) to 1 stitch before the Honk stitch, turn.
Next part round / row: With Honk, k3 (1 Nippy stitch either side of Honk stitch as set already), twist yarns, turn work.
Next part round / row: p3 with Honk, turn work.
You have now completed 4 rounds / rows of the chart.
Next part round / row: with Nippy, k2, B1, work in pattern to the last 4 stitches before the Honk stitches, B1, k2, slip last Nippy stitch to left--hand needle from right--hand needle (this is not essential, but it helps), twist yarns, turn work.
Next part round / row: Pattern around (purl side of work facing) to last Nippy stitch before the 3 Honk stitches, turn work.
Next part round / row: k5 Honk, (1 stitch either side of 3 stitches as set), twist yarns, turn work.
Next part round / row: p5 Honk, twist yarns, turn work.
You have now completed 6 rounds / rows of chart.
Continue working this way, working 2 part rounds / rows in Nippy and then 2 in Honk (or Whisper, depending on which diamond you are knitting), placing beads as shown on the chart (do not forget to thread beads onto Whisper and Honk yarn before starting the other diamonds. You will need 13 on the two Whisper and the second Honk diamonds, and 9 on the last Honk diamond) AND AT THE SAME
TIME work decreases on the 10th row, then on every following 7th row 7
times, then on every following 5th row 15 times (as marked on chart). Work decrease rows:
Work in pattern to 2 stitches before center back 'p1, k2, p1', ssk, work p1, k2, p1 panel, k2 tog. After 137 rows of pattern you should have 5 diamonds complete and 61 stitches remaining on the needles. The last round will end at the point of the last (Honk) diamond (between what are needles # 1 & 2). Do not forget to thread beads onto Whisper and Honk yarn before starting the other diamonds. You will need 13 on the two Whisper and the second Honk diamonds, and 9 on the last Honk diamond.
Cast on 108 stitches using Nippy and join into a round, taking care not to twist the stitches. Distribute evenly over 4 needles. Begin ribbing:
*k2, p1, repeat from * around for 13/4" (4.5cm).
Eyelet round: *k2, p1, yo, k2tog, p1, repeat from * around (you will have 18 eyelet holes).
Next round: Work even in k2, p1 rib as set until cuff measures 31/4" (8.5cm).
Break yarn and thread 72 beads onto Nippy yarn at this point, and 13 beads onto Honk yarn. The beginning of the original ribbing round will be at the center front, rather than at the center back as is more usual from now on.
Next part round / row: k2tog, k6, B1, k44, p1, k2, p1, k44, B1, k6. 107 stitches. Turn work.
Next part round / row: p 51, k1, p2, k1, p51, turn work.
Next part round / row: With Honk, k the last stitch as yet unworked from the previous row / part round. Twist Honk under Nippy yarn (the next stitch) to prevent a hole forming, turn work, purl this stitch again in Honk. Turn work, drop Honk yarn.
You have now completed 2 rounds / rows of the chart.
Next part round / row: Pick up Nippy yarn, k4, B1, pattern around to 6 stitches before the Honk stitch, B1, k4, slip last Nippy stitch from right hand needle to left hand needle with Honk stitch, turn work, twist yarn (to prevent hole forming).
Next part round / row: Pattern around (purl side of work facing) to 1 stitch before the Honk stitch, turn.
Next part round / row: With Honk, k3 (1 Nippy stitch either side of Honk stitch as set already), twist yarns, turn work.
Next part round / row: p3 with Honk, turn work.
You have now completed 4 rounds / rows of the chart.
Next part round / row: with Nippy, k2, B1, work in pattern to the last 4 stitches before the Honk stitches, B1, k2, slip last Nippy stitch to left--hand needle from right--hand needle (this is not essential, but it helps), twist yarns, turn work.
Next part round / row: Pattern around (purl side of work facing) to last Nippy stitch before the 3 Honk stitches, turn work.
Next part round / row: k5 Honk, (1 stitch either side of 3 stitches as set), twist yarns, turn work.
Next part round / row: p5 Honk, twist yarns, turn work.
You have now completed 6 rounds / rows of chart.
Continue working this way, working 2 part rounds / rows in Nippy and then 2 in Honk (or Whisper, depending on which diamond you are knitting), placing beads as shown on the chart (do not forget to thread beads onto Whisper and Honk yarn before starting the other diamonds. You will need 13 on the two Whisper and the second Honk diamonds, and 9 on the last Honk diamond) AND AT THE SAME
TIME work decreases on the 10th row, then on every following 7th row 7
times, then on every following 5th row 15 times (as marked on chart). Work decrease rows:
Work in pattern to 2 stitches before center back 'p1, k2, p1', ssk, work p1, k2, p1 panel, k2 tog. After 137 rows of pattern you should have 5 diamonds complete and 61 stitches remaining on the needles. The last round will end at the point of the last (Honk) diamond (between what are needles # 1 & 2). Do not forget to thread beads onto Whisper and Honk yarn before starting the other diamonds. You will need 13 on the two Whisper and the second Honk diamonds, and 9 on the last Honk diamond.
The stitches are now worked as follows: 31 for top of foot, held for the moment while the heel is worked, and 30 for the heel. Working on double--pointed needles this is 15 stitches on #1 needle (before the last diamond), 16 stitches on #2 needle (after the diamond) and 15 stitches each on needles 3 and 4 for heel.
Knit across the stitches on needle #2, begin heel.
Row 1: sl1, k12, p1, k2, p1, k to end.
Row 2: sl1, p12, k1, p2, k1, p to end.
Work these 2 rows 14 times more, 30 rows total.
Turn heel:
Row 1: sl1, k15, k2tog, k1, turn.
Row 2: sl1, p3, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: sl1, k4, k2tog, k1 turn.
Row 4: sl1, p5, p2tog, p1 turn.
Continue this way, working 1 stitch more on each row until all stitches
have been used up (last row will end 'p2tog, p1'). 18 stitches remain
on the needle.
Next round: sl1, k across the 17 stitches remaining on what is now needle #1, pick up and knit 15 stitches along the side of the heel flap with this same needle.
Needles # 2 & 3 (top of foot): knit across
Needle # 4 (currently empty): Pick up and knit 15 stitches along the side of the heel flap, k across the first 9 stitches from needle #1, round now begins at the mid--point of the heel and you have 79 stitches.
Round 1: k to last 2 stitches on #1, k2tog, k across the stitches on #2 and 3, ssk first 2 stitches on #4, k to end.
Next round: work even.
Repeat these 2 rounds until 61 stitches remain, then work in rounds of stockinette stitch until foot length is 71/2" (19cm), or until foot is 2" (5cm) shorter than the foot the sock is for.
Toe shaping
Decrease round 1: *k2tog, k8, k2tog, k9, repeat from * around. 56 stitches.
Work 5 rounds even.
Decrease round 2: *k2tog, k5, repeat from * around. 48 stitches. These decreases will not line up with the first round of the decreases as 8 stitches have been decreased on this round as opposed to 5 stitches on the previous decrease round.
Work 4 rounds even.
Decrease round 3: *k2tog, k4, repeat from * around. 40 stitches.
Work 3 rounds even.
Decrease round 4: *k2tog, k3, repeat from * around. 32 stitches.
Work 2 rounds even.
Decrease round 5: *k2tog, k2, repeat from * around. 24 stitches.
Work 1 round even.
Decrease round 6: *k2tog, k1, repeat from * around. 16 stitches.
Decrease round 7: *k2tog, repeat from * around. 8 stitches.
Thread yarn through these 8 stitches, draw up and fasten off securely. Sew in all ends. Cut ribbon into two lengths and thread through eyelet holes.
THE STITCHES ARE NOW WORKED AS FOLLOWS: 31 FOR TOP OF FOOT, HELD FOR THE MOMENT


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