How-To Tuesday: Earth Day, Plastic Purge, and the Two-Liter Sea Creature Lamp!

22 Apr

Today we officially celebrate our lovely planet.

According to earthday.org, Earth Day grew out of this particular context: 1970, a time when “Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans,” and “industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press.” When “air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. ‘Environment’ was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.” Though mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring had already set the stage and “represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries and, up until that moment, more than any other person, Ms. Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.”

Earth Day is one of my favorite national holidays. Though, admittedly, it often feels somewhat bittersweet to me. While I’m far from a treehugger, I’m conscious of my actions’ overall impact on the environment–what I consume, how I consume. So several years ago, I began limiting plastic in my life. Not an easy task. And I’ll likely forever be in process as plastic is ubiquitous. Check out ecologist Michael SanClemens’ recently released Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles!  if you’re curious about plastic’s impact not only on our environment but our overall health AND the sea turtles! PlasticPurge

To pay homage to Earth Day, I found this amazing How-To for you, for me, for everybody to try! Super simple and uses what everyone will at one point or another have lying around: a plastic two-liter container. So before tossing the bottles into the recycling bin, consider transforming them into this fabulous Sea Creature Lamp from The Big Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano. Lamp-finished

 

 

 

 

You’ll need:

Snap-in socket-and-cord set with switch and a candelabra base
15-watt chandelier bulb
2 emptied and cleaned 2-liter soda bottles
Craft knife
Scissors
*Glue remover (author suggests Goof off) – optional

Now, do the following for both bottles:

1. Prep the bottles first by removing the labels. Soaking in very hot water has always worked for me. In case it doesn’t, the author recommends using Goof off glue remover.
2. Next, using your craft knife (very sharp) cut the base off.
3. With your scissors, starting from the base, cut ¼ inch strips to the neck of the bottle.
4. Stack the bottles by inserting one bottle into the other so that one bottle neck is tucked inside the other.
5. Thread the light cord through the bottles so that the socket is surrounded by strips.
6. Finally, screw in the light bulb and hang the lamp from a hook. Ta da! You’re done!

Step 3.

Step 3.

Step 4.

Step 4.

Step 5.

Step 5.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Check out our new April and May titles:

3D_Serger'sBrightBazaar (2)3D_GameDay-206x3003D_FloralKnits-206x300

Goodreads Giveaway: Modern Calligraphy

20 Apr

No time like the present to learn a classic skill—all with a modern twist!

9781250016324_FC

Calligraphy is about creating something uniquely beautiful, whether to celebrate a special occasion like marriage or to use every day in the form of stationery. In Modern Calligraphy, author Molly Suber Thorpe, an award-winning designer and calligrapher, teaches you how to master this fresh modern lettering style.

The twenty projects in the book provide lots of inspiration and are grouped into three sections: weddings, entertainment, and personal stationery. With loads of ideas, practice exercises, and helpful tips, soon you will be turning out gorgeous script calligraphy pieces like the ones featured in wedding magazines and popular websites like Pinterest!

ACT FAST! Our Goodreads giveaway is over at midnight EST on 4/23.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe

Modern Calligraphy

by Molly Suber Thorpe

Giveaway ends April 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Can’t wait? Order today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s
Walmart

Check out our new April and May titles:

3D_Serger'sBrightBazaar (2)3D_GameDay-206x3003D_FloralKnits-206x300

Freebie Friday: Modern Calligraphy

18 Apr

‘Tis the season for celebrating weddings, graduations, religious holidays—and the end of a VERY long winter! Today we are giving you a little insight into the art of calligraphy. Calligraphy is about creating something uniquely beautiful while adding a handmade, personal touch.

Today’s FREEBIE DOWNLOAD: the fine art of modern calligraphy.

MC 28_29

Modern Calligraphy is the first book to teach this bold new lettering style—all with a modern twist. This book breaks the calligraphy process down into simple steps so anyone can learn to create their own stunning wedding invitations, thank you cards, gift tags, and much more!

9781250016324_FC

 

Starting with an overview of the supplies, you will learn how to form letters, words, and then phrases by following clear step-by-step instructions, and by practicing with the provided templates. After mastering letter forms using a pointed pen and ink you can take it to the next level by learning how to use watercolor and gouache or how to digitize your calligraphy.

 

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s
Walmart

Check out our new April and May titles:

3D_Serger'sBrightBazaar (2)3D_GameDay-206x3003D_FloralKnits-206x300

Happy Pub Day!

15 Apr

On sale now!

If you’re like me, beginning a new craft better come with an entire instruction manual, or you’re going to end up with a table full of science experiments and a swear jar filled to the brim. If learning how to use a serger, or overlock machine, has been on your agenda but seems too daunting, I’ve got just the thing for you. The Serger’s Technique Bible by Julia Hincks goes on sale today!

When it comes to achieving professional-quality edging, hemming, seaming, and decorative stitching, you can’t beat a serger. A serger allows you to quickly sew, trim, and finish seams all in one go! This book contains all you need to get the most out of your machine.

Starting with the basics, the anatomy of a serger and its different functions are clearly explained, followed by a section that covers each of the core techniques, from basic serging to fancy stitching like pintucks and picot edging, all shown in detailed step-by-step photographs so you can achieve professional results. A useful overview of available feet and accessories used to add piping, elastic, or beading to your project is provided, along with tips for how to cut down on construction time by using your machine to quickly attach collars, alter garments, work with lace, and more. A buyer’s guide that takes you through all the questions to ask when buying your first serger, and the practical information included for how to maintain and troubleshoot your machine makes this a reference book all machine sewers will return to again and again for easy-to-follow, helpful advice.

Convinced? I know I am!

Order today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s

Check out our new April and May titles:

3D_Serger'sBrightBazaar (2)3D_GameDay-206x3003D_FloralKnits-206x300

Goodreads Giveaway: Stitch-opedia!

13 Apr

Have you always wanted to learn embroidery? Are you a beginner looking for tips and tricks to advance your skill? Have you been embroidering for years and looking for some new patterns? STITCH-OPEDIA is the book for you…all of you!

9780312611590

Written for beginners and experts alike, Stitch-Opedia describes in detail hundreds of embroidery stitches. Each stitch is grouped into sections that include: canvas work, crewel work, hardanger, pulled work, stumpwork and much more. Each stitch includes close-up detailed color photographs, a full-color working diagram, and accurate written instructions. An extremely helpful alphabetical listing with close-up thumbnail photographs appears later in the book allowing the user to cross-reference each stitch.

ACT FAST! Our Goodreads giveaway is over at midnight on Wednesday, 4/16.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Stitch-opedia by Helen Winthorpe Kendrick

 Stitch-opedia

 by Helen Winthorpe Kendrick

  Giveaway ends April 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Can’t wait? Order today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s
Walmart

Check out our new April and May titles:

        3D_Serger'sBrightBazaar (2)3D_GameDay-206x3003D_FloralKnits-206x300