SMP Craft
28 Nov

FREEBIE FRIDAY: Modern Calligraphy

The last time we wrote about Modern Calligraphy, Courtney went down the hand-written party invites road and Kerry featured the tips about shapes and curves. Well, it’s that time of the year again. I’m sitting down to write my holiday cards this weekend what with Thanksgiving over and done with (I know you’re still enjoying those leftovers!) and I turned to Molly Suber Thorpe for some guidance and I sure found it.

Our Freebie Friday this week is the DIY Confetti Greeting Cards project. The great thing about this project is that you can customize it any way you want to – for holiday party invites, birthday invites, or just Christmas cards!

November Freebie Friday from MODERN CALLIGRAPHY - Img 1_Page_1

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. Now you can learn from Molly Suber Thorpe, an experienced expert how to master this fresh modern lettering style.

IMG 2The first book to teach this bold new style 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 more. Starting with an overview of the supplies—from paper to ink to pens—you will learn how to form letters, words, and then phrases by following Molly’s 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.

modern call

The twenty projects in the book provide lots of inspiration for making your own 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.

On Sunday, check out our Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win your own copy! Can’t wait that long? You can buy one here:

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Books-a-Million
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Walmart

Check out our newest November title!

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25 Nov

How to Tuesday: Travel Boards

Confession time: I still have two shoe boxes filled with over 300 pictures, tickets, menus, business cards, and other mementos from when I backpacked through Europe…three years ago. On my trip I knew I wanted to make a scrapbook to remember the trip so I collected pretty much anything that could fit in one. (I even kept a few corks.) I have moved to four different apartments schlepping those shoe boxes with me and have not made any more progress on my scrapbook since moving to the city. Luckily, I spotted the answer to my problem hanging on my friend’s wall this week. Instead of putting her travel mementos in a closed book she chose to display them in the open using a bulletin board and create her very own travel board.

travel board_cropped

I had never thought of a travel board before Saturday and now I can’t get the idea out of my head. It’s such a simple yet brilliant idea. No more agonizing over finding the perfect scrapbook paper. No more constantly rearranging each page’s content. It seemed a travel board is the answer to my over-analyzing crafting ways.

To get started, gather up your mementos and think of how you want to display your memories. Etsy has some fantastic custom-made bulletin boards. How fantastic is this one made from wine corks in the shape of California?

california cork

Next decide how you want to arrange your travel board. If you’re doing a board for just one trip, perhaps arranging them in chronological order will be a fun way to relive your trip each time you look at the board. Or if you like the collage look overlap your photos in a random arrangement and secure with pushpins.

how to hang
One way to customize your travel board even more is to frame it. With the frame you can mat it or choose a rustic frame to give your travel board an extra flair. How to Hang a Picture by Jay Sacher and Suzanne LaGasa offers lots of tips and ideas for the novice framer. From discussing the different places to hang art and how this process differs from drywall, brick, and even cinder block Jay and Suzanne have thought of everything. Before this book I had no idea there were different basic framing options (bleed, float, and matted float for starters). There’s even a section on displaying three-dimensional objects in frames and how to create and hang a shadow box. But Jay and Suzanne don’t stop there. They also show you how to frame and hang needlepoint, plates, giant posters, and more!

Once you’ve got all the hanging finished, make sure to read the last section on proper lighting to show off your fabulously decorated walls. No excuses now, time to dig out all those prints and old art projects you’ve held onto for all these years. You just knew you would hang them up some day!

Buy your copy of How to Hang a Picture today!
how to hang

Amazon
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Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our newest November title!

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Tagged with: books, Crafts, DIY, how to books, how-to-tuesdays, smpcraft, Tips
23 Nov

Goodreads Giveaway: 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet

On Friday, we offered our free project download, The Sunflower Square Crochet Block, a beginner-friendly project from Betty Barnden’s 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet: Beautiful Patterns to Mix and Match for Afghans, Throws, Baby Blankets, and More. Blocks range from traditional blanket squares with petals and rosebuds to colorful polygons with three-dimensional flowers and leaves. Here are examples of other floral patterns found in her book:

Fall_WinterSpringGreenSummerPink_hexagonShamrocktriangle

We’re sure there’s something here to inspire every crochet fan–from beginner to well-seasoned. And, we’re running a Goodreads Giveaway so that you can enter for a chance to win one of 20 copies. See below for giveaway details, and enter before it closes on Thursday!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

75 Floral Blocks to Crochet by Betty Barnden

75 Floral Blocks to Crochet

by Betty Barnden

Giveaway ends November 27, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If you don’t want to wait or want to give the gift of crocheting to a beloved crafter in your life, 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet can be ordered now at your favorite bookseller:

75FloralBlockstoCrochet

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our newest November title!

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Tagged with: crochet, floral patterns, flowers, goodreads giveaway
21 Nov

Freebie Friday: Sunflower Square Crochet Block

This morning, I watched this bird walk back and forth on my kitchen window sill. Walk a few steps. Stop for a few seconds. Walk back to the original spot. Then finally take off.

BirdSill

That’s how I’m feeling right about now: Almost free. I’m headed to southern California this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving and my mother’s 75th birthday with my family–fleeing the biting New York City cold to bask in glorious warmth and sunshine for a week. But I still have to get through the pre-flight dance, which is essentially getting through a daunting to do list before I can take off. I wish I could say I could get through everything and catch up on sleep during the flight. But I don’t sleep well on planes. So I’ll be doing one of my to-dos on the plane. Now that TSA removed crochet hooks from its prohibited list of carry-on items, I’m going to crochet Sunflower Squares to accessorize the Thanksgiving table.

The Sunflower Square pattern is from 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet: Beautiful patterns to mix and match for afghans, throws, baby blankets, and more by Betty Barnden, a collection of 75 triangular, square, diamond-shaped, hexagonal, and circular blocks, all with a floral theme. The book also includes written patterns and color charts, useful techniques, and creative projects.

Crochet 1-2-3 remarks: “You will quickly be creating a beautiful project, whether a basic afghan or a fabulous scarf…This is a book that any crocheter will want.” And for the daily commute or long flight like I’m about to take, the blocks are perfect for crafters “on-the-go.”

Want to try this pattern out, too? It’s Level: EASY. CLICK the image below or here to DOWNLOAD it for FREE. Start crocheting now!

SunflowerimageSunflowers not your cup o’ tea? How about Daffodils? Buttercups? Roses? These and many other varieties are in 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet, which is available at your favorite bookseller.

75FloralBlockstoCrochet

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our newest November title!

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18 Nov

How to Tuesday: Leaf Covered Candle Holders

I love candles. And mason jars. And holiday-themed decorations.  So these leaf covered candle holders are pretty much perfection to me. While mine will be part of my Thanksgiving table centerpiece next week, these cute holders can be displayed around my apartment all fall long. You can use fake or real leaves for this project.  Or you can use the same steps but with doilies or other semi-sheer materials to fit whichever holiday or activity (I’m looking at you…rustic chic weddings) that comes to mind. Even better, this is a great craft for kids as all it requires is some glue (if using a hot glue gun, please supervise).

Materials (*All found at Michaels)

  • Mason jars Glue – Mod Podge or hot glue gun
  • Leaves or material of your choice
  • Sponge brushCraft 1

1. Gather your leaves.  If using real leaves, go outside and grab a handful of the prettiest ones you can find. If using fake leaves, first clip them so that each leaf is separated. If you’re like me, sort those leaves into corresponding color, size,  and texture piles. Craft 2

2. Start gluing your leaves to the mason jar. I like having a bit of texture to the outside of the jar, so I didn’t glue each leaf completely flat. Continue to add leaves around the jar until you have the desired effect. Depending on the weight of your leaves,  you may need to use hot glue to secure them to the mason jar. Craft 3

3. Once you have all of your leaves attached, let the jar dry overnight. Craft 4

 

 

 

 

 

4. Once completely dry, pop a votive candle inside the mason jar, dim the lights, and enjoy the ambiance. Craft 5

Check out our newest November title!

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Tagged with: candles, crafty, holiday, holiday decorating, lighting, table setting, Thanksgiving, votive

Author of the Month

This month we sit down with Helen Angharad Henley, mother of three, handbag designer, self-proclaimed “compulsive maker,” and author of newly published Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 quick and easy bags to make for all occasions. Helen lives and works in Wales where she designs, makes, and sells her sewing patterns and handbags. She blogs her stitching endeavours at angharadhandmade.blogspot.com and sells her bags online at angharad handmade.

Helen  Angharad Henley, author of Tote-ally Amazing Bags

Cookie Jewelry Box


They say there are two types of women in the world: those who love jewelry, and those who love cookies. What? You say you're both types of woman? Well then I sure have a treat for you, with this free pattern from our new book 50 Deliciously Decorative Cookies: Easy-t0-Make Cookie Creations by Fiona Pearce, you can have your jewelry box and eat it, too!

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