SMP Craft
14 Feb

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY: Nothing says “I love you” like crafts, cats, and classic rap.

Today’s guest post is written by St. Martin’s Press Assistant Editor, Caitlin Dareff.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and all those star-crossed lovers and friends out there, here’s a little story about showing love through cross stitch.

This one goes out to you, Linnie…

My best friend and soul sister, Linnie, recently moved to Oakland, putting thousands of miles between us, as well as temporarily between her and her three beloved cats and husband, who would be following her out there later in the year. I knew she was missing home and her cat-children, and that she and Mike would eventually have a California residence that needed to be decorated. So I decided that the only thing to do, as is often the case, is cross stitch.

Inspired by a Facebook post Linnie had shared weeks before her move (we Facebook stalk the ones we love, right?), I decided to stitch for her a cat-tastic take on the Wu Tang Clan song, “C.R.E.A.M” (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me”). Because, after all, nothing says “I love you” like crafts, cats, and classic rap. Upon further research, I discovered that I would not be the first person to cross stitch this ode to Wu Tang and cats, but I went with my own take on it.

I chose a combination of all caps block lettering and all caps cursive to provide a balance of hard and soft. As I always do when starting a new project, I mapped it out on graph paper beforehand to determine spacing. I waited until I had finished stitching the lettering to decide what kind of cat pattern would best complement it. In my experience, when cross stitching a simple cat pattern, orange tabby and black come out best, so for this project I went with the tabbies for a pop of color.

One week later and I was ready to send Linnie her first housewarming present for her first west coast home, stitched with love.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Check out our new February and March books!

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Tagged with: cats, Cross Stitch, crossstitch, love, music, rap, smpcraft, valentine's day, valentinesday, wu tang clan, wutangclan
16 Jan

Freebie Friday: Tulip Beret (and fingerless gloves)

Matchy matchy! Back in May last year, we fell in love with Martin Storey’s Tulip Fingerless Gloves, one of 25 projects found in his delightful book, Floral Knits: 25 Contemporary Flower-Inspired Designs. We gave you the pattern as a free download. We realized then and still believe now that these brilliant fingerless gloves are an all-season accessory, just as perfectly at home accompanying a bright camisole on a Spring day as they are providing an extra (albeit stylish, feminine, and flattering) layer of warmth during frostier times–like now, on this exceptionally windy and nippitty NYC Friday night. So we’re offering the matching Tulip Beret as this FRIDAY’S FREE PATTERN DOWNLOAD.

TulipBeretFingerlessGlovesSet TulipBeret

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And come back on Sunday–when we start our Sunday Goodreads Giveaway, and you can enter for a chance to win one of 20 copies of Floral Knits! If you simply can’t wait, it’s available now at your favorite bookseller:

FloralKnits

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new January and February books!

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Tagged with: beanies, beret, fingerless gloves, floral fashion, flowers, how to knit, how to make a beanie
12 Jan

Author of the Month: Marisa Edghill, author of Washi Style!

WELCOME, Marisa Edghill!

Marisa Edghill

Marisa Edghill

This month, we sit down with Marisa Edghill, craft designer, washi tape aficionado, and author of Washi Style!: Make it with paper tape. Marisa grew up in a house filled with glitter, pretty paper, and an inherent love of craft. Which is to say her love of all things handmade started early! Well-known for her washi tape creations, Marisa blogs about her crafty adventures online at omiyageblogs.ca.

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1. What’s your craft?
This is actually a tough one for me! I’m a craft dabbler–I love making (or at least trying to make) all sorts of things. That being said, I’m probably best known for paper craft–especially projects using washi tape and origami paper. Washi Tape Cuties New 2

 

 

2. What project would you consider an all-time best?
I’ve just wrapped up my 2014 creative project, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with it at the moment. The Kirigami Project was a year-long exploration in kirigami papercutting. I spent a great deal of time in 2014 surrounded by piles of paper cuttings and wouldn’t change a thing about that! As a bonus, I teamed up with a fantastic graphic designer, Geri Jewitt, and we released a new design weekly plus provided monthly printable templates.

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3. What project would you consider an all-time worst?
A sleeveless ribbed funnel neck sweater knit out of brown acrylic yarn. Without a pattern. So many poor choices there! I never actually wore it though, so I guess that’s a good thing!

4. What tool or material could you not live without?
Washi tape! I really do use it for everything whether it is a tape-based project, to mark a seam allowance on my sewing machine or to seal a package in the kitchen. I keep a roll (or 3) in my purse in case of tape emergencies. It’s definitely my favourite muliti-tasker. My sister summed it up the other day by saying “I don’t know what I did before washi tape came into my life.”jan15 tape combos 3

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. I love to see and discover new places–but I’m not a fan of the actual logistics of getting from point A to point B. How amazing would it be to start your day eating pineapple for breakfast in Hawaii with an ocean view, then wander the cobblestone streets of Florence, popping into a gallery or two (and a gelato shop or three), and still get to sleep in your own bed. Amazing!

Here are some other random things about me…

I was born in Barbados and raised in Canada. After university, I moved to Japan (on a bit of a whim) where I fell in love with the country (and the Brazilian boy I married on a humid Japanese summer day in a humid Japanese city hall). Now we live in an old house in a small town on the southern shores of Georgian Bay and dream that the snow drifts outside are really beach dunes. (Teleportation would be a great asset during the long Canadian winter!)

Follow Marisa Edghill at:

Omiyage.ca | Omiyageblogs.ca | Pinterest.com/Omiyageca | Facebook.com/Omiyage.ca | Twitter.com/MarisaEdghill | Instagram/omiyage_ca

 

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Order Washi Style at your favorite bookseller!

WashiStyle_cover

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

Check out our new January and February books!

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3D_Washi-100x100

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Tagged with: Crafts, gift wrapping, how to, invitation, kirigami, Paper, paper crafts, washi
28 Dec

Goodreads Giveaway: Origami in Action by Robert J. Lang

We’re nearing the close of 2014… but we couldn’t end the year without just one more Goodreads Giveaway! Last Friday, we posted about our Free Project Download for The Strumming Guitarist — an origami project where the guitarist actually strums the guitar — from Origami in Action: Paper Toys that Fly, Flap, Gobble, and Inflate!  by Robert J. Lang. You can read about Dr. Lang’s history with origami on his blog. Here’s a snippet from his biography:

In 1992 Dr. Lang became the first Westerner ever invited to address the Nippon Origami Association’s annual meeting; he has since been an invited guest at international origami conventions around the world. He lectures widely on origami and its connections to mathematics, science, and technology, and teaches workshops on both artistic techniques and applications of folding in industrial design.

Dr. Lang is one of the pioneers of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with mathematics; he has been one of the few Western columnists for Origami Tanteidan Magazine, the journal of the Japan Origami Academic Society, and has presented refereed and invited technical papers on origami-math at mathematical and computer science professional meetings...

Now you can enter for a chance to win one of 20 copies of Robert J. Lang’s Origami in Action during our Goodreads Giveaway. Enter before January 1st!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Origami In Action by Robert J. Lang

Origami In Action

by Robert J. Lang

Giveaway ends January 01, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Can’t wait? Origami in Action is available at your favorite bookseller:

Origami-in-Action-cover

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

New in December & January!

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Tagged with: cranes, moveable, origami, origami animals, origami canoes, origami otters, paper crafts, toys
16 Dec

How To Tuesday: Washi Tape Gift Bags Stuffed with Homemade Candied Pecans

How is it already December 16th? Literally, I’ve done ZERO shopping. Not for family, not for friends, certainly not for that office Secret Santa I’m a part of tomorrow. I’m doomed. If you’re like me, then we’re both in luck as I have the perfect, easy, done-in-1-hour homemade holiday treat that’s great to give as a gift, or to enjoy just for yourself.

Candied Pecans are a go-to gift for me. They’re easy to whip up and everyone loves them. Cinnamon-sugared baked pecans will leave your kitchen smelling like one of those nut stands on the corner of New York City streets (aka the best smell in the world.) Then, using Washi tape and parchment bags, you can create festive one-of-a-kind gift bags to share with coworkers, the mailman, or anyone you need that last minute gift for.

CoolingnutsWashi bags filled with pecans

First, start by preparing the Candied Pecans. Once your pecans are in the oven baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags.

Candied Pecans (Adapted from Sinful Southern Sweets)

Makes four 3 oz. servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Candied Pecans ingredients

  • 12 oz. Pecan halves
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • ½ Cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg white and water. Using a whisk, or electric mixer, beat the two together until light and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the pecans to the egg mixtures, and stir to coat evenly. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined. Add the sugar mixture to the pecans, and stir to coat evenly. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread the pecans in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes. After an hour, the pecans should smell delicious and have a hardened candy shell surrounding them. While your pecans are baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags. Using strips of Washi tape, decorate the bags in any design or pattern you like. Once your bags are ready and the pecans have cooled to the touch, fill up the gift bags and seal with a piece of tape.

Eggwhites beat

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg white and water. Using a whisk, or electric mixer, beat the two together until light and frothy, about 2 minutes.

Nuts in bowl

2. Add the pecans to the egg mixtures, and stir to coat evenly.

Nuts brown sugar

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined.

foillined baking sheet

4. Add the sugar mixture to the pecans, and stir to coat evenly.

Finished

5. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread the pecans in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes.

Coolingnuts

6. After an hour, the pecans should smell delicious and have a hardened candy shell surrounding them.

While your pecans are baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags.

Washi Tape Gift Bags

  • Parchment bags — you can also use paper bags, mason jars, or any receptacle of your choosing.
  • Washi tape

Washi Tape bags

Washi Bags

Using strips of Washi tape, decorate the bags in any design or pattern you like.

Washi bags filled with pecans

Once your bags are ready and the pecans have cooled to the touch, fill up the gift bags and seal with a piece of tape.

This will be the easiest and tastiest DIY gift you’ll make all season!

For more recipes, make sure to check out St. Martin’s Kitchen on Facebook and Pinterest and for more Washi inspired crafts, pick up your copy of Washi Style! by Marisa Edghill, available January 13, 2015, wherever books are sold.

WashiStyle
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

New in December & January!

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3D_Washi-100x100

3D_MoreMonster-100x100

 

 

 

Tagged with: candied nuts, candy, christmas, foodies, gifts, handmade, holiday crafts, holiday gifts, homemade, how to, Japan, nuts, pecans, washi

Author of the Month

This month, we sit down with Marisa Edghill, craft designer, washi tape aficionado, and author of Washi Style! Make it with paper tape. Marisa grew up in a house filled with glitter, pretty paper, and an inherent love of craft. Which is to say her love of all things handmade started early! Well-known for her washi tape creations, Marisa blogs about her crafty adventures online at omiyageblogs.ca.
Click below for more...

Marisa Edghill author of Washi Style

doilies and coasters


Your little monster will be the envy of the bus stop with this Project of the Month: a little lamb hat and neck ruff with matching legwarmers and mittens from More Monster Knits for Little Monsters 20 Super-Cute Animal-Themed Hat and Mitten Sets to Knit.In a stylish cream color (not as white as snow) people will be asking, Mary who?

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