Great Finds Friday: Sewing Essentials Winner!

Happy Friday, Crafters! In honor of National Sewing Month, we’re here to announce the lucky winner of the Great Finds Friday: National Sewing Month Edition giveaway offered here on the blog on September 13th.

Guest blogger Jennifer Davey, www.bestillmycraftingheart.blogspot.com, presented an amazing assortment of goodies and gadgets from Clover and Creative Solutions that any sewing enthusiast would love! Plus, Jennifer is including one of her divine, handmade Pillbox Pincushions. If you missed the original post, click on the bold blue link above. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the fabulous products featured in the post:

The winner, as chosen by Random.org, is Trish Nicholls. Congratulations, Trish! We’ll contact you via email for your mailing address.

Watch for another great giveaway on Great Finds Friday, September 27th. Your kids will love it!

Happy Sewing!

Dawn Gehring, Crafts ‘n things Editorial Staff (www.craftsnthings.com)

 

Ruby Rock-it At Last Giveaway Winner

Hi there, it’s Alice Golden here with you today to announce the lucky winner of the Ruby Rock-it At Last Collection Giveaway. The brand-new At Last Collection is filled with shimmery papers in lovely pastel colors that are perfect for wedding projects, but versatile enough to use in all sorts of paper crafting. This prize includes a mix of their fun printed papers, as well as some beautiful embellishments.

To be entered in this giveaway, all you had to do was leave a comment on this post by midnight PST on September 16 recommending a favorite book, movie, or television show. There was quite a huge response, and lots of great suggestions, but only one lucky winner’s name was selected. The winner, as selected by Random.org, is Naghma.

Congratulations, Naghma! We will be contacting you for your address by email shortly.

Keep reading the Crafts ‘n things blog for daily project ideas, inspiration, and other great giveaways.

Alice Golden from Golden Moments (www.alicegolden.com)

 

Riley Blake and Accuquilt Giveaway Winner!

September is National Sewing Month! To help celebrate, we’re here to announce the winner of the Accuquilt GO! Tumbler 3-1/2″ die and a Riley Blake Medium Dot on Cream Fat Quarter Bundle valued at $60 offered on Jennifer Davey’s blog post on September 6th. For more details about Riley Blake, Accuquilt, and the wonderful pillbox pincushion Jennifer created, read her post here!

The winner of the Riley Blake and Accuquilt giveaway prize, as selected by Random.org, is Diana, who said she’s hoping to teach her granddaughters how to sew. Congratulations, Diana! We’re sure these fun fabrics will help. We will contact you for your mailing address.

Happy Sewing!

Dawn @ Crafts ‘n things (www.craftsnthings.com)

Great Finds Friday: National Sewing Month Edition

There are two things any seamstress must have: the proper tools and a place to put them. Today, I am pleased to share a few of my favorite “must haves” for any seamstress no matter the skill level. These items are traditional sewing tools but with a fresh new take.

My friends at Clover and Creative Solutions have generously helped me put together the perfect sewing stash. So, on to the fun part of Great Finds: the GIVEAWAY!! If you are the lucky winner you will receive…

Some of my favorite tools by Clover that every sewing basket shouldn’t be without …

and of course the products featured today

And from Creative Solutions the perfect place to store all your new tools

AND a Pillbox Pincushion made by yours truly.

Giving us a retail value of well over $100 dollars, which would put a smile on any seamstress’ face.

All you have to do for your chance to win is comment on this post, then for an extra chance click on over to my blog and comment on my Friday Finds post for 9/13/2013.

Post your comments by 12am PST 9/19/2013.

Everyone needs great storage and Creative Options brings us practical storage solutions with flare. The Tapered Tote is the perfect sewing basket that will fit all your sewing basics and currently comes in two great color choices.

Love the idea of a thimble but never could find a comfortable one that would stay on my finger. Clover brings us the solution.  Protect and Grip Thimbles have flexible rubber for a comfortable fit that stays put and a metal thimble cap to protect your finger.

Wonder Clips and the New Jumbo Wonder Clips hold multiple layers together without damaging or distorting the fabric. Perfect for vinyls, piles, and heavy weight fabrics. Wonder clips all have a flat back that makes it easy to feed to the presser foot. The clips also have seam allowance markings. Check out a few clever ways to use these great tools… here.

And last, but certainly not least, Accuquilt.  Have you ever envisioned the die you need for a project, just to find that no matter how hard you looked and how many companies you look at, your perfect die just doesn’t exist? Well Accuquilt has the solution in Create your own GO! Custom dies. Send them the concept, approve the design, and your die ships in 5 business days! And if you are one of the first 100 you get a little something extra. Go check it out at Accuquilt.com.

Don’t forget to post your comments by 12am PST 9/19/2013 for your chance to win the “perfect sewing stash”.

GOOD LUCK!

by Jennifer Davey (www.bestillmycraftingheart.blogspot.com)

Ruby Rock-it At Last Giveaway

Hi there, Alice here today with another giveaway from the Australian company, Ruby Rock-it. Their brand-new At Last collection is filled with shimmery papers in lovely pastel colors that are perfect for wedding projects, but versatile enough to use in all sorts of paper crafting.

Ruby Rock-It will be giving one lucky Crafts ‘n things blog reader an assortment from the At Last collection. This includes a mix of their fun printed papers, as well as some beautiful embellishments.

To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post by midnight PST on Monday, Sept 16, 2013, and if you have a recommendation for a favorite book, movie, or television show, I’d love to hear it. Winners will be announced here on Sept 17th.

I just finished another book by Kate Morton called The Secret Keeper and I enjoyed it… although not as much as The Forgotten Garden. I’ve been slowly making my way through James Clavell’s Asian Saga books, but I like to break that up with other books in between and I’d love to get some new ones to add to my reading list. I’m looking forward to reading your replies.

Okay… back to crafting!

The At Last collection is perfect for weddings and I created these cake boxes that could be used as a favor or favor/place card combo.

It was fun to mix and match the papers and die-cut borders. To create consistency between them, I added the same crinkled ribbon, die-cut stamped vellum tag, and glittered flower sticker on the top of each box. The boxes open up from the back, so the ribbon is decorative and functional; that’s how the box stays closed. The tag is tied onto the bow using paper floss.

To go along with the favors, I simply wrapped strips of paper around inexpensive clear votive holders and added a bride-and-groom sticker. The papers all have a subtle shimmer (which is really hard to capture in a photo). To add even more shimmer, I created a double-sided paper by covering the backside with a gold metallic paper that creates a beautiful glow once you add a lighted candle inside. These would be really easy and economical table decorations, and look great even without the stickers.

This collection isn’t just for weddings and showers. Here is a birthday card created with the same line.

The cut-out banner, cake, and metallic corners are all part of the Bella! Die-cut pack, and one of the things I love about this set is that each die cut is reversible; it’s the same shape in a different color palette or with different wording. How cool is that?

It would be so easy to create the cake boxes for a birthday celebration and swap out the bride-and-groom stickers on the candles for something birthday-related, or maybe even a monogram. They could work for bridal or baby showers too.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

Supplies

  • Ruby Rock-It At Last patterned paper and embellishments
  • Green Sneakers Cake Box Template
  • Therm O Web Permanent Tape Runner, 1/4″ Foam Squares, SuperStik Glue Stick
  • Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist and Vellum Cardstock
  • Papertrey Ink Tremendous Tags Die
  • Papertrey Ink Little Labels Clear Stamp Set
  • Papertrey Ink Berry Sorbet Ink
  • Karen Foster Design Cornflower Scrapper’s Floss
  • Me & My BIG Ideas MambiStones Adhesive Rhinestones

Happy Crafting!

Alice Golden from Golden Moments (www.alicegolden.com)

Another Look at Kit Clubs Winners!

Happy September, Crafters! We hope that all of you in the U.S. enjoyed the long Labor Day weekend. We’re here to announce the winners of the monthly kit clubs offered on Jill Cornell’s blog post on August 27th. For more details about The Card Kitchen and Gossamer Blue, read Jill’s post here.

The winner of The Card Kitchen monthly kit is Cheryl Norton. Congratulations, Cheryl! We will contact you for your mailing address.

The winner of the Gossamer Blue monthly kit is Debbie House. Congrats, Debbie! We will contact you for your information, as well.

Visit the Crafts ‘n things blog and the Crafts ‘n things Facebook page often for more contests, product information, tips, and creative inspiration.

Dawn Gehring, Crafts ‘n things Editorial Staff

Another Look at Kit Clubs

Hello Crafts ‘n things friends! It’s Jill Cornell with you today, and I am continuing my blog series where I interview two kit club owners. It’s a great way to learn more about these scrapbooking and paper crafting clubs, plus you have the opportunity to win that month’s kit!

First, let’s meet Kimber McGray, who coordinates The Card Kitchen, to find out more about her fabulous card kit.

1) When did you start your kit club? And what made you decide to go into business?

September 2011. The kit club is owned by the owner of Jillibean Soup, Jill Yegerlehner. We saw a large need for a card kit club. With so many scrapbook kit clubs, we felt that it would be great to have another type of kit offering.

2) Do you offer subscriptions? What does a subscription entail?

Yes, we offer subscriptions for $22.99+$5.25 for priority shipping. The customer receives a kit mailed to their home. We have a 6-month commitment from the customer for the subscriber rate.

3) Do you offer a one-time purchase option?

Yes, we offer a one-time purchase option for $24.00+ $5.25 for priority shipping. The customer that wants to purchase a one-time kit can only purchase after all subscriptions have been accounted for. You have the chance of missing out on a kit if it sells out via subscriptions.

4) Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we do ship internationally at the current rate for shipping. No additional fees.

5) Do you offer add-ons?

Yes, we offer add-ons. A customer can order anything from the Jillibean Soup retail store and have it shipped with their kit for no additional shipping fee.

6) What does a typical kit look like (i.e. how many sheets of cardstock? patterned paper? alphabets? embellishments)? Describe it for us.

We do not include cardstock. We include 8 card bases and 8 envelopes, usually 8 sheets of 12″x12″ pattern paper. Many different stickers, die-cuts, buttons, ribbons, tags, embellishments to coordinate with the kit.

7) What sets you apart from the competition? Do you offer exclusives?

We do not usually do exclusives, but we have done a few exclusive die-cut items in past kits. We offer color photos plus instructions on how to create 8 cards with the kit and only the kit. We make sure that we don’t add items to our final projects so the customer can see what they can really make with the kit.

8) Do you appeal to a wide range of papercrafters? Who is your audience? (Scrapbookers, project lifers, card makers, altered and mixed media artists?)

We mainly appeal to card makers, but a scrapbooker or project lifer could easily use this kit for their projects.

9) Do you have a design team? How can subscribers and others find inspiration with your kit?

We have myself (Kimber McGray) and Amy Sheffer work with the kit each month plus one guest designer. We have a website and blog that we post to daily for inspiration.
http://jillibeansoup.typepad.com/thecardkitchen/blog_index.html. Here are a couple examples using the August kit from Amy Sheffer.

10) Link us up with your website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Link to blog: http://jillibeansoup.typepad.com/thecardkitchen/blog_index.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Card-Kitchen-Monthly-Card-Kit-Club/225565447489990?sk=wall%2F

And now the giveaway! Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win August’s The Card Kitchen Kit!

Finally, let’s meet Lori Gentile, owner of Gossamer Blue, and get to know more about her monthly scrapbooking and Life Pages kits. 

1) When did you start your kit club? And what made you decide to go into business?

I started Gossamer Blue in August 2012. It’s something I had wanted to do for many years. I love this industry and it has been a dream of mine to work for myself doing what I love most.

2) Do you offer subscriptions? What does a subscription entail?

We have two subscriptions. One is a scrapbooking kit subscription complete with 12″x12″ papers and embellishments and the other is a Life Pages kit subscription complete with 3″x4″ and 4″x6″ journaling cards and embellishments perfect for creating with divided page protectors. Each subscription includes exclusive Gossamer Blue products, including papers, journaling cards, and stamps, which I’m very excited about. The graphic designers are amazing and they really help make the kits special each month.

3) Do you offer a one-time purchase option?

I do offer a one-time purchase. This is dependent on if kits are left over for the month.

4) Do you ship internationally?

I do. I ship all over and it is very exciting to read international blogs and see Gossamer Blue kits in use in other countries.

5) Do you offer add-ons?

There are three core add-ons each month; a main kit add-on, an add-on #2, and a Bits & Pieces add-on. The first two are additional traditional scrapbooking supplies and include exclusive papers and products. The Bits & Pieces add-on always includes a 6″x6″ paper pad and a stamp set and is geared toward card makers and divided page protector scrapbookers. Starting in October, there will be add-ons for the Life Pages kit, as well.

6) What does a typical kit look like (i.e. how many sheets of cardstock? patterned paper? alphabets? embellishments)? Describe it for us.

The Main kit has 10 sheets of patterned paper, including 3 exclusive papers, 4 sheets of cardstock, an exclusive stamp set manufactured by Elle’s Studio, alphabets and full packs of embellishments. The Life Pages kit includes 24 exclusive 3″x4″ cards, 6 exclusive 4″x6″ cards, an exclusive stamp set manufactured by Elle’s Studio, embellishments and alphabets.

7) What sets you apart from the competition? Do you offer exclusives?

We have exclusive patterned papers, stamps and journaling cards. Both subscriptions include a set of cut files and a printable, both designed to coordinate perfectly.

8) Do you appeal to a wide range of papercrafters? Who is your audience? (Scrapbookers, project lifers, card makers, altered and mixed media artists?)

Yes. I believe the kits appeal to a broad range. There scrapbookers, project lifers, card makers, and art journalers as members.

9) Do you have a design team? How can subscribers and others find inspiration with your kit?

The design team is amazing! There are two teams; one for the Main kit and one for the Life Pages kit. There is a full gallery each month and each team member creates a blog post using the kits. We have challenges each month and even have a special album challenge for members where they can earn a free album! That’s a great incentive to use up kits!

Here is a project from design team member Jill Cornell using this month’s kit:

And here is one from design team member Emily Spahn:

10) Link us up with your website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

http://www.gossamerblue.com
http://www.facebook.com/gbkits
http://www.pinterest.com/gossamerbluekit
http://twitter.com/Gossamer_Blue
http://www.instagram.com/gossamerblue

And now the giveaway! Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win August’s Gossamer Blue kit!

Remember, leave a comment by Monday, September 2nd, at midnight to be entered for a chance to win either of these two beautiful kits! Winners will be announced on the blog on Tuesday, September 3rd.

Good Luck and Happy Crafting!

Jill Cornell from Blessed Scrapper (www.jillcornell.blogspot.com)

Meet the Mice Stamp Winners!

It’s time to announce the winners of the House-Mouse Designs® Stamp Giveaway featured in the August 2nd Great Finds Friday post. If you missed the exciting news about House-Mouse Designs® and Stampendous!®, read more here. These new images, available in wood-mount and Cling Rubber™ stamps, are the newest licensed designs available from Stampendous!®.

House-Mouse Designs® is the creation of Vermont-based artist Ellen Jareckie. Her characters — Amanda, Monica, Mudpie, Maxwell, and Muzzy, along with their friends — all have distinct personalities and each of them will delight the recipients of your holiday and everyday greetings.

Here’s the stamp that Stampendous!® is giving away to two lucky blog readers, plus a cute holiday card created by Crafts ‘n things blog team member, and Stampendous! design team member, Suzanne Czosek. The stamp is called “Trick or Cheese” and features Mudpie.

The winners, as chosen by Random.org, are Karen and Joe. We asked readers to leave a comment telling us their favorite mouse. Karen is a Mudpie fan; Joe picked wee Monica.

Congratulations winners! I will contact you via email with more information about claiming your prizes.

Be sure to read the next Great Finds Friday post today for a recap of trends and cool products discovered by Crafts ‘n things Contributing Writer Roberta Wax at this summer’s CHA Create-n-Connect event held in Las Vegas. Part II of the recap will be featured in the Aug. 30th Great Finds Friday post.

Happy Crafting!

Dawn Gehring, Crafts ‘n things Editorial Staff

 

 

 

A Closer Look at Kit Clubs

Hello Crafts ‘n things friends! It’s Jill Cornell with you today, and I have a very exciting series that I am going to be starting here on the Crafts ‘n things blog and today is our kick-off! For the next few months, I am going to be highlighting a couple of scrapbooking and paper crafting kit clubs, and each club is going to give away that month’s kit!

First, let’s meet Tina Walker, owner of Frog Dog Studio, and get to know more about her fabulous mixed-media kit.

 1) When did you start your kit club? And what made you decide to go into business?

Frog Dog Studio was started in June 2013, so we are ‘the new kid on the block.’ I started Frog Dog Studio because I love creating art and I love to show others how to make pretty things. I believe that everyone has the ability to create, yet may be afraid to try. One of the main goals of Frog Dog Studio is to show others how to create with video and photo tutorials. I want the world to love Mixed Media!

2) Do you offer subscriptions? What does a subscription entail?

Yes, we offer monthly subscriptions. A subscription will guarantee monthly availability of an awesome Mixed Media kit. Each kit will provide a multitude of craft possibilities. Kits may have unique, one-of-a-kind items, exclusive Frog Dog Studio stencils and stamps, and fabulous Mixed Media product.

A subscriber will also receive advance peeks at up-and-coming kits and first dibs on Limited Edition kits. A subscription will automatically renew each month, with a minimum subscription of 3 months.

3) Do you offer a one-time purchase option?

Yes, all kits are available for a one-time purchase option, as long as supplies last.

4) Do you ship internationally?

Yes, effective with new kits shipping July 1st, Frog Dog Studio will ship internationally, to a select group of destinations. Please visit www.frogdogstudio.com for more details.

5) Do you offer add-ons?

Frog Dog Studio does not currently offer the ‘typical’ add-on kit, but offers add-on purchase items for sale in the Frog Dog Studio Shop. Shop Items include a range of basic Mixed Media art supplies to items that supplement your monthly kit. For example, the July kit includes two bottles of Tim Holtz Distress Paint. If you are interested in other Distress Paint colors, the store will carry a limited selection of additional colors. Shop purchases will ship FREE with your monthly kit purchase.

6) What does a typical kit look like (i.e. how many sheets of cardstock? patterned paper? alphabets? embellishments)? Describe it for us.

At Frog Dog Studio, we want to keep our kits fresh, fun, and full of creative expression. Kits may include unique, one-of-a-kind vintage finds, or an Exclusive Frog Dog Studio stencil or stamp set, and will always include an amazing assortment of Mixed Media supplies, such as paint, ink, or spray.

7) What sets you apart from the competition? Do you offer exclusives?

I believe that Frog Dog Studio is unique in that we believe in educating and sharing our creative process with all types of Mixed Media and Paper artists, worldwide. I believe we are the first Mixed Media ONLY kit club. Our focus is Mixed Media, not a Mixed Media ‘add-on’ to supplement a Scrapbooking or Paper Crafting kit. Yes, Frog Dog Studio will offer Exclusive Stencils and Stamp Sets.

8) Do you appeal to a wide range of papercrafters? Who is your audience? (Scrapbookers, Project Lifers, card makers, altered and mixed-media artists?)

Frog Dog Studio’s audience is anyone who wants to create art. We appeal to hardcore Mixed Media artists, to the person who wants to create art, but needs a little help in getting started, to the scrapbooker who loves Mixed Media and wants to incorporate it into their layouts.

9) Do you have a design team? How can subscribers and others find inspiration with your kit?

Yes, Frog Dog Studio has a fabulous design team. The design team has a broad range of experience and project expertise. Our team creates amazing art journal pages, to off-the-page projects, to wonderful canvases and wall art. Every week, our design team shares video and photo tutorials on how they created their kit projects and share hints, tips, and how-to’s on the Frog Dog Studio blog. Frog Dog Studio also has a YouTube channel where you can find all of our amazing video tutorials. Here is a project using this month’s kit from design team member Martha Richardson.

10) Link us up with your website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Website:  www.frogdogstudio.com

Blog:  http://frogdogstudio.blogspot.com

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/frogdogstudio

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/frogdogstudio#

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/frogdogstudio

And now the giveaway! Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win July’s Frog Dog Studio kit!

 

Next, let’s meet Lisa Andrews, owner of Scrapbook Circle, and get to know more about her monthly scrapbooking kit.

1) When did you start your kit club? And what made you decide to go into business?

I started Scrapbook Circle back in 2006. I had been scrapbooking for years and loved the concept of creating a kit each month filled with my favorite products to share with others. We are celebrating 7 years of creating, preserving memories, and sharing ideas with others!

2) Do you offer subscriptions? What does a subscription entail?

Our subscription is very low-commitment – just 2 months! The subscription means that you commit to purchase at least two consecutive kits. The benefits of signing up for a subscription are that you get a $5 discount on the kit each month plus you are guaranteed a kit.

3) Do you offer a one-time purchase option?

Yes!  If you just want to purchase one kit, that is an option at checkout.

4) Do you ship internationally?

Absolutely. We ship a large portion of our kits internationally each month. We love our international subscribers!

5) Do you offer add-ons?

Yes, we offer add-ons every month. We always have an embellishment add-on that coordinates with our main kit, in addition to a cardstock add-on. Sometimes we also offer other add-ons like party kits or seasonal kits.

6) What does a typical kit look like (i.e. how many sheets of cardstock? patterned paper? alphabets? embellishments)? Describe it for us.

Each of our kits comes with 8 – 10 sheets of patterned paper. We always include an alphabet and then pack the kit with our favorite embellishments such as stickers, tags, buttons, trims, rub-ons and more.

We carefully place each kit in a sealed plastic bag and ship it in one of our custom-made pizza boxes.

7) What sets you apart from the competition? Do you offer exclusives?

There are a few things that we hope set us apart from others. First is our customer service. We make our subscribers a priority and have the goal every day of treating everyone just as we would want to be treated.

Also, we love offering exclusive Scrapbook Circle products in our kits! Each kit always has a custom, coordinating printable created that is included with each kit. We also offer a variety of exclusive items made just for us in different kits such as stickers, buttons and tags.

8) Do you appeal to a wide range of papercrafters? Who is your audience? (Scrapbookers, Project Lifers, card makers, altered and mixed-media artists?)

We feel like our kits are perfect for all types of papercrafters. Our kits are filled with plenty of product to create a few layouts and then have plenty left for cardmaking or Project Life pages. We include a variety of things each month in the kit with the thought that the products will work for a variety of projects.

9) Do you have a design team? How can subscribers and others find inspiration with your kit?

We have an amazingly talented creative team who share ideas daily on our blog. We also have a creative team ideas page on our site where you can see everything our creative team has created with our kits.

Here is a project from design team member Jill Cornell, using this month’s kit:

10) Link us up with your website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

We hope you will stop by and visit us!

Website: http://www.scrapbookcircle.com

Blog: http://www.scrapbookcircle.com/blog

Ideas: http://www.scrapbookcircle.com/ideas

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scrapbookcircle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scrapbookcircle

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/scrapbookcircle

Instagram: http://instagram.com/scrapbook_circle

And now the giveaway! Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win July’s Scrapbook Circle kit!

Remember, leave a comment by Monday, July 22nd at midnight to be entered for a chance to win either of these two beautiful kits! Winners will be announced on the blog on Tuesday, July 23rd.

Happy crafting!

Jill Cornell from Blessed Scrapper (www.jillcornell.blogspot.com)

 

Great Finds Friday: Books

Welcome to Great Finds Friday! Today, I’d like to tell you about three craft books that are on my project table this summer. To me, summer is the perfect time to try a few new techniques, to explore new surfaces and materials, and to carve out some creative time for myself. No time limits, no pressure, just play time. For a chance to WIN one of these great books, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite thing about summer by 11:59pm EST on July 18th. Winners will be announced in the next Great Finds Friday post on July 19th.

MAKE HEY! WHILE THE SUN SHINES: 25 Crafty Projects and Recipes by Pip Lincolne, Hardie Grant Books (distributed by Rizzoli New York), (www.hardiegrant.com.au), ISBN: 9781742701318, retail value $29.95.

You will adore this book! Every colorful, happy-inspired project inside is a “make it just because you want to” idea, but all are functional and gift-worthy, too. None of the projects require a huge investment in tools or materials, so they’re perfect for your summer “try something new” time. And MAKE HEY! WHILE THE SUN SHINES is as much fun to read as it is to flip through, as you explore the fabulous photographs. Here’s an excerpt from Pip Lincolne’s “Amazingly Cute Gift Bags” project on page 16: “You will not believe how easy it is to carve your very own stamp. It honestly is. You will think you are an incredible crafty marvel…Your friends will think you are the cleverest ever and will demand presents all the time. But don’t blame me for that!” Lincolne’s style is part crafty friend, part encouraging instructor and 100% playful in her approach to crafting. In addition to the projects, which cover loads of techniques, you’ll find recipes, a reading list, a suggested playlist, and a great basics chapter. Spend your summer making hey!

Sew Up a Home Makeover: 50 Simple Sewing Projects to Transform Your Space by Lexi Barnes, Storey Publishing, (www.storey.com), ISBN: 9781603427975, retail value $19.95.

Dust off your sewing machine, take a critical look at which parts of your home need a little refreshing, and grab this how-to guide. Sew Up a Home Makeover includes 50 ways to elevate your home’s style and functionality with fabric and basic sewing skills. There are no complicated patterns or templates, and projects can be fully customized for your needs. As author Lexi Barnes explains, once you’ve lived in your home for awhile, things can begin to ”feel too familiar, or dated, or (gulp) boring.” Have you been there? I know I have. The first project I can’t wait to try is the Dreamy Duvet Cover shown on the book cover. Using a flat sheet, pretty fabric, buttons, and twill tape, I’m planning to transform the master bedroom from “final resting place of clean laundry” to peaceful oasis for Mom and Dad. Fabric is a little bit magic that way; it makes a big impact without too much effort or expense. Barnes also offers great design tips for budget-savvy crafters and would-be decorators, along with easy-to-follow project instructions.

Practical Origami: Folding Your Way to Everyday Accessories by the Editors of Shufu-no-Tomo, Vertical Inc., (www.vertical-inc.com), ISBN:9781935654407, retail value $19.95.

Presentation is everything when it comes to gifting and entertaining, and Practical Origami includes dozens of designs to entice your hands into the art of paper folding. Project categories include: Gorgeous Everyday Containers (including Sweets Box, Cookie Box, Deli Box, and more); Tabletop Decorations (including Chopsticks Envelope, Bunny Chopsticks Rest, Herb Pouch, and more); Gift Wrappings with a Japanese Twist (including various pouches and envelopes); Desktop Accessories (including book covers, CD Case, Pen Tray, and more); and Decorations for Every Season (including animals, flowers, and more). Decorate your own home or use your origami creations to house handmade gifts, creating two lovely gifts in one.

Remember, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. Good luck!

Happy Summer Crafting!

Dawn Gehring, Crafts ‘n things Editorial Staff