Book Spotlight: Proggy Menagerie: Hayley Smith


Synopsis:Learn the basics of the Proggy technique with step-by-step photo guides, then set your creativity free with the easy-to-follow patterns. In Proggy Menagerie, designer and author Hayley Smith provides a collection of adorable three-dimensional rag-rug projects that can be adapted for use as children’s toys, pet toys, or home accessories. The technique is easy to master—simply cut your fabric into strips and push it through the holes in some Hessian backing—and has been a traditional way of creating mats for centuries. This technique, known as “progging” in northeast England, is familiar the world over. Proggy Menagerie puts a refreshing modern twist on the technique, moving it beyond the usual two-dimensional rug format, with instructions for making twenty fun and funky three-dimensional stuffed animals. With a few adaptations to the backing, filling, and eye materials, the projects can be safely used as soft toys for children, chew toys for pets, or be used as doorstops and draft blockers around your home. Designs include:

Woodland creatures
Farmyard favorites
Perfect pets
Feathered friends
Water babies

About the Author
Hayley Smith creates all the products, designs, and patterns for her successful craft business, Craft Yourself Silly. Her Proggy kits, supplies, and tools are stocked by retailers throughout the United States. The author lives by the sea in northeast England.

My Thoughts: If the term ‘progging’ is new to you, you’re not alone. It was new to me, too. However, the look & feel of the technique reminded me a lot of the latch hook kits my sister used to do. What I love about the book is the easy way the author describes the how-to’s. Once the basics are mastered, the sky’s the limit in what can be made. These projects are perfect for groups that have a little time on their hands (Girl Scouts, seniors projects, etc.) In fact, I’d highly recommend giving them a try as a missions project for your Church to send along to humanitarian organizations. I wish I still had better motor skills in order to make these myself. I give the book 5 stars for originality and ease of use.

On Sale: October 3, 2017
ISBN: 9781680993370
Price: $14.99

*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author & publisher

**I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

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Book Spotlight: Christmas Papercrafting: Holiday Cards, Gift Tags, and More

With the Holiday season right around the corner, turn the attention away from electronics and back to basic, fun with papercrafting. ‘Christmas Papercrafting: Holiday Cards, Gift Tags, and More’ features 112 pages of every paper craft you can imagine! Featuring designs and projects from artists Thaneeya McArdle, Robin Pickens, Angelea Van Dam, Valentina Harper, and Valerie McKeehan, you’ll have no trouble creating your most beautiful Christmas yet!

If you aren’t familiar with papercrafting, think greeting cars, bookmarks, scrapbooking, etc. With the rising cost and lessening quality to boxed greeting cards, making your own, personalized cards may just be the way to go. I was thrilled with the beautiful, high-quality designs in this book. The cards are easily removed from the book and are pre-colored for convenience. Add your own personal touches and you’re good-to-go.

Another thing that definitely caught my attention were the bookmarks. As a former, longtime Sunday School teacher, I recognized these as the perfect, time-sensitive craft for all ages. Kids love bookmarks, especially ones that they’ve created themselves. If you are an educator in homeschool or brick and mortar schools and need some fresh ideas for this year’s season, try papercrafting. With an MSRP of $19.99, the book will pay for itself in the time and money you’ll save trying to come up with seasonal activities. Also included are gift tags and frameable art.

I love the originality of the crafts and appreciate how many crafts they’ve included in the book. It’s being offered for a very economical price considering all it provides. You can find out more along with additional titles from the publisher, Fox Chapel Publishing, via: http://www.foxchapelpublishing.com. I highly recommend picking up copy.

*I received the aforementioned product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

The Kids In Need Foundation and ArtSkills Provides Backpacks Filled with School Supplies to Students

The ArtSkills team will deliver backpacks to students of Freemansburg Elementary on September 1, 2017

For the second year in a row, The Kids in Need Foundation (KINF) and ArtSkills has teamed up to provide backpacks filled with school supplies for students most in need. This year, ArtSkills provided backpacks filled with school supplies for children and teachers at Freemansburg Elementary School in Freemansburg, Pa. Approximately 400 filled backpacks, plus 30 Teacher Totes, was distributed to students and staff on Friday September 1 at 2:00 p.m. at Freemansburg Elementary (501 Monroe Street, Freemansburg, Pa. 18017). The backpacks were filled with core school supplies, as well as ArtSkills products.

We deeply value our longstanding partnership with ArtSkills and their role in providing these backpacks filled with essential school supplies,” said Dave Smith, Executive Director of The Kids in Need Foundation. “We know that when children and teachers get the tools they need, it creates a more equal learning environment and promotes confidence in the classroom.”

The Kids in Need Foundation ensures that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need. By partnering with select organizations and corporations nationwide, KINF’s School Ready Supplies program provides those in need of school supplies with the tools necessary to be successful in the classroom. In the organization’s 20-year history, they have distributed more than $900 million in supplies to children who would otherwise go without.

What we have learned is that if you can get students set up with a backpack of school supplies, they don’t feel inferior to their peers. This instills confidence in them, and allows them to focus on learning, as opposed to being self-conscious and feeling like outsiders,” said Brad Demsky from ArtSkills. “It really levels the playing field.”

About the Kids In Need Foundation

The Kids in Need Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need. The Kids In Need Foundation, a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1995, has distributed more than $900 million in school supplies since its inception, and directly benefited 5.4 million students and more than 150,000 teachers last year alone. For more information, visit KINF.org, and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @KidsInNeed.

About ArtSkills  

ArtSkills, Inc., is a family-owned company that manufactures hundreds of products in a variety of categories including Poster Accessories, Art and Craft supplies, Teacher products, and innovative Art sets. ArtSkills, Inc., has become the premier source for everything you need to create an amazing project, with product offerings at over 60,000 stores throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.artskills.com, and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @ArtSkills.

 

Pictures shown are property of ArtsSkills and The Kids in Need Foundation. Pics were taken during the event mentioned above.

Book Spotlight: Stitching With Jane Foster


Stitching with Jane Foster includes 37 quick and easy cross-stitch sewing cards with punched holes for easy stitching, as well as a 36-page project book featuring instructions for designing your own unique stitching patterns and color combinations. Gather all the tools and materials you need to get started and learn stitching basics, including the straight stitch, cross-stitch, back stitch, and more. A project gallery then shows examples of how to use your adorable stitched cards: everything from bookmarks and journals to greeting cards and ornaments. The simple stitching patterns taught in this book promote growth and development, hand-eye coordination, and creativity and imagination. Includes 37 adorable punch-out templates to get you started! Color them, stitch them, press them out, and play with them; Stitching with Jane Foster will entertain and delight crafters of all ages and is sure to inspire a lifelong love of embroidery.
(Pics/Synopsis property of Quarto)

Quarto Knows has tons of quality books that promote hobbies and ideas for children. No technology required! Get back to basics and give kids an opportunity to exercise hand-eye coordination.

We were provided with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.