We're Celebrating National Puppy Day with Our Newest Release, DIY For Your Dog

Today is National Puppy Day!

While your dog may technically not be a puppy anymore, as all dog lovers know, our furry friends will always be puppies to us. To help us celebrate this special day, we are turning to the pages of our latest book, DIY for Your Dog, which features 30 lovingly handcrafted projects that will show you how to make, bake, and sew delightful treats for your dog.  

Suitable for all breeds, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, these sweet and easy projects are presented in four sections—“Eat,” “Nest,” “Play,” and “Wear”—and include everything from a cozy traveling dog bed, a knitted blanket, and a throw-and-catch bone to an adorable neckerchief, a colorful crocheted leash cover, and a made-to-measure coat for gray days. There are even recipes for wholesome and easy-to-make treats like Doggie Pops, Bite-Size Biscuits, and the ultimate Doggie Birthday Cake. Fun, practical, and irresistibly cute, DIY for Your Dog will inspire you to channel your love for your puppy into a handmade gift from the heart.

For a peek at the projects in the book click through the images below or check out the book on our site.

Whether you’re hand-making a gift, purchasing a treat, or giving your dog a warm hug, make sure your puppies know that today is their day.

Spring is Here Over at Abrams!

Well... not quite, but even with some snow in the forecast, we're looking forward to sharing our exciting list of spring books with you!

We've been working hard to bring you a fresh crop of the beautiful and inspiring books that have long been a part of our fiber as an imprint of Abrams.

Below is a sneak peak of the books debuting in the coming season. Click through each cover to read more on our website, and stay tuned for exciting updates here— catch our authors as they visit a city near you, follow along on blog tours, and stay tuned for sneak peeks, contests, giveaways, guest posts, and more!

Wishing you a happy and productive season.

—your friends at STC Craft / Abrams

Entertain from your bookshelf with these simple, elegant projects

If you're like us, you're in the midst of hosting --or frantically preparing to host-- friends and family this time of year. If you're also like us, you can't help but add a few little flourishes along the way. Here are some quick and simple projects from our bookshelf to help you add a little something extra to your home or holiday table. These also double as great host gifts!

 Wrapping paper placemats from p. 77 of Victoria Hudgins's  Materially Crafted

Wrapping paper placemats from p. 77 of Victoria Hudgins's Materially Crafted

 Garden to Table Place Settings from p. 138 of Jacinda Boneau and Jaime Morrison Curtis's  Pretty Prudent Home

Garden to Table Place Settings from p. 138 of Jacinda Boneau and Jaime Morrison Curtis's Pretty Prudent Home

 Winter Garland from p. 155 of Livia Cetti's  The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers

Winter Garland from p. 155 of Livia Cetti's The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers

 Vintage Ribbon Coasters from p. 62 of Rebecca Ringquist's  Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

Vintage Ribbon Coasters from p. 62 of Rebecca Ringquist's Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

 No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt from p. 214 of Boneau & Curtis's  Pretty Prudent Home

No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt from p. 214 of Boneau & Curtis's Pretty Prudent Home

From our bookshelf:

Are you planning to add a little handcrafted flair to your holiday table? Show off your work online and tag @stc_craft on twitter and instagram.

 

 

Stuck on your holiday list? Give the gift of craft!

With time running down, there's still a chance to get some of our faves from this year for the folks on your list (or maybe just to treat yourself—who's looking!?) Check our list below for a little something for every kind of maker.

For the One Always Looking to Try Something New

For the One Who Needs to Relax (and Doodle)

For the Fabric Store Junkie

For The One Who Always Seems to Set Her Own Trends (and looks fabulous doing it!)

For the Novice Crafter, Nester, or General DIY Enthusiast

We hope some of these lovely books find their way to your bookshelf, or to a craft table of someone you love, sometime soon! You can find more of our books online here.

4 fabulous gift ideas straight from our bookshelf!

With the holiday season kicking into high gear, we're looking for inspiration for everyone on our list this year. 

These sweet and simple gifts (and the books they came from!) are some of our favorite picks for simple handmade gifts for everyone from your neighbor to your work wife.

  • Dressing up your dishware has never been so easy. Try adding this personalized touch as a host gift at a holiday or dinner party—and top it with home-baked cookies!
  Playful Ceramic Platters  from p. 86 of Anna Joyce's   Stamp Stencil Paint

Playful Ceramic Platters from p. 86 of Anna Joyce's Stamp Stencil Paint

  • For the crafter who you can barely keep up with (also adaptable for other handmade projects: try a smaller version for knit sweaters, pouches, and other sewing projects!)
  Hand-Drawn Quilt Labels  from p. 128 of   The Spoonflower Handbook

Hand-Drawn Quilt Labels from p. 128 of The Spoonflower Handbook

  • A cute and simple way to make something special for someone special.
  Traced Wildflower Hankie  from p. 68 of   Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

Traced Wildflower Hankie from p. 68 of Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops

  • We love this simple yoga (-or- ukulele -or- farmers market) bag—easy to customize for friends who are always on the go!    Cecilia Yoga Bag from p. 58 of Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

Straight from our 2015 shelves:

Have you made anything inspired by STC Craft on your bookshelf this year? We want to see it! Show it off online and tag @stc_craft on twitter or instagram. 

Kick off NaNoJouMo with Dawn Sokol's Year of the Doodle

The fall is a time for reflection for many as we start to feel the effects of the changing seasons—moving clocks back, taking sweaters out of storage—and we begin to look forward to the holiday season and a new year. This November, we're giving ourselves a chance to sit back and take the time to explore those changes more mindfully through the process of art journaling. Available this week, Dawn "Doodle Queen" Sokol's latest book, The Year of the Doodle: 365 Drawing, Collaging, and Mark-Making Adventures, is the perfect way to get started.  

 

On the first of the month, Dawn kicked off her annual National November Journaling Month (or "NaNoJouMo") with daily prompts on her blog. We wanted to try our hand at art journaling as well, so we spent this past week trying out a few prompts from the book. Check out the results of our early November doodles from inside the Abrams office below. 

Feeling inspired? Head over to Dawn's blog where she's giving away a few copies of her book. Join us and start a daily journal challenge of your own!

Stamp, Stencil, Paint Your Way to a Colorful Life!

Textile artist Anna Joyce believes that we should all live with color and pattern every day. Now, with the release of Stamp, Stencil, Paint, so can you!

In this beautiful and approachable new book, Anna Joyce shares her signature hand-printing techniques for adding color and pattern to ready-made surfaces like fabric, ceramics, paper, leather, furniture, walls, and more. Inspired by vintage fabric, folk art, shapes in nature, and exciting new color combinations, Anna’s distinctive projects showcase the beauty of the unexpected and the mark of the artist’s hand. Following beautiful step-by-step photography, you'll learn new, easy skills to stamp, stencil, and hand-paint wonderful projects for your homes, wardrobes, families, and friends.

Anna's joy for making things by hand is truly infectious, and if you're in Portland this weekend or New York the week after, you can see for yourself at one of her exciting tour stops:

Portland, Oregon Events


New York City Book Tour

Can't make it to one of the events above (or can't get enough of Anna)? You can still get involved and learn from her with this fabulous giveaway from our friends over at Creativebug, going on now! .

The perfect book to get you in the Mood for sewing

“Designers, we’re going to Mood!”

Chances are, if you've heard of Mood Fabrics you fall into one of two categories: you are either a huge Project Runway fan OR you are an avid home-sewer, a fashion student, or an aspiring designer. Regardless, you know it's New York's go-to spot for anything and everything fabric. 

It was more than 10 years ago that Tim Gunn walked the first batch of Project Runway contestants into Mood Fabrics. This week, the experts behind this fabric power- house bring their fabric and fashion know-how—plus their behind-the-scenes stories—to the sewing public. The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion is the ultimate guide for the home-sewers, fashion students, aspiring designers, and Project Runway fans who want to learn everything they need to know to choose and use quality fabric. Drawing upon the expertise of the Mood staff, the book teaches readers the fundamentals—from where fabric is produced to the ins and outs of its construction—and features a fabric-by-fabric guide to cottons and other plant fibers, wools, silks, knits, and other specialty fabrics.

Intrigued? Hear what Tim Gunn has to say about it

And if you're a frequent shopper at Mood (or would like to be!), take advantage of the promotion that is going on on their site right now! Buy a copy of the book from their site and you'll be automatically entered to win a $250 gift card to the store. 



It's time to create your own Pretty Prudent Home!

Jacinda Boneau and Jaime Morrison Curtis, the creative and fashionable ladies behind the leading design and lifestyle site PrettyPrudent.com, are back with more of their inspiring advice for making beautiful things, food, and experiences for family and friends. We are in love with all of the charming yet modern projects, ideas, and recipes featured in their new book on sale this week, Pretty Prudent Home: Your Ultimate Guide for Creating a Beautiful Family Home.

Part design book, part DIY guide, Pretty Prudent Home offers us projects both simple and sophisticated, plus decorating ideas, party plans, and more, to inspire us to create a home both stylish and liveable, all interspersed with charming banter from these two long-distance BFFs. 

 

 

We've been crushing on so many of Jaime and Jacinda's adorable projects on these pages, and we're excited that we finally get to share to share them with you! Check out our image gallery for more sneak peeks from inside the book, read about their Pretty Prudent-inspired sale (and how you can win a $250 credit at Zulily!), and watch their adorable book trailer below!

 

Materially Crafted From A Subtle Revelry's Victoria Hudgins Hits Stores Today!

Victoria Hudgins of the blog A Subtle Revelry is one talented lady with an impressive knack for creating easy and stylish DIY projects that bring joy to the everyday. Today she (and we!) are bursting with excitement because her charming first book, Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer for the Design-Obsessed, goes on sale. In it she shares her delight for crafting bundles of fun projects, and teaches us the basics of how to work with these essential materials fuss-free: paper, spray paint, wax, concrete, clay, thread, fabric, plaster of Paris, glue, wood, and metal. 

And proving to us that there is probably nothing she can't do, this mother of twins also created this delightful book trailer (in her spare time, we guess).

To see more pretty pics from Materially Crafted, click here. And, of course, you can buy a copy wherever books are sold. 

It's HERE! STC Craft's Spring 2015 Catalog Has Arrived!

We're thrilled to present our fabulous spring 2015 lineup! We're proud of this spectacular list of innovative and gorgeous books, and it's our pleasure to share them with you! Click here to see the full catalog.

We'll begin with a burst of ingenuity. Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-the-Rules Primer is a guide to embroidering free of traditional restrictions (and it comes with a cloth sampler for you to stitch yourself!). Sherri Lynn Wood paves the way for quilters to toss their rulers and templates and forge their own unique patchwork path in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously.

Victoria Hudgins (of A Subtle Revelry) introduces Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer for the Design-Obsessed. Jamie and Jacinda, the ladies of Pretty Prudent, share a treasure trove of easy and budget-minded home decor tips and projects in Pretty Prudent Home: Your Ultimate Guide to Creating a Beautiful Family Home.

And some of STC Craft's bestselling authors are back with new books. Knitting superstar Amy Herzog follows up Knit to Flatterwith Knit Wear Love: Foolproof Instructions for Knitting Your Best-Fitting Sweater Ever in the Styles You Love to Wear and Natalie Chanin and the Alabama Chanin team add to their elegant clothing collection with Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns: A Guide to Customizing a Hand-Stitched Alabama Chanin Wardrobe, which comes with a CD that includes all of the sewing pattern for this book and the first three books in the Alabama series. 

If a creative jumpstart is what you're looking for, illustrator John Hendrix is ready to guide you with Drawing Is Magic: Discovering Yourself in a Sketchbook, and art journaling champion Dawn DeVries Sokol showcasess inspriation from around the globe with A World of Artist Journal Pages: 1000+ Artworks, 230 Artists, 30 Countries.

We're also excited to announce that Abrams has just launched a new gift and stationery line, Abrams Noterie. View their full catalog here.

Keep an eye out for more on these books throughout the season!

All books are available for preorder on the Abrams website or wherever books are sold.

And We're Off to QuiltCon!

We here at STC Craft have been very busy at the start of this year, working hard to shape up our fabulous 2015 lineup (More to come on that next week...)

In addition to prepping for some extraordinary spring titles, we've been making the rounds at plenty of shows. We hope any industry folks were able to catch the fabulous Amy Herzog previewing her new book, Knit Wear Love (out next month), in early January at TNNA in Phoenix. And same goes for any NY-area knitters: we hope you were able to stop by and meet some of our authors signing at Vogue Knitting Live in Manhattan last month!

Next up is the expansive (and growing!) QuiltCon event, put on by The Modern Quilt Guild, and beginning in Austin today! Will you be there? We're thrilled to partner with Austin-based Stitch Lab again this year, hosted at booth #216. We'll have books on sale, authors signing and displaying quilts, a special giveaway sweepstakes package with goodies from Windham and Aurifil, a preview of our spring books, and an advance launch of Sherri Lynn Wood's brand new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.

Will you be at the show? Stop by and say hello!

There's still time to add a touch of handmade this holiday season

Whether you're headed to visit family, planning a dish for a friend's New Year's Eve party, or staying home with the kids, here are some ideas for last-minute gifts to add a little handmade element to your gifting this year.

Last minute stocking stuffers (or gifts for the people you definitely didn't forget):

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Textile Bookends from Novel Living by Lisa Occhipinti

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Wool Rose Fascinator from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

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Pencil Holder Heads from Playful by Merrilee Liddiard

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Patterned Stationery Set from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

For the gracious host or hostess:

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Denim Apron from Cloth by Cassandra Ellis

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Wool Felt Oven Gloves from Cloth by Cassandra Ellis

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Antiquarian Animal Votive Holders from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

Gift toppers to add a little flair to your wrapping:

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Christmas Corsages from Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Waggoner

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Arts and Crafts Ex Libris Set from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

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Pocket Notecards from Novel Living by Lisa Occhipinti

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Needle-Felted Snowman from Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Waggoner

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Lavender Wand Sachets from Handmade for the Garden by Susan Guagliumi

Don't see what you're looking for? Try our posts from recent holiday seasons: 6 Quick & Easy Gifts to Complete in an Evening and 5 Handmade Gift-Packaging Ideas

Holiday Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Books!

Running low on time and ideas for those hard-to-gift in your life? How about giving the gift of books?!

From Novel Living by Lisa Occhipinti

With a solid roster of books from the past year ranging from knitting compendiums to personal memoirs, we have a little something for everyone on your list: 

For the DIY Home Decorator:

Novel Living; BiblioCraft; The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers; Handmade for the Garden

For the Babysitters, Parents, & Others Looking to Keep Kids Busy:

Playful; Handcrafted Christmas

For the Avid Knitters and Sewists:

Unconventional & Unexpected; How to Catch a Frog; Living Color

For the Digitally-Inclined: check out our full selection of e-books on sale, available via Open Road Media, plus this trailer featuring STC Craft authors!

Don't see what you're looking for? Check out some of our past gift suggestions: Holiday Gift Guide: 12 Books for Crafters and Holiday Gift Guide: 15 Books for Sewists & Quilters

Holiday Decorating with STC Craft

While some people rush to pick out their tree and pin up their stockings as soon as stores open their doors for Black Friday sales, some of us need a bit more time to get into the holiday spirit. With a potentially calm weekend ahead and only a few weeks left to the holidays, here at STC Craft we are looking to take a load off, cozy up, and get crafting--this time, for our homes!

Won't you enjoy these projects with us?!

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Pinecone Wreath from Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Waggoner

Secret Message Snowflakes from BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza

Tabletop Tree from Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Waggoner

Candy Stripe Christmas Stocking from Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Waggoner

Chenille Poinsettia Garland from Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Waggoner

For more holiday (and every day!) decorating ideas, check out these books:

Happy Weekend and Happy Crafting from your friends at STC Craft!

Holiday Crafting Memories and a Recipe Treat from Susan Waggoner

Well, we've had our first official snowfall here in New York City, and it's beginning to look a lot like the holidays! We can't help but feel a little giddy at the thought of all of the upcoming baking and sipping and  time spent with friends and family. Excited as we are, sometimes we look up and realize the calendar is nearing dangerously close to a party or holiday commitment and we're feeling underprepared!

Fear not, Susan Waggoner, author of Handcrafted Christmas: Ornaments, Decorations, and Cookie Recipes to Make at Home, is here with a holiday memory and a delicious recipe to get you inspired and in the spirit! Here's Susan:

Forget Black Friday and the insanity of 5 a.m. store openings. To me, the day after Thanksgiving will always be the day Christmas crafting and decorating begin. My mother me this. Start your crafting and decorating early and it will be fun; wait until mid-December and pressure will steal away the joy.

The day after Thanksgiving, a card table would go up in the family room. My mother would already have a list of things she wanted to make for gift exchanges, and a stack of magazine pages with decorating ideas she wanted to try. My father would be called away from the football games for engineering and carpentry input, and we’d be off and running. As my mother got out supplies and decorations, my job was to make a list of all that needed to be replenished and replaced.

Over a dinner of hot turkey sandwiches and mashed potatoes, we’d plot our path through the craft stores the next morning. Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday would be our work days, and by the end of the weekend, we’d have a good start on all we wanted to do. We were ready for snow. We were ready for Christmas.

The card table remained up throughout the entire season. When the crafting and decorating projects were done, it became our wrapping table. My frugal mother did not believe in buying expensive paper or matching tags. She saved cards sent to us in previous years, bought tissue paper, glitter, tape, glue, and ribbon (never pre-made bows) and let us decorate our own packages. I loved going through the old cards and finding an image that was just right for the recipient of the gift - outdoor woodland scenes with deer for my father, chic modern-looking motifs for my mother, skating Santas or Beatrix Potter scenes for my sister, who eventually confessed, as an adult, to disliking Potter’s art.

After Christmas, the table was cleared and brought upstairs to our den, where it held the annual jigsaw puzzle Santa left by our stockings. I have no idea what became of that card table, but I know what became of the memories - I still have them.

So take time to start your crafting and decorating early. Make the most of every Christmas minute and you’ll double your stock of good memories.

Here’s a Christmas treat from Susan that you can make ahead and set aside for holiday gifts and parties, or snack on while you craft and decorate:

image (c) Lori Lange, 2011. 

Almond Roca

For this you will need a candy thermometer and these ingredients:

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

Big pinch of coarse salt

1 pound whole roasted salted almonds (may substitute roasted salted peanuts or pecans)

 

First, prepare a pan by placing a silicone mat or bakers parchment on a clean cookie sheet.

In a medium heavy‑duty saucepan, heat the water, butter, both sugars and salt over low heat. I have found that the secret to making good buttercrunch is a slowed-down heating process. Cookbooks suggest this can be done in 15 or 20 minutes, but this makes it easy to scorch the mixture or end up with a grainy result. I spend 30 to 45 minutes on this and have always been rewarded with crisp, perfect candy. Start over low heat, stirring and scraping down the sides occasionally to make sure everything is blended and the nothing is sticking to the corners of the pan.

Fit the candy thermometer onto the saucepan, making sure the is not touching the bottom of the pan.

You are now going to cook this mixture until it reaches a temperature of 300° F. (150° C.). Raise the heat slowly at first, and more quickly as you near the end. Stir mixture and scrape the sides of the saucepan occasionally at first, more often as the heat rises, and nearly continuously when the mixture begins to boil and foam.

The minute the temperature reaches 300° F., remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the almonds and spread immediately onto the prepared pan. You need to work quickly, as the mixture begins to set up as soon as it’s off the burner. Use a spatula to spread as thinly as possible.

Allow to cool and set up several hours or overnight. Store in a lidded tin lined with a napkin or a lidded plastic container.


 

For more ideas for cozy vintage-inspired crafting and baking  from Susan's latest book, view our image gallery or order it online.