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Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 1,920 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Stitching by Hand: Etsy's Best Threads

Stitching by Hand: Etsy's Best Threads


Whether you like to embroider, knit or even sew by hand, there's always tons of projects waiting for you just around the corner. Or, if you're anything like me, you may find that you go browsing around Etsy for inspiration on what to make next. Some colorful solutions to stimulate the creative senses are always a good idea!

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Organic_clutch

We loved this unusually shaped clutch from makemeadress, which features prominent white stitching and buttons of a beautiful pink for contrast. Loving that organic shape too! There's also more where there that came from, such as ruffly party dresses and delicate feathered tiaras.

Perhaps you're not so into the whole going out on the town thing, but you'd rather make something for your little girl to wear and earn admiring stares. I'll bet a crocheted burst of color could be just the thing!

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The Colorful World of Designer Vinyl Customs

The Colorful World of Designer Vinyl Customs


We've already brought you a primer on the simplistic, brightly colored vinyl toys known as 'Designer Vinyl' in the collectible toy world, and if you aren't much of the make-it-yourself type, you can easily sate your hunger for bursts of color by placing these bits of toy art around your home. However, if you are the crafty type (and if you're hanging around in our craft channel, I suspect that you just might be), you may find it inspiring that these toys also come in fully customizable (or DIY -- do it yourself) forms.

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[Via Ian Murchinson]

The basic white Munny form can be purchased from Kidrobot.com for as little as $4.95 for smaller sizes. However, a larger size is available (you can get these guys up to 18"!). Once you get your hands on that simple little form, the only thing holding you back is the limits of your imagination.

The emergence of these DIY toys has basically fired up an entire subculture of artists who have gotten their creative groove on by painting and modifying them into something altogether different, and often incredible.

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[Via Bobby Chromik ~ Lawcrow]

You can easily search the web and find all kinds of tutorials on how to make your own Designer Vinyl customs. Toy artists will also often show the creation process on their blogs. Even celeb Rosie O' Donnell has gotten into the custom world. You can start simply with something like markers or use products such as Sculpey to completely alter the shape of the figure itself.

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The Colorful History of Papercraft

The Colorful History of Papercraft


We've visited the world of colorful paper sculpture before, but previously we focused on larger scale projects meant to widen the eye and drop the jaw. We'd all like to be able to produce such stunning work, but let's face it -- not everyone has the time to pop out such paper miracles, especially when it comes to scope and grandeur. What if you'd like to enjoy some folding therapy on a simpler scale? Perhaps, projects that take less than ten minutes?

Well, we can share some of those with you, but first, let's look back at the history of papercraft for a moment. As you may already know, paper folding traces as far back as Europe  from the year 1440. Origami is a traditional folding art which focuses on the use of colorful paper, and while many people associate it with Japan, there is evidence that the art form popped up in China, Germany and Spain as well.

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[lifestorm]
Birds_of_a_Feather Origami_star

Modern papercraft can range from simple three minutes projects to incredibly complex ones (Japanese fans in particular take the art form to crazy levels) , but if you prefer to keep your folding to small doses, we have quite a few solutions for you. Paperkraft is updated regularly and offers lots of simple projects that you can print out to decorate your desk with. Papercraft World also has a lot of options, ranging from simple to challenging. Another major favorite is Cubeecraft, which boasts over two hundred simple projects based on pop culture icons and more. Scroll down to enjoy even more links to great papercraft sites!

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Paper Foldables3eyedbear | Shin TanakaNintendo Papercraft | Papercraft ParadisePaper Museum

[Header photo via Warm n' Fuzzy]

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Color Curating: Orange

Color Curating: Orange


On my own blog I've kept a regular Friday Favorites post going, in which I pick a handful of products from around the internet that have caught my attention that week. I'd like to do this here, but with a specific color in mind .

This week, since most everything I found is from Etsy, I thought I'd start with ORANGE!

Pole Orange

pole-orange-palette

Pole Orange by labokoff

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  1. Orange Rosette Brooch Pin
  2. Orange Ride
  3. retro vintage fabric Pillow Case
  4. Monkey See Monkey Say I Do Print
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Purple Orange Green

Purple Orange Green


A customer of mine recently suggested a new color scheme for my products, which happens now and then, but this time caught my attention. She said she would like to see something in purple, orange, and green--because those are the colors she is using in her wedding.

I have never had great success with purple. Paired with a neutrals like tan, gray and white, it's not bad. But with orange and green? That's a lot of color.

So I thought it would be a nice challenge to come up with a color scheme based on those colors and here's what I've got.

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Orange and Green can work well together, opposing cool and warm colors, so long as there's enough yellow in them to coordinate with each other. Too much red in the orange or too much blue in the green and they don't work as well.

I based this scheme largely on this photograph I found on Flickr by John Dalkin.

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credit: John Dalkin

This blend of purple is beautiful. I pulled three shades of each color in the leaves and flowers + some of the dark pink shade at the tips for an accent.

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Vintage Blue

Vintage Blue


I bought a few little vintage things from FritziMarie last week, and what a lovely package! She tied everything up with tissue paper and beautiful blue ribbons. That's a photo of her package lower right.

I bought some mary janes (pictured on my feet top left) and she threw in the neat post card from her hometown (Seattle). She used vintage buttons in the wrapping too, so sweet. It just happened that all this stuff is in the same color scheme. I was instantly inspired, so I took some photos.

Color is everywhere. Look for colors that appear near each other and find ways to make them connect. It just so happened the placemat sitting on my dining room table where I set these items was the same dark brown/gray found in the items from the package. Though I didn't plan it, the placemat ended up a perfect backdrop.

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Inspiration: Hornsea Pottery

Inspiration: Hornsea Pottery


Hornsea Pottery was founded in 1949. Located in the seaside town of Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, the first factory housed founders and brothers Colin and Desmond Rawson. The factory's earliest pieces included Character Jugs and posy vases with attached animal figures. The business continued to grow over the years, moving into larger and larger buildings. At its largest, Hornsea employed  700 people. The business closed in 2000. Today, over 2,000 pieces from the pottery's beginnings in 1949 to 2000 are on display insides two converted 18th century cottages is theHornsea Museumin Newbegin, the main street of Hornsea. Inspiration: Hornsea Pottery

Hornsea

First-Hornsea-by-merebearla
merebearlandon

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Where To Find Free Colorful Yarn Patterns Online

Where To Find Free Colorful Yarn Patterns Online


Suzane Smith sent over the ink to her post 25 Best Places to Find Knitting Patterns Online to share with the community, and we're glad she did. If you like to nod your head to the knitting beat then you might want to check it out. And even if you're a non-knitter there is plenty of color inspiration to be found in the yarns and patterns on these sites.

Below is a selection of sites and descriptions picked from her list. You can see the complete list and reviews here.

Few online communities are as welcoming and open to beginners as those devoted to the ancient craft of knitting. In order to promote an appreciation and love of the utilitarian art, they provide thousands of free patterns for personal, charitable, and occasionally commercial use. Ranging in skill level from the very basic to the masterful, they all provide an excellent service for those seeking to personally craft their own wardrobe and home, give a highly personal gift, or donate to a beloved charity.

Ravelry

raverly.com

Ravely easily exists as the most bustling knitting community on the internet, where hobbyists and professionals alike gather to share their projects and experiences, show off their yarn stash, and – of course – post knitting and crochet patterns. Every skill level of every possible project imaginable can be found on the 500 pages dedicated solely to completely free instructions. Even more are available directly from the designers for a fee. Smaller special interest groups have sprung up within the larger site as well, making it even easier to look for patterns conforming to highly specific needs and interests.

Plenty of color inspiration even for non-knitters, as you can see from the winners of Ravelry's Dye For Glory Competition.

apogeeballskein_medium

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Cute Tiny Knit Color

Cute Tiny Knit Color


Anna Hrachovec is a New York based knit toy designer. Her knitting patterns and one-off pieces can be found at her website Mochimochi Land.

The toys that inhabit Mochimochi Land are at once cute and strange, and they appeal to adults and children alike. They are all original designs by Anna Hrachovec, a knitter who lives in New York. Anna finds inspiration in Japanese kawaii culture and illustrators like Dr. Seuss.

The Mochimochi Shop specializes in downloadable knitting patterns, but one-off toys might pop up in there from time to time, too.


Mushroom_City Anna_Hrachovec_sofa

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The Colorful Art Of Batik

The Colorful Art Of Batik


Batik is the process of creating intricate patterns on textiles with wax-resistant dyes. There seems to be some controversy surrounding the origins of the technique but according to the Wikipedia article discoveries showed it already exists in the Middle East, India and Central Asia over 2000 years ago. In Java, Indonesia, batik predates written records, but some experts argue that the technique might have been introduced during the 6th or 7th century from India.

Traditional colours include indigo, dark brown, and white which represent the three major Hindu Gods (Brahmā, Visnu, and Śiva). The colors of pesisir batik, from the coastal cities of northern Java, are especially vibrant, and it absorbs influence from the Javanese, Chinese and Dutch culture.


MartijnL CC-BY-SA-license

Contemporary batik, while owing much to the past, is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, wax recipes with different resist values and work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood and ceramics.


manoukrijper

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