SMP Craft
17 Apr

Calling All Avocado Lovers


Hear ye, hear ye, fellow guacamole lovers! Do you make mind-blowing guacamole? Then why don’t you put your guac to the test and enter Nachos NY‘s 5th annual Guactacular? On Sunday, May 5 from 2 to 9p.m., at the Bell House in Brooklyn, this epic guacamole showdown will take place. Home cooks will be competing in the afternoon, while food industry pros face off at night. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? Then enter to achieve guacamole greatness by emailing with the subject line “Guactacular Competitor” to join.

If mashing avocados isn’t your thing, but eating delicious, creamy guacamole is, then buy your tickets here to take part in the festivities and to fill your bellies full of yummy. The Coolhaus truck will be there during the afternoon session selling their insanely-good ice cream sandwiches, and Mexicue will be slinging their tacos and sliders at night. The Sporkful will also be present, covering the day’s festivities for their weekly podcast.

Have I made you hungry? If you want to guac out in the comfort of your own home, then check out our new book from the founders of Nachos NY and the Guactacular, Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson. In Ultimate Nachos there are over 80 recipes for nachos, guacamole, salsas, queso, cocktails, and more. With this book, you can seriously eat nachos for every meal of the day with dishes like Sunny Side Nachos, Nachos with Lamb and Black Bean Chili, and Nachos Panna Cotta! The best part: former Guactacular-winning recipes are featured in the book. So you can try your hand at Ricotta and Red Onion Guacamole or Ginger Guacamole with Vegan Sriracha Mayonnaise. You know you want to!

(click on cover to pre-order your copy)

(click on cover to pre-order your copy)

12 Apr

Office Crafting

Rubberstamp packets

I love when I get to be crafty at work! Courtesy of author Molly Suber Thorpe of Plurabelle Calligraphy (whose book Modern Calligraphy comes out in September) I had another round of office crafting at my desk when I got to make pretty little packages!

Molly calligraphed the names of some friends, digitized her work, then had them turned into rubberstamps. Then I had the pleasure of packaging these awesome little gifts. I went to my favorite papercrafting store in NYC, Paper Presentation, which is just a few blocks from the office and found the perfect way to giftwrap these packages with just the right touch. I bought some bright ink pads, some bright blue circular seals, and notecards and envelopes, and then I found the piece de resistance! These adorable gift bags that look like looseleaf paper. Perfect for stamping the names on!  In my humble opinion, I think this package came together quite well!! I’d be psyched to receive a gift like this.


Want to make some beautiful calligraphed rubberstamps of your own? Look out for Molly’s book,  Modern Calligraphy, which comes out September 24. (I apologize for the long wait, but we’re working as fast as we can to get the book in tip-top shape. I promise, it’s gonna be worth the wait!) In it, you’ll learn not only how to perfect this gorgeous hand-lettered script, but you’ll get step-by-step directions to create some wonderful projects like these stamps, as well as cupcake toppers, invitations, etc… Also, check back on the blog, as I’ll post more materials from the book as we get closer to the pub date!

9 Apr

Because There’s Always Room For Ice Cream!

(click cover to pre-rder your copy)

(click cover to buy)


There’s nothing like a thick, creamy milkshake to make you feel like a kid again. In this book author Autumn Martin, an award-winning chocolatier and owner of Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle, shares a range of 60 new and old dessert drinks that will have you salivating and ready to get your milkshake on! I guarantee you that there’s something within the pages of this gem to satisfy any sweet tooth. Relive a nostalgic moment by indulging in one of the Soda Fountain Classics like  Banana, Butterscotch, or Strawberry.

Strawberry Shake

Strawberry Shake

Or how about creating these Salted Peanut Butter Cookies Ice Cream Sandwiches that are to die for?

Salted Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

In the Modern Flavors chapter, Autumn shakes it up by adding unique twists to time-honored flavors that both kids and adults will love like Salted Caramel, Not Your Grandma’s Apple Pie Shake, Strawberry Cheesecake, and much more.

It's Peanut Butter Jelly time!

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly time!

Molten Chocolate Cake Shake

Molten Chocolate Cake Shake

Lemon Curd Raspberry Shake

Lemon Curd Raspberry Shake


Finally, the Boozy Shakes chapter is the one to turn to late at night when the kids are in bed. Sip on Chocolate Espresso Whiskey Malts, Mojito and Campari Shakes, or try the Jalapeno Tequila Shake for a kick!

St-Germain and Huckleberry Shake

St-Germain and Huckleberry Shake

Are you drooling and ready to get started making some of your own malts and milkshakes? Do you have an ice cream maker? No? Well, not to worry! For anyone without one, all the recipes in the book can be made with store-bought ice cream or using one of the three basic ice cream recipes given at the beginning of the book for chocolate, vanilla, and ginger. And for complete beginners, an overview of blenders and ice cream and sorbet makers is given, along with notes for how to choose the best ingredients for your frozen treats. Autumn also provides a host of ideas for variations and side dessert, as well as bonus recipes for mouthwatering syrups and sauces for drizzling onto your malts and shakes. With all these delicious possibilities, who can pass up a milkshake?

4 Apr

Flowing, Elegant, and Easy to Sew Clothes for Spring

(click on cover to buy)

(click on cover to buy)


With the weather changing, it’s time to clear out your closet and add in some lighter, airy, springtime garments. Our new book Bold & Beautiful Easy-Sew Clothes features stylish separates that are easy to sew and flatter every body type. The range of tunics, vests, dresses, jackets, and skirts are versatile, comfortable to wear, and contain a one-size-fits-all construction that’s a cinch to make up. The designs are filled with subtle interesting details, which are highlighted on the pattern pages of the book, from pleats to pockets and drawstrings, and author Habibe Acikgoz provides concise instructions to for how to add these details and get the right fit for your garments.

The 15 designs in the book contain step-by-step instructions, pattern pages for reference in the back of the book, plus a CD which contains all the patterns for you to print out in full size at home! A Pockets section provides clear directions for how to add a range of these practical design elements to your garments for added interest. The Easy-Sew Techniques are straightforward and easy to follow, so you can do everything from sew simple seams to add facings and finishings.

Check out a sampling of pages from this fantastic illustrated book below. I hope you like what you see and are inspired by the modern, swinging silhouettes that Habibe is known for.

1 Apr

Leonie Morgan on Creating a Bold Color Palette and Book & Yarn Giveaway

(click cover to buy)

(click cover to buy)


Today we have an excellent guest blog post from author Leonie Morgan. Her new book 100 Colorful Granny Squares to Crochet: Dozens of Mix and Match Combos and Fabulous Projects is filled with cheery granny squares in bright, eye-popping colors. Below she shows you how nature inspires her color choices when she crochets and for crafters who are a little intimidated by color, gives advice for how to construct a bold palette. Leonie also includes a link to a Pinterest board she created that displays a collection of wonderful crochet projects that provide color inspiration for her.


We are surrounded by color every waking moment. There is so much inspiration around us! I take inspiration from absolutely anything and everything.

Here's a holiday photograph I took in Norway.

Here’s a holiday photograph I took in Norway.


I love the colors in the picture, the contrast of blues and reds with touches of yellow and white. Using some of the colors in the photograph, I have planned the color combination of my next crochet project.

Aren't the colors lovely and so wonderfully evocative of my holiday!

The colors are beautiful and so wonderfully evocative of my holiday!


I love choosing color combinations for new projects – I get giddy with excitement. There are so many colors to choose from, so where do you start?  Here are some things to keep in mind:

A mixture of light and dark colors provides plenty of interest. Too many dark colors can look flat and too many light colors can look faded. Mixing light and dark colors will boost the contrast of your color palette, adding punch and interest. Don’t forget neutrals, such as, gray, cream, black, and white. I tend to choose palettes with a light, a dark, and a middle shade. Even though the three colors may be completely different or shades of the same color, the light or dark value is as important as the color. As an example, picture a beautiful tree decked in green leaves. It may seem that the leaves are all just green, but when you look closer, you can see a whole range of greens from the very palest tint of green, to deep, dark, shady greens. Our eye is drawn to contrasts so it’s good to keep in mind that a mixture of lights and darks will look the most stunning.

There are handy tools online for picking color combinations. Browse the Pantone website for current color trends, try a color theme generator, or browse through photographs on Flickr and Pinterest. Here is a Pinterest board I created of other people’s crochet work that I absolutely love!

Ultimately, color is a hugely personal thing. One person’s favorite color can be someone else’s most hated color! The truth to color choice is that there is no right or wrong, it’s all relative and my best advice is to just go for it! Mix colors you love to your heart’s content and see what you come up with. You can always make a test square to doublecheck your choices. Remember: Rules are meant to be broken!


Like what you see? We’re giving away a copy of Leonie’s fabulous book, plus two skeins of Vanna’s Choice yarn to two lucky winners. To enter to win, please leave a comment below telling us your go-to color combo (also we’d love you to sign up for our newsletter at the top-right of this page). Please only one comment per person and, sorry, but this contest is for U.S. and Canadian citizens only. This giveaway will run from April 1 — April 11 and two winners will be chosen at random using on Friday, April 12. Good luck!

100 Colorful Granny Squares to Crochet book and yarn giveaway



Congratulations to Sarah H. and Patty, the winners of our book and yarn giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who entered and for the overwhelming response! Check back again soon for more giveaways!


CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!



Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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