Art Cards – Autumn Swap

I’m so proud to show off the art cards I received from Michelle for our Autumn Swap!

(You can see the cards I made for her here.)

I love the gorgeous colors, and the way she illustrated such whimsical images of Autumn. The metallic gel pens for the writing on these make the rich colors really pop.

She is such a creative, original artist, so I love having some of her artwork in my collection of art cards. The ink on this one looks like it’s running or dropping down the card. And the shading on the pumpkins makes them look so dimensional.

She continues to inspire me to try new techniques and experiment with different art mediums. Thanks, buddy!

Art Cards 2011 – Spring Swap

My friend Michelle and I agreed to swap art cards for each season throughout the year.

I was the lucky girl who came home to find all these Spring goodies waiting for me.

She made this amazing art card, with magical-looking fossilized flowers on side one, and

a beautiful illustration of a tree on side two.

Of course, she had to spoil me by sending a couple fabulous mini journals, and a stack of cool mulberry papers, made from the fibers of a mulberry tree and feathers beautifully when torn. (pictured in top photo)

She also made an adorable little envelope that I can use to carry business cards or art cards.

Here are the cards I sent to her for our Spring swap, which she shared in this post.

Creative, artsy friends are the best! They give you handmade gifts, and they love the handmade gifts you give them. The thought is what counts, as they say. Thank you, my friend!

More Ornaments Exchanging

You know me, I really love making ornaments, and exchanging them with creative friends. This is the second year I’ve exchanged ornaments with my friend Cheryl. Cheryl has had a crazy busy few months, so I was happy she still wanted to do our exchange. She always includes the cutest goodies in her package. I especially adore these felt gingerbread houses she made for me this year! I love all things gingerbread, so these fit in perfectly on our tree. Exchanging handmade treasures with friends thousands of miles away makes celebrating the holiday season even more special. I am so thankful for your generosity and creative spirit, my friends!

Care Package

My good friend Michelle and I agreed to do a care package exchange this holiday season. Originally the idea started out as an ornament exchange, but then we decided to add in a few extra goodies, since we were sending our packages so far. (she lives in England, I live in the US)

She sent me SO many wonderful goodies! (you did get carried away, Shell!)

She has a talent for painting faces, bringing out the most charming expressions.

In fact, she is good at many crafty mediums, from drawing to painting to stitching.

She was thoughtful enough to include a couple local goodies from her neighborhood. Wish I had thought of that with the package I sent her!

Even though I’m not finished with Christmas gifts and I have several custom orders to work on, I am already brewing ideas for our next swap. There’s nothing like a care package full of handmade goodies from a long-distance friend to warm your heart. Thank you, Shell!

Swapping and Trading

I’ve been having fun swapping fabrics and scraps and handmade goodies back and forth lately with a couple good friends.

When I posted my tutorial for making a simple makeup bag, a bloggy friend commented that she missed her sewing machine, so I offered to make one for her, which is the bag pictured above and below.

In turn, she offered to swap one of her goodies for mine. This is the package she sent me. I wondered how she knew that I have always wanted a cigar box!

Inside I found this amazing lavender leather journal! Isn’t it beautiful? I love the feel of the soft leather, and the arrangement of cool buttons along the flap, and the fabulously stitched binding. I encourage you to stop by her shop to see more of her wonderful work!

I am definitely going to cherish it, and use it. (don’t you hate that when you give someone a handmade gift and they are afraid to use it?!) I can’t wait to fill it up with sketches and illustrations. Thank you Shari!

Ornament Swap Deadline

Today is the last day of July, which means it’s also the mailing deadline for your ornament swap!

Look at the wonderful, whimsical gifts I got from my partner today – the adorable softie Harry the Chanukkah Turtle and Big Red the Christmas Effa-lant! I love love love them!

She was also generous enough to send me these two gorgeous Christmas fabrics.

I am so lucky to have such a wonderful partner…. and friend. Thank you so much, Joanna!

Christmas in July Ornament Swap – Planning

UPDATE: Ornament swap is closed now (as of July 6, 2010). Thanks for the interest!

I usually start thinking about crafts and gifts for Christmas the week before Christmas. I am an “in the moment” kind of person! Last Christmas, I participated in two ornament exchanges, one with a friend and one with a blogger who would become a friend. I love making ornaments and exchanging them.

I am starting to get my thoughts organized for our Christmas in July Ornament Swap.

I even made a button for us to spread the word! Here’s the code to copy if you want to post it to your blog. For now, it will just link you back to my blog.

UPDATE: I got some feedback that my original code didn’t work, so try this: (thanks Vicki for your help!)

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If you are interested in participating, I have a few questions:

1. Should partners be assigned where you are exchanging with the same person who has your name?

2. Or, should partners be random and anonymous?

3. Or, should we exchange in groups, so for example, you would make five of the same ornament to send to five people?

4. Should we exchange just ornaments, or do you want to include another little crafty project of your choice, such as a potholder, mini quilt, patchwork card, pincushion, favorite holiday recipe, or whatever your fancy?

I have a couple giveaway items planned for participants in the swap too, so stay tuned!

I am hoping to open up the sign-ups in a couple weeks, around the end of June. I’m thinking our deadline to mail our crafty items should be the last week in July. Let me know in the comments or an email what you are up for, if you are interested in participating. Remember, it’s summer so we want to keep it simple!

Swap With A Friend

Awhile ago, my blogger friend Amy did a post on her blog looking for someone to do a swap with her – knit her a pair of fingerless gloves as a trade for something she could make for the volunteer. I volunteered! I made these fingerless gloves to help Amy get through the winter.

fingerless gloves for Amy

In return, she made me this Denyse Schmidt Promenade Market Tote!

Front of Swap Bag

The back is just as cool as the front.

Back of swap bagIt has a big inside pocket and a flat bottom with a sturdy plastic insert, making it great to carry a book or groceries. I will probably use this tote to carry a winter knitting project, but I could also take my newest book to the cafe and hang out for awhile.

pocket and flat bottom of swap bagAmy even included one of her new scrap-busting cards and an adorable drawstring bag with this cute ribbon and vintage buttons.

scrap card and drawstring bagI really enjoyed this swap because it was a one-on-one  trade with a fellow sewing friend, making me feel more grateful for the personal touch that went into her efforts. Thank you SO much Amy!