Thursday, October 11, 2007

follow the links ... to your interests and swaps

Now sweet friends, I not only have this blog to keep you up to date on what I am doing but also to share with you what you can do, too. If you are interested in my blog beyond just being nice and checking in with me, be sure to follow the links in my messages to further interests and instructions. The blogging program allows us to make a word highlighted and, thus, a link. That way you can see for yourself what I am going on about. Once you do this a few times, you'll be able to figure out where how to search for blogs where your interests lie. Following the favorites on other sites might lead you to food blogs, photography, scrapbooking, knitting, homeschooling, etc. It's not just crafting but all kinds of interests.
Regarding the swaps, well, come on, don't you want to get in on those, too? It's so much fun, maybe a little distressing, but it gets your game on and encourages you to learn and practice what you love. Also, you get matched with someone to trade with or to pass on to and get to find out what is up in their corner of the world. Be sure to read the rules and dates due; you want to be able to keep the promise. I have two new ones to tell you about:
The first is a Christmas Postcard Swap hosted by a gal in Australia. She seems pretty cool. She is involved in a lot of sewing projects with Burdastyle, a web site that offers great clothing patterns that you can tweak to your own style. Anyway, the postcard swap is for postcards embellished with recycled materials (I guess paper, fabric, yarns, etc.) with a Christmas theme. Look here at this postcard gallery. That sounds easy, right? It's an international swap, as well, which I think can be exciting.
The second is the GaGa For Garlands Swap. This will be great. You can make a banner, a garland, or a wreath out of fabric or paper, etc. Check out the Martha Stewart holiday craft section, for ideas on these items. Also, the GaGa site has some links to other garland crafters. I picked up Better Homes and Gardens' Christmas Ideas magazine today at the bookstore, and there are several garlands and wreaths in there.
Here is a great and practical reason to participate in these swaps: If you make two or more of the item you are sending away to a swap friend, you'll have the extra for gifts or for decorating your own place. You won't feel sorry to send your great project away, as you will have more on hand, AND you will be getting back a complete surprise in return!
A way to find your own swap interests: Check out SwapDex to see what is coming up next.
If you do decide to swap, let me know, too, and send pictures of what you send and receive.

buttons, buttons ...

Here are the buttons I designed for the Embroidered Button Swap sponsored by greetingarts. I wondered, "How much of a design can I get into a 1-inch button and embroider the details?" A lot, I figured out. I carried around a square of paper with a 1-inch hole cut out. I would stop at all the card displays at Hallmark, Publix, Wal-Mart and put the circle up to sweet designs I found on cards. That's how I drew the rubber ducky design (I bought the little gift card). The teapot came to me while sitting in my studio embroidering and looking at some fabric my sister-in-law has picked out for an apron - teapots. So, I traced out my little circle and started drawing teapots. I had to cut out the main part of the design, a beehive like shape for the pot, center that on the fabric within the circle area, and trace around it. Then I added the spout and handle. The boat came from an embroidery book suggested by oldschoolacres, called Embroidered Treasures for Children. That book has the little embroidered baby shoes pattern, too. The butterfly came from a great book I found at the bookstore the other day and bought on Amazon's second market. I think all crafters will like it. It is Sew Pretty Homestyle, by Tone Finnanger. You won't be sorry to purchase it. There are a lot of good ideas in there, and I have one in the making for the -- are you ready? -- Fall Swap that I joined. Okay, okay, I'm going to stop soon -- I think. It's really a lot of fun, AND, if you know what is going on at my house lately, this blogging and these swaps have been a real blessing to me while I care for my grandmother. They keep me busy, entertained, and on my toes. Otherwise, the hours in the day gets lost with caretaking. So, maybe I won't stop just yet! Well, back to the buttons. I am expecting to receive five buttons in return. As soon as those come, I'll update this little piece as well as my flickr with my new prized buttons and you can see what little masterpieces come my way. I'm just wondering what to do with them!