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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Swirly Craft Show Schedule

Mark your calendars! The holiday season is quickly approaching and we are starting to book our holiday craft show. We just got word over the weekend that we will be appearing at the
SOWA Holiday Market show this Dec 13th & 14th. If you live in or near the Boston area, this is a great show that is full of really talented artistans. Hope to you see you there this December!

Check out our website for more updates on upcoming shows and events.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Make your own inspiration boxes & binders

We love the holidays and we love collecting! Especially love collecting stickers, cards, tags, bags...really anything that catches our eye. Being seasonal designers we are always creating a seasonal collection in a different season. Like designing winter collections in the summer, spring collections in winter etc. We realized we needed systems to organize these items. After a long search we came across these 12 x 12 clear boxes that are used for scrapbook paper.

We categorize them by the holiday and they are stackable. They are clear, so it's easy to see what is inside quickly. Whenever we are in need of inspiration for any holiday we can just pull the box out.

Here is a sample of the halloween/autumn box

Here is one of the holiday boxes.

We also purchase a lot of holiday magazines –we've mentioned this before here. When we get overwhelmed with them or if we feel that they are taking over the studio we cut them up and take the pictures we want and put them in a box.

Then we will go through them and categorize them. We'll lay them out and tape them to a piece of paper and slip them into non glare sheet protectors and then put them into binders. We use these great binders we found by Russell & Hazel. The orange binder is dedicated to colors & pattern, the white binder is for christmas and the green is for all other holidays: valentines, halloween and easter.

This approach makes it so much easier to go through all those articles and pictures you wanted to save. You can use page dividers to separate sections. This will cut down clutter in your work space. This approach has saved us time searching for images and has freed up valuable shelf space. It's always a on going project, but well worth it. So if you have tons of magazine laying around your home why not try and organize them in your very own binder or box.

Here are some pages samples

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Keep an Eye out for...

...our new Fall & Halloween ornament collection. We are putting the final touches on them this week, and are planning a to have a Sept 1st launch. Once we have the collection up, we will post a fun little how-to craft, showing you how you can create your very own eyeball tree topper.

Looking into the eyes of a Jaguar

We are fortunate enough to live in a town that has a zoo. To be able to drive 10 minutes to visit and explore wild life anytime we want is priceless, more now with a little one. It's better than any playground around here. I have been going to the Stone zoo since I was very young. We'd see polar bears and elephants. Over the years the zoo has changed. There are less animals, but it is still a fun destination on a nice summer day. This year we got a membership so we are there more than ever. Of course the one time you go without a camera there was a great photo op with the jaguar (thank goodness Lianne had her trusty iPhone and was able to take some shots) The jaguars almost never come near the glass, they're always roaming about. But that day was different. The jaguar was laying nose to nose to the glass where you could just look into those eyes. Very Cool.

I'm not sure if it was Kanga or Pacal who was by the glass but we did realize later that they just had a new baby cub called Chessie –born on May 31st. So that could explain it..... it was pure exhaustion!

This is as close as Gryffin would get.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Martha Crafts at Walmart

The more you visit and read our blog here at Swirly Designs, you will soon realize we love the company MSO Martha Stewart Omnimedia. We love her design aesthetic, her projects and even her packaging. Anyone who can give a new spin on holiday designs are top in our books.
The other day we happen to see the new commercial for Martha Crafts, now available at Walmart. We just had to check it out. We are always looking for new and fun craft tools for the studio and also just for pure inspiration.

We don't scrapbook here at Swirly but you would never know that with all the materials we pick up. The possibilities are endless of what you can do with the fun embellishments that are out on the market now. We mostly use them for inspiration but we also are playing with adding them to new ornament designs. Talking about inspiration, in an upcoming blog entry we'll post pictures of our inspiration boxes the stuff we collect for upcoming holidays.

These scissors are a must for everybody's craft room. We have one of Martha's available at Michaels, but could always use a second one.

We picked up this white glitter pack. We are always looking out for real nice sparkly clear or white glitter to enhance our ornaments. Some glitters just don't have the right sparkle.
We actually got in touch with the Glitter Fairy. She is Martha's go to girl on glitter on her TV show. Check out her site, she loves to glitter. She gave us some great resources on which brands and types to try for our ornaments.

These were just a few of the items we picked up. There were lots of kits, rubber stamps, scrapbook paper, stickers and a whole wedding collection. We think it's worth a trip to check them out. You can bet we'll be there to see what she has planned for the fall and the upcoming holidays.

Happy Shopping!

Rainy day fun...who needs the sun!

So much for sunny summer days. Lately we have been having rain almost every day in the afternoon for the last two-three weeks. But our three year old thinks it's the greatest! Who needs sun when you have cool puddles to jump in. For a treat last weekend we let him put on his rain boots and go wild in the puddles. Oh the fun he had!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Here comes the… cake?

Some of you may remember from our old website a section we had on our Custom Wedding Cake orders.
We created mini replica ornaments of your wedding or special occasion cake. A section that was extremely popular and continues to be even though we haven't had info posted on our new site for the past year. Well, you'll all be happy to know we will be adding it back to our website again in early 2009. Here is how we came upon creating these wonderful pieces:

When Lianne and Paul married in 2000, their biggest challenge wasn’t planning the wedding, designing the invitation, or figuring out the seating chart. It was more about finding the perfect “1st Christmas together” ornament for their tree.
Since they married in October, they thought it would be easy to find one
in the coming months. But the task proved to be too difficult.

Since they were already in the production stage of some of their Swirly Designs holiday ornaments they tried their hand at making a custom ornament for themselves. And what symbol would be more perfect than their own wedding cake, which was originally designed by Lianne?

Their first attempt was a success! A friend saw it on their tree and immediately put an order in for one of her own. Since then, Lianne has been perfecting her skill in recreating unique cake designs from photographs provided by her customers. These specialty ornaments are ideal for wedding, birthday, Valentine’s Day or anniversary gifts. To learn more about how you can have Lianne create a replica Wedding Cake Ornament.

Creating a mini replica of the cake is extremely challenging. To make sure your piece looks proportionate to the original cake design, we study the pictures very carefully and map out what size it should be. Lianne prides herself in details, so she really tries to capture every little flower, swirl, dot and ribbon she can see from the supplied photos.

Painting the flowers on the top of the cake to match the photograph.

Here are some finished samples we have done over the years. We really strive to make each ornament special and capture that personal touch for each couple. As an added gift to the couple, we include a hand painted painted gift box matching the look of the cake. Each cake has the couples name and date on the bottom of the ornament.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ghosts, Vampires and Ornaments OH MY!

This week it's all about Halloween at Swirly Designs! We're in full swing of our Halloween collection production and to get inspired we have the halloween tree we purchased a few weeks ago displayed proudly in our studio. Showcasing some of our last years best sellers.

We even started reading a cool new book about vampires called Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

The picture above is a sneak peek of our early prototypes of the mini swirly ghost. They still need to be sanded, painted and possibly glittered etc etc.
We just couldn't wait to show you guys. Have a spooktacular weekend!
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