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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween and costume design

It's been awhile since our last entry. Things are crazy here at the studio. We are getting ready to launch our new 2008 Holiday collection. Which is unfortunately running behind schedule. We hope to get is up very soon so bear with us. Make sure you are on the mailing list so you will be informed as soon as we have the collection up. This year it's going to be very limited so make sure you order early.

Our first craft show of the season is coming up really fast-Nov 7-9. Next week our magazine ads will be hitting stores from Mary Engelbriet's Home Companion and Romantic Homes.

This time of year is really tiresome for us to juggle both business and personal stuff. Being that we need to push and create our holiday ornaments, but also make sure our son has a fun holiday experience. Here are a few photos of his Halloween costume. Gryffin decided that he wanted to be a tree this year. So we gathered some leaves and made a felt owl and squirrel and glued them to a yellow shirt.

We here at Swirly Designs want to wish everyone Spooktaluar Halloween.
Have fun and eat lots of candy!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thanks for Swirlyling on by

Thanks for stopping on by and visiting our spooky Halloween Blog Party today and thanks to Vanessa at Fanciful Twist for letting us take part and for coming up with such a clever idea. Hopefully you all enjoyed it too and got some frightful inspiration and chilling ideas to make your Halloween the ghouliest of them all. Take some pictures of your favorite Halloween decor and email them to us, we would love to see them. Have a safe and happy Halloween and eat lots of candy.

Lianne & Paul

Swirly Ghost How-to

This project is for personal, non-commercial use.

This fun little project takes just a few minutes and the result is a happy little ghost ornament that can be displayed on a tree or make a string of garland or even made into earrings.

• White Polymer clay (or you could use translucent clay or even air dry clay)
• Craft glue
• Black linen string or twine
• 1" eye pins
• Black craft paint
• Extra fine crystal glitter

• 2 1/4 round cookie cutter scalloped
• oven
• toothpick or stylus
• clay rolling pin
• ceramic tile

Step 1.
Condition the white clay and using the rolling pin, roll it out to approximately 1/8 thickness.

Step 2.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out a circle (we used a scalloped cutter, but any one will do)

Step 3.
Take some clay and form a 1/4"-1/2" ball to make the ghost head

Step 4.
Drape the round circle of clay over the small ball of clay, gently pressing it around the head. Crimp the bottom of it with your fingers to make the folds.

Step 5.
Take the eye pin and gently insert into the top of head so that just the loop holder is showing.
You can cut the eye pin to size, so it doesn't stick out the bottom.

Step 6.
Use a toothpick or a stylus to make the eyes.
Then place your ghost on the ceramic tile and bake in the oven according to the packaging.
(if you don't want to use baking clay, you can also try air-dry clay which could work too)

Step 7.
Once it is baked, let it cool for about 20 minutes or so. They you can add the glitter!
Paint the whole ghost with craft glue and pour the glitter over it, shaking off the extra.
You can then use the black craft paint to paint on the ghosts eyes.

Step 8.
Take your black string or linen and insert into the eye hole and tie a knot.

That's it - that is how you make your very own Swirly Ghost!
How Boo~ti~ful!!
Let us know how you did!

Make your own Swirly Ghost

Later on today at this party blog we will show you how you can make your very own mini swirly ghost ornament. Now let's have another Bloody Mary!

Martha Stewart Halloween Snowglobe

We purchased this double sided Halloween snow globe in 2001 from the Martha by Mail catalog. We were hoping they were going to be a series for every holiday, but I think they only made a few others. We do have a Christmas Mouse one, but that's it. If you know if they produced others let us know.

one side BOO!

.... the other side EVIL!

A look at some of Swirly's favorite collectibles

Here at Swirly we live for the holidays... unfortunately when a holiday is here we are on to the next. So now that Halloween is coming in the next few weeks we are busy working and designing our Christmas collection. So when it comes to decorating, if we had more time we would go all out. This year we settled for a smaller display above. It's an old black amorie we picked up a few years ago at the historical Brimfield Antique show in Brimfield, MA. It makes for a perfect display case for us were we can display our items and still be able to keep them away from little hands.
Here are a few of our favorite pieces

This charming little guy reminded us of our son.
This is a reproduction piece from Lori Mitchell.

This pumpkin boy is from the Jennifer Murphy licensed designs from Midwest of Cannon Falls.

This little witch pail is from the Johanna Parker designs reproduction folk art collection.

more Halloween paper crafts...

Martha Stewart's crafts are also a favorite of ours. The stickers, candy holders, ribbons and glitters and puppets. She has it all.

Hallmark also had some really cool treat gift bags at Walmart of all places.

Here are some more stickers and letterpress cards. What interesting paper crafts did you find this season? Leave a comment and let us know.

Swirly's pick for best Halloween paper crafts

K & C Company is really getting into the holiday decorations with what we feel are the best looking Halloween decorations we found on the market this year. They were created by a talented artist named Jen Yanok. You still might be able to get them at your local Micheals or A.C. Moore store.

Spooktaular Halloween magazines and books

Let start this party off with sharing some of the Halloween magazines that have hit the newsstands this season. We have mentioned in past posts about how we love to collect all the holiday issues magazines and get inspiration from and ideas for future ornament designs. And also how after reading them we will recycle the magazines by cutting the images we want and add them into a binder and boxes.

We always enjoy going to the bookstore this time of year to see all the fun Halloween images that grace the covers of our favorite magazines.

Along with magazines we try to expand our reference library with holiday themed books.
Here are a few of the ones we have. The Halloween vintage graphics book (left) is a little treat of a book full of really cool vintage graphics, old costumes and illustrations (we also have the Christmas & Valentines in the series). The Halloween Collectibles book (right) is another great reference book to see all sorts of vintage images. Author Mark Ledenbach was a guest on the Martha's tv show last week, where he showed some of his collection and and talked about his 2nd edition (this one is his first). You can check out the show here.

This image is a page from the new Bethany Lowe's Folk Art Halloween book. We came across this book a few weeks ago at a little boutique and we just had to get it. We haven't had a chance to look through it in depth, but just glancing through it the craft projects look very funny.
These are just a few Halloween books we have. And of course we also really love the Matthew Mead Halloween book which came out this year, also in magazine form.

And we mustn't forget the children's books. We must confess though, we purchased these before we had our son so our focus for these purchases were strictly visually.

Our first Halloween BLOG PARTY!

Welcome one and all to our first web blog party!! All day today we will be posting fun Halloween themed projects and fun images that we have compiled from lots of many magazines & books we have and some of our favorite Halloween decor we have collected over the years. We aim to hopefully inspire you to decorate or create some fun stuff this Halloween.
We also have extended our Halloween ornament ordering deadline until Monday the 20th in case you get inspired to decorate your home with some of our fun whimsical ornaments.

We have joined with Fanciful Twist Blog where you can visit her site and see her long list of other links to many other creative blog sites who have joined the party for some Halloween fun.

Now let the Gould times begin!!
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