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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Swirling into a New Year 2009

Well, the Holidays are over and we can finally take a breather (We don't have to think about Christmas for a good.... 4 months Yikes!!!).

Our shows are done for the season, our orders have all been sent and enjoyed by everyone who received them this Christmas.

With the New Year approaching tonight it is time for us here at Swirly to reflect over this past year. We can't thank everyone enough for the support this year. Our designs are really striking a chord with people and the positive feedback we get make it that much more fun and rewarding to do what we do.

We are also reviewing the goals we made both personally and professionally and and think about new ones for 2009. Some of you know that Paul LOVES to make lists, so that is his job to make the lists...I just follow them...well at least I try! Not only are we going to be thinking about Swirly stuff but we are also awaiting the arrival the newest member of our family. Some of you may not know, but we are expecting #2 in April. Hopefully we'll be well prepared for when she arrives..and maybe she'll give us new inspiration for new Swirly designs!!

These past few days we have been cleaning the studio like crazy, going through all our stuff and organizing everything. We put all the Christmas materials away... even though we keep hitting the stores picking up any post-Christmas deals so we can start planing our Valentine's collection. Oh... the life of a seasonal designer.

Have a wonderful and safe New Year.......Happy 2009!!

~Lianne & Paul

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thanks again and Merry Christmas to all

We want to take this time again to thank everyone for your wonderful support this year with our holiday collections (Valentine, Spring, Halloween & Christmas).

The new updated website seemed to be very helpful making the ordering easier for everyone (speaking of website our website won GD USA magazine "2008 American Graphic Design Award")

When we started this ornament business over 7 years ago we wondered if these type of ornaments we made would appeal to a broad range of people. All we can say is how excited we get every time we unveil a new collection. The hundreds of emails we get from everyone letting us know how much they enjoy a our work and our designs, and how they make it a tradition seeing and adding our new designs to their personnel collection every year. It is truly touching to us and makes us really strive to come up with new and fun designs each season.

Paul and myself want to wish everyone a happy holidays and look for more wonderful things happening with Swirly Designs in 2009.
~Lianne & Paul

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our paper Christmas

Oh how we love to collect for the Christmas season. We look so forward to the new and fun products that hit the shelves each year. Especially anything to do with holiday tags, stickers, and greeting cards. Here is a sample of what we have found this Christmas. We added these finds to our inspiration box.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A fun little Christmas find

We found this little snowman last year while shopping at Blue Tulip and thought it was a clever and cute idea that we wanted to share. It was labeled Hidden Treasures on the tag and read: This figure contains five special ornaments wrapped in a tissue spiral. This peeked our curiosity of what sort of tiny treasure were going to be inside. The ornament wasn't cheap and did we really want to rip apart this little guy to find some cheap plastic little items. We asked the sales clerk if she had a sample one showing what was inside but she did not. So we purchased one and went home and started peeling away the snowman.

after peeling away the whole snowman body you are left with only his head and these really surprisingly cute ornaments.

So we picked up a little tree and the ornaments look great on it. Don't you think? So of course we were hooked, and after the holidays we went back to the store and purchased whatever ones that were left. We got a bunch more snowman, santas, a few reindeer & penguins. We have them all over our tree this year so when we have little visitors come by they can pick an ornament and start there own collection.

We think the store would have sold much more of them if they had a sample of the what the ornaments look like to justify the cost of an ornament that was meant to be ripped open.
Did anyone else see these last year? We just wanted share this little treasure we found.
~Happy searching.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

For the birds

Gryffin came home from preschool last week very excited. “Look,” he said “a gift for the birds.” He made a cute little bird feeder. So we went outside and hung it on a tree so we could watch the birds come and enjoy his feeder from our window.


We are just so impressed with all the projects he does in school. We can't get him to sit still for 5 minutes to do a craft project at home, let alone make a feeder.

The birds enjoyed it very much. And perfect timing too, we were able to get it up right before the huge snow storm which we are having here right now in New England.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stocking up on Christmas magazines and books

We mentioned in our Halloween post about collecting magazines and books. We love to collect the special holiday issue from the newsstands and read them in the spring to get inspiration for future ornament designs.

Check out your local bookstore or newsstand this week and start collecting those magazine and books to get ideas and inspirations for next Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 American Graphic Design Award...Yeah!!

We were to thrilled to find out this week that our Swirly site won an American Graphic Design Award from Graphic Design USA magazine.

When we originally launched our site back in the day, we took it upon ourselves to do our site on our own, since we both have design backgrounds. This worked great in the beginning, but as our business grew we needed to consistently update our site for every season. We knew that we need some help organizing our site and also adding an ecommerce feature. So in the summer of 2007 we worked closely with a company called Brunello Creative here in Boston to create a new website. It was launched last November and works great for our needs. It's user friendly and it's easy for us to update on our own. The hard work must have paid off -- thanks Brunello and GD USA Magazine.

Here are inspiration boards we showed them to understand the look and feel we wanted to convey with our site.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas cheer

With all the craziness happening around the studio this month, we felt bad that we weren't able to post more frequently this month. We had such cool plans with fun projects to post etc (but there is always next year).

Since Christmas is less than a week away, we wanted to get some Christmas inspiration up here.
Here are some of our holiday decorations.

Here is our black armoire filled with our Christmas collection. It showcases some of our pieces that we have collected over the years and below is our sons fun holiday artwork he has been doing in preschool.

these two angles are new to our collection this year from Lori Mitchell

Our mommy and baby penguin snowglobe from the Martha by Mail catalog. It's like our halloween piece. Mommy and baby penguin.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our last craft show of the Season

Last weekend was the end of our craft show season for the year. The SOWA Holiday Market is wonderful show full of really cool artisans with a dedicated promoter who does a great job getting the crowds to show up (especially with the challenge we are all facing economically).
We were planning on bringing our camera to take lots of pictures of the weekend, but silly us we forgot it both days! Thanks to Lianne and her trusty Apple iPhone, she was able to save the day.

the space we have for this show was a lot smaller than
the Christmas festival. On the plus side though, we did have a corner space.

We try not to go over board with our display. We realize with a more elaborate design, it's not fun taking down the display at the end of the show!

The crowd came out over this chilly weekend to buy some unique gifts. This is one of the few shows where we actually try hard to make the time to walk around the show because you can find some wonderful things for the holidays... but we usually just shop for ourselves.
Here are a few items we picked up.

We always purchase these yummy sauces from Shootflying Hill Sauce Co. (we love the butterscotch) They are handmade in small batches using natural ingredients that you will easily recognize. We met Cory, the founder, a few years back at another show. We always make time to chat at the shows. She is a sweet person, just like her sauces.

The booth beside us was a letterpress company called B Designs Inc. Once we saw these cute letterpress Santa tags we just had to have them. They got a real kick out of us when we told them that we had to get two sets... one to keep and one to use. These tags are just too cute to use.

Speaking of cute.... Sew Cuties are a fun collection of handmade critters in fabulous fabrics with lots of charm. Part of the fun in doing these show for us, is getting a chance to network and meet some very colorful characters and Cathy from Sew Cuties is a perfect example. Her personality is as fun and colorful as her designs. We purchased some of her bird ornaments last year for our nieces and this year we had to get her new baby blanket design (which we got early thank goodness because they went fast!) for our new baby girl who is coming in April 09.

This is just a little taste of what went on this weekend. If you haven't been to a craft show lately make a point to visit one or two next year and support and meet your local artisans.
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