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Friday, May 29, 2009

Swirly Designs top 5 favorite Martha Stewart craft tools

In celebration of the New Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Craft book and being such Martha admirers we thought it would be fun share our top 5 favorite Martha craft tools we love to use here in the Swirly studio.

I'm sure everyone has their own list and we would love to here from you on what are your go-to tools when working in your craft studio.

Favorite Craft Tool .......

A self healing 12 x 12 cutting board.
At first we didn't think we would use this product because our craft table has a huge cutting board covering it, but what is great about this is that it's small enough to take it anywhere. And as you know once you get into a project somehow your desk disappears under all work and stuff and if you need top cut something out you can place it on the floor or an empty space and cut away!

#4 Favorite Craft Tool .......

Martha has a huge selection of paper punches.
You really can find almost any kind of image. We tend like to simpler shapes like the scalloped circle or the tag shape– shapes we might be able to use with our ornaments. The handle is comfortable to use and the blades are sharp. We were even able to cut out felt with one of the punches.

#3 Favorite Craft Tool .......

Is actually a tie between the Baker's Twine and the Holiday white glitters.

We love this baker's twine. It's so cute to tie up a little gift box. We have also used it for some of our mini ornament designs. Not only did it come in the peppermint stripe but also came in Halloween colors and assorted colors.

Everyone loves glitter and Martha has come out with a beautiful palette of colored glitters but for us here we tend to use mostly the white clear glitters so the painting and colors of the ornaments comes through. The winter set came with crystal, snow and marble glitters that resemble old vintage glitters.

#2 Favorite Craft Tool .......

Precision craft scissors
Here in the studio we have a lot of scissors and definitely some are better then others. Some scissors are used to cut different materials etc. These scissors are exactly what it says precision. They come with a cover to protect that fine tip and be warned these are not for young kids... they are extremely sharp and we know that from experience... ouch!! They cut the tiniest of string and because they come to a point you can reach into corners.

And now for the #1 Swirly Designs pick for their Favorite Craft Tool..

drumroll please......

Artist Glue Pens
Yes, a little weird I know. But for us, when we were looking for a better way to apply glue to our ornaments without ruining another paint brush these glue pens were our saving grace. These work wonderfully! You can apply glue to an small area and sprinkle with glitter and you don't have to worry about your glue and brush drying up. Our only suggestion is you might want to pick up quite a few because they do tend to run out pretty fast. And if the tip is applied onto a rough surface it can become a little ragged.

So there you go. Swirly Designs' favorite Martha craft tools that we enjoy. What are your favorite tools to use in your craft studio?

Maybe we make this a running series of our favorite things.

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Frogs and Butterflies

The rain here in New England gave us the idea to visit the Museum of Science today with the kiddos. It was a fun time for sure. Since Gryffin is learning all about insects this month in pre-school we thought it was a good opportunity to visit the Butterfly Garden at the Museum. He really enjoyed that and desperately wanted a butterfly to land on him (none did). We also went to the Frogs exhibit. We all had fun searching for the frogs in each habitat.

We got some really nice close up shots of the frogs and butterflies that we thought we'd share.

Hold On!

Love the bright colors of these frogs. Of course these are the poisonous one.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day Wishes

How quickly these holidays are approaching us. This year is going by super fast here at the studio, so fast that we had to jump past the fun little holidays–Mother's day, St. Patricks, Fourth of July–and jump right into preparing for the big ones: Halloween and Christmas.
So even though we don't have any new designs for these wonderful little holidays doesn't mean we have forgotten them.

We promise to be better prepared for next year. Here are two of our favorite Mother's Day ornaments we created in the past.

Above: Our Swirly Mother's Day Purse embellished with a rose and a pink fur strap. Finished off with a glittered paper tag.

Below: Scalloped glitter "Mother" ornament with a heart dangler was perfect in it's tones of pink for all occasions.

We hope every Mother has a wonderfully relaxing day with the ones they cherish the most.
~Lianne & Paul

Friday, May 8, 2009

Swirly Designs is on TWITTER

OK, so this is the one of the reasons we have been really bad about updating our blog regularly.... we have caved into the media peer pressure frenzie and opened a Twitter account.

This social networking site has been all over the place lately. Every one is joining it, from CNN to Martha Stewart. It is all still so very new to us and we are still trying to figure it all out. You could spend hours (and have) just searching different groups, or people on it.

We think it will be a great marketing tool. Within a few weeks we have about 142 followers. Swirly Designs will be able to gather and share information to a whole new group of collectors and fellow artisans who might not be familiar with us.

If you are on Twitter and would like to follow us check us out at:

....and we promise to get back to our more regular blog updates.
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