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Friday, December 23, 2011

Have a Swirly Christmas!

A Peek Inside Our Swirly Studio

Do you want to know the best way to clean your studio or craft room?
Have it profiled in magazine about Studios! As excited as we were to have our studio in the pages of the new winter 2011 issue of Cloth Paper scissors studios magazine our mood went from cheers to fear really quick! How on earth were we ever going to clean and organize our studio plus photograph it right in the middle of designing our fall collection. It's still a big blur but we did it and the story came out great.

In the article, we share how we transformed one of our rooms in our 150 year old house, into a winter wonderland workshop where we create our Swirly Designs all year long. Also how we work together in the space and some of our favorite storage pieces we have for our materials.

Be sure to check out the issue next time you are out and about at your bookstore or craft store.

click image to see larger

*** What didn't make it into the issue is how we reworked our studio closet from just a place to store boxes of materials, to creating almost an extra room where everything has it's place now. We had a local builder come in and help us design a closet that works for our needs. He did a great job listening to what we wanted and the craftsmanship is top notch!

click image to see larger

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Christmas Collection Close Up

We take lots of photos of our designs when we are ready to launch any new collection and usually we'll post some beauty shots of our designs on the blog so you can really see the detail in our ornaments that you might not normally see on the website.

Because of the quick selling of this years collection, we didn't get a chance to post these images, but they are just too nice not to share. So here is some eye candy for you...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Swirly Made the Cover!

We're sure you must have seen this issue at your supermarket or local bookstores already, it has been out for months now.

Well, if you look closely (you might even have to squint a bit) you might notice 4 of our swirly handmade ornaments adorning the tree in the photo. Hey we'll take that! Imagine, our little handmade ornaments on a cover of a big national magazine. Hooray for us!

We got a call back in June from the editor asking us if we could create cookie-like clay ornaments for this creative how-to Christmas Ideas magazine. We haven't designed cookie ornaments before, but were up for the challenge.

We submitted 25 different designs (above) which we created over a weekend. We photographed them and emailed them to the editor. They choose 4 designs they liked best for use in the issue. We shipped them the ornaments along with the step-by-step instructions.

And this is what graced the pages the story is titled Small Spaces that Sparkle.

All photos above are from BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine 2011

We had so much fun creating these clay cookie designs for Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas publication that we picked out four of our favorite designs to be include into this years Swirly Designs 2011 ornament collection.

They came out so sweet we just wanted to eat them up!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday How-to: Christmas Couple

Here is our third (first and second) seasonal how-to we created with Polyform for their website. We designed this festive snow couple characters which we call Peace and Joy. A perfect project to create on those snowy winter days this season.

We really enjoy creating these fun how-to projects for all to try or to be inspired by.

We are happy to announce that Swirly and Polyform will be creating more seasonal how-tos in 2012 for Valentine's, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So be sure to stock up on your supplies now so you will be all set to be swirling along with us all year long!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday season wrap up!

As the Christmas craziness settles down here at the studio, we both can finally let out a BIG sigh of relief for getting all our holiday orders out in the mail and finishing up our last craft show for the season.

Both were a big success for Swirly. We had a record breaking first day sales on the Friday launch day of our Christmas collection. And the SOWA Holiday marketplace show last week had a line of people wrapped around the building waiting for hours just to shop the show.

We are so thrilled and happy people appreciate and look for handmade goods to celebrate the season. It is always nice to read the kind emails about our ornaments and being able to chat in person with everyone who stopped by our booth to see our swirly ornament designs. We thank you for that.

There was so much fun stuff we wanted to share with you this month but never had the time, so we hope to post a lot of them all this week.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Upcoming Craft show and our Holiday collection

We have taken what's left of our 2011 handmade Holiday ornament collection, so we will have something for our upcoming craft show: The 8th annual SOWA Holiday Market this coming Saturday Dec 10th 11-7 pm.

If there are anything designs left from the show we will post them on Monday.

Have a wonderful week.

Here is our vendor profile that was on the SOWA website a few weeks ago. If you live around the Boston area be sure to stop by this Saturday and say hi.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Swirly in the Sweet Life

Looking for some sweet holiday inspiration? Then be sure to visit Simply the Sweet Life and check out their FREE online 2011 Holiday magazine .
It's full of wonderful holiday ideas and delicious recipes and Swirly:)
Yes our new mini woodland winter set graces the pages (page 32_33) of this whimsical issue .

Image above is from Simply the Sweet Life Magazine Holiday issue

Image above is from Simply the Sweet Life Magazine Holiday issue

Check out the eZine and tell them Swirly said hi!
Below area few more close up shots we took of this
7 piece Woodland Winter set.

Mushroom, Little Owl and snowy pine cone

snowflake and candy cane

glittery star and starry night

There is still a few of these sets available so be sure to pick up yours today.
Have a Sweet and Swirly Holiday! SORRY SOLD OUT!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas is coming...

We have been busy putting the finishing touches on this years Christmas ornament collection and today we can finally announce that....Our new 2011 Holiday Collection will be online this Friday December 2nd. Hooray!
Here is a peek at a few of the new ornament designs you can expect to see.

See you all on Friday!
Lianne & Paul

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In the Studio: Embellishing ornaments for a Craft show

We have been busy busy busy working around the clock gearing up for our craft show this Saturday. There is still sooooo much more to do before Saturday. Today in the studio is all about adding embellishments to our ornaments with paper messages, 3-D paint, bells and lots and lots of GLITTER.

Enjoy the peek into the studio.

We have to set up extra tables around the studio so we can spread out the ornaments to dry.

A spool of wax twine works great for making bows and stringing paper messages on two of our new designs this season.

It's not Christmas around here without the return of Swirly the snowman. This year he is in tones of pinks and reds which was inspired by the color of candy canes.

For anyone who lives in the area and wants to check out the collection early, we will be doing our first Holiday craft show of the season, on Saturday November 19th at the Wellesley Marketplace, here in MA.

We are also going to try and Facebook book through out the day on Saturday about all the goings on of our craft show so make sure you stop by our Facebook page.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gobble these up before they are gone

Thanks for all the nice feedback we are getting for the Turkey greeting holder we created for Polyform. We are so happy people are enjoying the how-to projects we are making.
Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays to decorate, even if it's only up for a few weeks.

We couldn't help ourselves and went a little over board making the samples so we thought we would offer a limited number of these little turkeys to you. Perfect for a hostess gift or to display family photos (see below) along your table. The Turkeys are all SOLD OUT!

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday How-to Thanksgiving: Let's talk some turkey!

Thanksgiving Treat!
Here is another seasonal how-to project we created with Polyform for their website.
Take a little break from all that cooking preparation and try making one or all of these designs to adorn your Thanksgiving table.

Even though we called these place card holders they are so versatile and can be used for many creative holiday ideas like... for a menu card for your buffet station or dessert table to identify your pies or you can display family photos along your table runner or just as a Thanksgiving greeting.

How neat would these make for a house warming gift to celebrate the Autumn season.

You can create just one turkey or even better a whole rafter of them. Your guests will be so impressed knowing you made these yourself.

Make a half dozen of these cute acorns to showcase your kids' artwork along your table.

Make one on these Pilgrim hats for each place setting or have your guests write down all the things they are thankful for and display them.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this how-to project. You can leave a comment below or on our facebook page.

And for any of our clay-challenged followers—who we love very much ;)— we did create a few extra Turkeys holders that we will we have for sale this Friday on our website!

Gobble... Gobble... Gobble!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

For the birds!

We survived! What you ask, did we survive? Turning our clocks back!! I don't know about you, but this pesky little thing we do in fall is quite literally "for the birds"! We have so many clocks to make sure we turn back, it can drive us bonkers. BUT we did it and now we are settling into the days getting darker MUCH earlier. Winter is right around the corner.

And with the cold weather upon us we thought it would be a good idea to make a few bird feeders to hang in our yard to help our little birdie friends during the colder months.

We wanted to do something inexpensive and easy that our 6 year old would enjoy helping with.

The only supplies we used were a liter seltzer bottle, wooden spoons, birdseed and some twine.

We got a 4lb bag of birdseed for $1.32.

We started out by having our son mark where the holes go for the spoons. Basically the spoons act as perches for the birds and the seeds spill out onto the flat part of the spoon. We cut out the holes with a sharp pair of scissors. The spoons were cheap too...a pack of 4 for $1!

Once the spoons were put in the bottle it was time to fill 'er up! The 6 year old thought this was the best part because he got to use a scoop and a funnel! Be sure to use a pan with a lip to catch any spills!

The last step before hanging is to insert an eye screw to the cap of the bottle and then you are ready to add your twine to hang.

Now off to go find places to hang them! We made two, so we put one in the back yard and one in the front. We'll see which place draws more of a "crowd".

Here he is checking out his handy work.

And lo and behold, our first feathered friends! Here is a little chickadee munching on the seeds and the photo below shows a bluejay checking out the seeds that have fallen from the feeder. He's in the lower right of the picture.

So for a little over $3 we think that this is a great project for little ones to do. It teaches them about wildlife and responsibility. We told him that he has to make sure to check the feeders often because the birds will come to rely on them and not to let them get empty. We also are hoping the squirrels don't get to the seed before the birds do!

Hope you all have a great week!
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