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Monday, August 6, 2012

What we are working on today

Fall Fall Fall.... That's what is on our brains today and pretty much all summer long and yet looking at our calendar we are still behind.  How does that happen??

Even though this years Halloween/Autumn collection deadline is quickly approaching we just couldn't wait. So lets take a little peak inside our studio to see what we have been working on. This year we are going all out with fall theme designs. Over the years we been getting more requests for fall theme designs so I think you will be very happy with this years collection.

These little apple ornaments are just too cute. How will they be incorporated into this years collection..... well we are still working on that.
 Who wants some corn? These little guys are waiting for their husk wrappers. 
and of course we can't forget about our favorite swirly ghost! These guys are drying form their recent glitter bath.

We'll share more of our new Fall collection in the coming weeks. Who is excited for Fall?

For more Fall and other holiday inspiration be sure to follow Swirly on Pinterest.

Would you like a tour of our Garden?

 Ok here you go....that's it... thanks for coming! Bye! Bye!

Yes, we know it's not that impressive :( Every summer we say this is the year we are going to start a garden and then we realize.... WOW! it's a lot of work! Do we have the time for the up keep and care a garden requires? Unfortunately we don't think so. Plus there are so many others who are so much better at it than we are.

But we are so enthralled with the idea of growing our own vegetables and herbs for our family, that we may have lost sight on actually how much work it is. We always dream of being able to send the kids out to fetch yummy food from the garden for dinner... oh well! Hopefully some day we will have that beautiful garden, but for now we'll have to start small. Really, really small...what we have now is two wine bottle crates for our raised beds. 
And really the only reason we have those is because a friend of ours asked if we wanted some of her extra orange cherry tomatoes plants. Better late than never, right?
The good news? So far so good! We have been getting some mini orange tomatoes!
And early on, while we were getting the dirt for our wine boxes, we got hooked into buying a cucumber plant and a green pepper one. I don't think these should be this close together and I think the cucumber needs a very large trellis. Both are not fairing so well.
We also have a mint plant, though we're still not really should how to incorporate that into the stuff we cook.
...and finally our very sad little pea pod plant that our son brought home from school. We will be lucky if we ever get a pea before winter comes. 
If anything we have a whole new appreciation for everyone who works endless hours in their own gardens. I'm sure the rewards are so worth it. We are going to go and sit and enjoy our fresh beatiful orange cherry tomatoes!

What fruits of your labor have you been harvesting this summer?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Our American Made story

Happy August! Can't believe how fast summer is flying by!

We received an email this week about Martha Stewart honoring 10 American Makers at an upcoming event they are hosting this fall.
If you are Creative Entrepreneurs who is making products that are innovative, inspiring and beautiful you should enter! We thought we would enter our little Swirlies into the mix and see what happens.  We will let you know how it goes. There might be some kind of voting come September that we might need some help on as well. 

Here is our page on the Martha Stewart site. We did notice that some of our profile text was cut off as well as weird cropping with some of our photos... so we thought we would re-post them again here:

Here is the full text that we uploaded:
Our American made story:

Welcome to Swirly Designs studio where we create holiday cheer all year!

We are Lianne & Paul Stoddard the artist and creators behind Swirly Designs where our passion for decorating for the holidays inspired us to combine our artistic skills to create our own collection of original handmade polymer clay ornaments.

Our story began in art school in Boston. I studied graphic design, while Paul majored in Illustration. In school, I dabbled in polymer clay. I made jewelry and pins for family and friends. I loved the way the clay was easy to use and I could create unique pieces.

After graduating, we both pursued work in our field but we were always drawn back to working with our hands. Going back to the medium that I discovered in school, we started to experiment with creating pieces in polymer clay.

We launched Swirly Designs right around the time we got married, in 2000. Being artists and designers we tend to be a little picky when searching for holiday ornaments for our own tree. Not finding exactly what were we looking, we decided to create our own ornaments using polymer clay.

Combining my graphic design sensibility and Paul’s illustrative talent we created whimsical pieces and started giving them as gifts to family and friends who then encouraged us to start selling them. We produced a small catalog one holiday season, taking our own pictures and designing the catalog ourselves. That proved to be a success, and the following year we got a booth at a local holiday craft show here in Boston. The response to our ornaments was so great! We sold lots of ornaments during that show plus heard lots of positive feedback from customers. This was enough encouragement for to us do this full time.

Each and every ornament is hand-sculpted, hand-painted and beautifully embellished by us as we interpret traditional holiday images through a contemporary lens all while juggling our growing family.

Our studio is always swirling with new and interesting holiday festivities and we are so blessed our ornaments have become part of so many people’s holiday traditions.  

 Wish us luck!
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