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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Didn't make the cut!

Sometimes not every sketch in our sketchbook translates well into clay. These aren't terrible but they might just need a little more tweaking and rethinking. Most of the time our collection launch deadline doesn't allow us to go back and forth to make it just right, so we’ll pass on them and maybe revisit them for our nex collection.   

Here are a few examples from our recent Valentine's collection faux pas that for some reason or another didn't work.
Our sketch of this Swirly Love bird delivering a sweet Valentine looked so cute with the bird holding the Valentine letter and the heart wings, but something just didn't click. Maybe it was the shape of the eyes or the size of the beak? Hmm. We even added color to see if it would pop or something.
Nope. Nada. Didn't quite work out.
So the few mock-ups of these love birds we did produce are displayed on our little tree in our entryway.

Hearts come in all shapes and sizes and coming up with new versions each year quite a challenge. These hearts just didn't work. The sweetheart design was just too big and bulky; the be mine heart color wasn't doing it; and the crepe paper on the love heart had way too many layers. Oh well.

Even this little guy went through a few changes before landing into our Winter Love set.

The original sketch had him wearing a snow cap ....nah.
How about a party hat and a flower? Super cute, but just not the right fit for the collection set.
There is really never any mistakes when we are creating, and we feel it's is all part of the creative process.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Teaching 22 second graders!

A few weeks before Valentine's Day I was asked to teach a craft project to my son's second grade class. I was excited but somewhat scared. What kind of project can I teach that will keep the interest of 22 kids? And have it be easy and fast?

I knew I wanted the project to be creative yet simple but something they might not have tried before. My first thought was doing an origami project but after discussing it with Lianne and posting it on Facebook I quickly switched directions.  So with a little cruising around Pinterest, I came a across this fun project that would be perfect and gave me an opportunity to show the kids something new.

After having the kids cut out their hearts for the butterfly wings. I showed how you can paint and stamp with everyday objects. Like making a paper towel roll into a heart shaped stamp, cutting up sponges to create texture, and Q-tips to make dots and toothpicks to create tiny hearts. The kids really seemed to enjoy knowing you don't always need paint brushes to paint with.

We also created book marks with the extra paper. These were my samples. The kids versions were so much more creative. Only wish I had a camera.  I had a blast with the kids but also have a whole new respect for the teacher. It was an eye opening experience working with 22 kids and seeing how different each child approaches a project.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Decorating for Valentine's

We love creating and making beautiful ornaments to adorn your our Swirly fans homes for every holiday to the point we sometimes get side tracked and forget to decorate our own home.

So yesterday toward the end of the work day, we had a little time to spare (which is rare for us) as we were cleaning the studio up. As we started organizing the colorful paper we have collected, we thought hmmm we could either stay in the studio and clean....or take some of that cute paper and dress up our entryway. YES that's it!

Here is the result! Using scrapbook paper and a  few other items we totally transformed out entryway into a Valentine's showcase. Oh so sweet and very easy to do it yourself as well!
We made this picture gallery wall last fall and yet their are still picture frames without family pictures in them. So this was a perfect opportunity to put some pretty magazine pictures or decorative paper into the frames and voila the wall sings Valentine's. 
We added what few of our own ornaments we had left over from our Valentine's collection to this yarn wrapped tree we picked up at West Elm this past Christmas.
Our tweet heart bird cage sample sits on a square shadow box with a fabric greeting card inside. We love to frame greeting cards!
We made this snowflake shadow box as a mock-up for a possible how-to. But now it's happily displayed on our wall.
As you all know we are fans of magazines especially holiday related issue (see here and here just to refresh)  So we when came across this display piece that someone was throwing out we knew exactly what we could use it for.  It's fun going thorough old holiday issues and displaying them each holiday. 
This gold table top tree is the only permanent tree that we have in the house all year long (not including the trees in the studio of course). It greets our guest as they enter our home. It's mostly decked out in gold woodland ornaments but we'll add a spot of color to give it a seasonal pop! Adding a few seasonal ornaments, some beads, and a piece of 12 x1 2 scrapbook glitter paper under the tree and it is transformed.
On the other side of the entryway we have a shelf above where we hang coats.  A perfect place for more frames that we filled with valentine images. Books and other items share the shelf as well.
So simple and so rewarding... in less than an hour we transformed our entryway into a Valentine's gallery. So what if it's only up for only a few weeks and so what if only a few family members will see it. Hey maybe the UPS man will appreciate it:)

Do you decorate your home for Valentine's?  Which room do you decorate the most for the holidays?
Happy Valentine's
~Lianne & Paul

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Images from our Valentine's Collection

Happy Valentine's Day! With only 11 days to go we can finally take a little breather knowing our Swirly cupid has delivered all the orders that came in since our launch on the 28th.  Just so you know you can still order all the way up to and even after Valentine's.  These designs are nice for a little girl's birthday, a baby shower or if you just want to show someone you care. 
With every collection we launch we'll take more than enough photos and even though we only had 12 designs in our 2013 Valentine's ornament collection we ended up taking over 300+ images to make sure we get the best shots to represent our collection.  Having so many pretty shots that didn't make the cut we thought we would share some of our favorites.

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