archive for the ‘swaps’ category

tiny houses!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

jackie sent me some of the tiny houses she made for her tiny houses swap. I WANT TO EAT THEM, that’s how much i love them!

sadly, i have not put a priority on time to make tiny houses for my swap partner. with school, creative time is rare, but i know there’s gotta be a weekend soon that i’ll have creative energy…

tiny house swap

Friday, January 24th, 2014

i LOVE this photo by jackie. i have the top box. :)
6 years ago, a bunch of crafty types from around the world signed up for the elsie marley mobile swap. each of us had about a month to make a mobile and send it off. we weren’t paired up, so the person you sent your mobile to was not the person that sent you one. i LOVED the project. i felt so creative, and tried  ideas until one really worked. i sent the mobile i made to kaija in finland, and then made one for myself that is still hanging in my bedroom.

and if feeling really creative and sending off something great wasn’t awesome enough, the swap was where i “met” jackie, melinda, patricia, ayama, and molly. friendships formed in the flickr group, which then moved to blogs, then to email, and finally in person: i met patricia when jenn and i went to new york that fall. i met jackie & melinda the following year when i road-tripped to lawrence, kansas. i met molly almost 2 years ago when i went to boston for work. i haven’t met ayama in person yet (she’s in australia) but we’ve been pen pals and are still in touch. i think kristin also participated, but we didn’t connect online until a little later.

so… it’s 6 years later and jackie’s putting together a tiny house swap, and i’m just as excited for it as i was for the mobile swap. you should sign up, too! you have until january 31 to sign up, and the entire month of february to make your little guys. let’s make some tiny houses!

photo credit: jackie (smoothpebble studio)

mobile swap 09

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

last weekend i finally finished my mobile for the swap, 30 days after the deadline. erg. i just couldn’t quite find the inspiration or the right idea. finally, i perused my swap partner’s blog (gardenymph), and decided to try recreate the experience of coveting a gorgeous pile of fat quarters. so i chose a color palette of blues (suggested by the recipient) with oranges; i found some papers that had fabric-y patterns; and i picked up my trusty paper punches.

i was hoping to create a mobile completely different from last year’s, but hey, go with what you know… but instead of balancing the circles horizontally, i hand sewed down the center of each vertically. and i used thinner dowels to hang the circles from! so it is a little bit different…


Monday, March 2nd, 2009

not right...
saturday’s deadline for the elsie marley mobile swap came and went. and i didn’t send anything out.

i’ve been struggling with ideas. my first idea was to create “globes” of colored string, by paper mache-ing them around small balloons. but the balloons were never a perfect sphere, and the globes looked like string with a lot of glue on them, and not the modern coolness i pictured in my head. on to idea number 2, above: hand cut circles of painted paper backed with old text. hand sew them together, hang. while i like where this is going, it just doesn’t fit my swap partner. and i don’t want to send her something i like, that she may not.

thankfully, i have idea number 3. it’s not a radical departure from my other mobiles, but i think it’s a good solution. now i just need to make it…

happy monday!

summer sac received

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

summer sac swap goodies from pixiewinkle!
my sac for the summer sac swap arrived last saturday! the package was from pixiewinkle, who organized the swap, and there was sooo much great stuff inside! she sent me ephemera from her trip to hungary, goodies from a trip to san fransisco, and maps from new york for an upcoming nyc visit, in which i will meet her (i love the creative nyc map she drew!). but my favorite items are the ones she made, like this etching:

etching by pixiewinkle
i love the surrealism of the composition. i see influences of hungary, and the bunnies are fabulous. p is an amazing illustrator.

the icing on the cake: a sac that she made from a friend’s dress (a much better photo is up on pixiewinkle’s flickr account):

summer sac from pixiewinkle!
it’s gorgeous, and perfect for my knitting! thank you thank you thank you!

summer sac swap

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

summer sac swap
my package for the summer sac swap goes out in the mail today! i had fun collecting items for my swap partner, but wish i could have been able to visit the sites — and collect ephemera — from her dream vacation list: miami, paris, oaxaca… but i didn’t go far this summer. i did find a few fun things from my trips around the midwest, and will be sending her mostly paper goods as she listed paper, stationary, and bookbinding as her creative hobbies.

sigh, i did not construct my sac as was intended. i really cannot add sewing to my repertoire, so instead i found a lunch bag made with recycled canvas. my partner is a pisces, so i carved a fish block and stamped the bag. yeah, you may see that fish on other things in the future!

thanks, pixiewinkle, for putting together a fun swap!

from jackie

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

from jackie
earlier this summer, jackie of smoothpebble asked if i’d make her mom a coupon organizer that she had seen on my flickr. i said sure, if you’ll make me a felt cuff or two that you posted on your flickr! so i sent off a coupon organizer (which i do think turned out pretty cool, but they’re a lot of work… i’ve been lazy about considering them as an addition to my etsy shop…), and last week a package arrived from jackie.

yay! i love my felt cuffs (with circles!), and have been wearing them to work this week. i’m pretty sure she stamped the lid of the box they came in, which i love. she also included a dusty miller leaf, a cut-out of said leaf (man, is she awesome with a craft knife!), a card by seasprayblue (yay for the log lady!), and no, jackie, i will never get tired of painted fish. i hung that in the kitchen window immediately.

thank you so much, jackie! i am a very lucky girl.

swatch swap

Monday, July 21st, 2008

swatches from jesse’s swatch swap have been arriving over the last few weeks. it’s so much fun to open the envelope to see what’s inside! so far i’ve received fabulous swatches from new zealand, japan, south africa, the uk, and the us. i haven’t yet decided what to do with them yet since i don’t sew, but i do have a few ideas…

and my fabric? i finally finished printing this weekend:

circles on linen

i started completely over, and this time used screen printing ink. the good news: the ink set! the not-so-good news: it’s thicker than the speedball inks i first used, and the ink gets gummy quickly. so my white circles are thicker than i’d like. but the ink set, so i’m happy, and my swatches are in the mail!

happy mail

Friday, July 18th, 2008

happy mail from martha
there was a little surprise package in wednesday’s mail from sew fab martha, who participated in my little matchbox mondays challenge in june. my challenge was pretty small: martha was 1 of 2 other contributors. but what we lacked in size, we made up for with our collections.

it was so fun to meet martha (and sam!) via the challenge. to thank them for participating, i wanted to send them each a säkerhets tändstickor matchbox. i sent martha’s out on wednesday, and received the goodies above that same day: 3 new matchboxes (fish!), gorgeous foreign stamps, and letter ephemera. i’m not sure what i did to deserve the wonderful package… martha, you made my day! thank you so much!

happy weekend! if you’re in the twin cities, here are a few weekend art events:

highland fest art fair: cleveland ave & ford parkway. friday 2-10, saturday 10-10, sunday 11-5

gallery 360: opening reception: scenes from a northern light…recent paintings by ellen thomson. also featuring work by atom pechman, elizabeth corman, and barbara keith. saturday, 7-10, show runs thru september 14

bits & pieces from ayama-chan

Monday, April 7th, 2008

bits & pieces from ayama-chan
a package from my amazing friend ayama-chan arrived on saturday. and it was so much fun opening it — it was just like christmas. (see my last post for a bit more background, and to see what i made for her). she made me so many beautiful things, they all deserve to be shown and mentioned here!

1. chernobyl. this little fish mono-oki (thing holder) is made of recycled chirimen furoshiki (um, don’t know what that is). he snaps together at the top, and he was full of amazing little beads. the name? apparently he was quite a challenge!

2. origami paper! a little package of chiyogami and printed papers for folding.

3. sushi. this golden fish is to rest under my wrist while i am working on my computer. he is coming to the office with me! ayama-chan hand embroidered the details. i love him!

4. a postcard by ayama-chan’s favorite japanese artist, yoshitomo nara. and the card she sent is a detail of the tale of genji.

5. fudge. another fish mono-oki, made from an old kimono! he has a zipper on top, and he will keep my rings and earrings safe. his name is fudge as apparently his zipper is fudged. it looks perfect to me!

6. this little guy didn’t quite make it. ayama-chan refers to it as a disaster, but i know what she was trying to do: fold kimono fabric origami-style to make a fish. sadly, most of the pins came out of place during shipping, and this is the current state of the little guy.

7. another mobile! yay! for this one, ayama-chan made fish out of organza and painted it with thread, using a sewing machine. there are little chinese acrylic beads in between each, and a beautiful bell at the bottom to catch the breeze (a japanese superstition). the mobile hangs from a copper spiral, with a little red bead that looks like a fish.

i am so spoiled! everything is so beautiful. thank you so much ayama-chan! and yes, your creations are definitely etsy-worthy! go for it!

update: ayama-chan has posted a blog entry about everything she made me. check it out to read about her creative approaches to each piece!

dream book for ayama-chan

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

for ayama-chan
a special book for a new, wonderful friend: ayama-chan. i met her via the mobile swap, and it was through the topic posts that we decided to do a private swap. but i didn’t know her at all, she’s living half a world away, and she didn’t specifically ask for a mobile… what would i make?

we started to email each other, almost daily, and i learned so much about her that the idea formed pretty quickly. she’s an aussie, but now lives in singapore with her husband and daughter. she is talented and crafty, she has a sweet little girl with big brown eyes, and she speaks japanese (and is very knowledgeable about japanese culture). i also learned about what her hopes and dreams…

so i decided to make her a book, using my current style: hardbound with torn water color paper signatures. the personalized twist for ayama-chan: adding chiyogami papers into the signatures. the book originally did not have a specific purpose, but i recently decided it should be ayama-chan’s dream book, a place for her to write and hold her dreams.

more pictures and descriptions after the jump!


a mobile from new zealand!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

mobile from new zealand!
my mobile from the elsie marley mobile swap arrived on monday! made by jess in new zealand, it is perfect for my office/art supply room/upstairs studio. i’ve hung it in front of the window, and it sways gently when the heat turns on. i’m hoping that the windows can be opened soon, so the spring breezes make the little leaves flutter.

jess made the mobile with origami papers printed with chiyogami patterns, which is fitting because i’m on a big chiyogami kick right now. the brown buttons give the mobile some weight, and the mobile itself is a perfect match for what i’m currently working on: my crazy list of projects include paper, fabrics, sewing, and sometimes a combination of all of them.

it’s gorgeous, jess, thank you so much!

happy weekend!


Monday, February 18th, 2008

i finally finished my mobile for the elsie marley mobile swap! it’s the first mobile i’ve made as an adult, and it seemed to take forever to make. i was a little stressed out about whether or not it would turn out, which aided the procrastination. but i didn’t really do anything fancy, and in the end it wasn’t too difficult to make. i do plan on writing a “make it” post for those that may want to make one at home, but i probably won’t have it ready until next monday. hang tight!

the mobile needs to be in the mail by wednesday, so i’ll enjoy it for another day or two, then make one for me!