Saturday, December 4, 2010

No Coal Please...

Stuffed Christmas Stocking Swap:
Being the most hectic time of the year, I needed to choose swaps carefully for the months of November and December. This was the “Stuffed Christmas Stocking” swap, and I am thrilled to say, I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect swap or partner, it was a blast! My partner had the best eye for detail and put much thought and consideration into the choices she made, it was uncanny. I can only hope she enjoyed her stocking as much as I enjoyed mine.
The stocking I sewed was constructed out of recycled, blue stretch velvet, pants legs (no! they were not my pants) Inside I tucked vintage Christmas balls, a paper house, a water color farm girl key chain, Hammond ribbon candy, a bar of farm girl soap, and other little items.
The stocking I received was filled with the most perfect choices all carefully wrapped in gingham tissue, a pure delight to open. From the set of vintage mini Christmas balls to the BEST fudge I have ever tasted, my swap partners thoughtfulness and consideration for who she was swapping with shined through. Also included was hot cocoa mix, peppermint sticks, a hand crafted Santa ornament and vintage pot holders with a sliver spoon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Button Reindeer Swap

Such a cute swap, the objective was to create a Christmas reindeer ornament out of buttons. It was fun to see how the equally cute reindeer where similar yet different. My creation stands at attention, readying to show off his glittery sparkles, as he posses for the photo. However, the one received appears to leads a carefree lifestyle, looking for something to graze on with his head down.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Felted Needle Keep

I absolutely loved this swap, each of us made a felted needle keep to swap with another.

I made mine in red and white with hand stitching and embroidery. The front round is the needle keep which is attached to a snappable red pocket to keep thread, tape measure and scissors.

The Needle Keep I received as you can see here, is ever so adorable. Hand embroidery, with a little bird ribbon. Inside is a spot to keep needle tucked safely away, and an adorable little pair of scissors for snipping thread.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lifes Not Perfect Nor am I

The Darn it Dolly....
A really fun swap that allowed the creators imagination to run wild. All different, yet amazingly similar, each doll appeared to be from the same deranged family of genetically freakish rejects. One eye bigger then the other, hair styles of miss guided proportion and faces that only a mother could love. And I must say, I love my Darn it Dolly !
I made the one on the left and received the one on the right.
The following is the poem I wrote and attached to his hand
Life's not perfect
nor am I....
You’ll feel better if you try
Go ahead, don’t be shy,
Stick a needle in my eye....
If that don’t help, kick me high,
Kick me twice and make me fly!
So here I sit, if you want
Give me just one more stomp....
Now that’s done,
Your feeling good,
just the way you always should....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rescue Farm Girl Dolly

In this swap we had to recycle, revamp and reuse everything to create a Farm Girl doll. This was a lot of fun! First you had to rescue a doll headed for the dump and depending on her condition, you needed to restore everything from her hair to the tips of her toes. I haven't received my dolly yet, but this is the one I sent out. She just about came to life when I put the little basket of just picked flowers in her hand.

The farm doll that I received (pictured bellow) was dressed in the most adorable hand made clothing including jeans, apron and farm girl hat!.

Cherries make my heart sing

Every get something and it makes you just giddy.. Doesn't have to be big, doesn't have to be expensive, but it just makes you so giddy that you swear your heart begins to sing and your feet follow along in step. Well, this cherry apron that my Secret Santa sent me was one of those items. Thank you Secret Santa for making me heart sing.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sleep On It

"Sleep On It" ~ A Handmade Pillow Case Swap ~

Though this swap is still going on, I couldn't wait to share the pillow cases that I received. Done in the color choices that would go with my bedding (red and white) My swap partner crafted the most stunning cases adding purple for contrast. In addition, she included a lovely hand embroidered sachet, and a matching red crocheted doily,all enclosed in a hand made lace tote with a red satin ribbon.

I love vintage laces and embellishments, so I was thrilled when my swap partner said her decor was Victorian shabby chic, in white, purple and lavender. Considering I have a fear of crossing over from elegant to tacky I only embellished the edges of the two pillow cases and included a small heart throw pillow with a beaded pearl handle so that she could hang it if she chose.

With A Cherry On Top

May coincidentally has been a month of cup cake art and how sweet its been! The cup cake pin cushion swap was such a fun idea. The cupcake pin cushion I created had to have a cherry on top, while my swap partner encased her little pink cup cake treasure in an upside down food container to create a cupcake carrier, how adorable!

Its also Month two of mail art. I never did receive one for the month of April, but am looking foward to receving one in May.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More goodies

Secret Santa Month Two ~
I received a happy package from my Secret Santa for April, it included items that would make anyone smile. Seeds including some for heirloom pansies, gardening gloves, delicious candies, a mini book about Secret Friends, a flashlight combo key chain in the likeness of a little dog that barks and lights up when you squeeze him and best of all fridge art done by my Secret Santa. Now THAT'S fabulous :)

Sometimes giving to others does the heart good ~ It was just what I needed the day I went to my mail box and found the RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) A hand embroidered kitchen towel of a sugar bowl running with a spoon, how funny is that ? Also included a kit of embroidery patterns of the most adorable chicken doing weekly chores. I will post pics when I make them.

Lets Trade ! ~ I sent the girl who made this lovely bag and matching wallet a gardening book focusing on gardening and decorating window boxes and containers.

Oh What A Wonderfull Feeling ~ Oh What A Wonderfull Day!

Yesterday was my lucky day! And there is almost nothing more thrilling and unexpected then winning something, it is exhilarating and makes one feel special. I won this lovely vintage picnic basket which included a table cloth, dishes, dish holder, salt and paper shakers and vintage linens. Such a lovely prize to receive. The give away was offered by a sister farm girl Diane, who was celebrating her 500th post on her page. Thank You Diane, for brining sunshine to my day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

You've Got Mail

Mail Art is a post card size mini masterpiece. I consider it a free wheeling micro project that lets one use any mediums that is desired and all the creativity one can muster up. The beauty of Mail Art is that who you receive from and who you send to changes each month, this lets you experience the talents of many different individuals. Pictured here is the mail art I sent out for April, more post to follow as the year progresses.
*Never received April mail art in return.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dont be late for Spring

When I signed up for the tea towel swap it was to my embarrassment that ninety nine percent of the woman hand embroider their hand towels, who knew? I decorated mine with a felted design, a small flower in the center with a touch of hand stiching. I felt awful for the poor woman I swapped with. As you can see, she embroidered me a lovely tea towel with a robin in a happy spring setting. My partner was an absolute gem, the first towel she sent some how got lost in the mail and still hasn't show; however, she sent another and here it is for you all to see.

The other swap (which is far more then that) is an RAOK or Random Acts of Kindness. Those who sign up keep a watchful eye on the others who have signed up and send random items such as cook books, post cards, candy bars, or what have you to other woman they think need a pick me up, or just to let them know that someone is thinking of them. Now, I have to say, these are some of the most generous, caring, thoughtful woman I have connected with in a long time. The little pot holders where one such item I received out of the blue. How can an act like that not restore ones faith in others when you need it. I have other wonderful items I have received and will post at another time. However, I think the gift I have gotten that means the most is the friendships I have made.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thank You Easter Bunnie!

The Easter swap was one of the most entertaining so far. It has been so interesting to hear and see what each of the ladies sent each other. Items have ranged from Swiss army knives to jelly beans and stuffed animals. My original partner was late to the party so another woman and I agreed to swap. Since that time partner #1 has notified me that she would still like to swap, but not till a later date. So what we have here are the items from my first "Spring" swap. The rules of this was to fill an egg carton (decorated or not) with items that would fit. Now, it was funny some girls cut the tops off, others did not. Some girls put small items, others put large. If you ever can join a swap like this, I would suggest you grab the chance. On the left, is the carton I sent out. After cutting off the top I covered the carton in hand made grass paper which I applied with modge podge. I then filled it with the following items: Two Cadbury eggs, a birds nest with buttons in it, a mini rabbit which hangs on the side of a flower pot, lip stick, mini perfumes, face cream, a geranium candle, cuticle cream with gold leaf in it, stickers, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, an angel pin that reads Farm girls are like little angles that bring a smileto our face and a pair of pink socks. (Its AMAZING what one can stuff in an egg carton) I then wrapped it snugly in an Easter towel and tied it with a green satin ribbon.
The carton on the right is the one I received, and I LOVED it. Included were multi colored eggs filled with little items, jelly beans, a birdie stamp, lady bug buttons, a mini flash light, Swiss army knife, a little razor cutter, a mini pin cushion that your can wear on your finger, Burt bees hand salve - lip balm and rescue ointment, a teeny tiny garden set and a fabulouse bird cage necklace with a little bird inside that swings back and fourth. Now how cool is that !?

Luck Of The Irish

The Saint Patties swap was quick, fun and easy. Each girl was assigned a partner and created what ever St Patties represented to them. I sent my partner a felted shamrock pin with little white polka dots, a funny little fridge magnet with yellow flowers and recipes for traditional Irish fare. In return, I received a fun little packet of goodies which included a hand crochet pot holder in shades of green, a book mark that reads Friends forever, two note cards, two tea bags and a packet of corn seeds.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Up On The Roof Top Click Click Clik

Look in the mail box its something from old Saint Nick... Now this is a great on going swap! Its a year long Secret Santa swap. Each woman that signs up becomes, and has a secret Santa. Once a month you send and receive a gift by the 20th. The photo posted is the first gift I received from my SS. Oh how lovely it is! and I must say, what I appreciate even more than its beauty is the amount of time, energy and talent she put into creating it. I actually keep it hung on my hall door so I can see it every day, and each time I see it I am grateful for her thoughtful efforts. The hand felted antique cafe cup with hand felted possies is another secret santa item, was it sent or recieved? I can not say, its a secret...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dont Loose Your Page

The book mark swap was fun easy and quick. After contacting our assigned partners and finding out a little about them, we went to work crafting a book mark that would suit the personalty of our fellow readers. I needle felted a book mark with a bright shinny apple on one end and a little green book worm on the other. My talented partner sent me a hand tattered book mark made in an array of pastel colors.

Buttons Buttons and More Buttons

My first swap was one for buttons. Twenty three woman including myself mailed two buttons to each participant. Buttons of all types arrived, big ones, little ones, shinny ones, buttons shaped like stars, flowers and trees. The way they were presented were as varied as the types. One woman attached buttons on a hand made pillow and one a spool of thread, and one shaped like the state of Texas where she resides. Another wire wrapped her buttons on a wooden hoodsie spoon, and yet another sent hers incased in a butterfly card. It was alot of fun going to the mail box every day and getting little packets of buttons from all over the country.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pin Swap
One of the first swaps I signed up for was a hand crafted pin swap. You could use the medium of your choice and could include the ideas or likes of your swap partner. This is the pin which I sent out to my partner. Considering she is a farm girl and loves all things farm related, looking for something to pin on her jean jacket I chose cherries. I made it using wool roving and a single needle, this technique is called needle felting which I do quite a bit of. Though the deadline for sending out pins has long come and gone, I have yet to receive a pin in return....... However, when I do get one I will post it.
*Never recieved a pin in return from my partner.
Welcome to The Swapping Crafter

My passion is swapping hand crafted items on line with those who enjoy the same. Recently I have been doing most of my swaps with the other woman from a farming sight. Its been exciting, pleasant, disappointing and eye opening all at once. There is nothing better then receiving a heart felt swap item that someone has put their time, energy , thought and talent into. On the flip side, its highly disappointing when an item is shipped out late or not at all with no regard for the other persons efforts. The ironic observation I have made is that the participants who do not hornor the swaps they have committed to, will continue to sign up for additional swaps if not blocked from doing so. Thus, it is important that you watch the swap boards and what swaps you choose, who is participating and rather or not they have honored their previous commitments. One last warning, do not be fooled by the number of posts or how long the individual has been using a certain sight or board. I have found that in MANY instances some long term users are the biggest offenders. In addition, you have to be able to honor the varying skill level of each individual, and take into consideration that usually one has no control over who they are paired with for each swap. If I sign up for a swap that includes embroidery for instance, I may not be a master at it, but my partner might be. On the other hand, I may be highly skilled at some types of arts and crafts that my partner is not, that the swap may also calls for. I happen to really appreciate the differentials in styles, skill levels and imagination of each piece I have received.

Upfront I must warn you that there is a "wide" range of moral compass in swapping communities, you must be willing to live with the unfortunate reality of getting burnt. However, being willing to accept the risk of getting burnt can be compensated by the over whelming joy that is felt when a swap goes well. For me, honoring my obligations, in a timely manner and creating an item as though the world will see it gives me great pleasure. Thinking of the individual who receive one of my crafted items and doing my best to achieve what I think they will like is satisfying. However, the response one gets from a recipient who truly adores what you have done is even more fulfilling. Now let me say that hand crafted items do not need to be expensive items. I have seen extrema things of beauty made from paper and ink. I believe it is the attitude you create with that gives the end product its charm.

In closing, I invite you all to stop by and check out the swap / craft items I will be posting here. Please feel free to comment or suggest other sights for swapping hand made items.