and Christmas in June continues…….

Today I am here to show you two more of my swap presents.
This one came is this beautiful box…..
and inside of this box was this…….
Look at all that yummy goodness!!!!!  This package was from the Potholder Pass on Flickr, and my secret partner was Michele.  Check out her blog here.
Michele is from Canada and along with those beautiful potholders……
(above is the front and below is the back, or vice versa! – both sides are so amazing!)
I also got this bag with cute little crocheted flowers on it!
There were also 3 fat quarters very nicely labeled, a bundle of ric rac, and a handmade card.  She was right on track with the bright colors, and one of my favorite blocks is the snail’s trail, which is on one side of the potholders.   AND…crocheted flowers……eeeekkkkk!!
Michele sure knows how to put a package together!!  Thanks so much!!!
Another swap package I received yesterday was from a different potholder swap (yes there is a little bit of an addiction here), and this one came from Gerry.  This potholder swap was also a flickr swap called 2010 Great Potholder Swap.  If you click on the links you can see lots of great work.  In this swap we knew our partners and could communicate and share likes/dislikes etc…..
Go and check out Gerry’s blog as well, right here.
Here is the package from this swap……
Is it obvious that I like color – or what?!?!  This wonderful package had two potholders with houses and cats on BOTH sides, two very well made bags (who mentioned I have a bag fetish?), and funky card with parrots, and a notebook.   Take a look at both sides of these potholders…..
and then the other side is equally as cute and pretty…..
can you find the kitties on all four sides?  they are there on all sides…..adorable!!!!
Here is a close up of one of Gerry’s bags.
Both were embroidered with her business name, and both have breathable mesh fabric.  I think these bags will be perfect for boating and beaching!  Thanks so much Gerry!
I am still in awe at how unbelievably lucky with swap partners I have been!  What I am wondering is …….what am I going to do with these potholders that are too beautiful to be used?……… because I am one messy cook!!  Anyone got any ideas on how I can display them in my kitchen?
The third and final post will be tomorrow with the last 3 packages.
Hope you are having a great Saturday!

Is It Christmas Today????

It sure felt like Christmas in June today!!! I received SEVEN swap packages in the mail!!!  I am not sure I get that many presents at Christmas anymore!
At first I thought I would do one looooonnngggg post with lots of pictures with all the packages, but then thought that each artist deserved more blog time than that.  So I sat down, wrote their names on paper and pulled to see who the first two would be.
The weather has been typical summer weather here with afternoon thunderstorms…….
This is what it was like when i got home.  I dropped my groceries on the kitchen counter, without putting away my soy milk and salad greens, and raced outside to get some photos so I could start blogging.
The first name I pulled was Amy from During Quiet Time Blog, and one of my very generous Flickr friends.  She won a giveaway on my blog, for my 50th post, and this is what she sent me as a “thank you”!!!!
I cannot believe her generosity and kindness!!! And to top it all off…i LOVE this quilt!!  Amy cuts her own printing blocks, so the center square with the sunflower is one of her originals!!  Check out her etsy shop here, and look at her beautiful note cards made from her hand carved blocks.
This little beauty even has a handmade felt bee with embroidery and iridescent wings, and embroidery around the center of the flower.  Thanks so much for the “thank you” Amy…..even though you did not have to!
The quilt was even doggie approved!! I cant do much without their “help”, but don’t worry this quilt is now safe and sound in my studio where only the cats are allowed if I am there.  There is a secret password to get in!!!
The second name I drew was Mandy.  She and I were Black and White plus one color, not square mini quilt partners!!  Say that 5 times, really quickly!  This is the beauty that I got from Mandy….
I cannot get over the hand quilting and beading that is on this gem!
And as if that was not enough……she sent many goodies along with that quilt!
A little bag, scissor bling (i love that), black and white fabrics, pink ric rac, and heart eraser and an Australian magnet!  Mandy is from Australia!
This just made me giggle……
The tag on the bag says “kimmidoll”……how appropriate is that, since I collect Blythes!!
Well, for any of you that have not tried a swap yet, I hope this post and the posts over the next few days will inspire you to start swapping.  I have met some very kind and generous people thru my flickr swaps, and it has proven to me that what you put out, you get back!…..remember that 🙂
See you tomorrow to show you more swap packages!

You could win a class & help me look for some patterns!

A fellow blogger and artist is having a giveaway on her blog for an online class, so I thought I would let you know about it!  It is Melanie Testa, the author of “Inspired to Quilt“.
She is having an online class over at Joggles.com in less than 2 weeks, and if you go to her blog and leave a comment then you may be a lucky winner!
The class is called “Let’s Exchange Some Art“, and will dive into techniques on decorating papers for ATC’s, decorating envelopes and lots of other techniques.  Go to Joggles.com and check out the class description and all the other online classes they offer.
Here are some pictures so you can see what to expect…..

Cool tags…….

ATC’s……..

Today I am madly rushing around, packing up envelopes to be shipped out, and trying to finish more work to send off to waiting swappers and customers.  Below are blocks for a 3.5 inch block swap I am in on flickr.  There are 15 of us in the group and each of us had to make a 3.5 inch block (for each person in the group) with a BBQ or Picnic theme.
What is a picnic without sunshine?

Glad I have these little sunny faces to look at today, because the sun is struggling to come out here.  Some of the other members have done cool  blocks like a hot dog, lemonade, and even a dog catching a Frisbee over a checkered picnic blanket.  Don’t worry when I receive my blocks you will see them here!
So while I was wondering what I would do with these blocks, one morning at 5am, I remembered some block patterns I had purchased in 1999!
They are Piece O Cake patterns called Pin Pals.  Unfortunately this is all I bought…..

Does anyone have any of these?  Maybe you know where I could find more?  HELP!
Let me know please……
Back to packing envelopes and sewing! Have a great day!

Swaps Gifts and E-Courses!!!

We know summer has started here in Abaco when we start having multiple power outages everyday!!!
UGH!!!!
It has made me get VERY behind on work, blogging and swapping.
When I have had time to surf the internet, I have been taking an e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts, called “Flying Lessons”  It is about making your creative business soar.  It just started on Sunday and I am enjoying every moment so far.
Today she talked about doing other e-courses and blogging.  So I went searching for more e-courses I could take.
I found a photography course called “Picture Summer”, by Tracey Clark, and thought this would be good for me since I have a very nice Canon Rebel, don’t really know how to use it and I am never pleased with the pictures I take of my artwork or for my blog.  It is only a 30 day course and hopefully it will push me to play with my camera and try some new things.
While the power was out earlier I was playing with my muse, Sunshine, and the camera…..
Then I ran out after lunch to pick up my mail and more swap envelopes were awaiting me!!!!!
From Jennie at www.cloverandviolet.com I received my embroidery quilt.
This is so pretty and summery!!!! Thanks so much Jennie!  It is the perfect little embroidery quilt!
I also received my Anything Goes Mini Quilt from Sara of SaraSQuilts on Flickr.
I cannot believe how small she made those flying geese!!! And I love all the colorful fabrics with the solid gray!! Thank you Sara…I LOVE IT!!!
Also awaiting me was another African Flower crochet block from the Raverly Swap….from Val in the UK!
Along with two little coasters, some candy and a pair of stitch markers.  Thanks so much Val!!
So this was my whole bundle here…..
I’ll be back soon to show you some new jewelry pieces.
Time to run off and do some agility with my dog and her doggie friends at class!

Goodies Make Me Happy :)

I got goodies in the mail today!!!! YIPPIE!!!
Above is my order from ArtBeads that I need to make something with and blog about.  Incase you didn’t notice my little button on the right of this post, I am a “Design Partner” of ArtBeads 🙂  So I will be blogging more about my creation soon.
The buttons, on the top right, are from a Facebook game I won with Interweave.  One of the editors was going to a flea market and asked what we would want from the flea market.  One thing I mentioned was buttons, my name was picked and she found me buttons!
On the bottom is my Bead Soup Party package from Janet. The quote on the card I totally agree with also…”Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be!”…so true!
 I LOVE everything inside……..
Everything is from the awesome ceramic jewelry designer Gaea.  Go check out her website and blog.  She makes some really neat beads, pendants and spacers.  My mind is overflowing with ideas of what I will do with them…..thanks so much Janet!
Earlier this week I tried my hand at making headpins with a glass bead attached….and it worked!
Now I have another component, made by me, to incorporate into my jewelry pieces.
I also sent off a crocheted potholder for a potholder swap on Raverly.  The tag on the potholder says “trust your crazy ideas”  I think I have lived this my whole life, and certainly in this potholder swap.  I had never crocheted a potholder before and had never worked with cotton yarn, but joined the swap anyway! All I have ever crocheted are granny squares. 
I am pretty pleased with the result, and have already started more.
To be a functional potholder it had to be made from cotton yarn (acrylic would melt) and it had to be two sided.  So I basically had to make two potholders and join them together.
Here is the back……
Well, that’s all for now….back into the studio to create….my head is overflowing with ideas!

While I Wait for the Kiln

The worst part about flame working is waiting for the beads to be annealed in the kiln!!!
So while I wait on those to make some new jewelry pieces I thought I’d show you some things I have made for swaps.
This wall hanging was done for an Embroidery Quilt Swap on the Quilting Bloggers website.
I hadn’t done embroidery in years, so this took me a while, but once I got the embroidery done and started working on the borders, quilting and embellishing….I could not stop adding things.
I sure hope my partner likes it.  I would have shown this to you last week, but I forgot that this was a secret swap.  Plus my partner doesn’t have a blog or a flickr account so I doubt she will see it.  I had no idea what direction to go in since I couldn’t snoop around her blog or look at her favorites on flickr.
I also had to finish some African Flower blocks for a Raverly Swap I am in.  Each month I make 5 of these and send them off to the people who’s month it is.  When my month comes around I will receive about 50 of these (I showed you my first one last week) to make something with.  I won’t be able to decide what I will make until I have all my flowers!
I also had to show you my new garden friend!  This mama frog has decided to hang out by my orchids.
I wanted to re-pot some of the orchids yesterday, but did not want to risk this jumping on me.  I had already disturbed her but thankfully she sat right there….through the photo shoot and all!

What a Great Week!

I love it when my week ends with receiving swap goodies in the mail!
I received my Mini Coin Swap from Terrie……
I was going to crop Trooper’s nose out, but I thought it was cute!  He is head of quality control around here….the quilt passed 🙂  LOVE this little quilt!  Tiny “coins” of pretty printed fabrics make up the stacks of coins and the quilting on the border with varigated thread is incredible.
Below is the coin quilt mini that I sent to Terrie,  She received it so I can blog about it now.
“Scattered Paint Chips”
Then I got my first African Flower crochet block, from the African Flower Swap on Raverly……
….and with it was sent some recipe cards, a stitch marker and gorgeous purple ribbon.  I didn’t think it was my month to receive the crochet blocks yet, so I was very surprised!
Can you tell how addicted to these swaps I have become?
I also sent off some quilts this week, and can only show you sneak peeks until my partners receive them.
This one above is for the Anything Goes Mini Swap on flickr.
And the one below is for the Black and White + One Color, Not Square Mini
I was also very excited this week when I was featured on Delphi Glass’ facebook page because of this necklace…..
I submitted this necklace for a competition they are having called Ring of Fire, and they featured it on the page!! I was over the moon!  Please go and vote for me on their site 🙂  Just click on the “Ring of Fire” tab at the top right of their home page screen and it will take you to the voting page……I’d really appreciate it!
Have a great weekend!  

Bead Soup Party Sneak Peek

Hello!
Hope everyone had a super weekend.  Just a quick post to show a sneak peek of some jewelry components that I sent to my Bead Soup Party partner.
Bead Soup Party is an online party between jewelry artists.  After you sign up you are assigned a partner.  You send your partner a focal/pendant, a toggle and some beads; you are sent the same and you both make a piece of jewelry with your partners goodies.
I don’t want to spoil the surprise for my partner, Janet, but she should be receiving this package by the end of the week at the latest, then I can reveal what I sent her.
The week of June 19th everyone will reveal what they have made with what they were sent.  You can check out the flickr group here to see that.
Lori over at the Pretty Things blog organizes the Bead Soup Party and is a great jewelry artist herself, so check out her blog while you are internet surfing.
I’ll be back in a few days to reveal some more necklaces, and my next post will be my 50th post!!! Hard to believe!  So maybe on my next post there will be a little giveaway to thank you guys that read my blog.
Have a great week!

Some New T’ings

I have been fiddling around with some new stuff these past few days.  Needed a break for my imagination.
First I had to do some potholders for the Potholder Pass in Flickr, and I had this idea in my head to do the free form letters on them.  This was the outcome, and now I wish I had a set for me!
“Live Love Laugh”
One of my, many, favorite sayings!
I have also been itching to try some new things at the torch.  So I took some time this morning to try out a frog:
I thought it was okay for my first attempt.  Here is his back:
And I had tried a hollow bead a few weeks ago, couldn’t get it to work, but I am not one to let that discourage me, so I tried again:
It is not the perfect bead shape….BUT it is HOLLOW!!  I know some flame working pros are probably thinking “I can’t believe she is posting these ugly beads”, but since I either figure things out in my head or read a book, I am pretty proud of myself.
Also attempted a heart….this needs work:
Not sure what design that is on the front…..just a blob of color!
Thought I’d try a white on white color combo also, which should look cool with some bezeled sea glass pieces:
So, in a nutshell, that is what I did today.  Now they all need to sit in the kiln and be annealed……tomorrow maybe 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there!!!
My mom told me not to buy her anything for mother’s day, but she knows I don’t listen all that well, or she should know that!!  I got her a gift certificate to one of the local plant stores, and then I made her these……
So I listened halfway………guess I gave gotten better since my teenage years!
She loves to cook, so I thought these potholders would be perfect.  She is also more of a traditional quilter (okay she’s VERY traditional) and she would never make these curvy pieced potholders for herself.  They are made from Bahama Hand Prints fabrics.
As well as trying to finish orders I have been trying to build up some jewelry stock and get some components together for several jewelry swaps I am involved in.  One of them is Bead Soup Party (the button is over to the right of this page).  In this party I send a focal, a special clasp and an assortment of coordinating beads to another jewelry artist, I get the same in return and we both make something from that mix, adding our own special touches.
Here are some of the pieces I am considering for some of my swaps…….
I will of course add some of my flame worked beads to that mix as well, and maybe a copper & silver, riveted pendant…..i don’t know….too many ideas in my head!
The sea glass to the right of the picture, which I have not done anything with yet, I am trying to decide what to do with it.  When i was going thru my sea glass these ended up on the table together and I just loved the combo.  Here is a closer look……
Love these together, but cannot decide how to combine them.
Anyone have any ideas?
One of my other swaps for the summer is a Pincushion Swap and my pincushion was used for the swap tab!! I was honored and so excited!
You can sign up for this swap until the end of May, just click on the link on the right of my blog.  Or just follow the swap and see all the cool pincushions that are created!  It starts in June and runs thru the summer.  As you can see my swap addiction is worse than ever….I need help!
Have a great Mother’s Day!