my swap experience

In short, I like to make things. I'm not particularly excellent at anything, but I do enjoy crafting things out of felt. Or weaving necklaces from an assortment of wire and beads. Or gluing one object to other object (in the case of superglue, a ring to the counter, and, in the case of hot glue, my finger to whatever I'm trying to fasten in the first place). That said, I really enjoying creating "hanging memories" for others--it gave me something to do while I spoke to my mom during those long hours a few weeks ago.

One of my later ornaments, however, was made as more of a "thank you" than anything. Julie of Julie Ann Art is one of my favorite Etsy vendors; I've shopped her store a few times now, and I have some cards that I can't wait to present to my family come Christmas. On Small Business Saturday, I visited Julie's shop and purchased a few cards. Unfortunately, two weeks later, the mailperson failed to deliver my package, and it was returned to California! Julie, of course, turned right around and sent it back to me. As a thank you for having to hassle around with my order (and this wasn't even the first time Julie has had to aid me), I sent her a little something.

Danielle was sweet enough to send me this hand-drawn card from her shop as a thank you for hosting the ornament swap. I love how soft the lines are. And though she sent me a blank card, I doubt I will ever use it; I don't want to give away its beauty.

Unfortunately, the only photo I have of the ornament I sent Danielle is this terrible quality phone photo. That aside, this is one of my "crooked trees." I started making them last year, and I find that they are one of my favorite things to stitch, mainly because--let's face it--I can somewhat handle sewing a triangle, and a crooked one at that.

The ornaments below are the first ones I made and sent off. Shannah was the happy recipient of these. The wreath is, again, something I started making last year. I actually sent one to Mary last winter, when I participated in another ornament swap! The wreath is very small, very compact. Miniature, have you (which is why I liked it). I've also been using a lot of leftover Scrabble tiles to make rings and cards and such. Of course, you can see I had a little trouble with the glue. (I told you.)

Shannah--who definitely specializes in sending and receiving mail--is possibly the speediest sender I know. Just a few days after we agreed to send each other ornaments, I received this candy cane in the mail! Shannah informed me that she had made it herself, and it quickly found a home on my "cranberries and comfort" themed tree.

Arielle is a good blogging friend of mine. She and I "met" about a year ago and have been pestering each other on various forms of media for quite some time now. Like me, she's a lover of vintage. She has a fondness of the past, and her opinionated snarkiness mimics that of my own personality. We both love cats, blogging, road trips, candlelit dinners, and long walks on the beach.

So, for Arielle's ornament, I gingerly snipped--about twelve dozen more than I wanted to--some felt circles and "artfully" stabbed them into place. Voila--a felt sphere.

And the card in this photo? It actually came from Allison, whose ornament is below.

Allison is another fantastic person who sent me a thank you ornament. (Which, of course, I responded to with a thank you-thank you ornament, seen below.) I love the small things inside this little globe--the "snow," the leaves, the remnants of trees and nature. Allison said she wanted me to have a little bit of Oregon--a little bit of what she sees each day.

I met Sacha online, through Twitter. She, too, lives in Indianapolis, and we agreed to meet in person to exchange our ornaments. We had a lovely lunch date downtown, talking about holidays and Twitter and whatnot. (If you would like to read more about our meeting and our exchange, you can visit Sacha's blog here.) As usual, I bound the gift in parcel paper and twine--I appreciate and admire the simple packaging. (Besides, it gives me an excuse to hum "brown paper packages tied up with string" as I wrap presents.)

Sacha's ornament, like Shannah's, is perfect for my tree. Carved, wooden, a little rustic.

I had never made an ornament from a sewing hoop before, but I wanted to try for Dana, to whom I owed a big thank you. She had mentioned the ornament swap on her blog, Wonder Forest, and consequently gave it a lot of attention. The swap never would've escalated to the size it did without her post. She--along with everyone else who blogged about it, tweeted about it, shared it with friends and followers--expanded it to more than three times the size for which I was aiming.

And then there's Sarah, my Australian partner. She and I have been emailing each other back and forth and back and forth and forth and back and frontwise and sideways and slantways for a few weeks now. It has been a real joy getting to know her; she's taught me more about the Australian school systems, the voting process. We've talked about our dream jobs, our hobbies, our significant others. We've shared pet stories and tales about donating blood. Her emails really bring a happy cheer to my day, and I'm always eager to hear from her.

Sarah sent me this kick-ass koala ornament, which I love. She also sent me a card with dozens of stickers plastered over it--seriously, a CHRISTMAS EMU? One cannot go wrong with a Christmas Emu.

I'm so sorry for only making you a set of lame trees, Sarah. (Though they hang well on your fluffy-looking tree.) Thank goodness we'll be sending each other treat boxes soon; I'm looking forward to sending you all kinds of gluttonous American creations. (That said, is anyone else from Australia or know someone from Australia? What would be some good candy/treat/small gift ideas to send from the States?)


  1. Wow, the ornament I made looks great when you take a pic of it! I'm so glad we did this swap and I enjoy staring at the ornaments you made me every day. :) I can't wait to do the film swap! I took a few more pics yesterday. I'm catching up! I will def be keeping a close eye on your wonderful blog!

  2. The creativity and artistry involved in making these is amazing!!

  3. I love Christmas cards and ornaments *-*
    And i Like to create them. I love the handmade creativity :)

    I don't remember if I had written you my new address; when in doubt I write it again here:



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