Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Swap for Cindy

I want to share with you what I sent to my fabu swap buddy Cindy. It was my very first swap and I loved the entire process. I signed up weeks before it officially started and started putting it together that day- can we say over-zealous? Yeah, I know I have issues. I just love love love putting together presents. Organizing and wrapping a present is almost as much fun for me as receiving a present.

"S" Sunflowers - a little box that includes a pot and seeds to grow a sunflower plant. But I forgot to take a picture so hopefully you can imagine what an orange box with a yellow sunflower looks like.

"U" Unpack the picnic party- cheese board (thrifted), napkins and orange plastic ware in a cute little bag (made by yours truly).

"M" Mix up a drink, add an orange straw (in a re-usable wine bag) and use an orange coaster (made by me).

"M" Make fun things! Cards (thrifted) and crafts (all in a diaper and wipes/make-up and jewelry clutch).

"E" Enjoy cold treats on hot summer days. Ice cream pop molds (filled with orange and yellow and colorful beads) and orange ice cream scoop.

"R" Ready for summer weekend road trips- headbands, belt (with thrifted jacquard ribbon), keyring, tissue case, nail file in ribbon case and luggage tag (all made by me just for new buddy Cindy).

I wish I had taken a better picture of the "container" because it was pretty cute too. It is an old pie basket (thrifted) that I cleaned and decorated with fabric and ribbon. The top- that I do not have a picture of- has orange, yellow and pink woven ribbon. The outside is yellow fabric made into ruffles - similar to the bag that I made. The inside is lined with more of that fun yellow, orange and pink plaid fabric (however not lined well- so don't inspect it too closely in the corner Cindy- it has many, many flaws!!). Hopefully Cindy can use it as a small picnic basket or something fun like that.

I had the most fun with this swap and can't wait to do another one soon. I was very proud that with all of my thrifting and using scraps that I already had in my stash, I was easily able to stay under the set $20 limit. I met a doll of a new friend, learned that thrift stores can be way too much fun, and received the most awesome swap package in return. Woo-hoo for summer orange and yellow swap fun!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Awesome Swap Surprise!

I just finished participating in my very first swap! I have drooled over blogs bragging about the fabulous creativeness that arrived in a box from swap partners all over the country for months now. I was in awe and wanted in. I wanted that fun box of surprises to arrive on my door step too. So I signed up for the Summer Orange and Yellow swap - I was a girl on a mission to be a swapper! OMG it did not disappoint this wanna-be-swapper! Cindy (who needs to create her own crafty blog one of these days) was an awesome swap buddy. She was beyond sweet to me -even sending me a link to a local Thrift shop to get me started.

That was the thing- one of the swap rules state that part of the gift must be thrifted. And it is not that I have anything against thrift shops- I just never go in them. I didn't even know of this particular thrift shop that I literally drive past 4 days (at least) each week on my way to regular stops like Target and such! I have so many shopping addictions and never really felt the need to add another one. And while I am far from needing a 12-step program, I have really had a ball learning to thrift. The bargains are endless for creative souls like me! But even knowing I would need to learn to thrift store hunt, I was excited to take on the challenge of putting together a present for a new pal.

Cindy spoiled me rotten! Her present arrived today (I will post my present to her after it arrives as to not spoil her surprise) and I was over the moon excited! She made me a hand bag (already planning to use it tomorrow), earrings (that I plan to wear next weekend at a wedding in DC), and an adorable flower pin. Her "container" is a small hat box decorated with my nickname in buttons and bathing suits all over the sides. How perfect and summer-ific! Also included is a set of stationary- I am a paper addict! I love the mini nail files and lip balms. I love love love lippy and can you see that they are preppy pink and green! Love that! But my hands down favorite treasure is the vintage apron. I have never mentioned to her or my blog buddies that I love to cook and love aprons- new and vintage and home made and everything in between. It is adorable and I actually had to take it off to take the picture because the moment I saw it I wrapped it around my waist (mind you it did not at all match my outfit but I was home alone so who cares....right?).

There are actually several similarities in our gifts to each other so I am crossing my fingers that she will love mine almost as I love her gift to me. I feel soooo lucky and am just in awe of her creative talent. Thanks Cindy!!!

New Summer Staple

I was aimlessly wandering through Target the other day after attending the funeral of a family member. I needed something but my mind was in the clouds and could not remember what I was looking for. Instead, I found what has become my new summer staple dress. It reminds me a lot of the halter dress that JCrew is offering this season (I think they are sold out but this is close too). But this dress is not halter (read: I can wear a regular bra - which for me is a MUST) and is only $19.99. It is beyond comfie in a soft jersey knit. I am 5'6" and it falls no more than 1" above the ground- so I imagine if you are shorter than me you would need to shorten it. The girl in the picture is wearing heels- which I think looks dumb. Like espadrilles sure but not heels. It is a glorified t-shirt after all.

I also found this cutie little number. Same price and same fabric and will be great for cooler days or even into the fall. Both can be dressed up or dressed down and are awesome for running around town on summer afternoons.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Crafty Goodness To Me From Me

I never make things for myself. I make bags and gifts for customer order and for presents on a daily basis. But you would never know that I am full of craftiness as I don't self promote. The only bags that I have from my own collection are ones that I laughingly refer to as "seconds." Bags that are fine but would never pass my qualifications to be sold because they have a mistake. I think all of the bags I keep for myself from the "seconds" pile have the pocket sewn in upside down. But even those bags are from years ago- when I first started making bags. I have not added something to the "seconds" pile in years. Not that my sewing is perfect by any means. I think I am just better at seeing the mistake before it is too late now.

But I decided to actually sit down and do something fun for myself this summer. I have done this technique on a smaller bag in the past, but I had visions of grosgrain ruffles when I purchased this plain straw bag a while back. It was incredibly time consuming, I won't lie. But it was really fun making a present for myself. I love the print lining and the pocket is even right-side-up for a change! I really need to do that more often!

Friday, July 13, 2007

I love my new camera!

So here is the camera update.... I love it! It is adorably cute! Fits in a clutch with ease. I love that I don't have to look through a tiny eye hole thingy to take the pic. Nope- I just look at the large screen that takes up 75% of the back of the camera. I have a humongous memory card- holds more than 500 pics. It is very easy to use. It does lag a few seconds when taking pics which is taking time to get used to. But I used it at my cousin's t-ball game a few weeks ago, on the sports setting, and it worked great.

Overall, I give it two thumbs up. Light and tiny. Easy to use. Great picture quality. Here are some samples from my back deck last weekend.


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