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Swap Package

I just want to share this amazing swap package that I found in the mail yesterday. It is from Pina, my thoughtful blog pal from Slovenia. The photo just doesn’t do justice to the fine details in her handmade creations – the lovely pouch with pink button and felt bird, the sweet scent of lavender from the felted stone, the perfectly chosen fabric on the elephant softie for Chloe, plus a gorgeous bar of dark chocolate to boot! See how talented she is?! Thank you so much Pina. You inspire me with your talent and generosity!


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Handmade for Baby Swap

Handmade for baby swap

I forgot to mention this, but I’m hosting a swap on swap-bot called Handmade for Baby – Useful. The signup ends today, but here is the listing description if anyone is interested…

Find yourself making all kinds of handmade baby items? This is the chance to share your talent!

Each swap partner will make something handmade (and useful) for their partner’s baby. This could be burp cloths, handmade disposable diaper, onesie or t-shirt, bib(s), booties, quilt or blanket, diaper changing mat, etc. The important thing is that the item is handmade with care in some way – sewn, embellished, knit, embroidered, etc.

In the comments section (on the swapbot page), you can state if you have a boy or a girl and provide their name, if you’d like. Partners may not make a specific request, but can include one thing that they WOULD NOT want to receive. If you choose to make something that needs a specific size (clothing or diaper), then it is important that you message your partner.


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Handmade Valentine Cards (a personal swap)

This year for Valentine’s Day I asked David for just one thing, a handmade (by him) Valentine’s card. No chocolates, or flowers, or store-bought card. Just a little of his personal time and effort. And I promised not to judge him. That whatever he chose to make would be just fine. I really meant that. And in return, I would make him a handmade card, too.

Look at this beauty. I would never have expected this in a million years. It looks like a rolled up piece of paper in the photo, but it is actually a little cylindrical box made of heavy paper, secured by a red thread around two eyelets. About 4 inches across.

This is what it looks like inside – surprise! Filled with little strips of pink paper, each with a word on one side and the matching design from the container on the other. Words like love, forever, we, you, mine, desire, romantic, emily, david, always. I could re-arrange the little strips into many different combinations. Pretty and clever. I’m clearly blown away.

This is the card that I made for David. He really loves to flyfish. On our drive back from the coast on my birthday, we stopped at a tiny scrapbooking shop in the seaside town of Gearhart, where I picked up my first collection of brads. That’s right. Before making this card I was a Brad Virgin. I don’t know why I waited – they’re so fun! Such a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. I purchased these little fish, the dragonfly, and the heart paperclips, chosen individually out of tiny drawers. They worked perfectly for this card. The writing on top says “Fishin’ for your love.” The little fish hooks are made of staples I bent with needle-nosed pliers. The inside reads “…and now I’m hooked on you! Happy Valentine’s Day!” embellished with two red heart eyelets.

I’m so proud of us.


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How to paint a wooden box

After reading this post on Paper Kitty’s blog, I looked up Swap-bot, a swapping community where you can join or host different swaps. To give it a try, I signed up for one called “painted wooden box.” It was listed as an international swap and my particular partner ended up being from Malaysia. Malayasia! How cool is that?

Here are some pics during the painting process. By reading my swap partner’s profile I learned that red, orange and green were some of her favorite colors, so that is what I used on the outside. The inside I filled with red-themed items, a mixture of handmade and purchased goodies. I don’t want to ruin the surprise by showing everything, on the off-chance she somehow finds her way to this blog. This was really fun though. I can see how swapping can get addictive, and I haven’t even received anything yet!


This is the original unpainted box that I picked up on sale at Craft Warehouse. I covered the
glass on the lid with tape and then stained the box with a black walnut colored stain.

While the stain dried I printed and cut this lotus pattern on heavy cardstock.

I traced the stencil onto the box and then painted the image using acrylic paint.
To seal, the outside of the box was sprayed with a light coating of matte finish spray.

For a finishing touch, I cut a piece of stiff craft felt for the interior bottom, then filled the
box with goodies and a card, and prepared it for shipping.
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