Gifts received!

blogger swap gifts

buttons

life and times

I received these beautiful gifts in the mail the other day from the blogger swap. (Here are the gifts I sent off). The lovely Amanda from The Life and Times of Julian and Amanda made them and I am so taken by every item! As soon as I opened the box, Ellie squealed for the hedgehog pincushion (she’s calling it a mouse). So, I took out all of the little pins and she carried it around all afternoon. I was finally able to snap a few photos of everything for today’s post. The dishcloth is exquisite! It will be lovely to hang in the kitchen and the soap, smells amazing. The buttons are darling! And they will force me to finally make Ellie a top. Or maybe I can convince my mom to make something for her with them? Or a knitting friend? It really was lovely getting all of these goodies! This swap was a delightful way to end  the summer. Thank you so very much Amanda!!

 

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Around Here

whitneys gifts

I’ve been working on lots of custom orders these past weeks. It’s such a neat feeling of making these sales, packaging them up and shipping them out. I’m learning a lot about the small business. I’m learning a lot about how to finish my art, printing art and packaging art. And I’m hoping that people out there are happy with my creations. I struggle with that aspect of it. It’s one thing to give a handmade gift but another to sell a handmade gift. I put my heart and soul into these little creative things I make and I’m hoping people will love them.
my happy place

A little glimpse of my craft room. Finished projects being wrapped up and other projects just being started.

swap gifts

I’m working on some blogger swap gifts as well. I enjoyed this one so much, I had to do it again! 
summer bannerI got inspired one morning after finding this perfect little shelf for Ellie’s table and while Ellie napped, I went to work on watercolor summer time banner. Each letter of SUMMER represented by something Ellie has been interested in this summer (S-sunshine, U-ukulele, M-mushroom, M-moon, E-ear of corn, R-rainbow). I’ve caught her pointing out each letter and talking about what she sees numerous times in the past couple days. I think she likes it.
the whole thing

And getting ready for Ellie’s party with little wooden creatures for center pieces of course and some inspiration from a beautiful notecard Ellie picked out at our local art gallery.

horses

Lots of crafting around here… what are you up to?

Happy Mail for Ellie

After having a wonderful time working on handmade goodies for a blogger swap and then receiving lovely gifts from this wonderful blogger for myself and Ellie, I had to join in when Marcela suggested a kids blog swap. I know Ellie is very young for these kinds of things but she genuinely loved getting her handmade nature bag from Christina and I thought she would love something from another little one too. I was very right! We got the most adorable package from Meg from FourWildBlueberries and her son Asher.

blogger swap

Ellie received a beautiful purple watercolor card, handmade fairy dust and a set of darling bean bags, just perfect for her little hands. She was so excited to get a present in the mail! I went onto Meg’s blog and found a picture of Asher to show Ellie who had sent her such wonderful things. She smiled and told me a story in her toddler gibberish. 🙂

beans bags from asher

stacking

ellie likes it

the display

The postcard watercolor and the bean bags now have their regular spots here on Ellie’s table. (I’ve since hung the watercolor up on the wall too). Thank you to Asher and Meg! This was such a fun gift to receive!

Here is what we sent off for the blogger swap.

A Very Thoughtful Gift (a blogger swap update)

This past weekend I received an incredible package in the mail. My blogger swap package!

I was so excited to see what I had received and from whom. I was so delighted when I opened up the box and found a menagerie of lovely handmade, incredibly beautiful gifts from this wonderful blogger. In fact, I was touched by the genuine thoughtfulness of the whole package.

lovelies

She sent a lovely handwritten card, two beautifully made wash cloths, two bars of soap, peppermint honey lip balm (which I’ve used every day since, it’s wonderful!), an incredibly lovely shawl for cooler days and my two favorite articles, the nature bags. There’s the beautiful oatmeal colored one for Mama and the darling sherbet colored one for Ellie! It was so fun presenting Ellie with her very own nature bag. We took them both down to the beach for a bit of nature collecting right away!

trying on her new bag

ellies beach bag

carry it with me

This bag will surely be treasured for years to come. As you can see, it’s already become one of her favorite things. (We even brought it to the library yesterday morning). We also received some artifacts of nature from across the country to add to our collection. I’ve never gotten anything like that before and it’s an extra special kind of gift to receive.

chinese lanterns

My goodness, I was surprised by how generous my blogger swap partner was. This whole swap filled my heart with gladness and joy. It’s made me want to really start sending mail to friends and family, something I long got away from doing. I’m trying my best to keep up this simple joy and pass it on to others who may need a bit of cheering up or even a little note to remind them of how much they mean to me. I’m thankful I participated in this lovely blogger swap. Thank you Amanda for hosting and ten million thank you’s to my swap partner! It’s as if we’ve been friends for a long time. Your handmade treasures will be well-loved in this home.

I am hoping the recipient of my handmade items enjoys them as much as I enjoyed my things. Before sending my package off (it should have already arrived or arrive this week, I hope), I ended up making a couple more things. I found a recipe for citrus salts a while back and wanted to send something “Californian” her way. So, I plucked one of our backyard lemons and made her some Lemony Salt to rub on meat or sprinkle on top of salad or a baked potato. I also added a hand-drawn beach stone into the mix as well. I’ve never made one before, but it was so much fun and turned out lovely I think. I hope it added a bit of the beach to the gift.

lemon salt

beach stone

gifts

Making + Listening: Blogger Swap Edition

MAKING (or made): I’ve finished my blogger swap gift and will hopefully be sending it out tomorrow. I did a little snooping around her blog and discovered she liked the color purple as well as lavender and was a big coffee fan as well (I’m hoping all these clues do not give it away), so with those things in mind I set to work on some hand-sewn coasters, so that she may have a lovely resting spot for those cups of early morning coffee. I made her a card of lavender with pen and watercolor and I had to throw in a bag of Ventura’s best local coffee as well. I’m hoping she enjoys these things. I know I sure enjoyed making them for her.

coasters

 

coasters side view

 

lavender card

 

the whole shibang

 

inside view

 

As for LISTENING: We are still heavy in Elizabeth Mitchell music. Ellie loves having it on in the morning to dance to, snack to and play to. I have had on George Winston’s Winter Into Spring record playing in the afternoons. It helps to relax me and helps to set a calmer mood for the rest of the day.  And, I have to confess, life with a toddler has me quite out of the loop of musicals and movies (stuff before baby, I was very much current on). Well, I kept seeing all this talk about the new Disney movie Frozen on social media. I haven’t seen a movie, let alone a Disney movie in over 2 years, so I really had no clue this movie even existed. I know, I know. But, because of all the talk, I finally you tubed some clips and oh my goodness, I had no idea my favorite singer Idina Menzel was the vocal talent! And the music (that I’ve heard so far) is so very lovely. I may just have to sneak away sometime soon to see the movie for myself. And being a fan of Disney music like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, it will be fun to share some of my favorite songs and movies with Ellie one day.

 

-joining Dawn for her Make and Listen Along!

Making + Listening: Valentine’s Edition

MAKING: There has been lots of making and listening around these parts. Now that Ellie is feeling better we’ve had some painting sessions…

paint away!

look at my hands

collecting

And some afternoon walks where we collected sticks for another Simple Things Notebook inspired nature craft. Ellie did the stick collecting, I did the hot glueing.

heart wreath

And the big project I’m working on is putting together something special for the blogger swap. After spending an evening visiting all of the blogs involved in the swap, I can tell you I am a little worried my contribution won’t match up. These bloggers are AMAZING at what they do! I started working on a set of hand-sewn coasters to begin with. I’m excited about the fabrics. A couple of them are from the Downton Abbey collection which I find just lovely. I hope my blogger swap partner will find them lovely too.

coasters for blog swap

LISTENING: Little Bird has been on repeat for many days now, but we have also managed to have some classical playing in the evenings with dinner. I had picked up a lovely french classical c.d. on my honeymoon in Paris. It used to reside in my classroom and was played often in the early mornings upon the children’s arrival. Now it’s come full circle. Playing in my own home for my own daughter to enjoy.

-joining Dawn for Making + Listening!