I am a big fan of blogs which connect bloggers and crafters and actually give you a chance to get to know actual real life people who share a love of crafting. I really loved participating in the Iron Craft challenge last year, but didn't have the time to keep up with the bi-weekly challenges this year. In addition to Iron Craft, last year I also participated in the Craftaholics Anonymous Summer Gift exchange. This twice a year event (there is a winter exchange too) randomly matches participants up with each other. So someone makes a gift for me, I make a gift for someone, they make a gift for someone else and so on. Everyone makes and everyone receives. And the best part is that you get to meet people you probably would have never met otherwise.
A lovely woman named Sharon from Indiana quilted a colorful table runner for me. In the note that accompanied my present Sharon wrote that she thought that the bright colors would be perfect for one of my kids birthday parties. I'm thinking something rainbow/crayon themed for Beatrice's next b-day and the runner will be perfect.
Tracy the woman behind www.thecraftypolkadot.com blog was assigned as my giftee. Her blog is super cute and it has been great getting to know her. I made two gifts for Tracy.
First I made a set of blank cards. I used some blank cards and envelopes that I had from another project, a vintage book of mother goose rhymes, and white card stock. I picked up the book at a garage sale last summer. The illustrations are by Corinne Malvern.
The book has seen better days and would not last a couple of reading by my kids. To get as much use as possible out of the wonderful illustrations, I scanned all of my favorites. This way I can print them and used them over and over again. For the note cards I cropped and printed out some of my favorite images on white card stock. I used my paper cutter to cut out the printed image then used double sided tape to stick it to the front of the card. I used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to sew the image to the card. Because my cards were dark blue and I didn't want the stitching to be exposed on the inside of the card, I folded and cut inserts out of white card stock (sized slightly smaller than the cards, and attached them to the inside of the cards with double sided tape.
For my second gift I made Tracy a little memo board. I figured I had to make her something with polka dots and I had all of the supplies for the project on hand. I think I got the 5X7 frame at Michael's. I painted it white and painted green dots on it in a random pattern. The trick to painting perfect dots is to use a round foam craft brush for the first coat, then a regular paint brush for additional coats. To make the pin board I cut a cork placemat (from Ikea) to size, sprayed it with elmers spray adhesive, and smoothed a coordinating scrap of fabirc onto the cork. I assembled the frame and added a couple of command adhesive strips to the back so that Tracy can hang it where ever she pleases.
I am pretty happy with the way my gifts turned out. I wish I'd had a little more time, but a storm and 5 day power outage forced me to scrap more elaborate plans.