Thursday, August 30, 2007

Due to popular demand...

Hi all,
I have gotten a couple of questions about assigning numbers and names of people in groups...

Ok... The numbers thing... We will be opening gifts (should you choose to participate instead of tearing into your gifts the second that they arrive) starting Dec. 14th which would equal 12 Days of Christmas and our last gift would be opened Christmas Day... In the swap that inspired this one, the hostess did assign numbers... I was thinking that it would be easier to NOT assign a number because if someone had to drop out of the swap at the last minute, there would be a day (maybe in the middle, maybe at the end) where there would be no gift to open. If we do not assign numbers, I can make adjustments once gifts arrive to me and then I would attach number tags so that you would have a gift opening track to follow... Does that make sense? If you really, really wanted a number we can talk but I thought it might be easier on you all this way. I don't mean to be pessimistic talking about people dropping out (and I do have a wait list to fill in if need be) but I like to expect the best and plan for the not so best. Seriously, contact me if you would really enjoy being assigned a number.

Names of folks in your group... Numbers aside, if you wanted to do something personal for people in your group and write out a gift tag for them (this could be a creative solution the number assignments) below I have provided the first names of people in all the groups. It is true that you will see my name in each of the groups. I SWEAR that I am not gift greedy!! My motive to be in all the groups was purely for documenting purposes so that I would be able to photograph and post all the gifts that were exchanged... OK... And I like gifts! But that's just a happy by-product of hosting the swap... Also please remember that that means I have to make 33 gifts!! It will be hard work but some how I will get through. ;)

Please do contact me if there's anything else I can do to help you all out.
Best Wishes, Holly :)

Group 1-

Group 2-

Group 3-

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Group 3 now FULL!

Howdy all,
Group 3 has been filled and I had to do the dasterdly deed of sending e-mails to people that didn't get in... That was tough to do. If you are checking here for the first time and are not currently in the swap, you can e-mail me to be put on a short wait list... E-mails can be sent to me at
As I told the people that didn't make it in, I wish I could let everyone join but it's important to me to do a great job with this swap and I can't do that if I'm juggling too many players. So thanks for your interest and be happy if you've got a spot.
So that's that! We now have 3 full groups of very talented people and I am VERY excited to move away from the sign up stage and start thinking about what I'm going to make...(hee,hee). It has been unseasonably cold for August in Massachusetts so it really feels like all the fun holidays are about to ramp up. It's amazing how quickly time passes. It's a little lesson to try to appreciate each day no matter what happens.

Here's to today!
Best Wishes, Holly :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Couple of Items...

Thank you to everyone who has been so patient with me getting our links bar up... Tah Dah! If you glance to the right you will see a partial list of players from all 3 Artful Christmas Swap Groups. Can I say a New England thing here? You all are WICKED talented!! If I wasn't running the swap I would TOTALLY want in! Which brings me to my next item...

Group 3 is still taking shape but we will have a full group... I'm sorry if you are on the outside, checking back here to see if you are in the group but I am still checking to make sure that everyone who initially signed up is still interested. I will e-mail everyone, in and out (sniff, sniff) in a couple days after folks get back to me. If you are in Group 3 you can go ahead and make 12 gifts because all of the spaces will be filled by the end of the week.

If you DO NOT get into a group... I can't make promises but if you are a gambling person, let me put you on a wait list. I know, that doesn't sound like fun but just a couple of weeks ago I was wait listed for a Tim Holtz class and thought "ah, there's no way!" and then the week before I got the call that someone had to drop out. It can happen!! It's trickier with a swap but if you are like me, I always have hand made gifts on hand to pass out to co-workers and friends and of course the all important 'in-a-pinch' gift... Let's wait and see. Sometimes the energy just rolls the right way.

Little people will be waking soon and I gotta let the dog out. Keep checking back for blog updates and the final word on Group 3.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Group 3 will be the final group...

Hi again... After a night of good rest, it has become clear to me that there will be a Group 3 of the Artful Christmas Swap... I guess it's a holiday cheer thing but I was thinking about the 4 other people that didn't make it into Group 2 and it didn't feel right to leave them out in the cold, so to speak. So I guess it's an early gift!

However, Group 3 will be the last group because I do want this to remain fun and festive for all the players involved. After a third group I would be worried that I would loose some of my 'happy hostess' holiday sparkle, shall we say. Ya know... All work and no play will make Holly grumpy! ;)

After the third group I would start a wait list as a just-in-case measure... But I know everyone who has signed up would endure a lot before dropping out but unfortunately things do come up.

So keep tuning in to see who our final 8 players will be and thanks again for your interest!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Group 2 now FULL!!

Hi again... Two days later and Group 2 is now full... I really didn't think that it would be this popular a swap but I guess the holidays are a lot of fun and people want to get a little festive in August. I am thrilled with the way that things are unfolding...Or unwrapping... Hardy Har Har...

My next question is do we continue? It sounds silly but I'm going to sleep on it tonight and think about whether managing 3 Groups will be too much... I'm really on the fence so hopefully a little time will give me an answer. If you are in either of the 2 Groups I think you can congratulate yourself on acting quickly and signing up early (real early because we aren't even close to the swap deadline which will obviously need to be revised). That's going to be a lesson for me too in future swaps.

I apologize that I haven't had time to post players' blog info yet... I actually treated myself to a little 'me' time this weekend and attended a couple of Tim Holtz's workshops that were in the area. What a nice, down to earth guy... Even though his face is on like all the Ranger Product packaging. He's just a dude with some cool ideas that he's willing to share. It's also neat to see the way that someone else handles teaching a class. I guess he's on the road something like 250 days out of the year... I don't know if I could do that! Anywho, if you want to see some pics of what we created with him you can check out my art blog (Art-Seeds, yes this is a shameless plug for my personal blog) in a couple of days when I have a chance to update.

OK... Back to Christmas time! Keep checkin' back soon because I hope to talk about a couple ideas for gifts if you are stumped and whether or not we will have a Group 3.

Thanks and Best Wishes,
Holly :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Welcome #7

Welcome Player #7 to Group 2... 5 more to go...

Maybe a lot of people check out their e-mails and invites over the weekend. It will be interesting to see how long it takes. Should we start a pool? ;)

Have a great weekend!
Holly :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Woo-Hoo...Six in Group 2!

I told you guys that we would continue to pick up steam... I got one more player for Group 2 so we are now up to six players. We are on our way!

Happy to report we all survived the vet's office. We only had to weather an elderly, grumpy dog (yes, he's all mine), a panic attack from my daughter about the dog getting a shot and one (thank goodness it was only one!) poopy diaper. Throw in some artwork and that's about my normal day during the summer. :)


Group One, FULL!! Group Two, Forming!!

Wow... What a great response! I am excited to report that we have one group full for the Artful Christmas Swap and a second group forming fast with a total of 5 members right now.

Fret not Group 2! It's only been a couple of days since the swap was revealed and the deadline to sign up is Sept. 15th so I bet we'll get 7 more players. I actually have a couple people that have been asking me questions about the swap so I think they are on the fence. If you do know of anyone who makes mixed-media/altered art and enjoy swaps, please let them know about this one.

As I've said before it's should be a lot of fun... Kinda hard to visualize now when in Acton it's like 85 degrees with a warm, beautiful wind blowing but it will be great to get some little art treats from fellow artists starting Dec. 14th. Think big picture people!!

As soon as I get some time I will post everyone's blog information here so that folks can get acquainted with the other players. Thanks to everyone who has sent their info... If you have a blog or website and want to share it here, just e-mail me.

That's all for now. Gotta get the dog to the vet... With two children in tow, that should be quite the sight!

Best Wishes,
Holly :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Swap Participants! We got some!!

It's starting to come into focus! Gillian posted the 'Artful Christmas Swap' and I'm happy to say that we currently have 10 players. Not bad for 24 hours!! Thanks to everyone who has joined and if you are thinking about joining, the more the merrier. I would be happy to have a couple different groups going on for this swap. It's all about sharing holiday cheer, isn't it?

Is anyone stuck for ideas about what to make or how to wrap? If yes, make sure to check out this archived blog. This was the original 12 Days of Christmas Swap and is a wealth of information and inspiration. Certainly, don't feel like you have to use these ideas but it is fun to look around.

One of my favorite parts of swaps is seeing how people creatively answer the same question. The different responses/artworks are so much fun to see. I am always amazed and how people visually think and what their ideas are... So get a couple of hot chocolate, put on some good Christmas tunes, maybe get out the twinkle lights (although I have some out year round in my house...Some still on the front of my house...) and start thinking about what your fellow artist might want as a Christmas gift.

Thanks for visiting and please contact me if there's anything I can do to help!
Holly :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Oh Yeah!... The Swap Details!

Got so excited about starting a swap that I forgot to post the all important details:
Enjoy and feel free to ask questions!

On the First Day of Christmas my art friend gave to me….

What's your favorite part of Christmas? Is it hand making beautiful gifts and then wrapping them artfully to get those 'oooooohs' and 'aaaaaaahs'? Is it receiving and appreciating that special gift that you know someone put a lot of thought and work into? If you answered "Yes!" to one or both of those questions, then "The Artful Christmas Swap" would be perfect for you.

The swap details are:

1. Create 12 of the same HANDMADE gifts. The gifts can be anything so long as they are handmade and relatively small. (Around 4" x 6" should be the standard unless it can be rolled or folded some way for wrapping.) A Christmas theme is not mandatory but might be a fun challenge if you wish.

2. Creatively wrap your 12 creations, mail off to your swap hostess and receive 12 gifts back in time to celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas which for us will begin on Dec. 14th.

3. Return postage for players will vary depending on your location. Due to the different weights of gifts, I will notify players of an exact amount once I receive all gifts and calculate individual postage. You may mail me payment or pay via Paypal. Your package of gifts will be mailed once I receive postage payment from you.

4. All gifts should be in my hands by October 31st, 2007 to insure enough time to swap, notify players of postage costs and then return your gifts to you by mid-November.

5. Remember, no peeking until December 14th if you want to play along with the rest of the group and open presents at the same time!

Deadline to sign up: September 15th, 2007

Please join us and if you have any questions, please contact me at:
More details and comments can be viewed at

Best Wishes, Holly

Welcome to The Artful Christmas Swap!!

Welcome, welcome, WELCOME!! My name is Holly and I am so excited to announce that this will be the home base of 'The Artful Christmas Swap'.

Although this blog is currently a little slim on the visuals, keep your eyes peeled for changes. I thought it was more important to have a home base where people could gather to ask questions, get some ideas and see if they were interested in joining the swap.

I personally think the swap has the potential to be great fun and quite memorable!

At this time I would like to give a special thanks to Gillian Allen of Art-E-Zine. Without her wonderful zine and the resources contained there I would still be trying to figure out what an art swap is! Thank you!!

I would also like to thank Lelainia N. Lloyd of the Tattered Edge Website and the swap hostess for the original 12 Days of Christmas Swap. Her swap, although it was complete by the time that I stumbled across it, was what inspired me to take on one of my own. I would highly recommend checking out her work and her Christmas swap blog. It's loaded with great visuals and ideas.

Sooooo.... That's it for this second. Check back frequently for I have plans to address common questions that will come up in regards to 'The Artful Christmas Swap'. Ahhhh, it's like music to my ears... Please join us and don't hesitate to contact me directly...

Best Wishes and of course,

Holly :)