Two cool new blog features & how you can get your own!

Check it out! At the bottom of each of my posts I have two new features. First off, if you like one of my links and want to share it, just click on the little widget and share to your heart’s content! Here’s what it looks like!
share the swell
I’ve seen these, but didn’t really make the connection till yesterday when Kathy a.k.a. Crafty Chica mentioned it to me and said I should add it to my blog. I totally don’t know where I’ve been lately to not notice this before! Anyway, I’m sharing the love, if you want to add this to your blog and hopefully generate some more excitement, go to the Add This website, follow the super easy steps and add it into your html code!

Another cool feature I am adding is the LinkWithin Widget. It is a a widget that links to related stories from your archive under each story on your blog! It looks like this:
Cool, huh? This little widget is even easier to install than the one before, just go to the Linkwithin site, fill in the info, and add the widget to your blog!

If I find anymore cool features like these I will be sure to share!

Until next time Swellions!


Crafty Blogger Links

Check out what is hot this week with me and the rest of the Crafty Blogger group!

About Family Crafts
Find a wide variety of egg related projects! Everything from creative easter egg coloring to cute agg crafts

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s offering freebie Spring images for you to download and use in your art. Happy Spring!

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Swelldesigner shows you how to make rainbow tie-dye rosettes!

Blisstree Arts
Unexpected results abound when you use this easy method to create background papers for your work.

Cathie Filian
Cathie Filian is having a spring fling with 11 different spring projects.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside’s got mixed-media art from Lisa Engelbrecht and an ATC by it, a free Amigurumi knit antler pattern, a couple of Art Nouveau jewelry designs with a how-to on making a wire ball bead and some pretty greeting cards with a tutorial on an Easter card made with stiffened fabric die cuts.

Crafty Princess Diaries
ArtFire Crafty Princess Shop is Live! Tammy is kicking the tires, testing the waters, and basically, trying to figure out what the deal is over at

Sister Diane offers lots of creative ways to use Sharpie Paint Markers.

Naughty Secretary Club
This week Jen explores using fabric to make jewelry.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Martha Stewart’s New Encyclopedia of Crafts is my muse this week to create a Hoppin’ cute Easter Card

The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares her three pronged approach to success and a link to her CraftCast interview with Alison Lee.

Crafty Blogger Links!

Wanna get your weekend of inspiration started off with a bang? Check out these links from some awesome crafty bloggers to help you on your way!

About Family Crafts
Take a few moments and tell Sherri and all of her visitors what your favorite way to save money is when it comes to craft supplies.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen has a colorful fiber necklace tutorial posted that would make a lovely gift idea, enjoy!

Cathie Filian
Cathie Filian has a tutorial on how to transform plain candles with a few stamping supplies. Great for holiday gift giving and decorating! From the Medieval Lights episode of Creative Juice.

Craftside – A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Peeking at you this week from Craftside are easy felted eyeballs, a dimensional surface technique tutorial, a creative inspiring exercise from the new book The Creative Entrepreneur and a paper and crystal necklace project from Jenn Mason’s latest and greatest book, Altered Paper Jewelry.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Are you thinking about stocking stuffers for you crafty friends yet? The Crafty Princess has a few ideas for you.

Cross Stitch at
Do You Suffer from Pattern Paralysis? Find out what it is and learn ways to treat it. Be sure to read all the comments and add your own!

Layers Upon Layers
Cyndi has updated her ever-growing list of posts covering different methods to do image transfers.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
The “Eyes” have the vote with a super easy Eyeball Halloween Desktop Decoration.

The Crochet Dude
I Want My Mummy! Drew has a free Halloween treat bag crochet pattern that is super cute!

The Impatient Crafter
Margot shares next week’s Terrorific Tuesday Halloween Themed paper crafted jewelry project. Hooty the Halloween Hoot Owl!

The Swell and Spooky Life
Swelldesigner is giving away a super swell vintage-inspired pumpkin man box in honor of Terrorific Tuesdays!

I plan on making a personal mosaic of all my Terrorific Tuesday projects. Might try to get that up tonight, but not sure, so look back for that in the next couple days.

I hope all you Swellions out there have a super swell weekend!!!


5 sites o’ the moment that I just love!

Thought I would do a fun list of sorts today of 5 sites you really need to check out!

Craft Critique
I’ve been visiting this great blog called Craft Critique. They seem to really be on top of stuff on there…new products and whatnot. They also do thorough research on all types of craft products, not just scrapbooking stuff. It’s a great resourceful site.

Betsey Johnson
OK, so I perused around on Betsey Johnson’s site today. I love her jewelry so much. I remember first hearing about her back in middle school, when she had a “Get a cool look for under $50 at K-mart” featured in Seventeen. I always loved what she did with that (I remember her teenage daughter Lulu was always the model). Anyway, I don’t know why I haven’t been visiting this site more often, in fact. If you know of any other quirky designers that is in this vain, please let me know. I’m not the most fashionable of people (I mean I keep up on some stuff, but it’s hard not being immersed in that world.

Your Face Blog
I love this fun illustration site called Your Face. Artist Damien Weighill does some really original and fun drawings with basic photographs that people send in. I actually sent him mine, but I doubt he will ever get to it. I’m sure he gets hundreds of requests daily and has to weed through them to find just the right one to draw. He has the craziest, most off the wall ideas. I love the randomness.

Culture Soak Blog
I found this great Bluegrass region blog called Culture Soak. It’s really nicely designed and doesn’t fixate itself totally on Lexington, but it also deals with cool design, photography, and art all over the world. I love posts like this lego photo reenactment, Polaroid Mirror, and one that led me to this bad design police link Hilarious!

Marketplace article…”Knit 1, Pearl 2, Point & Click”
Heard today on Marketplace this story about the decline knitting shops that were booming just 2-3 years ago. Considering that I don’t knit and haven’t visited a shop or talked to a knitter in depth, I had no clue as to what was going on with this industry and the downturn of the popularity of local knitting shops. Looks like more people are going online or turning to other venues for their supplies. If you are a crafty pro, you should def. check out this article. Very insightful.

I hope you guys have a chance to check out atleast one of them to be inspired and possibly learn something new! Until next time Swellions!


Finding my blog niche and Friday Faves

scanned nostalgia
I know this pic is really random, but that is my head at the moment and I just didn’t have any pic that screamed BLOG. Also, I think this one is some visual 80’s eye candy, and I am sending it your way straight from my heart 🙂 BTW, I submitted this for a now Defunct 80’s desktop article for Creative Techniques. It was of 80’s memoribilia that I collected and I was trying to show the way you could scan in objects to create a custom desktop background for your computer. Anyway, I digress…

One of my main focuses as of late has been updating and reinventing this blog. I’m sure if you have a blog, you know the chore involved in posting, staying active, and keeping it fresh with fun and interesting content. But, seriously, it is a really hard thing to do. I keep asking myself, “What do people want to read?” This is a legitimate question, but I think when I really analyze it, I need to really be centered on WHO AM I? and WHERE DO I WANT TO GO?

See, the thing is this…I don’t really know. I am a person that pours my creativity into many different avenues. You name it, I like doing it. Tonight, for example, while over dinner I came up with some fun party planning ideas for a bachelorette party and then discussed taking candid photos at a wedding. I then gave my friend some tips on scrapbooking and then told her that we should have all our friends together for a cupcake decorating party. Yes, I’m all over the place, indeed. It’s not a bad thing that I have a lot of creative outlets, but reeling them in is the difficult part. I want to emcompass all my passions…trend-spotting, marketing, blogging, photography, crafting, digital crafting, jewelry making, entertaining, (and the list goes on) into my blog. I don’t think it has to be just one thing, but it is still a challenge for me, a random girl who has ideas popping up all over the place.

I’ve been searching as of late for ways to market and create traffic on your blog…I came across this insightful article that I found to be insightful. I am discovering a lot of new things and things like memes and bloglists. It’s actually all a little overwhelming.

So, as I go along, I’ll be tooling with the format of this thing and figuring out what works best for me. I’d really like to discover a way to more efficiently post (and have it not feel so excrutiating – coming up with ideas and executing them is work!). I’ll try not to bore you with anymore details, but you have any suggestions for me, I’d really appreciate them.

And while we’re at it, if you are reading this and have your own craft or life blog, I’d love to trade links! Leave a comment or e-mail me at Us creative types have to stick together and be supportive of one another. I truly feel that friends (internet ones, too), are invaluable for success in what we want to do, and I’d be more than happy to help you out, if you help me 🙂

Now onto my Friday Faves…. Today, I want to share a couple of my recent fave craft blogs and sites I’ve discovered. I’m just dipping my toes into some of this scene, so excuse me if it is old news, but it is new to me and I wanted to share…

Design Sponge
Really love the layout and look of this one. So simple and fresh. Lurve the mini trends section and the diversity of crafts,trends, and décor this site has to offer.

This site is really smart and witty. And it’s got the perfect portion of craft, technology, celebrity gossip and pop culture. I think I’m in love!

This is a great blog. Love the illustrations and the observations and all the little details in between. It really is a nice, little slice of life I appreciate.

Anyway, off to bed. Going tomorrow back home to visit the folks and to photograph my parent’s 45th high school graduation. My dad has organized it and I’m taking photos and selling CDs to all the folks with the pics on them. Should be fun. From what they’ve told me, they are some of the spirited reunion goers I’ve heard of. Placemats with senior pics, red and black everywhere…they’ve got it going on and I look forward to sharing with them and meeting some of the people I’ve always heard them talk about.

Toodles, Swellions.


My lame blog attempt turns out halfway decent afterall!

I apologize in advance for the next few lame-ola paragraphs I’m about to spew.

OK. I admit it, I struggle with the whole blog thing. I want to come up with thes incredibly witty, thoughtful, inspiring blog entries, but usually, I just sit in front of my computer for an hour trying to think of a topic, experience, or area of interest that I think others will find inspiring. As Brit Brit would say, “It’s hard, y’all”.

So, like back in Ms. Johnson’s 5th/6th split class, I wish when I couldn’t find a blogworthy topic, I could just type in…”I am writing in my blog, I am writing in my blog, etc., etc.”. Actually, in her class you had to write…”I am writing in my journal, etc.”, but you get the point.

So today, I’m just going to post some fabulous web sites I’ve visited over the past couple of days. Maybe you will find them interesting, maybe you won’t, but I did blog something and something has to be said for that, right?

Noah K. Everyday is a fascinating look at this guy Noah Kalina. I know nothing about him, other than the fact that he taken a photo of himself everyday for the past 7 years or so. Check out his youtube video where he ages over the course of 6 years. Just intoxicating, fascinating, and kinda haunting (maybe it’s just the music, but I don’t think so).

I came upon this cool shop called Atypyk filled with all kinds of fun goodies. I lurve really humorous gifts as well as things that graphically speak to me (after all, I’m a graphic designer). This Miss World t-shirt spoke to me (SO FUN!), as well as these Techy adhesive Post-it knockoffs

There’s some fabulous gift ideas to be found at Hostess with the Mostess™ This blog design is so much fun (I’m a sucker for color, always have been, oh and a little bit of girly flair). I was especially fond of their product suggestions like these Mod Ornaments, Marilyn mug set (to match my Marilyn glasses, and these Rainbowtastic plate collections.

Lastly, if you want a little shock to start or end your day, check out this flickr photoset of Lenora Claire’s Golden Gals Gone Wild gallery show. But enter at your own risk, some of the photos are pretty shocktastic. You will never think of Bea Arthur or Betty White (who made a funny cameo on last night’s Ugly Betty, BTW) in the same light again!