Fun with my Instagram App

Tonight I went over to my friend Patty’s house for dinner and crafts with 5 crafty friends. Here’s some of the fun photos I took and wanted to share! The photo above is of Patty’s pretty yarn! She was working on a scarf

This is a photo of a rainbow of colors on the cardstock packaging.

Cherry stars
Celena used her Cricut machine and made a layered cherry. She attached it to an envelope that Kim had made with her wooden envelope folder (using Dollar Tree metallic star paper).

Funny faces
Silvia and I made funny faces.

Stacy posed for the camera. How adorable is her lifted paw?

Donna and Orange Kitty
Here’s a happy Donna and Orange Kitty.

Orange Kitty was not happy
And here’s a very angry Orange Kitty wearing a Sew Doggy Style party hat! Orange Kitty doesn’t want to party just like it’s his birthday!

Until next time Swellions!


Follow The Swell Life

Good ol’ glue gun

glue gun

There are very few things that I own that represent my first adventure into crafting… but I dug out one out of my glue basket tonight to use that I would like to share! I’m thinking I probably bought this one on a trip to Piece Goods Fabrics with my mom. I have never seen one of these glue guns (even today) not be retailed for more than $1.99. It kinda cracks me up that it is mauve. Do you remember when everything in the early 90’s was mauve? Anyway, it looks kinda like I may need to throw it away, but I really don’t think I could do it. Just let me say, it still works like a charm. Case in point: I burned my pinky on it tonight just like I did in 6th grade making my pink satin ribbon hairbows!


Oh and this is an awful shameless plug, but relates…check out this shirt I made for my cafepress shop like 3 years ago (I have since thought I could improve upon the design). People have since ripped off my slogan on there, but at the time I thought it was pretty funny.

What craft supplies do you still have in your stash that you can’t part with?

Until next time Swellions!


Make your own “Trashy” Valentines!


Tonight I decided to create swell valentine’s utilizing trash (literally, not smutty images like you were probably thinking…ha ha) that I had on hand. I took the flyers and coupons I got in the mailbox and cardboard packaging that I would have normally thrown away and made one-of-a-kind Valentine’s (along with some stuff from my existing craft stash) that I hope to give to someone special.

Here’s a little rundown of how I made it happen…

First off, these were my basic materials! Nothing fancy at all…just trash!

Trash for valentines

I cut into the box the shapes I wanted my valentine’s to be. Then I cut out words and images from the sales flyers (plenty of Valentine related words and products could be found in that trashy stash). I then used a foam brush to cover my cardboard and cut out images with Aleene’s Instant Decoupage from Duncan.

Découpage it!

In the one shown above, I just collaged them into place (I found some fun images like stuffed animals, chocolates, and wine bottles). In the other rectangle valentine, I did a weave design of strips of cutout blocks of colors from the ads.

Decopauge weave

For the heart design, I decopauged it onto a newspaper article, then cut out a scallop edge all around. For the rectangle version, I layered it on other interesting trashy papers.

I finished it off by adding touches of Duncan’s Soft paint around the edges and glamming it up with Glam it Up Crystals that I applied with the Tulip Cordless Heat Setting Tool. It was my first time using that tool and I was super excited with the results. It’s really neat to add a little bling to projects using those crystals!

This idea doesn’t have to be just for Valentine’s. You can use your trash to make custom postcards, ACEO cards, tags, and much more. Even if it did come from the trash, most people will be really touched when you give them something you made custom just for them. I just don’t recommend throwing the papers in the trash, then getting them out to use after coffee grounds and other grossness got on them. That wouldn’t be a “Trashy” Valentine, that would be an “Icky” one.

Hope you enjoyed this project!!

Until next time Swellions!


Oldies but Goodies


So, in the spirit of the season I thought I would reshow some of my ornaments from last year that I did for Ornament Thursday! I have a lot on my plate right now…a wedding, holiday stuff, and whatnot and I don’t have time to participate in it this year. When I join a group like that I want to put my best foot forward each week and work my hardest to come up with a unique creation. And I realize sometimes it just doesn’t happen and you have to let it go!

So, if you are interested in any of the ornaments above, click on the link below to check them out!

Swell tissue paper ornaments

Season of swell ornament

Fun Flickr photo ornaments

Starburst painted ornament

Please check them out! I plan to share some of my other crafts I do throughout the season when I get a chance. I really feel that this year is going to be like last year…I rushed around and Christmas crept up on me! I hate that. I really would like to better enjoy the holidays! Perhaps make a gingerbread house or make a pumpkin roll…go ice skating or just sit in the dark by the tree. Why does life have to get so busy! Sheesh…I really shouldn’t complain. I don’t even have kids!

Anyway, until next time Swellions!


Meet my mom

my mom

This is my mom, Sharron Westerfield. She is one of the craftiest ladies I know! Ever since the age of six when she came into my life after my biological mom passed away, she has been inspiring me with her artful endeavors. One of the first things I remember doing with her was dying easter eggs, something that I still look back fondly at to this day. She has always encouraged me to be creative and express myself through all different kinds of handmade ways. As a kid, I would go with her to stores like Piece Goods and Hancock Fabrics and look through pattern books and piles of fabric with her for hours (needless to say, I did get bored after a while). She always bought me ribbons for my hairbows and Wonder Under and puff paint for the Daisy Kingom sweatshirts I designed. This past weekend, while I was at home, I saw the little Home Sew mail order that she let me pick out ribbons from, still the same after all these years, sitting on the table. It brought back good memories…

home sew ribbon samples

She is an excellent seamstress, actually the best that I know. She is very humble about her skills. I have seen her make everything from wedding and bridesmaid dresses to intricate costumes and custom drapery and upholstery.

Here’s a pic of some of the many things she has made me over the years. She always let me pick out my own fabric and pattern design. I didn’t appreciate the clothes she made me back then as much as I should have. I don’t get custom clothing like I used to…she’s way too busy sewing up dresses and outfits for my neice and nephews!

outfits my mom sewed for me throughout the years

I remember back in the early 90’s when she converted our attic hideaway into a dark room and created her own images for a photo quilt. It turned out absolutely beautiful and something I know my Grandma cherished. This was way before photo quilts were the thing! Even back then, she was ahead of the trend game and she continues to be. She subscribes to a lot of different sewing, smocking, and machine embroidery magazines, staying up on the latest techniques and designs. She constantly loves to learn and be inspired!

She is crafty in a lot of other ways too…she can make beautiful cake designs, crochet, knit, faux finish, and smock (which she can do by both hand and machine) as shown here in this adorable little dress:

my mom's smocking

I know I’m missing something off the list, but she is talented in a variety of ways. She is very meticulous in her work and really takes pride in getting things just right. She doesn’t settle for something “that will do”. Her detailed craftsmanship is something I’ve always admired. Just look at this beautiful piece that she embroidered using Jenny Haskin’s machine embroidered pattern. She worked over the course of a year on this quilted wall hanging and matching pillows and her attention to detail is evident.

my mom made this

She began sewing at the age of 9 and has never stopped some 50+ years later. Like me, she is never without a project or creative idea spinning in her head. She has such an awesome work ethic and can whip out a totally unique project in hours. Everyone is always amazed by the work she does and I think if she wanted to be, she could really be a force to be reckoned with in the machine embroidery or sewing industry. But, I’m not sure she would enjoy it as much as a hobby if it were to be something she did all the time or had deadlines to meet. I think creating for her is her own spiritual retreat and way to connect and give back. I don’t know that there is anything else that she would rather be doing.

finishing touches

And, even though we aren’t technically mother and daughter by blood, she’s been a great mom to me for these 23+ years and continues to inspire and encourage me. We have very different crafting skill sets, but appreciate and learn from each other. As I’ve gotten older, I’m glad that our shared passion for crafting continues to bring us closer together.

Hope you enjoyed learning more about my mom.

Until next time Swellions!


Terrorific Tuesday: Week 3


Another week has gone in October and you know what that means! It’s Terrorific Tuesday! This week, we are featuring 20! fabulous projects and inspirations! One thing I really wanted to do with this little roundup was get people of all artistic backgrounds and interests inspired, and by the looks of it, that certainly has been achieved!

This roundup features jewelry, scrapbooking, party ideas, knitting, sewing projects, mixed media art, photography, and so much more! And if you’re like me, you probably like to mix it up! I definitely think there’s something to be said about reaching out of your comfort zone and learning or atleast appreciating something new!

So without further ado, I present to you this week’s Terrorific Tuesday Roundup

Furry Monster Bucket Kiki of Kiki’s Craft World shows how to make a clever project that you’ll have to keep an eye on!

Hooty the Hoot Owl Retro Jewelry Set Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter tried her patience making a paper crafted jewelry set for this week’s Terrorific Tuesday.

Mini Pumpkin Quilt Phyllis Dobbs shares a spectacularly whimsical quilt!

Sugary Sweet Skull Coasters Stoopidgerl makes some awesome resin coasters packed with candy, rainbows, and skulls!

Halloween Party Pics/Picks Swelldesigner a.k.a. Alexa Westerfield gets nostalgic with cupcake pics inspired by Halloween’s of yesteryear.

Witch’s Hat Pin Tammy Powley of has a super simple witch’s hat pin project for you that is so quick you’ll want to make up lots of these to give to other Halloween witch’s.

Witchy Woman Angela of Angela’s Art Diary gets in the spirit when she puts herself in her own bewitched portrait!

Fairy Witch Frame Lorilyn Hurley of the Dream Life piles on the glitter and vintage charm in this inspired frame.

Spooky and Kooky photos Chris Garris a.k.a. Universal Stopping Point puts his photography skills to the test and creates a set of haunting images to get you inspired.

Halloween Charm Bracelet Jean Yates charms us with this gothic and glam skull bracelet.

Easy Dia de Los Muertos Story Box Kathy Cano-Murillo a.k.a. Craft Chica uses toys, a mini box, and lots of glitter to tell a beautiful tale.

Double Skully Bracelet Melissa J. Lee creates this red and black dazzler strung with double the skull goodness!

Bootiful Belt Buckles Rebecca Hull at HHH Enterprises makes an awesome Halloween accessory out of ordinary belt buckles!

Knitted Ghost Sarah E. White whips up this little ghost, perfect for haunting your house!

Spooky Photoshop Tutorial Amy Locurto of Living Locurto shows you how to create your own Photoshop still life to use on a custom invite!

Pumpkin Scrapbook Pages Michelle McGee scraps up some adorable memories of her little pumpkin!

Wicked Witch Brenda Pinnick’s witch is a bit scary, a bit fun andoh so colorful. She is made using heavy weight watercolor paper and acrylic paint. The paper sculpture techniques bring this gal to life!

Rubber Stamp a Luminary Kate Pullen
shows you how to use your rubber stamps to create a paper bag luminary
for Halloween on her Rubber
Stamping Blog

Fall Owl Pillow Kim of Sew Sugary Sweet gives a hoot with this cute owl pillow perfect for fall!

Silhouetted Paper Lanterns Robin of Urban Debris gets super spooky with vintage paper lantern patterns.

And I want to note my little sidekick in swell, Pixie (the ultimate Swellion in my book), and mascot for Terrorific Tuesday was by my side as I arranged and compiled these crafty offerings. Have to give her a shout out! Say hi!

Pixie's ready, are you?

Until next time Swellions!


Halloween Cupcake Pics/Picks

halloween cupcake picks

Well, this is my Monday evening post of for my Terrorific Tuesday. Yikes! I always cut it close.

This week, I wanted to create a craft that also helps you remember Halloween’s of the past. Do you have a favorite photo of you, your child, or your friends that you want to remember? Well, it’s super easy to visit memory lane and have a little fun waxing nostalgia with these cupcake picks! They’re super easy to make and something you can whip up in an hour…so let’s get started…

Halloween Cupcake Pics/Picks

– Computer with Adobe Photoshop (or comparable photo imaging software)
– Various digital or scanned in photos
– Printer
– Scrapbook papers in various colors
– Glue stick
– tape
– toothpicks
– scissors or circle cutter


1. Make a new 8.5″ x 11″ document, now open up your photos. Using circle selection tool, select desired area, and copy and paste into your 8.5″ x 11″ document.

2. Size your circular photos to be approximately 1.5″ in diameter. Once you have them laid up on your page, print out.

3. Using circle cutter or scissors, cut out around photos and set aside.

4. Make larger circles from your scrapbook paper. Now use glue stick to glue photos onto place.

5. Embellish or doodle on if desired.

6. Using tape, tape toothpick to back of image.

If you notice, I used pics of my friends, but I had to use one of me too…it’s not every day that I wear something like this. Ha ha.

witchy cupcake pick

Until next time Swellions!

Swell Designer’s Halloween project roundup!!

Swell Designer's Halloween Projects

I wanted to share with you a compilation of my projects I’ve done for my own personal “Terrorific Tuesday” over the past couple of months. I’ve been actually doing “Terrorific Tuesday” on my blog since mid August. I wanted to get a head start on my crafting and help inspire others in their search for Halloween craft goodness…

Here are the links + full instructions to the projects in order of the way they appear in the pic above.

Diva Witch Canvas

Pumpkin Box Man

Halloween Cup Labels

Vintage-inspired Halloween Ornaments

Spooky Googly-Eyed Crafts

A Costume Masterpiece

Cute CD cupcake stand

Frightfully Funky Feather Wreath

Vintage Black Cat pendant

Also, here’s a super cute craft idea not shown above in the mosaic…

Spooktastic Halloween Pennants

Only a couple more weeks of Terrorific Tuesday and this season with come to an end 🙁 But you might be so inspired that you will want to just craft Halloween stuff all year long!

Until tomorrow Swellions!


Terrorific Tuesday: October Week 1

terrorific mosaic

Yep, it’s that time. It’s the first official post of Terrorific Tuesday!!! Eleven artists posted projects over the past week on their blogs in celebration of their love for all things Halloween. The pics above are in order with the links below, so check out these spooky and inspiring projects by some of the most inspired crafters on the “web”.

Eye of Newt Necklace Melissa J. Lee treats us to this stunning necklace filled to the brim with lots of texture and gothic appeal!

Halloween Knitting Patterns Sarah E. White whips up some insanely fun knitting patterns on her Knitting Blog. Learn how to knit a ghost, pumpkin hat, Halloween bag and more!

Spooky Googly Eyed Crafts Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner creates 6 projects which includes a frame, pumpkin, and fashion accessories with her crafty stash of googly eyes.

Trick-or-Treat Candy Pot Phyllis Dobbs paints up an adorable pot that will make all the little ghosts and goblins smile.

Owl & Witch Halloween Cards Brenda Pinnick uses her Sizzix dies to craft these totally spooky cards. So swell!

Franky Halloween Card Marice Rodriguez crafts up this adorable glittery and colorful Halloween concoction on her Flickr page.

Resin Halloween Cabochons Tammy Powley’s experiment with resin turns out to be a success! Check out her adorable cabochons and ideas for using them on her Jewelry Making Blog.

Pumpkins & Swirls Halloween Candle Kate Pullen shows you how to make this beautifully-inspired candle using simple rubber stamping techniques on her Rubber Stamping Blog.

Crystal Web Necklace Margot Potter a.k.a. The Impatient Crafter wins the webby award with this dramatic necklace using CRYSTALLIZED™-Swarovski elements and Beadalon silver plated wire.

Happy Haunting Collage Lorilyn Hurley of the Dream Life creates this collage filled with vintage goodness and an oh-so-risque flying witch!

Halloween Ephemera Collage Christina Tuey a.k.a. the Collage Contessa shares her artful wall hanging filled with all kinds of whimsical Halloween goodness.

If you’d like to participate, please read more about it here. It’s open to all bloggers out there who want to join in!

Until next time Swellions!