November 01, 2010

Sarah: Ornament Swap 2010

For the last three months, I've been living in denial that the year is passing so quickly. But, alas, I can no longer pretend that it's August, and so I am now facing the oncoming holiday season. So that must mean that it's time for the fourth annual ornament swap! I'm a bit more on top of this than last year, which will hopefully mean that we'll all have a little more breathing room for crafting this year. I know there were some late nights for some of you, and I was more rushed to make an ornament than I would like. But 2010 is the year for awesome. Trust me.

I haven't quite decided what I'm making this year. Possibly some tiny version of something in my shop, or perhaps a craft I've been dying to try. Lisa has been showing me up every year (a ball of yarn with miniature knitting needles, a zombie rising from the grave, and TINY. CROCHETED. CTHULU.), so I definitely will be stepping up my game.

Do you too want to put just one more project on your plate this year? Oh, I hope so. Here's what you do: Leave a comment below with your email address or send an email to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll send all of the details. Sign-ups will be open until November 25 (Thanksgiving) and you'll have until December 15 to make your ornaments and ship them to me (I need to receive them on the 15th, so plan your shipping time accordingly). I'll ship out packages on December 16, just in time to finish trimming your tree.

Details are after the jump. See you in a few weeks! Well, hopefully I will see you sooner. And also hopefully you will see a blog entry from me sooner. But I will bug you guys about the swap in a few weeks. Sarah: stop talking.

The guidelines:

1. Sign up for the swap by sending an email with the following information to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com by November 25th. If you leave a comment on this entry, I'll try to get in touch with you, but an email will make sure you get all of the information ASAP.
- name
- address
- email address
- you website or blog (if you have one)
(Note that when you submit your information, please submit it in this order with traditional capitalization - it makes things a little easier on my end!)

2. On November 26th you'll receive an email from me confirming that you're in the swap and containing the number of swap participants and the address to send your ornaments to.

3. Design a handmade ornament that you can create multiples of and make your ornaments. You will not have to make more than 10 ornaments, but last year's participants only had to make about 6 or 7.

4. Package your ornaments well...especially if you create anything fragile.

5. Send your ornaments to me by December 15th at the latest. Send a picture of your ornament in an email to me (sarah at twolooseteeth dot com) notifying me that you've mailed your contribution.

6. Sit back, relax and wait to receive fabulous handcrafted ornaments in the mail!

7. Once people have received their ornaments, I'll try harder than ever to post the pictures here, along with a link to your website, unless you request otherwise.

8. One last note: I'd encourage you to research the cost of shipping and take that into account when you design your ornament--lighter and more compact ornaments are cheaper to ship. I want this swap to be fun, so it shouldn't be a financial burden.

Most Common Questions

What sort of materials can be used?
Anything! Knit, sew, letterpress, gocco, paint, draw, sculpt, glaze, cut-out, glue, weave, blow glass, weld... whatever you do or want to learn how to do.

Who are the other people I'll be swapping with?
The other people on the swap list you receive on November 26th.

Will my address be on the internet anywhere?
No. I'll be the only person who will receive your snail mail address and email.

What about shipping costs?
You are responsible for the shipping cost to get your ornaments to me. I will pay for the ornaments to be shipped to their final destination. Please check your local shipping rates ahead of time if you are wary of the cost of shipping.

What if I don't receive my ornaments or I can't send my ornaments out on time?
Please email me if you're having problems meeting the deadline. Depending on the situation, I may hold back the packages for a day or two or ship your ornaments separately. But please try to have them done in time! If you don't receive a package from me with all of your ornaments, let me know and I'll track it down. Anyone who participated in the past who did not follow through and ship an ornament, however, is not invited to participate again. That sounds scarier than it is: last year everyone was angelic and on time.

Do I need to have a blog to participate?
No. If you have a blog, that is lovely, but absolutely not a requirement to join the swap.

Other questions? Email sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll respond as quickly as possible.

November 04, 2010

Lisa: vine house

I think instead of building a treehouse, I want to build a vine house like the one we saw at Red Butte Garden. Here's what I'm thinking:

1) We were going to have to build a fake treehouse anyway, sort of more of a playhouse up on stilts NEXT to a tree, since we don't have any backyard trees large enough to support a real treehouse. This way we're not dependent on trees.

2) It's got to be cheaper and easier to build than a treehouse, since there's a lot less wood involved and the walls and roof are mostly chicken wire. Plus there's no floor, just packed dirt.

3) It still feels cozy and private for kids, but parents can keep an eye on things through the walls, and you don't have to climb any ladders to extract reluctant kids, a la the McDonald's playplace.

Get the flash player here:

Next up: research. Are there kits you can buy? I love the curved shape of those rafters, and that might be a bit beyond my woodworking abilities. Also, I might need to make another trip to Red Butte with a measuring tape. Who wants in?

November 15, 2010

Sarah: Swell Season

You know that movie, Once? Every song that the featured band, Swell Season, writes sounds so personal and intimate, you have to pay attention. Their NPR Tiny Desk Concert is no exception:

Thanks to Momsyth for telling me about these mini concerts behind someone's desk in the NPR offices. And thanks to Lisa for telling me about their music video for Low Rising:

And now I feel like falling in and then out of love.

November 29, 2010

Sarah: Ornament Swap 2010 Update

The Ornament Swap for this year is officially closed. And this year is going to be great. For the first time, we have too many people for a single group, so I used a random number generator to decide who would be swapping with whom. And the results:

Group 1:
Megan in Provo, Utah. Megan is returning from last year. I love seeing familiar names in my email inbox!
E in Salt Lake City, Utah. Last year E gave all of the participants ornaments without asking for any in return. I'm excited that she's taking a more self-serving route this year. We owe you, E.
Mallory in SLC, Utah. Mallory's been in since Year 1. Hardcore. In addition to making cute ornaments, she's a talented artist.
Jennilyn in Orem, Utah.
Becky in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
B in...? Hey B, send me your shipping address and other info so that I know where to send your ornaments. Thanks!
Gail in Kilsyth, Victoria in Australia.
Marci in SLC, Utah. Marci's another long-time friend and participant. One year the US Postal Service prevented me from enjoying her ornament, but luckily she's just around the corner from me, so I'll make sure that no one comes between me and my ornaments.
Annette in South Yarra, Victoria in Australia.
Rachael in Richland, Washington. I first met Rachael when, before ever meeting in person, we threw a surprise party for a mutual friend. It was awesome. This is my one and only plug for Facebook.

Group 2:
Jillian in SLC, Utah. Jillian participated last year. I'd like to think that it was because of the swap that she decided to work with me over the summer. Okay, fine, that didn't occur to me until now.
Jeff in SLC, Utah. Jeff is my little brother. He makes the most amazing paper snowflakes I've ever seen.
Melinda in Canton, North Carolina.
Johanna in Camby, Indiana. Johanna is another returning participant. I can't wait to see what she comes up with this year!
Me (Sarah) in SLC, Utah.
Lisa in SLC, Utah. Lisa is the other Loose Tooth and her ornaments are the stuff of legends. I've never seen one of her craft projects come out badly. I don't think she knows how to screw up.
Colin in...? Hey Colin, send me your info!
Jeannie in Park City, Utah. Jeannie works with me. Her nickname is Happy Meal. I insist that I not be the only one that calls her this.
Jill in San Antonio, Texas. Another familiar name. This will be Jill's second year of swapping with us!
Sarita in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Our first participant from Mexico! Sarita, I don't have your shipping address, can you send me an email?

I'm excited to see what everyone comes up with! I only wish I could be swapping with all 20 people. And now, a mad dash to finish our ornaments by December 15. But more importantly: team names, anyone?