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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Frosty Friends Exchange

This is what I made for Carol at Garden of Stitches. I stitched a snowman freebie (oh, it's an oldie that I got a long time ago.) The first picture is of the entire exchange. Yes, I snitched this from her blog, thanks Carol!


This is a closeup of the box and the blocks that I painted. It isn't hard to paint this way, it's very similar to paint by numbers. You fill in the spaces and with washes of color, you lay in the highlights and shadows.


I really enjoyed this exchange a lot because Snowmen are my favorite winter icons. They never fail to bring a smile to my face. They are happy and just remind me of childhood. You can't be sad when there's a snowman around!

I got an opportunity to go all out with this exchange cause I didn't feel rushed. I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to stitch and how I wanted to finish it. I've had the block idea for quite a long time but the box was serendipity. I was rummaging around in my craft closet looking for something else and came across a bunch of these boxes stuffed behind a bag of polyfill. I was very pleased to find a 5" X 5" box that was perfect to store the blocks because they fit so nicely. And then, the whole exchange idea just came together.

I was on vacation when I stitched and painted the box. I stitched the snowman during my Thanksgiving break. I painted the paper mache box during my Christmas vacation. I also painted a Santa cookie plate during that time for the Cadet's Jenna's Mom. I haven't painted in a long time and it was great to spend time with a paintbrush.

I have to confess that yes, I did paint for a living until the Cadet was about 5 years old. My business was called Homespun Hearts. I used to do house shows, you know, like Tupperware. I set up what I wanted to sell, took orders and turned the items around in 6 weeks. I'd book 2-3 parties for each show that I did. I did very well but honestly, I painted 16 hours a day for weeks on end. David would cut wood for me in the evenings until he got burned out. He worked full time, would play with Mike, and then would go into the basement and cut wood until it was time to go to bed. The holidays were brutal, so many orders and you couldn't slip cause most of them were gifts for someone. Finally, David had enough and bailed. For awhile, I bought my wood. But because I could not buy in LARGE quantities, I was paying full price for wood blanks. Add that to the time that I missed with Mike and David, and well, it was time to give up the painting business.

But now, I am toying with the idea of putting some of my painted items into an Etsy shop. I wonder how things would sell. I could control the number of pieces that I painted and I don't think it would impact my life as much as house parties. The question is how to build up a clientelle. I would love to hear your thoughts.

But really, stitching is my main squeeze because I love the fibers and fabric. Stitching allows me to spend time with my family cause I'm not holed up in my craft room or at the kitchen table. And David has threatened to bury me with a needle in one hand and a sampler in the other. LOL!!!

11 comments:

Pull Up A Needle And Stitch said...

Hi Joanie,

Your exchange for Carol is wonderful...I think you should open an Etsy store; your work is gorgeous! I know I would purchase a Frosty Friends box...

Happy Stitching,

Joanne

Carol said...

I just love it so much! Thank you again Joanie! {{{HUGS}}}

Litla Skvís said...

Happy New year!

That is a great exchange, what a wonderful idea!

I also wanted to ask you if you ever got the Grateful Hearts Exchange that I made for you last year? I haven't seen you post about it here or at the SBEBB so I was just wondering if it ever made it to your house. If not, I want to make you a new item for the one that got lost. I can send you a picture of the one that I made if you would like.

Take care!

Linda litlaskvis
http://litlaskvis.wordpress.com

Vonna said...

Well the exchange is just gorgeous...and you are clearly talented...
I think that you could build up a clientele, just by advertising through your blog....
It depends on what your goal is...is it to retire in the Carribean or just to make some added income? Or to support your stitching habit? I think you could do the last two easily :)

Carla said...

what a wonderful exchange you sent to Carol!

Casa Pearl said...

Aye chica you are so talented! So nice to see you picked up your paintbrush - you should keep going!

Von said...

You are one talented lady!! Opening an Etsy shop might be just right for you! Carol is a lucky lady to receive such an awesome exchange. :D

Ulla said...

Hi Joanie!

You are my partner in Stitching bloggers birthday/x-mas Club, but I haven't yet received Christmas exchange from you...

Stitcher said...

I love your painted box, you should definately open an Etsy store.

karin said...

Joanie,
How cute this came out!!!! And the painted blocks are wonderful!!!
Karin :)
in NY

Juanita - aka flosslady said...

You did a great job on this exchange. Lucky Carol!!