Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Handmade Joy Exchange

Back in March, Anne over at My Giant Strawberry invited her readers to participate in what she dubbed a "Handmade Joy Exchange."

From her post:
I know one thing that brings me (and you, too) Joy is receiving packages in the mail. Packages from friends or family who live far away, packages filled with goodies we've treated ourselves to, packages from blogging friends. Any sort of package, actually, is a Joy to find sitting on my doorstep. Sending packages is also Joyful. Choosing pretty wrappings, tucking in surprises, waiting to hear that the package has arrived. 
Are you interested? Would you like to send a package and receive one, too? Would you like to make something special and add a little Joy to the world?
How this will work:
1. You email me (anne at mygiantstrawberry dot com) with your name and mailing address. If you have a website or blog, send that, too, so I can pass that along to your exchange partner.2. I match you up with someone (this will not be the same person sending a package to you... who you're getting a package from will be a surprise!).3. You make something for your exchange partner. What sort of something is entirely up to you. Paint, crochet, knit, sew, draw, photograph, bead, embroider, sculpt, write... there are no requirements other than you make it (and it brings you Joy!).4. You send off your piece of handmade Joy.5. You receive a package full of Joy.
Sound good? I hope so! This exchange is open to everyone no matter where you live or what sort of art or craft you like to do. 
I was so excited about the idea, I signed up right away! I was lucky enough to be matched up with Vixie from Matin Lapin. I spent some time browsing around her blog to get a feel for what she might like. I loved all of her pretty little ideas, but the best are her "my favourite things" each week. However, I felt most inspired by a post she titled "full of hot air." She included loads of images of hot air balloons, both modern and vintage. She also wrote:
London is bursting with spring more and more each day, but I still often find myself daydreaming about escaping the city and flying off on another exciting adventure.

With that in mind, I have put together a little wishlist of hot air balloons – can you imagine flying through Europe in a balloon? Heavenly!
I couldn't resist! The image of flying around on an adventure in a hot air balloon seemed very romantic. So, I sketched up a cute image of a hot air balloon high in the sky, picked out some floss, and started stitching. I decided to mat it with some scrapbooking paper I have. I think it turned out so cute! I hope she loved it.

A few days after I shipped my little package off to London, I received my own box of handmade joy. I was so excited to find out what was waiting for me! My gift came from Sharon (Anne's momma!), who blogs at sallymomsprouts.

What a cute package!

There was even a matching card, inside :)

It was so fun for me to look through the lovely, hand-stamped cards she made for me. Each one was different.

But, the best part was that she included tools for me to make my own stamped cards! M for Michelle :)

What do you think?

Thanks so much to Anne for hosting this Handmade Joy Exchange! I loved it, and would be thrilled to participate again, sometime!

And, for even more joy, check out the other participants:



  1. That is awesome! I participated in a swap once and it was really nice. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Hi, Michelle! Thanks so much for playing along and I'm glad you had fun doing it!

    Your hot air balloon embroidery is gorgeous! The photo you sent me of it filled me with Joy. Vixie couldn't help but love it, I'm sure! :)

    It's wonderful that you loved your Joy filled package, too! So much Joy all around!!

  3. Hi Michelle!
    I'm Laura, one of the other participants at the Handmade Joy Exchange!
    I really enjoyed reading your post, and discovering what you made and received!
    It was such a joy participating at this exchange! ...CHEERS to our Celebration!!

  4. Michelle,
    Glad you enjoyed my gift and learning to make your own embossed cards. When I discover something fun I so love helping others learn to do it too. Happy celebration.

  5. What a fun exchange! I've had such fun checking in with each participant to see what they made/received. Love your balloon!

  6. I took part in the exchange as well - it's been so fun, making and receiving and perusing others' blogs & creations! :) Your hot air balloon is so sweet, it must have taken you some time to stitch!

  7. I love love love my balloon - thank you so much, Michelle! And your gift looks wonderful too! Hooray for joy!

  8. Hi Michelle!

    I loved the swap! It was great! Your hot air balloon was lovely! What a nice idea Sharon had of sending you tools to do your own dry embossing! I'm looking forward to checking out more of your blog!

  9. awesome...what a great idea!!



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