Friday, January 29, 2010

A New Digital Download

My Facebook fans have already seen it, but you Scrabble Tile Pendant makers take note: here are some sunny Sunflower images made in the perfect size for your items! This digital download is available in my Etsy shop now--a 300 dpi resolution JPEG file electronically sent to you with 63 little .75 x .83 inch sunflower photos that have been colorized to bring out their utmost cheeriness! (If you would prefer the file be turned into a PDF, just let me know!) These little gems are perfect for all sorts of altered crafts: books, jewelry, decoupage, scrapbooking...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Somethin' New is Brewin'

I've been playing around with another software program and think I'm in love! I'm having so much fun and it is so different than anything I've ever created!

I have decided to start yet another new line of cards (and maybe prints and posters) of these very colorful and abstract designs.

While in the midst of creating these, a friend of mine who happens to work for Cirque du Soleil offered my family tickets to see a show.

It struck me that my new designs actually reminded me of a circus or of some sort of extraordinary show and thus is born: Cirque du Swirlée.

These are not listed in my shop yet...still coming up with more designs...but look for them to be available shortly!

In the meantime, thank you for any feedback you care to give me!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Theme of the Day Thursday

It's my birthday today and we in Southern California are having the most rain in a week that we've had in 5 years, so to celebrate, (and Aquarius being sign of the a water bearer!)I'm choosing RAIN as my theme, today! Aren't these paintings and prints wonderful?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Helping A Friend I've Never Met--Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I shared Tanya's story. She is still urgently trying to raise funds to have a life-saving surgery by the end of this month. The arts and crafts community and others are working together to try to spread the word about Tanya and there has been a page created for donations. She is also having lots of sales in her Etsy and Artfire shops. If there is any way you can help Tanya--every little bit helps--you will not only help save her life, but save her daughter the grief of losing her mother. I do hope that you will check this out and see what you can do to help. Thank you so much in advance.

Click here to lend your support to: Mayday fund and make a donation at !

Trying Something New

I've been working on a new line for my Etsy shop! Not cards this time, though. I have so many digital images in my files that I like but don't use for one reason or another and thought this might be just the way I could use them! Digital collage sheets! There are lots of them out there already, I know---Etsy is full of them. But they really seem to be popular! For a small fee, a JPEG (or PDF, if preferred) is emailed to the buyer to use again and again for their arts and crafts projects such as collages, scrapbooking, altered books and jewelry, journals, etc. They can even use the images commercially as long as the image isn't a) sold as a digital collage sheet or a printed photo image by itself or b) passed off as the buyer's own artwork. The copyright still belongs to the artist that created it. (In this case, ME!)

The digital download would print up the 2 inch x 2 inch images with no borders.

This image just pulls out a few to see more prominently.

My first two digital collage sheets that are now available in my Etsy shop look like a departure from my other art, but actually these are some of my first images. They were taken with a lower resolution camera, but the small sizes of the collage images do not necessitate any more than what they are. When I first got my digital camera I went nuts photographing EVERYTHING! These collage sheets combine many of the different textures and backgrounds that appealed to me at the time and many are very rustic and/or urban, but as a group, they are super in conveying a variety of flavors that an artist might be looking for to express themselves in a visual way.

I'd love it if you'd leave a comment about these or if you have an idea of a "theme" for my next set! (The one I'm working on at the moment is of Sunflowers! Can't wait to show you!)

Thanks for visiting Made by SwirlyGirl!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


With the recent horrific disaster in Haiti, it is so beautiful to see the outpouring of help, prayers, donations, and humanitarian efforts being extended to those poor people who find their lives forever changed and a long road ahead before life is even bearable.

Right before the holidays, I stumbled upon this group that enables the busiest of people to volunteer in their spare minutes of their day. Minutes? Really?? YES! The Extraordinaries has invented micro-volunteering! All of those minutes in your day that you are waiting in line or in the doctor's office, at the café or in a traffic jam that has turned the freeway into a parking lot (well, maybe that one only if you are in the passenger's seat) and you are texting your friends, browsing the internet, checking your emails from your phone, could be put to use helping worthy causes AND making you feel good about having lent a hand! During that waiting time you could:
You might find it more interesting to:
Whatever you choose to do, don't think that a couple of minutes won't make a difference. If 100 people each had 5 minutes to donate, that is over a full day's work that has just been used to help others. Multiply that by thousands---what might be done with all of that time?! It's astounding to think about it.

If you want to do more to help the Haitian people, help them find missing people. Find out more information about this on The Extraordinaires blog.

If you have a mobile phone or travel with a laptop, please consider signing up with this incredible organization and help make a difference in a way that appeals to you in tiny increments of time. If everyone does a little, a lot can be accomplished!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Meet and Greet

Another Tuesday, another opportunity to introduce my readers to some talented people!

Today's recipients of my gratitude for following my blog all have links to shops, blogs, fan pages, etc. for others to see, click on, explore, and hopefully bookmark, buy, and/or follow!

Crystal Kneller, aka KIZZ Designs, from British Columbia, Canada, has an addiction. Actually, two. The first one is beading, which refers to anything she makes with beads, gems, and metals. The second one is online selling and networking! She is a busy lady with 3 boys between the ages of 10 and 14, and farm animals that need tending, but being a breast cancer survivor proves that she is a plucky lady, too, who thrives in the face of challenge. Crystal's blog, KIZZ...Day to Day, her ArtFire shop, KIZZDESIGNS, her shop at Made It Myself of the same name, her Fan Page on Facebook, her Twitter address, her website, and her Etsy shop are all links you should check out!

Bonnie and Rachel, of TLCinspirations, reside in Washington State, where they enjoy making many different types of arts and crafts, which they sell in their Etsy shop, their Artfire shop, and talk about them on their blog, Inspire Wire, their Facebook Fan Page and tweet about them on Twitter. From beading, to crochet, to photography, to sewing, to poetry and design...this mother-daughter team seem to have no end to their creativity and talents and perhaps are only limited by the number of hours in a day. Please check out their ecclectic and creative wares!

Risa Tritabaugh, owner/artist of Created by Risa, is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she pursues her passion for painting and all things creative when she isn't working as a social worker. Her colorful acrylics and her process can be seen on her blog, Created by Risa, and paintings, multi media work, as well as handmade jewelry can be found in her Etsy shop. Follow Risa on Twitter and on Facebook on her fan page, too!

Thank you to all of my blog readers and followers. If you would like to be featured in a future Tuesday Meet and Greet, follow Made by SwirlyGirl's Side Lines and I will eventually share your shops and links with my readers, too!

Visit Made by SwirlyGirl on RedBubble and on Etsy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Helping a Friend I've Never Met

I've posted this link a couple of times on my fan page and I've seen a couple of others do the same, but perhaps more people will be reached and the net will grow larger if I post this on my blog today.

Etsy's Aardvark Silver owner, Tanya, is literally fighting for her life. An expatriate (of the US, I think) who went to Thailand, fell in love with the place and a person, and decided to call Thailand home six years ago has fallen upon very difficult times. Newly (and abruptly) single, she is in need of immediate surgery to correct a circulation problem in her arm which is causing muscle and tissue in her arm to die. The "plumbing job" needed is a relatively routine procedure, however it is quite expensive and Tanya cannot afford this procedure without help. Without the surgery, at the pace at which the medical problem is causing her tissue to deteriorate, the doctor has given her 3 -4 weeks before she loses the use of her arm and hand altogether and the rest of her body will follow quickly from there. This is urgent, obviously. She has had to postpone the surgery once already and is working full tilt to earn the money through her Etsy shops, where she sells precious and gemstones and silver, as well as handcrafted jewelry.

So far she has raised a little over $2,000 of the needed $12,000. In Thailand, if you can't pay, you don't get treated. Tanya is alone in a country where she doesn't speak the language, living in a second floor apartment, needing money for life-saving surgery and needing to prepare for 4 weeks in the hospital, followed by a long recovery at home, which must be prepared for her convalescence before she goes. I cannot begin to imagine the overwhelming task at hand and am asking all my readers to do whatever you can to help Tanya. Perhaps you need supplies? Would you like to stock up on some gifts of jewelry to give throughout the coming year?

How about a monetary donation? Every little bit helps. If you can help spread the word about Tanya, that would help tremendously, as well. And your prayers would be most welcome, too. Thank you all so much.

Here are the links to sites where you can learn more about Tanya and check out her shops, website, Facebook Fan Page, and blog: