It’s my birthday … again!

My very clever husband, after many years experience, realised that I simply do not need more “stuff” for my birthday.  So he booked me into a wonderful thai cooking class, and I spent my birthday learning how to make green & red curries, soup, noodle dishes, spring rolls and more!  Incredibly tasty, clutter-free and thoughtful gift,and I’m pretty sure he’s angling to see some of my newfound skills on his dinner plate very soon ;)

thai cookingMy very clever sister made me a crochet hook roll (which she crocheted, of course), so now my lovely new bamboo hooks and all my existing hooks fit happily in one secure and portable caddy!  It even has my name on it … see … get it? *hee hee*

Screenshot 2015-02-23 12.45.12
And because it is my birthday in the USA today, I have decided to just stretch the celebrations out over a week!  And you know what that means?  Oh yes … a sale, dear Copic addicted friends!  The first to get the details are the awesome peeps on my email newsletter list, so if you’re not on it, get on over and sign up on the website home page HERE.  It’s happening all week, with some serious bargains on 4 of my favourite things … because there may or may not be the number 4 in my age.  Maybe.

Kenny K Card Swap

Website Thumnail

KENNY K CARD SWAP
Due Friday 6 March
Make 6 identical greeting cards, receive 6 different cards in return

You must use a Kenny K image on your card.
Open to Australian Residents only.

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* You must use a Kenny K image (digital, clear stamp or pre-coloured digital) on your card.
* You can use your favourite techniques and materials to make a card for any occasion.
* Measurements: Please make a card that fits into a C6or DL envelope, not large square cards that require double post.
* Please do not include hand-writing on your card.
* If you have a die-cut machine, like a Cricut, Scan N Cut, Big Shot, Cuttlebug, etc you may cut a shaped card base.

How do I join?
It’s very simple, and no need to sign up.  All you need to do is:
1. Read through all of these details and decide if you want to join in.
2. Create your swap pieces (6 identical pieces).
3. Follow the check list and send them to me.
How easy is that?!  I don’t check the PO Box every day, but I do check 2-4 times per week.  Check Facebook to see if your swap has been received.

Where can I get a Kenny K image for this swap?
Kenny K shop is online.   CLICKHERE
Ask your favourite Scrapbooking or Stamping store if they carry Kenny K clear stamps.
See lots of inspiration by the Kenny K Krafty Krew on the blog – CLICK HERE
There is always a free digital stamp available on the home page.
Please keep in mind that some Kenny K images are a bit racy/naughty.  Let’s try to keep it a little bit tame for our first swap, and we might hold a saucy Kenny K swap next time ;)

Do I have to colour with copic markers?
No.  You can colour your images with your favourite technique.
There are pre-coloured images available on the site that you can just print, cut and use.
Get creative … convert your digital stamp to dark brown and print on Kraft (tone on tone looks awesome!)

Packing & Posting
Over many years we have developed the perfect packing method for swaps which helps keep postage costs and damage to post down low, low, low! You can find full details about why packing & post is the way it is … HERE.

This checklist has a handy packing tip reference.  Click the image below for the printable PDF.

Swap Checklist & packing tips Kenny K Feb

NOTE: You do not have to include the check list … it’s just there to help you pack, especially if you’re a list person or new to swapping.

QUALITY & WORKMANSHIP
* Please make sure your blade is sharp … no fuzzy edges.
* Please make sure your cutting lines are straight.
* Please do not use handwriting as part of your design.
* Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving your swap item … would you do a happy dance when you received this in the post?
* You don’t have to spend a fortune, but there’s a fine line between cheap & cheerful … and cheap & nasty. Let’s keep it cheerful!

Why do they need to be identical?
There are 2 main reasons for making your swap items identical
1. It’s easier to make so many items in an assembly line fashion, all the same design.
2. It helps me not to get confused during the swap out process.
Now … it is the design that needs to be the same.  If you run out of one colour card or paper, of course you can substitute in another colour or pattern.  The most important part is the design be the same.

When should I post my swap?
Well … that depends where you live, as it needs to travel to NSW.
NSW, ACT & Vic usually arrive 1-2 days
Qld, Tas & SA usually arrive 1-4 days
NT & WA are less predictable, 5-10 days
A good rule of thumb is to post, at the latest, a week before the due date.

Should I use Express Post?
Express Post is no  longer guaranteed overnight delivery, it is 1-2 days.
My postcode is within the area that receives guaranteed express post delivery.
You need to check to see if your postcode is within the area for guaranteed express post delivery.  That information is on the back of every express post envelope & satchel, also the Australia Post website.

Are you still collecting cards for Ronald McDonald House & Childrens Hospital?
Yes.  If you wish to include a card to be donated (perhaps a card you received in a previous swap that’s not to your taste or that you won’t use, or extras from an epic cardmaking session), please feel free to add it/them to your swap envelope, just pop a note on so I know it’s a donation.  This year I am also collecting used postage stamps (whether they have been postmarked or not).  The postmarked stamps go to an elderly gentleman with alzheimers, who collects them for his favourite charity.  He gets a real kick out of receiving a baggie of stamps that I tear off swap envelopes each month … won’t it be fun to knock his socks off with a HUGE bag! :D  The unpostmarked stamps will be repurposed to send training materials to new volunteers for Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies.  So, if you have a second to tear stamps off envelopes for me (perhaps enlist family, friends and workmates to join in), they can be included in swap envelopes as well.  I thank you for your stamp-ripping in advance :D

Stamp drive image

When is the next swap?
You can view the full 2015 swap schedule HERE.

When I have received all of the envelopes I will swap them around and post them back to you in the self addressed envelope. If the extra stamp(s) are not needed, I will return them as well. They are only there in case some of the tags are bulkier than the ones you sent.
I will swap out within a week of the due date.  If your swap arrives after they have been swapped out, I will hold it over and include it in a compatible swap.

You can find HEAPS of amazing inspiration on the design team blog – CLICK HERE

Really looking forward to this, and I hope you all have lots of fun making your cards (and even more fun seeing what you get in return!). As usual, any questions, please don’t hesitate to send me an email or PM.

Signature for blog

 even more fun seeing what you get in return!). As usual, any questions, please don’t hesitate to send me an email or PM.

Postage stamp drive

Stamp drive image

Do you get the occasional parcel?  Do you receive a lot of mail?  Do you work in an office and throw away a lot of envelopes with the stamps still attached?  Then you are just the person I’m looking for!

During 2015 I am running a stamp drive … not crafting stamps … we’re talking postage stamps.

#1 – When swaps come in I send all the postmarked stamps to a lovely gentleman with alzheimers.  I bag them up all month long, then my Mum delivers them.  She tells me that it really makes his day.  He collects and clips them for his favourite charity.  So if you have a second to rip the postmarked stamps off your envelopes and send a bunch off to me, I’d surely appreciate it.  Could you imagine if I could send him a box full???!!!

#2 – Sometimes an envelope will arrive that hasn’t been postmarked.  That seriously makes my day.  Those stamps are repurposed, and they help me send training materials to new volunteers for Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies.  This helps keep costs down for the organisation a bit, but some more from homes and offices Australia-wide would make a big difference!  By helping us train more volunteers, we can help even more families grieving the loss of their angel babies.

Stamps of all shapes and sizes, colours and values gratefully received at:
Dawn Lewis Imagery
PO Box 9387
Wyoming NSW 2250

I thank you in advance for your ninja stamp clipping skills :D

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A change in DT

They say that when one door closes another one opens.  This is one of those times whey “they” are right!  Just before Christmas I finished my term with the Tiddly Inks design team.  Oh my word … I seriously enjoyed my time on that DT.  Christy is just amazing, and I met so many lovely ladies.  But all good things must come to an end, and thus I bid farewell to the DT and wondered what I would do with my cardmaking time now?

Well … just after Christmas I received an email from Kenny K.  I was on the KKDT back in 2011, and sadly needed to step down for family reasons … but we kept in touch.  Well, suddenly I found myself invited to rejoin the Kenny K Krafty Krew, and accepted with enthusiasm (and did a happy dance in my office).

Kenny K's Krafty Krew header blue copy copy

Today the new KKDT was announced HERE, so I can finally spill the beans!  I’ve already created my first card using some gorgeous new release stamps (you can see sneak peeks on the website HERE), but you’ll have to wait just a couple more days to see them.

The other big news is that I am pretty much taking my video camera with me everywhere I craft.  This means lots of videos in 2015, including step by step tutorials, a peek into my creating process, and product reviews.  I hope my poor little computer is up to the challenge!

Swap Schedule 2015

Rather than make up the swap schedule as I go this year, I have taken inspiration from Darkroom Door (they do great ATC swaps, you can find details HERE), and have set down the whole year schedule in advance!

2015 Swap schedule proof

Please note … these swaps are for Australian residents only.  Return post for overseas swaps is expensive and difficult to organise.

You can download a PDF printable (just click HERE) which also has general swap rules & info.

This year things will run a little differently.
Swaps will be announced 4 weeks before the due date.  There will be a blog post with full details including:
* Measurements
* A link to the Pinterest inspiration board
* Other information pertinent to that particular swap

You will find details on this blog + Facebook + email newsletter.

To join … all you need to do is follow the instructions, and get your swap to me on time.  I will be swapping out within 1 week of the due date.  If your swap is late, I will hold it over until the next compatible swap.  I strongly recommend completing and posting as early as possible, in case of postal delays.  If you have posted your swap and would like to let me know, just send a PM via the FB page, or email me at enquiries@dawnlewis.com.au, and I will be happy to confirm it’s arrival.

If you are feeling super keen and want to complete swaps way ahead of time, please just plan them out, and wait for the official launch of information.  Some swaps require specific measurements, have unusual quantities, or special instructions.  If you are travelling and don’t want to miss out, or need the details in advance for any reason, please email me at enquiries@dawnlewis.com.au.

You do not have to participate in every swap.  Feel free to pick & choose the ones that appeal to you.

2015 Swap schedule & insructions printable proof

This is the printable, just click the above image for the PDF file.  A handy check-box is included to keep track of posted swaps.

Yes … you may enter more than once per swap.  I recommend sending separate envelopes for each entry, as it will cost less for postage.

A printable will be available for all swaps, including measurements, quantity required, unusual specifics, and a packing checklist.

Packing & Posting

PLEASE … only use the envelope size on the swap schedule for sending swaps.  C4 envelopes are highly preferable over C5.  They cost the same to post, but swap items can be flattened out better in a C4 envelope, so it costs less to post.  The same swap in a C5 envelope can cost almost triple to post because of the bulk.  Check the monthly announcements for envelope size recommendation.

POSTAGE … we have been getting away with adding 2 stamps to card swap envelopes, but the weight is often just over the mark, and technically they require 3 stamps.  If you wish to use 2 stamps, you risk being charged excess postage on its return.

Charity

I am still supplying cards to Ronald McDonald House and Westmead Childrens Hospital.  Huge thanks to BlanketLovez for distributing them to these organisations for me.  If you would like to donate a card or two, just pop them in with your swaps with a little note ‘donation.  Card suggestions include: Birthday, Thank You, Thinking of You, Congratulations.

This year I am also running a stamp drive for Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc. to help us send training kits to new volunteers, as well as angel packs to families grieving the loss of a baby.  I am collecting the following items:
* 70c stamps (brand new, or un-postmarked)
* 500g & 3kg prepaid satchels
*Any stamps from mail that you may receive postmarked or un-postmarked

Postmarked stamps are for a local elderly gentleman with alzheimers who collects & sorts stamps for a charity he supports.
Non-postmarked stamps can be repurposed to send training kits.  If you work in an office and are happy to collect stamps for me, I would be super duper grateful :)

Huge thanks to all who participate in the fun … here’s to a fun year of swapping ahead!!!

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Sweet Stamp Shop – new goodies incoming!

Have you seen the gorgeous Sweet Stamp Shop planner sets?  Well … they have been incredibly popular, and rightly so!  I just got word that my last 2 Sweet orders have shipped, and all the goodies are up as pre-orders in the shop.  All pre-ordered sets that are purchased now, will be shipped the day the parcel arrives.  And, yes … I stalk my PO Box daily when waiting for sweet goodies :D

So … how about a sneak peek of what’s coming?

Give Em Tacos Granny Panties Guac Love His and Hers Never Enough Plan Baby Plan to Clean Plan To Work Plan Women Planner Script Quilt Stitch Taco Bout It

Across The Miles

How fun are these stamps?????
Petite Sets are $5.75
Medium Sets are $9.45
Large sets are $15.85
Post anywhere within Australia starts at 75c for petite & medium sizes … yup, nice & thin and light!

Of course, I do have other sets in the shop, including some discontinued stamps ;)  Where is this mystical shop?  Right HERE for stamps!

Angel Gowns – my first transformation

This was the first wedding dress that I was given to transform for Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc.  It was so beautiful that it made me nervous!  Then I felt a bit silly about being nervous … I mean … I’ve been sewing since I was 10 years old!  But there’s something about someone donating their wedding gown, and entrusting you with such a special dress, that brings with it a crazy range of emotions.  There’s the thrill of holding this beautiful dress, then the paralyzing fear that I might mess it up, then the mini motivational chat where I reminded myself that I’m pretty darn good with a sewing machine (I sew for a living, for goodness sake!), then the tiny nagging doubt that you can do it justice, and that terrifying moment when you rip that first seam as you take it apart.

Transformed by Dawn Lewis, donation Rhiannon Grant 33

But then something amazing happened.  This dress spoke to me.  The fabric told me which way it should go, and suddenly the way to embellish the tiny gowns I was making became crystal clear.  Before I knew it, and with a little help from my friend Sewing B, there were 31 tiny gowns cut from the dress, with lining left over to be used on wraps and other gowns.  Keeping with the beautiful and elegant simplicity of this wedding dress, I kept the angel gowns simple and elegant as well.

Transformed by Dawn Lewis, donation Rhiannon Grant 2

I desperately wanted to do nothing else but sew, but alas, work deadlines and family activities meant I could only do a little at a time.  All up it took 6 months to transform this dress, and at the end there was another mixed batch of emotions.  Delighted that I was finished so that this beautiful bride can see the transformation.  Proud to have finished this monumental task.  Sadness at the necessity of providing so very many angel gowns, and for the families who will use them.  Peacefulness that I can use my skills to help others.  You can view the full transformation on the Facebook page HERE.

Transformed by Dawn Lewis, donation Rhiannon Grant 29

I am honoured to be involved with this amazing organisation.  We have volunteers who help us with administrative tasks, seamstresses, knitters, crocheters, our keepsakes and deconstruction teams, Area Reps, State Managers and our wonderful Board members.  Then there are the incredible people who donate to us.  We are a non-profit organisation.  Nobody draws a wage for their services, and we do not charge for our angel packs.  Everything is made with care, donated without cost and sent with love to families grieving the loss of their baby, gone way too soon.

If anyone feels moved to help us in any way … well, there are so many ways to do so, big and small.  After being asked for suggestions for suitable donations, I’ve consulted with the Board and compiled a wish list.  We use a lot of white & cream and pastel colours, so things like thread, ribbon, lace and yarn are incredibly useful to our seamstresses.  For our two amazing HQ ladies, pre-paid post satchels help us get angel packs into hospitals and funeral services all over Australia.  Even the donation of a few stamps to the volunteer induction & mentoring team helps us sending training packs to our volunteers.

Donation wish list flyer

If you are a seamstress, knitter or crocheter and would like to help, it is so easy.  Just visit the website HERE, and click on ‘Become a Volunteer’ tab at the top.  There is also a tab for ‘Make a Donation’, and you can always contact me if you have any questions.