A Studio Tour with Swirly Designs

It started with this photo posted on Facebook and my New Year’s Resolution to “take bigger bites” in business…

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I LOVED how Swirly Designs captured the cookie look in these adorable Valentine ornaments!

I had always loved the idea of making some of my cookie designs into a more permanent keepsake. Over the years many people have told me stories of trying to shellac my cookies to save them (it doesn’t work as the shellac dissolves the royal icing and eventually the cookie itself). Even for my own purposes, I’ll keep a cookie ornament for as long as it lasts but eventually it will fade, or the icing will fall off, or it will break and even if it does last, after several years they tend to get kind of smelly (the smell is the aging butter). Apparently we were not the only ones thinking this would be a cute idea… A few years ago I discovered a wholesale company had stolen four of my cookie designs directly from the pages of Martha Stewart Living and made them into Christmas ornaments. After a long and frustrating year of trying to pursue it, we decided to move away from litigation and move forward with developing this idea on our own. Some people might call it Karma, but shortly after we made the decision to move on, I saw Swirly Designs‘ Valentine’s day clay cookie ornaments posted on Facebook and reached out to them. As we chatted through email, a new partnership was born!

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I adore the whimsical style of Swirly Design’s work! Each ornament is hand crafted with love and care that really shines (and sparkles) through!

I was super excited to meet Paul and Lianne, the sweet and adorable married couple behind Swirly Designs. We were “in the neighborhood” when we attended RISD weekend so KF and I drove a little farther north to MA, for an amazing studio tour…

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This amazing festive tree covered with Swirly ornaments greeted us at the front door… We’d soon find, like myself, Paul & Lianne are collectors of various amazing tabletop trees…

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Halloween is a very inspiring Holiday for most artists… here are a few of Paul & Lianne’s artfully hand crafted Halloween trees with past and current ornaments! Amazing!

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This snowman streamer tree is so fun! Also, note the neat arrangement of their Martha Stewart craft punches- wow!

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This amazing Valentine tree featured cupcake angels made with cupcake liner skirts. Glittery snowpeople surround the base. The smaller tree holds the Valentine cookie ornaments that had caught my eye on Facebook!

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Here I am with Lianne and Paul in their amazingly organized studio! I love the paint shelf behind us- the arrangement of paint jars are both functional and beautiful!

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Like myself, they have pretty much every type of glitter on the market!

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Paul is an Illustrator and Lianne- a graphic artist… they met in design school! Here Paul holds one of his amazing sketchbooks!

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I love, love, love Paul’s illustration style! So sweet and whimsical!

SDB Swirly Designs_Easter Choc Bunny

The chocolate bunny in his sketchbook brought to life!

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After the tour, we did have some business to take care of… each limited edition, handcrafted “gingerbread” ornament will be signed by both myself and Swirly… We are so excited to reveal these designs on November 23rd!

As a parting gift, Paul & Lianne invited us to pick out some ornaments from their current Halloween line…

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I was so excited to set up my own Halloween tree! I can’t decide if the “ravioli ghost” (my nickname for it) or the crow & skull birdcage is my favorite… I love every one of these ornaments! I added a bat cookie to this tree (can you find it?) and will be adding more cookies as we get closer for our Halloween guests to enjoy…

Thanks to Paul and Lianne for being such gracious hosts… We loved seeing where they work and are so excited to share our joint ornament project with everyone! To get your own Swirly ghosts and other fun Halloween ornaments, check out their current Halloween line. Our two limited edition Holiday ornaments will be revealed with the entire Swirly Designs 2012 Holiday line on November 23rd! I can hardly wait- Life is Sweet!  Xo Dani

 

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