Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ornament Swap

If you've been paying any sort of attention here, you know about a certain group of ladies known as the Arkansas Women Bloggers. They create a sense of community, answer any and all questions, offer platforms to share, and accept me with no questions asked.

Legit, right?

Well this holiday season marked the second time they invited the writers registered with their site to spread love to all four corners of the state. And this year, I joined! I'm talking about the second annual AWB Handmade Ornament Swap, y'all!

I remember this coming across my email and Facebook feed last year. The founders of the site invited bloggers near and far to submit their information to be passed along to a secret Santa who would handcraft a gorgeous addition for their tree. It should go without saying this meant you'd get the name of a blogger to craft for, as well. The thought of having to pull off a somewhat decent craft for someone I'd never met was scary, so I passed.

When I saw the same discussion spark this year, I let it slide for a while. Facebook prompts kept encouraging me to give it a ago, and I think a Pinterest board the AWB put together just for this occasion is what sent me over the edge. I was going to craft, by golly, and someone, somewhere was going to get a little bit of love from these two {incapable} hands.

Boy, am I glad I did it! Snail mail is probably ranked somewhere on a list of my top ten favorite things, but a package with a handmade spin is tops. When I pulled it out of my mailbox and saw the name Debbie Arnold in the upper lefthand corner, well that just about took the cake. Yes, my name was given to the one and only Dining with Debbie. Check her out, y'all - she is a fantastic food writer from northwest Arkansas who is one of the genius minds behind the entire AWB scene. Her newly remodeled site is easy to navigate with recipes for every part of every meal you can imagine, appetizer to dessert. Each recipe comes with a fun story and Debbie takes it step by step in a way that makes anyone feel like a master chef, which is saying a lot coming from yours truly.

Debbie was awesome enough to incorporate her foodie way of life by crafting a star cookie cutter into a gorgeous, glittering ornament. It looks wonderful on my tree and the Bauer Boys were so excited to have yet another ornament to hang. They were even more excited about the yummy treats she tucked into the package! {Are you surprised there are no photos of the treats? You shouldn't be.}

Thank you so much, Debbie, for your sweet gift and bringing a little handmade joy into the Bauer household this year.

As for my end of the bargain, it wasn't nearly as frightening as I thought it would be. Being assigned to someone I actually knew made it even better! I was given the name of one of my very own Southwest Arkansas Bloggers who happens to live right down the highway. I love reading all about her life, her family, and her crafting at Simple Words by A. I was lucky enough to meet her face-to-face at our group's first gathering in October and I look forward to seeing her again in January.

For her, I stuck with what I knew and she got one of my prized salt dough ornaments {click here for my full instructions}. I plastered a simple star with gold glitter glue, painted the back blue and polka-dotted the glittering front in shades of orange, green, and blue. I then asked my husband very sweetly to draw a fancy-scripted letter A and it was something I was proud to pack up and send her way. I hope you enjoyed it, Alicia!

Merry {belated} Christmas and a Happy New Year, Bloggers!

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