Friday, February 17, 2012
Today is a very special day at Swirlydoos!!  Today we celebrate and recognize two of our members.  
Without further ado.......

Everyone who comes to Swirlydoos will tell you that we have a truly unique community.  Talent aside, you will be hard pressed to find another online community of crafters who genuinely care about each other as much as we care about each other at Swirlydoos.  We really are one big, happy family. Our members are funny, caring, supportive, and believe in paying it forward to help our sisters out…..with everything.  It is hard to imagine that with all of the support available in our forums, that one person would float to the top and be recognized as the most helpful of us all.  This person has jumped in and taken over challenges when hostesses were unable to finish the job, she reaches out to everyone in a caring and compassionate manner.  She epitomizes in every way what it means to be a Swirly Savage. For all of these reasons and many, many more we felt it necessary to publically recognize her for her giving nature. Please join me in congratulating our very own:

Miss Peggy Giovanetti

As we crown her

Swirlydoos’ Hostess with the Mostest!!!!

 We recently sat down (virtually) with Peggy, and learned a little bit more about one of our very favorite Swirly-Angels. Here is what Peggy had to tell us about Peggy: “I'm a 65 year old Senior Citizen living in Central New Jersey. I'm originally from western New York and moved to New York City with a girl friend in 1967 at the age of 20. (I still love the city and visit as much as possible.) I met my husband there that summer and we were married the following year. We settled in Brooklyn until the babies started coming, when we moved to Staten Island. We moved to New Jersey in the mid 80's. I started scrapping in 2008, more as a way to get out of the depression that I was in after losing my husband to cancer the year before. I lost interest in most things, and found myself channel surfing in my free time. One of my sisters creates theme albums and I thought that I might try that. I would start with one about my husband and his childhood, then one about me, then one about our meeting and marrying, etc. Along the way, I became obsessed by some pattern paper that I had seen advertised and couldn't find locally. (I think you understand!) It finally occurred to me to try finding it online. I discovered SBC, and through the gallery I discovered a whole new way to scrap. Since then and especially since I joined Swirlydoos, I've grown from flat with a few embellies to dimensional with a growing knowledge of design. Add to that my curiosity about all of the different techniques and my pleasure at following the many wonderful tutorials and I find that this hobby has me discovering resources within myself that I never knew were there!!!! I started to host challenges as a way to encourage Swirly members to participate in the Forums and the Gallery. Along the way I realized that the creativity, generosity and encouragement shown by the Swirlydoos Design Team and other members led to our newer and/or shyer Sisters to join in and to realize how good they really are. They in turn have been encouraging the "next generation". I love seeing all of this playing out in the challenges hosted not just by me but by all of us!!! I've been trying to decide which challenge is my favorite challenge to host and have concluded that I need to declare a tie. The Round Robin is a constant source of creativity because of the nature of the challenge. It's so much fun seeing the different versions of each initial design and the individuality displayed by the participants. As far as a single monthly challenge, I think I'm going to have to pick the first that I hosted back in November 2009. I didn't ask for techniques and I don't think I asked for any particular embellie or design element. I simply asked "What do you want most for Christmas?" All of the entries were so heartfelt and some were so incredibly heart wrenching that they literally had me in tears, stating wishes for peace and quiet contentment,  and for healed relationships... Before Swirlydoos, I had never entered let alone hosted a challenge. Scrapping was still pretty new to me and a scrapping group was even newer.  I did not know that such wonderful incentives to scrap creatively existed. Since joining, I have entered one challenge "over there" at the suggestion of several of the ladies who had commented on a particular layout. It was fun, but not anywhere near as it is here with a group that has become family. I do love to enter the Swirly challenges as much as possible, starting with the SGC contests as well as Ang's Butterfly Challenge, then (time and mojo permitting) the Sketch and the new SwirlyHues challenges. I've been out of the Round Robin for a while, first because of hosting duties and then because of a time crunch on my part. I've signed up for February and can't wait to see my "assignment"!!! Needless to say, I love playing in all of the challenges. They're a great kick start to the mojo during "those" months.  More importantly, they give me the incentive to try new things and to stay fresh. When I do host a challenge, I sometimes ask for members to vote for their favorites; when the theme is something other than a layout that can be done quickly, such as a card or an ATC, I like to encourage multiple entries by choosing a winner at random. As I'm thinking up a challenge, I mull over possible prizes. This is sort of embarrassing, but some of those prizes are finally selected while the votes are being counted. I try to come up with something that is Swirly worthy yet is hopefully something that the winner does not yet own. I've been with Swirlydoos since the beginning (literally!!!!) I had been stalking a certain Robinzberdz at SBC, admiring her work and trying to do flower clusters like hers. In early February 2008, she did a series of stunning pages and explained that they were made using a kit from a brand new Kit Club. I took a peek and was instantly hooked. My order for "Decadence" (Swirlydoos’ very first kit) was placed instantly and I've been not just a member but an enthusiastic fan ever since!!!!" Here are 3 of Peggy’s most favorite scrapbooking layouts:

Thank you Peggy for ALL that you do for every single one of us!!!  As a token of our appreciation, Peggy will be receiving $100.00 to spend on anything her little heart desires in the Swirlydoos store!

*A note from Krissy- I have had both the honor and the privilege to spend time with Peggy in person at our annual retreats, and I have to say that there could not possibly be a sweeter, more patient and giving soul around. Peggy has been a saving grace to members and to me in so many ways. Peggy is always first on scene with her tender and heartfelt words of encouragement, support, and even a kick the in pants smart ass zinger that seems to fly in from Lord only KNOWS where! Peggy is patient and kind, and is so very helpful in answering questions for anyone who needs an answer. Peggy is a complete package, and I am so very lucky to be a part of her life.
Thank you Pegs <3

Our second award.........

Swirlydoos is without a doubt, home to some of THE most talented and amazing scrapbook artists there are.  The shock and awe that comes across our faces when we peruse our gallery or stalk any of our challenges, never ceases to amaze us.  Every week we recognize a layout that has given us that same reaction.  We recognize projects for so many reasons! Whether it’s because the artistry is breath taking, the technique blew our minds, or because the story behind the layout brought tears to our eyes, each one of our 52 yearly “Layout of the Week” projects holds a very special place in the heart of Swirlydoos.

We felt that we should recognize one layout out of all of our LOTW winners to be Swirlydoos’ Layout of the Year.  This is a daunting task especially given the pool of amazing work that graces our gallery.  We decided that we would pick a layout each month.  We took a look at the layouts of the week for that month and chose one to represent each month.  Then at the end of the year we had to vote.  The design team kept this secret from our members.  No one knew we were doing this....FOR A WHOLE YEAR!!!  *insert evil laugh* I don't think I have to tell you that the voting wasn't easy.  But, we did have a winner.  So without further ado, I introduce to you, our 2011 Layout of the Year designed by:

Sandi Clarkson

Sandi has been a "happy Swirlydoos Subscriber" (her words) for almost 2 years.  I asked Sandi to tell me a little bit about herself, and the inspiration behind her page:

“Hi, I'm Sandi. Wow, what an honor to be chosen for this award! Many thanks! I am happily married to a wonderfully supportive guy named Dan and we live in the great state of Texas. Together we have 3 grown daughters, 3 great sons-in-law and 16 wonderfully blended grandkids! Yes, sixteen! I work as an Audiologist in the medical field but scrapbook the rest of the time!  At least, that is what my family says! Although I have been a crafter of some sort all my adult life, my SIL introduced me to this hobby about 5 years ago and I fell in love! It is truly my passion and I enjoy every minute of it! Give me paper and some photos and I'm in heaven!

Info about my page:

Well, I have to say that this was actually one of my favorite layouts from 2011.  I have it framed and hanging in my scrap room.  I had this awesome new photo of my youngest granddaughter that I was dying to scrap. And these warm Bo Bunny papers at my fingertips. Fall colors are my all-time favorite for anything - scrapping, decorating, dressing, you name it! Then, it was just a matter of tearing, layering and making a big statement with my Bo Bunny Et Cetera ribbon across the bottom of the page. Not having the exact vine or flowers that I wanted for my layout, I turned to the floral department of the local craft store and found the perfect embellishment. I paired that with some vintage Prima and there you have it!

You can see more of Sandi's beautiful work in our gallery and on her blog at

Swirlydoos would like to congratulate you and present you with a $100 gift certificate to our store!!!!!!!!


Rosjen said...

I so loved to read all this and so well deserved! Sorry for my bad english...*sigh*...
Peg´s love and kindness is as big a the world, it doesn´t matter where we are from, she always care!! Thank´s Peg!!
And Sandi, you are are true inspiration!!!!
Love you, both girls!!!
Jannike, Sweden

kantig34 said...

Congrats to these two special ladies. Peggy, you have always left the most wonderful comments on my pages. Your kindness and generosity just comes through the words. I love your work. Sandy...that design has been a favorite since it was first posted here. Well-deserved award! Hugs, Karin (aka KarinAnt)

Sandi Cl~ said...

Wow! I am beyond honored and humbled! Many thanks to Krissy and to the entire SD DT! Wow!

Merrihew said...

Congratulations, to both Peggy and Sandi! Peggy definitely is the "Hostess with the Mostest" Sandi, this LO is so amazing!

zandra said...

Congrats ladies! I'm especially lucky to see Peggy personally as we both go to the same LSS.
Hugz, Z

Bellaidea said...

Congratulation my friends! Lovely work!

Jan said...

Wonderful news! And, well deserved! Peggy, congrats,I loved reading your story. Sandi, congrats to you on LOTY!!!

LISA said...

These are tw0 of the most artistic sweetest artists in Swirlyville and I am very proud to call them my Swirly sisters!!! Congrats to both of you!! Peggy my dear, I am glad to know you personally and will give you a great big squishy hug when I see you in a few months, and Sandi, I hope that one day we will meet and I will give you a great big squishy hug too!!! You are both such a wonderful inspiration and I love you both!!!

Peggy said...

Thanks so much to all of you and especially to Krissy and the Swirly Design Team for REALLY making Swirlydoos possible!!!!!!
I've said it often, but it bears repeating: this has to be the best online community on the planet. Not only are we all generous with our ideas and skills, but we are all so generous with our time, our kindness and with the occasional shoulder when needed. Love you all!!!!!
@ Zandra: see you soon in Milltown!!!
@ Lisa: getting ready for (and with) my squishies!!!!!!

Jennie Atkinson said...

Congratulations Peggy and Sandi - what gorgeous layouts and wonderful stories to read. Both awards so well deserved.

I am a relative newcomer to Swirlydoos, but you have all made me so welcome - it is the friendliest, most talented and encouraging online community I have come across. Thankyou!

Lisa said...

So well deserved ladies!!! I am so happy for you guys. Peggy I have gotten to know you on the threads and I hope we can meet in person one day!!!
Sandi I feel the same way...I have gotten to know you in the threads also and what a sweetheart you are!!!

You both do fab work and are an inspiration to all of us!!!

Robin Shakoor said...

Congrats to both of you! Peggy, you are always so wonderful and supportive.

Dara Lynn said...

Congratulations to two beautiful ladies !

marcia said...

Congratulations to both of you! There is nothing like an award ceremony that honors great people to provide inspiration (and pull at the heart strings a little!).

pooky said...

Congrats ladies!! Well deserved! Love the layouts:)

JRABS -Jennifer Snyder said...

You picked the most perfect people for both awards. Can't think of any more deserving. Congrats!

Brenda said...

awww Sandi Congrats!!!! I am sooo happy for you gf...your work is soooo beyond awesome!!!


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