Sunday, December 26, 2010

A very swappy Christmas

I've taken part in three Christmas swaps this year and have enjoyed the challenges of each one - trying to find out what my partner would like, then figuring out what to make, then sending off the parcels - with fingers crossed that they actually get there and that my partner will like the contents.

I haven't had a response from any of my partners so far, so won't post any pics of what I made for them.
But here are some photos of the lovely things I received - I am SO lucky.
The pic above shows what I received from Cathy in our Friends in Stitching swap. We are all Aussies, some of us know each other, some of us don't , but we all love our craft and our swaps. My new little bag and needle folder are an Aussie production too, with patterns and fabrics by Rosalie Quinlan. Gorgeous! And choccies, too. Thank you very much, Cathy.

Trash in England was my partner in Chookyblue's SSCS swap; she's an Aussie girl with a great sense of humour who comes from near where I live and I've been lucky enough to meet her twice while she's been visiting Australia. I loved the Christmas ornie she made for me and couldn't wait to open the rest of the parcel (but I did, I WAS good, really I was...) The Lindt chocolate bell and the Santa Kit-Kats were very welcome, I spent ages perusing the patchwork mag and as you can see the runner has been put to good use. It's reversible, too - with a line of three French-themed birds on the back. Love it, love it, love it - thanks so much, Trash.
The last pic shows what I received from Katherine, also in England, in Fiona Marie's Great Global Christmas Swap. The theme was "Bag a Fat Quarter", and we had to send to each other - you guessed it - a small gift bag and a fat quarter. A Bronwyn Hayes redwork stitchery decorates the bag she made me, and because she lives near the sea, she chose a lovely seaside-themed fabric and card to go with it. Brilliant! It wasn't a secret swap, so we had some emails back and forth, getting to know each other, which was really nice. Thank you all so much for the lovely handmade gifts; you really made my Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Making, baking

At the risk of sounding up myself, I think I'm ready for Christmas. Cards are sent, presents wrapped and sent/under the tree, baking done, house decorated, grocery shopping done ....

Of course, publicly declaring that I'm organised may yet bite me on the bum - surely I MUST have forgotten something (something important, not just not sending cards to a few people who have sent me cards and will now receive a new year message sometime in 2011).

Making: I got round to making some ornaments this year. Two hexy ornaments went to my daughter Rosy in China, along with a scarf I made for her from some lovely Japanese fabric (20-25 cm by WOF, stitched on three sides with a gap for turning, pressed, gap stitched, self patted on back - easy peasy).

Another two hexy ornaments went to Linda in California, my partner in Chookyblue's SSCS swap. She displayed them so beautifully on her blog. I put together a kit purchased from Aussie designer Marg Low (fabric, felt, pattern, rusty bell and a wooden angel cut-out designed by Barb Smith from Theodora Cleave); it went together so nicely and looks great on my Christmas tree.

And speaking of Christmas trees - the tree ornament at the left in the top pic came from my other swap partner in the SSCS swap, Trash in England. Love it - and the fact that I've met Trash twice while she's been visiting family (and doing crafty things) in Australia.I can't wait to see what's in the parcel she sent that I'm not allowed to open yet.

And my three brothers received little Santa bags to hang on a door handle. I hope they can work out what those small bags are for!

Baking: - can't show you any of that because it's safely tucked away in the freezer, out of sight, out of mind (hopefully). I made my usual Weight Watchers' Christmas cake (because I like it - the recipe involves lots of dried fruit, coffee, a bar of chocolate and flour, very easy and it always turns out well), spice biscuits, shortbread from my late dad's recipe and mandorla, Italian biscuits made mainly from almond meal and egg whites and topped with a glace cherry - delicious.

So - apart from being unable to work out how to put my photos in the right places, that's my Christmas sorted. If you haven't finished shopping yet, good luck finding a parking spot. And a very merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends and your families; hope you have a wonderful time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another giveaway from Corrie

Okay, so I didn't win the Retromummy giveaway last time, but there's hope for me yet, because she's having another one! Yep, Corrie is giving away fat quarters of the gorgeous Flower Sugar fabric. Pop over to her blog to find out more. Thanks so much, Corrie.