Friday, December 27, 2013

... and still more swap gifts

I took part in three Christmas swaps this year and have been very spoilt by my lovely partners.

This was my 4th? 5th? year of taking part in Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap; it's always fun. The international swaps are particularly special I think because they seem to make this big wide and often troubled world smaller and friendlier - but then all swaps (and swappers) are special too. I love stalking blogs and choosing patterns and changing my mind umpteen times about what I am going to make and knowing that people who are making things for me will be going through the same process.

This year I made gifts for Dagmar in Germany, who was fun to make for. I can't show what I made her as she hasn't posted yet, but I was tickled pink when she sent me a 'thank you' gift of one of the fabric postcards she makes. We have had some nice emails back and forth too. Dagmar's blog was new to me but now I'm an avid reader; she makes some amazing things and as a keen traveller has been to many amazing places.

I've already shown the Christmas decoration Grethe in Norway made for me - and how about this table runner as my 'under-the-tree' present. I love it and it looks so good on my coffee table. Thank you so much, Grethe.

 .Maria sent me so many goodies in the Santa Sack swap organised by Cheryll. I kept two for under the tree, tucking them away in the giant Christmas stocking she made for me. Don't you love that little red hen - I certainly do. And how nice to have another Christmas table runner. Maria, you were such a great swap partner - thanks heaps.

And these were the lovely handmade pillowcases from Sharni in Maree's 6 items swap - now looking gorgeous on our bed. Sharni sent me lots of lovely things which I have already displayed in a previous post - and it's thanks to her that my collection of handmade Christmas ornaments has increased dramatically.

I've been in touch with all my partners and they know how much I appreciate their kindness. It IS  a small world after all!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

More swap gifts

Meet my new friend - he sort of burst out of the parcel Maria sent me in Cheryll's Santa Sack swap (I've already shown the gorgeous stocking she made). Isn't he colourful and cheerful - I do hope he's not too noisy first thing in the morning though!

I love the Christmas tree potholder, which is currently sitting on my kitchen bench looking cute and Christmassy - and would you look at the trim on that tea towel; I know another chook-loving friend will be so jealous.

And that's not all - there are still two more parcels stashed away in that stocking. I wonder what they could be - I'll find out on Wednesday. Thank you so much, Maria. This has been a fun swap. Go to Maria's blog to see what I sent her.

As mentioned in my previous post, Sharni was my partner in Maree's 6 items swap. Here's more of what she sent me - something to read (craft mags and two patterns she designed; how clever is that)  something for the sewing room (a box of  Christmas fabrics) and something that smells nice (lovely bathtime smellies). Thank you, Sharni; the ornaments you made look so lovely on our Christmas tree and there's another parcel left for opening on Christmas day.

I really appreciate the thought and time Maria and Sharni put into making these gifts for a stranger, and  Maree (now tripping overseas, lucky duck) and Cheryll put into  organising these swaps. Thank you all so much.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my place. The tree is up at last, after a mammoth and necessary house clean, and the special table runners and wall quilts I've made over the years are on display.

And just as I was thinking to myself this morning that we could do with a few more tree ornaments, the postie arrived with a big package from Sharni, my partner in Maree's 6 items Christmas swap. And among the many beautifully wrapped parcels were these ornaments - aren't they gorgeous! I can't wait to open the other parcels, but apart from a little bit of shaking and wondering, I'm being good.

This huge stocking stuffed with pressies is from Maria in WA, my partner in Cheryll's Christmas swap. I'm a bit embarrassed because the parcel I sent her was a lot smaller, but it does contain lots of things I hope she'll like.

And this one is from Grethe in Norway, in Chookyblue's annual Secret Santa Christmas Swap, which is always a pleasure to take part in. What a cute little stocking. The parcel came with stamps. not just those boring postal stickers; one of the stamps features the famous Norwegian painting The Scream. Not Christmassy but I'm thrilled to bits with it; you don't see one of those every day!

Of course I can't show you what I made for my partner Dagmar in Germany, but I can show you the ornament I sent her. Yep, it's a moose - she's a fan of these animals so I was pretty lucky to find this drawing to stitch, knobbly knees and all (the moose's not mine, just in case you were wondering).

We've all been in touch with each other - it's lovely to get to 'know' other people; even if we never meet we can still be friends - that's the beauty of this bloggy world.

So a huge 'thank you' to swap organisers Maree, Cheryll and Chooky, and to my generous, wonderful partners.

And now I'll show you what I've been making lately. These two bags are on their way to my young niece and nephew in NZ. The strawberry bag is a Joanna Figueroa pattern and was nice and easy to make (although I did groan my way through stitching the 12 leaves)  and the toy bag was easy too - and I love that fabric (from Spotlight).