January 6th saw the very first of our annual craft swaps (though I’m not sure we can wait a whole year for the next one) – organised by Mimi, the idea was that all nine of us would make enough of whatever we chose for each participant to go home with one. It ended up in January by accident, but we think we’ll keep it there as it’s so lovely to have something to look forward to after Christmas!
The edible things were long gone before I had a chance to photograph them, teehee – wonderful alcohol-infused vegan chocs from Annastasia at Midorigreen, and yummy chocolate fridge cake from Helen. The button magnets (genius!!) from Mimi also escaped my photo shoot as they’re adorning my filing cabinet/noticeboard in the studio!
My contribution? Kilner jars decoupaged with pin up ladies (Elvgren paintings, as he’s my favourite pin up artist) and filled with cutters, a tiny pot of ginger, my favourite gingerbread recipe and glitter. Of course 🙂
It was a wonderful afternoon, full of tea and giggles and happiness, and we all went home sparkling with the joy of friendship and sharing things we’d made… a rare achievement for a grey day in January, I don’t usually sparkle much straight after Christmas!
I loved seeing how everyone interpreted “make something” differently – we had no duplicates, and I was amazed all over again at the talent within this group of women I’m so proud to be part of!
I can’t for the life of me find the PDF of the gingerbread recipe – will put it up if I locate it!
So I posted and scheduled this, or at least thought I did, last week. However, it has failed to materialise so I am trying again!
To date, I have done two previous swaps via Popular Crafts magazine (who featured me this week – squeee!) My first was the Union Jack swap, followed by the Polka Dot swap. I signed up for the strawberry one with much excitement and absolutely no clue how busy August and September would turn out to be – oops!
I was partnered this time with lovely Lynsey, who blogs at The Diary of a Novice Crafter and while we are both super-busy and rather stressed out, we have managed the odd email and tweet which is great – I love to meet fellow crafters and stay in touch beyond one project! (I have to say though, she’s not a novice, she’s bloody brilliant!)
Now, I have just about got there with my makes and will sneakily post them here once they are safely with Lynsey, but I couldn’t resist posting photos of what she sent me when they arrived yesterday – terrible lighting as I was out and didn’t get back till really late, but look how gorgeous it all is!!!
Here’s my parcels, prettily wrapped:
And inside, here are all my beautiful bits… hand knitted strawberry gloves (I adore these and will be wearing them to work the moment it turns colder); a beautiful cross stitched card that has pride of place on my mantelpiece; a strawberry lavender bag (destined for my clothes rails – it’s too pretty to go in a drawer!); and strawberry bunting for my bike basket! I squeaked when I saw this – so exciting! Pics of Bluebell suitably adorned asap 🙂
My treats are just as exciting – two dainty little pots of strawberry jam, Body Shop lip balm, which happens to be one of my favourites, and gorgeous strawberry stickers 🙂
Thank you so much Lynsey – I adore it all and it made my weekend! I hope you love all your pressies as well when they eventually wing their way over to you!
Aren’t I lucky? Did any of you take part? Post your links, I’d love to see what you sent and what you received!
There was a part of my weekend not connected to the Olympics, though London 2012 is assuredly a once in a lifetime kind of event.
Bluebell and I have been getting to know each other better – after our loooong ride with Emily last weekend, I’ve been much more confident this week. So much so that I took her instead of Poppy to my parents’ new house on Sunday, to help them with another stage of moving… there’s still a way to go, but they’re getting there! Was a lovely half hour ride over, and then I stayed for dinner and we put Bluebell in the back of the car and Mum drove me home. Which was also very lovely!
I went to get my eyes tested and contact lenses sorted – which was well overdue. Chose new glasses, had a catch up with the lovely Vickie who remembered me from my last visit in 2010 (this is my first ever 2 year call back – I feel normal! Used to have to go every six to twelve months to keep up with my changing eyes, and it’s wonderful, not to mention much cheaper, to visit the optician the same amount as a normal person!)
Saw the coolest corgi ever in the window of River Island…
I have also been web designing and finishing the last bits for the Polka Dot Swap (yes, I know, last minute dot com!) and will be posting the swap parcel Tuesday when I’m back in the office. Working tomorrow, but from here to avoid some Olympic madness in Stratford. Pics once it’s been received – don’t want to spoil the surprise! The new website (actually there are two) are also surprises, although watch this space!
And that was followed by a lovely cuppa, natter and chocolate cake at Mimi’s house, with Christina who I haven’t seen since I left the library. Lovely. Had my first cup of Ceylon tea and I love it – much more than normal tea!
Finished my weekend curled up with my laptop, a book, tea and chocolate biscuits, just as Sunday evenings should be.
Emboldened by the success of the first swap, and polka dots being among my favourite things EVER, I was quick to sign up for the next Popular Crafts swap. I had completely misjudged how manic July was going to be for me though (best friend’s wedding, camping weekend away, parents trying to move house…) that I haven’t finished my side of the swap yet! We have till the end of July but I was hoping to post this weekend… bad squishy!
However, I received my parcel from the delightful Jenny at The String Empire last week and it made me smile so much – arrived on exactly the day it was most needed!
Gorgeous, no? The card is painted and will be going on my wall, I adore teacups… the duck portrait is already adorning a shelf in my living room, the fish is no longer, he was yummy, and the purse is so very me, I adore it 😀 Thank you so much Jenny – I hope you like yours as much when it arrives!
I signed up, at the very last minute, to the Popular Crafts Union Jack swap a couple of months ago, and very naughtily, haven’t blogged yet! I was paired with the lovely Virginia of Virginia Creeper, and I must admit that when I first got her details through I just spent quite a lot of time gawping at the beautiful things she makes… 😀
It was my first swap, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but had a fab time making a needle case and cross stitching a Union Jack heart (in pink and baby blue!) for the card to go with my parcel, plus choosing treats. Was very excited when my parcels turned up – here are all my bits, aren’t I lucky?
The sock cat is now proudly sitting on my bed awaiting a name, the scooter cushion on my desk, the corsage on my favourite black velvet jacket and the ribbons and sequin shapes added to my ‘for me’ craft stash 😀 Thank you Virginia!!
Rediscovering my pointe shoes…
Makeup trial for the wedding (done by me) – this is look one, neutral eyes with sheer-ish red lips. Shocking phone photo and my glasses obscure my eyelids, I know. More of these to come before the actual wedding. Skin’s looking clearer though – Nars illuminator is magical stuff!
Challenging myself to sew something for the Popular Crafts Union Jack swap… here’s my finished needle book 🙂 Will be posted with a treat and a cross stitched card!
Munching the cake I bought for a friend’s BBQ that was abandoned due to rain. I suspect the diet will be back on when I’m back at work, I’m maintaining weight but there’s so much yummy food involved in this week… lol! These cakes, stocked in our local Wyevale (Colchester Stanway and Braintree) are my favourite fallbacks if I don’t have time to bake, they taste homemade!
Sorting bookshelves and installing a ballet barre *cough perfect height clothes rail cough* in my living room – if I’m going to be ready for this burlesque cabaret in October, I need to strengthen my long-neglected dance muscles and improve my flexibility. Removing my glove with my foot is, as expected, somewhat trickier than it looks on stage! My intention is to try to do 10-15 mins of stretches and barre work each day even if I manage no other exercise. Combined with burlesque each week and hopefully cycling when my bike eventually arrives, plus skating which I do whenever I can but usually once a week, I should be trimmer, fitter and more flexible in no time. Yeah. I live in hope. But I’ll at least enjoy myself in the process!
Also managed to paint my toenails (my feet are not fit for photographing so here are the colours I used) and ogling the Pashley Poppy on the front of this month’s Homes and Antiques. Cannot WAIT for mine (it’s the blue, rather than the pink, version) to arrive – hopefully in a little over a month. Squee!
Footnote: I’m aware that wearing pointe shoes while not a trained dancer can damage your feet; I’m also aware mine should have ribbons attached for support. They’re mostly decorative and I intend to wear them for a photoshoot. I doubt I will ever again dance that level of ballet!