Swap of the Century!
The fact of the matter is that she just seriously rocks at giving.
She and I have become very good friends in the last year. Bless her heart, she puts up with my novel-length emails on a daily basis. I feel as if I've known her forever. It is these types of connections for which the benefits of blogging are near and dear to my heart...and how being part of this community is best defined.
Jen and I decided to do a swap between just the two of us. A 'Just Because' swap.
No parameters were established. No minimum or maximum dollar amount. No questionnaires, no lists, no hints. Just send what you think the other will love, and include something handmade.
Well, ever the late one, mine is still in progress. Hopefully I will get hers out next week. I received mine however, and I think I fell into a mild state of shock. In fact, it's the end-all be-all of swaps. I doubt I will ever swap again. Seriously. Nothing will be able to compare.
I will do my best not to elaborate the details with cuss words and exclamation points.
First this big box arrived at my post office box. Not being able to wait, I opened it immediately.
Oooh, licorice right on top.
This is looking gooood.
(I apologize for crappy photos. I am probably the only person on the planet still without a digital camera).
My anticipation was killing me...had to devour licorice...so let's just move on, shall we?
The wrapping is exquisite, creative, beautiful. Jen could make a living as a professional gift wrapper. There are such things, you know.
Check it out: wrapped in Asian newsprint and embellished with chopsticks, thick paper (I thought it was a paper bag at first) wrapped with ribbon that was laced through an I-Ching coin, two packages wrapped with fabric (one had a cute fan on a string, and the other a really cool stamped faux metal...I can reuse all these things in collages), and some beautiful paper tied with a leather string and a shank button. Love it!
Okay, now the fun part--what's in 'em?
Celebrating my love of decorative thread, a set of six Sulky rayons (drool). How cool is that?!
The pretty red chopsticks that topped the newsprint package,
a headband that Jen covered with necktie fabric! Hello...the amazingness!!!
An adorable little Valentine sucker from Chuy (her chihuahua who looks a lot like the label here), and some lip-shaped magnetic memo clips that I have had on my 'gimme' list that Jen must have psychically read.
But that's not all!
Eek, vintage mail order apron pattern (that I do not own yet nor have I seen before despite my huge collection) with PINEAPPLE-shaped pockets and a matching potholder. Lurve (as Finny would say). Roses too, but please...the pineapple so totally rocks. I want to find some yellowish plaid a la Jeffrey's dress
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the gift reveal.
Japanese frickin' bodkins (my favorite sewing notion). Just too perfect for words.
This girl did her homework, I tell you.
To die for orange and gold paper for my collages. Gorgeous.
Then...more more more
Vintage candy cookbook, really cool book of collage ideas (including paper), and an awesome 1981 cookbook from the LA Times (back in the day when their Home section rocked). My mom grabbed the cookbook and hasn't stopped looking at it yet!
And still the gifts continue ya'll!
(oops, sorry for the blurry)
Knowing I love Mexican hot chocolate, Jen treated me to a gourmet variety.
Then she used her psychic powers again to determine that I do indeed need additions to my collection of Hornsea mermaid mugs. Lurve again...
How did she know????
And here's a better view of the necktie headband.
But wait, we still have one more gift to open. The piece de resistance...the handmade item.
Whoa. How adorable, uber cute, totally personalized, thoughtful, utterly perfect....
A tote made from neckties!!!!
(this post was getting so long, I did a mosaic of pics here, but you can see more detail on my flickr page, and Jen is sure to post better pics with a better camera too)
Detail: note the turtle tie tac!
It's cool how the background fabric is like a suiting material, and the corners are reinforced with tie fabrics also.
So, thank you a million times Jen! I hope my gift to you is equally pleasing.