Gift #1057: Christmas Swaps

I’ve been trying to get back into the routine of things.  You know, the stuff like remembering you have a job, how to drive the car you’ve not been in for nearly 14 days, where my work badge is… that sort of thing.  Tuesday morning saw me back on the road to work dark and early – a place I’d not been for 3 weeks.  I got nearly to work (which is a 40 min commute) and realized I left my computer at home, so I got to go back home, pick up the wayward computer, and go back to work again.  Nearly 2 hours later I was ensconced at my desk trying desperately to remember what I was doing way back in 2016.  It was a pretty busy week for not having a lot to do and I’ve spent most of the day today taking it easy and crafting.  But the bright highlight in the week was I got to open the highly anticipated Tiny Owl Christmas swap package!

This is a swap with one of my online knitting groups and I’ve participated for a couple of years and really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately this year, I missed the sign-ups, which happened super early in October) and was devastated when I realized the swap was already closed.  I was so very disappointed and mentioned how sad I was on the forum.  One of the moderators let me know that another of our members also missed and asked if we’d like to “meet” and swap with each other.  We gratefully did and enjoyed getting to know each other.  She lives in England and I was thrilled to have a swap buddy across the pond for the first time.  Our Owlie rules are that we have to include something owl-themed in the package (because that’s our mascot), an ornament, and something hand-knit or hand-made.  We opened our packages from each other this week and here’s what my wonderful new friend sent me.

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First up: a wonderful house ornament with lots of fabric applique.  I think she may have made this; it features a homey scene of fireplace, tree, and garlands.  She knit this sweet little stocking and filled it with lip gloss.  Adorable!

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She sent me a CD of Christmas favorites – I love this and think it was such a clever, personal touch.  Also – British flag tissues!!  How awesome are those!  This little felted envelope from the North Pole was filled with wooden owl buttons which will be great to use on a knitted project.

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Her package delivered a breath of spring as well.  she queued right in on my love for birds and gifted me a set of watercolor bird cards and a happy pen of bright florals and tiny birds printed all over it.  And there’s a set of floral clips for keeping my paper scraps collected in high fashion.

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I was already feeling incredibly spoiled, but there were still more packages in the box!  Including this fabulous trinket box with an owl tile on the top.  This is going in my room on a bookshelf.  And there’s a pair of antler ornaments that will look great on the tree.

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Snuggled at the bottom of the box was this amazing set of mini-skeins.  I’m still awestruck with these.  The colors are beautiful earthy hues that remind me of late summers of faded leaves and flowers and golden brown grasses and seedpods – one of my favorite times.  Plus, the yarn is from British wool and spun and hand-dyed in Yorkshire.  I love England (it’s my number 1 place I want to visit) and it’s incredibly special to have such a meaningful gift direct from England’s own sheep and artisans.  The yarn has told me that it wants to be a cowl, so I’m looking for the perfect pattern and every time I wear it I will think of my new friend in England.

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I’m so grateful for her kindness and generosity.  Her package was well worth waiting for and was a bright spot in the week.  I love participating in these swaps because of the love and care that is shared between total strangers who become friends.  It’s a special experience and this was one of the best.  I’m so glad that we were able to swap together and fill each other’s Christmas with a bit more love.

Blessings to you,

Sarah

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