Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Big Reveal!

I promised I would show you all of the goodies from my swap with Rebekah and Dee.
First, though, I need to say a word about friends I've never met IN PERSON! I started my blog in the Fall of 2007, as a way to document my crafting and allow me to keep in touch with my kids, my sister and friends here and there. I never expected anyone outside of the group of people who know me personally to even look at my blog. In my blog hopping, I started to follow some bloggers who were interested in the same things I liked. I was inspired by them and enjoyed reading about what they created and learning about their lives. I decided to join in on some swaps. Most of them were great fun. One of the first people I came in contact with was Deb Damboise. Deb has a wonderful Etsy store called Say it With Letters. I ordered some things from her shop (and loved them!) and she invited me to participate in her first Christmas ornament swap. It was through this swap that I got to know Laurie Star who also now has an Etsy store called Trinkets. Both of these women were wonderfully supportive and friendly. I've never met either one of them IN PERSON but they are my friends. From that first experience, I joined more swaps and met other people. I can't name every single one but the ones I am in frequent contact with are Marie ( a fellow grandmother and swap partner), Linda (who has great! seasonal swaps), Viv (who designs for one of my very favorite companies and is a truly generous person, MaryLou (who is a funny lady and also has an Etsy store called House of Whimsy2), Kana (a Spring swap partner who I will be living through vicariously in November when she attends Silver Bella), and the amazing Elizabeth of Creative Breathing fame. I wrote about Elizabeth here. Take time to visit these blogs and say Hi. You, too, will be inspired by these friends I have never met IN PERSON but hold close in my heart.
OK-I know, I'm going on and on but there's a reason for this.
In addition to visiting and reading blogs, there are also people who have pictures posted on Flickr. Flickr is where I first became aware of Lulu At Home (Dee) and Full of Bliss (Rebekah). Two wonderously creative women, they both are amazing photographers and crafters, they collect beautiful things and share what they make and collect through their Flickr sites. Early in the Spring, Dee contacted me to ask some questions about what it was like to be involved in a swap. We exchanged emails to discuss the ins and outs and then I suggested that she and I do a swap and also ask Rebekah to join us. Neither one of them had ever done this before so to keep it fairly simple, I sugggested we swap a handmade item, a vintage item and something sweet. We gave ourselves almost 2 months to collect and create and last week we exchanged our treats. I had to give you this background information because when I received and opened their packages I was so overwhelmed I was completely speechless! So with nothing further...I present my swap gifts. (Please note that if you go to Dee and Bekah's Flickr pictures, you can see additional [and superior] photographs of the things they sent.
From Rebekah came this lovely wrapped package, filled with these delights...a darling vintage paper doll and clothes, tea towel, packages of vintage papers and notions that I haven't yet been able to open because I'm still gazing at how cutely they're packaged! Oh yes and a sweet little pin.
and then the handmade item which is a completely lovable and sweet felted wool rabbit named "Bunnie" after my beloved step-mom. So stylish with her parasol and lovely jewelry, not to mention her cute little dress and shrug. You can see that even the box she came in was extraordinary!

Overwhelming, right?

Now on to the package of goodness from Dee....Beautiful pink tissue wrapped gifts with hints on the handmade tags.....

Inside was a large quantity of paper goods......ledgers, notebooks, greeting cards, letters, vintage images, advertisements, buttons, trims, to last me for a long time. (If I can ever bring myself to use them)
I saved this beautiful hatbox to open last. The tulle and tag were so beautiful...The box itself is painted and trimmed in the perfect pink rick rack and the lid is covered in polka dot paper.

When I lifted the lid, this is what I saw....a dainty wire dress form, adorned in a lovely pink tulle skirt with a pink seam binding bow and trimmed in teeny millinery flowers. Gasp!OK now-let's everyone catch their breath! All of my gifts are still on my dining room table so that my IN PERSON friends can come over and oooh and aaah over them. Thank you Rebekah and Dee for making this such an amazing swapping experience. You have completely outdone yourselves and I love everything you sent.

Another sweet blog friend, Mary, of Primitive Seasons, gave me this award. Thank you Mary, I am very flattered and appreciative. I'd like to pass it on to everyone on my blog roll because all of their blogs are lovely, too.

For anyone who might be reading this blog...I have decided that I will host a swap for Christmas but we'll do it early in the Fall so as not to interfere with other activities we will all be involved in. Let me know if you would be interested and I'll bring you more details when it cools off a bit.

In the meantime, I have to get back to creating 20 tags for a Christmas in July swap due next week. I'll let you see them when I finish.

Love to my friends....on the internet and in person!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The month of July....

has been a crazy busy time for the Gleasons! At the beginning of the month, we traveled to Long Island, New York to visit these great kids, our son Michael and his sweet wife, Jackie.....Our daughter Michelle, from New Jersey, came out to join us one day for a winery tour which was fun and informativeWe love spending time with our kids but we don't get a chance to do that often enough. We treasure sitting and discussing important issues or very silly ones and just have a totally good time.We even got to catch a Long Island Ducks baseball game which was loads of funThey play in a beautiful ballpark and the game was exciting. Unfortunately, someone had to make a new friend.....
We came home from that trip and had a week to catch up a bit and then we left last Wednesday for Eric and Jane's in Maryland. They asked if we would come for a few days and help out with Charlie while Eric traveled to Seattle on business. We were thrilled to be able to go and play with our sweet grandson! Before we arrived at their house, we took a little side trip to Leesburg, Virginia so that I could make a visit to one of my favorite shops, The Cottage.

Such lovely things to see in every corner of every room! If only I had an unlimited budget. I was hoping to get another vintage suitcase to add to my stack but I just couldn't find the right piece this time. Aren't all of the pillows gorgeous? When we left The Cottage, we drove to White's Ferry to ride across to Maryland.
Then, on to Charlie's! We stuffed a lot of giggling, hugging & kissing, book reading, running in the yard and going to the park into those few days....and Marie, I even got to go to a HomeGoods store-YAY!It's hard to say who was more exhausted.... That kind of brings you up to date on our family happenings.

I have also been busy in July on a number of projects and the biggest of these was the three-way swap I showed peeks of in my last post. When we arrived home from our trip, these packages were waiting for me....

In my next post I will show you the amazing contents of these 2 boxes. You will be astounded! I certainly was!

Be back soon.....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Swap Sneak Peeks

A little peek for Dee........
and Rebekah....
It's been a busy week!


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