Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Most Amazing Swap Package Ever.

Hey everyone!

Today is a rather momentous day. Today I received my long awaited swap package all the way from Norway!!! Let me tell you, it was so worth the wait. Actually.... I will show you.

At first I was a bit worried when I picked up the package because it was a large plain brown box that had been dented on one side. When I opened it, though, there was ANOTHER BOX inside! (Apparently it had come open a bit and then was repackaged according to the note inside from the post office. I was worried that something had been lost, but I don't think anything was.) I really like all the international mail type stamps and official stickers that are on it. Plus it is so gorgeously orange!

When I opened the box within a box, I saw that each item had been wrapped up in beautiful (and matching) Japanese paper. I was completely blown away by how gorgeous they all were, as well as how many lovely little bundles were inside the box.

 Finally my years old habit of unwrapping packages extremely slowly had allowed me to arrive at this moment when my skills were most needed. How could I just rip open such beautiful paper? It was just impossible. I delicately opened each one (and saved the paper of course).

As if the fantastic wrapping of each gift wasn't enough, there was a tiny paper crane that went with each package that was actually a little note about what was inside! I love puzzles and secrets and cute small things, and so it was especially fun to unwrap each crane as I opened each package and read what my spoiler had written, although I was sad to unfold such expertly folded little cranes. 

The first thing that I opened was the letter on top, which was actually two pretty bookmarks with notes on the back. The theme of this swap was our favorite books, and I had such a hard time picking. In fact, so did my spoiler! I was really happy to find out that instead of a package themed around one book, it was a bit of this and that based a number of my favorite books, as well as my favorite things in life.

Next was a super cute package with things from Japan. The little monkey card is an "omikuji" or random fortune. They range from 'great blessing' to 'great curse', and this one was a 'blessing'! Thanks Fidessa~ (*^▽^*) ~ ! I will ask my Japanese sensei tomorrow about the rest of the fortune, because there is actually a lot of writing inside on a little folded up piece of paper. The pink swirly things are erasers shaped like fish cakes! <3 かわいいい〜 Even the little envelope these came in is too cute for words. Now... keep in mind that I was already swooning over how fantastic this package was. And then look at what I opened next.

"Bless the Maker and all His Water. Bless the coming and going of Him, May His passing cleanse the world. May He keep the world for his people."


 If you haven't read Dune by Frank Herbert, and you like science fiction, stories of empire, or just plain amazing storytelling, I recommend it highly, as it is one of my favorite books of all time as well as a classic of Scifi. This "little baby sand worm can not only hold my spice, but also my crochet hooks or pens or whatever else"! It has a drawstring ribbon which I have tucked out of view for these epic action shots of the worm emerging from the dunes of Arrakis. My nerd street cred just skyrocketed. You can bet I will be using this as my new crochet hook and sundries holder because it is so creative, beautiful, and frankly AWESOME. I am so so so so happy with this little maker. I just have to be careful not to get it wet... hehe.

Next was another pretty bookmark! Love the pattern, it is so lacy and fancy. Definitely to be used when reading Jane Austen novels.

If you can't read the little note, it says "Chocolate- What else is there to say?". Indeed.

I lurrrve this bookmark. A lot. It makes my heart thrill every time I look at it because it is just so me. This is something I would look at in a book store, and want so very badly, but not buy for myself because I don't specifically *neeed* it.  I definitely feel spoiled.

Pens are one of my very favorite things in the world, and this one is super cool. It is a brush pen used for writing Japanese and Chinese letters in calligraphy style. This should make studying for my Kanji writing test next Wednesday a lot more fun!

This set of charms is a nod to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, another one of my favorite stories of all time. I didn't actually put it in my list of favorite books on the swap survey, though, and afterward when I realized I hadn't I was quite annoyed with myself. Fortunately, my spoiler went above and beyond and saw from some other posts on my blog that I liked Alice. These charms are perfect! They are: a clock, a rabbit, a key, a (mock) turtle, a heart, a bow, and a red and white rose. Scrumptiously amazingly perfect.

 I didn't even know that something this fantastic existed. Can't wait to taste this ambrosia in my next reading and relaxing sesh.

"A tiny blue pen for small things" :D

 This is a children's book by Salman Rushdie called Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which I have never read. It looks really interesting though, especially because I love all sorts of mythology and it seems to be a pseudo mythological fantasy adventure tale. (Another secret about me: I have never outgrown children's books, and I hope I never will.) Also, that purple hat is just so marvelous.

I saved the larger packages until last because I had a feeling they would contain the handmade and yarn.

When I opened this package, I was literally speechless. It is so beautiful, and perfect, and well made, and the colors are so good, and the manga illustration just makes it so ace.This is a mixed media yarn/fabric kindle cover. I couldn't get it on my kindle fast enough, and it is never coming off. To make this even better, there was already a moleskine inside of it as well! My penchant for pens comes along with a penchant for journals, and so I am extremely pleased to have another blank canvas for my sketches.

 Lastly, there was this sumptuous blue wool! It is an exquisite color of tealy cerulean blue, which is my favorite shade of my favorite color. My mind is already spinning with all the fabulous projects I can do with this fabulous yarn. Muahahahaha...

 So there it is! I am having trouble expressing in words the joy that I felt when I opened everything in this package. It was all so thoughtful and perfect that I was completely overwhelmed, and I love every single piece of it. It was so generous and gorgeous and I am just so infatuated with all my pretty new things!!!! It feels like surprise Christmas and I couldn't be happier. Thank you so much, spoiler!

I hope that everyone else's day is as awesome as mine...
but that might not be possible. Sorry guys. 


My Swap Creations :: Geek Book Swap

Hallo everyone!

So I mentioned a while ago that I was participating in a swap. Basically, a craft swap is mostly what it sounds like. People who have similar interests will get into a group and do a themed gift package exchange. For example, this swap was a book swap. Each person answered a survey about their favorite books, and what they like and why, etc., and then received an answered survey from someone else assigned by the person in charge. They then make some things and buy some things that go along with the theme as well as their assigned person's preferences, and when it is all done stick it in the mail and send it off. Note that people do not necessarily get a present from the person they make their present for. It is also like secret Santa insofar as people don't know who is making their package until after they get it and it is revealed. Finally, some terminology: a spoiler is the person who makes and gives a package, and the spoilee is the recipient of that package.

The group I did this swap for was the Geek Swap group on ravelry. The prompt was:

Packages must cost around $20 (not including handmades or shipping costs) and include at least:
  • 1 skein of nice yarn
  • (at least) 1 handmade item – please make sure this is either themed around the swap in general or your partner’s favourite piece of prose/poetry in general!
  • The rest is up to you, but please find out what your swap partner likes (eg – are they a quantity or quality type of person etc.) Find out more about their favourite book(s) and include something of them in your package. Make sure you stalk your spoilie well and get to know their tastes!

Here is the package I made for my spoilee! She likes urban fantasy novels, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and kawaii noir. Her favorite character from the Discworld series was Death, and so I chose that as my general theme.

I used this grab bag pattern to sew a reversible project bag. In the world of Death, everything is black and white, and so is the bag. It has stripes on the outside, and polka dots on the inside. 

I also made this little reaper amigurumi key chain, and might post a pattern for it if I can find my notes...

This cool damask metal heart box actually matches the stationary I used to write my spoilee a letter from death, IN ALL CAPS, OF COURSE . Inside of the box I put a USB flash drive full of lots and lots of ebooks. The yarn was a cotton blend in one of my spoilee's favorite colors, hot pink.

Finally, the piece de resistance was the "flesh and bone" shawl made off of the free Juliana Wrap pattern. I had never made a shawl before, so I was really proud of how this turned out! The yarn is Caron spa, which is a silk blend. It was really soft, and so easy to work with.

Yay! I think it went pretty well for my first swap ever, and my spoilee said that she liked all the stuff a lot, so I was really happy. (There may or may not have been some dorky dancing when she got it and liked it all.)

Hope everyone is doing well,