Stitching Santa 2017

This post is way overdue but I want to share some pretty amazing stuff that happened with me during the holidays. I can’t believe it has been almost two months since I last posted anything! I’ll get to the bottom of why is that later but for now I would like to concentrate on my Stitching Santa experiences!

Stitching Santa is a gift swap between bloggers who are like-minded and crazy about either sewing or crocheting and is organized by the wonderful Sheila who is blogging under the name sewchet. (Check her blog out, you won’t regret it!) I signed up in 2016 for the first time and I couldn’t wait for my second run last year.

First I received the name of Tialys by email and I was supposed to send her a parcel that she would hopefully like. I collected some information about her on her blog and her Etsy Shop then I came up with a few ideas. Here are the things I created and selected for her in one picture:

She already posted a very lovely post about this parcel, so if you are interested in the details, head over to her blog and check it out there!

I would like to add that I felt a connection with her right after I read her “About page” and it wasn’t really difficult to come up with gift ideas after that. I don’t know how Sheila does this but last year I had a very similar experience and it is truly amazing!

Now, I would like to tell you about the parcel I was lucky to receive. It came already 5-6 days before Christmas and it was very difficult to keep my hands off of it and not open it! But then I did wait and opened it only when all the other presents were opened and the kids were already in bed. It was late in the evening and the box contained two letters: the first one with instructions to enjoy the hot chocolate whilst opening the other presents. Well, it was easy to follow and I did enjoy it!

The parcel came from Pippa (who blogs over here!) and contained great collection of “rainbow fabrics” which came from Pippa’s Grandmother’s stash. You already know how much I love and appreciate my family and this present showed me that Pippa does too! She didn’t want to go these beautiful fabrics to go to waste just because she couldn’t use them, so she rather gave them to me. I promise to find a great project for them in honor of her Grandma.

Pippa also made a cute pin cushion and a matching snips pouch from leather. I appreciate this piece of present a lot because my snips were totally ruined and I needed a good one desperately! And this pouch is working very well with it!

Some tea was included which I also like and the best fudge that I ever had! It was apparently made by Pippa herself! It was sooo good! I need your recipe!

The buttons also came from her Grandmother’s stash and meant to be used in my Alzheimer blankets. They sure will receive a place on one! (I’ll tell you about these blanket projects in a separate post!)

The yellow-white project bag is also made by Pippa and is just perfect!

The green stone cecklace is made from a sea glass that was collected from the beach in Barbados when Pippa worked there. She wasn’t sure if I like to where such jewellery but I want to assure her that I do! I also love green and it fits perfectly into my jewellery collection!

Finally there was a hand-knitted hat that is already in use!

I feel like I have to be honest here. I was pretty tired when I got to open my parcel and when I am exhausted I tend to be very emocional and cry a lot. Maybe because of that, maybe because of Pippa’s very lovely and friendly letter but I was crying when I was done opening everything. I love every piece of this parcel and it made me so happy that someone who doesn’t even really know me made such effort and put so much thought into it! It amazes me and I thank you, Pippa, and you, Sheila, who made this happy experience in my life possible!
I can’t wait to sign up for Stitching Santa 2018!

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End of Summer

I had a very busy August. I know it’s already October but I am a little behind with my posts, so please excuse this little delay! You’ll soon understand why is that and hopefully it’ll be worth the waiting!
So let’s get back to my end of summer projects! One of them was to create goodbye presents to my son’s kindergarten teachers since he was going to leave and start his new adventures in school. I wasn’t going to just buy a gift card or something meaningless because first of all it’s not who we are. My sister, my in-laws work with kids, even my mom did before retirement, so I have a little understanding what it actually means. Second of all, our son was very lucky and had really amazing teaches in his group (even if he didn’t always understood that) and they truly deserved a personalized present. I don’t mean to order something off the internet and add their name to it which would be also thoughtful but still not what I had in mind.

First I came up with the idea of making similar key holders. After that I asked my son to make something out of (air dry) clay and he choose to create hearts. He even painted them! Aren’t they just lovely?

Then I got a package of Merci chocolate for each teacher and one of my friend recommended a print out template in German which we were able to cut and glue to each chocolate bar. They said like: “thanks for tying my shoes” or “thanks for all the hugs” or “thanks for encouraging me” etc.  It took a long time to glue each chocolate bar but my husband helped a lot! Then we hid a picture of our son under the chocolate.

What I also made is zipper pouches for all the teachers and two cases for glasses for the two teachers who wears them.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of them but the other colleges, the cleaning lady and the directors received heart shaped ginger breads. It’s a traditional Hungarian recipe and I just love to make them because they are so delicious!
I think people will think I went way overboard and I am crazy. Maybe they are right. I might not be able to do the same for our little one or later in school but this is what I think is right and I do believe that we should care a little more for those who nurture our kids because they do a tremendous job!

Stitching Santa 2016

Over a year ago I discovered Sheila’s fantastic blog called Sewchet. I’ve been following her creative activity ever since. She came up with this great idea: a Secret Santa gift swap for creative bloggers. Unfortunately in the first year it was too late for me to sign up but in 2016 I was really careful not to miss out! And I am so glad that I did sign up!
I couldn’t wait to find out to whom I will be making presents and as soon as I received Sheila’s email with Anne’s name, I checked out her blog right away and I started to think about present ideas. A couple of days later I was already at my sewing desk making the presents.
Anne lives in Australia. She is fascinated by nature and creates very unique and wonderful paintings and drawings. She is crazy about feathers which I could understand after seeing her art work.
stitching-santaMy main present was this fabric basket for her. I came up with this idea because I had to ship her parcel from Germany to Australia, so I didn’t want it to weigh too much. Other then that I thought feathers are very delicate and to store them Anne could use this soft basket.

stitching-santa-001I stenciled a white mag for her with a pretty feather motif. I am most certainly not as good as Anne at drawing but hopefully she will appreciate my efforts! I took several trips to local fabric stores hoping to find something with feathers on them but instead I found these beautiful yellow-gray fabrics. The yellow one has kind of a feather motif and the grey one with the daisies are just lovely. I hope Anne thinks so too and she will be able to use them for a sewing project! I also made four coasters with festive pattern, and a key holder from felt. I was going for a feather look again but it might look a little more like leaves. They are also part of our beautiful nature, so I think Anne will like that too!

wp_20161206_21_48_58_proThe crochet angel was made by a friend of mine, I purchased it from her because Anne also knows how to crochet and I thought she’d appreciate something crochet-related. Unfortunately I don’t know how to crochet but who knows, I might give it a try some day! On the other hand the luggage tag was made by me. I read on her blog that Anne likes camping. In case she decide to maybe fly somewhere, this luggage tag could be handy! The hot choco spoon is a local delicacy and I love it, too! We live at the border between Germany and the Netherlands and this great idea comes from the dutch. It is a wooden spoon with chocolate at the end of it and you have to stir it into a big mug of hot milk! “Apfelstrudel” is actually a German cake made with apple and this spoon in particular tastes like this cake. So this one hot beverage represents a little bit where I send the presents from.

wp_20161206_22_10_35_proI packed them all up nicely in a small shoe box and shipped it very early to Anne because she is so far away and I didn’t want her to miss her parcel at Christmas. Hopefully it arrived in time and she enjoys the presents!

Now onto my parcel that I received from Ali. She is an always smiling woman from England who plays Golf in her free time and of course sews and does crocheting! Check out her blog here, you won’t be sorry!
When I signed up for this Secret Santa swap I asked Sheila to give my Stitching Santa my parents’ address in Hungary because we were going to spend the Holidays with them. So my parcel arrived there in time, a couple of days before Christmas, only we didn’t. My Husband had an emergency operation (on his elbow and he is all right now) before Christmas and our trip got cancelled. But our lovely friends who made it to Hungary for the Holidays were very kind and they brought all of our Christmas presents back to Germany for us on Friday (6th of January). Finally I was able to open my parcel! I waited so long! And I also kept myself away from Ali’s blog because she already posted about her lovely presents! That was the most difficult part but I made it!
Now let me show you all the great things I’ve received!
dsc_4499Ali wrote a message onto the bag for “Rita’s Mom” and instructed her to open it and put my presents under the tree. Only my Mom doesn’t understand a word in English! 😀 But my Husband put the parcel under the tree, I found it heartwarming anyway. And the boys were curious, as well!

dsc_4505A very nice card was attached to it with some help to crack the “wrapping paper code”. Which one was self made and which ones were bought. The whole family stood around me as I opened them one by one and I was so excited, as only a child can be!

dsc_4513I received a couple of sewing patterns: two for me and one for the boys. I will most definitely try all tree of them! I love the designs of the dresses and the boys just always need more pants! Plus the sewing pattern for the boys is in German which will be a good practice after my latest German lessons!
There was a little piece of fabric with animal prints, which is adorable! I don’t know yet for what but will use it for sure! Our little one is learning the names of the animals, so anything I make from it will be for him.
The reusable swatch kit was something that I’ve never seen in my life. It took me a minute or two to figure out what is it but then I thought what a practical thing that is!
The Sewing Magazine is also very thoughtful! I need a bit more time to read it through but my Husband and I spotted the same page at the first sight, so there is a future project hidden in there, too!
Eight pieces of flowery fabric, two embroidery threads, a heart shaped Christmas ornament which already hangs on the tree by the way and this is not all! Ali was very generous: She bought me a magnetic wrist band to catch the needles while sewing. It is a very cool gadget!
There was also a spool of a great tape saying “Make amazing things”. I love to use ribbons and tape, so probably this one will be put to use very soon.
Ali included a Yorkshire tea for me which was really good tasting! It’s already gone!
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She also made three things for me: a zipper pouch from a Liberty cotton fabric. As you probably know by now, I love the blue and white fabrics and this one even has bicycles and cars on it! One can never have enough zipper pouches; this one will find its place in my purse! As I opened this particular present, I noticed right away that Ali used her new overlock machine. Well done!
She hand stitched me a small needle keeper with embroidery scissors attached to it. I think it will be put to use when we travel between Hungary and Germany: those long hours in the car can get pretty boring when I could be also sewing!
I have a big collection of scarves. I like to color-match them to my outfit. If you remember my post about the dish towels, you might notice that I have a thing for color-harmony. Any I did not like the lila/violet scarf I had previously but Ali made a wonderful crochet scarf for me instead! It is a bit short but I don’t mind it. Look how beautiful it is:

dsc_4518The Tunisian crochet hook is the only one present I don’t know how to use because I have no clue how to crochet. Yet. The thought of it has already crossed my mind and I might give it a try this year!
When I was done opening all the presents, me, my sewing desk and even the heads of my kids were all covered in glitter thanks to the wrapping paper…

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I don’t know if we will ever get rid of that but I don’t care much. It keeps me reminding of Ali and the great love I received through her presents! Thank you so much!