Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Swap Partners Are Terrific!

To quote a certain country song, I've "Been a Long Time Gone." I don't quite know how that's happened, but I'll make a resolution to work on it next year. I hope everyone has been enjoying a happy holiday season!

In the meantime, look what arrived on the Thursday before Christmas! My SP 11 reveal package. Shawnee was so very creative, the gifts she gave me started with the letters of her name!

A rundown:
S is for the Santa Swankie hankies, the snowman ornament (it says I love my cat), and a mini scrapbooking kit.
H is for holiday bath beads (beautiful lavender scented blue beads).
A is for a new calendar - Knitting Pattern a Day!
W is for a beautifully crocheted warm scarf. It is a wonderful variegated blue that will go with everything.
N is for "N" sticky notes and new needles to go with the yarn she sent me (A generous hank of rayon/cotton blend from Newton Country Yarns. It's base is steel grey, surrounded by black and multi-colored rayon threads).
E is for Nicky Epstein's Knitting Never Felt Better. How I have been wanting that book! It is such a great resource.
E is for espresso beans from Starbucks(yum!) I also received a crocheted cupcake, a snack which is a much better for my waistline!

Shawnee was amazing; poor thing, her husband was in the hospital (thankfully, he's recovering), yet she managed to send out this wonderful package! Shawnee, thank you so much, I appreciate all the thought and care that went into this reveal! (And I'm sorry I didn't blog about this sooner, during the breaks in holiday madness, I had to do some post-surgery hand holding for my cousin).
I received the nicest snail mail thank you from my downstream SP 11 swap partner, Brooke, with an invitation to meet up at Stitches West. Those flip flops are so up my alley (My tree is covered with Hawaiiana: rubber slippers, geckos, cows that hula, and tropical Santas!) Thank you Brooke!

Finally, I received a Christmas greeting from Elvis via my coffee swap partner Susan. I hope you had a Merry Christmas as well! I thought of you when Stitch went up on the tree.

I must go, I have to go give my mother a guilt trip about my birthday...heh, heh, heh.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Quiz

The following quiz was on my SP 11's blog. I thought I would post my answers here, as she should be opening the reveal package soon! (Kind of a "Welcome to my blog")

Welcome to the 'Christmas Edition' of getting to know your friends. If you post to your blog, leave a comment here so I can go and read all about you!!
Don't forget to change all the answers so they apply to you.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Either - it depends on the size of the gift.
2. Real or Artificial tree ? Artificial. With cats, it's easier on my nerves.
3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever I have free time. It's 3/4 of the way up (I string on lights as I put it together), but it's been (stuck) that way since the day after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? Before January 1 (it's a Japanese thing).
5. Do you like eggnog? I like Silk Soynog. Sounds gross, but it's not as rich as other commercial eggnog (and it won't clog your arteries, either!).
6. Favorite gift you received as a child? Usually books, although there was the year (1972) I received Barbie's Friend Ship United Airplane. I was a pretty popular girl on the block, because of that plane. Well until my best friend/enemy got Barbie's Dream House...then I was toast!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? No.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My sister.

9. Easiest person to buy for? After myself? My mother.
10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? It's a toss-up. All time worst gift was an umbrella, then a few years later, the same guy (naturally) tried to say that the toaster oven we needed was my Christmas present.

11. Christmas Cards...Snail mail or E-mail? Snail mail.
12. Favorite Christmas movie?
A Christmas Story. It may have taken place in Indiana, but when I watched it with my dad, I could tell that so much of it rang true to his South Dakota childhood. Especially the "stick your tongue on the flagpole" dare. Dear old dad laughed a little too hard during that scene. I suspect he had more memories than he cared to share.
My sentimental favorites: It's a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated).
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I start after Thanksgiving and keep shopping up until the 24th!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not yet, knock wood.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Holiday cookies.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Gold mini-lights.

17. Favorite Christmas Song? Contemporary - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas & Baby It's Cold Outside. Traditional - What Child Is This/Greensleeves.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Most of them.
20. Do you have an angel or a star on top of your tree? A star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We always opened one on Christmas Eve and saved the rest until Christmas day.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? That Christmas merchandise was in stores BEFORE Halloween. And Hello? What happened to Thanksgiving? Retail just treats it like a really big meal to fuel up for Christmas shopping!
23. Shopping...mall or online? Both, although I prefer to give more business to independent (small) retailers.
24. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?) Mostly inside.
25. Favorite Christmas cookie? Nyakers Pepparkakor, Swedish gingersnaps.

26. Do you own Christmas-ey clothing or jewelry? I have some vintage snowflake and poinsettia pins. Although I'm not big on Christmas sweaters, I do own a cardigan with skating Santas.
27. Do you believe in Santa? I think there's a little Santa in all of us (and most of us don't save it just for Christmas!)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Wake Up to Smell the Coffee

As I stated yesterday, I received the best package from my coffeeswap partner Susan! Can I show off the swag?
A pound of Sumatra Mandheling coffee from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I was so excited to see that the beans came from there, since I haven't had their coffee in years! I used to hang out in one of their shops when I went to college. The beans are going to christen the new coffee grinder my mom gave me for taking care of her beast until Christmas. Susan baked me some awesome oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies; unfortunately, they were camera shy and refused to be photographed (If you believe that, do I have a watch to sell you!) I also received a coffee take-out ornament, featuring my two favorite coffee drinks. It will look great on the tree with my Starbucks ornament.

Susan also knit for me! Not only did she knit a cabled coffee sleeve; she knit me a pair of pocket slippers using some hand spun/hand dyed yarn in beautiful fall colors. Can you see the heart-shaped buttons? I'll be honest: I've never seen pocket slippers before, but I put them on my feet and they look like Mary Jane's. Very sweet. I think all the women in my family deserve a pair. I'd better go snoop around on Ravelry for a pattern!

But wait! There's more! (Okay, I think I've been watching too much late night t.v. Sorry 'bout that) Beautiful, soft, sock yarn from Knitted Wit. I swear, I think this skein of yarn has every one of my favorite colors in it! Greens, blues, purple, magenta, & even a little light cocoa color when the colors blend together. Did I mention that it was hand painted, too? Wow, wow, wow.To round out the package, Susan also sent me some point protectors, a soy candle that smells like lime sherbet, and two tins of The Girls mints (Cafe Girl & Knitting Girl - yum!).

Susan, I cannot thank you enough! I really appreciate the effort you put into this package. Thank you for making this swap a terrific experience!