Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Swap gifts, ideas, makeovers...

How lovely it was to receive all your best wishes for our wedding anniversary - thank you so much!!
You blessed us both!
Have you received all your Christmas Swap gifts?
Due to our mail being held at the PO until the school office opens again on January 4th, I have not received my Secret Santa Swap gift yet, but I cannot wait! Just 5 more sleeps until I have another Christmas gift to open and I can discover who my secret santa is. I wonder, is she reading this???? Hmmm...who are you??? ;-)

I can still show you the gifts I made for my own Secret Santa swap partner. She is Karol-Ann and lives in the UK where the snow fell so perfectly at Christmas. Karol-Ann has some lovely snapshots on her blog!
These are what I sent her - a Christmas Tree wallhanging (from one of my A Christmas Package In Stitches designs), a beaded and embroidered Christmas stocking ornament (another of my patterns from the same set) an applique cushion cover, a redwork pincushion, and a Melly & Me pattern ...

Karol-Ann said she loved them, and that's so good to hear! :-)
I did get to open my main Advent Swap gift on Christmas Day, though! My partner was Jeanette, and she made me this beautiful poinsettia table runner! Isn't it gorgeous? I always admire those who do needleturn applique - and Jeanette's a wonderful stitcher. Thank you so much, Jeanette!!
(did you see the tea cosy she made me at the start of the swap?...have a look here!)

The Advent Swap was a straight swap, so I was also Jeanette's partner. I discovered that her favourite colours were red and purple, and by watching her blog I also found that she *loves* bags! So, these are the gifts I made her.
A raw silk embroidered and appliqued bag, the perfect size for storing patterns in...

...a large embroidered shopping bag (do you remember I showed you a sneak peek of how I used the Moda twill tape on this bag?)...

...and a matching Tea Wallet.

Thank you Jo and Fiona for hosting this swap!
How do you store the blocks you are working on?
When we drove across Australia in July to move here I hit upon a wonderful way of keeping my blocks clean, tidy, and flat whilst stitching in the car. I bought pastry sheet storers!

They are lovely are big, and hold quite a lot of blocks! I have one for finished blocks that haven't yet found a permanent home...

...and one for blocks on the go.

I'm going to buy another one to keep all the blocks I have traced but not begun yet...and I may even get more so that I can keep all the blocks from one project in their own 'compartment'. I love organisation!
Mr Elefantz has built me a large shelf for my sewing room, and tomorrow I'll show you how it looks. I cannot believe the difference it makes to the room - now I have all the table space for my cutting boards and planning. It's wonderful!
We're also going to give the ugly old verandah a mini makeover in the morning, so I'll have some before and after photos of that too.
I'm still working hard at making this neglected old house into a home, and now that the Christmas decorations have begun their journey back to the storage tubs I'll be able to do more of the sewing jobs I have on the planning list.

Have you been working on making your own house more of a home?
What changes have you made?

Enjoy the end of 2009,


Fee said...

I love that blue stitchery - It is the same one that is on my gorgeous cushion you made me earlier in the year. It sits in my favourite chair :)) Looking forward to seeing the shelf and verandah. Hugs XXX

By Hoki Quilts said...

Jenny, you're a blooming marvel for someone that hasn't been sewing all that long. Your work is gorgeous and I'd be a swap partner with you anytime - your great.
I'm now up to the sashing on the churn dash quilt and have decided to just set it straight rather than on point. How's yours coming along?

Amanda said...

Lots of lovely things things to look at and gloat over on your blog today Jenny. Now that we've been in our house for nine months and have got to know it pretty well, my plan for 2010 is to get going on making it really ours, personalising it. Well, that's the plan!

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Beautiful work you've shown today!
And congratulations! Sorry I'm late, but we have been having trouble with the net due to the cold. Looking forward to the 7th :)

Cattinka said...

Uhh, I love to see presents. You got a nice swap package and the bags you sent are very nice also.
I bet you can´t wait until Jan 4th to see what else you got. I´m waiting with you!

Deb said...

Gorgeous goodies Jenny as always. I was lucky and had Jeanette as my SSCS partner and was spoilt. I love the cushion cover you made for your SSCS partner, is that one of the BOM by Esther. Looks Lovely. How lovely that you are gradually being able to do things to your home to make it yours now. I think you were really wise to wait awhile and see how the house felt to you and the family hun.
big hugs Deb

Kiwifruit-Shiree said...

hmmm those containers look great Jenny, must see what we have here that will be similar, very handy, thanks!!

loulee said...

You sent and received some fantastic goodies. I enjoyed taking part in the secret Santa this year and will certainly take part again.

Abby and Stephanie said...

A BIG project underway at Loft Creations...basement is being converted to my new sewing space. I see more storage containers in my future as I sort and organize my current mess.

Shakerwood said...

How fun to open one more gift!

Maria said...

Beautiful stitchery and some lovly pressies.
I was lucky enough to have DH put up shelves in my sewing room and it does free up the cutting space.
I have freshened up my spare bedrooms by giving them a fresh coat of paint before my visitors arrived for Xmas.

Rae Ann said...

All of the things you are showing today are so beautiful. WOW...your work is fantastic!

Orcsmom said...

I love the bag! I store my blocks in something similar, an art bin. I purchase them when they are on sale, and that way, it keeps my projects organized. I have 5 with quilts that I have started, but need to put together. Something that is on my priority list for 2010! Have a wonderful New Year, and can't wait to see the before and after pictures!


Micki said...

Your bag is just awesome! Your stitchery as usual is just lovely!

soggybottomflats said...

Hi Jenny
I laughed when I read your blog this afternoon. We took our tree down and the rest of the decorations. Next month is our 30th wedding anniversary. We combined years of Christmas decorations with our own, 30 years ago. This year I have decided I am tired of having stuff we no longer use unpacked and re-packed every year. I have sorted thru it, whittled it down to 2 large plastic boxes, pared out 2 large boxes to my kids and thrifted some and thrown a bunch of junk out. Then I started on the living room. Re arranged furniture, polished, vacuumed, thrown out and narrowed stuff down. Not to worry, I will keep the dh and critters, but am tired of the junk! If I have to feel guilty about dusting it, it's going to a new home! Arrrgggghhhh! Lord, don't stop me now, I'm on a binge and purge.

Oh, the quilting thing...I am making diapers for my dil and a laying in blanket for her. Jenny, I haven't made a diaper or used a real one for 30 years. I bought a bolt of diaper flannel. Do any of your readers, or you dear lady, remember the measurements on flannel diapers...not the prefolded ones...or even how to fold them? lol. I am actually being serious though. Any help would be appreciated.

With scissors at the ready...Elaine in Texas

Chookyblue...... said...

lovcely gift your sent in the SSCS............hopefully your parcel will be sitting there waiting for you when you can receive mail again.......

Anonymous said...

That bag is beautiful. You do wonderful work.


HI Jenny--What lovely projects you have finished again!!! When you do get your mail it will probably be like Christmas all over again cause I bet there is alot of goodies there just waiting for you to open them!!!
Have a great New Year and will be looking forward to those pictures!!! I know that I do have some more projects to do this winter to finish my new make-over that I started last year and I got a big kitchen mixer that will now need a pretty cover!!!!
hugs, Di

Maggey and Jim said...

I love your storage ideas..Usually I clip them on a pant hanger till I put them together. Lucky girls that got your gifts, they were awesome. I love that bag with the doll on it, very cute.. Well, I know that getting my sewing space clear makes me feel so good and ready to meet the days challenge..

Myra said...

Lovely gifts in and out Jenny, and what a great block storage container! I don't believe we have those containers here, but we've been known to buy pizza boxes from the pizza restaurants here for the same purpose... 8-)