Saturday, 30 May 2015

My Downton Swap "Parcel of Awesomeness" arrived.

On Thursday I posted about the Downton Swap and showed you the parcel of goodies that I sent to my swap buddy - Alison White.  Today it gives me great pleasure sharing with you the amazing parcel of awesomeness that I recently received from Samantha Dorn @aqua_paisley from South Australia. 
Firstly these are the inspiration mosaics & the information that I supplied for my swap partner to work with:

My favourite UPSTAIRS character was Lady Sybil.  I loved her natural beauty, sweet nature and her rebelliousness.  She saw the beauty in everything and was not up herself.  She also had great taste in men!!  I cried bucket loads when her character was killed off.

Oh we all like to dress up and enjoy high tea.  Years ago when I was travelling in the UK I enjoyed a schmancy high tea at "One Devonshire Gardens" in Glasgow and have also enjoyed high tea at a number of safari lodges throughout Africa & at hotels throughout Asia (I used to travel extensively for work).  I am not a tea drinker, I prefer coffee, but I do enjoy peppermint tea at night.  With regards to cakes & biscuits I have to stick with gluten free.

My favourite DOWNSTAIRS characters are Daisy & Mrs Patmore.  I love watching their kitchen antics and learning about how things were made back in those days.  Yes I do love to cook.  My own kitchen is red & white with 1970's era orange laminate bench tops. My goal this year is to schmancy it up a bit by adding some quilty goodness so your mug rug will probably end up being hung up on the kitchen wall or in my sewing room (depending on what colours you choose to use).

Before I show you what was IN the parcel, these are the teasers that Samantha had posted on Instagram.  Although I saw some of these photos under the #DowntonSwap feed, I honestly had no idea that any of this was headed my way!


And this is what the postie delivered:

a great big box of awesome!

My Downton Swap goodies

My Downton Swap goodies

The Mug Rug features the Union Jack & a heart

The back of the Mug Rug

This Pincushion caddy is designed to sit over the edge of a lounge chair and it has several pockets which can hold sewing notions or the TV remote control.

a Lady Mary card

Tea Bag caddy

Tea Bag caddy opened

Tea Bag caddy with three tea bag sachets

"Petal & Plume" fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics


Such a beautifully bright parcel of awesomeness! 

Thank you so much Samantha.
Other photographs of this swap can be viewed on Instagram by typing in the hashtag #DowntonSwap


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Downton Swap

I recently participated in the "Downton Swap" which was hosted on Instagram by @amber_crawley and @rockislander 
Participants were asked to create a mug rug for their swap partner together with two handmade items of their choice, although we were asked to keep our partner's preferences in mind with regard to any particular favourites that they had specified in their application form and on their inspiration mosaics. 
All photos on Instagram were posted with the hashtags #downtonswap  There are some amazing photos in this feed so please check them out when you have time to do so. 
Our partners were secret so we did not know who was making for us - at least we wouldn't know until our parcel arrived.  And who we made for may not be the same person who was making for us.  Our dispatch deadline was 24 February.
I was ecstatic to discover that my swap partner was one of my quilting friends Alison White @alisonwhite31 who lives down in Melbourne.  I've known Alison for quite a while and have been looking for a way to repay some recent generosity that she had sent my way.  I was determined to spoil her rotten! 
I was told that Alison likes: The Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (upstairs) and Bates (downstairs).  She loved the quote by the Dowager "what is a weekend?"  She loves Christmas, the flower show, dinner parties and the early morning for the staff when the bells start ringing. Her preferences were: something decorative, scissor keep (for embroidery scissors), pincushion, just about anything.  Alison doesn't like solids but is fond of retro type designers like Lori Holt, Figtree & Co, polka dots, cutesy Japanese prints and Pam Kitty fabrics.  She also liked the mellow toned Downton range of fabrics by Andover.
The mosaic that Alison posted
Armed with this information I set out on my secret squirrel mission and this is what I created for Alison:
Alison's entire Downton parcel of awesomeness.

"I'm Down With Downton Abbey" is a cross stitch pattern by Lisa LeBlanc of Cottage Nest.  The finished size was 8.5" x 7.5" which I then machine sewed to a grey polka dot fabric "Flurry" by Dashwood Studios, and attached to a stretched canvas frame.  The finished product can easily be wall mounted or will sit upright on a ledge.
another view of "I'm Down with Downton Abbey" hanging on the wall
Two fridge magnets which I purchased off eBay
A cookbook, Twinings English Morning Tea, and some buttons.
Pincushion, Pouch, Scissor Case and Needle Book (based on the "Roses on Parade" patterns by Val Laird published in "Crafts to Stitch" No 4).  The Downton Abbey quilt labels are by Andover and I used these together with some matching polka dot fabric and some vintage lace which I tea dyed.
A key fob which I made from Downton Abbey fabric by Andover.
The Mug Rug I made from Downton fabric by Andover.  I printed the picture of the Dowager Countess onto fabric and appliqued it by hand.  The embroidered text reads "Are you drinking tea from a bag?  How middle class." 
I added a mini charm pack of Aloha Girl by Fig Tree & Co - one of Alison's favourite fabric designers.
I used this washi tape to decorate the parcels as it reminded me of the fancy jewellery that Alison had included in her mosaic.
I added this cross stitch pattern in with the parcel.  It was one of my original ideas but I soon realised that I would not have the time to make it.
This was how I wrapped Alison's parcel, in pretty polka dot paper & decorated with schmancy washi tape & Downton fabric scraps.  The rotary cutter is hiding Alison's name & address on the envelope.
So, what did Alison think when she received it?  You be the judge:

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

My Whimsical Woodland Mug Rug "Parcel of Awesomeness" arrived

Back in February (before my world turned upside down), I posted about the Whimsical Woodland Mug Rug Swap and showed you the parcel that I sent to my swap buddy - Louisa Watts.  Today it gives me great pleasure  to finally share with you the amazing parcel of awesomeness that I received from the super wonderful Karley from Canada @krrley back in February.
To refresh your memory - in this swap we were required to create a Woodland themed mug rug for our partner and to include a few extra goodies to the retail value of USD10.00  These were to follow the theme of the swap.
Firstly this is the inspiration mosaic that I posted for this swap.  I chose the squirrel as my preferred woodlands animal and advised my partner that although I knew that I would be receiving a mug rug in the swap, instead of using it to sit my tea or coffee on, I would be hanging it up in my sewing room, so they were welcome to make a miniature mini quilt of mug rug dimensions. 
Before I show you what was IN the parcel, these are the teasers that Karley had posted on Instagram.  (Instagram photos reproduced with Karley's permission)
And this is what arrived:
This blew me away when I saw it.  Karley's young daughter was given free reign to decorate the parcel with hedgehog stickers.  I managed to save most of them and have stuck them onto one of the display shelves in my sewing room.
My parcel of awesomeness!
The back of my mug rug/miniature mini quilt.
Another photo of my parcel of awesomeness.
Owl beads
Strawberry Sugar hand & body cream, - it smells divine!!!
A maple cream chocolate from Canada & it was yummy!
A cute little hand made squirrel plush toy.
A foxy gift card.

I absolutely love all of the goodies that Karley so kindly sent me, I'm just saddened that it has taken me so long to share it all with you. 
Other photographs of this swap can be viewed on Instagram by typing in the hashtag #whimsicalwoodlandmugrug
I have since completed and received a number of other swaps which I will endeavour to share with you over the coming weeks.