Robin in Virginia and I have been online friends pretty much since I released my very first design (years ago). I was ecstatic to finally meet her and her mother at a Stitcher's Hideaway Retreat in 2010...our friendship withstands the miles and we manage to keep in touch regularly throughout the year. This week I received the most wonderful surprise from Robin - a Christmas package with not one but TWO cross stitched pieces...an ornament and a pincushion! You can tell Robin knows me quite well, as both have bird motifs and she used one on my very favorite colors of red floss (Weeks Dye Works Garnet). This sweet surprise seriously brought tears to my eyes, as the cross stitch gifts I have received over the years are few and far between. I truly adore both of these pieces and they will be treasured for many years to come! Both of these designs look familiar to me, but I am not certain of the designers or titles...so if you are interested in that information, hopefully (wink, wink) Robin will post a comment with that information. Thank you dear Robin - these will be on display year-round!
...and look what else arrived in my mailbox this week...a fabulous surprise from my stitching sister Ruth in New Hampshire. Ruth and I had the chance to meet in 2010 at a Stitcher's Hideaway Retreat, as well...and she was most recently at the New England Stitcher's Retreat this past October. I'm pretty sure Ruth and I were separated at birth - I'm yet to find anything that we don't have in common - I love her dearly. Ruth's package was a holiday delight, with not only some pressies for me, but a couple treats for Simba (seriously thoughtful and sweet)! On a side note - we just taught Simba to do "high five" (so adorable!), so he will be working for these grand cookies. Ruth is good at keeping me longing for New Hampshire, as she sends me goodies from her neck of the woods...a lidded basket filled with a Santa moon pin (made in NH), a gorgeous Victorian tag ornament, and a bar of "Christmas in New England" soap made in Alexandria, NH (which smells over-the-top AMAZING). Yep, you can say it, I'm a pretty lucky girl!
If all that wasn't enough, I also received a box from Elizabeth in Georgia (soon to be Alaska) this week. I met Ebeth at the first New England Stitcher's Retreat in the spring of 2010 and her warm and kind spirit immediately touched me - her gracious/giving attitude and unique humor make her a very special person - just the thought of her makes me smile - she makes me immediately happy! At the stitching retreat, I had admired a special tool that several stitchers had brought in their arsenal of needlework supplies...you are all aware I pride myself on knowing all the great gadgets on the market, but I had never seen one of these before...it is called a "Sew Taxi" and it is made by Fiskars. This convenient and compact "taxi" is twelve tools in one - it includes: a thread cutter, magnifying glass, seam ripper, piercing punch, punch needle, stuffing tool, knit picker, tweezers, safety pin, measuring tape, needle threader and long needle threader - all in a clear, shatter-resistant cover that keeps everything organized and protected. Elizabeth was kind enough to surprise me with one to keep in my stitching bag (and wrapped in the cutest Christmas paper) and I couldn't be more thrilled! Seriously - how cool is this?!
Yes, my blessings are many and I am extremely thankful (each and every day) that I have such a wonderful circle of friends! It's that time of year when we find joy in unexpected places - a season of surprises - I hope you are enjoying some surprises this holiday season...or sending a few yourself! In all the crazy holiday madness, make sure to take a few moments see the beauty and joy that surround you...