Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Christmas...

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves” - this quote by Edna Buchanan comes to mind as I type this post today. I am so very blessed to have an amazing small circle of friends to call family. Today was Christmas with my two very dear friends, Merry and Kimber...we had such a wonderful afternoon. We met at a local cafe for lunch to celebrate the holidays - and what a marvelous time we had! If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know the three of us tend to go "overboard" each time we get together...and Christmas gives us yet another excuse to spoil each other with gifts! Lunch was delicious and filled with conversation and giggling...and I enjoyed every minute of it...Merry and Kimber truly inspire me and always lift my spirits and encourage me. After lunch, Merry ordered a trio of desserts for us to share that was "sinful" to say the least - it was a lovely sampling of sweet treats...and then it was time for our annual Christmas gift exchange. I have to tell you, this post might be a little long, as there were so many gifts to open...the restaurant host was wise to put us in a corner booth, as it seemed we were there for hours!

I always make a special gift or two for both Merry and Kimber...and then I like to give them some small purchased items...and I always like to give each of them a nice hardcover book to add to their shelves. This year, I made Merry a knitting needle case (which was much more labor intensive than I anticipated, but I was thrilled with the results when it was finished) and a matching large, lined drawstring bag (both were made from the retired fabric line Madeira by Blackbird Designs for Moda - one of her favorites). For Kimber, I made a personalized quilted journal cover and a matching large, lined drawstring bag out of some pink/brown owl fabric that I know she loves (Life's A Hoot by Tammy Anderson for ADORNit). I had so much fun filling their drawstring bags with wrapped goodies (I brought each of them items back from CA and NH) and choosing the books for this year's exchange!

Now - get ready to be inspired, as I share with you the unique items they gifted me this year!

I started by opening Kimber's gifts - and first, I have to share her wrapping paper and decorative box with you - both were adorned with owls! I had to carefully open my presents to save the paisley owl Christmas paper...and the LARGE Chinese takeout style box is one of the cutest I have ever seen - I have to find a fun use for it...

Kimber has the very best taste and finds the most unique and personal gifts - I was just blown away when opening the packages from her! The box was filled with tiny treasures - a special Fiskars paper punch, decorative adhesive tapes, vintage wooden spools, a charm pack of fabulous fabric (Full Circle by Kathy Schmitz for Moda), a lovely notepad, and a package of pretty floss bobbins!

In the large bag, there were several incredible gifts - check out this FABULOUS sewing bird - I LOVE him (or her). This pincushion is about 6.5" H x 9.5" W...and the wings are pockets. Kimber put a package of vintage rick rack in one of the pockets...and the other had vintage look needle packaging. The tag tied on the side says "The Early Bird Gets The Pins!"... and there is a round tag on the front that says "Sew Prim"...isn't it just the coolest??! Oh how I adore this...can't you see me with an entire flock??

Over the past months, I have been asking Kimber all sorts of gardening questions (after-all, she is an expert) that all the outdoor work is done on our home, I am ready to start planting this spring. Kimber was thoughtful enough to give me a book on perennial gardening - which is perfect, as she knows I want to plant perennial flowers!

And look what else - this wonderful holiday scrapbook of sorts - it is a canvas covered journal with blank brown paper pages, perfect for writing down my Christmas memories....

Merry did her absolute best to spoil both of us, as well. You all know how multi-talented Merry is...she can stitch, sew, bake, cook, knit, crochet, and just about any other creative thing you can think of...and she does them all SO WELL! Many times you have seen her stellar kitchen skills on my blog - I really am blessed - she makes me goodies all year long - for absolutely no reason - she takes very good care of me. Here is a photo of some holiday treats she made for me....five (yes, FIVE) bags of homemade Biscotti -plain (anise), gingerbread, snickerdoodle, chocolate, and almond chocolate....and see the little house in the photo - it is filled with her homemade Butterfinger Bites (I put a couple in front of the house for the photo) for my husband (and I will definitely be trying one!)...and in the back is a large bottle of homemade Black Raspberry Liqueur (which she "forced" me try and it is delicious)!

...and although that was more than enough - Merry had piles of other special presents for me...she makes me the best these gorgeous socks she knitted especially for me....

and this unbelievable beehive pincushion/tape measurer with homemade pins (yep, she made the pins using Shrinky Dinks!)...this seriously brought tears to my eyes. It is so adorable and very tiny - it is only about 2" tall...and it is incredibly Merry knows my grandfather was a beekeeper and the sentiment this gift would have for me. It is amazing...

She also made me a quilted craft pouch for my paper piecing materials and supplies - how awesome is this?? It will hold my tiny cutting mat, small rotary cutter, my add a quarter rulers, plus all sorts of other supplies!

Before I share the last item she made for me, I just have to share a photo of a special box that was in with my gifts - it looks like a book and is decorated with birds, crowns, butterflies, and birdcages...way cool! The photo all shows additional gifts that she slipped in the gift bag - a couple adorable round magnets she made, a metal reindeer ornament, special lip balm, swankie hankies, and the cutest owl stamp set....

and lastly, I have to share this AMAZING magnetic needlework tray she is a small vintage tray/plate (3.25" H x 6" W) - she placed a very strong magnet on the bottom that holds the gold scissors in place (along with pins and needles) and added a handmade wool biscornu pincushion with a gold vintage button in the corner...then she added three crystal pins. I thought this was ingenious and strikingly beautiful - it is so very special!

I truly hope today's post has inspired you and you have more ideas for gift giving!

I have had the happiest of holidays and feel so very blessed. To my close circle of friends (you know who you are) thank you for being my family - I love you all and thank the heavens above for your friendship.

"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine." - Thomas Jefferson


  1. Wonderful gifts from your friends!
    Merry Christmas!

  2. What wonderful goodies you received from your friends! Hmmm...maybe you should hide the gingerbread biscotti! I am glad you were able to get together with them and enjoy your day!


  3. Everything is beautiful, and chosen so perfectly for you. The best part of this, though, is your amazing friendships! You are truly blessed!

  4. OMGoodness - what fantastic gifts - you are all very lucky girls to have such wonderful friendships. I have to tell you how much I am enjoying stitching your Poinsettias and Pines design that I have had stashed away. Love using Belle soie silks. Hope you are enjoying the season. Melody

  5. What great friends you have. You are extremely blessed.
    Happy holidays!