Friday, December 18, 2009

Untie the ribbons - there are gifts to be found today!

Today does not feel like a day of gifts. The boys and I has our Swine Flu vaccinations yesterday night and are all feeling a bit under the weather today. That weather is another thing - this photo was taken at 8am when Son 1 and I trudged (with Raja) to school to see if it was open. You can see the un-gritted roads and the slow traffic which shortly afterwards started backing up. After half an hour hanging around the College, the general conclusion amongst parents was that with no school buses running, few teachers in and no formal word from the staff, there was no point in leaving their children there! So we trudged back to Ben, recently returned from Italy, and Son 2 with his swollen arm and miserable expression. So, where are the gifts that today brings?
Before untying some literal ribbons, I decided to take the advice of yesterday's quotation and consider the less tangible gifts the day has brought me. So, the dangerous roads and grotty children mean that I will miss a Christmas Dinner I was invited to today, and one end of term lesson. Where are the gifts? Well, I will have a day of hugs from my boys (carefully avoiding a sore arm apiece) and more time to sort out the mountain of presents waiting to be wrapped on the dining room table. As we have two tables we can also get going on a game of Monopoly this afternoon!
The weather is as much a gift as a bother, of course. Our 'live outdoors' Christmas tree, which has no need to come indoors this year as we'll be in the UK, has been decorated for free.
j
And the town's Christmas Lights, always the most tasteful around our area, look particularly good in the snow!
So now let's untie the literal ribbons of my Handmade Christmas Swap, from Maria of Me and Ma. She's fairly new to blogging, but I bet some of you have spotted her clever numerical Advent posts! Do pop over and see her, and visit her etsy shop. You'll want to when you see what she made me!
Firstly these two beautiful angels. These angels are not just charming and hand made, they are also totally thrifted, with my Ultimate Challenge in mind. All the fabric in the swap came from offcuts from shirts belonging to an uncle in Ireland!
I am in awe. Irish shirts - just too cool on the trendy/thrifty circuit! I liked the angels before I knew this, but now I adore them! (Is this normal?)
j
The angels were joined at the next untying of ribbons by some heart decorations.
Love the beads. Can't wait to put these up.But there was more!Was this package really from the same Maria who commented, when she saw Karen's gifts to me: 'I feel under pressure now!'??? Oh no, Maria, both you and Karen really outdid yourselves. I'm the one who needs to be feeling the swap parania now! (Michela and I have discussed swap paranoia before.)
All these super tree decorations, so beautifully packaged. I love your tags and packaging, Maria. The presentation must really enhance things on your market stall. And then the decorations themselves - stockings and hearts! Oh, I am happy indeed.
j
Now, there WAS something for my boys as well, but I want that to wait for them on Christmas day, so forgive me for not featuring it here! And finally a handmade card. Spot the fantastic fabric on the pot at the base of the tree! What an atractive way of using up tiny scraps. Must remember it for next year. Thank you so much, Maria, for that very generous and creative and above all delightful swap parcel! If any of you readers have not yet been tempted by my links to Maria's beautiful crafts, let me just tell you that she makes utterly superb aprons, cushions, clothes, bunting and bags for children, in very colourful and original styles, including things for boys as well as girls, which is often hard to find. Visit now!And the final gift which I might never have remembered if it weren't for the snow, is this wood and what it represents. In January we had a terrible storm across the whole of southern France and Spain, and a huge percentage of trees came down - it changed the face of some of France's more wooded regions.
j
Ben has been observing the wood which fell in the municipal areas of our town, being piled up in the municipal depot not far from school. On Saturday he passed the depot and they were selling it - he'd been waiting for this opportunity!
j
But it transpired that this was no ordinary sale - it was being held by mairie workers, who'd given up their free time to chop the wood as it came in, and were now selling the wood for charity - the huge French annual collection via the Téléthon. Ben and I were both really moved by this example of how ordinary people have used their time and local opportunities to do something good.
j
There are actually a lot of gifts when you look for them!

19 comments:

TheMadHouse said...

What wonderful swap goodies and I am in awe of the work put in chopping the wood. We have snow, it is beautiful.

Itch2stitch.com said...

Love the angels! You are so right Floss, there are gifts all around us! Merry christmas to you and your family! suzie. xxx

Kate said...

Gorgeous angels, what a treat. We have lots of snow here too - but also streaming colds and one with earache so we're snuggling together playing games at home.

Michela said...

Hi Floss! You got really a great swap package from Maria (what a clever idea the countdown on her blog!)
Many thanks for your lovely comment today..hope the Parma ham will make you all feel better!!!
I saw a robin an hour ago...and they say that if you see a robin it is supposed to snow!

P.S.was your yellow parcel so awful?! I don't believe that! ;-)

Andi's English Attic said...

What a wonderful post.
Shame you had to struggle to school in order to find out if you had to struggle to school! Luckily, our school has a website where closures are announced, so we just went back to bed.
What a fab parcel of goodies. Irish shirts? Adds a bit of a romantic feel to the whole thing, doesn't it? Lucky girl. xx

The Curious Cat said...

oh! Such generosity in this blog entry with the gifts and the wood...! Sorry to hear about your sore arms and feeling run down. xxx

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

What darling angels, with thrifted linen no less! Your gifts certainly are charming. I hope you're all feeling much better by now!

LissyLou said...

what wonderful gifts :)

Serenata said...

What a lovely post and some gorgeous gifts you received - very special.

Hope you are all feeling better soon after those vaccs...

Lace hearts said...

What a fabulous swap. I love those angels.
The snow does make everything look very pretty, but oh so cold. I've been cold all day.

bad penny said...

what a lovely post & adorable Angels

Lululiz said...

Sorry you are all feeling poorly, yet you always manage to look on the bright side of things, how I wish more folks could be like that instead of wingeing all the time.
Ah, those angels, they are so charming!

Maria said...

I am so glad that you like your gifts Floss and thank you for the plugs for my blog !! I have just poted about you lovely parcel which arrived today, so thank you for that too...

karen said...

hiya hunni
Thanks for popping over and leaving a lovley comment. I'm really glad you like your little gifts.
look's like you've been really spoilt today. I love those angels they are ever so cute and I'm ever so jealous of your snow too we never seem to get any down here.
(((hugs)))
karen

Michela said...

Come on Alison!!! Your swap package for Maria was just divine!

Floss said...

Thank you, Michela - suitably chastised. It's just good old swap paranoia, you know...

Lola Nova said...

What wonderful gifts, both the tangible and the less so. I am enjoying all of your posts and the other Advent posts from blogs that have joined up. I am finding myself with little time to leave comments but, I am warmed by the lovely words and images I find during this season of gifts.

jus said...

What beautiful gifts and I love the idea of selling wood for a Telethon...
Feel better soon, x

Carol said...

Wonderful gifts.
I believe your blog is a gift. It's so inspiring and encouraging and comforting, it really uplifts me when I visit. Thank you so much for all you share and for the way you share it.
Have a blessed week.
Carol x