I've mentioned that Julia and Asher have been hard at work, these last few weeks, making gifts for their partners in their children's swap.
We had a good start, getting going really early and finishing most of our things well in advance. Each of them had just one thing to finish when the weather turned warm last week and beckoned us outside. So of course we are a little late getting the packages in the mail to our friends.
We decided that each of them would paint a picture for their friend, and we would make a batch (or two) of fairy dust (we used Amanda's recipe) so they could each include a little jar of it, and then each of them would choose one other craft to make and send.
Julia wanted to do needlework; she's been practicing quite a lot and her stitching gets better every time. So she drew a litle design on paper and I traced it onto a piece of linen with a fabric pen and put it into an embroidery hoop, and she set to work. When she was finished, I sewed it up onto little treasure bag of green corduroy and lined with a pretty, spring-y fabric.
At the last minute, Julia decided she also wanted to make a drawing book for her friend, who loves to draw. So we tucked that in, too.
Asher wanted to make beanbags for his friend. She is a little girl, much younger than he is, so we thought the miniature ones I've been making lately would be perfect for her little hands. He needed help, of course; I sewed the little bags up and he filled them with beans and then I sewed the openings closed while we listened to the latest Sparkle Story.
Today, the goodies we've made are finally on their way to our friends, all the way on the other side of the country. We hope they like them...
On Friday afternoon we were out in the front yard with our friends when the mail truck pulled up in front of our house. Both Julia's and Asher's swap packages (serendipitously) arrived at the same time.
Asher's package came from Ollie, the youngest daughter of Jenny from phishybee, whose blog I have read and admired for a while now. When I saw pictures on her blog last week of the little pirate set she'd made for Ollie's swap partner, I hoped they were for Asher, and sure enough, they were. Ollie and Jenny had also tucked in a bag of homemade playdough, in blue because it is Asher's favorite color.
He is smitten. He's barely taken the hat off since it got here and was upset that I wouldn't let him wear the eye patch to church on Sunday. (I didn't want him to lose it.) He's been sharing the playdough with his sister and they've found that the blue makes a perfect snowman.
Claire made so many sweet things for Julia. Front and center is a little picture she embroidered with yarn, and a book she drew with mermaids and unicorns and fairies and bears (some of Julia's favorite things!). She also made a little coloring book that Julia has been busy filling with her own drawings, and wrapped up two packets of seeds—calendula and marigold—from their garden. And Amanda made two sweet fairy blankets, which are being put to good use today, keeping fairies warm as the snow (yes, snow) is falling again outside.
We've had so much fun with these, making and receiving, and we're looking forward to doing it again. (Julia is already full of ideas for "next time"...)