Since I was 8 years old my mantra around swaps of any kind was "I never get anything good!". It all started at a girl scout Christmas gift exchange in 1966. All the other little girls around me seemed to be opening Life Savers Storybooks (10 rolls of candy!) and other cool things. I, on the other hand, I most vividly recall, got a 3 dimensional wood puzzle in the shape of a barrel that once taken apart was never going to be put back together again. A few years later, in the eighth grade, I attended another Christmas party with gift exchange. This time, the girl who's name I drew was apparently cranky about having been invited at the last minute so she threw in a box whatever crap she could grab on her way out the door. A roll of toilet paper with hundred dollar bills printed on it. One, just one, of her little brothers cowboy boots. A few other unmemorable items. Argh! Then when I first got married my husband came from six siblings so drawing names was the thing to do at Christmas. One year, in the early days, I must've been 18 or 19, my sister-in-law Mary, who didn't like me (or anyone else, it seemed) drew my name and presented me with a red flannel high necked nightgown with the scratchiest lace on the high neck. Straight to the trash. In the past few years, since finding online groups with large numbers of people (like over 5000 at the yahoo altered books group) I've literally opened a swap package while standing over the trash (a napkin swap). Now I'm startin to sound like one heckuva picky Pete, huh? Pretty ungrateful, too. Yep. I won't disagree. Well, surprise to both me and you I happened upon a Vintage Kitchen Swap that Jenny Holiday was proposing a couple weeks ago and for some reason (hope springs eternal?) I joined up. My swap partner was to be Debbie from Western New York. Now, this swap ended up being a lot harder than I'd have guessed. Just send a bunch of 'vintage kitchen stuff' to someone I've never met? Yikes. Well, in an exchange of emails she told me that she sorta leans toward primitive, so that gave me a bit of a clue. I did my best putting a package together, kept it around the $20 limit that Jenny had mentioned, and was proud of myself for sending it off in time. I really never gave two thoughts to what I might get in return. Well, the point of my post is this;
I received my package today.
My first clue that it was PHENOMENAL was that it was so heavy, so laden with goods, that the postage alone was $20! (this pic is MINUS the adorable white pyrex mixing bowl with dutch tulips that the PO BROKE!!! but I don't want to dwell on the negative)
Oh My God. I've never EVER been the recipient of such a fabulous haul!!!!! Were you lucky enough to see Betz White on Martha Stewart a couple three weeks ago? She does the MOST adorable little pincushions out of recycled and felted sweaters. When I checked my partner Debbie's blog I saw that she had linked to Betz. I told her in an email that I was so happy to find that link because I really wanted to buy at least one of Betz's little confections. Debbie asked me to 'hold off' til after the swap...Loooky here!!!!
Is that not just PERFECTION!? Wouldn't you have just been happy receiving that and THAT ALONE!? Me too.
Look what else! A great reamer (I kid you not; up until today I did not own a single one!) a cookbook to add to my collection and the best little S&P set. I'm thinkin this woman knows me! I'm thinkin we could be great friends too 'cause if she did the embroidery and/or crochet on these seven, count 'em SEVEN tea towels, then wowee. She's a crafter after my own heart! Look look look
Pretty cool, huh? We're just gettin started! Look at this neato rickrack work on the perfectly turquoise apron.
I think she made this, too! Seems new anyway. I haven't heard back from her yet on all this amazing stuff, but I'm thinkin it's mostly Debbie's handiwork. OH MY! Here's another apron!
In my picture and with the patchy fabric it may be hard to tell but it's really just the handiest/cutest pattern. I know I'll wear it. But WAIT! There's more!
ANOTHER Betz White original? I was serious when I said that one BW pincushion period would've made me happy. Well folks, I'm 'bout fainting dead away by this point. This whole package has really thrown me for a loop. And still it goes on:
By now you're fixin to faint dead away, too; huh? Will ya look at all that embroidery and crochet? My God...WHO IS THIS PHENOMENALLY KIND AND TALENTED WOMAN? And still it goes on. A wonderful embossed Pyrex pie plate with not one but TWO vitage crimper/trimmers, vintage candle rings that hold fresh flowers, AND an adorable bunnie box full of chocolate fudge truffles! Here's an overall shot because seriously; this package deserves a recap!
I could just die a happy woman, Debbie. There is not one single thing here I wouldn't have gotten for myself. I'd have even wrapped them the way you did. I've thought on it all day and I'm convinced that God brought you and your giftiness to me. For a couple of reasons. One, so I could know at least one time, what being the recipient of such amazing and talented generosity must feel like. Two, so I can finally shut the hell up about my 'bad luck with swaps since 1966' (I guess it was getting old). I'll be really honest...I'm not that comfortable on this end of the OH MY GOD YOU SHOULDN"T HAVE! Not real comfortable at all. More comfortable bein the giver. But I'm not giving any of it back! :-D
Thank you from the bottom of my heart Mrs Debbie Schwab. You made my week! I will never EVER forget your kind generosity.
And thank you Jenny Holiday for the great idea of having this swap!!!