Tuesday, 6 October 2009

To Give and To Receive

Goodness me, it's horribly dark, grey and wet here today, again, yesterday was much the same. So here's something to brighten up our days in the form of these pretty asters.

Now didn't somebody mention receiving a very exciting parcel last Friday. Oooh, I'm excited just thinking about it. And I want to share it with you!

A while back, my fabby bloggy friend, Vanessa, and myself decided to indulge in a bit of an old fashioned correspondence. Only not so old fashioned as to keep it to just letters full of spidery handwriting. More of the "groovy card with some little pressies I think you'll love" kind of correspondence. And this month, it's my turn (leap up excitedly and clap hands childishly)!

The box is big, big, big! It excites the child in me who always assumed big was best when it came to birthdays way back when (shocking I know, but Tiny Tears and Sindy's Rangerover were quite big you know).

It's full of pretty, spotty, scrunchy tissue. Oooh, what a tease!

It's for me, oh yes it is, except for that nice card in the shape of a vintage car which was destined for the Munchy one. Very happy he was with it too; off it's gone to be a bookmark amongst the Enid Blyton and Horrible History books and "Practical Caravanning" magazine (honestly).

In my first package, yes first (for there are many), is some yummy oilcloth which had to be stroked and fawned over quite a bit. It now has a new home within the stash awaiting a worthy project...

Next there's a big object and the tag tells me it was a bit of a challenge to wrap. The outer polka-dotty paper is off in a trice (with age, I've only got better at opening presents!) and I spot a delicious turquoise wirey foot poking out of the tissue...

Oh my, how divine is that!

One of Vanessa's gorgeous hand painted tags is attached which is a total work of art in itself. I think it shall have to stay attached for ever more. Oh golly, this basket is too nice for words and it's so, so ME! Vanessa painted it that gorgeous colour herself. Just for me! All that hammering on on the blog about being obsessed with pink and turquoise obviously hasn't gone unnoticed.

Now wait a minute! The basket is also full of tantalising polka-dotty gifts perfectly tied with minty green string. Eek!

Here, in all its glory, is the rest of my package. Gorgeous ribbons, a lovely spotty luggage tag (look at the divine suitcase label, love that very much indeed), a beautiful mug and some seriously lovely buttons made all the more lovely for the effort my friend has taken to mount them onto hand painted little cards. These can never be used, you know that. That was obvious, yes. They shall be displayed somewhere prominent ... to inspire me.

Lest I forget, there was also a lovely card but I do confess, I opened all the gifts first. Bad girl, I am always asking the Munchkin not to do that!

I was overwhelmed by this. Thank you my lovely friend, what a star you are, what a lucky duck I am. I'm already thinking of the next package to do justice to all the effort you put into this. How fabby to receive things which I definitely would have chosen myself. I've had a few days away from my basket and goodies over the weekend but it's a joy to be back in my den, admiring all the goodies in their baskety glory on my desk.

I've been a lucky girl, haven't I? Somebody did that just for me. Isn't it lovely when somebody does something for someone else, to please them, bring them happiness, to help them?
Now, a week or so ago, I answered a plea by Josie-Mary to help out with the Innocent Smoothie campaign, "The Big Knit", you might know the one, they run it each Winter, asking crafty folk to make little bobble hats for their smoothie bottles. Each hatted bottle sold results in a donation to the charity Age Concern or Help the Aged and in conjunction with Sainsburys, it is hoped that £250,000 might be raised.

I had recently read a thoughtful post by Pomona about being kinder and it seemed perfect to help out with this cause - especially when Joe made it clear that the little hats could be crocheted as I cannot knit. So, amidst the gloom of yesterday and nursing a poorly Munchkin (though a miraculous recovery was made in front of the Sound of Music aided by Ritz crackers and cheese), I set to with the yarn and the hook. And they're very easy, people, if I can do it... It has really helped me to improve "working in the round". Each hat only takes quarter of an hour or so to make (and I'm a slow crocheter with my arthritic hands) and earlier this morning, I spent another pleasurable hour sitting in my den chair, crocheting a few flowers for the top.

I was a bit stunned to be honest that Joe didn't get more offers of help to make the knitted/crocheted hats. If nothing else, we've all got parents and grandparents who might one day benefit from such a charity, heck, we're not getting any younger ourselves! I am sitting here right now, listening to the radio, the chat show is discussing the plans to raise the age at which one receives a pension. Old people seriously need all the help they can get these days.

Is there anyone out there who might be able to whip up a few to help this worthy cause? Put your granny squares, your flower corsages, your ripple blanket, your amigurumi animals to one side just for a few hours. I know we're all really busy people: jobs, children, craft fairs, studies. But just an hour or so?

Could you even make just one?

Joe needs the hats to be sent to her by the beginning of next week. I know that's not oodles of time but I made five in a few hours. Have you an hour or two to spare, sitting in front of "Strictly" or "The X Factor" on Saturday night maybe? Sitting in the car, waiting for the children to come out of school or Cubs/Brownies/football/swimming? Sipping your wine whilst waiting for the dinner to cook one evening?

I promise you'll enjoy it, it's crafting after all, we're good at that, we do crafting! Dare I say it but you'll feel good too. Not to give oneself a smug pat on the back but it really is good to think of helping others. And in such a pleasurable way too. There's a fabby Flickr group devoted to all the hats made. You can be as creative as you like!

So, please get in touch with Joe via her blog if you can help. You can get in touch HERE. One day, we might be glad of this helping hand ourselves...


  1. Lovely and well deserved gifts!
    I wish I could crochet/knit to help Josie-Mary for this great cause!

  2. What a gorgeous gift!

    Thanks for posting about Innocent's big knit. I've heard about it before and I think I can whip up a few hats in time for their deadline. Your crocheted cosies are awfully cute.

  3. Hello Hen..ppl can be so thoughtful sending such lovely gifts,

    Great that you helped Josie...cheers for that...a worthy cause indeed!x

  4. What a lovely post, and the appeal for the little smoothie bottle hats is very good.

    I don't crochet or knit very well, so I will support the cause by drinking twice as many smoothies!!

    (And I could even donate the hats back next year (that would be VERY good recycling.)

    Sue xx

  5. what a wonderfully inspiring post hen. You have stopped me in my tracks and made me have a little think.
    I shall indeed be setting a few hours aside this evening for hat knitting.
    Thanks hen

  6. What lovely gifts from Vanessa! Blogging is so rewarding hey? Loving the basket too - so cool that she painted that for you! xxx

  7. How perfectly lovely. Visiting your blog was like enjoying a good cup of tea, warm and inviting! Wonderful photos! Kerrie bilker1@sccoast.net blogger:

  8. A very worthy cause! I wish that I could help myself but I can only knit squares at the moment and cannot crochet at all. Therefore, I promise that I will buy at least one and try learn and at get some pratice in so I can help next year!
    I have been doing my bit for the elderly this weekend just gone as I have been trying to help sort out my honorary grandmother's residential care! x

  9. It's really lovely that people go to so much trouble,and it's so true...the simple things in life bring the most pleasure.A wonderful parcel of goodies!


  10. Hi Hen,how beautifully you've blogged about the gifts, the photos look wonderful.
    I've just printed out the patterns for the hats, and will stop all other projects to get on to that tonight. Love your little hats!They're gorgeous!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  11. Hello Hen! You are lucky, those goodies are just wonderful! I feel bad as I can't crochet, and I canm only just barely knit, otherwise I would definitely help out. Funnily enough, I was having another go at learning to crochet earlier today. I just am so cheered by the amount of kindness that there really is still in this world, desite the bad news, but then you never get to hear about all the goodness very often! But it is certainly out there! Suzie. xxx

  12. Beautiful flowers...

    I can only imagine how excited you were to open that most wonderful box of goodies! wow...

    I wish I'd known about the hats before now...I'm afraid it's too late to send from here. It's a cute idea. I know I'd buy a lot more if there were adorable hats involved! ;)

  13. What a great package!
    I love your hats xxx
    I made 20 kitted ones for Joe, so easy and for a great cause!

    Lots of LOve

    Kelly xxxx

  14. What a star you are Hen. I read Pomona's post too - well, I read all her posts actually - and thought her message sound. now you have nudged my conscience a little more. Haven't crocheted since I was very young, but will give it a goo. Thank you x

  15. I am feeling quite overcome at the mention! It is so nice to know that someone takes note of what I say - sometimes on the domestic front I do wonder!

    And I will be kind too - I have a day off tomorrow so will knit a hat or two - have you thought about crocheting child size ones for your shop? They are so pretty!

    Re your hand problem, I have joint issues, too, and I have a sort of neoprene glove called a splint which was made for me by a specialist hand physio - I wouldn't be able to knit without this. Perhaps this would help you?

    Pomona x

  16. wow thanks for the link! I've already had one more person sign up, at this rate we could get to 100! Your hats are great, looking forward to seeing them in the flesh. I'll take some photo's of them all before posting them off & try to upload to the group.
    Love all you goodies, what a lovely friend.
    Thanks again :) x

  17. Lovely, lovely post, as usual.

    Yes, I'll try and get a hat made. Honest indian I will!

    Fi x

  18. Hi hen
    Thanks for popping over to mine your comments are very much appreciated.
    I do agree those little hat's are addictive aren't they I have five done already, just about to start number 6 in fact I've got a feeling it's going to be a late night.
    I lived in ilminster for a short while before My little one was born I bet it has changed a lot now though. Is that georgeous old shop still open? You know the really old fashioned one with lot's of yarn and fabric stash.
    Anyway must dash
    Thanks again hen

  19. What beautiful gifts. The wrapping looked as delicious as the gifts. Vanessa's a very talented lady.

    Lisa x

  20. Hi Hen

    You lucky girl, all those beautiful goodies!!! Vanessa is a very talented lady. The Knitted hats are for a very good cause indeed. Count me in, I only started how to learn crochet in the summer and haven't done ANY for the past 6 weeks as so busy with the ongoing decorating and tend to feel like not doing much in the evenings as a result...
    I have not made a hat before but will see if I can find a pattern of a little tiny hat online and will give it a go!
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  21. Oh what a fabulous package you received.

    Your little crochet'd hats are so cute!

    Victoria xx

  22. what a lovley gift thansk for the inspiration with the hats unfortunatley I don't have time to sedn the to Joe but I will be sending some straight to their final destination. I didn't realise you could crochet them too the first five are on my blog

  23. it is indeed a worthy cause and i can tell you that crocheted hats look alot prettier than the knitted ones..especially the ones i made!hehe

    and what sweet gifts,its so nice when someone thinks of you isnt it

    hope your having a lovely day


  24. Hello Hen, Just arrived from Vanessa's blog and so have enjoyed all your gifts twice! Really pretty! I think the little hats look even cuter in crochet, love your colours, I will definitely have a go. Lovely to find you, I'll be back...

  25. What gorgeous gorgeous colours - like little candied cupcakes! Cuteness! What yarn did you use for them?


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