Friday, 27 November 2009

Lucky Hen

Oooh, squeal, the door bell rings and there just for me is a whopping great parcel! More excitingly, it's not my birthday, it's not Christmas, but it is my fabulous much-anticipated parcel from my penpal, Vanessa. I scribble something on the postie's electronic screen (may as well have been a cross!) and dash upstairs to my den and start brandishing the scissors!

But I come to my senses (a little bit) and pick up the camera because I just know this is going to be fab-u-lous and I want to share it with you, you, you!

Ooh, look at this pinky loveliness. This is just my envelope from Vanessa, there will be goodies within, I know, but I am going to have to keep this envelope and put it up on my pin board.

There's more inside the box, more polka-dotty enclosed beauties. Let me at it! I am actually a grown woman, it's true, just in case you've never read my blog before and think I am about 5. Honestly.

No, that's right, I am very mature and so I am going to take my own medecine, do as I always ask the Munchkin to do, and read the card first. Truth be told, I'm eeeking the whole experience out, just want my joy to last that little bit longer if possible...

Aaarrgghhh! Who is this furry beast? As soon as you sit down in the HenHouse, it's pretty much guaranteed you will soon be covered by a furry friend, very likely Jacky-Ginge. He doesn't disappoint...

He seems not to have realised that he is ruining my photo shoot. Vanessa's card features Vorey, not Jacky-Ginge!

Ok, I have read and enjoyed the card very much, feel privileged that Vanessa lets me into her life. I'm also surprised and impressed she's managed to get this parcel together as I know she is a very busy lady. I very much appreciate it.

Look at that lot, how exciting is that?!

I dive into the first package. I'm sorry but yes, it was very un-ladylike, very 5-year-old-like. Revealed in all its glory is this cute little tin house with Stanley on the side and inside, it's full of seasonal goodies. Hmm, I am going to have to hide this or I can see it disappearing to a certain very yellow bedroom on the second floor!

I do pause quite a while and read and admire each of Vanessa's labels over which she has clearly taken so long; she knows I love these.

I move onto to something to "keep me warm". As if the pale blue polka dots are not yummy enough, inside I find pinky polka dotty tissue. Scrumptious. Truly!

Inside the tissue I can see some bright colours and I kid you not, I start hyper-ventilating a bit. It can't be, can it?

Oh but it is! Jump up and down excitedly and fondle the stunning scarf, it looks beautiful as you can see and I can tell you, it feels beautiful too, so soft and tactile. Vanessa posted about her scarf, she designed this pattern herself, a while back and I admit that I sat salivating over the screen. A lot.

And here is my very own. Yipeeeee!!! Straight away, I cannot help thinking that this divine scarf is going to look simply fab with my new coat, delivered just the day before. I race off downstairs and grab the coat.

Aaaarrggghhh!!! What is it with these furry friends? Can I have nothing just for myself?

Much as Vorey might have marvellous taste, especially for something he can spot is going to be darned cosy and warm, the photo is blurred as you can see, because my hand is dashing to get him off! Scoot!

I found the whole present-cat-thingy rather amusing as Vanessa had been telling me about her dogs in her card and discussing how we are loathe to move our cosy friends once they have settled down somewhere invariably inconvenient (Hugo and I that is!)

More scarf shots? I know, I know, but please... just indulge me! As you can see, I have rather an attractive collection going on here. For some reason, all three of these jackets/coats are blue and there is a selection of pretty scarves with a bit of a pinky thing going on. The other lovely woolly scarf was a birthday present from a friend I have made through blogging. It came to me as a complete surprise and has been on its travels all over the show keeping my neck warm. Now I'm happily spoiled for choice. Lucky, lucky me.

Back upstairs I whizz, after my happy moments with coats and scarves, because I've more gifts to see to, oh yes indeedy. I am overjoyed to open and find this gorgeous plate from Vanessa. Such beautiful colours, so very me, don't you think?

As you can see, there were even more goodies! Greengate napkins, pretty and practical lotions for my hands and a very useful and lovely enamelled pot.

I start to tidy away, my blood pressure getting back to normal a bit, and I undo all the pretty baker's twine and I put all Vanessa's stunning gift tags together. I just love the colours. Whenever I attempt to paint, which is thankfully very seldom, I am frustrated because I am too impatient to mix the colours properly. But Vanessa's colours are just gorgeous. Very much Hen colours too, aren't they? Very much Hen and Vanessa colours in fact!

It's uncanny, really. Vanessa and I seem to have rather similar tastes and certainly, the exchanges which have taken place between Vanessa and I have been the most fantastic type of swap because I can unreservedly say, every parcel is a delight to open because I am really rather sure I am going to love what's inside. She has taste, that lady! She also has a very good heart, doesn't she? To go to all this effort just for me? I can certainly say, this is the best type of penpal ever (along with my dear sister and let's face it, we've had the benefit of donkey's years to get to know each other) and I'm so glad Vanessa and I have started this. It's lovely to have a moment like this, a moment just for you because you don't get that a lot when you get older, do you? When you have children, partners, animals, responsibilities, that always seem so much more important than yourself. So, thank you, Vanessa, my friend, for doing this. Just for me. You are a star.

Happy weekend.


  1. What lovely gifts and what lovely gift cards puts my 'to and from' to shame.

  2. What an amazingly wonderful parcel! Such treasures, so beautifully made and presented! You lucky thing Hen!Though I'm sure your parcel to Vanessa is a treat for the eyes too! The scarf is beautiful, just your colours!I would've been like a 5 yr old too!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Rachel x

  3. Oh! Hen, What a lovely surprise! You are indeed lucky to receive such sweet goodies...and I am lucky to be a part of your pretty world. xx

  4. you think I'm rude if I tell you "lucky duck"??!! ;-)
    Have a fabby weekend dear Hen and enjoy your wonderful gifts!

  5. I suspect the furry friends are jealous! What wonderful gifts - the scarf is wonderful! How lucky you are!!!! xxx

  6. Lovely gifts, always nice to recieve something through the post....ppl are so kind hearted and generous!xx

  7. What an array of sheer gorgeousness. Lucky you. Its true we don't get many moments or times like that just for ourselves! So even more reason to savour it when we do!!! szuie. xxx

  8. Wow, lucky you! I've been drooling over Vanessa's blog for ages and just loved that scarf she made! Goes really well with your coat, from Boden? xx

  9. Oh Joy!What a wonderful penpal you have there and one who knows your taste absolutely.
    So much care and attention put into that parcel of goodies.It's fun to let your inner child come out sometimes isn't it!


  10. I love these posts Hen. You and Vanessa are both very lucky indeed because you are so well matched in your talents and giving- all absolutely stunning! I have to admit that is my favourite scarf of Vanessa's on her blog and yes I do covet it, I admit it. (Nice coat too). Both you and Vanessa have lovely labels - most posh! I can just tell how much you love your cats and that's just what they are for. That picture with Jacky Ginge and the "Vorey" card is so adorable. Vorey just made me laugh aloud - they do that don't they - tramp about all over stuff with out a thought, especially anything involving sewing, knitting or easily messed up paper. I loved all your gifts from Vanessa and all yours to her. Gifts you really want - and it isn't even Christmas! Fabulous.

  11. I've just sneaked off from my visiting sister, to pay you a visit Hen, and aaaawwww you're just so kind. I have to admit, I'm so pleased the scarf went down so well, and it does go so well with your coat, your very gorgeous coat! I very much enjoyed the cat input, they do seem like the most loving cats, so interested in everything their Mummy is doing! As I was walking down the high street with my sister earlier, I was telling her about the swap I do with you, and how we have extraordinarily similar tastes, so it's a joy to buy things for you, and make them too, just like the things I'd buy and make for myself really. But I thought you put it so well at the end of this blog post, it is something just for us, isn't it? And Hen, it's always a pleasure to see your response to my gifts. And of course, there's the small fact that I just happen to adore everything you send me. Maybe we're gifting to ourselves, in a round-about sort of way?!! Have a great weekend, and I'll be back in blogland on Monday, after my sister has gone home. Love Vanessa xxx

  12. My mum always laughs at me as I go to open gifts from blog friends and then have to stop myself, breathe and then grab the camera.

    I'm so glad you did as Vanessa wrapped all your things beautifully... and oh how lovely is your scarf.

    Have a great weekend

    Victoria xx

  13. Lovely gifts, the scarf is fantastic. I'm pleased to see the pussy cats again. I have the same problem here, I brought a pair of black work trousers & before I knew it Zoe (the white one) was in the bag! How I would love to own something that wasn't covered in cats fur :) x

  14. Just lovely, you and Vanessa have a really good thing going on. I just adore the scarf - it is just perfect! Lucky lucky you :-)

  15. Oh God, that's sooooo sweet!!!!! You've been soooo lucky with your penpal!!!!!!!
    I stopped swapping because only once I got anything similar to that... the rest was a real mess!
    I am sooo happy you've got such an amazing parcel becasue I know yours may be a so much loved one too!!!

  16. It is a delight to read the blogs that you and Vanessa write. You all are not only very creative, but have a charming way of sharing this joy with others.

    It is pretty marvelous that the two of you actually do these real life swaps as well. Quite a testimony to the power of friendship.


  17. How lovely, what a wonderful box of goodies. Vanessa is a lovely friend to put those together for you but I know you have also done the same for her so you deserve it. Funnily enough I was reading Lizzy a book tonight that Vanessa illustrated and I thought of her.

  18. oh wow!! what a fabulous box of gifts from a wonderful lucky girl..have a great weekend

  19. Gosh what lovely things, I love Vanessa's scarves and now you have one!
    Have a lovely weekend.

  20. Oh the biggest envy going on here Hen. Such gorgeousness fromt he wrapping to the gifts, especially the handmade ones. Sigh...xx

  21. You have received some lovely things from Vanessa once again. I don't think that my PIF to you will be able to compete! I hope to get it sent off to you some time in January. x

  22. Truly scrumptious, you two are truly scrumptious!

    All your swaps are heaven sent aren't they? And it is so true, never any time to indulge ourselves and anyway it is so much dearer and sweeter to have someone else spoil you.

    The scarf/coat combo are a triumph hope to see you modelling them soon,

    Love Sarah x

  23. Lovely to see you today & nice to have time to chat. Hope you got home before the rain started. Had a horrible drive home this evening & the cats were not impressed as they had been on their own all day... AND the house was freezing.. brrrr. Hope you have a cosy weekend. Lizzie x

  24. There is nothing like a parcel in the post! I have just had a red one, and it cheered me up no end! I love the expression on your cat's face - I feel that he was expecting something very special for him rather than you.

    Pomona x

  25. have just discovered your blog and wanted to say i love itoff to read all your old posts now.....

  26. what a lovely idea, I'd like to do that, how wonderful all those polka dot parcels!


  27. Hi Hen

    Vanessa has exquisit taste! Everything that she has given you is perfect, I love them all and that scarf... that is the best of all!
    You coat is lovely, I love velvet coats. I had to smile when I saw it as I have the greeny one added to my wish list! A girl after my own heart!
    The scarf and coat look great together, will see them modelled?
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  28. Wow Hen what fantastic pressies, how lovely! Kitten is settling in well we only got her on Saturday I got my dates wrong!!Will post about her soon. Have a lovely week

  29. Oh wow! Yet another incredible package...and she gave you the scarf! How wonderful is that?!?


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