Last week Schoolhouse Quilters held their Christmas party at the Kenmore Tavern and we were honoured with a guest appearance by ABBA. Oh, how I wish I had some photos, but I foolishly left my camera at home. Anyway, they have aged pretty well, all things considered, but they were reduced to miming their songs via a karaoke machine, poor darlings. In the end we all helped them out.
This year it was decided to drop our traditional blood sport of stealing gifts we liked from other recipients (it could get quite ugly) and settled for a pass-the-parcel system. Thank goodness no one was able to steal my beautiful gift.
This hand-painted box received many ooo-s and aaah-s from the others present, so I was really relieved that I didn't have to cry when someone took it away from me - it was all mine. What was inside?
These adorable little containers were liberally filled with decorations to sprinkle on our table on Christmas Day.
And I am going to use the box to keep my buttons in order. Thank you so much Jenny Whitehead, our new Schoolhouse President, for this very much loved gift.
But wait - there's more. I entered a blog competition organised by Magnolia Square and was delighted to be chosen as one of the winners. My prize was made by Miranda of Bride & Wolf, a designer I had admired for many months. Within a few days, there was a parcel waiting for me at the Post Office.
What I saw inside took my breath away.
It was the most beautiful little hand-carved bird with removable eggs...
... with different colours on each side.
It is a much cherished treasure which will give us years of pleasure. If you would like to see some of Miranda's work first-hand, you will have to be in Melbourne, where you can visit her stall at Magnolia Square Markets, or Sisters' Market. I know you won't be disappointed.
I also received a stunning hand-made fabric post card from Joy, a member of our Loose Threads group - eight old friends who meet twice monthly to quilt and chat. This is the second year we have made each other post cards and I will feature them some time in the New Year.
I have purchased some beautiful works of art from Amanda Twinkle Star Art, but I can't show you because they are gifts. You will have to take my word for it that they are gorgeous and I will reveal them in the fullness of time, in due course, at the appropriate juncture, to quote my favourite public servant.
So you can see that receiving can be just as much fun as giving, particularly when the gift is made with love.
One tradition we have kept for many years is to buy a panetone in a tin. As the years pass, it is harder to track down the tinned variety, as most come in cardboard boxes these days. However, a trip to a local deli produced this lovely tin:
After we have eaten the panetone (yum!), it will join our other tins.
Sorry to rabbit on. I wish you all a very happy Christmas. I hope you will spend the day surrounded by your loved ones.