Vegan Pals are the Best!

When I participate in craft swaps, I’m usually most excited about choosing and creating special trinkets specifically designed for my partner to enjoy. Waiting to find out if they like what I send off to them keeps me on my toes from the day my box goes to the post office until I finally get word of its arrive. This time however, I must greedily admit that it was rather different the moment I heard that my partner this time around would be Michelle. After all of the anticipation, I discovered just the other day that my package had been accidentally been delivered to my neighbor. Weird, I know, but I didn’t give it a second thought once I realized what I treat I would soon uncover. Instantly tearing through layers of paper, cardboard and tape, I was thrilled to be unwrapping what could be considered my first holiday gift!

Understand for a moment that I never get very excited about ending up on the receiving end of any situation. I remember only two years ago begging my family not to buy me anything for Chanukah, not even a card, but that instead they could write me holiday wishes on scraps of toilet paper if they must. It’s not that I don’t love and appreciate getting things, recognizing the thought and hard work that goes into them, it’s just that I have difficulty accepting things. Clearly I’ve made good progress since that time based on my reaction to this package; I wanted it more than you could even imagine. I couldn’t possibly have opened it all fast enough, and what I found would leave me mesmerized for hours.

The first thing I pulled out of the box was this enticing package of vegan cookies, which I learned were locally produced, to boot! Chocolate espresso, I don’t think there were ever two flavors that were better paired together. Being quite the coffee fiend myself, it might be hard to share these if my family spies them hidden in the cupboard!

Mmm, an excellent accompaniment for the cookies – Cocoa spice rooibos tea, with what has to be one of the sweetest tea strainers I’ve ever seen. I immediately thought of a butterfly net upon grasping the handle, but this one is even better, because I would much rather catch pieces of loose tea than those fragile creatures! My imagination ran wild with this piece… I might end up finding a different use for it in the future. We’ll see what happens…

My mom was overseeing me revealing of the contents of the box at this point, and she got especially excited about this tea. She’s a big tea drinker herself but tries to stay clear of caffeine, which makes rooibos her usual tea of choice. I may have to jealously gaurd this to get even a cup for myself!

Oh, and such fine craft supplies! I’ve never even been able to find hemp in any of my local yarn or craft stores, so this was such a treat. I can barely keep my paws off it, but first I’m trying to finish off my current works in progress so that I don’t get too far behind my holiday gift schedule. If I’m not careful though, I might end up knitting it in my sleep; I just can’t get it off my mind! I want to wait until I find the perfect project though, so as not to waste this pristine skein.

I was very excited about the row counter in particular. It’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time, but not been able to commit any money towards it when I can just keep tallies on paper for free. This one is especially lovely, making use of the loops to count with gorgeous glass beads bringing the piece together. I never even mentioned my desire to possess such an object, so Michelle must have been reading my mind, or made an extremely good guess!

In such an adorable box that I couldn’t exclude it from the picture, there was also a small baggie of lovely, iridescent black beads. It’s hard to see from the above photo, but they really are breath taking in person. They inspire my to do more bead work, because it really has been a long time since my last piece…

Speaking of bead work, Michelle sent along even more inspiration in the form of a knitted wire bracelet with translucent brown and green fragments. So delicate and sophisticated, I can’t wait to get an opportunity to show it off – It will certainly match well with a lot of my clothes, as I tend to sport a darker palate. I must say, I really love the magnetic clasp, too… I need to find some of those for myself. So nifty!

Finally, as if that wasn’t enough, three adorable pins awaited me at the bottom of the brown cardboard box. I particularly love the lamb, but each of them is too cute to forget.

Oh, and I didn’t even mention the touching letter that she wrote me! It was so kind and personal, I felt as if she had known me for years. I don’t think I really deserved to be spoiled like this, but my goodness, how I loved everything that was sent my way! Thank you so much Michelle for being such an amazing partner, I couldn’t have even imagined a better conclusion to this swap. Maybe it’s a bit premature to even be thinking so far ahead, but if there were a second Vegan Pal Swap… Count me in!