Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Handmade Joy Exchange

Thanks to a suggestion made by my buddy Judy, (you can find her over at Hartfelt), I enjoy reading a blog called My Giant Strawberry, written by a very creative and thoughtful young woman. Anne has been sharing a "joy list" on Mondays, where she articulates what has given her joy in the past week. It has become a ritual of sorts and it has helped her find gratitude and happiness in a very thoughtful way.
A while back, Anne invited her readers to participate in a "Handmade Joy Exchange". She asked us to send her our name and address, and she swapped all of us around and assigned each of us a name. She included a link to that person's blog, if they have one. I received Sharon's name, and popped over to her blog, The Tea Cup Incident. Sharon shares recipes and beautiful table settings, and she's very fond of birds. I decided to stitch her a set of four linen napkins, with a bit of appliqued birdy fabric. I also read that Sharon likes sachets,  so I made her a balsam sachet with needles from our trees in Vermont.
I wrapped everything up in white tissue paper, string and added my signature bit of birchbark to the package. It arrived safely at Sharon's house, and I like to think of her setting a pretty table with the simple napkins I stitched here in CT. 
I was a very lucky participant, because Anne had my name, and look at what lovely things arrived in my mailbox! Anne created a very pretty blank journal and a sweetly crocheted bracelet. I love the bracelet so much that I custom ordered another from Anne's Etsy shop. It just arrived and I love it.
It's quite amazing that a bunch of folks can have such a fun interaction without ever meeting in person. The world grows tinier by the day...

Many, many thanks to Anne for inspiring and organizing us via the Handmade Joy Exchange! Be sure to pop by her blog today to see what everyone else has done!


  1. Wonderful post, Karen. I'm so glad you played along. Your stitched goodies were such a thoughtful bit of Joy to send to Sharon. And I'm so glad you enjoyed my pieces, too!

    Thank you for your kind words about me and my blog. I think it's wonderful to have "met" you, thanks to Judy's suggestion. :) Your blog is always beautiful and inspiring to me! The internet can be an amazing place, can't it?

  2. Hi Karen!
    I'm Laura, one of the other participants at the Handmade Joy Exchange!
    I really enjoyed reading your post, and discovering what you made and received!
    I really like your napkins and sachet!! ...and really thrilled that you used needles from your trees!
    It was such a joy participating at this exchange! ...CHEERS to our Celebration!!

  3. Love the way you chose and designed your gifts for Sharon. Thoughtful, personal, beautiful. Happy celebration day.

  4. I didn't know handcrafts could bring tears to my eyes!

  5. Thank you for the lovely napkins and sachet, Karen! I will enjoy using them this summer :)

  6. I took part in the swap as well - it's been so much fun! Your napkins and sachet are so lovely! Sharon is a lucky lady :)

  7. I saw your lovely napkins on Sharon's blog - they are so cute! I had so much fun in this swap!

  8. I loved this swap and your napkins are just gorgeous! I think it's amazing that we all got to know each other and share some of our lives with each other thanks to Anne! And it's so wonderful that you made the balsam sachet with needles from your own tree!!! Oh such beautiful creations from Anne too!!!

  9. What a extraordinary swap i wish I knew about it earlier. Your swap present is so lovely!!