Saturday, 26 December 2009

Day 105- X'mas Eve

Part 1

The rules for Rosanna's swap were simple: It's a circle swap ( Sabiha to me, me to Paola). Send out your gift by 8/12/09 in an unusual box and Sabiha did just that. Rather unusual for the reliable Singpost, I did not receive the gift a week after and then I got sick and didn't go to work (my mailing address is my office) the whole of this week.

Christmas eve came crashing early, thanks to my laptop who apparently also wanted a rest and though I had wanted to spend a quiet Xmas doing nothing but read in bed, the thought of not "connecting" was too scary. So I dressed up and drove my conked out laptop to the service center which was just next to my office. Yes, over here, some of us work normal hours on Xmas Eve!

The bad news is I will have to wait 1-2 months for a new graphics card which had died and until then, the laptop is useless. Badly needing some good news, I dropped by the office and true enough, on my in-tray were 2 parcels. One of them was Sabiha's gift.

Sabiha had asked me what I would like which I could use for my project. I told her since the Maharajah's Palace is to be set in late Victorian British India (19th-early 20th century), maybe something which a British family then would have in their house. And so the talented Sabiha deftly put together the most darling little scene in a tin Christmas box with Teddy.

I fiddled a little with the arrangements (which were fixed with blu-tac) and thought eventually when I am making a house for a British family living in India, their baby girl's room will have a little Sabiha-corner, celebrating Christmas 1911.

I already know what the baby's name is and there, you can see it scrawled in one of the Christmas cards.

And for that Christmas, the precocious little Sabiha would be gifted her 1st picture book, made specially readable by her namesake.

Until then, the box will sit in the corner of my craft table, reminding me everyday that I have a million exciting projects in the pipeline.

Thank you, Sabiha, for this wonderful gift in a most unusual box.

Rosanna's Swap Part 2
I must confess I was a little anxious over the gift that I was supposed to make for Paola. She has a food blog, no mini obsession like all of us and speaks no English. You won't believe the number of times I surfed her blog to try and find some inspiration.1 week before the due date to post, I finally sent an SOS email to Rosanna who knew Paola well.

Sweet darling Rosanna came to my rescue and suggested sending her some spices. That has to be one of the top tips for year 2009! Spices from The Maharajah's Palace! Of course! And since I don't cook and won't know the difference between curry powder and saffron, I enlisted the help of my good friend, Treewizard Chris, who once boasted that he makes to- die- for curries.

Off we went to Little India, bought the essential ingredients to make 3 different types of curries and then spent an hour at Chris' workshop repacking the ingredients into colourful chiffon sachets.

My "unusual" box is a mooncake box. The Chinese celebrates the Mooncake Festival or Mid Autumn Festival by having a feast of mooncakes and tea under a full moon with children carrying lanterns. There are many legends attached to this Festival but the one I like is the love story between Chang Er and her husband.

I haven't heard from Paola but I hope Rosanna can translate all the above to her.

Thanking you in advance, Rosanna.

Rosanna's Gift
The 2nd parcel was from Rosanna, thoughtful and sweet as usual, she sent me a beautiful card depicting Genoa during my British India era-1850. She gave me too, the cutest finger puppets and this gorgeous issue of Art & Decoration (how did she know I love ID magazines from Italy?)

with a little bit of India


the mini version...

readable of course.

Thank you again, Rosanna.

I am so , so fortunate because apart from all these wonderful gifts, there were also something from Helene, Mari and Bendik but I want to do a special post on their presents. Then there's a card from Katie with mini pictures of the real ones she took....not to mention presents from family and friends.

I spent the rest of Christmas Eve buying a Macbook (love love love my Mac) with the help from my brother and a dear friend so I can make this post. We then watched two movies in a row, Sherlock Holmes and Avatar (I love both movies so much. In fact, I watched Avatar again on Christmas Day with Andrew, this time, the 3D version ).

I came home in the wee hours, logged onto my new laptop and then sent my Xmas Greetings to my blog friends. Many of you made me smile with your Xmas posts.

T'was a perfect end to an already perfect Xmas Eve.


Lize said...

Wow Sans, so many beautiful gifts. So many talented miniaturists! I am curious about the size of the lovely spice box?

rosanna said...

Welcome back in blogland Sans!
I knew that you'd have loved Sabiha's gift, it was so cute. I did not hear form Paola yet but I shall call her tomorrow. A new Macbook....I could be jealous, I think that Mac design is the best. BTW in Italy most people work normal hours on Chrismas Eve and then rush home to make everything ready. I was lucky this year because I have my afternoon off on Tuesday HURRA! thus I could kill myself in kitchen :o)))Best wishes to Xander, a big kiss on his chubby cheeks Rosanna

Debbie said...

Beautiful Swap gift from Sabiha, I Love the way she displayed it in the tin.
Your Spice idea for Paola was lovely.
There was some fabulous swaps sent around the

dora said...

Congratulations on the gifts are precious.
Teddy, scene I liked, sachets of species, have been very good idea, have been monisimas.
It is incredible, you can read, with the lowercase to be sees.
I liked everything.
A Carmen hug

Hertta said...

Your blog is so beautiful and what a great Christmas swap !!!

Pubdoll said...

Very nice gifts Sans, I love the box you sent your spices in! (And I'm so looking forward to your post on our present! :-))

I hope you can have some calm days now to relax and play with your new laptop :-) In Norway most people don't work on the 24th of December, and the shops close at 13.00 hours, but I had in addition the 23rd december off so I was lucky!

Liberty Biberty said...

What a wonderful gift from the incredibly talented Sabiha! Great idea with the spices.
My computer went down two days before Christmas. Hubby has spent long hours fixing it, turns out he's a genius after all!

Eva said...

I am so sorry to hear bad news about your laptot but with such a wonderful gifts.. well, I am sure that forgot it while you were opening the parcels :).
This is the beauty of the life; little things that a frindships around the worls that made your day with special Christmas gifts.
When I saw the spicies box in Rosanna's blog I was sure that was made by you!!! So cute!
I am happy that you had a wondeful Christmas eve and day. Mine was wonderful too :) Although I have to wait for the main Spain we celebrate the tradicion of the 4 wise men on January 6th.

Eva said...

Again this sentence:
This is the beauty of life; little things like a friendship around the world that made your day with special Christmas gifts.

Better now?

Sans said...

Hey Lize, if I remember correctly (yes I take measurements for all my minis and sometimes, non-minis, LOL) the box measures 17 1/2" long and about 3 1/2" wide. I actually typed out the words on the cover of the box hoping to post what the makers are boasting about their moon cakes. But my old laptop died and its taking me ages to migrate the data :).

By the way, I had wanted to send you something if only I had your address :).

Sans said...

Rosanna, Xander's 1st year old party was such a thrill for the little one. He is just learning to walk and can now manage 2 steps before he falls, he pats his chest when he coughs and has a really infectious laugh. He also has a very funny way of crawling by sitting on his backside with one leg bent under his bottom and using the front leg to drag his little body. My mother told me that I crawled in the same way too !

Shir baked him an oreos cookie cake and 1/2 of it is in my fridge now :). My brother even made a little boxing ring with floating balloons. And then everyone gets a boxing glove key chain as a souvenir. A huge poster of Xander's bitten face (if you remember my post about my niece's party) was put outside his apartment, so everyone was smiling already even before they entered the house. I dare say the party was a success and everyone stayed well after 8pm even though the party was supposed to end by then.

Sans said...

Debbie, it is mind blowing every time I look at the envelopes I have stashed (I still can't bear to throw away the envelopes of my mini gifts) and think of how amazingly generous and talented this community of ours is. Is it like this for all mini lovers/hobbyists/miniaturists? Or am I just really lucky to be a part of this group? How can one not be cheered ? It's impossible to feel down for long :). And generosity is contagious!

Sometimes when I share with my friends what goes on here, they
can't believe that all this is real. :):). I consider myself one of the lucky ones who knows that this is very real!

Norma said...

Oh dear Sans, some good luck in the form of wonderful gifts, some bad in the form of your illness and your computer crashing (perhaps out of sympathy with your body, haha!). I'm having trouble keeping up with all the blogs at the moment, frantically trying to pack for NZ and as usual I'm sure the suitcases have shrunk since last year!!! Of course normal people just take clothes, we've also got a DVD player and a video player which we don't need here any longer but will be useful at the cottage, a quilt and some framed pictures I am 'returning' to the cottage, a candlestick and some vintage tins I bought at a flea market recently, and somewhere I have to fit clothes, etc! -- sigh -- better get back to it. I'll be in touch again in a few days :)

Meli said...

Sans, the gifts are so lovely!!! You are very lucky to have such talented friends!!! Now it's time to enjoy them!!!
All the best to you and your family for the comming year!
Warm regards,

Sans said...

Darling Carmen , you and I are using Google Translate here :) but we always understand each other, yes? "Monisima" means beautiful?

Yes, all the little books posted here can be read. I love these mini books. I hope to collect them.

Carmen, usted y yo queridos están utilizando Google traducen aquí:) ¿pero nos entendemos siempre, sí? ' Monisima' ¿significa hermoso? Sí, todos los pequeños libros fijados aquí pueden ser leídos. Amo estos mini libros. Espero recogerlos.

Sabiha Barkey said...

Dear,Sans..I'm so glad to see the parcel i sent you arrived safely! i'm also happy to hear you loved your gift...Have fun with it!


Sans said...

Sabiha, I think your little package was wrapped too nicely and the postman didn't want to part with it too soon :). Thank you again!

Helena, thank you. It's so nice to see you here this Christmas :).

Sans said...

Helene, I hope I live up to my ambition of how to present your gifts :).

I will save my next mooncake box for you :). It's celebrated sometime in late August to September. I wish I have access to my old draft because I remembered that the maker's words was quite an interesting way of introducing mooncakes to people who have no idea what they are .

After all that hard work, you deserve a nice break and I am thrilled to finally see you post that glorious church with the hilarious story. I laughed out loud a few tines, dear!

Sans said...

My dear dear Mercedes who will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow! I always knew Jonno is a genius. He picked you, didn't he? Happy birthday again !

Sans said...

Heyyyyyy Eva ! Who shares the same birthday as Mercedes :) Incredible how many of you were born in December. I am blowing you a birthday wish and it says may you have a even happier year in 2010, wealthier and healthier and even more beautiful ! You are lucky to have an extra day for even more gifts :).

Sans said...

Norma, you must get one of those huge vintage standing trunks (love those) and then you can pack many more of the flea-finds from Australia to NZ. You can then leave the trunk in NZ where it will belong.

At the rate you are going, you may very well have to borrow some clothes from Mercedes! You MUST take pictures of all those wonderful candlesticks and vintage knick knacks you brought to NZ and post them! I will love to see what you bought.

I saw what you did for Josje. I think you have done a mighty good job with your gift :). Bon Voyage! Write soon!

Sans said...

Meli, you are one of those friends :). Yea, lets break out the champagne and enjoy for tomorrow will be work work work and then woohoooooo, Happy New Year and another 4 day break for me :) :)

miniaturist59 said...

What a wonderful gift, Susan!! I feel you laptop woes. I had to have a new motherboard installed in mine, so it was out of commission for a couple weeks. But yours is going to take a couple months?? WTF!?

Ara said...

Fantastic swaps Sans!! The spices idea is lovely! I can only imagine the lovely smell that met Paola as she opened her box Christmas eve! Also, I love the idea of your british family in India! That will be a truely unique project! Hope your computer gets better soon! hugs, ara

Sans said...

Kiva & Ara, at the time of this comment, I have already acquired a new laptop, my 1st Mac and loving it :) (I resisted this for a long time because you have to re-learn so many things but let me tell you this, it's quicker than you think and so far, well worth it. It's hard not to fall in love with a Mac). No news yet for my other one which is an Asus.

Ara, hopefully this year, I can start and complete 2 houses. One of them is this British family one. :)

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