Thursday, 17 May 2012

Day 327 & 329- Caterina's Gifts

It was on 21st May 2011, yes, you read that right, 2011, that Caterina wrote me about a swap.  Thankfully for me, Caterina was quite specific with what she would like; I loved her books and shoes and she liked my rusty suitcase and woven basket. So I readily agreed after ample warnings that  I would be taking my time with the swap. Those were my pre-suitcase garden days. 

Almost a year later on 17th April 2012, I received Caterina's little packages whilst my rusty garden for her and the basket were still lying around in my home, waiting for me to be sure. I will explain why later. Anyhow, I didn't immediately opened her parcels and it nearly cost me dearly. Let me also leave that gory detail to the end because I want to just show you the treasures I nearly lost.

  Gifts for Maharaja

For the Maharaja, Caterina made a pair of golden slippers out of precious silk, a set of bowl and jug also in gold and a toy elephant with emerald eyes. Can you see that there was also a pretty anklet made with little gold balls on one of the elephant's feet? Just like my tattooed anklet. Intentional or not, details like this warmed my heart.

Here are the books I love. The one on the left is titled The Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh which Caterina meant for the palace, whilst Aladdin, or The Wonderful Lamp was for Maya. Caterina sent me a note about these books.

The Court and Camp of Runjeet [sic] Singh was a book written by Lord WG Osborne to chronicle events of Punjab from 19 May -13 July 1838 and his impressions of  Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

The book contains a vivid account of the person and character of Ranjit Singh, his habits and idiosyncrasies, and his virtues and foibles. The Maharaja was, observes Osborne, one of that order of men who seemed destined by nature to win their way to distinction and achieve greatness. Cool and calculating by nature, the Maharaja kept a just proportion between his efforts and objectives. Unable to read and write, he was amply compensated for this deficiency by an accurate and retentive memory, an extraordinarily agile mind and fertile imagination.

By sheer force of mind, personal energy and courage, he created a powerful nation...

The book was also said  to be illustrated with sixteen beautiful lithographic portraitures drawn by the author himself. All 16 of them were reproduced by Caterina in this teeny version. I know because I counted. This is exactly the kind of book I will love to read and own.  

Ranjit Singh, ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of Caterina, just in case you want a picture of him in your dolls' wallet.

Aladdin, or The Wonderful Lamp was an 1872 edition containing 16 illustrations by Felix O.C.Darley, or F.O.C. Darley, a self taught artist who was later hailed as the most accomplished and prolific American illustrator before the centennial. Darling Caterina had faithfully reproduced this book in 1:12 and I have just spent the last half hour speed reading it online and loving it.

In this edition, the story was set in ancient China or Cathay but the main characters have Arabian names like Fatima or Mustapha who was Aladdin's father. The genie was from Africa and there was a princess with a french sounding name called Badroul Boudour ala Brigitte Bardot.Whoever they were or wherever they were from, as far as Mr Darley was concerned, they all had Chinese faces and almond eyes and the men wore pigtails, even the African Genii. Some people may be irritated with the inaccuracies but I find these anomalies gems and totally identify with the characters. A stroke of genius on Caterina's part to have found  this particular edition, she, who love my almond eyes. For those of you who wondered, yes, I can still see even when I smile so widely my eyes narrowed into a line.

Much as I love those books, my favourite has to be these slippers that Caterina made for Maya. Poor Maya never saw these slippers though because they were hijacked quite quickly.

Look, he protested, Caterina made everyone else presents, the bar of soap for Papa, perfume for Mama, and Aladdin for Maya. Surely, those slippers were meant for me.

True enough, they fit him like the glass ones for Cinderella and since that day, he never allowed them too far from his sight, even in his sleep. 

Caterina, you have made a bunch of people really happy, so

Papa and Mama Rolla thank you.

Maya thanks you.

And OM says he loves you 
here's a 1001 kisses 
for your sweet Arabian Nights.

On Sunday, I went to the box I brought back from Europe to take out my goodies and found the box half eaten by termites, I nearly went crazy because amongst some precious items I bought from my recent travels were the packages from Caterina. Packages I didn't want to open until I could photograph them. Luckily for me, only the envelop containing her gifts were destroyed. I love my home but really hate these termites. The last time termites attacked was when they tried to eat up my Farmhouse Jr dollhouse, now the tribal house for my Rollas. I shudder even now thinking about how close it was that Caterina's treasures  could have been food to the white ants.

I will sleep now and hope to dream of 1001 ways to kill termites. Good Arabian Night, everyone!


Margriet said...

What lovely gifts!!! I love the books, they are wonderful!!! And those slippers..I think they really suit OM :-)
But those termites...ooooh, what a horrorstory!! Thankfully your gifts weren't eaten!!
Good night dear Sans..I hope you have magical dreams!

Maria Ireland said...

Your gifts from Caterina are gorgeous. I love how you have woven a beautiful story around the gifts. I love all your gifts.
Hugs Maria

rosanna said...

Caterina has been really really good with them !
Termites ARE a nightmare, I am glad that there aren't here but I'd be terrified by them.
Have fun with your new "toys" and keep them safe :o))
Hugs, Ro

Drora's minimundo said...

I shudder to think that such treasures were nearly destroyed.
I love all your gifts from Caterina. Pieces of art to treasure. Enjoy.
Hugs, Drora

SaMiRa73 said...

Termites must be a really annoying thing...but hey! They´ve got some really good taste! Caterina´s gifts are just amazing, those imprints of the toes on the slippers are just gorgeous! Thanks for showing!
Hugs, Sandra

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Beautiful gifts! The books are just amazing and my favorites.


Flora said...

Wow, everything about you is always very adventurous, including swaps :-)
Please keep termites away from these precious treasures! Otherwise someone is likely to remain barefoot again ;-)
A big hug and look forward to see your rusty suitcase in Caterina's cottage :-)

malu2 said...

Preciosos regalos!! los libros y las zapatillas son fantasticos!! disfruta de estos regalos tan bonitos.
Vigila las termitas!!!!
Besos de las Malu´s.

BiWuBär said...

What a wonderful post about wonderful presents - Caterina sent you some teeny tiny miracles... but then, all of a sudden, the shock, the change into a horror story. To think these precious gifts would have been lost really gives me the shivers. I'm glad there was no serious damage and it's so nice to see Om with his slippers... ;O)


cockerina said...

oh! Sans, as I feared that hideous termites could destroy my gifts for you! I hope you will be able to permanently eliminate these dangerous insects.
I'm glad you liked my presents, just as I liked yours.
I loved doing flip flops, but I insist that they are for Maya, I have a terrible sympathy for that girl!
Now that you have shown to all, I can write my post on this our swap, so suffered .... but you and I, we take all the time that we like, right? ;)
a kiss

Daydreamer said...

Oh Sans! What a Narrow Escape from Disaster! Caterina's Gifts are Gorgeous! (I have one of her Amazing books... so I know how Wonderful they are!!) But those Slippers too! With the Perfect little trimming!!! And the Sandals for Maya, I mean OM, are just Perfect!!! It is Wonderful to see the Family again... and the Tribal House looks as Wonderful as ever.....!
I hope you find a way to deal with the Termites!

Rosamargarita said...

Son unos regalos sensacionales y tu los has unido con hermosas fotos e historias!!!
Muchos besos

Josje said...

Oh Sans, those gifts are so wonderful! And I absolutely love the worn slippers! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with those type of slippers. When I was in my teens, that type of slipper was very fashionable so of course I wore them too. Until I got a severe allergic reaction to them, turns out I am allergic to something in the tannine of the leather. It wasn't pretty. Even so, I still have a strange fondness for them and these ones Caterina made are perfect. The imprint of the feet on the leather...precious!

Piikko said...

Oh, what a gorgeous gifts!!!
I love all things what Caterina made but Maya's slippers are my favourite.
I could not breath when you mention termites! Fortunatelu you didn't loose any of your treasures!
Hugs, piikko

Ana Anselmo said...

Sans, termites are terrible, i can´t imagine to have them in my house, what a nightmare. Your gifts are beautiful and for sure, they come from the heart....

Fabiola said...

The gifts are fantastic, expecially the books.
Bye Faby

carmen said...

hermosos regalos y hermoso tu post ....

Ascension said...

Caterina ha conseguido hacer feliz a una familia entera y no me extraña, cada uno a conseguido lo que mas le gusta y tu verlos felices a todos.
...........a sido precioso ver tus fantasticos regalos, acompañados de un maravilloso relato.
besitos ascension

Sans! said...

No dreams last night , Margriet but we have been enjoying really dramatic thunderstorms in the past 2 wee mornings and I am so loving them. Easy to say when I was safely snuggling in bed. The flashes were so intense I could see them even with my eyes close . We are so near the equator that thunderstorms and lightning affect us almost 180 days in a year. But the destruction! One time, 13 trees at a park were uprooted thanks to the storm gusts. And of course, incidents of people being struck by lightning happen here. On nights like these, easier to kill trees than termites.

Sans! said...

Maria Ireland, I always say good things come to those who wait :).

Sans! said...

Ro, my house is not safe! :(

You remember the 2 fat quarters I bought from shop near Sylvia's ? I think I should take a pic to show you how those have been eaten like a flat bread with many holes.

Sans! said...

If anything can drive me to leave this house , the termites may, Drora. I often live in fear of the floorboards giving way under me!

Sans! said...

Sandra, termites are not just irritating, they are terrible destroyers!

Sans! said...

Victoria, trust me, very easy to fall in lust with Caterina's books which are much better in person.

Sans! said...

hahaha Flora but first, it's great to see you here! :)

I wish I can do something about these termites but there's no preventing them over here where I live. They are insidious !

Sans! said...

Malu Hola!! Oh, querida, lo siento, he estado tan ocupado en el trabajo y no han visitado. POL es bueno? No he olvidado los regalos. No, usted no tendrá que esperar un año .. :)

besos y abrazos

Sans! said...

Birgit, you know I have been told many a times that when termites are spotted, I am not to disturb them. Instead, I am to call the pest guys immediately and wait for them to turn up and of course, they never turn up soon enough. These guys will then sprinkle the powder over these white ants who will carry them back to their nests. The powder will then kill all at the nest because they will feed on it.

How to watch the termites eat up al my precious gifts?? So I just spray them with Baygon and save my packages!

Sans! said...

Read your post and enjoyed it, Caterina :). We both sure took a long time.

I like to take my time to think about how to make something for that one person. It usually takes a while for me to understand the person and then see if I can make something to suit what the person is building. Like you, I also wait for inspiration. It will be quite a waste to make something that is not suitable right? Especially for someone like me who takes a really long time just to finish something that others may take only 5 minutes. :)

I really admire those of you who swap a lot :):) and can make something in such a short time :). One swap a year is about all I can handle.

As some of you know, my giveaways take a long long time too ..:)

Sans! said...

Spiderwebs are already gathered at the tribal house, Bets :)

By the way, OM was the only one without footwear. All the others have shoes or slippers already made for them. As for Maya, there's a reason why she can't wear shoes. You don't want to know why ..:)

Sans! said...


Gracias y besos!

Sans! said...

Josje, that's why worn leather shoes are truly the best to wear. Let someone else absorb the tannine :)

The slippers are truly the best! I just love everything old and worn. So much more realistic for my home :).

Kisses to Caterina again :)

Sans! said...

Piiko, there's nothing more scary than to open a box with 1000 termites crawling around your favourite things. And they do make such an awful "chi chi chi sound. Arghhhh!

Sans! said...

O Ana, I do so agree with you . :)

Sans! said...

Faby, the books are exact mini replica and it is really wonderful that they are all readable!

Sans! said...

Gracias Carmen :)

Sans! said...

Sí, sí, Ascensión, Caterina hizo que todos en la casita feliz. Y tengo que ir a barrer las telarañas cuando colocaron sus regalos en la casa jajajaja

Amy said...

Caterina is a genius, isn't she? What wonderful mind-boggling little masterpieces they are! I can hardly imagine the sorrow to have lost those wonders, especially those perfect sandals and the books, oh the books! I have to admit, and only to you, Sans, that not one of my dollhouse books are actual books you can open and turn and look at and read, and I am the poorer for that. Your volumes are truly little miracles. What I especially love is that in a world where your entire life can be stored on a microchip, all your favorite books and photos and music, it's still the miniature paper and leather books, filled with print and pictures, that we can hold and see, that fill us with the most reverence and wonder.

Ara said...

Those gifts are so gorgeous and so perfect for you! And I am so glad they escaped destruction as well! I hope those termites are removed soon! How horrible that they would attack such beautiful items! hugs, ara

CWPoppets said...

Love these golden slippers! They even look like someone was wearing them!
And the books are unbelievable.
Wish you a lovely weekend.

Eva said...

Unos regalos maravillosos, felicidades. Un saludo, Eva

Ilona said...

Hi Susan, lucky girl! Great swap of you both! You recieved some lovely gifts of Caterina!! I have also some of her books, they are gorgeous! But the slippers, especially the silk ones are great! The others with the toe prints :)!!
Have a great weekend, Hugs, Ilona

Glo said...

Madre mia!! que cosas tan bonitas hace y los libro son preciosos, ahora mismo te pongo en mi blog,, chaoo.

Flor said...

Que regalos mas fantásticos Sans!!
¡Muchas felicidades!!!
Te mando un gran abrazo

Meapuntoatodo said...

Querida Sans ... hace mucho que no entraba en tu blog ... el día sólo tiene 24 horas! poco a poco ire mirando todo lo que tengo atrasado. Hoy veo una coleccion de maravillosos regalos ... fascinantes!!! Felicitaciones. Mariajo

shahbaz khan said...

The embroidery work is so attractive. I would love to use thos embroidery clothes as a gifts to my mother.

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