Tuesday, December 7, 2010

St Nikoulas Swap

Oh No! this was supposed to post automatically yesterday and there seems to have been a glitch. Please mentally take a step back in time and pretend it is the 6th of December as you read this.

For those of you not from recent Central European descent, like myself, a quick explanation of St Nikolaus/Nicholas/Nikola (St N for short from here) day.

Depending on the country in which you are celebrating the tradition St N's feast day, the 6th of December, is also a day where children are given presents (in the same vein at Santa visiting children who have been good all year) as, among other groups St N is the patron saint of children.
St N and Santa : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas#Central_Europe
Although this day falls early in the Advent season the gift giving has little to do with Christmas. for children that have not been good they receive, instead a visit from Krampus, he will leave a rod for the children to be disciplined with. Depending on the country or family traditions may of these details, including the date, may be different. Gifts are left in the child's boot, left near a window or some other accessible area.

In case you are wondering, in the experience of my friends who grew up in these areas this is your gift for this time of the year, Santa doesn't come 3 weeks later.
It just so happens that my partner comes from one of the Central European countries, that he doesn't 'get' gift giving at Christmas times but loves this tradition, and that St N's day also happens to be his Name Day (another long story for another day). So when I saw this swap I wanted to join, I thought about how busy I would be around this time, how many other things I wanted to be making over the last few months and how it might make me really stressed, and then I joined anyway.

It was only a small swap, 14 people and most were from America, as seems to be the case in Flickr swaps. But the person I was making for happened to be the Swap Mama, from Germany.

Which meant a few things, 
1. I couldn't post sneak peaks - Anything I showed my partner would instantly know was for her. 
2. I had to make a decision if I was going to go with the Christmas (St Nicholas American style) theme that was developing or make items I thought my partner would like, not necessarily Christmas-y, which was my understanding of her original plan for the swap. Her inspiration email helped a little, as did some of her early descriptions for the swap. 

I decided to go with a mix of Christmas and everyday, with the focus on everyday. 

So this post is pictures of what I made, for my partner to see. As there was a slight mix-up with the addresses I couldn't post until the last minute and with the distance and the Christmas mail is probably a few weeks away.  Hopefully these pictures will deliver some excitement during the wait.

The first item is a decorative reindeer, from a pattern by Melly & Me.

Hopefully he or she can adorn an area and watch over the Christmas festivities. As my partner has young children I left off the buttons for safety and made the horns a little shorter for durability.

My partner also suggested something for the sewing corner, and I came up with this mat to protect the table from the machine vibrations. 

It has this cute vintage tape fabric for borders on two sides, and plaid style straight line quilting on the machine surface.  

The right hand side has a little removable pin cushion that can be removed by undoing the buttons for carrying to the ironing board or cutting table as well as a little pocket some some small snipping scissors.

Hope you like it partner!

The final sewn item is a magic cushion featuring a linen fabric that my partner said she liked to add to the extensive cushion collection she mentioned. The blocks that make up the cushion are reasonable geometric and show off the linen well. It is a large lap size and includes a pocket for folding at the back. This doubles as a great foot warmer when having a little rest under it!


The undone view is a surprise!

The package is all labelled with these cards, I sewed some fabric to some card stock and wrote on the card side.

There are a few little extra bibs and bobs in the envelope as well, so careful when opening!

Now to wait patiently for my own package to arrive. Unfortunately it looks like there will be a little delay on this too but good to know so I don't scare the mailman with my stalking!

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