Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pen Pals and Presents!!!

      Remember waaaayyyy back in elementary school when pen pals were the rage??  When your fifth grade teacher began yammering away one winter's day about the exciting writing adventure the entire classroom was going to partake in until the school doors flew open and freed everyone to summer's sunshine?  No???  Well, I do!!!  At least "somewhat".  

   I have no earthly idea just where Mrs. Carrigan got the names for our classroom project...but 28 names were clearly written on crisp white paper strips, neatly folded, and dropped into two boxes on her desk, one for girls, one for boys.  In orderly fashion we each drew the name of some "stranger" that would soon become a bosom buddy.  At least that was the plan.  Naturally, as luck would have it, every letter I scrawled to "my buddy" remained unanswered.  However, it did fuel a fondness for letter writing in me that remains to this day.  Soooo several months ago I decided to take part in something I normally would avoid like the plague.

   I was blog hopping and discovered a woman hosting a "vintage brooch swap".  Well, since all these mixed media gals go into apoplectic fits when spying ANY kind of vintage jewel, I figured this proposal was ideal for me....I'd end up with something pretty cha cha and a new friend to boot!  Thankfully my partner was just as "up" for the project as I was...and so my kinship with Mary Lea Wolf was born.

                                 Mary's frame and vintage brooch to me                            

   The task was to purchase a vintage brooch, "present it" in some kind of special fashion, and have it posted within 1 1/2 months.  During that time Mary and I wrote brief notes back and forth, discussing introductory topics, family, career, etc.  But mainly focusing on our projects.  

   Mailing day came and I have to say when I received mine I was ever so pleased to have a "piece" of my new found friend's heart.  Mary's frame was so sweet...she even included a tiny photo of herself as a young cha cha is that?  I ask you?!?!!

my stitched needleroll and mother-of-pearl brooch to Mary

   I was totally stumped for a presentation idea, but chose to stitch up a needleroll where her brooch could reside front and center, above the words "forever friends".  I adore stitching needlerolls and have a small collection of them.  

   Since the swap's conclusion Mary and I have continued writing back and forth...sharing the hum drum of daily life and the excitement of any and all adventures.  I have to say Mary is bit more bold than myself...her last major adventure was touring the backroads of England in a horse-drawn caravan where she cooked her own meals over open fires!  Me...I tour those back roads in a rental car and sleep in B&B's that offer cuddly warm duvets and traditional English breakfasts!! 

just me...sayin' "Hey Mrs. Carrigan!  After 50 years I FINALLY got that pen pal!"...jan


  1. Your swap partner did a great job Jan! I wish I could have see the beauty that you sent her!!! I bet is was fab! So glad to see a new post on here...
    I am sooo looking forward to your next one my friend!!

  2. Oh that goofy Karen, I love the neckroll you sent her and the frame she sent you. It was a wonderful, mind blowing, exciting, spell binding blog post. I'm still trembling from the excitement!! I will always be your pen pal even though we're only miles apart. Welcome to the Blog World Miss Jan! xox-cindy

  3. Your blog is BEAUTIFUL!! Thanks for the kind words! I have your lovely needle roll displayed on my organ...and many people have admired it! I'm also looking forward to your new posts...with plenty of photos!

  4. Karen...are you in shock that I actually posted something or just crackers? LOL The "blue needleroll" IS what I made for Mary Lea you goofball!
    just me...wonderin' where YOUR brain matter is...jan

  5. What a sweet story & I am so glad you & Mary found each other through a successful swap. As we all know... a swap CAN be a dicey thing. LOVE both of your projects & the fact that your'e blogging again!!!! Hugs Charlene