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Monday, 28 December 2015

Sasha Secret Santa 2015 - what we sent

I've participated in every Christmas Secret Santa Swap which Lorraine has organised since the first one in 2011.  This year I knew I would be up against time for making outfits as I was away for a week during November in Vancouver for a work conference and I was also completing some outfits for a doll which we raffled at our church Christmas fair.  As a result Lorraine made sure that I would send to a UK based person rather than overseas (the deadline for sending gifts is end of November).  In the event my parcel (which our dolls unwrapped on Christmas day) arrived on the 27 November (from the USA) and I managed to sew and send gifts to Rosie L a week later.

I had received the following message from Rosie's boys (via Lorraine):

Dear Santa
We have been very good and hope we're on your nice list.
This year the Laird Gregors would like a reefer jacket in navy or grey (if
that's possible) or another style of jacket without a hood.
We would also like a Star wars t shirt and a messenger bag.
If that's not possible we would be happy with some shirts. please don't send
us knitwear as our Mum knits ALL the time!
Thank you
The Laird Gregors

I found some Star Wars fabric online.  The motifs on the fabric were the largest I dared use on a Sasha doll sized shirt so I adapted my dashiki pattern to make large t-shirts for the boys.  Sending them one Star Wars themed t-shirt seemed silly, much better to send three, to prevent arguments.  I cut out the motifs and stitched them onto plain polyester non stretch fabric using a fine zigzag stitch.  From the fourth piece of fabric I made a messenger bag.
Nicholas James, Trendon Elliott and Reuben model the Star Wars shirts
NJ, TE and R tried very hard not to feel jealous of the Laird Gregors who would receive these Star Wars shirts, even though none of them had ever seen a Star Wars movie.
Trendon Elliott modeled the red light saber shirt and carried the messenger bag
Reuben modeled one of the blue Star Wars shirts
Nicholas James modeled the other blue Star Wars shirt
The Star Wars messenger bag
The open Star Wars messenger bag
I suggested in a note to Rosie that the boys would need some popcorn when they went to see the new Star Wars movie.

A few days later the following email arrived from Rosie L:

I just wanted to say a really big thank you for the super T shirts and Messenger bag you made for me. We are delighted with them. When I asked for a Star Wars T shirt I didn't really know if it would be possible - but to get 3 and a matching bag is just amazing. Your sewing is so neat I am envious! You are right - all my boys need now is some popcorn to munch while watching.

As you can see from Lorraine's blog, Rosie's Gregors are delighted.

I still have some Star Wars fabric (I bought a fat quarter of 4 different patterns).  None of my family have ever watched Star Wars - I could make more shirts if anyone wants one for their Gregor doll.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Sasha Christmas day 2015

On Christmas morning the Sasha and Gregor children and babies gathered around the new fireplace to find the sleigh bearing Secret Santa gifts.
Nicholas James and Reuben were wearing Christmas t-shirts from the 2012 swap (from Dorisanne)
Florence was glad to greet the reindeer (she was wearing her dress from the first Sasha Secret Santa we joined in 2011
Edmund toddled in still wearing his dressing gown and pyjamas.  "Merry Christmas, sleepyhead" laughed Miranda when she saw him. "Mewwy Cwismas Miwanda" mumbled Edmund, who was still tired from his Christmas Eve climb down and up the stairs.
Edmund's stocking was bulging with gifts from Father Christmas
"Pwesents!" cried Edmund in delight as he clutched his stocking (and showed off his pyjamas made by his girl from fabric bought at Dressew)
The others gathered around to watch as Edmund pulled a candy cane out of the stocking
This was swiftly followed by a model aeroplane kit.  Reuben offered to help Edmund assemble the plane later.
Edmund discovered a dinosaur stencil in his stocking
"A wacing car" yelled Edmund in delight as the next gift emerged from his stocking
The last gift from his stocking was a rubber ball.  Edmund was thrilled and asked the others to play ball with him later.
After Edmund's excitement, the Sasha and Gregor's turned their attention back to the sleigh full of gifts. They were all presented beautifully in draw string bags. We had requested gifts for the boys this year when Lorraine organised the swap.
Reuben carefully lifted down from the sleigh a gorgeous polar bear with chocolates
There was a lovely pair of black shoes in one of the gift bags
A superb hand knitted sweater with a polar bear motif and matching socks was in the next bag (made by Halyna)
There was also some dark chocolate (sea salt caramel) in the wonderful collection of Secret Santa gifts
The boys decided that Nicholas James would wear the sweater, socks and shoes first.  NJ was so pleased he tucked his jeans into the socks to show off their stripes
Mabel, the polar bear, Edmund and Trendon Elliott (wearing the 2011 Secret Santa sweater) were pleased to pose for a Christmas photo.
This wasn't the end of the Sasha Christmas surprises. In a basket belonging to her big sister my younger daughter discovered her new baby. She came (via Shelly's site) with a hand knitted sweater and original Sasha baby Ginger trousers.
After dressing her new baby ginger in the clothes
The only blue eyed red haired Sasha baby (made by Trendon) is an unsexed baby, it is described in the Three Ann's Sasha Identification book as 'she' however the baby comes wearing trousers. After some thought my girl decided the baby would be a girl and she will be called Amy.

Florence, Laura, baby Leo, Nicholas James, baby Mabel, Miranda, Reuben, Edmund and Trendon Elliott meet baby Amy
Leo, Mabel, polar bear and Edmund say hello to Amy
Welcome baby Amy
Thank you so much to Halyna for the gorgeous collection of Secret Santa gifts and Lorraine for organising the swap again this year. We enjoyed participating and I'll blog about the gifts we sent to Rosie L in the next post. Our Sasha and Gregor family (now 10!) wish all our friends and other readers of this blog a Merry Christmas and happy 2016.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Edmund's Christmas eve

Edmund was all ready for bed but he wanted to see that everything was ready for Father Christmas, so he made his way downstairs in his new pyjamas and dressing gown
It was quite hard climbing down all by himself as the stairs were deep for a toddler but Edmund was determined
Edmund peered round the door to see the Christmas tree
Edmund could see that there was something for Father Christmas and the reindeer in the fireplace beside the Christmas tree.  His stocking was waiting to be filled
Edmund clutched his stocking hopefully - maybe it would contain some gifts in the morning
The manger awaited baby Jesus on Christmas Eve as young Edmund went back upstairs to bed
The pyjamas were made by my younger daughter for Edmund from a piece of the fabric I bought in Dressew with Heather Maciak.  I made the dressing gown from the turquoise fleece fabric I bought a few days ago in Leicester when Edmund and Laura visited King Richard III's tomb.  The patterns came from Dorisanne.

Edmund and Laura visit a king

Laura was all safely strapped into the car seat for a trip to Leicester with her girl
"get off me, you're heavy" came a muffled voice from inside Laura's travel bag
With a wriggle a small head emerged  from the bag as Edmund appeared from his stowaway hiding place.  Laura looked at him in surprise "What are you doing Edmund? You weren't meant to be coming too.  There isn't time to turn round and take you home again".  "Wanted to come" said Edmund.
Edmund climbed out of the bag and found a seat and seatbelt for the remainder of the journey.  Laura told him stories about Kings and Queens and battles.
When they arrived in Leicester they went to the Cathedral (St Martin's).  Laura had to take her hat off to go inside.  They found the tomb of King Richard III who was buried in the Cathedral in March 2015 after being discovered under a car park in Leicester in August 2012 (he was buried hastily in the old Greyfrairs church after he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485).
A guide explained that the tombstone of King Richard III is made of cream coloured Swaledale limestone (it is filled with fossils) resting on a black slab of Kilkenny marble.
Edmund and Laura stood respectfully beside the King's tomb and gazed at it in wonder
The cross on the tombstone is deeply incised into the limestone.  Viewed at the right angle the light and shadows produce a sword shape in the base of the cross.  This seemed entirely appropriate - King Richard III was killed by the sword in battle.
The base of his tomb was engraved with his years of birth and death
In a display case in the side aisle was the pall which had been draped over the coffin of Richard III for his reburial services.  It took several months to embroider the pall with the various figures of people who had been involved in his rediscovery and those who would have lived in his time.  The detailed needlework was incredible.
Edmund and Laura were very impressed with the crown which was resting on top of Richard III's pall.
Outside Leicester Cathedral Laura put her hat back on and stood with Edmund beside the sign about the services and opening times.
Edmund was still a bit overawed by the King's tomb and crown and stood nicely with Laura.
Leicester Cathedral is small compared to many English Cathedrals, however it had still impressed young Edmund.  Laura explained that the churches she visited in Rome were MUCH bigger than Leicester Cathedral, Edmund found that quite hard to imagine.
On the way to Leicester market Laura and Edmund saw an antique doll sitting on a chair in a shop window.  She looked very grand in her richly decorated clothes.
 Beside Leicester Market Laura and Edmund found a fabric shop which had an extensive range of fabrics for sale in a small space (it was about a quarter of the size of Dressew in Vancouver).

Laura and Edmund helped choose some fleece fabric for warm winter dressing gowns, Edmund was very excited about the turquoise and Laura liked the purple.  They watched as the fabric was measured and cut for them.
Soon it was time to go home.  Laura and Edmund shared a seat as DollMum's elder daughter was in the car for the journey home.  Edmund was very tired - his first outing into a city had been very exciting and a bit overwhelming for a toddler boy, so he was glad to cuddle up to Laura and listen to stories until he fell asleep when he dreamed about Kings, pyjamas and dressing gowns and cars.
(The outing to Leicester was prompted by the need to bring a certain person back home for the Christmas holidays at the end of her first term at University.  I had spotted the fabric shop when we took her to University in September.  The prices were much cheaper than in John Lewis, but still more than Dressew.)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Peggy Sue's birthday celebrations

The day after I returned from Vancouver, Jocelyn collected me and my younger daughter and we traveled to Lorraine's home to help celebrate Peggy Sue's birthday.  Peggy Sue has featured on my blog before, she is an antique wooden Schoenhut doll with some character.  Lorraine blogs about her on both her 'two many dolls' and 'Sewing for Sasha' blogs.  Jocelyn brought Lissy and Gaby, we brought Laura, Florence, Miranda, Edmund and Betsy.  Betsy?  Yes, Betsy, my Schoenhut doll (who came from Lorraine during the summer). I'll tell you more about her in another post.

The girls brought the Ponfa pram with them to show their friends along with a gift from Canada for Peggy Sue.  And Laura had brought something for Henry from Rome.

Lorraine blogged about Peggy Sue's party immediately afterwards but it is only now, a month later, that I've found a moment to go through my photos of our fun afternoon and assemble my blog post.

Laura wheeled the pram with the present for Peggy Sue
Edmund was looking interested in the present which Princess Addison had brought for Peggy Sue
Yes, of course you can unwrap it Peggy Sue" said Laura and Betsy (who was wearing a lilac dress).  Edmund was keen to see Peggy Sue unwrap her gift so he sat down beside Princess Addison to watch.
Peggy Sue started to unwrap the parcel
"Its beautiful fabric" exclaimed Peggy Sue.  "Yes", said Betsy, "my new mum brought it for you from the amazing Dressew shop in Vancouver"
"Thank you Betsy, Laura, Miranda and Florence for my lovely fabric" said Peggy Sue
"I'm looking forward to seeing what my mum will make for me from my new fabric"
Lissie and Gaby (Jocelyn's girl) handed Peggy Sue a very pretty parcel, which was tied with a lovely ribbon
"Oh how pretty" said Peggy Sue
Peggy Sue read the card from Lissy and Gaby
She was a bit overwhelmed to receive such lovely gifts
"For me?  Wow, this is fabulous, I have never had a modern outfit like this before" exclaimed Peggy Sue.  "Thank you so much Gaby and Lissy"
Lissy, Florence, Henry and Anne-Marie were pleased to see Peggy Sue enjoying her gifts.  Lexie and Jenny were so pleased Peggy Sue liked the fabric they had chosen for her in Dressew in Vancouver, they were still feeling a bit tired from the long journey.
Peggy Sue discovered a box of chocolates in the third package which came from her friend Princess Addison
Little Owen was there like a flash when he saw the chocolates!
"Thank you Princess Addison for my yummy chocolates" said Peggy Sue
While Peggy Sue was entertaining her guests we enjoyed a tea party with plenty of delicious cakes and sandwiches
This was followed by Laura giving Henry his Roman gift, that follows in the next blog post.