Faith, Hope & Charity Jubilee Swap 2012

A couple of months ago, tempted by Julie from Anglers Rest, I signed up for the Faith, Hope and Charity Swap 2012. Bloggers who put their hands up to join in were matched up by FHC Queen Lakota so that you got a blogger gift twin from somewhere else, possibly with different interests from yours. I was twinned with Alison from The Fat Dormouse and View from the Teapot.  We share a love of cats so that certainly made it easy to find some common ground, as well as presents :-) The rules were simple: three to five gifts, at least one hand-crafted and one with a Jubilee theme to celebrate QEII’s Jubilee. One or all should be pre-loved or second hand but the total value had to be under £12 (thank heavens for a good exchange rate!).

My gift arrived while I was interstate with family commitments and by the time I got home I’d almost forgotten what was awaiting me. It was such a lovely surprise! So much so I forgot to photograph my gifts before I started unwrapping.

Alison had sent me these gorgeous hand-crafted gifts all of which I love.  She sells cards and does calligraphy at the local markets in France and I can see why they’re successful. I received four cards themed with “friendship”, “love”, and “for you”.

The Jubilee items were a flower brooch made from red, white and blue felt and a similar magnet. The crafted bookmark also had a jubilee theme and given my addiction to books will get a work-out.

The last item in my gift pack was a hand-painted photo frame which now hosts a photo of my grandchildren.

I’m glad I sent Alison a typed letter with my gifts as her hand-written letter has such beautiful script I’d have been embarrassed otherwise.

It’s been great fun to source gifts for Alison and to receive her thoughtful presents. I’d recommend the pleasure of this swap to other bloggers when it comes around again.

Follow Friday – a diversion from family history

Following in Geniaus’s footsteps from last week, I thought I’d share a list of my favourite blogs beyond family history (though some do venture into that territory). Why don’t you have a look and see if any of them appeal to you as well.

I read them for their different perspectives, an insight into their worlds and their well written posts. A baker’s dozen of authors.

52 Suburbs (An Aussie on the move around the world, looking for the unusual, great photos juxtaposed in a way that most people wouldn’t think of. Thanks Crissouli for this tip-off).

A Big Life (by an Aussie expat in Bavaria)

A Voice from the Silver Irish (love these posts about life in Ireland and its history, with occasional forays into Australian links)

Antipodes (yet another Aussie-this one in France. Some family history, some often-acerbic commentaries on life)

Broadside (a professional writer from Canada but long-term New Yorker)

Essex Voices Past (an in-depth study of Great Dunmow, Essex in the 15th to 17th centuries. This is a great blog if you want to learn how to approach a one-place study in a particular time frame, the resources that may be available and how to interpret them.)

French Essence (can’t believe I somehow omitted this today. A great series- yet another Aussie –living in France. To-die-for photos of life in Provence. Can happily leave the fashion, but the Provencal influences are another story).

Matteo Grilli Wildlife Art (superbly detailed drawings –an Italian in Australia)

No More Wriggling out of Writing Woman (about the poet Keats, mental illness and related matters)

Sydney Eye (great photos of Sydney with interesting commentary)

The Magpie’s Pen and the Magpie’s Fancy (writing, design, life)

Your Brisbane: Past and Present (interesting for anyone with connections to Brisbane)

I’ve also recently started reading View from the Teapot about life in France and Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner. Alison who writes both blogs is my exchange mate in the Faith Hope and Charity Jubilee Swap and as luck would have it we’re both mad cat lovers We’ve both been working on our gift package and I’m hoping to get mine off to Alison today. It’s been fun picking stuff up to send to Alison and it will be fun to see what everyone comes up with. Fingers crossed Alison likes what I’ve found for her. Thanks Julie for bringing this fun activity to my notice.