Sunday, February 8, 2009

Moments that take our breath away...

I mentioned awhile back that I was participating in my first-ever Valentine Swap. This one was hosted by Dolly and there were around 100 participants. The day I received the name of my swap partner I immediately wrote her an introductory note and we had a connection that seemed surreal from the get-go. I wrote about her, her name is Monica and she is not only an amazing artist, but a wonderful, warm woman as well. I knew very early in our correspondence that she would be a special person in my life for a long time to come. One of the cool parts of getting Monica for a partner is that she lives in Italy. I was so excited in anticipation of her package to arrive from Italy. Well, it arrived and all I can say is that anything I could have imagined, having seen her beautiful blog, could not have prepared me for the awe-inspiring gifts she sent. Most of the photos I am posting here were taken by Monica herself. As you have seen, I am still a work-in-progress when it comes to photography and she was kind enough to allow me to use her photos.

This is, bar none, the most beautifully wrapped package I have ever seen. Monica lovingly created a patchwork of many lovely fabric pieces. Then she topped it with the most gorgeous pink lace, rusty skeleton keys, ribbons and bows and a fabulous huge ribbon rose. Can you see the darling little tag she made? This would have been gift enough, as I was absolutely stunned at the beauty of the packaging.
Once the top of the box was lifted, I saw this unbelievable tote. I was tearing up at this point as I looked at the perfection that shows in everything Monica creates. This picture cannot possibly show all the perfect stitching, the luxurious creme colored satin inner lining, the exceptional beauty of the vintage postcard she lovingly transferred to fabric, or the little cluster of vintage buttons and lace. It is exquisite! It is hanging on the wall in my bedroom where I can admire anytime I am there. This is a photo I took (can you tell). It shows a little bit of the detailing. Isn't it just something????Every layer of the box brought another delight for the eyes and soul. The photos shown are very beautiful, but cannot possibly show the love and care that Monica put into each item.

A lovely little rag-dolly heart.

She had no way of knowing that these chocolates are some of my faves. She definitely knows a girls' heart, does she not???

Monica tells me that she really doesn't do collage, but she did this gorgeous assemblage for me.
This little heart has special meaning for she and I. It is filled with seashells and on the back she carefully placed a map of Nantucket Island-where I was born. Turns out, in one of the many serendipitous things with our "meeting", she has always dreamed of visiting Nantucket. Isn't life amazing? My tears began to flow in earnest when I saw this. There is a sweet little saying about home inside as well.

The inside of the box she made was lined with copies of late 1800s letters from her family members. They are in Italian, French and English. And...the beautifully hand-stamped tag.

This is a photo I took of some of the items in the package. Take particular notice of the little bear. Monica is, among so many things, a wonderful watercolourist. It was a secret wish of mine that she would find it within her to paint something for the swap. The bear was such a sweet surprise. He will be promptly framed and treasured forever.

And a grouping ...

I am still absolutely overwhelmed at the sheer beauty and thoughtfulness of this gift. I not only received the most awesome gifts ever, but I feel I have made a close friend for life. I think maybe Monica tired of hearing my rantings about all things being for a reason, but meeting her has just affirmed for me that the things that happen in my life are meant to be. Monica-Thank You from the bottom of my heart for all you did for me. You are unique and wonderful woman.

ONE MORE THING----Monica recently shared with me that she will be opening an Etsy shop and I couldn't be more excited for her. Watch this blog for an announcement of her grand opening!!!!!!


  1. Hi Karriann, I was just on Monicas blog looking at all the wonderful goodies she sent you!
    WOW....... she is an amazing artist! I love everything she created!
    I am intriqued with that sweet tote she made!
    I hope to be her partner in a swap one day too!

    Enjoy your valentine treats!
    Thank you so much for being in my swap,

  2. Hi Karriann, I am teary- eyed saying 'A BIG Thank you. I REALLY found a lifetime friend'.
    Monica xxx.

  3. Karriann.... once again, you are a DARLING! A BIG thank you (I'm naughty, you know...)
    Hugs to you,
    Monica x.

  4. Wow. This is one of the prettiest packages I've ever seen! There's so much detail and time put into this lovely package. :D

  5. Thanks for your comment on my blog - good luck in the drawing!

  6. Wow! What a beautiful gift and I love the idea of the swap between people that are not lovers. I know mine tries each year, but always falls short. My girlfriends would do so much better. I think I will borrow your idea for next year.

    Thank you for the idea of the collage, I am going to try it tonight and post the pieces of the newly painted wall for the construction crew to try and figure out. Happy VD! Teri