When buying people presents of any kind, I try to put a lot of thought into them, from the actual present itself, to how it's wrapped and the card. So when I get a present that someone has clearly put a lot of thought into as well, I really really love it.
A few weeks before Christmas, my aunty Tricia emailed me checking that I didn't have anything planned on any weekends in May or June. I was very intrigued. Often I know what I'm getting for Christmas because people have asked what I want and my list gets increasingly shorter as the years go by, so I especially love presents that are a surprise. I thought maybe she was taking me to something to do with food, as Tricia loves cooking and she knows I love eating... So when I saw a present wrapped in an old pattern, tied in cotton with a pink button attached under the tree on Christmas day, I had no idea what it was. Needless to say I was very impressed by the wrapping and the thought that had gone into it.
Tricia is my Mum's younger sister and has always been the 'cool' aunty, sending my sister and I postcards from Egypt and Turkey while on her OE, regaling us with stories of her adventures (a favourite is running for help for her friend who'd been stung by a jellyfish in Bali and having a very attractive man follow her back to wee on the friend's foot, "Nikki said, 'Why did you let him do that?!' and I said, 'Well it was him or me and I figured you'd much rather have a good looking man wee on you than me.'") and occasionally staying at our house and borrowing my toothbrush after stumbling home in the early hours of the morning after a night out (that actually used to really annoy me, I have always been very concerned about germs).
She now has two extremely cute children, one of whom does not appreciate knitted cupcakes and both of whom love playing with my camera - this is an example of their photographic artistry from my Mum's birthday dinner the other night (they basically take turns dancing crazily in front of the camera while the other snaps away, often laughing hysterically at the dancing antics):
Tricia very rarely stumbles home these days, so my toothbrush is much safer. However, she is still definitely the 'cool' aunty. My present was a voucher for two classes at Handmade 2011. I hadn't even heard of Handmade 2011 before so it was doubly exciting!
This weekend I recived an email saying the programme for the event has just been finalised and it's actually going to be so difficult to choose two classes. I may have to treat myself to another class if I really can't narrow it down to just two. Knitting, stitching, repurposing, cooking, lectures, tours...I am so looking forward to it! It was such a great present.
Something else I am really looking forward to visiting a little sooner is Holland Road Yarn Company. A brand new yarn shop being opened by the tireless and amazing Tash of Knitsch Yarns. I am really disappointed I can't make it to the opening of the shop due to rehearsals (Auckland Fringe is one week away....) but as soon as I get a chance I am making a bee line for Petone. I have a feeling it's going to be knitting heaven.
Oh, also, look at this!
This was one of my Mum's birthday presents - wrapped in wallpaper I found on my way home from rehearsal the other night. It had been dropped off outside the Salvation Army shop and was in perfect condition. I felt extremely thrifty. It's a big roll so I have lots left - pretty much anyone getting a present from me in the next year or so can expect it to be wrapped in this paper. The card is by Katydid; I've decided this year when I don't have time to make cards I'm going to try to buy only NZ made ones. I got this one from Swonderful and it's perfect for my Mum because she loves pavlova. If we ever have pavlova and there's any left over, she will always eat it for breakfast. Yuck.