And then, when I opened it? OMG, everytime I opened up a new piece of the box, I kept saying "OMG, OMG, OMG...." I might have SQUEE'd several times over..... Everything in the box was amazing. There were times, I was astounded at how "psychic" some of her choices were as they were absolutely and utterly perfect.
And I have to say, my swap partner wins this Swapetition, hands down. And here's why:
1) PRESENTATION. Her swap package was packaged amazingly well. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the box, and there was a HUGE PRESENT box inside it. Her theme, "Winter is Coming" with all of the snowflakes, and she kept to the whole theme the entire way through!
Everything was thoughtfully wrapped in coordinating / matching gift bags/boxes. It was like opening up a multitude of gifts.
(I forgot to take a photo before I unwrapped everything, but here you can see all the wrappings!)
2) CONSISTENT THEME: She kept to the "Winter is Coming" theme quite nicely. Everything was about keeping warm & cozy. There were snowflakes everywhere.
3) AMAZING STALK PROWESS VIA AWESOME SWAP ITEMS THAT VERGES ON PSYCHIC ABILITIES:
3A) She gave me an EXPERIENCE. I love tea, but instead of just giving me TEA, she gave me an entire experience and a story to go with it. She went to visit the only tea plantation in the whole United States (I didn't know there was one!)
She took some pretty damn fine photos, mounted them on cards, and told me a little bit about each photo. She wrote that she wasn't a very good photographer, but I beg to differ! I love photography and the stories behind each photo are just an amazingly nice touch! (Not to mention the effort to do all of that!) So, now, when I drink this tea, I know where it comes from, who grew it, and how it got to me.
She sent me a keepsake from the plantation. (And because I live in California requiring that you bring your own bags to stores, this will get a lot of use!)
And she sent me a WHOLE LOTTA TEA!
She sent me both loose leaf and pre-bagged tea.
This cute little book gives you a few tidbits about tea And there was the tea-based lip balm & lotion! (And seriously, today, because it was so cold, I was thinking of getting myself some more lip balm because the air was so dry -- PSYCHIC!
Sammy was super curious about the tea mugs. And here's another PSYCHIC moment -- someone took my tea mug at work yesterday, so now, I have a replacement, which I'm going to lock down with chain & key!
And so, cute, a tea bag holder and a sugar spoon. I LOVE the sugar spoon because it has a treble clef at the end, and I'm a musician, so it's a perfect gift! If you have tea bags and a tea cup, you need a tea bag holder and sugar spoon!
3C) CUTE KNITTED GIFTS in keeping with the theme. In my FAVOURITE COLOUR of all time -- RED And, she thoughtfully included a note with ever single knitted item with the pattern name and designer.
Obviously, there was the tea-cup cozy in red and snowflake fair isle. (And, I'm not sure if that's Paula's real last name, but it'd be cool, if it were!)
A tea cup discloth that was in the silver gift bag, It's so soft!
And, I would have NEVER thought of even making these, but they are perfect for taking tea with me for when I go places. (I love the box they came in!)
A wonderful bookmark with cabling (I LOVE cables). This is going into the next book I read.
And this awesome neck warmer! It's wonderfully WARM and red! And in another psychic moment, today, as I was walking home in the cold, I was considering starting some more cowls/scarves!
(I might have immediately put this on myself, because it was too soft NOT to wear...)
So, in conclusion, to my wonderful swap partner, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. This was a most amazing swap gift I have ever had the honor to receive. You've set the bar for any other swap I might do in the future. You rock. You deserve to win this Swapetition.