Friday, 14 December 2018

A box full of joy

Hello lovely readers - how are you all? I hope you're enjoying the festivities of December and managing to create some handmade gifts for your friends and family. I've made a start with my own festive socks and a few simple woolly stars. These crochet stars are so cute and I see a few more being made over the coming weeks.
I had a lovely November, celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and also my 55th birthday (eek!!! am I really that old????). Mr. Rowe and I had a wonderful weekend on our mini cruise to Bruges. Mr. Rowe surprised me with a beautiful eternity ring with 25 diamonds - I confess I cried.

We had a lovely day in Bruges, investigating the amazing architecture and stunning Cathedrals - not to mention the chocolate shops.  Bruges will always be one of my favourite cities to visit.

There were so many delightful window displays - although most shops had 'no photography' signs in their windows, which was a shame, as I couldn't take photos of the ones I really loved. I wasn't sure though, how much of the chocolate was truly handmade as most shops were selling the same things. But then I spotted a pretty window display (sorry no photo allowed) and felt instantly drawn into the shop. It wasn't just the handmade chocolates that had attracted me - it was the very pretty boxes that I wanted a closer look at.
I was reliably informed by a lovely couple that this was the best chocolate shop in Bruges and that it's the only place they buy their chocolates from. I like it when other customers share their opinions as it really helps you to decide what to do. Along with a yummy sample, kindly offered by the owner, my mind was made up.

I decided that I had to have one of those pretty boxes - they reminded me of Victorian times, and the owner told me that they were based on the very first boxes that were original used in the 1890's when they were made in silk. Just think how luxurious and intricate they would have been - like a real work of art. I imagined myself in a Jane Austin novel, sat at my window-seat, staring wistfully into the distance, as my suitor (Mr. Rowe) came galloping along the driveway on horseback to deliver my handmade chocolates in their exquisite silk box, with a special hand-written note. Can you imagine how special a Victorian lady would have felt to receive such a gift. Very special indeed.
As I was stood carefully pondering which chocolates to choose, I realised that my monthly subscription to my Little Box of Crochet makes me feel exactly the same, and is no doubt why I was so drawn to this shop with it's gorgeous boxes, filled with mouth-watering goodies.
Amanda Bloom is indeed a genius. She lovingly curates a beautiful box of crochet goodies and sends them out with pride to her subscribers, each month. Whilst she may not send them on horse-back (which wouldn't be the slightest bit practical), her exquisite little boxes are cram-packed full of everything you need for the monthly project, and lots more. Everything is carefully covered in pretty tissue paper, sealed with an inviting sticker for that extra-special touch. I'm always desperate to start crocheting as soon as I see that sticker!
I'm always completely amazed at how everything manages to fit in the box - how is this possible?
Take the contents of my November box as an example:
  • 150g of gorgeous cotton yarn in festive colours, from Yarn and Colors
  • a 5m spool of pretty cotton ribbon
  • a delightful stitch marker from Koru Clay Studios 
  • plus a cute wooden sheep called Louis from Wool Couture
  • crochet essentials are always included, with an ergonomic crochet hook and a wool needle, thoughtfully stuck into a felt ball for safety
What more could a girl want!!!
And not to mention the stunning artwork in the form of a postcard by the talented artist Jenny Maizels as well as the pattern booklet itself. Amanda always writes a heartfelt welcome note, plus there's  'Meet the Designer', the instructions for the main project and usually a little extra project too, and more. This month there is a little jacket for Louis the wooden sheep.
I'm sure you'll agree that Amanda's Little Box of Crochet is the perfect extra-special 'pick-me-up' each month, not to mention great value for money. 

A little box of joy, just like my delicious chocolate box.

I can't wait to get started on my Festive Mandala over my Christmas break whilst munching on my handmade chocolates.

Do you have something craft planned for the festive season? I'd love to hear more about your plans.

Happy crafting, Love Lynne xx

Here are all of the links mentioned above:
Mary's Chocolate Shop, Bruges
Little Box of Crochet
Koru Clay Studios
Wool Couture Company
Jenny Maizels
Yarn and Colors

No disclaimer needed as all of the items above are my own purchases.