I try to keep the focus of this blog consistent, though the scope has expanded since I first started Saints and Spinners 4 1/2 years ago. It started as a storytelling blog, then expanded to include songs, children's books and sewing. I started out as the relatively anonymous "Alkelda" and then started using my real name after I linked my blog to my professional storytelling website. Every now and again, I share a bit of news that is either joyful or sorrowful, but I've tried to keep the truly personal things private.
It is hard to tell you now that the past weeks have been difficult. Like many of our friends and family members, the downturn in the economy has left its imprint upon the House of Glee. We are grappling with financial challenges that we hadn't anticipated. However, I am thankful for all of the warmth and support of my friends in the blogosphere.
Coincidentally, the past weeks have brought presents! I have thanked everyone individually, but I thought it might be nice to have a little Show-and-Tell.
Tanita S. Davis of Finding Wonderland sent me a lovely package from Scotland delivered by a hedgehog (who, after recovering from jetlag, now acts in Lucia's puppet-shows) that included a signed copy of Mare's War and a beautiful handmade brass ring. I also just found out today that I won the signed copy of Beth Kephart's brand new book Nothing But Ghosts in the contest she posted weeks ago. The contest results were posted just after I returned from vacation, and I'm guessing that I opted for "Mark All as Read" on my RSS Reader and continued to read on from there. The contest question was "How would you paint regret?" My answer wasn't the most in-depth one, but it was the answer Beth's son pulled out of a hat, so how lucky am I? Pretty lucky! I've taken a photo of the two books (Tanita's is the signed copy and Beth's is my library copy, as I just found out today I'd won the contest):
Schelle of Brand New Ending stitched for me a number of lovely things. The star of the show is the stunning blue-footed booby created in exchange for a Seven Ravens doll:
Wow! I knew Schelle was a gifted needle-worker, but pictures don't do justice to the actual work. I've kept all of these photos in large resolution sizes so that you can admire the handiwork. Schelle also made a set of animals for storytelling: koala, platypus, wombat, mouse (with accompanying bag) and a cloth book with lanolin-infused pages to keep my needles from rusting:
I realized after I took the photo that I had the lanolin-book upside down.
Last but not least, I recently received a surprise email from Acorngirl of Silver Acorn whose shop I had blogged about a few months ago. I featured her "purple girl" doll as a favorite. The purple girl doll didn't sell in its initial four month listing time, and Acorngirl decided to send me the little doll as a gift! So, here she is. I cannot help but name her Violet:
Many, many thanks! I realized I have used far more exclamation points than usual, but I'm keeping them in. They are appropriate for this particular post.