A Lovely Stranger Project

For three years, I have taken part in The Perfect Strangers Project, which has always been organised by the magazine, Oh Comely. However, this year, after failing to launch their summer swap, and seemingly also failing to sort one before Christmas, a group of keen fans set up A Lovely Stranger Project, to ultimately replace its predecessor in their absence. However, after radio silence for over a year, The Perfect Strangers Project was eventually reborn, just by that point I had already signed up to the lovely version and didn’t have the funds to accommodate both.

Having had three successful matches in the past with wonderful people, I was eagerly awaiting my new swap partner – and I wasn’t disappointed!

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Being matched with Josie was wonderful, she turned out to be a kind, interesting, creative and thoughtful person, whom I enjoyed making a box for as much as receiving some goodies!

Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take any photos of the gifts I had found and sent off for her, but tried to fit with her description of herself as much as possible, whilst keeping it wintery and reasonably lightweight.

In my box to Josie were: some soft-as-anything burgundy slipper socks with pom poms; a bamboo decorative wooden dish; some beautifully scented candles in various shades of grey; some handmade soap; a glass candle lantern with a rope handle; a wooden hairbrush; a notebook and pen set; a snowflake cookie cutter; and a handmade Christmas card that my Mum had painted and collaged.

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I had saved opening my package in return from Josie until Christmas day, and what a treat that was! Not only was my box beautifully wrapped in maps, but the contents were amazingly wrapped inside (and I have serious love for beautiful wrapping!) Each individual gift came with its own little card that explained why Josie had included it and the relevance to my description, as well as her own experience of enjoying it in a related way.

#1 – Herbal Tea

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I’m so happy with this first gift, as I have an embarrassing number of different herbal infusions, and am always looking for new tasty ones to add to my collection!

#2 – Book

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The book I received from my lovely stranger project partner was really appreciated – in my note about myself I’d asked for a copy of their favourite book, and the card that Josie supplied with this one was so lovely, showing exactly why she loves it, and the memories it evokes for her.

#3 – Teacup

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What a beautiful willow china teacup and saucer! My grandma’s crockery is all willow and it really reminds me of her, so without Josie realising, it’s a lovely nod to one of my favourite ladies!

#4 – Baking Moulds

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I love re-purposing old things, upcycling, and passing treasured items from generation to generation, so these beautiful moulds are just perfect and I can’t wait to try them out on some little puds!

#5 –Recipes

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As a baker, I’m always looking for new tasty recipes to try out, and the fact that Josie sent me 5 of her handwritten favourites on recipe cards was a personal touch!

#6 – Nipa the elephant

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My goodness me, I was so shocked to receive little Nipa as part of my lovely stranger project! Handmade by Josie, as I’d mentioned I loved elephants, she crafted this beautiful fully-jointed beastie. Everything about her is extraordinary and the details are supreme. I wish I could make something so special with my two hands, and the fact that Josie spent the time and effort making me something she knew I’d love was amazing!

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If you’ve not joined The Perfect Strangers Project or A Lovely Stranger Project, I really recommend it as it’s such a lovely thing being able to wrap up and send a stranger a parcel, and receive something beautiful in return!

If you’re interested in seeing my previous swaps, I’ve also written posts on them here and here!