Sunday, 13 December 2015

Giving and Receiving - it's AVJ Secret Santa!

Hello! Over at A Vintage Journey it is our annual Secret Santa - where we are each given the name of one of the design team to make a gift for, and then we receive one from someone else. I heard a few weeks a go, I was making for Astrid Maclean. At first I was stumped, didn't know what to make.

 Then I thought about Astrid's style and what she likes - 2 things came to mind - lots of texture and making books. So I decided to take my lead from Astrid - I went on her blog and downloaded and then got photos printed of some her designs for A Vintage Journey this year.

So I made her a book celebrating Astrid Maclean at A Vintage Journey in 2015. The photos on the pages are Astrid's work - not mine - and I have created and designed my pages to reflect her designs.

Here are the photos of all the pages.... please keep reading to the end to see what I received from Anne Redfern - it is amazing!

As I was finishing my creation for Astrid a couple of weeks ago the postman knocked on the door. Amongst the usual brown envelopes was a very neatly wrapped parcel. After initial curiosity I saw the postmark and guessed who it was from and that is must be my surprise Secret Santa gift. It still brings a smile to my face when I think about it. 

Earlier in the year I had the pleasure of meeting Anne for the first time and she had an amazing bag made from Tim Holtz fabric. I loved it. When I opened my gift I was so touched to find this gorgeous make up bag!

I confess this brought I tear to my eye - that Anne would have made me something so beautiful. 
Do hop over to Anne's blog for more details.

 It has been a difficult year, losing my mum. The team at A Vintage Journey have been wonderfully supportive and many sent me wonderfully crafted birthday cards for my 50th in September - a complete surprise. Anne's gift just added to this wonderful feeling. When life is tough, the kindness of others really makes a huge difference. Thank you all.

Nikki xxx


  1. I totally LOVE your gift for Astrid, it´s so beautiful and really fitted to Astrids style. We can all see, how each page is really made with love and her in mind, it´s really beautiful and well made. I absolutely loved it. Wonderful job well done.
    But I can also see, why you love your gift soo much, it´s really stunning work here too. You seems to have been a bunch of lucky and clever girls, that´s for sure, and worth gold with such amazing friends. Sooo wonderful to see in these days, where most people only think of them self, and it sure warms my old heart here too. Hope the new year will be a better one for you, and please have a wonderful holiday now with your family.

  2. Nikki, I think you know already how much I loved the gift you made me..... I was totally bawled over when I opened it and saw how you put it together... I is such an amazing kind thought and really it is amazing how you matched the backgrounds to my little pieces. You know how I love little books and you put this together so well (way better than my usual rather messy efforts, so in studying the details I am also learning, thanks for that too. Your gift from Anne is stunning too, can't wait to see the details on her blog. Thank you Nikki for your beautiful gift and have the most wonderful Christmas!!!

  3. Oh Nikki, your gift for Astrid is so inspired! How clever and very thoughtful of you to put a collection of Astrid's amazing art together in this fabulous book. I have to keep going back up to see the pages again and again. The backgrounds you created are incredible. Astrid must be so, so thrilled with this beautiful creation.

    I am so pleased too, that you like your gift, I thoroughly enjoyed making it for you and I was so very touched by your response and am again by your words here, thank you so much Nikki. I hope that 2016 brings you all you wish and hope for... Big hugs, Anne xx

  4. Wow Nikki, you really put your heart and soul into this one! What a stunning project with so many wonderful details...Astrid will just love it! Gorgeous bag from Anne! hugs :)

  5. Nikki, what a fabulous Secret Santa gift you made for Astrid! Each page in this book is gorgeous and love all the texture and details! That little purse from Anne is adorable and I am sure you will enjoy it always! Merry Christmas!

  6. Oh my goodness! What an incredibly personal and thoughtful present Nikki! It's no wonder Astrid is thrilled to bits with this. To have spent the time downloading her projects and adding all that beautiful colour and texture to the little book for them to go in is fantastic. Jenny x

  7. What an inspired gift for Astrid ! Such a thoughtful and personal acknowledgement of her lovely work - but also so delicately presented. Gorgeous work x

  8. Your mini album is stunning, Nikki - every page just a brilliant combination of texture, colour and beautiful vintage detailing. I love how you've coloured the stamped images, giving them a whole new dimension - just amazing! And I can well imaging that you're thrilled with your make-up bag from Anne!
    Alison xx

  9. Your gift is gorgeous Nikki, both the one you made and the one you received. As I've said many a time....crafty friends really are the best ;)
    Donna xxx

  10. beautiful gifts both given and received Nikki - wonderful work and lucky you!!! hugs rachel x

  11. What a creative and lovely gift for Astrid - Love how you highlighted one of her own creations on each of your wonderful designed pages! Julia xx

  12. oh Nikki what a truly heart warming and thoughtful gift you have created so beautifully for Astrid . So wonderful too to see both your own unique styles coming together in harmony . A wonderful way for Astrid to recollect her amazing crafty year that I'm sure she will treasure for many years to come .
    Your secret Santa gift from Anne is a real stunner too and I can totally relate to 'the tear to the eye' moment ! It must be lovely for Anne to know that you love what she made for you .
    Your words resonate with me too Nikki - that when Life is tough its the lovely thoughful kindhearted compassionate friends that help you ride the storm .
    I hope the New Year brings you nothing but good times and Happiness Nikki .- you deserve it xx


Thanks so much for leaving a comment. Nikki