Let's rewind a little back to my actual birthday. You can read all about my first birthday surprise and my actual birthday HERE.
So, to set the scene, Mardi and I had just returned home from my Wednesday class, where my lovely ladies had surprised me with gifts and fun blingy jewelery to wear. Mardi and I were sitting at the table, rugged up trying to keep warm and sipping cups of tea when the dog started to bark. Now, I am pretty familiar with his barks and usually know what they mean, so I knew this particular bark meant there was something going on out the front of our house. I ducked over to the window to see if anyone was outside and I couldn't believe my eyes. Walking towards me front door, closely followed by my parents was Emma, from Ballarat Patchwork. eek!!
I raced back to Mardi and whispered, 'it's Emma, from Ballarat Patchwork'. I nervously went to the door, and was embraced by beautiful Emma with a big Happy Birthday greeting. My parents were beaming behind her, they had all pulled off ANOTHER surprise and one I totally didn't even have a hint of.
You see, Emma and I met very briefly a few years ago at a Trade show and then over the past months have gotten to know each other more via phone calls, texts etc and soon realised we had a LOT in common. We had joked how it would be fun to get together sometime, but never in my wildest dreams did I think Emma would be so generous and fly all the way up here to surprise me for my birthday. Even Mardi was in on the surprise, my kids, my hubby, everyone knew except me. I just kept saying over and over again, 'wow, I can't believe you are here'.
I must admit not having spent time with Emma I was a little nervous about my little old house and whether I would be too boring LOL, but within seconds we felt comfortable and started chatting all things Blythe, fabric and stitching. Here's a little piccie of Emma's Blythe dolls that she brought with her for the visit. It was so lovely to meet them in person too.
So with my house and heart full, was all shared the remainder of my birthday together - it was wonderful and more than a dream come true to have not one but two beautiful friends here to celebrate with. I felt truly blessed.
On Thursday we had to sadly wave goodbye to Mardi as she headed home (sad face), but Emma was staying till Sunday, so we had lots of time to spend together and play! Emma, also spoiled me with some gorgeous birthday presents. I absolutely adore them both - a gorgeous brooch and scarf made from recycled jumpers. The colours are amazing (and totally me) and the scarf is so very warm. I have worn it lots and lots already. Thank you Emma for spoiling me.
On Friday, Emma and I headed over to my little studio where was ate lolly snakes, chatted and stitched together, making a range of gorgeous vintage inspired Blythe dresses that Emma had been working on. It was so fun to have someone to stitch with, and do a little 'shop' talk as well. Working on my own for myself sometimes gets a little lonely, so to have someone to stitch with was wonderful.
Friday afternoon I learned that Emma is a bit of a handman, and that she loves to fix things, organise things and colour coordinate things too. So she set about fixing our kitchen drawers that have been broken ever since we moved back here about 2 years ago (yay, I love my fixed drawers), she stopped the fan in the fire making a BIG noise all the time, and she colour coordinated my bookcase. Now, if you follow me on Pinterest you may see that I have pinned quite a few versions of this and have secretly wanted to do this with my bookcase for AGES, so was thrilled when Emma offered to do it. I LOVE it so so much and keep looking at it, admiring it and enjoying the colourfulness of it.
Saturday saw us all up bright and early and off to Newcastle to take Emma to The Olive Tree Markets. It just so happened that it was that particular weekend that the market was on, so we just HAD to go. We had lots of fun looking through the stalls and both Emma and I bought a gorgeous handmade skirt each as well. (You will see mine in an upcoming What I wore Wednesday post) My only wish was that Mardi could have been with us too, that would have made my day even more perfect.
After the markets we quickly ducked over to our favourite street, Darby street and took Emma to Blackbird Corner and Ramjets, two of our most favourite stores. Emma took this photo of the kids and I outside Blackbird Corner - I love it.
After our lovely morning of showing Emma a little of Newcastle, we headed back to my parents where my lovely family had gathered together to celebrate my birthday with me. I was SO grateful that my family could all make the time to be together for me. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with each and every one of them, sharing a lovely meal of Haystacks and enjoying a delicious and HUGE birthday cake too. My Aunty Annette, Aunty Aileen and Cousin Jenny all worked together to surprise me with my beautiful cake, and I just loved it and will treasure the memory of my special birthday meal forever.
I'm a little sad that I didn't think to take more photos of my family and our birthday meal together, but I just wanted to be in the moment and enjoy every minute we had together. Thank goodness the pictures in my memory will remain there forever.
After my party, Emma, Emily and I ducked off to do a little Blythe photo shoot. We really wanted to take some very special photos of our Blythes wearing the new black and white vintage inspired dresses that we had made. So after a little discussion, we headed to a cemetery behind an old Church in our town. The weather was gorgeous, the afternoon sun was the perfect lighting and we were excited and keen to see what shots we could get.
Here are a few of my favourite shots from the late afternoon shoot.
Saturday night we were all pretty tired out after our big day, so we sat and chatted some more and Emma decided to dress our Blythe in colours. It was so fun to hunt out all the red, aqua and yellow/black clothes, socks, shoes, hats etc that we had for Blythe. We headed to bed late but happy after a VERY full day.
Sunday morning we couldn't let Emma go home without a quick trip to the Op shop. We did find some gorgeous things (that I will share here on Thursday). One of the pieces I found that traveled home with Emma was a piece of Carlton ware china. It was gorgeous and I was so glad Emma could add that to her collection. The last thing we quickly squeezed into our time together was photographing our Blythes that Emma had dressed so beautifully.
We started with my Blythes, all dressed in red.
And as our final photo together, Emma and I just HAD to have our photo taken with the colour coordinated Blythe dolls.
(If you follow Emma on Instagram, you may notice she has had a new addition to her Blythe family upon arriving home too. Yes, we are bad influences here LOL.)
So with some final hugs and sad faces, we waved Emma off as hubby drove her back to the airport for her flight home too. We had an amazing time together and I am SO very grateful to Mardi and Emma for both taking time out of their busy lives, to come to our little corner of the world and celebrate my special birthday with me. This definitely was a birthday I will NEVER forget and the memories I will hold dear in my heart forever.
If you can stand just a little bit more birthday blogging, I would dearly love to show you some of the gorgeous gifts my other dear friends spoiled me with for my birthday. I will be back soon to share some little photos of my special gifts. xx