Well, today was the long-awaited Bloggery Picnic Party, organised by Lucy Locket & her Bossy Big Sister, Ally. Lots of people were there, including some I "knew" already, like Penny, Jane, Moogsmum & Trash and some I didn't know, like Ali , JuliaB, Kitty, Eve and Julie. And all of our kids (well, not Eve's kids, who are more or less grownups) - frankly, I'm not completely sure about all the kids, but I reckon there were about 20 there, most of them seemingly 9-12 year-old girls. OK, perhaps I exaggerate about the girls - after all, there were enough 5-9 year old boys for a small football match - but it sure seemed like that at the time. Fun did seem to be had by all in the end, with the possible exception of one rather bored but fairly tolerant (and extremely polite) teenage boy, who was one of the few teens and the oldest boy by far. Luckily, he had electronics, so didn't suffer TOO much...
The great pile of loot above was a super idea for the kids - we each brought the same number of Easter Eggs as children (except for Moogsmum (I think) who brought an extra, somehow (egg, not child!) and me - as my slightly odd younger daughter doesn't really like chocolate, she had her own tub of Easter themed jelly sweets instead - in fact, you can see her eating them in the background of the photo below) and they were all piled up in a big pile. Then the kids took turns picking, from the youngest up. The youngest was 5, so Alex was very near the start of the pick, which delighted him as he really wanted to take home the Mini Egg egg we brought (yeah, I know, I know- but hey, he's happy).
The grownups had loot, too, though we didn't pile it up in a pile and go from youngest to oldest (this might be because no one really wanted to own up to being at the latter end of that spectrum). Instead, we all put our names in a bag and then took turns drawing - whoever's name you picked, you gave that person your present, then they drew a name, and so on - obviously if you had your own name, you could put it back. I can't remember all the presents, but there were some great ones. Kitty drew first, and picked her own name (of course!) but eventually ended up with some homemade preserves from BossyBigSis, who in turn drew Kitty's name and received her gift, a great sock monkey. The draw was then passed to JuliaB, who picked my name and gave me the lovely gift below, which is a pedicure set (good timing, as I do paint my toes in summer and haven't started yet) and some lovely soap, which smells quite mild, but apparently has chocolate in it. Anyone who knows me well knows how I feel about soap, so really, this gift suited me well! Thanks again Julia.
I drew Ali's name, and gave her a bag - the December bag from last year's BQL challenge (looking back over my blog, it doesn't seem I ever posted a photo of this - I know I have one, though, so I will dig it out and post it below). She picked Trash's name, and the gift was some gorgeous pegs with words - you can write poetry while you hang out the laundry. This is where I began to lose the plot (as I was busy unwrapping and exploring my own treats at this point), but I know that Penny received a lovely fish textile from Bossy Big Sister's DD, and that Julia got a funky bag with multiple pockets from Penny. Other gifts included several small knitted rabbits and a very cute chicken and hmm, I'm sure I saw more things, but well... Oh, just remembered an echidna-shaped pincushion from Trash for the lovely Jane - I think - pretty sure Trash made it, because of the Australian thing...
We were lucky with the weather, which was sunny for most of the day, although the wind had a slight chill to it - but no rain and warm enough to stay outside all afternoon. The kids all seemed to get on okay (once they actually started talking to one another - mine took a while to warm up, but by the end, my girls and Penny's were very sorry to part and probably would have spent several more hours - at least - chatting happily about school, braces, DS games and I don't know what all else) and although trees were climbed, no one fell out and broke anything or got sick - frankly, I count it a huge success, despite some rather SLOW traffic on the M25 on the way home (only to be expected).
Thanks again to Lucy for organising it. I'm sure some of the others will blog about it, in fact, Julia has already done so. Much more eloquently than I.
Oh, and there was a little craft shop on the premesis - mostly paper stuff (and lots of stamps), so not of interest to many of us, but I did pick up a few papers to use as backgrounds for ATCs - I've used up my stock now, and will have to make new ones for the birthday swap from May onwards, so I might well do some with mostly paper, rather than fabric. Or at least, rather than solely fabric. Hard to tell in this photo, but some of these papers are highly embossed and the plain red one is actually a flock paper, which I intend to try texturing in some way.
Tomorrow we are staying close to home (knowing my girls, a good chunk of the morning will probably be spent in bed - especially as neither is yet asleep and it's nearly 10pm) and I actually think I might have a dyeing day - haven't had time for one in ages, and there are some things I want to do. Watch this space, as they say.