The Oh Comely Perfect Strangers Swap Box

July 17, 2015

This week, I sent off my swap box for Oh Comely magazines Perfect Strangers project. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea, it involves matching up two readers – who can choose to be either connected with someone in their country or overseas – who send each other a box of gifts based on a brief submitted bio. I opted to swap a box with someone in a different country to me – just to keep it interesting! After a few weeks of signing up, I was paired with Julia – a freelance graphic designer and keen gardener from Portland, Oregon in the USA.

I was immediately excited about compiling a box full of gardening treats. As someone who lives in Dorset, inspiration isn’t hard to come by! I wanted to go for a quite a rustic look to keep with an outdoorsy theme, so picked up a cardboard box from Hobbycraft to fill with natural box filler for padding.  I then got to work on a small postcard print, on which I painted a small floral wreath and bee. I love painting bees lately – don’t ask me why! Although I’m definitely no artist, I had fun painting this and was pleased with the outcome… I’ll just say I was going for the imperfect approach! 

I then picked up a mixture of Dorset related seeds and – as lavender was one of my favourites –  I included a small Yankee candle inside a mini terracotta pot – just for effect, which I thought looked cute. I also ordered a three stack soap sample pack from chillyB in Dorset, who make organic homemade soaps to order, in addition to a Holistix Gardener’s Balm that I spotted at the Vegan Fair (post here!) a few weeks back. I thought both would be ideal when seeking some post-gardening TLC!

And – of course – I made a small card just to introduce myself and fill Julia in on her Dorset related goodies. I hope she liked them!

You can imagine my excitement at finally getting to open my own swap box from Julia this week (I’d saved it especially for until after I’d finished hers – I was a little late sending mine due to going on holiday – and it only seemed fair!) 

I was immediately in love with everything! I’d included in my bio that I was a self confessed tea lover with a penchant for the written word, so my box was filled with stationary, stickers, cards, stamps and a bundle of different teas to try. I’m super excited to try the Pearl’s Jasmine Tea – I’ve never tried them before. 

I loved the hand written letter from Julia, who seemed so lovely – I’ll definitely be sending her a letter in response, just to thank her for the beautiful gifts that summed me up perfectly. I can’t wait to use my personal “From The Desk of Lottie” cards – even though I don’t want to ruin them! 

The Perfect Strangers is such a lovely idea in a world thats so tech based. It bought back the excitement of sending letters (which I did on rare occasions as a young kid) and the fun of sending a parcel across the world. I’ll definitely be signing up again for next year!



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