Just after Christmas, a little package arrived for me in our post office box. It was about the size of a letter, but satisfyingly plumper (plumper? more plump?). There were little drawings on the outside, my address was written in a friendly, swirly script, and washi tape held the corners together. The stamp was from Germany. Drawing on my masterful powers of deduction, I surmised that this was a letter from my penpal Astrid. Also, she wrote her name on the back. I was very excited. Astrid is wonderfully generous and creative, and writes me fabulous letters about her life and family in Germany, and her regular travels in Italy and elsewhere. She fills her letters with lovely anecdotes, as well as little gifts of beautiful stationery, pictures, mementos and ephemera, much of it handmade. You can see some of Astrid's amazing mail packages to me here and here.
Astrid is a much better penpal than I am. I take a lot longer between letters than she does and, no matter how much I wrack my brain, I never come up with anything as clever or imaginative or lovely to send in my letters to Astrid as she does to me.
Case in point, the letter I excitedly tore open just after Christmas. Attached inside a card by a piece of pink tape was a beautiful little pendant. It was a silver cloud and, when you looked closely, one side was covered with pretty little raindrops while the other was clear like a fluffy, white cloud sailing by on a sunny day. Then I read the card, and discovered that Astrid had actually made this! Isn't she clever?
A little while ago, Astrid opened a shop on Etsy called Sparkling Flora, where she sells some of her lovely creations. And today I have a very special chance for you to win one of two prizes from my generous penpal: a rain-cloud pendant just like mine, and a set of three handmade mini-journals. What's more, Astrid will send you your prize ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
1. Go to Sparkling Flora and Tweet about the page, like it on Facebook or Favourite it (you only need to do one of these but I'll award one entry in the draw for each action, the buttons to help you do this are on the bottom-left of the page)
2. Leave a comment here to let me know what you've done
For an extra chance, let me know in the comments what you like best in Astrid's shop.
I'll draw two winners using a random selector on Thursday 28 February, 2013. Draw 1 will be for the necklace, Draw 2 will be for the mini-journals. Good luck!!
ps. I made the prizes look all Polariod-esque using polaroin.com
UPDATE: This competition is now closed. Congratulations Lisa and Noor.