Bounty from the Northernlands

here we go, the height of all fall's bounty: 
we got our bioregional swap package!

in case you aren't familiar with the delightful project i speak of, mary from terrallectualism has hosted this swap for a couple years in a row and it is mighty fun. you gather items that you feel represent your bio-region and send them away to an assigned partner who, in turn, sends you a package of goodies from his or her own land.

my partner was sweet Tracy from northern Michigan and oh, the goodies she sent!

 birchbark, acorns, a trivet of beach stones, hand-tapped maple syrup, homemade blackberry and blueberry jam...

and even crafty decorations to get my home thanksgiving ready...look how talented she is!
Tracy says she has made a bunting like this for each season for her home, such a great and festive idea. i plan to use it year after year.

have you ever seen a stone like this? it's called a Petoskey stone and it lived on Michigan's floor underwater about 350 million years ago! it was alive, ate plankton and had tentacles and was moved via glacier millions of years later to its scattered resting spot.
quite the pretty maple leaf there too, eh? straight from tracy's backyard.

and now for the handmade knitted goodies she sent Lucy!
is this pumpkin hat the most adorable thing you've ever seen? you should touch it! it's also the softest, made from wool that is grown, spun, and dyed at an organic farm near their home.

Lucy loves to wear it and her daddy loves to dress her in it. He thought it was a carrot! either way, adorable.
there's a cute story behind it too. tracy's own twin boys were born very early and missed halloween dress-up during their stay at the NICU. so a nurse knit them each a little pumpkin hat, and now Tracy carries on the tradition and knits one for fall babies :) so sweet.

also some tiny little warm toasty socks for cold November mornings.

mama got treasures too....

Tracy made this gorgeous set of earrings and necklace from beach glass from Lake Michigan; i've gotten about a thousand compliments and love telling people where they're from. Not to mention the colors seem to go with every fallish outfit i have so i've been wearing them every day :)

another note: if you have never tasted REAL maple syrup freshly hand tapped from michigan's trees, in a mason jar and not a store-bought bottle, well...i highly recommend it. darin and i had it on french toast just this morning, and the flavor is still haunting my tongue. it tastes exactly the way autumn should taste.

participating in this swap was such a fun and inspiring experience for me. it got me thinking a lot about where i live and where other families live and how we build our lives around a sense of place. and it got me interested in michigan, a place i have never been that has always been a little mysterious to has two parts? it has a lot of lakes around it? it has colleges and cold, cold winters? i have heard it is insanely beautiful, and tracy's town is styled as a little alpine village. i almost feel like i've been for a homey visit to her craft-filled, kid-filled cozy life :)

Thank you so much Mary, for hosting this swap and Tracy, my gratitude knows no bounds for your incredible generosity and the spirit of home that you infused in this amazing package.

Did you participate? How'd it go? How I'd love a detailed glimpse into everyone's package, to get a whiff of all these places we call home.


Anonymous said…
I did participate and got my package yesterday! I don't have a blog and neither does my partner so no links but I got some wonderful wonderful things as well. The swap is super fun- I think I may have had more fun deciding what to send than unpacking my box. It is better to give for sure!
Janet said…
heather, i, too, participated in the swap and just recently posted about it on my blog.. :) i enjoyed it so very much and i can tell that you did, too!!! wow!! tracy really sent such amazing, wonderful goodies your way!!!! i know how excited you must have been to receive your package. :) i enjoyed seeing your post about your wonderful swap. :)
dolly anna said…
oh, i'm so glad little lulu got some goodies too! i love soft knitted things for chunky babies in the fall. too much good stuff! what a treasure box you have there! :)
Andrea said…
Wow! These are some serious goodies! Makes me really miss Michigan. Even though I only lived there a while, the people and the landscapes were just amazing. And how cute is little Lucy as a pumpkin?
Nicky said…
Lucy is crazy adorable in that pumpkin cap and looking so big!!! The swap sounds like so much fun!

Working 2 jobs has left me feeling like such an outsider from this beautiful bloggy world! I would have loved to do this swap and didn't know about it since I haven't been reading blogs as much these days ;( I do however, have a package that is slowly but lovingly growing for you :D Soon, soon. I thought that after school was finally over I'd "be free" but it hasn't changed- just more satisfying now... which is a good thing. Things will calm soon, I'm sure, I hope!
I've been using instagram as a mini blog and quick way to catch up- I'm so glad you're on there!
Missa said…
WOW, truly an amazing package! I did the swap too and just posted about my magical package from Elizabeth, all the way from Ireland! Mary has started such a wonderful way of connecting with this swap :)
Anonymous said…
wondrous! i'm so glad you posted about your swap package...i so want to be a fly on the wall each and every time one is opened. when tracy signed up for the swap she 'promised' the maple syrup...stoked she delivered and that i get to at least imagine it vicariously through you! speaking of sweet things, zomg lucy in that hat! little slice of heavenly pumpkin pie! and i'm happy you snuck an outfit shot in there too, to showcase the jewelry (amazing!). you are glowy and lovely, as always. happy thanksgiving!!
anne said…
dang! that is one amazing package! the earrings and necklace are so beautiful and delicate looking and lucy in that hat is just too cute!

hope you and your family have a wonderful thanksgiving :D
sanya said…
This is so neat! I live 45 minutes from Gaylord, MI and knew that is where you were talking about the minute I saw "alpine town" because that is exactly what it is. And I must say those gifts are the perfect representation of northern michigan. It is funny how you can forget that some things are special to your region even if we all share the united states as our home. On a sad note, Gaylord was just struck by a little tragedy as the building housing all of their donations for toys for tots burnt down. They are rebuilding the stock but it really gives a perspective on what the holidays are really about - giving back and I feel for them. Thanks for sharing a little glimpse for all of us readers - I especially enjoyed this one.
I hope everything is going wonderfully for you and yours!
Happy holidays!
How much fun and what a good idea!! It is great to share the wealth of where you live your life!! I love the pictures and am lucky to be able to see all these goodies in person!! Especially our precious little Lucy Lu!!

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