Post Valentine’s Day SVE Update

Happy Day-After-Valentine’s-Day! I hope you had a love-filled one! I’m still recovering from the flu — I joked that I look like Botox gone wrong to M and an uncomfortable silence ensued. “You’re supposed to disagree,” I told him. “You actually look like a really swollen, bruised pumpkin,” he answered. He then said that in fact, I appear jaundiced. I don’t know, maybe I’m overthinking this with my flu-addled brain, but some communication lessons might be in order here. Honesty is not always the best policy, don’t you think? Perhaps feeling guilty about the comments, he presented me with a dozen roses for V-day. He also got K some chocolates and this (maybe it reminded him of me):


Anyway! SVE!!!!!! Have you been checking the #2018sve hashtag on Instagram? It’s all kinds of amazing and beautiful and overwhelming. I tried to comment on all the posts but I simply gave up. Too much goodness. I just decided to soak it all in and fully appreciate it.

Ute and I want to remind participants that though a large number of people received gifts before and on Valentine’s Day, quite a lot of folks will end up waiting longer. Every year we’ve tried to figure out ways to ensure that gifts will arrive on time, but we understand that things come up (I myself couldn’t combat my flu and had to extend work deadlines and such) and technological glitches occur and postal services aren’t always reliable. We are sending out HUGE thank yous to everyone out there patiently awaiting their Secret Valentine treasures. If there are lost parcels or other issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at!

On a more personal front, I received my own SVE gift from @_lillimade_ a couple of days before the big day and hard as it was, I kept my paws from tearing the package apart until Valentine’s Day. And oh! So so so so gorgeous. Lille made me a pouch (“for painting days”) and a needle case (“for knitting days”) and I love them both so much. Look at the fabrics! The knitting needle case is made from silk, I think. Or at least a silk-dupioni-esque material. The Japanese motif pouch is a sturdy fabric — cotton + linen? Lined with grey, naturally.

I’ve recently fallen in love with knitting and the needle case is just perfect:


They are impeccably made and just lovely to hold and have. In the flurry of organizing the event with Ute, I often forget that I get to receive a gift too, and it takes me by surprise when the parcel arrives. It’s hard to describe how touching it is to know that someone (almost always a virtual stranger — though sometimes we accidentally pair up folks that know each other) took the time and effort to make something especially for me. I become embarrassingly emotional.


As I delighted in opening my gifts, my Secret Valentine also received her assorted goodies that I sent. I had so much fun creating a number of simple (but I hope useful!) things for Karry of @karry.brook. She’s quite the renaissance lady and has a cool shop in Michigan called Goods Detroit. She said she loves black, white, pink, purple and buffalo checks and windowpane checks, and guess who has a ton of black-and-white buffalo checks? Okay, I have a ton of every kind of fabric, but I thoroughly enjoyed making her a square travel case (adapted from the tutorial that Ute provided) and matching napkins out of this Japanese fabric I’d been hoarding for a long time. The all black napkins are double-gauze.

I whipped up a little bright pink/orange/purple linen shopper bag too since I find them to be such utilitarian and environmentally-friendly items to have on hand. This is a self-drafted pattern that I’ve been using for years.

The surprise ball was a stroke of inspiration. I’ve always loved them and for years I’ve been talking about making one. Just as I’d expected, it was super fun to put together and I found little chocolates and sewing related sticky notes and other fun tidbits to add. I just kept wrapping crepe paper into a ball, but here’s a video if you’d like more info on how to make one. I also included a pretty felt notebook for Karry to capture her many, many ideas. It sounds like Karry liked the gift, and I’m so pleased!

There will be more and more IG posts with the #2018sve hashtages over the next few weeks, so have a look-see! The creativity and care and consideration that have gone into the gifts are awe-inspiring!! Thank you. Ute and I feel so lucky to be part of hundreds and hundreds of people sharing handmade love around the world. It’s phenomenal.


8 thoughts on “Post Valentine’s Day SVE Update

  1. Oh, Sanae! We’ve created a monster! A beautiful loved filled monster that doesn’t stop giving and bringing joy! Each year I am so happy I get to do this with you and am thankful for our friendship! Thank you so much! ♡♡♡

  2. Absolutely! Both Ute and yourself have created a fabulously generous and amazing LOVE MONSTER! Thank you both for organising another outstanding SVE.
    I received my hand-crafted gifts this morning from a lovely lady called Celia from Chicago, USA who made the most awesome Emily Dickinson inspired stickers and a groovy hand-stitched brooch and needle felted heart. I was super happy to take part again this year and look forward to #2019SVE

  3. I love everything you got! I hope mine arrived but haven’t heard and haven’t received. Still crossing my fingers nothing is lost because it had a long way to go!
    So nice seeing everything on instagram!!

    1. Hi Tracy! We’ve contacted you via the Secret Valentine Exchange email so please have a look 🙂 Thanks so much for participating and thank you for your patience! xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *