23 May 2010

number 16

please do not judge me when I tell you how long I waited to unravel the surprise ball. because, look at it. I mean really. prettiest. ball. ever. color so bright you can practically taste it. gina (surprise ball maker extraordinaire) kindly sent one my way and once I received it, here's what I did: I tucked it away someplace safe. and I did not touch it for two years. I KNOW. people, do not judge. I could not help myself. I was saving it for a rainy day, I was waiting for emergency circumstances. ultimately, I was forced to put it on the list. according to gina, I am not the only one. there have been others-- all of them reluctant to unravel, all of them women. I don't know what that says about us.


but one bleak january day I broke down and I'll tell you, I could not have picked a better day.

you know what the hardest part was? breaking that seal.

in case you're wondering, this is how the surprise ball works: you unravel it. and as you unravel it, sweet little vintage trinkets are revealed. no one was more excited about than this than ava, designated unraveler.

once the paper confetti came spilling out, the party was totally on. then came the paper balloons, brilliantly buried in layer after layer of crepe paper, flattened and ready to blow up.

I may or may not have squealed when I first saw the vintage swimming goggles.

actually, I'm pretty sure there was squealing.

lots and lots of squealing.

dear baby crayon, I love you.

and little bluebird candle holder, I will probably have to bake a special cake. just for you.

the end would have been devastating had we not been so taken with the sweet old jacob's ladder toy we found at the center.

truth be told, it was the pile of leftover crepe paper that sort of stole my heart. it sat on my desk for weeks and weeks afterwards. I could not bear to throw it away.

one of a kind vintage trinkets from all over the world. swoon worthy, yes? we are in love with every last little thing. and we are still fighting over stuff. though the vintage goggles are mine. THEY'RE MINE. gina, we thank you. a thousand times over, we thank you. your awesomeness cannot adequately be put into words.

(number 16 off the list and you can find gina's extraordinary surprise balls over at kiosk)


  1. This is the coolest thing EVER! I MUST have a pair of vintage swim goggles!! But I have googled and searched ebay and etsy, and nothing! Where do I get a pair?!

  2. i would be able to bear to throw it away either at $55! cool idea though. reminds me of pass the parcel.

  3. Just have to say thank you for sharing your adventure in unraveling the surprise ball. :)

  4. oh yes...how beautiful - love the trinkets

  5. Wow! I've never seen one of this and it is So. Darn. Cool! I'd have a very difficult time unraveling it, too - it was so pretty. But the suprises were worth it!

    xo Erin

  6. The possibilities seem endless for making, opening, and dreaming... thanks for sharing!

  7. ohmygoodness that is genius! and it's GORGEOUS genius!

  8. Wow, what a brilliant idea this is. I, I must say, am just the opposite. I can't wait two seconds to open something. I open things in the parking lot at the post office--that's how much I can't wait.

  9. Oh my!! that is wonderful!!! I'm kinda jealous right now! =)

  10. i totally just ordered a surprise ball (and some really tiny alphabet stencils, because really, who doesn't need those?) and i'm not sure if i'll open it or hold on to it, or give it away. but i couldn't stand just looking at it on the web. i needed to hold one in my hands. thanks for sharing! the goggles rock.

  11. Holy crap! She fit all that in that little ball!? How wonderful to be unravelling it, and not know what is gonna appear next! :)

  12. what a beautiful story, beautiful post... for some reason as I scrolled down I got a bit tearful. Just lovely. Thank you.

  13. Thank YOU Andrea for this sweet and vibrant post.
    I hope though that your readers will understand
    that your surprise was made especially with you and
    your family in mind... the ones made for KIOSK are
    somewhat more "generic" with less things (although
    there were batches years ago with the goggles). There's a video made by the folks at Kate Spade that
    show one from KIOSK being opened. Less things but
    still old fashioned goodness.

    Sunny wishes from New Mexico!

  14. What a lovely, unique gift!!! Love those goggles! They would be too cute hanging on a peg near a bathtub or shower!

  15. Love Love Love your blog. Soda Pop Girl turned me onto it, and it's absolutely fabulous.

    Thank you for making my day with your awesome.

  16. Awesome. That is the end to a rainy day or a really bad week in one little ball. Amazing. x

  17. i want a surprise ball! i want to make surprise ball! i want to write this in all caps and scream it out to the internet! baby crayon?????? it's kind of too much for me to handle.

  18. wow. that is like totally funnest thing i've ever seen.

    thanks for your beautiful lists, and your lovely photos and for your curiosity and enjoyment of life that is so very endearing

    you are like my hero. for real

    miss your gorgeous smiley face like cray-zee!

  19. you do realize that even though my jealousy of the goggles is palpable, the fact that it took you two years to open this makes up for that? and that it makes me love you even more than i did yesterday? which is near impossible. as you know.

  20. WOW, this is absolutely incredible! I bought a surprise ball for my niece for the holidays but I never got to see her open it so thank you for sharing! My heart was pounding at the next layer and I wasn't even opening it! Absolutely gorgeous!!

  21. that is one of the most beautiful and fun things i've seen. thanks for sharing...

  22. such a fabulous ball of suprise. I so want to have one to unravel and I would love to make one to send to someone else who would revel in unravelling. Such gorgeous colours too!

  23. this just made day! so much goodness!

  24. Very cool! I made (a very lopsided) surprise ball for my boyfriend's birthday! So much fun to make and watch the recipient open!


  25. This is awesome, I've never seen anything like this before, how fun!

  26. wowww!! great!!!! Kisses from Argentina!
    I'm Lau