This is a quick entry to show photos of Christmas stuff, as we've got all kinds of people asking about the things that we made for each other. Click on the images below to enlarge them.
There are some photos of the Christmas tree and everything arranged around it (you have to keep under it empty, since Oliver wants to sit in there!). Some brief explanations as far as the items go are as follows:
1) Elizabeth's friend in SC sent a beautiful hand-painted ornament for her with the picture of her very special kitty on it. This kitty passed away two years ago at Christmas time, so this was a really thoughtful (and appreciated!) surprise! There is another photo of the ornament farther on.
2) One of Elizabeth's friends in Texas (who shares an obsession with anything Middle Earth) sent the coolest "Tree of Gondor" light. It changes to about six or eight different colors. One picture shows the light off and the next is with the blue light shining. There's also a setting where it just changes colors on a timer! Super neat!
3) My cat, Sammy, wrapped up a little sterling bracelet charm (which looks just like him) for me. Of course, he used his very favorite bubble wrap and pipe cleaners to wrap it. While three of our four cats don't care anything about Christmas presents, Oliver loves to get in on the fun --- and he heartily approved of Sammy's pipe-cleaner wrapping!
4) Elizabeth made a set of hand-sewn wool felt tree ornaments for Mom. They are all birds who come to eat at our feeders. She mad eleven different kinds, but our list has about forty more kinds to add to the set! More photos of the birds are farther down in the pics here.
5) Gramma Gail gave Dad a genuine Florida Gator head. It's a miniature decoration, of course, and not the real thing! Dad couldn't be happier and voted it the best present ever!!
6) Dad made a fabulous wooden sword for my Bilbo doll. I'm going to stain it and polyurethane it, just as soon as the weather gets warmer. Bilbo is going to have a whole backpack full of accessories!
7) Elizabeth's friend in Massachusetts sent a really fun box. In it was an Eliza Doolittle doll ("My Fair Lady" with Audrey Hepburn) and a CD set of the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movie soundtracks. Boy, are those cool?!
8) Four photos of a very cute red dog are Elizabeth and Mom's special present to me. They made this out of my very favorite and worn fleece jacket. I've had it since I was about sixteen years old and wore it for years and years. Sadly, the day came when it was too old to wear out anymore, but I haven't wanted to part with it. So, the two of them turned it into this really cute little dog that now sits on my bed. They even used the brand tag ("Catalina") on the doggy, so it is now named "Catalina"! Talk about a thoughtful gift!
9) As a special gift for Mom, Elizabeth crocheted an Amigurumi cat to look like Oliver. This little kitty is even jointed and can stand or sit, and he has a striped-y tail and tear stripe just like the real Oliver.
10) I got a Sony Cybershot camera, which is a lot smaller than my Olympus DSLR. I love the Olympus, but for anything where you need to carry it around all day . . . this Sony will be a lot nicer. Particularly as we're hoping to go on vacation next year! Tried this camera (which is nine years old) at my Gramma's house and liked it, so Mom and I came home and found a gentleman selling his slightly used one online. This is really exciting!
11) These four dolls are needle-felted (by me) for Elizabeth. They are four of the characters from Charles Dickens' "Bleak House", which is one of her favorite novels. They are made on a 1:12 scale and range from 5-1/2 to 6" tall.
12) Mom likes the old Gurly choir candles from the 1960s, so I've been working on needle-felting a set for her. The originals are often melted from attic storage, but these won't suffer from that problem!
13) Mom needed some nice cases for her glasses and sunglasses, so I made a matched pair (one with a flap and one without) for her. They are knitted out of a 100% Silk yarn.
The rest are various photos of other things, but I think I've covered most of the homemade presents. Dad got a sleeping bag, and cool Ron Jon Surf Shop towel and a bunch of neck ties. Most of the ties, though, are already put away or hanging with outfits and ready for him to go back to work. :) The Elrond stand-up was a present from some friends for last Christmas, but we wanted to post a photo of him as he looks mounted on the wall in the TV room. More later . . .
Click on the images to enlarge them.