Sunday, December 30, 2007

handmade joy to me!

I gratefully received many thoughtful gifts this year, but of course love the handmade ones best. It's just a continuing and acknowledged fact. My first holiday gift (so it gets first billing; I'm not playing favorites here, gifters!) was a fantastic lariat from one of the art students I spent time with in the ceramics studio this semester. I gave her a few of my porcelain doves and she made me a necklace. I love love love love love it.

(That clink of porcelain that it gives is my new favorite sound. I'm trying to think of more original unglazed porcelain bits. These doves made me super-happy. Look at the great work at paloma's nest--the dove bowls! craft peace!--or diana fayt's lovelies. I need to figure a mobile or strand like these in her apartment.)

Both of my girls made, unassisted except by each other, versions of the two things they know I love best: doves and hedgehogs. My favorite thing about Audrey's dove is the little tied-off wings. And the D for dove and M for mom foamie facial features...(I finally found a foamie application I like!)Marian is still going to sign hers, but I must share them both now. Oh, man, was she adorable about the whole thing. Daily, this: "Mom, I know you really like your hedgie I made you. It's your favorite present." I love the eyes looking up, and (thought this photo kind of washes it out) the careful blend of different colors in the quilt "heggie" is sitting on: I'm always trying to get her to mix colors for visual interest, and she did it just for me :).Daddy got his favorite thing, too. Marian had me take a picture of his favorite bike, his new Specialized cyclocross, and whipped out this likeness.This last was a commissioned piece, but ooo such a good idea of mine because my mom, working at the school this fall, didn't have time to apply her considerable skill to many handmade gifts. By begging for it in July, I had first dibs on that limited time!She made a cute little "Happy Holly Days" pillow that was similar last year in an early Christmas package, and we were sad to put it away after those holly days. I like having a sweet something from my mom around all of the time, and this is so her, especially with the lettering in her perfect round handwriting. Nathan and I both love Ed Abbey, and (when forced to come up with something a few years back) chose this quote as our family motto. We were tickled by the idea of the irony in Abbey's rebellious spirit coupled with the traditional embroidered media, and both laughed with joy when we opened this gift. My mom's comment on the phone that day: "Oh, do you like it? Good. I thought all of the cutesy things would give you a good contrast." They do, Mumsy. Plus, those bees! Your craftsmanship still amazes me. Sometimes I start thinking I'm such hot stuff at handwork and then you humble me... Nathan was so funny today. He was staring at the pillow and asked, "What, is this just lots of little stitches or something? Those curves are so smooth." I think I love best his un-craft-educated compliments. I make him look at lots of work, my own and others, and love it when he's just amazed.

holiday notes:
(1) It is gloriously frosty and snowy outside after a dry holiday.
(2) I'm working on my blog because my husband is consistently whomping my p'tootie at Carcassone and I had to leave and pout. I bought Audrey the hunters and gatherers edition for Christmas, and my woodland loving aesthetic is happy for every second of play, even if I can't quite pull it off. Maybe the sweet woodsy trees distract me...

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