Hello all, I trust you all had a good holiday whatever you did and whomever you were with. It's hard to believe it's over but if I am to be honest with you, I'm somewhat glad. December is a tough month for me as it's a time of remembering and missing my Mom even more and my oldest brother and all the raucaous family gatherings of yore. BUT it is what it is and we got through it - thanks in large part to going to our friends on Christmas day....they may not be family by blood but they are family nonetheless and it made the day very special.
They are our dear friends June and Ray. This is the second year we have gone to their home for Christmas in the lovely Santa Cruz mountains.
(I borrowed this above photo from her blog of their beautiful tree and just some of the decorations)
So BohoHandyman and I made and brought 4 quiches of various kinds and 5 loaves of pumpkin bread......these served as appetizers and were nearly all scarfed down right after we put them out. (that's always a compliment) We actually made 6 of each but kept a couple quiches and one bread at home. The house was busy with people and cooking and a lovely table set when we arrived.
There were 12 people for dinner that included us... Ray and June, June's parents who came to stay for the first time from Nevada - it was wonderful finally meeting them, both are so sweet and her Mom is a very talented needlepointer and plans to join in OWOA in Feb..... one of her sisters (who I hadn't met before either) came for the first time as well and she is a crack up......There was also Ray's Dad
who is as spry and sharp as a tack, still lives alone and drives over the hill..... and he is 92!!!! (the above photo was taken last Christmas while we played a game, he's wearing one of the party hats I brought for June's birthday that year) After meeting him I formed a mad crush. Sadly I didn't take photos this year...I was just too busy visiting.
Ray's 3 grown kids were there too......and Ray's best friend Mark (who I've come to consider a good guy friend) and us. It was a great group.Their home was decorated up beautifully, the long table set so lovely and all the food was served with love.
But that's not all we celebrated that day, you see June was born on Christmas Day so of course that is celebrated separately......later after dinner Ray brought out the cutest snowman cake made by a friend of theirs (sorry you can't see the front of him but he had a real carrot nose and real twigs for arms)...
The other cake was made by Ray with three snowmen atop and a big # "2" candle instead of a bunch of candles. He used a 2 to celebrate it was their second birthday/Christmas together. How sweet! I was so chomping at the bit to give her my gift ALL day but I waited....we did the singing, the cake and she opened other gifts first and then......
(By the way for those of you who have done One World One Heart over the years.....Ray and June are a love connection that came from the 2010 OWOH event. She had wanted to set up a blog AND be a part of OWOH after hearing about it for so long...so that year she did. A blogger in Montana who "met" June through OWOH that year saw where June lived and informed her she had a male friend who also lived in June's area and thought perhaps they'd be a good match. She and Ray ended up emailing one another, finally met in person.....and the rest is history. How about that? I laugh that I am responsible for them meeting in a six degrees of separation sort of way) Anyway.........
Insteading of wrapping the doll I set her in a plastic bucket padded at the bottom and lined in a garbage bag then surrounded her and covered her with a towel. When it came time for June to "open it" I had her close her eyes while I took it out to place her on the table. As I was placing it on the table everyone was gathered around and let out a sort of gasp sound (to my delight) which sort of freaked out June as to what the heck I was doing. I then had her open her eyes.....she saw it, started to cry and then grabbed me in a hug. (luckily BohoHandyman thought to grab the camera)
(just the reaction I'd hoped for)
Here is the backstory of the gift......(before I show you)..... June is a very talented artist who in 2010 decided to do some art with more whimsy to it thus she did some watercolors of various characters. From those characters she began writing a story that has since become an entire book she is hoping to get published. I've read it and it's REALLY good....one of those characters became her favorite and THAT was what I decided to base my gift on. I studied her illustration and she began to come to life. Keep in mind even though I knew I wanted to make this for awhile I didn't start until the morning of December 20th - (talk about putting pressure on yourself and having to work on it truly 10 hours a day) But it was a labor of love. I am always tweaking and touching up and reworking so it could have even been better had I given myself more time...but she is sweet nonetheless and she giggled as she came to life (always a good sign).
click images to enlarge.
This is a closeup of her original illustration of Mathilda Wickcliff
This is the full piece. The various elements around her represent elements/characters in the story. In her right hand she is holding up an actual leather bound book I made with the title of the actual book on the cover. The character likes to have tea parties so I have her holding a cup of tea and she LOVES her music CD's so I incorporated that too. The stump she sits on is from our orange tree which represents the Grandfather tree in her story and the key represents a major element in the story as well. I need to have June measure the height of the entire piece (I forgot to do that) but it's definitely over a foot tall.
This is Mathilda from the back, again the items you see are representations of other characters in her book. Too long to explain each one. The back of her t-shirt says "The Musky Deers" which also comes from the story.
This element represents a part of the story where the 3 children go through a "Gateway" that is surrounded by a gel-like water. I put an LED tealight behind it for the glow - she can turn it off and on.
The surprising (or maybe not so surprising part, is that except for one thing I had everything else in my studio stash) It has really helped to start up the mojo again and now I plan to bring to life some of my own illustrations and perhaps for others who may want to special order a 3D image of one of their own illustrations ......... Email me if you are interested!!
After all of this we all sat and played a game I'd not heard of before - it was fun AND frustrating...... it's called What's Yours Like?....... click here and watch the video on how it's played....you may want it for your next gathering.
Well my friends this has been a LOOOONNNNNNGGGG post. I hope you are all relaxing from all the food, drink and festivities! I'm off to think about my next 3D Illustration Doll while having a slice of Mediterranean quiche.
I wish you all peace and I thank you if you read this entire post - always appreciated!