Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Best Parts of the Day

I'm a little slow sharing with you my Christmas Day, but it is just as well - the gifts continue to trickle in, some Christmas Cookies from New York arriving this morning, a very special gift from one of my artist friends delivered yesterday. But as for Christmas itself, it started with some Rhubarb bread before church - the recipe made 4 little loaves, two of which I gave away, one which went into the freezer and this one, almost gone.

After church it was time for a little holiday music - this is just a small sampling of my collection...

...and a little holiday cheer to accompany the opening of presents. Oh, I was so well remembered with some of the loveliest gifts.

There was this glittery moose ornament which made me laugh - yes there's a story there and my close friends know it!

There were books to delight & challenge the mind and spirit...

...and gifts to delight the eye & touch. That gorgeous textile draped in the background is a pashmina shawl a friend brought back for me from Germany. At least I'm pretty sure the shawl and not the glitter moose which she also gave me was the German souvenir! I didn't know what pashmina was, only that 55% of this shawl's fiber content was pashmina, the rest silk. If you want to know more about pashmina, the shawls and the cute goats that provide the fiber, see here. My shawl is woven in a manner to produce two "right" sides. The reverse side is predominately green with red accents. The pen is from my woodworking artist brother. Although you can't tell from the picture, the white portion is fashioned from North Carolina American holly, which he tells me is said to be one of the whitest natural woods. He knows I have this thing for birch trees, which also have a very light wood, but decided not to deceive me into thinking this pen was of birch. Frankly, since he now lives in North Carolina and holly is associated with the Christmas Season, I think his choice of wood most appropriate and meaningful for me. The vase is also from him, purchased form a local potter that he admires, Edge Barnes (no relation that I know of). He picked this particular one because of "the same color tones as your beloved birches." Indeed those were my very thoughts when I unwrapped it. It is just beautiful and the process used in its making fascinating. Read about the process of making "horse-hair" pots here.

There was a surprise lurking at the bottom of my brother's box. Once I pulled out the wrapped gifts, there were these ties and batiks and odds and ends from his girlfriend who thought I might get more use out of them than she. Oh yeah, I am SUCH a sucker for ties and batiks.

It's not exactly fair to say I've left the best for last since all my gifts seemed to be the best, but this piece of textile art from my friend Judi Kane, really touched me. I am so thrilled to have a piece of her work to call my own, especially this piece. In 2007 she and I did monthly journal quilts, using our own set of rules and deadlines. I particularly liked this one which is a rendering in fabric of a painting by her mother. She has mounted it on black fabric which has been stretched around a gallery canvas. I lost no time adding it to my little gallery in my studio. You can read more about it and see the original painting in this post.

After basking in the glow of my wonderful gifts, the rest of the day saw me enjoying some Christmas specials on tv and chatting on the phone with a few faraway friends and family. That cross ornament is about the only decorating I did this year.

And making a mincemeat pie to share with not faraway friends the next day. I was lucky to make it home with this last piece - it was very well received!

Hoping you had a delightful holiday filled with the wonders of the season.

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