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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Coolest Gifts

So--how were your holidays? Did Santa (or someone else) bring you something nice?

I have to admit...I love gifts; both giving and receiving them. One of my favorite parts of the holiday is the excuse to find, buy, or make something perfect for the people in my life. The holidays may come once a year, but I try to express a year's worth of appreciation and love in whatever I give. (Okay--it's usually books. Or wine and chocolate. Or jewelry. Or some combination of the above. But not always.)

My friends are all fabulous gift-givers too (yes, there are usually a lot of books, wine, and chocolate there too...although not so much jewelry). But the best gifts I got this year came from the hands and the hearts of two of the folks I'm closest to.

My pal Terry (who had the nerve to move from Oneonta to Connecticut a number of years ago) came to visit with her hubby on Thanksgiving, and brought me this beautiful shawl she'd been working on since LAST Thanksgiving. And only partially because I apparently picked the hardest pattern on the face of the earth. hey--I'm not a knitter; what do I know? Isn't it gorgeous? Yes, that's a mixed peacock-colored silk. It is as amazing and delicate as it looks, but also surprisingly warm! No doubt from all the love that went into making it.

My friend Chris (who is, among her many talents, a wonderful potter), went FAR beyond the call of duty to give me a gift she knew I'd love. She took the cover of my 2nd book, Everyday Witch A to Z (pictured here)

And somehow magically put it on a wine glass!

This process apparently involved heating the picture and the glass in the kiln. The final result looks like this (only this is a crappy picture):

The thing that makes this gift so amazing, is what she went through to achieve it. Here are tries number one through three...

Go ahead, drink out of those, I dare you!

My point is, well, LOOK at the trouble my friends went to, just to give me gifts that they knew I would like beyond anything they could find in the store.

My friends ROCK. Just sayin'.

Did someone give you the perfect gift this holiday season, or go out of his or her way to do something nice? I'd love to hear about it!


  1. It doesn't surprise me that the shawl is warm, even though it's so lacy. Silk is warm. Skiers or other outdoor sports enthusiasts wear silk thermals to stay toasty.

  2. I am a terrible knitter, but I had an Etsy.com vendor whose work I particularly admire hand-knit a Fourth Doctor scarf for my husband, who is a raging Doctor Who fan. He was delighted! I had a hard time not spilling the beans, I couldn't WAIT for him to open that package! Giving is definitely the best part when you know the recipient is going to be delighted. :o)For his part, he did very well also - I got the first three Temeraire books, hardback British first editions, in mint condition and Mylar wrapped for protection. Good job, DH!! :o)

  3. Becky--I wear silk long underwear every day during the winter (my house is cool and the shop is COLD). I love it, because it is so lightweight, you don't look like you are wearing another layer, but it really does help keep you warm. But the shawl is so lacy, I was amazed that it was so cozy, too.

    Melissa--I'm a Whovian too; great gift! And it sounds like you got a lovely one in return. Yay!

  4. Somebody made me the most GORGEOUS labradorite necklace with matching earrings...I absolute love them!

    I also got a beautiful wooden tabletop easel (collapsable with a leather handle so I can pack it anywhere)for when the painting Muse strikes. :D

  5. I love silk! That shawl is gorgeous. I wore silk thermals when I lived up north. I still have them and have been wearing the bottoms to the black set as leggings in the winter.

    Let's see, Somebody sent me an awesome box of cool gifts. I brought the little leopard with me as a traveling companion. And I've been given the gift of family. And chocolate. :)

  6. Lisa and Skye--It is almost as if you know the same gift-giver. *looks innocent*

    Chocolate is good :-)

  7. The shawl's pattern *defines* lacy. Gorgeous. AND made by your friend.

    Two years ago I edited a compilation book and wrote section leads commemorating 100 years of a garden magazine. Fun! Even funner is each time I drink from the wine glass imprinted with the book's logo. So I know your thrill. Or close to it.

    Best witchy wishes to you --

  8. What a gorgeous shawl. Does your friend make them for sale? And kudos to your other friend who made your logo glass. Hot glass is difficult to work with.

  9. Thea--How cool!

    Lita--No, she makes them for therapy :-) She works a crazy corporate job about 80 hours a week, and I think knitting is the only thing standing between her and complete madness. But that's just a guess...

  10. Attempts 1-3 make a great art piece!