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Christmas Gift!

In my family we have a strange & crazy tradition of stealing each other’s “Christmas Gift.” To accomplish this feat one must say (or yell) “Christmas Gift!” at the other family member before the afore mentioned family member says it to you. This is the stealing of the Christmas Gift. I don’t know for how many generations this has gone on, but I can imagine it originated in a year of harder times than this recession has handed us, when there were no gifts to be given. Maybe it began as the giving of the Christmas gift and an overly competitive passle of siblings turned it into the stealing of the Christmas gifts. Either way-we love it. My little people included. This year on Christmas Eve at Grandma & PaPa’s house we all hid in closets & under tables to trick the late arriving Aunie Kimmie & Uncle Wendell into thinking we weren’t there (despite the tempting smells of food wafting through the house) so that we could jump out screaming in their face “Christmas Eve Gift”  like children hyped up on too many candy canes, the night before Santa comes (you add the Eve according to when you’re seeing the family). Yes I bumped my head, yes my brother in law got trapped in the ancient sliding door of the linen closet, but over all it was well worth it. With the excitement, old memories come tumbling out like faded pictures from the leaves of a family picture album not opened in years. It never fails to lead into a trail of “remember that year…” tales of adventure & scheming. Cousins running down the alley, my dad scaling the 8 foot fence, torn pants, an aunt who will rename nameless always getting injured…all to rouse a little Christmas festivity (and prove oneself a craftier gift stealer). This is the joy of Christmas. No real gift even existed in any of these tales of old, but the joy lingered. Enough to be told 10 times over.

This is what Christmas is all about. At Camp Thorkildsen, Christmas is about others. Your birthday is about you. So on a budget & in love with all things hand-crafted, Luke & I decided we would only make each other a gift, with money only to be spent on the materials required. The results were stunning. It was so fun to work on our projects, stealing moments here & there in our work spaces.  I was excited as a kid on Christmas morning, just dying for Luke to open his gift. I made him an ammo-holder. I sewed it myself from muslin & then sprayed camo patterning on it (I call it Keri 4-HD). It was so fun. He loved it & uses it every time he hunts. It holds 14 shells, which is just enough for a limit & a few misses.


Ammo holder being modeled at my parents'.

Ammo holder in action


Luke worked hours on my gift, my curiosity rising each day. He made me a bagel slicer stand! No more sliced fingers in the morning hours before deliveries! It holds 3 various sizes & is made of alder wood which is the hardest wood, so that the knife doesn’t catch in the wood while slicing. It has my logo etched in the side of it, which was done with wood flour made from a darker wood. It is so pretty and functional. I was so proud to be the recipient of such a thoughtful gift. I don’t know how we’ll top it next year, but we decided to carry on our tradition & try!

Showing off my bagel slicer stand from my woodworker hubby at my parents' house.

Luke is such an artist & I’m so impressed with all the crafts he has mastered in his woodshop. The last few months of this year have been so fun as we have each explored more of our artistic sides & tried new projects. I can’t wait till the next project is finished!!! He’s been working on this one for 6 months!


Until Next time…New Years Gift!

Tis the Season!


This year Luke & I made a pledge to handmake our gifts for each other & only spend money if we needed supplies. I have been so pleased to see how fun it has turned out to be! Having a secret project & mission to work on for the other is so exciting. Luke doesn’t even know it, but I had a secret workshop set up on the back patio on the other side of our master bedroom where I would sneak out & work on my craft. So this morning I couldn’t contain my excitement when I got it out & wrapped it up for under the tree placement. Stay to tuned to see what it is and what Luke made me!

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Something old, Something new

A few weeks ago I dusted off the art supplies I’ve had since college and drug out a canvas I had bought months before. My mom kept moving it around my house every time she was here, urging me to explore my artistic side, so I finally gave in to her promptings. I thought those old pastels deserved a try. So I am trying something new. I don’t know if I’ll ever let you see the finished piece or not. I’m a bit self conscious of my art. It is drying as I type. I’m just excited I took the journey to try something to stretch my talents…here’s a glimpse.