Christmas crafting

I like to make at least a few presents every year and this year I got some pretty cool ideas.

Tom needs a place to put his wallet and phone and keys and other pocket stuff, so I thought I'd make a tray. I decided to imitate a sifting screen we use as archaeologists.
I used a plain unfinished tray from the craft store and sealed it. Then I mixed craft sand with Mod Podge and coated the bottom.  
I put wire screen on top of that. 
Then I added "artifacts": beads, modern produced arrowheads, pennies, rocks, a pop top, some shells and some flagging tape.
Then I poured in clear casting resin. I didn't quite get everything embedded fully, but it all does have a coating at least.
The screen I used was very fine mesh so you can't really see the sand, but I still really like the effect.


Tom is also growing out his beard so I got him a comb and mustache trimmer. I also blended some oils to use on his beard to keep it healthy and soft.

I got lots of lovely tea and a cute teapot. My electric kettle died yesterday (grrr, it was only a few months old" so post-holiday shopping will involve a new one.
And I got jammy pants!
And I'm going to go get some new Vibram FiveFingers, which horrify my mom, but I looooove.

The doggies got presents too. This is Bunny's first Christmas and the tearing wrapping paper scared her.  She's not quite sure how to play with her new toys.  Oreo has a new stuffy to kill.

And in fine family tradition, we made marinara and meatballs.


An Offering for Christmas Eve

This time of year is significant for many people. Some recognize the birth of Christ, others the miracle of the lamp oil, still others the solstice and the return of light.
Light is a common theme - the light of the guiding star, light of hope, light of God, light of the sun. So too, the restful darkness that lets us appreciate the light and renew it within ourselves.    
It is also a time to appreciate the light of knowledge. A time to celebrate our ability to light the dark and keep warm in the cold. A time to marvel at our ancestors observing the skies and knowing the changing seasons.
The finest reminder of the light for me is the Christmas Eve broadcast from Apollo 8 in 1968. The crew and their craft represented a coalescing of light - the light of knowledge and ingenuity, the light of bravery and exploration, the light of faith - in God or scientists and engineers.
The account of creation in Genesis, of the creation from darkness was apt-regardless of personal belief - as a major part of the Western canon it influences art even today. And the theme of naming having power and causing things to come into being is a common one in mythology and can be seen in a way in the voyage of Apollo 8 itself.     President Kennedy called for the US to send a man to the surface of the moon and bring him back by the end of the decade. He spoke, millions listened, thousands worked and created and transformed words into actions and things.
So, on Christmas Eve, I wish you all well in the restful dark and the returning light and offer you the reading given by Frank Borman and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders from the depths of space between Earth and Moon on December 24, 1968.