Oh it was a marvelous Christmas this year. It had a few fraught moments leading up to it, but except for a brief run on Friday afternoon, I avoided all mall experiences (mall=mal). Amazon got a fair chunk of my shopping time, but I also found small businesses on the web selling beads and bead kits and ordered kits both to give and to make and give from them. The highlight of the gifting was a last-minute item I found and ordered for Dave from the Make magazine store. I thought I was getting a completed item but what I really got was a kit. When I opened the box Wednesday evening in the midst of all the last-minute Christmas prep, a full-firing schedule, and June Cleaver momming activities, I didn't know if I was going to be able to pull it out. But Thursday I planned, and Friday--between playdates and firings--I ran to Ace Hardware and bought a soldering iron for electronics, a multimeter, a small-project vise--and a dimmer and three faucet repair kits (I got to play electrician Friday afternoon during playdate #2--the plumbing can wait till the faucets start to leak again).
The second stop on my Friday errand run was the knitting store where I purchased double-pointed needles, and the yarn and a pattern for knitted Mary Jane slippers for J. Whumped out a pair of the slippers Friday and Saturday nights. J wearing and holding them shown here. Today or tomorrow I am going to embroider some big red yarn daisies on them for her.
Saturday found me hiding in the studio sporting reading glasses (damn, those circuit boards are TINY!) and poring over the downloaded instructions in preparation for my first foray into small electronics. Jessie and her friend Grace placed some of the resistors for me--after my mall run to Radio Shack to get the 100K 1/4 watt 5% resistors that weren't included in the kit--and after I soldered them in I noticed J's was in the wrong holes. Whoops! Good thing I have a lot of experience soldering and unsoldering from stained glass. I got it out, put a new one in the right holes and soldered it all up. After checking to make sure there was no solder where it shouldn't be, I tested it out and cased it up. Voila! A Cinna Boost battery-powered USB charger that will power up iPods, iPhones, iTouches, shuffles and Blackberries! Actually it will charge a lot more than that, but those are the devices we have. Two AA batteries later (it even works with rechargeables) and Dave's gift was done.
Jessie, not to be outdone, made some of her Christmas gifts too. Here are the pics of her stringing turquoise and silver necklaces for her Grammas. She laid out all the beads according to the picture, and then she strung them all. I couldn't even see the seed beads on one of them--much less the holes she had to string them through. She did one Wednesday and one Thursday and we got them both out for delivery by Christmas to Montana and Illinois. Whew!
Christmas Day I actually had to wake Jessie up at 9:30 to tell her to get up to see what Santa brought. She opened one bleary eye at me and snuggled back down under the covers. I think my child is an alien. After the presents were all unwrapped, we settled down to play with them. J opened her sand art kit from Uncle Ed and cousins Jessica and Andrew and started making bottled sand art (pictured here).
Now we all rest and recover... I had to write that so I could roll on the floor and laugh hysterically afterward. Dave is back at work in the full-out coding run before the primaries, and I am slogging through a big order at Siyeh Studio. J is the only one who is taking it easy--playing with Christmas stuff and watching movies today, playdates start up again tomorrow. Tonight we celebrate Boxing Day with fa cold buffet at some friends' house. Hope you all (y'all) had a peaceful, restful, happy Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzah, winter holiday.