I hope everyone had a happy holiday. I spent yesterday with my mom and stepfather (my sister was at her in-laws'; we'll see her for lunch on Sunday). Our tradition is to have a small dinner and open presents on Christmas Eve. Even though Mom swears that I'm not getting anything else, Santa always finds something to put under the tree Christmas morning. :) Then we have a late lunch with turkey (tofurkey for me!), mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, etc. Then Mom and I go to a movie while my stepfather works around the house. This year we saw Valkyrie, which was really good!
Now for pictures:
This is the stuff I got from my parents. We agreed to not spend a lot of money this year; Mom wanted our gifts to be handmade. I got a tin of popcorn (yum!), a cookbook (yum!) with a hundred dollar bill stashed inside (yay!), and a reusable shopping bag full of yarn, crochet patterns, and some new, smaller hooks (this was the gift left by "Santa"). See that blue pillow? That's what my mom made for me, and it is awesome. She called it a "quillow." It's the biggest project she's finished since she started quilting, and I'm so excited that it was for me! It's a pillow, but instead of stuffing, it's filled with fabric.
The fabric can be unfolded from the pillow (but it's still attached to the pillow fabric), and it turns into a blanket!
The top part is a terrycloth-like material. Mom made it so that I can take it to the beach with me and use as a blanket there. She also added a strap, so that when it's folded up like a blanket, I can carry books, sunscreen, etc. in it like a bag. I love it!
I also got some cool stuff from my Secret Santa through the Friendly Book Nook's Christmas Book Swap. My Secret Santa was Leah, who posts at The Friendly Book Nook.
She sent me some yummy chocolate and mint candy (which probably won't last long!), a foot scrub (which I could really use - being a teacher, I'm on my feet all day), a notepad (which is now sitting next to my computer) and a copy of Donna VanLiere's The Christmas Promise (which is now sitting on top of Mt. TBR). Thanks, Leah! :)
One last gift: I actually got this one a few weeks ago. My best friend and I went to an art show and I fell in love with one of the paintings there. Actually, several of them were great, and I really need to write a post about the artists we saw. But, there was one in particular that I just couldn't stop staring at. The painting itself was over $1,000 - way too much for me to spend. Luckily, we noticed that the artist, Timothy Michael, also had some prints for sale. He had ONE LEFT of the painting that I was so enamored with. I kept picking it and up and putting it back down again. Then this other woman started eying it, which made me nervous. I really didn't have the money to buy it myself at the time, so my BFF bought it for me as a Christmas gift. Bask in the wonderfulness of my first real piece of art:
I have no idea why I find this particular painting so great - it just really speaks to me. The color isn't great in this photo; if you visit Michael's website you'll probably get a better idea of how it's supposed to look. This piece is off to get framed, so that it can hang on my wall and make my other pictures jealous.
So, how were your holidays? Did Santa bring you lots of books and toys? I hope everyone had a safe and fun time with their loved ones. :)