In the midst of all the wrapping paper and visitors and the flurry of everything else that happens around the holidays, all of us at the shop take one evening each December to share a nice meal and have our annual ornament swap, white elephant style with numbers drawn from a hat and rambunctious trading. Here are some pictures of half a dozen treasures from the big night. I took these photos at home of the ones Duncan and I took to the dinner, and of the ones our family brought home. The ones we didn't capture were just as whimsical and fun.
The mother and child ornament at the top was my contribution to the evening, a combination of felting and other fiber arts with some doll faces and hands. Julie brought us an adorable cotton batting bird this year. The little peep has a baguette under her wing because she's heading to Paris next year!
Shari felted a sweet star ornament, and as luck would have it, my younger daughter opened it, much to both her and Shari's delight.
John's candy box ship, finished with crepe paper and Dresden trim and flying an iridescent sail, was the first ornament to be opened. It was also at the center of the final surprise of the evening when my older daughter nabbed it after nearly an hour of patient and polite plotting!
Mr. Marsh added to the pile a handmade (and fully loaded) bill holder that could come in handy on a rainy day, and Duncan was glad to take it home.
As for Duncan's gift to us, he brought a precious miniature tea house made of balsa wood and topped with a fresh layer of mica snow. Inside the house an electric tea light flickered, enchanting everyone so much with its cozy glow that this ornament was one of the most actively swapped all night.