Tuesday, December 28, 2010

post xmas post: gifts i made; to have & to hold

at work we did a not-so-secret santa gift exchange. this means we drew names out of hat and posted the results on the wall. i know it takes the fun out of it, but i guess last year a couple people never received gifts from their very secret santa. how sad!
one of the victims of last year's secret scrooge was the name i drew, Carrie. Seeing as how she was jipped last year, I felt a lot of pressure to make it good.
The Rules: It must be something that we MADE, & it was due by December 31st.

I hate to gift people 'stuff'; I always want it to be something as functional as it is adorable and beautiful, as useful as it is thoughtful.

Here's what I made for Carrie:
Gift #1: Chalkboard Bubble Wrap To-Do List.

 I bought Chalkboard paint and painted the piece of MDF from an old Ikea frame I had laying around. I cut strips of unpopped bubble wrap, and adhered it to the chalkboard with double-sided tape. So she can pop the bubble as she accomplishes her tasks. I also included a bag of extra strips of bubble wrap, so that she could use this chalkboard over and over. (I wrote on the bag: Lots to do!).

Gift #2: Candy Cane Puzzle.

I covered an old shoe box with faux-wood contact paper, and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Clever huh?

Well then all of us at Cherish received an email that after weeks of the decision being up in the air, our beloved manager Deb and her husband Don were in fact moving to Portland. ASAP. Like, this is her last week at the store and she's gone.
It seems I was the only person that didn't know she was even moving. Everyone else kinda knew it was happening, but was just unsure when.
So I was SHOCKED. It really shook me to my core. You see, after nearly a year of dead-end, misery-inducing, what-the-fuck-am-i-doing-here, hard-labor, uber-intense jobs, I had a single shot to change my life. I literally woke up one morning and thought: I like to make things. I like weddings. But thats more of my future career, and because I'm still in school, I can only work part time. Hey waitasecondhere, there's no reason I can't work at an art supply store. You know what? I'm gonna try. Please help me, Universe.

Deb saw something in me. She saw me as a sincere, passionate, creative girl with a lot to offer. How do I know this is what she saw? Because she consistently held up a mirror to me, persistant and insistant on showing me, making me see, exactly who she saw when she looked at me. After years of trials and tribulations, and more failures than successes, and too much time spent feeling wrong, feeling somehow displaced all the time, everywhere, I am not exaggerating when I say that Deborah's unshaking faith in me SAVED me. I've never felt more embraced than at this job, at this store. I have found a home because of her, and because of what she saw in me.

I made her this:

A framed jigsaw puzzle made of corkboard (functional) and covered in chalkboard paint (even more functional) with Deborah's piece being removable. We'll be forever incomplete without her.
I've been crying since I heard the news. I hugged her and told her she was 'amazing', which set off her own tears and we made plans to see each other January 1st.

I can't think of a better way to start 2011.

The gift I wrapped for myself and put under my tree? A copy of Thoreau's Walden (which is actually a hint about my New Years Resolution, but which I'll address in a more upbeat post later today or tomorrow).

current mood: incomplete.
current music: blitzen trapper - furr

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