Friday, January 16, 2015

Just in time for warmer weather!


Bonjour mes amis!

How did gift-giving go for you this Christmas?  Did you have returns to make?  Did everything fit right?

I always try to really think hard about things I think people will like in my gift-giving, and this year, I ended up making two things for Dr. J that I thought might be meaningful for him.

First off, I took a great deal of time to go through all of our photos from our time in Europe, while we lived in France in 2012 and 2013.  Dr. J LOVES Stained-Glass Windows.  I know I mentioned it frequently in past posts, but I'm telling you, it was like a moth being drawn to flame!  If Dr. J saw an old Church or Cathedral that just might have stained-glass windows, we had to go check it out.

So, I put together an Album for him of all the best photos that we took of stained-glass windows, and labeled the Album,
Une année de Vitraux!
(Translated, A year of Stained-Glass Windows!)

All in all, I came up with about 200 photos.  I got the photos printed up and arranged them in an Album, and then pain-stakingly went through and labeled them, where the photo was taken and when.

Dr. J was touched, although, it has meant more and more to him as he looks through and remembers all those visits, and studies the photos for detail.  His favorite window is this one...

Don't you love how the guy is holding his own head?  We saw a number of windows like this in France.  Personally, my favorites were the fleur-de-lis shaped ones, but I'm sure that doesn't surprise you.

I gave Dr. J a second gift that I made for him too, however, I had to give it to him unfinished...

Dr. J has an afghan that his Grandma (now deceased) made for him many years ago.  He treasures that thing.  He wraps up in it every night while he's reading in bed, and is always mindful to take good care of it.

SO, I thought he should have something from me that I crocheted.  I found an excellent free pattern for a thermal scarf made with wool yarn through Lion Brand Yarn Company (because you know we need thermal scarves in Texas)!  I just thought the pattern looked like the most masculine scarf, and that then he'd have something from me to wrap around himself too.  (I also thought that the pattern had a bit of a window-like look, and would be a fitting gift to give with the Stained-glass Photo Album...a bit of a stretch I guess, but with me here!)

I bought two balls of yarn like the instructions said, and got started.  After completely using up the two balls, I realized that I was really only about half way through the length I should have had.  I headed back to the store to try to get more yarn, but couldn't match the dye-lot, so I took my chances and just bought two more skeins.

By this time though, Dr. J was home every night, and there was NO WAY I could complete it in time for Christmas, without him seeing me working on it.

So, I wrapped up the scarf, and still gave it to him on Christmas, promising to finish it soon!

I did get the scarf finished a few days later, and proudly handed him the completed project.

He put it around his neck, and then took it off and folded it in half length-wise and tried it on again,
and that's when my heart sunk...
I could tell he wasn't going to be too happy about wearing this.  He said he liked it, but right away I knew it would never get used.  It needed to be skinnier.  The scarf made up kind of stiff because of the yarn, but...


I almost got angry.
He asked if it could be a little skinnier?
And I said, "not unless I start it all over"!

Sweet man that he is...he didn't want me to have to do that.  But goodness!  All that hard work, and for him not to wear it EVER?

I didn't want that, so...

I remade the whole thing, at about half the width it was, and now it's ready for him to wear.  When I gave it to him again, he kept it around his neck the whole rest of the evening to show me he liked it.  I was so pleased, since now I do believe he will wear it!


Ugh!  Who knows?  Maybe we'll have another little cold snap...

I'll have to have a little talk with the Groundhog in the next couple weeks!

I hope you had better luck with your gift giving this year!

Have a "Jewel" of a weekend!

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