Beware of geeks hiding gifts

Published February 12, 2015 by Kristie

My husband is a very thoughtful gift-giver, and he has given me many perfect and wonderful gifts over the 24 years we’ve been together.  He is not, however, a good gift hider.  Nope.  Not at all.  And what’s more, whenever he fails to adequately hide a gift, or the easily obtained (and we’re talking zero effort required here) knowledge thereof, he is not particularly gracious about it when he’s busted.

Which is why, on our first anniversary of dating, when he’d bought surprise tickets to see Tim Allen (because on our very first date the year before we went to comedian Steven Wright–remember him?) and he’d concealed them (very stealthily, I suppose he imagined) in the inner pocket of his double-breasted suit jacket, and then proceeded to open up his jacket and flashed the aforementioned pocket with tickets sticking out of it where I could easily see them from my spot in the passenger seat and, like any curious soul, asked “What are the tickets for?” somehow, it was MY fault that the surprise was ruined, and he sank into a mighty pout.  And we had words about both the pouting and the misplaced blame, along the lines of, “If you DIDN’T want me to see the tickets, perhaps flashing them directly in the vicinity of my eyeballs was not your best-laid plan.”  Seeing as I am a bright and observant individual and all.

As we share most things in life, we also share a PayPal account, and the emails and receipts go to an account that used to be ours jointly, but has been used by me alone for at least 10 years now.  So I am often made aware of his “surprise” purchases within seconds of them being made.  I may or may not tell him I’m aware, depending on the item, because I know how much it disappoints him to have the surprise ruined.  Though I guess I’ve blown that strategy now.

And a number of times he decided to hide things on the side of his office closet, which is the only side I ever go into, and only then to hang up his clean laundry.  There’s a whole other side of the closet I have no reason to go into, ever, that would make a perfect hiding spot for loot, and he uses it…now.  But there was some drama about several items that I inadvertently discovered when I hung up a t-shirt and came face to face with them, because they were “hidden” right there on the shelf, with the closet door wide open, like he went to the Mourning Dove Nest-Building School of Gift Hiding.  (If you’re not familiar with mourning dove nest-building, that last line won’t be funny at all; but in case you’re curious, the world’s stupidest birds regularly put 2 sticks together in a porch light and call it done, which is why it cracks me up.  Some of these are just for me.)  I honestly can’t say how often this has happened, but I can say without equivocation that it happened often enough that around gift-giving times I now will explicitly ask, “Is it okay for me to go into your closet to hang these up?”

So as you may be aware, Valentine’s Day is this weekend, and I was duly warned to not open any boxes that arrived, because they might contain Valentine gifts for me.  Now, I generally don’t open any mail not addressed to me, but on occasion I have accidentally opened his order, so I don’t mind the heads-up.  Back when we were both working, if we were expecting secret gift packages, we’d just make sure to get to the door first when we got home, and then quickly squirrel them away.  Now that I’m home all day, and am friendly with the UPS guy and the FedEx guy and the Amazon courier who comes down from Phoenix, not to mention our mail carrier, Maureen, I receive all of the packages.  (And it’s hard enough surprising each other, because we both keep Amazon wishlists, and often just order stuff off of them for gift-giving occasions.  Sure, it offers less in the way of surprises, but more in the way of gift satisfaction, so it works for us.)

But I play along, and I don’t shake the boxes with his name on them that I bring into the house, because I enjoy happy surprises, particularly surprises wherein I receive loot.  So when the UPS truck rolled up to the house this afternoon, and the guy came to the door and handed me a very large box, I didn’t shake it, or note the heft of it.  I just brought it in and set it on the dining room table.  Stared at it awhile and thought, “Nope. He’s not going to be happy about this.”

And then I sent this text, with the photo below, to Scott:  “I swear I didn’t open the box. But your surprise may be blown.”

What's more, that same picture appeared on all 6 sides of the box.

What’s more, that same picture appeared on all 6 sides of the box.

A Productive Day at the Craft Desk

Published February 7, 2015 by Kristie

I had every intention of spending today sewing, but a post-brunch trip to Michael’s to pick up some earring components kind of derailed me (in a good way!) for the rest of the day, as my craft desk was piled with various projects (or rather, the makings thereof) that pulled me to work on those instead.  Not to mention the handsome man painting miniatures at the desk opposite me.  I made many things.  Let me show you them.

First up was the finishing of my “Lady Mary necklace.”  If you watch Downton Abbey, you will have seen this necklace in Season 5 (the current season), Episode 3.

This is my attempt at a similar style.  It can be worn with the pendant front or back, though if I wear it in the front, it may well need some cinching up, lest it be lost from view in my abundant colletage.20150207_145718-1

I recently have been drawn to antiqued bronze-type necklaces, and didn’t have any earrings to wear with them, nor could I find what I wanted at Etsy.  So I made my own. 3 pair of earrings in 20 minutes.  Scott said, “It must be so disappointing to have a hobby where you actually complete a project,” as he put the 57th coat of paint on his behemoth model (which, for the record, doesn’t even have its legs attached yet, and he’s been working on for weeks.)  I did a couple art deco-ish pairs, and one more modern pair.


Yesterday, when I was at Silver Sea Jewelry to pick up this sweet little art deco piece that some kind soul had posted on Facebook to tempt me (successfully, as it turns out), the owner showed me some other art deco bits she had, and I picked up the pendant below, because it’s a casting of this work by my favorite artist, Alphonse Mucha.  I had picked up the beads recently, not sure what I’d do with them, but I liked the effect of the mix so well, that, like all good crafters, I bought them anyway and would figure out what to do with them later.  Later turned out to be today, and “what to do with them” was a triple strand necklace for my Mucha pendant.


The sewing I’d intended to do was to work on my gown for the Renaissance Faire I’ll be attending at the beginning of March.  It’s all cut out; I just need to start stitching. The gown is red and black, and while I have other garb and headgear, I didn’t have anything that would go with the new color scheme. And I need a little something special, seeing as it’ll be another couple years before I have long hair again to fancify in a Renaissance style.  (Grow, Hair, dammit!  Grow!) Every year I see pretty floral crowns, but they’re usually not ones you can buy at the Faire. The ones available there are usually cheap, pastel, and primarily for little girls, and despite all this, ridiculously overpriced, so I decided to make my own.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I was with myself when, having gone to JoAnn’s for a sewing gauge and pins Thursday, I actually remembered that I wanted to do this project, and was able to get everything in ONE trip!  (Actually remembering things at the right time, without writing them down, is a big damn deal at 43 and beyond.  If you don’t already know that, you will…oh, you will!)

Anyway, my craft desk was filled with stems of flowers and it was a mess, so I decided to work on that.  I didn’t sew my dress (I’ve got all day tomorrow for that), but I DID work on my costume, so this totally counts.20150207_163058 20150207_163044 20150207_163108


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