Holiday Gifts 2012: part 1

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Now that the holidays are finally wound down I can share with you the fun things I made for some of my family and friends this year. Since the most recent accident, I’ve not been healthy enough to make all the projects I wanted to make, but I’ve been trying to do what I can and get goodies out to people who will appreciate them at the most socially acceptable month of the year to do so. This post is all about the gift I made for my brother S.

I asked S what he wanted for the holidays, and he made it very easy for me and spelled out exactly what he wanted custom-order style! He asked for a Houston Texan’s wooden plaque with the logo and the phrase, “Bulls on parade,” carved into it with guy pal’s CNC mill and painted up like the Titanic signs from the party last year. Gift requests like that, versus “just something nice” make it so easy, even if it does potentially kill the surprise, but we’ll get to surprise killing later.

I took the request to guy pal who jumped on it. I was doing very poorly at the time, and he handled pretty much everything! I made a mock up in a word document of how the sign should look and a few minor changes to the final program, but he really did it all. He even got a board to use! I did go over to help, really observe, the milling part of the operation. We messed up the text on the first board by not clamping all corners of the board. The natural curve to the wood meant that the letters in one corner went too deep. Frustrated, we loaded up another board, and I took the ‘ruined’ one out to the garage. I cut around the main logo design and figured I could call it a trivet for an extra gift out of the waste! I painted only the interior of the cuts so that the acrylic paint couldn’t melt when a hot pan gets placed on the trivet. It seems just the right size for a bowl of queso dip at a Superbowl party, right?

Texans Trivet

The next cut came out perfectly on the main plaque S wanted, and I took it home to paint up that very night. Unfortunately, so many tiny detailed cuts took forever and a day to paint. I spent over 6 hours watching Scrubs reruns on Netflix and painting like mad all night long. It came out great though. Step-dad even pounded a picture hanger saw tooth piece onto the back so I could get it wrapped up the next morning.

Texans plaque

All in all, I’m very pleased with the set and wrapped them up together with the trivet in a smaller box atop the big box holding the plaque. With a big bow on top, it was a pretty package, not these exact packages mind you, but something similar with a wonderful bow.

bows on packages1

Yes, these ones do have bar codes on them, but that’s a story for another time.

On Christmas morning, the beautiful box was plopped into brother S’s lap and as he was slipping the bow off, I asked that he open the larger one first. Given how specific his request was, seeing the trivet would certainly give away the surprise of the plaque! He set the smaller box to the side and tore into the big box. He was thrilled with the plaque and I was thrilled with his response to it. Mom, who obviously hadn’t been paying attention, asks, “So, did you like the trivet too? Isn’t it cute?” I was horrified. Brother S made the simple dog face.

If you haven’t read Hyperbole and a Half, you NEED to. It’s fantastic.

But there it is, I made a perfect holiday gift to specs and my mom goes and ruins the surprise by assuming he’s open the smaller gift on top first. At least it was a nice little set to give S, even if mom had to go muck it up! See if I show her what I’m working on crafting next holiday!


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