My Christmas crafting plans were over-ridden this year by a decline in my 84 year old father-in-law's health, which meant that my usual December of making and baking was taken up instead with hospital visits and rest-home tours. As a consequence, our Christmas stash is looking a bit light, but there are still a couple of extra specials among them.
A plaited gold ring by Dunedin jeweller Jane Dodd is my special present from Jack this year. I've unwrapped it briefly to show it to you, in the context of the fairytale-themed jewellery exhibition that it was part of, but I assure you that it is now re-wrapped and under the tree! Each of the retold fairy tales in Dodd's beautiful book Straw into Gold was illustrated by an exquisite jewellery tableau, and the plaited gold band was among the items illustrating the retelling of Rapunzel.
The ring is just gorgeous and I will never ever take it off!
In related news, another of Jane Dodd's arresting pieces of jewellery (a bear paw holding Goldilocks' severed plait) will be gracing the cover of my sister Therese's brilliant book of poems Other Animals, which is being published by Victoria University Press in March 2013. Check out the fantastic cover design here.
I usually make Jack a small edition of one of his poems as a special Christmas present, but that hasn't been possible this year. I have, however, managed to make a little something for him.
A while ago Jack wrote a post about a 'thoroughly munted' book in his library that he describes in a wonderful blog post as one of the 'finds of his life'. The book is a dual-text translation of Guillaume Apollinaire's Alcools (1913).
I managed to sneak away with the poor bedraggled coverless book and I've carefully rebound it with a calico covered hard cover. I then cut a dust-jacket from calico book cloth and created a cubist style collage inspired by the wonky composition of Picasso's painting Harlequin.
It will take a wee while to work out that it says Alcools, but that's the fun of it.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.
I'll be back in the New Year with a great new studio to show you.