Merry Christmas!

However you celebrate, whatever you celebrate, even if you don’t celebrate, I celebrate you. I know that not everyone is happy at this time of year. We’re stressed, we’re facing challenges, we miss people who are far away or who we’ve lost. I’m glad you’re here, and I wish all good things for you. You may not know it, but every day there’s someone whose life you affect in a good way.

Above is LAST YEAR’s photo, our last Christmas at The Compound. Behind us is a mural on the wooden garage doors that Lindsey generously painted using Where the Wild Things Are as her inspiration. I worried the new owner might replace the doors or paint over it, but he considers it part of the charm of the property.

I usually don’t post our holiday photo until it’s been sent to our friends and family in our Christmas cards. I was still mailing our 2014 cards at EASTER–in fact, I never finished mailing them!–so I never published the photo.

This year, I’ve barely begun mailing cards, but I’ve learned from my mistake. You can see below how our family has grown at Houndstooth Hall, with Debby, Harley, and Stewie in Fairy Cottage. Tim lives in Fox Den with Pixie, Penny, and Pollock. Though Margot is no longer with us, Tom and I made sure she was with her sisters Guinness and Anime for one more family photo (thank you, Lynne!). And thank you all for continuing to read my scant entries here or on Facebook. I look forward to the good things the new year will bring for us all!

Button Sunday

I know this button is about Hobbits, but it reminds me of a video I saw yesterday. When asked, more than 80 percent of children said if they had a choice between getting a present they really wanted, or giving a present to a child who might not get anything for Christmas, they’d rather give a gift.

Speaking of gifts, Lila is enjoying writing letters these days, and she recently made a card for me. She likes helping her mom and grandmother find ugly pig ornaments for me–in fact, they saw one while shopping and asked Lila if they should buy it, and she said, “No. Not ugly enough.” So her card celebrates my pig collection.

I was mystified by “Hg,” and no one else could tell me what it meant. When Lila came back through the room, she said, “That’s the sound a pig makes.” She’s absolutely right. A pig does say, “Hg.”

Also, her style reminds me of artist Cy Twombly.

Lights, camera, ACTION!

It’s very strange that a new season of “Project Runway” has begun and I’m not doing the challenges for Mattel’s Summer and Company at 1:6 scale. I miss my dolls, and the only thing I’ve sewn lately involved mending quilts with dog damage, but work is keeping me very busy. Somewhere in the midst of job and remodeling madness at Houndstooth Hall, I realized that Tim gave me a book for Christmas that I’d never read, and I posted this photo to Instagram.

Edward doesn’t approve my reading material maybe, but busting him out of his crypt made me wonder why there are no Lestat action figures. Actually, there are Lestat action figures, but I don’t think any were ever commercially manufactured, so if you find them online, they’re custom-made, and even if they’re for sale, they are some hideous amount of money that is way beyond anything I’m shelling out.

Then I wondered… Why not find an action figure I could alter to create my own Lestat? After looking at ebay for possible candidates, I ordered this pirate chick. With action figures, unlike with people, gender transitioning is simply a matter of fashion.

Although speaking of busting out… Unfortunately, once she was here, I realized she wasn’t created to the same scale as Edward. I might be able to disguise her endowments, but I couldn’t make her taller or bigger, and no way could Lestat be significantly shorter than Edward (Tom Cruise’s version notwithstanding).

Back to the drawing board; both Marika and Tom had the same suggestion. Order another Twilight action figure, who would be the same scale as Edward, and alter that one. After scrutinizing photos of every character available, I decided Victoria was the best candidate. Here’s how she looked when she arrived.

I wanted her coat to stay as it was and painted her other clothes to change their period to something more appropriate to the Brat Prince. With a haircut and some paint, Lestat began to emerge.

Then I made a discovery. When painting an action figure’s face, one needs a steady hand, a tiny brush, and the ability to magnify the crap out of one’s work. Because what I thought looked good, when photographed and embiggened, was a hot someone-left-the-cake-out-in-the-rain mess. I read a few online tutorials that led me to purchasing one of these (and now I don’t know how I’ve done anything crafty without it–I can see!).

And some of these, sharpened to a super fine point.

And though I still wouldn’t let any of you see my action figure’s face magnified, it’s better than it was. Finally, with paint, lace, and patience, WOOHOO! I present Prince Lestat (using the Elizabeth Taylor filter).

With or without a filter, not everyone is impressed.