Gift giving is something that I both love and despise. I am not very inventive when it comes to finding the right gift for a loved one, and I want to be one of those people (like my friend Sandy) who always find the most darling, charming, perfect thing. Both Sandy and Annamarie have birthdays this week, and I am in the unusual position of having come up with gifts for each of them that I know they are going to love. I can hardly wait for them to open these perfectly perfect presents. Like that alliteration?
For the past several years I have made something scrappy for Sandy-- a clock, a frame, a clipboard, a couple of mini-albums. And she is gracious enough to love them. This time I have actually commissioned an actual artist to do a painting for her! Doesn't that sound sophisticated? I found Diane Duda's website through another blog several months back, and fell in love with her whimsical paintings. I've been waiting to buy one for myself until just the right time, and I showed her site to Sandy the other day. She loved Di's work as much I do, and mentioned that she'd love to have one her paintings. I later sent an email to Di and asked if she did custom work, fully expecting her to politely decline. To my great joy, she is willing! And she was so sweet in her email. I requested something with bunnies, which Sandy loves, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with. If you haven't already clicked that link above, visit Duda Daze for a dose of happiness.
As for Annamarie's gift, it's another weird one. Her favorite gifts in the past have included dental tools, a cane, a stethoscope, a gooseneck lamp, and a mannequin head. She has eclectic interests. About two years ago she came home from school talking about getting in trouble for not keeping her hands off the Elmo. I was puzzled because she doesn't watch TV (except for Baby Story, a whole 'nother post), and she doesn't care much about stuffed animals. I eventually discovered that she was talking about this:
It's an overhead projector. By controlling her urge to put her hands on the Elmo, Annamarie eventually earned the privilege of being the student responsible for wheeling the Elmo back to its storage closet. Occasionally she will relate excitedly that she actually got to project something on the Elmo. When we are in the car and something on the dashboard is casting a reflection on the windshield, she exclaims, "It's like an Elmo!"
So guess what I found on eBay? An actual, working, used Elmo, for the princely sum of $24.95. The shipping approximately doubled that, but those things retail for $600 and up. She is going to be so excited.