We’ve reached Christmas Day, and I hope all of you who celebrate are having a wonderful one! For today’s prompt, we have Santa’s bag filled with toys since that’s what came to mind while we were opening our stockings this morning as they were filled with fabulously fun and silly things that we’re probably far too old to receive. It’s been a blast indulging my inner child this month and although all the gifts have now been opened, Philippe and I both have a full week off work to play with them, so it’s still the holidays until the clock strikes 2018! I once again got lots of fun new toys last night, along with Philippe’s annual foie gras and what I call Christmas cake which made for a totally magical night. I adore our yearly traditions and while it’s bittersweet to see things come to a close, I still feel happy knowing that they’ll be back again next year. It’s such a warm and wonderful time, filled with love and a little chance to spoil those we love most. Even our dog got a special dinner of roasted duck, parsnips, and carrots, prepared restaurant quality by Philippe. This might have been too overindulgent as Phineas spent the rest of the evening with “wolf eyes,” primally staring at every piece of food that appeared.
As a kid in the 70’s, I was a huge Star Wars fan, and one Christmas my parents bought me a remote control R2-D2. My mother still has it, but we’ve never been able to get it working properly again. Philippe bought me the updated droid that you can control with your phone and it’s totally awesome. The best part about gifts this time of year is that I get things I absolutely don’t need, cannot justify spending money on, but still really, really want. This, of course, was a gift reserved for the end of the evening as the first gifts are always small and just for fun. My very first gift that I opened was simply a set of 3 white ink gel pens and I was thrilled! I immediately trotted off to start sketching things, leaving Philippe to marvel at how easily amused I am and also question his decision to give them me that one first. I started this month with a sketch on toned paper and didn’t like the gel pen I had so this one, though still perfectly inexpensive, is an upgrade and works great. It also pairs nicely with my larger Stillman & Birn Nova Series toned sketchbook I received a bit later in the evening!
I won’t be converting over to toned paper sketches as I still love my watercolor paper best, but it’s fun to try new things. My final gift was a practical one, but unlike the nose and ear hair trimmer I found in my stocking once before, this still felt like a toy. It was an upgraded scanner in the form of an Epson V600 and it’s totally awesome. I’ve just spent the day playing with it, but it’s fast and has a much higher color depth than my previous scanner, including a setting that magically removes the watercolor paper texture from images for illustration. I can already say that I highly recommend it! Philippe’s final present, after the requisite Lego sets and comics, was a a Staub round cocotte oven, so we ended the evening as actual adults at least. But if I listen closely, I can still hear the squeals of glee from my inner child. He’s once again thrilled to have had the pleasure of enjoying that happiest time of the year. And though his adult self just keeps getting older, he knows he’ll always be the one back in charge when it’s once again time to give toys for Christmas.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!