Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Altered nutcracker

I've mentioned my online reading group before. We're devotees of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and we congregate at our cyberspace home, the Ladies of Lallybroch message boards. One of the main characters in the series is a red-headed, oft-kilted, sword-wielding Scot. There's much more to the story than just that, but for this project, that's all that you really need to know.

I've mentioned the card exchanges and the ornament exchanges that go on there with the season. There's also a Secret Santa game, and it's fun because the membership comes from all over the world. I asked my giftee about any possible likes or dislikes. I already had a few things in mind, but could add to them. She said that she wouldn't mind if I included a 6 ft 4 in, red-headed, kilted Scot with a sword in her package. That was a tall order indeed! I pondered. I brainstormed. I have rubber stamps that could work, but that didn't have the right feel. Stumped, I headed out to run errands.

One of my stops was the dollar store. Just inside the door was a shelf filled with nutcrackers about 12" high. Okay, so not quite 6' 4", but I had to be realistic. None were kilted. UGH! All had white hair. Hm, that could be changed. One had a sword! Okay! This had potential. Into the basket it went. At another stop, I found a plaid fabric remnant. The color wasn't perfect, but it was festive!

At home I broke out my Ranger Adirondack markers. I needed reds, cinnamon, roan. One color was not enough. A mix of them actually looked okay. On to the kilt. Okay. Long strip of fabric, pleated and wrapped. Easier said than done, I soon found. I pulled out a needle and thread. Yes, again. I even pulled out the iron. Just the craft iron though, so that was okay. A bit of starch and a few stitches later, and I thought he looked close enough to the description to get a chuckle from my giftee. I put the sword back on him. He was set.

kilted nutcracker

What I found to be fun about this was that a few years ago, I wouldn't have thought of tackling something this way. If I couldn't find just what I wanted, I'd have given up. Crafting opens up whole new worlds! I'm not expecting altered nutcrackers to become the latest craze, but this was fun!

And on a completely different note, though this does have to do with new worlds, I suppose, I'd like to send out kudos to a friend that I've made at the Lallybroch site. In addition to being a wonderful person, she's a talented artist and creates fabulous works of art, from paintings to sketches, Pysanky egg decorating to wood carving. I've had the pleasure of watching the progression as she's worked on some of her portraits and it's amazing. So neat to see those lines and brush strokes come to life. She works on commission and is embarking on a new venture, creating an internet presence for herself and her art. So, congratulations, Sue, and best of luck with the Art of Surprise. :-)


  1. I love nutcrackers with kilts!
    must be my Scottish blood! :)

  2. He's too cute! Way to think outside of the box!!

  3. my 11 y.o. DS collects nutcrackers..he would love this~ He currently has 23, I think! Great job! Keri


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