Christmas Things, 2016

I suppose you could say this is a Christmas haul post, but for some reason I don’t like the sound of “Christmas haul.” I don’t know why, really… I kind of have weird opinions. XD Anyway, I know I have fun looking at other blogger’s posts like this, so I decided to make one myself. 🙂 But it’s not only going to be a “haul” post: I wanted to show you the gifts I made as well as the ones I received. 🙂

Are you ready? Let’s do the former first and the latter later, shall we? Wow, that was fun to say.

~ Giving ~

I guess I’ll go youngest to oldest. For Carmen, my littlest sister, I didn’t exactly make her a gift. She got an American girl doll for Christmas, because to our delight and surprise, Megan won Maddi‘s amazing giveaway which Megan entered specifically with Carmen in mind!! (And yes, Carmen loves the Maryellen doll we chose for her. ♥) So my present to Carmen was letting her use any of my AG doll things she wanted. 🙂

For my brother Jeff, Megan and I picked out this hilarious book at Books-A-Million. XD He’s always a little… hmm, how shall I put it… rowdy with our cats, with the result being they kind of hate him, ( XD ) so Megan and I thought he would get a kick out of this book – and he did:


For my sister Megan, she asked me to make her some clip-art for her blog design “business” since she prefers the computer part to the drawing part. 😉 So I put together this binder for her.




For my brother Logan and my Dad (and actually for my aunt and uncle too), I made some candied pecans using this recipe. Our whole family loves them, and I don’t make them very often, so I like to use them as gifts. They are seriously SO GOOD! And super easy too! I wrapped them up in a decorative paper cone thingy for all of them, but unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the wrapping. 😦

For Mom, the four older kids gave her a coupon for 4 meals made by us, which she loved because she doesn’t enjoy cooking all that much. XD Annnd I didn’t get a picture of that either. 😦

For my grandparents, my siblings, my two cousins, and I drew them a calendar. Megan, Jeff, and Logan did that last year and they loved it, so we thought we’d do it again with all their grandchildren. 🙂

Cover by me. 🙂
January by Jeff.
February by Logan.
March by my cousin Leisha.
April by Megan.
May by Carmen. Isn’t it so cute? She’s actually a really good artist for her age.
June by my cousin Jianna. I LOVE THIS ONE!
July by Logan.
August by Yours Truly.
September by Leisha. So pretty!
October by Megan. I really like this one too!
November by me again. This is definitely my favorite of mine.
December by Jianna. Wow. Just wow. Everyone was amazed by this – isn’t it gorgeous?! She’s such an artist!

For my two cousins, I made them each little clinging earrings to look like their cats, Trixie and Roxy respectively. 😀

Sorry about the bad picture. 😦 Anyway, this is Trixie…
And these are Roxys. 🙂


~ Receiving ~

Now for the “haul” part! 😀

My parents gave me an amazing Windsor and Newton watercolor set, Pentel waterbrushes, and Arches watercolor paper! I’m sooo excited to use it all! I’ve used the watercolor set and brushes just a tiny bit so far, and I’m really happy with them. 😀 It’s especially nice to have good quality, fine tip brushes.

I really like this picture for some reason. 🙂 This set is really neat because each little cake of paint is in a removable compartment, so if you run out of one color, you can replace just that instead of the whole set! It also comes with a paintbrush and an expandable palette that you cans store in the container.


My aunt and uncle and cousins gave me this pretty washi tape! ♥

I love the lighting for this picture! My aunt figured out how to get my camera off auto-ISO, and now I can truly be on the Maunual setting! Hooray!

My grandparents gave me this handy camera bag. It’s really neat because the compartments are attached with Velcro, so you can readjust them however you like!



They also gave me… The Keeper of the Lost Cities series! YAYAYAYAY! 😀 (Well actually Megan got half and I got half.) I’ve finished the first three so far, and they’re sooo exciting! Thank you, Clara, for introducing them to us. 🙂




And they gave me this cute little blank journal for Bible journaling. (I wrote the words with my erasable gel pen – more on that later.)


My cousins gave me even more lovely watercolor paper! (The Arches pad is from my parents, and the rest are from my cousins.) It’s so nice to have good watercolor paper to work with. *Happy sigh*


These next two things are from my stocking: One is this pair of cozy Cabin socks. My friend also gave me some fuzzy socks, and I am quite pleased. 😀 I LOVE FUZZY THINGS!

Purple + Fuzzy = ♥ Oh, and the cozy pajamas are from my parents too. 😉

The other is a couple of erasable gel pens I showed you in this post. And guess what? They really do work! It’s pretty amazing. See?



It does leave a little bit of a mark behind if you press down hard. But when you just write with it lightly, it erases almost perfectly!

Phew, that was quite a long post, but I hope you enjoyed it! What was your favorite thing you got for Christmas? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmastime enjoying being with your family and opening gifts and thanking God for the greatest gift of all: Jesus. ♥


P. S. Be watching for my end-of-the-year post! I hope to schedule it for 12:00 tomorrow night. 🙂 I can’t believe it’s almost 2017!!


72 thoughts on “Christmas Things, 2016

  1. Wow, that calendar is AMAZING! What and unique and thoughtful gift. 😀
    WATERBRUSHES!!! I WANT SOME! XD Shannon Messenger is a really good artist, and she draws with those and makes some really cool art. 🙂
    I’m so glad you got the Keeper books!! And I’m even MORE glad you’re enjoying them! ❤
    I think my favorite gift was either Prismacolor pencils, comfy socks for each day of the week ( XD ), or a crate to keep books in. Merry very late Christmas! ❤

    -Clara ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks so much, Clara! We really enjoyed making it (well I did at least XD ), and our grandparents loved it!
      YES! They’re great! Ooh, really? I never knew that! Neat!
      Hee hee, YES AGAIN! Who is your favorite character(s)? Mine are probably Fitz and Sophie. 🙂
      Ooh yes, I loooove Prismacolor pencils, and the fuzzy socks and book crate sound amazing too!
      Hee hee, same to you – and a happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome! 😀
        Yep, it’s really cool! You should check out her Instagram sometime – she posts a lot of art and cool stuff. 🙂
        Hmm… I think my favorites are probably Keefe, Sophie, and Silveny. Oh, and I can’t forget Iggy and Verdi! 😛
        Happy New Year! ❤

        -Clara ❤


  2. AHH YOU GOT ALL OF KEEPER!!! *hyperventilates*

    Ahem. XD It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas, my friend! I loved seeing everything you got, and gave! (I especially loved the calendar. We make a calendar too, except with photos throughout the year.)
    ~Grace ❤
    P.S. I can't wait to see your New Year's Post! Would you mind telling me a bit what it's going to be about? Like, is it a yearly wrap-up or a welcome to the new year sort of thing? (Email me if you want.) Thank you so much, Allison! 😀


      Yep, we did! (Hmm, it feels like I just said that… XD ) I’m so glad you liked it, Grace! Ooh yes, the photo calendar thingy is a neat idea!
      P. S. Ooh yay! Sure, I’ll email you. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OH MY!!! That calendar is the coolest thing EVER! Your August picture is AMAZING!!! :O :O And the owl is SO SO SO COOL! You are SUCH a great artist! Megan, yours are simply LOVELY too!!! I love them so much you guys! 🙂 Great job! 😀


  4. Oooh I love looking at presents! I enjoy making things too and shared some on my blog. I think the presents I liked best this year were the unexpected ones – you don’t seem to get nearly as many presents when you become an adult and so a nice pot of money from my mum was very well received as well as the ability to then spend said money on whatever I wanted – I went thrift shopping with my mother in law and bought a beautiful Embroidery compendium, some t-shirt yarn so I can make myself a necklace, a brand new pair of Summer pants (still have the store’s tag inside) and a copy of Sense and Sensibility. Not to mention this was actually the first time in almost 13 years my mother in law and I have actually been op/thrift shopping together which I think is odd as we both love to have a good rummage and browse – we were there for about 2 and half hours!


  5. I really enjoyed reading this post! I think it’s great that you made gifts for your family. I really like to make presents, though sometimes it’s hard to get everything done. I especially love that calendar you made! You all are so good at drawing! My siblings and I also gave our grandparents a calendar, but we didn’t draw pictures for each month. Instead, I found photos from the year and designed pages with the photos.
    The Washi tape looks quite fun. What do you use it for?
    Some of the gifts I received were two jigsaw puzzles(for our whole family, actually), new strings for my violin, a new shoulder rest for my violin, and some fun doll things.
    ~Christian Homeschooler
    P.S. I don’t really like the phrase “Christmas haul”, either, so you aren’t the only one. 🙂


    1. Aww, yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 😀
      Yep, I totally agree – it’s so much fun to make presents and give them, but it’s a lot to take on sometimes. Aww, thank you! I like how it turned out too. 🙂 Ooh, your calendar sounds really neat!
      Yep! Well it’s basically like decorative Scotch tape, so you can use it to decorate cards, packages, even things like pencils or containers or anything tape will stick to!
      Oh yeah, I forgot to put the puzzle I got on there! Oops. O.o But yeah, I got a puzzle too – it’s of birds and birdhouses. 🙂 I really like puzzles, but we haven’t done any for awhile – we should start that again… Ooh, sounds like you had a great Christmas! 😀
      Thank you for the lovely comment, Christian Homeschooler!
      P. S. Heh heh, good. XD

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha ha, that’s funny! What picture does it have on it?
          Ooh yes, we should set up a puzzle table again. We have a few 1,000 piece puzzles, and guess what – my brother Logan even got a 2,000 piece puzzle! O.o


            1. Ooh, that DOES sound neat! 😀
              Ha ha! I don’t actually know how big it is… I’ll go check. *Goes and checks* It’s not actually that big: only a bit more than 2 feet by 3 feet. I guess the pieces are pretty small! 😀


              1. Oh, interesting! It’s actually just a little bigger than the puzzle we’re doing now-it’s 24″ by 30″. But the puzzle is also probably larger than most or all the puzzles we have.
                Still, your jigsaw puzzle must be pretty difficult, seeing as the pieces must be quite small.


    1. Thanks, Sarah! Wait… I guess “thanks” is the proper response… is it? Hmm… XD Anyway, I can’t wait either! The thing is I really, really want to keep reading but at the same time I don’t because I want the books to last forever and I’m already almost finished with them. 😦 XD

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the erasable gel pens! That’s why I hate writing in pen because if I mess up then I can’t really do anything about it other that mark it out. The watercolor set is really cool, especially when you can remove the the color tablets. Very awesome! And the camera bag was so amazing! So many compartments so you can bring so many things if you are traveling with your camera or even just out in the yard or just a place to store your camera around the house. I love everything you got and hope you enjoy it! Merry late Christmas!!! Thanks for posting!!!


  7. You definitely have a family if artists. Hi, I’m Adelina by the way. I just found your blog a few days ago and I would just like to tell you that you are one of the most down to earth bloggers I’ve ever come across. And you are seriously so talented and passionate about photography.😊😊😊💟💟 And also, those watercolor brush pens are AWESOME . I’ve tried my friend’s before 😊


    1. Aww, thanks! My siblings and I, and especially the girls, really like art.
      Hi, Adelina! Aww, thank you SO much! That is sooooo sweet of you! ♥♥♥ Thanks for making my day!
      Ha ha, YES they are amazing! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That calendar is beautiful! Your whole family is soo talented! You got a lot of great stuff. What American Girl dolls do you have? And would you recommend Keeper of the Lost Cities? That pen that erases looks pretty cool! And those kitty earrings are soooooo cute!!! I’m sure your cousins loved them! Merry Christmas! 🎄


    1. Aww, thank you so much! That’s SO sweet! I only have McKenna (is that even how you spell it? XD ), but I don’t play with her much anymore.
      Yeah, I really like the KOTLC series, but it’s kind of targeted to a specific audience – mostly teen girls, I think, and it kind of has a specific style. So I guess I can’t tell if you would like it or not – you kind of either love it or dislike it I think. But yeah, you should try it, because if you like it, you’ll probably love it! 😀 XD
      Yeah, it is! Aww, thanks! Same to you, Sylvia!


  9. I want to read Keeper of the Lost Cities so bad right now! LOL! Along with Lord of the Rings and the Percy Jackson books… XD

    This was super duper interesting! I love how you showed everything you gave, not just what you got. I’m going to be doing a “Christmas haul” post soon, too, and I was planning to show what I gave as well – just letting you know in case you ever see it and think I’m copying you!

    That calendar is SO beautiful! AHH! Y’all are such incredibly talented artists! And that watercolor set is so cool – I got one like it a couple of years before, and I too was amazed at how they were little cakes of paint! LOL!

    Megan was super nice to enter my giveaway for Carmen! And that’s so cool you let Carmen use your AG things for Maryellen. Sounds like y’all have had an amazing Christmas! Have a phenomenal 2017!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! They’re super interesting. :)Ooh, that’s fun! No of course not- I’m definitely not the one who came up with that kind of post. 😉
      Aww, thank you SO much! Yeah, it’s really nice! And thank you SO much for that giveaway, Maddi.♥ That was incredible.
      Yep, we sure did! You too, Maddi!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow! You gave and received a lot of terrific things! My favorite thing that I received this year was a “Tea Party in a Box” from a friend!! It was so neat! Jesus’ birth is the true Meaning of the Season, and I am so thankful to Him this Christmas time!

    For my mom for Christmas (I gave other gifts, I just wanted to tell you about this one) I made her a Mandala painting using your post as inspiration! It turned out perfectly, I did in in acrylic on canvas, a smaller one in one corner and a slightly larger one in the other corner, the two meeting in the middle!! It’s in many colors, and lots of different designs! It was so neat, and she loved it so much! Thank you so much for the inspiration!


    1. Thanks, Livy!
      Ooh that DOES sound neat! Yes, I am so thankful too. ♥ He is the most amazing gift.
      Oh wow, that’s great, Livy! I’m so happy I inspired you – it sounds like your mandala was beautiful!


  11. This is so sweet. I love that there are so many hand-made and really thoughtful presents going on. In my family we often go for quantity over quality, but there’s nothing like the feeling when someone makes you a perfect gift 🙂 that calendar is beautiful, June is definitely my favourite! Although I like November as well, the eyes on that owl would follow you around the room…


    1. Aww, thank you so much! Yep, it’s hard sometimes to figure out which gift someone would like, but it’s so rewarding when they do! I love that.
      Thanks so much! Oh yes, I looove June too – and November! 😉 Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I LOVE the art!! Great job to you and your siblings and cousins 😀 I love December of the calendar–it looks like it could come out of an illustration from The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant 😀
    I’m an artist, too, and I love meeting other artists and seeing the things they’ve done. What do you like working with the best (as far as colored pencil, graphite pencil, watercolor, acrylic, pen, etc.)? A friend gave me a watercolor set recently so I’m just getting into that. I love the bright colors that come with it! I’d love to see some more of your art. And your Art Lab blog is a great idea, by the way!

    Blessings ❤

    P.S. Isn't it so fun to give other people gifts? Oh, and I don't like the idea of the 'Christmas Haul' phrase, either 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Jewels! Oh I know, I love it too! 😀
      Ooh, that’s neat! I really like… hmm, well everything, but watercolor and pencil art both look so neat! Aww, thanks again!
      P. S. Oh yes! Ha ha, yep. 😉


  13. Love all the gift…these really are the best kind of gifts. I love the calendar and can’t wait to see more of your art. I love watercolor.


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