Christmas 2017 {Gifts + Adventures}

Heyyyy, dears! I hope you guys had a lovely Christmas – I sure did! There was so much fun, family, and food… it was wonderful. ๐Ÿ™‚ And of course it was great fun to give and receive presents! One of the best parts about giving presents is seeing the expressions on people’s faces when they open the gift, and there were some pretty great expressions –ย especially the uncontrollable laughs. XD

I absolutely loved the gifts I received as well! If you gave me a gift or Christmas card… THANK YOU SO MUCH. โ™ฅ

Anyway, I decided to do a little Christmas haul post for you guys! And nope, I am by no means trying to brag by posting about my presents, and I don’t think I’ve never read a haul post that was… I just wanted to post this because I love reading Christmas haul posts, (though I despise the term “Christmas haul,” heh heh). What ’bout you?

~ Selected Gifts ~

Justย a note: these gifts are in random order, not by how much I like them or anything.ย Pretty muchย by how they came up on the computer. XD AHEM. Let’s begin.

#1: Sealing Wax

This stuff is so neat! Basically you light a candle, put a piece of wax in the spoon, and hold the spoon over the flame until the wax melts, after which you pour it onto the area to be sealed. I tried it out and it worked pretty well, although there were a few bubbles and I waited too long to press the design in so it didn’t show up.ย It also made the spoon really black, but you can just wipe that away with a paper towel. Perhaps my sealing techniques need polishing too. HA.

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#2: Macro Lens Extension Tube Kit

EEK I’m so excited about these! When you attach them to your DSLR lens, they let you take super close up pictures, almost like a mini microscope! The lenses are stackable, meaning you can choose how many layersย to attachย depending on the zoom you want.

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Why do I love this picture??

Honestly I still haven’t quite got the hang of using them, but I can tell it’s going to be tons of fun once I do. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here are two test pictures I got so far, and I’m sure there will be lots more in the future! Let me know if you guys want a more in-depth review.

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Behold… my pajama pants.
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There must be some dirt on the lens or something. Tsk tsk.

#3: Stuffed Hedgehog

LOOK IT’S SO ADORABLE AND SQUISHABLE. Sweet Laura sent me this for Christmas and I love it! HOW COULD YOU NOT? โ™ฅ It’s so soft and fuzzy and fun to hold. ๐Ÿ™‚

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#4: The Julia Rothman Book Series

I LOVE these books. I discovered them at a friend’s house and so enjoyed the charming illustrations and fun informative writing that I decided to put them on my list! My favorite thing about these books might be how pretty they are. XD The illustrations are beautiful and whimsical, not to mention the books are like mini encyclopedias bursting with entertaining and interesting facts. They’d be great coffee table books.

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This particular boxed set is excellent, especially since it comes with 10 (I think) framable prints from the books! Here’s a selection of my favorites…

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#5: Micron Pen Set

THESE ARE AMAZING. (I say that about everything, don’t I? XD) But seriously, I am SO happy with these pens so far! They come in a large variety of tip sizes, ranging from 1.0 mm to 0.15 mm, not counting the brush pen which can be different sizes depending on how hard you press. Guys, the smallest pen (a 003) has SUCH a fine tip, it’s barely visible! Okay, maybe not that fine, but you know…

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I made these two ATCs to test out the Microns.ย I also usedย watercolorsย andย a brush penย we’ll address shortly…

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Here’s another test page, with lots of different vines in descending order of the Micron pen sizes, and labels for future reference. Look how thin the lines go!

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#6: Black Velvet Brush

I don’t have many good quality brushes, so I was super excited to get this one! The great thing about this paintbrush is that it can hold a fair amount of paint and works for both good-sized areas (like behind the “hello”), and tiny spaces. Usually brushes don’t hold their point very well but this one really does! That’s my favorite part about it – the superfine tip. (As you can tell, I like fine-tip things because I love making and drawing tiny details.) I also used this brush in the watercolor pieces above.

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#7: Black Brush Pen (Sakura)

Brush pens are so much fun, and I use the black one I already had a lot. This one is better quality than the one I have now, plus it comes with a refill! It’s also super fun to use and the ink is very opaque. (I used this for the “hello” word and outlines on the ATC.)

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#8: Travelogue Sketchbook

A new sketchbook, EEP! I’m quite excited about this one as the pages are thicker and better quality than my current sketchbook’s, so it works better for mediums like watercolor. I used this for the vine picture, by the way, and it didn’t buckle that much – woop woop! It’s quite a bit smaller than my current sketchbook, but I like drawing small anyway, so that’s fine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I cannot wait to fill it with drawings!

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#9: Lined Notebook

This is SO pretty and classy, don’t you agree? Clara sent it to me for Christmas and I love it! Thank you so much, my friend. โ™ฅ The padded cover is light pink with gold accents and bookmark, and the clasp is magnetic. The paper is lined, with a fun border. ๐Ÿ™‚

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#10: Micromagnets

And last but not least, we have these super neat micromagnets! They are SO fun and addicting to play with, hee hee! Micromagnets are tiny magnet balls that you can build and mess around with to your heart’s content. ๐Ÿ™‚ They’re super strong, but still flexible, almost like magnetic cloth or something. It’s kind of hard to explain what they’re like, but they’re amazingly weird and fun. XD Look up micromagnets and see if you can find a video maybe?

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And that’s the end of the gifts! That wasn’t all of them, but itย would be way too long ofย a post if I included all the delicious candy and snacks and fuzzy socks too. So I’ll spare you the details. XD

~ Select Christmas Adventures ~

  • My brother got a sticky bug toyย that climbs down the wall, and he, uh, threw it a little too high and it stuck. XD He got out his new fishing pole and tried to poke it down, and thenย Grandaddy got his enormously long bamboo pole and after much prodding and laughing, he got it. XD XD

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  • We had some rather interesting food in ourย several Christmas celebrations so far. For instance…
    • Tripe: pickled cow’s stomach. IT TASTES LIKE RUBBERY VINEGAR BUT WORSE.
    • Divinity: aย sweet marshmallowy macaroon type thing. Yum.
    • Scrapple: basically the leftovers from butchering a pig made into a sort of meat pudding and then fried. It’s actually quite good if you don’t think about what it’s made of…
    • Hominy: corn without the hull, so it’s soft and tender. Quite yummy; tastes similar to potatoes.
    • Baklava: a Greek dessert with delicate, super flaky pastry and honey and nuts. DELICIOUS.

Have you had any of those?

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  • Myย brother got a drum for Christmas. -_- *covers ears*ย  XD He’s actually pretty good at it, it’s just REALLY LOUD. HELP.

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  • Carmen got a beta fish, and she’s still undecided about the name. Which do you think is better, Gilbert or Bobo? (Hint: PLEASE PICK GILBERT. XD)

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  • We always measure the grandchildren at my grandparents’ (on my Dad’s side) Christmas, and this year I was 5′ 10.5.” O.oย I think I’m done growing now, heh heh. I hope so, because it’s almost impossible to find clothes that fit as it is. Oh dear… XD

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Annnnd that’s about it! I hope you enjoyed reading this (rather large) post as much as I enjoyed making it! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks once again to everyone who gave me those lovely gifts. ๐Ÿ™‚

How was your Christmas? What was your favorite gift?

Thanks for bearing with me through all these Christmas posts, dears. I believe this is the last one, so congratulations on surviving the overload! *applause*


P. S. I doubt anyone will notice, but just in case, I wanted to let you know that Iย mayย post a bit irregularly overย the next two months,ย since we’re pretty busy fixing up the new house(s) for when we move. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย AHH I’M SO EXCITED.


133 thoughts on “Christmas 2017 {Gifts + Adventures}

  1. Wow, it looks like your Christmas was wonderful, Allison! Here is some random commentary on the gifts you received. ๐Ÿ˜›

    #1: Ooh, that’s so neat! Now you can make your envelopes look really official and important by sealing them. Heh heh. XD
    #2: OOOH CAN YOU PRETTY PLEASE DO A REVIEW OF THOSE?? They look really cool! ๐Ÿ˜€
    #3: EEEP I was so overwhelmed with adorableness when Laura bought that hedgehog for you. It’s just so squishy! XD
    #4: Wow, those books are so pretty and neat!
    #5, #6, & #7: Oooh I really want some Micron pens. XD They look so fun to draw with. And those brush pens look amazing, too!
    #8: Wow, that’s such a pretty sketchbook! Do you know where it was bought from?
    #9: Yayyyy, I’m so glad you like the notebook! The pictures you took of it are gorgeous. ๐Ÿ˜€
    #10: WOW. I looked those up on YouTube and accidentally spent 6 minutes watching someone play with them. XD They look like so much fun!

    Haha, I loved reading about your Christmas food/adventures. I’ve had baklava and I loved it! And ooh, a beta fish. Tell Carmen that I I vote for Gilbert. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Also, to answer the questions at the end of this post, my Christmas was wonderful! And my favorite gift was probably either The Book Thief (an incredible book) or the pretty camera necklace that I showed you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope your move is going well!! ALSO CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING “CAMERA MASTER” IN BEST OF 2017. THAT’S SO AWESOME. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    -Clara โค

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AHHH YAY A LONG COMMENT FROM CLARA! ๐Ÿ˜€ I loved your random commentary, dear. XD Ahem.
      1. INDEED.
      2. Ooh okay, hee hee, good to know! I probably shall. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      3. I KNOOOOW.
      4. I agree. ๐Ÿ™‚
      5, 6, 7. YESS they are both great!
      8. Um, I’m pretty sure it was Amazon… The brand is Handbook Journal Co. ๐Ÿ™‚
      9. I sure do! โ™ฅ And thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚
      10. HA HA I believe you. XD
      I’m so glad! Oh yes, it is DELICIOUS. Ha ha, I’ll tell her. XD
      Woohoo, I’m so glad (again)! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ooh yes, I’ve read The Book Thief, and the necklace was BEAUTIFUL! โ™ฅ
      It is going pretty well, thanks! We just got back from a trip there, and it was quite fun, though rather tiring. AWWWW SHUCKS WHY DID I HAVE TO WIN IT INSTEAD OF YOU? *sigh* XD Just kidding – I’m so happy to have won it, but YOU DESERVE IT. *hands you prize*

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed this post so much!!!! You got some great gifts! That journal is gorgeous. O_O And I have decided that I am NEVER, EVER going to try Tripe or Scrapple. I have never heard of either of them before, but they sound absolutely nauseating. >.<
    Wow; you are exactly four inches taller than me. I am 5' 6.5"!
    My favorite gift was either all three Hobbit movies on Blu-ray or the book "Middle Earth from Script to Screen". They are both so wonderful I can't decide which I love more.

    Thank you so much for sharing your Christmas! It sounds like it was quite fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m so glad you did, Kendra! Ha ha, right? EWWW YES THEY ARE GROSS. Well actually you should try scrapple if you have a chance because it’s really good! Tastes kind of like… hmm, I don’t really know how to describe it except salty meat. XD
      Wow, really? Well I think 5′ 6.5″ sounds like a pretty good height. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Oh those sound so fun, hee hee!
      ‘Twas my pleasure, dear. ๐Ÿ™‚ It sure was! How was your Christmas?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, maybe. Interesting. ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Yes, i think it is too. And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to grow anymore because I haven’t grown since Sept. 2016.
        My Christmas was very good! We did things a little different this year than what we usually do, but it was still fun. My favorite gifts were the Hobbit movies, an ornament that says: “Peace on Middle-earth”, and a book telling about how Middle-earth was brought to life on the screen.
        Have you ever seen the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movies?


        1. XD
          Oh no, how tragic. :O XD Just kidding.
          Yay, sounds great! Ha ha, that’s so fun! Well I’ve seen parts of the LOTR movies, and like, two seconds of the Hobbit when my sister was watching it, but otherwise not really. I’ve read the books, though!

          Liked by 1 person

              1. *takes a deep breath* of course; I don’t threaten to kill people just because they don’t like the same things I do. *forces self to calm down* XD Though I do find it very hard to believe. ๐Ÿ˜‰


                    1. I love so many books its hard to keep track of them all… let’s see… a few that I can think of right now is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (as well as the other Anne books), Five Children and IT by E. Nesbitt, The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, and one of my top favorites: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I love mysteries, especially Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot mysteries. What are some books that you like? What’s your favorite genre?


                    2. Ha ha, I know the feeling. Oh yes, I’ve read all those except maybe Johnny Tremain and I don’t know if I’ve read Murder on the Orient Express. But yes, I LOVE AoGG, and the Princess and the Goblin is also super good. ๐Ÿ™‚ NOOO, this is too hard! XD But let’s see. I love AoGG, the Mysterious Benedict Society series, the Narnia series, Hinds Feet in High Places, Jane Eyre, the Penderwicks series, the Mitford series, Total Truth, Little Women, and the Little House series. *gasps for breath* XD Dear me, there’s tons more, of course, but those are a few rather varied choices. My favorite genre in general is fantasy fiction, I guess? But not the really out-there fantasy fiction, if you know what I mean. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also love classic books. You?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I have read the little house series, Little Women, and i WANT to read Jane Eyre.
                      Ah, yes, I understand completely. I like that genre too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I love classics too. Have you read Oliver Twist?


                    4. Those are both so good, and you should definitely read Jane Eyre! ๐Ÿ™‚
                      Heh heh, good. Yay! Yep, I’ve read it! It was a while ago so I don’t remember it much, but I liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. So much fun! I enjoyed it! Yes, I like gift posts, too! And I like how you did gifts as well as fun adventures.
    Those micron pens look like a lot of fun! And those magnets are so interesting!
    Merry Christmas (again!!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Gilbert is a better name for fish because BoBo sounds un-fishy. Wow, you’re so tall! If you don’t stop growing now, you’re gonna be the tallest woman alive! (hahaha no, I’m, just kidding)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hannah – I sure did! Ha ha, really? That’s so neat! My family measures each kid at their birthdays, but my grandparents also measure us and our cousins at Christmas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Allison! I’m 5′ 10.5″ or more! I have finally found someone my height! I KNOW!! Clothes are so hard to find! What size shoe do you wear, may I ask?
    Baklava is THE best!! I love it, and it’s kinda our Christmas tradition to get it. I think Gilbert is a cute fish name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. REALLY? AMAZING! Finally someone who understand the trials of tall-dom. XD XD XD ARGH I KNOW. Where do you usually get your clothes, if you don’t mind me asking? Ha ha, sure – I wear size 10. You? (Wow, that was kind of a weird conversation. XD)
      YUM, it certainly is! My cousin learned how to make it from a Greek lady she cared for, I believe. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hee hee, I think so too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah! I have always wanted to have this conversation with a tall person. (I know, crazy!) I usually get my clothes at thrift stores, because that’s the cheapest. It takes more time perhaps, but it’s worth it. I wear men’s 11. (Yes, I wear men shoes *hides face*)
        Is it weird to be happy to have found a tall person??? LOL.


        1. Ha ha! XD I know. Yeah, that’s why we often go to thrift stores too, although it’s really hard to find stuff there, so it doesn’t always work. :/ When you’re looking for pants, do you check only the ones that hang almost to the floor? XD
          Wow, really? :O Ha ha, well whatever works I guess. ๐Ÿ˜› Boy, that must be really hard to find shoes. It’s already hard enough with size 10!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes! You know that if the pant leg is on the floor, it might just fit xD When ever my younger sister helps, she’s like, “How come you don’t go through all of them?” I’m like, “Cause only a few have long enough pant legs!”

            Yeah, some days at thrift stores are good…and others are not ๐Ÿ˜‰

            It is hard to find shoes….but I mainly stay with boots. Who knew combat boots are comfy, useful, and FASHIONABLE??? Lol, as long as we both are happy! ๐Ÿ˜‰


            1. HA HA. XD Oh bother, yes… The best fitting pants I have so far are from Walmart and JC Penney. But they either shrank or I grew because now only one is long enough. -_-
              True, true. ๐Ÿ˜‰
              HA HA, well that sounds like a plan to me. XD

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Really? Well, I’ll have to check them out. I always hate when you grow. You’re like, “Hello, I fit this over the summer. WHY must it not fit now???”
                Exactly ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. I’m glad you had a good Christmas, Allison! I agree with you; it is really fun to watch people open presents. And yes, I really dislike the word “haul”. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    The macro lens extension looks really cool. Do you have an Amazon link for it? I have a couple of types of extension lenses, but I don’t really know how/when to use them. I want to learn though, but I haven’t had a lot of time. ๐Ÿ˜›
    I thought it was so funny that you got a hedgehog, because CutePolarBear did, too! Both are very adorable.
    I totally understand not fitting clothes, because my sister and I have that problem, too. ๐Ÿ˜› My pajama pants always shrink in the wash, and shirts always seem to be too short in the sleeves.
    I have so many gifts that I love, but I especially like the basketballs we got (ours always get ruined by the concrete) and a paper trimmer (here is an example of one:
    I was also excited to receive a Madame Alexander doll. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. I sure did! Hee hee, I know. XD Oh sure – here’s the link:
      Really? That’s so neat! I hope you can learn. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Ha ha, that’s so funny! Are they the same kind, or just both hedgehogs? INDEED.
      Ah yes, it’s so annoying when clothes shrink. -_-
      Oh, those sound great! Especially the paper trimmer – I’ll bet that will be quite useful, eh?
      Thanks for the lovely comment, dear, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


      1. Oh, thanks for the link! I will save it in my wishlist. ๐Ÿ˜‰
        No, they aren’t the same kind. My sister’s hedgehog has a little pouch thing so he can hide and curl up in a ball. It’s really funny. ๐Ÿ˜€
        Oh, yes, I think the paper trimmer will be very useful. For Christmas I gave some family members note cards and stationery, and it took a long time to cut them out!


  7. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! I think I’ve had Baklava before. I love brush pens! I was just about to order a black Tombow off of Amazon but it was too small to ship on its own! Hehe. I’ll just have to improvise coughcrayolamarkerscough ๐Ÿ˜› (Always needing black for lettering, hey?) My favorite gift was a family group gift – we got a guitar! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sure did! Oh it’s great. XD I know, me too! Aww, that’s a bummer, but hey, at least you have good ol’ Crayola. XD Wow, really? That’s super exciting! What a great gift. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Merry (late) Christmas!! The Macro Lens Extension Tube Kit takes really cool pictures! That hedgehog is sooo cute ๐Ÿ˜€ WOW you are such a good artist! Love the notebooks! The Micromagnets look really cool. I have had Baklava before.Definitely Gilbert…. ๐Ÿ™‚ wow you are tall…(did that sound rude? I hope not) My Christmas was great! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same to you, dear, and thanks! Hee hee, I think so too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I KNOW. Aww, thanks so much! Yeah, me too. Ha ha! Yep, I sure am – oh no, I don’t mind at all! And yay, I’m so glad you had a great Christmas! โ™ฅ

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved this post! I’m with you on the name “Christmas haul”, I don’t like it, I always love how you don’t use it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your gifts sound so pretty and wonderful! I got a pack of super fine tipped sharpies in lots of colors that I’m thrilled to use, but my favorite was a flip daily inspirational quote calendar, a “Dayspring Daybrightener”! Your Christmas mishaps and such were funny, especially the sticky lizard thingy! ๐Ÿ˜› Ooh, I think Gilbert is a great name for a Beta fish! *secretly whispers that I think Allison doesn’t like the name Bobo and nether do I* Hahaha!

    I loved all of your Christmas posts, I LOVE Christmas posts! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m so glad! Ha ha, yeah. XD
      Yesss, I’m so thankful for them. โ™ฅ Wow, those both sound like so much fun! Heh heh, yeah, that was interesting. XD I think so too, Livy. *conspiritorial nod* XD XD
      Aww, thanks so much – I’m really glad to hear that! Thanks for commenting, dear. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  10. It sounds like you had a great Christmas! *laughs at bug thingy on wall* I love those microns. Isnโ€™t divinity delicious??

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I LOVE EVERYTHING! Macro lenses are so fun! Try snowflakes sometime, or rings. . . ๐Ÿ™‚

    The gingerbread man is the cutest. . . I love him! ๐Ÿ™‚

    YES to Baklava and Scrapple…. and Gilbert is better than Bobo, sorry not sorry to the Bobo voters! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Well, our Christmas was quiet, and my family was all coming down with these nasty colds/fevers/coughs/knock-you-out-on-the-couch sickness. Ugh. BUT I’m glad you had a good Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HA HA WELL THANKS. Yes, they certainly are! Ohhhh great idea! I would love to get a great snowflake shot with that. โ™ฅ
      Heh heh, thanks. XD I like him too. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      YES. Wow, you’ve had scrapple? I’m impressed – I don’t know really anyone outside of my family that has had it. HA HA I agree. XD

      Oh no, that sounds awful! I’m so sorry, dear. โ™ฅ I had a pretty bad cold too. :/ But oh well, it was still fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks again! โ™ฅ


  12. All the pictures are great! Even the dirt on lens(?) one; it looks very arty. The (I want to say floor mat, but I’m not sure if that is the correct term) of white/cream furriness is perfect for showcasing items.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Merry {late} Christmas, Allison! It looks like you had fun! We technically haven’t had our Christmas yet, so we’ll probably do it in January. Seems weird that my family wasn’t together this year at Christmas. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a few seals that i got from Hobby Lobby, and I think there is a cross, and a trinity sign and a couple of others that I can remember… The are so much fun!!!


  14. Your ATC of the girl is abolutely fantastic… I know you probably get tired of hearing it, but oh my word Allison… You’re an absolutely fantastic artist!!


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