Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This year's Christmas Creatures

I told you here how my Dad has made the children of the family Christmas Creatures for some 38 years. To call them 'Blue Peter style' might be accurate one year and totally inaccurate - possibly insulting - the next. (The dinosaur on the bottom right was made using a newly acquired piece of equipment that cut polystyrene - heated wire, I'm guessing.) The Creatures had to contain some kind of cavity in which tiny presents were hidden. The creatures would be placed under the tree on Christmas Eve though I have at least one memory of them appearing, smelling of paint, on Christmas morning. For most of these years Dad was a senior consultant at a local hospital; quite how he got them made each year is beyond me. We often had guests at Christmas or there were children of close friends that Dad wanted to make them for; some years I think Dad made around six or seven Creatures.

Dad was poorly with nearly-pneumonia back in November. I began to worry that he might be worrying about the Christmas Creatures... After careful negotiations - I really didn't want him to feel I was taking it away from him - I offered to make them this year. Dad was very pleased but said it wasn't just this year's nearly-pneumonia but also his worsening gout, which he has badly in his hands, that made them too difficult now.

I was tasked with taking them over.

It felt only right that I should honour my Dad with all the making he has done for us over the last years. I made four 'dolls' and here they are:

(This year I cheated slightly with the cavity idea. The cavity is the filing cabinet, not full of medical records, but little gifts, sort of stocking style...)



Bernadette said...

Wow! Those are fantastic. I bet your dad thought so too.

Amy Hauschild said...

really cool and inventive dolls, especially love the embroidered faces..

well done, hope your dad feels better soon. Loved the creatures you showed on an earlier post, what a creative family!!

happy New Year to you!

liz fenwick said...

absolutely made me weepy!

Sara Crowley said...

They are wonderful! I love the whole tradition. Your dad sounds awesome, and you have really done him proud with your dolls.

Jenny Beattie said...

Bernadette, thank you. I hope Dad liked them!

Amy, thank you. Embroidery isn't one of my strong points and although I tried to make them look like Dad, I failed miserably on that!

Liz, thank you. (Sorry. I also get a bit misty eyed when I think of my attempt at a tribute.)

Sara, thank you. I've no idea where the original idea came from but I think the first one might have been a snowman.

Vic said...

This made my eyes wet. What an amazing story

Sue Guiney said...

I could never in a million years make something like that! How great! But I especially love the passing down of tradition, one generation to the next. It seems like such a big responsibility, but such a privilege too, I guess.I'm sure your dad loved the doll. But even more, I bet he loved the fact that you made it. So

Anonymous said...

Wooohoooo! You've set the bar very high!! Fantastic

Ragged Thread Cartographer said...

The creatures gene has obviously been passed on successfully. Love the eyebrows, the filing cabinet idea, the sweet tiny shoes and pencils -
lovely stuff. Fingers crossed for your dad to feel better soon. xx

romantic bed and breakfasts said...

They are fantastic and your dad is really an artist. Such creatures bring happiness on the faces of children and they enjoy a lot. Your dad should explore many other attractions or tourist spots to create many things. He should visit Luray, Virginia to explore its attractions and also visit Shenandoah National Park for animal creatures.