I got involved in a sort-of-secret-Santa thing, an “artisinal exchange” run by and for artists. You fill out a questionnaire about yourself, and then you get assigned another artist in the exchange. The deal is, you have to make a present for that person based on their information, and someone somewhere will do the same for you.
I drew one of the organizers, which leaves me thinking perhaps she’s known all along who’s had her. Thankfully I didn’t realize this until I was almost done with the gift, or else it might have made me more nervous.
I wrestled back and forth about making something out of wood, or cloth, or metal. I finally settled on making the main part of the present out of metal, and pewter at that – go with what you know best!
Her writeup included a link to her coat of arms, which were blue and white, and that she likes bunnies, the color green, and bees. Her badge, in fact, is bees, and since her coat of arms has irises on it (she prefers realistic looking irises, not stylistic ones) I sort of latched on to that. So, I made her bee buttons. Three dozen plus one.
I couldn’t just send her buttons in a ziploc bag though, could I? I must admit, I had a small green pouch, but as it was too big and poorly sewn, I took the whole thing apart, resewed it and added blue and white drawstrings on it.
And since I always try to provide a box with large pewter orders, I bought a pretty wooden one too. I got one with a recessed lid so that I could mount a plaque (a shankless button) onto it. But when I brought it home, I realized that not only could I not trust any glue to hold the plaque on, but also any glue I would use would likely scream “not appropriate for 15th century”. So instead I drilled a small oblong hole in the lid and wired a button onto it. I suppose, if she ever needs that last button she can always take it off and use the box to store crickets. Maybe she should drill more holes first for that purpose though.
Other than the recessed lid, though, the box I bought was plain, and that was on purpose. I decided to paint something about her coat of arms on the box. You can see the results in the pictures below. I started with the blue and then decided that it looked better with the box itself as a stand-in for the white. I also shellacked it, and that made me glad that I had decided to leave the box blue-on-wood: while the blue was beautifully rich and even before the shellacking, the shellac made every brushstroke appear! It didn’t turn out looking as rich as I envisioned but my husband assures me it still looks pretty good, so off it goes. I hope she likes it!!!
All items – box, buttons, and bag. You can click on the picture to see a bigger version of it.
Buttons in the bag, and bag in the box. You can see where the button pokes through the lid and is held in place with wire wrapped through and around the shank.
Box front and back
Box left and right, with my best rendition of the “realistic irises” that she likes!
All packed and ready for the post office! Yes that is Christmas wrapping paper used in lieu of bubble wrap.