Look at them, an idyllic family, frolicking hand-in-hand-in-hand through the grass on a breezy fall day. I spent an afternoon photographing them for their holiday card and let me brag for just a moment about their stellar qualities. They are very low-maintenance. No one worried about hair or clothes or the cold. Also, they seem to really like each other. Seven people crammed together and not one nasty word was uttered. And talk about patient! I posed them in various locations and no one objected when I asked for one more shot... this time everyone look to the right... and smile... but no teeth.
These little guys are the doppelgangers of my family in every way but for perhaps their cooperative attitude in front of a camera. In fact, I enjoyed photographing them so much that I think I'll invite them to all the important occasions as photo stand-ins for their human counterparts.
My friend, Pat, masterfully knit these finger puppets to life with a pair of size 1 needles, some yarn, wood and wire. From left to right are Walter, Gary, me, Nicholas, Jane, Atticus, and George.
As you can see, I'm injured in this photo -- an ACL tear again. That or I've had too much wine. Either way, Gary is ever the gentleman, lending an arm. Poor guy has gray hair from raising four sons. He is learned, though, which comes across nicely. And see how he refuses to give up his suits? He detests Casual Friday.
Can you see the wire hoops in my ears? So cute! Pat also knitted a very pretty vest for me, but I ripped it off during a hot flash.
That's Nick and his betrothed, Jane, managing a romantic embrace despite her camera and his paint palette. (And George.) In a very hairy family, Nick wins the award for best 5 o'clock shadow, which Pat miraculously conveys. I love how Jane's glossy mane is blowing in the wind. And notice her pristine white skirt? Remarkable given that she willingly tromps through the forest with Nick and the rest of us, no complaints. These two Chicago lovebirds plan to marry next summer and if the finger puppets don't get invited, I'm sneaking them in.
George, who learned pranking from his mother, can't resist a photobomb. Nor can he resist a good bass line. He's listening to jazz in this pic (his headphones are dope, right?) and that happy smile on George's yarny face never wavers as long as the tunes are playing. George is the man!
Striding away from me and out into the wider world are Atticus and Walter. Wanderlust runs deep in these two middle brothers. Atticus (left) learns languages quickly and then puts his linguistic skills to the test on location. You can see from the front of his sweatshirt, he is repping his college which he does IRL too, but the yarn does not quite portray his usual skinny jeans.
Walter (right) is our mountain hobbit. He lives in the Pacific Northwest and his Instagram feed is to-die-for cool from his forest forays. He's still wearing the same backpack we got him in eighth grade, which Pat knitted beautifully. It latches! She did struggle with Walter's dreadlocks (like me) but I think she succeeded in the end.
Here we are again, cheeks glowing, hair flowing. When Pat delivered the puppets, I couldn't believe how closely she truly captured us. I was so excited, I contacted Minted.com, whom I've used for our Christmas cards for years. I sent them a photo of the puppets and asked if they would sponsor my post. They agreed and this is officially my first sponsored post!
I love the personal service with Minted. They worked with me on tweaking the borders and text boxes. When I messed up and ordered the wrong quantity, they amended my original order pronto. Still, the cards arrived two days early. And the quality exceeded my expectations.
One more important note about Minted. I've been a member of their community for years. Their partnerships with independent artists and designers help me support individual makers. Since 2008, they hold a monthly open call for designers and the community votes. It's a democratic way to discover new talent.
Lastly, it's not too late to order! Expedited shipping is free today. Or check out their stylish New Year's card designs.
Well, here we all are IRL. May you hold your loved ones close this holiday season and may the coming year be joyous.
This post is sponsored by Minted.com but the hearty endorsement here is all mine.
I've got a growing list and would love for you to join us! We are here every Friday morning finding something to smile about.