Merry Christmas everyone! I’d like to share one of my favourite gifts this year with you…

I have a collection of nutcrackers which are displayed on my parlour mantlepiece each Christmas season. I have always loved the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, perhaps because in elementary school, I had a part in the school Christmas production of the play. I wore an emerald green tutu and danced to the Waltz of the Sugarplum Fairies before a packed audience. And later, as a young adult, my mom made special arrangements to see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet perform the suite at the Gander Arts & Culture Centre together. (thanks again mom, what a treat!)

This year, I was gifted the most spectacular nutcracker of all. Taylor, with help from Fred, handcrafted the dandy fellow you see above. A mixed-media piece, she has incorporated found objects, hand embroidery, hand weaving, hand painting, and sculpture, along with a lot of thoughtfulness. Fred is responsible for making it a working nutcracker, with a functional mouth piece and helping with other bits too. I cannot tell you how touched I am that anyone would go through all this work to make a gift for me. I am blown away. Thank you Taylor; thank you Fred. I appreciate this so much!

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