Magic Camera Monday: March 12, 2012

Magic Camera Monday: Shipping Box

A package arrived at my house this weekend. It came without advance notice from my friend Jim Gatling. Since he hadn’t mentioned that it was coming, I didn’t think too much about not opening it. Jim usually tells me if he is sending something important. Since this one just appeared, I didn’t make opening it a priority.

This weekend I was busy visiting with family, friends and taking care of necessary household commitments, so I didn’t get a chance to open the package until this morning.

Magic Camera Monday: Curling Ribbon

When I opened the box, I encountered lots of pink, yellow and gray curling ribbon. I thought this was odd, because I didn’t remember telling Jim I needed curling ribbon. Hmmm, I also thought this was a very haphazard way to send me ribbon.

I’m really not sure why he sent it or why he chose this method of packing it. Those details really didn’t matter. The ribbon was FABULOUS!!!

As I started removing the ribbon, I came upon something very shiny. Actually, many shiny somethings. Have I mentioned that I’m partial to shiny? The more ribbon I removed, the more shiny I found.

Magic Camera Monday: Rhinestones

You are not going to believe this. Mixed in with the ribbon were oodles and oodles of rhinestones. FABULOUSNESS was overflowing from this box.

As I started scooping up the rhinestones, I discovered something wrapped in plastic and surrounded by Easter grass. I thought Easter grass was an unusual choice for packing material, but figured that Jim probably just had some lying around and wanted to use it up.

Magic Camera Monday: Button Dress Form

This amazing and fun, button-covered dress form was wrapped in the Easter grass. I know . . . It’s FABULOUS!!!

Magic Camera Monday: Fabric Stack

After the dress form discovery, I unearthed this luscious and oh-so-glorious mound of fabric. I know . . . It’s FABULOUS TOO!!!

Magic Camera Monday: Teach Yourself To Quilt By Pat Eaton

Beneath the fabric, I uncovered a book by my very dear and amazingly talented friend, Pat Eaton. I know . . . OMG! It’s FABULOUS to the second power!!!

Magic Camera Monday: Potholder

Tucked beneath Pat’s book was a wonderfully FABULOUS potholder. It’s so fantastic, I may have to cook something, just to use it. Did I mention . . . it’s FABULOUS?!!!

After I danced around the room with the potholder for a few minutes, I discovered a cloth bag. I’m a simple man and would have enjoyed the cloth bag all by itself, but this bag had something in it.

You know that I’m telling you the truth about the bag, because I just told you that I danced unabashedly around the room with a potholder in the previous paragraph. 🙂

Although overjoyed with the bag, I decided it might be fun to see what was inside it . . .

Magic Camera Monday: Needlepoint Rocker

When I tipped the bag upside down, this incredibly wonderful and fabulous little chair landed in my hand.

OMG!!! I mean OMG!!!! 

This is FABULOUS to the bajillionth power. It’s FABULOUSNESS personified and was obviously meant for me.

Why do I say that? Because this chair’s got my name on it. I just have three words to say about that . . . FAB. U. LOUS! 

Can you believe this? I am totally blown away. This chair is so wonderful, that it made my eyes leak.

Magic Camera Monday: Needlepoint Rocker Close Up

After I had regained a semblance of composure and dried my eyes, I proceeded to the next layer of the box. This is what appeared next . . .

Magic Camera Monday: Notta Easter Present

Hmmmm . . . That seems suspicious, but I decided to open the box anyway.

Once I lifted the Notta Easter Present cover, this is what I saw . . .

Magic Camera Monday: Notta Easter Present Close Up

Something wooden with designs burned into it, more Easter grass and a variety of Easter eggs. For something that wasn’t an Easter present, it sure had a lot of similarities to one. I’m just saying . . . Walks like a duck. Talks like a duck . . . 

Trusting that Jim wouldn’t lie to me and send an Easter present (Which is against the rules.), I decided that he had only used the Easter grass for packing material. Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Yeah . . . I thought so too.

Magic Camera Monday: Rocking Horse

So, with this Easter present issue firmly resolved in my mind, I tore away the Easter grass and this magnificent rocking horse appeared before me.

Can you say FABULOUS?!!!

I can . . . FABULOUS! FABULOUS! FABULOUS! FABULOUS! FABULOUS! I am truly amazed and completely enraptured by its fabulousity.

After this wondrous and intricately detailed creature appeared, I popped open the Easter eggs to see what they held. I just knew it was going to be something equally breathtaking—but on a smaller scale.

Then I found this . . .

Magic Camera Monday: Easter Animal Figurines

Hmmmmm. This looks surprisingly Easter-like—don’t you think?

I hope you have enjoyed this special edition of Magic Camera Monday as much as I have.

Thank you, Jim! Your kindness, generosity and boundless creativity inspires and humbles me. How did I ever get so lucky to have you in my life?


Public Service Announcement: If you receive a surprise package from Jim Gatling, I urge you to open it immediately. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂


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36 Responses to “Magic Camera Monday: March 12, 2012”

  1. Cyn Strang Says:

    What a wonderful surprise! And what a wonderful friend! Loved it! Especially the wooden horse. Wow!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Cyn, Yes, it was a tremendously wonderful surprise. He is a magnificent friend.

      The horse is amazing. I saw him do a blog post on it and thought it was wonderful. I knew it would look great in his home. I never imagined how great it would look in mine.

      I’m thrilled with my surprise gifts, but more so, with my friendship.

      All my love to you and Jeff!

  2. Wendy Says:

    Give Jim my address. I want some too. What a friend!!!!!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Wendy, You are too funny. Yes, Jim is a pretty amazing and talented friend and obviously generous to a fault.

      Everyone should be lucky enough to have someone like Jim in their life. He always knows how to make a person feel special.

      I will forward your address on to him. Who knows, he may surprise you too.

      Have a wonderful day!

  3. Mona K Says:

    You have some good friends. Lucky you.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Mona, Yes, I have some amazing friends. They are so amazing . . . and talented . . . and gifted . . . and generous . . . and thoughtful and loving and . . . I sometimes wonder why they let me hang around them, but am eternally grateful that they do.

      Yes, I am lucky. Lucky beyond words.

  4. Bruce Eastman Says:

    Can I be adopted? What an exciting and wonderful gift. I love surprise boxes like that!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Bruce! Yes, the package was definitely exciting and wonderful. Jim really knows how to pack a lot of amazing and delightful things into one box. It is a surprise that I will remember and cherish forever.

      I hope someone in your life surprises you in the same thoughtful way.

  5. Dee Ann Mooney Says:

    That was a fabulous, fabulous surprise you received! I’m wondering if Jim made that awesomely wonderful and tremendously fabulous chair and the other beautiful things made of wood? I knew he was talented and interesting and handsome, but I didn’t know he could make something so fine.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Dee Ann, I don’t know all the answers to your questions, but I’m sure if you go to Jim’s blog he’ll be happy to answer the questions for you.

      I can say for certain that he painted the chair, but I am certain that he did the needlepoint work. He is a very talented needleworker and this is most definitely his work. I am so touched and in awe by the amount of time and effort he put into this piece. It is stunningly wonderful work of art.

      Yes, Jim is talented, interesting, handsome, funny and so much more.

      I urge you to drop by Jim’s blog and ask him about his work. He’s a great teacher and enjoys explaining how he does what he does. Here’s a link to his web site

  6. Penny fp Says:

    Ah… so we’re never too old to outgrow the fun of a just-because-I-had-some-goodies-for-you package!!! Love this kind of mail!! What a happy Monday!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Penny, I certainly plan to never get too old for this kind of surprise. It was way too much fun to go through.

      Treasures of this magnitude would be wasted on youth. Only seasoned adults would appreciate the kind of details and thoughtfulness that went into each element in the package. There are benefits to getting older and this is one of them.

      Yes, it was truly the happiest of Mondays!

  7. kathycolvi Says:

    Now we know what it looks like to have LOVE arrive in a box from the post office!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, Yes, now we all know what LOVE looks like when it’s delivered by the USPS. Love is amazing and detailed and shiny and colorful and interesting—and occasionally—wrapped in Easter grass.

  8. Wendy Says:

    The very best presents are the ones you don’t expect! Thanks for sharing your joy – it rubbed of on me!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Wendy, This was definitely unexpected and a gift beyond measure. The love that filled the box was overflowing. It was a magical way to start the day.

      I’m glad I had the opportunity to share it and my joy with you.

      It sounds like someone special is in for an unexpected surprise from you. Good for them and good for you.

  9. Bobbi Russell Says:

    Oh Tom… Jim is FABULOUS! He spoke at our guild last Monday… Gave us lots of ways to use our scraps … We should use them to make friends really good gifts… Ha Ha

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Bobbi, Yes, JIm is FABULOUS and a wonderful speaker. I always enjoy listening to him talk about his adventures and share his take on quilting. That man loves scraps and he has millions of ways to use them.

      I think gifts from scraps is a great idea. I’m sure your friends would agree.

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your story.

  10. Terry Knott Says:

    What a wonderful surprise gift. That Jim really knows how to touch your heart!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Terry, It was a fabulously wonderful surprise and yes, Jim really knows how to make me feel special. My heart and the rest of me are touched by his thoughtfulness. I am blessed to have him in my life.

  11. Brenda Wall Says:

    Well, I am glad can say FABULOUS!!! He is a wonderful friend and we are all blessed he is around to make our day. Reading his Facebook page every day keeps a lot of us in stitches (not quilting) of laughter.

    Thank you for sharing your “Notta Easter Gift”—I agree with that “duck” thing, but Jim wouldn’t lie!!!!!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Brenda, Oh yes, I can say FABULOUS and can spell it blindfolded. I know what you mean. We are all blessed to have him—and his sense of humor—in our lives.

      It brought me great pleasure to share my “Notta Easter Present” with you.

  12. Patricia Eaton Says:

    Tom, You are right. Getting a box in the mail from Mr. G is a wonderfully magic experience. He is both very imaginative and generous. I got to see the horse….he’s amazing….the chair also.

    Mr. G happens to think the world of you, I hope you know. And, to surprise me also…he sent you a copy of my Teach Yourself to Quilt book, which I find amusing as I was advised by Leisure Arts a couple of weeks ago that after twenty-three years, it is going out of print.

    So…there you are…gifts from Mr. G to make us both smile. Hope you are well Tom! loveya, Pat (And, of course, I’m always nuts over Mr. G!!!!)

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Love, I couldn’t agree more. Gifts from Jim are magical indeed. I should have know better than to leave the box unopened, but it was more of a surprise because I did.

      I know Jim loves me. I see it in a thousand ways and this package is just another amazing manifestation of that love. Having your book included in the package just added to the love that overflowed when I opened it. It was a magnificent surprise and I’m thrilled to add this special book to my collection.

      It’s hard to imagine a book being in print that long, but that’s the way it is with classics like Hemingway, Tolstoy, Poe and Eaton.

      Yes, this FABULOUS package brought many smiles to my face and my heart. It was an exceptional way to start the week.

      All is well here and I hope it is the same for you.

      Love you too! Being nuts about Jim, goes without saying. If you know him, it’s a given!

  13. deb Says:

    What fun… and I got to see Jim finish the horse at AWOL last weekend! Love the lamb, chick, etc! ;-D They’re so cute! What a fabulous “Not Easter” haul!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Deb! I know you had a blast at AWOL. I saw Jim’s post about it and it looked like everyone had a fantastic time.

      Aren’t those little animals adorable? I busted out laughing when I saw them. The lamb’s expression is priceless. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

      It was a FABULOUS surprise from beginning to end.

  14. Jayardi Says:

    • • • Absolutely F•A•B•U•L•O•U•S•!

    You deserve every one of those gifts. Jim sure does some beautiful work. If you get tired of playing with the rocking horse, I can watch it for you. 😉

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, FABULOUS! That is a perfect word to describe what was in that package. Wish I had thought of it. Oh wait, I think I may have used it once or twice, but I’d never over do it. 🙂

      Yes, Jim does beautiful work and it’s always a joy to behold it. His creativity is boundless and so is his enthusiasm to share his gifts with those he loves.

      I will call you when I grow tired of playing with my new toy. I need to warn you though, don’t expect that call anytime soon.

  15. Jim Gatling Says:

    I’ve never told a lie! Pat really doesn’t know.

    It’s not the “getting ” a surprise box in the mail that is the most wonderfully magic experience. For me it’s the “making and sendng” a surprise that is a truly wonderful magic experience. You know me, I’m really truly selfish. I did something that made me smile. If it happened to make you smile then that makes it even better.

    Sorry, I missed your call, Tom. The post is hilarious as usual. You can take an elementary school band and make it sound like the Philharmonic. Your photographs can make anything look FAB-U-LOUS!

    I have had three people already ask me why they didn’t get a package. My answer: “It would be kinda stupid on my part to send you a chair with the name Tom on it, now wouldn’t it?” LOL!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, No. Technically, you didn’t tell a lie. 🙂

      Including Pat’s book in the package was a wonderful surprise to both of us. I will treasure it always.

      You are very dear and your selfishness reduces me to tears. I can’t begin to tell you have much you mean to me. Where would I be without your constant support and love? I don’t know and don’t want to imagine what life would be like without you in it.

      Don’t worry about the missed call. I’ll be in touch.

      The photos only captured a glimmer of the magic that you created and a hint of the love that you put into each piece. The Magic Camera is good, but I would need a special lens to capture all the love.

      You are a wise and funny man and a tremendous blessing to me.

      Love you dearly.

  16. Jackie S Says:

    Jim, if you knew me you would love me … Almost as much as Tom ( go ahead just ask him) Now my address is 14356 ….. Just kidding, Tom you lucky “Ducky”!!!!! that was not an Easter joke 😀

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Jackie, Yes, I’m sure that if Jim knew you, he would love you as much as I do. With friends like you and Jim, I am a “Lucky ducky” for sure.

      Love ya!

  17. Dreamz Happen Quiltz Says:

    Spec-tac-u-lar-ly Fab-u-lous!! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Julie, You are most welcome. It was such a remarkable gift, I would be selfish not to share it with my BFFs.

      Thanks for dropping by. Have a FABULOUS day!

  18. Carla Says:

    Okay, I’m gonna sound like Mr. Rogers… Would you be my friend Jim? OMG what an awesome surprise package. You know what? Tell Jim I would have taken that chair even with your name on it and the button dress form. How cool was that? Of course your dancing with a potholder… Well, Tom I think you need to get out more… LOL

    Thanks for sharing the package with us. And really tell Jim I wanna be his friend too. LOL

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Carla, You are so funny. I’m sure Jim would love being your friend as much as I do. I think you and he would get along wonderfully. You both have a great sense of humor and find joy in every moment life offers you.

      Now Carla, you wouldn’t deny me a special celebratory moment with my potholder—now would you? Don’t potholders need to feel the love too? 🙂

      I will let Jim know where he can send a box of love. I’m sure he’ll see your comment and add you to his growing list of friends.

      As always, thanks for dropping by and sharing your day with me!

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