Four presents

Small but entertaining little gifts for my Christmas, from Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, Opal Armstrong Zwicky, Kim Darnell, and Maggie Ainsworth-Darnell — plus an excellent dim sum lunch at Tai Pan in Palo Alto for all of us, from Paul Armstrong.

Then: an out@in rainbow t-shirt from LinkedIn (where Kim works); a little plush wooly (spelling by the Douglas Cuddle Toy Co.) mammoth; a tote bag with an otter drawing by the artist rubyetc; and a bit of nearly indescribable Japanese kawaii that involves a little self-watering ceramic penguin that grows wild strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca) on its back, as here:

(#1) Chuppon self-watering animals and their plants: the Sea Friends dolphin/clover, penguin/wild strawberry, seal/basil, polar bear/mint

The rainbow t-shirt. Well, on the front of the t-shirt, the rainbow flag with the LinkedIn logo superimposed on it (the out@in name is on the back):



Everett the Douglas mammoth. From the Douglas Co. (Keene NH) Cuddle Toys site:


Everett Wooly Mammoth: When a full sized Mammoth is too big to fit in the car, take Everett our plush Wooly Mammoth with you instead! At 8” long, this stuffed animal may be small in size but he’s big on prehistoric fun! Everett’s shaggy coat of chestnut brown fur is depicted with our Kohair material which makes him especially soft and cuddly. [He really is very soft.] He features two graceful, curving tusks and his four feet have been accented with toe detail. Small, dark eyes give him a sweet appearance that Mammoth lovers of any age will be sure to love. When you want to step back in time, just take Everett the Wooly Mammoth along with you on your adventure and he’ll bring the prehistoric world of the Ice Age back to life!

Everett joins four other mammoths in my bedroom. From my 12/16/17 posting “A tale of a bed: from removal to revival”, the plush toys Mammuthus Major and Mammuthus Minor. And from my 12/18/17 posting “The news for mammoths: toy stories”, the toy mammoths Fey and Butch, with more on M. Major and M. Minor. Everett is the softest and silkiest of the lot.

The tote bag, an otter print, a Christmas cartoon, and a penguin cartoon. The tote bag comes from Society6, aka søciety6 (operated by the Leaf Group in Santa Monica, formerly Demand Media). On it, this print by the London artist who goes by the name rubyetc:


rubyetc labels this (and a number of her other works) as art prints, but the line between these and straightforward cartoons isn’t at all clear.

(Note: in another life many years ago, I was sometimes labeled an otter, a sleeker and slimmer version of the gay bear type. Now, I suppose, I’m a sea lion, or maybe a walrus.)

Then there’s her Christmas cartoon from December 18th:

(#5) “ho ho HO”

Sometimes her cartoons are self-deprecating, sometimes they are wryly despairing, sometimes they are silly, often their language is salty.

Finally, a penguin:


Japanese ceramic penguin bearing wild strawberries. A Chuppon, distributed by the Noted Co. Their copy for the Sea Friends self-watering animals in #1:


There are also Drinking Animal Planters, illustrated here:

(#8) cat/mint, panda/basil, pig/clover, rabbit/wild strawberry

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