Ten years ago this month, I completed my practice teaching internship - at the same school that I am now coaching Loopy's Cheerios. It also happens to be the same high school that I graduated from, and both of my brothers. You could say my blood bleeds green and gold.
I was blessed with an exceptional mentor teacher to guide me through the internship process, which at that time was so incredibly rigorous. To this day I still consider her a valued mentor and dear friend. She is one of the special people who dabbled in the matchmaking between Veto and I. We both owe her so very much.
At the end of the internship, I presented her with a St. Nicholas that I made for her in the theme of the school. When I mentioned to another teacher on staff that it was in the works, she was aghast - the school colours being green and gold (check out the Cheerio uniforms on the post below for an idea), but I wanted to interpret them another way.
You can see that after The Secret Weapon helped me build the body for St. Nick, I outfitted him in a velvet cloak of dark forest green and underneath he wears a velvet robe of old gold. I found green cord with gold accent to tie his sash.
I left no detail to chance... this had to be a special gift. I lined the cloak with gold lame, and trimmed it with faux fur but added the gold piping by hand. I've mentioned before, I'm not much of a seamstress, but for some reason I can manage to dress these Santas. I even made the pattern for his robe myself. Check out the train of his cloak, it's embroidered with the school letters.
In the sack on his back, he carries a teddy bear (a nod to the school "Bears" school mascot) and vintage green and yellow ochre paint tubes along with some green handled vintage paintbrushes that I dabbed with green and gold paint. Look closely and you can see another teddy in the sack, a golden one nestled behind the cinnamon sticks.
I could think of nothing more appropriate to gift such a special person with at Christmas to mark the end of my professional training together. I was tickled to visit her home this weekend, where he was on display all these years later. It was a gift from the heart, something she can enjoy no matter where she is teaching over the years... she can remember her time at a very special school where she not only helped a young teacher realize her dreams, she made a friend for life.