This Christmas I made an effort to do some creative stuff.
Most of the creative stuff is directly related to that same roleplaying campaign. First of all, a pair of maps (hand-drawn, using dip pen, assorted calligraphy and cartographical nibs and drawing ink and using handmade paper from Nepal). The first (of Numenor) is a direct copy of a Tolkien map, the second is of a non-canonical Numenorean colony in the east which I wanted to do in the same style.
I'm pleased with the results - never done anything like this before, although I had plenty of drawing inks because I use them a fair bit in miniatures painting. The Nepalese paper was a good choice too. There's a rough texture to it which makes the ink vary in thickness, which is exactly the sort of effect I'd hoped for, without really having an idea of how to achieve it.
Speaking of miniatures, I also did quite a bit of miniature painting over the holiday. Not all of these have been photographed (by bunn) because the weather defeated us. As well as the ones below, there's a big Warhammer bloke on some beastly steed (which I'm really quite proud of), Daenerys Targaryen wearing nothing but three newly hatched dragons and some soot (both in 28mm scale) and half of a Hun army in 6mm scale.
This is Fankil. He's a really, really obscure Tolkien bad guy mentioned only briefly in an obscure tale as the lieutenant of Melko(r), predating Sauron in Tolkien's works. In my campaign, he is the "Demon of the North Wind" and is an evil air spirit in much the same way that the balrogs are evil fire spirits. In fact, the miniature itself is a balrog, bought for me as a present by chainmailmaiden and bacchus. I decided not to paint it as a balrog because a) I had this Fankil character anyway and b) I didn't want to get into that whole balrogs-and-wings debate. This is really quite a big miniature. The plinth it's standing on is actually a fence post.
And here we have two trolls:
And finally Prince Irimon of Ciryatanore, the Dawn Prince.