Life has put my dream project on hold, but I have kept my hand into LEGO just to keep myself sane. In this case, I signed up for a Secret Santa exchange through the members at BrickLink. My designated guy expressed a liking of Pirates of the Caribbean sets, so taking that as inspiration, I created a spiffy treasure chest (with loot and monkey)!
The priciest piece that I had to order were the six tan arches (Part 6183), which were only available in a couple of Star Wars sets from 2003 and 2004. Overall, I'm very pleased with the result. I can only hope that the LEGO fan in Montana I was assigned likes it as well. Merry X-mas!