Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holiday News

Our holiday card. I thought, since there are a few of you dear old friends out there that read this, but don't e-mail me (no guilt. . . really), that you might be interested in a bit of our holiday letter. I'm only posting the bits about Tom's health, as the rest is just stuff you'd have gleaned by reading this blog anyway.
Hope you all had a wonderful Solstice and Christmas and that your New Year is safe and Happy.

from the Sanford e-mailed holiday letter:
"I waited a few extra days to send this e-mail, as I wanted to be able to share all of the good news at once. As almost all of you know, we've had an extraordinary year. Tom had sinus surgery at the end of last year to try and resolve headaches that had been mounting for several years. By the end of June, it was clear that it was something much more worrisome and on July 11th, Tom had a tumor the size of a golf ball removed from his brain. It was benign and the resection was a complete success, but he contracted bacterial meningitis and consequently spent much of the summer either in the hospital or connected to I.V. antibiotics. It was a crazy time, and if this is somehow the first you've heard of this, write back and I'm glad to go into further detail. So, to bring us all up to speed: Tom had his 3 month post-op MRIs and appointments right before Thanksgiving. Everything looks great with no sign of tumor at all. In fact, though we expected to get MRIs every 3 months during the first year, his neurosurgeon told him not to come back until NEXT Thanksgiving. Great news. Throughout this whole process, a growth was found on Tom's liver. We've just gotten confirmation today that it is absolutely unrelated to his brain tumor and completely harmless. The liver specialist said: "No further action is required." This is a huge relief to all of us over here at Chez Sanford. The recovery from all of this continues to effect our daily life as Tom still deals with daily nausea and near-daily vomiting, but we are counting our blessings and thanking our lucky stars for his general good health. He's gained back all of the weight that he lost over the summer and is looking forward to working out and building his strength in the coming year."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Gifts

I've been hiding these away.
A puppet theater for my nephew from Bend the Rules Sewing.

Framed embroidery from a picture by Abby for my mom.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

because 2 posts aren't enough for one day

A library thing list of our winter books.

Center Square hat redux

I love this hat so much that it kind of hurt to take it off to take the picture.

I used lion brand wool-ease in worsted weight. I'm usually a yarn snob, but I got two of these hats out of one skein of each color. Since I was gifting the first one to someone who may not pay attention to washing directions (a dude), I wanted something washable. Now I can be twinsies with Tom's snowboarding neurosurgeon (yup, I will never tire of how great it is that a brain surgeon also snowboards. I love that). Info on the pattern on the link above.

More tiny mittens and some stockings too!

These are ornament size for topping packages. I made a little star too, but it didn't end up looking like a star, so it's been added to Abby's kitchen set as a pot holder.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pleated Handbag

For Emily's birthday.
The pleated handbag from Bend the Rules Sewing. I left out the interfacing on the bottom and the embellishments on the front. I'd do both of those things if I make it again, but it wasn't in the stars for this one. It's thrifted brown corduroy and funky orange and yellow flowered flannel in the pleats. It came together much more quickly than I expected and now that I see how it's made, I'm excited to make one for myself.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Birthdays in December! Aack!

This little number is what I made for Abby when she wanted to shake jingle bells while singing jingle bells. This is now a large part of our day. The singing of the jingle bells. I wake up with it ringing in my ears. This is why the jingle bells book must be put away during the rest of the year. Anyway, it's just a stick with a bunch of ribbons wrapped around it all willy-nilly with jingle bells tied to the ends. She loves it.
I have 3 birthdays to craft for this month. What's up with December birthdays!? Drives me nuts. I made another crown for one of Abby's little friends who turned 2. It has a firetruck embroidered on it and it's very cute. I did not get a picture. Blast.
Above is the beginnings of a pleated handbag for another birthday this month.
AND, I decided to buy for my sister in law. She gets something handmade by a friend of mine. Love it and will show it off later.

A big thanks to those of you stopping by from the link over at The Rowdy Pea.
It's been fun seeing who's come over from there. We're still enjoying our book advent. I'll do a list of books at some point.
But not today. Today is full of car insurance dealings as we got hit in a parking lot last week. Ugh. We're fine, but it's a hassle.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh, the advent calendar!

I loved the book advent idea that I mentioned yesterday. I like the idea of reading a book a day, but wanted to figure out how to count down to Christmas and involve Abby in picking and tracking the books we've read. Then I saw this post by Rowdy Pea. Oh, I loved it. The simplicity, the Asian sort of bent, the not overtly religious or specifically anything about it. And, it's lovely. So, I just straight up copied her. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. . . right?
My take on it is a little different. I made up tiny cut outs of all of the winter books we have on hand from our collection and from my run to the library. I got the images from Library Thing
and some from ebay. I printed the out and put them in a bowl. Every night before bed, Abby picks a story from her bowl. We read it and sing the song if there is one (Jingle Bells, Rudolph, Frosty the snowman) and then she puts the cut-out in the advent cup for that day.
Of course we'll read her the other stories any time over the next few weeks, but this makes each story have a special spot in our holiday season. On Christmas day, she'll get a new winter book for our collection. She loved it last night. I've been giddy with the fun of it all and am so happy with our new tradition.

The whole thing cost about $6. I got scrap-booking paper that has designs on both sides. Each sheet made 4 cups. I only made 24 cups so I didn't have to buy a whole extra piece of paper for one cup. Also, we won't be here for Christmas Day, so I figured it would be okay. The numbers are just little scrap-booking stickers that I got from our local scrap-booking store. I strung them all on fishing line and used a red ribbon from my stash. And, I did it all in about an hour last night.