December 26, 2013

Christmas Crafting

The gifts are all distributed, so it's time to share what Manda Claus crafted!
I made Mr. Cool a new red hat:
I made Lincoln a slightly off Spock Monkey,
And Mr. Cool and I crafted him a Lego table:
For my dad, nephews, and friends I made fancy pillowcases--the blue cowboy fabric was one my mom and I had made together:
For all my related ladies and friends, I made Chapstick cozies:
I made ornaments:
I knitted bracelets for my knitting posse and sister:
I knitted a hat for my ninth nephew:
Stuffed some stockings with play dough building kits:
I crafted Cinderella sculpture hair bows for my niece, and sewed her Cinderella aprons:

Whew!  Manda Claus is tired!

December 15, 2013

Ramblings on my Mom's birthday

Today would have been my mom's 63rd birthday--I loved her birthday as a child because it meant only ten more days until Christmas!  I don't think mom necessarily loved having a birthday so close to Christmas, although it did lead to her name, Joy. Today in church we lit the candle of joy for advent--I misted up quite a bit--it felt like a birthday candle, and a reminder of her deep belief.
A friend passed along this picture from my parents' wedding invitations--I love how young and gorgeous mom looks.
I have a little tree filled with ornaments mom made--this time of year feels very filled with her presence.  Decorations, recipes, and dates are intimately connected with her.  I think this will always be true, but hopefully the bitter will continue to leach out, leaving only the sweet.
I have been sewing lots of gifts on my mom's Bernina (sewing machine) this month--she was so amazing at sewing, and I am improving.  I miss having her help, and admonition for my corner cutting.  It is lovely to sew on her machine, though, to have a connection to something she touched and created with.
I have seen almost every sunrise this year--sometimes I wake up and watch them and then go back to bed--and every one is a burst of hope and renewed joy.  I love you, mom--thank you for the joy of Christmas and life that you nourished in me.