December has been unusually busy. Between various Christmas events, a round of strep throat that swept through the household and many extra hours of work for Brad, it feels like we are just now coming up for air.  Hence, the unintended radio silence around these parts.

I did manage to make a few gifts but, compared to last year, Christmas crafting was scaled back considerably.

Patchwork dish towels for teacher gifts.

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A shawl for my mom.

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A dress for Lizzie.

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Sarah was the recipient of the rest of my handmade efforts.  Our tradition for giving gifts to the kids is that each kid gets 3 gifts from us (3 was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for them).  They get a book, game/toy and an article of clothing.  (Santa is only responsible for the contents of the stockings.)

This year, Sarah’s toy was a bed for her doll.  We bought the bed from IKEA and Brad painted it white.  I made a red ticking mattress and a quilt.  I made the quilt with Jenean‘s lovely fabrics.  This is the perfect quilting project for me – small and manageable.  I quilted and bound it by hand.

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Sarah seems to like it.

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Trying to think of a book to get Sarah proved to be a challenge.  There is no shortage of books in our little house.  With two book-loving older siblings, it was hard to think of a book to buy that isn’t already on the shelves.  I had noticed how much she loves to look at Lizzie and Joshua’s photo albums and I was inspired.

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I decided to make an alphabet book with photos of Sarah and things she knows.  I wasn’t sure if a traditional photo album was going to stand up to frequent flipping by a toddler.  Instead,  I cut cardstock to 8×8 and coordinating pieces to 1×8.  I mounted the photos and text on the 8×8.  I then laminated the 1×8 and 8×8 side by side, with a couple millimeters space between.  This space allows the pages to open flat.

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The biggest mistake I made was in the layout.  The couplets are on opposite sides of the same paper, so you have to turn the page to read the rhyming line.  Should have had them facing.

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There are a couple of other annoyances, like a page or two on which the laminating creased and some wonky holes for the binding.  Overall, it was a funny little project and the kids all love to read it.  It is especially sweet listening to Joshua read it to Sarah.

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