** update: pattern available as free download
Last January, I got the sweetest email from a woman named Lenore asking for the pattern for Octophrost. She told me:
"Every year I make a Christmas ornament for my grand and great grand children. I would love to make this little fellow. For Christmas 2006 I made 90 ornaments. Three more babies are expected that I know of so I may need to make near 100. That means starting early."
The pattern was no where near ready. I wanted to be a part of her Christmas plans, so I worked hard to get something together. I sent her the pattern in mid-February, about 2 months before I posted it.
In that time, we corresponded a little and I learned a more about Lenore. She's 73 (maybe 74 now). She sent me a picture from a recent family reunion, and I cried when I opened it up and saw all those wonderful people. In fact, it's making me cry right now just thinking about it. It's overwhelming to think that, however tangentially, I'm a part of their heart-felt, hand made, family tradition.
I've also kept in touch with Lenore's daughter Lucy, of My Byrd House
. She's given me updates over the last year, and it's been so fun to think about Lenore patiently (I imagine) and lovingly sewing 99 Octophrosts for her family. She's posted lots of pictures on her blog
. The tree in the picture above has 99 Octophrosts on it!
I want Lenore to know how honored and thankful I am that she chose Octophrost for her ornament this year. I also want her to know that she's a wonderful example to all of us of how to make the moments of our life personal and memorable. This experience will always be a treasured memory for me. I hope that in my own life, I'm able to spread such warmth and joy to the people around me.