I don't know if I got this message across, but I have the most perfect niece on the face of the planet. Last Christmas, she flew in from California (with her mom and dad, who are also fabulous, but were slightly less photographed by me during that trip). I wanted to commemorate her first Christmas, but even though she is perfect, she wasn't QUITE ready for my colors,and paints at 7 months. Every year my Mom pulls out a little ornament I came home from Sunday School with on my first Christmas. It was a bell with the year written on it. I mean, I brought it home, so that means it's special, but I wasn't writing at 5 months (I think it was more like 8 months that I picked up my pen and began my writing career), so....I wanted Blythe to actually be a part of the first ornament she made. It just so happened to snow last Christmas as well, it was the first truly white Christmas in the Dallas area since they began keeping records well over 100 years ago. I took a glass ornament, and painted Blythe's hand (with the help of her Mom), and then pressed it to three ornaments (one for her, and one for each Grand-family). She wasn't into it yet, so it was really hard to get her to stay still without causing too many long lasting scars, but we figured these little smeared hands will just represent the true process. Crafts aren't perfect when you are 7 months or 7 years or 30+ years old, which is the charm of it all. I had her Mom use a paint pen and write the date, and the memory. I added some fake snow to the inside of the ornament, and tied a ribbon to the top. I considered adding blue beads, or snowflakes, or even sequins inside as well, but....I think this is more Lydia's style. I also found the paint did not want to stay on the glass, so I bought a little tube of paint sealer, and very carefully painted over the hand (so the wet paint wouldn't rub off our impression). I love these little flake hands. These were made a long time ago, but in attempt to allow time for more surprises, and because I know they sometimes check my blog, it had to wait. Lastly, I found these little chinese take out boxes with flakes to store these little ornaments in from year to year. And thus completes another cute Blythe post.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
If you need homemade gift ideas, you've come to the right place. The reason why I started blogging about the gifts last year was so I'd remember who I gave what to when so I didn't redo an idea I love. The problem is, a few years after I started blogging with a small handful of friends, some of my extended friendship circle now have my web address, which isn't a problem, except when it comes to gift making/blogging, I don't know if they check it, but they could! A lot of my gifts I'll have to blog about after Christmas, but I've got a solid week's worth of some gifts I kinda heart, and then over the month of December I'll be posting a TON more of the gifts I've made. I guess I could someday blog about some of those past gifts, but I'd have to stop crafting in real time to do that.
A few years ago I went to almost exclusive homemade gift giving b/c I got really tired of walking through a store, trying to find the perfect thing for someone, and ultimately spending money just to spend money to show I cared, but not giving the thing I really wanted them to have. To be honest, if I were making gifts for the reaction of the recipients, sometimes that just isn't going to happen (that is not meant for any of my friends that might be reading this, I don't believe in being passive aggressive via the net), but it makes me feel better to know it's a gift from the heart, and I know in this world of blogging, there are others out there that totally 'get' the joy and process of making things and thinking about those friends and family members as you make it. Below my link, under the labels, I have a lot of my prior gifts labeled with "homemade gift," but I'm about to add a lot more, so....without further ado....
Hoosier Homemade hosted a seasonal cupcake contest through the month of November. I participated this summer in a summer cupcake competition and loved seeing what other cupcake cohorts came up with, and this second round didn't disappoint either. It sort of snuck up on me as far as baking prep, but this is a run down of my holiday cupcakes. Attached are each link to the cupcakes, recipes, and rantings. On Tuesday, Hoosier will open up her site for voting, so everyone will be posting their four cupcakes for the competition.
Week 1: Seasonal Flavor: Peppermint Patty Cupcakes
Week 2: Thanksgiving Cupcakes: New York City's Macy's Parade Black and White Cupcakes
Week 3: Naughty or Nice Cupcakes (in Ornament Holders)
Week 4: New Year's Champagne Cupcakes
Linking To: Hoosier Homemade
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Ingredients: 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 c. water, 1 t. butter, 1 t. vanilla, 5 c. cubed, unpeeled green apples, 2 c. halved red seedless grapes, 1 c. diced celery, 1 c. walnut halves.
Instructions: In a large saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and water. Mix and bring to a boil. Cook until the mix thickens, this happens quickly, and when it does, it looks like this.
Friday, November 26, 2010
My friend, Kelly, introduced me to a version of this one holiday. I've adapted the cheese a bit to fit what I had in my fridge, but I think it would work with any combination of cheese you like, and work it does. I'm actually not a huge fan of potatoes, and I love this, as does the rest of my family, which is a small miracle. Someday I need to do a run down of the things my extended family eats, it would be the shortest, easiest blog post ever b/c they each have about three things they eat without conflict, hesitation, or protest, so holiday meals can be difficult. You better believe this makes it to the table quite often when it comes to attempting to fix a meal that will be eaten. It does NOT, however, make it on any weight watcher's sites but it's worth the splurge.
TWICE BAKED POTATO CASSEROLE
10 large russet baking potatoes (about 7 pounds), 1 stick of butter, plus 2 T of butter (at room temperature), 1 c. sour cream, 1/2 c. heavy cream, 2 t. salt, 1 1/2 t. black pepper, 3/4 lb bacon-cooked until crisp and crumbled, 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, cubed, 3/4 pound mild cheddar cheese, shredded, 1/2 c. chopped green onion, 3 eggs, lightly beaten.
Heat over 400 degrees.
Wash and dry potatoes. Prick potatoes with a fork and bake for 1 hour-1 hour 15 minutes (until tender). Set aside until cool enough to handle.
When cooled, cut potatoes in half and use a melon baller to scoop out all the insides.
Put potatoes insides in a bowl and mix with 1 stick of butter, sour cream, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Mash. Add bacon, cubed cheese, half of grated cheese, green onion, eggs. Mix well.
Butter a 9x13 inch dish with remaining butter. Pour mix into bowl, and top with the rest of the cheese.
Reduce oven heat to 375. Bake 35-40 minutes until bubbling around the edge, and cheese is melted on top and lightly browned. Serve hot.
I've put the casserole together the day before, covered it and baked it the day of the dinner to save time the day 'of.' This also reheats well.
Remodelaholic House of Hepworths
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
trail mix recipe using bugels to look like baby cornocopias. I banged my head against the wall because I want to be this clever. I died again, but God sent me back because heavens not quite ready for me. I don't know what He meant by that, but...thank goodness I'm here to share these cute little projects I found on the net.
I love you. Let's get married.
I think these would make some really cute placecards, write a name across 'em and set them by each place. I'm not doing this, only because I couldn't want until Thanksgiving to do this, and the trail mix is now just a piece of history, but *you* could.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Mini champagne glasses. I found these at the thrift store...donated from a wedding, but I've also seen them at the Dollar Tree, and every craft store in the wedding favor section. They are much more affordable when feeding a crowd than trying to find large champagne glasses for a large crowd of people.
I used a whipped, vanilla icing on the cupcakes to hold on the champagne bubbles.
For the Bubbles: Wilton sells these white round 'bubble's in mass, or they have jars of sprinkles that are white and round. I think the most affordable (and tasty) way to add bubbles are white Sixlets. I've found them at a bunch of Candy Stores (after purchasing these Wilton candies for my trial run). They also have vanilla whoppers you can grab if you want a variety of bubble sizes.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Just Something I Whipped Up Keeping it Simple CRAFT It's a Blog Party Trendy Treehouse
Simpsonized Crafts Night Owl Crafting Free Pretty Things For You Fireflies and Jellybeans It's Fun to Craft 504 Main Crafty Soiree Along for the Ride Be Different...Act Normal A Vision to Remember Under the Table and Dreaming
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Today was a good day.
I'm filthy from dust and dirt b/c I'm throwing my house around trying to hide stuff before my Soul Sister, Regan, flies in for Thanksgiving holiday on Tuesday. Her husband is overseas right now (coming home soon...yay), making it possible for us to safely sit in my house and craft, site see, eat, cook, laugh, and never act above the age of about 11 and a half in the 5 days she's here. I'm excited to get custody this holiday!
In the midst of my pretending to keep a somewhat clean house, I took a break for church, and then ate lunch with some lifelong friends of mine, and at the end, I felt 'healed' from anything and everything real and imaginary, dwelled on, or squished out of concious thought.
The last two weeks I've been a little discombobulated. Amid two weeks of headaches, real and 'situationally' created, sleepiness (not a state I'm used to), a side of coughing, and lots of repairmen in and out, out and in. I can't say that I started with a very organized house to begin with, and when moving disorganized projects around, it's hard to find a place to put them, and it's certainly not easy for find a place to put them back. And when I say there have been guys working here, I mean, sometimes two times a day..most days, two a day. My Mom has been a big help on this, but since it is my house, it's ultimately my cleaning, and :gulp: bill. More on that later.
I have a lot of work ahead of me b/c I'm determined to A) Get organized and B) Get off the waiting list for Hoarders. Insert a need to get rid of some stuff. I had my first 'giveaway' last week....drawing was tonight, it was a very serious process. This is a gift I made for Blythe about 15 Blythe gifts ago, and I just don't have the space to store it, or unrealistic expectations that it's all I'll make between now and next year. I will, however, be blogging a week of gifts next week that I'm giving this year (some of the ones I can share at this point, most will have to wait. Next week I'm also taking some of my extra cra(p)fts to work to get rid of them, and when I say 'get rid of' I mean, I'm slapping 50 cents to a few bucks dollar on most of this stuff. What doesn't go, will show up here and be shipped to a house near you real soon. I like the process of creating it, but now...it needs a new home. Here's the first item that's finding a new home:
Umm, and if you've made it this far, and you commented, it was just what the doctor ordered. Most of the comments made me laugh, all gave me warm fuzzies,and it gave me an opportunity to stalk you ;o). I decided less than a year ago to just have a public blog and find imaginary friends on the internet because most of my 'real' life friends weren't really interested in my need to just share, get feedback on,'If a tree falls in a forest...' and unicorn stories via blogland.
...because I take life really seriously, I took this drawing seriously. I got out my Wilton food writing markers and wrote numbers on stale bread. I lined them along a counter straight off of where Max was sleeping (these counters were brought by some workmen over the last few weeks, along with other stuff that was brought/carted away...another blog...another day...).
Next, for the second digit, I called all three over.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I've just spent a week (and then some) blogging about a love of mine....gingerbread. Just because my week is over this won't be the last I blog about gingerbread, in fact, having begun, I could have done a month of projects, but I decided I was even getting on my nerves a little bit. I'm putting all the links here (in no partiuclar order) for my future sanity. All the tutorials, talk, and the secret to life are contained in the attached links...or not.
Mini Gingerbread House Mug Hugger
Gingerbread Scented Playdough
Mini Gingerbread House-On-A-Stick
Felt Gingerbread Playset (and Giveaway)
Scented Gingerbread Garland
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
Laura Ingall's Gingerbread Recipe
Gingerbread Men Crayons
Linking To: Be Different...Act Normal, Tatortots and Jello Sunday Showcase Somewhat Simple
Friday, November 19, 2010
Basically, there is a little printable sheet you can print from her blog, she used a mini gingerbread house kit she has to make it. You roll out your dough (here's my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe), and cut out two of each template.