Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Handmade Holidays Part 2

Handmade Holidays Part 2

My husband has been working all day on a burst pipe in our basement. The pipe goes to my kitchen and I haven't been able to wash dishes or cook since yesterday. The kitchen is looking like a disaster as all the dirty dishes pile up. I am giving him one more hour then hauling dishes to the very small bathroom sink for some hand washing.

I had to share these adorable blankets I made. I got the blankets from Old Navy for $3 each!!! I thought it would be cute to add a little embellishments to give them to each of my children.

I added some felted sweater scraps, buttons, and funky sewing to give them a little more character. I am thinking I might have to go and buy a few more and make some Valentine gifts with the red blankets.

These cute trains are from my 8 year old son for his little brother. He his brother's favorite train cookie cutters and cut the shapes out of clay I fired for him and he painted with acrylic paints. We put twine through the holes so they can be hung on the Christmas tree and connected to each other.

This is a picture of the trillion ceramic pendants I made. I fell in love with all of them but now they are wrapped up and on their way to their new homes. :)

Hopefully I have my kitchen soon. I wanted to get a jump on some holiday baking for tomorrow.

Handmade Christmas

I am so proud of my family we did it!!!! We made all our gifts for family, friends, and teachers completely ourselves. I was wondering if we were going to make it because a few of my children got sick this past week.

With many crafting evenings we pulled it off. Teachers got handmade ornaments and homemade orange marmalade. Friends got gifts of goodies (divinity, fudge, cookies). And family got an array of paintings, ornaments, jewelry, sewn items, and whatever we could dream up.

We really had a great time and lots of family bonding. My children are so excited for everyone to open their handmade gifts. I swear they are more excited over everyone seeing their handiwork then they are of opening their own gifts.

I need to take a picture of my studio to show the destruction our crafting spree made. It is going to take me a long time to get it back in order.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Flower Fairy Ornament


Flower Fairy Ornament


We are making these adorable Flower Faeries for the Girl Scout Christmas meeting today. My daughter and I made 6 of them in no time at all and had so much fun. We then packaged up all the supplies to take to the Girl Scout party today for the girls to make them. They are super cute and addicting to make. I will try and get a picture of the girls and their flower faeries.

I got the instructions from Maize Hutton here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snowmen Cupcakes

Snowmen Cupcakes!

I found these on food gawker and knew they would be perfect for a school treat to celebrate the twins birthday. The kids just loved them. And they were fairly simple unless you are injured like I was. LOL!!

I got a huge splinter all the way under my fingernail that had to be removed in the ER. It was awful and hurt so much. I would show a picture but it was really horrible. My finger is still numb!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Trip to NYC!

11th Day of Christmas

We went to NYC yesterday to see the tree Rockefeller, Christmas lights, holiday windows, and Times Square. We do this every year and love it. Yesterday was cold but not unbearably cold. We were layered and did lots of walking.

Chloe said all the walking is good for our "buns and thighs" in her cutest accent.

We ate lunch at the cellar in Macy's. It was a wonderful day.



Window at Macy's

The ceiling in Saks!
Rockefeller Tree. It was so crowded you couldn't hardly get near the tree.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to my babies!



12th Day of Christmas

My twins turned 8 today!! I cannot believe they are 8 already. It feels like yesterday they were just 2.

We had a wonderful day celebrating and playing. On their birthdays they get to pick what they want to have for dinner. Noah wanted Hot Wings (my whole house smells like hot wings) and Chloe wanted Nachos.

Then they picked their cakes. Noah picked a cheese cake, Chloe picked Brownies. So we all have ingestion. But they are very happy.

Then we bundled up for the holiday light parade in Millerton, NY. The kids rode on the wagon for the Cub Scouts. It was a whopping 19 degrees tonight. We all had on so many layer of clothes we could hardly move. They had such a great time with big chilly grins on their face.


The cub scouts are dressed as toy soldiers. They all looked so cute. The surrounding fire departments put lights all over their engines and drive in the parade also.

Happy Birthday Noah and Chloe!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crochet Scarf and Snow Day


12th Day of Christmas

We had a snow day today so my plans for the day got a little changed, but for the better. We started the day off with these amazing Breakfast muffins from a new cookbook from Grandma.

Then the rest of the day was watching Christmas movies, making more ornaments and crocheting a scarf for a gift.


I have one more ball of this amazing handmade yarn to make another scarf. I love this scarf! It is extra long and so colorful. I was able to purchase the yarn and the NY Sheep and Wool festival this year. I sure wish I had bought more.

The scarf was super simple to make with just a repeating triple crochet. Perfect for moving watching and finished in just a few hours.




Thursday, December 11, 2008

Handmade Ornaments for Kids

11th Day of Christmas

Each year my children and I make lots of handmade ornaments. Sometimes daddy joins in the fun when he can sneak away from work. We started making ornaments yesterday and hope to make many more before Christmas.

I thought I would share some great places and ideas to find ornaments to make with children.

Family Fun Website (I love this site, all ideas come with instructions and pictures)

We made these snowflakes and hung them from the dining room light. Ours are quite as perfect as these ones but still adorable. Click on the image to go to the instructions.

Cinnamon Ornaments
We are doing these tonight. They make the whole house smell like cinnamon.



Santa Claus Clothspin Ornament

Better Homes and Garden always has some great ornament ideas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Handmade Gifts under $10

10th Day of Christmas

There is still plenty of time to give a handmade gift. I thought I would list some great ideas for gifts under $10 each. And the best part is many of them you can make with children.


  1. Gifts in a jar. Check out these recipes with printable gift tags. They have cookies, muffins, soups, and my favorite Chai Tea.
    Recipes
  2. Solid Perfume
  3. Reusable Shopping Bag Lazy Girl has a one hour, one yard bag.




4. Sock Monkey or Sock Dog from Handmade by Jill

5. Crochet a skinny scarf in an afternoon. I just finished an adorable one while waiting for my children and there many activities. I haven't gotten a chance to take a pic yet.

6. I just watched the new Martha Stewart episode with an adorable child's pull toy. There isn't a picture but trust me they are super adorable.

I will add more to this list as I think of more.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Stockings

9th Day of Christmas
I am making my children new Christmas stockings this year. I always make them something special just from me and the stockings I made 5 years ago are looking a little ragged. One year the little ones were wearing them on their feet as "stockings". They are such goofballs!!!

I have been searching for inspiration and thought I would share what I have found.








Click on the image to see where I found these Christmas stockings.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Handmade Perfume

8th Day of Christmas

Yesterday was the perfect cold winter day to stay inside with a nice cup of tea and make perfume. My daughter and I gathered all our supplies to make our own custom perfumes. This is a very simple project and perfect for gift giving.

Chloe mixed and smelled to create a unique perfume scent to give to her girlfriends. She named her custom scent Cookie. She mixed vanilla, pear, and mandarin orange. I think she is going to have to make me one also. I just loved how it smelled. We are working on her labels tonight after her homework.

I mixed a unique scent for a each of my girlfriends and named them after the person I am giving them to.

Solid Custom Perfume


( I didn't put the pictures of the actual perfume since they have the names of my friends. I didn't want to give the surprise away. :) Using these cute lip balm containers makes putting on your new perfume so fun and simple.)

Here are the supplies you will need:

1 Tablespoon Beeswax pellets (order them online or at a craft store)
1 Tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil
Fragrance Oils ( I use these over essential oils. They are less expensive and safe for my daughter to handle. Please read the cautions when handling essential oils.)
Containers
Toothpicks

I order my supplies here. They ship very quickly and have great prices. Read their resource section for some great recipes for other great gift ideas.

Getting Started:
  1. Mix the beeswax and sweet almond oil in a glass dish. Heat until beeswax is liquid. I do this in the microwave in 15 second intervals.
  2. Place 10-15 drops of fragrance oil into your liquid and stir with a toothpick. Mix your favorite scents to create the perfect perfume.
  3. When you have the perfect scent pour into your containers and let sit for an hour. I find that this recipe makes 2 1/2 ounce perfumes.
  4. Create a label and you are done!!!!
Some of my favorite combinations:
Ginger with Eucalyptus
Vanilla with a citrus
Jasmine and vanilla
And LAVENDER!!!

If you don't want to make your own. Check out these on Etsy.





Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Photos

7th Day of Christmas


It snowed for the first time this season and it is beautiful outside. I have been busy finishing the decorating. I wanted to get some holiday photos of my kids but it is so COLD outside I cannot get myself out the door to take some snow pictures. So I took a few around the tree. I wasn't able to corner my oldest child for a photo yet.

My husband is going to put together individual photo albums for each of the kids as his gift to them this holiday. I load the images to photobucket and he selects the ones he wants printed to put in their album. Even daddy is required to make all handmade gifts.





Saturday, December 6, 2008

Craft Show Today

I am off to do a craft show today. I do it every year and it is tons of fun. So if you are in Millbrook, NY you have to check it out.

6th Day of Christmas

I am cheating and sharing a favorite website of mine today. Wee Folk Art




Don't you just love these cute Gnomes and Trees. I have got to make them this year.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lavender Chocolate Kisses

Lavender Chocolate Kisses

5th Day of Christmas

I promise this is my last lavender project of the holiday. I found this amazing recipe from the place I buy my lavender from. It is simply divine. And now I have used my entire stock of lavender up with wonderful projects.

I am putting together a gift baskets with the lavender bath bags, lavender dream pillow, and now the chocolates.

I did the entire basket with for under $10 a basket. A wonderful beautiful gift and very economcal.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lavender Dream Pillow

4th Day of Christmas
Handmade Lavender Dream Pillow




I was on a roll with my lavender bath bags and made Lavender Dream Pillow for my girlfriends. The pillows are filled with organic flax seed and organic lavender. They feel so wonderful resting on your eyes at the end of a long day. The lavender and cool weight of the flax seed make all the stresses of the day just drift away.

I added in 1 cup of flax seed and 4 Tablespoons of lavender.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Herbal Bath Tea Bags - Gift Idea


3rd Day of Christmas
I am busy making those handmade gifts for everyone. My goal this year is to go 100% handmade and to use supplies that I already have on hand.
Bath Tea Bags


A bath tea bag is perfect for those wonderful soakings. The stress of the world will just go away. The perfect gift for your girlfriends. And truly an economical gift idea.

Lavender Bath Bag:

1/2 cup lavender (I use wonderful organic lavender)
1 cup epsom salt
Tea Bags (I purchase mine from FNWL 50 for only $6.75)

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Add in a few spoonfuls to each bag and heat seal them close with your iron. Put a few of your newly create bath bags in a gift bag or box. I like to add a tag with instructions.


I put 2 of the bags in a cute hand stamped muslin bag with a tag. The tag has directions for use on it.



Additional recipes

Lavender Oatmeal Bath:

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup dried lavender

Lavender Oatmeal Milk Bath:

  • 1/2 cup powdered milk (or the milk bath starter recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender

Rosemary Oatmeal Bath Tea

  • 1/2 cup Oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup Rosemary (dried)
  • 1/4 cup Chamomile (tea is fine)

Monday, December 1, 2008

2nd Day of Christmas

My daughter and I are going to our first cookie swap tonight. I have always wanted to participate in a cookie swap. The rules said we had to bring 6 dozen cookies. 5 for swapping and 1 for tasting. YIKES!!

I don't think I have ever made 6 dozen cookies at one time. I wanted to have a simple cookie and yet bring something that no one else would be bringing. So the Brownie Truffle was invented.

I borrowed the idea from Bakerella's cupcake on a stick. I had made the cupcakes on a stick for a Girl Scout Halloween party and the girls went crazy over them. This time I have changed it a little for the Christmas holiday.

Here is where you can find her recipe. You have got to check out her website it will have you drooling. I love her turkey pops. I heard a rumor she will be writing a book.

Here is my version.

Brownie Truffles



Brownie Mix (cook as directed for 13 x 9 pan of brownies)
Softened Cream Cheese (room temperature)
Chocolate chips (I like dark chocolate)

  1. After the brownies have cooked and cooled, crumble in a large bowl.
  2. Add in the softened room temperature cream cheese and blend together. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer.
  3. Form the mixture into walnut size balls, placing them on wax paper.


  4. Once you have all your balls made you will put them in the freezer till firm.
  5. Melt chocolate chips or dipping chocolate.
  6. Using a toothpick dip the balls into the chocolate placing them on wax paper when done. Decorate with sprinkles.
  7. Place back in the freezer to firm them up again.


    I covered them in a toffee chocolate, dark chocolate, and a butterscotch chips.
These taste so rich you will swear they are truffles. When you are short on time these are super simple to put together. Perfect for those last minute goodies and they look and taste like you slaved away.

25 Days of Christmas

I am completely addicted to all things Christmas!!! I love the corny Christmas movies, holiday music, crowded malls, making holiday candy, decorating, and of course handmade gifts.

I thought this year I would try and post everyday for the next 25 days some of my favorite things (crafts, ornament making, recipes, and handmade gifts) about the holidays.

1st Day of Christmas



Making Orange Marmalade for family and friends. My son and I did this last year and everyone loved it so much we decided we need to make another batch again this year. Oranges are a little expensive this year but I found some nice ones on sale.

I love how the whole house smells like oranges and lemons while you are cooking. Orange marmalade is not as complicated to make as you might think.

Ingredients

  • 10 oranges (peels thinly sliced, pulp chopped)
  • 3 lemons thinly sliced
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 7 cups Sugar

Directions

  1. Add water to fruit and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Cover and let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place.
  3. Cook rapidly until peel is tender, about 1 hour.
  4. Measure fruit and liquid.
  5. Alternate sugar with each cup of fruit mixture.
  6. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  7. Cook rapidly, about 25 minutes.
  8. When mixture begins to thicken, stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  9. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
  10. Adjust caps.
  11. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.