Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Count down begins... Handmade Holidays

Updates on my Handmade Holiday:
Thanksgiving cooking: I made twice baked potatoes (only one out of 13 exploded in the oven!) but forgot the sour cream at home (note to self: must find something to do with sour cream that I don't ever use) and homemade scalloped potatoes for Thanksgiving as well as the birthday cakes for the November Birthday Girls.

Advent calendar: ACK! I haven't done the advent calendar and there are TWO days until Dec 1 and technically, Advent has already begun!! Gotta get going on that!

Scarf for mom: I've ordered a cashmere silk blend that I'm going to dye to make my mom's scarf

Tree Skirt: This is totally from last year but I need to work on it. I just pulled it out - I have Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus stitched on and the angel tacked on but no shepherds or wisemen... I did redo my patterns and make a new felt board (the roll-up, stiffened felt version got smushed and now the characters don't stick so I backed some felt with the left-over peg-board instead). Here's the new felt board nativity:

Monday, November 14, 2011

I hope my mom doesn't read my blog

I've never asked her if she does or not and I don't promote my posts too often(having a blog where I link back to my shop is all I really want - go SEO!) but since I'm going to be posting about her Christmas present right now, I hope she doesn't!

So HANDMADE HOLIDAY - Mom's Christmas Present... I kind of made her a present last year for this year but I gave it to her for her birthday...

See, she bought a live flower arrangement last year for Christmas and commented that she'd like a silk flower version, so I kept my eye out for silk flower sales and went the first time I saw one so the arrangement was fresh in my mind. There's a candle that goes in the middle too.

So while we were visiting NYC and my sister,

she saw a lovely scarf that she liked on someone else that looks like leaves and it's long. I have a pattern for that! Anyway, I've never done the pattern but I'm going to attempt it... it starts with an iCord...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Handmade Holiday continued

Another part of a Handmade Holiday, let's all face it, is FOOD! I'd like to come out of the holidays skinnier than I went in. Thanksgiving usually isn't a problem since I don't really like the traditional foods so there's not a lot of over-consumption going on there. This year, my parents are between houses so Thanksgiving is being held at my sister's house. Now this sister was never the one to play house or Barbies or anything that involved "domestic engineering", so the deal is that she's a venue. I got assigned birthday cake for our November birthday girls (easy peasy - they want a Carvel cake - eh, handmade only goes so far!) and potatoes. I think I'm going to make a couple of varieties. There's been a request for Au Gratin potatoes and the second is up to me. Mashed potatoes are the go to but not my favorite so I'm testing out recipes on my family.

Test 1 (Nov 9): Hasselback Potatoes
Yeah, I never heard of them either but I'm expanding my horizons with Pinterest. Here's the gist: garlic baked potatoes. These are not my pictures (I kept cutting the ends off - mine were yummy - I had to pick the garlic bits out after cooking for my kids - but I'm not sure I can cut that many potatoes like that for potentially 10 adults and 4 kids)

So this weekend, I have to come up with test 2 (au gratins from scratch?? or just go with twice baked potatoes using muffin tins to keep them standing up?)...and get ready to RUN!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I know I've totally ignored this blog but it's time for HANDMADE HOLIDAYS again!

So, I'm trying to figure out what to do for Thanksgiving (there will be 2 this year) and then Christmas - WHOZZA - Advent starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving so this has to be a priority. Okay, Advent, Advent - what do you do crafty during Advent? Jesse Tree, Advent Calendar (this is such a misnomer - it's just a countdown during December, not the whole of Advent but since Advent isn't a standard number of days, there has to be some concessions made to make it reusable), Handcrafted Christmas...

I found a really fun advent calendar idea here, here, here and here - okay, those that clicked thru, the first 3 are the really similar and that last one was a blatant promo - seems I'm late to the party on this super simple, family-centered, activity-based advent calendar! Here's the deal - you come up with 24 things that you normally do during the Christmas Season, write them down and put them in your advent calendar (the calendar can be as simple as a candy dish with pieces of paper folded up and numbered, handmade with felt and glue or a fancy store-bought drawer set), then, ba-da-bing ba-da-boom, you have a fun advent calendar AND a holiday checklist! So for the hard part - coming up with 24 things that you do (or want to do) with your family during the Christmas Season! Yikes! the obvious - Head to Snickers Gap to get a tree (okay, to get a tree for my sister since I have no room for a real tree and have the best Charlie Brown artificial tree around and it's prelit! but going to a tree farm is a tradition and we always have fun!), Deck the Halls, Make cookies, Take family photo for Christmas card, Do the Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long (note to self: when numbering the to-do list, somethings are on their own schedule and need to be numbered accordingly - this is for Dec 4). Okay, 5 down, 19 more to go... gotta go back and read those blogs for some more ideas... I still don't think that my kids would go without the daily candy so this one looks fun too:

or I could go hybrid like this one

nah - it will either be glittery like the tins or fabric so it can be store easily - decisions, decisions... if I were betting on this, I'd go with fabric!