Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The famous wrist warmers

Here is proof I really did finish the wrist warmers I've been making for Katherine forrreeever.

She really likes them, and they actually match a beret I made for her last year. I told her she might get a scarf next year, LOL!

I asked her, "that doesn't mean something obscene does it?" (Regarding the gesture.)

She said, "naaah, it's East Side."

The East Side of what...I did not ask.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

Here I am in my vest. Everyone thought it was pretty. I honestly finished it about an hour before the party started.

Our get-together was a great success. Our friends and neighbors really liked my hors d'oeuvres (sp?) and Mike's scungilli and sauce was a big hit.

The kids gave me some nice things: a gorgeous pen with a barrel full of Swarovski (sp? again) crystals, a Jeopardy! game for my Wii and they will take me to get a new lounge chair. I'm so happy--mine is falling apart and really hurts my back when I sit in it. They figured it would be better to have me try it out, and I agree. (Mike and I exchange gifts Christmas morning--next blog post.)

Our guests brought some nice gifts and goodies, too. I have way too much yummy stuff in the house--a lot of it will go into the freezer. I didn't get on the Wii on Christmas day, but I did use it Christmas Eve.

Will blog again soon...about Christmas and the quiet day afterward when there was nothing to do but snuggle inside and listen to the blizzard that's hitting us. (Typing this Dec 26, btw)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Outfit 98% finished

Here are some pics of the vest I've been working on, with the blouse I bought. I will wear it with the darker blue side out on Christmas Eve. As you can see, I did not put buttons on it. I want it to be reversible. I think the upper version would be nice to wear either to work or out with Mike when I don't want to get overly dressed up.

Come to think of it, I never get overly dressed up!

BTW, the 2% left is to just close up the opening at the hem where I turned the whole thing inside out. I might put a silver ribbon on it to tie it closed, but that's not a definite.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A little ornament

Here is a simple ornament I made a few days ago. I threaded some beads with wire through an empty thread spool. I tore fabric into a strip and cut it to fit around the spool, then used some of the strip for a bow and a hanger. If you can see a little bit of silver at the top of the spool, that is part of a jewelry finding that is some kind of closure for a necklace or bracelet. I've got all this jewelry-making stuff I never use so it puts it to good use.

I cut a picture out of my oldest son when he was about 18 months old. All this is stuck with glue dots, but you could probably use a glue stick or just plain tacky glue.

You could probably figure out a version of this for kids to make, too. It goes together very quickly!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A few lessons learned

1. While it is a great idea to premix your dry ingredients and keep them in labeled bags, it is NOT a good idea to mix brown sugar with cookies. I needed to mix crushed Nillas with brown sugar and butter for the bottom of toffee bars. When I went to get the mix, the brown sugar had turned hard as a rock overnight. At least I hadn't yet blended it together so it was pretty easy to remove all the sugary boulders.

2. Just because a pan seems to be 9x13 doesn't mean it is. It is a good idea to measure your pans ahead of time. I put my cookie/brown sugar/butter crust in a pan I thought was the right size and it was too big. Probably 11 by 18? So I had these big gaps and not enough 'base' to hold the toffee layer. Therefore, my toffee did not break into nice chunks. In fact, it is very crumbly.

3. Crumbly toffee tastes really good.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cookies yet again

I made some eggnog cookies this weekend. They are from the "Butterscotch Eggnog Stars" recipe but since they have neither butterscotch nor star-shapes I renamed them. I tried to get the link but apparently you need a code to get to that part of the site. I would bet there are a lot of eggnog cookie recipes on line, though!

The goat, horse and dove cookie cutters came from a local thrift store years ago. I want to set them apart from my sugar cookies so I plan to ice them rather than using colored sugar. I think they'll look cute, but right now they're in the freezer.

I hope to get several more kinds of cookies done this week. I was going to make toffee yesterday but my daughter still has my 9x13 pan. It had lasagna in it, a gift for my future s-i-l. I have to call her so she can bring it by before work today. She goes in at 1. At least I already have my ingredients mixed and ready to go!

Christmas is less than 2 weeks away...aaaggh!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Gift Made

When I was a little kid, I just loved miniature versions of 'real' items. It was fun pretending to be a grownup and playing 'house.' Does anyone play 'house' any more?

I bought a huge box of grocery toys on the after-clearance rack at Target last January. There are about 100 pieces of various food, including the cute brand-name ones you see above. It cost me about $3.

I don't know any parent that would appreciate having to pick up 100 little toys, so I'm dividing it up. I made one grocery bag and filled it for the kids at work.

This one is for a little girl who just turned 3. Her aunt is my daughter's maid of honor and her mom is a bride's maid. I have babysat both Julianna and her cousin Angelina over the years.

The bag was super simple. You just need 2 pieces of felt. I cut about an inch off the top of each piece which I used for the handles. The bag is simply sewn on 3 sides, with the bottoms squared off.

All told this cost less than $2 to make, but I think Julie will enjoy 'shopping' for her pretend groceries!

Monday, December 6, 2010

More cookie dough

Today I mixed up dough for Butterscotch Eggnog stars. Actually, they won't be stars. The idea is to cut a smaller star out of a bigger one, then fill the opening with chopped up butterscotch candy. Then it melts and you get a stained glass effect. Very pretty, except I don't have two different star-shaped cookie cutters that fit together. And I really never have much luck with those 'stained glass' cookies, anyway. So I'm going to make any shape I want--maybe a bunch of angels--then I'm just going to sprinkle chopped up candy on top and press it in while it's still warm. I think that could work. I might also do regular colored sugar. The dough is really delicious, you can really taste the eggnog.

Now, did you ever have something to do that is so stuck in your head that later, after you've done a bunch of other things, you are convinced you did it already? I had Light Karo syrup on my shopping list and I would swear I bought it. So I went to make Salted Peanut Rolls this morning and couldn't find the stuff, anywhere. Now I'm not so sure I did get it--unless it rolled under the car seat. But then, I couldn't use it if it's been out in the cold anyway. So all I did this morning was make the base for the cookies--crushed up peanut butter sandwich cookies mixed with butter then pressed into a pan. Sort of like a graham-cracker crust.

Oh, well, at least I have all the ingredients ready to go when I do either find, or buy, that syrup!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I've been working on a lot of projects lately. Here are some hats I've recently crocheted.

Mr. Bunny and Liony-Piony are wearing my own creations, made from scrap yarn. Bun's hat would fit an adult and Lion's hat is sized for a child. Liony-Piony was not too happy when I woke him up to model (yes, he sleeps--he even snores) but, being a cub, he doesn't have much of a roar yet.

Mr. Bear is wearing a creation from called "Snowy Ridges." This is also adult-sized. Here's the link if you want to make it:

In the cooking/baking department, I mixed up the dough for spritz cookies yesterday. That is a project for this week. Today I made Swedish Meatballs--emphasis on the 'ish.' I did not have some of the ingredients so I'm hoping the sauce (which I'll make closer to Christmas Eve) will make them taste right. Mainly, I was missing allspice and cream. Not sure if the allspice is necessary. I just subbed cream cheese for the cream. We'll see how it goes. They sure smell good!