Friday, December 30, 2011

My Christmas Dress

I'm sorry the picture is blurry and not full length, but this is the Christmas dress I made. I actually started it about 2 weeks before Christmas and (seriously) finished it Christmas Eve morning. It is red crepe-back satin with little silver flecks. It is a very simple princess-line dress with 3/4 sleeves and a v-neck. 
The thing that made me happy about it was that it fit without any alterations. This is the first time that's happened since I can remember. Losing 15 pounds has been a real ego-booster. Now I know I can pretty much make any pattern from this company (sorry I can't find the pattern) in this size (I'll admit it's 16, but in off-the-rack sizes that's like a 12 or 14) and have some success at it. I'd like to start making more of my own clothes again, and it will be nice not to be frustrated!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Okay, not a craft but...

Who could resist a face like this?
My cat Nutmeg wore this hat for about an hour and it didn't seem to bug her. My daughter took this photo with her cell phone! (Okay, photography IS creative.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A gift for a friend

Our friend Patty really loves candles. I've seen some clever votive candle holders made on various blogs with thrift items. I picked up the two glasses (for wine? I'm not sure) at the Salvation Army store for about a dollar. I had some sticky snowflakes that are meant for decorating candles, but never used them. The glitter is from Martha Stewart. I also glittered the bases. I already had the ribbon. So, for less than $5, including the candles, I have a one-of-a-kind gift to give my friend!

Don't you just love the clever ideas that are out there?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fun with a Santa Beard

We went to get our tree tonight. I made a felt Santa beard for Katherine, who had a lot of fun with it! BTW, I have deleted the site where the pattern for this is, so if you know of it, please lmk and I will give credit and a link!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Matching Gift Tags

Gift tags made to match gift wrap are so cute, aren't they? (And pricey, IMHO!)
 But it you are like me, and most of your gift wrap is clearance stuff you put away last year, you probably don't have matching tags. Here is an easy solution!

You always have to trim off some of the 'wrinkled, ripped end' (after all, the paper's been sitting up in the attic for almost a year) to make the package look nice. What you do is to cut around the motifs on that 'throwaway' piece.

You aren't using the paper itself for the tags! It would be too flimsy. Instead, place them on the scanner bed of your printer. I'd cut as close to the motif as possible (unless the background is white) so you aren't wasting ink on something you're going to cut off later. I know you could cut around exactly, but who wants to do that fussy cutting twice? 

Load your printer with white cardstock and make copies! Then cut out, punch a whole, and string with ribbon. Done! Or really go to town and add some glitter! (How much would you pay for those?)

Oh, sorry there are no pictures. Obviously, gift wrap is copyrighted material. While I doubt anyone from Hallmark is looking at my blog, I don't want them to get mad that I didn't spend a few dollars on two cents worth of paper tags.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another Cookie Recipe

 (This is also a reprint from my old blog. I thought about it 'cause I made up the dough today.)


1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 Cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Colored sugar for decorating

In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
Fill cookie press and press dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Decorate, then bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown.
Cool on a wire rack, then enjoy or freeze for later.

Now, my hint: get some zipper type bags and measure out your flour, baking powder and salt. Label the bag! Do this for any cookies you plan to make, and you will have all your messy dry mixes ('cause you know flour makes a mess) ready when you want to bake. You can use quart-size bags to measure out your sugars, too, and put this right down into the flour bag. Another mess taken care of ahead of time!

And another hint: use your weekly 40% off coupon for Michael's or A.C. Moore or Joanne's and get yourself a good cookie press if you don't have one. Wilton makes a nice one. Trust me on this, you want a decent toy to play with, not some piece of junk that is hard to 'press' and will only frustrate you. Consider it an investment! Oh, and something else: I had a battery operated cookie press and hated it. You had to squeeze it really hard, so what was the point of the batteries? Go for the old-fashioned, non-electronic, squeezey handle one!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Favorite Cookie Recipe

 Truly one of the most delicious and easy cookies, ever! I have also heard them called Butternut Balls and Mexican Wedding Cakes.


Butter Nut Cookies

1 Cup of butter(please don't use margarine--ick!)
1/4 Cup of sugar
2 Cups of flour
1 Tablespoon (yes, that's a Tablespoon) vanilla
1 1/2 Cups of chopped nuts--I like walnuts, but pecans would do if you can swing them
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (Yes, that's 300, not 350.) Cream the butter. Add everything else except the powdered sugar. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut. Put on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes.
Let them cool until you can handle them (they'll still be a little warm) and then roll them in the powdered sugar.


PS--if you ever read my old blog, "Sorta Frugal," this is a copy and paste from that. But yummy is worth repeating!