Saturday, December 26, 2009

See you next year! (wink wink)

We have family in town and then we're off to our favorite little cabin in the woods for New Years! I've spent the last 25 posts learning how to post, link, upload, import, export, and more! Looking forward to the new year and getting things started - more posts on collage, tutorials, opening my etsy shoppe, learning all kinds of computer goodness.

Warmest wishes for a safe and happy new year! xo

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Merry!

Oh come let us adore Him.

Wishing you peace and health and kindness and joy.
Merry Christmas, from our family to yours... xo

Monday, December 21, 2009

The stockings were hung...

Four days to go! xo

Saturday, December 19, 2009

How very sacred is the making...

(These mini-masterpieces will be adhered to kraft-covered Moleskines for family gifts.)

Happy Saturday! xo

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kid-pleasing candies! (or, if it looks like a plant...)

Today I'm sharing one of our favorite, "sure thing" recipes. Candies made from the above: square pretzels, Hershey's kisses and M&Ms.
First, spread the pretzels in a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides (to keep them in - this is a kid-friendly recipe). Unwrap the Kisses and put one on top of each pretzel - kids love doing this. The fact that all three of my kids have their hands in this photo, so they all three could be included was not planned or staged at, no, not at all.
Next, put the cookie sheet in a preheated 225 degree oven for three minutes. (Once you make this once, you'll know exactly how long it takes...sometimes it's 2-and-a-half minutes, sometimes it's 3-and-a-quarter minutes.) You want the Kiss to melt just enough so that you can press the M&M easily into the Kiss, but not so melted that the chocolate leaks through to the bottom of the pretzel. Like I said, once you're doing it, this will make sense.
Take the tray out of the oven and push an M&M into each piece. The tray is not too hot, but it's hot enough that you should warn the children making these with you. Then make trays and trays more, and let sit (loosely covered) overnight. We of course were too disorganized the next morning to take pictures of the partaking...but know that one bag of each of the ingredients makes PLENTY for two classroom parties (or many teachers' gifts).

Next year at this time I WILL have an art project that includes re-purposing all that silver from the Kisses.

The "if it looks like a plant" title is because my dear friend Karen left me my one and only comment in my blog (love you Karen) and she wrote it as if she had just stumbled upon goodnessrecycled and was completely delighted! But in truth, her comment was planted here. And today feels like the perfect time to "fess up" because this recipe is hers, and I learned to make this after sitting in her kitchen for a decadent afternoon while she made it with her three kids.

One week until Christmas. I myself need to walk-the-walk here, but may we all stay balanced, grounded, and thankful. Life is indeed such a sweet sweet gift! xo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gnome Home - Part Deux

My gnome home knit up so easily and felted so beautifully, I could not believe it! And now I'm frozen a bit with "artist's block" - I don't want to cut into it and mess it up! Here is a close up of the roof. I still need to embellish it with embroidery flowers, etc. I used the "I Love This Wool!" yarn for the grass (purists, please skip this next sentence). The yarn has acrylic in it, but I love how it felted - to me it actually looks like grass because it didn't "fuzz up" all the way.
(Purists, please join us again here...) I am committed to finishing the house with 100 wool felt - I found a dealer (yes, I meant to use the word "dealer" because 100 percent wool felt is expensive and once you have a little, you just want more and more) and will be embarking on the journey to make that purchase Saturday morning.

Then my artist's block needs to take a hike. To my knowledge there is no gnome architectural review board who will criticize my work. And the recipient is five. He's going to love it no matter what! xo

P.S. My oldest son was hilarious last night, pretending he was French. Our dinner guests even asked if he was taking French lessons at school. Today's title is just a little tribute to his sense of humor!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vintage recipe - scented cinnamon ornaments

I was trying to find a favorite recipe to send off to my swap partner, and I found this gem. This is my mom's handwriting, and this is a recipe that she made with me and my sibs, and I have made with my own kids. It's basically applesauce mixed with glue that is then rolled, cut with cookie cutters and threaded with beautiful ribbon.

Viola! Ornaments! xo
[click on the picture to see it bigger!]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So there you have it...

Above is the beginnings of my ornament for Meg's Holiday Traditions Swap. I'm finally ready to start showing all the "recycled" my house can hold...look closely at the picture. Do you see that darling ornament casing with the beautiful gold ribbon at the top? Let's look a little closer...

Yep...there it is.

Just a little closer... (oh, and why don't we flip it over.)

It's not an ornament casing at all...
It's a recycled chocolate holder for some candies left in my husband's hotel room when once upon a business trip! I LOVE repurposing things (and of course all the magazine clippings are recycled as well), and THIS (+ collage) is what I hope becomes the focus of this blog!

Happy Wednesday! xo

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

To felt a bowl...

Here is my first (to be of many) knitted bowl. I threw a clementine in there for size reference. I love felting! First I felted my gnome home, (photos coming soon) and it was knit using Cascade 220 yarn. Then I felted this bowl - it was knit with Lambs Pride yarn. It felted fine, but when I make another one, I will switch to smaller needles for the top - I'm worried the top is a little too loose. I've felted it three times in my washer, so I think it's done. The gnome home is bigger, but I felt like it felted better and is more solid in construction.

Also, the sisters at duofiberworks recommend using a shaver to take the fuzzies off felted creations. I tried this with little (no) success. This bowl is pretty fuzzy (see photo 2), but scissors worked quite effectively in my opinion!

I have my holiday traditions swap due, and I'm collaging all week with my daughter's class, so more to come! Fun fun! xo

Monday, December 7, 2009

No carrot, no photo

It is a dreary, but not too cold, cloudy cloudy day here in St. Louie. I was hoping to post a picture of the knitted bowl I made this weekend. The gnome home is progressing, my to do list is being marked off and extended at about the same that's pretty good I guess?

I didn't earn the carrot of starting my orange hat, but I didn't throw the weekend away either. Tomorrow I meet with our realtor to walk through the house and get more lists made. Then it's back to crafty goodness by Wednesday at the latest!

Promise! xo

Friday, December 4, 2009

Call it a carrot...

This delicious yarn is my inspiration for the weekend. IF I make headway on several holiday gifts and projects by Monday, I will begin to knit this hat (the "Jane" hat) for myself. (Thanks Meg for the inspiration!)

Tomorrow I'm heading to a friend's house at 8:30 a.m. to get started. I'm going to work all day until I have at least one or two handmade gifts done. And I'll probably address envelopes so I can sit mindlessly and gab for a bit as well.

I wasn't trying to post everyday in December, but I'm enjoying this (and learning to appreciate photography - it took 30+ photos of the ball of yarn above to get this quasi-ok-maybe-mediocre appreciation of staging is renewed!). I'll be back Monday!

Happy weekends all! xo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fickle Thursday

So one my challenges during the holidays is trying to stay calm, focused, balanced. I am wayyyyyyyyyyy too fickle! One minute I can feel completely blanketed in the season, and the next I am completely frazzled and scattered. And by "frazzled and scattered," I mean bitchy and martyr-y. (I do love how the blogging community uses artistic wording to soften the maybe authentic truth from time to time, so that was my attempt to join in! hee hee!)
Case in point. Last night I got to take this wreath making class 40 minutes outside the city in this beautiful cabin, while it was snowing. Yes, snowing. My friend and I stood in front of a fire that was in a fireplace whose opening was taller than we were, and we made wreaths with all natural objects that were provided to us en masse. (Blog lesson: bring camera everywhere...the diversity of foliage was incredible.) It was a heavenly evening and one I will always remember. Then I came home, then I couldn't sleep (David's out of town) and then we all overslept this morning. Holiday cheer gone. Shame on me.
But now I'm feeling better. Taking a minute to blog, taking a minute to own the truth (that I'm imperfect...that I'm human), taking a minute to be thankful. Deep breath.

That's all it takes usually...just a minute of thankfulness.

Happy Fickle Thursday from me and Hunter, resident friend and guard dog! xo

P.S. I wasn't able to photograph the balls sticking out from my wreath in the way I wanted to. I don't even know what they are called, but I'm hoping they look somewhat Seussical to my kiddos when they get home this afternoon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Handmade! WIP #1

I was so delighted to find this "gnome home" pattern from duofiberworks! It is just so dear! And I'm planning to finish it for a Christmas gift for my youngest, who is currently in a Waldorf kindergarten.

The sisters at duofiberworks are offering a free pattern for their knitted gnome children on their website today. Katie has made a set of these and plans to bring one out for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

Lovely, lovely, lovely. So much lovely in the world! xo

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Woo hoo!

I now know how to make a header! I'm am small step for blogland (if even), one giant step for my creative spirit! Now we'll see if I can translate this new skill to the sidebar and/or my etsy shoppe!

Happy December! Posts with photos coming soon! xo