Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

8 Months to Christmas! Kick into Gear!

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With the start of the summer, comes outdoor activities, less crafting time and more heat!  Smaller projects are a virtue during the summer, so that you don't overheat.  This is the time of the year to make hats, mittens, socks, and all those other small projects!  That isn't saying that you shouldn't work on blankets, especially if you live somewhere that you have cool nights!  I myself have switched to working motifs for blankets since it's getting warmer!
Well, without further ado, welcome to May!  May should be a big time for finalizing portions of your list and knocking out a couple of projects!  Trust me, you'll feel better if you do!  Time to review our lists!

Here's how mine looks after April's work:

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee  -   Shawl like black and white one/snowflake  
Striker – single serving treats/pies in jars/something food/hotpads/snowflake {blanket 2013}
Lily – tiny animals, totoro set, a bed sized blanket/snowflake
Lucy – animals, aquabats anything, TMBG dolls, bed sized blanket/snowflake
MIL - snowflake/hotpads/socks{blanket 2012}
SIL - cowl/snowflake {blanket 2013}
Linney – socks/mittens/snowflake(something knit)
Hubs -  Extra big & long blanket/sampler style?

Would like to craft for:
Aud - snowflake/hotpads (something knit)
Kynz - fingerless mitts
Efan -  Creeper hat
Humph - mittens/cardi?
Shep - hat?
V -  snowflake/horse something?
FIL – Green Bay Packers Blanket/club covers?
STLM - club covers? {blanket 2013}
GGJ- Snowflake/hotpads
Soo- Snowflake/hotpads

In Progress:
club covers
sock testing
cowl for SIL
Testing for socks and mittens
Testing for blanket designs for the girls

Designs to do:

All snowflakes for misc people

All of the items that are stricken out are finished, the blue highlighted items are in progress, the green highlighted items are ones that I have something in mind and the yellow highlighted items are in the planning phase.  As you can see, I've finished some of the bulk work that I wanted to do and have made some headway on both testing and work on projects for people.  I've also worked on refining my list to pinpoint people that I have figured out or ones that I need to work on ideas for them.  This month, my goal is to finish off the two projects that I currently have in progress and work towards the designs for several others.  

Goals for May: 

Pin down the final designs for all remaining people that you haven't started projects for.
Finish at least one small project and work on a larger project.
Be able to cross at least one person off your list!

As a bonus, here are some quick and easy projects that you can try to cross some people off your crafting list!

Lace Scallop Hat (Knit)

Unforgettable Hat (Crochet)

Sifu Soap Sachet and Scrubbie

Soft and Sweet Heart Sachet
Bulky Stacked Shell Cowl
Luxe Cowl

There's some quick and easy projects to get you started.  Here is hoping you can finish a project or two this month!!!  

(Oh and hey, shouldn't I get props for being on time this month??  *bows*)

9 Months to Christmas- Craft your way to a Happy Holiday! April's goals!

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April's Goals are the most simple of them all.  Hopefully you've started on your big item (or at least one of the items on your list), and maybe you've even finished something!  I am halfway done with one present and have been testing things for another.  You'll want to come back to your list again and look and see if any of your ideas have changed.  Here is my list (with updates and more comments!)

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee  -   Shawl like black and white one/ oval doily/ bath stuff/snowflake {blanket 2012}
Striker – single serving treats/pies in jars/something food/hotpads? {blanket 2013}
Lily – tiny animals, totoro set, a bed sized blanket
Lucy – animals, aquabats anything, TMBG dolls, bed sized blanket
MIL - snowflake/hotpads/socks{blanket 2012}
SIL - cowl/snowflake/hotpads/socks {blanket 2013}
Linney – socks/mittens?(something knit)
Hubs -  Extra big & long blanket/sampler style?

Would like to craft for:
Aud - snowflake/hotpads/socks (something knit)
Kynz - fingerless mitts
Efan -  Creeper hat
Humph - socks/mittens/cardi?
Shep - hat?
V -  horse something?
FIL – Green Bay Packers Blanket?
STLM - club covers? {blanket 2013}
GGJ- Snowflake/hotpads
Soo- Snowflake/hotpads

As you can see, I've added more "bulk creation" items (where i can make similar "copies" of an item for ease of gifting).  

I have a collection of snowflakes that I had been working on in my spare time, so this seems like a good year to give them out- so they've been added to my list, and hotpads are super easy- I love this vintage thick and easy potholder and all of my giftees love them too!

While I can't totally cross anyone off of my list yet, I've got a good start and lots of testing going.  I'm hoping this month to finish at least one project, sort through my snowflakes, and complete some testing/begin crafting on tested works.

Your goals for April are:

1) continue working on projects that you started in March.
2) test what you need to to prepare for work
3) work even more on finalizing your list
4) Finish at least one project, no matter how small- Just so you can have the pleasure of marking one thing off your list!!

Scouting Sunday #15: St. Patrick's Day Treats

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Hello and welcome back to another Scouting Sunday, where I find and bring you some of my favorite things from around the web.  This week we'll be talking about St. Patrick's Day Treats!
  If you're a blogger and you've been "Scouted" be sure to grab a button at the bottom to put on your blog or post!

Let's jump right in and start with some awesome looking green cupcakes!

Key Ingredient brings us these St. Patrick's Day Green Cupcakes
Also try these Shamrock Milkshake cupcakes!

Shamrock Milkshake Cupcakes at Better Homes and Gardens
Or make a cupcake rainbow!!!!!!!
 If you're a fan of leprechaun traps, you'll LOVE this cake!
Leprechaun trap cake
Your kids will also love these little mini pizzas!  Try making clovers from mini pepperonis!

Mini Pizzas

  If you're a blogger and you've been "Scouted" be sure to grab a button at the bottom to put on your blog or post!

This Crafting Life

Halloween Look Book 2012

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It's September, and in my world, that means it's almost holiday season!  It's time to start planning what crafts we'll be doing, when we'll fit them into our busy schedules and for me to judge how much energy I have for making Halloween costumes and Christmas gifts.  Last year, for Halloween, we made Shrunken Apple Heads and Decoupage Jar Candles.  For Christmas, we went all out and made a ton of "Food in a Jar", along with a Naughty and Nice themed Christmas that featured said food in a jar, a homemade washcloth or potholder (crochet) and some had some nice bath items, like Sugar Scrubs.

This year, I've already got a strong start on Christmas presents, with a list of 13 "Must Craft For" people, 11 "potential simple project" people, and 8 "would like to craft for" children.  (I know I have a funny list, but when I'm thinking about crafting for this many people, I have to have some point where I can say, no, I'm too stressed out and this part I can drop and just pick them up something they'll enjoy equally)

I already have three projects for the "Must Craft For" people started, and ideas for another 7 of those, and just three people who I don't know what I'm making for yet.  I'm sure it will come to me during my planning.

As for crafts, I've been pinning like mad, finding great treats and ideas to implement when the time comes.  Here's a few of my favorites that I've found (not that I'm doing all or any of these, but a girl can look, can't she?):

For Halloween:

While this first one isn't something that I would actually wear, I do find it incredibly witty.  First, it's crocheted.  Second, you're a burger! It's now got me thinking... what else could I crochet to be a wonderful halloween costume, something that would make everyone say "Wow!  You made that?"
More to come on this thought later, I'm sure.

For the girls, I am LOVING the look of these long tulle dresses.  They're adorable!

And why couldn't mom have a big fancy skirt too?  I could play the evil queen or something :)

 I love crafting for these holidays.  I always try to involve my children so that the crafts have more meaning, and I add something new and homemade and fun to our collection every year.  These are just a few of the things that I've been dreaming of for Halloween decor. :)

 For treats, I found some spookilicious ones!

For the kids, Brain Cakes in a jar, or apples, peanut butter and marshmallows as a snack.

Who says mommy can't have something fun too?  Vampire Blood Cocktail :)

Oh and love love love this window display.

I think that's all for now.  What sort of things are you dreaming of for the upcoming holidays?  I'd love to hear about things you've done or dream about!

Link up your projects, past or future for all to enjoy!

Love Bug Cupcakes {Recipe}

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A couple of months ago we made little Love Bug Cupcakes in honor of Valentine's Day. I thought they were so cute, took pictures of them, promptly lost them somewhere on my hard drive and then found them again and decided to write a post on how to make them! They were so cute, and so easy!

Start with a box of cake mix, the frosting of your preference, a bag of marshmallows, pull and peel twizzlers, red sugar crystals, and something for the eyes. We used Silver Dragees, even though you're not supposed to. It was what I had in my kitchen at the time.

 Make the cupcakes according to the boxed directions,and let them cool.  While they're cooling, go ahead and decorate the Marshmallows.  To do this, pour some of the red sugar crystals onto a plate.  Wet the marshmallow with water, then roll it in the red sugar crystals.  Then, just set them aside to dry.

While those are drying, you can go ahead and frost your cupcakes:

I didn't want to make them all into love bugs, so what I did was took a heart shaped cookie cutter, set it on top of the frosted cupcake, and sprinkled some red sugar crystals into the bounds of the cookie cutter.  Tip the cupcake from left to right to coat and then tip upside down to remove extra.

By now, your marshmallows should be dry.  Pull apart the Twizzlers, and cut them into small pieces for the antennae, and larger pieces for the wings.  All you do is stick them into the marshmallow.  Do the same for the eyes and the bug is done!  Now, stick a toothpick into the bottom of the bug, and then onto the cupcake.  Voila!  You have some beautiful love bugs!

My daughter just loved how cute they were!

I liked how they looked in groups alternating with the hearts.   I just thought they were adorable!  

Do you have any holiday crafts that you haven't posted?  Perhaps you should post them now!!!

I'm linking up here: 

Very special gloves for a very special lady

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If you can't tell, I'm all about gifts of the homemade variety.  I always try to make something special or unique that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else and usually make it something that is unique to my gift receiver.  This year, I knit my very first pair of gloves.  I made them for my grandmother in-law who is one of the most wonderful women that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, let alone being able to call family.  Many years ago, she worked for a factory.  One day, she had the misfortune of the machine clamping down on her hand and cutting off the fingers of her right hand.  They went straight to the hospital, with her fingers, but were unable to reattach them.  Ever since, she has lived, and done quite well with just one good hand.  (She cross-stitches, and she's amazing at it- a true inspiration)  
On one of my visits to my husbands' hometown, I was testing out a knitting pattern, trying to see if I could get the hang of it.  I finished off one fingerless mitt (wasn't really happy with it, and to this day, this particular mitt is still sitting in the bottom of my "to-finish" stack).  Well she tried it on, and made an offhand comment that she hadn't ever had a properly made pair of gloves.  She couldn't wear gloves because they didn't fit her bad hand, and fingerless mitts left her cold.  
I took it upon myself to try and find a pretty pattern, and to work making a pair of gloves that would serve her needs.  I made the left hand just as the pattern described, which was hard enough itself, as this was the first time that I had ever made fingers.  It took weeks of putting it down, picking it up, getting frustrated, getting over it and putting it back down again before I was finally done.  
Then, I left it alone for about week, wondering if I would ever be finished with them.  Then in a sudden burst of inspiration, I started and finished the second glove, which turned out to be much easier because instead of fingers, all I had to do was keep knitting and then close off as if for a mitten.  It worked great. 
Overall, not my finest work, the fingers were a wee bit funky, and the cuffs did this weird thing, probably because I didn't do a garter stitch for long enough, but the reaction was all worth it.  She laughed and hugged me and tried them on many times for everyone to see.  It is this sort of gifting that makes all of my crazy labor over the year worth while.

Why don't you try finding one truly unique thing you can make for someone this year?  You might be surprised at how it makes you feel!

Flying Birds Stitch Washcloth {Crochet Pattern}

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Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!

Here's another pattern that I've written, this one also meant for my holiday gifting from Christmas 2011.  It's a really simple washcloth that can be embellished by adding a border or you can make it wider or taller in any way you see fit. If I had been smart and gauged it out a little better beforehand, I could have gotten the colors to line up in rows and make it look a little more finished.   Either way, I still think it looks nice and the v stitch gives it a really nice texture.

I like using cotton yarn for my bathroom items, and for this I used Sugar and Cream yarn in this pretty ombre.   
A size H crochet hook
Ch 30
Row 1: Sc in second chain from hook, *ch 1, sk next ch, sc* repeat to end, turn.
Row 2: ch2, hdc in next st, *ch1, hdc dec* to end, turn.
Row 3: ch1, *sc, ch1, sk next st* repeat to end, turn

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until your washcloth is square.

My Sister In Laws House Rules plus Canvas Transfer

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Sometimes, when I get an Idea in my head, I can be a real idiot about it.  I had planned on making my sister in-law something crocheted, but bombed at my first attempt and then just couldn't think of anything better to make.  Well, one day, like an idiot, I'm going through pinterest (perhaps someday I'll talk about why pinterest is oh so very dangerous to my productivity levels) and see these great house rules.  Then, I see a canvas transfer and I'm like "Wheeee!  I'll put them together and it will look AWESOME! Plus, it will be way easier than crocheting something!" 
*disclaimer: when you can crochet a hat in an hour, attempting any new project such as this definitely should not be classified as "easier."*

Durrr.  I spent probably a total of 10-15 hours working on this blasted thing, partially because I couldn't find the rub-off  letters that I wanted (which in hindsight, should have looked harder for) and ended up doing stencils on the whole thing.  By the time I had all the white stenciled, I had smears and splotches and had to go back with the black.  

Let me state, photo transfers are awesome.  They're fun, they're cool and I guarantee that I'll be doing a lot more of them in the future.  I did two when I first made them, "Just In Case" and boy was I glad I did.  The first one I glued down onto the black and it looked terrible.  Their faces pretty much disappeared and I ended up painting white over it, and putting down the second transfer. 

They got their final coat spray the night before we left to go back to visit them, and wrapped sometime around 4 am....

My Mother in Law's Lapghan

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This was the first Christmas present I started last year and also the first one that was done.  I started it at my mother in law's house over our christmas vacation because her house can get very cold in the winter.  She asked me what I was making and I said, "A blanket for your cold house," we laughed and I don't think she thought of it again.  I'm sure she remembered when she opened up the box!
This one seemed to take me much longer than things usually do, but I think I just couldn't work on it for very long.  I tend to like variety, but this one is pretty much the same pattern all the way around, so it worked up pretty easily, but very tediously for me.

Holiday crafting, Loofah {Crochet Pattern}

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I made a couple of these Loofah's for inclusion in my holiday crafting this year.  They're so easy to make and are such a great gift!

Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!
Size H, I or J Hook
A cotton/acrylic blend of yarn.  (You can also just use cotton, I do not recommend using straight acrylic yarn however)  


ch 4, form a ring by joining with a sl st in first st 
ch 40 
sl st into center of ring (this forms the loop for hanging the loofah)

R1: ch2, dc 40 into center of ring, join with sl st
R2: ch2, dc 3 in each st around, join with sl st
R3: ch2, dc 3 in each st around, join with sl st
R4: ch2, dc 3 in each st around, join with sl st

Bind off. Weave in ends.

You can play around with the thickness of the loofah here too, by in the last row, working 2dc, then 3dc around instead.  It will give it a more ruffly texture and be a little looser.

Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Sugar Scrub

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Sugar scrubs are so easy to make that it is ridiculous.  I have to say that after making them for everyone, I will never buy another one for myself.  The ones that I made came out wonderfully and I was so pleased to give them as gifts for everyone!

Begin my mixing 2 1/2 Cups of Sugar with 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 
Add in 4 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice {or scented essential oils to your liking- I made three varieties, Lemon, Peppermint and Jasmine}. This mixture will make enough to fill a 12oz. Mason Jar.

You can add color to the mix or any vitamin oils for the extra benefit to your skin, such as Vitamin E or B (or really any that you desire).  

The sugar and the oil will separate, so instruct your gift receivers to stir the mix thoroughly before using!

Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Reindeer Poop Cookies (Toffee Blondies) in a Jar

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I thought these cookies just sounded amazing, so I converted them into jar cookies!  These are Toffee Blondies, and they're incredibly easy to put together and just look amazing in the jar.  I thought they deserved a naughty name and thus they were called...

"Reindeer Poop Cookies"
Ingredients for the jar: 

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup Heath Chips
1 quart size mason jar
To make the Toffee Blondies:
the contents of the jar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

How to construct the Jar:
Layer the brown sugar, chocolate chips, flour, baking powder, salt, Heath chips, and pecans.

Preparation Instructions:

To make the Toffee Blondies, melt some butter in a bowl.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.Pour in the contents of the jar.  Even that looks pretty doesn’t it? Pour the batter in an 8x8x2 pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the blondies are set and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool in the pan and cut into 16 bars.

Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Jingle Your Bells Coffee (Snickerdoodle Coffee)

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I created this recipe to be reminiscent of Snickerdoodle cookies, using many of the same things that you use to make the cookies themselves, and I think it's downright delicious!
"Jingle Your Bells Coffee"

Ingredients for the Jar:

1 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons powdered instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Construction Instructions:

Mix all of the ingredients together well and put into jars.  Decorate the Jar with cloth, ribbons, or labels and make sure to attach the preparation instructions!

Preparation Instructions:

For single serving place 3 tablespoons mix in mug and add 3/4 cup boiling water.

Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Stocking Stuffer Stomach Pumper Coffee (Toffee Coffee)

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Once again, another great name thought up by my husband, and another great recipe that I've put together!  This one is for an instant drink mix that is Toffee Flavored Coffee!  I hope you enjoy!

"Stocking Stuffer Stomach Pumper Coffee" (or Toffee Coffee)

Ingredients for the Jar:

2/3 cup instant coffee
1 cup non-dairy creamer
1 cup brown sugar

Assembly Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together and place in a jar.  Decorate the jar with ribbons, stickers or cloth and make sure to attach a tag with preparation instructions!

Preparation instructions:

To serve, place 2 to 3 teaspoons of mix in a mug and add boiling water.

Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Colored Coal (M&M) Cookies in a Jar

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Here's a simple recipe for an M&M cookie mix in a jar!  We used the red and green m&m's for the holidays and the mix was very easy to put together.  My only wish was that we had saved the m&ms for the very last layer because they almost got lost in the layers of flour and sugar.

"Colored Coal Cookies"


  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups candy-coated milk chocolate pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  2. Layer ingredients in jar in order given in a 1 quart ''wide mouth'' canning jar. Add the flour mixture last. It will be a tight fit when you add the flour mixture so be sure to pack everything down firmly.
  3. Instructions to attach to jar:  
  M & M's Cookies. 
Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix. 
Add 1/2 cup margarine or butter softened at room temperature. Mix in 1 egg, slightly beaten, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands. 
Shape into balls the size of walnuts and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 14 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes then remove to wire racks to finish cooling. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

    Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Joy to the Cookie (Cranberry Nut Cookies) in a Jar

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    I really wish I had taken a picture of just the jar here, because this mix, when layered, looks gorgeous.  The cookies themselves are lovely!  

    Joy To the Cookie

    Ingredients for the Jar:
    • 5/8 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Assembly Instructions: 

    Using a canning funnel, layer the ingredients in a 1 quart canning jar in the order listed.  Decorate the jar with cloth, stickers, ribbon or other accessories.  Make sure to include the cooking instructions!

    Cooking Instructions:

    Ingredients not Included:
    1/2c. softened butter
    1 Egg
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a cookie sheet.
    In medium bowl beat together the ingredients that were not included with the jar until fluffy.  Add the contents of the jar and mix together until blended.
    Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheets, bake for 8-10 minutes.

    Holiday Crafting, Tutorial, Christmas Tree House Fire Coffee (Bavarian Coffee)

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    This coffee was designed with the crafting of my "naughty" gifts.  My husband named it, I thought it was hilarious and had to use it.  It is actually a bavarian coffee, which is often used with mint of some sort. Making the coffee was very easy. 

     Christmas Tree House Fire Coffee (Bavarian Coffee)

    Ingredients for the Jar:
    In a bowl, mix the following ingredients:

    1/4 cup instant nonfat powdered dry milk
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup instant coffee
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

    Assembly Instructions:

    Then, using a canning funnel, pour the mix into a canning jar, tapping the jar on the table to settle it a bit.  Then, decorate the jar however you like, with a square of fabric, a piece of ribbon, sticker, tag, whatever that you like.  Make sure you include the directions on how to serve a cup!

    Cooking Instructions:

    To serve combine 3 tablespoons of mix with 1 cup boiling water; stir to blend.