Archive for December, 2011

December 29, 2011

java dude

What percentage of crafty goodies do not apply to guys?…  95%??  Hubbie might counter with 99%.  The following are coffee sleeve attempts for dudes:

good morning!  &  cheers!

Using the same directions as java hugger 2 post ( with a few tweeks. 

Greens & blues, no glitter or frill.

Squared off letters & repurposed shirt fabric for backing.

Take your pick between a cross-stitch or blanket stitch to finish the sleeve.


Goods with function & purpose! 

“And I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.”  ~ Wole Soyinka 
December 27, 2011

pocket bag 2

Pocket totes for little girls are a treat to make.  Pick energetic fabrics, mixed textures & coordinating colors.

Exterior corduroy print, purple cloud interior, hot pink pleather straps:

Girly purse #2:  cotton print exterior, soft corduroy interior, denim pocket lining & hot pink pleather straps:


When completed, fill the pockets with all kinds of goodies. 

For the pick-a-pocket pattern:

December 26, 2011

merry meal

Eating will not be on the menu today.  Yesterday, the four course meal was delightful.  Menu as follows:

The best part was farming out a few ingredients for guests to bring & involving everyone in the entire prep, cooking & cleaning process.  The concept made for an enjoyable, low pressure holiday.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.  Don’t clean it up too quickly.”  ~ Andy Rooney


December 23, 2011

double yum

If your child asks you when you’ll be making the biscotti…chances are, hubbie put her up to it!

A family favorite recipe:  Double Chocolate Biscotti – Martha Stewart

The recipe is time consuming & worth it.  Once the dough is made, be sure to compact it as the two loaves are formed to prevent excessive crumbling.  After baked:

Slice into 1/2 inch pieces, lay flat & bake as directed.

Now is your chance to view a “seasoned” baking sheet.  It makes food tastier & you know it!

What breakfast looked like five minutes ago:

“That everyone may eat & drink, & find satisfaction in all his toil–this is the gift of God.”  ~ Ecclesiastes 3:13

“And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, & saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, & on Earth peace, good will toward men’.” ~ A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965

December 22, 2011

java hugger 2

A cheery coffee cozy for all seasons!  First, pick colors & fabrics:

  • felt, gray herringbone, purple flower cotton
  • purple embroidery thread
  • purple glitter ribbon

Draw a pattern using a cardboard coffee shop cozy.  Make it larger all around to account for additional fabric thickness.  Cut the felt & background fabric, & pin together.  Stitch the letters, then carefully cut out the top felt layer.  (letter design idea inspired by , featured in the book Signature Styles20 Stitchers Craft Their Look by Jenny Doh)

Trim the excess herringbone fabric on back side.  Pin squares of glitter ribbon on the back side of felt, stitch circles & cut the top felt layer.

Cut the cotton fabric backing & stitch witchery, & iron onto the reverse side.

Wrap around coffee cup, cut excess edges off, pin & blanket-stitch together:

A few other stitches may be necessary on the inside where the piece overlaps.  Bottoms up!

“I’d stop drinking coffee, but I’m no quitter.”  ~Author Unknown

December 20, 2011

crockpot mondays

December’s dinner experiment.  Similar to “pizza Fridays” or “taco Tuesdays”.  These ideas simplify meal-time & add stability to chaotic evening life.  Now, I’m not a fan of being a stickler to these sorts of routines, but there are times when planning = lower stress.

Last night’s meal:  Curried Chicken Stew – tasty!  And, we have leftovers for another meal.  Two birds with one stone!  pow!pow!  Okay, actually, 4 birds.   Whatever.

  • trim the fat & brown 8 chicken thighs in 2 T. olive oil, 8 minutes
  • bottom of crockpot – 6 carrots in chunks, 1 onion in wedges
  • combine 1 can coconut milk & 1/4 cup curry paste, pour 1/2 of mixture over veggies
  • top with chicken, skin sides up, cover, low setting for 7-8 hours
  • pour remaining mixture over top, serve with cilantro, golden raisins &/or crushed red pepper

The recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens December 2011 magazine.  Go to BHG’s website to find tons of crockpot recipes. 

“I dream of a better tomorrow…where chickens can cross roads & not have their motives questioned.”  ~ unknown

December 19, 2011

pocket pack

In pretend land, dolls need backpacks for all their goodies, too!  The packs are made from the pockets of wornout pants, adding straps, top loop & perky contrast fabric on the underside.

Fabrics with edges not prone to raveling work great – ribbon, felt, ultra-suede – for all straps.  Turn under the edges of underside fabric, pin into place.  Next, position & pin all straps into place then sew all around the edges.  Half zig-zag & half blanket stitch made the backpack shown.

December 16, 2011

bar hopping

For the whole family!  TGIF!…  

Salad & deli bars in grocery stores are great alternatives to drive-thrus & sit down restaurants.  Plenty of choices for everyone, quick, no one has to decide based on a menu, & options always contain fresh produce.  Grab a plastic container, peruse what is available & enjoy watching the combos the kids put together!  A treat for everyone without breaking the bank.

“The age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant.  We once had a waiter in Canada who said, ‘Could I get you your check?’ and we answered, ‘How about the menu first?'”  ~ Erma Bombeck

December 15, 2011

ribbon candy

Zero calories!  The craft from years ago Martha Stewart (ribbon candy ala MS).  Simple & shiny!

General directions for ornament shown:

  1.  1 yard 1 1/2″ wide stripped ribbon, embroidery thread, shiny silver beads (6mm & 4mm)
  2. mark the ribbon every 2 1/2″ (depends on width of ribbon, adjust accordingly)
  3. tie knot at the end of thread, thread small bead, large bead, poke ribbon at low mark, small bead, poke through ribbon, large bead, alternate all the way up
  4. end with both beads, tie knot & make loop for hanging
  5. trim the lower & upper ends of the ribbon in a “v” (aka swallow-tail)
December 13, 2011

sparkly mantel

Most of the time our mantel is bare due to two reasons:  bookshelves on either side make enough visual noise, & I have a hard time putting one together!  Typically at Christmas time, a lighted garland spans the width with our stocking hanging & shiny ball ornaments hang here & there.  This year, since the garland did not light-up, I went with a simple, shiny theme:

Purchased supplies cost less than $10.  Iridescent white/clear garland, white corded lights, mini ornament balls:

Thrift store sundae glasses purchased over the years for .25 – .50 cents each.  Any sort of pedestal or tallish glass will do.

Put together it looks festive & sparse in a good way:

Maybe you have a mantel display idea or picture you’d like to share?  If so, send an email with attachment!

“It’s like your children talking about holidays, you find they have a quite different memory of it from you. Perhaps everything is not how it is, but how it’s remembered.”  ~ Denise Norden

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