Wow, I haven't been here in a looong time! Missed you guys!
Anyway, I'm participating in our local Relay For Life, and will be running a game (a quarter toss, like at the fair) at our site. I'm desperately seeking some quick and cheap (crafted?) prizes. (I'm buying a bunch of imprinted rubber bracelets, but need more stuff.) I've only got a month left, and my funds are running low, but my ambition is not!
Okay, so my family draws names for Christmas, and I drew my aunt. Unfortunately (in some respects) I ended up getting her a gift card for her big present. (It is a Dick Blick gift card, that's cool, right?) I always feel like I cheated when I do that, even though I know my family loves gift cards, I mean, who doesn't in times like these? So I decided I had to add something extra, but being recently laid off, and as a result broke, I had to use what I already had.
So, here is what I came up with. I had to learn a new stitch (dtc, ICK!), and it didn't QUITE turn out like I hoped, but I still think it's kind of cute. It's a cascade scarf following this pattern, but using a G hook and some yarn I had on hand. (Mary Maxim Ultra Soft Starlette 4 ply Worsted Weight Acrylic. I know, right?)
Besides the yarn that I used, I tend to crochet really tightly, so it's not as flowy as it should be. But it's not TOO hideous, right? Tell me it's giftable please!
So last year, much to my embarrassment, I realized that my 1.5 year old daughter was still having to use her "Baby's First Christmas" stocking. I decided that this wouldn't do for her THIRD Christmas. My aunt panul actually had a cross stitch kit for a stocking that she said she would never use, and I thought it was cute, so I accepted her kind gift. It's a Sunset kit called Santa's Finishing Touch. It's probably the biggest cross stitch pattern I've ever taken on, and I'm THRILLED that I got it done in time for Christmas! My aunt also gave me fabric to use for the backing, and helped me with the construction, since the kit only came with a sheet of cheap red felt, and I knew I wanted something that would last a little longer if I was going to put in that much work on the front, dangit!
So without further ado, here is Lily's finished stocking:
I wish I had better pictures of the French knots in the garland, I'm pretty proud of those. I changed the pattern a bit, I didn't like the way the pattern called for the beard to be done, so I just stitched it with white yarn that I'm hopping will fuzz up nicely as the stocking gets used. I also created my own lettering for her name, rather than looking up an actual font. It didn't turn out too badly, though it's probably a little tall.
What do you think for my first big cross-stitch project?
Okay, I won't lie, these were baked out of a box. Well, 4 boxes, two different brands actually. And honestly the combination of the two recipes was very good, one was spicier, but the other called for the addition of honey to complete the dough.
HOWEVER, we made from-scratch icing, just your basic milk/butter/powdered sugar icing. BUT! We happened to have some eggnog around the house, and I will tell you that the addition of the eggnog was a HUGE success.
Here are our silly cookies once we were done.
The big eyes were from one of the packs of gingerbread mix, it was supposed to be for gingerbread bears. They're pretty silly. It is also worth noting that I had my 2.5 year old helping us decorate for the first part.
Okay. So I live in Minnesota. Generally speaking, if you live in Minnesota, you are either German or Scandinavian or some mixture of the two. (I'm aware there are exceptions, and pockets of other nationalities, but whose story is this?) I am not German. And while I'm not exclusively Scandinavian by heritage, I might as well be.
Having said this, I was shocked to find, when I started dating my now-husband, that his family (also Scandinavian) had a holiday tradition of making a type of cookie that, not only had I never tried, but I'd never even HEARD of. Very disturbed, let me tell you.
So of course, I learned to make this wonderful treat. My husband calls it fuh-tee-mun, but I've discovered that it's properly called Fattigman, which translates loosely to Poor Man's Cookies. They're very subtle, and very light. And very delicious.
It has become my personal tradition to make these when my family gets together to make lefse during the holidays, since we're all rolling pins and flour on that day anyway. (I've got pics of that too, but it's not a dessert, so it'll have to wait.)
Here is this year's fattigman masterpiece. I brought it home for my husband, and it was pretty much gone by the time I came home from work. =0/ Men.
They're rolled cookies, which are then cut into a diamond shape, with a slit in the middle. I have both a special roller for these, and a cookie cutter, but this year couldn't find either, so I ended up cutting them out by hand with a butter knife. My MIL leaves them flat when she fries them, but traditionally they're twisted like this, and I figured twisting them would hide the imperfections from my novice cutting job.
I also fry up all the little odds and ends. No sense in letting them go to waste, they're just as tasty, just not as pretty!!!
Oh, also, you most often will see fattigman sprinkled with powdered sugar, but I'm of the opinion that it's not necessary. They're delicious as-is.
Recipe (from memory, I'll edit later if I need to) 3 egg yolks 3 Tbps cream 3 Tbsp sugar 1/4- 1/2 tsp cardamom 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c. flour
Mix until just blended. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest refrigerated for a couple of hours until chilled. Roll out 1/2 of the dough at a time to 1/16" thickness and cut into diamond shapes, with a slit down the middle. Twist if desired. Fry for 1.5 minutes in LARD at 350 degrees F, flipping once.
Rest on a paper towel, sprinkle with powdered sugar (or not). YUM!
Okay, so ever since I discovered oreo balls, aka "white trash truffles" here, I've been in love with them. So few ingredients, so much praise! When I bring them to work I am loved and hated. ("OMG, why did you bring these in? I've eaten TOO MANY, they're SO GOOD!")
Anyway, I was thinking about making them as little holiday gifts, as I'm about broke, like everyone else. But everyone has already had them, obviously, so I wanted to do something a little different.
Then I thought, Hey! There are vanilla sandwich cookies out there too! Why not use them as a base and flavor them?
So I did!
I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of it, but I'd never seen it anywhere, so I was pleased with the idea.
I present to you my Raspberry White Chocolate Not-Really-Oreo Balls!
I'm also doing Orange Dark Chocolate and Almond Milk Chocolate ones, along with the standard ones. Also, I found some Target brand mint creme filled ones, which make for a VERY simple variation on the original. No pics of all the rest of these yet though.
And just so we're all on the same page (and because I had a request! ) here is the original basic recipe:
1 pack (3 rows) chocolate sandwich cookies like Oreos 1 standard block of cream cheese 1 package coating chocolate of your choice (chips or CandiQuik, whatever you like)
Run the cookies through a food processor until they're a powder and you can't see the creme anymore. Add your block of cream cheese and mix until it's a sticky dough. Refrigerate to firm. Roll into balls 1" wide, CHILL AGAIN. Actually, I freeze mine. When they're chilled/frozen, heat your coating chocolate and coat those babies. They're then ready to eat. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. More than one of these is a) addicting and b) will make you wish you'd never been born. They are SO RICH.
To make the flavored/colored fillings I simply substituted vanilla sandwich cookies for the chocolate, and then when I added the cream cheese, also add the flavor and coloring of your choice. Voila!
So, I've been making oreo balls/oreo truffles/white trash truffles/whatever for a couple years now. This year, I wanted to get craftier with them, and I want to make them into lollipops. I've got the sticks, but I don't want them to have a flat spot, and I'm worried about the chocolate dripping down the stick while drying. I thought at some point I had seen a little stand with clips on it for drying lollipops upside down, but I can't seem to find one ANYWHERE.
Has anyone heard of such a contraption? I mean, if necessary, I can make one (and indeed have already drawn up plans), but with the plethora of crafting still needed this holiday season, I'm trying not to add anything else to my list! You know how it is.
This is my first time posting on this board, so please be gentle! I love the idea of photography as a hobby, but (obviously) I have had no training, and really don't have the equipment for anything beyond taking day-to-day shots of my little girl, but I happened to have my camera, and this guy was pretty much posing for me, so I had to shoot.
I'm just using a Kodak Easy Share Z1012 IS. I would love to upgrade to an SLR or something fancy, but I'm not sure I can justify the expense, especially since, like I said, I'm not exactly trained or anything.
This was the focus of my swap from the Once You Pop swap for my partner's daughter. It's a toy purse made from a medium sized Pringles can. Not a stitch of sewing went into this (not that I'm proud of that) it's all done with fabric, mod podge and various bits and pieces. I'm pretty pleased with it, and I hear the proud new owner likes it a lot as well!
What do you think?
Here is the final finished product:
And here are some pics from different angles before I got the closure figured out:
Okay, maybe not VERY tiny, but still pretty small.
This is my first foray into freehand embroidery. I'm usually a cross-stitcher when it comes to needlework, so this was a little different. I made this for my partner in the Once You Pop swap, and learned French knots specifically for this project.