Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bonne Annee!

Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!
May 2009 bring blessings, peace, and happiness to all the world.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


A difficult day all around...
I am a person who loses things on a fairly regular basis. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would tell me to pray to St. Anthony whenever I lose something and he will help me find it. So tonight, I offer this prayer to St. Anthony...

Please, St. Anthony, if it is not too late...
I pray for the return of the Christmas gifts that our loved ones gave to us in a spirit of love and kindness.
Fact is, I don't think they are so much lost, as they were stolen from my car. Cub's grandpa filled three white plastic bags with the gifts we received at his home on Christmas day. There were gifts from all the family (including Daddy) to us, and gifts that were sent from her grandpa's relatives in Texas. We have never met them, but they send such thoughtful and generous gifts to Cub each year. This year was no exeption. I feel just terrible. When I discovered they were no longer in my car, I felt physically ill and still do. It feels awful to know that all of their efforts were for naught. I feel like I owe many people an apology.
So, please...St. Anthony, if you can hear me...Please help them find the way back to our home.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Therapeutic Crafting

This vacation has been different than I had originally planned. I haven't seen my family yet, Pops passed away, nothing has really been done around the house, we've been coming home late from gathering every night...but we've been okay. Better than okay, sometimes. There has been a lot of love and joy in the midst of everything and those are always good feelings.
Yesterday, we were home for a few hours in between visiting relatives/eating.
For some reason, I found myself making these little barrettes again...only this time with the variation.
I am a bit of a hair accessory-a-holic, and it does not help that Cub hates anything in her hair. Bummer. I feel like a kinda got short-changed in that department! I finally had a little girl-Yay! I get to play with pig-tails and lots of hair-do's and clips, elastics, RIBBONS, too!!!!!
Nope. No way. Maybe that explains it.

Needing a bit more craft-therapy, I made a visit to Craftbits. I'm sentimental about that site. When I first started making stuff, they were one of the first places I found with lots of bath and body crafts, which is what I was very much into at the time. I still like them a lot over there!
Anyway, I found this printable Matryoshka doll and made an easy ornament. Of course, I then had to make her a sister out of felt. Here they are hanging-out on our tree.
I just wish I was better at the face thing. Maybe a Sharpee wasn't the best bet, but I thought paint wouldn't do well on the fuzzy felt. Oh, well.
Making things makes you feel better and that's what it was about.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sleep In Heavenly Peace...

Joseph "Pops" Lombardi
Into the Arms of Angels
On December 27, 2008

JoAnn Dorothy Olphie Shurina "Mommy"
(September 4, 1945 - December 28, 1973)

Thinking of you both today...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let's Start A New Tradition

The day after Christmas is usually a very lazy day...Who wants to cook or clean? I sure didn't! We slept late and then ordered in heros for a late lunch from the local pizzeria. The dishes and every thing else could wait. Over lunch, I told Cub's Daddy that I thought we should start a new tradition...The day after Christmas, everyone should get together at one person's house (if I had one, it would be mine!) and bring leftovers. Then we could watch movies all day, listen to music, talk, whatever, and EAT. But best of all, everyone could be together without doing a whole lot of work...This way, we could enjoy it all for one more day!
After lunch I decided to make some sugar scrub for the ladies in our family. Oh yeah, that will be my part of the tradition as well. Everyone gets a simple gift from me.
Merry and Bright Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used turbinado)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup canola or olive oil - whatever you have on hand...NOT heavy scented, though.
lemon juice
1 teaspoon of honey
15 drops of essential oils - I used a combo of Sweet Orange, Lemongrass, and Rosemary
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
Store in jars or plastic containers.

Later in the afternoon, we ended up at Pops' house with the rest of the family. But before we left, Cub and I made a pomander! I've wanted to make one since college, really! I found this clever idea for making a pomander tea light holder and decided to just do it.
Cub had so much fun pushing the cloves into the juicy orange...not to mention, it smelled heavenly-especially after rolling it all in a mixture of ground clove, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice. Wow! Right now, it's drying in a paper bag in our spice cabinet. It's supposed to take three weeks to dry.

And to top off The-Day-After-Christmas festivities, we took Cub out with us to see a filming of a friend's documentary, Books from Home, at the "hippie book cafe." (ETG, for locals!)
As we were walking back to the car at the end of the evening, Cub ran up to this statue and told me to take her picture. I like this photo a lot.
Here's to letting the love and magic continue just for a little bit more...

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After and the Meaning of Christmas

As usual, I was sooooooo tired yesterday. I think I've felt like this every holiday since Cub has been born. The past few years the exhaustion has been due to my obsessive need to do it all and get it all done at any cost. In the middle of it all, Cub got sick two days before Christmas. Of course, I believe if we don't slow down as we need to, the universe does it for us. So Cub had one of the worst head colds she's ever had plus a high fever. We didn't get to go to Long Island to see my family. We didn't want to risk giving Grandma and Grandpa the bug. Christmas Eve was spent home alone sad and sipping tomato soup. Later, I was okay with the quiet, because I got to finish up MOST of my last minute gifts. Cub's Nana did receive only two cloth napkins with an "IOU two more" note tucked inside the box! But that's okay because...
In spite of Cub's getting sick and the very rough start to our day-circumstances preventing Daddy to make it over to our house in time to open gifts, an argument that ensued as a result, Daddy not showing-up until much later in the day to make his point (?)...
It turned out to be a most lovely Chrismas....One of those spontaneous events-that unfolds beautifully. After opening presents by ourselves, Cub and I decided to spread some holiday cheer and visit her Great-grandpa. He is currently at home on hospice care. Her Nana and two aunts were there. We had a sweet little visit with some tears, too. Aunt M. gave everyone a special keepsake gift on behalf of Pops this year. I received a memory box locket. I will always remember him for so many reasons. He was my very first visitor after Cub was born. He was not in great shape then, suffering the effects of Parkinson's, but he was sitting in my room when they brought me down from recovery. I always felt quietly understood, appreciated, and supported by him. A talented, professional musician, an artist, a thinker, a deeply sensitive and compassionate man. Pops, I love you!

Later, we went over to Cub's Nana's house, which was decorated beatifully. Candles and lights, music, and red everywhere. By the time our unplanned dinner took place, there were eleven of us around the table enjoying a delicious ham and so much more. Cub's Daddy finally showed-up, too. His boss gave him the day off. So he helped his mom with the clean-up before dinner and some of the vegetarian dishes, which were quite yummy. Lots of food, wine, conversation, and peace-making.
And Cub was a real trooper. She opened lots of presents, napped when she needed to, and kept us all entertained with her imaginative stories and games that she makes up; after dinner, turning each of us into an animal of her choice then taking a "photo" of us with her new magic wand!
I hope everyone had an enjoyable day yesterday...filled with magic and love.

"...A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, Of peace on earth, good will to men!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Twas the night before Christmas..."

I can't believe it's here! Christmas Eve. The feeling of this night, to me, is different from any other. I love it.
Last night there was another crafting marathon. I still have to bake the cookies and finish-up a couple of small projects, but I think I'll have it all finished by tomorrow morning. I'm sooooo excited!!!!
It was 1am when I realized I hadn't taken any photos of the little gifts I'd been working on. So, I quickly took these two. Please excuse all of the cello wrap!
I made the little magnets for Cub's Aunt Mary, who happens to be a bartender. They were made from vintage bottle caps. I packed them up using a piece of an old Coney Island postcard.

Here is a glimpse of one of the treat trays I put together for some of our friends and neighbors: Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cookies, and Dark Chocolate Walnut Fudge with marshmallows! I love these tags, too. They are from Amanda. Everyone should check-out her new shop, Bake it Pretty, which I just ADORE! Sooooo lovely for all things having to do with baking and sweet goodies. It's been so much fun to share my excitement and enthusiasm this past month.

Here's wishing everyone a very joyful and blessed holiday.
May it be filled with peace.
Cyndy and Girl Cub

Monday, December 22, 2008

On The Twenty-First Day...

Spiced Coffee
1 cup instant coffee
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
In a small jar, combine all ingredients and cover tightly.
For each serving spoon two teaspoons of coffee mix into coffee cup and stir in 3/4
cup of boiling water.
Sweeten to taste.
Just thought I'd pass on a cute recipe I found this morning. Everyone is doing spiced teas and hot chocolate. Hey! Don't forget about the coffee! This struck me as original and I bought the necessary ingredients this evening during my umpteenth trip to the grocery store.
At least the Peanut Butter fudge is setting in the fridge!
Only three days left and still so much to do. But, as I told Cub's grandmother tonight, this is my time of year. I love all of the planning, shopping, baking, creating, and giving so much I could burst!
I love that I will give people in my life a little something that I gave so much thought to in just a couple of days!
I love trying to get it all done and seeing what I actually come up with, too!
You see, last year was not the usual holiday for me. My grandpa, who is more like my father, was very ill. We didn't know if he was going to make it. We spent the holidays at his bedside in the hospital. All I could do was handsew those little felt ornaments. This holiday is different. We are so blessed to have Grandpa with us this year...and Grandma, too...And, well...EVERYONE actually!
So, I have a lot to celebrate. That's why this year, I'm going to try to do it all!
Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On The Twentieth Day...

I was a busy, busy, bee.
I woke-up nice and early and refreshed. Immediately it hit me that I have four days to finish everything on my holiday "to do" list! Yikes!
So, I got to work right away on the no-sew fleece blanket. As usual, nothing is quite as easy as it looks in the tutorial, but eventually (and two cups of coffee later), I got it going.
Excuse the haphazard photo. But at least you can get the idea.
This fleece is super soft and plush. Lovely, actually. I wouldn't mind receiving something like this at all! I still have to tie-up the other two sides, but it should go quickly now that I have the hang of it.
Next project...Salt Dough Ornaments! Oh, what fun they were to make!
I mixed the big lump of dough and then handed it over to Cub and her daddy. They did a nice job together.

After daddy left, Cub and I did a very rare thing for us...WE NAPPED!
When we woke-up late afternoon, it was so nice to put on some holiday music, sit down at the table together and paint-up the ornaments. So much fun. I feel so blessed to have such a sweet little one to share things like this with.
I told her tonight, she is the MUSE of my being. I told her I never created half as much before she came into my life. Funny, I think she really understood that. She gave me the biggest smile and said, "Really, Mama?"
Now that she is asleep for the night, I will glaze them and when dry, thread some fancy holiday ribbon through them...raffia looks real pretty, too- for a different look. They'll be perfect tied to wrapped presents...a nice little "extra."

I've already hung some on our tree!

And here is some fudge I made in the quiet hours late friday night. I have to say, I've been a little more than afraid to try fudge again after a big disaster last year!
But I trust The Small Object and The Chicken and went with the recipe they use this time.
So smooth, so easy...
I'm very happy with the results.

I'll make another version and along with the cookies we've yet to bake, I'll put together little plates for a couple of neighbors...Maybe I'll even take some to work if there is any left.
We've been dipping into the stash!

Happy First Day of Winter and Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On The Nineteenth Day...

photo originally uploaded by holiday_jenny
I'm dreaming of a pink Christmas...

That's right!

Trees (and photo) available at
I am smitten with non-traditional Christmas colors this year...I can almost see the pink or white tree standing proudly in our living year!
Lovin' these bottle brush trees, as always. Funny, I haven't bought a bag of greenies and bleached and dyed 'em that lovely shade of rose pink. Well, I can't do everything, right?
However, catching a glimpse of Sarah's waterless snowglobe made me j-e-a-l-o-u-s, just a tad.
The pink house above will forever remind me of my Grandmother. She would set up her little village of about twenty of these houses on the mantle of the fireplace. There were some churches, too.
Today was a bit stressful. Cub woke up a couple of times during the night to tell me she was afraid of the dark. She finally came in bed with me to stay around 7am. She promptly fell asleep for two more hours. I never went back. When she finally woke-up, I dragged her over to JoAnn's where they were having a 50% off sale on practically everything. I still spent more than I wanted to, but now I finally have that rotary cutter and mat!
I bought some soft plushy fleece in a Middle-Eastern inspired pattern to make my brother's new girlfriend one of these no-sew blankets. So excited to do this.
After a couple more hours of last minute shopping, we arrived home to find Cub's daddy and the landlord waiting for us in the driveway. Humbug!
At least the landlord fixed the horribly clogged sink and tub!
I was pretty embarrased at the state of our apartment. I mean, with a full-time job, full-time mommy-ing, attempting to be super Elf, Betty Crocker, and Martha Stewart all in one, something's got to give...Okay, I've got to get down to some serious cleaning.
That's what the week between Christmas and New Year's is for!
After wrapping some teacher prezzies, making, eating, and cleaning-up lunch fixin's, it was off to Long Island to visit my Grandparents.
Yup, my brother and I had an argument over pizza.
Thank heavens we promptly made-up over lemon vodka gimlets, which were his idea!
Two slices and some garlic knots later...I wrote out all of Grandma's holiday cards for her and then wrestled Cub out of their house to endure the drive home.
Should I mention that I also got lost, my windshield froze-up, I could barely see, Cub kept telling me she had to throw-up for most of the way, and it took over an hour and a half to return home?
Yup! It's been one of those days...Time for a hot bath using one of those soaps I ordered from daisycakes last week. I deserve it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

On The Eighteenth Day

I've been loving the endless line of holiday movies on various channels this past week. I'm normally not a tv person, but I'm enjoying watching all the classics, both old and new.
Last night, I watched The Grinch (Jim Carey). I have to say, I LOVED it. I didn't expect to, but I did. It was on in the background while I was buzzing around doing everything and nothing at all, if that makes sense.
That's how I tend to watch movies at home sometimes. But that was actually okay, 'cause they played it a second time right after that!
Anyway, instead of my usual tea, I decided to go with something a bit more festive.
Red-Hot Cinnamon Cider!
Here's how ya do it...
Gather the necessary elements:
Place approximately 2-3 teaspoons of the red-hots in a pan. Pour in one cup of
cider (or apple juice). Stir to help along the melting hots.
When its sufficiently heated to your liking and the candies have melted completely, it's ready for you to enjoy. Don't forget the cinnamon stick!
Isn't it the prettiest color?

Yes, we had our first substanial snowfall today.
I took this photo out of my classroom window and my students made fun of me...of course!

No matter how old I am, I will never stop being fascinated by snow.

What are you enjoying these days?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On The Seventeenth Day...

Ahhhhhh. That's a big Sigh of Relief 'cuz today we reached a verdict. Jury duty is officially over. I finally feel like I can get on with the joy of the holiday season. I didn't realize how much that responsibility was weighing on me until I walked out of that courthouse this afternoon.

Last night, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by life in general. I was in need of what Nikki referred to on her blog as a "brainless craft." I tried to handsew during the television version of A Christmas Carol, but wasn't feeling it. So, thinking of Whimsy Love, I decided to finally give those button bouquets a try. Turns out it was just the thing I needed. All of those brightly-colored buttons soothed my soul.

Don't they have a cheerful qualitly about them?

I love that Ball jar salt & pepper shaker. I found two on ebay, for like, $4.00. I bought the buttons and green floral wire at JoAnn's. When this was finished, I tried really hard to think of someone who would appreciate receiving this as a holiday gift. Sadly, I couldn't think of anyone.

So I set this little bouquet of cheer in the middle of our kitchen table....And a certain little someone admired it immediately upon walking into the kitchen this morning.

The nice part is, there are many possible variations to this project...So many styles of buttons and jars and someday...I will make the perfect little button bouquet for somebody special.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On The Sixteenth Day...

There are no photos...Tired.
I was up verrrrrry late last night working on the fabric napkins for Cub's Nana. Why is everything turning out to be more difficult than it looks these days? Bah-humbug! Even my little sachets are begining to give me problems. Truth is, if I'm going to do this sewing thing, and I AM...then I really need to invest in a rotary cutter, mat, and a good long wooden yardstick to make my life easier!

Today was productive. I finally sent out half of our holiday cards, the other half I'll work on tonight. This year, I made them myslef. If I have the energy, I'll wrestle with another fabric napkin!
Oh...guess what? I'm now on the homemade marshmallow track after catching a glimpse of these lovelies! Emily, why do you have to make everything look so good?!!
This is the second year in a row I've been tempted by these homemade globs of goodness. Somehow, I'm a bit iffy about the gooey stuff getting all over every inch of my counter and more, but we do LOVE marshmallows in our hot chocolate!
I think these could be right up there with the caramel corn.
I'll follow the leader and use Martha's recipe, if I can work up the courage!

On The Fifteenth Day- Part II

Originally uploaded by cluttershop
I've posted about MeetMeatMikes before, but I'm having so much fun over there EVERY day, that I thought I'd share the love. The above image is part of Mike's Vintage Christmas series (this one is #20), which has been so nostalgic for me. I love vintage everything, but there is something so special about the quality of vintage Christmas decorations, products, etc.
Just ask Reyney, who has the sweetest Christmas tree trimmed with all those vintage ornaments! LOVE!
Mike's also had an online shop filled with vintage and kitschy cuteness.
Anyhoo-what motivated me to write this post in the wee hours of this morning was the list of
holiday movies compiled over on the sidebar. are Mike's suggestions. I think he's got it covered!
"Mike's Family Xmas Film Fantastica - Suggested Christmassy Films"
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Story
Christmas In Conneticut
Fred Claus
Holiday Inn
Home Alone
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
It's A Very Muppet Christmas Movie
It's A Wonderful Life
Meet Me In St Louis
Miracle On 34th Street
Muppet's Christmas Carol
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Olive The Other Reindeer
Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer
The Great Escape
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Polar Express
The Preacher's Wife
The Santa Clause
The Shop Around The Corner
The Snowman
White Christmas
I would add to this list:
Edward Scissorhands
Little Women
Love Actually
Have a nice day, Everyone!

****To make the list SUPER COMPLETE...This one's for you, Kristin...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On The Fifteenth Day...

The light snow fall and damp chill in the air sent us straight home this evening...
We dove into flannel pj's and hot cocoa with marshmallows immediately!
Such a sweet, easy, evening. Lots of Christmas music, re-heating leftovers, and all around
good cheer in our home.
I don't usually take pix of myself in pj's, but I think these are photo worthy.
I had to look twice when I saw them in the store.
Yes, those are cuckoo clocks!

Well, there are only 9 days left until the Big One. I still have two pretty significant sewing projects to get into. So, I guess that's why I've been researching quick, easy, and charming treats for those holiday goodie bags. I still love the idea of the peppermint bark, I really do. But I don't know how well it will do sealed inside plastic bags. Any suggestions?
I'm intrigued by these No Bake Mocha Bonbons, but again--need refrigeration.
Once again, during research for this or that, I find a little gem of a blog.
This time, it was Chanelle's MakingFoodEatingFood. Both the recipes and the food photography are sooooo excellent. And I set to work right away to make the Vanilla Cinnamon Caramel Corn.
Oh, My!!! You've got to try this stuff. So easy, so delicious. Very sweet. But hey, that's what holidays are for, right?
I may very well stop my research right here. It will store pefectly, not to mention that for some reason, caramel corn is really en vogue this holiday season!
She also has a recipe for the Amaretto caramel corn, which is made with roasted almonds and almond extract. Yum.
I thought I'd share one of the zillion gifties I've wrapped. They're all hidden in my room, because a certain girl Cub will actually start crying if she spies a present that she is not allowed to open. Sheeeeesh!
I'm so pleased with those tags. Love my recycling bin, I do!
I wrote each person's name with a silver pen on the back of the tag.
Off to sip tea and watch the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas, by far my favorite children's holiday film.
Much love and respect to you and your memory, Charles Schulz.
PS: Dear Santa, I don't want for much this Christmas, but could you please bring me one of these???? Pleeeeease. I think I've been pretty good this year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

On The Fourteenth Day...

In honor of Make Something Monday and in solidarity with Kristin (great idea with the gift bags, btw!), I thought I'd share these simple ornaments that I made last year. I made them while I was in the middle of putting all my craft supplies and holiday decorations away after the new year! That's how I do things most of the time. This marked the beginning of my obsession with crafting recyclables!

Originally, I was going to make a garland for above an entryway, but decided on ornaments instead.

This nativity is making us so happy. Cub has been going over to the tree often and playing with all the people. That's why Mary isn't wearing her head covering in this photo.
Here's the whole set, backdrop, cardboard manger, and all.
I love Playmobil even more for this!
And just look at these lovely Rome apples! These came out so well last night.
I really was tempted to eat both in one sitting, but decided my girl would
enjoy it for tonight's dessert.

I haven't accomplished much sewing in the past few days. But I've been working on some paper gifts using this gorgeous print, thanks to Yasmine.
EZ Bake post and vintage ornaments are coming soon!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On The Thirteenth Day...

Busy, busy...
1) Rise and Shine - Daddy comes over for tea and toast and best of all...
He and Cub finally set up our Playmobil nativity set! (Sorry, no pix tonight...Just too tired to download/upload...)
2) Off to church. Such a beautiful mass. I needed it, too. I have until tomorrow to put a present under the Giving Tree. Yay!
3) After lunch, I brought Cub to see her first live performance...A Christmas Carol!
She absolutely loved it. When it was over, there was a Q&A with the actors. My little one (to my surprise), was the first to raise her hand to tell the actors, "I LIKED your play!"
I'm so excited to share live theater with my girl as I am a big fan. I told her today that the only other thing I could see myself doing other than teaching, is acting. It's true, too.
Cub, along with everyone else around us, seems to be coming down with a cold or something like that. I am feeling all-around tired and in desperate need of some rest and comfort, but I still have a lot to do. I did wrap all of my gifts last night, so that's something.
There are apples baking in the oven right now and the night ahead is looking quiet and restful.
The only things on the agenda after cleaning the kitchen are a long, hot bath and some handsewing on the couch.
I'll have fun photos and an "ez" baking post tomorrow!
Nighty, night.
Oh, PS: Sorry, I can't link videos to my posts. Don't exactly know why, but check out this video on Rayna and how she has brought activism and craft together! Awesome.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On The Twelfth Day...

We shopped just a wee bit more.
Nothing too fancy. I actually needed more records for my record bowl baskets.
So, we hit up our local salvation army. One hour and change later, we had some
brand new woodland-themed wrapping paper, a few more ornaments I just could not pass-up, and some interesting records.
This time with the record bowls, I tried to find ones that the recipient would actually appreciate.
I can't believe I found the soundtrack to Valley of the Dolls!
And I can't believe I just baked it in the oven to make a (lopsided) bowl at that!
Since I really don't know anyone who will appreciate this as much as moi...
I guess I'll just have to keep it. Boo-hoo.
As always, when I'm at "Sally's Boutique", I pick-up just about any book that I think someone I know will enjoy reading. Bulldogs, NYPD history, and vintage romances really don't
float my boat, but each and every one is a PERFECT gift for somebody.
Tonight, I really have to get down to the business of wrapping-up some packages.
I'm also going to make a small batch of salt dough ornaments for Cub to paint and decorate tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

On The Eleventh Day...

I treated myself to a little luxury for the holidays...
Sooooo delicious.
I bought two fragrant bars from one of my favorite etsy sellers,
daisycakessoap. This is a bar made of natural rose clay. I also purchased a bar of spicy Frankincense, ON SALE! Perfect for relaxing in a warm bath during the cold winter months ahead...Yay! I can't wait for them to arrive. I'll put them in my own stocking to open on Christmas morning. Why not?
And here is a photo my girl asked me to take of her foot earlier this week. I know it's a foot only a mother could love, but I love those piggies and want to remember them just like this...forever.
And for anyone who loves papercuts, YOU MUST CHECK THIS OUT!!!
I love how she dedicated this to Elsita.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On The Tenth Day...

"Pretty Happy Trees..."
Here is my imperfect little unfinished felt tree. Glue stains and all! Still not complete, but if I don't post it now, I never will. My train is leavin' the felty forest very soon.
I have been insanely busy. Jury duty is indeed a nine to five job. I pick-up Cub right after, and home we go for a hot meal and some relaxation before bedtime. A trip to Michael's is definitely in order. I need to purchase some sparkly jewels to make the tree all shiny and pretty...And it needs more buttons. Lots more buttons.
Until then, it will just have to remain the Charlie Brown tree of felt trees. Sigh.

If you want to view some felt-tree eye candy, look over HERE! So, so pretty.
ThompsonFamily is a blog I recently discovered. I get lost in all of the yummy colors and inspiration over there. LUV it.
In my blog travels of late, I've also discovered two more visions of loveliness:
Lollychops and LaFujiMama. I find both of these places to be cozy, creative, and super-inspirational!
How cute is LaFujiMama's banner?
Now into the kitchen...All of the cold, rainy weather this evening called for a spontaneous cookie baking session. When I haven't prepared ingredients for planned baking ahead of time, I go to a vegan recipe. It's simple, tasty, and healthy.
We had light and delicious Peanut Butter cookies in less than twenty minutes!
This recipe was the first that came-up in a search and Cub and I both think it's a keeper.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On The Ninth Day...

I've been hoarding a small collection of candy-craft ideas since last holiday season. Well, a day spent on jury duty and some other irritants have me feeling kinda blue this evening. So what better way to lift my spirits than to indulge in some sweetness.
This first goodie was made using a tutorial orignially posted by the beautiful and talented Alicia. I fell in love with this last year, but couldn't justify buying all of those gumdrops just to make a decoration. I know, I'm a little funny like that. I really don't like the idea of playing with food, even if it is candy. Living in a city apartment, I was also afraid that unwrapped sugary treats hanging on a wall would attract some unwanted (eh-hem...) visitors.

Today, Skip To My Lou posted a tutorial to make this wreath. I dig the idea of wrapped candy pieces and this just makes me smile. I think I'm going to make this for my dear Grandmother who loves her hard candy. I've been looking for one more gift for her and this would be perfect.

I stumbled upon a tutorial for this candy tree last night. I had just about completed Cub's felt tree (post after finishing touches), and was looking for Emily's felt trees from last year for some inspiration. I love them!! This candy-tree is a good idea, but it calls for t-pins to hold the candies in place...not great for my grandma who can't see, but an adorable decoration none-the-less. Have I shared how much I love gummy-savers? If there is time, maybe I'll indulge. It's just too cute not to!
There. I'm feeling better already. Tomorrow I'd like to share some felty-tree love and some
craft blogs and tutorials that have been keeping me inspired lately.
Sweet Dreams, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On The Eighth Day...

I sewed sachets!
I was tired. Yes. But I really can't just sit around doing nothing. After taking care of some things that needed tending to, I had a lot of fun making these on my new sewing machine. The other night I finally had the guts to open it up, wind the bobbin, and jump right on. Things were a bit choppy at first, but sewing so many of these last night was the perfect little project to build my confidence up.
If you are a non-sewer and would still like to make sachets, check-out this great tutorial over at one of my favorite places. They really look the same. Excellent.
I have to say, sewing on the machine is so relaxing to me...and the instant gratification isn't so bad either!

The chocolate-graham crackers were actually pretty good. They were a hit at work, too. Unfortunately, I didn't get to photograph them. I'm concerned about them melting, though. So, I'm still exploring the world of holiday goodies. Tonight, I found these, Savory Spiced Shortbread by Sunset. I am oh so curious about them as I love Indian (inspired) foods. However, I don't know how friends and family will feel about them. Also, I keep coming back to this Peanut Butter Fudge recipe.
Again, I'll have to test-drive, but at least I know fudge will store well for up to a week.

Tonight, I think I'm going to take it easy and work on the Felt Cone Christmas Tree for Cub's room and definitely begin to wrap some prezzies!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

On The Seventh Day...

Still trying to perfect the chocolate dipped graham cracker idea. I really want this to work. Basically, who doesn't love graham crackers and/or choclate? Besides, they look festive and will be quick and easy to whip-up. Tonight, I used Nestle's Bittersweet Choclolate chips and I wasn't thrilled with the texture. Quite thick and gloppy. The choclate slid off the cracker, too. Weird.
I'm going to try a different brand next time I make these. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the samples.

All the extra holiday shopping and crafting is starting to get to me. I'm tired. Really tired.
I think I need to post this very mundane list of things I need to do, so that I'll feel guilted into actually doing them:
Things I Don't Want To Do But NEED To Do LIST:
1. Pick-up all the clothes off of my bedroom floor and straighten-up in there!
2. Deep clean our apartment. Scub-a-dub-dubbing is in order!
3. Stop looking at all of the presents and begin some wrapping already!
4. Errands: Library, post-office, pick-up dry cleaning and laundry.
5. Take that adorable photo of Cub in front of the tree and make those holiday cards!
6. Pay some bills.
Yes, I've emerged from Winter Wonderland mode to face some reality for a little bit.
Now I'm off to find a good movie to cozy up to.