Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'Tis the Season to Be Making

Well, before you get your panties in a bunch and think for a second that I am a mom who does it all, let me first declare that my house is a disaster, I haven't fixed my hair in DAYS, and it's all I can do to feed my children. So, when you look at what I have accomplished, you won't feel like a slacker (as I often do when I assume that blogger moms have it ALL together)--because no one knows how to slack (especially when it comes to housework) quite like I do. For real, ask Dave.

During this time of year, it is hard for me to not make stuff. However, I realized that I prefer crocheting in the winter--not sewing. I think crochet is slow and relaxing and I can do it anywhere, whereas with sewing, I am stuck in front of my machine. Crochet is just more cozy. However, I have been sewing. I have had a few projects that were time-sensitive.

My dear friend, Vanessa, is leaving for Kenya the beginning of January. She, her husband, Kyle, and their three boys will be serving Jesus through medical mission work in a rural village. I wanted to give her something practical, so I told her I would make her some skirts to beef up her missionary wardrobe and to keep her cool. So, I have set out to finish them. I am halfway done--two down, two to go. I did not photograph them; I'd like them to be somewhat of a surprise. :)

My second sewing endeavor was to make a tree skirt. This year, we bought a live tree (something we've never done before). Our old tree skirt was WAY too small to fit around it, and it was pretty ugly. I searched high and low online for a free pattern, and I found this fabulous pattern on Citrus Holiday. I modified it some, but it is the same for the most part. I love it!!! I think mine reminds me a lot of Allsorts, Morgan Moore, and candy stores.

So, of course, we've also decorated for Christmas. It's pretty simple, and I think, very beautiful and colorful--just like our quirky family.

I've also been a bit culinary. Sam says I'm a good "maker" (his word for "cook", although sometimes he does call me a "cooker"). I've had fun making all kinds of treats over the past week. Yes, pictures will follow!

The first was peppermint syrup. I was browsing Craftzine, and I saw a link to this wonderful website (that I will be perusing for other ideas), Think Inside the Icebox. This syrup is great. I love Starbucks Peppermint Mochas. So, I thought I should make some syrup to have on hand. Of course, mine don't taste quite like Starbucks, but they sure are a nice substitute at home. The recipe for the syrup was simple, and I just picked up some chocolate syrup, half and half, and whipped cream to round out my dessert...errr...drink.

Last year, I made toffee, and the butter and sugar separated, leaving the chocolate with a fatty layer on top. It tasted fine, but it was not pleasant to look at. I thought I would do a little research to see where I went wrong, and I found another wonderful website, Cooking for Engineers. It was all explained with great directions and what to expect. My toffee turned out perfectly!!! It is SO good. You should definitely put this on your to-do list.

And, finally, I made the ever-popular party mix--Puppy Chow (the recipe I used called it "Muddy Buddies"). There are recipes for this all over. I used the one in my Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook. The kids helped shake the bags with the powdered sugar. It is delish.

I am sorry for the long time between posts. I have been a bit preoccupied, but thankfully, there are several things to show for it! Now, there are gifts that need wrapping, so I am off to attempt that!

Merry Making!!!


  1. WOW... that tree skirt is BEAUTIFUL! I love it! I really, really wish I knew how to sew, crochet, knit... anything!

    and I'm the BEST slacker I know;0)

  2. You amaze me. I so wish I could sew! I don't think you've got it all together but I think you are a cool, hip mama and that the Lord has given you some amazing gifts! What a blessing!

    Just caught up with your blog. How are you guys doing? Would love to get together next time your in LR. *hug*

  3. toffee recipe please!!!!!

  4. What a cute skirt! It is so fun and must make you so happy to see it under your tree! You have been busy!! I wish I could come over and taste your syrup and toffee!
    Love, Jo

  5. Will you send me your fudge recipes? Brian loves fudge and I never make it for him. I'll e-mail this to you if you don't get it. I love your tree skirt!

  6. ok, i know you aren't super woman... but you still inspire me. i was tempted to get out the sewing machine to do some stuff for the girls this christmas but decided to buy them the material as a gift and then tell them what i'm gonna make with it - b/c if i try to rush in time for christmas morning it won't be pretty!

    regarding dog-walking - i totally understand! part of why this was a good time to get parsley (and why i've been plotting this for a while) was b/c i only have tucker home during the day (and grandma!) so while he's eating lunch and gma is home, i can take her out - or in the morning while the kids are still in bed, etc. but it's hard to do things while the kids are little and can't be left unattended. i'm glad to see someone else likes cesar's methods - he's so common-sense. love it!

  7. Manda G-Money, I need a pattern for a scarf with a button fasten. Have you seen these? They are so cute. Anyway, I found some adorable red plaid fabric on sale that's a really thick soft cotton, almost flannel but better. I want to sew some scarves, where can I find a good pattern online? Keep in mind that I hate patterns and I try to just make things that I can whip up myself, so I need E-A-S-Y!

  8. Here's an attempt at a comment: wow, the tree skirt is sooooooo cute. Is it quilted?

  9. Cinthya, the tree skirt is slightly quilted. It is not traditionally quilted all over, it is what is called "stitch in the ditch" which means to stitch over the already sewn lines to fuse the top, middle, and bottom together. I also stitched in the middle of each wedge to make it more sturdy. I would love to learn how to freemotion quilt (which is all over in a pattern).

  10. Sorry, Cinthya, I didn't realize Dave was signed in! That was me, not him! :)

  11. i still think you are superwoman! Cute stuff chickadee :)


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