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.