Monday, December 31, 2007

So we're about to start our traditional New Year's Eve festivities. This is the night we let the kids each choose some normally forbidden food. The oldest girl always chooses Jeno's cheese Pizza Rolls. Middle girl hems and haws each year, this year she picked cereal straws, I am grossed out by these, but a tradition is a tradition, right? The Little Man's original idea was Cheetos but since he is spoiled by his grandma who lets him have those all the time at her house, he decided on the equally greasy but not as orange, Fritos. We also make 7-Up and lime sherbet punch and the hub and I have Pub Fondue with crusty bread, pickles, olives and our forbidden food, hard salami. Right now, the littles are taking a bath and making a mess, I am doing some last minute cleaning and then we'll play some games in front of the fire, eat our junky food and have our Family Talent Show with Daddy's Annual Puppet Show as the finale.

One of our traditions is to take my parents to Hamtramck (a Polish section of Detroit) for lunch and then to the Belle Isle Conservatory to see all the pretty flowers, but my mom was not feeling well today so we had to postpone that for another time. We all were sad about that as it is one thing we really look forward to every year. I leave you with the kiddos and Santa, who was not just a helper according to the Little Man but the actual Jolly Old Elf because "his beard was real and not just stuck on".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I made Peppermint Marshmalllows for the girl's teachers this year, all wrapped up in a cute tin with some Penzy's hot chocolate mix. The marshmallows taste delicious but they do not look nearly as pretty as the ones in the Martha Stewart recipe. I took a pic of them in the pan but it was kind of unappetizing. They look better cut up. I love these little gift tags, I got the PDF from an eBay seller.

More bottle brush trees, I just can't get enough of these things. I used red Rite dye this time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ok, here are a few of my current favorite things. The snowman ornament is from the Bethany Lowe collection. Wow, I just love some of her Christmas stuff. It is so old fashioned and sweet. I got Mr. Snowy here from Bayberry Cove.
I am thrilled with the dyed bottle brush trees, they came out great, I love the vivid colors I got from the food coloring. As you can see, I totally scammed the trees in a jar from The Adventures of Mama and Jack blog. The girls made the two with the red ribbons for my mom, I think she'll love them. I hope. The big one is mine, all mine.

Lastly, is this funky tree thing I bought at Ikea a few days ago, I wasn't sure what to put on it but I found a stash of red felt and decided to make these little ornaments. So we have a red and white theme on one side of the mantel, Yes, only one side. heh

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well, I'm behind in blogging but things are still moving along in the right direction with regard to our holiday must dos. Husband put up the fresh garland and our blue lights on the house, it looks so good. A little moody but cool. The girls and I went baking at grandma's on Sunday and we made several different kinds of cookies. The ones you see in the picture are thumbprints, chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, and lemon bars. You can see the lemon bars are a favorite of my children. The first layer is almost gone. I'm obviously not a food photographer, they taste much better than they look in the picture. I also made popcorn balls, another fave around here. My hands are always tingly the rest of the day after I make these, that's what happens when you stick you2 hands in popcorn coated with 254 degree mixture of corn syrup, sugar and butter. Yikes!

We also worked on bleaching and dying little bottle brush trees. Tutorial found here:

These trees are popping up on many blogs and there is even a Flickr group for some:

We had a ton of fun making ours and will show pictures soon. BTW, if you want to try it yourself, I bought a huge bag of trees at Michael's for $8.99 (with a coupon). Such a deal!

Friday, December 07, 2007

So I'm trying to to move away from the factory made decorations this year. We still have our fair share but I wanted to try to have more handmade touches all around the house. Hence the fabric trees and amigurumi elf. Of course, I can't hog the spotlight so I have many projects lined up for the kids. One of them was painting these wonderful wooden trees, snowmen and "people". I bought these pieces from an awesome site called Casey's Wood Products. Check it out here:
They are from Maine, the prices are great and the shipping was crazy fast. I found Casey's through another blog, I would post a link to them but I cannot find it again. Note the teen and her "don't take my picture" expression. The Little Man loved painting his items, he was so patient and engrossed by the whole thing. He usually gets bored quickly with crafty play but he was going to town on these. I love the pipes that oldest girl put on her snowmen. Middle girl was at grandma and papa's so she'll paint hers soon and I'm sure I will post pictures if those too.

By the way, don't you just love the mess you can see in that longshot? Yikes, and that is after cleaning up a bit. We are just the clutter family around here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

So here is our Christmas card picture, I'm surprised they still had some natural looking smiles left after all the photos I took. Even the bunny seems serene, look at her cute crossed paws.
Have you seen the new holiday stamps from the US Post Office? They're called Holiday Knits and I keep trying to upload a picture of them but it won't let me. They're sweet, trust me.

Found a cute site that writes personalized letter to your kiddos from Santa. It's free, I printed them out and will pop them in the mail today. I think the kids will get a kick out of it. Here's the URL:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So here are the other fabric trees, I like the look of the white buttons. I made the little amigurumi elf from a pattern I bought from this Etsy seller:
My crochet skills still leave a lot be desired and I am so sloooooow, it took me 5 hours to make the little guy and he is tiny. Anyone notice that one ear is bigger than the other?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

These little girlies are called Dotee Dolls, named after their original creator who posted her tutorial here:
I made these for a Holiday Dotee Doll swap at Swap-Bot. I only needed to make one but I bought 3 different types of holiday fabric and I wanted to use them all. They are just so cute and you can embellish them in any way you like. I think my favorite is the candy cane one. I've been practicing with making different faces for them but so far they have come out looking odd so I'm sticking with the closed eyes, peaceful smile look for now.

I took several pictures of the kids yesterday for our our Christmas cards. I had them sit on the black futon and huddle together, the first 30 I took came out all out of focus (don't ask me how I did that) so I had to subject them to posing for another 30.
I ended up getting a few that I liked and I ordered the cards from Costco last night. The little man and I went to pick them up today. I really love the way they turned out.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Well, for once I am ahead of the game for Christmas. Oldest girl and I spent most of Sunday clearing out the clutter so we could start decorating. I bought the Chocolate Advent calendars for each of the 3 kiddos. Usually I don't get those until the middle of December, I am such a procratinator. I decided I wasn't even going to try making an Advent calendar this year since I didn't even start thinking about it until November 27th. See, what I said about procrastinating?

I did make a few things, I found a tutorial on how to make fabric trees here: and they were so cute and easy that I made 5. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the other 2 because I haven't found the perfect spot for them yet. They are slightly different than these. By the way, the little house is a vintage cottage I found at a thrift shop for a buck. I just love it and would die for more but all the ones I've seen since I bought this one have been horribly expensive. Even the reproduction houses, feh.

I decided I was going to try to post at least one completed holiday project for each day leading up to Christmas. I'm only 2 days late. Really, for me, that's not so bad.