Tuesday, December 29, 2009

handmade christmas - part two

Here is the rest of the hand knits that were made in December.

Two cable scarves. This is a nice easy project and makes a great gift for a man. I made one for Mick and one for my Dad.

A pair of mittens for Matty. When one gets soggy from the snow you need another pair.

A pair of those mitts for my brother Chris

And, a Thorpe (without edging and ties) and a Boyfriend Hat for Mick. Patterns on Ravelry. I am modeling for you as he is out at the moment.

All the yarn was in my stash and that always feels good too. I think the scarves and mittens are my favorites. The others would have been better in different yarns but, everyone seems happy with their gifts so all is good.

Monday, December 28, 2009

handmade christmas - part one

christmas morning

Christmas eve we all went sledding. Yes, even me. It was very fun.

Christmas day was nice too. The kids opened their gifts at our house in the morning and then we headed to Grammie's for dinner and well, more gifts of course.

Since then our days have been filled with playing and relaxing.

I thought I would show you some more of the handmade gifts that I made this year but, I'm going to break it down to a few posts. The second one will be devoted to knits.

* Clatter balls from Felting for Baby. I used plastic balls with bells meant to be cat toys for the center.
These are cute for babies and little ones and were not too hard to make.

* A little finger puppet pouch for Ms. S. She loves animals and her finger puppets are always scattered about. Idea from Anthropologie's website.

* A pencil pouch for M who is practicing writing his letters these days.

* And, some needle felted animals. This is a true art and one that takes practice so don't laugh too much at my attempts at a bunny and brown bear.

Okay, back tomorrow with some more.

Hope your enjoying your week resting and relaxing with friends & family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

cross stitch ornaments

I've made a lot of handmade gifts this Christmas but, I had not really done any Christmas crafts. So, I decided to do some cross stitch ornaments this week after seeing Jenny's post.

I got to stitching over the past few days and quickly found myself swept up in the x's.

I did a few deer, a house, a bunny and a little flower like Jenny's
I'd like to do a snowflake too. Maybe next year. I did a star but didn't like it very much.
I stuffed them with wool roving and cloves.

I just looked at cross stitch's online and went by sight.
Superbuzzy has some adorable patterns and Wee Wonderfuls has those cute apples, wool, butter, eggs girls that I'd like to stitch someday. There is also that alphabet sampler I never did.

I can't believe it's already the night before Christmas eve. This month sure has gone fast.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

candle wreaths

I saw this idea over on flickr from one of my contacts a while back and since I was missing one of a pair I thought I would make up some new ones. They are little wreaths for going around your candles and catching wax drips. I made several and I think I will give away some for holiday gifts this year.

Here is a little tutorial.
You will need floral wire and tiny millinery flowers or other small items with stems.
I bought lengths of very thin floral wire from a local florist shop. They were .25 each but, you may be able to get them cheaper.

Take your floral wire and wrap it until you have a small circular shape. The circumference of this should be able to fit around a taper candle. You could always use the taper and wrap around that for the first one to figure out the size.
Then wrap your end and bend the sharp edge and hide it in there so it is not sticking out.

Take your flowers and wrap them around until you have the look you want. And, you are done. Now you have some pretty little wreaths.

Some ideas: crystal berries, mushrooms, little roses, daisies, greens.

Monday, December 21, 2009


It snowed here this weekend and I did some baking. One of the cookies I baked is a bit special to me and so I thought I'd share it here.

It has been passed to me by second cousin's daughter, Leann. Is that second cousin once removed? I can never remember such things but, she got it from my Great Aunt Janet. It is a Scottish recipe and tradition. My Mom does not make it (not a fan of the kneading) so she will get some for Christmas.I think it is delicious.

Here is the recipe for my shortbread. I hope you enjoy it!

1 pound (4 sticks) room temperature butter
1 cup superfine sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rice flour

Set butter on a counter top or flat surface. Sift superfine sugar over butter.Then sift 3 cups of all purpose flour over butter and sugar. Then sift the 1 cup rice flour over the butter, sugar and flour. Then sift the last cup of all purpose flour over everything.

Now with clean hands knead the dough. Bringing it together with your hands and using the base of your hand. Knead until everything is incorporated and it is smooth. You should be able to lift the dough without it breaking. (it might take a while)

After you are done with the kneading, pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Make the racks one apart.

Now split the dough into 2 halves and set one aside. Take one half and place on cookie sheet. First press it down with your hands to flaten it and once you have it bascially equal place Saran wrap over the top and use a cookie roller to smooth it out even more. Make sure it is the same thickness so it cooks evenly. Then take your pointer and thumb on your left hand and place them on the border of the dough and then with your middle finger on your right hand push between your pointer and thumb. It creates a crimp on the edge. Complete it around the whole edge. Then take a fork and lighly push it along the top of the shortbread, vertically. Making rows of little holes on top.

Repeat this to the other half that you set aside
Place first half in oven on top rack..

Place the last half in oven on bottom rack.

Time it for 15 minutes and then switch them to different racks.

Time for 20 minutes and then turn then around in oven.

TIme again for 20 minutes and just open oven.
(The reason we are doing this is becasue we need to let out the heat so the shortbread doesn't burn.)

You will know that it is done when you can smell it and also it has a lightly golden brown color. You want it to stay the light golden color. If you need to cook it longer do it in intervules of 10 minutes.

Immediatly after you take it out of the oven cut into squares, (cutting horizontally and vertically)

Shake some superfine sugar on top and place back in oven but make sure the oven is off. It is just to get some of the sugar to melt.

Then take out of oven and let it cool.

The best way to package shorbread is in tins or something of that sort. Always remember to layer it with saran wrap each layer so the shortbread does not break.

* usually the kneading takes about 15 minutes, it depends on how you knead it and what the temperature is. but trust me the first time i made it i thought i put too much flour in but i didn't. just keep working at it, lol. you have to tell me how you make out with it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

owl sweater 3

Yes, I have now made my third owl sweater for our family of four.
This one is for Matty and will be under the tree this year. It still needs it's button eyes.

Rest assured, I will not be making one for Mick.
Nor, will we take family portraits of us all wearing our matching sweaters or wear them at the same time. Okay, maybe the kids
Mine is here.
S's is here.

Thanks again Anna for all that yarn you gave me so long ago. Remember when you suggested this one be a sweater for M. Well, now it is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

aran purse

I took some time away from holiday making to knit up a purse for myself. Recently, I have been doing a lot of knitting and quite a few projects with cables. I think 3 others to be exact.

This purse was a fairly quick knit taking one ball of Rowan Big Wool which I had in my stash. I lined it with a handwriting fabric which includes a pocket for lipstick and keys. I only have a small amount of this fabric which I love thanks to my friend Anna whom I told about the fabric a few years ago and she kindly offered it to me.

Also, a practical idea is that the pattern suggests rosewood knitting needles for handles which are easy to take out shall the knitting urge strike you wherever you may be. Just don't forget some yarn.

Monday, December 14, 2009

gold slippers

Something magical to open on Christmas day.
Gold slippers with glass buttons not unlike something Cinderella may have worn.

The pattern is Saartje's Booties though I used bigger yarn and needles to fit a size 6-7 baby. I think I may add some suede soles to alleviate the slip factor otherwise they will be display.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Revolution Home

Let me to introduce you to a new antique store I have completely fallen for. It is a visual feast of history with some antiques dating back to the 1700's but most in the 1800-1900's. Here you will find beautiful furnishings for your home, antique hand painted marriage certificates, old toys, like a pull along horse on wheels, from the turn of the century, chandeliers, chairs, a floor lamp (aptly named a ghost lamp as it is bare bones), room dividers, distressed wood shelves, large crackled glass vases, paintings, irish linen tea towels, vintage Christmas papers and ornaments, candles and so much more.

David, owner/artist and Jodi, owner/designer plus Mom to two young children are a great match and bring to Maplewood a unique and very special shop and one that I would just love to find special items at for my own home and as gifts for others.

I will just let the pictures speak for themselves and if you can you should visit the store. It is located in the village in Maplewood, NJ.

Monday, December 7, 2009

poppy doll

I made a new rag doll for Scarlet's Christmas. This pattern is Poppy from Hop Skip Jump.
The doll is modeled after S. She is a blue eyed blonde.
The doll body is made from cream colored flannel and the clothing patterns include pants, a reversible smock and a tie top. I also made her a scarf. Doll clothes are a lot of fun to make. Once I find the time I would love to make some more for her dolls as she is really getting into dressing and undressing them.

I also included a little doll quilt so she can put her to bed. S loves to tuck in her animals and dolls and sit in bed with me with the covers pulled up.

Unfortunately, while sewing the doll something went wrong with my Pfaff and I think I might need to take it in for service which I really can't afford. Perhaps when I am over this cold I will try fiddling more. I think there might be threads caught underneath. In any case, it's something with the bobbin thread. Well, I pulled out my old 19 year old Singer to pull me through in finishing this project.

Friday, December 4, 2009

a new sweater

A new sweater.

This pattern is the Toddler Cardigan by Shibui Knits and is made with their Superwash Merino. The color is a blue-black.

I love the definition of Shibui- 'elegant with a touch of bitterness'.

-This old chair she is sitting on looks much better now recovered. We just stretched a houndstooth fabric and tacked to the bottom.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

sort of new shop listings

Some items have been trickling into the Etsy shop over the past month or so. Here are a few of them.
Organic cotton newborn baby booties, a fancy beret for 3-6 months, another size 2 cape, 2 size 5/6 capes
I hope you will take a look. I'd like to offer my readers a 10% discount in my shop from now until December 15. The discount code is moon
Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

winter accessories

Into the woods we went to snap some photos for the holiday card this afternoon. It is so hard to get photos of two kids especially at these ages (22 months and four) but, I think we may have one or two we can work with. While there I managed to get photos of some of the winter accessories I have been making for Ms. S. I have made her five hats so far and I still don't think I'm done. This is not counting the ones I've inherited that my Grandma made me. I'm okay with my crazy obsessions.

And, this red coat had once belonged to her brother though I think he only wore it once and it fits her perfectly.

Little Red is a bit miffed as this is the third hat her Mama has put on her in the past 10 minutes. It is practically the same winter bonnet Amy made for one of her girls and since I share the same obsession with this style of hat I needed to make a winter version too.
It is red melton wool and lined with a brown stripe/dot from Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope, felted leaves and satin ribbon.

The purple scarf was knitted over the summer with the red coat in mind. It is made with Malabrigo yarn. This yarn is so soft and bouncy. There is something so striking about red and purple together especially on my blond little lady.

Okay, so here is another hat though the fit is still a bit big. It's hand knit with Rowan yarn I had on hand and is a pattern from She's Crafty who has a new book out now that I want to get my hands on called, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies, though I should look at it first to see how many patterns would still work for my baby as she is fast approaching two.

And, don't worry the boy has gotten a few things too.
I'll have to do another boy post.

I'm knitting as many Christmas gifts as I can though some of them are for people who read here so I'll have to keep those quiet.