Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Love in each stitch -♥-♥-♥-

I hope everyone is recovering from a peaceful, cozy Christmas! I am having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. There is a touch of post-holiday letdown, especially as I contemplate my plans for the looming New Year!
I am (FINALLY!) going to share a boat-load of photos of the handmade things that kept me busy in the last several weeks.

This is a little Batman-esque doll that I made for my friend's 3 year old son. She wanted to get him a doll, but her husband wasn't so keen on the idea. I decided to make him a somewhat "manly" one as a compromise.

I used the roly-poly-ish pattern of my penguins and freehanded this little Batboy. I gave him a cape with a "P" for Payton. Fleece made this doll very soft and squishy.

This is the tree frog/toad duo that I crocheted, reminicent of the amphibian pets we had this summer. My girls received these in their stockings. Although the same pattern was used, it is amazing at the size difference of the finished product just by using different yarn/hook. (I may go back and give them better mouths later on...I am not too happy with the plain red felt ones).

I have a few of these little vintagey, plastic baby dolls lying around, and one night I decided to crochet her some clothes. Then I remembered seeing some tiny baby bottle party favors at the dollar store...and it just evolved from there!

The end product is a tiny, pocket-sized baby doll that my 4 year old can play with anywhere! I whipped up a little Moses basket for her as a bed...she is still waiting for her blanket ☺
I was stumped as to what to get my mom for her birthday... when I had a great idea! However, I wasn't sure how to carry it out since I am not a portrait-type artist. After much deliberation and playing around on my photo program, I am satisfied with the results.

What I did was make a doll of each of my girls, using the Black Apple doll pattern (which can be found on Martha Stewart's website). Since I cannot paint lovely faces like Emily, I ended up ironing on their faces instead!
(Please forgive the horrible/yellowish lighting in these images)

My sweet baby, Isabella. Hair pattern was altered to be more Bella-like.
I used some of my mom's old quilting materials (that she recently destashed to me!) to make all of the clothing. I think it is regifting, in a good way. I also gave them coordinating cozy felt scarves.
Since 4 year old Brianna has longer hair, I added some brown locks to the front, overflowing her scarf.
They would never be confused with a Black Apple original, but my mom loves anything with the girls faces on it. I think they served that purpose ☺
Enough photos for today! I cannot take anymore of Blogger's anti-spacing gremlin attacks!! LOL

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Countdown to Christmas!

As I sit here, it is now 11:01 pm on Christmas Eve. The countdown is definitely on! I am putting the finishing touches on Christmas while everyone else snores away. I have so many handmade things (gifts and edibles) that I have wanted to share with you in the last couple of days, but lack of time (and then Internet issues) kept me off the computer. Hopefully next week I can start being a better blogstress.

The last thing I did this evening was to bake a very special apple pie for tomorrow's Christmas lunch with my parents and brother. I cut out little trees and reindeer from leftover dough-bits for decoration, and gave the whole thing a good egg-washing and a sprinkle of coarse sugar. It is golden brown and sparkling.

Off to finish Santa's duties before everyone wakes again!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Slippin' & Slidin'

Whew! Thank goodness this ice storm wasn't as devastating as predicted. We didn't end up getting a generator (they were $1000 and up, with an "all sales final" policy), but the power hasn't had any issues. I am so thankful for the good luck.
Even though the ice can be scary, it is hard to deny how pretty it looks on the tree branches. Especially when the sun is out, it glistens like perfect crystal.

I was surprised to see this foot-long icicle jutting out of the middle of the driveway, all by itself. Then I realized that it must have been attached to the car before it was moved, and just decided to hang out a bit before the sun finally melted its feet out from under it ☺

I hope everyone is having good luck in preparing for the upcoming busy week ahead. I have been putting the hammer down today, finishing up some handmade gifts... one less thing to have to worry about! I will post some pics on Monday to share with you all.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ice Storm

Well, it sounds as though we are in the path of an approaching ice storm that could potentially be devastating. My husband is going to go buy a generator...just in case. I hope we don't have to use it (therefore, can RETURN it!). Please pray that it won't be horrible, and understand if I am away for awhile.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Blunder...and lots of baking!

Wow... can you believe that it is less than 2 weeks until Christmas??!! So many things to accomplish, and the seconds keep ticking by. I still have some hand-made gifts to finish, as well as a very special project for my Mom's birthday (which was Nov 26... whoops!). *Sigh* , to have but 2 or 3 more sets of hands ☺
My husband has recently been sneakily working on something on the computer... whenever I come downstairs, he promptly turns off the monitor. All I knew was that it had something to do with my Christmas present. Well, today I came home from picking up Brianna from preschool and running errands, and UPS was leaving some packages on my back porch:

Could you possibly guess what my present is? Macys.com is in trouble! LOL Regardless, I am quite happy to be getting a food processor! Making pate brisee will be so much easier than in the tiny little quasi-processor that I have now.

Another recipe that my gift will be useful in making is the delicious macarons that Emily has been having so much fun with on her blog. I have become intrigued with them, since I once had a love-affair with meringue cookies, and they seemed a bit similar. So, last week I gave them a go, and they turned out perfectly!

Usually, the cookie batter is made from a mixture of ground almonds, but I decided to follow suit of another blogger and try pistachios instead. They were delish! For the filling, I substituted almond extract for the vanilla. The combo of pistachio and almond tastes exactly like my favorite ice cream. Even my picky FIL (who happens to be a pistachio "nut") thought they were great. I have a bag of the lovely green nuts waiting on my countertop for round 2 ☺

Tomorrow night is Matt's Christmas party, which is always a good time. I bought myself a new dress (and even popped into a boutique today and treated myself to a nice scarf). We will be staying overnight in the hotel that the party is in (his work picks up the tab. WOOT!). My only request is that we go watch Twilight before the party. I have a SERIOUS crush on Edward Cullen. Anyone else?


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Favorite Christmas Shows

I hope everyone is staying nice and warm. We've had some snowy, slick weather creep upon us. Of course, the 4wd would go out of my SUV (we paid $1200 to get it fixed a couple of months ago!), so while they were replacing the defective part, I was literally sliding around town in my husbands work car, a Ford Escort :P

I am going to divulge a secret to my blog-friends. Even though I became a nurse, that choice was #3 on my list of "favorite careers." #2 was chef (but I chose to stay in my small-town area, so not much a market for that here). And #1 was....a puppeteer! I was obsessed with the Muppets since I was really little. I remember getting up at 6 a.m. when I was 5 or so and watching "The Muppet Show" on TnT with my mom. There was another show, I think it was called "Madame's Place", where the main character was an old, rich woman puppet. The rest of the characters were humans. I have a really good memory!

I really enjoy all things claymation...which explains my love of Gumby and Mr. Bill...so the Bass-Rankin classics like "Rudolph" and "Frosty the Snowman" are definitely childhood favorites when it comes to Christmas-season shows. But the REAL Jim Henson (before his death...and before his company was bastardized by the Disney Company) will always win my heart. Here are my all-time favorites!

From 1977, "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" is just a classic. I remember watching it on HBO as a kid during the season. I found it on DVD at Walmart a couple of years ago and was sooo excited. Basically, it is about a poor otter and his mother who both want to get each other a Christmas gift so bad... so they compete in a talent competition to try to win money to do so. It is a great video, and a GREAT example of classic, genius puppetry. Plus the jug-band music is so catchy, I often find myself singing the "Barbeque" song.

"The Christmas Toy" is from 1990, and I it was on one of the network channels when it aired. I was 10 at the time ☺ It is about the toys in the toyroom making room for the new toys from Christmas. There is a really great song called "Old Friends, New Friends". Another classic Henson, in my book.

This movie has been impossible to find. Several years ago, I saw VHS copies of it at Shopko. I kick myself for not buying one then...they have been selling on eBay for upwards of $60 a copy! BUT... on November 4th, it was released on DVD, which I just found out today. Now I can buy it for $8.99!!!

Today was definitely a good day. ☺

Monday, December 1, 2008

♥Shop Updated♥

(My turkey, cooking in my rotisserie. I LOVE it!)

I hope everyone had a yummy and safe Thanksgiving! We had a nice, long 5-day weekend in our house...which left me scrambling to get a few finished things on Etsy this morning. After all of the picture-taking/editing/resizing, my mind is fried! Check out the shop and take a look ☺