So weak and powerless, over you…

Ready for a mega pic post?

It was a mostly handmade Christmas and we still have 2 more Christmasy days to go, this Saturday with my husband’s side of the family and next Saturday with my Dad’s. So far, this holiday season’s run of gifts, at least for the women in my family, has been brought to you by the wondrous miracle that is bias tape

Behold the glory…
For my cousins Katie, Jen and Brit

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For my Mom and sister
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For my friends April and Sarah
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And super cozy flannel nightgowns for my girls
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The bias tape tote pattern can be found here – SO easy!, and the wallet pattern is here. Most of the fabric came from my immense stash, the flannel I actually bought when I was pregnant for Saebra with the idea that someday I would make nightgowns from it. Only took my 5 ½ years :) I also got some knitting done.Hat and scarf for Mom, mistake rib stitch on the backside with adorable button flower pins on the hat and scarf.
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A neck warmer for my future step-dad, Dan, crocheted.
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There is more but I’m not a big fan of spoilers do until the gifts are given…no pics. Hope you all had wonderful holiday experiences this year, we have so far and I’ll try to write about them soon.

Toots

Check out the hook while the DJ revolves it…

Recipe updates at the bottom of the post

YO

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I’ve got mad cookie skilz

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YO

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Today I spent 4 hours making cookies with the girls to gift to teachers, their busdriver, their afterschool provider and my coworkers. Classic chocolate chip, chocolate/pecan, Chocolate white chocolate chip/almond, oatmeal almond crisps, 7 layer bars, and gingerbread goodness.

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I love this time of year.

Toots

Rosa asked in the comments for recipes – so here you go.

In the boxes are

 

Crisp Gingerbread cookies:

6C all purpose flour

1tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1C unsalted butter

2 large eggs

4 tsp ground ginger

4tsp cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ground cloves

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp finely ground white pepper

1C dk brown sugar, firmly packed

1C unsulfered molasses

In large bowl, sift together flour, soda and powder. Set asideCream butter and sugar till fluffy. Mix in all you spices, then add the eggs one at a time, then the molasses ( If you oil you measuring cup before pouring the molasses in it will all come out super smooth!). Add in your flour mix one cup at a time. Divide the dough half, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.Pre-heat oven to 350(Fahrenheit), On a floured work surface roll out your dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut your desired shapes. Transfer cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, bake for 8-10 minutes, till crisp but not browned. Remove cookies from pan to cool on wire racks and decorate at will. I used standard royal icing in a disposable icing bag with a tiny bit cut off.

 

Chocolate chip

½ C butter flavored shortening

½ C sugar

5tbs brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1C all purpose flour

¼ tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

8oz chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees(fahrenheit). Cream shortening and both sugars till fluffy. Add vanilla and egg. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Carefully fold in all chips.Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 12-15 minutes till just golden around edgesCocoa white chocolate chip

This recipe is exactly the same as the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe with two exceptions. Measure out the 1 cup of flour and then remove 1 1/2 tbs of flour and replace them with cocoa powder and replace chocolate chips with white chocolate chips. Nuts of your choice can be added to either of these recipes, this year I added pecans to the Choc Chip cookies and sliced almonds to the cocoa White Choc Chip cookies.

Seven Layer bars

1stick unsalted butter, melted

1 package plain graham crackers

8oz chocolate chips

8oz white chocolate chips

8oz peanut butter or butterscotch chips

8oz Pecans, walnuts or almonds

4 oz shredded coconut

1 sml can sweetened condensed milk

Melt butter and pour into a 13×9 inch baking pan. Crush your graham crackers and pour evenly over the melted butter, press into place for the crust. Over the crust pour your chips, nuts and coconut. Drizzle entire can of milk evenly over the surface and bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.

Oatmeal Almond crisps

1/3 C packed brown sugar

¼ C unsalted butter melted

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla

1 ½ C rolled oats(not instant)

½ C sliced almonds

non stick cooking spray

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, butter, egg and vanilla till smooth. Mix in almonds and oats. Drop by Tbs onto parchment lined cookie sheets, 2 inches apart and press down slightly to flatten and even out cookies. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets. Careful these fall apart easily but are a great not-too-sweet cookie.

Can’t stop the dance…

As promised, our childhood stockings.

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I think Patrick’s is just adorable, and yes my mil made this one along with four more for herself, my fil and my two bils. I remember the first time I saw all of them hanging up over the doorway, too cute!

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My Mom made mine. She hand stitched it together and added the eyelet lace and the little puppy appliqué. Nice and simple and I still love it.

 

Toots

We are not permanent…

Holiday decorating tonight.

The kids got to put all the ornaments on the tree, and they were thrilled.

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I thought I’d show you our stockings. My mil, Lois, made these for us, the first two for Patrick and I the first Christmas after we were married. She made each of the girls their own for their first Christmases and she included on each of them bits and pieces of her Mom’s jewelry collection – how cool is that.

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Tomorrow I’ll show you mine and Patrick’s childhood stockings.

 

Toots

And since we’ve no place to go…

Yesterday was the girls’ annual cookie day with Pat’s Mom. She picked them up around 9:30 and we lazed around a bit before heading out to shovel the last of Thursdays storm away before today’s storm moved in. Our neighbor, who only speaks French, showed up with his snowblower to help us out. Merci Beaucoup!(?)

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Eventually we were able to sort through the girl holiday gifts and get them all wrapped – ah done. Their stocking goodies – they know that this is from Mom and Dad – don’t get wrapped. My Mom used to take so much time and effort wrapping all the teeny tiny little things that went into our stockings and my sister and I would make such a holy mass with them that I decided I wouldn’t bother with that step. The girls like digging through the Hershey’s kisses to find all the little gifts hiding in their stockings, so its all good.

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We headed over to Pat’s parents house for 4, his middle brother Kevin and my sil Jamie we’re there with their kids, the dogs, Jasper and Mia and we headed out to walk around town and enjoy “Light up the Holidays 2007”. They never had this when we were kids, this is the town we grew up in, and I would have loved it. It wasn’t too cold and there was no wind so we bundled the kids up in their snow pants and away we went walking up and down town. They got balloon animals, Saeb got her face painted and we stopped at a bunch of places and enjoyed cookies, snacks, hot cider and cocoa and the kids got to see Santa, twice. My Mil took them over for a photo op earlier in the day during the cookie frenzy and when we saw him again during our walk around he remembered what they had asked him for! That’s a Santa with a good memory! (As soon as Mom sends me copies of the Santa Pics I’ll add them)

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When went back to the In-law’s place where the youngest brother, Shaun and his lady Kate met us and we hung out for a great family evening, heading home around 10.

 

Today its all about the tree. I’m about to go haul all the holiday decorations out of the attic in the garage and slather it all over my house. I’ll try for pics tomorrow.

 

Toots

While visions of sugar plums…

My friend Kristin has just released another great book, going back to knitting with the fabulous Kristin Knits. This woman has a serious gift for color – all uses of color. I look at her yarn combinations, the pairings she finds in nature and I know that I would never recognize the beauty of those blendings but I sure want to knit them!
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She also has a great contest. You could win a similar assortment to the yarns pictured here (this is a pic I lifted from her blog so you can see some of the gorgeous colors available in her Julia line) So go, drop her your name, grab a copy of her book, hang out and read about life on her beautiful farm. You’ll have a good time, I promise, and you might win some awesome yarn!!

Toots

Barreling down the boulevard…

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We’re pretty low key when it comes to gift giving around the holidays. Even if we did have the kind of cash flow that would allow us to buy big expensive gifts I don’t think we would. We try to be thoughtful in our gifting, so there’s a lot of handmade gifts and of course, pictures of the girls.
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I don’t have a very long list of gifts to make and I’m quite confident that I can get them all done since our gifting meet-ups are fairly well spaced out over the last week of December.
I have some hats and scarves, mittens, socks, nightgowns, and jewelry to whip up. In a mere 2 hours this afternoon I was able to get this much done and I’m pleased with my progress. More gifty pics as they land on my needles in the coming weeks.
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Happy Chanukah!

Toots

At first just the rustle of canvas…

So much stuff doin’
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Work on my swap ornaments is nearing its finish – I’ll try for pics later this week.
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I have finally started a hat for Aurelia that matches her winter coat and speaking of, winter seems to have finally arrived here in New England. Our first snowday began with a call from my boss this morning at 5:30 to say that school was closed – Yay for 3+ extra hours of sleep :)  The girls spent a majority of the day outside, sledding, skating and snowboarding. – with multiple quick breaks to sip hot cocoa and thaw out.
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I have been listening to this non-stop for the last week, takes me right back to spring break my freshman year at Hofstra during my Sting obsession– ah memories.

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The interview that I did with Carina is up – go check it out as well as the other interviews in the series, some great crafters and artists over there to discover. Oh and I have a bunch of earrings that my sister made up in my Etsy shop.

Toots