Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Excitement

The most recent posting by yarn harlot included this little aside:
(it looks like a rash of babies is breaking out around here, very thrilling for this knitter.)
Isn't that the case for every knitter/crocheter? I know I get very VERY excited when there are several buns in ovens I love. Even ovens I'm only sort-of close to... ovens I have never made nor purchased a single gift for suddenly move to the top of my gift-making list. Every bun I may see a picture of on Facebook is in desperate need of something made by these two hands.

It's all getting so much worse now that I've purchased Wee Wonderfuls. Lord, help us. My home is going to become Santa's workshop year-round.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Get This $#*! Out of My House!

So I bake for Christmas. Well bake and make candy. Lots of candy. Somehow I didn't think about just how far fudge goes and now have about 4 pounds of extra fudge that just couldn't fit onto our gifted plates o' goodies. Then I have about half a sheet of Congo Bars (which, by the way, are the best things EVER), a dozen peanut butter balls and an entire batch of peanut bite cookies still in my kitchen.

Then... like probably a lot of you... I received several plates of baked goods as gifts from friends and family. My BFF gave me a 7.5 liter tupperwear filled with what had to be 10 pounds of cookies. That's it at the top of the page. Holy moses, right? Add to that my sister's godmother's plate of cookies & carrot cake, my cousin's sugar cookies and our neighbors plate as well.... it's a serious fat & sugar overload here. Since my sister is ALWAYS at her boyfriends, there's just TWO of us here. And believe me... if the sugar & fat stays here we WILL eat it all eventually.

So look, I gotta get it out of here. This evening I've taken everything that looks like it has a snowball's chance in hell of surviving the trip, wrapped it up in plastic wrap, stuffed it into ziplock bags, stacked it in that huge tupperwear box and I'm sending it to Afghanistan in the morning.

I figure the soldier marches around a lot & can work off the calories, plus he has 350 or so friends he can share it with. I hope if something is too moist & starts to mold I've at least separated it from the rest of the box by several layers of plastic. Honestly, if it doesn't make it at least it's the thought that counts and at least it isn't being converted into fat on my hips as we speak.

Did you end up with lots of yummy treats? What do YOU do with all of it?

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I've been seeing lots of people do the picture-a-day project on their blogs for years and I've totally wanted to do it, too. Then my very good friend Christina from Texas started posting a picture every day on Facebook beginning on her birthday and I loved the idea that, since I'll be seeing her on her next birthday- I should start too and we could be in each other's!

So I thought I'd share... though I'm a bit behind. My birthday was the day after Thanksgiving. I've been posting on Facebook, but I'll start updating you now... a week at a time. Hopefully it will give you an idea of who I am, as well. :)

My mom's side of the family does Thanksgiving on Friday. They are also extremely musical. Throughout the evening we had live music provided by my cousins on guitars, drums, weird percussion instruments someone made and all of us singing and dancing. It was the best birthday I think I've ever had.

The weekend after Thanksgiving the ladies on mom's side got together at my cousin's house for a two-day "Craft Rave of Awesomeness". Several people brought projects to share. My favorite were these little Dia de los Muertos altars. I think my mom would have really loved making these.

On the second day of the rave my cousin was making ninja earrings out of Fimo clay. My little cousin decided to model for them.

My birthday lunch with my favorite Cuban. We recently fell in love with PF Changs.

You've seen my Advent calendar for Hana. This is her's for me. It was in the form of a ridiculously long garland with gifts wrapped rather chicly in brown & cream. I hung it over my bed. That's St. Catherine hanging out with it. :)

One of the little girls who's home I stayed in while I was on NET gave me this little.. thing... she sewed on her play sewing machine. I stuck it in bible & told her I'd pray for her every time I saw it. I don't remember her name but I remember she was from Norman, OK and I pray for her each and every time.

I think you may have seen this and another one of the pictures already. This became my "Ugly Christmas Scarf" that is getting a LOT of use this season. I should really post pictures of the finished product...

Yup. This is the other picture you've seen. My first wrapped present & first addressed Christmas card of the year.

Each year Hana has a holiday potluck / birthday party & tells me I have to bring traditional Mexican soup. For the past 3 years it was posole- which, let me tell you, is a pain in the rear! This year I was allowed to try albondigas- a simple soup with meat balls, veggies & rice. It was WAY easier & so delicious. This is definitely one of my favorite dishes to make now.

Ok.. so that was Friday- the next Saturday. I think I'll start posting Sunday-Saturday once a week.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my life. If you're doing a photo-a-day project be sure to let me know in the comments! I LOVE looking at them.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Current State of My Kitchen Counter

'Tis the season, my friends. The holiday baking/candy making has begun. Pray for me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gift Wrap Caddy

Since I'm on a gift wrapping kick, I thought I'd share this awesome idea for anyone who didn't catch it:

Jen at eighteen25 shared this awesome gift her friend gave her:

It's a gift wrapping caddy made from a drink carrier from a fastfood joint! How adorable is that? I think it makes a great gift for coworkers or neighbors. Definitely a good alternative to baked goods which, let's face it, NO ONE needs more of this time of year.

Hope on over to eighteen25 to see all the fun details!

What are you giving those "small gift" people in your life? Do you give presents to the whole office, or just a select few?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Words of Wisdom

I came across this great quote in the depths of the Ravelry forums today:

Crocheting is like sex: If I love you, I'll do it for free. If I don't love you, you can't pay me enough.

I'd like to add: If you want me to do something I'll enjoy, I'll do it gladly. If you try to make me do something I don't enjoy, I'll punch you in the groin.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gifts of Wine & Love

I have a huge stash of wine. It started on a trip to the Bay in February. The first weekend was my friend's birthday and 20 of his closest friends piled into a mini-bus & went to four wineries in Napa.

I stayed the rest of the week with my cousin & the following weekend my gay husband & his partner came up to celebrate their anniversary. They're a unique couple & like to share a lot of their lives with their friends. So when they invited me wine tasting in Sonoma, I was all over it. Since it was their special weekend, I hired a driver to take us around. With only 3 of us we ended up hitting NINE wineries.

Anyhow, two weekends of tastings made me really open up to new types of wine. My pallet had matured since my first experiences with wine and I really appreciated different varietals. I went crazy. I started buying from Wine Woot on almost a weekly basis.

The problem is, I don't DRINK wine that often. I live with a recovered alcoholic & a 22 year old who drinks anything but wine. So now I want to thin it out a bit. Luckily, there's lots of hostess gifts and Christmas presents in there! But of course, I can't just leave it at that. The bottles must be wrapped & have a little crochet love in there too.

I used Lucy's Snowflake Pattern, which is so easy & adorable. After the last round I chained 80, slipstitched into the 5th chain from the hook & did another snowflake so they're connected. It took maybe 15 minutes while watching The Joy Luck Club (so factor in time for sniffling and wiping away tears!). I'm using some Knit Pick's Comfy in fingering weight which I have an ungodly amount of. It would look so much prettier in something with a little sparkle, like maybe Bernat Baby Coordinates. Now that I say that, I think I might have some buried in my stash somewhere. I'll have to fish it out.

As you can tell, I'm getting really into the whole Christmas wrapping thing. Expect more gift wrapping posts... including photos of my friend's upcoming Christmas Wrapping Extravaganza on Friday!

How are your Christmas plans going?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Preview

I'm going to sound crazy right now. Ready? Prepare yourself....

I spent 2 hours today preparing for wrapping Christmas presents. That's right- I didn't wrap presents during those two hours... I just prepared for it.

Here's the story:

Every year my friend & her family have a small Gift Wrapping Party. Basically, 7 or 8 ladies get together, put on some holiday music, eat some food and wrap presents together. It's just a fun little get together. I'm almost never done with my shopping, but it's still fun to hang out and at least get SOMETHING done.

So I'm trying to be frugal this year. Wrapping paper is expensive! So I bought a roll of "Easy Mask"- which is this thin kraft paper that comes on a roll about 12 inches wide & 180 inches long- to use as my wrapping paper. I love the "brown paper packages tied up with string" kind of imagery.

For "bows" I'm using little projects I've made throughout the year as a result of my craft ADD. This includes small crocheted motifs, tiny amigurumi toys, some origami flowers... stuff like that. I'll be tying these on with left over ribbon or maybe some crocheted chains or other left over yarn.

Because I'm extra insane, I went ahead and wrapped one present, just so I could show you a picture. Happily, in the background you'll see my first Christmas card all addressed & ready to wing it's way across the country too!

I'm pretty excited and I'll be sure to share the big pile o' gifts all wrapped up when I'm done.

How are your holiday plans shaping up?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Old Skool Christmas

My WIPs are out of control, but I had an overwhelming need to make something very Christmas-y with an old, vintage-y vibe.

What I came up with is just about done after just a day. I'll have completed pictures sometime this weekend, but in the meantime here's a sneak peek...

Oh Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the evening light, how I love thee.

Advent Village

My BFF & I exchanged Advent gifts on Sunday. The one she gave me is a super classy, very Martha-looking garland with lovely little gifts wrapped in cream and tan. The one I gave her looks a little like a 7 year old helped me make it.

I had high hopes of making lots of the gifts (you may remember), but time management and a lack of inspiration changed those plans. I did buy a lot of handmade and most of the non-handmade is still from independent shops, so I feel ok about that.

I made little boxes with tiny houses that fit over the top. I then used the best glue ever to secure them to a large box. I had cut the front panel of the box so it flopped open when you take off the lid. Some of the houses were glued onto this floppy panel and I was very happy the awesome glue kept them securely on.

I used poly fill for snow, mostly because that's what I had on hand. It ended up looking a little more like clouds. Eh. Whatevs.

Because I'm a little crazy, I have a spreadsheet of which presents she's opening everyday. Don't judge- it was originally to keep track of what I had purchased & which houses were complete. The fact that I can follow along with her now is just a happy sidenote.

Are you already celebrating the holiday season? If you've blogged about your projects please leave a link! I'm full-force in the holiday spirit and totally down for new crafty ideas!