Monday, January 04, 2010

Made :: Last Year's Holidays

It feels like Christmas was eons ago, but I also feel like it whirled by and I am left still wanting to create a whole slew of projects that I just did not get around to. I have a precious copy of a Martha Stewart publication that gathers some of her best ideas into one tidy magazine and I find myself still looking it over, wishing I could do them. I just might while still in the spirit, it might ensure that next year we send out handmade cards rather than Costco’s finest with our pictures emblazoned all over them. (If you click the link you can check the snowman button cards, so cute and so simple. These might actually work for me).

I thought I would recap some of my favorite holiday making from last year (gasp, really, 2009 is so gone). The first was the set of oven mitts I sewed up for my sister. They were solely from scrap corduroy folded in my stash and I used many layers of old batting and flannel to insulate them and I love love love them. The quilted effect really made them special and bolstered my desire to explore more of the quilting format in the coming year.
sewing for the season
The pattern is really simple, from the Lotta Book, not exactly rocket science, cut and stack and quilt and sew together. I found it easiest to hand stitch the binding at the wrist edge as my machine sewing attempt was horrible. And now I need to make more, but I ran out of corduroy scraps. Anything will work, but I love the way the cord quilted up.
sewing for the season

This season was the year of candy making, as evidenced by a whole post devoted to marshmallow making. Then I made some caramels that had to be given out immediately for fear of eating them all. I also made some toffee that was out of this world.
I used the recipe from Molly’s book, but subbed in almonds and used Andes Mint candy chopped up with bittersweet chocolate for the top. People, I have discovered how to make a pan of sinfully delicious Almond Roca. I thought Tim might pass out when he realized that this new knowledge can be implemented at any time. In. Our. Home. I might have too as I wished I could erase the knowledge of candy making from the memory bank. It is a frickin’ dangerous thing to know.

There was this banner from my ever inspirational friend Jennifer that came together from more fabric stash.
Banner Year
Easy project and perfect for hanging all the cards we received in the mail. I used small pieces, sewed them right side together, turned them and stitched them at intervals to store bought bias binding. It is great as it can be used year after year for hanging the cards that come. Cards are one of my favorite parts of the season and it is nice to display them in a way that lets them become a part of our days leading up to Christmas.

One of the last thing I tried was a New Year’s Day appetizer.
Mushroom caviar on homemade crackers
I read an SK post on mushrooms and cream and immediately understood where she gets the ‘smitten’ in her blog name. We had made the mushroom Marsala pasta a few days before so I had all needed ingredients for a mushroom caviar, but no brioche for toasts. Back to the Martha Stewart magazine, where I found recipe for crackers. So I made crackers. It sounds crazy but they are so easy….basically flour, butter, cheese, spices, cream or milk. Bam. Cracker dough. Roll it out thin, cut it pretty, bake it a long time, and you have crackers. Mine were garlic parmesan with red pepper flakes and they were gooooood. Especially with creamy mushroom caviar dolloped on top. (SK made crackers too, her recipe sounds just like the one I used, so here you go).

Some of this knowledge is stuff I would rather not know as the waist band of my pants tightened ever so slightly every other day leading up to the holiday week. But the holidays are over and I guess I can just tuck away some of this knowledge to re-visit next year. We all know the holidays are going to be here before we know it, right?

Now, onto the next year of making. As long as it does not hold weekly candy making efforts, I think I am game.


Jess said...


I found your blog over the holidays and really enjoy reading about all your projects and your family.

Over the past year, I've taught myself to knit and sew with a used Singer I bought off a classifieds board at work. Your blog is a great source of inspiration -- especially since you're managing to make all this great stuff with a set of twins underfoot.


Take care!

jillian said...

Wow. You made crackers! It all looks beautiful and sounds yummy!

Rosemaryandthegoat said...

These little tidbits look wonderful. Stop by for a visit at our site. www.rosemaryandthegoat. As you can tell, I love rosemary and goat cheese :)

Kellee said...

It just pains me how creative you are sometimes!! hehe I'm jealous! I want to learn how to sew...