Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Christmas Makery

This was one full weekend of making and doing and Christmassing, that's for sure.I haven't done much crafting or making through December, and I don't like that. It makes me feel like I'm forgetting something as I've always got something I'm working on, and once I've gone through the mental checklist and assured myself that everything is done I get fidgety. So I went to the crafty store on Friday and bought a few things to keep me occupied. I bought a few simple bits, and finished off the supply gathering Saturday morning with some out-and-abouting. Nothing I made was my own brainchild, but the results of some normal blog-surfing and Pinterest time-sucking. I did try to add my own little twist, though.

First, I saw these cute little paper trees on a link party last week. I had the cone-shaped cardboard center of a one-pound cotton yarn cone that I was holding onto for miniature Christmas tree inspiration. Now that I'm thinking of it I would have had a much easier time using Meream's delightful doily tree tutorial, but I suppose I'll just have to empty another yarn cone and make another (oh woe is me :) Since I was using a cone with varying diameters and not an even-diameter stick I had some trial and error in getting my little pleated circle skirts just right (and there's a bit of error in it, but I'm not pointing out anything specific to you--it's anal retentive nonsense, as it really does look how I hoped it would). Wanna see? The light is practically nil--it's done nothing but be cloudy and rainy so I apologize for the icky indoor lighting.

It needed juuuust a touch of red--this little bow hits the spot (as the little berries I had were decidedly not little when compared to the tree).

 It's a little difficult to see, but I added some iridescent glitter paint. I was in the scrapboook section of the store waffling between the sheet music print and an old newspaper print--I'm glad I went with this one. I love things made of sheet music but I don't have the heart to cut the real stuff up.

 I love the little sproingy spring that makes the star look like it's floating above the tree. They didn't have silver or I'd have gone with that, but this looks cute too.

 We're running low on available space so I nestled this in among the snowmen--it won't get fiddled with too much there.

Secondly, the other Bethany shared a quick tut on how she made some "snow"-encrusted candles. I had quite the time finding these candles (they're the flameless LED kind) at a price that didn't break the bank, but I succeeded eventually. They're vanilla-scented, which I could do without, but not strongly, so I'll live :) I did exactly as she did but I added a few extra steps: I dunked my left hand in Mod Podge, I got epsom salts everywhere, I had paper towels stuck to me...I think that's it. Otherwise I did as directed :) 

The 3-pack I bought had 3 different sizes, so I clustered them on a tray. OK, it's not really a tray. I didn't feel like venturing out shopping anywhere to get a silver charger plate so I covered a paper plate in tin foil and camouflaged it a bit with a few small adornments to make it look naturey.

 Don't they look like you could touch them and be shocked at their cold? The epsom salts (after a vigorous shaking) seem to stay on quite well. I haven't had too many fall off that would be considered an abnormal amount.

 They don't take much time to make at all (I think the drying part takes the longest). 

Finally, today my sister brought the wee 'un over, and we all made Christmas bark. We usually do chocolate-covered pretzels but they're so time-consuming we went the lazy-but-tasty-if-not-tastier route. This recipe can be found all over the internet (it's Saltine crackers, butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips--google 'Grandma's Christmas Bark' and the recipe with those ingredients will be the one you want. It is absolutely delightful (and would be a good food gift instead of the usual stuff).

The bottom layer tastes just like toffee--if someone didn't stop me I could probably eat this all day long and not tire of it.

We also made a tray of peppermint bark. In past years we melted the white chocolate and stirred in candy cane bits. This year we had a bag of mint bits but didn't notice they had almost a chocolatey consistency to them, so when we stirred them in to the melted chocolate it turned pink. To keep it from looking like spilled Pepto we put other mint bits on top. I couldn't get the color just right in the photo, but it is indeed the most perfect shade of peppermint pink--

 I adore this "mistake" because usually you taste the white chocolate with some minty accents. This has the peppermint flavor throughout, and is so deliciously smooth and creamy. They taste just like those pastel-colored mint non-pareils. Yummmmmmmmmy.

And then finally, we decorated the tree. This tree is the most luxuriously pungent Fraser Fir possibly ever. We go for a hard-core-dripping with ornaments-not a free branch type of tree trimming, but I love it I love it I love it I love it.

 You can tell everyone in our house is tall--the bottom is much less packed than the top. That's not to say it's bare--as Rachel put it "The bottom is normal. It's the rest that's crazy." True. Have I told you, though, that I love it?

Amidst all this we had ample time with the nephews, I finished my wrapping and shipped a few things, I squeezed in some knitting and reading, and am now watching 'A Christmas Carol' as I type this. I have had one delightful weekend, and I hope you have had the same :)

I'll be sharing at these link parties this week:

Under the Table and Dreaming*** Skip to My Lou *** Pinkapotamus *** Sew Can Do *** Craftomaniac *** Homemaker on a Dime *** C.R.A.F.T. *** Sarahndipities *** Today's Creative Blog*** Creative Itch *** Funky Polkadot Giraffe ***Chef in Training *** My Girlish Whims *** Sew Much Ado *** Free Pretty Things for You *** Tea Rose Home *** Someday Crafts*** Somewhat Simple *** Fireflies and Jellybeans *** Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom  *** The Shabby Nest *** While He Was Napping *** Tatertots and Jello *** Be Different Act Normal *** To Sew With Love *** Craftionary *** 


  1. Great job ... love it all ... the tree, the candy and especially the candles. I use Epsom salts too for snow and love it. Must try using Mod Podge instead of glue.
    New follower and I will be back to enjoy more or your creative ideas.
    Christmas Blessings
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  2. You have had a busy and fun weekend judging by your pictures and so many lovely ideas! That sheet music christmas tree is great and you're absolutely right about the red bow. Love your big christmas tree - it really is massively OTT but in a very nice way, you must have had such a laugh decorating it. Have a great week xo

  3. The candles turned out great! As for the Christmas bark?? Oh my, that's what I want for breakfast right now!

  4. Looks like lots of holiday fun, and hey, you got to decorate yourself too with the candle making ;o)

  5. Your tree is utterly stunning ~ I love it :) Also your foodie things have made my mouth water... am off to search my cupboards for hidden choccies!



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