December 22, 2009

Christmas Baking

Presents have been bought or made, wrapped, and shipped. Now it's on to the baking. Many a loaf of poppy seed bread has been made this year. I wrapped them in plastic and then festive tissue paper with a cute tag. We're starting to pass them out to friends and family. Three batches of my mother-in-law's fabulous english toffee has been made also. I'm trying not to eat all of it before my family gets here.
Still to bake:
Chocolate silk pie
My dad's favorite raisin cookies
shortbread (recipe HERE)
peppermint fudge
chocolate truffles

I don't know if I'll get to all of it, but I'm sure going to try! I'll try to post pictures and recipes as I go. Happy baking and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 17, 2009


So, way back when, I made a FABRIC DOLLHOUSE for my niece for Christmas. I finally finished the embellishments on it tonight. I really had grand plans for more....but time is running short, so maybe next time I'll put in a rug or a fireplace, and maybe a pond.

What is a dollhouse without some dolls? I painted and sealed these little wooden dolls for her. She has two sisters, so I thought three little kids would work for this doll family.

Admiring their new garden.

Merry Christmas, my dear!

Oh, and here's the outside. Next time, I'll add on some windows with little curtains. Ahhh, I need more time!

December 16, 2009


I made two-toned fleece scarves for family and friends this Christmas. They were a lot of fun to make and very warm. My brothers are getting their favorite sports team colors.

I also made some cut fleece scarves, just for fun. These were secret Santa gifts at various parties this year.

My five year old wanted one too. He chose the colors so I knew he would like it and now he wears it to school every day.

December 9, 2009

Ripped Strip Christmas Trees

I have a very talented cousin (in-law) who hosted a craft night last week. We all came home with three cute Christmas trees made from ripped strips of Christmas fabric. She gave me permission to post the instructions and pictures of our trees. Thanks again, Cami! We had a lot of fun.

We used a cross section of real wood, drilled and fitted with a painted wooden dowel. Start each tree a few inches up from the bottom and tie a strip to the dowel. Hot glue in place. Tie the rest of your strips above the hot glued strip, starting with the 15 inch strips and working up to the 7 inch strips. Turn the knots and push strips down as you go so the knots are not all on one side and they are nice and compact. Only hot glue the first strip,the rest can just be tied on the tree (I double knotted) without glue. Allow 3 inches of dowel or so at the top of your tree to hot glue the star. Trim any strips or stray threads with scissors that you don't like, and viola! Cute Christmas trees are done!

Here is what you need:

6 fabrics, 1/2 yard each (each fabric will be about 18"x42")
16", 20", and 26" dowels
3 pieces of wood with hole for dowel or other kind of base
3 stars or toppers
hot glue gun

Cut each fabric into 18x15, 18x12, 18x9, and 18x7 inch pieces.
Clip up an inch into fabric every inch along 18" sides. Tear fabric into strips with hands.

Small Tree- 16 inch dowel (bottom to top):
3- 15 inch pieces of each fabric (3 strips x 6 fabrics = 18 strips total)
4- 12 inch pieces of each fabric
4- 9 inch pieces of each fabric
2- 7 inch pieces of each fabric

Medium Tree- 20 inch dowel:
6- 15 inch pieces of each fabric
6- 12 inch pieces of each fabric
4- 9 inch pieces of each fabric
3- 7 inch pieces of each fabric

Large Tree- 26 inch dowel:
9- 15 inch pieces of each fabric
8- 12 inch pieces of each fabric
8- 9 inch pieces of each fabric
4- 7 inch pieces of each fabric

Total for all three trees:
18- 15 inch pieces of EACH fabric
18- 12 inch pieces of EACH fabric
16- 9 inch pieces of EACH fabric
9- 7 inch pieces of EACH fabric

FYI: I had extra strips left over, so this is just a basic guideline. The amount of strips on your tree depends on how tightly compacted you can get them.

Leave a comment if you have questions!

December 8, 2009

Cupcake Train

Two of my boys' birthdays are just a month apart, with Christmas in between. While they're young (or until they start protesting) we are doing the combo birthday thing. They are turning 2 and 3 this I'm pretty sure they don't mind.

They are both in love with Thomas the train and I didn't have time to do a large Thomas the tank engine cake with fondant and all of the works, so we opted for a simple but adorable cupcake train.

We jazzed it up with a cheap "grass colored" tablecloth and laid "track" down using black electrical tape.

I bought a blue tablecloth and cut out a lake, just for fun.

My platform cars were made with marshmallow wheels, a toothpick in between to hold them together.

Two sets of wheels glued to a graham cracker with frosting. For best results, let dry overnight.
(Not pictured: I glued on Oreos to the marshmallows to make the wheels more prominent. You could just leave the Oreos off and just stick with the marshmallows too)

I bought those silicone cupcake liners and I loved them. You could do regular round cupcakes too.

Line them all up, and there you go! The boys loved it. The Thomas engine is a bath toy and I got the "Happy Birthday" candles at Walmart. This whole thing took about 2 hours to put together and had just as much wow factor as a 3D Thomas cake (which would have taken me at least 2 days). Happy Birthday A and T!
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