Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday {G}!

My firstborn is getting all grown up on me. *Sigh* How do I slow down time? Happy Birthday {G}!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

alipyper likes to write

I've forgotten so many funny, sad and wonderful things that have happened over the years because I haven't written them down. 2012 is the year that I will write down something EVERY DAY. No matter how trivial or mundane. Maybe I'll change my brain sieve into a brain trap. Or maybe I'll laugh in five years at the silly things I wrote down. One line a day is do-able. Right?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I've been listening to this and this all day long. Mellow and beautiful.

Wishing you and your family the very Merriest Christmas filled with love, laughter, and a thankful heart!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sarah Jane Paper Nativity Activity - Toy Tuesday

Sarah Jane Nativity Activity
Available for download from her blog, this really sweet Nativity Activity is a wonderful way to let your children explore the true meaning of Christmas. Coloring, cutting out, gluing and playacting, I imagine hours of lovely fun.

Merry Christmas!

Image credit: Sarah Jane Studios

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Picot Edge Fingerless Gloves

These are headed to the UK for a dear friend. A thoroughly satisfying quick knit! Check out my Ravelry project page for how I adjusted the free pattern.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Soft Cloth Dolls - Toy Tuesday

There are some really lovely dolls patterns floating around the web. {I like these here or here}

Emily Winfield Martin of (Inside a Black Apple) shared her sweet little doll pattern when she appeared on the Martha Stewart show a little while back. I was also totally inspired by the super cute dolls I found while browsing Pinterest.

I constructed this little thing using the free Black Apple Doll pattern out of cotton interlock knit because I wanted to make a few sets of changeable clothes for her to wear, but the pattern is also super darling when the body and legs are made from fabric. That way your sweet doll comes ready dressed!

 There is still time before Christmas to whip up a little doll for a loved one! Or, check out these lovely things by threaded basil.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hot Chocolate and Cookies

Invite your friends over for a hot drink and a treat and spend some lovely time together!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hand Knit Christmas Stockings

Garnet Hill
 I must confess that I am partial to homemade Christmas stockings. My mother made all eight of our Christmas stockings growing up. I love my elves with the pipe cleaner limbs!

Sugar Plum Stocking Pattern from Knitting Today Magazine

One year after {K} was born, I was desperate to have a matching set of stockings for all of us, so I took what I had in my stash, made some simple stockings and embroidered our names on them. They are great, but I've been longing to make a set of stockings that I really love!

Sundance Catalog

Several years ago I saw some colorful striped knit Christmas stockings at JCrew and I've wanted to knit a set of my own Christmas stockings ever since. Of course, I remember I want to do this when the Christmas decorations come out after Thanksgiving and there is never enough time to knit by then!

Land of Nod

Hopefully by next year I'll have a set of hand knit stockings to pass to my children!

Vintage and Stash Stockings

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Coco Rose Pip Studios China Crush

Ever since Vanessa from Coco Rose Diaries shared her Pip Studio china collection on her blog, I've been obsessively crushing on it!

It's kind of girly, but the red and white checkered border is sending me over the moon!

I know I don't get out much, but I've never seen this china in the States! I'm going to have to do some research on where to find it. So cute!

all images Coco Rose Diaries

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

Making gingerbread houses at Christmas time has been a family tradition since I was very small.

Most were given away to friends and neighbors, but we always kept at least one. Mom made us wait until after Christmas to eat it, although there were always candy pieces that mysteriously disappeared from seemingly discreet places.

The recipe below is my mother's recipe and it is AMAZING. I use this same recipe for cut-out gingerbread cookies. If you know the gingerbread houses won't get eaten, you can substitute vegetable shortening for the butter to cut costs.

One recipe will fill a 18" x 13" x 1" cookie sheet and is enough to make 1 large gingerbread house. Double the recipe and you can make 5 mini houses in two cookie sheets. Score the cookie dough with the pattern pieces before you bake the cookie sheet and then score the pattern again IMMEDIATELY after you take them out of the oven.

Gingerbread House Recipe
Makes one large gingerbread house
Preheat oven to 350ยบ F

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add slightly beaten egg and dark molasses. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Cookie dough should pull away from the edges of the bowl, but should not be too dry (If you are rolling out the dough for cut out gingerbread cookies, add a bit more flour so that the dough is stiffer). Turn out dough onto an ungreased 18" x 13" x 1" cookie sheet and flatten dough, completely covering the bottom of the pan. Smooth, lay out gingerbread house pieces and score the pattern with a sharp paring knife.

Bake for 12 - 14 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Gingerbread is done when the top is golden brown. As soon as you remove the cookie sheet from the oven score the pattern pieces again. Allow cookie sheet to cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove the excess gingerbread pieces, then using a metal spatula carefully remove the gingerbread house pieces to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Use a meringue powder royal icing as "glue" to construct the house and attach the candies. If you aren't able to find meringue powder at your local grocery, craft, or baking store, use an egg white royal icing recipe. Please note that your eggs must be very fresh if the icing will be eaten by young children or anyone whose health could be compromised. You can be as simple or fancy as you want. When the kids are decorating, I just fill disposable plastic pastry bags with meringue powder royal icing and cut the tip of the bag off so that they can pipe the icing themselves. Use plastic bread bag closures or twist ties to secure the top of the pastry bag. Don't overfill bags! Little hands forget to squeeze from the top down.

Gingerbread houses don't last long at our house any more!

Gingerbread House Recipe
Gingerbread House Template

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...