October 31, 2012

Christmas Cookies: It's Never Too Early to Start Planning (and Pinning)!

Buttercream Blondie Cookies
                                                                              Source: butrcreamblondi.blogspot.com via Jen & Elizabeth on Pinterest

I have to admit that one of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the cookies. It's the one time of year when I really enjoy baking cookies and trying out new recipes. Don't get me wrong, every now and then a bag of Nestle chocolate chips inspires me to get out the mixer, but scooping and baking cookies on a regular basis has a few downsides:
A) Weather in the South is not particularly cookie friendly. Most of the year it's just too hot to have the oven on for hours at a time, and who wants to get all sweaty making cookies?
B) Cookies are not good for my waistline. I find it hard to get my walk in every day, and I don't need Mr. Cookie piling on when I'm not able to regularly burn him off.

Just so you know that I'm not a complete "Debbie Downer" when it comes to cookies, I do embrace them during the Christmas season. The oven makes the house toasty and warm, and there's nothing better than a cookie and a hot cup of tea after being outside.

In the pursuit of all things cookie-licious, I've started a cookie focused Pinterest board to collect some recipes and decorating ideas. Now some, I will admit, are pinned just because I thought they were pretty (I'm no cookie Picasso!), but some are very doable and might make it to my daughter's school this year. Here are some of my favorites!

Must try for 2012 because I love the red color, red velvet, and crinkle cookies in general.

These vintage Santas are so cheery.

(Source: retrorenovation.com via Jen & Elizabeth on Pinterest)

I could eat an entire box of spritz cookies...they're so good!

(Source: tasteofhome.com via Jen & Elizabeth on Pinterest)

October 23, 2012

October Ornament: Letters

E is for Elizabeth
This is my first of two letter-themed ornaments for the month of October.  For this one, I pulled out a felted wool clutch from my discard pile (after it was felted, the handles were too tight) and decided to see what would happen if I cut it up.  Turns out it makes pretty decent ornament material.  I'd made the clutch with a combination of light blue and cream yarn, so the letter has a mottled look.  I added a blanket stitch around the outside and hung it up with the rest of my collection.

**Please forgive the rusty flag bracket -- it was too windy to get a good shot of the ornament hanging on the usual evergreen tree in my front yard.

October 21, 2012

Letters: 12 Months of Ornaments {October Theme}

I can't believe it's already late October!  My collection of ornaments is growing rapidly, and before I know it, it will be time to put them on the Christmas tree.  The ornament theme for October is letters -- monograms, text, writing, and more.

October 17, 2012

Block of the Month Project: Block #13

Block of the Month: Block 13

It's Lucky Number 13!  Our 13th block in the series is this great Modern Dresden Wheel.  The straight lines really set it apart from the Traditional Dresden Plate that we made for Block 12.  It's a nice clean design, but as you can see there's still some room for creativity -- Amanda used a yellow center for a sunny look, I went with a neutral center, and Caitie used prints throughout.

Check out our other blocks in the Craftsy Block of the Month series:
Block #1, Block #2, Block #3, Block #4, Block #5, Block #6
Block #7, Block #8, Block #9, Block #10, Block #11, Block #12

October 16, 2012

More September Ornaments

September: Ornament

We have more September ornaments to share!  The theme was, well, ornaments, so there was a lot of room for creativity.  Jen put together this amazing felt stained glass design.  It's so bright and clever -- great job Jen!

September: Ornament
Our mom also joined the fun this month with this sparkly yellow ball ornament.  Sequins, beads, silver ribbon, and a glittery button -- it's bright and cheerful and appropriately girly for Jen's little princess Hannah, who can't resist adding a little (or a lot) of jewelry and accessories to every outfit.

October 13, 2012

Block of the Month Project: Block #12

I've been neglecting my Block of the Month updates, but that doesn't mean that Amanda, Caitie, and I fell off the BOM wagon.  We've been stitching away the last couple of months, so this is just one of a number of blocks I have to share with you.  So let's start with the first block for July, the Traditional Dresden Plate.

Block of the Month: Block 12

I've seen Dresden Plates all over the quilt blogs, and almost a year ago I even remember stumbling upon this great tutorial, Dresdens Decoded, from our very own Craftsy Block of the Month teacher, Amy Gibson at http://www.stitcherydickorydock.com/.  Amy pulled that rabbit right back out of her hat for this block in the series.  As you can see, Amanda, Caitie, and I all stuck to the original design by making a scrappy Dresden on a neutral background with a neutral center.  No, your eyes do not deceive you -- my Dresden is slightly smaller than the others.  It turns out just the teensiest variation in the size of the blades makes a world of difference in the finished size of the "plate."  I kind of like the variation, and now we have 3 gorgeous Dresden Plates to add to our stacks 'o blocks.

Check out our other blocks in the Craftsy Block of the Month series:
Block #1, Block #2, Block #3, Block #4, Block #5, Block #6, Block #7, Block #8, Block #9, Block #10, Block #11


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