Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Little Man is Three

We celebrated by son's birthday yesterday and I was feeling some twinges of guilt because of the lack of effort dedicated to this big day. Here is what I was able to pull together.

The Chasing Fireflies catalog has great number shirts but not having $30 to spend on a t-shirt I opted to make my own out of a $3.50 shirt, freezer paper and some fabric paint. I really like this method and I love how it turned out!

To make your own cut your design out of some freezer paper. Place the waxy side on the fabric and use your iron on a medium setting to attach, then go crazy with the fabric paint. I put a towel in between the two layers of the shirt in case I went too crazy with the paint.  Let the paint dry and then set the paint with the iron.

For M's gift I wanted to make him a tent that he saw at my friend's house. I am going to try and post a tutorial on this once I recover for the holidays. I used nylon and in hindsight I think it would have been better with canvas. It is a bit bigger than originally intended, but M loves it and three kids can easily fit inside.

Testing out the new tent.
 Grandpa got M his own flashlight - a BIG BIG hit.

 We took him ice skating and he did so well and I didn't do so bad myself!

I wanted to make M a train cake and had big plans to carve a train but after realizing that it took a sheet cake to create and we weren't going to have a big party I scaled down the design. I made marshmallow fondant and it was great! I was a little rushed cutting out the train but it is identifiable.

I then had my husband cut a three inch piece of one inch PVC pipe and cap it off. I added some water and dry ice to make the train smoke. I was pretty impressed with myself!

Here is a close up of the smoking. Next time I will make sure to add enough dry ice to make it more dramatic but I was too chicken this time.

Having a December birthday is tough, especially so close to Christmas. We have already started to debate having a summer half birthday. Any people out there with December birthdays that care to weight in?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Sugar Cookie Massacre of 2010

There was a Christmas massacre at my house, I am not going to lie - it isn't pretty. At least that is what I think my sugar cookies look like this year. I tried to pipe icing with white and then flood the inside with red but apparently I made it too runny and a bloodbath ensued.  Rather than try and fix it I just went with it and hoped the sprinkles would help make them look more festive. Little Man and I had a pretty good time making this mess.

Not sure if she would want the credit or not but I got the frosting recipe from i am baker, and it is tasty and I am sure in more capable hands (i.e. someone that can follow directions) it would have worked great.

  • 1 cup Confectioners Sugar (powder Sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • 1 drop Lemon Juice (fresh Or Processed)-this is optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
The first victim. Clearly someone tried to cover up the crime.
 Double homicide or murder/suicide?

Not even the tree was safe. I do love the gloss!

 A herd of dinosaurs were near by but didn't hear a thing.

The damage. There was icing EVERYWHERE in my kitchen - counters, floors, cabinets, the dog...

More dinosaurs. We normally use these for Playdoh but thought what would scream Christmas more than a festively decorated Stegosaurus and Pteranodon.

The cookies taste amazing. Here is the recipe I used.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
10 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

  1. Cream together sugar and butter.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
  3. Then add sour cream and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to wet ingredients a little at a time.
  5. Chill in refrigerator till firm or even overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°.
  7. Roll the dough 1/4-1/2-inch thickness and cut out into desired shape.
  8. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until lightly pale golden--not brown.
  9. Allow to cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Someone Has a Case of the Mondays

Wow, Monday morning already! Two more days and my parents arrive from NY. I feel like my to-do list is growing rather than shrinking and I need to get my act together quickly.

Luckily for me, my parents aren't the type of house guest that you have to clean your house like you have never cleaned before. I do plan to pick up and do the customary laundry and toilet cleaning but there will be no polishing of the non-existent silver or dusting of any kind.

Even with cleaning not high on the priority list, this week is still full of to-do's which normally would be fun and filled with memory making opportunities but feel more like an endurance race at the moment. There is something about the holidays that can take a magical moment like decorating cookies with your kids and turn it into a chore. Am I a horrible person for writing that?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bean Bags

Thanks to my dear friend Jayna, I was able to get G's Christmas present completed. She not only gave me all the wonderful fabric but also let me borrow her sewing machine. My sewing machine is not working properly and makes hand sewing seem like a valid option, while her machine is like a walk on the beach. I do see a new sewing machine in my future, hopefully not the distant future.

I hope G likes these! (Please ignore the dirty table and random threads that haven't been cut.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yarn Snowballs - Tutorial

Crafts keep me up at night. I lay in bed and occasionally I come up with a good idea. This may be one of them - yarn snowballs. 
You will need:
  • Cotton yarn, I tried acrylic but they didn't get hard enough
  • Balloons, I used the smallest ones I could find
  • Vaseline
  • Water
  • Elmer's Glue
  • Glitter
  • Clothes hanger
  • Needle and thread
  • Spray acrylic
  • Bag
Get started:
Step 1: Blow up balloons. I put too much air in some of mine and the end result is a yarn ball that looks like a balloon.

Step 2: Cover balloon in a thin layer of Vaseline. This isn't as messy as I thought it would be and my Little Man was able to help out with this step.

Step 3: Soak yarn in a water and glue mixture. I did 75% glue / 25% water. I used about 6 yards for one small balloon but think if I make these again I will try about 9 to 10 yards. 

Step 4: After you have the balloon covered with yarn, run some thread through the tied off portion and hang it on a clothes hanger to dry. It took mine about 12 hours to completely dry.

Step 5: Once balloon is dry, pop balloon and gingerly pull it out. I then threaded a piece of the matching yarn through the ball and sprayed it with some clear spray acrylic. This really smells so please do it outside.

Step 6: Place yarn ball in bag and go crazy with the glitter.

Step 7: Pull yarn ball out and admire your handy work. Hang in desired spot. They will still stink but by this time you might be enjoying that part.

I hung mine on my dining room light fixture. If I was better at making ribbon bows I would have attached them that way.

Here is my original acrylic yarn test. Too soft, but looks nice here on this light fixture. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wreaths, Wreaths, Wreaths

Last night I hosted Cocktails and Crafts - Wreath Addition and it was a blast. Unlike previous Cocktails and Crafts, we crafted at night when the children should be asleep. I liked the change but the kids didn't get the memo that it was bed time until everyone had left.

The drink was a homemade hot chocolate, with or without amaretto. 
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • whipped cream
  • one shot of amaretto
Mix the cocoa powder and sugar and then slowly add the milk and stir until smooth. Heat to desired temperature, being careful not to let it boil. Add a shot of amaretto and top with whip cream. Yum!

Crafters brought whatever kind of wreath they wanted to make. We had a yarn, a grapevine and an evergreen wreath. I attempted the yarn wreath and before everyone got there I thought it would be a good idea to wrap my wreath prior to my guests arrival. I am glad I did, it too me over an hour to cover that sucker.

Everyone brought whatever they wanted to embellish their wreath and we heated up the glue guns. It was a pretty quick craft and some of us are a bit more skilled in the art of wreath making than others but for a first attempt I love mine.
Beautiful Grapevine Wreath
Evergreen wreath made of garland.

My husband said it looks like a hemorrhoid pillow but that is not going to deter me from hanging it up on the front door all season long. I love my glitter explosion hemorrhoid pillow wreath.

Friday, December 3, 2010

An Easy Christmas Decoration

I was visiting with one of my friends this week and saw the most magnificent mason jar ever. This thing was huge (at least 5 gallons) and it was filled with Christmas lights. I tried to recreate the effect using quart size mason jars and I love how it turned out.

 To make your own take one strand of lights and fill jar. The end. Simple. Modern. Cheap.

I wish I had battery operated lights, but since I don't my strand comes out of each jar and hops into the next one. We opted for the small fake tree in the window with Destructo Baby on the loose but I love the way a fresh cut tree smells so I might see what the jars looks like with some evergreens around it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stegosaurus Dinosaur Hat

Introducing (drum roll please) the first crochet pattern I designed - The Stegosaurus Dinosaur Hat!

Since this is my first pattern, please let me know if you see any mistakes or have any questions. My Little Man loves his new hat, at least that is what I think all that roaring is about.

Click here to download the pattern.  You can also find it on Ravelry.

Creative Commons License
Stegosaurus Dinosaur Hat by Sarah Boccolucci is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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