Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Homemade Christmas: Coasters

I made these coasters using a ceramic tile and a napkin. I tell how in this previous post.
They were actually my daughter's homemade gifts to her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, but she was having trouble finding time to get them done. So we made a trade and I ended up doing them for her!!

I usually pick up the tiles at Lowes and I find my most unique napkins at Tuesday Morning.

These are a very inexpensive gift and they take very little time to make.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Homemade Christmas: Ornaments

These ornaments were made for me by my son, Nathan, and his wife, Jennifer. They will be extra-special to me since they will be living in Vanuatu for the next two years and won't be home for Christmas. This was their homemade Christmas gift to me. They gave them to me early so I could enjoy them this Christmas season.

This one was done by my daughter-in-law. It depicts my four granddaughters playing in the snow. My daughter-in-law would probably kill if she knew I was putting it on here for the world to see, so we won't tell her!! Of course, I love anything that has to do with my grandchildren.

My son did these of the world.

And since I'm a teapot junkie, they had to do one like this! Sorry about the quality of the picture.

And this is what my son can do when he puts his mind to it! Isn't this absolutely gorgeous? I told him I want a set of these, but since he's leaving for two years, I may have to wait a while!

Oh, and by the way, it isn't even done. See those tiny black lines? He informed me that he still has more work to do on it and it needs a clear coat.

My daughter had the same idea! She did these ornaments for me as well.

Here's a cute snowman on a lavender background:

And she did a couple of these:

Isn't it gorgeous? I want several more like it to grace my tree next year.

She painted a clear ornament with the gold paint, then added some stickers she found. She then spruced up the stickers with paint, then added a clear coat.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Homemade Christmas: Farkle

My oldest son, Bobby, got really creative on his homemade Christmas gift to his brother, Nathan. He wanted it to be something that Nathan could take with him to Vanuatu. So it had to be small and it couldn't weigh very much since Nate & Jen are only taking six totes of belongings with them.

Here's what he came up with:

Have you ever played Farkle? It's a game somewhat similar to Yahtzee. It's a lot of fun and all you need is dice. And a cup to roll them in, if you want it.

Bobby started out with a block of wood and ended up with this! I think it is amazing workmanship!!

I think his gift took the top prize at our homemade Christmas. And this is the kind of thing that builds memories that will last a lifetime!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Tale of Three Pots

Thirty-one years ago, a set of shiny Farberware pots and pans became a part of our brand new family. They were a wedding gift.

The smallest pan lost it's shiny bottom layer a couple years later when I left my my oldest son's bottle heating on the stove one night before church. When we came home after church, the stove was still going, the bottle was dry and the wall beside the stove so hot you couldn't touch it. It's a miracle I didn't burn the house down!

I kept the pan and have used it all these years, despite it's handicap.

Each one of my children passed through the phase of unloading my pots and pans cupboard. Each one of my children used them as a set of drums. Each one of my children used the largest pot as a booster seat from time to time.

And each one of my children were fed countless meals cooked in these pots.

Sixteen years ago, we made the move from California to Missouri. The pots and pans came along. Their stainless steel didn't seem to have any trouble adjusting to the humidity of the summers or the cold of the winters. They just kept on cooking.

About five years ago, my kids decided I needed a new set of pots and pans. You see, my Farberware set have all lost their handles. One even perished in a kitchen fire.

But they were still cooking, so I couldn't bear to through them out. I just made room in the cupboard for the new set and kept the old. But I still used them, just about every day.

Well, three of those pots and pans are about to make another move. This time to Vanuatu. They are going with my son and his wife when they leave for two years on December 31st.

When my daughter-in-law mentioned that they needed to pick up some pots and pans to take with them, something inexpensive that they would probably leave there when they came home, I told her she could have them. I thought it would be fitting for them to go where I couldn't go and keep cooking meals for my son.

After all, they've been doing it for the twenty-six years he's been around. He's even scorched them more than a few times with his cooking!!

So now they are going with him to his new home. And when he returns, chances are the pots & pans will probably stay there.

All except the little one. I requested that it make the trip back home if at all possible.

Call me sentimental - it's true and I don't mind!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Homemade Christmas: No-Sew Blankets

My youngest daughter wasn't overly enthusiastic about the homemade Christmas idea. She doesn't consider herself crafty or artistic. She is a manager of a women's clothing establishment, works long hard hours during the holiday season, and would rather just buy her gifts. And I don't blame her!! But, since we agreed to do homemade gifts this year, she joined in the fun.
Here is one of the simple no-sew blankets she put together for her four nieces:

Boy, were they a hit!! The girls absolutely loved them!

The two layers are held together with these simple knots. They measured approximately 60" by 54".

Last year, the youth group at our church got together and made these blankets for the each of the children at group home in Haiti. It was something everyone could participate in doing and the children were so happy to have their own blanket!!

Christmas Cookies

Our family had our Christmas last night, eight days early. This is an "off year", meaning that my kids go to their in-laws for Christmas. They were with us on Thanksgiving.

Anyway, I made these decorated sugar cookies for our party. My daughter-in-law, Jennifer, helped decorate them.

The colors were much brighter than they look in these pictures. Either I don't know how to take pictures, or there is something wrong with my camera. I'm leaning towards the first option!!
If you would like to try some of these, you can get the recipes here and here.

A very Merry Christmas to all of you!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Homemade Christmas: More Aprons

I have four granddaughters, two of whom love to help there mother in the kitchen. So I decided to make them their own aprons. Now they won't have to hitch their mom's aprons up to fit!! They are ages four and six.

I made their aprons out of fabric I already had, floral prints I picked up at Wal Mart this past spring.

I made each apron adjustable. The ties go around the neck, through the sides of the apron, then tie in the back. They can tighten or loosen them as needed.

Not the best picture, but you get the idea!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Homemade Christmas: Aprons

If you have read my blog, then you know that my son and his new wife are going to be livingon the island of Santo, Vanuatu for the next two years. They leave on the 31st. It's going to be pretty rough over there. What I mean is, it's very likely that they will have to hand wash their clothes!! For two years - can you imagine that!?! That's what I would call roughing it.

Anyway, since we're doing the homemade Christmas thing this year, I was trying to come up with something useful to make for my daughter-in-law. The corn bags won't work, since they won't have a microwave. Then I started thinking about their laundry. Then it came to me - a good set of aprons would save her clothes and hopefully save her a lot of washing!

So I made her aprons for Christmas. I made them out of home decor fabric, since I wanted something fairly heavy and hardy. And I also wanted something pretty.

Each apron has a large pocket on the front, which doesn't show up very well in these pictures.
I found the fabric on sale at Joann's, so I have about $7.00 in each of these aprons.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Homemade Christmas: Corn Heating Pads

Last year after the Christmas, our family decided to do a "homemade Christmas" this year. Of course, most of us put it off until the last minute, even though we've had a whole year to plan and create! So, I have spent the last week working like a crazy woman on my Christmas gifts. So have my kids. We're all hopeless procrastinators!!

Here is one of my projects:

Corn Heating Pads

My mother made a couple of these for our family several years back. We absolutely loved them!! They are a good source of moist heat for those annoying aches and pains. They are also great during the winter for cold feet or just to cozy up to. You just pop them into the microwave for several minutes, and you have hours of warmth.

The corn heating pads my mom made for us didn't have an outer cover - just the corn bag itself. So you can imagine what they looked like after several years of use. And then, they left home with my kids so I didn't even have one anymore. That's right, my kids stole them!!

So I decided to make everybody their own corn heating pads this year. I've made a dozen of them for Christmas gifts and plan to make about a dozen more after Christmas to give to friends and extended family. The pad or bag that holds the corn is made of muslin. The cover is made of flannel. I made the back of the cover so that it is easy to slip the corn pad out and then the cover can be washed.

The approximate dimensions are 11" x 17". After Christmas, I'm going to make a neck pad as well as pocket warmers.

The cost of the corn was about $6.50 and I paid around $2.00 per yard for the fabric, so these turned out to be a very inexpensive gift.