Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Treats

The other day I thought it doesn't feel much like christmas. For one thing, this is the first christmas in many of years I didn't get that sigh of relief after finishing finals. Although I have to say I'm not complaining, I would much rather omit the sigh than to have to be in school. I decided I couldn't sit about and whine, it was my job to be the mom and I had to make the christmas treats. This is my crowning glory. My Buche de Noel. I like to think of it as a birthday cake for my mother in law. My husband was so proud of my achievement. My mom always puts a holly sprig on it, but my apartment is fresh out of holly so I used a cookie.I also made sugar cookies with my boy. He loved the batter but the cookies he didn't really care about. First you have to make the batter the day before with a pastry blender and store it in the fridge over night.Then the next day you roll it.Don't forget the fun cookie cutters.And of course we had to put sprinkles on top.And then since I was such a good mommy, I was blessed, I was also craving gingerbread men, and while I was at my mother in laws, someone brought a HUGE one.Here are my recipes:

Christmas Log
Preheat oven to 375
Use a 10x15x1/2 pan
1 cup cake flour
(2 tbsp. corn starch can be added to regular flour if you don’t have cake flour)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In mixing bowl beat eggs till thick and lemon colored. Add sugar. At low speed, blend in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour – beat only until smooth. Pour in pan pushing to edges.
Bake 12-15 minutes. Invert immediately on a towel. Remove wax paper. Let cool two minutes—roll with towel. Let rest 10 minutes or until cool. Unroll—remove towel. Fill with whipped cream, roll up and frost with chocolate frosting so it looks like a “branch” or a “log”.

Sugar Cookies
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Combined flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt and sift into bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg, milk and vanilla; mix until dough holds together. Press into ball. Wrap and chill well. Roll 1/2 of the dough at a time on lightly floured board. Cut into shapes with floured cookies cutters. Arrange 1” apart on ungreased cooky sheets. Bake at 375 for about 8 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Flowers for the Bride

My brother in law got married on Tuesday.
I spent a whole saturday of decorating for the reception, which included making her bouquet. On monday when I saw her I asked her if she wanted me to make another one, long story short, she got one. Pictured above.
She wanted something small, some might thinks this bouquet is lacking but its what she wanted. Actually she wanted one rose, her mom wanted more we compromised that's what weddings are all about. I think it was perfect for her, but maybe I'm biased since I made it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Tour of my Apartment

I found BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes 5 minutes before my hubby came home from work, I haven't been back home since, because of a wedding. Hopefully I'm not to late to participate. Here is how I decorated in a small apartment, using many holiday handme downs. If you came to my house the first thing you would see is my jingle bell wreath on my apartment door. I love this, because of the glitter, I love sparkley things at christmas (although my husband would say I love anything that sparkles all 12 months).Our stockings are hung by the window with care, since $500 a month doesn't buy a fireplace. I hand make stockings for all my family.Here is our 2 foot christmas tree. It was a handme down from my grandma. Here are some of my favorite ornaments. The santa in the background, is a handme down from my mother, its kind of ugly, but I love it because I remember it being in my house as a child. The christmas clock I made a few days ago. One of my sister in laws and I have a love affair going on with Believe signs, thats why I have two with my tree.
This is my favorite presents, its from my brother. I love it, because my sister in law (a different one, I only have 10) wrapped it so simply but beautifully. The tree skirt is another handme down from my childhood. This santa also came with the other from my mom. Its a little too....traditional crafty looking for my taste, but its nice to have a santa on the floor that my son can look at and touch, so he can experience Christmas for himself. This nativity is also on the floor for my son to experience for himself. My mother in law gave all of her children this nativity and its a great nativity for children, because it has a music box.Here are some more of our nativities. My mom collects nativities which means she has more than she can display in her house. She has passed many on to me, including these two. I love my Fontanini Nativity. Speaking of Love, I absolutely love my feather tree. I partly love them, because I got married at christmas time and one of my receptions was decorated with feather trees. Here are some more Nativities, we have another five sets in our closet (apparently mother like daughter), but we had no room to display them in our shoe box of an apartment. Most of these my husband brought back after living in Chile for two years. (The Joy one is a handme down not Chilean.)I almost forgot, my lovely kitchen christmas craft, I made when I was probably 14. That would be the explanation for the awful handwriting, and the poor lay out of words. Thank goodness for moms who save those types of things. Thanks for coming over!

Monday, December 17, 2007

She is here!

My sister recently, as in, on Friday had her first born.
A few months ago I experimented with quilting again. I made her this quilt.
Turned out really good I think, much better than the first quilt I ever made in my life. Its great because its clearly girly, hence holly hobby in the middle, but it doesn't have pink in it, I thought my sister would appreciate the lack of pink.
As you can tell it is a kid tested, kid approved quilt.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Craft #3

Here it is another clock. The pun is intended. I know you are probably sick of seeing clocks, but I can't help it I bought 6 or so of them. I still have 2 at least left. I know its super busy looking, but I like it that way, that is how christmas feels to me. In a good way

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I finished it this morning, the clock for my future cousin in law. Who knows if she'll like it. I planned on doing it in neutral khakis colors, but the next thing you know I've spent five bucks on paper, and it has a giant flower on it. From what I've read lately, authors don't know how their books will turn out, its a surprise to them as well as to us, thats how I feel about this clock. Although I think it looks pretty good, lets just hope she does too. And if she doesn't oh well.

My son should be in severe trouble, but how do you punish a toddler who isn't caught in the act? He cut holes in my latest embroidery. He is always a pill to the Nth degree when I'm working on a clock.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Too personal

Sometimes I feel like making presents for people is too personal. My cousin is about to get married, to a girl I have never met. Part of me feels obligated to make her a present, because she is family. Obligated is the wrong word, I also have no idea what to buy them. Her shower is on saturday so I started making her a clock. I feel like this is way too personal of a persent to give her something i have made when I don't even know her. Here is a conversation I had with my hubby about it.
Le says:
i think maybe Candice will hate her clock, i don't know if i should finish making it, maybe candice hates them on clocks or maybe she hates flowers, it has a flower on it
Le says:
i've never met her how can i know what she likes
brent says:
just finish making it and let her decide
brent says:
you aren't forcing her to put it up
brent says:
maybe she will love it and has never gotten something like this
brent says:
maybe she would prefer to get some joke used granny panties, but that isn't for you to decide
brent says:
you give her what you give her and don't worry about if she likes it or not

The problem is... who wants to invest time into making a present if the person isn't going to like it. Although I guess the same goes with investing money in a present. As far as I know they don't have a registry. I guess I'll just have to finish it and not worry about it.

Holiday Craft #1

I know you have been waiting in anticipation for #1 since you saw #2. Here it is, my mom saw the saying somewhere and wanted me to come up with a pillow design for her. I wasn't going to make one for myself, but I really like the silver pipe cleaners and after making one for my mother and one for my sister in law over thanksgiving I thought whats one more, I need one for my hard work, plus I love the pipe cleaners. Close up, notice the silver around the tinsel word, I'm thinking about redoing it so you can actually see it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My present to me

Santa in green polka dots.
The angel AND a star all in one for the top of my tree. I love angel things. I like how it looks like she is having a bad hair day but she still has her sparkly glam, and big feet.
One for the middle of the tree.
And a candy cane angel who would have thought? Notice she is also having a bad hair day.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I feel like an elf

I have made 14 stockings this year for my family members. Definitely a high, that is why I feel like an elf. 5 years ago two of my brothers got married in the same year. For christmas I made them and their wives stockings, this year they both of their wives had babies. Here are their stockings:
My father also likes to have stockings of all his family members in his house whether they are there or not, that includes grandchildren. By the end of the year he will have had 4 new grandbabies. Here are their stockings: (the two on the right are replicas of the first two, and the one one the left is a replicated below)
I never made my sister stockings for christmas after she got married, probably because I was too busy getting married myself. She is about to have her first baby so I made all of them stockings. Right now my total of stockings made this year is 9.
Before we go on lets have a recap, I love green tree material. Lucky little Evan gets that stocking at his grandpa's house. (His family goes with a different style so I didn't make him one for his house.)
Then I decided 9 stockings for one year wasn't enough, and I remembered that one of my brother's never got personalized stockings. He got married before I started making them. I drew his name for the gift exchange this year and so I decided to make him and his family of 5 stockings. Bring the total up to 14. Turns out some of by best stockings were made in the last batch. This is my favorite that I made this year. So retro classic christmas in my opinion. It reminds me of the ones my mother made for us as kids. All of these stockings are done in that style but the material is what I'm talking about for the retro style. It reminds me of one of my brother's stockings. This one was also exciting I thought because it got button embellishments. I decided to put them on since they went with the main material so well, and she is "the mom". Growing up my dad taught me "the mom" is special. Not to mention it has a snowman couple on the front just like her and my brother, and then a snowwoman with three kids, and she has three kids. I thought the material was perfect for her. I try to find material that I think goes well for the personalities.But since we are talking about stockings, I have to show the stockings I made in previous years for my little family. Since I love them so much. My husband is on the left and my son's is on the right. My husbands stocking is the plainest one I've ever made, it was custom made, he picked everything out, he said didn't want it sissy looking or something to that effect.
I love the trim on mine. Its the fanciest trim I've ever used, I can't afford to put that kind of luxuries on when I'm making 14. The trim was expensive. But I love it still.
As you might of realized there is a few duplicate looking stockings, that is because if they are not being used in the same house, I have no problem using the same material multiple times. And I think its kind of fun to share styles. My little niece mary got to have the same material as mine. And Jobo's cousin has the same stockings at his house. Its fun I think...
For some reason I have always loved stockings. My stocking at my parent's house was always my favorite decoration as a child I think it was because it was mine, not the family's. Thats probably why I now make stockings for my whole family (almost).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Craft #2

You may be wondering what happened to holiday craft #1, all in due time my faithful readers. Right now its time for #2.Mitten clips from martha. The look different, because my mom thought they looked better fat then skinny. They have clothespins on the back of them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The first of the presents.

At thanksgiving, I gave my sister in law her christmas present. I made her a clock, the female version of Jobos. Know I realize this is way girly, but I was thinking it would look good in her new salon. And in my defense she is really girly.
Purple walls? Pink clock? I thought it might work, she might think its super ugly and not use it for all I know. But she said it was super cute and would match great.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Party Time

Last Friday night, we had the aforementioned party. My cousin turned 20, and she had a bash at my house. We also had her two brothers over and their wives. Here is the garland I found from Martha. As you will notice, it is the only martha craft I made. The hats, didn't not turn out to look so good, and they were much more challenging to make than martha made it seem. So they got cut before I even made one. It made me a little disillusioned in martha. I really really really wanted to make the clowns, but I had no time. And the turkeys...well I'm still hoping... Oh and no one could really have expected me to cut out napkins, if you thought I was actually going to go through with that, you are crazy.
Here is Jobo helping making the cake. He really liked it.
Here is the cake, so I know it totally does not look as good what I was trying to copy but I am so PROUD of it. First off, I have never made frosting in my life, and I made this frosting from scratch, and it turned out really tasting. I was really worried, because if there is one thing people from my father's side of the family like it is chocolate cake, my cousin requested chocolate when I asked her what she wanted. So there was a lot of self induced pressure to make a good cake, and as first time frostinger I was worried. But it turned out well, complements were paid, and I breathed a sign of relief after holding my breath for days. The way the cake looked on the other was lopsided I need my aluminum pans. And the decoration is obviously from an amateur but I was still so PROUD!
My hubby made food for MY cousins. How great is that man? I know I love him, he is so nice, its fabulous. He offered to make chimigangas, and of course I would never deny cooking help, since I am not a cook.
The birthday girl is on the far right. Here is Jobo entertaining everyone, none of them have kids, so Jobo is novelty.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A while back

A while back ago I sent out thank you notes for people who sent me birthday presents. I thought they looked really cute, so I'm posting it here. I didn't create this, I made it from my scrapbook software CD, unfortunately I'm not that talented, actually my problem is I don't have the right software to create things on my own.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Today for the festivities, my husband's not quite boss told him he needed to dress up for Halloween. Last night after spending an hour or so looking at old rap stars from the 80s and early 90s, and not getting anywhere fast, we saw the vacuum in the closet, and decided on Ghostbusters. I cut out all the logos, and did the taping and safety pins so I felt like helped him out a lot. And boy did it pay off. My husband won 2nd place in the costume contest at work, which means we now have a $20 movie gift card. Sweet I know!
And here is the little rhino trick or treating through the cubicals of my husband's employment.
Before trick or treating, jobo and I met the dad at the office and ate lunch with him is cube. It was fun. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of my hubby by his name plate in his cube. We forgot!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I finished!

It is complete-- Jobo's costume. Not as cute as last year, but I wasn't feeling as insane either. Maybe it is because this year I realized he only wears it for a few hours, or maybe its because I'm no longer in school, so I have more brain capacity free, to think rational thoughts. I think it really comes down to last, year was my first Halloween as a mother, and this year it is old news. He is a Rhino in case you have missed the posts leading up to this one. Here is another shot.
Bet you didn't know Rhino's have blankets and suck thumbs. Its the best I could get before naptime.
Here he is acting the part getting ready to head ram something.
(Rhino's do head ram right?)
Here he is now roaring or something, since he is the acting the part of the second largest land mammal. See those scary claws, I didn't tell him rhinos don't have claws.
So this is actually the improved costume that I finished an hour ago. Last night I finished the first draft which gave Jobo shrek ears on his rhino suit. Notice the different in ears, much better the second time around I think.
Now I realize this is not the cutest costume ever, but hey it works. Its original, (sort of I know I borrowed the idea but it turned out totally different the the original, I meant not every other toddler will be wearing it) and the all I have to do is remove the horns and ears, and he has clothes he can wear the rest of the winter. I thought about buying a real costume, but I decided that would be totally unfunctional, and expensive for only one night. Not to mention it is warmer than most inexpensive store bought costumes, which is needed since its cold here in Happy Valley.