Friday, December 17, 2010

Yarning for Wreaths

Last year I was inspired by a large selection of yarn wreaths on Etsy and was determined to create my own.  At the time, I had inherited a mother-load of yarn in all textures and colors and also had a plethora of cheap plastic Christmas ornaments from a few years back when my own collection was still in its infancy.   With all the supplies I needed at hand, I thought I could whip up the perfect wreath within a few days.   Oh, how I was wrong.   This wreath took me nearly the entire month of December to complete.  I sat at my table every night wrapping a padded quilting circle with light green yarn.  In the end, it came out wonderful and I let it marinate on my door until March.  After putting so much time and effort into it, I couldn’t just stash it with the rest of the holiday decorations, so I dubbed it a “winter” wreath.

When I pulled the wreath out this season, I was inspired to try my hand at another one determined to get ‘er done in one night’s crafting, i.e. about 2 hours. After receiving a gracious comment on my wreath at the Crafting Brunch from my friend Rachael, I decided to make her one for her own holiday party this past weekend. I worked with the supplies I had on hand:  small quilting circle, thick piece of felt, scraps of yarn, pine cones, and red glitter balls.  I can honestly say I was done with hot glue gun turned off by 11PM, and I had made dinner for 4 people prior to starting.

The most time consuming-part of the process is covering the wooden quilting circle.  Start off by wrapping the quilting circle with the felt or cotton batting until you achieve the thickness you want.   Next choose your base color and wrap the circle all the way around until it is completely covered.  Glue the yarn down where necessary.

Once your base is complete, it’s just a matter of decorating. I chose to only put a small clustering of yarn balls, pine cones and ornaments.  I used a combination of hot glue and a quilting needle and yarn to attach everything.   The finishing touch was a wire loop on the back for hanging.

Yarn it up!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Will you shellac my pine cone?

It has been a crazy couple of weeks and the holiday train is in motion.  In fact, I’m worried it left the station.  You better get on board because there are only 11 days ‘til Christmas!

Two weekends ago, I invited some of my wonderful lady friends over for my 2nd Annual Holiday Craft Brunch.  We enjoyed some delicious food and libations before getting down to the serious business of holiday crafting.  Creativity was the name of the game, and with a mountain of supplies and the nectar of the crafting gods - glitter, the sky was indeed the limit.

In the words of my mother, 
“The creative juices were flowing!” 

No two crafts were the same and I’m so proud of everyone’s ingenuity and imagination.   A piece of friendly advice, here; an offer to shellac one’s pinecone, there; it was a melting pot of skill, inspiration and collaboration with friends helping friends turn their crafting visions into reality!

So take a look at the wondrous creations of my lovely friends, along with some of the quick and easy recipes we prepared to sustain ourselves during this 7 hour crafting bonanza!


Citrus Salad and Ginger Yogurt

1 pink grapefruit
2 tangerines or minneolas
3 navel oranges
1/2 up dried cranberries
2 TBSP honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Greek Yogurt
2/3 cup mince crystallized ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
sliced mint leaves

Peel all fruit and cut into sections, preserving the juices, and place in bowl.  Add cranberries, honey and cinnamon.  Let set at least an hour up to 1 day ahead.  Mix ginger and yogurt together.  Before serving top yogurt with mint and brown sugar.

Prosciutto and Pesto Egg Cups
Makes 12 individual egg cups
24 strips of prosciutto
Cheese of your choice (we did half cheddar and half goat cheese)
12 eggs

Spray a muffin pan generously.  Line each cup with two slices of prosciutto to create a cup.  Sprinkle in some cheese.  Crack one egg into each cup.  Top with a generous dollop of pesto and a little more cheese.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on these because they cook quickly!

Whiskey Sours
6 oz. good whiskey
6 oz. frozen lemonade
1 egg, lightly beaten
lots of ice

Throw everything together in a blender and be prepared for deliciousness!

The Crafters

Lucy's Wine Cork Trivet
Rachael's Holiday Wreath

Glitter and Champagne
Casey's Brooklyn Brewery Cork Ornament

Josie's Wrapping Paper Ornaments

Simone's Nature vs. Glitter Ornament

Lucy's Brooklyn Brewery Ornament

Kathleen's Paper Snowflake and Nature Terrarium Ornament