jelly, jam, marmalade and butter.

one of my goals for christmas is to eventually have 100% handmade gifts. this year, i probably hit about 20%. i blame my lack of planning. for my dad and jon's mom though, we made delicious things.

from front to back on the left row: spiced apple butter, cranberry pear jam, orange marmalade and pomegranate jelly (and note the awesome orange dining room walls). the recipes were more or less straight from ball's preserving book and were pretty simple. the results though are quite tasty (except for the marmalade, but i think marmalade is gross. those who like it said it's good).

and then the labels!

made by me using inkscape and printed on label paper.

for jon's mom we packaged them in a basket with kitchen towels to protect the glass jars and for my dad we put them in a red metal toolbox with shop rags for protection.


christmas crafts.

i've been a bit of a slacker posting lately. however, that does not mean that i have been without making things. no worries.

this was the only bit of holiday decoration the front of my house got this year. next year i promise to try harder, but at least it's a start.

i took one of those twig wreaths and spray painted it white. then i used some of those garland branches made up of metallic colored balls and cut them apart and wove them amongst the twigs. it took me awhile to like it, but it has definitely grown on me.

and holiday tags! why buy them when you have label paper and a printer.

the detail on the red one was bit small so i reworked it. i'm much happier with the new version, but i didn't need any more for this year, so i didn't print any more out. if you want some, let me know and i'll email you a pdf!


christmas trees.

i have dragged jon to hobby lobby twice in this weekend and i went by myself once. yes, it is an addiction. during one visit i saw these cardboard christmas tree forms, simple pyramid shapes that were a blank slate for decorating creativity. the price tag, however, was six dollars, for cardboard! thus me being libby thought, i can make that.

enter in geometry, some recycled cardboard and paper mache (geometry seems to be a theme of the season).

the larger one is made from the lid to a pizza box (a surprisinlgy clean box no less) and the smaller one is made from a peanut butter captain crunch box. i paper mached them for added stability, even though the pizza box one probably didn't need it. note how both trees are the same aspect ratio...mmmmm engineering.

next i spray painted them white and then covered them. for the larger one i used wired ribbon that i got at big lots and for the smaller i used two different shades of off white paper (yes, i already owned two different shades of off white paper) that i cut with scalloped scissors.

maneuvering the corners was trixy with the paper and the corners are a bit sloppy, but all in all i like the way the turned out. they now live on my mantel and i am debating making an entire forest worth.


more ornaments.

hooray. the size of the smaller ones is much more ornament-esq. the one in the middle has rhinos. christmas rhinos.



i'm getting pretty excited about christmas. and about christmas trees. and about making exciting things for said christmas tree.

this was my first attempt today. i used instructions i found online and found a free .svg floral-esq design that i tessellated in inkscape and printed on some leftover cardstock to make pretty paper.

i used 2.5 inch circles, which resulted in a pretty large ornament. so for my next try i'm going to use probably about an inch and a quarter.

it's a pretty great project. i've decided i like mindless, repetitive tasks. and it even involved a little geometry.



this box of tins will soon be my spice 'rack'. currently, the spices are living in a variety of places in my kitchen...by the stove, in the pantry, on a shelf in the cupboard that I have to stand on my tip-toes to reach. not ideal.

enter inkscape, label paper and carefully cutting circles.

i'm pretty happy with them. only 1 million more to go!

then to figure out where to put them all...


kitchen owls.

hello interwebs. we'll see how this goes.

i bought these owls at the salvation army probably six months ago. there were three of them attached to some sort of mail sorting contraption. they were fairly exciting to begin with, but not quite my style.

several coats of blue acrylic later...

hooray! there are actually three of these. they shall live in the kitchen. stacked vertically.