Author Topic: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!  (Read 5938 times)

1967mama

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #100 on: March 11, 2017, 01:28:34 AM »
I started some more vanilla beans in vodka today. I really need to find a cheap source for beans ... vanilla was $27 at Costco the other day (Canada).
How long do you plan on leaving yours in the vodka? I just started some yesterday as well! And yeah, vanilla beans are definitely costly.

I find that I can start using it after 3 months ... but its still quite boozy. After 6 months, its the same as Costco vanilla, except better tasting.

I broke down and bought some Amazon vanilla beans this week. When they get here, I'll go buy some more vodka and get it going in the back of my cupboard. I bake a lot and I'm having to use my boozy vanilla already.

KID: "Mom, these cookies are reeealllly good!"

ME: "Mmmm-hmmmm"

Poundwise

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #101 on: March 11, 2017, 09:47:29 AM »
Poundwise, that's a lovely gift! Care to share the pattern? I don't know what to call something like that, and I have one little skein of beautiful yarn that would be perfect for it.

Thanks!  It actually looks much nicer than the photo... I'm really happy at how it came out. Yes, this neckwarmer was done with a single skein of hand-dyed alpaca-merino single ply that I bought on impulse some time ago. It felt like knitting cream, just lovely stuff. I don't exactly have a pattern, but basically, I started with a couple of inches of seed stitch, then about 6.5 inches of stockinette, followed by another 2 inches of seed stitch again. I knit until I was almost out of yarn, then bound off.  I let it sit in a closet for about 4 years :) during which time, my favorite fabric store went out of business :~( but had a big closing sale in which I bought the clasps for about $2.  Finally, I wove in the two ends, wrapped it around my neck at a slight diagonal and used pins to mark where I thought the clasps should go (they will be placed diagonally along the knitting), then sewed them on!

Total time to make: approximately 4 years, 3 hours. Your timing may vary.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 09:53:50 AM by Poundwise »

PJ

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #102 on: March 11, 2017, 03:50:41 PM »
Poundwise, that's a lovely gift! Care to share the pattern? I don't know what to call something like that, and I have one little skein of beautiful yarn that would be perfect for it.

Thanks!  It actually looks much nicer than the photo... I'm really happy at how it came out. Yes, this neckwarmer was done with a single skein of hand-dyed alpaca-merino single ply that I bought on impulse some time ago. It felt like knitting cream, just lovely stuff. I don't exactly have a pattern, but basically, I started with a couple of inches of seed stitch, then about 6.5 inches of stockinette, followed by another 2 inches of seed stitch again. I knit until I was almost out of yarn, then bound off.  I let it sit in a closet for about 4 years :) during which time, my favorite fabric store went out of business :~( but had a big closing sale in which I bought the clasps for about $2.  Finally, I wove in the two ends, wrapped it around my neck at a slight diagonal and used pins to mark where I thought the clasps should go (they will be placed diagonally along the knitting), then sewed them on!

Total time to make: approximately 4 years, 3 hours. Your timing may vary.

:-)
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Dr. Cornel West

doingmybest

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #103 on: March 17, 2017, 06:19:27 PM »
I'm in.  I am just about finished with the first of six pairs of socks I want to knit for Christmas.  Also have the fabric and pattern for four pairs of "pajama" pants.  Of course I had that for last year's Christmas, so here's hoping.  Have some Orangecello started.  Looks like I need to go back to the January mini-challenge and set up a spreadsheet so I'll be organized.  Determined to be done with everything by the first of November so I can actually enjoy the time leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Thanks for the motivation!

PJ

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #104 on: March 17, 2017, 10:02:36 PM »
I'm not so interested in making foodie gifts, and not sure if folks in my circle would be particularly interested in receiving them anyway.  But, I was recently gifted a mickey of overproof white Jamaican rum (I think it's 63% alcohol) and I already have a 26 ounce bottle of vodka that someone gave me - leftover after a party.  At home, I'm more of a wine drinker, when I'm out, it's wine or coolers so I'm not going to drink them. 

Obviously, I could just gift the bottles of booze to someone!

But, other than making extracts (vanilla, coffee, etc) does anyone have other ideas for using these bottles of liquor for gift-giving?
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

swick

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #105 on: March 18, 2017, 09:34:32 AM »
I'm not so interested in making foodie gifts, and not sure if folks in my circle would be particularly interested in receiving them anyway.  But, I was recently gifted a mickey of overproof white Jamaican rum (I think it's 63% alcohol) and I already have a 26 ounce bottle of vodka that someone gave me - leftover after a party.  At home, I'm more of a wine drinker, when I'm out, it's wine or coolers so I'm not going to drink them. 

Obviously, I could just gift the bottles of booze to someone!

But, other than making extracts (vanilla, coffee, etc) does anyone have other ideas for using these bottles of liquor for gift-giving?

Making hard alcohol into Kahlua or Bailey's makes it much more drinkable and makes for a fancy-pants gift :)

Few links to get you started:

https://www.beanilla.com/blog/homemade-kahlua-recipe - This one uses instant coffee and is most like the one my mom makes.

https://www.popsugar.com/food/12-Days-Edible-Gifts-Homemade-Kahlua-2624013 - Uses whole coffee beans

Bailey's usually uses Whisky but we have done it with Vodka or rum and it is good too. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/23534/original-irish-cream/




PJ

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #106 on: March 18, 2017, 09:37:42 AM »
Thanks swick, I'll keep that idea in mind!
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

Drole

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #107 on: March 18, 2017, 12:47:02 PM »
Vanilla beans in vodka are officially 'made' and stewing in the cupboard. 

I'd make the coffee liquor now, but I should save something to post tomorrow, no?

Freckles

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #108 on: March 18, 2017, 05:14:46 PM »
My fourth-grader had to do a project for school. They are fundraising for an overnight camping field trip learning about The Oregon Trail. There will be a market at their elementary school where everyone can buy products the fourth and fifth graders made. They've tied it into a study of business so the kids are learning about developing products and marketing and pricing and selling, etc. I think it's neat. Anyway, she had to come up with something to make and we ended up finding these doughnut key chains made out of socks. We made a couple of prototypes and they came out so cute, and were so popular with all the kids at her school, that I thought I'd share the link to the tutorial here. If you have any kids in your life, I bet they'd like one of these! They are really easy to make. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTweMrJyw8s#t=748.01624

PJ

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #109 on: March 18, 2017, 11:21:51 PM »
Vanilla beans in vodka are officially 'made' and stewing in the cupboard. 

I'd make the coffee liquor now, but I should save something to post tomorrow, no?

Wow, Drole, I should just give you my vodka and my rum, and ask for a small bottle each of vanilla extract and coffee liquor in return!  ;-)
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #110 on: March 19, 2017, 09:22:08 AM »
Not sure how many ounces in a mickey, but you can make rum balls, which take about 1/2 cup of rum per batch. Or have some friends over and have a signature drink, like a Dark and Stormy or Bloody Mary.

Drole

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #111 on: March 19, 2017, 10:35:06 AM »
Rum balls and coffee liquor...let's go to PJS. /might have to add rum balls to the list).

PMG

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #112 on: March 19, 2017, 10:51:02 AM »
Rum balls.  Ooh. Yes!!  One of my friends gave us all bourbon balls last Christmas. We are working hard to convince her that it is tradition now.

sparkytheop

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #113 on: March 19, 2017, 11:50:29 AM »
Anyone here from Oregon?  If so, can you identify what this quilt block represents?  I'm hoping it's pretty obvious for my parents who love this place...

I think I mentioned earlier in the thread that this year's big homemade Christmas present is a quilt for my parents (my sister and SIL are both contributing some blocks, but most the work falls on me, since it was my idea).

Freckles

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #114 on: March 19, 2017, 05:09:36 PM »
Enchanted Forest!

Yes?

sparkytheop

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #115 on: March 19, 2017, 06:25:47 PM »
Enchanted Forest!

Yes?

Yes!!  I would have spent hours on that shoe slide (and the fort slide) if I could.  Sometimes they would set up lunch and eat on a nearby bench while I did the slide. 


Freckles

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #116 on: March 19, 2017, 09:56:21 PM »
It's a really neat place. I love your quilt; I'm sure your parents will too.

Drole

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #117 on: March 20, 2017, 11:34:38 AM »
So it took an extra day, but I made the coffee liquor...Kahlua style bc we have a lot of cheap vodka on hand.

This is the recipe I ended up following:
http://www.goodcocktails.com/liqueur_recipes/coffee_liqueur_recipe.php

swick

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #118 on: March 22, 2017, 09:30:54 AM »
Wahoo for progress! Love the quilt squares, Sparkytheop!

Anyone have any ideas for a mini-challenge for April? I've been bad at setting them...see this is how I always end up in a panic in Dec :)

I was thinking maybe something along the lines of:

 - Coming up with some ideas and creating a plan for some "Assembly Line" gifts you can have ready for those last minute gifts. The hostess gift, the gift for someone you forgot about or gave you a gift, or that person/service provider you really appreciate,  or the office white elephant gift...

I usually have something on hand because I find all the little, unexpected gifts are the ones that really stress me out and lead to last minute scrambling and anxiety. It is so much easier to be able to go to the pantry, grab a little gift bag and away we go.

Also, floating the idea because I think it would be fun...anyone interested in doing an MMM homemade gift exchange?  Might be a fun way to share our homemade goodness, and I could organize it to match people by country for whoever wants to participate to cut down on shipping costs.

4alpacas

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #119 on: March 22, 2017, 09:56:30 AM »

 - Coming up with some ideas and creating a plan for some "Assembly Line" gifts you can have ready for those last minute gifts. The hostess gift, the gift for someone you forgot about or gave you a gift, or that person/service provider you really appreciate,  or the office white elephant gift...

I usually have something on hand because I find all the little, unexpected gifts are the ones that really stress me out and lead to last minute scrambling and anxiety. It is so much easier to be able to go to the pantry, grab a little gift bag and away we go.
I need to make an effort to figure out something as a hostess gift for the entire year.  My friends have started hosting more events at our houses instead of going out, which is great for my budget.  However, I've just been bringing some sort of food item and a bottle of wine (since we live so close to wine country, no one wants another bottle of wine in their house).  I would love to have something unique to give my friends. 

As for the MMM exchange, I would love to participate, but I worry that my efforts will be a let down to all of you talented mustachians.  Maybe I can just mail wine?  Or mittens.  I can knit! :D

Cherry Lane

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #120 on: March 22, 2017, 10:46:28 AM »
I need to make an effort to figure out something as a hostess gift for the entire year.  My friends have started hosting more events at our houses instead of going out, which is great for my budget.  However, I've just been bringing some sort of food item and a bottle of wine (since we live so close to wine country, no one wants another bottle of wine in their house).  I would love to have something unique to give my friends. 
A friend of mine cans jam in those cute little 4 oz. quilted jars, then brings those for hostess gifts.  She usually has some unusual fruit or flavor combination, and everyone loves them.

Poundwise

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #121 on: March 23, 2017, 12:33:55 PM »
Quote
Also, floating the idea because I think it would be fun...anyone interested in doing an MMM homemade gift exchange?  Might be a fun way to share our homemade goodness, and I could organize it to match people by country for whoever wants to participate to cut down on shipping costs.

IF I weren't trying not to start new things for Lent, I MIGHT jump on the gift exchange, and mention that though I have the most skill at knitting, I'm good at origami, baking cookies, do some sewing, and nowadays I'm doing a lot of basketry. Ahem.  Not that I'm trying to join any gift exchange. Ahem. Nosir. Not me.

4alpacas

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #122 on: March 23, 2017, 12:47:50 PM »
I need to make an effort to figure out something as a hostess gift for the entire year.  My friends have started hosting more events at our houses instead of going out, which is great for my budget.  However, I've just been bringing some sort of food item and a bottle of wine (since we live so close to wine country, no one wants another bottle of wine in their house).  I would love to have something unique to give my friends. 
A friend of mine cans jam in those cute little 4 oz. quilted jars, then brings those for hostess gifts.  She usually has some unusual fruit or flavor combination, and everyone loves them.
I'm going to try to make lemon curd this weekend!  We have a large lemon tree, so one ingredient is free.

LindseyC

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #123 on: March 27, 2017, 08:42:25 PM »
I posted about this in the budget decor thread but it fits in here too. Lately I have been thrifting unusual planters and then making miniature succulent gardens from cuttings, plants I propagated or plants I bought on super sale.

It is super addicting and I am finding myself wanted to grow more and more. Then I showed a few friends my practice gardens and now everyone is requesting I make them one. I am going to do some research and start propagating more because I am pretty sure this is what I am going to give everyone for Christmas, not to mention potential birthday and hostess gifts for the year. As long as I propagate my own plants, it's really not that expensive. 

I have also been adding little statues I thrifted over the years and I know I could find some good ones for specific people's gifts.

These are some of my test creations:

4alpacas

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #124 on: March 27, 2017, 09:12:08 PM »
I posted about this in the budget decor thread but it fits in here too. Lately I have been thrifting unusual planters and then making miniature succulent gardens from cuttings, plants I propagated or plants I bought on super sale.

It is super addicting and I am finding myself wanted to grow more and more. Then I showed a few friends my practice gardens and now everyone is requesting I make them one. I am going to do some research and start propagating more because I am pretty sure this is what I am going to give everyone for Christmas, not to mention potential birthday and hostess gifts for the year. As long as I propagate my own plants, it's really not that expensive. 

I have also been adding little statues I thrifted over the years and I know I could find some good ones for specific people's gifts.

These are some of my test creations:
They're amazing!!!

A-train

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #125 on: March 28, 2017, 01:59:10 PM »
My wife plans on making some wreaths out of burlap to give as gifts. Last time I went to the craft store, burlap seemed awfully expensive. Anybody know of an inexpensive source?

LindseyC

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #126 on: March 28, 2017, 02:08:02 PM »
My wife plans on making some wreaths out of burlap to give as gifts. Last time I went to the craft store, burlap seemed awfully expensive. Anybody know of an inexpensive source?

Oh I can answer this. Go to your local nursery / garden centre and request some untreated burlap. Make sure it is untreated as the treated stuff smells awful and is not something you want hanging in your home. We sell 72" wide yards for a few dollars, it's ridiculously cheap. Garden centres might be a bit more, but still way cheaper then a craft store.

swick

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #127 on: March 28, 2017, 02:08:41 PM »
My wife plans on making some wreaths out of burlap to give as gifts. Last time I went to the craft store, burlap seemed awfully expensive. Anybody know of an inexpensive source?

Lots of rice comes in burlap bags. Also, if there are any coffee roasters near you, so do coffee beans. Never hurts to ask what they do with them. 

LindseyC

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #128 on: March 28, 2017, 02:10:21 PM »
They're amazing!!!

Thank you! I just took a bunch of cuttings today to start the new plants, I am quite excited!!!

Cherry Lane

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #129 on: March 28, 2017, 04:31:50 PM »
I'm going to try to make lemon curd this weekend!  We have a large lemon tree, so one ingredient is free.

How did it turn out?

Poundwise

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #130 on: March 28, 2017, 05:13:16 PM »
My wife plans on making some wreaths out of burlap to give as gifts. Last time I went to the craft store, burlap seemed awfully expensive. Anybody know of an inexpensive source?

Oh I can answer this. Go to your local nursery / garden centre and request some untreated burlap. Make sure it is untreated as the treated stuff smells awful and is not something you want hanging in your home. We sell 72" wide yards for a few dollars, it's ridiculously cheap. Garden centres might be a bit more, but still way cheaper then a craft store.

Rats!!  I  recently covered 5 bulletin boards with burlap and paid craft store prices...

4alpacas

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #131 on: March 28, 2017, 05:20:05 PM »
I'm going to try to make lemon curd this weekend!  We have a large lemon tree, so one ingredient is free.

How did it turn out?
Thank you for checking up on me, Cherry Lane!  I need someone to hold me accountable because I didn't make any curd!  I did order the jars.  I overestimated how much time all of my recipes would take (trying out new recipes that are fresh vegetable heavy), and I didn't want to see the kitchen after that.  I'll follow through this weekend.