Author Topic: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!  (Read 22673 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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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." 
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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." 
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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.

Cherry Lane

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #119 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 #120 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.

LindseyC

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #121 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 #122 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 #123 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 #124 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 #125 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 #126 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 #127 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 #128 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 #129 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. 

GreenSheep

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #130 on: March 29, 2017, 12:12:58 PM »
I just came across this little tutorial. I have never learned to sew (I know, I know... the shame!), but maybe I will poke around thrift stores in search of t-shirts that would match the people I have in mind for gift-giving. The bag could serve as the wrapping for other little gifts. Might be fun as part of a hostess gift, too. And if you have kids in your life, it would be really fun to get your hands on their old favorite t-shirts that don't fit anymore.

https://www.mommypotamus.com/no-sew-t-shirt-tote-bag-tutorial/

Drole

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #131 on: April 01, 2017, 04:39:08 PM »
My ideas on this keep growing...so to help teach the kids how to sew, I decided we'd start making drawstring bags for all gifts (we go to a lot of kid bday parties). So we made and gave the first one today. Chopping up old clothes for fabric and also got a bag of fabric free from a friend. 

alewpanda

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #132 on: April 06, 2017, 09:38:47 PM »
I'm in!  Just started my list.

4-5 people I am thinking could get homemade vanilla as part of their gift...which means I need to start that stuff soon!  I'll pick up jars tomorrow.

I am *attempting* to made journals/sketchbooks about of old Reader's Digest hardcovers that have lost their pages.  The binding will be those clippable keychain sized things....can't think of the names.  And husband will drill holes and I will sand and wrap the rough interior edges. 

I hope to paint a small painting for most people on my list too this year...which means I should get started on those this summer (my slow work months).

I'm making my sister a coffee scrub for her birthday this May, to go with a gift card she requested. 


I'm not much of a sewer....and I don't have any super special cooking skills.  I will need to think on it....especially for the guys.

alewpanda

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #133 on: April 07, 2017, 09:55:33 PM »
You guys inspired me.  I decided that homemade vanilla, which I have made for myself before but not for others, would be a good Christmas party/hostess/office gift to give.

I made 8oz jars to steep, added fabric covers and tags all ready for December.  I can still open to strain, if I choose to.  (I leave the beans in the bottom and just scoop from the top at home). 

The break down, with all my supplies bought locally, was about $5.11 a jar, and I should have enough for 2 families we do an annual Christmas dinner with, my 4 office-mates, and a few for last minute hostess gifts.  I had the fabric in a leftover stash (probably thrifted at some point) and the tags I punched myself from card stock or leftover Christmas cards.  Most I painted this past year and just didn't use for 2016 gifts.  I also had 3 jars leftover, which i plan to use for coffee/salt scrubs closer to the holidays. 

Thanks for the motivation!  I'm glad to have something started already, no matter how small in the grand scheme of things :)

SeaKayEl

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #134 on: April 09, 2017, 12:27:18 PM »
Status Update of Current Homemade Gift Ideas

1. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
     -Won't be made until December

2. Homemade Dog Treats
     -Won't be made until December

3. Two Paracord Dog Leashes
     -Bought 2 dog leash snap hooks
     -Next Steps: Purchase paracord

4. Homemade Clock(s)
     -Bought a used Harley Davidson clutch cover to turn into clock
     -Next Steps: Determine what clock parts (and sizes) are needed

alewpanda

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #135 on: April 12, 2017, 04:26:36 PM »
First things first, I saved coffee grounds for a week, mixed them up with some coconut oil and peppermint oil, and wow!  Did it ever turn out well!  Absolutely going to be some coffee scrubs made closer to Christmas time :)  Kinda like a minty christmas latte smell <3


Also: I made these for my nieces.  The letters are their first initials.  The color is watercolor paints.  What do you think?


alewpanda

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #136 on: April 12, 2017, 04:28:31 PM »
And another shot:

Write Thyme

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #137 on: April 13, 2017, 01:50:47 PM »
This will be a future Christmas gift, but for Mother's Day my MIL said she was on her last bar of goats milk soap. I've purchased it for her many times before, and this time I decided to make it instead of spending $5-6 per bar plus shipping. I got a $7 silicone soap mold. I already have essential oils on hand. I purchased the goats milk melt and pour soap base from Brambleberry. I had that in my cart for a few days, and they sent me a free shipping coupon so I got a pound of it for $3.50. (~$22.50 savings for doing it myself!)

As for Christmas...

I'll use the soap molds to make my brother soap.
Mini bird seed wreaths for the grandparents.
Jewelry for the ladies.
Banana bread.
Honey butter.
Seasoned pretzels.

I have more thinking to do.
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engineermom21

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #138 on: April 13, 2017, 02:26:05 PM »
Following because I am determined to do mostly homemade gifts this year!

Going to start vanilla soon...I've wanted to do it the past few years but I always forget until it's way too late to start it.  Where does everyone get their beans?  Amazon?  I see they are around $40 for 25 of them...is that a decent price?

I was reading about making vanilla sugar with the pods once you are done making vanilla, so will probably add that to my list too. 

sparkytheop

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #139 on: April 13, 2017, 02:59:59 PM »
Following because I am determined to do mostly homemade gifts this year!

Going to start vanilla soon...I've wanted to do it the past few years but I always forget until it's way too late to start it.  Where does everyone get their beans?  Amazon?  I see they are around $40 for 25 of them...is that a decent price?

I was reading about making vanilla sugar with the pods once you are done making vanilla, so will probably add that to my list too.

That looks about right.  Grade B is fine for making extracts (if you wanted to use it in desserts and stuff, you'd want grade A, as that has more moisture).  When I first started a few years ago, you could get 1/4 pound for $16 (about 27 beans).  I'm hoping the price goes back down eventually (read somewhere there is a vanilla shortage, but depending on factors involved, the price may not improve, and some quality may even go down).

engineermom21

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #140 on: April 14, 2017, 08:55:32 AM »
That looks about right.  Grade B is fine for making extracts (if you wanted to use it in desserts and stuff, you'd want grade A, as that has more moisture).  When I first started a few years ago, you could get 1/4 pound for $16 (about 27 beans).  I'm hoping the price goes back down eventually (read somewhere there is a vanilla shortage, but depending on factors involved, the price may not improve, and some quality may even go down).

Thanks for the info! 

SeaKayEl

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #141 on: April 15, 2017, 06:02:56 PM »
Status Update of Current Homemade Gift Ideas

1. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
     -Won't be made until December

2. Homemade Dog Treats
     -Won't be made until December

3. Two Paracord Dog Leashes
     -Bought 2 dog leash snap hooks
     -Next Steps: Purchase paracord

4. Homemade Clock(s)
     -Bought a used Harley Davidson clutch cover to turn into a clock
     -Bought clock parts
     -Next Steps: Paint hands orange

Worked a little on the clock project today.  I got the clutch cover in so I drilled a pilot hole (which helped determine cover thickness) and bought the clock parts.

Only thing left to modify will be painting the hands orange not only to be more visible, but to tie in the Harley theme.

alewpanda

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #142 on: April 15, 2017, 08:29:11 PM »
Status Update of Current Homemade Gift Ideas

1. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
     -Won't be made until December

2. Homemade Dog Treats
     -Won't be made until December

3. Two Paracord Dog Leashes
     -Bought 2 dog leash snap hooks
     -Next Steps: Purchase paracord

4. Homemade Clock(s)
     -Bought a used Harley Davidson clutch cover to turn into a clock
     -Bought clock parts
     -Next Steps: Paint hands orange

Worked a little on the clock project today.  I got the clutch cover in so I drilled a pilot hole (which helped determine cover thickness) and bought the clock parts.

Only thing left to modify will be painting the hands orange not only to be more visible, but to tie in the Harley theme.


This is gonna look AWESOME!


SeaKayEl

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #143 on: April 16, 2017, 09:27:43 AM »
Status Update of Current Homemade Gift Ideas

1. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
     -Won't be made until December

2. Homemade Dog Treats
     -Won't be made until December

3. Two Paracord Dog Leashes
     -Bought 2 dog leash snap hooks
     -Next Steps: Purchase paracord

4. Homemade Clock(s)
     -Bought a used Harley Davidson clutch cover to turn into a clock
     -Bought clock parts
     -Next Steps: Paint hands orange

Worked a little on the clock project today.  I got the clutch cover in so I drilled a pilot hole (which helped determine cover thickness) and bought the clock parts.

Only thing left to modify will be painting the hands orange not only to be more visible, but to tie in the Harley theme.


This is gonna look AWESOME!

Thanks alewpanda!  I hope what I picture in my head is what happens in real life.  :D

geekette

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #144 on: April 16, 2017, 11:52:47 AM »
Following because I am determined to do mostly homemade gifts this year!

Going to start vanilla soon...I've wanted to do it the past few years but I always forget until it's way too late to start it.  Where does everyone get their beans?  Amazon?  I see they are around $40 for 25 of them...is that a decent price?

I was reading about making vanilla sugar with the pods once you are done making vanilla, so will probably add that to my list too.

That looks about right.  Grade B is fine for making extracts (if you wanted to use it in desserts and stuff, you'd want grade A, as that has more moisture).  When I first started a few years ago, you could get 1/4 pound for $16 (about 27 beans).  I'm hoping the price goes back down eventually (read somewhere there is a vanilla shortage, but depending on factors involved, the price may not improve, and some quality may even go down).
Wow, prices really have gone up.  I split a pound with 6 friends about 5 years ago, and we had to pay $5.50 each for our 17 beans (for a liter of vodka).  Since I didn't give much away, it's still steeping...  I trust it won't go bad, but maybe I should bottle up some for gifts, huh. I also have a bunch of cut up vanilla beans in a big bottle with an inch or two of vodka in the bottom (I drained off most of the "finished" vanilla into a smaller bottle).  Is there anything I can do with those beans?  I've read vanilla sugar, but I just get lumpy sugar.

swick

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #145 on: April 16, 2017, 12:45:56 PM »
  Is there anything I can do with those beans?  I've read vanilla sugar, but I just get lumpy sugar.

I fish them out of the vodka, dehydrate them and pulverize them to make vanilla "powder" and use it in baking, smoothies, sugar scrubs that sort of thing.

SeaKayEl

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #146 on: April 18, 2017, 08:49:42 PM »
Status Update of Current Homemade Gift Ideas

1. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
     -Won't be made until December

2. Homemade Dog Treats
     -Won't be made until December

3. Two Paracord Dog Leashes
     -Bought 2 dog leash snap hooks
     -Next Steps: Purchase paracord

4. Homemade Clock(s)
     -Bought a used Harley Davidson clutch cover to turn into a clock
     -Bought clock parts
     -Next Steps: Paint hands orange

5. Vanilla Extract
     -Made
     -Next Steps: Divide into gift bottles in December

With all this talk of making vanilla extract I couldn't resist.  I put the beans right into the 750ml vodka bottle and will divide that up into smaller bottles come Christmas time.

alewpanda

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #147 on: April 26, 2017, 07:44:25 PM »
Not a fantastic photo, but I finished the felt food for my niece.  She is 4 and LOVES playing with dishes and 'cooking' food.  She tries to 'feed' my dogs blocks and stuff out of her toy dishes.  So my hope is that she will enjoy these :) 

This will pair with one of the initial paintings from above...the M.  Her little sister gets the A initial and hopefully felt blocks, if I can make them square and stackable ;)



Freckles

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #148 on: April 26, 2017, 11:20:24 PM »
Those are adorable. I bet she will love them.

casserole_dish

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #149 on: April 27, 2017, 02:41:10 AM »
So many awesome gifts!

So while reading through the vanilla posts I had an idea. I have a friend (very non mustachian) who loves buying the fancy flavoured coffees from starbucks, I reckon it would be easy to make the flavoured syrup (caramel, hazelnut, vanilla etc), surely it's mostly sugar and water with a dash of essence. This has dual mustache benefits; it's a cheap homemade gift, and encourages my friend to make their own flavoured coffee at home instead of buying starbucks!