356. feather ornament.

feather

A few weeks ago, milo and I went on an adventure to find some feathers and twigs for future crafting projects. While we were crafting on Sunday, I came across the feathers we found from that day of exploration. There were some leftover clear balls and I put a feather inside and liked how simple and lovely it looked. And its a reminder of the fun day Milo and I had when we went exploring!

355. beaded sequin ornaments.

sequin

I am OBSESSED with making those sequin ball ornaments we made on sunday. I love organizing all the little sequins and coming with patterns and color combos. This time I added beads and LOVE the dimension it brings to these. They look so vintage and sparkly! Can’t stop. Won’t stop! Currently working on a blue one….I could have a whole tree covered in these guys!

354. crocheted ocotpus.

octopus

This is my first experience with amigurumi. I find it REALLY hard to understand patterns. But I found this pattern on pinterest and as soon as I saw it I had my heart set on making it. One evening I just started reading it out loud and it made sense! Its basically just single crocheting in the round the entire time! Very very easy. I used a 5.5 needle, instead of the recommended 4.25 needle, so mine is a kind of like a giant squid. I worked on this over a few days as well. I didn’t do it in one night….but tonight I sewed it to together (very messily – need some work there) and now its complete. Its no where near as cute as the one in the photo, but I’m happy I was able to read a pattern and actually complete a project.  And as for those cute striped legs in the original pattern…. I tried it and it was NOT coming out cute for me. I definitely need some help with figuring out how exactly to change colors neatly.
I definitely see more of these kinds of projects in my future now that I have a pretty clear understanding of the stitches, and realize just how simple it is.

353. twig ornament.

twig

Just a simple star ornament using twigs from our yard, hot glue, and some twine. Adding a little nature to our fake tree!

352. baked risotto.

risotto

I usually steer clear of risotto. Seems like way too much work for a weeknight meal.
I saw that Joy the Baker had a recipe for a baked risotto, where you just put everything into a pan, stir once, and done. Sounded intriguing.
I veganized her recipe and gave it a go. And it worked! I think I’m for sure going to tweek this and try making different kinds of risotto using this method! If you have a good risotto combo/recipe, let me know!

1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups Arborio rice
32 ounces veggie broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
salt to taste

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until transluscent and browned, about 5 minutes.  Just as the onions are done cooking, add lemon zest, thyme leaves, and black pepper.  Toss to heat through and set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together uncooked rice, nutritional yeast, and the onion mixture.  Place in the prepared baking pan.  Pour stock and water over the rice mixture.  Stir gently to ensure even cooking.

Place in the oven and allow to cook, uncovered,  for 37-40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.  Rice is done when liquid is absorbed and mixture is cooked through and creamy.  If rice mixture is still crunchy, add more hot water or hot chicken stock about 1/3 cup at a time.

When cooked thought, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before tasting.  Add salt to taste.

351. holiday ornament crafternoon.

ORNAMENTS copy

I had a few friends come over for a holiday crafternoon.

The idea was that everyone bring an ornament to make, and we all make it! We made five ornaments total.
Not pictured is the fabric scrap ball I made earlier in the week (which was a hit!)

1. Then we made sequin ball ornaments…which I am OBSESSED With. Im going to be making a bunch more of these once I get more sequins! Here is a tutorial on how to make them.

2. We made another ornament where we took a christmas bulb shaped ornament and put glittery pipe cleaners and colorful beads inside.

3. We made something similar with a glass ball ornament where we wrapped twine around the top and stuffed it with shredded paper.

4. And lastly, we made these little bird nest ornaments. We glued an egg carton holder to a clothespin, glued grass inside, glued a puffy ball inside that, and glued eyes and a popcorn kernel for a nose. These were intended for the kiddos to make, but they were not interested, so we made them instead.

This was a super fun afternoon! Thinking of doing them a few times throughout the year, and definitely annually!

350. chex mix.

CHEX

In preperation for my crafternoon (post coming!) I made some chex mix for my friends to nibble on while we made christmas ornaments. I have never made chex mix before – mostly because I’m afraid I’ll eat it ALL in one sitting. I LOVE chex mix. LOVE.

6 cups crispix cereal
3 T earth balance
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons seasoning salt
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup pretzels

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Melt earth balance in large roasting pan in oven. Stir in seasonings and make sure the butter mixture is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in an airtight container.

349. fabric scrap ornament.

I saw something like this at crate and barrel a few weeks ago for $10. Using a styrofoam ball and some fabric scraps, I made my own. And iI like mine better!

Here is a tutorial on how to do it. You need a styrofoam ball and fabric scraps. Basically you take fabric scraps and cut them into about 1-2 inch squares. I used a broken chopstick to shove my scraps into the ball. I’m having some girls over for a crafter-noon on sunday, so I think this is the craft Im going to have them make! Can’t wait to see everyone’s variations.

348. gingerbread cupcakes.

cupcakes

These are my go-to favorite holiday cupcakes! I’m kind of crazy for anything ginger-bread, and these are topped with a fluffly light lemony cream cheese frosting.

The recipe is adapted from vegan cupcakes take over the world.

1 1/4 cups flour (we use half white and half whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup  maple syrup
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tspn ginger
2 Tablespoons soy yogurt

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, molasses, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and yogurt, until everything is well blended. Sift in your dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until your batter comes together and is smooth.

3) Divide your batter among your 12 cupcake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup tofutti cream cheese
1/4 cup earth balance margarine
2 cups powdered sugarzest from one lemon
squirt of lemon juice
1 tspn vanilla

Beat cream cheese and earth balance together with electric mixer; zest, lemon juice and vanilla; add powdered sugar slowly and mix for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

347. knitted infinity scarf.

scarf

I finished this scarf for my friend carrie tonight! Green is her favorite color. I just used a garter stitch – 16 stitches across, using size 17 needles, and two skeins of lions brand quick and thick yarn. I sewed the ends together to make it an infiity scarf. Its definitely thick and warm!