embroideredy hoop ornament.

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I made just one more ornament this holiday season –  I had some of this tiger fabric left over and was trying to think of something to make with it for milo. I threw this little ornament or wall hanging together for him. I think this would be a great idea if you have a piece of an old quilt or pillow or even some baby clothes that are sentimental – I added some embroidery in there since he will most likely use this as an ornament. Came together in no time! Again, the possibilities are endless! All you need is fabric and a small embroidery hoop.

photo transfer ornaments.

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and more ornament making for the holiday season! I love giving handmade gifts!  I found the instructions here. 

  • Wooden craft ornaments ( I found some at micheals for $.52)
  • Matte Gel Medium
  • White Craft Paint
  • Christmas images you’ve had printed on a LASER printer (ink jet will not work.  Kinko’s self serve printers are laser.
  • foam brushes
  • twine
  • Glitter Craft Paint
  • sandpaperSTEP ONE: Paint your ornaments with white paint (a lighter background is best to trasfer the photo). Distress the edges if you would like to with sandpaper


STEP TWO:  Cut photos to size.  Apply a coat of the gel medium to the image side of photo.

STEP THREE:   Put photo IMAGE SIDE DOWN onto ornament.  Use a credit card or other burnishing tool to smooth paper down and get rid of any air bubbles.  Allow to dry overnight.

STEP FOUR:  Use a squirt bottle to mist water over the back of the paper.  Then use finger to gently rub the paper away.  You can also remove any paper that is hanging off the edge as well.   Best technique is to rub paper off entire surface and allow to dry.  Repeat this until you no longer see any paper remnants.  It took about 4 times to get all of the paper off for me.  Luckily it only takes a few minutes for it to dry.   Be careful not to rub too hard over the faces!

STEP FIVE:  Sand around edges again, if you want.  Apply glitter paint if you’d like!  Add twine to hang and you’re done!

wooden animal creature ornaments.

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I saw these little guys on pinterest and I knew I had to create some! They will make great little ornaments to hang on gifts. Im probably going to keep one or two for me, and might just keep them out all year long! I ended up using marker instead of paint, and I think paint might be the way to g0 – the marker sort of runs once it hits the wood, so be careful!

  • Wooden beads
  • Felt
  • Paint or marker
  • Embroidery thread
  • Scissors
  • hot glue
  • Paint brush

 Cut a felt circle for a collar and two ear pieces for each animal. Glue the collar to the base of the wooden ball and glue the ears to the top. Hold them in place while they dry.

Paint or draw simple face on the front of the critter.

When everything is dry, cut a 7-inch piece of embroidery thread. Fold it in half and tie an overhand knot. Hot Glue the knotted thread to the top of the critter head.

felted wool garland.

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Ive always been in love with the look of felted wool garland, but depending on how the sheep are raised, wool isnt always the most ethical of textiles. I couldnt bring myself to spend over $100 to get the amount I needed for my tree as well.  I started knitting about 12 years ago, and throughout the years have aquired some yarn as hand me downs, garage sales, etc. I took a look and turns out I had quite a bit of wool yarn already so I figured I would take a stab at using it up and seeing if I can make these little balls to make my own garland.

All the tutorials on line say to use roving. But I wanted to see if there was someway to I could make these out of what I already had. It took ALOT of patience, time and trial and error, but in the end I’m pretty happy with what I have!

You will need 100% wool yarn in order to make these.  I used a combination of this and another kind, that was much thinner.
Pantyhose
Embroidery thread
Acrylic yarn
Long, thick needle
Crochet hook

Decide how big you want to make your balls.  Take them and roll them up into about 1/2 inch-1inch balls and use the crochet hook to pull in the end. (watch this video here) You do NOT want these to come unraveled when you wash them. This is very very important. They should be nice and tight and very round. Much like that first green ball below.

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Once you have all your balls made, You are going to put them, one by one into a pantyhose and tie them off at the ends. I tried a sock and a I tried just throwing them in a pillowcase.  Just putting them in a pillow case WAS my best result, BUT on my second batch a bunch came unraveled and all clumped together, so I found the pantyhose method to be the next best option.

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Once you have them all tied up, you want to throw them in your wash machine. I put mine in a pillowcase first, so they didnt get all tangeled within the washing machine. Set the settings to the smallest load size, and use the hottest water cycle. Add about 2 tspn of detergent and let it go. It will wash them with hot, and then rinse with cold. That is what you want. I usually did this 3-4 times, and then threw them in the dryer too for about an hour or so.

Once i cut them free, your balls should be felted. Alot of mine still had yarn definition but the yarn seemed clumped together so i went with it. Mine is far from perfect, but I dont mind at all. Im sure doing this with roving makes much nicer balls, but I wanted to use up what I had so this suited my needs!

Once you are all done with felting your balls, its time to string them along onto the embroidery floss.  I got my needle ready and tied a knot at the end and just strung these along.  I made each one about 6-7 feet. I Had just enough to cover my tree and I absolutely love it!

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glitter ornaments.

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My friend mentioned making these glitter ball ornaments and I immediately thought that they would be annoying and messy.  After doing some noodling on the internet – I realize that maybe they are pretty simple after all. The secret ingredient here is floor wax! Who would have thought?! I figured for sure you had to figure out a way to get spray glue or something into that little hole…..But nope. Liquid floor wax.  I couldn’t wait to break into these and try it out!

You will need:
clear glass or plastic ornaments
Glitter
Floor wax  (we got ours for abou5 $6 at menards)

Take the top off of your ornament. Pour a little bit of the floor wax inside and put your finger over the top of the ornament and swirl around carefully and slowly. Don’t shake it up, just kind of swirl it and make sure your entire ornament is covered.  Pour out any excess liquid. Dump some glitter, put your in there and swirl around. Keep adding glitter until your ornament is coated.  Let dry for about 15 minutes or so and put your cap back on.  Its THAT easy.

candy cane biscotti.

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Ok, so maybe the holidays are OFFICIALLY over, but there’s always a good place for chocolate and peppermint in my life. Plus, it gives you something to do with all those random candy canes you have lying around!

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 2 tablespoons Flax Meal
  • 1/3 cup Non-dairy Milk
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate chips
  • 2 crushed candy canes

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a cookie sheet, or line it with parchment paper.

2. Melt the Earth Balance, then set aside to cool a bit while you gather your other ingredients.

3. Combine the flax meal and the non-dairy milk in a mixing bowl, and stir them well. Add the Earth Balance, and sugar. Mix well.

5. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine, mixing with a wooden spoon. It will form a thick dough.

6. Turn out the dough onto your cookie sheet, and shape it into a long, flat log. It should be able 12 inches long and 1 inch high. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the loaf has puffed a little and the edges are turning golden. Remove from oven, let cool for at least 20 minutes.

7. When the loaf is cool enough to touch, use a large knife to slice the loaf into 1-inch slices. Try to cut each slice with one swift downward motion of the knife, so you don

8. Return the baking sheet to the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the biscotti is firm to the touch (but not hard), and is becoming a little more golden on the edges. Allow to cool.

9. Melt 1/2 cup of chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave. Dip each piece of biscotti in the chocolate, then set on parchment paper. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the chocolate before it cools. Let set for about 30 minutes (or 15 minutes in the fridge).

holiday felt garland.

feltGarland

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My christmas tree is looking a little bare. Last year I made pom pom garland, but for some reason it doesn’t seem like enough. I have been contemplating buying  the felted wool balls and making my own, buuuut they are expensive! I decided since I have a ton of felt left over from making superhero masks earlier this year, I would put that to use and see what I can come up with.

I spent a morning cutting a WHOLE bunch of circles from the felt. Then I ran them through my sewing machine and made a few long strands at different lengths.

It seems to be doing the trick for now! I do have a bunch of 100 percent wool yarn that i bought about 10 years ago, well before I was vegan, so maybe I will figure out how to make those little balls myself one of these days….but I think this garland gives my tree just the little bit of love it needed!

359. tshirt pillow.

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I made some last minute christmas gifts for dj and my brother. I used this old descendents shirt I got from a clothing swap and turned it into pillows! Since I was crunched for time, I didn’t use a zipper, I just sewed the bottom shut, so its not as pretty as a normal pillow, but I used fun stripey fabric on the back, so maybe that will make up for it. Milo even helped me stuff them!

358. clay ornaments.

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Milo and I made these clay ornaments using a recipe I found on pinterest. We rolled out the dough, cut them out using cookie cutters, and then baked them and let them dry. We painted them, used sharpies and glittered them. We had alot of fun doing it, and are giving some as christmas gifts.

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup water
In a medium sized pot combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and water. Stir this mixture over medium-low heat. You are going to stir this mixture until it is smooth and no longer feels stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir constantly, after a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken. When it looks like smooth, thick mashed potatoes, remove the pot from the heat. Spoon the ball of dough into a bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth until it’s cool.

When the clay has cooled, knead it on a smooth surface dusted with cornstarch. To avoid cracking you need to make sure the clay is well kneaded before rolling. Knead in a little more cornstarch if it feels sticky. Store the clay in a sealed bowl or bag. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before you use it.


Line the baking sheet with waxed paper if you want to let them dry naturally. Turn them every day to avoid curling. This just takes longer than drying them in a low temperature oven.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out clay to 1/4 inch thick on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Transfer shapes to the prepared baking sheet. Use a straw to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration Place them in the oven for about an hour, turning them over halfway through cooking.

357. apricot pistachio granola.

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As soon as I saw this recipe on shutterbean I KNEW I had to have some. Tracy actually sent me some to my door because I was drooling so much. This is one of my most favorite granola recipes ever! So I knew it would make great christmas gifts for my family! I put it mason jars and tried my best to decorate them kind of cute. Hope they like it!

Here’s my version of it!

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pistachios, hulled
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 300F. In a large bowl, mix the oats, pistachios, coconut, maple syrup oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cardamom together until well combined. Spread the granola mixture onto a very large baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, making sure to stir the granola every 10 minutes. The granola is done when the mixture is golden brown. Add the chopped apricots and toss well. Store in air-tight container.