Not Martha

amazing Gingerbread Brownstone from Kitchen Table Scraps

Gingerbread Brownstone made by Kitchen Table Scraps

Have you seen this amazing Gingerbread Brownstone made by Kitchen Table Scraps? Even better, she shows how to make it including shaping the rounded front windows, adding all the detail and lighting it from the inside. Super greatness.

Gingerbread Brownstone made by Kitchen Table Scraps

· comments [3] · 12-13-2011 · categories:christmas · food ·

links: christmas

German Pyramid Cake – The Crafts Dept. Eeek, I want one.

Peppermint Rice Krispies Treats · Edible Crafts. I love the candy cane hook so they can hang on the mug, so clever!

Christmas Tree Meringue Cookies | Bakers Royale. Reminds me of the Christmas tree Duchess potatoes.

Gingerbread Playdough Homemade Gift for Kids · Edible Crafts. I want some of this.

DIY Holiday Gifts Advent Calendar – CHOW.

Sprinkle Bakes: Christmas Coal Candy. Via Edible Crafts.

The 2011 Good Gift Games and Good Gift Games Greatest Hits – The Morning News.

· comments [3] · 12-6-2011 · categories:christmas · links ·

taking down Christmas

a rack and some envelopes

One of the most asked questions about my Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile was how I was planning on storing it. Some people were curious how much space it would take to store, others wanted to know how I would do it without it getting tangled. So, here is a photograph of everything that comprised the mobile excepting the ornaments themselves. The ornaments went back into their packaging (in this case tubes about the size of rolls of wrapping paper which will be easy to store with the paper). Otherwise I took the mobile one set of string lengths at a time starting with the outer rings and working my way in. So, I took off all the longest strings, tucked away the ornaments, took off the hooks, looped all the strands and tucked them into an envelope together. I used orphaned envelopes I had left over from various greeting and Christmas cards, so they are all reused. I have separate envelopes holding each set of string, numbered from longest to shortest, on bag holding all the ornament hooks, I left the hooks on the grid rack itself on, so it will be a snap to reassemble the next year we use it as the spacing is already in place. It’s flat, and just about as big around as my wreath so they’ll be stored together.

· comments [4] · 01-31-2011 · categories:christmas · craft ·

Duchess Potato Christmas Trees

Duchess Potato Christmas Trees

I used Duchess Potatoes as an inspiration for something else this year, go see my Duchess Potato Christmas Trees over at The Kitchn. p.s. I discovered that if you keep baking them they turn a lovelier shade of golden brown. I pulled them out of my oven a bit too early fearing they would burn.

This past Thanksgiving I piped Duchess Potatoes into the shape of bowls to hold a bit of gravy.

· comments [14] · 12-23-2010 · categories:christmas · food ·

links: christmas

Meringue Snowflakes · Edible Crafts |

Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life – CakeSpy – Bread and Circus: Molded Gingerbread Cookies Recipe.

Design*Sponge » Blog Archive » diy project: balsa wood mini tree. Such a fabulous idea!

Simple Sugar Cookies – Traditional Christmas Cookie Recipes – Christmas Cookies –

Santa’s Hat Cupcakes · Edible Crafts | Wowsers. These are simple and just perfection.

Design*Sponge » david stark at the state department + diy projects!. These decorations are a-ma-zing, and the Christmas Cracker directions are great. Clap clap clap!

How to Make a Surprisingly Simple Paper Wreath – CraftStylish. Via Maggie Mason’s advent tweets. Which I am loving.

· comments [3] · 12-23-2010 · categories:christmas · links ·

Christmas tree ornament mobile, how-to

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

Here is how I made my Christmas tree ornament mobile, it was easier than it looks, promise.

The Supplies

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

  • a 17″ steamer rack from a restaurant supply store
  • about 5 feet of lightweight jack chain
  • a small carabiner
  • 100 basic ornament hooks
  • one roll, 500 feet, monofilament jewelry string (not the stretchy sort)
  • 200 jewelry crimp beads or tubes
  • jewelry crimping tool
  • 100 lanyard hooks
  • 100 ornaments

Note: In the photo above I show earring wire instead of ornament hooks. I changed that later as I found ornament hooks made it far easier to move ornaments around after they’d been hung. Also, my supplies are based on a 4 foot tall mobile using almost 100 ornaments, you’ll need to adjust amounts if you make one larger or smaller.

Creating the Mobile Frame

Creating the frame for my ornament tree mobile turned out to be fairly simple. I used a lot of hooks to allow for easy adjustment and additions as the mobile was being assembled. I gathered materials from a restaurant supply store, a hardware store and the jewelry section of a craft store.

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile
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· comments [295] · 12-21-2010 · categories:christmas · craft ·

Christmas tree ornament mobile

the views of a tree shaped ornament mobile

This year we decided to do something a little different with our tree and I created this Christmas tree mobile consisting of ornaments suspended on clear threads.

When I was shopping for ornaments to use found a lot on sale and went a little crazy. I decided it would be worth it to see how three different options would look. I did a variety of silver ornaments that came as a boxed set, green ornaments with three different textures and three sizes of clear glass ornaments that look a bit like bubbles.

the mobile hanging in our dining room window

Here is the mobile in context of our dining room (please forgive the mid-present wrapping clutter). We have room to put presents below it, and are still able to peek out the windows to see if the neighbor’s cat is visiting our front porch.

rings of green ornaments, as viewed from below

The view from below.

a detail of monofilament lines holding ornaments

The ornaments are hung on regular ornament hooks attached to jewelry monofilament secured with crimp beads. I’ll put up details of how the mobile was created tomorrow. Instructions on how I made it are right over here.

· comments [171] · 12-20-2010 · categories:christmas · craft ·

links: christmas

Cannelle et Vanille: Bonbon Oiseau and my Candy Cane Marshmallow. Both the marshmallows and the jewelry are yummy.

defective yeti — The 2010 Good Gift Games Guide. This man knows his games, trust him.

How to make 5-pointed paper snowflakes | How About Orange.

How to Make Cinnamon Dough Ornaments + Gift Embellishments at Domestifluff. What a great idea as a new use for a traditional craft.

Gift Guide: Forest Floor Ornaments from Flora Grubb Gardens – Home By Sunset.

Delicious Hot Chocolate — Joy the Baker.

Super super inexpensive ($1.00 or less) yet clever Christmas gift ideas needed! | Ask MetaFilter.

15 Cities in Gingerbread  | Mighty Girl. Love! Seattle has an annual gingerbread village display that is worth braving the shopping hordes for a viewing. (p.s. to locals: it’s open until Jan. 1 and the line is super short post-Christmas.)

Cookie Trees: Festive and Impressive! | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.

CakeSpy – Sweetly Intoxicating: Christmas Cookie Cocktail Recipes.

· comments [5] · 12-20-2010 · categories:christmas · links ·

Holiday specs

seven types of Holiday specs

We were sent a few pairs of these Holiday Specs and I got a kick out of them. They are paper like old fashioned 3-D glasses but these create a shaped aura of light around concentrated light sources (street lamps, Christmas tree lights). I put them on and looked out a window and there was a giant reindeer face floating around the light in a lamp down the street. They are cheesy looking, yes, but I bet they would distract kids for a while. I think they would be good in a stocking or maybe tucked into a card.

They come in packs of seven shapes and individually. I found the snowflake, Santa’s face, snowman, Christmas lights, and reindeer.

· comments [17] · 12-14-2010 · categories:christmas ·

Cozy Mug Wraps, created for Real Simple

felt mug wraps decorated with red/white/green circles

I want to thank Real Simple for including me in this bunch of 14 Creative Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas. I made this easy Warm and Fuzzy Felt Mug Wraps for a little holiday cheer, instructions are over here and below are a few extra photos from the making of. Check out all the ideas, they are fantastic.

supplies - scissors, thread, felt

felt circles being cut out

layered cocoa in jars that fit into the mugs, with candy canes

· comments [31] · 12-13-2010 · categories:christmas · craft ·

links: christmas

Gift-Giving Ideas and Lists

Borax Crystal Snowflakes – The Crafts Dept. Love!

10 DIY Advent Calendar Ideas | Skip To My Lou.

Core77 / 2010 Gift Guide / 77 Design Gifts Under $77. I love the perfectly engineered skipping stones.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » deck the halls with paper bunting.

DIY Cookie Presses (and Pleated Wrapping) · Edible Crafts |

Frog Prince Paperie » Gingerbread House Tutorial and How-To…From a PRO!. Really great, via Edible Crafts.

mirrormirror: Its DECEMBER Already? Lundby Advent Calendar Day 1. Love this, Paola is showing us what comes inside the advent calendar for her daughter’s modern playhouse.

you are my fave: A minimalist ornament chandelier is my fave. So very simple!

DIY modern paper ornament | How About Orange.

Peppermint Icicles – Christmas Candy Recipes – I like these, and would love to serve these with hot chocolate. Via Edible Crafts.

Lolly Chessie’s Famous CP Christmas Trees – Crate Paper. So lovely! Via Hip Hip Hooray.

Peppermint Bark | Baked by Rachel. Made in snowflake shaped cups, such a pretty result! Via Shelterrific.

Rosemary Butter Cookies – Martha Stewart Recipes. I had a few of these from a recent cookie exchange and they were OMG amazing.

Black Sesame Lace Cookies | New Asian Cuisine. I also had some of these from the cookie exchange and wishes I’d taken the whole stack.

Flickr Finds: Yarn Wall Display | Apartment Therapy San Francisco.

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: gluten-free gingerbread men.

· comments [6] · 12-7-2010 · categories:christmas · links ·

Simple DIY Solar Powered LED Christmas Wreath

finished DIY solar LED wreath

I came across solar powered LED Christmas lights the other day and decided to make a lit wreath. I’m excited because the sensors in the solar panel turn the lights on when it gets dark outside and turn them off during the day, which means I won’t have to try to remember to turn the lights out every night. (The solar lights work the same as the automatic on/off LED lights used as path markers which I have previously turned into homemade sun jars.) I tucked the solar panel in the middle of the wreath and used the ornaments to disguise it, making it perfect for hanging on a door as there are no wires coming out of the wreath.

wreath, LED solar light strand, twist ties and ornaments

This project turned out to be about the same price as a regular pre-lit wreath, but less than most pre-lit solar wreaths I’ve found. The strand of 24 lights was $15 and the artificial wreath and ornaments (on sale) came to $12. I used a cluster of ornaments but a wreath ribbon would work just as well. I used long green twist ties, found in a gardening section, to attach everything. Though, I ended up trimming down the twist ties so a handful of regular length ones nabbed from a grocery store would work just as well.

showing the barest spot in my artificial wreath

First I fluffed out the branches of the wreath and found the barest spot. If you have one too make this the bottom of the wreath where we’ll be attaching the solar panel and the decorations.

loop on the back of the solar panel made using duct tape

In order to avoid having a wire coming out of the wreath I tucked the solar panel right into the wreath itself. The solar panel came with a removable spike, meant to anchor it into the ground, which we won’t need. In order to attach the solar panel to the wreath I created loops using duct tape. They aren’t pretty but they won’t be seen. Then I wired it so that it sits in the bottom of the inside of the wreath, mostly hidden behind branches.

winding the strand of LED lights, attaching it to to the wreath frame using twist ties

I attached the lights by running the cord around the wreath from behind, making sure each bulb was facing out towards the front, and securing with a bit of twist tie. For a 22″ wreath the strand of lights went around twice so I attached the lights first to the smaller and then to the larger hoop of the wreath frame.

groups of three or four ornaments threaded onto twist ties, then attached to the wreath

Next I made clusters of ornaments by simply threading them onto the twist ties. (I’ve just typed “twist ties” too many times and it’s turned into one of those meaningless phrases.) I used the same twist ties to arrange them at the bottom of the wreath to disguise the solar panel. String or regular wire would work just as well here.

solar LED wreath hanging on my door

Here it is on our (terribly boring and beige) front door. The solar panel is mostly hidden but angled upwards and still able to catch sunlight. I’ll get a picture of it lit at night as soon as I can.

· comments [16] · 12-3-2010 · categories:christmas · craft ·

links: christmas

Diamonds for Dessert: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree….

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: Sliceform Christmas Tree Tutorial.

Table’s Set: Decorate A Chocolate Martini with a Hanging Cherry « Saucy Sisters. | lump of coal cachette.

Design*Sponge » diy project: kristen’s ruffly felt wreath.

Gifted Magazine – Holiday Inspiration & Gift Guide. Completely in love with this online magazine.

shelterrific » a minimal christmas tree: the filigrantrae.

shelterrific » strangely appealing: tannenboing.

Great Knitted and Sewn Gifts to Get Started on for the Holidays! – the purl bee. I like how simple and bright the advent calendar (halfway down) is!

DIY Gifts | Ask MetaFilter.

Christmas Tree Cut-Out Craft Project.

Modern & eco friendly Christmas trees | Fab Mums.

DwellWellNW |

ikat bag: Paper Christmas Tree Advent Calendar.

Tuesday To-Do: Cone Advent Calendar Banner.

Elegant Gourmet, 13-inch candy cane tree. I want this, if only it wouldn’t melt so easily in the damp winters here.

8 Great DIY Wreaths Roundup | Apartment Therapy San Francisco.

Homemade Gift Ideas – iVillage. Round up of edible gift ideas created by food bloggers.

Tegu LIVE! (NOTCOT). Tegu blocks as Christmas presents? Check.

DIY Tutorial: Mod “Table Tree” Centerpiece // Hostess with the Mostess®.

DIY 5 Minute Tinsel Garland Wreath – Home – Creature Comforts and DIY Holiday Wreath Roundup.

Advent Calendar Pattern Now Available at Make it Do. Via Design Mom.

Felt Holiday Ornament Craft Pattern by Alicia Paulson. I think I’m going to buy myself this, it’s so pretty. Note the two other felt ornament patterns she offers as well.

Felt Tree Bottle Covers – Martha Stewart Crafts. Simple and lovely.

Design^Sprout | Cheap, Chic and Oh-So-Green DIY Ornaments!. So nicely easy to do.

Twig & Thistle » Blog Archive » Magnetic Holiday Advent Calendar DIY.

Diy: Icicle Chandelier :

Holiday mixtape : All & Sundry.

Molly’s Sketchbook: Felt Christmas Tree Pins – the purl bee.

Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day!: Felt Ball Garland. Very much like the Anthropologie one that is so well loved this year, a very easy project.

DIY: Bottles Full of Light, at Design Mom.

· comments [6] · 11-30-2010 · categories:christmas · links ·

Gifted Magazine

Gifted magazine cover

Gifted Magazine is an online holiday magazine presented by Creature Comforts and full of really wonderful holiday projects and gift ideas. I’m delighted by it, bring on Christmas.

· comments [0] · 11-8-2010 · categories:christmas · shopping ·

Merry Christmas!

vintage ornaments on my tree

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays! (Shown above are some of the favorite vintage ornaments on our tree, I especially love the teal one with white and red stripes.)

· comments [18] · 12-24-2009 · categories:christmas ·